Gang injunction nets first conviction
Palacios sentenced to 300 days in jail, fined $2,000
An enjoined Surenos-13 Port Arthur street gang member was sentenced to 300 days in county jail and a $2,000 fine Wednesday after violating multiple conditions of Jefferson County’s first civil gang injunction.
Javier “Lil’ Ghost” Palacios, 18, of Port Arthur pled guilty to violating five conditions of the civil lawsuit granted against nine members of the Surenos-13 gang, granted by Judge Gerald Eddins in Jefferson County Court at Law No. 1:
• Causing, encouraging, soliciting or participating in the use, possession and/or sale of illegal drugs or narcotics
• Driving, riding about or being in a motor vehicle in any public place between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
• Possessing or operating a motor vehicle, or being an occupant in a motor vehicle which the defendant knows contains any illegal contraband, narcotics, or illegal or deadly weapons, or any weapons prohibited in the gang injunction
• Possessing a cell phone while occupying a motor vehicle on a public street, unless the cell phone is not in the passenger compartment of the vehicle or the vehicle is a form of public transportation
• Riding with another person who the defendant knows to be a member of any other criminal street gang
Palacios was arrested on March 24 inside the Surenos Safety Zone 2014 near the 5,000 block of Twin City Highway around 10:15 p.m. — an hour and 15 minutes past his 9 p.m. curfew established in the gang injunction.
Marcelo Molfino, Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office assistant chief criminal investigator, said Palacios was given a bond of $50,000 — $10,000 for each gang injunction violation.
Palacios has been jailed in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility since his arrest, according to a press release from the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.
The gang injunction against the Surenos-13 places the nine enjoined members under 39 restrictions while in Jefferson County. A violation of any of those conditions is cause for immediate arrest and prosecution for a Class A misdemeanor, which carries up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine — or both.
The Port Arthur and Groves police departments and some federal agencies have assisted in the enforcement efforts that began on March 5.