POMONA - A 33-year-old El Monte man accused of posing as an immigration agent to rob and extort a string of Latino victims was charged Tuesday with kidnapping, robbery, impersonating a public officer and other felony crimes.Noel Gutierrez faces 19 felony counts. He was arraigned Tuesday at Pomona Superior Court. Gutierrez was charged with four counts of kidnapping for ransom; five counts of impersonation of a public officer, investigator of inspector; four counts of extortion; three counts of second-degree robbery; and one count each of kidnapping to commit another crime, first-degree ATM robbery and first-degree burglary with a person present. The charges involve five victims - three men and two women - who were allegedly robbed and extorted on June 5 in El Monte and Rosemead. Gutierrez purportedly identified himself as an immigration agent before committing the alleged offenses. The complaint alleges that Gutierrez detained and threatened to arrest and detain the victims. He allegedly searched the victims and robbed them of cash and valuables. If convicted, Gutierrez faces a maximum of life in prison. The recommended bail was $4.3 million.
********** Published: June 11, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 8