South Gate Shooting Was Gang Related, Says Sheriff

January 4, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A man was in “extremely critical condition” Wednesday as a result of what sheriff’s investigators say was a gang-related shooting in South Gate. The violence erupted about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday in the 5100 block of Abbott Road, near Atlantic Avenue and the boundary with Lynwood, said Deputy Caroline Rodriguez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were dispatched to the scene to assist South Gate police in the shooting investigation and found the man suffering from gunshot wounds to his neck and head, Rodriguez said.

He was in the driver’s seat of his car, which was parked alongside the curb, she said, adding that a second man was in the front passenger seat uninjured.

The victim was transported to a local hospital in extremely critical condition, Rodriguez said.

The men were seated inside the car when the suspect’s vehicle pulled up alongside and someone inside opened fire, she said. The suspect’s vehicle left the scene east on Abbott Road, to southbound Saint James Avenue and out of view.

Authorities are looking for two males who wore dark clothing. Their vehicle was described as a light-colored sedan.

Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Vehicular Manslaughter

July 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A 34-year-old woman accused of killing one man and injuring two others when she crashed a car into a taco stand in Boyle Heights while allegedly driving drunk pleaded not guilty Monday to vehicular manslaughter and related charges.

Maribel Rosas, of South Gate, faces one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury and driving with .08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury.

Rosas is due back in court on Aug. 24 for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

On June 26, prosecutors allege that Rosas was behind the wheel of a vehicle that crossed three lanes before running up a curb and crashing into a taco stand in the 300 block of South Clarence Street.

Juan Mendez, 48, was killed and two other people were injured.

Woman Killed In South Gate Attack

July 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A woman who suffered “suspicious traumatic injuries” at her South Gate residence died at a hospital, authorities said Tuesday.

The attack occurred about 4:20 a.m. Monday in the 5200 block of Brookdale Road, said sheriff’s Deputy Mike Barraza.
Nancy Molina, 33, died at a hospital at 9:15 p.m. Monday, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter. An autopsy was pending.

No arrests were reported.

Sheriff’s homicide detectives are assisting South Gate police in the investigation.

Fireworks Seized In South Gate

May 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Authorities seized about 200,000 pounds of illegal fireworks worth as much as $4 million and arrested five people in South Gate, it was announced Wednesday.

The seizure made Monday in the 9400 block of Burtis Street was the result of an investigation by the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Arson Task Force, South Gate police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The suspects were arrested by South Gate police, who said the fireworks were found in a warehouse and adjacent trailers.

Breves de la Comunidad

April 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 


Monterey Park

Kam Hing Wong, 63, se presentó en la corte el martes para escuchar sus cargos por supuestamente atacar a su esposa mientras se bañaba y apuñalarla más de 30 veces.

Wong supuestamente atacó a su esposa con unas tijeras cuando se estaba bañando el jueves pasado, luego la cortó y la apuñaló con un cuchillo de carnicero y un cuchillo regular mientras la perseguía por la casa, de acuerdo con el subprocurador de Distrito, Presciliano Duran.

Wong fue detenido en el patio trasero de la casa de la pareja.

Su lectura de cargos fue pospuesta para el 26 de abril en un delito grave por intento de homicidio, herir a su cónyuge y por causar amenazas criminales.

Si es declarado culpable de los cargos, enfrenta cadena perpetua en una prisión estatal.


South Gate

Una mujer que fue apuñalada en su casa murió el lunes en un hospital, y un hombre fue detenido como sospechoso de su muerte y por el apuñalamiento de una niña de 6 meses de edad que fue hospitalizada.

El ataque se informó alrededor de las 7:10pm el domingo en el bloque de 5200 Pendleton Ave., de acuerdo con la oficina del alguacil.

Alicia Williams, de 32 años, que vivía en el lugar, murió en un hospital acerca las 6:55am del lunes, dijo el subjefe del forense Ed Winter.

El nombre del sospechoso no fue revelado inmediatamente. Las autoridades no pudieron confirmar de inmediato informes de difusión que el sospechoso era el marido de la mujer, y que también apuñaló a la pequeña hija de la pareja.

Detectives del alguacil ayudan a la policía de South Gate en la investigación.

Two Killed in South Gate Hit-and-Run

March 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The coroner’s office Sunday released the names of two people killed in a two-vehicle hit-and-run crash in South Gate that injured five other people, three of them critically.

They were Angie Ruiz, 15, and Lester Larios, 55, both from Bell, said coroner’s Capt. John Kadus.

The crash was reported at 4:27 p.m. Saturday on Garfield Avenue near El Paseo Street, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Sims.

One of the vehicles careened into a pole, Sims said.

The injured, including two people who were not seriously hurt, were taken to hospitals for treatment, she said.

Investigators were seeking 22-year-old Bryan Rojas, who was last seen with an injury to his forehead that he sustained in the crash, according to a bulletin issued by Bell Gardens police.

Rojas was described as Hispanic, 5 feet-10 inches tall, 180 pounds with brown eyes, black hair and acne and a beard.

Anyone with information about the crash or Rojas’ whereabouts was urged to call South Gate police at (323) 563-5400.

Police is looking for Bryan Rojas, 22. (South Gate police)

Police is looking for Bryan Rojas, 22. (South Gate police)

EPA Announces $22 Million Settlement for Superfund Site in South Gate

December 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice Tuesday announced a $22 million settlement to clean up of South Gate-based Cooper Drum site, which once was used by a company that reconditioned used steel drums.

The settlement — involving 40 parties — requires about $15 million to build the necessary additional groundwater treatment — including wells, piping and treatment costs — and $7 million in reimbursement to the EPA for its past cleanup actions at the 3.8-acre site, according to the EPA.

“Today’s settlement is a binding commitment to pursue the final cleanup of this former industrial site,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Our goal is to protect the residents of South Gate from the toxic chemicals that have contaminated their local groundwater.”

The Cooper Drum Co. washed used 55-gallon steel drums from industrial customers, such as chemical manufacturers and packagers and oil companies, that contained residual oils and solvents and prepared the containers for reuse from 1974 until its closure in 1992, according to the EPA.

Residual wastes from the drums spilled and leaked on the site, contaminating soils and groundwater at the site that was placed on the Superfund’s National Priorities List in 2001, the EPA said. Since that time, the EPA has overseen the design, construction and operation of soil and groundwater treatment systems aimed at cleaning up trichloroethylene, lead, PCBs and petroleum hydrocarbons.

A soil vapor extraction system, which has been operating at the site since 2011, has removed more than 742 pounds of chemicals from the affected soils, and a groundwater extraction system has treated more than 17 million gallons of contaminated groundwater since 2012, authorities said

All water provided to South Gate residents and businesses meets state and federal drinking water standards, according to the EPA.

The EPA’s cleanup activities at the site between 2001 and 2009 relied on public funding. In 2009, agency investigators were able to identify former customers of the business, who have subsequently funded the cleanup and worked cooperatively with the EPA, according to the EPA.

‘710 Freeway Mayors’ Back Change to Cleaner Trucks

November 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Growing up with asthma and constantly winding up in the hospital is not something Jorge Morales wants for his 11-month-old baby.

As a kid, “I remember the faces of my parents looking at me when I couldn’t breath at 2 or 3 in the morning and running to the hospital,” the now Mayor of South Gate told EGP Tuesday morning.

Air quality is an issue that he considers personal.

“Every second there’s a truck going by,” said the mayor, pointing at the 710 Freeway from a spot at South Gate Park where he and others had gathered to push for a solution to the dirty heavy-duty trucks traveling on the 5 and 710 freeways through their heavily polluted cities.

“All those emissions are coming down in the communities here in the southeast, all the way from Long Beach, from the 60 and 10 freeways and we are all impacted,” he said.

Joining Morales were the mayors of Commerce, Maywood, Bell and Compton, and representatives from the Waste Management Company (WM), the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas).

“We want to encourage owners and operators of those heavy-duty trucks to transfer the trucks over to cleaner energy vehicles,” the Mayor of Maywood Eddie de la Riva told EGP.

He said a study of Los Angeles County revealed that residents of Maywood suffer from some of the highest rates of asthma, cancer and other respiratory diseases.

“It is very important for me because it is something that affects my community and my residents,” he explained.

In 2013, nonprofit East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice and their student led group at Bell Gardens High School, Youth in Action, conducted “Truck Thruthing,” a study that looked at truck traffic on the busiest streets in Commerce. The study found that approximately 47,000 diesel trucks travel the 710 Freeway daily, exposing Commerce residents and workers to large amounts of diesel, leading to the same illnesses as in Maywood.

“All the trucks that start at the Long Beach Port end up in Commerce,” Commerce Mayor Lilia Leon told EGP. “We have the two largest railroads and two largest freeways in the nation,” so “it’s very important to have these type of low-emission trucks for the community’s health” she said.

Going green can be an expensive proposition for the owners of heavy-duty trucks, but there are options to help them convert, supporters of the change to cleaner fuels sources said.

One of the options is SoCalGas’ truck loan program, which can help qualified operators of medium- and heavy-duty trucks explore how trucks using compressed natural gas (CNG) works compared to diesel-fueled vehicles in terms of drivability, power and range.

Another option are government incentives, which the mayors said are a practical and affordable way to accelerate the reduction of harmful emissions and improve air quality

According to Rodger Schwecke, SoCalGas vice president of customer solutions, natural gas is one of the most affordable and cleanest burning alternative fuels available today.

Southeast community leaders and representatives from entities advocating for cleaner air gathered on Tuesday to push for a solution so heavy-duty trucks go green. (Southern California Gas Co.)

Southeast community leaders and representatives from entities advocating for cleaner air gathered on Tuesday to push for a solution so heavy-duty trucks go green. (Southern California Gas Co.)

“Heavy-duty natural gas vehicles can reduce smog by about as much as 90 percent. We need to be part of the solution to help clean the air by giving incentives for the transition from polluting heavy-duty trucks to clean alternative fuel vehicles such as near-zero emissions trucks that run on natural gas,” he said.

Janine Hamner, municipal and community relations manager for Waste Management of Southern California, said she’s also pleased to join the movement and talk about the efficiency of the largest fleet—over 45,000—of heavy-duty natural gas trucks in North America.

“Since natural gas-powered collection trucks run cleaner and quieter, we’ve made the commitment to use more in our local operations as we work to keep communities clean in the most sustainable manner possible,” she said.

These trucks have nearly zero particulate emissions, cut greenhouse gas emissions by over 20 percent and are far quieter than their diesel counterparts.

Morales said it is important to get behind the green movement. “We have all the technology right now, we have natural gas vehicles here and they can make a big difference on the air quality of our communities.”

For more information about this movement, visit


Southeast Area Police Officers Arrested for Child Abuse

August 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Two Huntington Park police officers and two South Gate police officers have been arrested on suspicion of physically abusing children attending a police-run boot camp program in San Luis Obispo, it was announced Wednesday.

Detective Marissa Larios, 36, and Officer Patrick Nijland, 47, of the Huntington Park Police Department and South Police Department Officers Carlos Gomez-Marquez, 31, and Edgar Gomez, 35, were arrested by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department. All four posted $20,000 bond.

The sheriff’s department of the county which lies roughly halfway on the coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco made the arrests after a two-month investigation which involved interviewing 37 participants at Camp San Luis Obispo at California Army National Guard Military Base in San Luis Obispo.

There were 13 victims between the ages of 12 and 17 years of age, Tony Cipolla of the sheriff’s department said.

The Leadership Empowerment and Discipline Boot Camp Program was sponsored by the Huntington Park and South Gate police departments, Cipolla said.

The one-week camp was held May 17-24. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department began its investigation after receiving a report of child abuse allegations from the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Cipolla said.

The children said they had been assaulted by the drill instructors at the camp. After their investigation, detectives from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department served search and arrest warrants Wednesday and Tuesday.

Gomez and Gomez-Marquez were arrested on five charges including willful cruelty to a child, criminal threats and criminal conspiracy, all felonies, and misdemeanor charges of criminal battery and abuse under the color of authority.

Larios was arrested on four charges – felony counts of willful cruelty to a child and criminal conspiracy and misdemeanor charges of criminal battery and abuse under color of authority.

Nijland was arrested for willful cruelty to a child, a felony, and misdemeanor charges of criminal battery and abuse under color of authority.

The FBI assisted the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department detectives in the investigation. The charges will be filed by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

Ex-South Gate Official Re-Sentenced to Time Served

March 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A former treasurer for the city of South Gate, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2006 for illegal conduct involving city contracts, was re-sentenced Monday to the seven years he has already spent behind bars.

In April 2013, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Albert T. Robles’ convictions for public corruption and money laundering but let stand five counts of bribery.

Prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson to re-sentence Robles to the original 10-year prison term.

Instead, Wilson sentenced Robles to 84 months and ordered him to serve three years of supervised release, according to defense attorney David J. P. Kaloyanides.

Most of the convictions were tossed as a result of a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that narrowed the scope of a federal corruption law.

Robles, now 50, was elected South Gate treasurer in 1997 and reelected in 2001. He had previously served as mayor and as a City Council member.

Robles was released from federal prison, following the appeal, after serving seven years, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.


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