Local News

Clayton Police Take Notice Of Gang Markings

Posted May 7, 2004 3:15 a.m. EDT

— Hispanic gangs have made their way to Harnett and Sampson counties, and now Johnston County is seeing the first signs.

Clayton police said graffiti marks the territory of an Hispanic gang. So far, police have not seen any gang activity, but they say graffiti is where it usually starts.

Several markings have appeared in Clayton since last fall.

Spray-painted code covers an underpass just outside Clayton's city limits. For example, the number 13 represents M -- the 13th letter of the alphabet. Investigators say the 13 is the mark of the Mexican Mafia, a prison-based gang.

Investigators try to paint over the graffiti before rival gangs get a chance to. They say if that happens, that could provoke violence between gangs.