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Men claim they were wrongfully labeled as gang members, sue Weber County, Ogden

(KSL/File)



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OGDEN — Two men who say police wrongfully labeled them as gang members under a law the Utah Supreme Court later found to be illegal are suing Weber County and Ogden.

Leland McCubbin and Daniel J. Lucero claim in separate federal lawsuits filed by the ACLU of Utah that the now defunct gang injunction violated their civil rights.

The cases are about the "overzealous" use of city and county government power and to remind officials that the ends do not always justify the means, according to the suits.

The 2010 preliminary injunction made it illegal for Ogden Trece gang members to meet in public and carry guns or graffiti tools. It also set an 11 p.m. curfew in a 25-square-mile area covering most of the city.

The injunction became permanent in August 2012 when a 2nd District judge ruled it necessary to abate gang activity. The Utah Supreme Court overturned the injunction in October 2013.

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McCubbin and Lucero were both charged with violating the law. McCubbin admits in his lawsuit that he was a member of Trece but left the gang in 2008. Lucero says he was never a member, though police contended his family ties and nickname, "Fat Boy," made him one.

A 2nd District judge lifted two misdemeanor convictions against McCubbin in June. Lucero petitioned the court to have his conviction overturned but missed the deadline. He is now seeking an exception.

According to the lawsuit, McCubbin and Lucero are suing to vindicate their rights to prevent Weber County and Ogden from "once again cutting corners and coloring outside the lines with his rights and the rights of others who were and who may be targeted."

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Dennis Romboy

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