‘Most Wanted’ fugitive arrested in Hialeah after 26 years; Possible ties to Castro

HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - A fugitive with alleged ties to Fidel Castro has been arrested in Hialeah.

According to officials, Anibal “The Ghost” Mustelier was a “Most Wanted” fugitive that eluded the FBI, U.S. Marshalls and ATF for 26 years. The 66-year-old man, who was arrested Sunday, is known to officials as one of the most elusive contract killers in the world, as well as having ties to Fidel Castro as a hitman.

Police said he had been hiding in plain sight under a different name and had been working with a crew, focusing on armed robberies on jewelry stores.

During a press conference announcing the arrest on Tuesday, Hialeah Police Sgt. Carl Zogby emphasized the importance of this man’s capture.

“We went fishing for a grouper, and we caught ourselves a whale,” said Zogby. “He is called, if you Google him, ‘The Ghost.’ He has disappeared 26 years ago. He was an international fugitive from ATF, FBI and the U.S. Marshalls. He’s wanted for attempted murders from ’89 to ’90. And then in 1996, Mustelier and his crew committed what they call the largest bank heists in the State of Florida. He’s 66 years old. I think after 26 years of running, his luck has ran out.”

The fugitive is suspected of assassinations in Cuba and an attempted assassination in the United States. According to officials, Mustelier was hired to kill Francisco Condom-Gil, a Miami drug dealer. Mustelier emptied a 30-round clip into Condom’s car, but Condom escaped.

A few months later, officials said, Mustelier assigned a crew member to leave a bomb under the drug dealer’s car, but the job was botched.

Mustelier was also part of an alleged ring of thieves tied to a jewelry store robbery, in September of 2015 and, more recently, a beauty salon business in August.

“You can run awhile, but you’re not gonna change your stripes,” ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ari Shapira said.

The fugitive was in bond court Tuesday afternoon after being wanted in Florida for bank larceny, conspiracy to commit bank larceny, entering a bank with intent to commit a felony, extortion and attempted murder.

Judge Mindy S. Glazer did not offer Mustelier any bond.

Mustelier and his crew were successful in one of the largest bank robberies in South Florida. According to officials, they obtained safety deposit box keys made for Sun Trust bank and escaped with 8,000 pieces of jewelry and $7 million in cash. “With masks on their faces and pointing guns at their terrified victims,” Zogby said.

Police said they infiltrated the operation and took it down, arresting Mustelier Monday at a home on the 200 block of East 21st Street in Hialeah. Zogby said police found, “Guns, masks, stolen items, bulletproof vests, duct tape,” inside the home.

Two others, 25-year-old Jose Pineda and 27-year-old Yamile Diaz-Bernal, were arrested in relation to the jewelry store robberies and also appeared in court, Tuesday.

“We’ve taken three very dangerous armed criminals off the streets,” Zogby said.

One other suspect in the jewelry store robberies is still on the run, and according to police, that suspect typically wears dreadlocks.

“You come into Hialeah, we’ll find you eventually,” Hialeah Police Chief Sergio Velasquez said.

If you have any information on where that suspect is, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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