A gang expert with the Yakima Police Department says while the area has its share of gang members and problems there's no MS 13 gang members operating in the Yakima area. Sgt. David Cortez says currently about 700 gang members live in Yakima who belong to either Norteno and Soregno gangs who he says dominate the area leaving no room for MS 13. "They want to be in areas where there's not a large population of gangs because they know they'll be targeted."
He says MS 13 gang members want full control of areas where they operate or they want to partner with other gangs. That's something Cortez says won't ever happen in the Yakima area since both local gangs have already established territory they control.