Most wanted man in Madera County arrested

June 11, 2013 12:18:51 AM PDT
Madera County Sheriff's investigators announced a major arrest in the county's latest murder. And they came across the suspect unexpectedly.

Investigators have spent five weeks and countless hours trying to track the suspect down, until they stumbled upon him Sunday.

Madera County Sheriff John Anderson says detectives got a big break Sunday when they went to serve an arrest warrant. They didn't find who they were looking for; instead they found the most wanted man in Madera County right now, 20-year-old Estevan Rodriguez.

Madera County Sheriff Public Information Officer Erica Stuart said, "As soon as deputies arrived of course he took off running, and after a quarter mile chase in 97 degree heat, they actually tackled him in an alleyway. Come to find out, he had a fully loaded semi automation in one pocket, and a fully loaded magazine in the other pocket."

Detectives believe Rodriguez shot 18-year-old Drakkar Lewis in revenge for the death of the suspects close friend weeks earlier.

Deputies say 19-year-old Eleazar Iruegas was shot to death in the front yard of Lewis' Fairmead home at a spring break party.

Lewis spoke to Action News the day after the murder. He said he didn't see the murder, only heard the gunshots.

His public comments are what some partygoers feel may have led to Lewis being targeted at another party, just weeks later. Once investigators caught Rodriguez, they discovered his loyalty to his late friend.

Stuart said, "Days after Eleazar was killed, Estevan Rodriguez actually had his portrait and name tattooed on his arm."

Investigators say the suspect is a gang member but Lewis was not.

Rodriguez is in the Madera County jail facing murder charges for this case. He may also be facing additional charges which include attempted murder and weapons charges for unrelated crimes.


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