Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hispanic gang members in Los Angeles have been sentenced to life in prison for targeting blacks

Associated Press:

Three members of a Hispanic gang were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for using murder and other violent acts to intimidate blacks in their neighborhood.

Federal prosecutors had accused Gilbert Saldana, Alejandro Martinez and Fernando Cazares of targeting blacks in the largely Hispanic community of Highland Park, east of downtown Los Angeles. They were found guilty of conspiring to use violence, including the shooting deaths of two black men in 1999 and 2000.

Authorities said it was one of the first prominent cases in which the U.S. Justice Department targeted a street gang with laws normally used to prosecute white supremacist groups.

"These were horrific offenses that have had far-reaching consequences," U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson said during Monday's sentencing.

Each defendant received two consecutive life sentences. They were convicted in August.

A fourth man, Porfirio Avila, was also convicted. He was scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 18.

Gang Members Sentenced to Life in Federal Prison for Assaults & Murders of African-Americans

Black gang member deliberately killed 3-year-old Hispanic girl

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