A recruiting video for gangs has appeared.
A video currently on Youtube shows drug gangs targeting three areas … Palatka, Daytona Beach and Palm Coast, and Sheriff Rick Staly is more determined than ever to eradicate the problem in Flagler County.
“We’re going to run them out of the county or put them in jail,” the sheriff said in a recent phone interview. “We’re not going to rest until we accomplish that.”
While there are no signs of increased gang activity, the video shows they are becoming bolder.
“They are claiming their territory,” he said, in reference to the video.
Crimes that go along with gangs include auto theft, weapons violations and drive-by shootings with innocent people often being the ones who are injured.
“They try to stake out their territory and this leads to shootings,” Staly said. He related a recent incident where a bullet went into a house and nearly hit an elderly person.
Also, one of his officers was targeted.
“Someone shot at one of my sergeants, and he is now in the green roof inn,” he said, referring to the County Jail.
After taking office last year, Staly formed a special investigative unit targeting illegal drugs, which is the focal point of street gangs. Staly said he wants to make sure the gang members know that Palm Coast is no longer a bedroom community they can take advantage of.
Flagler County is not going to become like Jacksonville and Orlando where shootings and gang activity are common, he said.
“Once gangs get a foothold, you lose your quality of life,” he said. “We’re not going to lose our quality of life.”
Currently, he said, there are about 10 people in the county who are under investigation and meet the criteria of gang activity as described by state law.
“Once gangs get a foothold, you lose your quality of life.”
RICK STALY, County sheriff