A total of 16 people from "criminal street gangs" have been indicted by a grand jury, San Mateo County prosecutors and law enforcement announced at a news conference Monday morning, in connection with crimes ranging from murder to witness tampering.
One of the gangs even called itself the Taliban, prosecutors said.
The defendants were targeted in a year-long investigation dubbed "Operation Sunny Day" -- the largest such operation in San Mateo County history -- and include crimes spanning from East Palo Alto to Menlo Park, from Belmont to San Francisco.
"Sunny day" refers to the code word suspects would use after their killing was complete, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. "And it is indeed a sunny day today because there are 16 gang member felons who wreaked such havoc in our community who are now in custody."
The defendants were charged in three separate court filings on March 18 with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, dissuasion of witnesses and attempted armed robbery.
Aside from the gang known as the "Taliban," the others came from gangs called Da Vill and Sac Street, prosecutors said.
Police say a few of the suspects were involved in an attempted murder during a shooting on Highway 101 in Belmont in September 2012. Two people were wounded.
The busts involved cooperation from a variety of police and prosecutorial agencies including the San Mateo County District Attorney, the San Mateo County Sheriff, as well as police departments in East Palo Alto, Belmont and Redwood City.
Download the indictments: Indictment 1 | Indictment 2 | Indictment 3
- Raymond Louis Bradford of East Palo Alto
- Roberto Gabriel Bustos Montes of East Palo Alto
- Nina Cragg of Palo Alto
- Ralph Vernon Fields Jr. of East Palo Alto
- Emmanuel Imani Hyland of East Palo Alto
- Tyrone Sostenes Love-Lopez of East Palo Alto
- Eric Valencia Vargas of East Palo Alto
- Marvin Jake Ware of East Palo Alto
- Donte Demon Jordan of East Palo Alto
- Roshawn Bickham of Represa, Calif.
- Laquisha Inethia Walker of East Palo Alto
- Leonard James Gaines of East Palo Alto
- Rodney Levence Mitchell of East Palo Alto
- Robert Wheller Jr. of Hayward
- Jerry Coneal III of Menlo Park
- Miguel Angel Rivera Jr. of Menlo Park