Where’s the justice? Illegal immigrant in California receives shortest sentence possible for murdering deputy

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PLACERVILLE, CA – A convicted cop killer was sentenced by a judge in California and was only given a minimum sentence for killing a deputy in 2019.

Juan Carlos Vasquez, who was in the United States illegally, was convicted of second-degree murder and assault with a firearm in April.

 

 

Deputy Brian Ishmael, an El Dorado County Sheriff, was killed in October 2019.

A man told a 9-1-1 dispatcher that someone was allegedly stealing marijuana plants from his garden, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff.

 

 

Sheriff D’Agostini remarked that Deputy Ishmael responded to the call during a ride-along, with an off-duty San Joaquin County deputy.

He said:

“Brian worked in this community and lived in this community; he was easy to talk to, kind, and always positive.

He never had a bad day, was a loving father and husband, leaves behind his wife and three children.”

Sheriff D’Agostini commented about the man who made the call, Christopher Ross:

“What he failed to report was that he had a business arrangement with the persons growing marijuana on his property.

Had he been truthful with our deputies and the 911 dispatcher, this tragic event would not have occurred.

At that time, they were immediately confronted with gunfire.” 

The District Attorney’s office added that Ross “had entered into an agreement allowing other people to grow marijuana on his property in exchange for money and a used Jeep.”

Deputy Ishmael and the San Joaquin County deputy both returned fire, according to Sheriff D’Agostini.

Both deputies were shot during the exchange.

Deputy Ishmael was then shot in the upper chest just above his vest and once in his foot. Moments later, he died.

 

Conversations from the radio during the exchange said:

“We have an officer down and we can’t get him out…

…officer down, I need additional people up here by the pool.”

The San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputy was wounded.

The shooter, Vasquez, was also wounded.

Sheriff D’Agostini said Vasquez would be charged when released from the hospital.

Police also arrested Romiro Morales, a Mexican national. He was booked on charges of aiding in the commission of a felony.

 

Sheriff D’Agostini commented that the man who called about the theft occurring in his garden was initially arrested too.

He said he had “a business arrangement for the leasing of the land to grow the marijuana on” with the two who shot the deputies.

Ross was convicted of felony voluntary manslaughter and possession of marijuana for sale.

 

 

Judge Sharon Lueras of the Sacramento Superior Court struck all of the gun enhancements and sentenced Vasquez to 15 years to life in prison, the statutory minimum sentence.

The judge said that his crimes were situational and that she didn’t think he was a significant danger to the public.

District Attorney Vern Pierson of El Dorado County argued against the judge’s decision. He wrote his comments in a three-page statement.

According to a Facebook post by the El Dorado County District Attorney:

“I am very disappointed by the judge’s decision,” said District Attorney Vern Pierson, noting that Sacramento Superior Court Judge Sharon Lueras decided to drop all of the gun enhancements in the case, a rare use of discretion, especially considering the fact that one peace officer was murdered and another was wounded, both by gunfire.

“It no longer matters whether you use a gun or how many people you harm or how many prior violent felonies you have committed.

The legislature has cleared the path for judges to individually assess defendants and disregard any enhancement, resulting in wildly inconsistent sentences that fail to hold violent criminals accountable.”

Pierson said Judge Lueras failed to address the defendant’s lack of remorse or his behavior while incarcerated pending trial and did not comment on Vasquez Orozco’s personal, intentional, and repeated use of the firearm during the commission of these crimes, facts that the jury found true beyond a reasonable doubt and until recently would have required the court impose the sentence recommended by the prosecution and the Probation Department and requested by the victim’s family.

… When given the chance to address the court and apologize to the family and friends of Brian Ishmael and the other victims, the defendant elected to remain silent.

The Facebook post included:

“As Judge Lueras explained her decision to the stunned courtroom, family and friends of the victims began to quietly leave.

Judge Lueras justified her leniency, stating that Vasquez Orozco did not pose a danger to the public, that the crime was situational, that the crimes were merely the result of misinformation and mostly the fault of the property owner, Ross.

She noted the defendant was only 20 at the time of the crime, a fact that is already considered for purposes of early parole, and that he had no known prior criminal history.”

 

The judge sentenced Vasquez to five additional years for wounding San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Tasabia and shooting at two other El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies.

The judge ordered the sentence to run concurrently with the other sentences so that he won’t face any extra prison time.

 

 

https://fundourpolice.com/

 

BREAKING: Deputy killed in ‘active shooter’ situation, possible suspects still at large

EL DORADO, Calif. – Shots rang out in California on Wednesday morning during what police described as an “active shooter” incident, tragically taking the life of a sheriff’s deputy and injuring a civilian who was in the cruiser for a ride-along.

Police say an “unknown number of people” opened fire on the deputy when he responded to a call.

The shooting began after El Dorado authorities were alerted to a “call for service” near Sand Ridge Road and Mt. Aukum Road in Somerset, about 50 miles east of Sacramento, NBC reported.

brian_ishmael_killed
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Ishmael was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday. (EDCSO)

 

When the deputy arrived at the scene, he and the ride-along subject were ambushed, caught in a hail of gunfire. Little details have been made available as to what may have transpired before the shooting erupted.

The deputy was tragically killed by the attack.

The unidentified passenger in the deputy’s cruiser was also struck by gunfire and was rushed to a local hospital to be treated, though it’s unknown what his condition is at this time.

“Their condition is unknown at this time,” police said about the ride-along subject.

Police swarmed the area, bringing in a heavy presence that included a helicopter as they locked down the scene.

 

Two men have been taken into custody, but police are still saying that the situation remains “active”, suggesting that additional suspects or shooters may still be at large.

Authorities are requesting that everyone steer clear of the area while they continue their investigation into the tragic incident and that those who live in the neighborhood remain indoors and contact police if they notice anything out of the ordinary.

“We ask that you please remain out of this area. Residents, we ask that you secure yourself in your homes and call 911 for any suspicious activity,” the El Dorado Sheriff’s Office said.

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BREAKING: Deputy killed in 'active shooter' situation, possible suspects still at large

 

The department provided a briefing about their fallen deputy.

“It is with an extremely heavy heart that we announce that we lost a deputy in the line of duty this morning,” the department said.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Ishmael was identified as the slain officer. He was a 4-year veteran of the force, according to police sources. He previously worked for the Placerville Police Department.

 

His department took to social media to ask for prayers.

“We are proud to have had Brian work with us at the Placerville PD. He will be missed,” his department posted on Twitter. “Our prayers go out to our L.E. brothers and sisters at EDSO, and Deputy Ishmael’s family and friends. God Speed Brian.”

A video still from Fox 40 showed an officer standing with his gun drawn near the site of the initial shooting.

BREAKING: Deputy killed in 'active shooter' situation, possible suspects still at large
(Fox 40 Broadcast)

 

This is an ongoing situation that is continuing to develop. Law Enforcement Today will continue to bring you updates as more information becomes available to the public.

Deputy murdered by “two Mexican nationals” stealing drugs.  CA law won’t let him talk to ICE about them.

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Another one of our brothers is dead thanks to California leaders putting “sanctuary laws” above protecting citizens and officers.

On Thursday, El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini announced that Deputy Brian Ishmael was murdered by “two Mexican nationals”.

It happened while they were responding to a call from a man who told 911 that somebody was stealing from his private garden.

Audio recordings from the 911 calls were released.

In them, you could hear a call come in from homeowner Christopher Ross.  He told them someone was stealing marijuana plants from his private garden.

According to Sheriff D’Agostini, Deputy Ishmael responded to a the call in the 4700-block of Sand Ridge Road, in the rural community of Somerset.  He was with a ridealong, who is an off-duty San Joaquin County deputy.

According to police, when they arrived at the property, Ross told the deputies that the people in his garden were stealing.

Turns out he lied.

“What he failed to report was that he had a business arrangement with the persons growing marijuana on his property,” Sheriff D’Agostini said. “Had he been truthful with our deputies and the 911 dispatcher, this tragic event would not have occurred.”

According to the sheriff, just after speaking with Ross, the deputies walked to the back of the home. That’s where some 75 plans were growing. When they announced themselves, the suspects opened fire.

“At that time, they were immediately confronted with gunfire,” Sheriff D’Agostini said.

According to the sheriff, both men returned fire, and both were shot during the ensuing gun battle.

Medical officials said Deputy Ishmael was shot once in upper chest above his ballistic vest and once in foot.  He died within minutes.

According to KOVR, you could hear the desperate gun battle over the radio traffic:

 “We have an officer down and we can’t get him out…” one deputy reported.

“…officer down, I need additional people up here by the pool,” another deputy told dispatch.

Sheriff D’Agostini said the off-duty San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputy was wounded in the upper thigh and rushed to the hospital.

He was released after surgery.

According to Sheriff D’Agostini, police set up a perimeter at the scene and SWAT officers arrested two people near the garden site.

Mexican national Juan Vasquez was one of the men.  The sheriff said he was wounded by gunfire during the incident, and so he was brought to the hospital where he also underwent surgery.

According to Sheriff D’Agostini, Vasquez had been cleared for arrest and would be charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

He went on to say that police also arrested Mexican national Romiro Morales.  He’s currently being on charges of aiding in the commission of a felony.

In a disgusting twist in the investigation, the sheriff said that California law prevented him from contacting U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to find out more about the immigration statuses of both suspects.

He was, however, told they were both “Mexican nationals” who had resided in the United States for some time prior to the shooting… and is now in talks with the U.S. Attorney’s Office regarding federal charges.

The homeowner who had called 911 initially was also arrested.

According to the sheriff, Ross had “a business arrangement for the leasing of the land to grow the marijuana on” with the men who shot the deputies.

He’s now charged with involuntary manslaughter and held on $50,000 bail, according to jail records.

It’s not uncommon for authorities to deal with incidents around legal and illegal marijuana grows in California.

“There’s a lot of violence that surrounds these gardens and we’re seeing a perfect example of it right now,” the sheriff said.

According to the sheriff, California’s laws aren’t good enough to adequately prepare law enforcement to deal with the exploding marijuana-growing industry.

They also clearly aren’t good enough to keep criminals behind bars… or out of America.

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Breaking: Police say Deputy Ishmael was murdered by two illegal immigrants

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — They never should have been in America to begin with.

That was the message Thursday night from U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott in a press conference where he announced that two Mexican nationals have been charged in the slaying of a Northern California sheriff’s deputy.

And in a state typically known for dancing around the words “illegal alien”, they sure pulled no punches Thursday.

El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini said federal charges were filed Thursday afternoon against the four men arrested in connection to the death of El Dorado County Deputy Brian Ishmael.

brian_ishmael_killed
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Ishmael was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday. (EDCSO)

Deputy Ishmael was shot and killed at an illegal marijuana grow in Somerset on October 23.

California Governor skips funeral of deputy killed by illegal immigrants

Talk about a slap in the face of law enforcement.

On Tuesday, a federal grand jury handed down indictments on two illegal immigrants who police say murdered Deputy Brian Ishmael.

It was the same day that Ishmael was laid to rest… in a funeral that was flat out skipped by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

In a press conference this week, El Dorado Sheriff John D’Agostini called out the state’s drug and sanctuary policies.

He also attacked Gov. Gavin Newsom for skipping his funeral in favor of a meeting with PG&E, the state’s power provider.

“[Newsom] had an important meeting with PG&E,” D’Agostini said Thursday.

He made his comments to local media outlets.

“One morning out of his busy schedule to respect my deputy and his family I don’t think is too much to ask.”

According to Newsom’s office, the Democratic governor sent representatives to the funeral in his place. They shouldn’t be complaining, apparently, because he also sent a letter to Ishmael’s family.

Instead of calling out the illegal immigrants and offering condolences to the family in a press conference, Newsom had a more important topic to address in a Sacramento news conference on Tuesday.

That’s where he signed a law Tuesday, July 30, requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns to appear on the state’s primary ballot.  It was obviously a move aimed squarely at Republican President Donald Trump.

Here’s the back story on the press conference that sparked the war with Newsom.

“They never should have been in America to begin with.”

That was the message Thursday night from U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott in a press conference where he announced that two Mexican nationals have been charged in the slaying of a Northern California sheriff’s deputy.

And in a state typically known for dancing around the words “illegal alien”, they sure pulled no punches Thursday.

El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini said federal charges were filed Thursday afternoon against the four men arrested in connection to the death of El Dorado County Deputy Brian Ishmael.

brian_ishmael_killed
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Ishmael was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday. (EDCSO)

Deputy Ishmael was shot and killed at an illegal marijuana grow in Somerset on October 23.

Here’s a bit of the back story.

 

With the legalization of marijuana in California, the state has run into more evolved problems with their efforts to be “progressive” in their legislation the past decade. That legalization has lead to the black market being flooded with marijuana in an effort to usurp the market and undercut regulated pricing for legal substances.

That’s what brought us to the murder of Deputy Ishmael.

According to officials, the property owner, 47-year-old Christopher Ross, called police and said someone was stealing plants from his pot garden in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento.

What he didn’t tell the, according to police, was that he was in business with the other suspects.

According to prosecutors, 20-year-old Juan Carlos Vasquez Orozco shot Ishmael when the deputy ordered everyone to come out of the garden.

El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini had no issue describing the two men indicted as “illegal aliens”, but most outlets would prefer the term “Mexican nationals who are in this country illegally”.

Here at Law Enforcement Today, we’re going to err more on the side of Sheriff John D’Agostini verbiage.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento returned a four-count indictment against Christopher Ross, Juan Carlos Vasquez-Orozco, Ramiro Bravo Morales, and Jorge Lamas. Considering that the entire chain of events unfolded with regard to the Deputy finding himself at the illegal growing operation in California, all four in the case were charged with conspiracy to grow marijuana.

However, a handful of those indicted would wind up receiving charges that tote sentences quite heavier than growing marijuana where you shouldn’t. Vasquez and Morales were amidst the pack of receiving heavier charges, as they were are also charged with being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm;

Vasquez, as well as Ross, are both being charged with the murder of Deputy Brian Ishmael. Morales is also being charged with knowing Vasquez-Orozco committed murder, but attempted to help him try and avoid arrest despite his actions.

Officials at Thursday’s news conference had strong words about the growing problem of illegal marijuana grows in California.

“I ask that you, the media, please call this what this is. Don’t soften it. This tragedy was due to an illegal alien tending an illegal marijuana garden, who murdered my deputy,” El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini said.

Aside from the federal based charges, the men are also going to be facing state charges as well with regard to the alleged crimes and chain of events. Needless to say, if convicted, they’ll have a plethora of time to ponder their actions.

According to the federal prosecutor, the penalty for the marijuana counts is a five-year minimum prison sentence, with up to 40 years in prison. That’s also in tow with fines up to $5 million for the growing operation offences.

The discharge of a firearm during a drug crime is a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, with up to natural life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The alien in possession of a firearm count is a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

We’re hoping justice is served in this case and that Deputy Brian Ishmael is honored properly after his life was taken so needlessly.

In the meantime, in another part of California, we have officials refusing to talk about whether or not two inmates who escaped prison, snuck out of the U.S. then got caught sneaking BACK into the U.S. were here legally to begin with.

It’s not often that you see people trying to sneak across the border INTO Mexico.  But it appears that was the case with two inmates who escaped prison earlier this week.  But here’s where it gets interesting.

Two wanted individuals were caught by Customs and Border Protection this week… when they were trying to reenter the United States via the Tijuana port of entry after recently escaping from a California jail. The two individuals were both in jail, awaiting trial for charges of murder for the both of them.

 

The two murder suspects, Jonathan Salazar and Santos Fonseca , had escaped from a California jail over the weekend this past Sunday and were arrested by federal officials while trying to enter the United States from Mexico, authorities had said.

The motivation behind exiting the coutry after their jail and then an attempt to reenter hasn’t been disclosed yet as of this time.

Monterey County Sheriff’s Office Captain John Thornburg had stated that Jonathan Salazar, 20, and Santos Fonseca, 21, were arrested by Customs and Border Protection officials at a port of entry at Tijuana just after midnight on November 7, 2019 while they were opting to simply walk through the border’s port of entry.

Captain John Thornburg had mentioned that the two are currently in the custody of Monterey County officials and are on their way back to a jail in Salinas, hundreds of miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. This being the jail that the pair had also previously escaped from just earlier this month.

Like something straight out of the classic film “Escape from Alcatraz”, Salazar and Fonseca had escaped Sunday from the Monterey County jail in Salinas after climbing through a hole they made in the ceiling of a bathroom, narrowly squeezing through a hollow wall and kicking open a hatch as a means to aid in their efforts to attain freedom.

Thornburg said authorities had received a tip that the pair, both born and raised in California, had been spotted in the Mexican border city of Tijuana and had alerted federal officials once becoming privy to the potential whereabouts of the two escaped inmates.

While local authorities were following leads to expedite the retrieval of the two escapees, a tip had come in reporting that Salazar had been possibly spotted at a motel in Marina about 10 miles from the Marin County jail in Salinas.

Fox News reported that on Tuesday, deputies responded to a Motel 6 in the town of Marina around 11:30 a.m.

Law enforcement officers were tipped off when “an employee [of the motel] reported that 20-year-old Jonathan Salazar was hiding out in the building.”

salazar_manhunt_escaped_swat
He escaped from prison. Now he’s on the run again after dodging a SWAT raid on his hotel hideout.

At the time of the arrival to the motel, there was no response from the room that Salazar was thought to be in. The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office reported in a statement that, “after about eight hours of trying to make contact with the escapee believed inside a Motel 6 in the town of Marina, police SWAT deployed a flash grenade and raided what turned out to be an empty motel room.”

After the raid, Capt. John Thornburg of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office said they concluded that while he might’ve been there, he had escaped justice yet again.

Officers “searched the room and he is not here.  I’m confident nobody left the motel after we got here, so that time between them calling and us getting here he apparently did leave.”

 

“We have a strong belief that he was here, OK, from the witness or the person that called, the interviews we conducted,” he said. “It’s disappointing. I mean, we’ve been out here for hours, and, you know, people are waiting and we’re trying to do everything we can to locate this person along with the other gentleman and take him into custody.”

It is reported that police evacuated both the hotel and a nearby restaurant while securing the area around the motel.  Officers called out over a loudspeaker demanding that Salazar exit the room if he was inside, using both English and Spanish in hopes to communicate completely with the suspect.

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California Governor skips funeral of deputy killed by illegal immigrants

 

SWAT arrived on scene at 6 p.m., with the flash bang grenade being deployed around 7 p.m., followed by the raid and search of the room.  Police K9s were brought in to search the rest of the motel for Salazar.

Earlier this week, we reported on the escape of Salazar and fellow inmate Santos Fonseca, both being held on murder charges, from the California jail.

Police called Salazar and Forenseca “extremely dangerous” murder suspects.

Two murder suspects escape jail - third inmate who tried to kill police also on run

 

According to the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, they escaped from the Adult Detention Facility in the early morning, unannounced.

They are both five-feet-seven-inches tall with black hair and brown eyes.  Fonseca weighs 150 pounds and Salazar weighs 170 pounds.

They’ve been in jail since 2018, where they were awaiting trial on unrelated murder counts “along with numerous other felony charges,” a sheriff’s statement said.

Because of California laws, authorities will not say whether or not the suspects are legally in the country.  We also know that authorities aren’t allowed to work with ICE, which regularly impedes investigations.

 

 

According to local media outlets, Fonseca was being held on two counts of murder and attempted robbery on a $2.25 million bail after being arrested for a June 2018 shooting, and another deadly shooting three days earlier.

Salazar had been arrested in the shooting death of 20-year-old Jaime Martinez. The victim, who was driving in Salinas with his girlfriend and 18-month-old son, was killed as a result of gun shot wounds. Martinez’s girlfriend was shot as well and was treated at a local hospital and survived, while the child wasn’t hurt at all during the flurry of gunfire.

Police investigated the October 12, 2017, shooting as being gang-related. Officers said his tattoos, which included the letter P on his cheek, refer to his Sureño offshoot gang, La Posada Trece, the Californian reported. His trial was scheduled to begin in January.

Fonseca is charged with shooting Lorenzo Gomez Acosta, 37, to death on June 2, 2018, while the victim sat in his car on a video call with his wife in Mexico, the Californian reported. She saw a scuffle, heard her husband screaming “no” and then gunshots rang out, Salinas police Officer Froylan Aranda said.

Fonseca told police that his gang leader told him to kill someone to prove he was still loyal to the “Boronda gang,” Detective Gabriela Contreras testified. Acosta was reportedly chosen at random.

Three days later, Fonseca shot and killed Ernesto Garcia Cruz, 27, in a Salinas park, authorities said. He told police that the gang leader also ordered the slaying and that he picked his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend “to send him a message,” Contreras said.

Investigators haven’t figured out how long they worked on making the means of escape or if anyone else had helped them escape from the jail. All that can be concluded at this time was that they were reported missing at 8:15 a.m. Sunday morning and that their escape route was discovered during the realization that they were missing.

Thankfully, both have been apprehended and will have their respective days in court.


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