Several accused of plotting to kill Milw. police officers
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Five Milwaukee gang members are accused of plotting to kill three people, including two Milwaukee police officers.
The alleged plot was hatched in the days after a shooting on Milwaukee’s south side on August 11, 2012. On that date, a shooting occurred in which two people were shot and wounded. Police say the shooting was gang related — and very soon a plot began to take shape to get revenge.
The accused are Eliezer Cruz Jr., Joe Frazier, Maricela Gullicksen, Michael Geluk and Gabriel Guerrero — and are each members of the La Familia gang. Each faces a count of conspiracy to commit first-degree intentional homicide.
Court papers say all five are members of La Familia gang. Cruz admitted to planting the seed for the crime. Frazier was going to be the shooter. Gullicksen admitted she knew about the plan and even encouraged it. Geluk was supposed to be the lookout. And Guerrero was somewhat of a mastermind in the plot.
The target of the La Familia gang was a rival gang member who they believed was responsible for the August shooting. In a strange twist, that gang member is related to a Milwaukee police officer — who became one of the targets.
Court papers indicate at least one other police officer was targeted by the group, but the reason isn’t clear.
A search warrant was filed by Milwaukee police just this week. It requests cell phone records. The complaint against the five accused says pre-paid phones had already been purchased by Guerrero. They were to be used for the shooting and then thrown away.
The complaint also says officers searched the home of a man related to Cruz. Inside, they found seven different guns, including a 12-gauge shotgun and an AK 47 assault rifle.
Milwaukee’s top cop, Police Chief Ed Flynn says threats against officers are normal, but says this plot is on a whole other level.
“It’s a little unusual to have something quite this organized. This wasn’t just a random threat people were involved in a conspiracy that involved more than a few people. There are a number of illegal gangs down there that have terrorized their communities and use violence to enforce their marketshare. Our officers have been heavily involved in trying to break that up and apparently some of these characters tried to take steps to kill our officers or at least attempt to so do. Obviously we caught on to it and did an investigation and we expect to see justice done,” Chief Flynn said.
The conspiracy to commit first-degree intentional homicide charge comes with a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison.
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