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ABLE helps nab shooting suspect

February 19, 2011

Santa Ana police Saturday credited AirBorne Law Enforcement's Eagle police helicopter with helping them nab a murder suspect earlier in the week.

Police officials said an anonymous tipster alerted detectives Thursday night that they had recognized Ivan Sanchez, 21, of Santa Ana, from a TV news report earlier in the week about a shooting that left one man dead.

Sanchez allegedly shot a 35-year-old man in a Santa Ana parking lot Feb. 13 and was planning to flee to Mexico when he was spotted Thursday, said Cmdr. Jeff Owens. Newport-Mesa's police helicopter spotted Sanchez and followed him until detectives took him into custody, police said.

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Sanchez is being held in lieu of $1 million bail and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

Newport-Mesa's ABLE police helicopter program is slated to end at the end of June due to budget cuts by both cities.

—Joseph Serna

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