The National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) and the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Unit (CACU) assesses with medium confidence that gang activity is expanding towards juvenile prostitution primarily for its steady financial rewards and perceived low risk of law enforcement interaction. Historically, prison, street and outlaw motorcycle gangs profit from drug distribution and have recently become involved in non-traditional criminal activity such as mortgage fraud and identity theft. Some gangs appear to be diversifying their income by reducing or eliminating drug trafficking activities in favor of juvenile prostitution.
The purpose of this assessment is to explore the expansion and influence of US-based gangs abroad and their illicit operations and associations with foreign criminal organizations. For the purpose of this assessment, the term “gang” encompasses both street gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs. In addition to FBI and open source reporting, the following law enforcement agencies from the United States, Canada, Central America, the Netherlands, and United Kingdom were surveyed to obtain data for the assessment.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), incidents of tax return fraud have increased in recent years, and gang involvement in this criminal activity mirrors that trend. Gangs perpetrate tax return fraud by utilizing facilitators, such as employees of tax preparation companies. Prison gangs often employ females or other facilitators on the street to assist them, and communicate by legal mail to avoid law enforcement detection. While some of the fraud is committed using gang members’ information, gangs are also threatening and/or paying individuals a fixed amount for the personal identifying information and committing identity theft. The illicit revenues from these schemes are subsequently used to supplement traditional criminal activities and in overall furtherance of the gang.
Increasing criminal activity among Juggalos is of concern due to the ease with which these transitory and loosely affiliated criminal sub-sets are able to form and break off of the well established Juggalo sub-culture of over one million followers. Their crimes are characterized by acts of violence and destruction directed against law enforcement, members of the community, public/private property, and other members of their group. Juggalos are classified as a gang in the states of Arizona, California, Pennsylvania and Utah. Despite this narrow classification, Juggalo-related crime has been documented in at least 20 other states according to law enforcement and open-source reporting.
What information from its most recent gang threat assessment does the FBI want to keep only for the eyes of law enforcement? Thanks to the publication of the full “law enforcement sensitive” version of the assessment on the website of the California Gang Investigator’s Association, we now know the answer to that question. The full version of the document contains approximately twenty additional pages of information regarding gang threats across the U.S. including details on the incredible proliferation of Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Most of the content derived from non-public reporting sources, such as FBI field reports, concerns specific incidents that are described more generally in the public version of the document. There are also some rather startling statistics omitted from the public version. For example, the fact that 36% of law enforcement report that gangs in their jurisdiction have ties to Mexican criminal gangs and drug trafficking organizations is omitted from the public version of the report.
Gang members armed with high-powered weapons and knowledge and expertise acquired from employment in law enforcement, corrections, or the military will likely pose an increasing nationwide threat, as they employ these tactics and weapons against law enforcement officials, rival gang members, and civilians. Associates, friends, and family members of gangs will continue to play a pivotal role in the infiltration and acquisition of sensitive information.
(U//LES) Gang members and criminals nationwide are targeting law enforcement officials, military, government vehicles, and residences in search of weapons, equipment, police badges, body armor, and uniforms.a These incidents suggest that some gangs are becoming more brazen, tactical, and willing to engage law enforcement and rival gang members in potentially lethal encounters. The National Gang Intelligence Center assesses that these thefts could also allow gang members and criminals to impersonate law enforcement officers to gain better access to their targets.
(U//LES) Gang infiltration of law enforcement, government, and correctional agencies poses a serious security threat due to the access they have to restricted areas vulnerable to sabotage, sensitive information pertaining to investigations, and access to personal information or protected persons, whom they may view as potential targets for violence. Gang members serving in law enforcement agencies and correctional facilities compromise security, criminal investigations and operations, and agency integrity. Compromised law enforcement officers and correctional staff assist gang members in committing their illicit activities, disrupt legitimate law enforcement efforts to investigate such activities, thereby protecting members from discovery and apprehension. Gang members, gang associates, and their family members most commonly infiltrate law enforcement through non-sworn civilian positions. Police dispatchers and records clerks have access to confidential information than officers do and are not always subjected to in-depth background checks prior to employment. However, a number of gang members and former gang members have served as sworn law enforcement and correctional officers.