NewsCovering Colorado


Over twelve Colorado gang members sent to prison after 5-year investigation with FBI, local law enforcement

Pueblo law enforcement and federal agencies announce 5-year gang crack down
Posted at 8:13 PM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 22:14:56-04

PUEBLO — "If I was a gang member in Pueblo right now, it'd be a good time to be nervous."

The warning Pueblo Police Chief Chris Noeller issued after he and other law enforcement agencies revealed the results of a five-year gang investigation on Tuesday.

Alongside the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and United State's Attorney's Office, the Pueblo Police Department helped put 13 criminals affiliated with a specific gang in Pueblo into prison cells.

The investigation is "personal" for Steven Rodriguez, who left the gang-lifestyle in the 1970s. Rodriguez was raised in a family that has been tied to gang activity for decades, but eventually made the decision to change his life.

"You start thinking (of) how many times you've missed being killed. How many times you could've been in certain situations where you end up in prison for your whole life... And you wake up and you have children. You don't want that for your children."

13 of the gang members were prosecuted at the federal level, as well as 12 of those gang members facing state charges. The majority of the offenders face drug-related charges, but one is sentenced to 32 years in prison after pleading to the 2019 murder of Floyd Robinson near Bessemer Park.

According to PPD, the gang these criminals are affiliated with accounted for 16% of the murder, assault, narcotics possession/distribution, and weapons charges in 2016. In 2021, the same gang was responsible for less than 2.5% of those crimes.

"I do agree with the concept... Take the head off and it will affect everybody down, but you got young people ready to step up to fill them voids," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez hopes city leaders in Pueblo will begin funding programs give children in the city different avenues and activities in an effort to prevent them from getting involved in gangs.

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