MONTEREY COUNTY – On May 26, 2021, the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office announced that Gabriel Otero was sentenced to 35 years in prison for robbery while personally using a firearm for the benefit of the Norteno Criminal Street Gang.
On November 24, 2018 in the city of Salinas, Gabriel Otero encouraged a young adult female to contact the victim over social media. Otero did so because he saw on social media a photograph of the victim displaying a significant amount of currency. The victim agreed to meet the female at a south Salinas hotel for sexual services. The female led the victim into the hotel room where Otero waited inside. Otero came out of hiding and pointed a handgun at the victim, demanding his belongings.
The victim complied with Otero’s demands and Otero let him leave the room. Salinas Police officers responded to the lobby of the hotel where they located the victim. Officers then apprehended Otero as he attempted to leave the hotel. A loaded .357 magnum handgun was located underneath an ice machine at the hotel. The California Department of Justice confirmed that Otero’s DNA was located on the firearm.
“The DNA work that takes place in the California Department of Justice Forensic Labs is nothing short of amazing,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “The criminalists at California DOJ go to work every day working on evidence that truly makes or breaks cases. They are true and extremely important partners in law enforcement and criminal justice.”
Otero was sentenced to 35 years in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations because of Otero’s prior strike conviction. Otero admitted a portion of the proceeds of the robbery was for the Norteno gang in the form of a tax. Otero’s conviction is considered a strike under California Three Strikes Laws.