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HPD Arrests 10 In "Operation Crash Dummy"

February 6, 2007 -- Undercover investigators in the Houston Police Department’s Gang Division have arrested 10 suspects, including a doctor and two attorneys, and are seeking at least three others following a two-year long investigation aimed at staged fraudulent automobile accidents that bilked citizens and insurance companies out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Those arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity in the 177th State District Court are Luis Jose Galvan (H/m, DOB 7-26-72), Michael Alan Koris (w/m, DOB 5-18-61), Senaida Salgado (H/f, DOB 12-16-78), Deidamia Perez (H/f, DOB 7-29-80), Alberto Avila (H/m, DOB 8-1-74), Jason Nixon (w/m, DOB 3-22-78), Christopher Keith (w/m, DOB 12-26-86) and Jessica Rivera (H/f, DOB 4-26-85). Attorney, Benjamin Mbonu (b/m, DOB 3-14-59), were also arrested in connection with the investigation. At this time Mbonu is charged with being an outside fugitive in Fort Bend County. Koris is the doctor charged in the investigation.

Investigators are seeking the public’s help in locating three suspects wanted for engaging in organized criminal activity in the 177th State District Court. They are Francisco Diaz (H/m, DOB 11-29-85), Francisco Tapia Jr. (H/m, DOB 7-12-85) and Victoria Martinez (H/f, DOB 8-5-77). Photos of the three wanted suspects are attached to this news release.

Through an informant, an HPD undercover officer was initially introduced to suspected members of a local gang in November 2005 after learning the gang members profited from selling narcotics (cocaine) and insurance fraud they obtained by staging phony auto accidents. The undercover officer met with the suspected gang members numerous times and supplied the gang members with automobiles to be used in staged accidents. A “controlled” accident would occur between vehicles operated by the alleged gang members. A fictitious accident report was made and the undercover officers were then seen by a doctor and a subsequent claim was filed with an attorney. The undercover officers were paid in money and cocaine while the insurance claim checks were cashed by the gang’s organization to obtain its profit. Investigators obtained arrest and search warrants and arrested eight of 10 suspects on January 18. Seized during the investigation were multiple computers, cocaine, ballistic vests and guns.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the three wanted suspects is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

JFC/MES/MDG 2-6-07

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.