Suspected Texas gang member arrested after La. police chase
PORT ALLEN - A man and woman from Texas face charges after a morning police chase that, when it ended, turned up $940 in counterfeit $20 bills inside the pair's Mercedes.
State Police said troopers initially tried to pull the vehicle over on I-10 east near Highway 415. The driver failed to pull to the side of the interstate, instead speeding away and eventually exiting to LA 1 south.
While headed southbound, police said the vehicle crossed the median and drove south in the northbound lanes and eventually stopped after hitting a police cruiser. The two people inside tried to run, but were caught by authorities.
Mike A. Rodriguez, 31, was arrested for improper lane use, reckless operation, resisting an officer, flight from an officer, no driver's license, monetary instrument abuse and warrants. Brianna M. Martinez, 22, faces resisting an officer and monetary instrument abuse.
State Police said Rodriguez is a member of the Texas-based Tango Blast gang. The Tango Blast has been called the biggest gang threat in Texas. There are 10,000 members, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The gang symbol is a star, similar to the logo of the Houston Astros.
"I have handled and other prosecutors have handled members of this gang for everything from theft to burglary all the way up to violent crimes like aggravated assault and murder," Harris County Assistant District Attorney Cameron Calligan told KRIV, a Houston-based TV station, in 2013. "They are growing. There's a pretty easy or straight forward way to gain membership into these gangs, doing criminal activity."
The Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division, West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office and Secret Service assisted in the investigation.
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