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Eddie Sandoval, 24, of San Jose

SAN JOSE -- Three gang members have been indicted on charges related to gunplay in 2008 that left an 18-year-old man dead and three injured in a pair of shootings two weeks apart, police said.

The San Jose Police Department announced Wednesday that Gabriel Franco, 25, Hugo Chavez, 31, and Eddie Sandoval, 24, all of San Jose, were indicted by the Santa Clara County grand jury on Nov. 6.

Franco and Chavez were indicted on charges related to the slaying of Raul Islas Lopez, an 18-year-old who died a week after being shot in East San Jose as he sat in a car in March 2008. Another victim survived the shooting.

Franco and Sandoval were indicted on counts stemming from a drive-by shooting two weeks later off Alum Rock Avenue that left two people with life-threatening injuries. Both victims survived. According to police reports, a vehicle believed used in the crime was later found abandoned and burned.

Franco and Sandoval were already in custody when the grand jury handed down the indictment, while Chavez was found and arrested the next day in Hayward.

Police said the indictments were the result of a lengthy investigation but had no further information on why prosecutors took the case before a grand jury, although Sgt. Jason Dwyer said the charges likely came as a surprise to the men.

"They did not know they were suspects," he said.


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Both shootings were gang-motivated, police said.

Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to call the San Jose police homicide unit at 408-277-5283. Those wanting to remain anonymous can contact Silicon Valley CrimeStoppers at 408-947-7867.

Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.