OCEANSIDE — A superior court judge approved a renewed gang injunction against an Oceanside gang Oct. 15.
About 50 new members of the Oceanside gang Varrio Posole Locos were served papers that prohibit them from certain activity within the city’s two safety zones.
Judge Aaron Katz granted the injunction, which contains the same protected streets within the boundaries for the “Posole Safety Zone” as the original injunction did, but now has added new members.
“It’s been years since we’ve been doing this and we find it works,” said Lt. Leonard Mata of the Oceanside Police Department.
Mata said the injunction is one of the ways the department deals with gang crime.
“It’s one of our enforcement tools,” he said. “It’s important to know who these people are and to put conditions on them.”
The conditions come once a person is documented as a gang member by the police department, if the person meets certain criteria.
“These are particular gang members. It’s not a blanket order,” he said.
The gang injunction has been used by the district attorney’s office since 1997, after residents in Oceanside filed complaints that gang activity was taking place in their neighborhood and they didn’t feel safe.
According to San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis, the order prohibits certain activities within the two designated safety zones in Oceanside. Some of the activities are already illegal, but the key provisions of the injunction do not allow defendants to associate with other gang members, wear gang colors or flash gang signs within the zones.
While in the gang safety zones, gang members who violate the injunction can face criminal prosecution, which has a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
According to the San Diego County District Attorney’s office, gang members in safety zones are not allowed to associate, use gang hand signs, wear gang clothes, use drugs, possess or sell drugs, drink or possess alcohol, possess weapons, fight, have graffiti/vandalism tools, commit graffiti/vandalism, trespass, block free passage, shoot guns, intimidate, have contraband in cars, have burglary tools, act as lookouts, litter,
urinate in public, make loud noise or violate juvenile curfew.
Safety Zone One in the city was created to prohibit gang activity from the Center Street gang, and became a permanent gang injunction by a judge last May, according to earlier reports.
Zone One’s area encompasses areas in the vicinity of Interstate 5 and includes Mission Avenue, Division Street and County Club Lane.
Zone Two, or the Posole Safety Zone, also encompasses areas near Interstate 5 and starts at State Route 76 from Interstate 5 and includes areas within the boundaries of Carey Road, Canyon Drive, Mission Avenue and Civic Center.