Former gang member testifies at murder trial

Alejandro Carrillo

Samantha Yale Scroggin (Santa Maria Times) | September 12, 2012 A former longtime Guadalupe gang member who testified Tuesday for the prosecution during a murder trial in Santa Maria, knew he was much like his tattoo of the Grim Reaper — a walking dead man. The former gang member, whose name is not being published […]

Gang warning signs

school gang writing

Samantha Yale Scroggin (Santa Maria Times) | May 12, 2012 The words “gang member” may conjure up images of hardened, tattooed men committing violent crimes on Santa Maria streets or locked up in prison. But in reality, many gang members and associates are as close as the nearest Santa Maria junior high school, and could […]

Santa Maria gang dropouts growing in numbers

Jeremy Wallin

Samantha Yale Scroggin (Santa Maria Times) | April 8, 2012 Police got a break in 2008 when a witness to the high-profile gang murder of Santa Maria resident Jeremy Grinder four years earlier came forward and implicated several men involved in the killing. The 2004 kidnapping and execution-style slaying of Grinder was orchestrated by gang […]

Betraying the badge?

Danny Macagni

JEREMY THOMAS (Santa Maria Sun) | August 3, 2011 In the predawn hours of April Fools’ Day 2004, Santa Maria resident Alane Avila awoke in her bedroom with a start. “I just heard this bang and a flash,” Avila recalled. “I jumped up and my door came flying open, and there’s all these guys with […]

13 arrested in early morning gang crackdown

six deuce

Ariel Wesler (KSBY News) | May 3, 2011 Thirteen suspected members of two of the Central Coast’s largest gangs are in jail tonight after an early morning FBI crackdown. Those suspects all face drug charges after a major gang sweep early this morning. Special agents from a multi-agency task force have been conducting a year […]

Youth organizations helping to lower gang crime

victory outreach lompoc

Ariel Wesler (KSBY News) | February 16, 2011 Both Santa Maria and Lompoc police departments say they saw a drop in gang crime last year. Police in Lompoc say gang activity is down there by as much as 25 percent. According to an FBI, report violent crime dropped in Santa Maria in the first six […]

Father fights off gang members in Grover Beach


Cal Coast News | January 9, 2011 Two gang members required medical treatment after a father fought to protect his family during an alleged random assault by three members of a Santa Maria gang at Grover Beach Elementary School on Saturday. “It is not unusual to see someone who is not associated with a gang […]

SM police chief defends lack of gang injunction


By Samantha Yale Scroggin, Staff Writer, Santa Maria Times Wednesday, December 9, 2009 Santa Maria doesn’t have a gang injunction, and some city residents aren’t happy about it. At recent City Council meetings, several people have come forward during the public comment period to tout the need for a gang injunction in the city, and […]