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Posted on: September 15, 2020

News Release: Three Homicide Cold Cases Filed Due To Operation by FBI Safe Streets Task Force

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—September 15, 2020


Contact: Scott Alonso, 925-957-8638 office, 925-536-8110 mobile

scott.alonso@contracostada.org


Three Homicide Cold Cases Filed as a Result of Years-Long Operation by FBI Safe Streets Task Force

Martinez, Calif. – Today, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office is announcing three homicide cold cases, involving multiple defendants who are gang members affiliated with the Sureños, were filed recently. The gang violence was focused in South Concord and near Monument Boulevard. This successful effort was due to the years-long investigation and operation led by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and local partners, including Concord Police, FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office of Northern California, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms along with our Office. Two cases were filed last week and one was filed yesterday, totaling four homicides involving 11 defendants.

Operation Boulevard Blues culminated in a major law enforcement operation last Thursday that resulted in the arrest of 31 individuals and involved 31 different law enforcement agencies. Thirty-four search warrants were executed in multiple locations across Contra Costa County and 42 firearms were recovered. The details of the operation were announced earlier this morning with our federal partners.

“Our local efforts working collaboratively with our law enforcement partners, especially Concord Police, will keep our community safer and take violent gang members off the streets of Concord,” said District Attorney Diana Becton. “This successful operation started with a wiretap and led to multiple gang members involved in senseless murders and violence being arrested. While these cases were not solved right away, Concord Police and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force did not give up and fortunately we can bring some closure to the victims’ families.”

Overall, the DA’s Office filed three separate homicide complaints involving the following gang members of the Sureños – all of the alleged four homicides were done for the benefit of the gang:

  • People v. Michael Valdez, Andrew Cervantes, Daniel Rodriguez, Docket Number 01-194377-8
    • Victim is Marcos Villazon, Date of Alleged Murder is November 21, 2015
    • Victim is Luis Estrada, Date of Alleged Murder is November 30, 2015
  • People v. Rafael Lopez & Juan Barocio Jr., Docket Number 01-194379-4
    • Victim is Victor Gutierrez, Date of Alleged Murder is April 17, 2014
  • People v. Jose Cisneros, Marcos Ochoa, Luis Cruz, Aurelia Mendez, Antonio Mendez, Jose Ochoa, Docket Number 01-194418-0
    • Victim is Erick Cruz, Date of Alleged Murder is September 12, 2015

The criminal investigations because of this operation are still active and ongoing. All of the defendants charged by the DA’s Office remain in custody.

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