The Westside 18th Street gang is a very large gang with membership virtually all over the world.  Most are sporting the number "18" in some way.  In graffiti, the roman numeral "XVIII" is frequently used in 18th Street tags.
Hillside 12th Street is the largest gang operating in Washington County.  The letters "LAP" stand for Li'l Angel Pachucos.
With Hispanic gangs, there are essentially two major groups - Nortenos and Surenos.  Surenos are the most prevalent in Washington County, and commonly are loyal to the color blue.   "Sureno" means "south".  Sureno gangs originated in Southern California a
"Thank God I'm White", swastikas, and other messages about the white race being superior to other ethnic groups are signs of White supremacist groups.

The Westside 18th Street gang is a very large gang with membership virtually all over the world.  Most are sporting the number "18" in some way.  In graffiti, the roman numeral "XVIII" is frequently used in 18th Street tags. 

Hillside 12th Street is the largest gang operating in Washington County.  The letters "LAP" stand for Li'l Angel Pachucos. The number "503" (on the neck in the first photo) means essentially "Oregon area" (the telephone area code).

With Hispanic gangs, there are essentially two major groups - Nortenos and Surenos.  Surenos are the most prevalent in Washington County, and commonly are loyal to the color blue. "Sureno" means "south".  Sureno gangs originated in Southern California and areas south of Bakersfield.  They have been in Washington County since the early 90's. The Sureno groups include many other subsets such as the Westside 18th Street gangs.

"Thank God I'm White", swastikas, and other messages about the white race being superior to other ethnic groups are signs of White supremacist groups.

HILLSBORO, Ore.- The Washington County District Attorney’s Office is dedicated to protecting public safety. In conjunction with our partners in law enforcement, our prosecutors, victim advocates and support staff work tirelessly to serve justice countywide.

February is national Gang Prevention Awareness Month. While many may not consider Washington County a haven for gang activity, our community is not immune to this threat. In fact, law enforcement in Washington County have officers and deputies assigned to deal with, and hopefully prevent, gang-related crimes.

As of May 2017, the investigators battling gang-related activity identified more than 1,300 known gang members in Washington County. They have identified the Westside 18th Street, Hillside 12th Street and others with ties to the Sureno gang as the most active groups in our area.

The crimes committed by gang members can vary widely. From graffiti on homes and buildings showcasing a particular gang’s symbol or name, to violent crimes like assault and murder, the criminal activity undertaken by these groups can run the gambit.

Once a crime is committed, law enforcement begins their investigation. When a suspect is identified, our prosecutors go to work. They interview witnesses, victims and investigators to build a case against the accused. If convicted, we strive for a sentence that will protect the victim(s) and the public.

So how can you help? Law enforcement can’t be everywhere all at once. It’s vital to report any gang-related activity so they can investigate. Parents need to be especially vigilant. Keep this advice in mind if you’re concerned your child may be considering joining a gang.

  • Have an open dialogue with your children about gangs and ways to avoid them. Explain the dangers of gangs and how they could be hurt or arrested if they associate with them.
  • Make sure your children don’t:
    • Associate with gang members
    • Attend parties or events sponsored by gangs
    • Use any hand signs or wear any clothing associated with gangs
  • Know your kid’s friends and their parents. Make sure they don’t have any ties to gang activity. They could be vulnerable to peer pressure or encouraged to join a gang.
  • Set limits with your kids. Make sure they understand their actions have consequences. One mistake early on could impact them for the rest of their lives.
  • Make sure you are spending time together as a family. Be sure to plan family time to eat together, play and go on trips. This time together will give you better insight into your family and make it easier to spot a change in behavior.  

If you’d like to report gang activity or are concerned your child is involved with a gang, contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at (503) 846-5850 for more information.

HILLSBORO, Ore.- Domestic violence is a serious problem, one our office is determined to address. Whether it be in the form of verbal or emotional abuse, or physical violence, our prosecutors work tirelessly to protect victims from their attackers.

As we learn more about this serious issue, we’ve discovered domestic abuse can start at a much younger age than previously thought. According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, more than 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner. What’s more, they say 75% of parents have never even talked to their children about domestic abuse.

Those are just some of the reasons we are taking part in national Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. We know how important it is to break the cycle of violence at an early age, so that these abusers won’t perpetuate the pattern throughout their lives. To that end, we’ve developed a web page to list resources available to those suffering from domestic violence.

The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and their subsidiary, VAWnet, have also worked to address the problem. They have developed a special online collection, Preventing and Responding to Teen Dating Violence, with information for parents, teachers and others to learn from.

The Family Justice Center of Washington County is another great resource. Whether you just need someone to talk to, or you want to file for a restraining order, the experts here can help you. If you are worried about coming forward, don’t be. Everything can be done anonymously to protect your privacy.

When it comes to preventing the abuse in the first place, experts agree that it all begins at home. Parents should be involved in their kid’s lives so they can spot the signs of abuse as early as possible. Make sure you know who your son or daughter is dating and what their family lives are like. Monitor cell phones and social media accounts. If your child begins to act differently- perhaps they are acting out or seem depressed- it can also be a sign of abuse. If you suspect something is going on, don’t wait, reach out for help.

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On February 1, 2019, Washington County Judge Theodore Sims sentenced Muhammad Laftah Hasan to 48 months in prison. Hasan pleaded guilty to First Degree Attempted Sexual Abuse and Third Degree Sexual Abuse in January of 2019. The case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Megan Johnson.

Tigard Police began investigating Hasan in 2017 after a parent contacted officers with concerns that her daughter was abused by Hasan. Hasan was running the American Islamic Center for the Holy Qur’an in Tigard at the time, where the victim was undergoing his instruction.

Detective Kevin Dresser of the Tigard Police Department began investigating the case and determined the abuse began as early as 2016. Detectives also discovered a second victim who reported similar abuse by Hasan. Hasan was arrested without incident at his home in Corvallis, Oregon in December of 2017.

“This case is a sobering reminder of the fact that adults will exploit positions of trust and authority in any context to gain access to children,” Johnson said of Hasan’s actions. “The fact that these victims were able to come forward in this situation speaks to their courage. We know that most people will never be able to disclose a history of childhood sexual abuse at all, let alone at the hands of someone dearly loved and venerated in their community. Mr. Hasan’s guilty plea and this sentence ensure the protection of children going forward and is serves as his public acknowledgement of guilt.”

Hasan has worked with children across several communities in both Oregon and Washington. Investigators fear there could be additional victims who haven’t yet come forward. Anyone with information about additional abuse should call law enforcement immediately.

In addition to his prison sentence, Judge Sims also ordered Hasan to undergo 10 years of post-prison supervision, to submit a DNA sample, to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, to pay more than $5,000 in restitution and to have no contact with minors except for his daughter. Hasan will also serve five years of probation. Hasan will be transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 23, 2019, Washington County Judge Andrew R. Erwin found John Patrick Gilbreath guilty of one count of First Degree Unlawful Sexual Penetration. Deputy District Attorney Andy Pulver prosecuted the case.

Gilbreath, who worked at the Partridge House daycare facility in Beaverton, first came under scrutiny from investigators in 2016. A three-year-old girl who was attending the daycare at the time made disclosures of abuse to her parents. The Beaverton Police Department investigated the case but didn’t have sufficient evidence to file charges at the time.

Nearly two years later, another young child being cared for by Gilbreath made similar claims of abuse to her parents as well. Beaverton Police again investigated the allegations. The Washington County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Gilbreath for both victims a short time later.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge Detective Cynthia Herring with the Beaverton Police department for her diligent work on this case.

If you suspect your child may have been abused while attending the Partridge House daycare facility, call police immediately.

Gilbreath remains in custody. A sentencing hearing will take place in March.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 23, 2019, Maria Lucille Meisner pleaded guilty to Murder. A life sentence with a minimum of 25 years was issued by Judge Beth Roberts.

Meisner and Celia Schwab, the unlicensed caretaker for 74-year-old victim Kathryn Breen, were arrested in December of 2016.  Neighbors reported a fire in Breen’s apartment. Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue found Breen unresponsive on the scene with severe burns covering most of her body. She was rushed to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center where she died of her injuries a month later.

Schwab had removed a significant amount of money from Breen’s accounts and had persuaded Meisner, Breen’s neighbor, to assist with burning Breen alive, in what investigators believe was an effort to end Schwab’s tenure of caretaking.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Megan Johnson and Deputy District Attorney Mark Richman prosecuted the case against Meisner.

Schwab was also charged with murder, but she died of natural causes on September 11, 2017 while the case was pending.

“It was a gruesome betrayal of trust for the defendants to burn an elderly woman alive,” Richman said of the case. “This fact was made worse in that the victim lingered with serious burns for a month before she died. We appreciate that Ms. Meisner has stepped forward to take responsibility for her actions. The life sentence with a 25-year minimum offers the community security against similar acts from her in the future.”

The Washington County Elder Abuse Multi-Disciplinary Team came together to solve this case. Led by the Beaverton Police Department which spearheaded the investigation, a clear picture of the crime emerged. Agency partners played key roles in ensuring investigative details came to light, including Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Adult Protective Services, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hillsboro Police Department.

Meisner will begin serving her sentence immediately in the Oregon Department of Corrections.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

HILLSBORO, Ore.- On January 23, 2019, Judge D. Charles Bailey sentenced Aaron Gabriel Zoller to 120 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to First Degree Kidnapping and First Degree Attempted Sodomy. The case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney John Gerhard.

On April 26, 2017, Zoller attacked a 20-year-old woman who was walking through an apartment complex parking lot in the Quatama area of Hillsboro and tried to force her into his truck. The victim, who did not know Zoller, fought, screamed for help and was eventually able to escape. Her detailed reports to Hillsboro Police were instrumental in the apprehension of Zoller. The victim also summoned the courage to face her attacker in court.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office would like to acknowledge Detective Pat Brady and Officer Marth Bual of the Hillsboro Police Department for their work on this case.

“This case reaffirms our mission to protect victims in Washington County and to hold criminals accountable,” Gerhard said of the outcome in the case.

In addition to his prison sentence, Zoller will also undergo 10 years of post-prison supervision and will have to register as a sex offender for life. He has been transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence.

Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
971-708-8219

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