OGDEN -- Apparently hoping to outrun the restrictions of Ogden's gang injunction meant to keep them off the streets, members of the city's oldest street gang may have suddenly appeared in Logan.
"We've just been hammered with Treces the past couple of weeks," Logan Police Detective Denny Bird announced Thursday while laying out that area's gang problems at the 13th Northern Utah Gang and Youth Violence Conference.
"Thanks for that injunction," he quipped, adding quickly he was just kidding, that the injunction is a great idea.
An hour earlier, Weber County Attorney Dee Smith had just finished showcasing the Ogden Trece Injunction for the crowd of about 200 police and educators assembled in the Megaplex Theater in The Junction downtown.
Bird was the final speaker in the two-day conference sponsored by the Ogden-Metro Gang Unit, co-authors with Smith of the injunction.
The injunction bans members of the Ogden criminal street gang from associating in public, being in the vicinity of guns, drugs and alcohol, and staying out past an 11 p.m. curfew.
The injunction is a first for Utah after some use successfully for more than 20 years in California, plus a handful of other states.
The 331-page document signed into law last September details more than 100 incidents of Trece crime going back several years, ranging from murder to tagging the Ogden Public Safety Building with gang graffiti.
Bird said the incidents with Treces in Logan have been limited largely to an aggressive graffiti campaign. Although the Trece injunction has been in effect 11 months now, Bird said it was only in the last few weeks that any signs of Treces have been detected.
But the influx has brought reactions from the already established gangs in Cache County, chiefly in graffiti countering Treces' work, Bird said.
A few altercations have occurred in the schools from the tension brought about by the new apparent Trece presence, he said, one leading to a felony charge after a knife was brandished during a fight.
Bird said Cache County has no gang unit of its own, the gang response there consisting of school resource officers like him pooling information and investigations. He's been working with the Ogden gang unit on identifying any transplanted Treces.
"Hopefully, we can discourage them before it gets out of hand," he said.
In an interview following Bird's remarks, Smith said he was not sure yet that Logan's connection with Trece can be attributed to the injunction in Ogden.
"Our guys are working with them," he said, referring to the Ogden gang unit. "But we just don't know enough about it."
On Thursday, coincidentally, a June trial was set in 2nd District Court for the Trece injunction, Smith said.
"We're not done litigating the injunction," he told the crowd.
After the trial next year meant to make the injunction permanent, it's likely the Utah Supreme Court will review it in its entirety, Smith said.
He said the injunction can be summed up simply as, "We sued the gang ... we're using their past conduct to limit future activity."
The Utah American Civil Liberties Union and Treces' lawyers have objected to what they see as constitutional problems with due process and First Amendment rights of free association.
But the injunction has withstood all challenges so far in court.