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  • Fri, March 15, 2013 3:33 PM | Trevor (Administrator)
     

    NEW YORK – The former leader of the Flushing, Queens, chapter of the violent international gang La Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, pleaded guilty Thursday to racketeering and murder conspiracy charges. This plea stems from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Yonkers (N.Y.) Police Department.

    As part of his plea, Hector Aleman Lemos, 32, agreed to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison.

    According to the indictment and other court filings, Lemos, aka Diablito, was alleged to have been the leader of a chapter of the gang that committed a series of violent crimes including: murder, murder conspiracy and attempted murder, in Flushing, Queens, and elsewhere. Among other crimes, Lemos was charged with murdering 25-year-old John Halley in Yonkers. Lemos believed – incorrectly – that Halley was a member of a rival gang when he shot him on the street. As part of his plea, Lemos admitted that he was a member of MS-13 and that he participated in the murder of Halley, as well as the shooting of a 13-year-old boy who had been standing on the stoop of a house in Flushing that Lemos believed to be a rival gang location.

    This conviction is the latest of the more than 120 convictions of MS-13 soldiers and leaders in the Eastern District of New York over the past decade. MS-13 is a violent, transnational gang based in El Salvador, which has engaged in narcotics trafficking, robbery, extortion, murder and other crimes in cities throughout the United States and Central America. The gang has had a strong presence in immigrant communities in Queens and Long Island.

    "The defendant in this case indiscriminately brought or threatened violence against rival gang members and innocent civilians alike," said James T. Hayes Jr., special agent in charge of HSI New York. "HSI is proud to continue to partner with the United States attorney's office to target violent transnational gang members who threaten the safety of New York communities."

    "Lemos was the leader of a gang that turned our streets into a shooting gallery, and killed innocent bystanders in its bid to dominate the streets," said U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch, Eastern District of New York. "Lemos's conviction underscores this Office's ongoing commitment to eradicating MS-13's influence in our communities and seeking justice for the gang's victims and their families. We will continue to vigorously prosecute members of the gang and work to dismantle its operations in this district."

    Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to the Yonkers Police Department for its invaluable assistance in this investigation

  • Fri, March 15, 2013 3:32 PM | Trevor (Administrator)
     

    HUDSON undefined A Hudson resident brought a developing gang onto the radar of the Common Council’s Youth and Aging Committee Wednesday night. Committee members had discussed improvements to the Youth Center’s programming lineup before Sumayyah Shabazz stood up from the audience and voiced her fears.

    “My heart is telling me the streets are going to be unsafe this summer,” Shabazz fretted. “You don’t see it yet, because it’s still cold, but wait until it’s 60 degrees.”

    Employed at the Berkshire Farm Center undefined and in the corrections system undefined for almost 30 years, Shabazz said she has learned quite a lot from disadvantaged youths.

    “Kids are your education,” Shabazz said. “You feed off of what they know, and then you take that to do better.”

    Shabazz commented that the gang’s size keeps growing, because “they’re recruiting as fast as they possibly can.” Spring’s arrival, Shabazz said, would be heralded by a surge in gang activity. Committee members heard from Shabazz that newly-initiated gang members would be encouraged “to jump” city residents.

    The city’s Youth Department, Shabazz suggested, could help curb the violence by putting together a nighttime, outdoor basketball league. If Hudson implemented an “under the lights” program for teens and young adults at Oakdale Park, Shabazz felt the community would at least “have them under the radar.”

    “Troubled youth are the first on the basketball field,” Shabazz claimed.

    Committee Chair Wanda Pertilla, a Second Ward alderman, welcomed Shabazz’s idea.

    Meanwhile, Pertilla congratulated Youth Recreation Director George Bednar, the Youth Department’s interim director, for broadening the Youth Center’s range of offerings by including sewing and Spanish language education.

    Stottville Fire Commissioner Jim Briscoe, Youth Commissioner Gerald Wood noted, would likely hold a CPR demonstration for the entire Youth Center staff. While Wood mentioned that Bednar had yet to set a date, he thought it should coincide with the Hudson City School District’s spring break that begins the week of April 1.

    Committee members also heard from Bednar about his recent conversations with the Hudson Development Corp. and city grant writer John “Duke” Duchessi of TGW Consulting Group to acquire additional computers for the center. Videographer Dan Udell, Bednar added, had been participating in the discussion.

    “We’re working to try to get three new computers,” Bednar said.

    In response to Bednar’s announcement, Pertilla revealed she knew of negotiations that were already under way for three computers. However, Pertilla was not at liberty to reveal the other agency’s identity just yet.

    Later on, committee members listened to audience concerns about why the city had not found another Youth Department director. Pertilla conceded that, because the Common Council had voted to rebid the city’s Senior Center project, city leaders were unsure if the Youth Center would still be the construction site.

    “There’s no further information if we’re going to St. Mary’s or staying at the Youth Center,” Pertilla replied. “We don’t know if we’re going to have a building or not,”

    If the city decides against joining the Senior Center and the Youth Center together, the alternative to install it at the former St. Mary’s Academy was described by Pertilla as “a dream come true.”

    “It was so high, we couldn’t afford it,” Pertilla previously maintained.

    Aldermen Nicholas Haddad and John Friedman of Hudson’s First and Third wards have encouraged city leaders to buy up the property from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany for about $1 million. Lead architect Jane Smith of Spacesmith LLP and engineer David Crawford of Crawford & Associates told the Common Council last month about their Senior Center redesign. It should reduce their projected budget of $1.3 million, so that it fits into their previously discussed budget of $1,080,000.

  • Fri, March 15, 2013 3:31 PM | Trevor (Administrator)
    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. --- They wear colors. They have hand signals. They have their own tattoos, their own beads, their own graffiti tags.

    They may rob or assault you.

    More likely, they're looking to steal your fancy iPhone, but they are also interested in recruiting your firstborn.

    The gangs are on the prowl. In addition to the Bloods, the Crips, and the Latin Kings, the NYPD has been targeting what appears to be a newer trend of organized gang crime -- one that aims to recruit children as young as 8.

    Youth crews, youth gangs, are responsible for 30 percent of the shootings in the city, according to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. The NYPD is looking to stamp out this activity, which means parents have to get involved.

    To that aim, the NYPD's Juvenile Justice Division held a youth summit Wednesday night inside the Gerard Carter Community Center in Stapleton.

    The crews are also known for making use of social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google +, and Instagram, to send a messages, host events and even recruit members particularly with displays of photos of weed, drugs or money.

    This is what the crews or the gangs use to bring the kid in the web, said Sgt. Emmanuel Andre of the Juvenile Justice Division. "They [kids] go on these websites and they show them money, they show them guns. They show them drugs. They show them alcohol." The social media aspect has been helping the police track crews, crew events and criminal activity, Andre said.

    Sgt. Andre noted that youth crews are not as established as say, the Bloods or Crips. Instead, they are more localized relating either to a particular building or neighborhood. Popular Staten Island rivalries he noted include: New Brighton vs. West Brighton, West Brighton vs. Mariners Harbor, and Stapleton vs. Park Hill.

    Criminal activity for crews started out with cellphones and also iPhones -- a popular year-round robbery items for the crews, he said. In addition, they also look to steal certain types of sneakers, jackets, and even Dr. Dre headphones. They have recently become more sophisticated in terms of crime moving from basic street crimes to more white collar crimes such as credit card scams, check fraud and id theft.

    The Juvenile Justice Division was created in 2011, when Kelly began to notice most of the robberies and shootings citywide appeared to be caused by groups containing kids as young as 8.

    "[They] were causing the most trouble," said Andre of the Juvenile Justice Division. In response, Kelly formed the division and also created Operation Crew Cut, a city anti-gang initiative that targets well-known gangs as well as youth crews and gangs.

    Andre said the crews also use "flaggin'" for identification -- that can include using small beads, bracelets or tattoos to identify the groups they belong to, as well as graffiti on school bags. These seemingly innocent but gang-related details are all signs parents need to look out for and be aware of, said Juvenile Justice Division Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Michael Nemoyten.

    In addition, parents should check their child's Facebook page and friend them on the Internet as well as check their phone photos and text messages and be aware of who they're friends are.

    Nemoyten said the NYPD is looking to building a partnership with the community to protect children and crack down on the gang crimes.

    "We want to do whatever we can to help save or prevent someone from either committing violence, committing a crime or becoming a victim of a crime," said Nemoyten.

    Andre noted that what may appear to be glamorous on the surface, usually ends up bad.

    "They show them all these things to bring these kids into the web. What they are not telling them is the end result is only two possibilities -- death or in jail. One or the other."

  • Fri, March 15, 2013 3:29 PM | Trevor (Administrator)
    Published March 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm
     

    Officials in the city of Syracuse recently launched the Syracuse Truce Project, a federally funded program targeted toward reducing gang-related shootings.

    “Truce is an important step to address the serious gang violence that has plagued our city and our neighborhoods,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner during the project’s press conference last Wednesday.

    Syracuse crime statistics show about 65 percent of the city’s gun-related injuries in the last four years were caused by gang activity. This year has already seen three homicides by gun violence, all of which were gang-related, according to Syracuse Police Department statistics.

    The goal of the program is to end the city’s gang-related violence, with SPD agreeing to help any of the city’s 1,472 gang members escape gang life, The Post-Standard reported Feb. 27.The program is a combination of increased community outreach for gang members and a zero-tolerance policy regarding any type of gang-related gun violence.

    “We’re giving you a very hard choice. You can cooperate with this program or we’re going to come down on you like a ton of bricks,” said Bob Dougherty, common councilor for District 3, which includes the Southside of Syracuse.

    As one of nine cities participating in the program, Syracuse received $300,000 in federal funding for the project from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction Program, according to a Syracuse Truce news release.

    “The whole idea is focused enforcement,” SPD Sgt. Tom Connellan said. “In the past, if there was a shooting, we’d go after the shooter. Now we’re sending a message that it’s not just the shooter we’re going after anymore, it’s the whole group we’re coming after.”

    Connellan added that gang members have already begun to call the Syracuse Truce hotline and make use of the opportunities the program provides.

    The truce program is modeled after a similar program in Cincinnati, where the city saw a 41-percent reduction in group-related homicides after implementation, according to the release.

    Along with the enhanced enforcement, the program provides social rehabilitation and reintegration by offering former gang members job training and social counseling programs, Dougherty said.

    He added that it also provides services like alcohol and drug treatment, anger management and housing aid for gang members looking to change.

    “I think the most important thing is trying to get people job-ready,” Dougherty said. “You can’t just tell a gang member, ‘Don’t do this.’ What’s their alternative? You’ve got to get people and get them job ready.”

    Connellan said he believes the success of the program will depend on whether gang members choose to become involved in the program.

    “It’s going to be up to the gang members,” Connellan said. “This program has been extremely successful in other cities. If the law enforcement here holds up their end of the deal and these gang members take our offers, the program will be successful. We’re hoping that a lot of these people take our message seriously.”

  • Fri, March 15, 2013 3:28 PM | Trevor (Administrator)

    TROY undefined A gang called the "Young Gunnerz" hung out at the Corliss Park apartment where Takim Smith was robbed and stabbed to death on Feb. 4, according to police statements.

    While Smith's family looked on Thursday, the last of six defendants charged with the 21-year-old father's robbery and murder was arraigned and pleaded not guilty in Rensselaer County Court. Eric Aaron Mallard, 19, accompanied by his lawyer, Sanford Finkel, appeared before state Supreme Court Justice Patrick McGrath, who sent him to the county jail without bail. Mallard was indicted last week on charges of second-degree murder, first- and second-degree robbery, conspiracy and criminal possession of a weapon.

    The group allegedly used two young women to lure Smith to Corliss Park apartment 1906 around 6 p.m. that day on the pretext of having sex and then attacked him, thinking he had money and other valuables because of a recent lawsuit settlement. But all Smith had was a cellphone, some jewelry and less than $40.

    In a police statement on file with the court, a next-door neighbor told police that he did not see anything unusual outside that day but added "a lot of Young Gunnerz gang members go in and out of and frequent the apartment."

    Keyanna Bradley, 18, and Mariyah Zeigler, 16, originally were charged with conspiracy for their part in allegedly working to distract Smith but a grand jury last week upped their charges to match those faced by Mallard and three other men. The two women were living at Zeigler's mother's apartment, where the stabbing took place.

    All six charged in the case are in county jail without bail.

    "I'm just happy those girls were charged with murder in this case," said Smith's mother, Roshana McArthur, who wore a denim jacket with a "King Takim" patch on the back showing a collage of pictures of her son's life. "Now I know justice will be done."

    Bradley, along with Ravenal Gregory Dunbar and Keith Ferguson, both 17, were arraigned Wednesday. Zeigler and Davonte Alexander McGill, 18, were arraigned last week.

    District Attorney Richard McNally said one of the men is suspected of stabbing Smith, a father of three with a child on the way.

    According to a statement from the first officers on the scene, they entered the apartment and saw an upset, naked woman standing at the top of the stairs yelling that Smith was on the bathroom floor.

    "There was a second female on the floor of the bathroom holding a towel over the right upper chest of a black male victim," the officer wrote.

    The officer said he asked one of the women what had happened and she said: "We were (expletive) and they broke in through the window or something."

    The officer said Smith was on the floor in a large pool of dark red blood and was unresponsive.

    "The east bedroom had a substantial amount of blood on the bed, wall and floor and there was a blood trail from the bedroom to the bathroom," the officer wrote in the statement.

    Bradley told police in a statement on file with the court that Keith Ferguson, whom she called "Krazy K," asked her to get on Facebook and lure Smith to the apartment and distract him so he and others could rob him.

    Smith, who was called "Tubu" by his family, was a graduate of Lansingburgh High School, where he knew many of the people involved in the crime, and was attending Bryant & Stratton College while he worked at the Central Avenue Hess gas station in Albany.



    Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Murder-scene-called-a-gang-hangout-4316625.php#ixzz2Nddwt1w9
  • Tue, February 26, 2013 8:57 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

    Webster, N.Y. – Webster Police arrested and charged four men Thursday after an altercation on February 14 in the Village of Webster.

    Police charged William Heinrich, 45, of Sodus, Dustin Harper, 31, of Lyons, David Orbaker, 47, of Sodus Point, and Douglas Tallent, 57, of Rochester, with Gang Assault in the second degree, a class C felony.

    Police say the four men seriously injured a 40-year-old man at a bar on South Avenue.

    The four men charged were all members of the Iron Horsemen Motorcycle Club.

    All four men were remanded to the Monroe County Jail.

  • Wed, January 30, 2013 6:32 PM | Anonymous

    A History of Violence: The Black Gangs of Chicago

    by Jocelyn January 24th, 2013 @ 12:23pm


    It’s a war going on outside we ain’t safe from/I feel the pain in my city wherever I go/314 soldiers died in Iraq, 509 died in Chicago…” -Kanye West, Murder to Excellence

    Money, Power, and Respect three key ingredients to cooking up the perfect story, be it a gritty street novel from Donald Goines, or street dreams of a corner boy trying to be the man. The allure of the street life has been synonymous with hip-hop since the days of Kool G. Rap and Slick Rick.

    Hip-Hop’s obsession with gangs, crime and tales of rise to power keep us hooked. Look at how many rappers who’ve been influenced by films like Scarfaceand Paid in Full.  However, there is a big difference when the violence you see on TV or hear in song is played out in real life and the both the victims and culprits of children.

    The city of Chicago is under attack! Not by insurgents, or terrorists but by misguided youth who have no remorse for gunning down another human being in cold blood.

    Chi-town has a rich history in the arts and culture, but there is also a darker history that Chicago is known for undefined Violence.

    Black Gangster Disciple Nation


    Leader of the Gangster Disciples

    Supreme Gangsters” was the name 12-year-old Larry Hoover and his friends adopted as they ditched school riding the trains through Chicago. In the late 1960s, The Disciple Nation lead by David Barksdale (pictured below), and the Gangster Nation lead by Hoover merged to form The Black Gangster Disciple Nation. Under the leadership of both men, an array of other gangs formed. Hoover adopted the moniker  ”Prince Larry.”

    History of The Gangster Disciples:

    Also Known As: Folk Nation, GDs, BGD’s

    Colors/Symbols:  Major symbols include a three-point devil’s pitchfork pointed upward and a heart with wings. The use of several colors, including black, gray, silver and white.

    Known Rivals: Vice Lords or The Almighty Vice Lords

    Rapper Rick Ross made Larry Hoover a household name with the chorus of his song “(BMF) Blowing Money Fast” off the Teflon Don Album.

    Vice Lords

    In the late 1950′s in the Illinois State Training School for boys, the Vice Lords came to be a full-on gang running in the west side of Chicago. Before coming the “Almighty Vice Lords” or “Conservative Vice Lords,” they were an athletic club called “14th St. Clovers”. The Clovers began getting into trouble which led to incarceration.  There, they united with others from Northside, Westside, Southside Lawndale Boys to form The Vice Lords under by Edward Pepilow Perry. It wasn’t until many of it’s members were released from prison that the gang began to wreak havoc on the citizens of Chicago making it the most violent gang of the mid-1960’s.

    Also Known As: People Nation, ACVLN, VL’s, Unknown, Traveling, Insane, Conservative and Four Corner Hustlers.

    Colors/Symbols: 5 Point Star/Bunny with a bow tie/ Tophat and pimp cane/Crescent moon/Champagne Glass/Ring of Fire with a pyramid around it. Colors include black, gold and red, as well as Pittsburgh Steelers/Pirates attire.

    Listen to the “One Blood Remix”with just about every hip-hop notable from Nas, Styles P, Jadakiss, Bun B, Snoop Lion(Snoop Dogg), and more.


    4 Corner Hustlers


    The Four Corner Hustlers was founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1969 by King Walter Wheat and Freddy Malik Gauge. The violent gang became a close ally of the Vice Lords in 1977 and began extorting area drug dealers in Chicago’s west side. As hundreds of the gangs members found themselves in state prison, the gang decided to alliance itself with the All Mighty Vice Lords Nation in 1986 as a form of protection against its rival, the Gangster Disciples Nation. The gang remains small in prison but is known for its brutality and organized gang structure on the streets of Chicago.

    Also Known As: All Mighty Vice Lord Nations

    Colors/Symbols: 4CH logo or a black diamond. Colors are black and gold.

    These gangs were at the forefront of the changing Chicago over from a heavily Mafia run city to one overrun by young black gangs. As the years passed, their direction and tactics may have changed but their impact on the young men and women of Chicago continues to grow. Reports of young murdered kids in Chi-town have begun to fall on deaf ears but. However, there is no way to ignore the problem if we first acknowledge its origins.

  • Wed, January 30, 2013 6:25 PM | Anonymous

    Latino Gang Members Arrested For Alleged Hate Crimes Against Black Family

    Two Hispanic gang members were arrested last Thursday on allegations they had 15 to 20 gang members surround a house owned by an African-American family and tell them they couldn’t live in the area, according to the LA Times.

    SEE ALSO: Rondo Out For Rest Of Season With Torn ACL

    On December 31st, while one of the family members was walking home in Compton, men reportedly approached him in an SUV. According to police, they told him they were with a local gang and that he couldn’t live in the area because he was Black. The men then began allegedly hurling racist insults at the man.

    Scared from the threats, the man tried running away, but not before the men allegedly left their car and began attacking him with metal pipes. One suspect, 21-year-old Efren Marquez (pictured above right), is alleged to have pointed a gun at the man while 19-year-old Jeffrey Aguilar (pictured above left) reportedly beat him with a pipe.

    Once the attack ended, the gangsters escaped in their SUV, but they reportedly returned 30 minutes later with additional gang members, surrounding the house where the man lived, shouting racial slurs, and telling its inhabitants that Blacks were not allowed in their neighborhood. One member allegedly even threw a beer bottle through the front window.

    And the racist harassment didn’t stop there.

    The group reportedly continued to drive by the house daily, yelling slurs at the family until they eventually moved out, even though they had just moved to the residence on New Year’s. And according to Lt. Richard Westin, the gang is known for their racist hate crimes, “This gang has always made it clear they have a racial hatred for Black people. They repeatedly used racial epithets, they use racial hatred graffiti and they tag up the black church a lot.”

    Sheriff Capt. Mike Parker added that the victims are your “typical American family” and that the incident is “unsettling at the very least.”

    Since the alleged incident, Marquez and Aguilar have been charged with a hate crime committed for the purpose of violation of civil rights with ability to commit violent injury on another.

    SEE ALSO: Touching! SC Man United With Daughter Who Was Put Up For Adoption

  • Wed, January 30, 2013 6:19 PM | Anonymous

    Gang Violence and Gun Control

    By Michael Geer

    Guns and gangs. Haven't read anything from the Left about that. Certainly nothing from Congress. But with FBI statistics showing more than 1,500,000 members of recognized gangs across the nation and something like 33,000 recognized gangs in the FBI's stats, you'd think Gun Control advocates would list these as a major target of their efforts, especially since gang activity is responsible for at least 48% of criminal and violent activity throughout the US. [1]

    You'd be wrong.

    Stats:

    - 100% of cities with population greater than or equal to 250,000 reported gang activity in 2001

    - 85% of cities with population between 100,000 and 229,999 reported gang activity in 2001

    - 65% of cities with population between 50,000 and 99,999 reported gang activity in 2001

    - 44% of cities with population between 25,000 and 49,999 reported gang activity in 2001

    - 20% of cities with population between 2,500 and 24,999 reported gang activity in 2001

    - 35% of suburban counties reported gang activity in 2001

    - 11% of rural counties reported gang activity in 2001

    - 95% of the jurisdictions reporting gang activity in 2001 had also reported gang activity in previous surveyyears 3,000 jurisdictions across the US are estimated to have had gang activity in 2001

    - 56% of cities with population greater than or equal to 100,000 reported an increase or no significant change in the number of gang members in 2001

    - 42% of cities with a population of at least 25,000 reported an increase in the number of gang members

    - 45% of cities with a population of at least 25,000 reported an increase in the number of gangs from the previous two years

    - 69% of cities with population at least 100,000 reported having gang related homicides in 2001

    - 37% of cities with population between 50,000 and 99,999 reported having gang related homicides in 2001

    - 59% of all homicides in 2001 in Los Angeles and

    - 53% in Chicago were gang related, there was a total of 698 gang related homicides in there two cities combined, whereas 130 other cities with population of at least 100,000 with gang problems reported having a total of 637 homicides among them [2]

    Reports about you and me and our AR-15s and AKs? All over the front page. Gangs with rocket launchers and grenades in the gun control newspeak? Bupkus. You and I and our Glocks? Terrified reporters breathless with passion for gun control. Gangs with Glocks? Nada. You and I, presuming you may be religious, a veteran of armed service or a defender of the Second Amendment are now listed with Homeland Securityas a threat to NationalSecurity, a potential terrorist. Lumped in there with the likes of Hamas, Shining Path, MS-13 and the Hells Angels. But right now we're not hearing anything about trying to take guns away from the Mongols. No. You're not hearing some rip and read talking head demanding MS-13 be disarmed. You and me, yes. Insanely violent drug gangs? Shhh. No gun control for them, they might do something.

    Very few members of gangs walk our streets minus a gun. From renegade motorcycle gangs to inner city street gangs to international cartel gang members, every one of them is strapped. We don't need footnoted statistics to know the truth of that.

    Criminal gangs are already engaging in criminal activity, meaning, they have no problem breaking the Law. Breaking the Law is their way of life. The punitive measures of Law meant to cause prior self-restraint mean nothing to them. Consequences mean almost nothing to them.

    Gun Control advocates are terrified of the average Mom and Dad, the average brother or sister possessing the means to defend themselves and those around them. They don't seem at all worried about armed members of gangs. At least they never volunteer to go disarm them.

    Gangs don't care about Law. They don't care about the consequences of breaking a Law. But let me tell you what they do care about.

    You shooting back. Put a couple rounds of 185 grain .45 ACP in them, or past their head that's a consequence they understand. When you drop a gang aggressor like third period French, that's a consequence they understand.

    Law? Not so much.

    So, let's say Congress passes enough gun control war-garble that in effect it is impossible to possess and use a firearm. Will gang members remain disarmed as the rest of the sheeple?    

    (that's me, laughing)

    Gangs get guns as a result of criminal activity. Burglaries, theft, selling drugs to buy guns on the street, all manner of illegally obtaining guns. You and me? Federally licensed firearms dealer, background check, traceable funds, paperwork, etc.

    The criminal element will always get access because they have no regard for Law. You and I do our best to obey Laws because we dare not entertain the consequences of breaking the Law.

    Which brings us to the question of follow the money, always the ultimate driving force.

    Prohibition produced the potent opportunity for unthinkable fortunes that funded vast gang networks that exist to this day. People wanted liquor despite the nanny-staters in Congress and people got liquor. Through violent gangs which profited to such an extent they destabilized governments. They blackmailed, killed, murdered, through bribing, extortion, threatening and quite literally waging war on the Law and anyone who stood in their way. Gang wars and gang profits produced enough profit to fuel the violence with serious automatic weapons, explosives and murder for hire.

    The rootstock of many of those gangs are still with us. Look at Chicago.

    The War on Drugs has produced an industry with such disregard for Law to be staggering in depth and breadth. It isn't just Colombia. It's not just hyper-violent Mexican drug cartels. It's not just Chicago. Think opium fields in Afghanistan and how many of our serviceman and women have died there. Think Beqaa Valley and perpetual violence. Think drug warlords deep in the Shan Mountains of SE Asia. There is so much money to be madein prohibited drugs there are no words adequate to describe it. [3]

    And none of these players obey the Law. Laws in their thousands in every nation, yet the money flows and laws are broken and gangs thrive. Only the law abiding suffer.

    But, ban guns? Make a new Prohibition in effect negating the Second Amendment? You think we have a gang problem now? You think extant gangs will ignore the eye popping opportunity banning guns and ammunition will represent? We already have a serious nationwide gang problem. Congress will corrupt that minor problem into what could become a destabilizing all out conflagration.

    We will then have gang wars only Hollywood SFX departments can envision. Not because you and I will go hog wild ignoring the Law. But because Nature abhors a vacuum. And gangs already exist and which already disregard the Law will ... go hog wild stepping into the natural Supply and Demand cycle.

    Gangs and Guns. I really would like to see Dianne Feinstein and Ed Schultz go to addresses in the Pico-Union area of Los Angeles and forcibly insist MS-13 members hand over their guns.

    I really would.

    Gangs are a huge problem Congress ignores. And I have to ask the question: if I follow the money, will I discover why? Because no decent law abiding self-respecting power center would allow gangs like these to exist in their body except that there were a reason to tolerate their presence. If we follow the money will we uncover why violent gangs are allowed to coexist side by side with decent law abiding citizens?

    Feinstein ignores gangs and focuses on you. Think it through.

    Michael Geer, author, blogger, publisher; www.finaletrilogy.com

    [1] http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/2011-national-gang-threat-assessment

    [2]Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, National Youth Gang Survey Trends from 1996 to 2000, by Arlen Egley, Jr. and Aline K. Major.

    [3] Red Cocaine. JRR Douglass. Amazon.com

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/01/gang_violence_and_gun_control.html#ixzz2JVImrzV9

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  • Wed, January 30, 2013 6:16 PM | Anonymous

    Gangs increasing presence in human sex trafficking in San Bernardino County

    Doug Saunders and Beatriz E. Valenzuela, Staff Writers

    Posted:   01/27/2013 07:45:32 PM PST

    Updated:   01/27/2013 10:37:32 PM PST

    Jillian Endricks, 11, of Chino Hills, writes a message to victims of human trafficking on a message board before the annual Walk Against Human Trafficking Sunday at The Shoppes in Chino Hills. (Rachel Luna/Staff Photographer)


    Photo Gallery: Walk against human trafficking

    Those fighting in the war to end human sex trafficking say gangs are getting involved in the activity because women and girls are seen as a renewable commodity.

    "With the drugs, you can only sell them once, but with a girl, they can be sold up to 30 times a day," said Juana Zapata with the Chino-based nonprofit group Freeing American Children from Exploitation and Sexual Slavery. "And these girls don't get a day off."

    He was one of the more than 50 people who participated in Sunday's Walk Against Human Traffic in Chino Hills.

    According to Zapata, there is a misconception that many girls who are victims of trafficking are forcibly taken from their homes.

    "Most of the girls aren't kidnapped," she said. "We're working a case where one girl was essentially sold by a family member. Other times they're betrayed by friends."

    Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has called human trafficking a low-risk and high-reward crime for gangs.

    According to Harris, domestic gangs and Mexican cartels have expanded from trafficking guns and drugs to trafficking humans.

    They've become more sophisticated and organized, requiring an equally sophisticated law enforcement response to disrupt and dismantle their networks, she said.

    "Police officers, prosecutors, victim advocates and members of the community must work together to change the calculus on human trafficking in California," Harris said in a written statement.

    "People think this is something that happens far away or somewhere else," said Laveda Drvol, the organizer and founder of the walk. "People are shocked when they learn it's happening right here in our own backyards."

    San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos has helped lead action against trafficking. In 2012, county prosecutors filed 338 prostitution-related cases.

    But according to the county Probation Department, exact numbers are hard to come by because young women and girls working as prostitutes are often arrested for crimes that appear to be unrelated.

    "Sometimes they're arrested for shoplifting, but when you look at what they're stealing, it's condoms, wet wipes, underwear. All things typically used in prostitution," said Chris Condon, a spokesman for the Probation Department.

    The department is working to adopt a sex-trafficking program modeled after one in Dallas. When a girl or boy is arrested or caught for a series of crimes related to human trafficking, an investigator is assigned to the child's case,


    San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos. (Rachel Luna/Staff Photographer)

    probation officials said.

    On the prosecutorial side, Ramos has announced several directives to strengthen his zero-tolerance policy on human trafficking.

    "We have taken significant steps and strengthened existing partnerships to send the message that if you commit this horrendous crime in our county, you will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law," Ramos said in a recent release.

    Ramos said he will attempt to stop human trafficking by going after the customers.

    "If we take the customers, or `johns,' and put their photos and names on our webpage once they've been convicted, we're hoping that the shame will stop this troublesome problem over time," Ramos said. "With help from the media, we can generate many avenues of ending this epidemic."

    As part of Drvol's crusade to bring awareness to domestic human trafficking, she has pushed to educate young people on the issue and how people can fall prey to the crime.

    "Sometimes they're looking for love and they end up looking for it in the wrong places," said Bev Gibbon, the ASB adviser for Western Christian Satellite Program and youth coordinator for Drvol and her campaign.

    Technology also has afforded many traffickers an added layer of protection. In the past, many victims and their pimps would've been found standing on street corners, but Internet-based trafficking makes it easier for customers to exchange sex for money, allowing the street-level pimp to be shielded from law enforcement.

    Ramos said one of the biggest suppliers of online sex trafficking is the classified-ad website Backpage.com.

    Online advertisements for "escorts" can be found for nearly every city in San Bernardino County. Advertisements for young girls and boys could be found selling sexual services - some of whom are as young as 13, he added.

    Ramos said the site's adult services ads generate upwards of $22 million a year.

    "If Backpage really cares about victims like they say they do, then they should immediately shut down its escort service section," Ramos said. "Clearly, they are more concerned with profit over people."

    Calls for comment were not returned by the administrators of the website.

    San Bernardino County Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation coordinator Anne-Michelle Ellis said commercial sexual exploitation affects people in all parts of the county.

    "It's not just the kids from `those' neighborhoods or `those' families," Ellis said in a written statement. "All children are vulnerable, and the biggest vulnerability is their age."

    Zapata said the average age of girls forced into human trafficking is 13.

    "The younger they are the more expensive they are," Zapata said.

    According to one undercover detective with the San Bernardino Police Department, some of these girls are taken to Las Vegas to work weekends and holidays.

    The youngest prostitute she found working the streets of San Bernardino was 13.

    But who would pay to have sex with a girl not yet out of junior high school? According to Zapata, it's not who many think.

    "It's not the 'pervert' everyone thinks of," Zapata said. "Usually, in our experience, the men are married and have jobs. It's just not what most people think."

 
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