5 suspects arrested in clergyman shooting…
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Riverside County Pastor Suspected for Drug, Sex Crimes
By Mary Parks and Bill French
updated 2:52 p.m. PT, Thurs., Dec . 31, 2009
Behind the locked gates of Our Lady of Tepayac Church in the Home Gardens community, Riverside County Sheriff’s Investigators say they found evidence to suggest the unthinkable had occurred.
“This is a very evil man who hid behind the good book to take advantage of little boys,” said Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Clergyman Anthony Martinez-Garduno was arrested late Tuesday after deputies found evidence to indicate he was selling methamphetamines from his church.
Detectives conducting a search warrant also located evidence of possible sex assaults on underage boys who had allegedly been given GHB, the date rape drug.
Ironically, Garduno is being held in the same jail as five men who he told police shot him last September during a botched robbery attempt at the church. Detectives now believe that crime was not random. Police suspect that during a 10 hour crime spree from Los Angeles to Corona, Garduno was a targeted drug dealer.
The Diocese of San Bernardino says Garduno is not affiliated with their organization in any way. NBC4 has learned that Garduno is actually a defrocked priest who calls himself a bishop, but has no church standing.
Even so, Parishioners were confused today, some stopping by the church asking if the man they knew as Father Tony was doing alright.
“He targeted Spanish speaking families,” said Sgt. Gutierrez. “We believe there are many more victims out there. We want to find all of them because we don’t want him to ever see the light of day again.”