A woman who used stolen credit cards to rent out Palm Springs vacation rental properties pleaded guilty Wednesday to more than a dozen counts of identity theft and was immediately sentenced to 15 years in county jail.
Gabriela Munique Vidal, 34, was arrested Aug. 29, 2017, outside a Palm Springs vacation rental in the 700 block of West Via Vadera.
Police were investigating the use of stolen credit cards to rent out Palm Springs vacation rentals on five separate occasions when they found Vidal, David Anthony Hurtado, 40, and Evania Racquel Lopez Salgado, 25, inside a parked car outside the Via Vadera property, according to Palm Springs police.
A search of the car turned up a stolen, loaded .40-caliber handgun, an unregistered AR-15 .223-caliber semi-automatic assault rifle, a loaded high-capacity AR-15 rifle magazine, ammunition, just under a pound of methamphetamine, 11 grams of heroin and “multiple items of identity theft,” police said.
Vidal was charged with 30 felonies, but pleaded to nearly half of them Wednesday, and will be on mandatory supervision for a period of nearly four years after she is released from custody.
Salgado pleaded guilty in August to burglary, fraud, felony vandalism and a misdemeanor count of providing a false ID to a police officer and was sentenced to four years in state prison.
Hurtado, who previously made headlines for arranging the attempted murders of two California Highway Patrol officers and a Border Patrol officer in Indio six years ago, was charged first by Riverside County prosecutors, and later by federal prosecutors for allegedly possessing the firearms, heroin and methamphetamine. His federal case remains pending.
Hurtado pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges that include assault on a peace officer for calling upon another man to fire at the officers after they pulled Hurtado over during a traffic stop in Indio. The officers were able to duck for cover and were not struck by the gunfire.
The alleged shooter, Samuel Carrillo Ortiz, 44, remains in custody on $1 million bail and is awaiting trial for three counts of attempted murder, as well as an unrelated murder case.
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