The ongoing investigation into the killing of Newman Police Cpl. Ronil Singh resulted in two more arrests late Friday, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department reported.
The sheriff’s department took Ana Leyde Cervantes, 30, of Newman and Conrado Virgen Mendoza, 34, of Chowchilla into custody on Friday. Cervantes is the girlfriend of Gustavo Perez Arriaga, 32, the primary suspect in Singh’s murder. Cervantes was arrested in Turlock. Mendoza is Arriaga’s brother and was apprehended in Livermore.
Both Cervantes and Mendoza were arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting Arriaga.
The arrests of Cervantes and Mendoza bring the total of arrests up to eight individuals in connection with the homicide investigation.
Cpl. Singh called off on a traffic stop at Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue in Newman at 12:57 a.m. Wednesday. A few moments later he called out shots fired over the radio. Multiple agencies responded to assist and Singh was found at the scene with gunshot wounds. He was transported to Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock, where he was pronounced deceased.
Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said Singh was stopping the vehicle for a suspected driving under the influence. He said there was an exchange of gunfire, but there was no evidence that the suspect was wounded.
Arriaga was identified as the prime suspect in the case and a manhunt led to his arrest on Friday at a home in Lamont, a small town outside of Bakersfield in Kern County.
The home and a vehicle were kept under surveillance for more than 24 hours before Arriaga was taken into custody. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said they had multiple locations under surveillance in connection with Arriaga. On Friday, investigators obtained a search warrant for the home in Lamont and as the SWAT team was setting up around it, Arriaga came out of the home with his hands up and surrendered to law enforcement. Arriaga was not armed at the time of his arrest.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Department took three more people into custody at the Lamont home on allegations they had been harboring Arriaga. Arrested were: Bernabe Madrigal Castaneda, 57; Erasmo Villegas, 36; and Maria Luisa Moreno, 57. They were arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting.
Prior to Arriaga’s arrest, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department arrested Adrian Virgen, 25, and Erik Razo Quiroz, 27, on allegations they intentionally lied and gave misleading information to law enforcement in an effort to protect Arriaga and aid his escape from arrest. Virgen is Arriaga’s brother and was arrested in Hanford. Quiroz is his co-worker and was taken into custody in Modesto. Both were arrested on suspicion of being accessories after the fact in a felony.
A criminal complaint filed on Monday in Stanislaus County Superior Court charges Cervantes, Virgen, Mendoza and Quiroz with being accessories to a felony. The complaint charges that they either harbored, concealed or aided Arriaga in his attempt to escape arrest.
Cervantes, Virgen, Mendoza and Quiroz were arraigned on Monday and entered not guilty pleas. They each were appointed counsel and a bail of $100,000 each was set. As of Monday afternoon they all remained in custody. Arriaga has an arraignment scheduled for Wednesday. Arriaga could be facing the death penalty is the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office decides to pursue it.