HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Eleven gang members have been arrested in connection with 41 armed robberies at local meat markets in the Houston area, the Harris County District Attorney's Office said.
Crews of masked men would rob the establishments. The district attorney's office said most of the locations were La Michoacana meat markets.
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Authorities say the men would fire guns into the air, and then snatch cash from the registers and check cashing booths.
Investigators told ABC13 Eyewitness News that in one instance, a man held a customer at gunpoint and forced a cashier to unlock the check cashing booth.
"The evidence shows these crews robbed everywhere but their own neighborhoods, as they preyed on businesses and terrified innocent people," District Attorney Kim Ogg said. "Now they will have to stand in court and face judgement."
Ogg says that more arrests and charges may be possible as the investigation continues.
"Through the newly established ATF Crime Gun Strike Force, we are working with our partners, including police, prosecutors, and crime labs," ATF Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski said. "ATF uses our Crime Gun Intelligence capabilities to link violent gun crimes and disrupt the shooting cycle.
The robberies allegedly happened between July 2018 and February 2019.
Among those charged are the men who allegedly carried out the robberies, as well as the "shot callers," the men who scouted the locations and planned the crimes.
The targeted meat markets were mostly located in Harris County, but some locations included Galveston and Beaumont.
Merrick West: Federal firearms charge
Bryant West: Federal firearms charge
Eric West: Federal firearms charge
Tom Grant: Charged in Harris County and Galveston County with aggravated robbery
Jacquez Keli: Charged in Harris and Galveston County with aggravated robbery
Jamaris Hayes: Charged in Harris County with aggravated robbery
Keondrick Scyrus: Charged in Harris County with aggravated robbery
Anthony Watterson: Charged in Harris County with aggravated robbery
Devonte Ransom: Charged in Harris County with aggravated robbery
Brandon Johnson: Charged in Harris County with aggravated robbery
Charles Johnson: Charged in Harris County with aggravated robbery
11 gang members linked to 41 Houston armed robberies: District Attorney
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