Pierce County Gets Creative to Deal With Gangs

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee February 22, 2010

From the PI.Com:

A 35-year-old state law is being used as a new weapon by Pierce County authorities in their battle against Tacoma's Hilltop Crips gang.

Earlier this month, criminal conspiracy charges were filed against 32 alleged gang members. County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist said it might be the first time that the law has been used "to go after gang crimes on this scale."

"What we're charging is that when you join a gang, you're joining a conspiracy to commit crimes and taking a substantial step in that direction," Lindquist told a news conference last week.

The law says it's conspiracy when someone agrees with at least one other person to commit a crime, and steps are then taken toward doing so. A person can be convicted even if he or she does not take part in the actual crime.

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