Brother of accused cop killer arrested in Livermore

Handful of people booked for aiding and abetting now-caught suspect

Authorities arrested a handful of people last Friday in connection with the shooting death of a Central California police officer, including the brother of the accused gunman who was arrested in Livermore.

Newman police Cpl. Ronil Singh was killed during a traffic stop at Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue in the city of Newman on Dec. 26, according to Stanislaus County sheriff's officials.

Singh was a 33-year-old Fiji native who had been with the Newman Police Department since 2011. Sheriff's officials said he initiated the traffic stop for suspected drunk-driving at 12:57 a.m. and reported "shots fired" over the radio moments later. He was found at the scene with gunshot wounds and died at a hospital.

The suspect, later identified by police as 32-year-old Gustavo Perez Arriaga, fled the area and law enforcement didn't know where he went. The California Highway Patrol issued a "blue alert" in five counties, including Santa Clara, and law enforcement began a statewide effort to locate Arriaga.

"We have spared no expense, we will relentlessly continue to hunt our suspect down and bring him to justice," Sheriff Adam Christianson of Stanislaus County said on Dec. 27.

At about 4 p.m. that day, Christianson contacted Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood to notify him the suspect was believed to be between Modesto and Bakersfield, headed toward Mexico.

Deputies in Kern County began watching for Arriaga and located him at a home in the 8200 block of Brooks Road near the unincorporated town of Lamont early last Friday morning. After officers served a warrant and a SWAT team arrived, Arriaga emerged from the house with his hands in the air and surrendered himself to deputies, Youngblood said.

Three other Bakersfield residents at the house were arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting: Bernabe Madrigal Castaneda, 59, Erasmo Villegas, 36, Maria Luisa Moreno, 57.

Authorities also confirmed Friday that 34-year-old Chowchilla resident Conrado Virgen Mendoza, identified as Arriaga's brother, was arrested in Livermore on suspicion of aiding his brother's efforts to elude police. Details about Mendoza's arrest in the Tri-Valley were not released.

Detectives also arrested Arriaga's girlfriend, Ana Leyde Cervantes, 30, in Turlock on suspicion of aiding and abetting, and two other men, 25-year-old Adrian Virgen and 27-year-old Erik Razo Quiroz, were arrested on suspicion of being accessories to a felony.

According to Newman police, Arriaga was residing in the United States illegally. Youngblood said Arriaga's status still needs to be confirmed, and the loss of a police officer's life is the priority in this case.

"His immigration status is secondary, however it's extremely important that we get there and confirm whether the person had a right to be in this country or not," Youngblood said.

President Donald Trump leveraged the killing to promote his border wall plan last week, tweeting, "There is right now a full scale manhunt going on in California for an illegal immigrant accused of shooting and killing a police officer during a traffic stop. Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!"

Youngblood emphasized his opposition was to sanctuary county laws that limit deputies from sharing information with federal authorities and said law enforcement in California have an extremely good network of communication.

"When you use a firearm against a police officer, you can run but you can't hide," Youngblood said. "When you attack someone who's doing an honorable profession, no stone goes unturned."

The Stanislaus County deputy sheriff's union has created an official donation page at to raise money for Singh's family.

Singh had been on track to lead the Police Department one day, Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson said, and was a proud officer who did everything he could to improve at his job.

"He was a police officer, but more importantly he was a human being, and that's how he would want to be remembered," Richardson said.

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34 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 1, 2019 at 1:50 pm

The gang related activity in Livermore is just being ignored by the police because of this sanctuary nonsense. Walk along the Arroyo Mocho trail and every bridge and overpass is tagged with gang graffiti.

26 people like this
Posted by Roy cavellini
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 2, 2019 at 9:43 am

I just heard on the radio the individuals arrested for aiding and abetting, who are also here illegally, cannot be reported to ICE because of the Sanctuary Laws. It is really time for the citizens of California to wake up and clean out swamp in Sacramento. Everyone who was in the legislature from the Governor on down when SB54 was passed shares in the blame for the death of this fine young man.

27 people like this
Posted by awake
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jan 2, 2019 at 9:48 am

The DNC doesn't care how many innocent people are slaughtered by Illegals as long as they get the votes.

7 people like this
Posted by Martin
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 2, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Pete - Please read the article. Arriaga's brother, Conrado Mendoza lives in Chowchilla. It was due to good police work that he was arrested in Livermore.

11 people like this
Posted by Wall
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 2, 2019 at 12:47 pm

He was probably in Livermore to meet gang members.

16 people like this
Posted by awake
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jan 2, 2019 at 12:58 pm

awake is a registered user.

Martin, I think what Pete was referring to was the sanctuary city laws that allow unchecked and unvetted immigrants to flow into our country, some of which are gang members. So there is a parallel here. I think what a lot of people are asking is, how many more Americans need to be slaughtered before those who were sworn to protect us start doing their jobs? Part of that job is to make sure bad people aren't flowing over the border with the good people, and the only way to do that is by vetting them.

2 people like this
Posted by Martin
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 2, 2019 at 1:37 pm

Livermore never declared itself a sanctuary city. Alameda County did.

14 people like this
Posted by awake
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jan 2, 2019 at 1:50 pm

awake is a registered user.

Martin, Governor Brown declared California a sanctuary state. The point is, there are those who are actively encouraging unchecked immigration and with that brings an element of criminality. Immigrants are supposed to go through a vetting process. It's been federal law for generations.

11 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 2, 2019 at 4:43 pm

My point is that people who are not even supposed to be here are given protected status and the innocent are the ones hurt. My nephew is a police officer and he told me that they are told are to take a hands off approach to illegals as it is a political hot potato. Livermore is swimming in gangs and parts of Pleasanton as well. Now the police are getting killed and the politicans say nothing at all. Deport everyone including citizens if they can't obey the laws. Speaking of Chowcilla, most of those cities in the central valley are now being run by illegals and gang members at that. Keep you head on a swivel and stay yellow at all times.

9 people like this
Posted by Silverfox
a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 2, 2019 at 6:52 pm

Silverfox is a registered user.


He wasn't just visiting Livermore-he lived there. How I know this? He was my son's neighbor.

Like this comment
Posted by Realist
a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jan 3, 2019 at 1:39 am

[removed] This killer was arrested previously on DUIs prior to sanctuary laws. In other words, law enforcement had every opportunity to deal with this guy's immigration status before sanctuary laws existed and they still did nothing. Don't blame sanctuary laws for the failures of police.

1 person likes this
Posted by awake
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jan 3, 2019 at 8:25 am

awake is a registered user.

Realist: congratulations, you've missed the point entirely.

Like this comment
Posted by Informed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jan 3, 2019 at 3:09 pm

What is a Sanctuary City?
The term sanctuary city is a generalization used to describe the cities that do not use city funding to implement federal immigration laws. These cities have decided by legal regulation, internal memo or force of habit not to inquire about the immigration status of persons with whom they come into contact. Cities across the United States have adopted sanctuary policies; some sanctuary policies are even implemented statewide.

Does that Mean an Illegal Immigrant cannot be deported from a Sanctuary City?
No, while local law enforcement may choose not to inquire about the immigration status of individuals, such ordinances cannot ban the federal government from enforcing immigration law within the jurisdiction.

To repeat the obvious: "Cities that do not use city funding to implement federal immigration laws".

5 people like this
Posted by awake
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jan 3, 2019 at 3:15 pm

awake is a registered user.

Informed, you are minimizing the issue. It is much farther reaching than that.If you are truly as informed as your name suggests, then you know that already. Lets at least be honest here shall we?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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