WILMINGTON, NC (Star News) — A three-year permanent injunction was granted Tuesday against alleged members of a notorious Wilmington street gang.
The Star News reports the complaint — filed in November on behalf of the New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office, the Wilmington Police Department and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office — alleges 24 members of the Folk Nation 720 Gangster Disciples terrorize the neighborhoods of Creekwood, Long Leaf Park, Market North Apartments, Greentree Apartments and the Sunn Aire area, “making residents fearful and putting lives in danger with reckless gun battles.”
This is the first such permanent injunction against criminal street gangs in North Carolina. Wilmington’s approach followed a 2013 complaint by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police shortly after a 2012 law went into effect allowing gangs to be declared a public nuisance and making it illegal for gang members to associate with each other. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg case also received a preliminary injunction, but that case was never made permanent.
Following a hearing Tuesday, in which none of those named in the complaint legally challenged the allegations, Superior Court Judge Imelda Pate made the injunction permanent. Pate added that the individuals could file a motion to be removed from the list after 24 months.
The injunction bars the 720 members — described as Tier 1 (high-ranking) and Tier 2 members in the gang hierarchy — from associating with their co-defendants or any known gang members; confronting, harassing or assaulting any witnesses; possessing a firearm or imitation firearm, or to be around someone in possession of a firearm; be in the presence of someone with drugs or weapons; recruiting new gang members or preventing members from leaving; and participating in the use or sale of controlled substances.
If any of the named defendants violate the order, they can be arrested. If found in court to be in contempt of the civil order, they can face up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine and court costs.