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Fugitive robbery suspect extradited from Puerto Rico

By Times Staff Writer
Published November 18, 2005

TAMPA - Nine years after he allegedly switched ID bracelets with another inmate and slipped out of the Morgan Street Jail, an accused armed robber and kidnapper is back behind bars in Hillsborough County.

Hector Luis Cardenas, 31, was extradited this week from Puerto Rico, where investigators found him in the Guayama Prison Camp under the name Alexandro Agosto Ramos.

Authorities say in 1996 Cardenas escaped from Morgan Street Jail while awaiting trial on eight counts of robbery with a firearm, five counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of armed kidnapping. An escape charge has been added.

In the years since, rumors surfaced that Cardenas was being protected by an uncle who worked in a Puerto Rican police department, said U.S. Marshals Service spokeswoman Lisa Alfonso.

Special agents in Puerto Rico pressured Cardenas' known family members and acquaintances and learned that Cardenas was in the Guayama Prison for armed robbery.

Agents worked with Hillsborough detectives and the Marshals Service fugitive task force to confirm Cardenas' identity and bring him back to Hillsborough County, Alfonso said.

[Last modified November 18, 2005, 01:27:15]

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