Police arrest gang unit's "public enemy No. 1"

Published: Monday, May 12 2014 6:32 p.m. MDT

The Salt Lake Metro Gang Unit's public enemy No. 1 has been arrested.

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SOUTH SALT LAKE — The Salt Lake Metro Gang Unit's "public enemy No. 1" has been arrested.

Police arrested Rodrigo Scott Burquez, 22, on Saturday. He had a warrant out for his arrest from a 2010 aggravated assault case.

In 2010, Burquez was charged in 3rd District Court with robbery and 13 counts of aggravated assault, first-degree felonies, after police say he pointed a rifle at several people, including children. Burquez followed two families from a park and yelled "Surenos" and "South Side" at them, according to charging documents.

One woman and her two children, aged 10 and 11, tripped and fell while trying to run away from Burquez. "The defendant stood over Mrs. Smith and her children, pointed the rifle at them and said, 'Now you scared?'" the charges state.

Burquez cocked the rifle but did not fire it. After he ran off, police say, he confronted three more adults and five children, told them he had a gun and demanded money.

Burquez eventually pleaded guilty to one count of robbery and three counts of aggravated assault. He was given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to serve a year in jail as well as probation.

During his time in jail, Burquez wrote several letters to the judge who sentenced him, thanking her for showing leniency.

"I would like to thank you for not sending me to prison and showing me the leniency you did at my sentencing and believing in my willingness to change. I have thought about that day and all of the foolish choices that got me in trouble in the first place and realize how much worse this really could have been," he wrote in one letter.

Burquez also claimed in the letter that he was in the process of leaving the gang lifestyle and getting his tattoo removed. He currently has "CHS" tattooed prominently under his chin and "SL" on his left cheek.

In another letter, Burquez talks about the life skills and drug classes he has taken while in jail.

Seven months after writing his last letter, a warrant was issued for his arrest in 2013 for failing to comply with probation, according to court records.

Unified police say Burquez "is a member of a violent street gang." He was arrested at a house in West Valley City on Saturday.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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