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3 Arrested for Alleged Witness Intimidation in Leal Murder Case

Police say suspects were involved in the assault of a witness helping the investigation of the De la Vina Street slaying.

Three suspects have been arrested in the alleged assault of a witness assisting Santa Barbara police in the Baldemar Leal murder investigation.

Leal, 22, was found stabbed to death in the 400 block of De la Vina Street on Feb. 22. The next day police arrested six suspects, all of whom are allegedly affiliated with a gang. Police did not connect the murder with gang activity, however.

Paloma Elizabeth Rodriguez, 22; Isaac Isidoro Saldana, 20; and Roy Sarabia, 18, were arrested by investigators Feb. 26 for allegedly intimidating a male witness who participated in the homicide investigation. Saldana and Sarabia are also charged with battery and gang enhancement.

According to police Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte, a department spokesman, the witness was assaulted in a restaurant Feb. 26 by two Hispanic men. The witness told police he remembered seeing the men seated in the restaurant with a woman just before the attack. Another witness in the area during the attack provided information that led to the location of the female suspect, who later provided the names of the male suspects, who are affiliated with a gang.

After a search of the suspects’ homes, investigators concluded the attack was in retaliation for the witness’ participation in the homicide investigation.

Citing the potential for future retaliation and intimidation, Duarte said the names of the victim, witness and restaurant involved are being withheld.

Jonathan Alonzo, 20; Liliana Arryaga, 18; Andre Balderaz, 35; Michele Murillo Flores, 30; Imelda Nava Guevara, 30; and David Anthony Martinez, 21, have all been arrested in the Leal case, and are accused of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

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» on 03.06.09 @ 07:31 AM

We have had enough of these Mexican Mafia lowlife gangster hoods running this town.

It’s time to deport them back to where they belong!

» on 03.06.09 @ 09:23 AM

We NEED a gang task force. Why is there even a debate?

» on 03.06.09 @ 09:36 AM

Tough to do when the police chief is doing his best to shelter them.  By enrolling in 287(g) he could cooperate with ICE and deport the gangsters or the parents of underage gangsters.  But he has said that he would resign rather than cooperate.  The city council continues to back him even with the spiraling crime rate.  In Mexico the cops and local politicians have been bought out by the gangs.  Is the same true with our police chief and city council?

» on 03.06.09 @ 10:52 AM

If it isn’t true yet, “no more gangs”, it will be soon - look at the spike in gang activity, murders and crime we have seen in only 19 months. At this rate the Mayor council and police will soon be intimidated (they apparently already are), bought out, instead of just witnesses. Take a look at Mexico - the canary in the coal mine, where drug cartels and gangs are running everything and even the Mexican military can not control it. Their police are running to the US for protection. Google “Ciudad Juarez” if you want to see what is headed our way at lightning speed. Murders, beheadings, femicides, kidnappings - it makes Iraq look like disneyland. If you don’t think it can and will happen here, especially with the open borders advocates and supporters we have, you are simply not thinking. Keep an eye on trends. We need a new mayor and police chief with some guts and priorities on public safety instead of global warming, political correctness and building heights, before it is too late.

» on 03.06.09 @ 11:13 AM

We had immigration sweeps in the the early seventy’s. The green van would pull up at houses and I.C.E. agents would walk them out. But back then we did not have as many illegals as we do now. they laughed at America when we offered to send them home and even give them a free one way ticket back to their rich country that they ran from. But why should we go back when we have a system in America? Some can even get a tax tax return with a lotto social security. America and local law enforcements need to work toghether and take the land of the brave back. Immigrants who add to the safety problem of America need a chip in them and need to get out of AMERICA.

» on 03.06.09 @ 03:00 PM

Police Chief Sanchez is the highest (or 2nd highest) paid City employee. He lives only
a 3-minute car ride from this murder site. Since Santa Barbara seems to recently be resembling Oxnard in its gang violence, why doesn’t the Chief spend less time in court, arresting his Mesa critics, and more time strapping on a gun and doing foot patrol work in the lower west-downtown, where it seems most of the gang action is?

» on 03.06.09 @ 04:07 PM

Can we make the national language ‘English’ already? That should take care of some of the problem.

» on 03.06.09 @ 06:58 PM

It’s clear that Police Chief Sanchez is a very big part of the problem!  He sure doesn’t appear to be part of the solution!    Not with his apparent bias?

There will be no solution to the gang problem until we get rid of him!

He refuses to put in place a “gang injunction” in Santa Barbara.  Why?  ( Bias?)

He refuses to report illegal Alien gangsters to ICE, under program 287(g).  Why?  (Bias?)
Why can’t city Council simply order him to participate in this very effective program of deporting these illegal immigrant gangsters?

Could it just be because he is biased, and at some level sympathizes with them?  It sure appears that way?  His action ( or should I say his non-action) speaks louder than words!  What has he really done in the last 3 years?  Not much?  anything? 

Is he accountable to the Council?  Apparently not?  How many more murders is it going to take to get rid of him? 

Maybe his intentions are good, but good intentions never solved this gang problem.  It takes extreme action, and so far the Chief has taken anything but extreme action!

» on 03.06.09 @ 07:36 PM

The gang injuntions are needed now to protect our families. The liberals inthe county and city don’t get it, we want them out. Pollitical correctness KILLS…........

» on 03.06.09 @ 10:08 PM

SB murders from Uniform Crime Report:  1998-(3),  1999-(1),  2000-(3),  2001-(2),  2002-(3),  2004-(0),  2005-(0),  2006-(1),  2007-(3),  2008-(3)

Aaron take some meds.
“Long Time Resident ”  look up Oxnard stats. it might help you develop perspective.

» on 03.07.09 @ 12:41 AM

This country could fall apart if we dont have one common language—ENGLISH ONLY—for your protection—believe me—take your country back before its to late.

» on 03.07.09 @ 03:24 PM

These young thugs are low life trash !  Just scum of the earth low life trash!
Deport them!

» on 03.07.09 @ 03:46 PM

Charles Croninger I am a fan of facts and statistics, and not selective ones and not ones that are incomplete or taken out of context. Before I take my meds, please complete your fact finding by specifying how many of those murders were gang related, and include other gang related incidents, such as stabbings that did not result in murders, graffiti incidents and the like. Then we can have a more accurate picture of how the gang problem has escalated. Your contribution seems to be an attempt to say we don’t have a serious gang problem here, just business as usual. Meanwhile we can all see and hear it right in front of our homes every day and every night, and wake up to gang graffiti every morning along with the occasional dead body or blood in the streets. What is your point? Should we just lay down and accept it as the norm as it escalates out of control? People like you with your tolerant, accepting, pacifist, do-nothing attitude are exactly the problem that has enabled this.

» on 03.09.09 @ 08:52 AM

hey what kind of website
is this really those are
my family members these
lame people are talking
about why dont they get lifes
and stop complaining about
whats wrong with mexicans
and actually try to work
as hard as we do if they
dont like it then that sounds like
a personal problem and they need
to get over it

» on 03.09.09 @ 08:44 PM

Thats why they hang around in their little rat packs. Alone they are nothing—scum of the earth—Lets take them out.

Americans must take their skirts off…

» on 03.10.09 @ 10:57 PM

Who are your family members - the sissy gangsters that killed the guy or the bed-wetting pansies that beat up the witness of the murder?

Sorry all us “whiteys” have personal problem with murders and beatings - but I guess since we don’t work as hard as you do then it is ok for your “family” to run around killing people. Yeah, we should just “get over it.” We’ll start by taking back our streets and bringing some pride back into our town.

» on 06.13.09 @ 11:08 AM

this town is full of undercover racist people. Why do your comments always have to lead to deporting illegal immigrants.  If you had to make those same comments in person i bet you wouldnt say anything.

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