Two men swept up in last year’s crackdown on Tacoma’s Hilltop Crips street gang were sentenced this afternoon, bringing to 23 the number of people sent to prison in the case.
Andre L. Bonds, 38, who previously pleaded guilty to riot and conspiracy to commit drive-by shooting, received a five-year sentence from Pierce County Superior Court Judge Thomas Felnagle..
Adrian O. Jacobs, 22, who pleaded guilty to drive-by shooting and conspiracy to commit drive-by shooting, received seven years three months from Judge Frank Cuthbertson.
The two men were among 36 people charged in February 2009 as local law enforcement tried to gut one of the city’s oldest and, arguably, most dangerous gangs.
Bonds pleaded guilty to taking part in a fracas at a Tacoma Denny’s Restaurant in December 2008 in which a security guard was beaten. Several other gang members were involved in the incident, which ended with shots being fired in the parking lot. No one was shot.
During his sentencing, Bonds admitted throwing a punch during the melee but denied firing any shots or knowing anyone in his group had a gun that night. He pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge at the insistence of prosecutors, he said.
Jacobs pleaded guilty to participating in an exchange of gunfire with a rival gang near Mount Tahoma High School in September 2009. No one was hurt.
Jacobs told Cuthbertson he’d learned a lesson about associating with the wrong people.
“I was just running with the wrong crowd,” he said.
Before pronouncing sentence, Cuthbertson lectured Jacobs about making better choices. The judge pointed out Jacobs was an adult when he decided to join the Crips.
“You had a choice, and you made the wrong choice,” Cuthbertson said. “And you’re lucky you lived to go to trial.”
You can read more about the case against the Crips here.
So far, 30 of the defendants have been convicted of crimes as a result of the crackdown. Two – Michael Ward and James R. Henry – had their charges dismissed.
The remaining four are set for trial later this month.