March 22, 2006

Violent gangs infiltrating US Military?

Via KFOX news (El Paso, TX): Gang Activity In The Military.

The El Paso FBI office has renewed its focus on gang activity after discovering some U.S. soldiers are affiliated with one of the most violent gangs in country. El Paso FBI agents are now focusing on identifying soldiers they believe are affiliated with the Folk Nation gang.

Agents told KFOX there is an increase in gang activity across the city, including the area around Ft. Bliss.

"We have identified in excess of 800 members that claim allegiance to a gang under Folk Nation. In that we've identified approximately 80 personnel both civilian and military ...who have participated in violent criminal activity," said Jeremy Francis, a special agent with the El Paso FBI.

"There are some cases that the El Paso Police Department is aware of and that the military officials are aware of," said Cesar Cortez, FBI supervisor with the Criminal Enterprise Division.

The FBI said the leadership in these types of gangs will look for people who are young and interested in joining the organization and then encourage them to join the military.

"They will hand pick them, ask them to keep their record clear so that they can enlist in the military and then once they're in the military, they want them to try and gain access to weapons and explosives and basically try to filter that back to the street level," said Francis.

As a result, the El Paso FBI Office has renewed its focus on gangs, especially with thousands of more soldiers who are expected to move to El Paso in the coming years.

"It can be a problem. It has been a problem in other military installations and by trying to take a proactive stance we're trying to keep it from becoming a problem here at Fort Bliss, Las Cruces area," said Cortez.

Posted by Kyer at March 22, 2006 12:32 PM | TrackBack