Federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint Thursday that indicted three gang members and an accomplice in the murder of an off-duty police officer in Los Angeles earlier this week, whom officials said were their attackers. robbed and shot him while shopping for a house.
Just after 9 p.m. on Monday, Los Angeles police officer Fernando Arroyos and his girlfriend were looking for a house to shop in the area of 1712 E. 87th Street when two men arrived in a pickup truck with guns and Took Arroyos. ‘ Chains from his neck. According to federal court documents, the encounter was captured under video surveillance nearby.
Arroyos and the suspects, Ernesto Cisneros, 22, Jesse Contreras, 34, exchanged gunfire, before Arroyos collapsed in an alley and the suspects fled. The cause of his death was determined to be a gunshot wound.
Cisneros was also shot and taken to the hospital, but he recovered.
Prosecutors said Luis Alfredo de la Rosa Rios, 29, was driving the pick-up truck and his girlfriend, 18-year-old Haley Marie Grisham, was in the front seat.
All three men were known members of the Florentina 13 gang. The multi-generational Los Angeles gang has previously been the subject of federal prosecution, including two other large racketeering cases.
Prosecutors have charged all four with a violent crime in aid of racketeering, which carries a possible death sentence and a minimum life sentence in federal prison without the possibility of parole.
Local law enforcement leaders spoke at a news conference Thursday evening, and addressed partly why federal charges were pursued, rather than state charges, as might typically be sought in such a case.
“I am grateful to the US Attorney and the government for bringing the full weight of the government against this gang,” LAPD chief Michelle Moore said at the press conference.
LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he believed the local district attorney’s office did not have a satisfactory response to the gravity of the crime, and thanked federal partners for taking steps to lead the prosecution’s effort.
“I believe their (local authorities’) plan was to prosecute a simple murder with no gun escalation, no gang escalation,” said LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva during the press conference.
Prosecutors said the defendants were taken into custody Wednesday by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigators. The defendants are expected to be transferred to federal custody Friday morning and appear in federal court for their initial court appearance Friday afternoon.