An alleged Avenues gangster was convicted of gun charges this week in a Los Angeles criminal courtroom. Nicolas Real, 26, was found guilty of two counts of assault with a firearm after he pulled a gun on a family who accidentally drove their car through gang territory in Glassell Park.
“I feel we had a really smart jury that looked at the evidence and worked diligently and held a dangerous leader of the Avenues gang accountable for terrorizing an innocent family,” said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Geanene Yriarte about the September 29 verdict.
According to Yriarte, Real pointed a gun at a family who were in the Drew Street neighborhood after the driver honked at him because he was blocking traffic. “The [female] driver waited a few seconds and honked again,” said Yriarte. Instead of driving off, Real pulled up alongside the family car, called the driver “a bitch,” and got into a shouting match with the driver’s husband who was a passenger in the vehicle.
Real turned his gray Cadillac around and drove up along side the driver who was attempting to flee. He then pulled out a gun and waved for the driver to duck out of the way. “He told the wife, ‘move, move,” said Yriarte. “[The driver] said she believed that he was trying to shoot her husband the entire time…She said, ‘Please no! I have my kids in the car.’ [Real] said 'I will see you later' and took off.”
During the car chase, the driver’s husband was able to call 911 and scrawl down the license number of Real's Cadillac. Real was arrested on Drew Street less than 35 minutes later. The incident occurred on July 2, 2007.
Real gained notoriety last June when he was named in a 157-page federal racketeering indictment targeting 70 members of the Avenues gang who lived on Drew Street in northeast Los Angeles. Federal and local law enforcement officers served 25 federal search warrants, and picked up 32 Avenues gang members and associates in the pre-dawn raids. Twenty-six of the gang members who were indicted were already in local and federal custody including Real and his mother Maria “Chata” Leon who is reputed to be the matriarch of a large family of drug dealing gang members. Also indicted were Real’ brothers Jose, Francisco and Jesus.
Real was indicted by federal authorities for racketeering, conspiracy to distribute narcotics, and the attempted murder of the family in June of 2007.
The indictment of Real and his extended family for mostly drug related charges was a coup for local law enforcement officials who spent years trying to break up the control the family had over the Drew Street community.
Earlier, Real was arrested for driving around Franklin High School threatening people with a handgun and illegal alien smuggling along with his brother Francisco.
In 2005, Real was arrested by the Maywood Police Department on three counts of attempted murder after a shooting at the El Potero Club that left a fellow Avenues gangster a paraplegic.
Real’s half-brother, Danny Leon, died in a gun battle with Los Angeles Police Department gang officers in February.
A trial date has not been set for federal charges against Real. He will be sentenced for the state gun charges on October 29.