Taggers were the target of teams of law enforcement officials this morning as they swept numerous locations during a probation compliance and search operation aimed at an active and aggressive local tagging and graffiti crew.
More than 30 deputies worked with probation officers on the operation, which also receives support from the county’s DISARM (Developing Increased Safety through Arms Reduction Management) program.
Many times the felony vandalism crimes of tagging crews can lead to other crimes involving weapons and drugs.
Six juveniles and two adults were arrested during the sweep that included 20 locations, primarily in and around Newhall. Deputies confiscated a .25 caliber handgun, an illegal butterfly knife, cocaine and graffiti tools during the operation.
Ernesto Barrios, 18, of Canyon Country, was booked on suspicion of felony vandalism and is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail. Carlos Cazares, 18, of Newhall was booked on suspicion of felony possession of a counterfeit Public Seal and he is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.
The six juveniles, all residents of Newhall, ranged in age from 14 to 17 and face a variet of charges, including felony vandalism, possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance and probation violation. One 16-year old was in violation of his probation for robbery and car jacking while another juvenile had run away from housing placement. Five of the juveniles were transported to Sylmar Juvenile Hall for housing, pending further court proceedings.
“I told you we would be back very soon,” said Captain Anthony La Berge of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “We will continue to do whatever it takes under the law to protect our community and quality of life in Santa Clarita! Get the message and stop tagging up our schools or find yourself behind bars.”