Sunday, 25 October 2009

Bloods have 305 members in 33 “sets,” or subgroups, followed by the Crips, with 235 members in 33 sets.

Gaston County has 678 validated gang members, according to Gastonia Police statistics. The Bloods have 305 members in 33 “sets,” or subgroups, followed by the Crips, with 235 members in 33 sets. The Juggalos, a gang that takes its name from a term popularized by the hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse, claims 37 members, while the Hispanic gang MS-13 has 21.While those numbers are large enough for local law enforcement agencies, they don’t include the dozens to hundreds of teens affiliated with gangs who aren’t actual members. Many of the youths referred to Gang of One fall into this category.
“We work a lot with the kids who are affiliated,” said Capistran. “Nine times out of 10, the kid isn’t actually a member, but they are what we would consider at-risk.”
The Bloods and the Crips are rival gangs with common roots in inner-city Los Angeles. The Bloods, who wear red bandanas and clothing, were founded by a group of former Crips. The Crips favor blue clothing and bandanas, and both gangs have distinctive written symbols and hand signs.MS-13, whose formal name is Mara Salvatrucha, was begun in the 1980s by Central American immigrants in Los Angeles. Popular MS-13 symbols are devil horns, dice, daggers and crossbones.Police data shows 91 validated gang members belonging to street gangs other than the popular East Coast and West Coast crews. Those gangs include hate groups such as the Aryan Brotherhood and neo-Nazis, motorcycle gangs like the Hell’s Angels, Southern Gentlemen and Pegans and homegrown gangs like 704 and the Queen City G’z.
Nearly all street gangs are involved in drug trafficking, according to the Governor’s Crime Commission. Many are linked to violent crime, including homicides, shootings, armed robberies and assaults.


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