Richmond: 7 gang members arrested in multi-agency sting

RICHMOND (BCN)--A multi-agency, 18-month enforcement effort has nabbed seven members of a Richmond street gang allegedly responsible for three homicides and crimes throughout Contra Costa County, police said today.

The gang, which goes by the name Swerve Team, is linked to 14 attempted murders, two carjackings, six armed robberies and a home invasion, according to Richmond police Chief Allwyn Brown, who announced the arrests this morning along with federal, state and local law enforcement officials.

It's possible the gang might also be linked to two of the highway shootings that have cropped up in recent years on Interstate Highway 80 in Richmond and other East Bay cities, Brown said.

Seven members of the gang have been arrested on suspicion of various crimes and remain in custody at the Martinez Detention Facility with $24 million bail for each member, while one more is still being sought, Brown

The suspects are all from unincorporated North Richmond, Brown said. Police listed the suspects under arrest as Tarell Brown, Ronald Fluker, Jermaine Hicks, Tommie Woods, Bobby Williams, Marrico Williams and Torion

Cardell Waters, also a suspect, is still at large, police said.

The gang is allegedly implicated in the September 2016 killing of 18-year-old Otilio "Nico" Martinez in Richmond, "an innocent kid who was shot 50 times at close range. He had no gang affiliation," Richmond police Lt. Felix Tan said.

"What makes this unique is that this gang reached into cities including Fremont, San Pablo, Pinole, Antioch, Orinda, Danville, Pittsburg and Livermore," Tan said.

The multi-agency effort between Richmond police, the FBI and others began with an invasion robbery at a Fremont residence in August 2016, police said.

"A detective recognized a member of Swerve Team on surveillance video" of the robbery, Tan said.

"This is some of the most egregious crime we've seen in the Bay Area," said Bertram Fairries, assistant special agent in charge for the San Francisco Division of the FBI.

The task force involved in the arrests included the FBI, the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office, the Richmond, Antioch, Pittsburg, El Cerrito and Concord police departments, the Contra Costa County
Sheriff's Office, the California Highway Patrol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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