Suspect Checked Into A Motel In Town
WATSONVILLE—Investigators with the Watsonville Police Department, along with agents from the United States Marshals Office, were looking for the suspect in the death of 27-year-old Carlos Vasquez Martinez, who was shot in a camp along the slough near the rear of the buildings at 999 Main Street in Watsonville on Friday, June 12. After several days of following leads and interviewing eye-witnesses police were able to identified 32-year-old Luciano Acevedo Jr. as the shooter.
After about a week of search for Acevedo, the three-county manhunt came to an end when USMS agents spotted him in Salinas. Agents quickly notified the Watsonville authorities as Acevedo, on Friday June 19, checked into the Salinas Valley Motel on Main Street.
Watsonville Investigators coordinated with the Salinas Police Department’s SWAT team as they obtained a search warrant for the motel room. Agents identified the room where Luciano was staying along with his girlfriend, 25-year-old Amparo Negrete Rodriguez.
Agents continued the surveillance throughout the night until the next morning when the Salinas Police SWAT team arrived and conducted an operation that turned into a several hour standoff between them and the couple in the motel room. Salinas Police Negotiators were eventually able to get both Acevedo and Rodriguez to surrender peacefully.
Acevedo was charged with first-degree murder and a parole violation. His girlfriend, Rodriguez, was wanted for outstanding warrants from two counties. She had been arrested in March for possession of a controlled substance and stolen property. She was also caught bringing drugs into the San Benito County jail without surrendering them. Both were booked into the Monterey County Jail.
Acevedo is awaiting extradition back to Santa Cruz County.
Update 6/26/15 – Santa Cruz District Attorney Jeffery Rosell announced today that murder charges have officially been filed against Luciano Acevedo, Jr. With two prior prison commitments and the use of a firearm, Acevedo faces 82 years to life in prison if convicted. Rosell commended the Watsonville Police Department and their cooperation with allied agencies in solving this murder.