Five gang members arrested for conspiracy to commit murder, King County sheriff's office says

KING COUNTY, Wash. – Five men were arrested last week in connection with an ongoing gang war in King County, the sheriff’s office announced in a press release.

Francisco Montero (19), Fray-Martin Garcia (18), Sergio Salgado-Vanata (17), Jesus Terrazas-Avalos (18) and Ismael M, Martinez (17) were all charged with one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. All five are allegedly members of the United Lokotes gang.

The sheriff’s office said the five used a Facebook group called “for shooters only” to discuss the murder of Erasmo Plata in retaliation for the killing of a member of their own gang.

According to a press release:

The United Lokotes and the Varrio Locos have been feuding for about a year. Last April, “messaging through Facebook, the five defendants conspired and agreed to kill any VL gang members they came across.”

The murder of United Lokotes member Artura Marcial Alvarez in Federal Way on April 12, 2017, escalated the feud. The next day, Varrio Locos member Plata was shot to death outside a Burien convenience store, and a female believed to have been the driver in the Alvarez killing suffered a graze wound to the head after she was shot at while sitting in her van in the South Park neighborhood.

Detectives got a search warrant for the Facebook group, and said that Montero went in the group the day after the shootings and said, “we just got one of the VLs last night.”

Major Crimes detectives arrested the five over the course of several days last week. They’ll be arraigned May 20 at 9 a.m. at the Regional Justice Center in Kent.