Gangfighters Weblog

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/

February 24, 2008

Gangland : Basic Training 1-5

Filed under: air force, army, coast guard, gangs, gangs in the military, marines, military, navy — carterfsmith @ 3:31 pm

For showtimes, see the History Channel.

What do you think?

Gangland : Basic Training 1-5

Filed under: air force, army, coast guard, gangs, gangs in the military, marines, military, navy — carterfsmith @ 3:31 pm

For showtimes, see the History Channel.

What do you think?

Gangland : Basic Training 1-5

Filed under: air force, army, coast guard, gangs, gangs in the military, marines, military, navy — carterfsmith @ 3:31 pm

For showtimes, see the History Channel.

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=6757646033259878198&hl=en&fs=true

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-407771464995380361&hl=en&fs=true

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=4621166571347230726&hl=en&fs=true

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=2229402965362058081&hl=en&fs=true

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=6909408407480789772&hl=en&fs=true

What do you think?

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