Judge Denies Supervised Probation for Ex-Gang Member

By Ryan Gonzales

A Yolo County deputy district attorney argued against the supervised probation of Dominic David Costantino, a gang dropout who was sentenced to incarceration for a vehicle theft conviction, with a probation violation, that occurred in March of 2016.

Aaron Dahl, the People’s first witness and a police officer for 19 years with the city of Vacaville, was investigating multiple burglaries occurring throughout northern counties when he received a phone call on October 21, 2016, from a local police department to confirm that they arrested Paul Ramos, a potential suspect in the burglaries.

Officer Dahl had learned that Mr. Ramos had been arrested at a vehicle stop, when officers found a stolen handgun, keys, IDs, driver’s licenses, credit cards and bolt cutters – that totaled out to be 150 items worth of evidence.

Officer Dahl told the court that, during an interview with Mr. Ramos, Ramos stated that Dominic Costantino was a “lookout” when he went to various gyms and broke into people’s lockers.

When Judge Stephen Mock asked the witness if Mr. Costantino had charges filed against him, Officer Dahl stated that only petty theft and a violation for failing to appear at a probation summons was charged on that day.

But testimony of Constantino’s inconsistent behavior continued with the People’s next witness, William Onteo, who has been a Yolo County Probation Officer for 15 years and had supervised the defendant during his juvenile detention and now on his recent case.

Mr. Onteo gave the court multiple accounts of when Mr. Costantino failed to appear for probation, such as a July 2015 summons, but the defendant claimed ignorance of the court date.

However, in cross-examination, which was conducted by Deputy Public Defender John Sage, the court learned that one of the failed appearances was due to Mr. Costantino’s fear of gang members located at the probation facility.

Despite this notion, Judge Mock believed that the defendant violated mandatory supervision and, due to the circumstances that led to his detention, the court found that Mr. Costantino will serve 340 days in Yolo County or Solano County.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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