>NEW SHOT-CALLER FOR MEXICAN PRISON GANG CHARGED WITH SIXTH STRIKE FOR CONSPIRING TO TRAFFIC METHAMPHETAMINE WHILE POSSESSING A FIREARM AND ENGAGING IN STREET TERRORISM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 19, 2006
Contact: Susan Kang Schroeder, Deputy District Attorney
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

FULLERTON – The Orange County District Attorney filed charges against a hardcore Mexican prison gang member, Vincent William Acosta, 38, for conspiring to traffic methamphetamine (meth), possessing a firearm as a felon and during the commission of the drug trafficking, engaging in street terrorism as a gang member, and possessing heroin and meth at the time of his arrest.  He is accused of being the new North Orange County shot-caller for his southern California Mexican prison gang.  If convicted of all counts, he could be sent to prison for 136 years to life.  Acosta will be in court this morning at 10 a.m. in department N-12, North Justice Center in Fullerton.

FACTS
On February 21, 2006, Acosta is accused of agreeing to sell an ounce of meth and telling the person he could get a better price for a greater amount of the drug.  Two days later, Acosta is accused of arming himself with a handgun for “protection” while selling meth at a home on 520 East Broadway in Anaheim.  He is accused of selling a plastic baggie of meth for $750 and giving the buyer a discount because the baggie was not quite full. 

On February 28, 2006, Acosta is accused of making another deal of selling meth to the same buyer.  Multiple cars were seen pulling up to the address on the same day.  Acosta is accused of handing the buyer a .357 revolver to use for “protection” during the sale.  He is accused of taking the handgun back and accepting the payment of $380 for half an ounce of packaged meth. 

Anaheim Police and Drug Enforcement Agency officers arrested Acosta on March 1, 2006, after a joint investigation.  He is accused of possessing heroin and meth when he was arrested. 

STRIKES AND PRISON PRIORS
In March 1987, Acosta, driving a stolen car, led police officers from multiple agencies throughout Orange County on a pursuit on surface streets and freeways.  Two helicopters during the chase crashed into each other killing two police officer pilots and a civilian observer and critically injuring another police officer.  A jury convicted Acosta of three counts of first degree murder.  Unfortunately, the case was overturned by an appeals court and Acosta served less than 10 years for three counts of vehicular manslaughter.  He was paroled in 1994. 

Since then, Acosta has been sent to prison on multiple occasions for felony child abuse, negligent discharge of a firearm (STRIKE), two counts of robberies (STRIKES), assault with a firearm (STRIKE), residential burglary (STRIKE), and possession of a firearm by a felon.  He committed these crimes between 1994 and 1998.

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Fish with the Tri-Agency Resource/Gang Enforcement Team (TARGET) will be prosecuting the case.  TARGET is a program that teams up police officers, probation officers, and prosecutors and stations them together in police departments throughout the county.  The TARGET concept is a highly specialized team approach focusing on the most hardcore, violent, repeat gang offenders who possess leadership positions in criminal street gangs.  The goal of TARGET is to incapacitate these hardcore gang members before they can commit further violent acts against society.  Acosta is on this TARGET list. 

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