Three gang members arrested after a year-long search for those connected to the fatal shooting of a 59-year-old security guard outside a Spring Valley marijuana dispensary appeared in court Wednesday.
The shooting of Kenneth Love II allegedly was tied to a broader scheme to extort illegal dispensaries for money. If the extortion money was not paid, the defendants used threats and violence to intimidate ownership, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said.
The crime spree is responsible for other Spring Valley-area shootings in July 2019 and November 2019, according to prosecutors. Two of the defendants are gang members who reside in the Los Angeles area and the third is a San Diego man associated with a local gang, Stephan said.
After an investigation by San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, homicide detectives and the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, Daveon Dajuan Hicks Sr., 30, Curry James Williams Jr., 29, and Jamal Johnson, 41, were arrested on suspicion of murder, Stephan said.
Hicks, Williams and Johnson were also charged with conspiracy to commit extortion and other offenses related to the Spring Valley shootings, Stephan said.
Adrian Kasey Batten, 36, was charged with conspiracy to commit extortion and other offenses related to