OAKLAND -- Seventeen suspected members and associates of a violent Oakland gang were charged Tuesday with 13 different crimes, ranging from conspiracy to commit murder and robbery, assault with a firearm, assault on a police officer and pimping and pandering.
The 30 felony counts against the suspects, who police say are members of the East Oakland-based Case Boys, also contain gang enhancement clauses, which could mean tougher prison sentences. All but three were arrested Friday in a series of Bay Area police raids. Some of those charged also have numerous prior felony convictions, authorities said. Still at large are Armond Richardson, Craig Williams and Lorenzo Whitfield.
Those arrested range in age from 18 to mid-30s¿, police said.
Chief Howard Jordan has called Case Boys "probably the most violent group of young people" he has seen in his career. Some of the more violent crimes they are suspected of involve a long-standing feud with another gang known as Money Team, police said.
Case Boys is an offshoot of another gang known as Nut Case, which over a six-week spree in 2002 was responsible for at least five murders and scores of robberies, police said.
Charged with the most serious crime of conspiracy to commit murder, which could result in a life sentence if convicted, were Darren Morris, Zayonta Casmire, Deyonne Anthony White and Richardson, also known as Lorenzo Richardson, Bertrand E. Keeton and Daniel Cortez,
According to a probable cause statement written by Officer Anthony Tedesco, one of the lead investigators in the case, Morris, Casmire, White and Richardson planned to kill a rival gang member on Feb. 9 but the intended target was not where they thought he would be.
Tedesco also said Cleveland Pratt, Morris, Cortez and Keeton also were involved in a failed attempt to kill a rival on Feb. 25.
Morris, Terrance King, Snowden, Williams, White, Eldridge Persons, Whitfield and Lequita Anderson are also charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit robbery, which is how the gang financed their operations, police said. Some of the suspects were to be involved in the robberies while others either provided guns or vehicles, authorities said.
The robberies were to happen Feb. 7, Feb. 20, and March 3 in different parts of Oakland, but either did not happen or were foiled by police.
Casmire, White and King are charged with assault with a firearm for a Feb. 14 shooting on 75th Avenue where the intended victim was not hit. King is also charged with human trafficking, pimping a minor and pandering.
Laquan Lubin is charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a police office for ramming a patrol car containing two officers trying to arrest him Feb. 6 on a warrant. Lubin was also charged with carrying a loaded firearm and carrying a concealed firearm.
Jordan said Friday the raids resulted from the suspects' failure to adhere to the terms of the Operation Ceasefire program to stop their violent lifestyles. The chief said the arrests fulfill a promise he made last year "to use every legal means possible" to bring such offenders to justice.
Also charged were Javon Donrey Dupree (conspiracy to commit a crime), Devonte Hudson (carrying a loaded firearm) and Emmanuel Booker Williams (possession of an assault weapon).