Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release: August 22, 2014
SANTA ANA – A drug supplier was sentenced today to two consecutive terms of life in state prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional six years for the special circumstances kidnapping and shooting-murder following a drug deal where his drugs were stolen. Jose Felix Zepeda, 41, Los Angeles, was found guilty by a jury March 20, 2014, of one felony count of first degree special circumstances murder during the commission of a kidnapping, one felony count of kidnapping for ransom, reward, extortion, or to exact from another person money and other valuable things with a sentencing enhancement for the kidnapping being carried out in a manner creating a substantial risk of death, and one felony count of conspiracy to sell methamphetamine with a sentencing enhancement for possession of a substance to distribute exceeding one kilogram.
On April 25, 2012, Zepeda supplied three pounds of methamphetamine to two men, who attempted to sell the drugs but instead were robbed at gunpoint by two other men in Montebello. Zepeda spotted John Doe acting as a lookout near the scene of the robbery.
Zepeda, with the assistance of an unidentified accomplice, kidnapped John Doe, recruited reinforcements, armed themselves, and forced John Doe to lead the crew to the home of the men who robbed him of the drugs. Zepeda’s associates held John Doe at gunpoint in the back of a vehicle in a caravan while they went to Anaheim.
Upon arrival outside of the Anaheim apartment complex, they forced John Doe to point out the men involved in the robbery. Zepeda’s fellow accomplices then shot and murdered Leder Sanchez in the street outside his home. Sanchez died at the scene from two gunshot wounds to his back.
After recovering a portion of the stolen drugs, Zepeda returned to Montebello and participated in demanding money from John Doe and the two men whom he originally supplied the drugs.
The Anaheim Police Department, who investigated this case, arrested Zepeda.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Director of Public Affairs