Calif. man accused of murder arrested in Farmington

Man was taken into custody on April 28 at local home

Noel Lyn Smith
Christopher Arevalo

FARMINGTON — A man accused of a December 2016 murder in California was arrested last week at a Farmington residence.

Christopher Arevalo, 25, was taken into custody without incident by the FBI SWAT team at approximately 7 a.m. on April 28.

A press release issued Monday by the Oxnard Police Department states the department's major crimes detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Arevalo, who is suspected in the murder of Oxnard resident Giovanni Vega, and requested assistance from the FBI.

Arevalo is charged with willful, deliberate, premeditated murder and special allegations that he personally and intentionally discharged a firearm; commissioned the felony to benefit a street gang; and killed the victim while a member of a street gang, according to Ventura County Superior Court records.

He was arraigned in Farmington Magistrate Court on Monday and did not waive extradition, according to court records. Magistrate Judge Rena Scott transferred the case to district court for further proceedings, court records state.

A spokesperson for the Ventura County Sheriff's Office told the Ventura County Star that a governor's warrant must be issued before Arevalo can be transported to California since he is contesting the extradition.

Arevalo remained in custody today at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center with no bond.

The release from the Oxnard Police Department states Vega was found shot to death in an Oxnard neighborhood on Dec. 8, 2016. Arevalo and Joseph Minister, 23, have been charged in Vega's death, and detectives think the motive for the killing was gang related, the release states.

Minister was arrested on April 28 at his residence in Oxnard and is being held at the Ventura County jail on $2 million bail, according to the release.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.