Thomas W. Teutsch
Paper: Houston Chronicle
Title: Body of fugitive connected to drug family is returned
Date: JANUARY 14, 1988
Mexican officials returned to the United States the body of a 38-year-old fugitive wanted by federal marshals in Texas in connection with an alleged narcotics conspiracy and at least six murders, officials said Wednesday. Thomas W. Teutsch had been on the U.S. Marshal's Service list of ``15 Most Wanted'' fugitives since June 7, 1982, when he failed to appear for federal trial in Austin on racketeering and narcotics conspiracy charges.
Teutsch reputedly was a high-ranking member of the infamous ``Cammarata family'' led by the late Houston nightclub owner Sam Cammarata, which was described by federal officials as an international dope smuggling ring responsible for at least six killings.
Teutsch was allegedly involved in three of these murders, according to the Marshal's Service.
In one of those killings, the 1981 murder of reputed Mexican marijuana smuggler Jorge Diaz, Teutsch strangled him with an electrical cord.
Teutsch also was reportedly involved in a plot to kill the president and prime minister of Lebanon.
In 1975, Teutsch was acquitted of killing a man who tried to run him down in the parking lot of a Houston bar.
Cammarata was convicted of marijuana and cocaine distribution, conspiracy and racketeering, and conducting an international drug smuggling operation in February 1983. He was given a 45-year sentence and died in federal prison the following October.
A Corpus Christi native and owner of a topless bar there, Teutsch was arrested in 1981 on four counts of conspiracy to smuggle marijuana and cocaine. After failing to show for his trial, he became the subject of a massive manhunt in the United States and Mexico.
When Teutsch disappeared before his trial in Austin, he left behind six suicide notes saying he would rather be tried by the Lord than be framed or killed by Department of Public Safety agents.
His body was identified in Brownsville, after Mexican officials returned it to the United States following his death in Jalapa in the state of Veracruz. He died on January 8 after back surgery, federal officials said.
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