California pastor hired hitmen to kill daughter's boyfriend, police say

California police last week arrested and charged a Victorville pastor, alleging that he contacted hitmen in a plot to kill his daughter’s boyfriend.

Riverside authorities say Samuel Pasillas, 47, offered nearly $40,000 to Juan Manuel Cebreros, 55, and other men to kill his daughter’s boyfriend in October 2023.

“During their investigation, detectives uncovered evidence the father met with the men he hired and provided them information about the victim, including his location, the evening of the shooting,” Riverside police said in a press release on Tuesday. “Detectives also determined these men were paid almost $40,000 by the father and had conducted surveillance on the victim in the weeks leading up to when they shot him.”

On Oct. 21 of last year, Riverside police initially responded to a hospital reporting a person who had just arrived with gunshot wounds from a shooting at about 7 p.m. that day in the Orangecrest neighborhood.

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Riverside police arrested Victorville pastor Samuel Pasillas on March 13 in connection with a murder-for-hire plot to kill his daughter’s boyfriend. (Riverside PD)

The adult male victim said he was driving when another vehicle pulled up alongside his, and someone inside that vehicle began shooting at him. He was struck several times, police said.

The victim then drove himself to the hospital, where he received treatment for his injuries.

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Riverside police also arrested Samuel Pasillas’ alleged hitman, Juan Manuel Cebreros, pictured here. (Riverside PD)

Officers were able to recover evidence from the scene of the shooting.

In a follow-up investigation, the Riverside Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Unit, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Crime Analysis Unit determined that the shooting had been a murder-for-hire plot.

The victim was driving in Riverside, California, when another vehicle pulled up alongside his, and someone inside that vehicle began shooting at him. (Riverside PD)

“The victim had been dating a woman whose father is a pastor for a Spanish-speaking church in the city of Victorville,” police said, naming Pasillas as a suspect.

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The 47-year-old pastor is charged with solicitation for murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He is being held on $1 million bond.

Riverside police were able to recover evidence from the scene of the shooting in October 2023. (Riverside PD)

Authorities later arrested Cebreros for conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon. The alleged hitman is also being held on $1 million bond.

An investigation into the shooting is ongoing, and Riverside police said there are no further details to report at this time. Authorities are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact Det. Nic Cantino at (951) 353-7104 or [email protected]. Anonymous tipsters can also send information to [email protected], or through the Riverside Police Department’s “Atlas 1” mobile app.

Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to [email protected] or on Twitter at @audpants.

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