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Thursday, 15 September 2011

Prosecutors charge 6 gang members in car show shooting

23:42 |


Six gang members have been charged in the July 23 shootout at a Kent car show and rap concert that left a dozen people wounded, authorities say. The fight occurred after members of the Playboy Surenos street gang fired into a crowd that included members of the Varrio Locos gang, King County prosecutors contended in charges filed Thursday. The incident was the largest gang-related incident in King County this summer, and a 13th person was shot in what police described as a retaliation shooting. Three of the suspects have been charged with three counts of first-degree assault: Nicholas Moreno, Ignacio Vazquez-Trevino and Martin McSmith. A fourth suspect, James Lopez Jr., was charged with drive-by shooting; Lopez is a juvenile but is being charged as an adult. Two others, Shea and Patrick Auble, have been charged with rendering criminal assistance. McSmith, Lopez and the Auble brothers are now in jail. Moreno and Vazquez-Trevino have $750,000 warrants issued for their arrests. The charges come after nearly a dozen police agencies contributed to the investigation, which included video surveillance, jail phone recordings, social media investigations and cell phone tracking. "Detectives navigated a sea of chaos at the crime scene, hostile and uncooperative witnesses and victims, and a tangled web of gang hostilities to build a solid case against these six individuals," King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a statement. Prosecutors said threatening phone calls have been made to witnesses and told the court the suspected shooters are likely to commit random acts of violence if released. Moreno, McSmith and Lopez have no criminal histories. Vasquez-Trevino has juvenile convictions for residential burglary and possession of stolen property. Patrick Auble has convictions for obstruction and reckless driving and 10 convictions for driving with a suspended license, according to court documents. Shea Auble has juvenile convictions for residential burglary, assault, a 2005 harassment case and other incidents. Shea Auble also has pending charges, including a 2011 gun case. He was jailed at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center earlier this year when he was severely beaten, prosecutors claim, by a member of a rival gang set.  The car show shooting prompted King County leaders to announce an effort to combat gang violence in with $1.4 million from a special criminal justice reserve fund. The efforts are largely focused in South King County. "The problem is emerging quickly and our actions must be swift," Executive Dow Constantine said. "We cannot and we will not tolerate the criminal activities of gangs in our communities. In the long run we know we cannot arrest our way out of this problem, so this proposal balances gang suppression with investments in tried and true solutions that give youth an opportunity for a healthy start, an education, and  employment." Constantine said King County has as many as 10,000 gang members, 140 active criminal street gangs and the county has seen 29 gang-related homicides and 200 reported gang-related shootings in the last two years. Crime related to gangs has increased 165 percent since 2005 with a major problem in South King County, he said

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