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Thursday, 26 March 2009

Eight members of the Evil Minded Soldiers gang were arrested yesterday


13:06 |

The Evil Minded Soldiers gang is said to be led by 22-year-old Isaiah Lunas. He is being held on suspicion of conspiracy, distribution and violating the Colorado Organized Crime and Control Act.Eight members of the Evil Minded Soldiers gang were arrested yesterday following a nine-month joint investigation between Denver and Lakewood police officials, as well as federal agencies. Two suspects remained at-large yesterday. Officials said the gang started in the late ’90s mostly as kid graffiti taggers in southwest Denver, but evolved to become a violent street gang on the Denver-Lakewood border, trafficking drugs and possessing dangerous illegal weapons.“I think what we’re seeing here is something that’s fairly disturbing, and that is you’re seeing an evolution from a tagging group to a violent organized crime group, and that’s what’s most concerning about this group and other tagger groups that are following along in the same style,” said Lakewood Police Chief Kevin Paletta.Police yesterday were still looking for Anthony Bernard, 32, and Stephen Oliver, 21. Bernard is wanted for suspicion of conspiracy, distribution, special offender status and violating the Colorado Organized Crime and Control Act. Oliver is wanted for the same crimes, as well as menacing.Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said he expects to file formal charges within the next two days.
Four of the suspects are being held on separate $1 million bonds; two of the suspects are being held on separate $250,000 bonds.The early morning arrests netted over 2,600 ecstasy pills, as well as an undisclosed amount of cocaine, methamphetamine and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Police also seized seven firearms, including four semi-automatic pistols, two assault rifles and one bolt-action hunting rifle.One of the pistols was stolen from a federally-licensed firearms dealer in Wyoming during a burglary, said officials.
Police learned of the Evil Minded Soldiers following a tagging war between their gang and a rival gang also found in southwest Denver. After charges were filed for violent crimes the rival gang was suspected of, investigators were left to focus their attention on the Evil Minded Soldiers.The nine-month investigation revealed that the Evil Minded Soldiers were involved with violent robberies, as well as drug trafficking and illegal weapons possession, according to police. “This is an organized gang, just like any other organized crime group,” said Morrissey. “They were using guns and drugs to generate the money that they needed to keep the organization going, and of course the violence that comes with the drugs, with the money, with the ripoffs — those types of things are the type of violent crimes we see. But this organization comes together for no other purpose than for making money off of guns and drugs.”The district attorney added that the public should not view the Evil Minded Soldiers gang as kids gone wrong.“These are not kids. People think that these are kids that are out there doing this, but these are not kids,” said Morrissey. “These are people that are making a living committing crimes as a criminal organization that involves drugs and guns and a lot of money. So, these are not just kids out there who are spraying up people’s fences and garages.”


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