Jury finds gangster guilty of murder, arson

Jury finds gangster guilty of murder, arson
Joseph Burciaga, seen in 2010 file photos, was convicted Friday, April 19, 2013, of murdering Frank Adams Jr. in Bakersfield, Calif.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A Kern County jury convicted a reputed gangster Friday for a 2010 murder.

Frank Adams Jr., 24, was shot in the chest, and his body was dumped in a sump southwest of Bakersfield. Joseph Burciaga, a member of the Southside Bakers gang, was found guilty of first-degree murder and arson. He's set to be sentenced next month and faces a possible term of 25 years to life.

Adams disappeared after going into a home on the 8000 block of Big Bear Street in Bakersfield. The home had a reputation in law enforcement circles as being a drug house, but Adams went there with his wife and their 5-year-old son, both of whom waited in the car.

Mrs. Adams, who did not want to use her full name out of security concerns, told Eyewitness News at the time that a man came out of the house and gave her a message that was supposedly from her husband.

"Frank said for you to go home, and we're going to give him a ride," Adams' wife described the message to Eyewitness News in 2010. Mrs. Adams said she feared her husband was forced to leave the home from the back with two other men.

The District Attorney's Office said Friday that Burciaga shot Adams and hid his body in a pool storage box in the backyard. Days later, Burciaga arranged to have Adams' body dumped, and Burciaga burned the house to cover evidence of the murder, the District Attorney's Office said.

Burciaga was arrested in January 2011 as he re-entered the United States from Mexico. Burciaga showed border agents his driver's license at the Otay Mesa Land Port of Entry in San Diego, and, after running a check on his name, agents discovered he was wanted for the murder.