Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan was successful in his effort to ban members of the notorious criminal street gangs, the Crips and the Bloods, from certain Aldine area neighborhoods.
Judge Alexandra Smoots-Hogan, 164th Civil District Court, today ordered 37 members of the gangs to stay out of a .34 square mile area located east of Highway 59 and south of Bush Intercontinental Airport, designated by the court order as the “East Aldine Safety Zone.” The order will remain in effect until a trial, currently set for June 16, 2014.
The court order also prohibits the gang members while in the Safety Zone from possessing materials for graffiti and communication devices including cell phones, and orders them to stop wearing clothing that identifies them as gang members while in the Safety Zone.
Gang members who violate the court order can be fined up to $4,000 dollars and sentenced up to one year in jail.
Attorneys from Ryan’s office presented evidence, including the testimony of eighteen officers from the Harris County Sherriff’s Office and Houston Police Department, that the defendants had been regularly engaging in gang activities, including weapons offenses, criminal trespass, possession of illegal substances, assault, and making terroristic threats.
The East Aldine Safety Zone contains two schools (Francis Elementary and A&W Academic Academy), apartments, restaurants, a residential community and retail stores. The map can be viewed at http://www.harriscountytx.gov/cmpdocuments/caoimages/EastAldineSafetyZone.pdf.
“The County Attorney’s Office will continue to reach out to work with our communities to help remove criminal elements that put people in danger,” said Ryan. “This type of injunction has proven successful in returning a community’s quality of life.”
Ryan worked with the East Aldine Management District in the preparation of the court petition. He won a similar injunction last year against other members of the Crips and Bloods that banned them from the Brays Oaks Safety Zone in southwest Houston.