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6 arrested in Hillsborough gang take down

A violent gang based in Hillsborough County that committed crimes throughout Florida and in other states has been dismantled with the arrest of six members, including its leader, the US Attorney’s office in Tampa announced on Monday.

A 40-page indictment released by prosecutors shows that gang members are suspected in a Hillsborough County murder, and that the gang placed GPS devices on the vehicles of people they were tracking.

The six members face various charges including conspiracy to commit robbery, kidnapping, bank fraud, murder in aid of racketeering, arson and possession with the intent to distribute over 2,000 pounds of marijuana.

Those accused are the gang’s leader, Christian Andujar Rivera, along with Irving Bruzon, Xavier Gardner, Mohamed Nidal Jaber, Julissa Collazo and Kyle Miller, prosecutors said.

According to U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg, the gang is called Alexander Park, or AP, and its members committed “acts of intimidation” to instill fear in the greater Tampa community and retaliate against other gangs.

The violence included a rival gang shooting on April 17, 2022, at Scores Gentlemen’s Club on Dale Mabry Highway, Handberg said.

Initial reports noted that an argument started between rival gangs the Latin Kings and Alexander Park in which a Latin Kings member shot and killed an Alexander Park member, which led to the rival gang retaliating, Handberg said.

Six days after the shooting at Scores, Alexander Park members shot and killed a Latin Kings gang member in broad daylight in a strip mall parking lot on West Hillsborough Avenue.

After the shooting, Handberg said members of Alexander Park tried to destroy evidence by burning the car in which they left the dead Latin King member.

While investigating both murder scenes, detectives found nearly 70 shell casings in the parking lots where the murders took place. Detectives matched the shell casings at Scores with those at the parking lot on West Hillsborough Avenue and found a match.

“This lead helped us propel our investigation forward because it connected what happened on April 17 with the retaliation that occurred on April 23,” Handberg said. “The investigators didn’t stop there. The goal of this investigation has always been the dismantling of the AP gang.”

According to Handberg, investigators found that Alexander Park members committed crimes throughout Florida and in Oregon, California and Michigan.

The indictment says four victims who were stalked and one was abducted by gang members. Handberg said they bought GPS trackers and placed them on vehicles of the victims and their family members.

Investigators found that the gang also stole thousands of pounds of marijuana through violent force, Handberg said.

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Each gang member faces up to life in prison, he added.

“This case is a great example of how local state and federal investigators are able to effectively work together to protect our community by prosecuting those who seek to harm our community through violence,” Handberg said.