FBI on Los Angeles Gangs

On their official website, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has a multi-part story on Los Angeles gangs. A few days ago, they posted their fifth part that touches on how law enforcement agencies are evolving with the gangs.

The Gangs of Los Angeles
Part 5: The Power of Partners and Intelligence

In Los Angeles and the sprawling metropolitan area that surrounds the city, there are approximately 800 different gangs, each of them engaged in various levels of violence and criminal activity.

“There was a time when we talked about gangs in terms of individuals standing on street corners selling rocks of crack cocaine,” said Robert Clark, an assistant special agent in charge in our Los Angeles Division who supervises the Bureau’s gang program there. “But the threat has evolved,” he said. “We now have gangs that are involved in regional, national, and international criminal enterprises.”

There are still open-air drug markets in certain neighborhoods, Clark explained, but the gangs have grown more sophisticated, branching out to extortion, money laundering, identity theft, and human trafficking. All of that can exact a heavy toll on the community.

To counter the threat, the FBI partners with local and state law enforcement organizations and numerous federal agencies. Through a variety of task forces and intelligence platforms, the goal is to leverage all of law enforcement’s resources to dismantle the worst gangs from the top down.

“The most significant threats that impact the communities—the shootings, murders, and robberies—are easy to see,” Clark said. “But we also look at the entire criminal enterprise, the infrastructure that allows gangs to control neighborhoods and extort and intimidate people who live there.”

Link for Article on FBI Website: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/march/the-gangs-of-los-angeles-part-5-the-power-of-partners-and-intelligence/the-gangs-of-los-angeles-part-5-the-power-of-partners-and-intelligence

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