Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The founder of the Asian Boyz gang will spend the rest of his life in prison

A judge guaranteed that the founder of the Asian Boyz gang will spend the rest of his life in prison, slamming him with eight consecutive life sentences for a mid-1990s crime spree that included eight murders in a quest to make his gang the most feared in Los Angeles. Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry called 37-year-old Marvin Mercado a clear danger to society and said only two of his victims were rival gang members while the rest were law-abiding citizens. He also was given 10 consecutive 15-year-to-life sentences for 10 attempted murders, and 50 years on weapons and other charges, also to be served consecutively. The sentencing marked the end of a 16-year legal odyssey involving Mercado, who had escaped to the Philippines, married into a wealthy family and lived a luxurious lifestyle under a false name before he was arrested in 2007. Mercado founded the notorious Asian Boyz in the early 1990s with a schoolmate in the San Fernando Valley. The gang had Cambodian, Vietnamese and Filipino factions and included three cliques in the suburbs of Los Angeles and one in San Jose. Most street gangs make money by dealing drugs, but the Asian Boyz committed burglaries and robberies. That made them hard for police to track because they were not associated with any particular territory. In 1995, the Asian Boyz embarked on the violent rampage dubbed the "summer of madness" in a bid to gain notoriety. After Los Angeles police connected the string of killings and shootings, a seven-detective task force was formed to track the gang. A break came when detectives following several members arrested them during a shooting. The arrested members led police to Mercado, whose quiet leadership style earned him the nickname "Shyboy," and to his brother Pierre. The Mercados, however, fled to the Philippines, the home of their parents - an engineer and a real estate agent.

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