Gangfighters Weblog

July 21, 2012

Further attempts to give teeth to DoD Instruction 1325.6

Back in January 2010, I wrote DoDs New Rules for Gangs in the Military (not a good idea) 
which identified the first attempt by the DoD to address section 544 of Public Law 110-181, noting

. . . there’s a very short part about gang affiliations: 

“Military personnel must reject active participation in criminal gangs pursuant to section 544 of Public Law 110-181 

* * * 

Active participation includes, but is not limited to, fundraising; demonstrating or rallying; recruiting, training, organizing, or leading members; distributing material (including posting on-line); or otherwise engaging in activities in furtherance of the objective of such gangs or organizations that are detrimental to good order, discipline, or mission accomplishment or are incompatible with military service.”

Well, here’s the follow up!

Change 1, February 22, 2012 to DoD Instruction (DoDI) 1325.6 says:


Military personnel must not actively advocate supremacist, extremist, or criminal gang doctrine . . .
* * *
b. Military personnel must reject active participation in criminal gangs pursuant to section 544 of Public Law 110-181 (Reference (i)) 
* * *
Active participation includes, but is not limited to, fundraising; demonstrating or rallying; recruiting, training, organizing, or leading members; distributing material (including posting on-line); knowingly wearing gang colors or clothing; having tattoos or body markings associated with such gangs or organizations; or otherwise engaging in activities in furtherance of the objective of such gangs or organizations that are detrimental to good order, discipline, or mission accomplishment or are incompatible with military service.


(emphasis added to highlight additions)


So we added examples of basic gang activity to clarify active participation. 


Knowingly wearing gang colors or clothing; having tattoos or body markings associated with such gangs or organizations are things that all gang members do. The gangsters in the military are usually more advanced that your everyday, run-of-the-mill gangbanger, though. They are members of the Second, and often the Third Generation (see 3G2), and these minor additions will do little (that’s a nice way of saying nothing) to help in their detection, capture and conviction. 


Then again, there doesn’t seem to have been a full onslaught by the DoD to limit the gang infiltration of the military. There have been somewhat thorough reviews by each of the branches — Army CID (2004-2009), Air Force OSI (2007), and Navy NCIS (2012) (which included references to Marine CID investigations). Additionally, the FBI has maintained their inquiry into military-trained gang members since 2007.

I still think the developing prohibitions are contained in the wrong laws (see previous posts), but at least we are detailing what is active participation — and it makes sense. 


I anticipate problems with proving the offender was knowingly wearing gang colors or clothing unless there is a mass movement to educate service members on what gang colors or clothing look like — and then requiring them to report what they see. I don’t see that going very far. The easy defense is that gang clothing has now permeated our culture and clothing, tattoos, and even showing a color preference are all more than gang-related choices. 

The apologists in our DoD investigation units’ public relations departments have been practicing that spin for years . . .

More laws with more teeth directed at more advanced gangs with more investigations — that’s the solution!


What do you think?

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May 16, 2012

Gang Investigators’ Perceptions of Military-Trained Gang Members (MTGM)

My article, Gang Investigators’ Perceptions of Military-Trained Gang Members (MTGM), written with Dr. Yvonne Doll, Northcentral University, was published in Critical Issues in Justice and Politics  (Volume 5, Number 1, May 2012, ISSN 1940-3186). For access to the Journal – http://www.suu.edu/hss/polscj/CIJP.htm 

Preview at academia.edu – http://apsu.academia.edu/CarterSmith/Papers/1628541/Gang_Investigators_Perceptions_of_Military-trained_Gang_Members_MTGM_

Keywords: articles of gangs in the army, military crime, research articles, us military training gangs, gang-related activity in the us armed forces increasing, dod strategic plan for gangs in the military, army definition of gang, army enlistment, gang activity in the us military, street gangs in the military, percent of military personnel have gang association, gangs in the military

Abstract
Communities everywhere have experienced the negative effects of street gangs.  The presence of military-trained gang members (MTGMs) in the community increases the threat of violence to citizens.  The problem addressed in this study was the apparently growing presence of military-trained gang members in civilian communities.  The purpose of the study was to determine the perceived presence of military-trained gang members and to examine whether there was a relationship between the perceptions of gang investigators regarding the presence and the size of their jurisdictions, the proximity of their jurisdictions to a military installation, and the extent to which investigators participate in anti-gang activities.  The statistical analyses used to test the hypotheses in this study were Pearson and Spearman Correlation Coefficients, independent means t tests, and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) Regression analysis.  Respondents reported a mean of 11% of the gang members in their jurisdictions were MTGMs.  The Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve were identified as the largest sources of MTGMs and the Bloods, Crips, and Gangster Disciples were the gangs most represented.  Recommendations included all branches of the military therein should adopt a uniform definition of gangs.  Military leaders should acknowledge the increase in gang-related crime affecting the military and address the problems caused for both military and civilian communities without attempting to quantify the threat level.  Military leadership should continuously examine the activities of all suspected military gang members to determine active gang affiliation for retention purposes while evaluating any gang affiliation for security clearances.    Military Law Enforcement liaison for recruiters should develop effective communication with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to assist with information sharing. 


For access to the complete article, contact the Journal – http://www.suu.edu/hss/polscj/CIJP.htm

March 11, 2011

Perceptions of Gang Investigation Regarding Presence of Military-Trained Gang Members

View this document in ProQuest

Abstract (summary)

Communities everywhere have experienced the negative effects of street gangs. Gang activity in the form of crime and violence has had a devastating effect on the lives of citizens and the safety of our communities. The presence of military-trained gang members (MTGMs) in the community increases the threat of violence to citizens. The problem addressed in this quantitative correlational research study was the apparently growing presence of military-trained gang members in civilian communities. The purpose of the study was to more closely examine the nexus between the perceived presence of military-trained gang members and the perceptions of gang investigators regarding the presence and the size of their jurisdictions, the proximity of their jurisdictions to a military installation, and the extent to which investigators participate in anti-gang activities. An online survey, the Military Gang Perception Questionnaire (MGPQ), was created to collect responses from the 260 active members of the Tennessee Gang Investigators Association (TNGIA). The electronic distribution of the survey was facilitated by Google Documents. A sample size calculation was computed for a multiple regression analysis involving seven predictors, a significance level of .05, a power of 80%, and a medium effect size (f 2 =0.15). That power analysis indicated that N =103 was sufficient to detect this size of effect. The statistical analyses used to test the hypotheses in this study were Pearson and Spearman Correlation Coefficients, independent means t tests, and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) Regression analysis. Many of the 119 respondents felt anti-gang prohibitions would limit the activity of MTGMs. Respondents reported a mean of 11% of the gang members in their jurisdictions were MTGMs. The Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve were identified as the largest sources of MTGMs and the Bloods, Crips, and Gangster Disciples were the gangs most represented. There was a statistically significant positive correlation (ρ=.24, p <.05) between MTGM presence percent score and jurisdiction size. There was also a statistically significant positive correlation (ρ=.28, p <.05) between MTGM presence percent score and the distance from the nearest military installation (computed). Recommendations included that military leadership should conduct cumulative tracking and analysis of gang threats, and apply an all-hands approach to identifying gang members in the military. When an installation shows a decrease in gang-related activity, solutions that led to the decrease should be identified. Military leadership should identify and examine all suspected military gang members and policy makers should identify gangs and related groups as Security Threat Groups.

Indexing (details)

Subjects Criminology, Public policy, Military studies
Classification 0627: Criminology, 0630: Public policy, 0750: Military studies
Identifiers / Keywords Social sciences, Gangs, Street gangs, Military, Armed forces, Gang members, Military-trained
Title Perceptions of Gang Investigation Regarding Presence of Military-Trained Gang Members
Authors Smith, Carter F.
Publication title ProQuest Dissertations and Theses
Number of pages 202
Publication year 2010
Publication Date 2010
Year 2010
Section 1443
ISBN 9781124391373
Advisor House, John
School Northcentral University
School location United States — Arizona
Degree Ph.D.
Source type Dissertations & Theses
Language of Publication English; EN
Document Type Dissertation/Thesis
Publication / Order Number 3437991
ProQuest Document ID 845233422
Document URL http://rap.ocls.ca/ra/login?url=/docview/845233422
Copyright Copyright ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing 2010
Last Updated 2011-01-27

November 30, 2010

Perceptions of gang investigators regarding presence of military trained gang members

The problem addressed was the presence of military-trained gang members in civilian communities. The purpose was to determine the perceived presence of military-trained gang members and to examine whether there was a relationship between the perceptions of gang investigators regarding that presence and the size of their jurisdictions, proximity of jurisdictions to military installations, and extent to which investigators participated in anti-gang activities.

The Military Gang Perception Questionnaire collected responses from the 260 active members of the Tennessee Gang Investigators Association. Respondents reported a mean of 11% of the gang members in their jurisdictions had military training. The Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve were identified as the largest sources of MTGMs, and the Bloods, Crips, and Gangster Disciples were most represented.

There was a statistically significant positive correlation between MTGM presence percent score and jurisdiction size. There was also a statistically significant positive correlation between MTGM presence percent score and the distance from the nearest military installation (computed).

Recommendations included that military leadership conduct cumulative tracking and analysis, and apply an all-hands approach to identifying gang members in the military. When there is a decrease in gang-related activity, solutions should be identified. Military leadership should examine all suspected gang members and policy makers should identify gangs and related groups as Security Threat Groups.

August 10, 2009

Upcoming presentations at the National Gang Crime Research Center

Filed under: air force, armed forces, army, coast guard, expert, marines, military, msta, navy, ngcrc, technology — carterfsmith @ 3:06 pm

Gangs and the Military: What’s the Problem? Why is it a Problem? What’s the solution?

Contemporary gangs have been strategically infiltrating military communities around the world since the late 1980’s. When gang members are allowed to join the military (armed forces, air force, army, navy, marines, coast guard), they are treated just like other service members – no debriefings, no watch list, and no warnings to local military law enforcement. Is “Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell” the right policy for gangs in the military? How can we ensure gang members are not able to use military urban warfare tactics on our city streets?

This session will provide an overview of the issues associated with the enlistment of past and present gang members in the U.S. Armed Forces and provide recommendations for local, state and federal law enforcement and communities. We will examine the myths and truths associated with dual (gang and military) service, and discuss recommendations for the communities where these individuals go after they are discharged.

A Threat Analysis of MSTA: Gang, STG, Hate Group, Organized Crime — And More

The MSTA has been identified on the top three list of Islamic gangs/STGs operating in the USA. Most police encounter them as a gang, but some of their operations have all the earmarks of organized rime. Most in corrections regard them as a local security threat group, but they have been evolving into a national organization. Most in academia regard them as a cult or deviant spiritual group, but their “MSTA university” sells college courses to their prison inmate members today. Come and learn about the MSTA and how it operates in your jurisdiction.

Gangs and Hi-Tech Communication: How Gang Members Can and Will Communicate Using Tomorrow’s Technology

The younger generation in our country cannot remember life without cell phones, CD’s or an email address, and many don’t even use CD’s and email anymore. Many gang members are a part of this generation. Do we know how they communicate? As gangs evolve, they take on more of a business model than they had when they started. How does this affect the way we should investigate them? Do we include the right information on our search warrants? Do we know what our crime labs are capable of finding? In this session, we will review the past, examine the present, and look into the future to see how gangs make contact with each other, what they can talk about without us knowing, and why we need to know how to intercept or at least discover what was said after the fact.

How to Qualify and Testify as an Expert Witness on Gangs

In this session, you will learn the mechanics of how to become an expert witness in gang crime investigation cases. You will learn how to provide an expert opinion on matters such as gang identification, the relevance of gang threats, gang motivation, gang rivalries, and gang trends. You will learn a number of important “do’s” and “don’ts” about expertise from the prosecution perspective, and will see some of the strategies of defense. Whether in court or not, there are many ways to strengthen your credibility and expertise – this session may be the first step in that direction.

Schedule here.

View Larger Map

June 13, 2009

Gangs in the Military (armed forces, air force, army, navy, marines, coast guard) presentation

Filed under: air force, armed forces, army, gangs, gangs in the military, marines, navy, presentations — carterfsmith @ 12:51 pm

February 25, 2009

Filed under: air force, airman, dallas, gang member — carterfsmith @ 11:18 am

In New Mexico, an Airman is Arrested in the Killing of a Man on Lower Greenville

marlonalfaro.jpg
KXAS-Channel 5
Marlon Alfaro

The Associated Press reports this morning that a man has been arrested in the death of Marlon Alfaro, the 23-year-old from Irving who was beaten and run over in a Lower Greenville Avenue club’s parking lot on January 25. Dallas police and a certain Barking Dog had speculated in a KXAS-Channel 5 story that Alfaro’s murder, which took place after an argument turned into an altercation, was gang-related. Which makes 23-year-old Frank Farias an unlikely suspect: Since August 2006, he’s been a member of the 377th Medical Support Squadron out of Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he’s being held till he’s extradited to Dallas to face first-degree murder charges following his arrest on Friday.
http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2009/02/in_new_mexico_an_airman_is_arr.php

Filed under: air force, airman, dallas, gang member — carterfsmith @ 11:18 am

In New Mexico, an Airman is Arrested in the Killing of a Man on Lower Greenville

marlonalfaro.jpg
KXAS-Channel 5
Marlon Alfaro

The Associated Press reports this morning that a man has been arrested in the death of Marlon Alfaro, the 23-year-old from Irving who was beaten and run over in a Lower Greenville Avenue club’s parking lot on January 25. Dallas police and a certain Barking Dog had speculated in a KXAS-Channel 5 story that Alfaro’s murder, which took place after an argument turned into an altercation, was gang-related. Which makes 23-year-old Frank Farias an unlikely suspect: Since August 2006, he’s been a member of the 377th Medical Support Squadron out of Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he’s being held till he’s extradited to Dallas to face first-degree murder charges following his arrest on Friday.
http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2009/02/in_new_mexico_an_airman_is_arr.php

October 31, 2008

I-Team Investigates Gangs In The Military

Filed under: air force, gang member, gangs in the military, juwan johnson, marines — carterfsmith @ 9:16 am

Response: Dept. Of Defense


10News I-Team Investigates Gangs In The Military

POSTED: 4:10 pm PDT October 30, 2008
UPDATED: 6:14 am PDT October 31, 2008

They endure grueling tests of strength, are trained to kill, and pledge their absolute loyalty.”Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Mara Salvatrucha, 18th street, all the big ones are in,” says Carter Smith, an Army veteran who spent 22 years in the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division.American street gangs have gone global, and increasingly, they’re in the service of Uncle Sam.”There are a lot of them out there, already in the ranks,” cautions Hunter Glass, a veteran and gang detective out of Nashville who now works as a consultant on gang behavior. The U.S. Air Force is among his clients.

Sailors, Marines, soldiers, even women, are flaunting their gang ties, while in uniform.”In the combat zone, they will support each other, but as soon as they are off the battle field, all bets are off,” says Glass.10News obtained video taken on base at Fort Bragg, which shows Bloods and Gangster Disciples on the dance floor. First they are throwing gang sings; then they throw punches.Glass spoke to the Army officer who took the video who was assaulted while taping it.”There is nothing glamorous about being a gang member, “Glass says. “It’s about money, it’s about profit.”He says gang members in the military have a sworn allegiance, not solely to the President of the United States, but to their gang set.

The initiations are brutal. 10News showed videotape of a jump-in, where gang members continuously beat a new recruit for six agonizing minutes. He has to take the beating. Once it’s over, the gangsters’ ritual includes a blessing over their newest member. Gangs in the military use the same initiation.

Carter Smith warns, “They’ll actually send people into the military to be recruiters in the military.”That’s what T.J. Leyden did while serving for 3 years as a Marine at Camp Pendleton. Reformed now, he was then a racist and a leader of a white power gang.”Everyone totally knew what I was doing,” says Leyden. “And I recruited 12 active members of the United States military to join a white supremacy group.”

It was a violent recruitment into a gang which cost Stephanie Cockrell her son, Army Sgt. Juwan Johnson.”What did I do? What should I have done? What happened? What went wrong?” she still asks herself.Juwan Johnson grew up on the tough streets of Baltimore. His mother warned him over the years to say away from the gangsters hanging out on the corner. She never thought to repeat that warning when he joined the U.S. Army.”

There are gangs here in the streets,” she says. “But in the military? I was in the military, I don’t remember a gang in the military!”She spent five years in the Army herself, and thought the experience would be a good one for her son. Sgt. Johnson spent 6 years in the Army and served 18 months in Iraq. His mom still watches the home video she took of him during a brief visit home.”Thank you, and I love you all,” he says on camera to his large extended family, during a family picnic.He had only two weeks left in the service when offers to join a gang swayed him. So he ended up in a park outside a base in Germany, where his life would end as he was “jumped in” to the Gangster Disciples. They beat him to death. Eleven soldiers and airmen took part.”And after they beat him to death, they took him back to the barracks, and they went out to clubs to dance,” exclaims Cockrell, with disbelief.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been a drain on the U.S. military, forcing relaxation of standards, “moral waivers”, to join. More service personnel have criminal records and gang ties than in years past.” My concern is when they get out,” adds Carter Smith.In the 1990’s, while working as an Army criminal intelligence officer, he was one of the first to uncover the growth of street gangs in the ranks. He says the general estimate is that about 1 percent of the U.S. Armed Forces are gang members, 13,000 to 14,000 of them, roughly the population of Solana Beach.”

They will have been trained to do lots of things from the basic support, logistics, and transportation, to the use of weapons,” he warns. According to the National Gang Intelligence Center and the Army Criminal Investigation Command, “Gang related activity in the U.S. military is increasing … posing a threat to law enforcement officials and national security.” The gang activity ranges from graffiti you can see in pictures from Iraq, to shootouts and murder much closer to home.”Crimes involving military soldiers have been on the rise, and violent crimes at that,” says Hunter Glass.In San Diego, an ex-Marine marksman, Nathanial Guillen, and active member of the Bloods, shot a rival gang member to death in La Mesa. He was found guilty of murder in 2006.In Northern California, a Camp Pendleton Marine and gang member named Andres Raya ambushed police with military tactics and a high power riffle, murdering police Sgt. Howard Stevenson. Raya was killed in the shoot out.

Those are only two examples.”They’re gang members at heart, they’re not going to be changing. It’s what they live for, what they believe,” says Glass.Officially, no branch of the service allows gangs. However, criminal courts are reducing felony charges to misdemeanors, allowing gangsters who promise to reform to join the military rather than go to prison.Glass adds, “Are they good in a fight? Yes that’s right, but when dog fighting becomes illegal, what do you do with the dogs?”

http://www.10news.com/news/17852021/detail.html

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-1664726990057276007&hl=en&fs=true

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=9126224303396571205&hl=en&fs=true

I-Team Investigates Gangs In The Military

Filed under: air force, gang member, gangs in the military, juwan johnson, marines — carterfsmith @ 9:16 am

Response: Dept. Of Defense



10News I-Team Investigates Gangs In The Military

POSTED: 4:10 pm PDT October 30, 2008
UPDATED: 6:14 am PDT October 31, 2008

They endure grueling tests of strength, are trained to kill, and pledge their absolute loyalty.”Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Mara Salvatrucha, 18th street, all the big ones are in,” says Carter Smith, an Army veteran who spent 22 years in the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division.American street gangs have gone global, and increasingly, they’re in the service of Uncle Sam.”There are a lot of them out there, already in the ranks,” cautions Hunter Glass, a veteran and gang detective out of Nashville who now works as a consultant on gang behavior. The U.S. Air Force is among his clients.

Sailors, Marines, soldiers, even women, are flaunting their gang ties, while in uniform.”In the combat zone, they will support each other, but as soon as they are off the battle field, all bets are off,” says Glass.10News obtained video taken on base at Fort Bragg, which shows Bloods and Gangster Disciples on the dance floor. First they are throwing gang sings; then they throw punches.Glass spoke to the Army officer who took the video who was assaulted while taping it.”There is nothing glamorous about being a gang member, “Glass says. “It’s about money, it’s about profit.”He says gang members in the military have a sworn allegiance, not solely to the President of the United States, but to their gang set.

The initiations are brutal. 10News showed videotape of a jump-in, where gang members continuously beat a new recruit for six agonizing minutes. He has to take the beating. Once it’s over, the gangsters’ ritual includes a blessing over their newest member. Gangs in the military use the same initiation.

Carter Smith warns, “They’ll actually send people into the military to be recruiters in the military.”That’s what T.J. Leyden did while serving for 3 years as a Marine at Camp Pendleton. Reformed now, he was then a racist and a leader of a white power gang.”Everyone totally knew what I was doing,” says Leyden. “And I recruited 12 active members of the United States military to join a white supremacy group.”

It was a violent recruitment into a gang which cost Stephanie Cockrell her son, Army Sgt. Juwan Johnson.”What did I do? What should I have done? What happened? What went wrong?” she still asks herself.Juwan Johnson grew up on the tough streets of Baltimore. His mother warned him over the years to say away from the gangsters hanging out on the corner. She never thought to repeat that warning when he joined the U.S. Army.”

There are gangs here in the streets,” she says. “But in the military? I was in the military, I don’t remember a gang in the military!”She spent five years in the Army herself, and thought the experience would be a good one for her son. Sgt. Johnson spent 6 years in the Army and served 18 months in Iraq. His mom still watches the home video she took of him during a brief visit home.”Thank you, and I love you all,” he says on camera to his large extended family, during a family picnic.He had only two weeks left in the service when offers to join a gang swayed him. So he ended up in a park outside a base in Germany, where his life would end as he was “jumped in” to the Gangster Disciples. They beat him to death. Eleven soldiers and airmen took part.”And after they beat him to death, they took him back to the barracks, and they went out to clubs to dance,” exclaims Cockrell, with disbelief.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been a drain on the U.S. military, forcing relaxation of standards, “moral waivers”, to join. More service personnel have criminal records and gang ties than in years past.” My concern is when they get out,” adds Carter Smith.In the 1990’s, while working as an Army criminal intelligence officer, he was one of the first to uncover the growth of street gangs in the ranks. He says the general estimate is that about 1 percent of the U.S. Armed Forces are gang members, 13,000 to 14,000 of them, roughly the population of Solana Beach.”

They will have been trained to do lots of things from the basic support, logistics, and transportation, to the use of weapons,” he warns. According to the National Gang Intelligence Center and the Army Criminal Investigation Command, “Gang related activity in the U.S. military is increasing … posing a threat to law enforcement officials and national security.” The gang activity ranges from graffiti you can see in pictures from Iraq, to shootouts and murder much closer to home.”Crimes involving military soldiers have been on the rise, and violent crimes at that,” says Hunter Glass.In San Diego, an ex-Marine marksman, Nathanial Guillen, and active member of the Bloods, shot a rival gang member to death in La Mesa. He was found guilty of murder in 2006.In Northern California, a Camp Pendleton Marine and gang member named Andres Raya ambushed police with military tactics and a high power riffle, murdering police Sgt. Howard Stevenson. Raya was killed in the shoot out.

Those are only two examples.”They’re gang members at heart, they’re not going to be changing. It’s what they live for, what they believe,” says Glass.Officially, no branch of the service allows gangs. However, criminal courts are reducing felony charges to misdemeanors, allowing gangsters who promise to reform to join the military rather than go to prison.Glass adds, “Are they good in a fight? Yes that’s right, but when dog fighting becomes illegal, what do you do with the dogs?”

http://www.10news.com/news/17852021/detail.html

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