Police in Vancouver, Canada have in their custody one of four men wanted for a March 26, 2010 homicide in Sunnyside.
Juvenal Moreno-Garcia, a citizen of Mexico, was a resident in Sunnyside at the time of the shooting at Rico’s Tacos Guadalajara in the 800 block of Yakima Valley Highway.
Now, 33 years old, the then 25-year-old is believed to have been standing guard close to the front of the restaurant when his four companions opened fire, killing Ramon Magana Mendoza, 25, and injuring Maria Reyes, 42.
Moreno-Garcia, according to witnesses at the time, was armed with more than one gun, records show.
The Yakima County Prosecutor’s Office is seeking charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault against him.
The U.S. has 60 days from the date of his arrest, which was the result of authorities in Vancouver apprehending him on a warrant under the Extradition Act, to submit an extradition request to Canada.
Moreno-Garcia appeared in British Columbia Supreme Court on Friday, after Yakima County submitted a notice of intent not to seek the death penalty, records show.
The federal justice minister in Canada has 30 days from when the extradition request is received to consider whether the extradition is granted.
Brusic said there are a number of factors that could impact the date of Moreno-Garcia’s return to Yakima County, “… most notably if he fights extradition.”
It could be anywhere between 2 to 24 months.
Moreno-Garcia is set to appear in court again Sept. 12.
Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins, days after the shooting, confirmed a preliminary identification of Magana Mendoza, who was shot and killed. The identification was partially made possible because of eyewitnesses at the scene.
Magana Mendoza was identified by his girlfriend and other friends at the restaurant during the time of the 10:45 p.m. shooting.
Hawkins said the victim died of multiple gunshot wounds.
Relatives of Magana Mendoza were contacted in Mexico and California to further confirm Magana Mendoza’s identity.
Hawkins said he wasn’t “in the system,” stating the fingerprints taken weren’t entered into CODIS.
“He went by many names, but his relatives say the name provided is what is on his birth certificate. He has no relatives in the area, but if it isn’t him, we need to know,” Hawkins said in 2010.
Reyes was taken to Harborview Medical Center shortly after the shooting and was in critical condition. She was believed to be a relative of Magana Mendoza’s girlfriend.
A third victim was also shot, but police didn’t identify him. He was treated at Sunnyside Community Hospital and released.
The Sunnyside Police Department said a white Chevrolet Malibu was discovered burning in an orchard north of Sunnyside shortly after the shooting. That vehicle was believed to be connected to the homicide.
The Washington State Patrol and Washington State Patrol Crime Lab assisted with the investigation.
Cmdr. Scott Bailey, yesterday, said the four other suspects wanted in the case are still at large. There is a reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Lisandro Rangel, 30; Alfonso Rangel Jr., 35; Ramon Medina-Gutierrez, 29; and Tanilo Medina, 34.
He told another media outlet he was working patrol at the time of the shooting and remembers there were several witnesses in the case.
“There’s been a lot of work put into this case,” Bailey said.