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Assata Shakur Bounty Increased to $1 Million; Added to Terror List
Hood News — The Underground @ 6:19 pm

$1M reward for Chesimard gets bounty hunter’s attention
The Associated Press

EWING, N.J. - Joanne Chesimard just got a whole lot more attractive to Louis Faccone.

The Woodbridge man, who makes his living tracking down wanted fugitives, was at a press conference Monday in which the reward for Chesimard, the alleged killer of a New Jersey state trooper, was upped to $1 million.

The move came on the 32nd anniversary of the slaying of Trooper Werner Foerster during a traffic stop in Middlesex County. Chesimard was convicted of the 1973 killing, but has been on the lam since supporters broke her out of a state prison in 1979.

She has been living in Cuba under the protection of Fidel Castro’s government for most of that time. Garden State officials have failed to pressure Cuba to hand over Chesimard, 57, who goes by the name Assata Shakur.

“I’m going to jump on it,” said Faccone, who most recently tracked down and hauled in John Forrest, a fugitive ticket broker who stiffed customers for hundreds of thousands of dollars before fleeing to Cancun, Mexico.

Faccone earned $100,000 for that capture last September - one-tenth of what he stands to make by finding the Black Liberation Army radical. He’s already making preparations. He says he has a two-man team already in Mexico that could be deployed to Cuba on short notice after receiving good information about where Chesimard is located at a particular moment.

“My guys can get in there in the middle of the night by boat from the Florida Keys,” he said. “If we can get to within a 3-mile radius of where she is, I feel confident we can get in, grab her, get on a boat and get her out.”

That’s exactly the sort of response State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes is hoping for with the higher reward.

“Bounty hunters do this all the time,” he said. “That’s their stock in trade.”

There’s one important catch, though: Chesimard must be brought back alive. If she is killed in a capture attempt, the reward dies with her.

“The goal is to bring a fully functional, no-assembly-required fugitive back home to New Jersey so she can finish out her term of imprisonment,” Fuentes said.

Foerster responded as backup when another trooper had stopped Chesimard and two companions for a faulty tail light on the New Jersey Turnpike in East Brunswick. Shots soon rang out and Foerster was hit. As he lay on the ground, authorities said, Chesimard took his gun and fatally shot him.

Her brother-in-law was killed in the gun battle and another man was arrested. Clark Squire is serving a life sentence in a Pennsylvania prison and was denied parole last August.

Although she had long been on the watch lists maintained by federal agencies such as the FBI and the Bureau Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Chesimard’s name was added Monday to the FBI’s wanted list of domestic terrorism suspects.

“Anyone of the mind-set that would execute a police officer once they were on the ground” is dangerous enough to be considered a domestic terrorism threat, Fuentes said.

The money from the United States Justice Department was personally approved by Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez.

“It both sends and reinforces a strong message that the passage of time does not diminish the intent and energy of the State Police and FBI to bring this fugitive to justice and to serve out her ordered term of imprisonment,” Fuentes said.



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