Southern California breaking news and trends

FBI Ten Most Wanted fugitive Jose Luis Saenz captured in Mexico


Alleged murderer Joe Luis Saenz has been captured by the FBI.

Jose "Joe" Luis Saenz, a reputed drug cartel associate wanted for four murders in Los Angeles, was captured in Mexico on Thursday and flown back to Los Angeles Friday night, according to the FBI.

Arrested Thursday afternoon in Guadalajara, Mexico, Saenez reportedly told journalists that he was "not guilty for life" as he was placed in a car.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told KPCC that  the 37-year-old Saenz is being held in local custody, and that the LAPD and the LA Sheriff's Department have murder cases against him. She said officials will reveal more details at an FBI-LAPD-LASD news conference on Monday, but for now, "there are several details we're sorting out in terms of how much can be said." 

Eimiller said  the FBI worked with Mexican police agencies to arrest Saenz, who had been on the run since 1998. She said the operation lasted several days, and that authorities took Saenz into custody without incident. 


Florida firm, not Anonymous or the FBI, was source of Apple data in breach


Zooey Deschanel in an Apple iPhone ad

A Florida company said Monday that the database of Apple device information that hackers stole and posted on the Internet last week came from a file the firm had in its computer system.

The disclosure comes nearly a week after a hacker group, which calls itself AntiSec, claimed that the data was stolen from an FBI laptop. The FBI flatly rejected the claim, saying it never possessed the information. The data included about 1 million unique identification numbers for Apple devices and some personal information, such as the names people assign to their iPads, iPhones and iPods.

Orlando-based BlueToad is a digital publishing company that converts files so that they can be more easily read online and by mobile devices.

In a statement, company president Paul DeHart said the Apple data was stolen in a cyberattack against BlueToad.


Police, feds indict alleged Pomona methamphetamine ring tied to Mexical drug cartel

Operation Crystal Light

Rina Palta / KPCC

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Nelson announces charges against an alleged Pomona-based meth smuggling ring with ties to Mexican drug cartel and local street gangs.

A federal indictment unsealed Thursday brought charges against 27 members of an alleged meth smuggling operation out of Pomona and Ontario, California. In a predawn raid, federal and local agencies arrested 16 of the indicted defendants. Officials are calling the bust "Operation Crystal Light."

A few additional defendants were already in custody on separate charges and four are fugitives. Police are looking specifically for the alleged ring leader, Jose Juan Garcia Barron — who they say has ties to the Mexican drug carted La Familia Michoacana (LFM). 

Authorities say Barron would purchase meth from a supplier in Mexico and arrange its shipment to the U.S., where another defendant, Martin Barron Alcazar, would receive the shipment and direct it to a stash house in Ontario. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Nelson said that the operation resembled the one portrayed in the James Bond Movie, "License to Kill."


Clerk arrested for allegedly leaking confidential, sealed federal files

FBI insignia

An FBI undercover officer allegedly bought sealed documents from the court clerk's husband.

Nune Gevorkyan was caught in a sting for allegedly leaking files. According to the FBI, an undercover agent approached Gevorkyan's husband, Oganes Koshkaryan, about purchasing information from confidential, sealed federal files. Koshkaryan later returned with information on pending arrest warrants.

Upon further checks, agents found that Gevorkyan had accessed the files soon after the undecover agent approached her husband.

The sting came about following a massive raid on an Armenian Power gang where at least 70 people were arrested, mostly on charges like kidnapping, racketeering, illegal gambling and bank fraud, according to the FBI's affidavit

One of the defendants, cooperating with authorities, said he or she had been warned of the raid in advance, which is why he or she was in hiding when the FBI raided. (The defendant later surrendered to authorities.) The defendant pinpointed Koshkaryan as the source of the information.


Sylvia Helen Garcia in FBI custody as 'Plain Jane Bandit' suspect

plain jane bandit

Images via FBI

Bank surveillance images of the "Plain Jane Bandit" from Monday's attempted robbery.

plain jane bank robber


The "Plain Jane Bandit" is wanted by the FBI in a series of Southland bank robberies.

plain jane

Photo: FBI

The "Plain Jane Bandit" is wanted by the FBI in a series of Southland bank robberies.

plain jane

Photo: FBI

The "Plain Jane Bandit" is wanted by the FBI in a series of Southland bank robberies.

plain jane

Photo: FBI

The "Plain Jane Bandit" is wanted by the FBI in a series of Southland bank robberies.

ABC News reports that the FBI now has in custody the "Plain Jane Bandit" suspect wanted in connection with eight Southern California bank robberies and attempted robberies. She has been identified as 38-year-old Sylvia Helen Garcia. 

KCBS reports the woman was arrested last night at her home in Downey. The alleged bandit hit two banks as recently as this week.

Story developing...