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Long Beach details new anti-gang injunction

November 8, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Gangs in Long Beach are operating on a sophisticated level. Investigators say bigger operators have now taken over. Their crime is quieter, but much more lucrative.

"Surenos are the criminal syndicate made up of Hispanic gang members from all over Southern California with allegiance to the Mexican mafia," said Long Beach Police Department Chief Jim McDonnell.

The police department and city prosecutor's office are targeting the umbrella gang organizations with a month-old injunction.

The injunction, which is being called the first of its kind, takes a novel approach to targeting gangs.

It targets gang members all over Los Angeles County who commit crimes in Long Beach, not just gang members based in that city.

Named are the the Northside Longos and the Surenos.

The number 13 is common in their tattoos. They are sometimes rivals, sometimes partners.

Their main business is dealing methamphetamine.

Under the injunction, more than 100 individuals are barred from associating or even possessing a can of spray paint in a seven-square-mile safety zone in North Long Beach. Some have a violent history.

"They have been convicted of possessing and using firearms and other deadly weapons to commit serious crimes to further gang interests," said Long Beach City Prosecutor Doug Haubert.

In one arrest two years ago, police uncovered a small arsenal, including a sawed-off shotgun, three handguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Violations of the injunction will bring a speedy arrest.

"This sends a clear message to violent street gangs that you are not welcome in the city of Long Beach," Haubert said.

Two arrests have been made so far and three others are in the pipeline.


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