Wednesday, October 21, Santa Monica Police Chief Timothy Jackman, along with other detectives, and Los Angeles County District Attorney Hardcore Gang Division member, Alva Lin, held a press conference at The Santa Monica Public Library regarding an intensive murder and narcotics investigation, that lasted over a year, and included court-authorized wiretaps as well as an undercover drug sting.
The investigation primarily focused on a small Pico district gang, known as the “Graveyard Crips,” comprising approximately 20 members, who had been terrorizing community members, and had been suspects in the May 11 2008 murder of Preston Brumfield, aged 49. Mr. Brumfield was discovered severely beaten and laying in a pool of blood in front of 1948 20th Street on the aforementioned date. He was rushed to UCLA Medical Center, where he died four days later. Sammy Murphy, 50; Gwindon Love Murphy, 65; and Jason Anthony Hurtado, 26, have all been charged by the Los Angeles District Attorney with murder, conspiracy to commit an assault with a deadly weapon, and violations of the state’s Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention (STEP) Act. A fourth suspect, Eddie Coleman, also of Santa Monica, is being sought in connection to the Brumfield murder investigation.
An undercover narcotics operation, entitled “Operation Tombstone” (a reference to the gang name of “Graveyard Crips”) began in 2009, based on information gained from wiretaps that had identified suspected members of this gang as local drug dealers. In total, as well as the three arrested for the murder of Preston Brumfield, police have arrested six more people for involvement of narcotic sales. These six people are: Shawn Rodney Martin, 25; Dante Lamar Harrington, 32; Dino Joseph Henry, 46; Guillermo Castellgarcia, 22; Frank Javier Villareal, 28; and Crystal Laurette Clark, 44.
The Santa Monica Police Department is currently working on collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to secure federal arrest warrants for the following Santa Monica Gang members: Florencio Astorga Hernandez, male Latino, 32; Juan Godinez, male Latino, 38; Filiberto Garcia Pena, male Latino, 39, and Mynor Alfonso Chacon, male Latino, 35.
Anyone with any knowledge of Mr. Brumfield’s murder, or knowledge of the whereabouts of any of the outstanding suspects, is asked to contact Detective John Henry, at 310.458.8978, or Sgt. Ira Rutan at 310.458.8959, or contact The Santa Monica Police Department at 310.458.8495.
If you wish to remain anonymous, please call WeTip at 1.800.78.CRIME (1.800.78.24763). You will remain completely anonymous, and may be eligible for a reward if your information leads to an arrest and conviction.