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East Los Angeles

Centralized LA Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Connects 3 East LA Unsolved Murders, 2 Persons of Interest Sought 1024 819 SIB Staff

Centralized LA Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Connects 3 East LA Unsolved Murders, 2 Persons of Interest Sought

On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Homicide Bureau detectives announced an $80,000 reward in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects responsible for the murders of 34 year-old Jesse Avalos, 38 year-old Eduardo Robles and 27 year-old Amanda “Nikki” Lopez, who were killed in East Los Angeles in 2014, 2015 and 2018, respectively. The reward was sponsored by Supervisor Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, First District.

On Monday, February 10, 2014, at approximately 10:50 p.m., Victim Jesse Avalos received a phone call from an acquaintance requesting a jumpstart to his vehicle near the intersection of Telegraph Road and Arizona Avenue in East Los Angeles. Victim Avalos provided the jumpstart approximately 15 minutes later. A few hours later, East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station received a phone call at 3:25 a.m. of an injured person at the 4800 block of Telegraph Road in East Los Angeles. There, deputies found Victim Avalos on the driver’s seat of his blue SUV.  He had sustained numerous gunshot wounds. The hood of his SUV was found open and two suspects were seen around the vehicle.  

On Monday, July 6, 2015, victim Eduardo Robles was involved in a physical altercation on the driveway of a residence on the 4300 block of Eagle Street in East Los Angeles. Victim Robles was visiting, and approximately 15 people were present when the incident occurred. After the fight, the suspect jumped over a wrought iron fence to the street, walked to Victim Robles’ vehicle and punctured the four tires with a sharp object and fled the location. The same suspect returned to the location five minutes later and shot Victim Robles several times in the upper torso. The suspect was picked up by a Hispanic male in his mid to late forties, five feet eight to five feet nine inches tall, heavy set build, in a light green colored vehicle.

On Sunday, April 22, 2018, at approximately 2:40 a.m., the suspect exited the passenger side of a silver PT Cruiser and began searching for Amanda “Nikki” Lopez in a homeless encampment that was situated in a courtyard in front of the East Los Angeles Courthouse. The suspect located Victim Lopez in a tent in front of the field office of First District Supervisor Hilda Solis. The suspect placed a firearm into the tent and fired at Victim Lopez while she slept, striking her in the upper torso, killing her.  

Sheriff’s detectives made a plea to the public, hoping $80,000 will motivate someone to bring that missing piece of the puzzle and bring closure to these families. “We know there were witnesses at every murder,” said Homicide Bureau Captain Joe Mendoza. It was witnesses coupled with surveillance at scenes that allowed a good description of both suspects.

But what led sheriff’s investigators to explore a possible connection in these three murders? Captain Mendoza explained, “One of the things that’s unique about LA County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is that we are centralized and we commonly speak to other investigators about our cases.  So when investigators were comparing notes on cases, they believed they had similar description of the suspects and that’s when they really started to connect the dots. The link was the descriptions of the suspects who were similarly described.”

When the ballistic evidence from the 2014 murder of Victim Avalos was compared to the ballistic evidence from the 2015 murder of Victim Robles, the comparison determined the same handgun was used in both murders.

All three murders occurred within 2.2 miles of each other and within the same general area of East Los Angeles.  Although a motive for the murders was unclear, investigators believe the victims were known to the suspects and were specifically targeted based on their relationships with the suspects.

In the three cases, witnesses describe the main suspect as a Hispanic male with short hair in his late twenties, five feet eight inches tall with a medium build. He has a tattoo on his neck with unknown writing.

The second suspect drives the getaway vehicle and is described as a Hispanic male in his mid to late forties, five feet eight to five feet nine inches tall, heavy set build and possibly with a mustache.

“I speak for my family as well as the other two families. We don’t have closure, we don’t have justice and I’m sure all of these families are still suffering. Please help us, please come forward with any information you may have,” said Victim Avalos’ eldest sister, Maria Orozco.

 “Our brother is truly missed by our family, by his children,” added Victim Avalos weeping sister, Bertha Avalos.

Justice Deputy Esther Lim, representing LA County Board of Supervisor’s Hilda L. Solis said, “Through this $80,000 reward, the county is counting on our residents to help us bring accountability to the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.”

“We’ve had nobody come forward that can really tell us who these suspects are,” said Captain Mendoza. “So we are trying to get them to come forward because we know those witnesses are out there.  And the $80,000 reward may quite possibly help do just that.”

Video of the full press conference:

To view video surveillance of the suspect exit the passenger side of a silver PT Cruiser, search for Victim Amanda “Nikki” Lopez and fire into the tent, click and download here: https://www.lasdvideos.org/mediaportal/lasd-homicide-captain-mendoza-announces-80k-reward-in-three-east-la-unsolved-murders/

If you have information about these senseless murders, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, East Los Angeles Station at (323) 264-4151 or if you prefer to provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile App on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org/.

search warrants lead to 22 arrest in an illegal marijuana/cannabis dispensaries enforcement operation 1024 768 SIB Staff

search warrants lead to 22 arrest in an illegal marijuana/cannabis dispensaries enforcement operation

LASD Narcotics Bureau and Additional Teams Served a 10 Location Search Warrant Operation, East Los Angeles

8 people were arrested for weapon charges, 14 people for possession of cannabis for sale, and approximately 220 lbs of cannabis flower, 215 lbs of cannabis edibles, and 227 lbs of cannabis concentrate were seized yesterday in a multiple location search warrant conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

In addition to the multiple arrests and seizures, 4 guns, 1 rifle, 456 grams of methamphetamine, and 56 grams of fentanyl were seized and approximately $28,000 in U.S. currency were recovered.

On Thursday June 3, 2021 at approximately 11:00 a.m. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Bureau with the assistance of Community Partnerships Bureau (COPS), East Los Angeles Station Special Problems Team (SPT), Crime Enforcement Team (CET), Summer Team, Commerce/Maywood Special Assignment Teams, Pico Special Problems Team (PSP) and summer team executed a 10 location search warrant in the East Los Angeles area.

All of the locations were marijuana/cannabis dispensaries operating illegally in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County.

This operation is one of the many to come in which the focus is to take illicit and illegal drugs off the street.

Santa Gives Gifts for AbilityFirst Kids in East LA 1024 651 SIB Staff

Santa Gives Gifts for AbilityFirst Kids in East LA

Santa Drops by with Gifts for AbilityFirst Participants in East Los Angeles

Santa’s reindeer took the day off yesterday, and because Santa still needed a ride, one of the helicopters from our air support fleet arrived at the North Pole to assist him in the early delivery of presents to a special group of children.

On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, Aero Bureau personnel flew Santa to the Eugene W. Biscailuz Regional Training Center in East Los Angeles. For the past 11 years, deputies from East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station assisted Santa in bringing Christmas early to children participating in the AbilityFirst East Los Angeles Center program.

With help from AbilityFirst, an organization which offers programs and services to help children and adults with disabilities, deputies were able to give back to their local community by creating a winter wonderland where the kiddies waited for Santa’s arrival.

The event unfolded as Santa and one of his helping elves landed in the helicopter on the tarmac, right in front of the kids who were waiting for them with high anticipation. And, oh, were there miles of smiles! Next, everyone enjoyed an afternoon snack…and then the real fun began! The kids got exclusive access to Santa, with comforting hugs for everyone. Each child received a hand-delivered gift, specially chosen to fit their age and taste. Others who were curious and adventurous got to climb into one of Special Enforcement Bureau’s tactical armored vehicles and inspect the interior.

More than a decade later, this program remains a tradition, thanks to the generous toy donations from the community and East Los Angeles Station deputies. The smiles, squeaks and giggles were the best return for everyone who had a hand in putting it together.

Center Director Monica Alcantar expressed her gratefulness and thanked everyone for giving the kids a day to feel special, which was the exact goal East Los Angeles Station personnel set out to accomplish. She and her staff brought a stack of handwritten thank you cards from the kids, and more stacks of homemade cards with each child’s picture on the front and a sweet, symbolic roll of candy on the inside.

It was a lovely and rewarding afternoon! Commander April Tardy, Central Patrol Division, also attended and shared in the happiness of seeing the smiles, and pure reactions of joy and excitement on the kids’ faces. Here’s to looking forward to next year’s holiday celebration!

AbilityFirst is a nonprofit organization which has provided programs and services to help children and adult with disabilities reach their full potential since 1926.

For more information please contact East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station at (323) 264-4151 or call AbilityFirst at 1-877-768-4600 and click on following link: www.abilityfirst.org