Local Gang Member Faces Half a Millennium in Prison

February 27, 2006

Los Angeles: A Los Angeles gang member could face 490 years in prison if he is convicted of all the charges brought against him for shooting a police officer last summer.

Rodrigo Perez, 20, was charged February 27, 2006, by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office with eight counts of Attempted Murder of a Police Officer with a Firearm, and eight more counts of Assault with a Firearm on a Police Officer for his part in a drive-by shooting at LAPD officers on July 3, 2005.

A group of uniformed Los Angeles police officers were gathered near the 1300 block of Grande Vista around 3 AM, investigating a carjacking and impounding a car, when a lone man in a brown Mazda drove by and fired into the group. Officer Rodolfo Fuentes, 32, was shot in the hand.

Robbery Homicide Division detectives conducted numerous interviews and found two gang members who identified their fellow gang member, Perez, as the shooter. Detectives never found Perez’s gun.

Perez’s bail was set at $1 million and remains in custody pending his trial. If convicted on all counts, Perez could face as much as 490 years in prison.

Last year, LAPD officers were shot at on 16 different occasions. This case makes the 13th case solved among the 16 incidents last year. Eight of the 13 solved shootings involved gang members.

The spate of shootings at officers has continued into 2006. Officers were shot at on five occasions in the first five weeks of 2006. Two of those incidents remain unsolved, one in the Ramona Gardens Housing Project on January 17, and the second on February 9, in the San Fernando Valley.