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Monday, 30 March 2009

Uptown Block Boyz had begun to control their neighborhood through a mix of drug-based crime and violent threats

Those facing drug charges are Miguel Clavell, 22; Denisse Brito, 24; Jorge Brito, 20; and Santos Rodriguez-Ruiz, 33. Those facing weapons charges are Anthony Colon, 19; Christian Perez, 20; Steven Miranda, 19; and a 17-year-old boy attending Cunning Alternative School. A ninth person, Ramon Erazo, 46, was arrested on an outstanding contempt of court charge, although he is not believed to be a member of the gang. Authorities brought drug and weapons charges against the nine they say are affiliated with the Uptown Block Boyz gang centered on North Seventh Street in Vineland. Police said they arrested nine people connected to a gang operating near downtown Vineland.
Police said they simultaneously searched two apartments in the street's 200 block March 20 and found 10 ounces of marijuana packaged for distribution and less than an ounce of cocaine at the two homes.Police had previously arrested four other gang members on weapons charges in February after finding three semi-automatic handguns and a revolver visible in their vehicle parked outside the new Wal-Mart on Landis Avenue.Detectives waited till Thursday to announce the arrests because their investigation remains open.
Vineland police Lt. Tom Ulrich said the investigation was led by the department's Violent Crime and Gang Task Force, which is targeting gangs in the city.
The Uptown Block Boyz had begun to control their neighborhood through a mix of drug-based crime and violent threats, Ulrich said Thursday. The gang also has an increased presence at the city's high school, as indicated by the fact that one of those arrested was a 17-year-old boy."We're trying to target groups and gangs that are involved in violent crime," Ulrich said, adding later, "The ones that haven't been taken in yet ought to be worried."


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