Crime journal

By Times Staff Writer
Published December 15, 2007


Gang members face charges of racketeering 

Authorities said Friday they're bringing racketeering charges against 10 members of a street gang that has been preying on Hispanic residents on Plant City's west side. "What makes it particularly galling is this gang targeted the weakest among us - migrant workers who might not want to put their money in a bank" or report attacks to police, said Thomas Smith, assistant statewide prosecutor out of Tampa. Local and state law enforcement officials are charging 10 men, ranging in age from 16 to 20, who police say belong to a gang called "the Black MOB." Plant City police Chief Bill McDaniel said they're repeat offenders who have collectively been charged with 108 felonies and 69 misdemeanors, including drug dealing and robberies. But racketeering charges could bring stiffer prison senten-ces, he said.


Tampa man jailed in sexual battery

A Tampa man was arrested Friday, accused of raping a woman after police saw him approach her as she stumbled though Ybor City, appearing intoxicated. Robert Gomez Jurado, 23, of 6840 Mitchell Circle, was being held without bail in Orient Road Jail, accused of sexual battery against a 19-year-old woman. Officers first saw the woman stumbling as she walked across N 15th Street and E Sixth Avenue just after 3 a.m. As police watched her walk east on Sixth Avenue, they noticed a man walk up and usher her into the back of his red 1998 Durango. The woman's screams could be heard from the car as police approached Jurado's vehicle to investigate, according to a report. The officers wrote that they saw her being sexually battered.


Carjacking victim dies of his injuries

Hillsborough deputies are still looking for a man they say shot a 27-year-old Tampa man in a Wednesday carjacking. Antonio Middleton of 2220 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., was shot in the upper torso. He died Thursday night at Tampa General Hospital. Deputies say Middleton and his girlfriend drove to 78th Street and Ride Out Road about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and picked up an acquaintance of Middleton's and drove away. The acquaintance ordered the girlfriend, who was not named, out of the car at Waikiki Way and Ride In Road in Clair Mel. She told deputies she heard a "pop" as she was walking away.