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UPDATED: Police arrest several members of Tacoma gang in connection with series of violent incidents

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Feb. 9, 2010 at 10:15 am with 21 Comments »
February 9, 2010 5:26 pm

Tacoma police, federal agents and corrections officers served a series of early-morning search warrants today and arrested 11 suspected members of a Tacoma street gang accused in nearly two dozen violent crimes dating back more than a year.

They continue to search for five more suspects, Tacoma police reported. Investigators hope to have the remain suspects in custody within 24 hours.

In all, 32 members of the Hilltop Crips have been charged in Pierce County Superior Court with criminal conspiracy and more than 50 other crimes. Some of them were already in custody; others have been arrested in the past week. Most have prior felony convictions.

Investigators have tied them to robberies, assaults, thefts, drug activity and driveby shootings since mid-2008, police reported. Most of the incidents occurred in the city.

The arrests were part of a joint investigation by the Tacoma Police Department, FBI’s South Sound Gang Task Force and state Department of Corrections.

Here’s my full story that is on the homepage now and will appear in tomorrow’s News Tribune. We’ll also have more specifics on the 50 violent crimes.

Leave a comment Comments → 21
  1. nashabee says:

    way to go clean up these thugs…

  2. About time, it gets so you are afraid to walk down the center of Tacoma Mall, or even drive into the parking lot in that area.

    You never now what is going to happen, especially in the mall where they walk in a line blocking the walk area, and if you asked them to please move you are more likley to get knifed or gunned down that to get where you are going.

    How many innocent people have been killed or injured in their senseless drive by shootings, or even their acting up on the freeway (deliberately slowing down in traffic just to see if they can get the person behind them mad enough to honk or flash their brights at them) likely to get shot or car rammed into for your trouble.

    it would be so nice to get our safe neighborhoods back, and the influence of this garbage away from impressionable youths.

  3. witchiwoman says:

    Well that will certainly make the other gangs stand out now, with so many of one gang behind bars. Wonder if this will lead to more arrests in the other gangs? Hope so. And I hope there are also some kind of neighborhood programs to give kids an alternative to joining gangs. Without that, it will be a continuing problem. Maybe set up some military recruitment offices in those neighborhoods and show them the guns and discipline required to become special forces, and tell them about the benefits for their families, and the benefits of joining Uncle Sam’s Gang.

  4. Thank goodness these guys are off the street! Creating an environment where gangs are less likely to thrive is another piece in solving the problem of gang violence.

  5. wabubba67 says:

    Good job TPD and Pierce Co. Prosecutor Mark Lindquist!! Remember and reward Lindquist with your vote this November!

  6. The problem is keeping them off the streets. Hopefully this time they will not get out with just a slap on the hand or over a technicality.

    Cross all the “T’s” and dot all the “I’s” on everything.

  7. witchiwoman says:

    There are always more waiting to come up behind. The “problem” is to give them an alternative to gang life. “Teaching them to fish,” as it were.

  8. Thesnowqueen says:

    Good start. They have no right to take over a community. Put them in their own community…..prison.

  9. ZAJOCHLA says:

    Kudos to the law enforcement groups……no one should live in fear in this town except those who are doing the bad. Our city is suffering such a horrific reputation. I hope they get the rest of this gang and all others.

  10. Tuffgal74 says:

    I have never felt unsafe at the Tacoma Mall! Don’t give these thugs any power by living in fear.

  11. frankiethomas says:

    Glad to hear they are rounding them up. The headline reads that the arrests themselves were violent incidents. . . sigh.

  12. bigdaddyed48 says:

    It bis about time. We move away from there we live because of alll crime that was going on.Our cars was stole and broke in so many time! I sure they clean Tacoma up goood! Need to run those gang out of our city!! Out the state would be better.

  13. It’s about time this is being handled……things have been rough in South and East Tacoma for a long time….I grew up in East Tacoma, but it was nice then….sure, we had problems, but nothing like having to worry about getting shot at 56th and Portland. I am proud of the police and all of their hard work…and putting their lives on the line.

  14. fivecardstud says:

    Why waste the time they will be back out next year doing it again. Until our judges get tough on these people and stop coddling them it won’t stop but get worse. If a guy is packing a gun around threatening and shooting people either way he needs to be charged with and convicted of attempted murder and locked up for a very long time if not life. Then it will stop.

  15. sunup500 says:

    it sure took the Feds long enough to get involved. I don’t understand the delay. If these guys had last names ending in vowels, they would have been prosecuted under the R.I.C.O. act. Crips and Bloods are a national scurge that should have been recognized as a criminal organization. Stay tuned as to how they are prosecuted and sentenced. As memebers of the gang units, they should ALL be held as conspirators to murder and other violent crimes.Maybe the Homeland Security rules apply here. Terrorism lives here in America.

  16. Rebecca6794 says:

    Giving kids alternatives to gang life will never work as long as their parents are either oblivious, don’t care, or actually encourage this. It has to start at the parental level, the cops do what they can but these people will not be in jail long. The judicial system won’t keep them there. In so many of these cases, the people that need to be prosecuted are the parents.

  17. SearchAndScan says:

    Each one of these guys are praying to be before Judge Vicki Hogan.

  18. sharon_kingskid says:

    Gangs ARE being charged under the RICO act all across the countr. That is one of the reasons the FBI is involved in the gang task force. Federal charges are much stiffer and trials and sentencing under RICO are carried out in federal courts. I am not sure in this case whether the charges will be sufficient to charge under RICO, but I would assume so, since they are being charged with conspiracy.

    Just because you have not heard that the FBI was involved in this investigation, does not mean they were not. I am sure they took all the time they needed to get the evidence to put these people away for a long time. It is not unusual for investigations and evidence gathering to take a year or more to get the whole organization, not just a few players.

  19. Just to clarify some points here: The FBI and its South Sound Gang Task Force (which is comprised of the FBI, Tacoma police, Lakewood police, Department of Corrections and ATF) worked on this investigation. They were involved in the arrests Tuesday.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office is not prosecuting this case. It will be prosecuted in state court. There is a state crime statute for the crime of leading organized crime. However, that statute was not used in this case. Prosecutors are using the criminal conspiracy statute.


  20. nobody should feel safe, everyone should still be alert on everything going on around them. busting 30 gang members isn’t going to do anything, thats not even a fraction of the members that are out there. its not just the hill top crip gang , its all the other gangs out there that you don’t know about. these kids don’t have any structure in their lives because the parents are not involved, don’t care or are just plain stupid. you think its just the gang members involved in crimes? well your wrong. there are 30,000 unemployed in just pierce county alone and people aren’t just going to sit around and starve, go broke, get their house and cars taking away, or lose the life styles their used to living. maybe after you people clean all that up, then we can concentrate on cleaning up the crooked cops, judges, and political leaders. its funny how something so minor can get this kind of attention from our media. you people out there think you know about gang members, you need to stop watching the news and movies , because thats your only influence. how about going out and getting involved in these young kids lives before our system does and ruins them forever.

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