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Murderer who tattooed crime on chest was involved in jail drug ring, detectives say [Updated]


This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

L.A. County sheriff’s investigators say a Pico Rivera murderer who tattooed his crime on his chest also was involved in attempting to smuggle heroin and methamphetamines into the Los Angeles County Jail.

While investigating Anthony Garcia, 25, for a liquor store slaying, homicide Sgt. Kevin Lloyd discovered that the gangster, his mother, brother and two others were conspiring to sneak drugs into the jail system, authorities said.

All five have been arrested and are facing felony attempted narcotics smuggling charges.

Garcia was convicted last week of first-degree murder in the shooting death of John Juarez, 23, outside a Pico Rivera liquor store.

The investigation of the 2004 slaying had gone cold until Lloyd, flipping through photographs of gangsters, noticed a detailed ink rendering of the crime scene on Garcia’s chest.

Detectives arrested Garcia on a minor charge and used a jailhouse decoy to get a confession out of him.

While putting that case together, Lloyd found evidence of the alleged drug ring.

Earlier this month detectives arrested Garcia's brother, John Garcia, a gang member on parole, in connection with the alleged drug ring. He was being held without bail.

Vivian Garcia, their 46-year-old mother, also was arrested when she went to the Pico Rivera sheriff’s station to visit John Garcia. She was released April 12 on bond.

A fourth suspect, Manuel Bermudez, 32, was already in custody in state prison on multiple felony convictions for narcotics and firearms offenses.

When he turned himself in for his four-year term last June, officers said they found four golf-ball sized balloons of heroin and methamphetamine in his rectum.

Cynthia Bermudez, the 29-year-old girlfriend of Manuel Bermudez, was arrested earlier this month at her Huntington Park residence and released on $110,000 bond.

Sheriff’s detectives say all five suspects worked together to smuggle drugs into the county jail as Anthony Garcia awaited trial on the Pico Rivera homicide.

Lloyd worked with other sheriff’s detectives to gather evidence in the case.

[Updated 6:38, p.m. April 25: Sgt. Mike Thomas said that other than packages found on Manuel Bermudez, he did not have details on how the other suspects were plotting to get narcotics past jail officials. With trials pending, “they are not tipping their hand on that right now,” he said.

But Thomas said illicit drugs get past jailhouse gates despite efforts to screen them out. Friends or family members often try to throw bindles of heroin or other drugs over a glass partition during face-to-face visits, he said. Drugs also find their way in through the mail, he said.

“We try our best,” he said. “But there’s always a way.”]

[For the Record, 2:42 p.m. April 25: An earlier version of this post incorrectly attributed information about this case to Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker.]


Gang tattoo leads to a murder conviction

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-- Catherine Saillant

Photo: L.A. County Sheriff's detectives said the tattoo on Anthony Garcia's chest included key details from the scene of a liquor store murder that puzzled them for four years. Credit: L.A. County Sheriff's Department

Comments () | Archives (26)

Soooo, How is putting this guy behind bars ging to stop him from commiting more crimes? I'd really like to know!

Great police work. We need more Cops with good memories & care enough to reopen old cases.

How much would you like to bet that cell phones smuggled into the prisions and jails by prison guards were used in arranging his deliveries to the jails?

This guy has no one to blame but himself! He person of low moral character!
Please keep him off the Pico Rivera streets and all those like him!

People, people.....that's not his fault. He's the victim here.

A drug ring in jail. Of course.

See, that's what happens when you put drug addicts in jail. They bring their dealers in with them.

I have a family member who is alcoholic and I can tell you a lot of amazing stories about how and where she'd hide her booze.

I'm still finding bottles of vodka stashed in the roses bushes from when I had her living in my home.

You can't win with an addict. The only way to win is when they go into recovery.

So it's no surprise to me that the War on Drugs has brought drug rings into jails.

This guy is human waste. They should expedite the death penalty for this idiot.

we should allow judges to shoot people like this on the spot once they are found guilty.

"Detectives arrested Garcia on a minor charge and used a jailhouse decoy to get a confession out of him"= entrapment

Kill them all and be done with it.

how could he choke out mr. peanut?

Execute this scumbag gangbanger immediately. Save the public the cost of his imprisonment. Execution will also bring closure to the family of his victim.

'He just came here looking for work'

What did Mr. Peanut do to deserve this?

**The investigation of the 2004 slaying had gone cold until Lloyd, flipping through photographs of gangsters, noticed a detailed ink rendering of the crime scene on Garcia’s chest.**

Something sounds fishy...No way the detective put two & two together from "that" tattoo and a 2004 crime.

What an upstanding group of family members and friends (not!)....Kudos to the LASD for their work in all aspects of this case....100,000+ more to go in L.A. County and maybe it will start becoming the safe, pleasant community it once was! I know, that's a long-shot but we can wish...

Yes, multiculturalism, the social philosophy that destroyed America

What a pathetic family. A mother and two brothers. Wow. You would think one of the three would make CORRECT choices in life, but not so. For the choices they made, they all get what they deserve.


I think you need a dictionary.

From the comments we see there are still gang sympithizers, I mean associates in the building. lol

Glad to see how one case took down five criminals. Now thats good police work, notice its always the sheriffs and never the LAPD getting perps. I guess Beck really knew what he was doing when he took off the cuffs of law enforcement, and put on the kid gloves of social working.

Not one major bust in a decade. Thanks Mr. Mayor

Wow a family full of scumbags

Acorn didn't fall far from this tree.

Yeah, unfortunately the prison system for these types is another form of welfare, they don't have to work, get fed, no taxes, etc. etc. Plus, the bigger problem is that he's going into where the Mex-Mafia are all up in that system too, he'll have prison cred. Its a forehead-rubber isn't it when you think about it... viva la raza.

@ Joe - You said, "He's a victim." I love your sarcasm!!

Here's the solution . . . take all the guards out of the jails and prisons, and leave the inmates to their own devices. Allow drugs and guns into the prisons. The gang problem will take care of itself.

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