GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF ATTACKING TWO MEN WITH SHOTGUN AND CONSPIRING TO COMMIT MURDER

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 04NF4470

November 2, 2007

Contact:

Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF ATTACKING TWO MEN
WITH SHOTGUN AND CONSPIRING TO COMMIT MURDER

SANTA ANA – A gang member who attacked two innocent men with a shotgun was convicted yesterday of conspiring with members of two allied gangs to commit murder. Omar Mejia, 19, was convicted today of one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, one felony count of attempted voluntary manslaughter, one felony count of assault with a firearm, and one felony count of street terrorism. The jury also found true sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a firearm and criminal street gang activity.  He is facing a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison at his sentencing on January 11, 2008 in Department C-44 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

 

Co-defendants Joel Calderon, 24, and Steven Perez, 20, pleaded guilty on September 27, 2007. Calderon was sentenced to 17 years in state prison and Perez was sentenced to 13 years in state prison. Co-defendant Ceasar Lozano, 20, is charged with felonies for attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, assault with a firearm, and street terrorism, and faces sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and knowingly being vicariously armed with a firearm. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Lozano is scheduled for trial on January 7, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-36, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

 

On December 10, 2004, Anaheim criminal street gang member Ricardo Collado was stabbed by rival Anaheim gang members in a bank parking lot at the corner of Anaheim Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue. Collado was with his friend Mejia, a member of an allied gang. Lozano, a member of a third allied gang, is accused of being with them. Mejia and Lozano left Collado in a parking lot suffering from stab wounds and did not call an ambulance.

 

Lozano is accused of driving with Mejia to Collado’s gang neighborhood and recruiting gang member Perez and Calderon. The defendants conspired to drive into rival gang territory with the intention of killing rival gang members in retaliation for Collado’s stabbing. While searching for rival gang members to kill, the defendants noticed Lozano’s mother in an apartment complex parking lot. Lozano is accused of stopping the car after seeing his mother with her new boyfriend Jesus Armenta, whom he didn’t like. Lozano is accused of getting out of the car with Mejia, Perez, and Calderon and confronting the couple. The defendants surrounded Armenta and Mejia took the shotgun and struck the victim in the head with the butt of the gun.

 

David Martinez, who worked at another location as a security guard, saw the attack and decided to help. As he approached, Mejia turned and pointed the gun at Martinez. He attempted to shoot but the gun did not go off.  Anaheim police officers responding to an unrelated call in the area arrived in the parking lot, witnessed Mejia pointing the gun at Martinez, and ordered him to drop the gun.  Mejia and Calderon were taken into custody and Lozano is accused of fleeing the scene in his car with Perez, but were later linked to the crime.