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Sheriff's detectives search for 2 accused in Guerena probe

From the archive: This story is more than 10 years old.

Sheriff's detectives search for 2 accused in Guerena probe

  • Alejandro Ortiz Guerena
    Pima County Sheriff's DepartmentAlejandro Ortiz Guerena
  • Gerardo Guerena
    Pima County Sheriff's DepartmentGerardo Guerena

The Pima County Sheriff's Department is looking for two men in connection with a drug trafficking organization investigation in which a Marine veteran was fatally shot by SWAT officers in May 2010.

Detectives from the Special Investigations Unit are looking for Alejandro Ortiz Guerena, 28, and Gerardo Guerena, 24, whom they believe may be hiding in Caborca, Mexico, or Oquitoa, Mexico, sad PCSD spokeswoman Sgt. Dawn Barkman.

The investigation began into into the drug trafficking organization in 2009 when Barkman said detectives became aware it was operating in Pima County, Barkman said.

On May 5, 2010, Pima Regional SWAT Team members served a search warrant at the South Side home of Marine veteran Jose Guerena. Guerena pointed an assault rifle at the officers and they fired their weapons, shooting him 60 times. While initial reports from the Sheriff's Department said Guerena had shot at the officers, a statement two weeks later said his weapon's safety was on.

Detectives arrested three people in March involved in the investigation, one of whom, Pauline Guerena, is Jose Guerena's sister-in-law.

Pauline Guerena, and her father, Jose Rafael Celaya, and sister, Denise Ruiz, were arrested following a traffic stop at Oklahoma Street and Camino Verde on two vehicles seen leaving a home that was under survellance in the 6200 block of W. Oklahoma St. Deputies found $30,000 in cash in one of the vehicles, Barkman said in March.

Detectives searched the Oklahoma Street home at that time and found cash and other evidence Barkman said was related to drug trafficking.

Anyone with information on the the whereabouts of Alejandro Ortiz Guerena or Gerardo Guerena is asked to call 911 or 88-CRIME.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the circumstances immediately prior to SWAT Team members fatally shooting Jose Guerena.

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