Los Angeles Pair Sentenced in Arson Fire that Severely Injured LAFD Captain

Wednesday, February 06, 2013 |

LOS ANGELES - On January 9, 2011, members of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) responded to a vehicle fire near Elysian Park. While extinguishing the fire, a violent explosion occurred seriously injuring an LAFD Captain. The Officer was rendered unconscious and sustained a severe skull fracture and several other lesser injuries.

It was later discovered by Investigators from the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section (ACTS) that the fire was intentionally set in what appeared to be a case of arson for profit and insurance fraud. The LAFD requested assistance from the California Department of Insurance (DOI).

On Wednesday October 26, 2011, following an 11-month investigation, LAFD ACTS Investigators and DOI Detectives identified and arrested two suspects in conjunction with this auto insurance fraud scheme: Maria Porras (35) and Rigoberto Diaz (37), both of Los Angeles.

Booking Photo of Arson Suspect Rigoberto Diaz
Rigoberto Diaz (Then Age 37)
On February 5, 2013, Rigoberto Diaz pled guilty to 1 count of Arson with Great Bodily Injury and was sentenced to 14 years in the California State Prison system.

Booking Photo of Arson Suspect Maria Porras
Maria Porras (Then Age 35)

On February 4, 2013, Maria Porras pled guilty to 1 count of Insurance Fraud and was sentenced to 3 years formal probation.
Arson is not a victimless crime. If you have information about arson in Los Angeles, please contact the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section directly at (213) 893-9800.
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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