Arrests Made In Two Gang Killings


June 29, 2010

SANTA ANA – Two men are behind bars, accused of shooting to death two men during separate gang-related attacks in Santa Ana, police said.

Joe Rodriguez, 25, was arrested on June 18 in Portland, Ore., by U.S. Marshals in connection with the shooting death a 19-year-old Miguel Fernandez, said Santa Ana Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

Rodriguez will be brought back to Orange County on Wednesday, Bertagna said.

The kil#i*gg occurred during a mid-morning drive-by shooting on April 5, 2007, when Fernandez, a pblankenger, and a friend were traveling north in the 1200 block of South Main Street, police said.

Bertagna said one of the occupants in a green four-door Honda Accord shot Fernandez. His friend was uninjured.

Fernandez died 10 days later as a result of his injuries at Western Medical Center-Santa Ana, police said.

The motive for the shooting was gang rivalry, Bertagna said.

At the time of the incident, gang detectives said Fernandez and his friend were not gang members.

An 18-year-old man, Adrian Vela, was arrested Friday in connection with the shooting death of 22-year-old Martin Herrera on Jan. 23, 2009, Bertagna said.

Vela was arrested in Buena Park by members of the California Department of Corrections Fugitive Apprehension Team, Bertagna said. Vela was booked on one count of murder at the Santa Ana City Jail, he said.

Two other suspects – Hector Martinez and Christopher Rudy Ochoa – are also behind bars, accused of kil#i*gg Herrera.

Herrera, of Fountain Valley, was critically injured when shots were fired in the 600 block of N. Bristol Street. Herrera died the next day as a result of his injuries at UCI Medical Center in Orange. Another man was injured during the attack, but survived.

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