Courts

Accused Irish Mafia shooter wants off Sac County gang database

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A man who prosecutors and law enforcement officials have tied to the Family Affiliated Irish Mafia, a Bay Area offshoot of the Aryan Brotherhood, is asking a judge to step in after the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office refused to take him off of a shared gang database.

“Mr. Jacob Harding-Abeyta is not a gang member,” a lawyer wrote on his behalf in a recently filed petition in Sacramento County. “More importantly, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office has failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that he has active gang membership, associate status, or affiliate status. Instead, the SCSO simply concluded that Mr. Harding-Abeyta is a gang member because he allegedly associates with known gang members and appeared in photographs or videos indicating gang affiliation.”

Harding-Abeyta resides in the Bay Area and hasn’t ever faced criminal charges in Sacramento, according to online court records. Nonetheless, officials here added him to a shared gang database after he was linked to the Irish Mafia by federal prosecutors downtown, as first reported by Scott Morris of The Vallejo Sun.

In arguing against Harding-Abeyta’s motion for pretrial release in a gun possession case, Assistant US Attorney Adrian Kinsella attempted to tie the 28-year-old to the street gang, once used by the Aryan Brotherhood to control poor, white neighborhoods in San Francisco, through a series of photos and videos.

Kinsella used a photo of a green handkerchief with clovers found in Harding-Abeyta’s home, a clover tattoo on his left arm, and his appearance alongside rapper Blase 417 in a music video to establish a relationship between him and the gang. Several handkerchiefs, similar to the one found in Harding-Abeyta’s house, were pictured in the video. Blase 417, whose real name is Matt Donohue, has a prominent “FAIM” tattoo on his right shoulder.

“On the door to the room, officers photographed a green handkerchief with green clovers on it — a widely-recognized symbol used by FAIM gang members, and consistent with tattoos on Harding-Abeyta’s person,” Kinsella wrote. “Harding-Abeyta also appears in multiple videos on YouTube with known FAIM members who brag about their gang affiliation.”

Magistrate Judge Allison Claire would eventually side with the government, denying Harding-Abeyta’s motion for bail review. His case is currently in pretrial, and he’s incarcerated at the Sacramento County Main Jail on federal hold.

According to papers filed in the federal case, law enforcement officials in the Bay Area found a Springfield XDS .45 hidden in a paper bag behind a bedroom door during a parole search of Harding-Abeyta’s house. Several shell casings from that gun, officials say, were matched to two shootings he was being investigated for at the time.

Harding-Abeyta has pleaded not guilty to the gun offense, claiming it belonged to someone else who stayed at his house. He also told investigators that his Mercedes, seen driving away from one of the shootings, was driven by a friend. An attorney is scheduled to appear on his behalf in Sacramento next month.

Ethan Biando
Ethan Biando is a freelance journalist from Sacramento. His writing focuses on crime, courts, and policing. Find him on Twitter @ethanb822

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