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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blood Gang and The Military

Very sad, but true, that street gang members have infiltrated our United States armed forces. They appeared voluntarily, not to serve our country, but to learn how to use military tactics and to learn how to kill. There is evidence of this gang Bangers appear with more and more frequency in many parts of the world - wherever our military forces serve.

The following news article appeared in "Stars and Stripes" military newspaper for all service branches. It contains worrying news about the growing problem of this.

FBI says criminal gangs using the U.S. military to spread the reach

By Seth Robson, Stars and Stripes

GRAFENWÖHR, Germany - U.S. criminal gangs get a foothold in the U.S. military and the use spread abroad to spread tentacles around the world, according to the FBI. FBI gang investigator Jennifer Simon said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes this week that gang members have been documented at or near U.S. military bases in Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Iraq.

"It's no secret that gang members commonly in the armed forces, including the entire world," Simon said, adding that the FBI was preparing to release a report gangs in the military.

Among the cases:

¶ In Iraq, armored vehicles, concrete barricades and bathroom walls have served as canvases for spray-painted gang art. At Camp Cedar II, about 185 miles southeast of Baghdad, a guard shack was recently defaced with "GDN" for Gangster Disciple Nation, along with a gang of six-pointed star and the word "Chitown," according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

¶ In Germany, a soldier was this week charged with the murder of Sgt. Juwan Johnson, beaten to death on July 4, 2005, allegedly for a Gangster Disciple initiation in Kaiserslautern.

¶ In September, the Department of Defense dependents schools in Europe warned teachers and parents to watch out for signs of gang activity, including the deadly MS-13 gang. At that time, Dodds-Europe public affairs officer David Ruderman said there were two incidents in the last 18 months that involved students fighting, wearing gang colors or claiming to be a gang member. In one incident, a student's family members may have been gang members, he said.

¶ Earlier this year, Kadena Air Base on Okinawa to establish service joint task force to investigate gang-related activity involving high school teens linked through the site.

Last year, 11 U.S. Army criminal investigation conducted gang activity, one who became Johnson's death, said Christopher Gray, a spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) in Virginia. Three of the incidents, including the Johnson case, occurred in Europe, said Gray.

"We will investigate all credible reports of gang activity," Gray said, adding that CID has programs to combat gang activity in the Army.

Soldiers are reluctant to speak openly about gang problems. However, SPC. Kylock Bautista, 21, from the 2nd Cavalry (Stryker) Regiment in Vilseck, Germany, said last week that there are gang members in his unit.

Kylock blamed recent violence around Vilseck is on soldiers affiliated with the Crips and Blood street gangs.

Scott Barfield, a former Defense Department gang detective 2nd Cavalry last assignment station, Fort Lewis, Wash., told the Sun-Times earlier this year that he has identified more than 300 soldiers at the base as gang members.

"I think that's the tip of the iceberg," he said.

However, Vilseck Provost Marshal Maj. Robert Ray said there was no major gang problem in Vilseck and he did not have information about gang members within 2nd Cav.

"The military came from all walks of life, from rich to poor, and with it comes the 'society,'" said Ray. "Is there a military member of the gang? No doubt. But the military is not rampant with gang members.

"The chain of military command does not tolerate things like that and do our best to filter out the problem," he said.

There are no official statistics on gang membership in the military, but some experts have estimated that 1 percent to 2 percent of the U.S. military are gang members, Simon said. Which compares with just 0.02 percent of the U.S. population is believed to members of the gang, he wrote.

"Gang membership in the United States armed forces is disproportional to the U.S. population," he added.

Jim Kouri, Vice President of the National Association of Chief of Police, wrote recently, in addition to Gangster Disciples, Chicago gangs like the Latin Kings and Vice Lords have infiltrated the military along with groups of neo-Nazis.

Although there are no figures to support it, Simon believes gang member presence in the U.S. military increased.

"The U.S. Army has reported increased activity associated with gangs in the military, although their number is low," he said.

Gang-related activity in the military are underreported, and the Army is the only military branch that collects gang-related statistics, he writes.

"This is often in the military to remain calm this incident, given low recruitment numbers and recent negative publicity. Relaxation recruiting standards, military recruiters and the lack of errors enforcement (gang membership is not prohibited in the Army) has exacerbated the problem and allow participation of members gangs in the military to breed, "said Simon.


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