Fugitive wanted for 2007 Plainfield murder apprehended in Guatemala

A fugitive charged with beating a man to death in Plainfield in 2007 before fleeing the country has been apprehended in Guatemala following a nearly decade-long search involving a dozen municipal, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park, FBI-Newark Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher, U.S. Marshal for the District of New Jersey Juan Mattos Jr., and other representatives of those agencies jointly announced Tuesday.

Welder “Dario” Morente Dubon, 30, formerly a resident of Plainfield, was arrested late last week in San Francisco El Alto, Guatemala by FBI agents and members of the Guatemalan Police of the Transnational Anti-Gang Unit., after investigators received information that he was living and working in the western-central portion of the country.

On March 29, 2007, Dubon was working at a tire shop on the 1600 block of South Second Street in Plainfield when 23-year-old Joseph Tremarco of the Millington section of Long Hill, the principal of his own scrap metal salvage business, arrived there to conduct a transaction with him, according to the investigation.

Following an argument, Dubon allegedly beat Tremarco to death with a blunt instrument, moved the victim’s body into his own pickup truck, and parked the vehicle on a residential street in neighboring North Plainfield before fleeing the area.

Tremarco’s body was discovered the next day. Dubon was subsequently charged with first-degree murder, with a warrant being issued for his arrest, but by then, investigators believe that he had already fled to Central America.

An extensive investigation and search for Dubon ultimately grew to also leverage the resources of the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI’s Newark office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. State Department, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, New Jersey State Police, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Plainfield Police Division, North Plainfield Police Department, Long Hill Police Department, and Keyport Police Department, in addition to the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) and Guatemalan Policia Nacional Civil (Guatemalan National Police). 

In September 2009, the case was profiled on the television program “America’s Most Wanted,” and in October 2011, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Dubon in U.S. District Court, charging him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. The New Jersey State Police also added Dubon to its 12 Most Wanted list of fugitives.

Over the years, investigators received numerous tips of possible sightings of Dubon from areas across the United States and in multiple other countries. Investigators with the Prosecutor’s Office, U.S. Marshals, and FBI travelled to many of those areas to follow up on the leads, dedicating large degrees of resources and manpower to the search.   

Prosecutor Park thanked members of all assisting agencies in announcing the arrest.

“The apprehension of Mr. Dubon is a testament to the power of cooperation in law enforcement and the unbreakable tenacity of the individual investigators who simply refused to let the tragic death of a young man ever be forgotten,” Park said. “We hope that this news offers some semblance of closure to Joseph’s family and friends.”

“Today we have taken a very dangerous and violent person off the street. The FBI’s capture of Welder ‘Dario’ Morente Dubon was made possible because of the teamwork between federal, local, state, and international law enforcement agencies and the vigilant public,” FBI-Newark Special Agent in Charge Gallagher said. “This case demonstrates the FBI will never stop its pursuit of fugitives.  The FBI continues to work with local law enforcement to apprehend violent criminals charged with state crimes who then flee the jurisdiction interstate or internationally.”

“This arrest of Mr. Dubon is another example that Deputy U.S. Marshals, working together with our law enforcement partners, will not yield and will persevere by pursuing fugitives regardless of where they flee,” Marshal Mattos added.

Dubon is expected to be extradited to New Jersey during the coming months to face the charges against him. Anyone with information about this matter, or anyone who may have come into contact with Dubon since March 29, 2007, still is being urged to contact Prosecutor’s Office Detective Danika Ramos at 908-451-7739.

Convictions on first-degree murder charges are commonly punishable by 30 years to life in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.