Police: Kenwood suspect a drug cartel hit man

As investigators delve into the case of Miguel Angel Garcia – the man at the center of a daylong standoff in Kenwood one month ago that ended with his own death – some authorities have stated off the record that they now believe he was a hatchet man for a Mexican crime organization.

Garcia, a 32-year-old Napa resident, was wanted for felony drug and firearm possession when authorities tracked him to a trailer on a rural property on Hoff Road in Kenwood on the night of April 1. A standoff ensued, as authorities negotiated with Garcia – considered to be armed-and-dangerous – over his cell phone.

During that time Garcia confessed to “several violent felonies, including a murder,” according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. But about 20 hours into the standoff he had become withdrawn, and authorities fired chemical agents into the trailer “in an attempt to re-engage the suspect in productive negotiations.”

That led to a volley of gunfire, the trailer catching fire, and Garcia emerging from the trailer door and falling to the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy later determined that Garcia died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.

As they followed up on the leads provided by Garcia during his last hours, investigators with the Napa County Sheriff’s Office soon discovered a body off Highway 128 near Lake Hennessy, southeast of St. Helena. That person was later identified as Reynaldo Pacheco, a 44-year-old Santa Rosa man missing since late March who may have been caught up in a Ponzi scheme. Authorities now believe Garcia was one of three men who kidnapped and killed Pacheco.

This closed the loop on an ongoing investigation by Napa authorities following a March shooting into an occupied car in Napa, according to the Napa Valley Register. In that incident, 23-year-old Mauricio Tovar-Telles allegedly told authorities he fired into the car using a gun he got from Garcia – resulting in authorities obtaining a warrant for the Kenwood trailer.

On Monday, Tovar-Telles and another man, 28-year-old Norberto Guerrero Gonzalez, both of Napa, were charged with murder, kidnapping and robbery in Napa County Superior Court for their alleged role in Pacheco’s death, the Register reported.

Meanwhile, authorities in Rohnert Park have linked Garcia with yet another kidnapping, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat based on interviews with police sources.

In that incident, a man was abducted at gunpoint in January and taken to Napa, the Press Democrat reported.

After receiving a ransom from the victim’s family, the kidnappers took him to Lake Hennessey, not far from where Pacheco’s body was found, tied him up and left him. The victim managed to escape. DNA evidence reportedly has linked Garcia to the crime.

Two other Napa men, 22-year-old Jose Cortes-Siordia and 26-year-old Luis Avila Arriaga, were arrested in April in connection with the Rohnert Park kidnapping, according to the Press Democrat.

A police source confirmed to the Index-Tribune that authorities were briefed on both kidnappings, and that both crimes had been linked to Garcia. The source also said that Garcia was believed to be a hit man for a Mexican drug cartel.