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Pierce County Prosecutor declares victory against Hilltop Crips
A little more than a year after 36 members and associates of the Hilltop Crips were arrested and prosecuted, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist is declaring "a victory for the community". Lindquist says the sweep has dramatically reduced incidents of gang violence.
34 of the suspects have been convicted and sent to prison on charges including attempted murder, drive-by shooting, robbery and conspiracy. This was first time the conspiracy statute was used to prosecute a street gang in Washington. Defendants who went to trial received an average of 22 years in prison.
The prosecutor's office charged 531 gang related crimes in 2008. In 2009, Lindquist formed a special gang unit. The number of gang related charges in 2010 dropped to 260, a reduction of more than 50%.
Lindquist says gang related crimes continue to decline in 2011 and adds:
"This is not a good time to be a gang in Pierce County."