A Houston judge has permanently banned 47 gang members from a perennially troubled apartment complex. Judge Alexandra Smoots-Hogan agreed with prosecutors who sued to bar members of several gangs, some of whom typically would be rivals but who commit crimes together at the complex, including selling drugs, robbery, and burglary.
The judge ordered the repeat offenders to repay the county about $70,000 for their prosectuon. “This judgment (for attorney’s fees) is good for 20 years,” said prosecutor Kim Ogg. “I’ve seen gang members win the lottery, get large inheritances, all sorts of things.” Ogg said the gang members now can be arrested for being in the 57-acre “safety area” surrounding the 700-unit complex and prosecuted for a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a year in jail. The suit is part of a broader strategy to clean up what District Attorney Pat Lykos called one of the most dangerous apartment complexes in the county. “We are taking the property back from the criminals,” Lykos said. “This is notice to the Bloods and the Crips and all the other gangs that we are going after them.”