San Diego County
San Diego County lies just north of the Mexican border—sharing a border with Tijuana- and lies south of Orange County. With a total area of 4,526 square miles, the county currently has 18 incorporated cities.
One of the efforts to stop gangs from exerting a negative influence in our area is through injunctions which prevent notorios gang members from publicly gathering. The chart on the right highlights cities that have gang injunctions: Oceanside (green), Vista (bright pink), San Marcos (aqua), Escondido (purple), San Diego (pink) and National City (yellow).
Demographics and Racial Makeup
The population of San Diego County as of 2008 is estimated to be 3,146,274 people, making it the second most populous county in California. The racial makeup of the county in 2006 was 69.5% White American, 5.2% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 10.2% Asian, 0.4% Pacific Islander, 10.3% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. In 2008 29.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race, 67.0% spoke English, 21.9% Spanish, 3.1% Tagalog and 1.2% Vietnamese as their first language.
"Balanced" approaches to gang enforcement: A balanced approach is when in addition to an injunction forbidding gang members from carrying out behaviors that are considered a public nuissance, a community also engages in productive gatherings and its members actively participate in local events. Studies have shown that injunctions alone are not effective.
Combating Drug Trafficking by Gang Members
The distribution and sale of illegal drugs is often cited as the main cause for the increasing growth of youth gang problems. By forbiding specific alleged gang members from associating freely, the hope is that drug trafficking will be thwarted. Between 1997 and 2007 sixteen injunctions have been issued to suppress gang activity in some San Diego neighborhoods. Gangs listed in San Diego Attorney General's injunctions include:
- Logan Red Stripes
- Skyline (East Piru)
- Linda Vista 13
- Varrio Mesa Locos
- Vista Home Boys
- Old Town National City (OTNC)
The Mexican Mafia (La Eme) Arrests
Operation La Mano Negra targeted the Mexican Mafia operating in Southern California. This two year joint investigation by the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, San Diego County Probation, the San Diego County Sheriff's Office, and the San Diego Police Department was initiated by a source within the Mexican Mafia in the San Diego area. Eventually, the investigation identified 527 members or associates of the Mexican Mafia. The investigation also included 25 evidence purchases of weapons and drugs and 27 search warrants. The investigation to date has resulted in 37 federal indictments, 35 state indictments, and the indictment of the highest ranking Mexican Mafia gang member in San Diego. (FBI:"Gang Succes Stories").