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LIVE: Deputies using symbols to identify drug fugitive
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
Jefferson county deputies believe the a Beaumont drug suspect is hiding in the area and their investigation shows he is trying to make the search as difficult as possible.
The sheriff's office is looking for 30-year-old Daniel Alameda.
He's wanted on two warrants for delivery of a controlled substance.
Investigators say although the suspect has cut his hair and perhaps done other things to avoid detection.
He can't hide his tattoos, one on his arm another on his stomach.
Law enforcement officers say the particular images are sometimes linked to drug dealers and cartels.
"He's altered his appearance, we know that. We believe him to have shaved his head at this point and time, he does have dark hair, he may have some facial hair at this point and time," Jefferson County Deputy Rod Carroll says.
Despite what investigators call Alameda's attempt to change the way he looks, there are two things he can't hide, his tattoos.
"He has a tattoo on his right shoulder of Santa Muerte and a pit bull which is typical of a narcotics trade. It's a protector, they believe that Santa Muerte will protect them from law enforcement," Carroll said.
A blue figurine is like the one Alameda has on his arm.
The blue signifies protection, but deputies say it's not always used as a drug reference.
"The Santa Muerte was used by people that are praying for different things whether it's to help your family or a sick loved one or your sick or a sick child," Sergeant Dean Nance with Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says.
He specializes in cultural symbols that are sometimes linked to Mexican drug dealers.
According to Nance, more people are displaying the Santa Muerte figurine during the past few years.
"People that use it illegitimately are people that are smuggling drugs whether it's a cartel, drug organization or protection against something," Nance said.
Every figurine color has a different meaning, Alameda has a blue cloaked one.
"Sometimes, a cloak can be used for protection to shield them and hide them from law enforcement," Nance said.
Deputies aren't in the business of commenting on a belief some may link to Santa Muerte.
But they have no doubt Alameda has taken action to cloak himself to avoid capture.
If you have any information you're asked to call Beaumont Crimestoppers at 833-tips.
Operators won't ask for your name, you could be eligible for up to $1,000 reward.