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Santa Ana councilwoman's brother arrested

August 21, 2008|Tony Barboza | Times Staff Writer

A Santa Ana councilwoman's brother was among those arrested as part of a three-day operation targeting gangs in central Santa Ana, officials said Wednesday.

Pedro Franco, 27, was arrested at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday in the 1200 block of West Brook Street on a parole violation and on suspicion of resisting arrest and being a pedestrian in a roadway, said Santa Ana Police Cpl. Jose Gonzalez.

After determining through a check with state parole officials that Franco listed Councilwoman Michele Martinez as a sibling, city officials contacted Martinez, who confirmed that he is her brother, said Police Chief Paul Walters.

Martinez said she learned of the arrest from City Manager Dave Ream.

Martinez speaks publicly about coming from a gang-infested community and having a mother who she says was a heroin addict and served prison time. But she said she had broken ties with her family since her election in 2006 and does not speak to Franco.

Though she knew he had been affiliated with the city's gangs in the past, she said she didn't even know he was living in Santa Ana now.

"He's been incarcerated, in and out of jail and prison since he was 11 years old. I've never seen him out on the streets for more than four months," she said. "I'm not going to deny it and say my brother is the greatest guy; he's gone though a lot of the things that young people have gone through in this city. He's gotten caught up."

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tony.barboza@latimes.com

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