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Fourth arrest in drive-by shooting

David Ortega, 24, of Tustin, charged with being an accessory in the August murder of Israel Maciel.

October 17, 2006|By Ana Facio Contreras

A fourth person has been arrested and charged in connection with the August drive-by shooting off Baker Street in Costa Mesa that left one man dead and four others wounded.

David Ortega, 24, appeared in court Monday on a charge of being an accessory to murder. He did not enter a plea, and his arraignment was continued to Wednesday at Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. His bail was set at $100,000.

Costa Mesa police arrested Ortega at his home in Tustin on Sept. 28. It was unclear why police failed to release any information about the arrest until Monday.

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On Aug. 2, Israel Maciel, 23, was shot to death in the alley of an apartment complex in the 1300 block of West Baker Street. Four others wounded in the shooting were hospitalized and released later that week.

The gun and car used in the shooting have not been found.

"We have reason to believe that he [Ortega] disposed of the weapon," Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Matt Murphy said Monday outside the courtroom.

Ortega's family was present in court but declined to talk to the press.

Ortega's arrest came two days after police arrested Joshua Anthony Blount, 22, of Compton, on a charge of suspicion of murder with a special circumstance allegation that he used a gun in the drive-by shooting. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending arraignment Nov. 17.

Police arrested Blount's girlfriend, Rachel Salorio, 22, of Irvine, when she visited him at the Costa Mesa Jail on Sept. 27. Salorio has pleaded not guilty to a charge of accessory to murder and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Nov. 17. Her bail was reduced Monday from $1 million to $100,000.

On Friday, Anthony Nicholas Dispensa, 21, of Illinois was arrested at the Franklin Motel in Buena Park on a charge of suspicion of murder in the Maciel case. Dispensa's arraignment scheduled for Monday was continued to Nov 17. He is being held on $1 million bail.

Police are continuing their investigation, Costa Mesa Police Lt. Tom Curtis said. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Det. Dana Potts at (714) 754-5363 or Det. Pat Wesel at (714) 754-5178.

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