OGDEN -- The Trece gang injunction scored another win in terms of constitutional challenges with a victory Monday in 2nd District Court.
Last fall, Isaac Rader was the first Trece sentenced under the injunction, which 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 11 p.m.
In use successfully for 20 years in California, with some use in a handful of other states, the injunction is a first for Utah.
In November, Rader was fined $757.89 for failure to abate, as the charge is generally referred to for violating the injunction. The case was prosecuted in Ogden City Justice Court, as the violation is a class B misdemeanor. A 90-day jail sentence was suspended upon payment of the fines.
Monday was Rader's trial in 2nd District Court on appeal of the justice court conviction, which was a Trece curfew violation. Two hours of testimony were heard from nine police officers with dealings with Rader going back to 2007, mostly for crimes prosecuted in juvenile court.
Judge Scott Hadley then found Rader, 19, guilty of being a Trece gang member and, subsequently, in violation of the injunction by getting caught out past curfew last November.
He sentenced Rader to the same sentence he received in justice court. But Rader was taken into custody in open court anyway by gang detectives serving Rader with outstanding warrants.
The constitutional questions had already been largely dealt with via motions rejected by Hadley prior to Monday's trial, but Weber County Attorney Dee Smith, who handled the trial personally, was calling the case's conclusion a win for the injunction, making it 4-0 on constitutional challenges.
Smith's office co-wrote the injunction with the Ogden Police Department's Ogden Metro Gang Unit. The 331-page document details more than 100 incidents of Trece crime going back several years, ranging from murder to tagging with gang graffiti the Ogden Public Safety Building.
Last week, 2nd District Judge Ernie Jones rejected dismissal motions from three Trece lawyers claiming constitutional flaws in the injunction. They had hoped the judge would reverse himself, because it was Jones who signed the injunction into law Sept. 27 after several weeks of constitutional debate.
In October, the Utah American Civil Liberties Union joined the local lawyers in debating the injunction before the Utah Supreme Court. The justices declined to issue a stay of the injunction pending appeals.
A final trial on making the injunction permanent is promised by the handful of local defense lawyers and the Utah ACLU, probably early next year.
Both sides have said they expect the injunction to end up before the Utah Supreme Court again.
Constitutional questions raised include First Amendment concerns over free association rights plus the viability of the criteria police use to label an individual a gang member, which can come with no criminal record.