Suspect ID’d in high-profile double-homicide that killed Richmond man


A suspect has been identified in a 2012 double-homicide in Oregon that claimed the life of 32-year-old Richmond resident Everardo Mendez-Ceja and led to a large-scale drug bust known as Operation Trojan Horse.

A trial connected to Operation Trojan Horse began Monday in Southern Oregon, and during testimony a detective in the case identified Mendez-Ceja’s suspected killer as Joaquin Lopez, the Herald and News reported.

Jose Buenaventura Vinals, facing trial Monday on drugs and racketeering charges, helped authorities identify Lopez as the suspect, the detective testified.

Mendez-Ceja and Richardo Jauregui were fatally shot and their bodies were found October 2012 just outside Bonanza, Ore., near Klamath Falls. Jauregui’s truck was found burned-out several miles away.

Their drug-related murders led to the arrests of more than 50 suspects involved in an operation that smuggled drugs and weapons into Oregon through Mexican drug cartels, the Herald and News reported.