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108

Gang-related crimes—controlled substances act violations

There is solid evidence that gang youth are heavily engaged in the street sale of drugs and also mid-level distribution. Spergel, et al., supra. Since many gangs steal, possess, use and distribute drugs, especially cocaine, criminal penalties for possessing with intent to distribute controlled substances, and conspiracy to do so, can be used under 21 U.S.C.A. §§  841(a)(1), 846. Crack cocaine is shown to be the preference, probably due to its form and size which makes it easier to market on the street. It is also important to note the mandatory minimum and enhanced punishment ranges for those trafficking drugs near schools, playgrounds, public housing, youth centers, public swimming pools, or video arcade facilities. 21 U.S.C.A. § 860 (West Supp. 1995).