Final suspect in ‘Dead Presidents’ slayings arrested in Mexico

SAN BERNARDINO – The fourth and final suspect in a 2000 gang murder in San Bernardino was arrested across the border in his native Mexico, the FBI announced on Friday night.

In a release, the FBI reported that Froylan Chiprez, 36, of Mexico was taken into custody in Tijuana by Mexican police. The Mexican government issued a provisional arrest warrant for Chiprez, who was wanted in a gang-related shooting.

Termed the Dead Presidents slayings, three other suspects have already been tried and convicted of murder over the shooting that occurred in the early morning hours of July 9, 2000, the FBI said. The allegations are that Chiprez was one of four armed men who fired weapons outside of a duplex on West Vine Street in San Bernardino, killing four men and wounding two others.

Chiprez was on parole for involuntary manslaughter at the time of the killings and escaped into his native Mexico, said the FBI.

Two other defendants in the case, Luis Alonzo Mendoza, 32, and Lorenzo Inez Arias, 29, were sentenced to death. A third man, John Adrian Ramirez, received a 12-year sentence in state prison in a plea bargain for truthful testimony.

Prosecutors alleged at a 2008 trial that Mendoza sought control of a street gang and targeted Johnny Agudo, 33, for providing information to police. Agudo, along with his brother, Gilbert, 27, Anthony Daniel Luna, 23, and Luna’s half-brother, Marselino Gregory Luna, 19, were killed in the attack.

Two of the victims were presidents of local street gangs, identifying the case as the Dead Presidents slayings.

Chiprez, once returned to the United States, will be turned over to San Bernardino police. He is a cousin to Mendoza, whose nickname is Maldito, and was a childhood friend of the Agudos, according to court reports.

Together, Mendoza and Johnny Agudo started the 7th Street Locos, a street gang. Prosecutors said the story of the Dead Presidents is one of neighborhood bonds torn apart by power, betrayal and greed. Behind it all, they said, was a Mexican Mafia prison gang, which in many Southern California barrios has turned gang members against one another.

FBI officials said that its Inland Regional Apprehension Team, working with Mexican police and justice officials, got the provisional warrant based on a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid confinement.


Skip to content