Santa Barbara – Three men suspected of participating in three robberies over the past three months have been arrested in both Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Media Relations Officer Cpt. Don Aguilar and Santa Barbara Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood.
An investigation into the activities of Jelani Rivera, 22, Daniel Sotelo, 23, and Filiberto Loyola, 21, began pursuant to an October 18th robbery that took place in Saticoy wherein two employees of a Ventura marijuana collective delivery enterprise were reportedly robbed at gunpoint. That initial investigation quickly established that a similar delivery business had been victimized in an identical manner in Santa Barbara just a short time later, and that during a third robbery with the identical modus operandi, the cellphone used to order the marijuana deliveries in all three cases had been stolen. According to Harwood’s report to the media, “the suspects used handguns in all three robberies.”
The totality of evidence collected since the initial crime pointed to Rivera, Sotelo, and Loyola. When Rivera was tracked to San Francisco, he was arrested there on December 14th and transported to Ventura County Jail. Ongoing investigation by Santa Barbara law enforcement located the handgun used in all three robberies at a local gun store.
Sotelo, on parole as a violent felon, with a history of Santa Barbara area gang affiliations, was located at his Santa Barbara residence and arrested on December 18th, and transported to Ventura County Jail. When, on December 20th, Loyola was observed via police surveillance driving away from his Goleta residence, trailing officers conducted a traffic stop in downtown Santa Barbara, whereupon Loyola physically resisted, struck an officer, and was ultimately subdued. He was found at the time to be in possession of two loaded handguns, and like his cohorts was booked on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy, participation in a criminal street gang, criminal threats, and assault with a firearm.
EdHat: Armed robbery suspects arrested