SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Anti-Gang Initiative is being called a scientific and strategic approach to dismantling gangs.
On Friday, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies stood alongside Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales to talk about the joint effort to make the San Antonio area safer.
“Since I first took office, I said I wanted to focus the efforts of the DA's office on violent crime, and that's exactly what we're doing,” Gonzales said. “Our goal is to take these people (gang members) off the street, to identify them, to work together and to go to court and get maximum punishment.”
Some recent convictions being credited to the Texas Anti-Gang initiative, also known as TAG, are the following:
- Rudy Smith, a documented member of Tango Orejon who is now serving life in prison for murder and for being involved in a shootout with law enforcement
- Tyler Collins, a documented member of the Bloods who was sentenced to life in prison for a capital murder charge
- Manuel Garcia, a member of the Mexican Mafia who is serving life in prison for intentionally running down two men with a stolen car.
Stiff sentences were also handed down to members of the Crips and Rigsby Court Bloods.
“We have seen a very surgical strike on the leaders of this gang violence,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Chris Combs.
“The days of agencies hoarding information, not sharing information, are long, long past,” said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.
Even with all the efforts, officials are still asking for the public’s help. If you see any gang activity, you’re asked to visit stopsanantoniogangs.org. You can remain anonymous.