18th Street gang member convicted in five homicides

From the DA’s office:

LOS ANGELES – Jurors today convicted a 30-year-old gang member of five murders and other counts, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

William Vasquez, an 18th street gang member, was convicted of the first-degree murders of five victims between 2002 and 2005. Jurors found true special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and that the defendant was an active participant in a criminal street gang.

Vasquez was additionally convicted of one count of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Gang and gun allegations were found true.

An allegation that the defendant personally used a firearm as to one of the murders was found not true.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler said the penalty phase of the trial will begin Dec. 14. Vasquez faces death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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18th Street clique charged with baby killing in Federal gang case

From the Associated Press:

LOS ANGELES – Federal authorities have unsealed a racketeering indictment charging about 40 members and associates of a clique of Los Angeles’ 18th Street gang with a slew of offenses, including the murder of a 3-week-old baby.

The FBI said Tuesday that federal and local agents had arrested eight of those named in the indictment. Several others were already in state and local custody.

Among the crimes outlined in the indictment, members of the gang are accused of the 2007 killing of the baby near MacArthur Park, as well as the 2001 murder of an innocent man who was mistaken for a rival.

The indictment also charges a defense attorney with laundering illegal proceeds on behalf of the Mexican Mafia, a prison-based gang.

*Here’s a copy of the 144-page indictment: clcs 2nd superseding rico final.pdf
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