News and Press Releases

Two Men Sentenced for Federal Hate Crime Charges Resulting From 2012 New Year's Eve Attack on African-American Youths

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2014

LOS ANGELES – Two Latino men associated with the Compton 155 street gang were sentenced to federal prison today for their racially-motivated attack on African-American juveniles at a residence in Compton on New Year’s Eve 2012.

Jeffrey Aguilar, also known as “Terco”, 19, and Efren Marquez Jr., also known as “Stretch” and “Junior,” 21, were each sentenced to serve 21 months in prison.

The two defendants were sentenced by United States District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr., who also ordered them to serve three years of supervised release after they complete their prison sentences.

Aguilar and Marquez pleaded guilty on October 17, 2013 to violating the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act after admitting their involvement in the assault.

“Hate-based crimes have no place in America,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “The defendants’ attempt to rid their neighborhood of African-Americans serves as a sickening reminder that racial intolerance still exists in some segments of our community. For this egregious conduct, the defendants have received well-deserved prison terms.”

Aguilar and another individual physically attacked a 17-year-old African-American, who was walking down a street in the city of Compton. Aguilar chased down and struck the victim in the head with a metal pipe. During the incident, Marquez threatened to shoot another African-American juvenile who was present. Both Aguilar and Marquez admitted when they pleaded guilty that the attack on the 17-year-old victim was motivated by the race and color of the victim.

“Despite the substantial progress made, violent acts of hate committed because of someone’s race continue to occur to this day, and the department will continue to use every available tool to identify and prosecute hate crimes whenever and wherever they occur," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. 

“The FBI is committed to the protection of civil rights and will continue to investigate allegations of crime motivated by hate,” said Assistant Director in Charge Bill L. Lewis for the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.  “I’m hopeful that this sentencing will clarify the serious consequences for anyone contemplating senseless violence against the innocent due to their religion, race, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”

“Law enforcement is dedicated to protecting the civil rights of all members of our community and the outcome of this case is a great example of the close cooperation between all agencies involved to ensure that goal,” said Interim Sheriff John L. Scott of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Release No. 14-020

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