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Fugitive Jose Armanda Betances Arrested in Dominican Republic for 1990 Murder in Lowell

Extradition Underway by the FBI Boston Division’s Violent Crimes Task Force

 Jose Armanda Betances, also known as Jose Almando Betances Urena, a fugitive wanted for murder, has been turned over to the FBI following his arrest in the Dominican Republic.

 Special Agents from the FBI Boston Division’s Violent Crimes Task Force, along with an officer from the Lowell Police Department, escorted Betances from the Dominican Republic to Logan International Airport on a flight that is scheduled to arrive this evening.  The FBI worked with the Lowell Police Department and leveraged its international resources to locate Betances and bring him back to Massachusetts.

Betances is wanted for the murder of Andrew Alexander on May 12, 1990, in Lowell, Massachusetts.  An arrest warrant was issued by Lowell District Court on May 13, 1990, after Betances was charged with allegedly shooting Alexander between the eyes with a .32 caliber revolver. A Middlesex County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Betances with murder on June 7, 1990, and as a result of that indictment, the Middlesex Superior Court issued a capias warrant for Betances’ arrest.

A federal arrest warrant was issued by the United States District Court in Massachusetts on August 16, 1990 for Betances on a charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution which holds a maximum imprisonment of five years.

Investigators located Betances, 58, in the Dominican Republic in January 2017. Through coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice-Office of International Affairs and the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, an extradition package, including an application for a provisional arrest warrant, was prepared and presented to Dominican authorities by the State Department.

On July 8, 2019, the FBI was notified that the Dominican Republic Supreme Court issued a warrant for Betances’ arrest, and on November 12, 2019, with the assistance of the FBI’s Legal Attaché office in Santo Domingo, Betances was arrested outside his residence and held in custody pending extradition back to Massachusetts.

“Mr. Betances’ life on the run for almost 30 years has ended with him in handcuffs, and we can only hope this arrest brings some level of closure to Mr. Alexander’s family,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “Violent offenders like him need to understand that no matter where they hide, or for how long they run, our investigators will track them down, and bring them to justice.”

“Although just shy of 30 years, persistent and hard work have resulted in the arrest of this suspect. This heinous crime was committed in broad day light in front of many witnesses, many of whom were children. I hope this sends a clear message that the Lowell Police Department has strong partnerships with many law enforcement agencies. We will continue to foster and support those relationships to ensure that our combined efforts guarantee that crimes committed against our community are diligently investigated,” said Raymond Kelly Richardson, Superintendent of Police, Lowell Police Department.  

“With the help of our partners, defendants are brought forward to answer for their crimes. I would like to thank our FBI partners, the U.S. Department of Justice of International Affairs and the U.S. State Department along with the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office for not only assistance in this investigation and apprehension of a violent offender, but also for the work they do every day.”

“The return of Jose Betances is the result of collaborative work among several agencies. For the past thirty years, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Lowell Police Department and the FBI Boston Division’s Violent Crimes Task Force have consistently shared information and implemented strategies to have the alleged perpetrator brought back to Middlesex County to be tried for the charges against him. It is our hope, which is shared by the victim’s family, that this case will now be able to move forward,” said District Attorney Marian Ryan.

Upon arrival, Betances will be returned to the custody of the Lowell Police Department and he will be prosecuted by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. His initial arraignment will be Monday, February 3, in Woburn Superior Court at 11:00 a.m. in courtroom 440.

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is an author, host of the Paying Attention TV/Radio Program, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to valleypatriot@aol.com.

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