Police: 7 violent Richmond street gang members linked to East Bay crime spree arrested in sweep


RICHMOND (KRON) — Seven members of what police are calling a violent Richmond street gang are now in custody after an 18-month investigation.

The gang members are allegedly linked to a crime spree that swept through many East Bay communities.

Police say the investigation into the gang called Swerve Team got rolling when a Richmond detective recognized one of its members in surveillance video of an armed home invasion in Fremont.

Now, seven members are in custody, and one has a $24 million arrest warrant out on him in connection to a slew of crimes, including three murders.

One of those killed was 18-year-old Otillio Nicco Martinez. Sixty-seven shots were fired by four guns at close range.

Police say he was an innocent victim in the wrong place at the wrong time.

They are also being linked with 14 attempted murders.

Surveillance shows members of Swerve Team chasing a rival gang member into a Richmond liquor store. The intended target hid in the broom closet and survived.

But their bullets struck a 14-year-old girl outside, another innocent bystander.

“Their violence marks some of the most egregious criminal acts that we’ve seen in the Bay Area in quite some time,” Assistant Special Agent in Charge at the Department of Justice Bertram Fairries said.

The FBI and multiple other East Bay law enforcement agencies assisted Richmond police in this investigation as the gang’s alleged crimes swept out into many suburban communities in two counties.

They include the shooting of an Orinda School Board vice president and the pistol whipping of her husband in front of her home during a robbery.

They have also been connected with a gun battle in the parking lot of the Willows Shopping Center in Concord, with at least one bullet piercing the window of a popular restaurant.

A homemade rap video made by gang members shows them flashing weapons. Several guns were confiscated in this investigation.

This investigation is still open.

Detectives are still looking to see if they can link the Swerve Team to possibly two freeway shootings from last year.



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