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Orange County cracks down on gang activity - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Orange County cracks down on gang activity

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ORANGE COUNTY -

An Orange County judge has fined eight Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School students who are part of the "Gata's" gang.

The teens were involved in a fight on campus on January 17.  Orange County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Chad Hogan says the teens were planning another brawl off campus; but, that it was broken up by deputies before it began.

"It's sad to send them(students) to school and think 'Are they going to be safe today? Is everything going to be alright?,'" says LC-M CISD parent Regina Marple.

With recent threats and fights in the district, Marple is keeping a close eye on her son's school.

"I drive by and just kind of look and make sure nothing is going on. I make sure it looks safe," says Marple.

Marple tells 12News she feels some relief after a recent gang crackdown by Orange County.

On Thursday, Justice of the Peace David Peck fined the eight LC-M High School students involved in the school fight. Authorities say an assistant principal was assaulted in that fight.

The sheriff's office says the "Gata's" were part of that brawl and that they then planned an off-campus fight after school. But, thanks to undercover agents on social media, deputies were able to stop the fight before it began on Old Peveto Road.

"It probably would have been a big mess out there had we not gotten to them before they started fighting," says Sgt. Chad Hogan with the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Watching this gang on campus and through social media, Hogan says their activity will not be tolerated.

"Taking a zero tolerance approach, like Judge Peck, shows that we're gonna break up this little group because they're just causing havoc at school and everywhere else they go," says Hogan.

"It makes me feel safer knowing that we have people that are concerned and feel for our(parents) concern. A lot of police officers are parents, too," says Marple.

Sgt. Hogan says in January, the "Gata's" were also part of a rumor that students at the high school were bringing guns on campus.

Hogan says those rumors were not true. But, he did say some of the students involved in the rumor were part of the "Gata's." He says there were no guns involved but they were planning on fighting.

He also says the "Gata's" had a facebook page but have taken it down.

12News spoke to Judge who says "I am not going to tolerate teachers being assaulted and students going to school for other than what they should be there for and that's learning."

Hogan says one student's case is still pending on the assault of the LC-M High School assistant principal.

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