Victoria gang task force arrests 36
April 19, 2010 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated April 18, 2010 at 11:19 p.m.
Local law enforcement is cracking down on gang violence in Victoria.
Earlier this month, the Victoria Police Department teamed up with the Victoria Sheriff's Office to perform a gang interdiction in response to recent shootings around the city.
"Our mission was to provide an immediate presence in high-risk locations," said Police Chief Bruce Ure. "We believed if we didn't provide some immediate interdiction, the shootings would continue."
From April 6 through April 11, the gang interdiction task force, composed of officers and deputies, exchanged gang activity intelligence and flooded high-risk areas with a K-9 unit and both marked and unmarked law enforcement vehicles throughout the day and night.
Areas targeted included Vine, Meadowlane, Rio Grande and Wildwood streets and Oaklawn Street, where a shooting occurred earlier this month.
"Those areas were the most active" with gang activity, said Chris Garcia, lieutenant with the Sheriff's Office's gang intelligence unit. "That's why the resources were directed there."
Garcia said the task force mainly focused on four gangs that were prevalent in those areas.
Ure described the first gang interdiction of 2010 as "one of the most productive joint operations."
The venture yielded 36 arrests, 117 vehicle stops, 20 citations issued, 33 written warnings and the seizure of a vehicle believed to have been used in the Oaklawn shooting.
Ure declined to say exactly how many law enforcement personnel were involved in the operation, but he did say "an extremely large number were involved."
"We're sending a message to gang members and street criminals that continued violence won't be tolerated," he said.