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Police chief: More than a dozen gangs in Brunswick

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Complete Coverage: Infant Murdered in Brunswick

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BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Bond was denied Friday for one of the two teens charged with murder of a 13-month-old Brunswick boy.

Judge Stephen Kelley said De'Marquise Elkins' bond was denied in part because testimony showed he may have ties to gangs and poses a significant risk to the community.

Prosecutors tried Friday to paint a picture of Elkins as a gang member. They pointed to his body as evidence. A Glynn County police investigator testified that pictures taken of Elkins in jail after he was arrested for the murder of Antonio Santiago show tattoos signifying that Elkins is likely affiliated with gangs.
 
"The tattoo on Mr. Elkins' right arm, which is the name of his mother Karima, in the "I" there is a five point star that is common for People Nation gangs including the Bloods," explained Roderic Nohilly.
 
A snapshot of a MySpace page under the name of De'Marquise Elkins that First Coast News found shortly after his arrest shows a red bandana background and with the words "Blood Life."

"On his right upper arm, there are three burn marks in a triangle. The three marks are generally signified in gang culture the three places gang members will end up, the hospital, prison or the morgue," said Nohilly.
 
Elkins' defense attorney questioned the investigator asking if he's ever seen "posers."

But according to the Brunswick police chief, a Violent Crimes Task Force created four months ago has found that more than a dozen gangs are operating in Glynn County.
 
"We've identified more than 120 members of gangs. The biggest one is we've identified 15 known gang units in this city and county," said Chief Tobe Green.
 
While Green won't comment on if he thinks the murder of Santiago may have been gang related, some residents say the crime has robbed them of their sense of security.

"I used to walk around my neighborhood for exercise at least three or four times a week and I haven't been out since. Just too nervous to go," resident Savanna Puterbaugh said.
 
Police are encouraging the community to report tips about gang activity to the Silent Witness Line at 912-267-5516. You can remain anonymous.

First Coast News

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