Gang-Related News Articles

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Welcome to the Gang-Related News Articles page. This page provides a list of articles pertaining to gangs and gang-related activities from various U.S. and Canadian news sources. A link to the source of each article is provided. The list of articles can be refined and filtered by date and limited to a specific state or Canadian province or territory.

Virginia map graphic 1,391 articles from Virginia
Gang ties alleged in teen's shooting (Chesterfield County, VA): Three young men face charges of criminal street-gang activity in a shooting that wounded an 18-year-old man at a birthday party in Chesterfield County. Authorities say all three men are allegedly affiliated with the West End Boys. The three suspects, ages 18, 19, and 20, were charged with felonious assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and participating in a gang-related activity, which is considered a more serious charge.
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch    Date: April 1, 2004

State seeks tougher gang laws (Virginia): Spurred by the growth of gangs in Virginia, the Governor is considering stiffening legislation dealing with gang-related crimes. The anti-gang legislation increases sentences for people convicted of gang activity, while allowing property and money used in gang-related crimes to be seized. In addition, the legislation adds a "three-strikes" rule to the law, which would mean a person convicted of three gang-related crimes or recruitment would face five to 20 years in prison. Gangs that have been identified as having a presence in the state are the Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, and United Blood Nation. Other highlights of the legislation include amending the law to allow the court to deny bail for certain gang offenses and adding gang affiliation as a category for the judge to consider when deciding on a sentence.
Source: Daily Press    Date: March 27, 2004

Gang member given two years in stabbing (Loudoun County, VA): A 24-year-old member of Mara Salvatrucha has been sentenced to two years in prison for stabbing another man during a fight May 4 at a Leesburg restaurant. The man pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and participation in a street gang. He is among the first Loudoun defendants prosecuted using laws targeting gangs.
Source: The Washington Post    Date: February 29, 2004

Six more indicted in gang-related case (Petersburg, VA): In a state and federal investigation into a Petersburg gang suspected of running an open-air drug market and using violence and intimidation, six defendants have been indicted on racketeering and murder charges. The indictments bring the number of defendants in this case to 34. Twenty-eight members of the Third Ward Gang were charged in late 2003 with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. Eighteen of those, who have already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing, face prison terms of anywhere from 10 years to life in prison. Charges against the new defendants include allegations of murder and attempted murder.
Source: Daily Press    Date: February 28, 2004

Counties form task force to combat gangs (Prince George and Montgomery County, VA): Officials from Prince George and Montgomery counties are forming a joint task force of police officers, social workers, educators, and community leaders to develop ways to combat gang activity. In recent months, law enforcement officials have said that gangs are steadily spreading across the Washington area, recruiting young members in the District and in surrounding suburban communities. The gangs, which also include groups of black youths in the District and inside-the-Beltway communities, engage in crimes such as drug trafficking, robbery, assault, and murder, according to law enforcement officials. Recently, two members of MS-13 were sentenced to life in prison for murdering a man they believed was a rival gang member. In Montgomery, police estimate there are 75 to 100 gangs with 1,500 to 2,000 members. Prince George has 35 to 40 gangs with about 300 members in the county.
Source: The Washington Post    Date: February 27, 2004

Anti-gang force taking criminals to task (Northern Virginia): An anti-gang task force in Northern Virginia has made more than 200 arrests since it formed in July. Police have made 65 felony and 137 misdemeanor arrests and seized 46 weapons, 208 grams of cocaine, 31 grams of heroine, and 20 grams of marijuana. Virginia's attorney general formed the statewide task force in July, which is comprised of police officers and officials from Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties, as well as Herndon, Leesburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park. Fairfax county police estimate that there are 4,300 gang members in Northern Virginia. In addition to the task force, county officials have also scheduled community forums to talk about gang problems. Police believe that increased gang activity is the result of immigrants coming from El Salvador.
Source: The Washington Times    Date: February 6, 2004

Teens arrested in assault (Fairfax County, VA): Three middle school students were arrested in Fairfax County in what police say was a gang-related incident. The suspects, two 12-year-olds and a 14-year-old, allegedly lured a 12-year-old into a school bathroom, threatened, and punched him. Each suspect is charged as a juvenile with assault by a mob and participating in a street gang.
Source: The Washington Post    Date: January 24, 2004

Kaine seeks harsher penalties for juvenile gun law offenders (Richmond, VA): Under new proposed legislation by the lieutenant governor, minors convicted of carrying illegal weapons could be sent immediately to a juvenile detention facility. This "Juvenile Exile" bill would allow judges to sentence minors to a detention center after just one misdemeanor firearms conviction. "(We're) not creating new laws, but doing a better job of enforcing the existing law, which makes it illegal for a juvenile to use a gun," the lieutenant governor said. The proposal is modeled after Richmond's "Project Exile," a program that cut Richmond's homicide rate by nearly one-third in its first year. In addition, the attorney general is proposing a bill to make it a felony to recruit a juvenile to join a gang or to use force to make somebody join a gang. A separate bill would create a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for a third gang-related conviction.
Source: Daily Press    Date: January 16, 2004

After-school program aimed at countering gang recruiting (Fairfax, VA): The Fairfax Board of Supervisors chairman has proposed expanding after-school opportunities to counter gang involvement. The proposal would allow children of poor families free enrollment in the county's after-school child care program. Currently, about 10,000 students are enrolled in the school-age child care program, which operates before and after school. Many children whose parents cannot afford the program lack any adult supervision during those hours and are vulnerable to pressure from older teenagers to join gangs. Officials in charge of the program were asked to come up with plans for a privately funded "scholarship" program by June. It is unclear how many scholarships would be available. This initiative would be one of many efforts in Virginia to crack down on gangs. Lawmakers will also be considering several anti-gang bills that would stiffen sentences for gang offenses and expand the list of crimes punishable as gang activity.
Source: The Associated Press State & Local Wire    Date: January 12, 2004

Teen guilty in gang killing (Staunton, VA): An Augusta County jury convicted a 17-year-old boy of second-degree murder for his role in a gang-related stabbing death in May. The jury found him guilty of participating in the attack that left a 19-year-old fellow gang member dead near a fishing pond. The victim wanted to leave the group, and other members feared he would inform police about their illegal activities, according to statements made in court. The other three members charged in connection with the killing have been convicted for their roles in recent months. The four were part of a locally organized group calling themselves "Crips."
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch    Date: December 5, 2003

Man shot to death in Creighton Court (Richmod, VA): One person was killed, and two others were wounded in an apparent drive-by shooting in Richmond's Creighton Court public-housing complex. It was the 84th homicide in Richmond this year, compared with 61 on the same date in 2002. Police have a description of the vehicle used in the shooting, and investigation is continuing.
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch    Date: November 12, 2003

Arlington police chief bolsters unit combating gangs (Arlington County, VA): An increase in gang activity in Arlington County has prompted the police chief to expand the department's gang unit from one full-time officer to five. At the same time, a state gang task force is proposing harsher penalties and anti-gang lessons in schools as early as kindergarten. According to police, about a dozen gangs are active in the region, and gang members have been linked to at least five killings in Northern Virginia in recent years as well as numerous assaults with baseball bats and machetes. Police point to MS-13 as the most violent and fastest growing in the area.
Source: The Washington Post    Date: November 6, 2003

Police believe gun found in swamp was used in boy's fatal shooting (Smithfield, VA): Police believe they have recovered the weapon used to kill an 8-year-old boy as he slept in his home at Jersey Park Apartments on October 16. The Jersey Park Unit has been identified as a gang involved in the killing. Police say the boy was an innocent victim to gang violence. Five suspects, who may have been involved in a rival gang from the Windsor end of Isle of Wight County, have been arrested in the crime. Each of the suspects has been charged with second-degree murder and shooting into an occupied dwelling. According to police, another suspect is still at large.
Source: The Virginian-Pilot    Date: November 1, 2003

Gang leader gets 25-year prison term (Staunton, VA): A 20-year-old female was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted of accessory to first-degree murder in the slaying of a 19-year-old man. The woman is second in command of a local street gang known as the Crip set Two-11 and was one of two people who ordered the killing. She was also known as the "set queen" of the gang and becomes the second person to be found guilty in this case. A 24-year old male pleaded guilty to first-degree murder after stabbing the victim twice. Two other suspects have yet to be charged for their involvement in the stabbing; one for ordering the killing and another 17-year-old boy for committing the stabbing.
Source: The Daily News Leader    Date: October 31, 2003

More suspects arrested in gang's slaying of eight-year-old (Smithfield, VA): Police in Smithfield continue to identify and arrest suspects in the shooting death of an 8-year-old boy in his Jersey Park apartment. Five of six suspects are in custody, and they all appear to have gang connections. The shooting took place after a disagreement between a gang at the Jersey Park Apartments in Smithfield and a rival gang in the town of Windsor. All arrested suspects have been charged with second degree murder.
Source: The Virginian-Pilot    Date: October 22, 2003

Attorney general proposes anti-gang legislation (Richmond, VA): Antiracketeering legislation to combat Virginia's increasingly violent and sophisticated street gangs was recently proposed by the state's attorney general. The legislation would be modeled after the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO, which has been widely used to infiltrate and bust organized crime. The bill would give local and state law enforcement the authority to target, investigate, and prosecute criminal enterprises by going to the financial heart of the group and giving prosecutors the power to obtain information from financial institutions other than banks. If the bill is approved by the legislature and signed by the governor, Virginia would join Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina as states that have already instituted RICO-like laws. Specifically, the bill would make it a crime for a group of three or more people to profit from coercion and extortion. Officials have come up with a list of about 10 national gangs, including the Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, MS-13, and United Blood Nation, that have a presence in Virginia.
Source: The Associated Press State & Local Wire    Date: October 21, 2003

Charges filed in street gang assaults of students (Charlottesville, VA): A 27-year-old Charlottesville man and a 17-year-old boy have been charged with the gang-related assaults of two University of Virginia students coming home from a party, police said. The victims, ages 19 and 20, were leaving a fraternity party when they were struck in the head several times and fell down. Police also believe the attacks were possibly part of a gang initiation. The man was charged with two counts of mob assault, and the teenager faces one count. Both were also charged with active participation in a criminal street gang, and the man is charged with recruitment of a juvenile to join a street gang. Both suspects are allegedly members of a gang called "D-Block." Police are still looking for a third suspect.
Source: The Associated Press State & Local Wire    Date: October 10, 2003

Funds to help fight gangs (Richmond, VA): Virginia's attorney general announced that Richmond will receive $2.5 million in federal funds over the next three years to help fight gang violence. The grant is being funded by the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in response to the state's relatively high rates of crime and gang activity. Richmond is one of four cities in the United States receiving such a grant.
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch    Date: October 2, 2003

Slaying plot alleged (Arlington County, VA): After a year-long investigation, a purported gang member has been charged with conspiring to kill a police officer and participation in a criminal street gang, Arlington County police said yesterday. The arrest was the result of a multi-jurisdiction investigation that began last year after detectives received information about gang members threatening to kill several northern Virginia police officers. If convicted, the man could face up to 30 years in prison.
Source: The Washington Post    Date: September 6, 2003

Gang violence rages across jurisdictions (DC and Virginia): In the District, a recent increase in gang violence has law enforcement agencies concerned that it may spread into the suburbs. Since July 26, four people have been killed and five others injured in the District in a series of shootings that the Metropolitan Police Department has classified as gang-related. According to police, the violence stems from two disputes between two Latino gangs based in the Hispanic communities of Northwest. One dispute involves a large Hispanic gang called La Mara R and the "1-5 Crew." The other dispute involves gangs called Street Thug Criminals, or STC, and Vatos Locos, which translates loosely to "crazy men." In addition to the District, some of the Latino communities have spread into the state of Virginia. The Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office said the death of an 18-year-old female member of MS-13, whose body was found in the Shenandoah River's North Fork on July 17, appears to have been gang-related. Eighty-two gangs have been identified in Fairfax County, but only two police supervisors and seven detectives work gang crimes in the county. Officials in Virginia and the District are quickly forming task forces or partnerships to combat gang violence. Furthermore, the Metropolitan Police Chief announced the formation of a gang-intervention partnership between government and community-based organizations to negotiate a truce to the gang violence.
Source: The Washington Times    Date: August 7, 2003

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