Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Gang Member Sentenced to Jail for Selling Drugs in Area Covered by Injunction
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A member of the Columbus Street gang was sentenced yesterday to one year in county jail after he pled guilty on Monday to charges that he loitered for the purpose of selling drugs.
Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Martin Wegman sentenced Mario Gomez yesterday in Van Nuys. Gomez was placed on 36 months summary probation and ordered to register as a gang member in addition to serving 365 days in jail.
Proposition 21, passed by California voters in 2000, requires some gang members to register with local law enforcement agencies and also increases the penalties for gang-related crimes.
The Panorama City resident received an enhanced sentence because the activity for which he was arrested occurred in an area covered by an existing gang injunction, according to statements from Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo’s office.
Wegman also banned Gomez from entering a four— block area bordered by Parthenia to the north, Chase to the south, Sepulveda to the west and Burnet to the east.
Gomez was arrested in July of last year by LAPD officers from the Community Law Enforcement and Recovery Program, who were surveying property in the heart of the Columbus Street Gang area in response to residents’ complaints of gang and drug activity. In total, nine individuals allegedly attempting to sell drugs were arrested during the operation, the city attorney’s office said.
David Gershwin, a spokesperson for City Council President Alex Padilla of the seventh district, noted that gang injunctions are an important tool used to stop gang violence in the northeast San Fernando Valley, where gang-related slayings occur almost every weekend.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company