REDWOOD CITY -- In the wake of the arrest of 16 suspects in the largest gang bust in San Mateo County history, three more individuals were charged in the case for lying under oath to protect some of the defendants, authorities said.

Nearly five months after 14 men and two women were charged with a series of crimes, three more affiliates were roped into the case for interfering with the ensuing investigation, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. Operation Sunny Day, named for the code the suspects used to announce a rival had been killed, reportedly nabbed the suspects responsible for four killings previously unsolved in the county.

Betty Rivera, the mother of defendant Miguel Rivera, was arrested Friday and charged with perjury, inducing false testimony and being an accessory to murder, Wagstaffe said. The 52-year-old woman reportedly disposed of clothing her son wore on the night he allegedly killed 21-year-old Christopher Baker, then provided police with false alibis and lied to a grand jury under oath.

Authorities that same day arrested 20-year-old Joel Santana on perjury charges for testifying under oath that he did not know defendant Tyrone Love-Lopez, the suspect in the Jan. 26, 2013, slaying of Lamont Coleman in East Palo Alto, Wagstaffe said. Phone records later indicated that the two spoke both immediately before and after the murder, and investigators discovered a photo of and contact information for Love-Lopez in Santana's phone.


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Also arrested was 39-year-old Germina Sturns of Hayward, who reportedly lied to a grand jury about boyfriend Raymond Bradford's possession of a firearm, Wagstaffe said. Despite being ordered not to discuss her testimony outside of the courtroom, Sturns left the courthouse and went immediately to the jail to discuss court proceedings with her incarcerated boyfriend on two occasions.

The three new suspects appeared in San Mateo County court on their own cases Monday afternoon. Sturns and Santana entered not-guilty pleas; Rivera did not enter a plea. All three will be back in court on Aug. 26.

If convicted on the felony perjury charge alone, each could face four years in prison.

Follow Erin Ivie at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.