Tulare County suing the Ivanhoe South Side Kings 13 Street Gang
Posted in the Dinuba Forum
#1 Mar 7, 2008
This morning, 23 men accused of being members of the South Side Kings street gang in Ivanhoe will appear in court. Prosecutors will ask a Tulare County Superior Court judge to order them not to congregate, carry guns, intimidate witnesses or engage in a laundry list of other activities in public within their town.
The men or their lawyers will be able to argue against the request.
On Feb. 11, the Tulare County District Attorney's Office quietly filed a complaint for a court injunction against the South Side Kings members, accusing the group of being a public nuisance and a danger to Ivanhoe and its residents. Gang members were accused of such criminal activities as drug sales, witness intimidation, robberies, beatings, auto theft, shootings and murders.
"Residents are prisoners and victims of the [gang's] war against other rival gangs, and the foreseeable retaliation by each against the other," the complaint states. "Defendants demonstrate a blatant disregard for the lives and safety of innocent victims, including children, who get caught in the crossfire. Residents live in constant fear of shooting, stabbing and random violence."
Just by hanging out, the complaint states, gang members make Ivanhoe residents fear for their safety.
An injunction would prevent gang members from being in public together from Jasmine Avenue north to Avenue 332, and from Road 158 east to Road 151. Even getting in a car together would violate the injunction and could get them arrested.
The injunction also would prohibit:
Possession of guns or dangerous weapons in public
Possession or sale of nonprescription drugs.
Acting as lookouts to warn of approaching of law enforcement.
Creation of graffiti or possession of graffiti tools.
Forcing anyone into the gang or preventing anyone from leaving.
Commission or threats of violence
Prosecutors also are seeking a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. daily.
The men cited in the complaint, who range in age from 18 to 28, are Jaime Alonzo, Rogelio Cabrera, Ernesto Castañon, Ismael Dias, Javier Espino, Ramon Flores, Jesus Garcia, Hector Gonzalez Jr., Luise Felipe Gonzalez, Leo Holguin, Joe Huerta, Ricardo Martinez, Ruben Anthony Martinez, Jose Mendoza, Hector Miguel Perez, Ruben Eduardo Perez, Alfredo Rodriguez, Francisco Rodriguez, Oscar Rodriguez, Jose Manuel Tadeo, Hector Villa, Jose Luis Zacarias and Frank Zavala.
Court records show that Perez was served with a notice of the legal action while an inmate at the California Department of Correction's Sierra Conservation Corps in Jamestown.
The complaint for injunction is a new strategy to fight gangs in Tulare County, but it has been used for 20 years in Los Angeles.
The district attorney's office and the Tulare County Sheriff's Department have worked for months to prepare their case against the South Side Kings. Authorities believe the injunctions will be effective because they're a civil matter, requiring less evidence of violation than in a criminal prosecution.
Prosecutors and investigators must demonstrate a pattern of behavior creating a public nuisance. They then must persuade a judge to establish a "safety zone" where the gang members can't congregate or engage in certain activities, sheriff's Lt. Mike Boudreaux said in an interview last year.
"You have to gather information from a variety of incidents rather than one specific crime," Lt. Jason Salazar, commander of the Visalia Police Department's Special Investigations Unit, said last year. Visalia police have not said what gang they intend to target.
Prosecutors made no public announcement when they filed for the injunction last month, so the media did not attend a Feb. 15 court hearing. It's not clear whether any of the accused South Side Kings members will show up for today's hearing, or whether any have lawyers.
#2 Mar 7, 2008
They deserve that, they dont own no property or business. Who are they to tell people what to do or where to go or what colors to wear.
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