Last Mongols Murder Suspect In Custody

January 4, 2012

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Police now have five suspects in custody in the murder investigation of two members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club in August.

Jose Castillo, 27 was arrested by U.S. Marshall’s Deputies at a home in San Jose yesterday. Suspects Mando and Armando Lopez, both 22, were arrested in Las Cruces, New Mexico last week. Suspect Francisco Esquivel, 21 turned himself in to Los Banos, California police on Sunday. Suspect Isaac Bermea, 19, was taken into custody Monday for probation violation charges.

The murdered men were brothers Ruben Sanchez, 34 and Angel Rodriguez 30. The two men were shot about 1:50 a.m. on August 7 in an alley behind a bar called Club Azul in Los Banos, California. Police went to the bar in response to a complaint of a large fight at 1:46 a.m. Police said they heard “several shots” when they arrived at Club Azul and saw people running from the alley. Sanchez and Rodriguez were pronounced dead at the scene.

Mando and Armando Lopez are being held in Las Cruces on $2 million bail each. Castillo, Esquivel and Bermea are being held in separate jails on $2.2 million bail.


All five suspects have been identified as “Nortenos.” The Nortenos are a coalition of neighborhood cliques in Northern California.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Joseph Palmer said yesterday that there is “no standing beef between” the Mongols Motorcycle Club and any Norteno associated clique “but the Mongols felt the Nortenos were disrespecting them.”

There are no other suspects in the slayings.


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