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DEA agents nab alleged drug kingpin in Puerto Rico

By the CNN Wire Staff
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'Pablo Escobar of the Caribbean' caught
  • NEW: Suspect has a history of catch-and-escape with authorities
  • Alleged drug kingpin was caught by U.S. authorities in Puerto Rico
  • Jose David Figueroa Agosto, 46, is wanted by several countries
  • The suspect was wearing a wig when he was caught

(CNN) -- Jose David Figueroa Agosto's salt-and-pepper hair was covered with a similarly colored long wig. He hadn't been in the sun much and appeared younger and slimmer than the man in the old mugshots.

Still, the high-living alleged drug kingpin and prison escapee wasn't coy when he was caught Saturday after a high-speed chase in Santurce, a neighborhood in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

"Everybody knows who I am," he told federal agents when they asked him his name, according to Antonio Torres of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Better known in the region as Jr. Capsula, Figueroa Agosto, 46, was arrested with two others about noon Saturday after he tried to escape from officers conducting surveillance, DEA special Agent Waldo Santiago told CNN.

"Figueroa was the most-wanted fugitive by Puerto Rican and Dominican Republic authorities," Santiago said.

"He has been described as the Pablo Escobar of the Caribbean," he said, referring to the notorious Colombian druglord who was killed by Colombian police in a 1993 gunbattle.

According to federal authorities, Figueroa Agosto has a history of catch-and-escape.

He originally went to prison on murder charges, but escaped a San Juan jail in 1999, according to Harry Rodriguez of the San Juan FBI press office.

Figueroa Agosto fled to the Dominican Republic, where he continued drug trafficking, Rodriguez said. He was arrested "some time ago" but was released for an unknown reason. He was re-arrested in the Dominican Republic and was caught with close to $4 million in cash. He managed to escape and return to Puerto Rico, the FBI said.

Figueroa Agosto has been charged by U.S. authorities with passport fraud and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Dominican authorities have sought Figueroa Agosto for multiple violations including kidnapping, money laundering, drug trafficking and murder. He also has been linked to criminal activity in Colombia and Venezuela, according to federal authorities.

"He appears to have been working out and exercising to lose weight, but (also) to gain muscle mass," Santiago said. "He appears different from the mug shots. He looks younger and slimmer. He's been taking care of himself. We have information that he's been working out and trying to stay in shape, to endure the stress of being on the run."

Santiago said Figueroa Agosto's complexion also appeared lighter, possibly from staying out of the sun.

During his time in hiding, Figueroa Agosto had been accompanied by fugitive Sobeida Felix Morel, according to a U.S. Marshals Service poster. "They both love the high life, exclusive dining and living conditions."

Felix Morel was not with Figueroa Agosto on Saturday. The two arrested with him have not been formally charged, Rodriguez said.

CNN's Rich Phillips and Jackie Castillo contributed to this report.