SANTA FE, N.M. — A man who escaped from a Colorado state prison in 1974 is now back in custody, 46 years later.
The FBI has announced that Luis Archuleta, 77, also known as Lawrence Pusateri, was arrested Wednesday. Authorities found him in Española, New Mexico, where he had been living for almost four decades under the name Ramon Montoya.
“This arrest should send a clear signal to violent offenders everywhere: The FBI will find you, no matter how long it takes or how far you run, and we will bring you to justice,” FBI Denver Special Agent Michael Schneider said in a statement announcing Archuleta’s arrest.
According to the FBI, Archuleta was convicted of assault of a police officer with a deadly weapon in 1973, after he was found guilty of shooting Denver Officer Daril Cinquanta on Oct. 3, 1971. The officer survived the shooting.
Archuleta escaped in 1974 while he was serving his sentence at a Colorado Department of Corrections facility.
In 1977, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Archuleta on charges stemming from his Colorado escape. The warrant remained active until 2018; on June 30, a warrant was reissued by the U.S. District Court in Colorado.
Now that authorities have taken Archuleta into custody in New Mexico, he’s being returned to Colorado.
“Many members our community were hurt by Luis Archuleta’s actions,” said Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen in a statement. “The passing of time does not erase or excuse his crimes.”
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the 1974 escape was Archuleta’s second. Then known as Lawrence Pusateri, he had reportedly escaped from a California prison.
The New Mexican spoke with Cinquanta, who apparently never gave up on finding Archuleta. The now-retired officer tracked him to Española — after verifying that Archuleta, then Roman Montoya, had been arrested in 2011 on a charge of drunk driving in the area. Archuleta pleaded not guilty, and the case was dismissed when the arresting officer failed to appear in court.