Tacoma

Pierce County cracking down on gang violence

Four more alleged gang members have been charged as criminal conspirators in the May 12 murder of Juan Zuniga, who police believe was the leader of a powerful Tacoma gang.

Moises Larreinaga, Ruben Rios, Pablo Ortiz and Abel Gonzalez were charged with the murder last week, bringing the total up to nine people who have been charged for the crime. All four men are allegedly members of the Eastside Lokotes Sureno street gang.

According to Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, the men conspired to kill Zuniga, the reputed ELS leader, from their prison cells.

These are just the latest in a string of alleged ELS members to be charged for gang-related murders. In the past eight months, 19 ELS gang members or associates have been charged in connection with three separate murders.

In addition to the Zuniga case, seven alleged gang members have been charged in the Feb. 7 murder of Camille Love and five more were charged in the March 25 killing of Jose Lucas.

Larreinaga was scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon, and the three others are set to be arraigned when they arrive from the Department of Corrections, according to a Pierce County news release.