Traffic Stop Connects Suspects to Multiple Valley Murders

May 20, 2003

"Traffic Stop Connects Suspects to Multiple Valley Murders"

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department is announcing the arrests of five suspects wanted in connection with a series of gang related murders and attempt murders that occurred in the San Fernando Valley from November of 2002, through February of 2003.
Formal murder and attempt murder charges have been filed against Hector Alvarenga, a 20 year-old resident of Panorama City, German Coreas, a 24 year-old resident of Northridge, Juan Ortiz, a 20 year-old resident of Van Nuys, Pablo Osorio, a 27 year-old resident of Panorama City, and Antonio Torres, a 20 year-old resident of Van Nuys.
Suspects Ortiz, Osorio and Torres were all arrested on February 17, 2003, by Devonshire Area patrol officers who stopped the green Volkswagen Jetta for a traffic violation. A handgun was recovered from Juan Ortiz and a second gun was found in the car. At the time, all of the suspects were booked for gang members in possession of a weapon. Ballistics analysis performed on the gun recovered from Ortiz was connected to the weapon used in several of the above listed crimes.
Suspects Alvarenga and Coreas were both arrested on February 21, 2003, by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies from the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station for a series of robberies in their jurisdiction. A weapon was recovered from that arrest that has also been connected to the murders and attempted murders listed above.
All five suspects have been re-arrested for murder and are being held in the Los Angeles County Jail without bail.
Antonio Torres and German Coreas have been charged with the November 11, 2002, murder of 25 year-old Ruben Rizo, which occurred at the corner of Loma Verde Avenue and Valerio Street in Canoga Park. Rizo was walking home from work when the suspects drove up to him. Torres exited the suspect’s vehicle and walked up to Rizo, shooting him several times for no apparent reason. Torres returned to the vehicle and Coreas drove them away. Rizo died at the scene.
Juan Ortiz and German Coreas have been charged with the January 27, 2002, murder of 20 year-old Jose Tlamasico, which occurred at a gas station on Sherman Way and Canoga Avenue in the city of Canoga Park. Tlamasico was approached by the suspects and shot for no apparent reason. The suspects yelled out their gang name as they ran off. The suspects drove-off in a red Ford Mustang and a green Volkswagon Jetta. Tlamasico sustained a gunshot wound to the hand.
Juan Ortiz, Antonio Torres, and Hector Alvarenga have been charged with the February 9, 2003, attempted murder of 20 year-old Ramon Rivera, which occurred on the 7400 block of Lankershim Boulevard in the city of North Hollywood. Rivera was approached by Antonio Torres and Alvarenga who asked Rivera "Where are you from?" (gang vernacular for what gang are you associated with). The suspects then both shot at Rivera, striking him in the hand. A second unidentified victim sustained a graze wound to the head. The suspects fled in a green Volkswagen Jetta.
The following day, February 10, 2003, 19 year-old Pablo Araguin, was shot and killed by Juan Ortiz, Hector Alvarenga, Pablo Osorio and Antonio Torres in a drive-by shooting that occurred in the 19000 block of Bryant Street in the city of Northridge. The suspects fled in a green Volkswagen Jetta.
Juan Ortiz has been charged with the February 14, 2003, murder of 24 year-old Gustavo Chavez, which occurred at a closed gas station in the 6800 block of Reseda Boulevard in the city of Reseda. Chavez was making a phone call to his girlfriend when two suspects walked up to him and for no apparent reason, shot him with two handguns. The suspects fled in the green Volkswagen Jetta.
An hour later, 22 year-old Gino Ayala, was shot in the head when the same four suspects saw him walking down the street in the 13500 block of Vanowen Street in the city of Van Nuys. Ayala was hospitalized and has survived his injury. The suspects fled in the green Volkswagen Jetta. Ortiz has been charged in this shooting.
Additional suspects may be charged in these crimes as the investigation is continuing. The suspects will be arraigned in San Fernando Superior Court.
The red, convertible Ford Mustang with a black top, license numbers 3DZW933, involved in the shooting of Jose Tlamasico, remains outstanding.
Anyone with information regarding these crimes are requested to contact the West Valley Homicide unit at 818-756-8546. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk, 1-877-LAWFULL, 1-877-529-3855.
This media advisory was prepared by Public Information Officer Adriana N. Sanchez, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.