Homeland Security brings armored vehicle to Santa Ana in a firearms case, congressman alarmed

Department of Homeland Security agents came to Santa Ana on Wednesday with an armored vehicle to serve a search warrant, and were not conducting activities related to immigration enforcement, officials said.

Congressman Lou Correa, a Santa Ana Democrat, said on social media “this incident is very concerning and alarming to me.” Correa added, “My office and I are investigating this incident.”

Earlier today, DHS’s Homeland Security Investigations unit conducted an operation in our community. My office and I are investigating this incident. pic.twitter.com/sDxSGGXP6I

— Rep. Lou Correa (@RepLouCorrea) June 25, 2020

The incident took place at the 1300 block of Center Dr., Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. It was conducted by a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) response team, which is a branch of the DHS but is not affiliated with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said. They came to Santa Ana serve a warrant regarding a firearms-related investigation.

“HSI is the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security and is a vital U.S. asset in combating criminal organizations illegally exploiting America’s travel, trade, financial and immigration systems,” Haley said in an email. “As with other law enforcement agencies whose mission is to protect public safety, specially trained SRT (Special Response Team) agents may be deployed in high-risk situations or under hazardous conditions.”

The agency investigates a broad range of crimes including weapons and gun smuggling, human trafficking, transnational gang activity, international theft. HSI also works on immigration fraud, but that was not the focus of its operation in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Haley said.

She declined specify what agents had been searching for, if anything had been seized or if anyone had been detained, citing an ongoing investigation.

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Man shot in Santa Ana drives himself to hospital

A man drove himself to a hospital after he was shot in Santa Ana on the evening of Tuesday, April 28.

Medical staff notified police that the victim had arrived with a gunshot wound to his upper chest at about 8:10 p.m., Santa Ana Police Commander Andrew Alvarez said. He was treated and was expected to survive.

The patient said he was injured near a store at McFadden Avenue and Fairview Street, Alvarez said.

However, the wounded man was otherwise uncooperative, and provided no further information to police. It was unclear who might have shot him and why as of Tuesday evening.

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Police car crashes en route to reported road rage incident in Anaheim

An Anaheim police car collided with another vehicle while responding to reports of a man who had brandished a gun in an apparent road rage incident that resulted in one arrest on Monday, March 23.

No shots were fired, Anaheim Police Sgt. Shane Carringer said. No major injuries were reported in either incident.

The sequence of events leading up to the crash began when a caller told authorities that a man behind the wheel of a black Toyota had displayed a firearm while driving near Anaheim Boulevard and Ball Road at about 8 p.m., Carringer said. An officer dispatched to the incident was traveling in a marked police car with its lights and sirens activated. It collided with an SUV in the intersection of Anaheim Boulevard and Cerritos Avenue.

  • Police investigate near the site of a collision involving an SUV and an Anaheim Police Department vehicle at the intersection of Anaheim Boulevard and Cerritos Avenue on Monday, March 23 (Photo by Brentt Sporn/OnScene TV).

  • An Anaheim police car collided with an SUV at the intersection of Anaheim Boulevard and Cerritos Avenue while en route to an alleged road rage incident on Monday, March 23 (Photo by Brentt Sporn/OnScene TV).

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  • An Anaheim police car collided with an SUV at the intersection of Anaheim Boulevard and Cerritos Avenue while en route to an alleged road rage incident on Monday, March 23 (Photo by Brentt Sporn/OnScene TV).

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Photos taken at the site of the crash showed a Dodge Durango in the intersection with damage to its rear driver side, and a police car with a smashed front end that appeared to have traveled over a sidewalk and onto a patch of grass. Nobody was seriously hurt, but the driver of the civilian SUV was sent to a hospital for evaluation with complaints of pain, Carringer said. No person was taken into custody in connection with the collision, which was under investigation Monday evening.

Meanwhile, the suspect in the reported case of road rage was stopped by officers nearby and arrested, Carringer said. He was booked on suspicion of felony assault, and later identified as David Park, 42, of Fullerton. He had a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon, and will not face any charges for possessing the gun involved in the alleged incident.

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Police seek armed robber of Garden Grove frozen yogurt shop

Police sought the public’s help in identifying a man seen robbing a frozen yogurt shop in Garden Grove at gunpoint in surveillance footage released Wednesday, Oct. 9, and recorded 12 days prior.

The heist took place at Berry’s on Top, 12901 Harbor Blvd., at about 3:30 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 27, Garden Grove Police said in a news release. An employee was alone in the store when the suspect entered and placed an order. When the clerk opened the cash register, the thief pulled what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun out of his pocket and pointed it at her face.

The suspect ordered the employee to hand over the cash in her till, then calmly exited the store as a group of customers arrived, Garden Grove Police said. He was last seen walking in an adjacent parking lot.

The thief was described as a male Hispanic in his 20s, standing roughly 6 feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing dark clothing, a goatee and mustache.

Authorities asked anyone who might be able to help them identify the man in the video to contact Garden Grove Detective Jim Franks at 714.741.5836. Anonymous tips can be left with Orange County Crime Stoppers by dialing 1-855-TIP-OCCS or visiting https://occrimestoppers.org/

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Police name teen fatally shot in Santa Ana; no suspect identified

Police confirmed on Thursday, Nov. 28, the identity of a 16-year-old mother who was fatally shot in Santa Ana earlier in the month.

The injured teen died in a hospital at 2 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 12., 20 minutes after a shooting was reported near the intersection of West First Street and North Pacific Avenue.

Police said Elianna Costello was the victim. Family members said she was the mother of a 1-year-old girl.

“This isn’t right, for her to go like that,” said Costello’s grandmother, Elisa Nunez. “She was so young, just a child still.”

Police have not yet identified a suspect, said Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, and the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information that can help in the case has been asked to contact Santa Ana police at 714-245-8390. Anonymous tips can also be left with Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS or https://occrimestoppers.org. Informants may be eligible for the Santa Ana Homicide Reward Program.

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