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Ulster officials report gang activity

Jun 12, 2018 1:04 pm
The Daily Freeman reports that Ulster county law enforcement officials so there has not been an increase in local crime even with the February arrests of four Kingston men with gang ties. “We don’t see it, either,” said William Weishaupt, chief investigator for the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office. Members of the 18th Street and MS-13 gangs were arrested in connection to a homicide, and Ulster County officials don't understand where they are hiding. “That was part of the problem. We weren’t seeing it in the investigations we were doing. We weren’t seeing it in our covert investigations ... in our street crime and narcotics-trafficking [investigations]. We’re not seeing telltale signs. ... It’s simply under the radar,” Weishaupt said. Now, though, “We’re coordinating very closely with the FBI and we are gathering up our intel, and we are going to be pooling our resources. And when we get what we need to move forward, we’re going to start going after these embedded cells," he said. Kingston Police Detective Sgt. Brian Robertson said his department also didn't see any gang activity before the arrest. “As far as 18th Street, we weren’t as in-depth with it as we were with Sex Money [Murder] and gangs that we know,” he said recently at the department’s Garraghan Drive headquarters. “I’ll be the first to admit, part of it is a language barrier. It’s a Latin-based gang, and it does tend to keep to itself. ... We haven’t seen a lot of overt activity going on.” Weishaupt claims that Kingston declaring itself a sanctuary city helps bring the gang members to Ulster County, while Kingston Mayor Steve Noble disagreed. “Building trust within our community is a critical element of effective law enforcement, and the adoption of this memorializing resolution was one important component of that work. We have not changed our police operations and are responding in the same manner as we did prior to the adoption of this memorializing resolution," Noble said. "Nothing has changed. We will continue to preserve public safety. There are federal enforcement agencies who are authorized, trained and responsible for enforcing federal immigration laws.” Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.