Gangfighters Weblog

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

September 2, 2009

Weekend Shooting Is Military And Gang Related, Police Say

Filed under: bloods, fort bliss, gangs in the military — carterfsmith @ 8:03 am

Derek Shore-KFOX News Reporter

Posted: 8:30 pm MDT September 1, 2009Updated: 9:23 pm MDT September 1, 2009
EL PASO, Texas — After a Fort Bliss soldier was shot early Sunday morning near the popular Cincinnati area in West El Paso, police reveal the man accused of pulling the trigger is also a Fort Bliss soldier. Police are calling the shooting gang-related.

Spc. Frank Calderon was shot after an altercation at 32 Degrees bar on Mesa Street. Antonio Saunders, also a soldier, has been charged with shooting him. Sources tell KFOX that Saunders is also a member of the Bloods street gang.

With the future growth of Fort Bliss, there is fear police may have to deal with an increase in soldiers who are also gang members.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen more of a problem than we have seen in past years,” said Sgt. Reggie Moton, the head of the El Paso police gang task force.

But Moton claims soldiers in gangs are not any more or less dangerous.

“Over the last couple years, when we go out and we deal with the military people on the different cases that have come up, it’s no different than what we deal with with other gang members,” Moton said.

However, The National Gang Intelligence Center disagrees. In their 2009 gang assessment, the center said:

“Gang members with military training pose a unique threat to law enforcement personnel because of the distinctive military skills that they possess and their willingness to teach these skills to fellow gang members.”

While the number of military members in gangs isn’t known, the assessment said the center has confirmed 19 gangs have military trained members in them. The gangs include the Bloods, Crips and Latin Kings.

This isn’t the only organized crime that has been linked back to an El Paso soldier. Pfc. Michael Apodaca, a Fort Bliss soldier, is accused of drug cartel activity after he allegedly shot an ICE informant back in May.

Moton said he will work to stop any growing trends and do so with Fort Bliss’ help.

“As a matter, of fact they were involved in the case this past weekend. They came out and provided us help in this case,” Moton said.

http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/20677659/detail.html

March 5, 2009

G.I. Crip – The Oregon National Guard wants to send this convicted gangbanger to Iraq.

Filed under: bloods, gangs in the military — carterfsmith @ 8:48 am


BY JAMES PITKIN

[March 4th, 2009]

More than two years ago, a well-publicized FBI report warned of gang members infiltrating the U.S. military. And while gang violence was spreading on bases, cops say returning gangsters are putting their new combat skills to deadly use in their old neighborhoods.

Now, as the military continues to suffer low recruitment approaching the sixth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, a first lieutenant in the Oregon National Guard says he wants to take a convicted gangbanger off Portland’s streets and send him into a new combat zone—Iraq.

Police describe Levell Peters—who grew up in Northeast Portland but now lives in Vancouver, Wash.—as a longtime gang associate who’s affiliated with both the Rolling 60s and the Kerby Blocc Crips.

He’s also a private first class in the Oregon National Guard set to deploy this year with the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, according to a letter by Lt. Michael Davis, a lawyer with the Oregon Military Department.

But the Guard faces a hurdle in deploying Peters, 22: He was convicted this year of a felony in connection with a drive-by shooting last year in North Portland. And his probation forbids him to carry a weapon—even if he’s armed by the U.S. military.

In a Feb. 10 letter to Peters’ probation officer, Davis asked that Peters’ probation be modified so he can begin training in April and deploy with his unit this summer. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Marshall Amiton is expected to rule on that request later this month.

Davis’ letter says that in Iraq, Peters will be “under the supervision of the U.S. Army and subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” and that he’ll be “completely removed from negative community influences, to wit, gang members.”

But three nationally recognized experts on gangs and the military tell WW it’s a lousy idea to send people with Peters’ history into combat.

“People are under some terrible misunderstanding that the military will change gangbangers,” says Hunter Glass, a retired police detective and private consultant. “You can’t beat blueprinted behavior out.”

Davis did not reply to repeated emails and phone calls, and Peters declined to comment.

“This is a young man who is trying to improve his life,” says Peters’ attorney, Gary Bertoni. “Certainly I would disabuse anyone of the notion that he entered the Army so he could receive training and go back to the neighborhoods.”

Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson, who investigated last year’s shooting, says Peters is known to police as a Crips associate previously involved in a drive-by outside Benson High School. Court records show convictions arrests for assault, harassment, disorderly conduct, reckless driving and other misdemeanors.

“This is not a guy you want serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere,” Simpson says. “He can’t be trusted.”

On Feb. 24, 2008, Simpson says, a house on North Commercial Avenue where Peters’ infant son was staying got shot up. The next day, Simpson says, Peters and three friends went out seeking revenge.

According to Simpson, they climbed into a 2008 Chrysler Sebring with Peters behind the wheel and drove through North Portland. They began chasing a Ford Taurus, and Peters gave his gun to a friend who opened fire, Simpson says. The Taurus returned fire and was joined by a Ford Explorer also taking shots at Peters’ Chrysler, Simpson says. The three cars drove several blocks firing on each other until police arrived.

No one was injured. But Simpson says that could change if the shooters had combat training.

“The spray-and-pray stuff they’re doing as gangbangers—that’s not what they’re doing in the military,” he says. “They’re doing precision shooting and explosives.”

When the shooting occurred, Peters had already joined the Guard. A grand jury indicted him for attempted murder and other charges on July 28, 2008, and he was arrested by U.S. marshals while training at a camp near Boise, Idaho.

On Jan. 28, a judge acquitted Peters of attempted murder but found him guilty of unlawful use of a weapon. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail with credit for time served and three years of probation.

After Davis asked for changes to Peters’ probation, Peters appeared in court Feb. 26 accompanied by his mother. Bertoni asked the judge for more time to review the Guard’s request, and a hearing was set for March 11.

Along with gang members, increasing numbers of convicted felons have found their way into the military in recent years under so-called “moral waivers” when they’re recruited.

“Obviously, it’s a huge problem,” says John Hutson, president of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce Law Center and a former Navy judge advocate general.

“The military is responsible to kill people,” he says. “It is responsible for the potential of great destruction of property. So you have to ensure that those people who are involved with that kind of activity are of the highest caliber.”

FACT: The military granted 1,605 waivers for convicted felons recruited in 2006. That same year, it kicked out 612 gays and lesbians under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

http://www.wweek.com/editorial/3517/12274/

G.I. Crip – The Oregon National Guard wants to send this convicted gangbanger to Iraq.

Filed under: bloods, gangs in the military — carterfsmith @ 8:48 am


BY JAMES PITKIN

[March 4th, 2009]

More than two years ago, a well-publicized FBI report warned of gang members infiltrating the U.S. military. And while gang violence was spreading on bases, cops say returning gangsters are putting their new combat skills to deadly use in their old neighborhoods.

Now, as the military continues to suffer low recruitment approaching the sixth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, a first lieutenant in the Oregon National Guard says he wants to take a convicted gangbanger off Portland’s streets and send him into a new combat zone—Iraq.

Police describe Levell Peters—who grew up in Northeast Portland but now lives in Vancouver, Wash.—as a longtime gang associate who’s affiliated with both the Rolling 60s and the Kerby Blocc Crips.

He’s also a private first class in the Oregon National Guard set to deploy this year with the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, according to a letter by Lt. Michael Davis, a lawyer with the Oregon Military Department.

But the Guard faces a hurdle in deploying Peters, 22: He was convicted this year of a felony in connection with a drive-by shooting last year in North Portland. And his probation forbids him to carry a weapon—even if he’s armed by the U.S. military.

In a Feb. 10 letter to Peters’ probation officer, Davis asked that Peters’ probation be modified so he can begin training in April and deploy with his unit this summer. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Marshall Amiton is expected to rule on that request later this month.

Davis’ letter says that in Iraq, Peters will be “under the supervision of the U.S. Army and subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” and that he’ll be “completely removed from negative community influences, to wit, gang members.”

But three nationally recognized experts on gangs and the military tell WW it’s a lousy idea to send people with Peters’ history into combat.

“People are under some terrible misunderstanding that the military will change gangbangers,” says Hunter Glass, a retired police detective and private consultant. “You can’t beat blueprinted behavior out.”

Davis did not reply to repeated emails and phone calls, and Peters declined to comment.

“This is a young man who is trying to improve his life,” says Peters’ attorney, Gary Bertoni. “Certainly I would disabuse anyone of the notion that he entered the Army so he could receive training and go back to the neighborhoods.”

Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson, who investigated last year’s shooting, says Peters is known to police as a Crips associate previously involved in a drive-by outside Benson High School. Court records show convictions arrests for assault, harassment, disorderly conduct, reckless driving and other misdemeanors.

“This is not a guy you want serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere,” Simpson says. “He can’t be trusted.”

On Feb. 24, 2008, Simpson says, a house on North Commercial Avenue where Peters’ infant son was staying got shot up. The next day, Simpson says, Peters and three friends went out seeking revenge.

According to Simpson, they climbed into a 2008 Chrysler Sebring with Peters behind the wheel and drove through North Portland. They began chasing a Ford Taurus, and Peters gave his gun to a friend who opened fire, Simpson says. The Taurus returned fire and was joined by a Ford Explorer also taking shots at Peters’ Chrysler, Simpson says. The three cars drove several blocks firing on each other until police arrived.

No one was injured. But Simpson says that could change if the shooters had combat training.

“The spray-and-pray stuff they’re doing as gangbangers—that’s not what they’re doing in the military,” he says. “They’re doing precision shooting and explosives.”

When the shooting occurred, Peters had already joined the Guard. A grand jury indicted him for attempted murder and other charges on July 28, 2008, and he was arrested by U.S. marshals while training at a camp near Boise, Idaho.

On Jan. 28, a judge acquitted Peters of attempted murder but found him guilty of unlawful use of a weapon. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail with credit for time served and three years of probation.

After Davis asked for changes to Peters’ probation, Peters appeared in court Feb. 26 accompanied by his mother. Bertoni asked the judge for more time to review the Guard’s request, and a hearing was set for March 11.

Along with gang members, increasing numbers of convicted felons have found their way into the military in recent years under so-called “moral waivers” when they’re recruited.

“Obviously, it’s a huge problem,” says John Hutson, president of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce Law Center and a former Navy judge advocate general.

“The military is responsible to kill people,” he says. “It is responsible for the potential of great destruction of property. So you have to ensure that those people who are involved with that kind of activity are of the highest caliber.”

FACT: The military granted 1,605 waivers for convicted felons recruited in 2006. That same year, it kicked out 612 gays and lesbians under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

http://www.wweek.com/editorial/3517/12274/

G.I. Crip – The Oregon National Guard wants to send this convicted gangbanger to Iraq.

Filed under: bloods, gangs in the military — carterfsmith @ 8:48 am


BY JAMES PITKIN

[March 4th, 2009]

More than two years ago, a well-publicized FBI report warned of gang members infiltrating the U.S. military. And while gang violence was spreading on bases, cops say returning gangsters are putting their new combat skills to deadly use in their old neighborhoods.

Now, as the military continues to suffer low recruitment approaching the sixth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, a first lieutenant in the Oregon National Guard says he wants to take a convicted gangbanger off Portland’s streets and send him into a new combat zone—Iraq.

Police describe Levell Peters—who grew up in Northeast Portland but now lives in Vancouver, Wash.—as a longtime gang associate who’s affiliated with both the Rolling 60s and the Kerby Blocc Crips.

He’s also a private first class in the Oregon National Guard set to deploy this year with the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, according to a letter by Lt. Michael Davis, a lawyer with the Oregon Military Department.

But the Guard faces a hurdle in deploying Peters, 22: He was convicted this year of a felony in connection with a drive-by shooting last year in North Portland. And his probation forbids him to carry a weapon—even if he’s armed by the U.S. military.

In a Feb. 10 letter to Peters’ probation officer, Davis asked that Peters’ probation be modified so he can begin training in April and deploy with his unit this summer. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Marshall Amiton is expected to rule on that request later this month.

Davis’ letter says that in Iraq, Peters will be “under the supervision of the U.S. Army and subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” and that he’ll be “completely removed from negative community influences, to wit, gang members.”

But three nationally recognized experts on gangs and the military tell WW it’s a lousy idea to send people with Peters’ history into combat.

“People are under some terrible misunderstanding that the military will change gangbangers,” says Hunter Glass, a retired police detective and private consultant. “You can’t beat blueprinted behavior out.”

Davis did not reply to repeated emails and phone calls, and Peters declined to comment.

“This is a young man who is trying to improve his life,” says Peters’ attorney, Gary Bertoni. “Certainly I would disabuse anyone of the notion that he entered the Army so he could receive training and go back to the neighborhoods.”

Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson, who investigated last year’s shooting, says Peters is known to police as a Crips associate previously involved in a drive-by outside Benson High School. Court records show convictions arrests for assault, harassment, disorderly conduct, reckless driving and other misdemeanors.

“This is not a guy you want serving in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere,” Simpson says. “He can’t be trusted.”

On Feb. 24, 2008, Simpson says, a house on North Commercial Avenue where Peters’ infant son was staying got shot up. The next day, Simpson says, Peters and three friends went out seeking revenge.

According to Simpson, they climbed into a 2008 Chrysler Sebring with Peters behind the wheel and drove through North Portland. They began chasing a Ford Taurus, and Peters gave his gun to a friend who opened fire, Simpson says. The Taurus returned fire and was joined by a Ford Explorer also taking shots at Peters’ Chrysler, Simpson says. The three cars drove several blocks firing on each other until police arrived.

No one was injured. But Simpson says that could change if the shooters had combat training.

“The spray-and-pray stuff they’re doing as gangbangers—that’s not what they’re doing in the military,” he says. “They’re doing precision shooting and explosives.”

When the shooting occurred, Peters had already joined the Guard. A grand jury indicted him for attempted murder and other charges on July 28, 2008, and he was arrested by U.S. marshals while training at a camp near Boise, Idaho.

On Jan. 28, a judge acquitted Peters of attempted murder but found him guilty of unlawful use of a weapon. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail with credit for time served and three years of probation.

After Davis asked for changes to Peters’ probation, Peters appeared in court Feb. 26 accompanied by his mother. Bertoni asked the judge for more time to review the Guard’s request, and a hearing was set for March 11.

Along with gang members, increasing numbers of convicted felons have found their way into the military in recent years under so-called “moral waivers” when they’re recruited.

“Obviously, it’s a huge problem,” says John Hutson, president of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce Law Center and a former Navy judge advocate general.

“The military is responsible to kill people,” he says. “It is responsible for the potential of great destruction of property. So you have to ensure that those people who are involved with that kind of activity are of the highest caliber.”

FACT: The military granted 1,605 waivers for convicted felons recruited in 2006. That same year, it kicked out 612 gays and lesbians under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

http://www.wweek.com/editorial/3517/12274/

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