Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
April 6, 2010
Susan Kang Schroeder
GANG MEMBER LINKED TO
ROBBERY THROUGH DNA ON CAR WINDOW USING OCDA’S LOCAL DNA DATABASE
*A third-striker co-defendant is also charged in this case
SANTA ANA – A Santa Ana criminal street gang member will be arraigned today for robbing a couple at gunpoint outside of their home to steal their car after being linked to the crime through DNA using the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) local DNA database. Francisco Alberto Rodriguez, 20, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count each of first degree residential burglary, second degree robbery, and street terrorism with sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and the vicarious use of a firearm by a gang member. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison. Rodriguez is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned today, Tuesday, April 6, 2010, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
Co-defendant Jesus Humberto Mejia, 30, Santa Ana, a member of the same gang as Rodriguez, is charged with one felony count each of attempted murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, first degree robbery, attempted first degree robbery, second degree robbery, assault with a firearm, street terrorism, and two felony counts of first degree residential burglary. He faces sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity, the vicarious use of a firearm by a gang member, and the personal use of a firearm. He has two prior strike convictions for first degree residential burglary and active participation in a criminal street gang from 2007. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison. Mejia is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing April 8, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Circumstances of the Case
On the night of Dec. 6, 2009, Rodriguez and Mejia are accused of entering a carport garage in Santa Ana belonging to a 43-year-old man and his 39-year-old wife. The defendants are accused of attempting to steal the victims’ car or its contents by breaking the car window.
The victims came outside upon hearing the noise in their carport. Rodriguez is accused of being seated in the car and pointing a shotgun at the couple. He is accused of pulling the trigger, but the firearm did not fire. Mejia is accused of standing near the car and pointing a handgun at the victims.
The wife attempted to call the police from a cell phone, but Rodriguez is accused of taking the phone from the victim. The defendants are accused of then fleeing the scene.
On Dec. 12, 2009, Mejia and an unidentified accomplice are accused of knocking on the door of a Santa Ana residence with the intention of burglarizing the home.