News Releases

January 2, 2014: Man Arraigned for Carjacking, Possession of an Assault Weapon, Eluding Police

Contact: 
Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A Long Beach ex-felon suspected of carjacking and his brother, an active Marine, pleaded not guilty to possession of an assault weapon today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Brownstone said Robert Charles Maalea, 38 (dob 02/27/1975), is charged with one count each of carjacking, assault by a machine gun or assault weapon, possession of a firearm with prior violent conviction, possession of an assault weapon and evading police.

His half-brother, Alexander Russell Smith, 21 (dob 04/12/1992), is charged with one count of possession of an assault weapon.

Both are charged in case NA097871. They were arraigned today in Department 1 of Los Angeles Superior Court, Long Beach Branch.

Brownstone said that on Dec. 30, around 8:30 p.m., Maalea allegedly walked up to a woman in a car while holding an AR- 15 assault rifle. The defendant did not say or do anything, Brownstone said. Rather, he walked away, crossed the street and allegedly carjacked a vehicle while the owner was nearby, Brownstone said.

The defendant then drove the stolen car to a parking garage, where he allegedly revealed the assault rifle to a second woman, Brownstone said. She ran away from the scene.

At this point, Long Beach police arrived near the parking garage and Maalea led them on a car chase, Brownstone said. The defendant crashed the vehicle and tried to flee on foot, but was apprehended by authorities.

During the investigation, police discovered Smith was the alleged owner of the assault rifle, Brownstone said. She added that Smith is an active Marine out of Camp Pendleton.

Maalea’s bail was set at $1.2 million and Smith’s at $35,000. Both remain in custody. If convicted as charged, Maalea faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison, while Smith could face three years in state prison. A preliminary hearing conference is scheduled for both men on Jan. 9. The case remains under investigation by the Long Beach Police Department.