Case # 12NF1746
Date: February 27, 2015
GANG MEMBERS CONVICTED OF FIRING SEVERAL ROUNDS AT OFFICER’S VEHICLE ON PATROL IN ANAHEIM
SANTA ANA – Three defendants were convicted yesterday for firing several rounds at a police officer’s vehicle that was out on patrol in Anaheim for the benefit of their Hispanic criminal street gang. Juan Carlos Covarrubias, 22, Jordy Roman Martinez, 21, Andrew Gomez Sanchez, 21, all of Anaheim, were found guilty by a jury of one felony count of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle and one felony count of street terrorism, with sentencing enhancements for the vicarious discharge of a firearm by a gang member and criminal street gang activity. They will each be sentenced to 35 years to life in state prison at their sentencing May 1, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At the time of the crime, Covarrubias, Martinez, and Sanchez were actively participating in a criminal Hispanic street gang with knowledge that its members engage in a pattern of criminal gang activity.
At approximately 3:30 a.m. on June 1, 2012, Sanchez was driving Martinez and Covarrubias and pulled up in front of an unmarked Anaheim Police Department (APD) vehicle that was patrolling the street. Sanchez was driving the car on the wrong side of the road to block the officer’s vehicle from moving forward on Palm Street at Boysen Avenue in Anaheim. The officers were in their full uniform at the time of the incident.
Martinez got out of the vehicle with a loaded firearm and began shooting several rounds at the officers inside the vehicle with specific intent, premeditation, and deliberation to murder the police officers. The officers attempted to find safety by turning their vehicle around, switching on their police emergency lights, and attempting to drive to safety.
Martinez got back inside the vehicle. Sanchez pursued the officer’s vehicle and one of the other defendants continued to shoot at the officers while they were driving. The defendants lodged two bullets on the front passenger side of the officer’s vehicle. The officers were not struck and did not return fire.
The defendants were shooting at the officer’s vehicle for the benefit of a criminal street gang to promote and assist in criminal conduct by members of that gang.
When responding police units arrived, the defendants crashed their vehicle at a fenced off lot on Midway Drive and Anaheim Boulevard and attempted to flee the scene on foot.
APD officers caught and arrested Martinez and Covarrubias. The defendants discarded two pistols at the scene. APD set up a perimeter around the area and arrested Sanchez after locating him at a school near the crash scene approximately one hour later.
APD investigated this case. Senior Deputy District Attorney Gary LoGalbo of the TARGET Unit is prosecuting this case.