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Gang Member Sentenced to Prison for Attempted Murder

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

Martin Contreras
Martin Contreras

A 39-year-old Santa Maria man will spend nearly 30 years in state prison after pleading guilty to two counts of attempted murder and admitting to special gang allegations, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Tuesday.

A Santa Maria judge sentenced Martin Contreras on Tuesday to 29 years and four months in prison for two counts of attempted murder — related to two separate incidents — and for admitting to special allegations of being armed with a gun and committing the crimes for the benefit of a criminal street gang, Dudley said.

The first incident took place Sept. 15, 2009, when Contreras allegedly shot at another gang member standing outside his home in the Donovan neighborhood on the northern end of Santa Maria, she said.

The second occurred on Oct. 3, 2010, in the area of Preisker Lane and Roemer Way, also in Santa Maria.

During that incident, Contreras was allegedly involved in a vehicle chase and fired a number of gun shots from his vehicle at a rival gang member, Dudley said.

None of the intended targets in either shooting was injured, she said.

Dudley commended the Santa Maria Police Department's gang suppression team for outstanding investigative work in both crimes.

“Justice was served in this case today,” she said in a statement. “A dangerous gang member is now off the streets of Santa Barbara County.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.




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