Thu. Oct 22nd, 2020

Two gang members were given multiple life sentences by a Monterey County judge for their role in gang-related attempted murders.

One of the men, Francisco Garcia, was sentenced to 191 years to life, and the other man, Sergio Rodriguez, was sentenced to 270 years to life. The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office said both are convicted felons, and Rodriguez had a previous conviction for a strike offense.

The sentencing comes after a multi-week jury trial. The jury found Garcia and Rodriguez guilty of 22 felony counts that include conspiracy to commit first-degree murder with enhancements for the discharge of guns causing great bodily injury, five counts of attempted murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle. All were found to be for the benefit of a gang.

The incident happened in August 2018 when investigators said they stole a car and went on a “mission” with two others into a rival gang area with the intent to kill in support of the gang’s cause.

The first incident happened just before 7 p.m. on East Bolivar Street. The DA’s Office said Rodriguez fired multiple rounds at a moving vehicle with three people inside before all four of the men left the scene and tried to carjack another person driving into a trailer park.

Rodriguez and Garcia then continued on to an apartment building, which Salinas police said was located at Heather Drive and Iris Drive, where rival gang members lived. Investigators said the men fired more than 11 rounds at two people standing on the street. One of them was hit multiple times, and the DA’s Office said the victim went through several surgeries to remove the bullets. Four of the bullets could not be removed, and the victim is still partially disabled.

Surveillance video from homes near the apartments showed Rodriguez and Garcia driving to and from the scene and abandoning the vehicle in another area. Investigators used the video to identify Rodriguez and Garcia. When Garcia was arrested, investigators said he had a semi-automatic gun that they were able to connect to the second shooting.

Check back with Illicit Deeds for more stories.