Deputy’s stolen rifle recovered in Tyler Lopez burglary, torture cases

By Larry Judkins

Glenn County Observer

Tyler Lopez

DNA science and the technology associated with it have come a long way over the years.

A thorough cleaning can wipe away fingerprints from an object that has been held. It is more difficult, however, to get rid of microscopic DNA-containing skin cells that have been transferred to an object after it has been handled.

Glenn County Sheriff’s investigators are using “touch DNA” technology in the case(s) involving Tyler Lopez. Lopez is a person of interest or suspect in (1) the burglary of a sheriff’s patrol unit while it was parked at the home of Deputy Vincent Cordova; and (2) the kidnap, torture, beating, sexual assault and other crimes against a woman at the Grindstone Rancheria.

On Nov. 5, 2020, Glenn County Sheriff’s Detective Zachery Lopeteguy responded to a report of a vehicle burglary at the Grindstone Rancheria. The vehicle belonged to the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office and it was assigned to Glenn County Sheriff’s Deputy Cordova.

Items stolen from the patrol unit included a shotgun; six magazines (three metal box-style and three Magpul brand polymer magazines) for a sheriff’s office-issued rifle; a Taser; a ballistic helmet; a Glenn County bag with a department logo; ammunition; a camera; and a stream light flashlight ‑ and, most important for the purposes of this report, a GCSO-issued rifle.

Early on, Tyler Lopez was considered a person of interest in this crime. Detective Lopeteguy also learned from anonymous sources that Lopez was staying at Vincent Martin’s home at 3600-18 Phils Way, just a few houses away from the burglary scene, and the stolen property was probably there.

On Nov. 27, Deputy Travis Johnsen received a report that a woman at the Grindstone Rancheria had been held against her will and forced to allow Tyler Lopez and Anna Fred (a.k.a. Anna Brown) take explicit nude videos of her. At the rancheria, Deputy Johnsen made contact with the victim.

She told the deputy that she went to visit Vincent Martin at his home at the Grindstone Rancheria. According to Glenn County Sheriff’s investigators, Tyler Lopez and Anna Fred were there, and the victim was acquainted with all three of them.

After a while, Lopez and Fred began to confront the victim, accusing her of being a snitch. Both Lopez and Fred have felony records.

Lopez left the living room and returned with what the victim described as a “very large black gun” ‑ a rifle, not a handgun. He allegedly pointed the gun at the victim and asked Fred if he should “just kill her now.”

While Lopez was pointing the gun at her head, the victim said she heard the gun “click.” Lopez reportedly said to the victim, “You’re lucky, bitch. I didn’t know the safety was on.”

The victim was then forced into Vincent Martin’s bedroom. Martin had left the house, and it was just Lopez, Fred, and the victim there.

According to the victim, Lopez and Fred yelled at her to stop crying, but when she couldn’t stop, they began punching her in the head and face, and Lopez allegedly used the butt of the rifle to hit her in the right knee. During the initial investigation on Nov. 27, the victim showed Deputy Johnsen an abrasion and bruising to her right knee.

She also had a black eye, a lump on the side of her forehead, and a bruise on her right foot reportedly caused by being hit with a flashlight.

Lopez and Fred continued to discuss what to do with the victim. Lopez allegedly said, “She saw the gun and will tell them what I did with it.”

This was reportedly followed by well over 30 hours of sexual assaults of various types, torture, and forced use of drugs. Lopez and Fred also allegedly made explicit videos of the victim.

Lopez hid the rifle and the cell phones they allegedly used to video the victim, and Vincent Martin returned to the home about 2 a.m. on Nov. 26. The victim was allowed to leave, without her pants or underwear, after about 39 hours of being held against her will.

Following the initial investigation, a search warrant was authorized and executed. Items collected included: Two personal computers; two tablets; seven cell phones (one of which was the victim’s); a digital video recorder; a digital camera; and an envelope with two micro SD cards.

It is now known that deputies also found the rifle that had been stolen during the burglary of Deputy Cordova’s patrol vehicle. Upon inspection of the rifle, detectives reportedly found a live round in the rifle chamber.

The primer of the round had been struck by the firing pin, but the weapon had not fired.

During an interview with the victim, Deputy Johnsen showed her a rifle that was the same make and model as Deputy Cordova’s (a DPMS model M160). The victim told Deputy Johnsen it was identical to the one Lopez had pointed at her.

As a result, a search warrant for Tyler Lopez’s DNA, to be acquired through cheek swabs, was requested. According to Deputy Johnsen, Lopez’s DNA was left on the rifle during the alleged murder attempt of the victim.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, at about 5:51 p.m., Anna Lola Brown (Anna Fred), 33, was booked into the Glenn County Jail on charges alleging cultivation of marijuana (a felony), felony violation of probation, disobeying a lawful order of the court (a felony), misdemeanor violation of probation, and disobeying a court order (a misdemeanor). Her bail was set at $109,000.

She was taken into custody on County Road 305, Elk Creek, by a GLINTF (major crimes) agent. Then, two days later, while still in jail, she was also served with a warrant alleging attempted murder (a felony). Bail for this was set at $150,000.

Three weeks later, on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at about 11:06 a.m., Tyler James Lopez, 29, was booked into the Glenn County Jail without bail on charges alleging obstructing or resisting a public service officer, and trespassing with willful destruction of a fence on enclosed land (both misdemeanors), and a warrant alleging violation of post-release community supervision (a felony). He was taken into custody at 3600 County Road 305, Elk Creek, by a Glenn County Sheriff’s deputy.

The next morning, he was served with a warrant alleging attempted premeditated murder; torture; kidnap to commit robbery and/or rape, assault to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy, or other specified offense; sexual penetration with an object by force; preventing or dissuading a witness or victim of a crime through threat or force; giving drugs to aid in the commission of a felony; assault with a machine gun on a person; use of a firearm during the commission of a felony; a special enhancement doubling his prison sentence if found guilty for having one or more previous serious or violent felony convictions; and another special enhancement regarding his sentencing if convicted (all felonies). His bail was set at $1.36 million.

As previously reported, Det. Lopeteguy also shipped the above-mentioned electronic items to Investigator Washabaugh at the California Highway Patrol Computer Crimes Investigations Unit. On Jan. 8, 2021, Investigator Washabaugh reported he was searching a Samsung Galaxy when he found what he described as child pornography.

Nothing more regarding this disturbing aspect of this case has yet been learned.

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