The accused ringleader of the alleged scheme is Angel Zahid Sanchez-Peralta, 21, of Los Angeles County, who was charged in October with 33 counts of attempting to file a false or forged instrument and a count of attempting to procure or offer a false or forged instrument, all felonies, according to court records. The dates of the alleged violations range from October 2020 through January of this year, according to the criminal complaint.
Sanchez-Peralta was arrested in August and was released when he posted $20,000 bail, according to court records. He pleaded not guilty Nov. 16 and is next due in court for a pretrial hearing on Dec. 21.
CHP officials said Sanchez-Peralta signed off on more than 250 citations issued during street racing events in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Sanchez-Peralta, an alleged promoter of the dangerous, impromptu gatherings, would charge $300 for phony documents that would show citations were fixed, CHP Officer Jake Sanchez said. When motorists are cited for a minor violation such as not displaying a vehicle registration tag on a license plate they can go to a local law enforcement office and show it has been fixed, and when an officer signs off on it the proof can be shown in court and the citation dismissed.
Sanchez-Peralta is accused of obtaining stamps with names of current and retired CHP officers and selling the bogus proof so illegal street racers could avoid having to pay thousands of dollars to fix unlawful modifications of vehicles, Sanchez said. Most of the citations were for the modifying of engines and motors to make them more powerful and noisier, Sanchez said. Some of the citations were for emissions, so the phony documents allowed motorists to avoid getting vehicles smogged, Sanchez added.
CHP officials closely monitor social media to chase down leads on where the illegal street racing takes place, so they also took notice of Sanchez-Peralta’s advertisement for his services, CHP Officer Anselmo Templado said. Investigators served a search warrant on Sanchez-Peralta’s residence in August, and on Tuesday, Dec. 6, they arrested 27 others in Orange County allegedly involved in the scheme.