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L.A. gang members found in Philippines

July 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
LAPD, FBI, and Philippine authorities tracked down two brothers, former members of the L.A. street gang the "Asian Boys," who have been hiding in the Philippines for more than a decade.Marvin Mercado, 35, and his brother, Pierre, 32, have been hiding out in the Philippines for about 10 years. According to the LAPD and the FBI, they are members of the notorious and violent "Asian Boys" street gang.

Seven members of the gang were tried for murder in 1997. It was the largest defendant death penalty case in state history. The gang members are now serving life sentences.

"During the mid-1990s, the 'Asian Boys' went on a crime spree throughout Southern California. They claimed at least 12 lives. In addition to those 12 murder victims, the gang committed hundreds of other crimes, including assaults, drive-by shootings, extortions, robberies, home invasions, extremely violent crimes. All with very sophisticated weaponry," said LAPD Sergeant Walter Teague.

Marvin, according to the FBI and LAPD, was the number-two man in the gang. He and his brother Pierre were arrested last September and are being held for immigration violation back in the Philippines. They cannot be extradited back to Los Angeles because the brothers are claiming they are not the Mercados.

"Currently the status is this: the Mercados are in custody in the Philippines. But, they have been living under assumed names this entire time. And they are claiming to that they are not, in fact, the Mercados. So, they are in what's called a habeas corpus hearing, and they are contesting their identity. And that is progressing in Manila as we speak," said Sgt. Teague.

The LAPD and the FBI say they have fingerprint and photographic proof that the men are the Mercados. As soon as identification is confirmed in the Filipino court system, the brothers will be brought back to L.A. to face charges. Those charges include murder, attempted murder, and a list of violent crimes.

 

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