Gang Bust in South San Francisco

( photo courtesy of
( photo courtesy of

The 500 Block Gang was stung. 19 people arrested were served the death penalty, the others were served life in prison. They were charged with two drive-by shootings in December 2010.  The drive-by was directed toward the 500 Blocks’ rivals the Sureños, another gang. Three people died and six were wounded. Joseph Ortiz, the leader of the 500 Block Gang was charged with the drive-by and robbery of a jewelery store in south San Fransisco,  a 7-11 in Pacifica, and fleeing to Mexico after the shootings. Two years later Ortiz was arrested in the Bay area.

According to the SF Weekly, he then snitched out 19 other people from the 500 Block Gang and also told police that the C Street Gang helped as accessories to all crimes. After all were arrested this seemed like an open-and -shut case, but things took turn. When going to court on December 20, 2013 the 500 Block’s lawyers claimed the police used a little-known spy program to bust the gang. Just like the NSA’s looks through call records to allegedly find threats, this program is to specifically find drug traffickers and violent criminals.

The police paired up with AT&T and MetroPCS to find out phone records and see who Oritz was connected too. Although this new program could make finding the bad guys a lot easier, the gangs lawyer argues this could go against are constitutional rights. This case  could bring up a lot of civil debate later on this year.


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