The gang known as Gallant Knights Insane has been operating in the Denver area for years.
Now, three brothers — Jimmy, Michael and Timmy Valanzuela — characterized as founding members of the organization have been indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury, along with three alleged associates: Tanya Gutierrez, Jaime Venegas and Anthony Saleh, Jr.
The accusations against them include attempted murder.
Continue for gang details, plus photos, a video and additional information about the charges against them.
The first Westword reference to Gallant Knights Insane pops up in "Girl Crazy," a 2006 feature. Here's a passage about the group's history:
The acronym has been interpreted several ways by three generations of gang members: Gangsters Killing Incas is the original definition, used to disrespect the Inca Boyz, an inactive Denver set. Some say GKI now stands for Gallant Knights Insane, others say it's Gangsters Killers Incorporated. The set grabbed headlines later that month when a federal indictment charged GKI members with distributing crack.
Another mention can be found in a 2008 Westword story concerning a lawsuit filed by the family of Jason Gomez, who was killed in an altercation with police: The officer in question claimed Gomez had shouted "GKI! GKI!"
And in a 2014 Westword post about Michael Clapper, who was arrested in association with kidnapping and sex-assault accusations. Richard Pacheco, also busted in the case, is said to have greeted him by asking if he was GKI, since he was wearing purple, a color associated with the gang.
As for the current septet, the First Judicial District DA's office maintains that they were part of a crime ring that operated from January 2004 to February 2015.
Jimmy Valanzuela is said to have been the leader of the group and the highest ranking member, while Michael and Timmy are identified as GKI co-founders.
The indictment against them maintains that their goal "was to obtain cash through sale of drugs and punish or eliminate its rivals or those who acted against its code of conduct. Their daily activities include the sale and use of narcotics, recruitment and admission of new members, and targeting rival gang members for assault and murder."
An example of the latter assertion, according to the indictment (obtained by 7News) allegedly took place on February 23, 2014 at Hart's Corner Bar in Lakewood.
At that time, Jimmy and Timmy were busted for allegedly ambushing a member of a rival gang thought to be a snitch in the parking lot of the venue, the station maintains.
During the altercation, Timmy is said to have fired a handgun thirteen times in the man's direction, hitting him once in the chin.
At that point, the man's wife and adult son, who were present at the scene, reportedly rushed to the victim's aid — after which Michael, also on hand, bit the adult son on the ear badly enough that the wound needed stitches to repair, the indictment states.
Afterward, the document says the Valanzuela brothers went to another bar "where they were observed drinking, laughing and dancing."
There's little cause for celebration now. The six were taken into custody by Jeffco law enforcers and are due to make their next court appearance on April 1.
Look below to see the aforementioned 7News report, featuring comments from First Judicial District DA Peter Weir.Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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