These are actual case files from the offices of Armando Zatarain Investigations, an Orange County Detective (OC PI). We have either changed or omitted last names to protect the innocent and all parties concerned. Please read on to see how we can assist you with sensitive situations and problems. Armando Zatarain thanks the attorneys involved for their team work, cooperation and legal expertise in helping to resolve some very serious cases.

Gang Homicide

In a Los Angeles County case a client was charged with involvement in a gang homicide. The client was facing 25 years to life imprisonment. A key witness; a juvenile could not be found. I discovered that she and her mother had been evicted from their last residence and were homeless. I spent the better part of four days, but finally found her estranged father. He told me she was in juvenile hall. The attorney and I interviewed the very reluctant witness and subsequently served her with a subpoena. I submitted a report based on the witness' statement. The witness made each subsequent court appearance and the client received a more favorable offer from the prosecution.

-- Attorney Mark A. Gallagher


A client was in the midst of a divorce. He was accused by his estranged wife of battery. It was a one on one ("he said/she said") case until the wife "found" a witness. The witness happened to be an acquaintance of the wife. It took several trips to the home of the witness, but I finally was able to talk to her. The witness was not very cooperative, but she did give a short statement. Her version of the event did not assist the prosecution's case as much as initially thought. It also appeared that she was a reluctant witness. On the eve of trial the prosecution dismissed the case. This was an Orange County case.

-- Attorney Todd A. Landgren

Assault and Battery

I was retained to investigate the case of a former police officer charged with battery. The officer was due to stand trial in Los Angeles County. I interviewed several of the neighbors and enlisted the assistance of the client to help corroborate his story that he was attending a party 35 miles away at the time of the incident. The case was dismissed on the eve of trial.

-- Attorneys Rondee J. Eagle and Janet E. Dockstader

False Arrest

I was retained to assist a client who had allegedly been wrongfully arrested for felony DUI and Hit and Run. This was an Orange County case. The client had already spent approximately three (3) months in jail. The police reports stated that three (3) independent witnesses placed the client behind the wheel. The client insisted that it had been his friend that was the driver; not the client. I reinterviewed two (2) of the witnesses. They both said the client was the passenger; not the driver. The third witness could not be located by either me or the police. A review of police radio transmissions revealed that the alleged driver had fled the scene. (The client had been detained at the scene as the driver). The client's case was dismissed on the eve of trial after he spent approximately four months in jail.

-- Attorney Charles K. Stoddard

Armed Robbery

A very young client with virtually no criminal history was charged with three (3) armed robberies. He was facing fourteen (14) years in state prison. I was retained to prove that the firearm used was in fact a replica/toy gun. I conducted an investigation and showed that the aforementioned was true. The client was still facing four (4) years in prison. The attorney took my reports and made a plea directly to the judge and deputy district attorney. The client got lucky and the judge, a former juvenile court commissioner sentenced the client to a year in county jail. He was released shortly thereafter with credit for time served.

-- Attorney Daniel C. Grupenhagen

Fraud and Deception

A client/businessman was duped by a very sophisticated female. She was probably part of an organization based out of Nigeria. The client was fooled into cashing forged American Express Traveler's Cheques on behalf of the female. The client was initially detained, but not arrested. I put together a defense case and submitted it to the investigating agency in Orange County. I received a call from the case investigator. He complimented me on my convincing presentation and said that he believed the client. He did not submit the case to the DA for filing. The client was spared arrest, bail and a trial on felony charges.

-- Attorney Bruce C. Bridgman