Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

Suspects arrested in Mojave Desert killings

Law enforcement officials found six men shot to death in El Mirage, California. Associated Press/KTLA

Suspects arrested in Mojave Desert killings

The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department arrested five men suspected of killing six other men last week, officials said Monday. A dispute over a marijuana transaction likely sparked the violence, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Warrick said during a news conference. Authorities identified the five suspects as Toniel Baez-Duarte, Mateo Baez-Duarte, Jose Nicolas Hernandez Sarabia, Jose Gregorio Hernandez Sarabia, and Jose Manuel Burgos Parra. All five men are in their 20s or 30s and on Monday were held without bail. Investigators recovered eight firearms when they arrested the men. Police have not determined if the suspects were involved with drug cartels.

How were the victims found? Police at about 8:16 p.m. on Jan. 23 received a 911 call from Franklin Noel Bonilla who said he had been shot. Bonilla was unable to give his location but officials tracked his call to a remote area about 50 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Authorities discovered the bodies of six men, including Bonilla, Baldemar Mondragon-Albarran, and Kevin Dariel Bonilla. Police have not identified the other three victims.

Dig deeper: Listen to Emma Freire’s report on The World and Everything in It podcast about a Baltimore neighborhood that hires private security to curb crime.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

An actual newsletter worth subscribing to instead of just a collection of links. —Adam

Sign up to receive The Sift email newsletter each weekday morning for the latest headlines from WORLD’s breaking news team.

Please wait while we load the latest comments...