Richmond gang members arrested after 18-month-long investigation

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- Richmond Police and the FBI announced the results of an 18-month investigation into a violent Richmond Street gang called the Swerve Team on Wednesday.

They're facing charges for dozens of crimes including murder across 12 cities - Fremont, San Pablo, Pinole, Rodeo, Berkeley, Antioch, Pittsburg, Brentwood, Danville, Orinda, Livermore and Richmond.

One suspect is outstanding. Seven are in custody who are each being held on $24 million bail.

"At least eight individuals who were proven dangerous, deadly, gun toting gang members are out of commission," said Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown.

They're accused of 3 Richmond murders, including that of 18-year-old Nico Martinez who was walking home from work last September.

They are also accused of 14 attempted murders, two carjackings, one home invasion robbery, six armed robberies and four home burglaries spanning 12 cities.

"Their only motive was just to inflict violence and inflict fear across several communities," said Bertram Fairries, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge.

Over 18 months the Contra Costa FBI violent crimes safe streets task force linked 8 members of the Swerve Team, several who were already in custody for a string of violent East Bay home invasions to the additional crimes now charged.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office crime lab used a federal database that includes pictures of shell casings to connect the remaining puzzle pieces.

"If we can link the people that are involved and prevent the next shooting then I feel like we've really truly done our job," said Chief Pam Hofsass with the Contra Costa County Sheriff?s Office Forensic Services.

One of the men in custody, Marrico Williams, was a member of the Richmond Office of Neighborhood Safety. It is a program that pays members a stipend in part to turn their lives around.

"The fact that it didn't work for that person is just kind of a reality of life," said Richmond Police Chief Brown.

Richmond Police say they're hopeful Swerve Team gang member Cardell Waters, who is still wanted, will turn himself into police.
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