Asian Boyz gang leader sentenced to 218 years

LOS ANGELES – Asian Boyz gang member Pierre “Boo Boo” Mercado was sentenced Friday to 218 years to life in prison for four murders including the Aug. 1, 1995 fatal shooting of three young men on the 10 Freeway near Temple City Boulevard.

Prosecutors said Cheng Peng, 18, Paul Vu, 16, and Ben Liao, 16, were killed because they were mistaken for members of a rival gang.

A jury convicted the 38-year-old Mercado earlier this month of four first-degree murders, five attempted murders and two kidnappings. Jurors also found true gun and gang allegations.

The crimes occurred in 1995 and 1996 in the San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley and near Los Angeles International Airport.

Deputy District Attorney Eugene Hanrahan, who was one of the prosecutors in the case, said the Asian Boyz launched a killing spree to instill fear in rival gang members.

Pierre Mercado and his brother, Marvin, hid in the Philippines after the murders. They were extradited to the U.S. in 2007.

Marvin Mercado was convicted in 2011 of eight gang murders and is serving multiple life prison terms, according to District Attorney officials.

Seven other Asian Boyz gang members were tried and convicted in 1999.

- Ruby Gonzales
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