Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
December 22, 2008
Susan Kang Schroeder
ENJOINED ORANGE GANG MEMBER ARRESTED AND CHARGED FOR VIOLATING GANG INJUNCTION BY USING GANG HAND SIGNS WHILE TAKING PHOTO WITH SANTA IN SAFETY ZONE MALL
SANTA ANA – An enjoined member of a Hispanic criminal street gang from Orange was arraigned today on charges of violating a gang injunction by associating with other gang members at a mall inside the Safety Zone and using gang hand signs while taking a photo with Santa Claus. Uriel Oliva, 18, Anaheim, is charged with three misdemeanor counts of disobeying a court order for gang association, gang hand signs, and gang clothing. He is being held on $15,000 bail and is subject to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold. Oliva is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Jan 9, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-47, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. He faces a maximum sentence of one year and six months in jail if convicted.
On Dec. 16, 2008, Oliva, an enjoined criminal street gang member, is accused of associating with four other documented gang members at the Village Mall at 1500 E. Village Way, which is located in the Orange Safety Zone. He is accused of being in the presence of gang clothing and indicia. Oliva is also accused of using gang hand signs in the photograph. All of the gang members were taking a photo at the mall with Santa Claus. Several children and families were present.
A gang injunction is a civil order that restricts or prohibits documented gang members from participating in specific acts or activities and is designed to curb intimidating or harassing behavior. The terms of the Orange gang injunction include a restriction that prohibits association of named defendants with other named defendant of their respective gang. Association includes standing, sitting, walking, driving, bicycling, gathering, or appearing anywhere in public or public view with any known member of the gang. The terms also prohibit gang hand signs, gang clothes, and other restrictions. The 1.4 square mile designated gang-free Safety Zone consists of residential and commercial areas in Orange.
Deputy District Attorney Bobby Taghavi of the TARGET Unit is prosecuting this case.