Oxnard man loses request be removed from gang injunction Judge says evidence proves gang ties

By Jessica Keating, jkeating@VenturaCountyStar.comJanuary 5, 2005

An Oxnard man who fought to remove his name from a list of gang members targeted by an injunction remains bound by terms of the court order.

Miguel Guillen, 22, told a Superior Court judge in September that he was incorrectly identified as a member of the Colonia Chiques and should not be subject to the conditions the injunction places on the gang.

In a ruling made public this week, Judge Frederick Bysshe said he found “clear and convincing” evidence to the contrary.

“The court finds … that Miguel Guillen is, under applicable law, an active Colonia Chiques gang member,” Bysshe wrote.

The ruling means that Guillen must abide by terms of the temporary injunction, which was approved in June and covers a 6.6-square-mile area in Oxnard called a “safety zone.” The injunction prohibits Guillen and 62 others served with the court order from wearing Dallas Cowboys attire, staying out after 10 p.m. and participating in other perceived gang- related activities.

A court trial on whether the injunction should be made permanent is slated for Jan. 24.

At the September hearing, Guillen disputed an Oxnard police detective’s testimony that he has twice admitted gang membership to officers. Guillen also testified that he wears Cowboys attire because he’s a fan of the team, not because he’s a Colonia Chiques member.

Bysshe in his ruling, however, cited Guillen’s “long and frequent association” with Colonia Chiques members, his admission that he has knowingly associated with gang members, a 2003 gun possession conviction, the frequent donning of Cowboys attire and his possession of gang paraphernalia.

John Hachmeister, an attorney for Guillen, expressed disappointment Tuesday with Bysshe’s findings. He particularly disapproved of the judge’s reliance on the testimony of Detective Neail Holland, calling it “hearsay.”

“If that little bit of evidence can be used to label someone a gang member, then we’re all in trouble,” Hachmeister said.

The ruling, he said, echoes back to opponents’ fears about the sweep of the gang injunction and its effects on civil rights.

Prosecutor Karen Wold countered Tuesday that authorities always conduct a full analysis of an individual’s background to determine if he or she meets the criteria used by the court to establish gang membership.

Guillen was targeted, Wold said, because a review of his background revealed he was a gang member.

“We were confident all along that he was an active gang member,” Wold said. “We’re pleased that the court, after weighing the evidence, also concluded that.”

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