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Ninth suspect held in connection with shooting

18-year-old arrested Friday is being held without bail.

April 22, 2007

A ninth person, a Costa Mesa man, was arrested Friday evening in connection with a Costa Mesa shooting, Police Lt. Dale Birney said.

Jesse Benitez, 18, was arrested at about 5:45 p.m. Friday on suspicion of being with a 17-year-old Newport Beach boy who allegedly shot at a group of rival gang members driving in a Toyota Camry on Wednesday evening, Birney said.

Benitez is being held at Costa Mesa Jail without bail. He was also booked on a juvenile warrant.

Benitez was allegedly involved in a rival gang shooting. Police had no other information Saturday about Benitez's suspected involvement in Wednesday's shooting, which took place at Pomona Avenue and James Street on the Westside.

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Six of the others arrested on suspicion of being involved in the incident are under 18.

Costa Mesa residents Michael Seward and Deyvis Ramirez-Rivera, both 18, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of possessing a deadly weapon — what prosecutors called a Billy — and street terror, which includes participation in a gang, prosecutors said.

— Amanda Pennington

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