Since its creation in 2009, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Gang Unit has proactively charged and prosecuted scores of the most violent gang members for crimes ranging from murder to drug offenses. In 2010 and 2011, the Gang Unit charged 62 Hilltop Crips, 19 Eastside Lokotos Surenos and 12 Tillicum Park Gangster Crips with multiple conspiracy crimes related to murder, burglary, drugs and guns. Nearly all charged in those conspiracy cases have been convicted of felony crimes and their combined sentences total more than 400 years in prison. In 2012 the Gang Unit charged more than 180 cases, triple the amount from 2011. Aggressive prosecution continues in our Gang Unit resulting in a continued and dramatic drop in gang-related referrals from law enforcement agencies in Pierce County from 2009 to 2017.
The Gang Unit works closely with the South Sound Gang Task Force (SSGTF), targeting gangs causing the biggest threat to public safety. The SSGTF is comprised of law enforcement from the Tacoma and Lakewood Police Departments, the Department of Corrections and federal agencies including the FBI.
Recently, the Gang Unit identified a new criminal enterprise gangs are pursuing – human trafficking. In response, the Gang Unit works closely with our office’s Human Trafficking Unit to pursue those who seek to sexually exploit women and girls in the sex trafficking underground.