Second confidential informant/witness to be murdered in Merced County in less than a year…
MERCED COUNTY, CA – A $25,000,000.00 claim has been made in the death of Alejandro Vega against Merced County. The 29-year-old man had been arrested on September 9th for two city warrants. One was a $20,000 warrant for possession of one pound of marijuana and another was a child custody warrant with a bail amount of $5,000. And an additional claim was filed by Vega’s father Jaime Vega who is claiming damages on an unlimited civil case.
According to Sgt. Delray Shelton of the Merced County Sheriff’s department, Vega had just completed his preliminary booking and was placed into a section of the jail where the inmates wait to be classified. Sgt. Shelton further stated that the jail’s correctional officers heard a lot of commotion and went to check it out. That is when the deputies found Mr. Vega severely beaten.
No video cameras were in that section of the jail, Sgt. Shelton said to MCNTV News, due to inmate privacy suits that have been filed in other counties. “Because this is an area where inmates get dressed and use the restroom, we are not allowed to place cameras there,” Sgt Shelton confirmed.
But a Federal court set precedent recently in 2014 when it said in a lawsuit brought by 12 DUI suspects who were captured on jail security cameras in compromising positions the they were not a violation of privacy rights.
The Merced Police Department is also named int he suit because Vega was a known Merced Police department confidential witness/informant in case #15CR-00224. MCNTV News has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to get more information regarding the criminal case Vega was helping the PD with.
Vega’s father Jaime alleges that because the Merced PD and the Sheriff’s department knew his so was a confidential witness/informant, they knew he could not be placed with gang members.
A call was placed to Chief Andrade, who never returns calls when he is about to be confronted with his departments misdeeds, to find out more about why they transferred Mr. Vega into the county jail’s general population? And was it done as a way to intimidate Vega into giving them more information than he may have been comfortable giving as has been rumored.
MCNTV News has worked very hard to develop strong relationships with good law enforcement officials at every level and since we started covering Merced County, the Mercd PD Chief, Parole and Probation officers as well as the Atwater PD Chief seem to be playing with informants lives without concern. Just a few months ago another informant, 27-year-old Richard Valentine, was gunned down in broad daylight in front of children preparing for sports with their parents.
MCNTV News has pushed for witnesses to come forward and to work with authorities to help clean up our streets, but unfortunately we must now caution the public due to law enforcement leaders negligent actions where two informants have been murdered. Until Merced PD, Atwater PD, State Parole and Probation come forward, admit their actions and remove the flawed leaders of these departments, we must ask that all citizens in the Atwater and Merced City limits to please be very careful when coming forward with information.
MCNTV News volunteer Sandy Webb, who touted herself as a retired DA’s investigator and was later found to have been a secretary, had expressed concern about the department and some of its officers telling MCNTV News that there has been an on-going level of corruption within the department for years and that many of the good officers within the department are frustrated with the lack of leadership coming from Chief Andrade, Cpt Bimley West and Cpt Trindad before he retired last year.
“Captain West is very passive so Chief Andrade tells him to jump and West will ask how high,” she told MCNTV News during a phone conversation last year.
Now let us be clear that MCNTV News is pointing out the leadership and not the men and women on the front lines keeping these cities safe. We believe in telling it like it is and the leaders of these law enforcement agencies are beyond incompetent to run their respective departments and they must resign ASAP in order to regain the trust of the public before many more lawsuits are filed for shoddy police work.
And lets not forget that the Chief’s daughter and son-in-law beat a man at the Ralphy May comedy show in 2014 at the Merced Tower Theatre. The victim later died from the beating and because the Chief and DA Larry Mosre are good friends, nothing has happened to both his daughter, who also punched a security guard in the face that night, or the Chief’s son in-law, who also burned an infants hand melting the child’s skin and causing long-term damage. No charges were filed in that case but the hospital was fined $50,000.00.
How much more are we going to have to pay for with a police department run by a “Barney Fife” police chief?
The County has rejected the claim setting up a lawsuit for the family of Mr Vega.
MCNTV News also tried to reach out to members of the Vega family but have not received a response yet.