United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade on Friday released details of an unsealed racketeering indictment that names five people allegedly involved in violent acts on behalf of the Latin Counts street gang.
In addition to the racketeering defendants, two other defendants were arrested in a separate indictment on charges of being felons in possession of firearms.
In addition, 26 other defendants were recently charged in an indictment with heroin and cocaine distribution and related firearms offenses.
According to the racketeering indictment, the Latin Counts gang operates in southwest Detroit and the downriver communities of Lincoln Park and Ecorse. The indictment alleges that five defendants committed assaults, murder, selling illegal narcotics and stolen firearms, breaking and entering homes and businesses and robbery. The indictment alleges that the gang uses violence to stake out its “turf” and intimidate both rival gang members and the citizens of southwest Detroit.
[Web content] Full indictment against Latin Counts members
The gang identifies themselves with red and black clothing and utilizes a five-pointed star, five-pointed crown, the letters "LC", five dots, the number five and a knights helmet in their street taggings and tattoos.
The indictment alleges that defendant Victor Vasquez aided and abetted in the use of a firearm during a crime of violence, causing the death of Mustafa Al-Yasiry at the Big Apple Market in southwest Detroit on April 18, 2014. According to the indictment, several Latin Count assaulted Al-Yasiry, and one member shot and killed him.
The racketeering indictment lists:
- Victor Vasquez, 23, of Detroit, was charged with using and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence causing death, assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering and assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering
- Avery Denardis, 20, of Dearborn, was charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering
- Jeffrey Lunsford, 34, of Ecorse, was charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering
- Kyle Voltz, 24, of Lincoln Park, was charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering
- Jacob Hixson, 20, of Detroit, was charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering
- Tim Galvan, 32, of Detroit, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm
- Luke Reardon, 23, of Detroit, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm
The arrests were made under the "Detroit One" initiative, which is lead through the efforts of the Detroit Police Department and the FBI Violent Crime Task Force, which consists of representatives of Homeland Security Investigations, Detroit Police Department, Lincoln Park Police Department, Michigan Department of Corrections and Michigan State Police.