California News

Feb 8, 2013 11:22 PM by Associated Press

Compton gang members charged with targeting blacks

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Two reputed gang members have pleaded not guilty to hate crimes for allegedly beating up two black youths and trying to force an African-American family out of Compton through threats and violence.

No trial date was set at Friday's hearing for 19-year-old Jeffrey Aguilar and 21-year-old Efren Marquez Jr., who were indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday. They're charged with five counts each of interfering with housing rights and conspiracy.

If convicted, each could face up to 10 years in prison for each count.

Both remain in federal custody, and have been ordered held without bond.

Authorities contend the two are members of a Compton gang that targeted African-Americans. The indictment claims that they and other gang members beat up two black teenagers in December, and in January waged a harassment campaign against a newly arrived black family.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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