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Gang Investigators' Perceptions of Military-Trained Gang Members in the Southeastern U.S.

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This research study was designed to describe characteristics and perceptions of members of two Gang Investigators' Associations and to examine whether a relationship existed between the perceptions of …

This research study was designed to describe characteristics and perceptions of members of two Gang Investigators' Associations and to examine whether a relationship existed between the perceptions of gang investigators regarding the presence of MTGMs in their jurisdictions and the size of the gang investigators’ jurisdiction (i.e., county size, number of officers employed), the extent to which the gang investigators participate in anti-gang activities, the proximity of the gang investigators’ jurisdiction to a military installation (from survey and computed), time spent in anti-gang activities, age of investigator, and military installation size. The Military Gang Perception Questionnaire (MGPQ) (Smith, 2010), was used to address the goals of the study. A few of the questions paralleled a prior survey by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) (2007). The data and results of this study will be published and discussed elsewhere for academic and training purposes without openly identifying the source of information per an agreement between the author and the association board of directors.
Presentation for 2011 Southern Criminal Justice Association Meeting, Nashville, TN

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  • Military tactics are not the only concern that members of law enforcement have. Gang members with access to military weapons and equipment are able to escalate the threat of violence to citizens in the community and the police officers responsible for protecting them. Even soldiers with no clear ties to gangs are making military assault weapons available to street gang members. In December 2005, a National Guard soldier sold several machine guns to a gun dealer in Georgia (Kugler, 2006). The soldier smuggled foreign-made machines guns back to the U.S. He attempted to trade the machine guns to a gun dealer near Atlanta, for an all-terrain vehicle and a pistol (Kugler, 2006).
  • In December 2005, a National Guard soldier sold several machine guns to a gun dealer in Georgia (Kugler, 2006). The soldier smuggled foreign-made machines guns back to the U.S. He attempted to trade the machine guns to a gun dealer near Atlanta, for an all-terrain vehicle and a pistol (Kugler, 2006).
  • Gang members are not limited to using conventional weapons, either. In December, 2008, a former soldier in Oklahoma City, OK admitted to making multiple improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that he had tried to sell to gang members (Johnson, 2008). The former soldier made weapons like those used against his fellow soldiers in Iraq and offered them for sale to gang members and other criminals in Oklahoma City for as little as $100.00.
  • Military equipment is also available to those looking to acquire it. In January 2007, a Staff Sergeant and a Captain from the Illinois National Guard tried to sell stolen military-grade body armor, night-vision equipment, Tasers and other military gear and selling it for $37,000 (Mercer, 2007). They were selling the military equipment on the Southside of Chicago, a place well known for the presence of street gangs. During the transaction, one of the soldiers agreed that street gang members would benefit from the use of the equipment (Mercer, 2007).
  • The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of gang investigators regarding the presence of MTGMs in their jurisdictions. The first dependent variable was created by summing the ratings from seven Likert scale questions rated on 5-point scales from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree) assessing a military presence in gangs in the participants’ jurisdictions. The second dependent variable was the respondent’s estimate of the percentage of gang members in their jurisdiction that had military training. The central independent variables in the study were the size of the gang investigator’s jurisdiction, the extent to which gang investigators participated in anti-gang activities, and the proximity of the gang investigator’s jurisdiction to a military installation. The Military Gang Perception Questionnaire, a survey instrument developed by the researcher, was used to obtain the data.Participants were 260 active members of the Tennessee Gang Investigators Association with valid e-mail addresses. The results of the present study may provide tangible evidence necessary to ascertain the level of perception that gang investigators have of the presence of MTGMsin their communities. Ultimately, the goal was to assist law enforcement agencies with developing training to increase awareness and safety when they encounter MTGMs.Next slide
  • There were 7 Research Questions.To what extent is there a statistically significant relationship between gang investigators’ perceptions of the presence of MTGMs in their jurisdictions and Q1.the size of their jurisdictions? Q2 the gang investigators’ level of participation in anti-gang activities?Q3.the proximity of the gang investigators’ jurisdiction to a military installation?Q4.anti-gang experience?Q5.age?Q6.race?andQ7.military experience?Next slide please
  • The literature review includes: traditional street gangs, differences between juvenile and adult street gang members, advanced organized crime groups, MTGMs, conflicting loyalties, and methods used to restrict non-criminal gang activity. The first three sections provide the background needed to conceptualize the dangers of MTGMs in communities, while the fourth section provides an explanation and rationale for viewing the phenomenon as a critical issue. The fifth section of the literature review was necessary to understanding the logic that allows individuals to have active membership in two demanding organizations simultaneously. The sixth provides a framework for understanding the situations in which police officers are most likely to encounter gang members, as they use methods to restrict non-criminal gang activity.Members of traditional street gangs represent major variations in age, ethnicity, criminal pattern, and duration of allegiance to the gang (Klein, 1995; Thrasher, 1927). Scholars and other researchers have recently begun to address the differences between juvenile and adult members of street gangs. As the presence of gangs was traditionally thought to be a youth-oriented problem, many gang scholars considered street gang members to be comprised primarily of youth. The aging of the youth gang population brought increasing concerns. Next slide
  • The authors of the 2006 CID Gang Threat Assessment reported a significant increase in gang-related investigations and incidents in 2006. The most common gang-related crimes involved drug trafficking, with 31% of the gang-related felony offenses reported for the year (CID, 2006).Members of nearly every major street gang have been documented on military installations both domestically and internationally (NGIC, 2007). Gang members were present in most branches and across all ranks of the military, but were most common among the junior enlisted ranks. The Army, Army Reserves, and Army National Guard were most likely to have gang members (NGIC). Gang members serving in the military have committed murder, racketeering, drug distribution, and other serious crimes (NGIC). Authors of the CID Gang Threat Assessment (2009a) proposed the following standards for threshold evaluation: If 5% or less of the felony crime investigated was gang-related then the threat was low. If 6-10% of the felony crime was gang-related then the threat was medium. And if 11% or more of the felony crime was gang-related then the threat was high. Conflicting loyalties like those faced by gang members in the military was explained by the theories of differential identification (Glaser, 1956) and organizational commitment (Mowday et al., 1982). Methods used to restrict non-criminal gang activity, often referred to as anti-gang activities include formal anti-gang teams, sections, and task forces (NAGIA, 2005), injunctions (Grogger, 2005) and restrictive ordinances (Strosnider, 2002). Next slide
  • Data were sought from the population of 260 members of the association. The final sample consisted of 119 participants who answered all or almost all of the questions on the survey. The majority of participants worked at the local level of government (67.3%), with the second most employed by State government (19.1%). The majority were Police (61.5%), followed by Corrections (21.4%). The majority did not have a working relationship with military investigators (62.1%). Most were Caucasian (78.6%), followed by African-American (12.0%). A minority had served in the military (35.9%). The majority worked for city or town police agencies (33.9%).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 these gang members and the Bloods, Crips, and Gangster Disciples were the gangs most represented. Of particular note was the apparent conflict between respondents’ agreement that gang members in their jurisdiction used military-type tactics (to which 1 in 5 agreed) and the percentage reporting agreement that gang members in their jurisdictions committed home invasions and bank robberies (to which 4 of 5 agreed). A majority (83.1%) agreed that MTGMs posed more danger to police and most (93.1) agreed that active gang members should not be allowed to join the military.Next slide
  • *Items that were summed to form the MTGM presence sum score.
  • *Items that were summed to form the MTGM presence sum score.
  • Alternate hypothesis 1, that there is a statistically significant positive relationship between gang investigators’ perceptions of the presence of MTGMs in their jurisdictions and the size of their jurisdictions, was accepted. There was a statistically significant positive relationship when MTGM presence was measured as a percentage.Null hypothesis 2 was accepted regarding participation in anti-gang activities. Next slide please
  • Null hypothesis 5 regarding age was accepted .Null hypothesis 6 regarding race was accepted . And null hypothesis 7 regarding military experience was accepted.Please turn to the next slide
  • Ex-Marines allegedly sold assault rifles to L.A. gang membersThe suspects allegedly sold $6,000 worth of weapons, including AK-47s. It is illegal to possess an AK-47 without U.S. government permits. More arrests may be made, authorities say.November 10, 2010|By Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles TimesThree former U.S. Marines and two others were arrested on suspicion of selling illegal assault weapons to Los Angeles gang members, federal officials announced Tuesday.The arrests capped a yearlong investigation into an elaborate scheme to transfer heavy weapons, including AK-47s, to San Fernando Valley-based gang members. Earlier this month, officials from several law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, raided the San Clemente home of former Marine Adam Andrew Gitschlag, 28. He was arrested, and authorities confiscated boxes of automatic weapons and rifles.Authorities allege that on June 23 the suspects sold $6,000 worth of weapons to a person they thought was connected to the street gang. The sale took place at an L.A.-area post office parking lot, where one of the suspects worked. One of those involved in the sale was a law-enforcement informant.The five men are charged with five counts each of having unlawful assault weapons, including four AK-47s and an AR-15 assault rifle.Officials have not said where the Marines had been based or how many weapons they allegedly sold. They said the investigation is continuing and that more arrests may be made."We are pleased with the outcome of this case," said John A. Torres, special agent in charge of the ATF's Los Angeles field division, in a statement. "These arrests show that there are people still illegally trafficking in firearms to gang members for profit. ATF will continue with our mission in keeping the public safe by investigating all firearm-related violent crimes and arresting those that place the public in danger."In addition to Gitschlag, officials on Monday arrested two other ex-Marines, Jose Smith Pacheco, 31, of Montebello and Miguel A. Ortiz, 49, of Northridge. Two other suspects were also arrested: Edwin Cano, 33, of Northridge and Christopher John Thomas, 32, of Van Nuys. Cano faces two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon. Prosecutors say Thomas, Ortiz and Pacheco have pleaded not guilty. Gitschlag and Cano are expected to be arraigned at a later date.If convicted, each defendant could get up to 20 years in state prison.The arrests come a week after a Navy SEAL from Coronado and two other men were charged with selling prohibited firearms, including AK-47 assault rifles from Iraq and Afghanistan, to undercover federal agents.The three suspects allegedly sold 18 AK-47s and 14 other firearms to undercover ATF agents. The Russian-designed AK-47 can fetch a high price on the illicit market, officials said. The weapons were smuggled into the U.S. from Iraq and Afghanistan by U.S. military personnel, according to federal documents.It is illegal to possess an AK-47 without a permit from the U.S. government. It is also illegal to engage in firearms dealing without a license.In the case of the Marines, it's unclear exactly how the suspects obtained the cache of firearms. A photo taken by the San Clemente Times on Nov. 2, when officials served search warrants at Gitschlag's home, shows ATF officials hauling out loads of weapons and placing them in boxes.Most of the defendants could not be reached for comment. In an interview with the Associated Press, Gitschlag denied any wrongdoing and said the weapons were part of his private collection."I did not sell any gang members any weapons," he said. "I love my country with all my heart. I would never expect my government to do this."andrew.blankstein@latimes.com
  • EL PASO, Texas (AP) - A Fort Bliss soldier and two other men have been charged in the shooting death of a mid-level Mexican drug cartel member who was also a U.S. informant.El Paso, Texas, police said Tuesday that the soldier, 18-year-old Michael Jackson Apodaca, 30-year-old Ruben Rodriguez Dorado and 17-year-old Christopher Duran have been charged with capital murder in the May 15 slaying of Jose Daniel Gonzalez Galeana.Gonzalez, a lieutenant in the Juarez cartel who multiple government officials told The Associated Press was a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement informant, was shot eight times outside his El Paso home.Police say the military handed over Apodaca to them on Monday, when the other two men were also arrested.A Fort Bliss spokeswoman did not immediately respond to phone messages seeking comment.
  • http://www.heraldextra.com/news/world/article_43bd6ff2-c05f-5b05-9859-e0ff404e65ff.html/ Utah News From The Daily Herald Newspaper / Utah And World News - The Daily Herald / World NewsMass graves in Mexico reveal new levels of savagery StoryDiscussionMass graves in Mexico reveal new levels of savageryNick Miroff and William Booth - The Washington Post Daily Herald | Posted: Monday, April 25, 2011 12:04 am SAN FERNANDO, Mexico -- At the largest mass grave site ever found in Mexico, where 177 bodies have been pulled from deep pits, authorities have recovered few bullet casings and little evidence that the dead were killed with a gun.Instead, most died of blunt force trauma to the head, and a sledge hammer found at the crime scene is believed to have been used in the executions, according to Mexican investigators and state officials.As many as 122 of the victims were passengers dragged off buses at drug cartel roadblocks on the major highway to the United States.The sadistic murders of hundreds of civilians at isolated ranches 90 minutes south of the Texas border mark a new level of barbarity in Mexico's four-year U.S.-backed drug war.As forensic teams and Mexican marines dig through deeper and darker layers here, the buried secrets in San Fernando are challenging President Felipe Calderon's claims that his government is winning and in control of its cities and roads.More than 35,000 people have been killed, and thousands more have simply disappeared, since Calderon sent the military to battle Mexican organized crime with $1.6 billion in U.S. support. U.S. officials in Mexico worry that criminal gangs are taking over sections of the vital border region not by overwhelming firepower but sheer terror.On Thursday, cartel gunmen sacked the city of Miguel Aleman, across the river from Roma, Texas, tossing grenades and burning down three car dealerships, an auto parts outlet, furniture store and gas station. Three buses were strafed with gunfire Saturday in separate attacks, wounding three.The U.S. State Department issued new warnings Friday advising Americans to defer non-essential travel to the entire border state of Tamaulipas and large swaths of Mexico due to the threat of armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and murder by organized crime.In the red dirt tombs of San Fernando, almost all of the bodies were stripped of identification, meaning no licenses, bus ticket stubs, or photographs of loved ones, according to interviews with local and state officials, making the job of notifying next of kin especially difficult.Forensic photographs shown to The Washington Post depict mummified bodies caked in dirt and badly decomposed, with signs of extreme cranial trauma. In the largest two graves, holding 43 and 45 bodies, the corpses were piled atop one another in a 10-foot-deep pit dug by a backhoe, that criminals filled over the last four months.Officials in Tamaulipas say they have found 34 grave sites scattered in a wide arc around this farming town of 60,000, where Mexican marines last week established a military camp for ground and helicopter patrols.Evidence suggests the dead include Mexicans and Central American migrants traveling to the United States to work. Only a few of the exhumed bodies have been identified, including a local car salesman, a federal social worker and a Guatemalan immigrant.Authorities have arrested 76 suspects, including local Zeta boss Martin "El Kilo" Estrada, a husky, menacing figure covered in tattoos who authorities paraded before TV cameras and charged as the mastermind of the homicides.Motives for the mass killings remain a matter of speculation. "Perhaps we are seeing in the graves the results of several different confrontations and crimes committed over many months," said Morelos Canseco Gomez, the lieutenant governor of Tamaulipas.Canseco said authorities are still looking for an entire bus loaded with passengers that vanished on the border in March.At least nine graves scattered around San Fernando contained only a single corpse, and some of the burial sites might hold not kidnap victims but fallen cartel comrades killed in shootouts with rivals, Canseco said.The families of passengers taken off buses here did not receive ransom demands, investigators say, and so the victims appear not to have been killed for large sums of money, only what they might have had in their wallets and purses. The savage method of execution is also unexplained, with shuddering investigators left guessing at the deranged mental state of the killers.Officials say it is possible some victims were snatched to serve as forced recruits for the Zetas crime organization, according to five bus passengers abducted but later rescued.San Fernando is the same place where 72 migrants from Central and South America were kidnapped and shot to death last August, bringing condemnation from the United Nations and new focus on the perils faced by travelers crossing Mexico en route to the U.S. border.After the massacre, Calderon sent the Mexican military to retake the town, vowing to "protect migrants and Mexican families." But as attention on San Fernando faded, federal forces withdrew, and locals say the crime gangs quickly muscled their way back in."People began to disappear," said Ramon Ruiz, an apprentice priest in San Fernando. "First it was people with money, then it was anyone. They kidnapped a local farmer's son and demanded $10,000, and when he gave them $5,000 -- everything he had -- they sent him half of his son."The criminals commandeered nearby ranches, murdering the owners or driving them off, then converted barns and sheds into holding pens and execution chambers.Silence choked the town until late last month, when state authorities received calls that large groups of bus travelers were kidnapped along the Highway 101 on March 24 and 29. Soldiers followed a tip down a maze of dirt roads out to a ranch miles off the main highway, where they freed five kidnapping victims and captured nine Zeta cell members, after killing four gunmen who were standing guard.The suspects talked. Mexican authorities began to dig.Most of the bodies recovered from San Fernando were taken to the morgue in Matamoros, across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas. Families of the missing there have taped photocopied fliers of their loved ones to the walls of state forensic offices there, and more than 400 people have arrived to provide DNA samples."MISSING," the fliers read: Eli Octavio Juarez, 17, last seen March 20 in a 1995 Ford Explorer with tinted windows. Or Emmanuel Alejandro Zuniga, missing March 9, en route to Ciudad Victoria, "call his mama."Raul Lopez Zunun, a 70-year-old farmer, traveled 1,100 miles by bus from his home in southern Mexico to the forensic lab in Matamoros, clutching a photocopied picture of his son Israel Lopez. He went missing in the area in late March while en route to a job in Ohio."We're looking for him in all the hospitals here," said Lopez, who grows corn and coffee on a small farm in Chiapas. "I told him not to go."On Thursday, Mexican authorities arrested the police chief in San Fernando, and 16 of the department's 25 officers are now in custody, suspected of working for the Zetas to help the gang kidnap, kill and bury their victims.Marines now patrol the streets of San Fernando, brandishing grenade launchers and heavy machine guns, but local authorities will not venture out to surrounding villages without a military escort.In an interview, San Fernando Mayor Tomas Gloria Requena said it wasn't true that his town was especially corrupt, or evil."San Fernando is Mexico," he said. "It's just like anywhere else."Copyright 2011 Daily Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • For government leaders, I recommended compliance with the 2008 Public Law directing the prohibition of active participation in criminal street gangs.The federal government and all branches of the military should adopt a uniform definition of gangs to complement the legal definitions of their activity. Policy makers should consider identifying gangs as Security Threat Groups (STGs),and the effort to consistently evaluate the gang problem should extend beyond the Army to the Army National Guard, Reserve, and all other branches.For military commanders, I recommended acknowledgement of the increase in gang-related crime affecting the military without attempting to quantify the threat level. I recommended cumulative tracking and analysis, and an all-hands approach to identifying gang members in the military. I recommended continuous examination of the activities of all suspected military gang members to determine active gang affiliation for retention purposes while evaluating any gang affiliation for security clearances. For law enforcement. I recommended that Military Law Enforcement liaison for recruiters develop effective communication with local, state, and federal agencies. I recommended that gang activity threat assessments distinguish between youth and adult gang activity, and that efforts that succeed at lowering levels of gang activity be identified and shared. Finally, for future research. I recommended an extended longitudinal examination of the effect of MTGMs on the community , including other state and national levels, with more of a focus on size of jurisdiction and proximity to a military installation. Also, research should be conducted service wide for the Army and other branches to determine the perceptions regarding the presence of gang members in military service. Next slide
  • 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. I conducted a study 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. 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 (f2 = 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.
  • 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. I conducted a study 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. 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 (f2 = 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.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Gang Investigators' Perceptionsof Military-Trained GangMembers in the Southeastern U.S.
      Southern Criminal Justice Association 2011
      Carter F. Smith
      (615) 656-3505
      smithcf@apsu.edu
    • 2. The Problem
      1 Million gang members in U.S.
      80% of all crimes committed by gang members.
      Progressive increase in adult gang members since 1996 (then 50-50).
    • 3. It’s important because
      All gang members in the military return to civilian communities . . . eventually.
      Crimes by MTGMs up yearly since 2002.
      MTGMs teach tactics to local gang members.
      MTGMs commit murder, racketeering, drug distribution.
      3
    • 4.
    • 5. Military Weapons
      Gang members with military weapons escalate threat.
      Even soldiers with no clear ties to gangs make military weapons available to street gang members.
    • 6. Military Weapons
      December 2005, National Guard soldier sold several foreign-made machine guns to gun dealer in Georgia.
    • 7. Unconventional Weapons
      December 2008, former soldier in Oklahoma City, OK tried to sell IEDs to gang members for $100.00
    • 8. Military Equipment
      January 2007: SSG and CPT from Illinois National Guard tried to sell body armor, night-vision equipment, and Tasers thinking Chicago street gangs would use the equipment.
    • 9. Suspected Gang-Related Investigations/Incidents
    • 10. Ft. Meade, MD (CID, 2009): Armed robbery at Burger King on post. Suspect family member linked to a local Bloods affiliate.
      10
    • 11. Ft. Stewart, GA (CID, 2009): Soldier robbed at gunpoint in barracks room by 3 males wearing ski masks.
      Numerous Folk tattoos and gang paraphernalia in room.
      11
    • 12. Ft. Wainwright, AK (CID, 2009): Soldier (Bloods) stabbed another off-post after victim stated no real gangs in Fairbanks.
    • 13. Perceptions of gang investigators regarding presence of MTGMs.
      Military Gang Perception Questionnaire
      Active members of GIAs.
      Level of perception of MTGMs.
      13
      Survey
    • 14. Research Questions
      1. Size of jurisdiction
      2. Participation in anti-gang activities
      3. Proximity of gang investigators’ jurisdiction to a military installation
      4. Anti-gang experience
      5. Age
      6. Race
      7. Military experience
      14
    • 15. 15
      Literature
    • 16. Literature Review
      traditional street gangs
      differences between juvenile and adult
      advanced organized crime groups
      MTGMs
      conflicting loyalties
      methods used to restrict non-criminal activity
      16
    • 17. Literature Review
      Most MTGM investigations involve drug trafficking.
      Gang members in all military ranks.
      Murder, racketeering, and drug distribution.
      Conflicting loyalties explained by differential identification (Glaser, 1956) and organizational commitment (Mowday et al., 1982).
      Restrict with formal anti-gang teams, sections, and task forces (NAGIA, 2005), injunctions (Grogger, 2005) and restrictive ordinances (Strosnider, 2002).
      17
    • 18. Research & Findings
      18
    • 19. Respondents
      Majority local police
      Majority no working relationship with military investigators
      Most Caucasian
      Minority served in military
      19
    • 20. Relevant responses (MTGM presence)
      20
    • 21. Relevant responses (MTGM presence)
      21
    • 22. 22
    • 23. 23
    • 24. Spearman Correlations between Military Gang Percent Score and Other Variables for A & B
      *p < .05.
    • 25. Relationship between gang investigators’ perceptions of the presence of MTGMs in their jurisdictions and
      1. Size of jurisdictions? Yes
      2. Anti-gang activities? No
      3. Proximity to military installation? Yes
      4. Anti-gang experience? No
      25
    • 26. No relationship with age
      No difference by race
      No difference with military experience
      26
    • 27. How Big a deal is it?
    • 28. Kaiserslautern, GE GDs 2005
      Death of Juwan L. Johnson in 2005
      Eight service members are suspects.
      Investigators conclude that Johnson was beaten to death during a “jumping in” gang initiation ceremony.
      linked tosuspected Gangster Disciples
    • 29. “I just don’t picture my son joining a gang” . . . “Does it make any sense that he would join a gang in Germany just weeks before he’s going to leave?”
    • 30. 30
    • 31. 31
    • 32.
    • 33. How Big a deal is it?
      The History of Gangs in the Military . . .
      Jan 2008
    • 34. How Big a deal is it?
      Gang members trained for these roles
      Medical
      Intelligence and Electronic Warfare
      Psychological Operations
      Finance
      Chemical Munitions
      Explosive Ordnance
      Recruiter
      Infantry
      Telecommunications
      Paralegal
      Military Police
      Intelligence Analyst
      Transportation
      Logistics
      Communications
    • 35. How Big a deal is it?
      Gang members trained to use
      Weapons
      Ammunition
      Grenades
      Night Vision Goggles
      Ballistic Vests
      M4A1 Carbine
      Police: Same Man Robs 2 So. Fla. Burger Kings With AK-47
    • 36. In Mosul, a Battle 'Beyond Ruthless'
      Three cars stopped on the other side of the road. A man carrying a machine gun got out.
      "Take him down," Ruiz told a sniper . . . the man's head exploded.
      Ruiz said it reminds him of his youth as a member of the Coney Island Cobras, a Brooklyn street gang.
      He applies many of the principles he learned in the neighborhoods where he grew up.
      Acting swiftly, "sends a message to the enemy that we're not playing games. If you engage us, you are going to die.
      Onetime Gang Member Applies Rules of Street
    • 37. How big a deal?Let’s look elsewhere, in a land (not so) far, far away . . .
      37
    • 38. April 2011: U.S. State Department issued warnings advising Americans to defer non-essential travel to large swaths of Mexico due to the threat of armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and murder by the Zetas.
      38
    • 39. And if that’s not bad enough . . .
      39
    • 40. 40
    • 41. Recommendations
      41
    • 42. Recommendations
      Recommendations for government leaders
      Compliance with Congressional instruction, uniform definition, identify as STG
      Recommendations for military commanders
      Acknowledge and address increase, tracking and analysis, all-hands approach, evaluate for retention and security classification
      Recommendations for law enforcement
      Use law enforcement to coordinate with recruiting, distinguish between youth and adult gang activity, share successes
      Recommendations for future research
      Conduct extended longitudinal examination, broaden population while narrowing focus
      42
    • 43. For government leaders
      Compliance with 2008 Public Law directing prohibition of active participation in criminal street gangs.
      Federal government and all branches of military adopt uniform definition of gangs to complement the legal definitions of their activity.
      Policy makers should consider identifying gangs as Security Threat Groups (STGs),
      The effort to consistently evaluate the gang problem should extend beyond the Army to the Army National Guard, Reserve, and all other branches.
      43
    • 44. For military commanders
      Acknowledge increase in gang-related crime affecting the military without attempting to quantify the threat level.
      Cumulative tracking and analysis, and all-hands approach to identifying gang members.
      Continuous examination of activities of all suspected military gang members to determine active gang affiliation for retention purposes while evaluating any gang affiliation for security clearances.
      44
    • 45. For law enforcement
      Military Law Enforcement liaison for recruiters
      effective communication with local, state, and federal agencies.
      Gang activity threat assessments distinguish between youth and adult gang activity
      Efforts that succeed at lowering levels of gang activity identified and shared.
      45
    • 46. Future research
      Extended longitudinal examination of effect of MTGMs on the community, including other state and national, with more focus on size of jurisdiction and proximity to military installation.
      Research service-wide for Army and other branches to determine perceptions regarding presence of gang members in military service.
      46
    • 47. Many felt anti-gang prohibitions would limit activity of MTGMs.
      Mean (average) of 11% of their gang members were MTGMs.
      Army, including (NG & AR) largest source MTGMs
      Bloods, Crips, and Gangster Disciples most represented
      47
    • 48. + Correlation MTGM presence - jurisdiction size & distance from military installation.
      Recommendations included
      Cumulative tracking and analysis of gang threats
      When decrease in activity, solutions should be identified.
      Identify and examine all suspected military gang members
      Identify gangs and related groups as STGs
      48
    • 49. Gangs and the Military
      Carter F. Smith, JD, PhD
      U.S. Army CID (Retired)
      carterfsmith@gmail.com
      615-656-3505
      http://www.gangsinthemilitary.com