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Name: People v. Ortega
Case #: C047487
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/20/2006

In a prosecution for Penal Code sections 190.2, subd. (a)(22) and 186.22, subdivisions (a) and (b)(1), an element of all three allegations being the existence of a criminal street gang, the prosecution is not required to prove precisely to which subset of the criminal street gang appellant belonged. Further, a unanimity instruction is not required as to which gang was involved in the offence as the name of a gang is not a criminal act, such that a unanimity instruction applies. Here, evidence was presented that appellant had joined the Nortenos when he was young and in the instant case he committed a murder with other members of the Norteno gang. Evidence as to the Nortenos was offered by a deputy who was an expert in criminal street gangs. He opined that appellant was a Norteno gang member but did not specify to what subset he was affiliated. Appellant’s claim that Nortenos was a geographical term rather than a specific gang was rejected.