OGDEN -- Christmas marked 90 days since the Ogden Trece Injunction went into effect. The numbers aren't huge yet for enforcement of the state's first gang injunction -- about 20 arrests for failure to abate a public nuisance, including two of members found with drugs or weapons that led to felony charges.
That's with 150, fewer than half the estimated Ogden Trece members, served their copy of the injunction.
But the anecdotal evidence is accumulating of its effects.
Prison officials have advised that some Trece parolees are asking not to be sent to Ogden. Locally, Treces are not wearing their colors as much and are not "representing" or announcing their affiliation like they used to.
"We're finding newspaper clippings on the Ogden Trece injunction in Trece houses," said Lt. Scott Conley, who heads the Ogden-Weber Metro Gang Unit, authors, with the Weber County Attorney's Office, of the injunction that went into effect Sept. 27.
The 331-page injunction documents several Trece murders in recent years, plus drug-dealing, gunplay, assaults, thefts, burglaries and robberies, all by members of the gang.
The injunction, based on similar tactics in common use in California and tried sparingly in a few other states, but new for Utah, bans members of Ogden's oldest street gang from associating publicly, being in the vicinity of guns, drugs and alcohol, and staying out past an 11 p.m. curfew.
Conley only recently heard the rumors about parolees asking to avoid Ogden.
"It's some of the prison guys involved in setting release dates," he said. "I don't know who they're talking to, but that's what they're telling us."
The Ogden Police Department's school resource officers, who keep offices in high schools and junior highs, have been hearing from students that Treces there are not openly telling others they are members of the gang any more, Conley said.
"There's definitely a cautionary mindset being created because of the injunction," he said, noting officers are seeing less of the Trece signatures: O-13 bedecked clothing, the gang's blue colors, bandannas and other gang accessories.
Weber County Attorney Dee Smith said eventually statistical studies of crime counts, pre- and post-injunction, will be conducted, but for now, "All I have to go on is what I'm hearing from the officers on the street.
"And they tell me they are beginning to have a hard time finding Treces to serve them the injunction these days."
Trece members must be served personally with a copy of the injunction before they can be found in violation.
"It's really reduced the visibility of this gang out on the street," Smith said. "They are no longer all over the place like they once were."
He also said he's been advised "another gang I'm not going to name has become awfully quiet lately as well."
"Maybe it's because they are not having their usual back and forth with their rival Treces. Or they don't want to be the next target of an injunction."
Meanwhile, the legal dance over the injunction has been bumped to February. On Dec. 8, the Utah Supreme Court opted not to take up appeals by anti-injunction lawyers, returning the constitutional debate to 2nd District Judge Ernie Jones, who signed the injunction into law Sept. 27.
Three Ogden defense lawyers hired by accused Treces, joined by the ACLU of Utah and its cooperating attorneys from the Salt Lake law firm of Parr, Brown, Gee and Loveless, have challenged the injunction on constitutional grounds.
Arguments are slated to resume before Jones in February.
Three of the five members of the Utah Supreme Court once worked at Parr Brown: Justices Jill Parrish, Matt Durrant and Tom Lee.
Chief Justice Christine Durham has recused herself from the Trece deliberations because she has a relative currently working at Parr Brown.
Injunction critics remain skeptical.
"You've had 20 people arrested for a crime that wasn't a crime 90 days ago," said Ogden defense lawyer Randy Richards, retained by an individual who maintains he's not a Trece. "So the crime rate has gone up.
"We've already got plenty of laws on the books. Why add another with no consequence?" he said, referring to the fact violation of the ordinance is only a class B misdemeanor. "A $500 fine won't stop gang shootouts."
Ogden City Prosecutor Mike Junk, who files the misdemeanor charges in Justice Court in Ogden, has been the prosecutor filing those 20 failure to abate counts. He's an injunction fan.
"Quite honestly, I think it's having an effect, I think it's working," he said. "I think at first Treces were kind of cavalier, didn't take the injunction seriously.
"But once they saw charges were getting filed, people were getting pulled over and going to jail and getting fined, I think they are actually abiding by the injunction.
"It's part of their thought process. I don't know that they've put a tone on their cell phones that goes off when it hits curfew, but I think they're saying, 'Look we can't hang out together, we have to be careful where we're at.' "