Two men convicted in North Richmond ‘Swerve Team’ gang case

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Following an eight-month-long jury trial that included the testimony of 185 witnesses, two alleged members of the North Richmond street gang known as the “Swerve Team” were convicted of multiple charges, including murder, for their roles in a “prolific crime spree” in 2016, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.

Marrico Williams, 24, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of murder, three attempted murders, three assaults with a firearm, nine robberies, three burglaries, and two carjackings, with multiple firearm and injury enhancements, per the DA’s office.

Torion Young, 23, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of murder, four attempted and one assault with a firearm, and one residential burglary, accompanied by various enhancements, said the DA’s office.

A third defendant, 26-year-old Cardell Waters, was convicted of conspiracy to possess an illegal firearm, however, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the other counts.

Williams, Young, Waters and five others were indicted in 2017 by a grand jury following a significant state and federal investigation centering on multiple shootings, including three homicides, prosecutors said.

The indictments followed a crime spree in 2016 that spanned six months until September 30 of that year, when Williams and fellow gang members were arrested following a high-speed chase through multiple cities, ending in San Pablo, the DA’s Office said.

“Police searched the vehicle driven by Williams and found evidence from cellphone and camera images,” prosecutors said.

The trial against the defendants “were based upon ballistics evidence, cellular records and forensic evidence, along with the testimony of 185 witnesses,” prosecutors added.

Williams and Young, scheduled for sentencing later this month, face multiple life terms. The remaining case against Waters is scheduled for a future court date, prosecutors said.

The investigation involved seven police departments and the Sheriff’s Office in Contra Costa County, among others, and the Contra Costa County FBI Safe Streets Task Force also participated in the wire investigation into the SWERVE Team in September 2016.