|For Immediate Release
Case # 04NF4470
January 11, 2008
GANG MEMBER SENTENCED TO 38 YEARS TO LIFE FOR ATTACKING TWO MEN WITH SHOTGUN AND CONSPIRING TO COMMIT MURDER
SANTA ANA – A gang member was sentenced today to 38 years to life in prison for attacking two innocent men with a shotgun and conspiring with members of two allied gangs to commit murder. Omar Mejia, 19, was convicted November 1, 2007 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.
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 Monday, January 14, 2008 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.
Deputy District Attorney Nico Dourbetas of the TARGET Unit prosecuted this case.