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Judge orders permanent detention for alleged gang member

A federal judge late Monday ordered the permanent detention of one of the 10 people arrested last week as part of a crackdown on violence by the Latin King street gang in the Huntington Station area after a magistrate had said the person could be released on bail.

Jonathan Diaz had been granted release on $100,000 bail earlier by U.S. Magistrate E. Thomas Boyle after Diaz's attorney Joseph Ryan had argued that his client was not a member of the gang, had no criminal record, and had a clean work record as a laborer.

Ryan said that Diaz had not knowingly been involved in a shooting on July 30 in which a suspected rival gang member was shot in the leg. Diaz has been charged with conspiracy and assault in the furtherance of racketeering in the case.

Diaz was the only one of the nine adults arrested who a judge or a magistrate had been willing to grant bail. The 10th person arrested was a juvenile whose case records have been sealed.

But U.S. District Judge Joseph Bianco in Central Islip overruled magistrate Boyle and said the government had presented evidence that Diaz was a danger to the community and a flight risk.

Bianco acted on appeal by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Capwell who said that the government not only had evidence that Diaz was the driver of the car involved in the July shooting, but there was also evidence that he had been the driver in a car involved in an August 6 shooting on Lantern Street in Greenlawn near Huntington Station.

In that incident Capwell, said no one who was injured, but shell casings recovered at the scene matched those fired from the carbine that was used in the July 30 shooting.

In the July incident, Capwell noted Diaz had said he was surprised that a weapon had been drawn by one of the Latin Kings in the car who he was giving a ride.

But Capwell said that the weapon was a 2-foot-long carbine, which would have been difficult to have not seen, and the government also had information that there was another weapon in the car.

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