Saliva Test Exposes Gang Member In CUHeist

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. - (11/22/04) -- In a case that spotlights thegrowing use of DNA in crime solving, a local gang member wasarrested last week and charged with the August 2003 armed robberyat Victor Valley FCU after authorities linked DNA produced fromsaliva scraped from a ski mask used in the hold-up to a samplebelonging to a convicted sex offender. As a result, Johnnie LeonRice, 34, a known member of the Fruit Street Bloods, now faces apossible third offense under California's 'three strikes' law,which carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Police saidRice and two accomplices donned masks and ran into the credit unionwith guns brandished and jumped the teller counter, then loadedtrash bags with $30,000 in cash before escaping in a stolen ToyotaCamry parked in the adjacent alley. The getaway car was discovereda short while later with its engine still running and clothing,including the ski mask with tell-tale traces of saliva that led toRice's capture.

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