FBI ups reward for Snyper

This comes from the FBI who are continuing to search for Emigado Preciado. You might remember that a Whittier billboard featuring a picture of preciado was defaced with gang graffiti in recent months. Basicaly, the FBI is upping their reward to $200,000. Here’s an excerpt from their press release:


The reward for information leading to the arrest of fugitive from Los Angeles, Emigdio Preciado, wanted for a brutal attack on two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies during a routine traffic stop, has been increased to $200,000, announced Salvador Hernandez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles.

Preciado’s photograph is also being advertised on billboards throughout Los Angeles, courtesy of billboard space provided by Clearchannel, in an effort to draw attention to the reward. Emigdio Preciado, Jr., a.k.a. “Junior,” “Trigger,” “Spooky,” and “Snyper,” the alleged triggerman in the September 5, 2000 attack in Whittier, California, was the 485th person to be placed on the FBI’s historic list when he was added in March 2007.

 On the date of the attack, Deputies Michael Schaap and David Timberlake were on patrol in Whittier, California, in a marked Sheriff’s patrol car when they saw a 1979 Chevrolet van traveling toward them. As the van approached, the deputies noticed the van’s headlights were not functioning properly and proceeded to stop the driver of the vehicle. When the van came to an abrupt stop, the deputies came under immediate attack from a burst of automatic gunfire.

The gunman, one of four occupants traveling in the vehicle, appeared from an open door in the van, according to Sheriff’s detectives. Preciado, an American citizen, was identified as the alleged shooter.

The FBI’s wanted poster is here.

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Azusa gang member guilty in 4 murders


A Los Angeles jury found that Ralph Flores killed four people between 1999 and 2004. Prosecutors said he was a member of one of Southern California’s most violent gangs.

Judge Kathleen Kennedy ( you may remember her from the O.J. Simpson preliminary hearing) heard the case and will continue to preside over future hearings.

The tattoo where Flores’ mustache should be reads “AZUSA.”

As for the convictions, one killing carried a hate crime enhancement, another invoved the torture death of a suspected female informant.

Here’s the full story. The penalty phase in Flores’ trial begins Monday. he could be sentenced to death.


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Puente 13 members tied to meth ring by Feds

The feds are rounding up Puente 13 members in connection with a methamphetamine distribution ring, according to the FBI.

Already arrested are:

John Antonio Dacosta, 28, Steven Mark Mancha, 34, Ernest George Mancha, 34, and Lenny Robert Casas, 18, all of Whittier; Lorraine Christina Lopez, 34, Josue Deloen, 26, Rene Valdez, 39, Rafael Munoz Gonzalez, 38,
Steven Burgan, 25, Noel Gonzalez, 56, Noel Gonzalez III, 35, Michael Anthony Ortega, 35, Henry Collao, 20, and Joventino Garcia III, 18, all of La Puente; Andy Villa, 27, of Glendora; Hoia Thanh Nguyen, 32, of El Monte; Wayne Arthur Goik, 59, of West Covina; and Antonio Torres, 20, of Phoenix, who was arrested
in Arizona.

From the wire services and an FBI Press Release:

Last December, the Sheriffs Department created a task force along with the U.S. Attorneys
Office, DEA and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives, to
investigate the drug and firearms trafficking operations of Puente 13, prosecutors

Puente 13 distributed large quantities of methamphetamine, a portion of which was produced
locally in clandestine laboratories, prosecutors said.

Puente 13 members also allegedly sold cocaine, marijuana and oxycodine in Los Angeles,
Seattle, Arizona, Alaska and North Carolina.

Authorities executed 35 federal search warrants, which yielded one pound of suspected
methamphetamine, 20 pounds of marijuana and 16 firearms, prosecutors said.

Todays arrests will severely disrupt firearms and methamphetamine trafficking operations
in the San Gabriel Valley, said DEA Special Agent Timothy Landrum in a

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Gang Summit

This comes from Laura Eimiller at the FBI’s Los Angeles press office:


The second annual International Chiefs of Police Summit on Transnational Gangs will be held this week over a three-day period at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Hollywood, California.

The summit will conclude on Wednesday, March 5th.

Law enforcement officials at the local, state and federal level from Los Angeles and international cities directly impacted by the criminal activity of transnational gangs will attend the three-day summit, and will be joined by international Chiefs of Police from the nations of El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Canada, Nicaragua and Spain, where MS-13 criminal activity and organized crime trends of other Central American gangs has increased.

The Summit is being hosted by the following agencies:

FBI and the National Gang Task Force

United States Department of Justice

Drug Enforcement Agency

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

United States Marshals Service

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

United States Department of State

Los Angeles Sheriffs Department

Los Angeles Police Department

Los Angeles City Attorneys Office

The United States Attorneys Office/U.S. Department of Justice

The Los Angeles District Attorneys Office and the Los Angeles Mayors Office will also participate in the summit.

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Duarte shooting happened in Altadena

Somehow sheriff’s deputies were able to determine that a man who said he was shot in Duarte was actually shot in Altadena.

Last night we reported another Duarte shooting. The victim had taken himself to an area hospital and we were going to fill in the gaps.

TUrns out it didn’t happen in Duarte at all or Arcadia or Monrovia. The shooting took place several miles away in Altadena.

Injured was a Latino man. Sheriff’s detectives said the shooting was gang related.


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Breaking news on Orta case

Here is some more information about the “person of interest” in Eileen’s murder.

 From the story:


POMONA – A parolee gang member relative of the husband of a Covina woman who was found murdered in her van on Saturday has been named a “person of interest” in the case by Pomona Police.

Police said Joseph Orta, 34 has not been officially named as a suspect in the murder of 22-year-old Eileen Ponce-Orta, who was found fatally stabbed in the neck on Saturday.

Orta, a former gang member out of Azusa, was convicted for the 2001 attempted murder of his step-father, according to family members of the victim.

Other notes from reporters Brian Day and Dan Abendschein:

HOWEVER – it seems Mr. Orta just got out of prison for an attempted murder in 2001 which we covered(below):

Also, per Dan, it appears the motive MAY have been some sort of psycho fatal attraction thing Joseph Orta had for Eileen Orta.

Man sought in stabbing of stepdad

San Gabriel Valley Tribune (West Covina, CA) – December 8, 2001

Author: Rodney Tanaka Staff Writer

WEST COVINA — Police were searching Friday for Joseph Gary Orta , 28, who allegedly stabbed his stepfather during an argument. Police responded to a stabbing in the 200 block of South Pima Avenue at 8:50 p.m. Thursday. Orta argued with his stepfather, Raul Sanchez, 26, over Orta ‘s alleged alcohol abuse, West Covina Police Lt. Mark Dettor said.

Sanchez suffered cuts to his neck and scalp and a puncture wound to his left side during the fight, although no knife has been found, Dettor said.

Sanchez was airlifted to County USC Medical Center and was listed Friday in stable condition.

Orta , a transient living in the area, is wanted for attempted murder. He has black hair, brown eyes, weighs 180 pounds and is 5 feet, 7 inches tall.

He has an “Azusa” tattoo on his neck and an “A” tattoo on his right arm, Dettor said. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and brown baggy pants.

Anyone with information on Orta ‘s whereabouts should call West Covina police at (626) 814-8557.


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“We are investigating this with everything we have”

This occurred Friday night in Duarte. I’ve heard that residents of the area have seen a significant amount of police activity last night and today.

Brian Day wrote the story:

DUARTE – A man was wounded in a possibly gang-related shooting Friday in a residential neighborhood, officials said.

The incident occurred about 9:30 p.m. in the 2500 block of Bloomdale Street, said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Flores.

The victim was described as a black man about 25 years old, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Jeff Myers.

The wounded man was sitting on the curb when rescuers arrived, Myers said, and the injury did not appear to be life-threatening.

Two Latino men with shaved heads were spotted running from the location, Flores said.

One of them was detained late Friday, Flores said, although it was not immediately clear whether he was involved in the shooting.

Officials responded to a call reporting five to six shots fired when they discovered the wounded man.

The sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is helping the sheriff’s Temple Station with the case, Flores added.

“We are investigating this thing with everything we have,” he said.

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MUSD Forum

Unfortunately this picture didn’t make the deadline last night so we decided to reproduce it here:

3623-MUSDForum-thumb-300x186.jpgMonrovia Unified School District board members, members of law enforcement and city officials were on hand to address last weeks gang violence in Monrovia Monday February 4th 2008 in Monrovia. (SGVN/staff
photo by Greg Andersen/SXCity)


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La voz de LA Opinion

LA Opinion, the Spanish language newspaper has been covering the recent events in Monrovia. I found and translated two articles that may be of interest.

They are here and here.

Additionally, I uncovered a report from Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa outlining some history and again giving the city’s take on the ongoing situation.

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Monrovia update

8:33 p.m.

1234 Sherman in Monrovia. Police are inside the house where Mr. Rollins was shot. They have brought along a gun-sniffing dog as part of their investigation. One police spokesman told reporter Brian Day they the investigation is connected to a Jan 14th shooting, in which no one was hurt.

As our photog was taking pictures of the scene, police closed the blinds on the front windows so that no pictures could be taken of the investigation taking place inside.


8 p.m. update

Police have surrounded a neighborhood near Huntington and California as part of their effort to stop the violence in Monrovia. A helicopter has been circling the area. We have a reporter and photographer on scene. The neioghborhood is near where Mr. Rollins was shot.

2:51 p.m. Conversation with Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca from Hector Gonzales.

He’s concerned about this spreading into the innocent population a task force in place.

“This is going way over the line now” Baca said while using words like “savage” to describe the current state of affairs.

Baca also said Day Day was intentionally targeted because he was NOT a gang banger




The City Manager has issued a report on gang violence:

Here’s an Excerpt: And a link

Over the last several days, I have received a handful of emails and comments from folks who believe that the current rash of gang violence is really a race war. In one email, a person sent me a number of news clippings detailing hostilities between Latino and African-American gangs as evidence that this is all about race, as opposed to criminals committing criminal acts. Although the topic of race is always very sensitive, I believe that we must be able to speak rationally, intelligently and carefully about such complex issues; to quote Confucius, The beginning of Wisdom is to call things by their right names.
I responded to the email stating that the mere fact that each of the articles that were cited focused on gang violence, trends in gang violence, demographic shifts that can contribute to gang violence, etc., that the sender had actually proved my point that the issue here is not race; its gang violence. The racial/ethnic identity of the gang members gives the story racial overtones, to be sure. And tension is certainly not uncommon when one group supplants another in a given area or neighborhood this has been witnessed time and again over hundreds of years throughout the history of cities and towns.
But this tension, in 2008 and here in Monrovia, does not extend so far as to cause a spontaneous combustion of hatred and bigotry.

UPDATE: 1:38 P.M.

Caroline An reports that Alhambra High School officials were reluctant to acknowledge Samantha Salas was a student there. What was interesting about the conversation and illuminating about the bureaucracy that runs our schools, the official was willing to discuss the fact that grief conselors were on campus today. He just wouldn’t say why they were there and wouldn’t discuss Salas.


UPDATE: 12:53 P.M.


MAP of Monrovia shooting locations posted below.

Additionally we have a page devoted to coverage of the crime wave at http://www.sgvtribune.com/monroviashootings

UPDATE 11:40 A.M.  This from PSN City Editor Hecttor Gonzalez:

looks like cops are out there in force hunting for evidence, including digging that stray bullet out of the wall of that one apartment (geez!), re-interviewing possible witnesses, ect. — but how knows why they had to shut down the entire area around the building to do this. could be a show of force



Some interesting notes that we will be developing throughout the day:

1. There some belief that Jose Garcia, the convicted killer of Deputy David March apparently lived in the apartment complex where Sammantha Salas was shot. It makes sense as it is only a short drive between there and the spot on Live Oak where March was murdered.

2. Who owns the apartment complex? What is their relationship with local authorities?

3. According to Rob Hammond, meetings between Monrovia officials, Duarte officials, police and sheriff’s department and the school districts took place yesterday. What happened?

4. The condition of Sammantha Salas friend who was also shot Saturday night.

5. Your continued thoughts on the state of affairs and the ongoing racially motivated gang war in Monrovia.

By the Way I plan to keep this at the top of the page today so that commenting here will be easy for new readers




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