General Crime

Reputed Oakland Gang Member Jacob Castro Convicted Of Conspiring To Murder Associate

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A reputed gang member has been convicted of conspiracy to commit murder for plotting to kill a fellow gang member who had identified twosuspects in a fatal shooting at the Viper Lounge in Hayward in 2008. Jacob Castro, 33, who was found guilty on Thursday, faces a term of 25 years to life in state prison when he’s sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman on June 7. Prosecutor John Brouhard said Castro directed three colleagues to kill their fellow gang member and his family at their home in San Leandro in July 2011. He said Castro was upset at the man for cooperating with authorities in the investigation of the Aug. 30, 2008, shooting death of 24-year-old Nathan Tuitasi at the Viper Lounge, located at 29308 Mission Blvd. in Hayward.

However, Hayward police learned of the plot, conducted an intensive undercover operation that included making surveillance videos and were able to stop Castro and his colleagues before they could carry out their plan, Brouhard said. On July 8, 2011, police arrested Castro in Castro Valley and co-defendants Johnny Brown, Lorenzo Farfan and Ruby Farfan in San Jose, according to Brouhard. In a sad twist in the case, the man the four defendants were plotting to kill has since died of natural causes, Brouhard said. Brown, Lorenzo Farfan and Ruby Farfan have all pleaded no contest to attempted murder, Brouhard said. Brown faces a 19-year state prison term when he’s sentenced in the near future and Ruby Farfan faces seven years when she’s sentenced on June 3, according to Brouhard.

Lorenzo Farfan already has been sentenced to 5 years in state prison, he said. Hayward police said witnesses to the fatal shooting at the Viper Lounge said it resulted from a dispute between two groups of people. Brouhard said the gang colleague Castro and the other defendants wanted to kill identified two men who were involved in killing Tuitasi, as the colleague was at the bar at the time of the shooting. Those two men later pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter for Tuitasi’s death, Brouhard said.

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