Press Releases

Holiday Traffic

Release Date/Time: 11/22/2017 12:12 PM
Incident: Holiday Traffic
Date: Wednesday, 11/22/2017
Time: 12:12 PM
Location: City of Salinas

Salinas CA—As millions of travelers flood the roads this Thanksgiving, the Salinas Police Department is partnering with the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and law enforcement across the state to share an important lifesaving reminder: Buckle Up–Every Trip. Every Time.


During the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend, 301 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide, and 53 percent were not wearing seat belts at the time of the fatal crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). California accounted for 42 of those fatalities. Nighttime proved even more deadly, with 57 percent of Thanksgiving weekend crashes occurring at night nationally. Much like drunk driving, these deaths represent needless tragedies for families across America. Many of these deaths could have been completely prevented with the simple click of a seat belt.


'These traffic deaths devastate families when they should all be together celebrating joyous times,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross. 'Buckle up and drive defensively and you will be home with your family for the holidays. By now everyone should be aware that seat belt use is one of the simplest ways to stay safe.”


NHTSA estimates that proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal and serious injuries. In 2015, approximately 13,941 people survived crashes because they were buckled up. If everyone had worn their seat belts that year, an additional 2,804 lives could have been saved. NHTSA's research also reveals that males are more likely to be unbuckled than females in a fatal crash, and that younger drivers are also at greater risk of being unbuckled.


Salinas PDs goal for the ‘Buckle Up—Every Trip. Every Time.' seat belt awareness campaign is to save lives. This campaign reminds Thanksgiving travelers, and all drivers, about the importance of buckling up–every trip, every time. Thanksgiving should be a happy time, not a tragic one.


Additionally, OTS statewide data reveals that of the 42 killed during the Thanksgiving weekend, 18 were alcohol involved deaths. While alcohol remains the worst offender for DUI crashes, Salinas PD supports the new effort from OTS that aims to drive awareness that 'DUI Doesn't Just Mean Booze.” Prescription medications and marijuana can also be impairing by themselves, or in combination with alcohol, and can result in a DUI arrest.


Never drink and drive and whether you're a passenger or the driver, riding long distances or short, buckle your seat belt. Doing so ensures everyone arrives safely to their Thanksgiving destinations. Remember: Buckle Up–Every Trip. Every Time.


Release Authorized by: Gerard D Ross, Sergeant
Telephone: 831-758-7975

Possession of Narcotics with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Firearms

Release Date/Time: 11/19/2017 11:56 PM
Incident: Possession of Narcotics with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Firearms
Date: Sunday, 11/19/17 
Time: 4:09 P.M.
Location: 200 Block of Harvest St

Officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Raymond Raygoza (26) for an equipment violation. The officers learned that Raygoza is on probation so they went to his home to conduct a probation compliance search. As they arrived, officers saw Noah Backus (18) exiting the front door in an attempt to leave the property. A 16-year old male ran out the back door of the house but was caught and detained. Both subjects were wearing backpacks. Backus was searched and 1/4 pound of marijuana was found in the backpack. The juvenile was searched. He had a loaded Glock .40-caliber semi-auto pistol, 10 bindles of cocaine, 4 bindles of methamphetamine and several ounces of marijuana in the backpack. He also had a loaded, Colt .38-caliber revolver on is ankle.

A probation search of Raygoza's house was conducted and officers found 1.7 pounds of methamphetamine, 9 pounds of marijuana and $2500 in cash.

Raygoza and Backus were booked into Monterey County Jail for several felonies, including Possession of Narcotics with Intent to Distribute and several weapons charges. The juvenile was booked into the Monterey County Juvenile Hall for the same charges.


Release Authorized by: Commander S. Bryan
Telephone: 831-758-7250

Parolee at large / possession of a controlled substance / possession of a controlled substance for sales / warrant arrest

Release Date/Time: 11/19/2017 2:24 PM
Date: Sunday, 11/19/2017
Time: 2:24 PM

Release Authorized by:Sgt. G. Lauricella

VSU, Parole and ATF conducted a surveillance at 1819 Cherokee Drive for a PAL who had been at large for 36 months. ATF established the eye and Michelle Madriaga (39) was observed at the residence along with three others. Officer Salinas and Officer Dunagan drove up on Madriaga and took her into custody as she was walking to her vehicle.

A parole search of the residence yielded a total of 3.5 ounces of Heroin and packaging materials. A second subject Selena Juarez (31) had a warrant for her arrest and methamphetamine she admitted to.

Exhibit deadly weapon / Assault with Deadly Weapon/ False Imprisonment / Pretending to be a Peace Officer

Release Date/Time: 11/17/2017 3:32 PM
Date: Friday, 11/17/2017
Time: 3:32 PM

Release Authorized by:Sgt. G. Lauricella

On 11-2-17, the victim's vehicle rolled into the suspects' car who was later identified as Fernando Campos (22) at an intersection in north Salinas. Campos exited his vehicle and became violent with the victim, causing the victim to get back into their vehicle and leave.

Campos followed the victim and used red and blue emergency lights to make a 'traffic stop” on the vehicle. Campos approached the victim and pointed a handgun at the victim and said he would shoot them.

The victim was afraid so they fled in their vehicle away from the area and later contacted the Salinas Police Department. Patrol officers took the initial report and created a photo-line up where Campos was identified as the suspect.

VSU authored a search warrant for the residence of Fernando Campos who lives in San Jose, California. San Jose Merge conducted a surveillance of the residence and observed Campos drive away in the same vehicle used to commit the offense on 11-2-17.

Undercover VSU officers/State Parole observed Campos at a Safeway store in San Jose near Snell Ave and provided information for San Jose uniformed officers to make the arrest. Campos initially backed away from officers and then complied with orders to get on the ground.

Campos had a loaded 40mm XD handgun in his waistband and a search of his vehicle found a short barrel AR-15, Colt 1911A1 handgun, a 22 caliber Beretta handgun, two lower AR-15 receivers, six XD high capacity magazines, two law enforcement badges, a TASER, one 'steel plate” tactical vest, police vehicle emergency lighting equipment, three 30 round AR-15 Magazines, three 10 round AR-15 magazines, a 100 round AR-15 magazine and 1700 rounds of ammunition.

San Jose Merge served the search warrant at Compos' residence and an additional police badge and shotgun were located. A female was ordered out of the residence during the search warrant and she was found to be in possession of a loaded 38-caliber handgun.

Campos refused to talk to officers about the case or items located during the search warrant. VSU officers asked for and obtained a bail escalation for Campos who was lodged at MCSO

Hit and Run Update

Release Date/Time: 11/13/2017 2:17 PM
Incident: Hit and Run Update
Date: Monday, 11/13/2017
Time: 2:17 PM
Location: N. Main St. and Lamar St.

On October 24th, at about 7:30pm, Bernardina Leon, age 41, and her 6-year-old daughter were struck by a Nissan driven by suspect, Jorge Osio Ramirez, age 34. Ramirez fled the scene but was captured 2 days later. He was charged with felony hit and run and for driving on a suspended license and causing injury.

On Sunday, November 12th, Leon died from the injuries suffered in the traffic collision. Ramirez was additionally charged with Vehiclular Manslaughter with Gross Negligence.

Leon is the 8th traffic fatality of the year and the 5th pedestrian fatality.

Release Authorized by: Gerard D Ross, Sergeant
Telephone: 831-758-7975

Homicide Arrest

Release Date/Time: 11/3/2017 9:19 AM
Incident: Homicide Arrest
Date: Friday, 11/3/2017
Time: 9:19 AM
Location:Motel 6 Kern St/ San Francisco CA

Release Authorized by:Stan Cooper, Commander

On 10/12/17, Salinas Police responded to the Motel 6 on Kern St to conduct a welfare check on a female who was not responding to a relatives multiple attempts to reach her. Upon arrival, officers discovered Shantel Llamas (30) alone and deceased in the room. At the time there were no obvious signs of cause of death and the investigation, while being investigated as a possible homicide, was categorized as suspicious pending formal findings.

Detectives were quickly able to determine the last person to be with Llamas was Richard Eugene Simmons (51). It was also discovered that Simmons was already wanted on an outstanding $1,000,000 warrant for failure to register as a sex offender.  Detectives worked locally to try and locate Simmons. When it became apparent that he was no longer in the area, the US Marshall's Service was contacted to attempt in locating him.

On 11/1/17, Detectives were notified by the Monterey County Coroner's Office that Llama's death was in fact being ruled a homicide, by means of asphyxiation. The same day, there was a sighting of Simmons in the South Bay area and Marshalls began focusing on the area. On 11/2/17 at approximately 1300 hours, US Marshals' found Simmons and his vehicle in the Ocean Beach area of San Francisco; Simmons was taken into custody without incident. Salinas Police Detectives responded and transported Simmons back to Salinas where he was later booked into the Monterey County Jail for the outstanding warrant and one count of Homicide.

Investigations Commander Stan Cooper will be available for media follow-up today at 1:30 in front of the Salinas police Department lobby.


****Original Press Release******

Suspicious Death

Release Date/Time: 10/12/2017 4:28 PM
Incident: Suspicious Death
Date: Thursday, 10/12/2017
Time: 4:28 PM

Today at approximately 0900 hours, Salinas Police Officers were detailed to the Motel 6 on Kern Street to conduct a welfare check on a female who had failed to respond to attempted contacts by a relative. Upon arrival, officers discovered a 30-year-old female deceased in the room. While there was nothing indicating she was the victim of violent crime, her death is considered suspicious as she had no known prior medical conditions. Salinas Police Detectives responded and, working with the CSI Unit, processed the scene in the event that it is later determined that a crime did, in fact, take place. We are currently awaiting autopsy results to make that determination. At this time, no further information, to include identification, will be released.


Release Date/Time: 10/31/2017 5:19 AM
Incident: Homicide
Date: Tuesday, 10/31/2017
Time: 5:19 AM
Location: 200 block of Cross Ave

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Brian Johnson, Investigations Bureau
Telephone: 831-758-7128

On October 30th, at approximately 11:58 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Cross  Ave for a report of a gunshot victim. Upon arrival, they found Alexis Alfredo Saldana Ramos(26) suffering from several gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital and eventually succumbed to his injuries.  No other infromation is available at this time.  This is the 26th Homicide of the year.

This crime is being investigated as gang related. 
If anyone has information about this homicide, they are asked to contact Detective Gonzalez at 831-758-7127 or Detective Heckman at 831-758-7323.

Hit and Run with Injury UPDATE

Release Date/Time: 10/26/2017 3:39 PM
Incident: Hit and Run UPDATE
Date: Thursday, 10/26/2017
Time: 3:39 PM
Location: North Main Street and Lamar Street

On October 24th, a mother and her 6-year-old daughter were crossing North Main Street when they were struck by a dark Nissan Sentra. Both victims were injured. The daughter was flown out to a hospital in San Jose and the mother transported to NMC. The mother is still in very critical condition.

Yesterday a citizen pointed out a vehicle matching the description in front of the trailer park at 255 East Bolivar Street, only a few blocks from the collision scene. The vehicle matched the description and had damage consistent with the pedestrian collision. Officer towed the vehicle for evidence.

Officer attempted to find the registered owner of the vehicle. Officers found the car was not damaged the day before the collision. They found the registered owner goes to work at about the same time the collision occurred and that the owner uses North Main Street. The owner had not returned home since the collision. A BOL had been placed for the owner as a person of interest.

Officers asked family members to advise the owner that police were looking for him. Today at about 3:00 PM the owner came to the police department. During an interview he admitted to being the driver who fled the scene.

The suspect, Jorge Osio Ramirez, 34, was found to be driving on a suspended license for a prior conviction of Driving Under the Influence. A background check showed Ramirez has multiple prior DUI arrests.

Ramirez will be booked into Monterey County Jail for Hit and Run causing injury, driving on a Suspended License, and Driving on a Suspended License causing injury.


Release Authorized by: Gerard D Ross
Telephone: 831-758-7975

Hit and Run with Injury UPDATE

Release Date/Time: 10/26/2017 3:09 PM
Incident: Hit and Run UPDATE
Date: Thursday, 10/26/2017
Time: 3:09 PM
Location: North Main Street and Lamar Street

On October 24th there was a serious injury hit and run at North Main Street and Lamar Street involving a 41-year-old mother and her 8-year-old daughter. The mother has been identified as Bernardina Leon from Salinas. She is still in very critical condition at a Salinas Hospital.

Release Authorized by: Gerard D Ross
Telephone: 831-758-7975

Hit and run with injury

Release Date/Time: 10/26/2017 2:44 PM
Incident: Hit and run with injury
Date: Thursday, 10/26/2017
Time: 7:48 AM
Location: John Street and Wood Street

At the listed date and time, a 37-year-old mother was crossing John Street northbound at the intersection with Wood Street in the crosswalk with her 8-year-old daughter. The mother is four months pregnant. Carlos Bangos Caliso, age 59, was driving eastbound on John Street in his 93 Toyota pickup. He stopped at the stop sign as the mother and child were crossing in front of him. After stopping, Caliso accelerated into the crosswalk and struck both pedestrians knocking them to the ground.

Knowing that he had just hit the pedestrians, Caliso fled the scene. A citizen who witnessed the colision, followed Caliso and called 911. Officers caught up to Caliso just before he reached his home in South Salinas. Caliso admitted to being involved in the crash and said he fled because he was scared. He said he knew he hit the 8-year-old but didn't realize he had hit both pedestrians. Caliso was booked into the Monterey County Jail for Hit and Run causing injury and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Both mother and daughter were transported to Natividad Medical Center where they were treated and later released.

Release Authorized by: Gerard D Ross
Telephone: 831-758-7975


Question of the Day

What can I do if there is a loud party in my neighborhood?

If someone is having a loud party in your neighborhood you may call the Police Department for assistance. When deciding whether to call the police you must also decide whether the noise is at a level that your peace is being disturbed. If it is, you next need to decide whether you would be willing to press formal charges in order to get the noise to stop or be turned down to a tolerable level.

Most often, the mere fact that you are willing to press charges will help us to solve the problem so that no actual charges need be pressed. If you...

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