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Tags in Canyon Country not related to international gang

Concerns raised over similar taggings

Posted: November 30, 2012 4:47 p.m.
Updated: November 30, 2012 4:47 p.m.

Local sheriff’s detectives investigating recent gang tagging of several Canyon Country buildings, including the Moose Lodge, say there is no connection between the graffiti and international street gangs.

Sometime between 6 p.m. Nov. 19 and 7 a.m. the following morning, vandals spray-painted buildings at the Park Sierra Apartment complex on Manzanita Lane with the marking “MMS 13.”

During the same time period, vandals left the same markings on the Mint Canyon Moose Lodge.

Detective Mark Barretto of the sheriff’s anti-gang COBRA unit said there is no link between the gang members suspected in this tagging and members of the notorious MS 13 international gang.

“The MMS 13 is one of our Canyon Country street gangs and have been active out here for some time,” Barretto said.

“They’re not very big in numbers but enough to obviously cause some graffiti damage. But no, that has nothing to do with the MS 13 gang.”

Moose lodge officials called the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station to report the tagging and called the city’s graffiti-removal team to remove it, one member said.

Justin Clifton noticed the tagging, he said, when he arrived at the lodge Nov. 20.

Clifton said he’s seen other examples of the same tagging in the neighborhood but heard of no other problem associated with the local gang.

According to The Federal Bureau of Investigation, La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, is a gang composed primarily of immigrants, or descendants of immigrants, from El Salvador, with members operating throughout North Carolina and elsewhere inside and outside of the United States.




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