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March 29, 2021Fresno, CA, United StatesOperational

Man sentenced for conspiring to assist flight of brother charged with murder of police officer

FRESNO, Calif. — Conrado Virgen Mendoza, 37, was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for conspiring with others to assist his brother in fleeing to Mexico to avoid prosecution for the murder of Newman Police Corporal Ronil Singh during a traffic stop and for possessing false immigration documents. The sentence is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) NorCal and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office.

In September 2019, a jury found Conrado Virgen Mendoza guilty, along with Erik Quiroz Razo, 30, who resided in Merced. The evidence at trial established that Virgen and Quiroz helped Paulo Virgen Mendoza conceal the truck that he was driving at the time he shot and killed Corporal Singh. He transported him to various locations in the Central Valley in an effort to find a safe harbor with relatives before Paulo Virgen Mendoza attempted to flee to Mexico. He also lied to Stanislaus County Sheriff officers concerning Paulo Virgen Mendoza’s whereabouts. Paulo Virgen Mendoza was ultimately apprehended at a relative’s residence in Kern County following an intensive three-day manhunt.

“Interfering with the course of justice shall be met with swift and certain action,” said HSI NorCal Special Agent in Charge Tatum King. “HSI and its’ local, state and federal partners worked tirelessly to ensure these men had their day in court. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Corporal Singh’s family and the Newman Police Department over his tragic line of duty loss.”

In November 2020, Paulo Virgen Mendoza pleaded guilty to murdering Corporal Singh and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Quiroz was previously sentenced to 27 months in federal prison.

Substantial assistance to the investigation was provided by U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations; the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) task force; the Southern Tri-County HIDTA; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the California Highway Patrol; the California Dept. of Justice, the Sheriffs’ offices for Kern, Merced, and Santa Cruz counties; and the police departments for Merced, Turlock, Modesto, and Santa Cruz. The case was prosecuted by the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 Special Agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 03/30/2021