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Alleged gang members indicted on murder, racketeering charges

KCBA News
January 9, 2014 9:19 pm

Empty jury box (file)

On Thursday a federal grand jury issued a 17-count indictment accusing 10 alleged members and associates of a San Francisco gang of murder, racketeering, drug trafficking and other charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The indictment targets the Central Divisadero Playas, a criminal street gang in the city’s Western Addition and Fillmore neighborhoods, and includes the high-profile case of a Southern California man who was killed in 2012 for pimping the daughter of two of the defendants.

Barry Gilton and Lupe Mercado, Gilton’s cousin Antonio Gilton, Alfonzo Williams, Adrian Gordon, Reginald Elmore, Charles Heard, Esau Ferdinand, Paul Robeson and Monzell Harding Jr. are the 10 defendants named in the indictment filed today in U.S. District Court.

Mercado, Williams and the Gilton cousins are accused of various charges in the killing of Calvin Sneed, a Compton man who was allegedly pimping Barry Gilton and Mercado’s daughter. Sneed was gunned down on June 4, 2012, in the city’s Bayview District.

The four were previously indicted in November on federal murder and racketeering charges but Thursday’s indictment supersedes the earlier one, prosecutors said.

Elmore and Heard are charged in the indictment for the double murder of Andre Helton and Isaiah Turner on Aug. 14, 2008, near the University of San Francisco.

Heard has already been convicted in San Francisco Superior Court in 2010 for the killing of 29-year-old Richard Barrett outside a North Beach nightclub on Nov. 25, 2008.

The indictment alleges that Harding, Ferdinand and others tried to intimidate a testifying witness in a court hearing in the case of Barrett’s murder.

The defendants also face other charges that include attempted murder, weapons violations, pimping and extortion, prosecutors said.

Nine of the defendants, all except Mercado, face the charge of racketeering conspiracy as accused members of the CDP gang.

According to the indictment, “To protect the gang and enhance its reputation, CDP members have been expected to use any means necessary to force respect from those who showed disrespect, including acts of intimidation and violence.”

Prosecutors allege the racketeering conspiracy dates back to at least the mid-1990s.

All 10 defendants are already in state or federal custody and face a maximum term of life in prison. Elmore and Heard could face a death sentence for the 2008 double murder, according to prosecutors.

No court date has yet been set for the defendants, although the four accused in the Sneed murder had a Jan. 24 status conference scheduled on the earlier indictment.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said today’s indictment is the result of a joint investigation between the FBI, the San Francisco and San Pablo police departments and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

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