Gang members plead no contest for November crime spree
July 11, 2011
Four Fresno gang members pleaded no contest recently after leading police through a three-county crime spree last November that ended when San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies apprehended them. [KION]
Ramiro Vasquez, Joe Hernandez, Jr., and Manuel Del Real, all pleaded no contest to a variety of charges stemming from a crime spree on Nov. 28, 2010, that started in Fresno County, traveled through Monterey County and ended in San Luis Obispo County. They face up to 20 years in prison. They will be sentenced Aug. 16, 2011.
Flora Encinia, 32, also pleaded no contest. Her sentencing was delayed until Sept. 29 because she has cancer. She pleaded no contest to vehicle theft, possession of stolen property and a misdemeanor gang charge and will be sentenced to probation and up to one year in jail.
The suspects drove a stolen Lincoln Navigator from Fresno to Monterey County. While driving in Pacific Grove, an officer stopped the Navigator for a seatbelt violation. As he walked from his patrol car to the passenger side of the Lincoln, the officer saw suspicious movement inside the car and he took cover behind a building.
The Navigator, driven by Hernandez, then took off.
At first law enforcement was unable to locate the Navigator, but officers soon got a report of an attempted carjacking along Highway 1. The victim said he was parked in his car when two men approached; one of them was armed. The men demanded he open the door but he started to drive away.
One of the suspects fired a gun. The victim suffered only minor injuries from glass shattering in his car from the gunshots.
As Monterey County Sheriff’s deputies pursued the suspects, they discovered a car that had been burglarized.
The suspects allegedly stole items from the parked car and they continued south to Gorda where they stopped for gasoline. They held two employees at gunpoint and forced one of them to fill up the Navigator with gas. When the other employee moved, one of the suspects fired the gun in his direction.
The defendants then continued south where San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies were waiting for them. After initially appearing to pull over to stop, Hernandez drove the Navigator at the deputies positioned next to their patrol cars. The deputies opened fire and Hernandez swerved and then onto Highway 1, where he stopped a short distance away.