Saturday, March 19, 2005

The gang's all here, sorta

The Dallas Morning News reports that one of the arrests in the Mara Salvatrucha 13 roundup occurred in nearby Irving. "Law enforcement officials...estimate there are 90 MS-13 members in the Dallas area." What the DMN didn't note is that MS-13's leader had been arrested right here in Texas in February.

The Irving MS-13 arrest was overshadowed by the triple shooting in Dallas. In that case, police have made one arrest -- in Irving too -- but it wasn't the gunman. They also "can't establish any official gang affiliation." Apparently, 21-year-old fruit vendors regularly drive Jaguars with SKS rifles in the backseat. And keep pit bulls just for companionship. But the neighbors know: "Mr. Armijo said...'It's the type of car people like us can't afford.'" The criminals could afford that car because they're likely involved in, I don't know, an illegal, cash-intensive business? A business often conducted by gangs?

This I'll take as good news: "a new era may be dawning in the fight against gangs, as police departments like Los Angeles's share street intelligence with the federal authorities. 'You think an immigrant Hispanic family who is here illegally would mind if we targeted the violent criminal?' Capt. Michael Downing, commander of the Hollywood precinct, asked. 'I don't.'"

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