Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux announces the arrests of Norteno gang members Angel Uriarte, 35, of Goshen and Noah David Beard, 25, of Visalia for the Jan. 16 killing of six family members in a Goshen home
GOSHEN – The Tulare County Sheriff Office executed Operation Nightmare early this morning to catch the suspected killers of the Goshen massacre that left six dead, including a 10-month-old baby.
At 4 a.m. today, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and agencies put into motion Operation Nightmare after a six-person massacre that took place on Jan. 16 in Goshen. The operation led to the arrests of murder suspects Angel “Nanu” Uriarte, 35, of Goshen and Noah David Beard, 25, of Visalia. Beard was taken into custody without incident after being found in Visalia, meanwhile Uriarte was arrested in Goshen and engaged in a gun battle with Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents during a warrant service. Uriarte was struck by gunfire and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he is now in stable condition and expected to survive.
“The suspects and the victims have a long history of gang violence, heavily active in guns, gang violence, gun violence, and narcotics dealings,” Boudreaux said. “However, having said that, the motive is not exactly clear at this point.”
Boudreaux said that once they received the DNA evidence, they jumped into Operation Nightmare, where they quickly began to unravel the massacre that killed six individuals, including Alissa Parraz, 17, and her 10-month-old baby. Autopsy reports confirmed all victims were killed by gunshot wounds, with most being shot in the head in a cartel-style execution. District Attorney Tim Ward said that both defendants will be charged with six counts of murder, along with a number of other charges.
“Once we determined who the suspects were. We had them under constant 24-hour surveillance,” Boudreaux said. “Let me reinforce that we knew every move they were making. The public was not at risk. We had them under our wing exactly where we wanted them.”
Ward said that Beard is being charged for four of the six murder counts, and has a special allegation that he personally used the firearm in the commission of the murder. Uriarte has the same special allegation of use of a firearm on two of the six counts of murder.
“The murders were committed while the defendants were participating in a criminal street gang, and it was carried out to further the activities of the criminal street gang,” Ward said. “Both defendants have charges alleging that at the time of the murders, each was prohibited from owning a firearm due to prior criminal cases.”
The investigation uncovered that two members of the Parraz family were well known, validated Sureños in a town that is predominantly affiliated with the Norteños. They later found that the two suspects were both validated Norteños. Beard has had a criminal history since 2012, ranging from assault with a deadly weapon all the way to robbery. Uriarte’s criminal history began in 2000, with records of selling narcotics, possessing firearms and assault with a deadly weapon.
As part of Operation Nightmare, prison cells affiliated with the Nuestra Familia gang were searched this morning, all the way from Pelican Bay, North Kern, Corcoran, High Desert and Folsom prisons. Eight cells and 16 inmates were part of the search. At the same time as the search warrants were being conducted, both suspects were arrested. Boudreaux was not able to give any details about their investigation with Nuestra Familia.
“This was clearly not a random act of violence. This family was targeted by cold blooded killers,” Boudreaux said. “Our forensics team was able to collect DNA left behind at the scene… We have thousands of items of evidence that we have collected so far.”
THE DAY OF THE MASSACRE
The arrests came after sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a home in Goshen for a call of shots fired at 3:30 a.m., Jan. 16. Originally, the individuals who reported the shots believed there was an active shooter due to the amount of shots heard, according to Boudreaux. Deputies arrived seven minutes later where they immediately discovered two victims dead in the street. It was later determined the individual who called 911 was a survivor in the home at the time of the shooting.
“This case is very dark. It comes from a very dark place,” ATF special agent Joshua Jackson said. “ATF remains committed to work with federal, state and local partners to find these violent offenders in the darkest places. We’ll remain ready and able to meet these people where we find them and bring them into light, so that they can stand for accountability in a court of law.”
Deputies first believed one of the victims to be a 16-year-old girl with her six-month old baby, however upon further investigations it was determined she was in fact 17-years-old and her baby was a 10-month-old baby boy. The two were found down the street from the residence, both shot in the back of the head as the mother attempted to flee. The young mother was caught on the home’s surveillance camera, placing her 10-month-old child over the fence and onto the ground. She quickly jumped the fence and ran to where her child was.
“All of it is disturbing, but the most emotional is Alissa Parraz. We suspected from the evidence at the scene that she was running with her small 10-month-old baby. She ran to the fence and [protected] her child,” Boudreaux said. “She was a particularly young lady, a young mother, who jumped over the fence in an effort to save her life and her baby’s life. Alissa and [her baby] were both found dead on the street.”
Boudreaux said that they believe Elaido Parraz, 52, was shot first. He was stuck in the torso and the leg, and was found by the door of the house. Marcos Parraz, 19, was believed to be the second person shot at the scene, and was struck in the head. He was taken to a local hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. Then deputies found Jennifer Analla, 49, who was shot in the head while asleep. The 17-year-old’s grandmother, Rosa Parraz, 72, was found kneeling by her bedside struck in the head. They believe she was getting out of bed when the gunmen entered her room to kill her.
It is also believed, and Boudreaux said he knows it to be true, that the attack was not a random act of violence. There are gang associations involved, as well as drug investigations, however, not all the victims were known gang members or drug dealers.
Prior to the Jan. 16 attack, TCSO deputies conducted a parole compliance check at the home on Jan. 3 because this is a known home to the department. Boudreaux said it is a house where “gang activity has routinely occurred in the past.” That day, shell casings were found outside the home at that time and deputies asked to go inside the home but the people at the house became uncooperative and refused.
Around 87 Sheriff’s Department personnel put more than 10,000 hours into the case bywho collectively working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to Boudreaux.
This was a multi-agency operation. Visalia was searched by the Tulare County Sheriff Office and TC Swat team, Goshen’s operations led by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Assistant United States Attorneys Fresno, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, Visalia Police Department, U.S. Marshals Office, Woodlake Police Department, Porterville Police Department, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Fresno Police Department, Department of Justice, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Kings County Sheriff’s Office, the County’s narcotics task force, Department of Justice, Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.
WHAT COMES NEXT
Ward said that the end result for both suspects could be the death penalty. He said that this sentence is reserved for the worst of the worst. There are a handful of currently pending death eligible cases already, and “the majority of those cases are murders of infants with a special allegation of torture,” according to Ward. He said that with recent legislative attacks and changes, the death penalty, as well as life without parole sentencing, have been threatened.
“What do we tell families in this situation? Knowing the death penalty is broken in California, families could be told that the punishment may be life [in prison] without the possibility of parole,” Ward said. “[However] in the past few years, families right here in our county decades ago watched the murderer of their loved ones get sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, but had to be contacted by my office and informed that their killer was being considered for release.”
Boudreaux shared a similar sentiment, and criticized Gov. Gavin Newsom’s response when pressed about the situation, to which he had a single sentence hoping the suspects would be caught. Now suspects have been caught, Boudreaux said it is Newsom’s turn to fulfill his responsibilities to protect people from these criminals, and advocate for the death penalty.
“Let the anguish of these families, the anguish of this community, our whole community guide you and your recitation of today’s events and remind the lawmakers in Sacramento and this administration that decisions made in the capitol have real consequences that cause impossible conversations with families impacted by horrific crimes, like the murder of a 10 month old baby alongside her mother,” Boudreaux said.
Ward said that there is still a very long road ahead; however, both public safety officials were confident that these two suspects are the sole individuals of the massacre that occurred the night of Jan. 16.
“The day of arrest is made in the murder investigation, it will mark the beginning of a path to justice for grieving families,” Ward said. “The arrest does not, however, bring closure. While these families know who’s been charged with the murders of their loved ones and the relief that that may bring, they also know that the fight for justice has just begun.”