Jefferson County Criminal District Attorney Bob Wortham announced June 23 that the last defendants of the “12/24” street gang from Port Arthur pleaded guilty in Judge Raquel West’s 252nd Criminal District Court.
The “12/24” gang conducted multiple vehicle and home burglaries throughout mid and south Jefferson County in the summer of 2019, taking firearms from vehicles and using them while committing home burglaries and drug trafficking. After several gang members were arrested during a home burglary in Port Neches, a multi-agency investigation led police to a house on Charlotte Street in Port Arthur where investigators executed a search uncovering numerous stolen guns, narcotics and items taken in the burglaries. Subsequent cell phone searches allegedly revealed more evidence of criminal activity.
Eight gang members were indicted and charged with numerous felony offenses including Christopher Como, 18, of Port Arthur, convicted of multiple counts of burglary of a habitation, sentenced to 9 years in prison; Brenden Shields, 19, of Port Arthur, convicted of burglary of a habitation and theft of a firearm, sentenced to 5 years in prison; Henry Sara, 17, of Port Arthur, convicted of burglary of a habitation and theft of a firearm, sentenced to 6 years in prison; and Christopher Delasbor, 19, of Port Arthur, convicted of engaging in organized criminal activity and burglary of a habitation, sentenced to 6 years in prison.
Several other gang members have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Members called themselves “12/24,” indicating that they were working 12 months a year, 24 hours a day, to commit crimes to make money.
“The conclusion of this investigation and subsequent convictions breaks up a violent group,” said Assistant Criminal District Attorney Luke Nichols. “Several local and federal agencies combined resources to take multiple dangerous offenders off of the streets, and Jefferson County is safer for their effort.”
The United States Drug Enforcement Agency, Port Arthur Police Department, Port Neches Police Department, Nederland Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives all participated in this investigation.