Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon took aim at a second Elgin gang Tuesday, filing a civil suit against the Maniac Latin Disciples gang and 25 of its known members.
It's the third such suit he has filed against a gang in the last three years. The first was filed in 2010 against the Elgin Latin Kings, the second in May 2012 against the Aurora Latin Kings.
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The point, said McMahon, "is to drive down gang-related crime and make it difficult" for gang members to carry out their activities.
The suit seeks to prohibit them from congregating in public and addresses the possession and use of weapons, illegal narcotics, graffiti, violent behavior and other activities generally associated with street gangs. That includes wearing gang colors and being in certain areas, McMahon said.
"By and through their association with the Maniac Latin Disciples ... members engage in a pattern of criminal activity and gang-related including felonies, murders, shootings, aggravated batteries, unlawful possession of and unlawful use of weapons, unlawful possession of and delivery of controlled substances, criminal defacement of property, and other conduct injurious to the people of the state of Illinois, and the city of Elgin," the suit states.
The suit seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory relief for past damage and financial losses incurred as a result of the gang activities, and to offset the costs of fighting the street gangs.
Judges have issued injunctions for some of the defendants in the previous two lawsuits. Other defendants are still contesting their cases. Once an injunction is in place, McMahon's office shares that information with police departments in Elgin and Aurora. If police see a gang member violating the injunction, McMahon's office can and has brought criminal charges.
There could be "financial consequences for failure to change their behavior," said McMahon, since the injunctions would allow the state's attorney's office to take assets. It has not done so yet.
The project was done with the help of the Elgin Police Department, which researched the criminal histories of gang members in the city to determine whom to sue. The Kane County sheriff's office helped serve the summonses. Defendants were identified by a variety of means, including past criminal activity, gang tattoos and associations with known gang members, according to the suit.
They were served starting Friday. The initial court date is Oct. 8.
The suit was filed under the 1993 Illinois Streetgang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act. The act holds that street gangs that operate to terrorize communities with repeated acts of violence may be held accountable for monetary damages and enjoined from further gang activity.
The defendants are Karl Bonilla, Reggie Cortez, Alberto Prado, Jonathan Ramirez, Scottie T. Rasavady, Victor Rivera, Exavie Stivalet, Jose Villagomez, Miguel Covarrubias, Jose Covarrubias Jr., Alexander L. Botti, Victor A. Botti, Raul Gallardo, Joseph L. Garcia, Victor L. Gonzalez, Matthew A. Miranda, Jesse J. Orizaba, Luis Orizaba, Jose N. Pellot, Mario Prado, Robert Trujillo, Adan Sandoval, Modesto Rosales, Jaime Zarate and Lloyd S. Veal.