4 with gang affiliations charged by federal government in connection with murder of LAPD officer – CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) –Three gang-affiliated men and a woman have been federally charged in the Monday night shooting death of off-duty Los Angeles police officer Fernando Arroyos.

An undated photo of Fernando Arroyos.

Luis Alfredo de La Rosa Rios, 29, Ernesto Cisneros, 22, Jesse Contreras, 33, and Haylee Marie Grisham, 18, are all charged with “violent crimes for the benefit of racketeering”, the prosecutor’s office reported Thursday. American.

The racketeering violent felony charge carries a potential death penalty and a minimum sentence of life in federal prison without the possibility of parole, as the fatal shooting occurred during a ‘flight.

Rios, Cisneros and Contreras are all active gang members, federal prosecutors said, while Grisham is considered a gang associate. In a post-arrest interview, Grisham allegedly told investigators that she had been dating Rios for about a year.

In the interview, she also said that Rios and two other gang members were “looking for people to rob” on the night of Arroyos’ death. Arroyos, 27, was a three-year LAPD veteran.

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Thursday he ordered detectives to take the case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office because of his opposition to LA County Attorney George Gascon’s decision to no longer pursue sentencing improvements in gang cases.

“I believe their plan was to just pursue simple murder with no gun upgrades, no gang upgrades, nothing,” Villanueva said at a press conference.

These improvements in a murder case can be the difference between a life sentence with the possibility of parole and never being released from prison.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said he was “grateful for the federal government’s involvement in this matter. It is appropriate. I am grateful to the American attorney for stepping in and bringing the full weight of the government against this gang, against these individuals.

“We have a criminal street gang that is multi-generational,” Moore said. “It has plagued this community, the Newton area, for decades. Ever since I worked Newton in the mid 80’s. Our information is that they’ve been out… committing street robberies to further this gang. This law was established specifically to deter this type of organized street gang.

According to a sworn affidavit from an FBI agent, Rios admitted in an interview with sheriff’s detectives to his involvement in the murder, saying he and the other defendants were driving for the purpose of “making money”, which which, he explained, meant robbing a person of property or money.

“Thank you to federal prosecutors, the FBI and their task force,” said Arroyos family representative Moses Castillo. “For entering, stepping in and enforcing federal law which will now carry the death penalty and/or life without parole.”

On the night of Jan. 10, Rios and Cisneros allegedly confronted Arroyos and his girlfriend after the pair looked at a house they hoped to buy in the 87th and Beach streets area, according to the affidavit. The four accused were present in the vehicle before the confrontation. According to the affidavit, the two suspects ripped chains from Arroyos and removed a black cane from his girlfriend.

“At some point, after Cisneros removed (Arroyos’) chains, (Arroyos) and the two suspects exchanged gunfire,” the complaint states.

Arroyos suffered a single gunshot wound, fled the area and collapsed in an alley as the two suspects fled in the truck. Arroyos’ girlfriend was not injured.

Responding sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene and found bystanders performing CPR on Arroyos, Sheriff Captain Joe Mendoza said. Deputies loaded Arroyos into a patrol car and took him to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives recovered a loaded handgun from the scene belonging to one of the suspects, and the Sheriff’s Department received a report at approximately 9:25 p.m. Monday of a man with gunshot wounds in the area of ​​Junction Street and East 60th Street in about a mile-and-a-half from the site of the shooting, Mendoza said.

Investigators later determined that the injured man was Cisneros and he was shot during the exchange with Arroyos. Contreras was also found in the hidden area inside the garage of his residence in the 5900 block of Junction Street.

A second handgun was recovered from the Contreras residence and will be tested to determine if it was used in the shooting, Mendoza said.

Rios and Graham were later found and taken into custody at their residence.

According to LA County Jail records, the three men, Rios, Cisneros and Contreras, were arrested for misdemeanors in the past. No crimes have been listed on the website. Grisham has no other charges listed according to the records.

(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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