Significant Multi-Agency Effort Culminates in Numerous Arrests Suspects Involved in Wide Array of Felonies

July 25, 2008

Los Angeles: A multi-agency operation in a four-year robbery/murder investigation has lead to the arrest of multiple suspects.

On July 25, 2008, in the early morning hours, a series of 20 search warrants, 12 arrest warrants, and 1 parole search were served at various locations.  Warrants for an additional five suspects were issued, but at this time these suspects have not been located.   The warrants stemmed from an on-going investigation of a robbery/murder case in March 1, 2004.

On March 1, 2004, at about 10:50 a.m., eight suspects armed with assault-type weapons attacked armored car guard Evelio Suarez as he unloaded money bags from the truck.  Suarez, 61, was shot multiple times and later died at a local hospital.  The suspects fled with an undisclosed amount of cash in a white van with an unknown type logo on the side.

Over the last four years, detectives have connected a local street gang to this armored truck murder/robbery, as well as other murders, robberies, burglaries, narcotics trafficking, and other weapon-related offenses.

Representatives from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Department of Corrections, LA Impact, and the Southern California Drug Task Force served the warrants.   

The simultaneous search warrant service resulted in the recovery of 2 firearms, small amounts of narcotics, a large sum of money, and 16 (12 Warrant and 4 miscellaneous) arrests for various offenses.  The cases will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office for filing consideration.

“Gang violence continues to plague too many of our communities and disturb the peace of too many neighborhoods, and we must do everything in our power to ensure public safety and bring the perpetrators of gang crime to justice,” Mayor Villaraigosa said.  “Thanks to the strong collaboration between the LAPD and our state and federal partners, more gang members are behind bars, LA’s streets are safer and our children and families are more secure.”

“A lot of work remains to be done on this case,” said LAPD First Assistant Chief McDonnell.  “However, the joint efforts and the partnerships that have been formed by the agencies involved in today’s operation build upon the work that has already been started to reduce the incidents and fear of violence in our City.”

“The warrants served this morning are an outstanding example of a collaborative effort to make our cities safe,” said Special Agent in Charge John A. Torres of ATF’s Los Angeles Field Division.  “Violent crimes are ATF’s top priority and we will continue to work together with our law enforcement partners to identify, disrupt, arrest, and prosecute the most violent criminals.”

For additional information contact Robbery Homicide Detective Joe O’Donnell at 213-479-2662.