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Suspect in San Fernando Murder Arrested at Mexico-U.S. Border PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Garcia   
Thursday, 24 January 2013 06:47

Three months after a man was stabbed to death in San Fernando, U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended the suspect in the case this week at the Otay Mesa, San Diego, passenger port of entry to Mexico.

Andre Arriaga Preciado, 37, was wanted by authorities in connection with the murder of Diego Martinez, 27.

L.A. County Sheriff's Homicide detectives responded to Otay Mesa, arrested, and transported Preciado to Lakewood Sheriff's station where he was booked for murder and is being held on $1.7 million bail.

The booking photo will not be released as the incident is still under investigation.

The victim was stabbed last Oct. 6 in the parking lot of the 7 Mares Restaurant located in the 1100 block of First Street. Martinez later died at a hospital. San Fernando Police Department (SFPD) interim Chief Robert Parks had previously said Sheriff's Homicide detectives, assisting the San Fernando police, identified the suspect several days later and a murder warrant was issued for his arrest. But the investigators had not located him.

Apparently, the Lancaster resident with ties in Sylmar moved often and had left the area after the murder.

"The suspect fled," said Parks. "We had people looking for him. The Sheriff's Department and the FBI were even helping us locate him."

The fugitive was finally captured on Tuesday, Jan. 22, after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa, passenger port of entry, detained Preciado Arriaga.

Preciado Arriaga had arrived at the port of entry as a pedestrian. During the inspection, the CBP officer ran systems checks and was alerted that Arriaga was wanted for an outstanding felony murder warrant.

"I got a call they had found the suspect crossing the border from Mexico into the United States," Parks said.

According to Parks, Martinez' death was the result of an altercation between he and the suspect. "What we know is, there were some females and the victim at the restaurant. They were having a good time and two females went to the back of the restaurant and got into an argument," Parks said.

"The victim and the suspect then went out and one of the females mentioned something about the victim disrespecting her and the suspect turned and stabbed him once in the neck." "We don't know what was said exactly to bring this rage that led to the stabbing," added Parks, noting that victim and suspect did not know each other.

With the arrest of Arriaga Preciado, SFPD has solved every one of the three murders that have rocked the small city in the past three months, which had not seen a violent death since 2006. Back on Nov. 11, John Paul Villalta, 28, was shot to death in the rear parking lot of an apartment building along the 300 block of Hagar Street. The suspect in the shooting, Randall Ortiz, 50, of Los Angeles, turned himself in on Nov. 25 at the SFPD station.

And on Dec. 30, Alejandro Flores, 20, was stabbed and then run over by a vehicle along the 800 block of Harding Avenue. San Fernando police arrested 19- year-old Luis Salmeron for the murder within days.

Anyone with information about the Martinez murder is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222- TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 06:51