HOUSTON (KTRK) --Documented members of a hard core street gang are charged with stealing designer handbags and wallets from their employer.
Christopher Munguia, Elias Flores and Gabriel Soto told Houston police they worked for Integrity Retail Distribution, a business near Bush Intercontinental Airport that stores new merchandise for manufactures before shipping it to retail stores.
The encounter happened during a traffic stop on Stevens Road just before Christmas. According to court records, Munguia was driving a car with a fake plate and all three men are documented members of Houstone Tango Blast--a criminal street gang. Mug shots show two of them with neck tattoos often associated with the gang.
Police found two guns and $1500 worth of Michael Kors and Coach handbags and wallets stuffed in a sweatshirt. The merchandise had original tags and plastic packaging.
All three are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. Gabriel Soto has not been arrested. Flores remains in the Harris County jail and Munguia is out bond.
Mike Knox, a nationally-known gang expert, newly-elected to Houston City Council, says one misconception is that gangs only commit crimes that involve guns or drugs.
"Each little section or clique, if you will, has their own specialty. Any opportunity to make an illicit profit, a street gang is going to be interested in that," Knox said.