North East Tyler Residents React To Gang Arrests - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/6/05 - Tyler

North East Tyler Residents React To Gang Arrests

   Some in the Hispanic community, where the East Side Locos allegedly claimed turf, are feeling safer in their homes and businesses.

   The gang was accused of attempted murders, drug distribution and trafficking stolen weapons.

   And the alleged members of the East Side Locos were no strangers to Hillside Park in Tyler. Their mark is everywhere.

   All the violence they're accused of is a shock to Ana Fuggins who runs the Hispanic Community Center right next door.

   "They come in and do community service here and I know some of them were trying to go straight," says Ana Fuggins.

   But authorities say the 14 alleged East Side Locos had only changed their illegal habits. Drive-by shootings may not be as prevalent here as in the late 90's, but drugs and guns allegedly are.

   "I am not frightened about the kids," says Fuggins. "I am frightened there might be a confrontation with law officers here because sometimes they hang around here."

   Ramiro Martinez owns a restaurant down the street. He never had any trouble with the gang, but worries about the violence problem in Tyler.

   "I thought that it was something that had ended," says Ramiro Martinez. "I've heard that police have worked really hard on these kinds of problems and I don't know if they've done enough or more needs to be done."

   Ray Carrillo with Centerpoint Ministries mentors Hispanic men. The East Side Locos arrests haven't erased his fear of gangs in northeast Tyler.

   "Some of these people from the gang were in jail but who knows who they influenced, the younger 13, 14, 15 and 16 year olds," says Carrillo. "Who knows if this younger generation will come and spring up and maybe they will be worse that's what they are doing now. That's what I'm scared of."

   And Carillo believes it's the community's responsibility to unify together to solve gang problems. Also, police need your help finding one of the East Side Locos suspects, Martin "Little Marc" Rodriguez. They say Rodriguez is a member of the East Side Locos and a fugitive from justice. If you have any information on his whereabouts, call Crimestoppers at 1-800-575-CUFF.

   Dana Dixon, reporting

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