_____________________________ ST. NORBERT CHURCH           RATES _______________________


Three Pico Rivera gang members arrested for kidnapping, torture

Three Pico Rivera residents, who are known “Rivera 13” gang members, were arrested last week for allegedly kidnapping a couple and torturing the male victim. The three suspects were apprehended by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s gang unit, Operation Safe Streets Bureau.

The kidnapping of the two victims occurred on May 13 and was allegedly motivated by money owed to Suspect George Karavalos.

The male victim was held for five days in a garage at a residence in the 8800 Block of Clarinda Avenue, Pico Rivera. The female victim was released and tasked with obtaining $6,000.00 dollars for the safe release of her husband. It included forcing her at gunpoint to sign over the ownership of her vehicle to the suspects.

During the male victim’s captivity, he was subjected to torture and continual death threats. The suspects taped the male victim to a chair and allegedly cut his ear with a knife. They allegedly heated a knife and burned a four-letter word into the skin of the male victim, in letters large enough to cover his stomach. A handgun was used as a blunt instrument to smash the male victim’s fingers and was placed against his head in the course of the death threats.

The male victim ultimately escaped his captors when he was taken into public unlawfully by the suspects and forced to enter a vehicle during the day. Law enforcement was contacted and the safety of his wife was ensured.

The search warrant served at the residence of Suspect George Karavalos’ residence resulted in the seizure of forensic evidence by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Crime Lab. A handgun and knife used against the victims was also seized, as well as other articles of evidence.

Three suspects were arrested were Francisco Xavier Barraza, Male, Age 35, of Pico Rivera; Alfonso Eric Acuna, 32, also of Pico Rivera who is on parole, and suspect George Steven Karavalos, 33, of Pico Rivera. One suspect is not yet in custody and is being sought by sheriff’s investigators has been identified as Javier Francis, 49, also a resident of Pico Rivera.
On May 25, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed two counts of Extortion, aggravated Mayhem, Torture, Kidnapping for Ransom, Gang Enhancement and Criminal Threats.
Karavolos and Barraza are currently held in the Los Angeles County jail in lieu 4 million dollars and Acuna in lieu of 5 million. Acuna is being held without bail available due to a parole hold.