CRIME

Texas Gang Activity: Over 100,000 People Are Involved In Criminal Gangs, Report Finds

04/02/2013 12:21 pm ET

Approximately 100,000 people in Texas are involved with criminal gangs, according to the Department of Public Safety’s 2012 gang threat assessment.

The study found that overall gang activity is growing, with approximately 2,500 units operating in the state, often assisting Mexican drug cartels to "smuggle drugs, people, weapons, and cash across the border."

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The report's release coincides with suspicions that the slaying of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife are connected to a white supremacist prison gang, The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. The McLelland murder happened just a few months after one of his assistant district attorneys, Mark Hasse, was killed outside a courthouse.

LOOK: Concentration of gang activity in Texas texas gangs

Other key findings include:

  • Of the incarcerated members of Tier 1 and Tier 2 gangs, more than half are serving a sentence for a violent crime, including robbery (25 percent), homicide (14 percent), and assault/terroristic threat (12 percent).
  • Several gangs are now actively involved in running prostitution rings because of its profitability and the gangs’ perception that it’s a relatively low-risk crime.
  • Tango Blast has superseded the Mexican Mafia to become the state’s most significant gang threat. The Tier 1 gangs in Texas are: Tango Blast (estimated at 10,000 members); Texas Syndicate (4,500 members); Barrio Azteca (3,500 members); and Texas Mexican Mafia (6,000 members).

READ THE FULL REPORT:

TX Gang Threat Assessment

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