Press Releases

Hit and Run with Serious Injury/Death- Update

Release Date/Time: 12/17/2019 9:35 AM
Incident:Hit and Run with Serious Injury/Death- Update
Date: Tuesday, 12/8/2019
Time: 11:00 pm

Location: John St. at Work St. near Railroad Tracks

Do You Recognize this Vehicle? It was Involved in a Hit and Run with Serious Injury/Death

On Sunday 12-8-19, at approximately 11pm, Salinas PD officers located victim Channey Ayala (45) laying in the roadway of John Street, near the railroad tracks.  Ayala appeared to have been struck by a vehicle which had fled the scene after the collision. Ayala died as a result of her injuries. 

We have identified a suspect vehicle thanks to the cooperation from our business community and their surveillance cameras. The suspect vehicle is a 2nd Generation (1994-2002) white Dodge Ram extended cab truck. There should be visible damage to the right front bumper/grill area.  After reviewing surveillance video, we were able to follow the suspect vehicle to the area of Williams Road and Del Monte Ave. WE NEED YOUR HELP to identify the driver/owner and license plate number.

Attached is a stock photo that depicts what we believe the suspect vehicle to look like since the stills are blurry.

If anyone has information please contact Officer Seth Morten ([email protected]) 831 758-7017 or if you wish to remain anonymous you can call our Tip Line at 775-4222

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Hit and Run with Serious Injury/Death

Release Date/Time: 12/12/2019 1:45 PM
Incident:Hit and Run with Serious Injury/Death
Date: Sunday, 12/8/2019
Time: 11:06 pm
Location:John St at Work St. near Railroad Tracks

On Sunday 12-8-2019 at approximately 11pm, a Salinas PD officer responding to an unrelated call for service noticed a female victim, later identified as Channey Ayala (45), and her dog lying in the roadway in the area of John St.at Work St. near the railroad tracks.

It appeared Ayala and her dog may have been crossing the roadway when they were struck by an unknown vehicle which did not stop. Ayala was transported to Natividad Medical Center with serious injuries and listed in critical condition, her dog died on scene.

Today, Salinas PD learned Ayala had died as a result of the injuries she suffered in this collision.

Salinas Police Department encourages anyone with information related to this incident to contact investigating officer Seth Morten at [email protected] or at 831 758-7017

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call our Tip Line at 831 775-4222

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Sexual Assault of a Juvenile, Parole Violation

Release Date/Time: 12/6/2019 12:44 PM
Incident: Sexual Assault of a Juvenile, Parole Violation
Date: Wednesday, 12/4/2019
Time: 6:15 PM
Location:  900 Block of South Main Street

Release Authorized by:  Sergeant Danny Warner
Telephone:  831-758-7128

On December 4, 2019, at approximately 6:15 pm, the 9-year-old victim, who has special needs, was eating dinner with his family in the 900 block of South Main Street. The victim asked his mother if he could go to the bathroom by himself because he is normally accompanied but likes to be independent. Since it was a very short distance away, his mother agreed.  The victim returned from the restroom and informed his parents he had just been sexually assaulted.  The suspect, 40-year-old James Torfason, exited the bathroom and went straight to his vehicle.  The victim's father followed the suspect and called 911.  Officers quickly responded, stopped the suspect and took him into custody.  A record check revealed Mr. Torfason was on parole for a prior sexual assault of a juvenile.  He was booked into Monterey County Jail.

If anyone has information regarding this sexual assault, please contact Detective John McNeil at (831) 758-7277; or email him at [email protected]. If you would like to remain anonymous, please call the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at (831) 775-4222.

Automated Red-Light Camera Program is Live as of December 1.

Release Date/Time: 12/2/2019 9:49 AM
Incident:   Automated Red-Light Camera Program is Live as of December 1.
Date: Monday, 12/2/2019
Time: 9:49 AM
Location: City of Salinas

                                                                                                 Automated Red-Light Camera Program is Live as of December 1.

Salinas Police Department would like to inform the public that the Automated Red-Light Camera Enforcement program is finally completed and operational. This program hopes to improve public safety through increased enforcement of red-light laws and increased public awareness of the dangers of red light running.

Automated Red-Light Enforcement cameras have been installed and tested at several locations in the City of Salinas. Technicians have tested the equipment, including cameras and strobe flashes. The cameras are now operational, the thirty-day warning period has ended. Enforcement began on December 1, 2019 when the system went live. Red Light Cameras are located at N. Main St./Boronda Rd, N. Main St/Laurel Dr., Sanborn Rd./Laurel Dr. and Davis Rd./Laurel Dr.

The objective of the program is to change driver behavior, making the community safer as more drivers obey the traffic signals and stop on red. The City of Salinas and Salinas PD urge the community to pay attention while driving. Slow down, stop on red. When drinking, be responsible and use a designated driver. In addition, always buckle up and be cautious on our roads. Slow down and drive safely!

Release Authorized by: Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Buckle Up, Salinas. Every Trip, Every Time.

Release Date/Time: 11/25/2019 9:49 AM
Incident:Buckle Up, Salinas. Every Trip, Every Time.
Date: Thursday, 11/28/2019
Location:City of Salinas

                                                                                                                  Buckle Up, Salinas. Every Trip, Every Time.

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Millions across the country will be hitting the road to meet with friends and family for Thanksgiving.It is why Salinas Police Department is reminding everyone to wear their seat belt for every trip, regardless of how far you are traveling.

On Thanksgiving Day Salinas Police Department will have additional officers on patrol looking for drivers and passengers who do not have a seat belt on, including children who are not secured in the correct child safety seat.

'We want everyone to get to where they are going on Thanksgiving safely,” Public Information Officer, Miguel Cabrera said. 'Putting on a seat belt only takes a few seconds and is the best way to put you out of harm's way.”

While 90% of front seat passengers were observed using seatbelts nationwide, the observed seat belt rate of back seat passengers was just 76 percent, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. No matter where you are in a vehicle, you should be buckled up.

In California, the fine for a seat belt violation is $162. The fine for not securing a child in a child safety seat is $490. Under California law, children under two years old who weigh under 40 pounds and are under 40 inches tall must ride in a rear-facing car seat. Children under the age of eight or under 4' 9” tall must be secured in a car or booster seat.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Homicide - Stabbing

Release Date/Time: 11/19/2019 5:21 PM
Incident:Homicide - Stabbing
Date: Tuesday, 11/19/2019
Time: 9:32 AM
Location: Clay Street and Cayuga Street

On 11/19/19, at 9:32 AM, the Salinas Police Department investigated a stabbing that occurred at Clay Street and Cayuga Street. The victim, 26-year-old Mariana Jurado, was leaving her home heading to work when she was attacked outside her home and stabbed by 43-year-old Garrett Scheff. Jurado did not know Scheff, and by all accounts this was a random act of violence. Jurado was taken to a local hospital by ambulance; however, she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased a short time later.   

Scheff was captured and arrested a block from the scene. The case is being investigated as a homicide. Scheff was booked into Monterey County Jail on one count of murder.

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with information on the incident to call Detective Byron Gansen at (831) 758-7137 or email him at [email protected] . If you would like to remain anonymous, call the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at 831-775-4222.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray
Telephone: (831) 758-7350

Stabbing

Release Date/Time: 11/19/2019 1:29 PM
Incident: Stabbing
Date: Tuesday, 11/19/2019
Time: 1:29 PM
Location: Clay Street and Cayuga Street

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Brian Johnson
Telephone: 831-758-7280

 

 

On 11/19/19, at 9:32 AM, the Salinas Police Department is investigating a stabbing that occurred at Clay Street and Cayuga Street.  The suspect has been apprehended and there is no risk to the community.  The case is still being investigated and there will be more information later today.

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with information on the incident to call Detective Byron Gansen at (831) 758-7137 or email him at [email protected] . If you would like to remain anonymous, call the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at 831-775-4222.

Officer Involved Shooting

Release Date/Time: 11/19/2019 1:22 PM
Incident: Officer Involved Shooting
Date: Tuesday, 11/19/2019
Time: 1:22 PM
Location: Near Sanborn Place

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Brian Johnson
Telephone: 831-758-7280

 

On 11/19/19, at 01:59 AM, a Salinas Police Department officer fired one shot during an incident near Sanborn Place. When apprehended, the suspect had a laceration. The cause of the wound is undetermined at this time. 

The District Attorney's office is conducting the investigation concerning the shooting.

Anyone with information, or questions related to the investigation, is encouraged to call the Monterey County District Attorney's Office at (831) 755-5070

Do You Know What to do in an Active Shooter Situation?

Release Date/Time: 11/13/2019 1:07 PM
Incident:Do You Know What to do in an Active Shooter Situation?
Date: Monday, 11/18/2019
Time: 6-8 pm
Location: Sherwood Hall 940 N. Main Street

Do You Know What to do in an Active Shooter Situation?

The Salinas Police Department and the City of Salinas are hosting a FREE Community Active Shooter Training on Monday November 18, 2019 from 6-8 pm at Sherwood Hall 940 N. Main St. The focus of the training is to present community members resources on how to prepare, prevent and react during an active shooting event in a variety of environments. Salinas PD officers will be available to answer questions after the presentation.

We would also like to invite the public to visit our web page at www.salinaspd.com to view additional resources regarding active shooter situations. This important active shooter information  is  available in English and Spanish at the following link:  https://www.salinaspd.com/content/active-shooter

For more information, contact Ana Ambriz at (831)758-7166 or [email protected]

We hope to see you there!

Release Authorized by: Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Two Associates of Nuestra Familia Prison Gang Plead Guilty to Federal RICO Conspiracy

Release Date/Time: 11/13/2019 12:46 PM
Incident:Two Associates of Nuestra Familia Prison Gang Plead Guilty to Federal RICO Conspiracy
Date: Tuesday, 11/12/2019
Location: City of Salinas

                                                                                                 Two Associates of Nuestra Familia Prison Gang Plead Guilty to Federal RICO Conspiracy

Conspirators Admit Their Respective Roles in Violent Crimes in Monterey County Jail to Maintain Discipline of Gang Members and Punish Transgressions of Gang Rules

SAN JOSE- Michael Rice, a/k/a Redwood, and Alberto Moreno, a/k/a Doughboy, pleaded guilty today to racketeering conspiracy charge for their respective roles as associates of  the Nuestra Familia prison gang, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett.  The guilty pleas were accepted by the Honorable Beth L. Freeman, United States District Judge.

'Defendants Rice and Moreno conspired and racketeered while in county jail to punish gang members who did not follow gang rules,” said U.S. Attorney Anderson.  'Their conduct underscores the risks of depending on county jails to deter and punish serious criminal offenders.  I hope and trust that a federal sentence will send a stronger message to these and other would-be offenders.”

'Michael Rice and Alberto Moreno have admitted today to participating in brutally violent attacks and other crimes to further the control and criminal activities of the Nuestra Familia prison gang,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Bennett.  'The FBI would like to thank our Monterey County law enforcement partners for working with us to identify, stop, and prosecute this organized violence.”

According to the plea agreements, between December 2, 2012, and April 14, 2014, both defendants were members of the Nuestra Familia/Salinas Norteños Enterprise.  The Enterprise consisted of members and associates of the Nuestra Familia prison gang as well as Norteño street gangs in Salinas, Calif., and the surrounding areas.  Members and associates of the Enterprise agreed to commit crimes such as murder, narcotics trafficking, and other acts of violence through a pattern of racketeering activity.  Norteño gang members pledge their allegiance and loyalty to Nuestra Familia and are instructed on its rules, rituals, and obligations.  Gang rules and discipline are maintained by assaulting and threatening those individuals who violate the rules or pose a threat to the organization; inside prisons and local jails, all members and associates of Nuestra Familia and Norteños work together to maintain the structure and follow the rules of the Enterprise.

In their plea agreements, Rice, 35, and Moreno, 26, admit to participating in the distribution of narcotics to other inmates at Monterey County Jail.  Also, the plea agreements describe the roles of the defendants in 'removals” as a means of violently enforcing the most important of the gang's rules while they were in the jail.  The term 'removal” refers to a violent attack designed to remove (from both the custodial housing unit and the gang itself) a member of the gang who committed a serious violation of the gang's rules.  A removal is accomplished by having one or more 'hitters” stab the victim and then having at least two 'bombers” assault the target by punching and kicking the victim without weapons.  The purpose of the subsequent beating is to inflict upon the victim maximum damage while giving the hitters time to wash themselves and get rid of weapons.  Rice admitted that in February of 2013, he was the prison gang's 'Overall Authority” in one of Monterey County Jail's housing units and he consented to the removal of a gang prisoner who committed a serious violation of gang rules.  The victim was stabbed in the head by a hitter and immediately thereafter was punched and kicked by several bombers.  Rice further admitted that he approved the removal of another victim who was assaulted on April 29, 2013.  On that day, the victim was stabbed in the head by the hitter and then punched and kicked by several bombers.  Moreno admitted that he participated as a bomber in the April 29, 2013, attack.  

On September 27, 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Rice, Moreno and several other defendants with racketeering conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d).  Both Rice and Moreno also were charged with conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(5), and conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(6).  Both defendants pleaded guilty to the racketeering conspiracy charge, wherein they admitted that murder was an object of the conspiracy.  If they comply with their plea agreements, the additional charges will be dismissed at sentencing.

Judge Freeman scheduled defendant Moreno's sentencing for January 7, 2020, and defendant Rice's sentencing for March 3, 2020.  The defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of life in prison, five years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.  Pursuant to their plea agreements, defendant Rice has agreed to a sentence of 13 years and defendant Moreno has agreed to a sentence of seven years, both subject to final approval by the Court at their respective sentencings.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Claudia A. Quiroz and Stephen Meyer are prosecuting the case.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI with assistance from the Salinas Police Department, the Monterey County Sheriff's Office, the California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  

Press Release was issued and authorized by the United States Attorney's Office on Tuesday ,November 12, 2019.

Release Authorized by: Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Pages

Question of the Day

Does the law say what kind of noise can be made at different times and in different places?
 
The Salinas Municipal Code  contains noise ordinances that regulate certain kinds of noise.

Generally, noise is divided into four "classes".

• Class A Noise is defined as noise created by equipment operated in the public interest or for emergency or safety purposes. Such equipment includes sirens, street sweepers, garbage trucks, chipper machines, etc. Class A noise is allowed at anytime.

• Class B Noise is defined as noise...

Our Latest News via Twitter