Boys, 14, Charged with Gang Participation

Boys, 14, Charged with Gang Participation

Fairfax County police have charged two Chantilly boys, both 14, with participation in a criminal street gang. Both live in the Brookside community but, because they're juveniles, Centre View is not revealing their identities.

BECAUSE OF their alleged actions, authorities believe they may be members of the South Side Locos (SSL) — a violent, street gang that's been involved in criminal activity in Fairfax County and throughout Northern Virginia.

In June 26 and 29 affidavits for warrants to search the teens' homes for possible evidence of this crime, Officer Stephen Wallace explained the case against them.

He wrote that, on April 20, he was conducting surveillance in the nearby Brookfield community regarding an unrelated offense when he saw two teen-agers enter the area with a backpack.

"The two subjects stopped, putting the backpack down [and] retrieving a mask and a can of spray paint," wrote Wallace. He then related how he watched the first teen place a blue bandana over his face and pick up the can of paint.

The officer noted that the second teen appeared to be "acting as a lookout." He stated that he observed the first teen spray painting a fence. After doing so, wrote Wallace, "He took off the mask and placed the spray-paint can back into the backpack."

Wallace noted that both teens "were actively looking around and over their shoulders" as they left the scene. The officer then went toward the boys to question them about their behavior.

HE WROTE that the first teen began to run from the area and was stopped a short distance away. The second teen was stopped immediately and, according to Wallace, "was in possession of the black backpack."

Wallace then examined the spray-painted fence and noted that the letters, "SSL," had been written on it in white spray paint that was still wet. No other letters or symbols were painted on the fence.

Police released each boy into the custody of his parents and obtained juvenile petitions charging the teens with participation in a criminal street gang. At press time, their court dates had not yet been set.

In his affidavits, Wallace wrote that South Side Locos gang members have been involved in numerous crimes, including — but not limited to — "homicide, malicious wounding, assault and battery, destruction of property, possession of stolen property, vehicle tamperings, gang participation, drug violations and weapons violations."

He also stated that it's common for members of street gangs to possess "indicators of their gang status" in the form of tattoos, clothing, jewelry, bandanas or flags, graffiti or artwork, pictures, videos and computer-generated Web sites.

Furthermore, wrote Wallace, "Gang members will frequently conceal, collect and store weapons and contraband at any location that they do not believe is immediately subject to search by law enforcement."

The officer hoped that a search of the two boys' homes would yield "items indicative of gang membership, affiliation or participation," such as gang-related paraphernalia, clothing, bandanas and weapons "associated with the gang subculture."

Both search warrants were executed June 29. At the home of the first teen, police seized: A bat from under the boy's bed; a black, duct-taped sword; a CD with "South Side" written on the front; a tattoo kit, an address book, video tapes, a bandana, another CD with "SSL" written on it; a Compaq computer and a homemade razor knife from a shoebox in the closet.

At the second teen-ager's home, police seized: A bandana; a Kodak camera flash card; a sheet of notebook paper with a list of nicknames; a black folder containing miscellaneous "SSL" writings; a Sprint cell phone; an iPod; a can of black spray paint; an Acer laptop computer and a Dell Dimension computer.