Ramsey County judge orders ban on St. Paul gang

Just hours after taking the injunction under advisement, Ramsey County judge Gregg Johnson ordered a ban on 10 known members of the Sureño 13 gang from engaging in gang activity at this yearâÄôs Cinco de Mayo festival in St. Paul. The first ever gang injunction for Minnesota is expected to be an effective tool for St. Paul to fight against gang activity. âÄúSaint Paul is a safe city, and these injunctions are a proactive approach to send a clear message to gangs that we will not tolerate any violence in our community,âÄù Mayor Chris Coleman said in a statement. The order sets a precedent for more gang injunctions in the future. Unlike gang injunctions in California and Texas, on which MinnesotaâÄôs suit was modeled, the injunction is only temporary, covering the festival on May 1-3. Injunctions used in other states are permanent, offering long-term relief in areas where gangs have a strong presence. More permanent injunctions could be another step in St. Paul, but not until further down the road, city attorney John Choi said. While one of the men present in the courtroom April 24 was identified by police as one of the 10 men in the lawsuit, no gang members spoke when offered the opportunity. Judge Johnson also said none of the 10 gang members submitted written statements on their own behalf. Seven adults and three juveniles are affected by the order. While the juvenilesâÄô names are not public, the names of the seven men are: Luis Fernando Gaytan, 19; Salatiel Nicolas Hernandez-Patino, 18; Jesus Jacobo, 19; Heriberto Lopez, 18; Juan Quintero Jr., 19; Ivann Alexander Valencia, 18; and Jorge Luis Vargas, 21. Under the injunction, the 10 men, who were identified as most influential within the gang, are not allowed to associate with other known gang members, wear gang colors, show gang signs, intimidate festival goers, or recruit people for the gang within the St. Paul west side neighborhoods. A violation of the order is a misdemeanor.