A 23-year-old gang member has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of gang affiliation, reckless discharge of a firearm and possession of an illegal gun.
Martin Madriz, a member of the Norteño gang, was arrested last Wednesday at 1225 Almanor Avenue, a home known to police as a Norteno stronghold. His arrest stemmed from a police search of the home Monday, in which detectives were looking for a gun that was fired in public in April. No one was injured in the shooting and police said they suspect Madriz fired it at the ground.
During the search, officers did not find the specific handgun, but did locate a large amount of gang paraphernalia. Detective Ed Soares said that evidence prompted the San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe to issue a $100,000 arrest warrant for Madriz.
"There were quite a few people at the house," Soares said. "The arrest went without a hitch."
Wagstaffe confirmed Tuesday that Madriz is being charged on the three counts and that he pleaded not guilty to them all last Thursday. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 27.
Soares said his department, East Palo Alto police and San Mateo County are pushing a "no-tolerance" campaign against all gang members in the area after the brutal shooting of an infant in East Palo Alto earlier this summer.
The shooters, two known Norteño affiliates, opened fire on the family as they were getting into their car after a baby shower. The mother was injured as she tried to shield the boy, but he suffered fatal wounds during the attack. The shooting appears to have been a case of mistaken identity.