Monday, December 05, 2005

MS-13 still a problem for PA

Port Arthur's MS-13 street gang has adopted the name associated with violent Salvadorian gangs, which are rapidly spreading across America. However, this gang is not as violent or organized yet. The gang returned after Hurricane Rita and still poses a serious threat for the citizens and police of Port Arthur.


Photos by Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise

Port Arthur police officer Marcelo Molfino, a first-generation Latino-American whose family is from Uruguay, listens to the gang-related complaints of a home owner in Port Arthur on Thursday, July 21, 2005.


A scar remains where a bullet tore through a handrail section outside Johnny Costanzo's home in Port Arthur. The bullet missed his house and lodged into a neighbor's home.


A gang member shows his tattoos in Port Arthur. The numbers one and three on his shoulders can be read as 13, which is the gang's symbol.


Johnny Costanzo talks about the rise of gang violence outside his Port Arthur home. Several bullets have been fired into his house.


A gang member shows his tattoo in Port Arthur. The "XIII" is the Roman numeral for 13, which is the gang's symbol.


Port Arthur police officer Patrick Arnett gets passionate about fighting crime and gangs in Port Arthur.


Graffiti "tags" abound on buildings in Port Arthur. Gang members paint the tags to mark their turf or communicate messages to other gang members.


Port Arthur police officers Marcelo Molfino (left) and Patrick Arnett (right) talk about crime trends in Port Arthur.

Please see related stories here and here by Dee Dixon.

Award winner:   2nd Place, Photo Essay, Press Club of Southeast Texas, Excellence in Media Awards
 

6 comments:

Bryon Houlgrave said...

Great story ... can you tell us how it was to work with both sides (gang members and law enforcement).

Mark M. Hancock said...

Gang access wasn't great. This is more of a police story.

newsphotoken said...

Nice work. how long did you have with this package? Can you link the story to the page? I'd like to read it.

Ken

Mark M. Hancock said...

One of the two stories is linked at the bottom of the page. The other story isn't online for some reason.

I didn't have much time to shoot the package, but they held it a long time to give it space.

sasha said...

Gang violence is not recommended in any community, but we can never stop gangs from getting bigger. Someone always gets hurt, even killed and we will never understand what the meaning of it. All I have to say is that gang members only get recognized for there violent behavior and never the good. Lik come on whats with that?????????
Half of our officers are involved in gangs themselves and they are supose to protect us.
Nothing further to say.....

Mark M. Hancock said...

Sasha,
If you're in SETX, please allow me to document some of the "good behavior" of your gang. My e-mail address is located on the sidebar. Let me know the activity, time and location. I'll be there. :-)
If you're in another city, please invite a PJ from that community.
I think it would be marvelous to have images WITH NAMES of MS-13 members planting flowers in traffic mediums or some similar "good behavior."