San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

North American Fugitive Extradited

One of the FBI s most-wanted fugitives, U.S. citizen Russell Earl Winstead, 41, was extradited from Costa Rica last week.

Winstead is charged with murdering his 85-year-old aunt, Anne Mae Branson, and stealing $12,000 from her in Madisonville, Kentucky.

Costa Rican authorities arrested Earl on May 3, 2005, as he was leaving the casino at the Hotel Del Rey in downtown San José.

Branson was a successful U.S. businesswoman with various accounts and financial investments. Financial records show she was lending her nephew Winstead an inordinate amount of money (TT, May 6, 2005).

Police discovered Winstead to be a gambling aficionado who had lost more than $1 million throughout 2002 and accumulated a large debt, according to a statement from the International Police (INTERPOL).

Winstead arrived in Costa Rica in 2003, before he was charged with murder and robbery on July 15 of that year, the statement said.

INTERPOL began investigating Winstead in 2003 after receiving information that the suspect had entered Costa Rica June 5, 2003. Agents found and arrested him through an investigation conducted in conjunction with the Public Security Ministry.

Winstead, who was featured on the television show America s Most Wanted, entered the country under his own name but later began using the name Jeffrey Dan Fish, another U.S. citizen who has Costa Rican residency and was living in Limón.

Winstead left Costa Rica Feb. 24 aboard American Airlines fight 1700 to Miami under custody of U.S. Marshals.



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