WASHINGTON - Five alleged members of the violent gang known as the East Side Los Guada Bloods (East Side Bloods) have been charged in an indictment returned yesterday in Phoenix with various racketeering and attempted murder charges, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Ann B. Scheel for the District of Arizona; Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Phoenix Division, Thomas E. Brandon; Chief Karl Auerbach, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community; Chief Frank Milstead, Mesa Police Department; and Director Robert Halliday of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
The following defendants from Phoenix have been charged:
The defendants are charged with various counts of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering activity, attempted murder in aid of racketeering activity, assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering activity, conspiracy to commit murder, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, conspiracy to make false statements in the acquisition of a firearm and false statements in the acquisition of a firearm. Francisco is currently in state custody, and Reyes is currently in tribal custody. The other three defendants were arrested on Aug. 29, 2011. Hough will appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in U.S. District Court in Phoenix for a detention hearing today at 11:00 a.m. MST. Denean and Delola Medina will appear for a detention hearing today at 3:45 p.m. MST.
According to the indictment, the defendants were members and associates of the East Side Los Guada Bloods gang, a violent street gang that originated in the early 1990s on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation, outside of Phoenix. The East Side Bloods gang, its members and associates engaged in acts of violence including murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, threatening and intimidating witnesses, and firearms trafficking within the territorial boundaries of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation.
The indictment alleges that on July 26, 2009, the defendants brutally attacked a victim on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation by physically striking and kicking the victim on the head, face and torso until the victim was unconscious. The indictment also alleges that the victim was then placed in the road, for the express purpose and intent of a vehicle running over the victim and causing death.
An indictment is merely an accusation and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The following charges each carry maximum penalties of 10 years in prison: conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering activities; attempted murder in aid of racketeering activity; and assault with serious bodily injury. The charge of assault with serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering activity carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and the conspiracy to commit murder charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. Each count of conspiracy to make false statements in the acquisition of a firearm, and false statements in the acquisition of a firearm, carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
The case was investigated by the ATF; the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Police Department; the Mesa, Ariz., Police Department; the Scottsdale, Ariz., Police Department and the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s State Gang Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Leshia M. Lee-Dixon of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith E. Vercauteren of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Arizona.