Early history[ edit ] The area was part of the Chumash region, which extended from Point Conception to Santa Monica and back into the foothills as far as the Coast Range. The rancho , which was commonly spoken of, or was in the rancho days, as the Colonia, extended from the Santa Clara River south to the present day Point Mugu Naval Air Station , or to the boundary of Rancho Guadalasca , and east from the Pacific Ocean to the present day Freeway , or to the boundary of Rancho Santa Clara del Norte. California became a U. Hueneme was founded in by Thomas R. The Colonia Oil Company sold a lot of land to the newly formed Colonia Land Improvement Company, in , for a townsite around a factory being built, two miles northeast of Hueneme, to produce sugar from sugar beets.
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Salas was challenging his inclusion, saying he is not a member of the gang. Kellgrew ruled that Salas could be included on the injunction. Click here to view part two. Individuals identified as members of the Colonia Chiques and Southside Chiques not only must abide by all laws, but under gang injunctions approved by the courts a decade ago, their activities were severely curtailed, including how they could behave within designated areas known as safety zones and who they could associate with, particularly fellow gang members.
The original injunction — and subsequent updates — added as violations the possession of aerosol paint cans, intimidation of witnesses and use of gang gestures. Also, those named could not wear Dallas Cowboys and Colts clothing for those identified as a Colonia Chiques gang member. For Southside Chiques, wearing Chargers clothing is deemed unlawful. Violating these terms and others could mean a year in jail on a misdemeanor charge for about individuals who have been identified as a Colonia or Southside gang member.
Now, individuals will have a more streamlined pathway to contest their inclusion on the injunction list. This new notification process was a pre-emptive move made by Oxnard police, the city of Oxnard and district attorney officials after the American Civil Liberties Union filed federal lawsuits claiming other jurisdictions denied due process to those served with gang injunctions, said Cmdr.
Chris Williams, Oxnard police special operations manager. Those who were served recently with an injunction and individuals who are already on the list now will receive a letter asking whether they would like to contest the allegation during a hearing in front of a judge. Of that total, about 1, cases have resulted in a conviction through a jury trial, court trial or plea.
Holland also detailed alleged ties between local gangs and the Mexican Mafia. Frankie Guzman, a juvenile justice attorney with the National Center for Youth Law, remembers those early years of the gang injunctions differently.
The Oxnard native said he was in and out of the California Youth Authority as a teenager, but remembers being harassed by officers once the preliminary injunction was implemented. He would not say whether he was involved with gangs but said many of the youths arrested by police were neighbors or childhood friends.
He also said many people who lived in the primarily immigrant and low-income community of La Colonia felt unfairly targeted, even residents who were not gang members. This created an environment where students had very little expectations for their lives.
The goal was to challenge the injunctions. Romero, who now lives in Los Angeles, said a majority of the former gang members fled the county after the injunctions. Others who had no means to move were left to change their way of living. Up until April, the only way an individual could remove a name from the injunction list was through a review by the Oxnard police gang unit team, prosecutors and a dismissal of the case, which is done by a judge, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Blake Heller.
Authorities must investigate whether the defendant has been inactive from the gang for at least five years, has no new gang tattoos and has had employment for a year. The defendant also must declare that he or she has renounced the gang life.
Under the new system, however, all identified Colonia and Southside gang members currently on the list will receive a letter explaining that they can contest the injunction and request a civil case hearing.
Since it is a civil case, defendants must find their own attorney or represent themselves if they cannot afford a lawyer. If the individual decides not to contest the injunction, the person could be subsequently arrested if he or she violates terms of the injunction 15 days from the date they were served, Heller said.
Heller said that since April, he has received about 20 to 25 notices to appear in front of a judge and request removal from the injunction. The Oxnard man, now in his late 30s, spoke to The Star but wanted to remain anonymous for fear of being harassed by authorities. At first, he was hesitant to respond to the letter, but after a long conversation with his wife, the Oxnard man decided that requesting a hearing would be the best way to finally get his name off the injunction.
The man was served with the injunction at age 21, but said he has not had any arrests or violations for more than a decade. Like him, some friends have left the life behind, but some are now in prison.
Under the injunction, if his children need milk or other groceries late at night, his wife has to make the trip because he cannot be outside the injunction safety zone after 10 p. Melanie Ochoa, an attorney with Southern California ACLU, said more than 9, individuals — mostly men of color in Los Angeles — have been included in gang injunctions and often without due process. The city of Los Angeles never provides them with the information that they relied on to designate them as a gang member in the first place.
She said that since some jurisdictions do not clearly outline their policies and do not readily provide evidence used by authorities, defendants are left without a way to fight the allegations.
While the federal case is making its way through the court system, a judge earlier this month ordered a temporary hold on the injunction against Arellano. In their Dec. There are 46 gang injunctions in Los Angeles, according to court documents. By contrast, the Colonia Chiques and the Southside Chiques are the only gangs in Ventura County that have a restraining order against them.
Michael McManama, Oxnard police beat coordinator, testified that he saw Salas make arm gestures as he was in the Cuesta Del Mar neighborhood with other known gang members. Oxnard police gang investigator Jess Aragon testified that Salas has been contacted by officers about 12 times during a one-month period, which was documented in the gang packet.
After additional testimony, Kellegrew found that the prosecution met the burden of proof to include Salas in the Southside Chiques gang injunction. He remains in jail to face other criminal charges, including felony carjacking, kidnapping and second-degree robbery.
Lessons learned Joseph Salas, right, is handcuffed Aug. Salas, 18, of Port Hueneme, was challenging his inclusion on an injunction against the Southside Chiques street gang in Oxnard. The judge in the case decided Salas could be kept on the gang injunction.
Despite the manpower and cost, he was confident the court order worked for Oxnard. The Oakland-based attorney said while he recognizes the steps former Police Chief Jeri Williams and current Chief Scott Whitney have taken to create an open dialogue between the brass and community members, he said the injunctions have left a permanent scar for some in the community.
Individuals named under the gang injunctions must abide by all laws and must comply with certain restrictions, including congregating with one another. Violation of the injunction is a misdemeanor and could be punishable by fines and up to a year in jail. Read the gang injunctions, by clicking the links below.
Justice for Oxnard
Facebook Several Ventura County communities long known for their pristine beaches and family festivals have, in the past decade, taken on a darker image: gang territory. But law enforcement and prosecutors from Ventura to Oxnard, along with authorities in inland communities such as Simi Valley, have made concerted efforts to turn things around. If you ask residents, particularly those who recently moved to Ventura County from nearby gang-infested sections of Los Angeles County, those efforts appear to be working. Lally, an assistant United States attorney in the Violent and Organized Crime Section, who has prosecuted numerous high-profile gang cases. There are an estimated 1, gangs operating throughout Ventura, L. California law defines a gang as any ongoing organization, association or group of three or more persons, whether formal or informal, having as one of its primary activities the commission of one or more of the enumerated criminal acts, having a common name or common identifying sign or symbol, and whose members individually or collectively engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity.
Southside Chiques injunction upheld
The group was comprised of activists, lawyers, educators, artists, youth, parents and other community residents of the Colonia barrio, greater Oxnard and Ventura County. Some of us were witnesses to previous Civil Gang Injunctions that had been imposed in other Southern California communities of color. All of us had thoroughly read the proposed Oxnard Civil Gang Injunctions language, policies, conditions and restrictions that were to be imposed on the Colonia barrio. The conditions we felt were draconian, racist, hastily conceived, and unconstitutional. After a historic, protracted and hard fought court battle, we lost our legal challenge and the first of two civil gang injunctions were imposed on the Colonia Chiques gang in
Oxnard gang injunction suspended after recent decisions in L.A., Orange County
Salas was challenging his inclusion, saying he is not a member of the gang. Kellgrew ruled that Salas could be included on the injunction. Click here to view part two. Individuals identified as members of the Colonia Chiques and Southside Chiques not only must abide by all laws, but under gang injunctions approved by the courts a decade ago, their activities were severely curtailed, including how they could behave within designated areas known as safety zones and who they could associate with, particularly fellow gang members. The original injunction — and subsequent updates — added as violations the possession of aerosol paint cans, intimidation of witnesses and use of gang gestures. Also, those named could not wear Dallas Cowboys and Colts clothing for those identified as a Colonia Chiques gang member.
The Oxnard Civil Gang Injunctions: The Fight Continues