Nacogdoches Co. authorities fear gang activity on the rise

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Southside 13 markings can be seen at the entrance of Briar Forest, a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood. There's evidence of Latin Kings, too. They could be copy cat versions of the real thing, or not.

"We received some calls about some intimidation type tactics that have been displayed and we just want the public to be aware that this kind of activity is starting to increase," said Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss.

Deputies have been called to neighborhoods, such as Ponderosa off U.S. 59 South, to break up disturbances. The fear is innocent bystanders could be caught in the middle of something bad.

"If you look up and you see 3 or 4 or 5 individuals dressed almost exactly alike, similar baseball caps, shirts, bandannas etc., all the same color, odds are you're looking at some gang affiliates. The best thing to do is call law enforcement," said Kerss.

For now, the concern is predominantly in the rural areas, but there's nothing to say the disagreements could be brought into the city or schools. It hasn't happened yet, but it did 10years ago when gang activity was rampant. Drive-by shootings frequently occurred. No one wants to see that again.

"While gang activity has been present in our community for some time, we haven't seen any drastic increase in the last few months of any of this activity," said Sgt. Greg Sowell, with the Nacogdoches Police Department.

Some people think the more said about gang activity actually leads to more problems. There is a fine line. Right now a proactive move of keeping the public informed is considered the best defense.

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