Los Angeles News
Compton gang members plead not guilty to hate crimes
COMPTON, Calif. -- Two reputed gang members pleaded not guilty to hate crimes for allegedly targeting African-Americans in Compton.
Jeffrey Aguilar, 19, and Efren Marquez Jr., 21, were arraigned in federal court on Friday. Prosecutors say they and other gang members chased and hit a black teenager with a glass bottle and beat another with a metal pipe in late December.
The teen attacked in December was one of the sons of an African-American family who had just moved into the neighborhood. Prosecutors say that 15 to 20 gang members gathered outside the victim's house on the same day of the beating, threw a beer bottle through the living room window and yelled racial slurs.
"As the four victims were huddled in the house a window was smashed and they were met with racial slurs and epithets and warnings that they did not belong in this neighborhood," described U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr.
That family moved into the home over Christmas vacation and had no gang ties, authorities said. They have since moved out.
Authorities said Aguilar and Marquez belong to a Latino street gang called Compton Varrio 155 that has attacked black residents and scrawled graffiti on homes, businesses and churches, according to the indictment.
The two are each charged with five counts of interfering with housing rights and conspiracy and could face up to 10 years in prison for each count if convicted. They're being held without bond.
Detectives are still seeking the public's help to identify others in the mob that attacked the family's home. If you have any information regarding this case, you're urged to contact Sheriff's Operation Safe Streets Bureau gang investigators at (310) 603-3100 or the Compton Sheriff's Station at (310) 605-6500.
hate crime, arrest, los angeles news
- One person shot near the ice rink at the Fulton Mall
- Amber Alert issued for 14-year-old Kennewick Girl
- Two of three missing Dinuba children found safe
- Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95
- Teenage serial burglar, 14, arrested in Merced
- Wanted Fresno burglar caught on camera
- Body of missing Delano woman found in canal
- Two injured in Madera drive-by shooting
- American teacher shot dead in Libya's Benghazi
- US economy grows at 3.6 percent rate in 3rd quarter
- Foothill residents preparing for freezing temps
- US jobless claims drop to 316,000, as layoffs slow
- Video: Fresno's homeless search for shelter from...
- Serial college campus sex offender to be released soon
54 min ago