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.

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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

May 14, 2009

Conspiracy involving gang yields 40 arrests

Filed under: army, gangs, gangs in the military, marines, navy — carterfsmith @ 5:32 pm

Credit union lost $500,000 in scheme

Originally published 2:00 a.m. May 14, 2009, updated 10:32 a.m., May 14, 2009

Depositing counterfeit checks and withdrawing the cash before banks discover they are fake is a common crime that happens several times a day in San Diego County.

But having a street gang behind a conspiracy that caused a credit union to lose $500,000 could be a first in state history.

State and federal law enforcement officials made that announcement yesterday morning with the arrests of 40 people in the check-cashing scheme, including some active members of the military. Twenty more people are being sought.

“This is the first time a violent street gang has been targeted for its involvement in complex bank fraud in California,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said. “It clearly shows gangs are moving from street corner drug dealing and pimping to complex fraud.”

Of the 60 suspects who have been identified, 16 are documented members of a gang that claims San Diego’s Lincoln Park neighborhood as its territory, authorities said.

Many of the defendants are not in the military but are somehow affiliated, either by working on a base or through a relative. That gave them membership to Navy Federal Credit Union, which absorbed the losses.

Three members of the Marines, one member of the Army and one member of the Navy have been identified as suspects. Two have been arrested.

During a news conference, Dumanis explained that gang members would create a fraudulent check and then have a credit union member deposit it into his or her account. The member would then travel to Barona Casino and withdraw the money before the credit union could determine that the check was counterfeit.

The checks ranged from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, and the account holder would receive a commission of several hundred dollars.

When Navy Federal contacted the credit union member about the fraud, the account holder would say that his or her identity had been stolen and would sign an affidavit swearing to that. The credit union would then absorb the loss.

Gang members also were indicted in a mortgage-fraud scheme last month. Dumanis noted the trend of gangs getting into more sophisticated crime and vowed to prosecute them.

The credit union fraud started in 2005 and was used to pay for luxuries such as new cars, clothing and jewelry, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said. Authorities do not believe the money was used to finance more crime.

“This one was surprising to us,” Lansdowne said. “There was no financial plan in this. It was take it and use it.”

In 2008, an investigator at the credit union noticed a pattern among the transactions: Most of the people were similar ages, all of the withdrawals were made at Barona Casino and the checks looked alike, Deputy District Attorney Joan Stein said.

The credit union contacted the U.S. Secret Service, which started a 10-month investigation.

Authorities said Barona was used because the ATMs there, which are not owned by the credit union or the casino, allow much larger withdrawals.

The casino’s surveillance system played an important role in the investigation, Edwin “Thorpe” Romero, chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, said in a news release.

Some account holders admitted their role in the fraud, but gave agents incomplete names or nicknames to identify the ringleaders. The agents turned to San Diego police for help, and gang-unit detectives identified the leaders, Lansdowne said.

As law enforcement officers began interviewing people in December, the fraud stopped. Authorities also believe the equipment used to make the counterfeit checks was disposed of at that time.

On Tuesday, law enforcement officials spread out around the county to make arrests. Suspects were brought to the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot for processing.

Superior Court arraignments are scheduled to begin today. Account holders will probably be charged with fraud, a felony, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. Because many of them have no criminal record, they will probably be sentenced, if convicted, to probation and ordered to pay back the credit union, said Stein, the prosecutor.

The implicated sailors are believed to be account holders.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service was involved in the investigation.

The ringleaders face maximum sentences of about 17 years in prison, Stein said.

Staff writer Dana Littlefield contributed to this report.

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/may/14/1m14gangbank234759-conspiracy-involving-gang-yield/

Conspiracy involving gang yields 40 arrests

Filed under: army, gangs, gangs in the military, marines, navy — carterfsmith @ 5:32 pm

Credit union lost $500,000 in scheme

Originally published 2:00 a.m. May 14, 2009, updated 10:32 a.m., May 14, 2009

Depositing counterfeit checks and withdrawing the cash before banks discover they are fake is a common crime that happens several times a day in San Diego County.

But having a street gang behind a conspiracy that caused a credit union to lose $500,000 could be a first in state history.

State and federal law enforcement officials made that announcement yesterday morning with the arrests of 40 people in the check-cashing scheme, including some active members of the military. Twenty more people are being sought.

“This is the first time a violent street gang has been targeted for its involvement in complex bank fraud in California,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said. “It clearly shows gangs are moving from street corner drug dealing and pimping to complex fraud.”

Of the 60 suspects who have been identified, 16 are documented members of a gang that claims San Diego’s Lincoln Park neighborhood as its territory, authorities said.

Many of the defendants are not in the military but are somehow affiliated, either by working on a base or through a relative. That gave them membership to Navy Federal Credit Union, which absorbed the losses.

Three members of the Marines, one member of the Army and one member of the Navy have been identified as suspects. Two have been arrested.

During a news conference, Dumanis explained that gang members would create a fraudulent check and then have a credit union member deposit it into his or her account. The member would then travel to Barona Casino and withdraw the money before the credit union could determine that the check was counterfeit.

The checks ranged from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, and the account holder would receive a commission of several hundred dollars.

When Navy Federal contacted the credit union member about the fraud, the account holder would say that his or her identity had been stolen and would sign an affidavit swearing to that. The credit union would then absorb the loss.

Gang members also were indicted in a mortgage-fraud scheme last month. Dumanis noted the trend of gangs getting into more sophisticated crime and vowed to prosecute them.

The credit union fraud started in 2005 and was used to pay for luxuries such as new cars, clothing and jewelry, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said. Authorities do not believe the money was used to finance more crime.

“This one was surprising to us,” Lansdowne said. “There was no financial plan in this. It was take it and use it.”

In 2008, an investigator at the credit union noticed a pattern among the transactions: Most of the people were similar ages, all of the withdrawals were made at Barona Casino and the checks looked alike, Deputy District Attorney Joan Stein said.

The credit union contacted the U.S. Secret Service, which started a 10-month investigation.

Authorities said Barona was used because the ATMs there, which are not owned by the credit union or the casino, allow much larger withdrawals.

The casino’s surveillance system played an important role in the investigation, Edwin “Thorpe” Romero, chairman of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, said in a news release.

Some account holders admitted their role in the fraud, but gave agents incomplete names or nicknames to identify the ringleaders. The agents turned to San Diego police for help, and gang-unit detectives identified the leaders, Lansdowne said.

As law enforcement officers began interviewing people in December, the fraud stopped. Authorities also believe the equipment used to make the counterfeit checks was disposed of at that time.

On Tuesday, law enforcement officials spread out around the county to make arrests. Suspects were brought to the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot for processing.

Superior Court arraignments are scheduled to begin today. Account holders will probably be charged with fraud, a felony, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. Because many of them have no criminal record, they will probably be sentenced, if convicted, to probation and ordered to pay back the credit union, said Stein, the prosecutor.

The implicated sailors are believed to be account holders.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service was involved in the investigation.

The ringleaders face maximum sentences of about 17 years in prison, Stein said.

Staff writer Dana Littlefield contributed to this report.

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/may/14/1m14gangbank234759-conspiracy-involving-gang-yield/

December 26, 2008

Oklahoma City war veteran accused of selling bombs to gang members

Filed under: army, gangs in the military, ied, iraq — carterfsmith @ 1:59 pm

BY JOHNNY JOHNSON

Published: December 25, 2008

Police spent the day searching the house of a decorated, two-tour Iraq war veteran on Tuesday to investigate a tip that the former soldier was said to have been making explosive devices to sell to gang members, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Steven Andrew Jordal

Steven Andrew Jordal, 24, was an infantry tank specialist in the U.S. Army from 2002 to 2007. He received the Army’s Good Conduct medal, along with several other medals, badges and ribbons, the military confirmed.

Oklahoma City police took interest in Jordal when they received a tip he was selling improvised explosive devices to criminals.

For as little as $100, Jordal was making the same kinds of weapons he saw used against his fellow soldiers in the Iraqi deserts and selling them on the streets of Okalahoma City to gang members and known criminals, according to the document.

The police informant had seen Jordal testing explosives in an area near N. Western and 122 Street and said Jordal had custom- made a device for someone who wanted to damage the vehicle of someone who owed money on a drug deal.

With that information, police located Jordal on Monday evening and found him in possession of a device he allegedly intended to sell, and also found several concealed weapons including a loaded .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun, the affidavit said.

Police said Jordal admitted to making multiple IEDs and that he had tried to sell them. He said he was selling the device police caught him with for $100, and that he knew it would be used in the very least to cause property damage.

It was during the same interview that Jordal gave consent to search his house and vehicle, where police said they expected to find more IEDs and explosive components. Police are not disclosing what if anything they found in the search of his house.

Jordal was arrested Monday on complaints of manufacturing explosives with the intent to sell them. It is unclear if he will be facing federal or state charges.

Contributing: Staff Writer Jay Marks.

http://newsok.com/oklahoma-city-war-veteran-accused-of-selling-bombs-to-gang-members/article/3332977

Oklahoma City war veteran accused of selling bombs to gang members

Filed under: army, gangs in the military, ied, iraq — carterfsmith @ 1:59 pm

BY JOHNNY JOHNSON

Published: December 25, 2008

Police spent the day searching the house of a decorated, two-tour Iraq war veteran on Tuesday to investigate a tip that the former soldier was said to have been making explosive devices to sell to gang members, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Steven Andrew Jordal

Steven Andrew Jordal, 24, was an infantry tank specialist in the U.S. Army from 2002 to 2007. He received the Army’s Good Conduct medal, along with several other medals, badges and ribbons, the military confirmed.

Oklahoma City police took interest in Jordal when they received a tip he was selling improvised explosive devices to criminals.

For as little as $100, Jordal was making the same kinds of weapons he saw used against his fellow soldiers in the Iraqi deserts and selling them on the streets of Okalahoma City to gang members and known criminals, according to the document.

The police informant had seen Jordal testing explosives in an area near N. Western and 122 Street and said Jordal had custom- made a device for someone who wanted to damage the vehicle of someone who owed money on a drug deal.

With that information, police located Jordal on Monday evening and found him in possession of a device he allegedly intended to sell, and also found several concealed weapons including a loaded .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun, the affidavit said.

Police said Jordal admitted to making multiple IEDs and that he had tried to sell them. He said he was selling the device police caught him with for $100, and that he knew it would be used in the very least to cause property damage.

It was during the same interview that Jordal gave consent to search his house and vehicle, where police said they expected to find more IEDs and explosive components. Police are not disclosing what if anything they found in the search of his house.

Jordal was arrested Monday on complaints of manufacturing explosives with the intent to sell them. It is unclear if he will be facing federal or state charges.

Contributing: Staff Writer Jay Marks.

http://newsok.com/oklahoma-city-war-veteran-accused-of-selling-bombs-to-gang-members/article/3332977

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