FRESNO (CBS SF) — A federal grand jury has indicted seven people for aiding a suspect’s attempt to flee to Mexico after a Newman police officer was gunned down during a traffic stop.
U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said those indicted were: Erik Razo Quiroz, 29, of Merced; Adrian Virgen-Mendoza, 25, of Fairfield; Conrado Virgen Mendoza, 34, of Chowchilla; Erasmo Villegas-Suarez, 36, of Buttonwillow; Ana Leydi Cervantes-Sanchez, 31, of Newman; Bernabe Madrigal-Castaneda, 59, of Lamont; and Maria Luisa Moreno, 57, of Lamont.READ MORE: Bay Area Horse Trainer Speaks Out After Kentucky Derby Winner Tests Positive For Banned Substance
They were all charged with conspiring to harbor an alien. Razo Quiroz was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and being an alien in possession of a firearm.
“When individuals act to thwart law enforcement’s efforts, they undermine the safety of those officers and the public as a whole,” Scott said in a statement. “Today’s indictment is a significant step toward holding accountable those who chose to harbor and conceal the man accused of killing a police officer in Newman — Corporal Ronil Singh.”READ MORE: COVID: Health Officials Try to Entice Teens to Get Vaccine With DJ Dance Parties, Gift Cards
According to court documents, between December 26 and 28, the defendants conspired to harbor and conceal Gustavo Perez Arriaga, while he evaded capture for the alleged murder of Singh, who was killed during a traffic stop.
The defendants transported, hosted and provisioned Arriaga with clothes, money, and a new cellphone; concealed the truck that Arriaga was driving when he allegedly killed Singh; and made plans and wired money to smuggle Arriaga out of California and back to Mexico.
Additionally, Razo-Quiroz, a convicted felon, disposed of the gun that Arriaga allegedly used in the fatal shooting.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Crews Make Progress On Grass Fire Burning Near Bay Shoreline In San Rafael
If convicted of the firearms offenses, Razo-Quiroz faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.