SPPD: $5,000 reward for remaining homicides suspects still stands
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: September 20, 2013
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
Although two of four people depicted on a Santa Paula Police wanted poster were arrested last week, the $5,000 “First come, first served” reward is still good, according to a SPPD official.
And that award might be extended to others wanted in local homicides.
The terms for the reward for those who supplied information that led to the capture and conviction of the four suspects was that it was only applicable on a “First come, first served basis,” said SPPD Lt. Ishmael Cordero.
Last week two of the four depicted on the poster, Andres Rene Rodriguez, 28, of Oxnard, and Santa Paula resident Melissa Salazar, 35, were taken into custody separately in Mexico. The two were wanted in connection with the July 17 murder of Angela Bryant, 33, shot once in the head at a residence on North Ojai Street.
Although charges were filed against Rodriguez, a documented Oxnard gang member, Cordero said Salazar would not be charged.
“The other suspects in the homicides we’re still actively pursuing.... we’re hot on their trail,” said Cordero.
Also being sought are Omar Ruiz, 26, of Santa Paula, wanted in connection with the May 27 homicide of Ulyses Virto and Jesse Moten 19, of Santa Paula, wanted in connection with the June 28 homicide of Joseph Arellano.
Cordero said the $5,000 reward still stands for the capture and conviction of either Ruiz or Moten.
“On this case with the arrest of Rodriguez, that was based on different information, there was no payoff involved, this was given to us for free. So that $5,000 in reward money is still out there,” an amount that Ventura County Crime Stoppers would supplement.
The Crime Stoppers organization offers a standard $1,000 reward for the capture and charges being filed against listed wanted criminals.
Cordero is hoping with the next capture of one of the remaining people on the wanted poster the reward - which is being pulled from the city’s General Fund - might be extended.
“When we catch one we can approach the City Council and they would probably agree,” to keep a $5,000 bounty on the remaining suspect.
The wanted men are all members of different criminal street gangs: Ruiz belongs to the Crazy Boyz and Moten belongs to the Crimies.
The captured Rodriguez belongs to the Colonia Chiques.
Ulises Virto, 21, was shot dead May 27 outside a friend’s house on Dartmouth Road in what appeared to be a gang-related shooting. Just over a month later on June 28, Joseph Arellano, 24, was killed in what police suspect was a gang-related drive-by shooting that occurred on North 6th Street.
Another homicide - the fourth in as many months - occurred August 23 when Ramon Carrillo was gunned down outside a friend’s home near North 11th Street. Police have not yet named a suspect in the 24-year-old man’s murder - which SPPD also believes is gang related - but when they do the suspect will be added to the wanted poster.
Anyone with information on the remaining two suspects is asked to contact the Santa Paula Police Department, 805-525-4474.
If the caller would prefer to remain anonymous, they can call the SPPD direct-recorded Tip Hotline, 933-5691.
In addition, residents can email tips to the SPPD at firstname.lastname@example.org
Those with information can also call Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477). The caller may remain anonymous and the call is not recorded.