The following information has been released to InstantRiverside.com by the Riverside Police Department:

A suspect in the 2006 murder of 24-year-old Crystal Theobald was among the 11 persons arrested in a warrant arrest sweep of members of the Varrio 5150 criminal street gang, on Wednesday, August 8, 2007.

On the night of Friday, February 24, 2006, suspect Julio Heredia (aka “Lil Huero”) and his associates were cruising through the Arlanza neighborhood of Riverside looking to challenge a rival gang. Heredia, now 20, allegedly got out of a SUV he had been riding in, and fired a handgun at a passing vehicle, which sped away. Heredia then allegedly fired several rounds at the Theobald vehicle as it entered the intersection of Greenpoint Avenue and Geranium Place. Bullets struck 20-year-old driver Juan Patlan in the abdomen and Crystal Theobald in the head. Another passenger escaped injury. Juan recovered; Crystal died the next day, on Feb. 25.

Investigation led Riverside Police detectives to a group of Hispanic young men identified as members of Varrio 5150, a La Sierra area-based criminal street gang. Seven young men, including Heredia, were determined to have been in the SUV at the time of the shooting, including recently-arrested suspect Romiro Casillas.

SUV driver suspect William Sotelo, now 19, is still at large and is wanted for murder.

Witnesses contacted by police in connection with the homicide investigation reported being threatened by other members of the 5150 gang, including suspect Billy Enriquez Jr., now 19, known as “Big Huero” and identified as leader of the 5150 gang. Enriquez is still at large. Arrested suspects Jose Ramirez, 20; Daniel Correa, 18; and Luis Campana-Contreras, 18; took part in witness intimidation that took place in Countryside Park, a small community park the gang claimed by way of extensive graffiti.

Campana-Contreras, Frankie Contreras, 17, and Sammy Contreras, 16, and a male juvenile suspect allegedly took part in continued intimidation of witnesses in and around the surrounding neighborhood during the following week. Named juveniles are charged as adults.

Gang arrests: Attempt murder, assault, intimidation Members of 5150 gang arrested for multiple criminal cases.

In addition to the suspect in the 2006 murder of 24-year-old Crystal Theobald, a total of 11 persons associated with the Varrio 5150 criminal street gang, were arrested during a warrant sweep on Wednesday, August 8, 2007.

On April 13, 2007, the arrested suspects Eric Barragan, 21, and Daniel Correa, 18, are allegedly to have threatened neighbors and to have committed an assault on a 19-year-old male victim in Moreno Valley. Suspect Rueben Moya, 19, (who is not in custody at this time) also participated in the assault, in which the victim was hit and kicked more than 50 times.

On June 17, 2007, Barragan was involved a fight during a party at a La Sierra area residence in which a 20-year-old male victim was stabbed in the neck. The victim and an adult female relative asked the gang members to leave the party and were confronted by Mario Contreras, 16, who is among those arrested. A fight ensued, in which the victim was stabbed. Contreras, Barragan, Ramiro Casillas, 18, and two of the arrested juveniles, are alleged to have taken part in the attempted homicide incident, which included gang-related shouts and threats.

Brothers Frankie Contreras, 17, and Sammy Contreras, 16, who are cousins of Mario, are alleged to have taken part in both attacks. All the named juveniles are charged as adults.

In the follow-up to the stabbing incident, arrested suspect Susan Campana, 40, is alleged to have made threats against witnesses, resulting in charges of witness intimidation, with gang enhancement. Ms. Campana is the mother of Luis Campana-Contreras, Frankie Contreras and Sammy Contreras and aunt of Mario Contreras and of Julio Heredia, the suspect in the 2006 Theobald homicide.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

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