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VAN NUYS : Gang Suspect Gets 45-Day Jail Term

A suspected Blythe Street gang member was sentenced Monday to 45 days in jail and banned from a section of the crime-plagued street for two years after pleading guilty to violating a court order against the gang.

Rene Carlos Valdez, 20, of Palmdale pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his Oct. 31 arrest for loitering in the entryway of an apartment building on Blythe Street in Panorama City with another suspected member of the gang.

Valdez’s presence there violated a court order banning members of the gang from loitering on Blythe Street between Van Nuys and Willis avenues, said Ted Goldstein, a spokesman for the city attorney’s office. Valdez is now forbidden to be in the area for any reason, Goldstein said.

The arrest of Valdez was part of a crackdown on about 350 gang members identified by the Los Angeles Police Department.

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“This has been an ongoing operation since the court injunction was granted in February,” Goldstein said. “The LAPD feels that the injunction has helped immensely in containing the Blythe Street gang. There is still more work to do in the community, but this has proven to be a valuable legal tool for controlling the gang.”

Valdez’s term, imposed by Van Nuys Municipal Court Commissioner Mitchell Block, will be counted retroactively from Nov. 24, when he was taken into custody, Goldstein said. The 17-year-old arrested with Valdez was turned over to juvenile authorities.


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