Gang crackdown in San Jose solves murders

May 15, 2008 7:32:41 PM PDT
In the South Bay, there's been a crackdown on gang activity. San Jose Police say they've solved four recent murders and are bringing more than a dozen gang members to justice.

Chhun Sok lives in a neighborhood with gang activity. Last year, a 15-year-old boy named Edgar Martinez was gunned down and killed.

"They said three bullets. Yeh, three bullets," said Sok.

There were photos released of 13 people police have just arrested or indicted after a year and a half long investigation. They say Edgar's killers are among them.

Police announced the results of their investigation on Thursday. It targeted a local Norteno street gang called El Hoyo Palmas. Police seized six weapons and say they tied the 13 gang members to four murders and numerous other crimes.

"The gangs in San Jose do not own our streets. The residents of San Jose own the streets of San Jose," said Chief Rob Davis of the San Jose Police Department.

The gang crackdown is welcome news on streets of East San Jose, especially among people so afraid of gang activity they didn't want their faces shown on camera.

"That's good that they found the killers. They need to stop all this violence and fighting and shooting," said a resident.

So far this year, San Jose had 13 murders. Police say seven of them are gang related.

"These gang busts are very important in dealing with crime in the city on a lot of different levels," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.

Police say they have earned the trust of the community and that is making a difference in bringing gang members to justice.

"People will talk to us about things they either witnessed or things they saw or events they've heard. It's key," said Lt. J.R. Gamez, with the San Jose Police Department.

Police Chief Rob Davis made it clear that while one major operation is over, there will be others.

"To the rest of the gangs out there, the message should be very loud and clear, this is but one gang. To the extent there are others out there, we are coming after you," said Chief Davis.


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