Office of the District Attorney - Maggie Fleming, District Attorney
February 8, 2018
Yesterday, a Humboldt County jury found 42-year-old Rafael Martinez of Arcata guilty of carrying a concealed dirk or dagger, possession of burglar’s tools, and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia. (The California Penal code and jury instructions defines “dirk or dagger” as “a knife or other instrument with or without a handguard that is capable of ready use as a stabbing weapon that may inflict great bodily injury or death.” A small folding knife with the blade unexposed is not considered a dirk or dagger.) Following the trial, visiting Judge Graham Cribbs confirmed the allegation that the defendant previously had been convicted of robbery, a prior conviction considered a “strike” under California law.
On November 16, 2017, Arcata Police Officer Tim Jaegel recognized Mr. Martinez walking in Arcata. The Officer confirmed Mr. Martinez was on multiple misdemeanor grants of probation for prior theft convictions and subject to search by law enforcement. Officer Jaegel’s subsequent search of the defendant revealed a fixed-bladed knife concealed in his interior jacket pocket. The defendant also had 12 shaved keys commonly used to burglarize vehicles and homes, as well as a methamphetamine pipe and a syringe loaded with heroin.
Mr. Martinez is scheduled for sentencing on March 23, 2018. Felony possession of a dirk or dagger carries a maximum sentence of 3 years and the strike prior could double that penalty. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Trenton Timm.