Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Success: Operation Swift Intruder

Following as a second part to this story, 22 more gang members have been nabbed in Bubank and the San Fernando Valley by a joint task force consisting of the Burbank PD, the LAPD, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the DEA.
A press release by the multi-agency task force investigating the gang had described the case in far more sweeping terms: "21 members of San Fernando Valley Street Gang Named in Second Federal Indictment," the release stated. "Vineland Boys Street Gang Dismantling Continues in Massive Police Action."

Authorities have been arresting and pursuing members of the Vineland Boyz for more than a year and a half since the killing of Mathew Pavelka, a rookie Burbank police officer, in November 2003. David Garcia, whom police have described as a member of the gang, was arrested a few days after the killing and has been charged with the murder.

Check mate. The Vineland Boyz were a pretty tough gang, despite the fact that they didn't originate in South Central, nor any surrounding areas. Instead, they were born into a San Fernando Valley, an area that is on my list as a current gang hot spot. I've worked nights in that area, and been in situations that rivaled the worst that I've seen in some of Los Angeles' more hardcore areas. If I have to make a bet, I'd say that the San Fernando Valley, as well as the surrounding areas, are going to be major targets for gang violence in the next five years. About ten years ago I saw the movement of Asian gangs move from the Central Los Angeles area into Northridge and Reseda, and I believe the same areas will see a rise in Latin gangs as well.

That's just one more reason why Los Angeles needs more cops in every available agency.

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