Members of a Latino street gang have admitted to carrying out a racially motivated firebombing attack on black families in a Los Angeles housing project, prosecutors announced Thursday.
Three men belonging to the Big Hazard gang will plead guilty to federal hate crimes stemming from the 2014 attack, according to written plea agreements. In exchange for the confessions, prosecutors for U.S. Atty. Nicola T. Hanna agreed to seek some leniency for the men when they are sentenced. Each faces more than 30 years in federal prison.
The nighttime attack on Mother’s Day four years ago laid bare long-standing racial animosity Latino gangs have stoked in the Ramona Gardens Housing Development and elsewhere. The Big Hazard gang claimed the Boyle Heights housing project as its territory and the men set out to terrorize black families into fleeing their apartments, according to a statement released by Hanna.
Jose Saucedo, 24, Edwin Felix, 26, and Jonathan Portillo, 23, were part of a group of eight gang members who carried out the well-planned attack.
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