TUCSON – LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs – Ernesto Clemente-Romero, 28, of Tucson, was convicted by a federal jury here Wednesday of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was taken into custody following the verdict, and his sentencing is scheduled for February 15, 2007, before U.S. District Judge David C. Bury. Romero is the reputed leader of the “Barrio Hollywood” Street Gang which operates out of Tucson. He has a prior felony conviction in the Pima County Superior Court in Tucson for Aggravated
Assault with a Deadly Weapon (a handgun). In this case, officers of the Tucson Police Department responded to a priority call in the late evening of May 25, 2006, regarding a group of individuals drinking
and playing loud music in the parking lot of a barbershop / beauty salon located at 905 N. Grande Avenue on the West side of Tucson.
As officers approached the area, they observed a group of approximately eight young men gathered around a white vehicle. By the time officers were able to pull into the parking lot and make contact with the group, all of the young men besides Romero had apparently run inside the barber shop. The officers saw Romero leaning into the open driver’s side door of the white car, and they saw that he had a black object in one of his hands while he was leaning down. When he turned around and noticed the police car and officers behind him, he quickly stood up, closed the car door, and moved away from the car. He no longer had the black object in his hand at that time. A subsequent search of the car revealed that the only black object found in the area in which Defendant had been leaning was a Ruger P94 9mm semi-automatic handgun.
No one present at the scene would admit any connection to the vehicle where the gun was located, but the evidence at trial showed that the vehicle had been rented by Romero’s ex-girlfriend, that she had left it (along with the car keys) at Romero’s mother’s house earlier that day, and that once the police arrived at the barber shop, Romero placed a cell-phone call to the ex-girlfriend and told her to come get the car.
The investigation in this case was jointly conducted by the Tucson Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The prosecution was handled by Jennifer J. Maldonado, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.
CASE NUMBER: CR-06-1242-TUC-DCB
RELEASE NUMBER: 2006-259(Clemente-Romero)