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L.A. slaying, kidnapping might be tied to narcotics dealers, LAPD says

Los Angeles police detectives are searching for a woman they believe may have been kidnapped by narcotics dealers who shot to death her boyfriend in East Hollywood.

Jose Manuel Zaragosa, 35, was shot multiple times at close range Oct. 3 after being beaten, authorities said.

Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Pat Gannon said his car was found miles away in the San Fernando Valley where he and girlfriend Melissa Silvia Aguilar were last seen. While classifying Aguilar as a missing person, detectives suspect she may have been abducted in a Mexican-style narcotics murder-kidnapping.

"There have been no ransom demands,” Gannon told The Times. "It has been more than 10 days without any word." 

Robbery Homicide Division detectives were brought into the case because it might be tied to Latino American drug cartel violence, but officials stressed that it also remains possible cartels were not involved.

"At this point, we don’t know exactly who is responsible," Gannon  said.”We don’t [know] where she is at this point. She could be in Mexico."

 Detectives believe the couple was grabbed in the San Fernando Valley, where they were meeting friends.

Aguilar is described as a Honduran native in her early 20s ,and her only contact with authorities was with immigration officials in Minnesota. Zaragosa, a Mexican national, used several other names including Saul Ayala and Jesus Sanchez, according to coroner’s officials.

Investigators say Zaragosa has a history of deportations.

Mexican-style drug hits are not unheard of in Los Angeles but remain rare. A young man who ferried drugs for an Eastside drug gang was gunned down in a Bentley last December on the 101 Freeway. Records obtained by The Times showed police are investigating it as a Mexican drug cartel killing.

-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein

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Comments () | Archives (13)

"History of deportations"

How much are these people costing us?

why no front page article on illegals and border fence . keep letting your news be controlled by left wing idiots and you will be out of business .

thank god for fox news

Your people want the drugs. They bring them. Your business wants their cheaper non-union labor. They come. "These people" meaning latinos I suppose, have been around a long time.

So the murder victim Zarazoga is a Mexican "who has a history of deportation," which didn't stop him coming back and back and back, maybe involved with the Mexican drug cartels. His girlfriend is an illegal immigrant from another S. American country who apparently left Minnesota where "she had contact with immigration officials." Now our police resources are devoted to what happened with these people who brought their south-of-the border illegal criminal activity with them.

This is another strong argument for border enforcement and figuring out some OTHER way to deal with those deported than just sending them "home" so they can return again, especially if they're making too much money dealing illegal drugs to resist. We need treaties with Mexico and countries s. of the border that THEY will incarcerate those deported, we don't want them back.

The fact that the victim used several ID's, none of them legal, meant he could flee without a trace. That happens all the time so hit-and-runs by illegals are almost never caught. They also don't carry insurance as required by law. The rest of us pay for it in money and sometimes with our lives.

Being murdered in your apt. and kidnapped is horrible, and affects everyone else in the building or who might have seen them, as they become "witnesses." Illegal immigration brings with it the whole horrible south-of-the- border lifestyle where criminal gangs and drug lords kill families of those they're involved with. They also kill judges, cops they can't buy, etc.

This sort of problem will become even worse if all pot-sales are driven back underground by rightwing DA Cooley and his puppet City Attorney Carmen Trutnuch. Sales must be legalized and carefully, very carefully, controlled and monitored so that patients won't be driven back into the hands of these criminals. Pot has traditionally been 3/4 or more of their sales and profits.

These two renegade lawmen promised to uphold the State Law 215 and now are saying the only "legal" sales are those where patients grow their wn pot, that all store sales are illegal, contrary to what the State Atty Gene.ral Brown says, contrary to common sense and the intent of the law.

If those two insist on going through with their Republican agenda there will be MORE horrible cases like this, where pot sales are driven totally into the illegal underworld of illegal immigrants, murderous drug lords, etc.

Who's buying the drugs? You should ask yourself. The demand is what created the monster, not the other way round.

the war on drugs has failed - time for a different approach.

Who cares?

When is enough-enough...

The unfriendly border along the U.S. and Mexico should have been locked down years ago. The illegal immigration issue has been and still is an issue national strategic importance. We have allowed others to dictate our policy. Close down the border now, also hold employers accountable for their hiring of illegals. First offense, $25,000 fine per person, second offense $50,ooo per person, third offense a $100,000 fine per person and closing down of the business.
It is very important that all local state and federal authorities check arrested, and detained people for citizenship.
How long are we going to allow people to break our laws. We have established reasonable immigration quotas for all countries and there is an element that does not want to abide by our laws. If illegals can not obey our immigration laws; why should we think they can obey our basic laws of our society. Illegals are a burden and risk factor to our basic American culture.
Illegal immigrants have strangled our education system, over burden our law enforcement, vitually ruined our health care sysytem in Southern California.
Billions and Billions of dollars have been wasted in support of illegal immigrants and there burden on the citizens of California.
And now come the South of our border Narco's. Some times a society must resort to extreme measures, in this case Vigilante Justice.
Meet them , greet them and eliminate tem, now!!!

Was wondering what the story was with that "Bentley guy". Should've known...

A killing and kidnapping is tragic. However, these illegal aliens weren't washing dishes, harvesting beans or mowing someone's lawn like they should have been. They were allegedly involved in the DRUG TRADE! I say good riddance. It is sooo time for the Feds to seal off our borders, to keep this scum where it belongs... in Mexico and points south.

Nearly 70 percent of Mexicans surveyed said that Mexican-Americans – including those born in the United States – owe their primary loyalty to Mexico, not the U.S., according to a Zogby poll commissioned by the Center for Immigration Studies.

When asked “Should the primary loyalty of Mexican-Americans be to Mexico or to the U.S.?” 68.8 percent of respondents in Mexico said that it should be to Mexico, while only 19.7 percent said it should be to the United States. Another 11.5 percent of respondents said they were not sure.

Don't know if this will get posted, L.A. times does not believe in free speech.

Do you enjoy weed? Or any other illegal drug? Then quit blaming "those people." You hypocrites are contributing to the problem. Like fsl said, "those people" have been here for a long, long time. The vast majority of them are here for work, and only work. Instead of conflating them with the cartel cowards that profit off of your hedonism, see them as they are: people half-invited, half-shunned, looking for a better life. Got any (rational) solutions, hypocrites?

Funny, NO WHERE in this article did I see a mention to there legal status, so you ASSUME they are illegal.


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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