Armando Gabriel Perez, arrested in Tijuana, linked to organized crime
Armando Perez, 37, wanted by US authorities, in the brutal October 2010 murder of his teenage ex wife, was captured early this morning in Tijuana. He is being transferred to Mexico City, for an extradition hearing.
Diana Gonzalez, of National City, 19 years old, was found in the woman's restroom of San Diego City College, on October 2nd, 2010, where she was attending classes. She was brutalized, strangled and battered, and stabbed, detectives said she was badly disfigured, to the point it was hard to positively identify her. Her parents were waiting for her in the parking lot, with two campus police cars, having recently filed a temporary restraining order against Perez. In late September 2010, Perez allegedly abducted Gonzalez, from the campus, after her classes, beating and raping her for a period of three days in a series of motel rooms. Perez was arrested in connection with this incident, but released, due to insufficient evidence to formally file charges.
Gonzalez's parents, fearing for their daughter's safety, were at her side, day and night. After her evening class ended, and Gonzalez didn't show, and calls to her cell phone went unanswered, campus security and police searched San Diego City College, until they discovered the body. A blue 1999 Ford Mustang belonging to Perez was found abandoned in Tijuana, the day after the killing He was formally charged with murder a week later, on October, 23, 1010, yet remained a fugitive for more then a year after the murder, believed to be hiding in Tijuana during that time. Authorities believed he was working as an assassin for the Sinaloa Cartel, up until his apprehension this morning.
An early 2011 issue of Zeta Magazine, concerning CAF, and one of it's longtime lieutenants, Melvin Gutiterroz, 'El Melvin', or 'El Camacho', shed some light on Perez and his Tijuana connections. Perez was allegedly a close, and top associate of El Melvin, through their Barrio Logan neighborhood, and Perez worked for CAF, through El Melvin, recruiting gang members for work down south, specifically to cleanse Tijuana of the cells of 'El Tigre' and 'El Guicho'. Perez was again mentioned in a December 2011 article of Zeta, detailing the active cells of Fernando Sanchez Arellano, Perez was once again linked with Melvin. The article, explained that Melvin was working with Sanchez Arellano, but also with 'El Aquiles', Sinaloa's point man in Tijuana.
Now, Perez is in Mexican custody, after his arrest at 3:30 this morning, on Avendia Revolucion, which is less then five minutes from the border crossing. This indicates that Perez was living comfortably and openly in the city, likely with support from his associates in organized crime. It is unknown whether Perez will face organized crime charges, or will be transferred quickly to San Diego, to face the murder charges. Due to the fairly high profile nature of the case, a teenager, viciously murdered on a college campus, it is possible he will be extradited quickly, but it is also possible other charges or agendas will delay this process.
The parents of Diana Gonzaelz, who met Perez when she was 16 at a shopping center, were devastated by her death. They described her as a good girl, who didn't do drugs or party, and was always studying in her room. The sister, and cousin of Gonzalez publicly declared that the DA, Bonnie Dumanis had mishandled the case, by failing to press charges, after her ordeal, just weeks before her death. Representatives for the District Attorney said they would not comment publicly why cases are rejected. Diana Gonzaelz had been married to Perez for about ten months before her death, and was also the mother of a 9 month old child, believed to belong to Perez. With his arrest, they will gain some closure, but a small victory, in a very tragic and unforgiving saga.
Sources, UT San Diego, KPBS, CBS 8, Zeta TJ.