Posted on December 29, 2019

Two Orange County Men Charged in Federal Court for Murder

The U.S. Attorney’s Office reported in a press release that two Orange County men have been charged with murder after shooting a man and dumping the body in the ocean. Government officials reported that the two men lured the victim onto a boat at Dana Point Harbor with promises of an overnight fishing trip. The man’s body was recovered in Oceanside weeks later.

Hoang Xuan Le, of Fountain Valley, who is an alleged drug trafficker, is charged with first-degree murder. His accomplice, Sheila Ritze, of San Juan Capistrano, is charged with being an accessory after the fact.

According to a federal agent affidavit, “Le has confessed to a confidential human source that he took the victim out on the boat, confronted the victim about a debt owed, shot the victim, tied weights to the victim’s ankles, and sank the victim’s body in the ocean.” The source also revealed that Le confessed to killing the victim because the victim owed Le $30,000 to $40,000.

Ritze is linked to the crime by information showing her phone was at the location of the harbor at the times the boat left and returned. Surveillance tapes at Dana Point Harbor show three individuals believed to be Ritze, Le, and the victim departing, and only showing Ritze and Le when the boat returned.

The first-degree murder charge carries a life without parole sentence or death whereas Ritze’s charge carries a statutory maximum of 15 years in prison. This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pacific Coast Guard Investigations. Both Le and Ritze are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If you have been charged or arrested for a federal crime, then contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced Orange County federal crimes attorney.

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