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Local News

Jury Convicts Santa Barbara Gang Members of Robbery

Two Santa Barbara Westside gang members were convicted Thursday of robbery and false-imprisonment charges stemming from a 2012 incident outside an Eastside market, according to the county District Attorney's Office.

A Superior Court jury returned the guilty verdicts against Marcial Garcia and Christian Botello in Judge Frank Ochoa's courtroom, said Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Siegel.

The two were convicted of robbery and false imprisonment by violence or menace, along with allegations involving participation in a criminal street gang.

Two other Westside gang members — Luis Jaimes and Juan Carlos Gomez — pleaded guilty to robbery and street-gang charges prior to the start of the trial, and were sentenced to 5 years and 5 years and 8 months, respectively, in state prison.

Garcia and Botello were accused of driving into rival Eastside gang territory and robbing a man outside the Mi Fiesta Market at 410 Salinas St.

The victim, who was sitting in his cousin's car, was robbed of his wallet, cell phone, cash and other items, and threatened with being stabbed if he didn't comply with the suspects' demands, Siegel said.

Jaimes and Gomez were accused of acting as lookouts during the robbery.

Garcia and Botello are scheduled to return to court Oct. 22 for further proceedings regarding their prior convictions, which could affect their sentences.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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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