Three men and a woman suspected of taking part in the robbery and murder of off-duty LAPD officer Fernando Arroyos were accused in a federal criminal complaint late Thursday of violating racketeering laws by participating in the attack.
The group, identified in court papers as members of the Florencia 13 street gang, allegedly murdered Arroyos to enhance the gang, which was previously the target of federal organized crime prosecutions, officials told NBC News.
The federal prosecution, which is unusual in a local murder case, could bring potential death sentences and minimum sentences of life without the possibility of parole, because Arroyos was allegedly killed during the commission of a robbery.
Luis Alfredo De La Rosa Rios, 29, Ernesto Cisneros, 22, Jesse Contreras, 34, and Haylee Marie Grisham, 18, are accused of confronting Arroyos, identified in court documents as victim, "F.A.," on East 87th Street on the night of Jan. 10, in order to rob Arroyos and his girlfriend of their property.
"At some point after Cisneros removed victim F.A.'s chains, victim F.A. and the two suspects exchanged gunfire," according to the court filing.
A 16-page affidavit also says detectives obtained security video that shows part of the confrontation.
The LA County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday that three men and two women had been detained in the investigation, and Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Wednesday that four arrests had been made, but declined to offer more detail.