Police Chief John Miller commends three Winters officers

Gonzalez arrested Alvarez on May 17 following an investigation into crimes dating back to 2011.
Detective David Gonzalez (right) was honored for contributing to the conviction of local child predator Margarito Alvarez at the City Council meeting July 16. Officer Alan Pinette (center) and Sergeant Jose Hermosillo (right) were also honored for their achievements.

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A detective whose investigation led to the 90-year sentence of a serial child molester was one of three local police officers commended by Chief John Miller at the Winters City Council meeting July 16.

Detective David Gonzalez, who also serves as liaison to the Winters Joint Unified School District, opened an investigation into Margarito Alvarez, 32, suspected of being a child predator. Gonzalez’s investigation led to a four-week jury trial in the Yolo County Superior Court and Alvarez was sentenced to a jail term of 90 years to life for six counts of lewd and lascivious acts to a minor under 14 years of age, and an additional count involving the use of force.

Gonzalez arrested Alvarez on Friday, May 17 following an investigation into crimes dating back to 2011.

“Detective Gonzalez headed up that investigation and he is being recognized for that effort,” Miller said. “As a direct result of your efforts, the suspect received a sentence of 90 years to life and was remanded into the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to serve his sentence, ensuring he will not be able to victimize the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Gonzalez said it was a team effort and thanked his colleagues, Miller and the community for their assistance in the investigation.

City Manager John Donlevy praised Gonzalez for taking the initiative to piece together this case, given the limited resources of a small police department.

“This is a pretty amazing accomplishment because probably in the history we’ve never gotten a conviction like this,” Donlevy said. “This guy was molesting children in this community for years. And there are other people like him out in our community.”

Officer Alan Pinette received a letter of commendation for his introduction of a Narcan program. Narcan—or naloxone—is an opiate-blocker administered nasally to counteract life-threatening opioid overdoses.

Pinette worked with Winters Healthcare to develop Tactical Emergency Medicine (TEM) trauma kits for the Winters police force, with two in each vehicle. Pinette also developed a Narcan training program and was able to obtain the life-saving drug free of charge.

Miller said Narcan was an important tool in the provision of public safety, and since Pinette’s program, a statewide initiative has been enacted to provide first responders with Narcan.

“It’s a danger to not only the community, but also police officers—especially Fentanyl,” Miller said. “He was very much ahead of the curve—since he brought it to our agency in 2016, it has now become a statewide protocol.” Fentanyl is an extremely potent opioid commonly responsible for overdose deaths.

Pinette said of Narcan, “If I have to use it, you’re in bad shape.”

Finally, Sergeant Jose Hermosillo was commended for his response to a June house fire on Hillview Lane. Miller showed body cam footage of Sgt. Hermosillo running into a burning house to assist residents. Hermosillo then began evacuating neighboring residents, while the garage of the original structure burst into flames.

“I’m glad I was there,” Hermosillo said. “Sometimes I believe we are where we’re meant to be.” Hermosillo thanked the chief for his training and said he was sure any of the other officers would have done the same if they had been in the area.

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