Street Gangs are located throughout the United States, and their memberships vary in number, racial and ethnic composition, and structure. Large national street gangs pose the greatest threat because they smuggle, produce, transport, and distribute large quantities of illicit drugs throughout the country and are extremely violent. Local street gangs in rural, suburban and urban areas pose a steadily increasing threat, transporting and distributing drugs within specific areas. The local street gangs often imitate the larger, more powerful national gangs in order to gain respect from their rivals.
Street Gangs will continue to pose a serious domestic threat to many communities throughout the United States. In the long term it is highly probable that United States based street gangs will increase their role in trafficking drugs, particularly involving the smuggling of drugs into the United States from international sources of supply. Furthermore, it is highly probable that several United States based street gangs will increase their relationships with international criminal organizations and drug-trafficking organizations (DTOs) as a means of obtaining access to the global illicit drug market. The following are some of the more prominent criminal street gangs currently operating in the United States.