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National Drug Intelligence Center
Attorney General's Report to Congress on the Growth of Violent Street Gangs in Suburban Areas
April 2008

Cross-Border Criminal Activities

Gang members increasingly conduct criminal activity across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders. Gangs smuggle drugs, firearms, and aliens across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders. The NDTS revealed that most gang-related criminal activity along the U.S.-Mexico Border occurs in South Texas and California (see Appendix E, Map 11). Several regional- and national-level gangs operate in the Del Rio/Eagle Pass, Laredo, and Lower Rio Grande Valley areas of South Texas. Street and prison gangs such as Mexikanemi (Texas Mexican Mafia), Tri-City Bombers, Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos, and Texas Syndicate transport and distribute illicit drugs throughout the South Texas area. Some of these gangs reportedly have established associate gangs or chapters in border cities in Mexico. A number of gangs also operate in San Diego and Los Angeles. Street and prison gangs such as Sureņos 13, 18th Street, and Mexican Mafia (La Eme) maintain significant influence over most of the local suburban and rural gangs in these areas. They work very closely with Mexican DTOs located in Tijuana, Mexico, to smuggle drugs and illegal aliens into the United States.

Gangs pose a growing problem to law enforcement along the U.S.-Canada border, particularly the border areas in the New England and Pacific Northwest regions of the country. Several regional- and national-level gangs, including Asian Boyz, Hells Angels, and Outlaws, smuggle large quantities of illicit drugs across the U.S.-Canada border in New England; they often conduct their smuggling operations in association with members of transnational criminal and drug trafficking organizations. According to law enforcement officials in the Pacific Northwest, several regional-and national-level gangs, particularly Hells Angels, engage in cross-border criminal activity in their jurisdictions. The Hells Angels OMG operates chapters in several Canadian and U.S. cities. These chapters maintain communications with each other, often coordinating cross-border criminal activities such as drug trafficking and money laundering.

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Cross-Jurisdictional Connections

National- and regional-level gangs pose a multi-jurisdictional threat because various chapters and sets of specific gangs typically maintain cross-jurisdictional connections. National- and regional-level gangs, which have chapters or sets in multiple states and usually in multiple cities within a state (see Appendices B and C), pose a multi-jurisdictional threat as the chapters and sets frequently coordinate and conduct criminal activity in concert with one another. Gang members in various jurisdictions often maintain strong ties with each other through friendships or family relationships. Gangs not only maintain connections with other chapters or sets within their own gang, but sometimes also maintain connections with other gangs. For example, Florencia 13, which operates in at least five states, is subordinate to the Mexican Mafia (La Eme) prison gang and claims Sureņos 13 affiliation.

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Emerging Trends

End Note

10. Internet telephony enables telephone calls to be placed over the Internet.

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