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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Friday, November 22, 2019
Contact: Los Angeles Field Division

Orange County Man Arrested on Federal Criminal Complaint Alleging Series of Check Cashing Store Robberies

Man Was Out on Bail for Previous Robbery Charges

IRVINE, California – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), working together with local law enforcement, arrested an Irvine man today for allegedly robbing two check cashing stores and attempting to rob two other such stores in Orange County in late August.

Raffik Silva Zafret, 28, was arrested on a federal criminal complaint and charged with robbery affecting interstate commerce. He is expected to make his initial appearance this afternoon in United States District Court in Santa Ana.

During all four incidents, Zafret claimed to have a firearm and would often leave the stores on a skateboard with a unique red design on the bottom of the skate deck, according to an affidavit filed with the complaint. Zafret allegedly targeted check cashing stores in Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, and Tustin between August 23 and August 30.

Law enforcement viewed Zafret’s Facebook account, which contained a May 6 video of Zafret riding a skateboard that was very similar, if not identical, to the skateboard used in the August 23 robbery in Costa Mesa, according to the affidavit.

The suspect has two pending criminal cases in Orange County Superior Court. In March 2018, Zafret was arrested for committing a string of armed robberies of convenience stores in Orange County. In December 2018, Zafret was charged with vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

 “This is another example of an investigation and prosecution of a dangerous criminal resulting from the solid partnerships between ATF, its local law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Central District of California,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge of Los Angeles Field Division Carlos A. Canino. “By collaborating with our law enforcement partners, ATF removes these criminals from our communities.”

The ATF-led Task Force investigating the robberies is comprised of detectives from the Brea Police Department and the Fullerton Police Department, working along with the Santa Ana Police Department, the Costa Mesa Police Department and the Tustin Police Department.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott D. Tenley of the Santa Ana Branch Office.

 For more information about Los Angeles ATF visit and follow ATF on Twitter @LosAngelesATF.

A complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


Los Angeles Field Division