Indictments lead to suspected gang member arrests
DA: Case involves kidnap, torture, drug and firearms charges
Update: Perla Guerrero, one of the targets of the investigation was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail Friday, and held to bail on $3,460,000.
It is anticipated that she will be arraigned Tuesday in Santa Maria Superior Court.
A Santa Barbara Sheriff's Deputy on patrol Friday in the Santa Ynez Valley area observed a vehicle speeding. The deputy stopped the car on Hwy 154 East of Hwy 246 for the speeding violation. Twenty nine year old Perla Guerrero from Lompoc was found to be the passenger in the vehicle. She initially provided a false name to the Deputy.
However, ultimately Guerrero was positively identified and found to have an outstanding warrant for a host of felonies including: kidnapping for purposes of extortion, torture, gang enhancement and personal use of a firearm.
(06-06-2013)- An eight-month gang investigation led to the indictments of multiple suspected gang members.
The charges include kidnapping, drug sales, and firearms sales in Santa Barbara County.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley and Lompoc Police Chief Larry Ralston made a joint announcement.
They said the grand jury handed down indictments against a number of defendants who were part of a large-scale investigation conducted by the Lompoc Police Department Gang and Narcotic Enforcement Team with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The grand jury indicted defendants for the kidnapping and torture of an unidentified man, which occurred on Jan. 3, 2013.
The grand jury indicted Raymond Macias, Juan Zavala, Luis Almanza, Ivan Rodriguez, Gabriel Castaneda-Luna, Philip Lopez Jr., Richard Lopez, and Frankie Lopez for kidnapping for extortion and torture .
Some of them face special allegations including the use of a gun and a knife.
Raymond Macias, Ivan Rodriguez, Frankie Lopez, and Joseph Gasca were also indicted for sales of narcotics.
Gerardo Esquivel was indicted for the sale of fake heroin.
Ivan Rodriguez and Michael Torres were indicted for possession of a firearm and sale of a firearm to a felon.
Raymond Macias, Juan Zavala, Luis Almanza, Ivan Rodriguez, Gabriel Castaneda-Luna, Philip Lopez Jr., Richard Lopez, and Frankie Lopez all face possible sentences of life without the possibility of parole if convicted of kidnapping for extortion charges. The district attorney commended the herculean effort by the Lompoc Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. She also credited Senior Deputy District Attorney Bramsen for her hard work and attention to detail. The suspects are scheduled to be arraigned in Santa Maria on June 10.
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