Gang member to be sentenced in December

A Costa Mesa gang member is expected to be sentenced Dec. 7 after a jury convicted him of shooting a 15-year-old girl in the chest with a sawed-off shotgun in 2008, court records show.

Salvador Hilario Burciaga, 23, ran into a crowd of people on Costa Mesa's Shalimar Drive and opened fire after yelling a common gang challenge, striking a girl in the chest with several pellets The girl survived and testified against Burciaga in the two-week trial.

Burciaga voiced his hatred of rival gangs Calle Shalimar and Puro Maravilla to police, and randomly chose his victim to further promote and bolster the reputation of Varrio Little Town, prosecutor James Page said.

Burciaga's attorney, Allan Stokke, contended that although his client was a gang member, there was no conclusive evidence pointing to a guilty verdict. The collection process was a "catastrophe" that didn't meet current standards established by the FBI for collecting evidence, he said.

Jurors convicted Burciaga of felony attempted murder, felony street terrorism and felony conspiracy to commit a crime Thursday.

— Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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