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Third man arrested in fatal shooting of woman, 18 (Fort Worth, TX): A third man was arrested in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old woman last month. The 21-year-old suspect and two others, ages 20 and 22, are accused of fatally shooting a woman as she, her boyfriend, and his cousin drove home from a club. "We don't have any other motive at this point other than the shooting being gang-related," said a homicide detective. Investigators believe that the 22-year-old fired the fatal shot. According to an arrest warrant affidavit, two of the suspects told someone they shot at the victim's truck after the occupants flashed gang signs at them. The first two suspects were arrested two weeks ago and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity/murder because they were acting together as gang members at the time of the slaying. Officials plan to file the same charges against the third suspect.
Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram Date: January 30, 2004
Gang sophistication on the increase (MA): In its first meeting of the year, the Essex County Gang Task Force, which includes members from 30 agencies including police from Lawrence, Methuen, and the New Hampshire Seacoast area, discussed trends they have been noticing. The trends include an increase in commercial robberies, including ATMs and high-tech equipment; firearms and semiautomatic pistols; the recruitment of school-age children; mergers, or member "buy-outs," between once-rival gangs; and an increase in the number of wannabe gangs formed by young teenagers, said a task force member. Other task force members noted that the commercial break-in trend was started by members of the Latin Gangsta' Disciples and produces easier money than dealing drugs, not to mention lighter prison sentences. Furthermore, expected grant money will hopefully begin a proactive program called Operation Seize Fire aimed at keeping youths away from gangs and providing gang members in prison with job training.
Source: The Boston Globe Date: January 29, 2004
Deputies arrest ten after probe of gang shooting (Los Angeles County, CA): County sheriff's deputies arrested ten people and seized four firearms after a four-month investigation into a gang-related shooting that left a man paralyzed. Search warrants were served in Walnut, Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights, Diamond Bar, and Palm Desert. Nine teenage boys were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, and a 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. According to police, the shooting started with an argument between two members or associates of different Asian gangs. They set a time to fight and apparently called in others. Once the suspected members and associates of the two Asian gangs gathered at the scene, a car drove up and someone inside started shooting. According to deputies, there were 15 victims in the shooting.
Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune Date: January 29, 2004
School shooting (Van Nuys, CA): Two people were wounded near Van Nuys High School today in what a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant said was a gang-related shooting. An 18- to 20-year-old and a 25- to 30-year-old were both shot while standing at an intersection. Their injuries are not life-threatening. Police are searching for three suspects.
Source: City News Service Date: January 29, 2004
Gang graffiti (Los Angeles, CA): A 19-year-old East Los Angeles gang member was sentenced to seven months in jail for spray-painting gang graffiti on the side of a commercial building. Two weeks ago, a Los Angeles jury convicted the Dogtown street gang member of one count of vandalism and one count of carrying a vandalism tool, an official said. Under the Street Terrorism Enforcement Prevention Act, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge sentenced him to the minimum 180 days in jail, plus 30 days for untruthful statements on the witness stand during the two-day trial. He was also ordered not to associate with any known gang members. During a patrol of the William Mead housing project, police officers saw the man, along with two lookout companions, spray-painting gang graffiti on a wall of the building. He then tried to flee the scene when the officers approached him but was arrested after a short chase across the street, police said.
Source: City News Service Date: January 29, 2004
Man pleads guilty in student's killing (Minneapolis, MN): A 20-year-old Minneapolis man pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder for the benefit of a gang in the May 16 shooting death of a 19-year-old college student in South Minneapolis. The incident occurred at a party when the man and an accomplice met some girls who identified themselves as members of the "Bloods" street gang and claimed to have argued with the victim. The two intervened and shot the victim as he drove away. The 16-year-old accomplice has been certified to stand trial as an adult.
Source: Pioneer Press Date: January 28, 2004
Azusa police probe reveals gang's ties to Mexican Mafia (Azusa, CA): Police say they have evidence that a longtime Azusa Latino gang has ties to the Mexican Mafia. Through a series of jailhouse wiretaps of gang members, police monitored telephone conversations about witnesses and victims. According to police, the wiretaps established a link to the Mexican Mafia. Although police have reduced the gang's activity, they continued to reorganize, recruit, and participate in criminal activity. The gang members primarily attack African Americans but have been known to turn on each other, an officer said.
Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune Date: January 28, 2004
Six juveniles caught in drug crackdown (Chicago, IL): Six juveniles, ranging in age from 12 to 16, were among 15 people in custody after a police crackdown on a street gang heroin ring on the West Side. Police said members of the gang used the juveniles to sell drugs, serve as lookouts, and store heroin and marijuana. Officials are searching for seven more adults on drug charges. A total of 22 people were arrested after the five-month investigation. The six juveniles include three boys and three girls. All of the juveniles, except a 12-year-old boy, were charged as adults with either criminal drug conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance, or delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.
Source: Chicago Tribune Date: January 27, 2004
Man accused in shooting is arrested (Rialto, CA): A 24-year-old man was arrested for an alleged gang-related shooting that occurred in August 2003. The man is accused of killing a 42-year-old man and wounding a 37-year-old man.
Source: Press Enterprise Date: January 24, 2004
Manteca man to serve 68 years to life (San Joaquin County, CA): A 22-year-old Norteo gang member was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder in separate incidents last May and June. In both cases, the man fired shots that missed the intended targets. The punishment for both incidents added up to 68 years to life in prison.
Source: Tri-Valley Herald Date: January 24, 2004
Reduced charges in attack (Lancaster, CA): Two reputed street gang members, both age 25, accused of beating of a Lancaster man while he was picking up his children at a private school, admitted to reduced charges that spare them prison terms. A third defendant, an 18-year-old male, is awaiting trial on charges of assault, vandalism, and making criminal threats. After the two men serve their six-month jail sentences, they have orders to stay away from the location of the incident, not associate with any gang members, not have any dangerous or deadly weapons, and be subject to search and seizure. A fourth defendant, a 14-year-old from Lancaster, is being handled in juvenile court.
Source: The Daily News of Los Angeles Date: January 24, 2004
Teens arrested in assault (Fairfax County, VA): Three middle school students were arrested in Fairfax County in what police say was a gang-related incident. The suspects, two 12-year-olds and a 14-year-old, allegedly lured a 12-year-old into a school bathroom, threatened, and punched him. Each suspect is charged as a juvenile with assault by a mob and participating in a street gang.
Source: The Washington Post Date: January 24, 2004
Burglary probe leads to arrest of wanted Latin Kings gang member (Dover Township, NJ): A 20-year-old member of the Latin Kings gang, wanted for kidnapping and attempted murder, was arrested inside an apartment, police said. Police had been searching for the man since May of 2002 after he and three other gang members kidnapped and shot a Newark man, a detective said. Two other men have been arrested and charged in the kidnapping and attempted murder. Police are still searching for a fourth suspect.
Source: Asbury Park Press Date: January 23, 2004
Murder trial begins for Newark man (Newark, NJ): A reputed Bloods gang member could face the death penalty if convicted on charges that he led a group of followers in the torture and murder of a Marine Corps reservist who was accused of violating the gang's rules. According to an Essex County prosecutor, two female members of the gang will testify that they took part in the slaying under orders from the 29-year-old man.
Source: Courier News Date: January 23, 2004
Feds probe threats on Vice Lords witnesses (Knoxville, TN): Federal authorities are investigating death threats made against two Imperial Insane Vice Lords members who testified against fellow gang members. The letter was sent to the Knox County Sheriff's Detention Facility where the two members are being held. The letter contained threats that had already been heard throughout the jail. Officials are taking the threat very seriously. The two men are among 20 Vice Lords who agreed to testify against that gang's leader and another gang member involved in a federal cocaine conspiracy trial. It is unclear why the two men were singled out for death threats. The Vice Lords organization is the first Knoxville street gang to be indicted as a group. They are also the first to face allegations that the gang itself was a drug-trafficking network. The Imperial Insane Vice Lords are one of the many branches of the Chicago-based organization that exist in the country.
Source: Knoxville News Sentinel Date: January 23, 2004
City man killed in drive-by shooting (Birmingham, AL): A 20-year-old Birmingham man was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting, police said. Investigators said no arrests had been made, and a motive had not been determined. Neighborhood residents and a family member said the shooting may have stemmed from an ongoing feud between two groups of young men.
Source: The Birmingham News Date: January 22, 2004
Alpharetta moves to reinstate city curfew (Alpharetta, GA): The city of Alpharetta has moved to reinstate a youth curfew after a recent spike in gang activity. For years, police relied on the Fulton County curfew ordinance to send children 17 years old and younger into their homes by 11 p.m., Sundays through Thursdays, and by midnight on weekends. Police recently realized the ordinance had been amended to make it valid only in unincorporated areas of the county. Police say that although there has not been a significant increase in gang-related crime, they have seen a marked increase in gang-related graffiti closing in toward the city from the east. They believe it signals that at least one Hispanic gang that had not previously operated in the area has moved in.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Date: January 22, 2004
Indictment charges teens in sex attacks (Bergen County, NJ): Three Hackensack teens were indicted on charges that they forced three 14-year-old girls to have sex in a gang initiation. The 49-count indictment says that two 19-year-olds and a 17-year-old coerced the middle school girls into having sex several times in March 2003. Authorities learned of the alleged incidents in May when they arrested one of the 19-year-old men for an unrelated robbery in Hackensack. He was charged with aggravated sexual assault, child endangerment, possession and creation of child pornography, and initiation into a criminal street gang. Authorities later charged the other two with the same offenses. All three face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of aggravated sexual assault, the most serious count.
Source: The Record Date: January 22, 2004
41 arrested in police sweep through Nickerson Gardens (Los Angeles, CA): Over 400 Los Angeles police officers and FBI agents raided Nickerson Gardens to target leaders of a Bloods gang called the Bounty Hunters. Officials arrested 41 alleged members during the year-long investigation which focused on cracking down on gangs, guns, violence, and drug dealing. Police arrested 13 men accused in federal indictments of conspiring to sell and distribute crack cocaine after allegedly selling the drugs to a federal informant over the last six months. Officials are searching for two more men. If convicted of the charges, they face 10 to 30 years in prison. An additional 26 adults and two juveniles were arrested on suspicion of state narcotics violations or outstanding warrants. The Los Angeles police chief said the Watts-area arrests were part of a larger strategy this year by the department to target the 3 percent to 10 percent of the region's 100,000 gang members who are violent sociopaths.
Source: Los Angeles Times Date: January 22, 2004
Gang gunrunner sentenced to maximum 15 years (Chicago, IL): An admitted 31-year-old member of the Vice Lords street gang who used the proceeds of crack cocaine sales to buy dozens of guns cheap in rural Mississippi and then sold them at inflated prices on the streets of Chicago was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. Another Chicago gang member pleaded guilty to working with the man and was sentenced to four years in prison. In addition, another alleged gang member and the gun shop operator were convicted and sentenced to five years each.
Source: The Associated Press State & Local Wire Date: January 21, 2004
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