Gangfighters Weblog

May 13, 2010

Gangs in the Military

Filed under: adult gang, gang, gangs in the military, home invasion, youth gang — carterfsmith @ 8:53 am

Gangs in the Military

Posted: wnRenderDate(‘Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:35 AM EST’, ”, true); May 13, 2010 1:35 AM CDT Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:35 AM EST

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By Norma Yuriar

Tulare County, Calif. (KMPH News) — Honor, respect and duty to country – three reasons why many valley soldiers are proud to serve, but some recruits are using war tactics they learn in the combat zone on their enemies here in the central valley. One local soldier speaks to KMPH News about his experience and the day he came face to face with a rival gang member in military base in Germany.

“My rank is Staff Sergeant, active Army — Walter Huerta,” before Staff Sgt. Huerta was representing red, white and blue he was claiming, a different shade — the color of a notorious gang in Tulare County.

“My teenage life was basically all gang banging.”

The 26–year old grew up in Orosi and spent most of his teenage years on probation, expelled from school for fighting, busted for selling drugs and left his mark all over town as a member of the Norteno Criminal Street Gang.

“It finally came down to the point where – at the time my girlfriend was pregnant – and I ended up over–dosing on Meth. I was rushed to the hospital; it was a wake up call. It took a near death experience for me to make a grown–up decision to join the military and get out of here and so that’s what I did,” Huerta said.

For the first time in 17–years, Huerta says he felt like he was heading on the right path.

“When I finally finished basic training, I got to my unit in Germany,” but even overseas, his former life was staring right back.

“I get there and he looks at me up and down and he tells me, where are you from?”

The young soldier (seventeen at the time) was placed in the same platoon as a rival gang member.

“He told me – hey, I don’t like you. I said you can like me or not, but I’m going to be with you for the next three years of our life,” Huerta said. “The next thing I know is we are outside and we are fighting, two American soldiers in Germany and we fighting each other.”

Although, Huerta was ready to make changes for the better – others gang members were not. Like in the case of 19–year old Andres Raya, an active–duty Marine and suspected gang member. Investigators say Raya used “military–style shooting” to kill a police officer near Modesto in 2005.

Sgt. Howard Stevenson, a 23–year veteran of the Ceres Police Department didn’t have a chance.

“In this case, this guy was a killer hiding in a United States Marine Corps Uniform,” Retired Ceres Police Officer Sam Ryno said.

Raya was cornered and killed in a firefight with officers. Because of this incident – five years ago — law enforcement agencies across the valley are training their officers to respond to a new kind of threat; gangster with military expertise.

“Our swat teams consistently have ongoing training in urban warfare, mountainous warfare and tactical training in situations just like that – the disadvantage to law enforcement is that they are becoming familiar with defensible tactics that we would use when confronted with a threatening situation,” Tulare County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Mike Boudreaux said.

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department is beefing up efforts to combat growing gang violence. Capt. Boudreaux says deputies are seeing more modified weapons on the streets “…only those that are familiar with how to dismantle or rearrange the weaponry are those that are coming out of the military with that type of training.”

Sgt. Huerta says soldiers don’t hide their gang affiliation when they’re overseas or even on base.

“I saw a little youngster one time, I could tell he just got out of basic training and he had a blue rag hanging out of his pocket and we are on military post. I said do you really need to go out with that blue rag hanging out of your pocket? You understand you’re in the military now, you joined the military to get out of that.”

US Army Recruiter Staff Sgt. Jarrell Smith says standards to enlist are getting stricter.

“We don’t what that in the United States Army either and so we try to weed them out the best we can to prevent those guys from getting into the US Army and corrupting our organization,” Smith said.

Anyone with a “gang” or “hatred” tattoo can not join and felony charges are also out of the question. But, there are cracks in every system.

“There really isn’t a way to keep them out,” Smith said. “If they have markings, like tattoos that’s how we can tell and we do a background check, there is always some way for us to tell if you have some sort of affiliation.”

As for Staff Sgt. Huerta — he and that rival gang member in the same platoon, they are now best friends spreading the same message.

“I would say the Army definitely saved my life because the path that I was on, it was going no where and it was going no where fast.”

Huerta’s big brother Joshua, a Gang Counselor in Tulare County agrees.

“Yes, definitely that’s what happened, once he got opportunity. He was already born into it. He was a soldier from birth. He’s allowing the people of California to gang bang because he’s fighting for your freedom, there’s a real enemy out there – the people that are trying to destroy the US.”

Staff Sgt. Huerta says he wants to become a gang officer when he retires from the U.S. Army in three years.

REPORTER CAN BE REACHED AT NYURIAR@KMPH.COM OR (559) 453–8850.

http://www.kmph.com/Global/story.asp?S=12473891

March 20, 2008

Truck with "extras" seized . . . Military vs. Gang + Police

Filed under: army, corrupt, drugs, gangs in the military, home invasion, mexican, mexico, military, murder, police — carterfsmith @ 9:56 am
“MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican soldiers battling a violent drug gang and corrupt local police confiscated a sport utility vehicle decked out with extras worthy of a James Bond movie.

Cartel members rammed their SUV into a military truck patrolling in the state of Tamaulipas and threw a hand grenade before making their escape with the help of local police, the army said in a statement late Tuesday.

Following a shootout with the gang, soldiers said they arrested four municipal police and confiscated an armored Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with a smoke machine and spike sprayer meant to deter pursuers.”

. . . from Truck with extras confiscated from gang International Reuters

OK, so the Mexican government recognizes the problem . . . military-style equipment in the hands of gang members . . . who rammed their SUV into a military truck patrolling in the state of Tamaulipas and threw a hand grenade before making their escape with the help of local police.

I think it’s time U.S. law enforcement sees this in the “not if, but when” category. Our military gang bangers commit murder, armed robbery, and home invasion, in addition to the drug trafficking, of course. If we don’t recruit them, and proactively regulate those who are in, we may avoid what our neighbors to the south have not . . .

Let’s start playing like it’s not a game . . .

Truck with "extras" seized . . . Military vs. Gang + Police

Filed under: army, corrupt, drugs, gangs in the military, home invasion, mexican, mexico, military, murder, police — carterfsmith @ 9:56 am
“MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican soldiers battling a violent drug gang and corrupt local police confiscated a sport utility vehicle decked out with extras worthy of a James Bond movie.

Cartel members rammed their SUV into a military truck patrolling in the state of Tamaulipas and threw a hand grenade before making their escape with the help of local police, the army said in a statement late Tuesday.

Following a shootout with the gang, soldiers said they arrested four municipal police and confiscated an armored Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with a smoke machine and spike sprayer meant to deter pursuers.”

. . . from Truck with extras confiscated from gang International Reuters

OK, so the Mexican government recognizes the problem . . . military-style equipment in the hands of gang members . . . who rammed their SUV into a military truck patrolling in the state of Tamaulipas and threw a hand grenade before making their escape with the help of local police.

I think it’s time U.S. law enforcement sees this in the “not if, but when” category. Our military gang bangers commit murder, armed robbery, and home invasion, in addition to the drug trafficking, of course. If we don’t recruit them, and proactively regulate those who are in, we may avoid what our neighbors to the south have not . . .

Let’s start playing like it’s not a game . . .

Truck with "extras" seized . . . Military vs. Gang + Police

Filed under: army, corrupt, drugs, gangs in the military, home invasion, mexican, mexico, military, murder, police — carterfsmith @ 9:56 am
“MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican soldiers battling a violent drug gang and corrupt local police confiscated a sport utility vehicle decked out with extras worthy of a James Bond movie.

Cartel members rammed their SUV into a military truck patrolling in the state of Tamaulipas and threw a hand grenade before making their escape with the help of local police, the army said in a statement late Tuesday.

Following a shootout with the gang, soldiers said they arrested four municipal police and confiscated an armored Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with a smoke machine and spike sprayer meant to deter pursuers.”

. . . from Truck with extras confiscated from gang International Reuters

OK, so the Mexican government recognizes the problem . . . military-style equipment in the hands of gang members . . . who rammed their SUV into a military truck patrolling in the state of Tamaulipas and threw a hand grenade before making their escape with the help of local police.

I think it’s time U.S. law enforcement sees this in the “not if, but when” category. Our military gang bangers commit murder, armed robbery, and home invasion, in addition to the drug trafficking, of course. If we don’t recruit them, and proactively regulate those who are in, we may avoid what our neighbors to the south have not . . .

Let’s start playing like it’s not a game . . .

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