An admitted gang member has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in a violent crime spree in Aurora.
Arapahoe County District Court Judge Andrew Baum sentenced Joshua Alonzo Cunningham, 20, of Aurora, after he pleaded guilty May 6 to one count of attempted first-degree murder in one case, and to aggravated robbery with a firearm in a second case. Other charges he faced were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
On Dec. 8, 2017, Cunningham fired at a victim from a vehicle in a drive-by shooting on East 14th Avenue in Aurora, where he and other gang members targeted an individual they believed to be a rival gang member.
On Feb. 12, 2018, Cunningham robbed an O’Reilly Auto Parts store on South Havana Street in Aurora with a handgun, where he threatened a clerk and forced her to give him money from a cash register.
In July 2018, 14 co-defendants who were involved in the crime spree were arrested and charged. Cases against other defendants are still pending.
The cases were investigated by the ATF, the FBI Safe-Streets Task Force, and the Aurora Police Department, focusing on a pattern of gang-related aggravated robberies, burglaries, and shootings throughout the Denver metro area by members and associates of the Park Hill Bloods criminal street gang. Several firearms were recovered during the investigation and forensic technology allowed investigators to match ballistic evidence from several crime scenes, along with cell-phone information that contributed to the identification and apprehension of those responsible for the shootings.
“It takes the combined efforts of our fantastic law enforcement partners at Aurora PD, FBI, and ATF to help protect us from the seeming surge in violent crime being perpetrated by younger members of our community,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “Gang-related drive-by shootings are not limited to LA-based 1980s movies. They are here, and as long as there are those who engage in this extreme and lethal behavior, we will work to protect our community by removing them from it. This is why we build prisons.”