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Spanish police arrest fugitive at first holy communion party with aid of drone

The Guardian - Tue May 4 16:02

Police in Spain have arrested an “extremely slippery” fugitive alleged drug-trafficker after staking out the first holy communion party he was attending and using a drone to track him as he tried to escape through an orange grove.

The man, referred to by the initials DJCM, had been on the run since last July, when police broke up a major drug gang, arresting 30 people and seizing more than 5 tonnes of hashish, 2kg of cocaine, dozens of cars, a Kalashnikov assault rifle and more than €100,000.

According to a statement from the Guardia Civil, DJCM was responsible for the gang’s logistical infrastructure.

“Since then, this extremely slippery individual had been living between various Andalucían provinces in a bid to avoid arrest,” the statement said.

But his luck ran out last Saturday, when the Guardia Civil heard that his relatives were throwing a first holy communion party at a restaurant in La Algaba, near Seville.

Reasoning that he might show up, police descended on the area, surrounding the restaurant and covering possible escape routes.

“Wearing plain clothes so as not to get in the way of the family celebration, officers moved in to carry out the arrest,” the statement said.

“But as soon as he saw them approach, he scaled a high fence and fled into the countryside.” After a brief chase involving a drone and officers pursuing him on foot, the man was arrested.

Over recent weeks, police and customs officers have seized more than 12 tonnes of hashish from gangs in southern Spain. Officers confiscated 7.1 tonnes from a repurposed tugboat off the Campo de Gibraltar, and another 5 tonnes during a coordinated operation across Cádiz, Almería and Málaga. The latter raid also turned up €200,000 in cash as well as jewels and a large amount of electronic and IT material.