Experience

Jesse De La Cruz’s  academic and personal experiences in both street and prison gangs have involved him in many facets of the American gang problem.  He has facilitated gang awareness workshops in many school districts and lectured on gang problems at universities and colleges throughout California.  His past personal involvement with gangs and his complete transformation gives Dr. De La Cruz the ability to probe and elicit information from gangsters that they will not divulge to attorneys or law enforcement officers.

In the context of his background and experience, he has been qualified as an expert witness in a death penalty case in Siskiyou County involving an alleged White Supremacy gang. Dr. De La Cruz assisted in a Norteño criminal street gang case in Stanislaus County where he was instrumental in assisting the defense attorney in securing a not guilty verdict for a young man charged with attempted carjacking, first degree murder and gang enhancements. Dr. De La Cruz’s testimony also helped the jury reach a not guilty verdict on the gang enhancement charges against the two co-defendants in this case. For more information concerning this case, please contact Frank Carson, Attorney at Law @ (209) 549-0984.

Dr. De La Cruz has also participated in aiding lawyers in the preparation of testimony and has given his expert opinion on approximately 350 cases.

Jesse De La Cruz served as a defense gang expert in the highly publicized trial of Josue Orozco in San Mateo County in 2009. Josue, who was fourteen years old when he was charged with murder, was the youngest defendant tried as an adult in San Mateo County history. I was the defense investigator assigned to the case and was able to utilize Jesse’s extensive knowledge of gangs, from both personal experience and academic studies, to formulate the direction of certain aspects of the investigation. He was instrumental in assisting defense attorney, Raymond Buenaventura, in preparing cross-examination of the District Attorney’s gang expert. Essentially, this enabled the defense to turn the DA’s gang expert into one for the defense. Jesse also offered helpful suggestions as he watched certain gang member witnesses testify. Following several weeks at trial, the jury deadlocked 7-5, and a mistrial was declared. Jesse was an integral part of our defense team-leading to this incredible outcome. I would highly recommend Jesse’s services to any other investigator or attorney in need of gang expert assistance.
Sylvia M. Palma
Palma & Palma Investigations