By Luis Patino, Information Officer II
Investigative and Intelligence work by the Office of Correctional Safety’s Fugitive Apprehension Team (FAT) agents in Central California led to the capture of three murder suspects within 10 days last month.
Jason Heine, the parole administrator of the OCS FAT team, praised the agents’ intelligence work.
“These cases are examples of the excellent work that our dedicated team members all across the state perform every day. Once again, their professionalism and determination has resulted in important inter-agency successes,” said Heine.
CDCR FAT agents Kelly Neumann, Dennis Reitz, Scott Moore, Nate Castro and Joe Basile — members of the U.S. Marshals Service’s Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, Fresno Division — assisted in the arrest of Jennifer Case, 33, and parole-at-large Henry Eliseo Renteria, 39.
The two men were wanted by the Fresno Police Department in the murder of 19-year-old Michael James Mitchell. Mitchell was found dead December 5, 2011, in a Fresno alley. Fresno detectives said Renteria had been involved in a fight with the suspects earlier.
On December 19, 2011, California State Parole /OCS FAT agents tracked down Renteria in Visalia. CDCR agents, task force officers and deputy U.S. Marshals conducted surveillance of a residence and took Renteria into custody without incident. Agents soon traced Case to Tulare, and task force members arrested her. Both were booked into the Fresno County Jail on suspicion of murder.
The arrests came just 10 days after intelligence work by agents in Bakersfield led to the December 9, 2011, capture in Mexico of a murder suspect featured on the television show “America’s Most Wanted.”
Logan Rafael Quiroga was arrested by Sonora State Police in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico — more than 700 miles from Bakersfield. Quiroga was wanted by the Tehachapi Police Department in the murder of Stephen Gregory Christy, who had been found shot in his California home almost a year earlier.
When Quiroga’s trail turned cold, Tehachapi Police called in the U.S. Marshals’ Service Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force. The marshals turned to CDCR, whose OCS/FAT officers Michael Pitcher and Lou Sapporo are also special deputy U.S. Marshals.
CDCR agents conducted surveillances and stayed on the case for months. They received a lead that an acquaintance of Quiroga’s, was returning from Mexico. The acquaintance was tracked down and arrested for possession of 1.46 kilos of methamphetamines at the Mexican border. OCS officials said that arrest eventually led to information about Quiroga’s location and his capture.
The Office of Correctional Safety is an elite force of special investigators and parole agents who conduct complex investigations and surveillance involving escapees, inmates and parolees suspected of major crimes and/or gang activity.