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D.A. Introduces O.C.'s Most Wanted

For the first time, the office publicizes the county's top 10 fugitives on its website, hoping to prompt tips leading to arrests.

October 14, 2005|Susana Enriquez | Times Staff Writer

The Orange County district attorney's office Thursday announced for the first time a list of its 10 most wanted criminals, posting the names on its redesigned website.

In a press conference at his office in Santa Ana, Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said the Internet tool was designed to bring in tips from the public and help catch drug offenders, child molesters, rapists and murderers, some of whom have been wanted for as long as 14 years.

The victims "need to have some kind of closure, some sense of justice that these people have been tried and convicted," Rackauckas said. "Many of these people will have new victims before they are apprehended."

He mentioned the Oct. 4 episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," on which Winfrey publicized her "Child Predator Watch List." Within two days, two accused child molesters were arrested as a result of tips from viewers.

"We know that publicizing these faces works.... We need more media, John Walsh [of the "America's Most Wanted" television show], Oprah. We need citizens," Rackauckas said.

The names on the list were chosen to represent a "good cross section of different types of crimes," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Susan Kang Schroeder, a spokeswoman for the office. "Each of the cases was compelling for a different reason."

The 10 most wanted are:

* Ali Achekzai, 27, is suspected of raping two women -- one in Tustin and another in San Diego County in 2004. His last known address was in Ladera Ranch.

* James Lawrence Diamond, 58 to 61, is accused of molesting a 5-year-old female relative in Orange in 1997. He may be in Iowa or Ohio.

* Ismael Hernandez, 25, is wanted for allegedly killing his girlfriend's 8-month-old son in Santa Ana in 2004.

* Jason S. Liu, 26, is wanted for murder in connection with a gang shooting in Fullerton in 2000. He is believed to be in Taiwan or South Korea.

* Miguel Angel Martinez, 33, is wanted for allegedly killing his wife on Christmas Eve in 2003. He is believed to be in Mexico.

* Tim James Maywood, a.k.a. Tim Moreno, 43, is suspected of raping an unconscious woman in Newport Beach in 2003 and videotaping the incident. He may be in Acapulco, Mexico.

* Henry Quinones, 65, was convicted of 26 counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14. He fled during the trial in 1991 and was sentenced to 56 years in state prison. His last known residence was in Anaheim.

* Jason David Rosewarne, 34, is a former Anaheim police officer accused of engaging in sexual acts in 2002 with a minor who was participating in a police Explorer program.

* Samuel Anthony Rowland, 27, was arrested in a Santa Ana motel on suspicion of possession of a firearm and methamphetamine. He fled this year when he found out the offense was his third strike, the district attorney's office said.

* Angel Vergada Jr., 24, is wanted on suspicion of murder, robbery, kidnapping and associating with a Santa Ana gang in 2002.

Oprah Winfrey offers $100,000 rewards to those whose tips lead to suspects' arrests, but Rackauckas said that for those who help catch Orange County's wanted criminals "the reward is that you will know you have done a great justice to the community and that you have saved someone else from being victimized."

The district attorney office's website, www.orangecountyda.com, has information on whom to contact with tips.

It also has information for victims of child abuse, domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault and other crimes.

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