Elected officials in Oceanside have been known to take a hard line on certain issues. And while councilmember Jack Feller has often focused eliminating waste in city government, on Friday he had his sights set on the Mexican Mafia.
Feller had some choice words for the prison system for allowing members of the Mexican Mafia to operate while behind bars.
His comments were in response to a presentation that U.S. attorney Laura Duffy gave to SANDAG's Public Safety Committee on the influence of the Mexican Mafia in San Diego County.
"It frustrates me to know that these [street gangs] are being controlled in prison. You have to be so politically correct, making sure they have the right kind of toilet paper and every other stupid thing. How come we can't keep them from communicating to the outside?"
Added Feller: "I wish you could find a canyon to put them in."
According to Duffy, while the Mexican Mafia is reported to have only 150 to 200 members, it is considered one of the most powerful in the region. The organization controls nearly all Hispanic street gangs and has a number of operatives inside state and federal penitentiaries as well.
For those reasons, Duffy and local law-enforcement agencies have targeted the organization as was seen on January 25, when officials arrested 119 gang members from 20 different gangs, including 2 leaders of the Mexican Mafia in a countywide sting operation.
"We were able to cripple some of those street gangs that do the bidding and the work for the Mexican Mafia. We are going to align ourselves and devote our focus and resources to these cases."