Adults in youth gang case held in money laundering

Two adults linked to a juvenile gang that terrorized a San José neighborhood are facing money laundering charges.

They are accused of safeguarding money, weapons and other items that the young toughs took illegally. The Poder Judicial identified them as a man with the last names of Arce Acuña and a woman with the last names of Durán Zúñiga. They were being questioned by the organized crime prosecutor Wednesday.

These were two of the five adults detained Tuesday in 20 raids that also netted seven juveniles. The Juzgado Penal Juvenil de San José began a hearing Wednesday afternoon to determine what to do with the youngsters, aged 13 to 18. They are accused of running a protection racket in Barrio Sagrada Familia where they would shoot up the homes of those who did not pay.

They also are accused of armed robbery, attempted murder and a host of other crimes ranging from last October.

Neighbors in the neighborhood filed many complaints but some did not because they were threatened, agents said Tuesday.

The case is reminiscent of “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens in which the adult criminal Fagan directs a gang of youthful pickpockets, although the present group are far more violent.

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