Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grandview- Gun incidents result in multiple arrests

GRANDVIEW - Last Friday at approximately 2:45 p.m. Grandview police raced to the 200 block of Avenue E for a report of shots fired.

The incident was believed to be gang related, a shooting between BGL and LVL gang members.

Witnesses at the scene said a black sedan with three occupants fled the scene and two other subjects fled on foot.

Grandview police were able to obtain detailed descriptions of the two suspects on foot and were led to believe they knew the identities of the subjects.

A search warrant was obtained for a known resident of one suspect and officers visited the home on Crescent Avenue. One suspect, Santiago Brito, 18, was detained by officers at the residence.

A second suspect, Alejandro Montes de Oca, 18, was not as cooperative, but eventually was detained, as well.

The search warrant resulted in the recovery of .380 caliber bullets matching a casing found at the shooting scene. Officers also uncovered drug paraphernalia and found a .380 semi-automatic pistol located in the attic of the home.

Montes de Oca is being held by the Grandview Police Department on a requested charge of obstructing an officer. Brito is in custody on a requested felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

This past Saturday another five individuals were arrested after police were alerted to suspicious activity in the 200 block of Douglas Avenue. The call was received at about 1:30 p.m. and officers arriving on the scene located six individuals surrounding a car there.

An attempt to question the subjects was made, but one individual fled from officers on foot. Another officer noticed the man was carrying a gun.

The five remaining subjects were detained and taken to the Grandview Police Department for questioning.

One subject limited his cooperation, detailing for police what had been happening when officers arrived. He was, however, unwilling to identify the suspect who fled the scene.

The subject told officers a second gun could be located in the vehicle the group had been surrounding, and none of the suspects were willing to provide the name of the weapon's owner.

As a result, Rafael Medina, 20; Julian Williams, 19; Adam Leyva, 20; Sergio Ramirez, 18; and a 17-year-old female juvenile are all in custody for a requested charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.

The male suspect, only known to police as Jose, has not yet been located.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Toppenish- Three gang members arrested for allegedly beating man

TOPPENISH -- Police arrested three gang members suspected of badly beating a 35-year-old Toppenish man Friday night.

Police found the victim unresponsive in the first block of West Third Avenue after responding to the 8:35 p.m. call.

Police said they arrested three people they believe responsible for the beating: two men, 22 and 18, and a 17-year-old boy.

They attempted to flee the scene, police said. The victim was punched and kicked in the face and suffered broken bones in his face and several cuts on his body, police said.

Police said the victim was in stable condition and that the incident is still under investigation.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Yakima- Gang member in custody after Friday night shooting

YAKIMA, Wash. - A 19-year-old man remains in custody at Yakima County Jail today after he allegedly shot another man in a Yakima parking lot Friday night.

Officers responded to a report of shots being fired at 11 p.m. on the 900 block of North Fourth Street, according to a news release from the Yakima Police Department. They found a 22-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the right side of his head.

The victim told police he was in a vehicle outside a business when a man entered from the passenger side, pulled out a gun and tried to rob him of cash, Sgt. Erik Hildebrand wrote in the news release. The victim fought back and grabbed the gun, but the suspect shot him in the right ear.

Hildebrand said the suspect thrust the gun into the victim’s stomach and tried to fire the gun again. However, the victim was able to disarm the man, who then took off running.

Officers found him and took him into custody. They identified the 19-year-old as a known gang member. He faces charges of 1st-degree assault and 1st-degree robbery.

The gun was recovered at the scene of the shooting and was later identified as being stolen.

The victim was treated at a local hospital and was later released.

- Yakima Herald-Republic


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Union Gap drive by, minor injuries

NION GAP, Wash. -- Police are continuing their investigation into a Saturday drive-by-shooting in which an 18-year-old man was struck but not seriously injured.

About 2:15 a.m. Saturday, police said they responded to a call about shots fired in the 2100 block of South Fourth Avenue, and learned that a man suffering from a gunshot wound had been taken to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

The man was struck in the leg by a small caliber round, but it didn't penetrate his skin, police said.

Police said the shooters fled the scene before they arrived, and believe the shooting was the work of rival gang members. No other injuries were reported.

Detectives are working leads and ask anyone with information about the shooting to call the Union Gap Police Department at 248-0430, police said.

- Phil Ferolito


Friday, April 16, 2010

Wapato body identified as Joseph John

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The body of a man found in an irrgation canal near Granger has been identified as Joseph John, 19, of Yakima.

Coroner Jack Hawkins said John was identified by by dental and medical records as well as clothing that matched a description at the time of his disappearance last December.

An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday.

Sheriffs deputies said the body was found Thursday by a federal employee performing maintenance work on a diversion dam in the Marion Drain near State Route 22 and Track Road.

The body was badly decomposed but Hawkins said the man’s dentist confirmed dental records. John also had a steel plate in his elbow that established his identity, Hawkins said.

John, a Canadian living in Yakima, was last seen with Fernando Figueroa, 20, of Yakima, whose body was found Jan. 7 southwest of Toppenish. He had been shot repeatedly and wrapped in plastic.

No suspects have been announced in Figueroa’s death.

— Leah Beth Ward


Sunnyside council meets to address gang violence

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. — The Sunnyside City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday to discuss, and maybe implement, a few steps in tackling the city’s violent crime problem.

Council members will talk about and possibly take action toward hiring temporary police officers, adding more clerical help in the Police Department and purchasing a second license plate reader for police vehicles among other proposals.

City leaders have taken a get-tough attitude about gangs after several shootings this year. A trio of councilmen —Don Vlieger, Paul Garcia and Mike Farmer — have been compiling a list of potential changes with the help of Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder and Deputy Chief Phil Schenck.

“We’re going to get very aggressive,” said Vlieger, a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy. “This is not a place where you want to be a gang member.”

Last week, monday, april 12 the City Council unanimously approved spending up to $72,000 on a K-9 program for the Police Department.

Also, though it won’t be ready for a council decision Tuesday, Schenck has been drafting a proposed crime-free housing ordinance that would regulate tenant-landlord agreements.

The meeting will be 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Sunnyside Law and Justice Center, 401 Home St.

— Ross Courtney


Sunnyside- five teens arrested after shooting

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. — Cooperative victims led to the arrest of five teenagers after a gang-related drive-by shooting Wednesday night.

Sunnyside police said shots were fired from a passing vehicle at rival gang affiliates living in two houses in the 1200 block of South 13th Street.

Nobody was struck, but at least two people were standing in the front yard when shooting broke out at 7:40 p.m., said police spokeswoman Charlotte Hinderlider.

The victims identified the five suspects and their vehicle, a 2005 silver Mitsubishi Lancer, Hinderlider said. That information made the difference.

“A lot of times people don’t talk,” she said.

The tip led police to stop the car at the intersection of Sunnyside-Mabton Road and Willowcrest Road, about two miles south of the shooting. Officers also found a .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun at the scene, where they made the arrest, Hinderlider said.

The suspects are a 16-year-old boy from Prosser, a 16-year-old boy from Grandview, a 15-year-old boy from Sunnyside, a 14-year-old girl from Grandview and an 18-year-old woman from Sunnyside.

Police found several .22-caliber shell casings in the street and around the houses where the shooting occurred, Hinderlider said. One
of the houses was damaged.


Sunnyside- couple arrested for weed and guns

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. — Authorities discovered more than 2 pounds of marijuana plus guns and ammunition Wednesday in the apartment of a Sunnyside couple.

Narcotics agents with the countywide LEAD Task Force arrested the man and woman, both 20, after the warranted search of their apartment in the 1300 block of South 11th Street, according to records filed in Yakima County Superior Court.

Authorities said they found marijuana in the kitchen cupboards and inside their 3-year-old son’s bedroom. The apartment is located within 100 yards of a day care center, according to the report.

The investigation began in January and authorities believe the man is actively involved in the drug trade.

Both face multiple drug charges and are being held in the Yakima County jail.


Wapato- another body in the canal

GRANGER, Wash. — Yakima County sheriff’s detectives are investigating the discovery of a body in an irrigation canal outside of Granger.

The body was discovered Thursday by a federal worker conducting routine maintenance on a small diversion dam in the Marion Drain near State Route 22 and Track Road, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

The body, believed to be that of a man, appeared to have been in the water for several months. It was so decomposed that nothing further could be determined at the scene, according to the news release.

An autopsy will be scheduled today or Saturday to try to identify the man and determine a cause of death, county Coroner Jack Hawkins said.

There was no immediate indication whether the body might be connected to the county’s first reported homicide of 2010.

That case also involved the discovery of a body in the Marion Drain, one of the county’s few irrigation canals that has water flowing year-round.

The body of Fernando Figueroa, a 20-year-old Yakima man, was discovered Jan. 7 southwest of Toppenish. He had been repeatedly shot and wrapped in plastic.

Joseph Ezequiel John, a 19-year-old Canadian man living in Yakima, was last seen with Figueroa on Dec. 30. He was not considered a suspect, but sheriff’s detectives have been unable to find him since Figueroa’s body was found.

No arrests or suspects have been announced in Figueroa’s death.

So far this year, 10 homicides have been reported across the county, most of them in Yakima.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunnyside woman shot in driveby condition improves

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A 24-year-old Sunnyside woman critically wounded in a drive-by shooting this weekend has been upgraded to satisfactory condition at Sunnyside Community Hospital, authorities said Monday.

She was shot multiple times in the torso, according to the Yakima County Sheriff's Office.

Two other men riding in the same car as the victim were treated at the Sunnyside hospital for gunshot wounds and released, said Stew Graham, chief of detectives for the sheriff's office.

A 23-year-old Sunnyside man was shot in the arm. Family members later took the other man, a 33-year-old Grandview man who was shot in the cheek, to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for additional treatment, Graham said.

The shooting was reported late Saturday in the 2200 block of Waneta Road outside of Sunnyside.

The victims said that a dark-colored sport utility vehicle pulled alongside their car and fired several rounds. The car struck a roadside fence before returning to the pavement and coming to a stop about a quarter-mile from the shooting scene.

The suspect vehicle was possibly a Chevrolet Tahoe or Cadillac Escalade, but the victims told investigators they did not know why anyone would shoot at them, Graham said.

Sheriff's officials were checking on possible leads with help from the Sunnyside Police Department.

At least one of the victims has gang ties, but investigators said they did not know if the shooting was gang-related.

Anyone with information about the case may call the sheriff's office at 509-574-2500.


Yakima- 19 yo injured in shooting

YAKIMA, Wash. — Authorities are investigating a shooting early this morning in southeast Yakima that wounded a 19-year-old.

Yakima police responding to reports of gunfire about 1:05 a.m. found Jose C. Campos with multiple gunshot wounds inside his home in the 1300 block of South Seventh Avenue, Sgt. Tony Bennett wrote in a news release.

Witnesses told police that somebody shot at the victim from outside the home, Bennett wrote. No suspects have been identified. The shooting is considered gang-related.

Campos is being treated for his injuries. His condition could not be immediately determined this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Yakima Police Department at 509-575-6200.

— Melissa Sánchez


YPD probes farm workers' murder

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A 24-year-old farm worker was found shot dead in his home Sunday night and authorities say his girlfriend and vehicle are missing.

Mariano Guzman Moedana died from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head, said Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins.

He had already been dead for more than a day when a roommate found the body on the floor of his room at their apartment in the 1100 block of North Fourth Street, authorities said.

Yakima police Lt. Mike Merryman said it's too early to call the girlfriend a person of interest or a suspect in the homicide.

"Obviously, we need to talk to her. But we don't want to jump the gun," he said. "She could be a victim, too."

Merryman said there had been no reports of gunfire in the area in the days before Guzman Moedana was found.

Neighbors described him as calm and hard working. They said Guzman Moedana was from Pachuca, the capital city of Hidalgo state in central Mexico, and had been living with two or three other farm
workers in the same apartment complex for about three years.

Guzman Moedana's relatives in Mexico have been notified, authorities said.

Yakima police continue to investigate, Merryman said.

"We have no suspects and nobody under arrest," he said. "Hopefully we make an arrest soon.

His death marks the city's seventh homicide and the 10th in Yakima County so far this year.

"Our numbers are about the same as last year," Hawkins said. "I was really looking forward for the year to end so we can slow down.

This time last year, nine homicides had been recorded countywide. A total of 25 homicides were recorded in 2009.

* Melissa Sánchez can be reached at 509-577-7675 or msanchez@yakimaherald.com.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunnyside car fired on, 3 injured

Yakima County sheriff's deputies, and officers from Grandview and Granger, as well as aid units from the Sunnyside Fire Department rushed to the scene of a shooting this past Saturday at approximately 11:30 p.m.

Three victims, a 33-year-old male, a 23-year-old male and a 24-year-old female, were shot in a vehicle chase that occurred at Waneta and Hollis roads south of Sunnyside.

According to sheriff's deputies, four subjects were traveling south on Waneta Road in a 1993 Mitsubishi sedan. They were nearing Hollis Road when a dark SUV pulled beside the vehicle and shots rang out.

The driver of the Mitsubishi, the 33-year-old victim was reportedly shot in the face, and his vehicle left the roadway, striking a fence. The vehicle returned to the road for approximately another quarter of a mile before coming to a complete stop.

A passenger in the Mitsubishi, a 23-year-old man, was struck by a single bullet to the arm and the female passenger suffered multiple gunshot wounds to her torso.

One other passenger was not injured by gunfire.

The SUV continued southbound on Waneta Road and was last seen traveling in the direction of Mabton.

The victims were all transported to Sunnyside Community Hospital. The men's wounds were last reported to be non-life threatening, but the female was considered in critical, but stable condition. As of yesterday, the Yakima County Sheriff's Office was unable to provide an update on her status.

It is unknown how many suspects were involved in the shooting, and evidence collected at the scene indicates at least one handgun was used in the armed attack.

The only information deputies have regarding the suspects is they were in a dark SUV, which may have been a Cadillac Escalade.

The victims have known gang ties, but the sheriff's office said it is unknown if the shooting was gang-related.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Yakima- teen shot in arm

YAKIMA, Wash. — A 17-year-old male was shot in the arm Sunday afternoon in what police believe was another gang-related shooting.

It happened about 1:50 p.m. in the area of Summitview and 30th avenues, Yakima police Sgt. Lloyd George wrote in a news release.

Authorities believe the teenager and his associates were in a gold Honda when someone in a blue or dark green Ford Explorer shot at them.

The teenager, who sustained gunshot wounds to his upper right arm and a grazing wound to the back of his head, initially told police that he and his friends were shot at while walking in the 1800 block of Summitview Avenue, the release said.

But police believe he was in the gold-colored Honda that witnesses had described in the area of 30th and Summitview avenues.

Authorities later impounded a gold Honda with several bullet holes in it.

Police are looking for the Ford Explorer, which has tinted windows. Witnesses told police the driver was a female and the male shooter was described as a bald Hispanic male.

The teenager’s wounds are considered nonlife-threatening.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grandview gangsters' house shot at

GRANDVIEW - At approximately 9 p.m. yesterday (Thursday) Grandview police officers rushed to a home in the 1000 block of Powell Street after having received several reports of gunfire there.

Grandview police say the home is believed to be occupied by gang members.

Officers located eight bullet casings believed to be .45 caliber. The casings and several bullet holes were found on the back of the property, with several bullets having penetrated the rear of the home. There is not an alleyway behind the home.

Two bullets were located and recovered from inside the home's kitchen, indicating a smaller caliber gun was also used in the shooting incident.

One victim and his daughter reported being inside the kitchen when the shooting occurred. He told officers he saw glass fly past the youngster while she was seated at the kitchen table.

After speaking with the six occupants of the home and nearby residents, witnesses told Grandview police an older Cadillac had been seen in the area just prior to the shooting.

The incident is under investigation. Anyone with information regarding the shooting is urged to call the Grandview Police Department at 882-2000.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Granger woman shot in driveby

GRANGER, Wash. — A 21-year-old woman is in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after being shot in the upper body Sunday afternoon.

According to a news release from the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, Veronica Gonzalez was wounded at about 4 p.m., when shots were fired from a vehicle toward her home in the 500 block of Hudson Road.

At least one bullet entered the house and struck Gonzalez. Other occupants of the house escaped injury. The woman was initially treated in Yakima before being transferred to Harborview.

The suspects fled in a white, four-door sedan. Police believe the shooting is gang related, although Chief of Detectives Stew Graham said Gonzalez is not a known gang member.

Anyone who has information on the shooting is asked to call the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office at 509-574-2500.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Reward offered for Sunnyside murder suspects, two more SS homes shot at

The Sunnyside Police Department is offering a $1,000 reward for each of the five suspects wanted for the March 26 shooting of Romon Mendoza, Maria Reyes and a third unidentified victim that took place at Sunnyside's Rico's Tacos Guadalajara restaurant.

Wanted are Lisandro Rangel, 21; Alfonso Rangel Jr., 27; Ramon Medina-Gutierrez, 21, Juvenal Moreno-Garcia, 25; and Tanilo Medina (a.k.a. Guadalupe Fernandez), 26, all of Sunnyside.

Mendoza died as a result of multiple gunshots and Reyes is still recovering from wounds she sustained in the shooting incident. The third victim was treated and released from Sunnyside Community Hospital the night of the shooting.

"The arrest of these individuals takes precedence for the Sunnyside Police Department," said Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder.

He said the police department is concerned for the safety of Sunnyside residents and is placing a high priority on locating the suspects in the shooting.

Anyone with information about the case or the location of the five suspects is urged to call the Sunnyside Police Department at 836-6200.

Since last Thursday Sunnyside police have been busy handling other criminal activity, as well.

Two homes in the 900 block of South 11th Street and the 1100 block of Jackson Avenue were reportedly hit by gunfire just after 1 p.m. yesterday (Sunday). Noone was reported injured in the incident. It is believed a white or gray Altima was involved in the shooting.

Five burglaries and three thefts have been reported to police since Thursday.

A back door in the 100 block of West Parkland Drive was pried open sometime before 6:20 p.m. Thursday and it is unknown what was stolen.

Friday a resident in the 700 block of McClain Drive reported a man wearing a blue bandana was trying to break into her apartment just before 8 a.m. The screens to several windows were removed and the woman's boyfriend yelled at the suspect, who fled the scene.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Sunnyside Police identify 5 homcide suspects (pics)

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. — Police are seeking five suspects in connection with last week’s restaurant shooting that killed one man and injured two others.

A Sunnyside police spokeswoman said Thursday that detectives still have not determined a motive for the shooting and more suspects could be named as the investigation continues.

The shooting late Friday at Ricos Tacos Guadalajara killed Ramon Magna Mendoza, a 25-year-old Sunnyside man.

Maria Reyes, 42, also of Sunnyside, was taken to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, where authorities reported Monday she was in critical condition. An update on her condition was not available Thursday because the family has asked that no information be released, a Harborview nurse administrator said.

A third victim was treated and released at a local hospital. Police, citing the complexity of the investigation, have not identified him.

Police said they are seeking: Lisandro Rangel, 21; Alfonso Rangel Jr., 27; Ramon Medina Gutierrez, 21; and Juvenal Moreno-Garcia, 25.

The fifth suspect, Tanilo Medina, may go by the alias Guadalupe Fernandez, 26, police said.

All are residents of Sunnyside, police said.

Detectives either have arrest warrants or are in the process of obtaining them for all five suspects, though they believe they have enough probable cause to arrest them without warrants, police spokeswoman Charlotte Hinderlider said.

Some of the suspects have been in trouble with the law before.

Both Rangels were found guilty of a controlled substance violation in 2007 in Yakima County Superior Court.

Medina Gutierrez was charged in 2009 with first-degree robbery. Court records allege that in 2007, Medina Gutierrez and three other men held a victim at gunpoint in a Wapato car sales office to get back Gutierrez’s $5,000 down payment on a vehicle after he changed his mind about the purchase. He is still awaiting trial.

• Ross Courtney can be reached at 509-930-8798 or rcourtney@yakimaherald.com.

• Reporter Melissa Sánchez contributed to this report.


Yakima innocent shooting victim not expected to survive

YAKIMA, Wash. -- They'd heard gunshots in their neighborhood before. But never as loud as what they heard late Tuesday night.

The friends remember talking inside their small rental in the 700 block of North Naches Avenue before it happened.

Kyle Flerchinger, a 20-year-old from Idaho, stepped outside for a smoke. His girlfriend followed. Then came the gunfire.

"You never think something like this is going to happen so close, to somebody you know, especially in your backyard," said Joyce Speaks, who rents the small house with a neat, fenced-in backyard.

A bullet that strayed from a shooting a block away hit the back of Flerchinger's neck. Authorities don't expect him to survive.

Flerchinger remained on life support Wednesday evening at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. His mother flew in from Idaho to be with him. His friends are saying their good-byes at the hospital, Speaks said.

If he dies, he'll become the ninth homicide victim in Yakima County this year, the sixth within Yakima city limits. Two of the victims were considered unintended targets.

No arrests have been made in Tuesday's shooting.

Another man, identified by police as 21-year-old Arturo Galvez, was shot near the intersection of Sixth and G streets, where the confrontation occurred.

Yakima police Lt. Mike Merryman said Galvez, who may have gang ties, suffered at least two gunshot wounds in his back. Galvez was flown Tuesday night to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and is expected to survive.

Flerchinger's friends say he and his girlfriend, Amanda Pennington, had been crashing for the past two months with Speaks and her family.

Speaks rents the home with her fiancé and four young children.

Flerchinger met his girlfriend three years ago through JobCorps. They had been living, until recently, in Orofino, Idaho, with his mother. The couple was in Yakima visiting Pennington's family and planned to return to Idaho in May.

"He was a really good kid, became a really good friend," Speaks said. "He was good with my kids."

Detectives are still investigating the shooting. Initial reports from Galvez's brother indicate that his sibling was confronted by someone whom he described as a gang member.

Flerchinger isn't the city's first innocent shooting victim. In the past month or so, authorities say, two other men were shot dead by bullets intended for somebody else.

On Feb. 27, James Kilby, 29, of Union Gap died at a local hospital after he was shot in a car outside a Yakima grocery store. Authorities believe a friend who had called Kilby for a ride home was the intended target.

A week later, David R. Duarte, 40, of Yakima was shot dead while riding in his nephew's car. Police say Duarte was not involved in gangs but his nephew belongs to one.

In October, just a few blocks from where Tuesday's shooting happened, another man was shot to death during a Halloween party. Authorities say Jason Baldoz, 34, was not a gang member, but the shooter is.

Arrests have been made in all three of those cases.

The tally of innocent people wounded in Yakima shootings in the past year includes: a 20-year-old farm
worker who made the mis-take of wearing red clothing; a 62-year-old man selling ice
cream bars from his bicycle cart; a 23-year-old Michigan woman sitting on a porch; and a 13-year-old girl doing homework in her bedroom.

* Melissa Sánchez can be reached at 509-577-7675 or msanchez@yakimaherald.com.


Yakima- innocent shooting victim from Idaho dies

YAKIMA, Wash. — The Idaho man who was struck by a stray bullet Tuesday night in Yakima died early this morning after being taken off life support.

Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins said an autopsy on Kyle Flerchinger’s body may be scheduled as early as this afternoon. Several of his organs were able to be recovered for donation, Hawkins said.

Flerchinger, 20, becomes the ninth homicide victim in Yakima Couinty this yaar and the second innocent person to be shot and killed.

He had been at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital since Tuesday night when he was hit by gunfire while smoking a cigarette. He was standing in the backyard of a home where he had been staying, in the 700 block of North Naches Avenue.

Police say a single bullet hit Flerchinger in the back of the neck from about a block away, near the intersection of Sixth and G Streets.

The gunfire may have been gang-related. Police said the bullet was intended for a 21-year-old man, who was hit at least twice in the back. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, but he is expected to recover, police say.

Police are still investigating. Detectives have not announced any arrests or released any suspect information.

— Mark Morey


31 faces charges in multi-state meth ring

LOS ANGELES -- Federal authorities said 31 people faced drug charges in a crackdown Thursday targeting a large-scale ring that funneled methamphetamine from Mexico to California and Washington using fake vehicle batteries.

The suspected ringleader, Jesus Marquez-Marquez, was believed to be in the Mexican state of Michoacan and has not yet been arrested, authorities said.

Marquez-Marquez, also known as Don Chuy, allegedly ran the drug ring that stored the drug in Tijuana before it was moved across the U.S.-Mexico border via hidden compartments and bogus car batteries.

Marquez-Marquez is accused in a federal complaint of having a number of distribution cells in California's Central Valley, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and in Washington.

The ring is believed to have brought more than 200 pounds of meth into Southern California each month.

About 90 pounds of meth worth more than $5 million was seized Thursday as well as 8 kilograms of cocaine. Ten people were arrested, and others were being sought.

Two Othello men are named in the indictment but have not yet been arrested: David Silva Benavides, also known as "Prieto," 28, who led a Don Chuy distribution cell in Washington, and Jose Luis Mata-Garcia, who is in his late 30s.