Orange County District Attorney
Press Release, For Immediate Release: December 12, 2012
Contacts: Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff, Office: 714-347-8408, Cell: 714-292-2718
Farrah Emami, Spokesperson, Office: 714-347-8405, Cell: 714-323-4486
STANTON – Members of a violent Stanton criminal street gang have been permanently enjoined from terrorizing the community and acting as a public nuisance, marking the 11th injunction to be brought against Orange County gangs. This multi-generational gang is one of the oldest in Orange County, dating back to the early 1950s.
A permanent injunction was signed Dec. 10, 2012, by the Honorable Charles Margines against the gang and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) will enforce the injunction. Deputy District Attorney Lisa Grossman prepared the injunction on behalf of the Gang Unit of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA).
The service of the injunctions today, Dec. 12, 2012, was a cooperative effort between OCSD, OCDA Bureau of Investigation, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and Orange County Probation Department.
“We must fight gang crimes using every legal tool we have,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “It is our responsibility to protect the people who live and work in these neighborhoods who have implored us to help them be free of the terror that these gang members impose on their neighborhoods.”
“The use of a gang injunction is a valuable tool for law enforcement,” Said Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. “Our prior injunctions have resulted in almost 300 interviews in targeted gang areas and served over 160 Street Terrorism Enforcement Prevention (STEP) notifications. We expect this injunction to significantly reduce the gang presence in the safety zone, much like the prior injunctions have done in South Orange County. It is always our intention to safeguard our communities and this tool assists us with that.”
WHAT IS AN INJUNCTION?
A gang injunction is a civil order that restricts or prohibits documented gang members from participating in specific acts or activities that may not be inherently criminal within a designated area, or “Safety Zone.” The terms are designed to curb intimidating or harassing behavior. If a member of an enjoined gang violates the terms, he or she will be arrested and face prosecution. The case may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor for disobeying a court order and the defendant will be placed on gang probation terms or be sent to jail for up to six months.
This injunction names the gang as the defendant. The gang injunction subjects all active, documented members to prohibitive terms including a restriction that prohibits any association between members of the gang. Association includes standing, sitting, walking, driving, bicycling, gathering, or appearing anywhere in public or public view with any known member of the gang (except while at school or in church). The terms also maintain that there can be no intimidation, use or sale of drugs, consuming alcohol in public, guns or dangerous weapons, fighting, trespassing, blocking free passage, gang hand signs, gang clothes, burglary tools, or acting as a lookout. In addition, the gang members must obey curfew and all laws. Graffiti and vandalism are also prohibited as graffiti is often used by the gangs in the Safety Zones as a method to intimidate rival gangs, mark their territory, advertise their most recent activities, dissuade residents from going to the police, and denounce police.
Gang members who are subject to the terms of the injunction include the most active gang members who are well-documented through personal admission and/or affiliation, association with known gang members, dressing in the style of the gang or having gang tattoos, possessing gang paraphernalia, and/or committing crimes for the benefit of the gang.
STANTON GANG INJUNCTION
The 11th injunction to be made permanent in Orange County is the first to be brought against a Stanton criminal street gang. This criminal street gang is a violent, traditional turf-oriented gang that has been active since the 1950s with approximately 30 members actively engaged in nuisance and criminal activity. Officers identified 27 of the most active, well-documented members as representatives and served them with copies of the permanent injunction on behalf of the gang. All active, documented members of the gang are subject to the injunction whether they were served as a representative or not.
A .37-square mile makes up the Safety Zone, which is located south of Katella Avenue, east of the railroad tracks, north of Chapman Avenue, and west of Beach Boulevard.
Between January 2009 and June 2012, criminal activity in the Stanton Safety Zones resulted in the documentation and/or arrest of gang members for crimes including: one murder, one attempted murder, 29 incidents of gun or dangerous weapon possession, four participants involved in assaults, 53 drug violations, three incidents of fighting, 11 incidents of graffiti or vandalism tools, 54 for associating with other members of the same criminal street gang, four for intimidation, nine for alcoholic beverage in public, four for displaying gang hand signs, 12 for wearing gang clothing, 15 for burglary or possession of burglary tools, five for robbery, 14 for curfew, one for carjacking, and 20 for failing to obey all laws. Additional crimes were committed but not documented because many people that live and work in the neighborhood are reluctant to cooperate with police for fear of retaliation from the gang.
STATUS OF 10 ONGOING INJUNCTIONS
In Orange County there are currently 10 other permanent gang injunctions in the cities of Anaheim, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Orange, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Santa Ana. As a result of the injunctions, crime has been significantly reduced in the Safety Zones by as much as 65 percent.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701