Street gangs and their criminal enterprises are making life difficult for increasing numbers of law-abiding citizens in the United States who wish only to make a living and raise their families in a peaceful environment. Unfortunately, they are often the victims of thugs who target the weakest among us and those who are least able to defend themselves.
Here are some recent cases in the news:
- A leader of the Brooklyn, New York, street gang “Six Tre Outlaw Gangsta Disciples Folk Nation,” also known as the “Folk Nation,” received a sentence of 20 years in prison. Devon Rodney and his gang committed “senseless acts of violence, including shootings and robberies, which terrorized the residents of the Ebbets Field Houses in Brooklyn,” according to a prosecutor. The Folk Nation is active in numerous cities and prisons across the United States. In one act of vengeance against a rival gang ordered by Rodney, an innocent 10-year-old girl attending a block party was shot in the neck.
- In El Paso, Texas, numerous Barrio Azteca members are charged with RICO statute violations. One of them is Rigoberto Alvarado, 41, an alleged heroin supplier. According to the indictment, Barrio Azteca, which began in the 1980s as a prison gang and then expanded internationally, uses intimidation and strong arm tactics to collect a street tax, also known as “cuota,” “quota,” or “renta.” The proceeds are used to support members of the BA who are arrested, and money is also mailed to prison inmate accounts.
- A member of a criminal street gang in Washington, D.C., Keir Johnson, 24, was sentenced to 54 years in prison for murder and obstruction of justice. Three co-defendants also were sentenced. The 14th and Girard gang, also known as G-Rod, 1-4, and the Cut Crew, had a longstanding conflict with rival gangs in the area. The gang’s victims include Sean Robinson, 18, who was killed in the parking lot of a school in 2010, and Jamal Coates, 21, who was killed following a funeral that same year. After the funeral shooting, the defendants made attempt to locate witnesses, and two of the defendants fled to North Carolina.