Three Suspects Arrested in Another Garden Grove Drug-Related Homicide
Photo: Victor Rene Larios, Jacob Alexander Ruiz and Joseph Anthony Ruiz
Three men were recently arrested as suspects in the third known drug-related homicide in Garden Grove in 2019.
The first incident occurred on April 29, when an out-of-state resident tried to rob cash from a drug mule at a marijuana sale stash house, located at a home in the 12000 block of Corvette Street. Claiming self-defense, the drug mule shot and killed the suspect.
The second incident occurred on July 8. Several suspects invaded and attempted to rob a home in the 9100 block of La Grand Avenue. The suspects demanded cash and narcotics from a resident of the home and then shot and killed the victim. This homicide is still under investigation, with no arrests having been made yet.
The most recent homicide occurred less than a month later in the backyard of a home in the 9600 block of Westminster Avenue. Garden Grove police responded to a report of possible gunshots and someone bleeding. They arrived to find a man who had clearly died of gunshot wounds. He was later identified as 32-year-old Thien Hoang Phan of Irvine.
After investigating several leads regarding the incident, Garden Grove Homicide Detectives located the suspects, identified as Victor Rene Larios (29), Jacob Alexander Ruiz (24), and Joseph Anthony Ruiz (27), all residents of Arizona. At about 1:30 AM, as the suspects were driving away from a hotel in Venice Beach, California, police stopped the vehicle. They arrested the three male suspects without incident and later booked them into Orange County Jail “for murder and other related charges,” the release stated.
Further investigation released the drug-related nature of the crime. Each of the individuals were present at the crime scene for the purpose of an illegal marijuana sales transaction. Police do not believe this homicide case has any relation to the previous two, “but the motive for each homicide was robbery for cash or illegal narcotics,” according to the release.
“Recreational use of marijuana is illegal in Arizona and detectives believe this may be a reason why suspects are traveling from neighboring states to commit crimes.”