Southern California gang members charged over killing of two police officers

Federal prosecutors say 10 people linked to a Southern California street gang have been charged with federal crimes, a year after a member shot and killed two suburban police officers

Via AP news wire
Thursday 27 July 2023 18:00 BST

Ten people linked to a Southern California street gang were charged with federal crimes, a year after a member shot and killed two suburban police officers, authorities announced Wednesday.

Members and associates of the Quiet Village gang in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles were named in four grand jury indictments and a criminal complaint. Two people were arrested on Wednesday, four were already in custody and another four are fugitives, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office.

The charges include conspiracy, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, and drug and gun charges. However, they don’t include the June 14, 2022 killings of two El Monte police officers. The suspect killed himself after the shootings.

Among other allegations, a gang member is charged with killing a woman after opening fire on a car containing a suspected police informant last year. The target wasn’t struck.

The gang also ran a “casita” in Whittier that offered illegal gambling and sold methamphetamine, the U.S. attorney's office said.

The FBI and other law enforcement members of a task force began investigating the gang after a member shot and killed Cpl. Michael Paredes — who was posthumously promoted to sergeant — and Officer Joseph Santana as they entered a motel room to investigate a reported stabbing.

Justin Flores, 35, also traded shots with another officer in a parking lot before shooting himself, authorities said.

“A highly violent gang responsible for the murders of two brave police officers and others has now felt the weight of a collective law enforcement response," U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said in the statement. "The gang’s days of terrorizing the community stop with today’s federal arrests.”

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