Last Asian Boyz member convicted of murder, attempted murder
A leader of the Asian Boyz gang who dodged authorities for more than a decade by hiding out in the Philippines was convicted Thursday for his part in the gang’s violent crime spree in the mid-1990s, according to prosecutors.
Pierre Mercado, 38, was found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder, five of attempted murder and two of aggravated kidnapping, all committed during a rampage of violence across the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys that investigators eventually linked to the Asian Boyz gang. Mercado, also known as “Boo Boo,” was the ninth and last defendant to stand trial, authorities said.
Mercado and his brother Marvin, founders of the Van Nuys clique of the gang, were captured in Manila in 2007 and extradited to the U.S.
The rash of crimes from 1995 to 1996 were spread across a large area and led to the formation of an Asian Boyz task force. The gang, formed in the 1980s and involving members of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Filipino descent, preyed on their own ethnic communities, comitting burglaries, robberies and extortion as well as clashing with rival gangs, authorities said at the time.
"They set out to become the most fearsome gang in Los Angeles, and in that particular year, they succeeded," Deputy Dist. Atty. Hoon Chun said.
At the end of a six-month trial in 1999, seven Asian Boyz members were convicted of six murder and 10 attempted murder charges and sentenced to life in prison. All the while, the Mercado brothers were living in the Philippines under fake identities. Pierre was working on a fish farm; Marvin had married a billionaire heiress, according to Chun.
Pierre Mercado was accused of taking part in the August 1995 killings of three people who were mistaken for members of a gang; being involved in the July 1995 attempted murders of two Marines on the 405 Freeway near LAX; and supplying a shotgun that was used to gun down partygoers on Sherman Way in March 1996.
Mercado faces life in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 24, prosecutors said.
Marvin Mercado was convicted last year of eight counts of first-degree murder and 10 counts of attempted murder and sentenced to multiple life terms. A jury spared him the death penalty.
-- Victoria Kim