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Missouri Peace Officers
            A S S O C I A T I ON
Volume 63, No. 2
Spring 2009
             Street Gangs in
                                     20 Years Later
                            By David Starbuck, President - Missouri Chapter
                                Midwest Gang Investigators Association

                                                          In January, 2009 the National        expanding gang influence.
                                                          Gang Threat Assessment was           Criminal gangs commit as much
                                                          published by the FBI’s National      as 80% of the crime in many
                                                          Gang Intelligence Center             communities, according to law
                                                          (NGIC). This comprehensive           enforcement officials throughout
                                                          report includes information from     the nation.
                                                          law enforcement agencies
                                                          throughout the country. As noted     Local street gangs, or
                                                          in the Appendix section, the         neighborhood-based street
                                                          report includes information          gangs, remain a significant threat
                                                          submitted by Police Departments      because they continue to account
                                                          in Missouri including Columbia,      for the largest number of gangs
Graffiti in Neosho, Missouri. This was determined to
                                                          Independence, Joplin, Kansas         nationwide.
be members of the “Tiny Toon Nortenos”, who had
moved to Missouri from the Nampa, Idaho area              City, Springfield, St. Louis and
where the gang is very problematic. The significant       St. Louis County.                    Gangs arrive in
symbol is the Roman numeral for 14, which is a
common indicator for Nortenos gangs. Nortenos             Among the key findings in the        Missouri
factions are rivals to Surenos gangs. Photo courtesy      National Gang Threat
of Neosho Police Department.                              Assessment report were the           Communities and law
                                                          following:                           enforcement throughout the State
                                                          Approximately 1 million gang         of Missouri have dealt with
                                                          members, belonging to more           criminal street gangs since
                                                          than 20,000 gangs are criminally     approximately 1988, when the
                                                          active in all 50 states, including   first known members of Los
                                                          the District of Columbia as of       Angeles area gangs and later
                                                          September, 2008.                     Chicago based gangs began to
                                                                                               surface in various parts of the
                                                          According to NDTS Data 58%           state. They were identified
                                                          of state and local law               during investigations of drug
                                                          enforcement agencies reported        trafficking and related violent
                                                          criminal gangs were active in        crimes. Since that time the street
Nortenos graffiti in Sedalia, Missouri. Nortenos
                                                          their jurisdiction in 2008,          gang culture in Missouri, and
(Northerner), are a national alliance of Hispanic         compared with 45% of state and       throughout the country, has
gangs from Northern California, have begun to             local agencies in 2004.              continued to grow and evolve in
appear with increasing frequency in Missouri. They
often use the numeral 14 in graffiti and tattoos (to      Many suburban and rural              a variety of ways. No longer are
represent the letter N, the 14 letter of the alphabet).   communities are experiencing         street gangs a “big city
The term “Norte” is commonly used. Photo courtesy         increasing gang related crime        problem”, and street gang
of Sedalia Police Department                                                                   activity is now reported in
                                                          and violence because of

6 / SPRING 2009
numerous urban and rural            contacts increased, the sudden
jurisdictions across the state of   appearance of gang graffiti
Missouri. As law enforcement        increased in parts of Kansas
agencies continue to identify,      City. Most disturbingly was
arrest and convict gang             the emergence of the
members the problem then            trademark of Los Angeles
increases within the                gang culture, the infamous
correctional facilities in          drive-by shooting. Police in
Missouri. This article will         Kansas City were suddenly
discuss the origins of the gang     investigating dozens of drive-
culture in Missouri, the many       by shootings in the area.
changes which have occurred         Detectives in Kansas City
in the past 20 years, and how       began to contact the Los           Folk Nation graffiti in Warrensburg, Missouri. The Folk
law enforcement, corrections,       Angeles Police Department          Nation is an alliance of gangs that began in the Illinois
prosecutors and the                 and Los Angeles County             prison system, but now exist nationwide. The Gangster
community are addressing the        Sheriff’s Office about the         Disciples are one of the largest gang sets represented
                                                                       nationwide. Some have ties to Chicago, but others only
problem.                            individuals who were               emulate the Chicago gang culture. The six pointed star
In The                              operating in Kansas City. They     and double pitchforks pointing up are the original
                                    determined that many of these      symbols of the Folk Nation, however those symbols are
Beginning                           individuals were documented        now copied and used by numerous other gangs
                                                                       nationwide. Photo courtesy of Warrensburg Police
While street gangs exploded in      street gang members from Los       Department.
the Los Angeles and Chicago         Angeles, often affiliated with
area since the 1960’s (earlier      large, violent gangs such as the
in Los Angeles), they were          Inglewood Family Gangster
infrequently seen to any extent     Bloods, the Bounty Hunter
in the rest of the United States,   Bloods, Rollin’ 60 Crips and
including Missouri. The first       other gang sets. It was also
indications of a “gang              determined that other Midwest
migration” began in                 cities were experiencing the
approximately 1988 in               same migration, and Los
Missouri and other Midwest          Angeles gang members were
states. In 1988 law                 surfacing in Oklahoma City,
enforcement in the Kansas           Omaha and Des Moines. Many
                                    theories have been offered as      Surenos 13 graffiti in Kansas City, Missouri. Surenos
City area suddenly noticed                                             (Southerners) are one of the largest Hispanic gang
increased contacts during           to why Los Angeles gang            factions throughout Missouri and much of the Midwest.
patrol stops and drug               members began to branch out        They are rivals to the Nortenos and will almost always
investigations which involved       across the United States. It is    use the numeral 13 in graffiti and tattoos (reflecting the
                                    believed by this author and        letter M, 13 letter of the alphabet). The M is to show
individuals from the Los                                               alliance with the Mexican Mafia. Photo courtesy of
Angeles area such as Compton        many other investigators that      KCPD.
and Inglewood. As these             the migration was more likely

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                    Street Gangs
                         in Missouri
                            Left: Rollin’ 60’s Crips graffiti in St. Louis. Crip gangs, that originated in Los Angeles, often use the six
                            pointed star symbol, which is symbolic of the Folk Nation gangs that originated in Chicago. Rollin’ 60
                            Crips have numerous individual cliques in the St. Louis area. Photo courtesy of St. Louis Metropolitan
                            Police Department.
                            Above: Typical hodge-podge mix of gang graffiti and cross outs that is common between rival gangs.
                            Often the graffiti in a community is difficult to identify and classify, and may contain conflicting
                            symbolisms that confuse law enforcement. Photo courtesy of Kansas City Police Department.

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8 / SPRING 2009
due to setting up drug
.                                    or affiliates of large, organized
distribution spots in other cities   Chicago based gangs such as the
rather than the gangs attempting     Black Gangster Disciples or Vice
to set up “chapters” in other        Lords. The Black Gangster
cities. This was obvious to          Disciples also began to surface in
narcotics officers in Missouri       the Kansas City area, almost
who investigated and interviewed     always during investigations of
Los Angeles gang members when        violent crimes including murder,
arrested here. The prices of         and the wholesale trafficking of
Cocaine in southern California       Crack Cocaine. The Black
had greatly declined and the         Gangster Disciples, who were         Rollin’ 60’s Crips tattoo on inmate received
availability of Cocaine was          part of the Folk Nation alliance,    from St. Louis area. The Rollin’ 60 Crips have
extremely plentiful. The street                                           numerous individual cliques in the St. Louis
                                     were rapidly expanding their         area, and most are not connected to the
gangs in California were also        drug trafficking operations          original gang in Los Angeles. As with many
facing increased pressure from       throughout the Midwest and           other Missouri gangs, locals will adopt and
law enforcement, along with          Southern parts of the United         emulate the names of gangs in California or
ongoing violence with rival                                               Chicago. Photo courtesy of Missouri
                                     States. As with the California       Department of Corrections
gangs. Some of the “original
                                     based gangs, the Chicago gangs
gangsters” in Los Angeles were
                                     would identify potential drug
entrepreneurial and savvy enough
to realize that the profit margins   markets where they could realize
for Cocaine were likely to be        high profits. They would send
much higher in the Midwest.          members into those cities to
They began to show up in cities      recruit at-risk youths and entice
such as Kansas City and              them with promises of money,
Oklahoma City, where they            women and the prestige of being
established ties to local drug       a member of the gang. The local
sellers and became their primary     recruits then became the street
source of supply. Their primary      sellers for drugs supplied by
purpose was profit, however          Chicago, and they adopted the
what they brought to Missouri in     complete persona of their
addition to Cocaine was the          recruiting gang in Chicago. In
“gangsta culture”. Thus, many        1990, police in Springfield,
                                                                          Shirt confiscated from member of the
youths in Missouri who were          Missouri identified and arrested     Surenos 13, a violent Hispanic gang alliance
fascinated by the movies             numerous members and                 with hundreds of individual “cliques”
“Colors” or “Boyz In The Hood”       associates of the Chicago based      throughout the country. Photo courtesy of
began to emulate and transform                                            Kansas City Police Department
                                     Black Gangster Disciples and
themselves into Missouri             charged them in a federal
versions of various Blood and        indictment for drug trafficking.
Crip gangs (known as sets).          Beginning in 1988, and
As law enforcement agencies in       continuing to present day, there
the Kansas City area began to        are now thousands of law
investigate Los Angeles street       enforcement agencies nationwide
gang activity, another trend         reporting the presence of street
began to emerge on the opposite      gangs who bear the names of
side of the state in about 1989.     original, large gangs based in
Police agencies in the St. Louis     Los Angeles or Chicago.              Tattoo of St. Louis member of the Gangster
area began to experience             However, it has been determined      Disciples. The numbers 74 are common in
increased acts of violence and       that although many gang              Gangster Disciple graffiti and are used to
                                                                          represent the 7th and 4th letters of the alphabet
drug trafficking investigations      members in Missouri claim            (G D). The six pointed star shows alliance to
which often involved individuals     affiliation to large, national       the Folk Nation. Photo courtesy of Missouri
from the Chicago area. Many          gangs in California or Illinois,     Department of Corrections
were determined to be members        the majority of them are locals
                                                                                                          SPRING 2009 / 9
            Street Gangs in
      20 Years Later continued
from Missouri and often have no

                                         The Evolution                       banging”. They use these
connection to gangs with the                                                 websites to promote their gang,
same name. It is very important          The gang culture has continued      boast of their activities and to
for law enforcement agencies to          to evolve and flourish throughout   insult rivals.
realize that the local versions of       Missouri and surrounding states
                                         for the past 20 years. As the       While some agencies continue to
these gangs can be just as violent                                           deny or ignore the presence of
and criminally active as their           Chicago and Los Angeles gang
                                         culture was introduced into large   gangs in their community, others
counterparts, and should not be                                              have shown themselves to be
ignored or thought to be less of a       urban areas (St. Louis, Kansas
                                         City and Springfield), it has       effectively proactive. Those
threat. Some members of law                                                  agencies that address the gang
enforcement, school                      continued to slowly spread and
                                         now affects many counties and       problem early, will have a much
administrators or community                                                  better success rate in reducing
members will still refer to local        small towns in the state. Youths
                                         that are drawn to the gang          the problem. The Sedalia Police
youths who become involved in                                                Department has been aggressive
gangs as “wanna-be’s”.                   lifestyle are frequently
                                         influenced through a variety of     in identifying gangs in the town,
Nationally known gang experts                                                and coordinating their strategies
often now agree that this term is        ways which include movies,
                                         television, peer pressure, family   of enforcement and investigation
simply a form of denial. Whether                                             to disrupt any foothold gangs
or not an individual is from South       members in a gang or protection
                                         from others. In the past few        may have in the area. The
Central Los Angeles, or from                                                 Sedalia Police Department also
Chicago, or from Hannibal or             years, the Internet has become
                                         one of the fastest proponents of    hosts regular gang intelligence
Sedalia, Missouri they should be                                             sharing meetings, which benefit
considered as a potential threat to      spreading the gang culture.
                                         Social websites such as             all that attend and provide
the community when they                                                      officers with updated
become involved in criminal              MySpace, Bebo, YouTube and
                                         MiGente now attract many gang       information on criminal gang
activity. Simply stated there is                                             problems.
NO such thing as a wanna-be.             members who engage in “cyber

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10 / SPRING 2009
Gang members in Missouri, and much of the     Prison gangs (Security Threat Groups) continue        Patrol officers and corrections officers must
country, are wearing obvious gang “colors”    to be an ongoing problem within the Missouri          constantly be alert for indicators of gang
with less frequency than in past years in     Department of Corrections and it is essential         affiliation. The tattoo shows the subjects
order to avoid recognition by police. The     that corrections personnel be provided with           affiliation with the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13).
gang symbolisms may be very subtle. The hat   updated training in order to recognize and deal       The belt with the name of his country of
worn by this gang member has the numeral      with gang members who are incarcerated. The           origin also is a subtle indicator. Photo
14 to represent his affiliation with the      Joplin Honkys have white, supremacist views           courtesy of Springfield Police Department
Nortenos gang alliance. Photo courtesy of     and have been identified in several Missouri and
                                              Kansas correctional facilities. Photo courtesy of
Sedalia Police Department.
                                              Missouri Department of Corrections

It is extremely difficult to                  estimate of 10,000 – 15,000                         several types with no particular
estimate how many gang                        members throughout the state                        gang that dominates.
members currently reside in                   could easily be made. However,                      The following are the most
Missouri. Some agencies                       the lack of intelligence keeping                    common classifications of gang
maintain specific data on                     by the majority of agencies                         factions currently operating
individuals who are documented                makes it difficult to arrive at a                   throughout Missouri.
as gang members, while many                   total. The current migration of
other agencies do not keep                    large numbers of gang members                       Black Gangs - In the
official statistics and often rely            from the southwest border and                       late 1980’s and during much of
on the knowledge of officers and              Central America adds to the                         the 1990’s the street gang culture
investigators who are versed in               overall problem statewide.                          in Missouri was dominated by
the local gang culture. Over the
                                              The street gang culture in any                      black gangs who were either
past decade there have been
                                              city, town or county will most                      affiliated or emulated the
estimates of 5,000 gang members
                                              often reflect the ethnic                            traditional Los Angeles and
and affiliates in the St. Louis
                                              demographics of that particular                     Chicago style gangs such as
metropolitan area and up to 4,000
in the Kansas City area. If these             area. Some areas are dominated                      Crips, Bloods, Gangster
numbers are used as a general                 by one style of gang over                           Disciples, Vice Lords and others.
baseline, then a conservative                 another, or may have a mix of                       However the gang culture in

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Street Gangs
Missouri has evolved and is now      Often, the ongoing violence
often difficult to classify, with    between black gang factions of
many gangs operating in very         Bloods and Crips will manifest         Hispanic Gangs -
non-traditional manners.             itself both in the streets and         While black gangs remain
                                     within the prison system. Gang         problematic and violent in many
There are dozens of locally
                                     rivalries that occur on the streets    Missouri cities, the Hispanic
formed factions of Bloods and
                                     are often passed on to fellow          gang culture has emerged in the
Crips reported throughout                                                   past several years as one of the
                                     members in Missouri prisons,
Missouri. The St. Louis area was     who will continue to assault or        dominant problems in Missouri
originally dominated by Chicago      murder their rivals when               and nationwide. Many cities,
style gangs, but during the past     incarcerated together. While           towns and counties in the
decade there are now many more       some violence involving gang           western half of Missouri now
gangs who use Los Angeles style      members is related to traditional      report the presence of Hispanic
gang names even though the           rivalry, a large percentage is         street gangs composed of both
membership is dominated by           more likely related to disputes        Mexican-Americans and many
local members from St. Louis. In     over drug trafficking disputes.        undocumented aliens from
St. Louis there are numerous         Control of certain areas for drug      Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras
individual sets of cliques which     distribution rights is a key issue     and El Salvador. The growth in
frequently are within an             on the streets and within a            Hispanic gangs has generally
“alliance” such as the Rollin’ 60    correctional facility, where drugs     followed the population patterns
Crips and others.                    bring an even higher profit            throughout Missouri and other
                                     margin. Another key issue for          parts of the country. Many of the
As the gang culture continues to
                                     law enforcement investigators is       Hispanic gang and drug
evolve and change, there have                                               problems are reported in towns
                                     that members of rival gangs will
been alliances formed in both        frequently work together in drug       and counties where large poultry
Kansas City and St. Louis            trafficking networks, when there       or meat processing plants are
between former rival gangs. In       are profits to be realized. Some       located, particularly in southwest
Kansas City, some members of         members of St. Louis based             Missouri.
the former 51 Street Crips and       Gangster Disciple members and
      th                                                                    As with any ethnic group, it is
the 12 Street Crips have united      rival Rollin’ 60 Crip members          important to remember that
to form the “512”. Within a short    have actually “clicked up”             Hispanic gang members reflect
time of this alliance, corrections   (aligned) to facilitate distribution   only a small percentage of the
officers at some facilities within   of Heroin and Crack Cocaine in         overall Hispanic population and
the Missouri Department of           the area. These “alliances” may        the rise in Hispanic gang activity
Corrections had begun to see the     be among individual members            should never be considered an
“512” graffiti appearing inside      rather than always sanctioned by       indictment of any ethnic culture.
some prison facilities.              the entire gang.                       Street gangs exist in ALL ethnic

12 / SPRING 2009
In Missouri
and socio-economic groups,           and Nortenos in any community         identity and name. These types
however the actions of a small       should immediately raise a red        of gangs are extremely common
percentage of persons tends to       flag to law enforcement, who          in smaller, rural communities
attract the attention of many in     should prepare for violence           and often identified by school
law enforcement. Hispanic gangs      between the rival gangs.              administrators or police officers
in Missouri are a mix of locally     The Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13)          who work in schools. They are
formed, with members who were        is a violent Central American         often involved in graffiti offenses
born and raised in the area, and     gang normally composed of             and minor crimes, but when
also numerous gangs whose            members from El Salvador,             ignored can easily progress into a
members have relocated to            Honduras or Guatemala and very        more serious problem in the
Missouri from California, Texas      problematic in some parts of the      community.
or various states in Mexico. In      United States. MS-13 members          Correctional Officers with the
many instances, there is ongoing     have been identified, or arrested,    Missouri Department of
violence and rivalry between         in several Missouri towns, but        Corrections frequently handle
some Hispanic gang factions.         thus far are believed to be fewer     incidents involving white prison
Violence between Hispanic gangs      in numbers than Surenos and           gangs (Security Threat Groups)
has existed in the Kansas City       Nortenos factions. However,           at various correctional facilities
area for many years. There is        MS-13 members are often on            in the state. Most of these adopt
animosity between Hispanic           good terms with Surenos gang          a white supremacist or separatist
gangs in Kansas City, Missouri       factions. While the MS-13 does        mindset, and are normally in
and rival Hispanic gangs in          not currently pose a serious          violent competition with black
neighboring Kansas City, Kansas.     threat to Missouri, they should       prison gang factions. Many of
For the past several years, the      be closely monitored for              the problematic prison gangs in
dominant Hispanic gangs in           evidence of growth and further        Missouri have taken their names
much of Missouri and throughout      involvement in crime.                 from the town or county in
the Midwest were factions of the                                           which the members are from
Surenos 13, frequently known as      White street &                        including the Joplin Honkys
Sur-13 or “Sur Trece”. The term      prison gangs -                        (sometimes also spelled
Sureno means “Southerner” and                                              Honkies), the Southwest Honkys
                                     Many communities throughout
generally is used to show                                                  or the Bollinger County
                                     Missouri deal with locally
affiliation or allegiance to                                               Peckerwoods.
                                     formed street gangs composed of
Southern California. Their rivals,
                                     Caucasian members. Some adopt
the Nortenos (Northerners), also
                                     the names of traditional larger
                                                                           Hybrid Gangs -
known as Norte-14 have begun to                                            While many Missouri street
                                     gangs in Los Angeles or
surface with increasing frequency                                          gangs can be generally classified
                                     Chicago, while many others
in Missouri during the past two                                            into the previously described
                                     create their own distinctive gang
years. The presence of Surenos

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groups, the evolution of gangs   that law enforcement in           crimes which often includes
during the past 20 years has     Missouri and other states         white collar crimes such as
produced a “hybrid” version      understand that although          organized forgery schemes.
of non-traditional gangs.        these gangs may be localized      Police in Kansas City
Many have adopted the names      versions of a national gang,      frequently deal with
or symbolisms of other gangs,    they are often just as violent    individuals from Somalia,
but then converted or added      and criminally active and         who are sometimes
their own bits of local gang     should be aggressively            aggressive toward law
persona. These gangs are         investigated.                     enforcement officers. They
often mixed by ethnicity and                                       often project street gang-like
gender, and use symbols that     Other Ethnic
                                                                   behavior, even though
conflict with the original       Gangs - There are                 specific Somali gang names
meanings thus causing            street gangs among most           have not been identified in
confusion among those in law     ethnic and socio-economic         Missouri but are increasing in
enforcement that investigate     groups across the United          surrounding states. Somalians
them. A typical example of       States, and Missouri is           tend to associate with other
this non-traditional gang        represented in many               Somalians along tribal lines
culture in Missouri is           categories. There is a            of their country of origin, and
Caucasian youths calling         confirmed presence of Asian       assaultive behavior between
themselves Black Gangster        gangs in a few Missouri           Somalian groups is common
Disciples. Hybrid gang           cities, including Vietnamese,     due to their differences. They
members are known to switch      Cambodian and Laotian. Of         also surface in narcotics
gangs, claim multiple gang       all the different types of        investigations, involving the
affiliations and for gang sets   gangs, Asian gangs tend to be     illegal possession or
to change names or merge         the ones that law enforcement     importation of the East
with another gang. It is very    knows the least about. They       African plant “Khat” (Catha
common for gang members in       tend to operate in a very low-    Edulis). Many small towns
Missouri to claim affiliation    key manner and intelligence       and counties with meat or
with a large, national gang      on their activities is normally   poultry processing plants are
from California or elsewhere     much more difficult to obtain.    beginning to report problems
while having no direct tie to    Asian gangs are frequently        with some Somalians who
that gang. There are hundreds    very transient, and may live      have come to the area to
of cities in the United States   in one community but travel       work in the plants.
in which factions of the         out of state to commit crimes.
Rollin’ 60 Crips or Rollin’40                                      Police in the St. Louis area
                                 Asian gangs are very active       report some presence of
Crips are claimed, however a     in the wholesale distribution
large majority of those gang                                       Eastern European youth
                                 of MDMA tablets (Ecstasy)         gangs in schools, most
members have no real             and Hydroponic Marijuana
connection to the same gang                                        involving youths from the
                                 (BC Bud). They are also           Croatia, Ukraine or Albania.
in California. It is essential   involved in a wider variety of

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14 / SPRING 2009
       They often adopt the               , Columbia - Mississippians;         Mob
       American street gang lifestyle,      Cut Throats ; 573NFC;          ,   Maryland Heights - Blacc
       and may be involved in               Louie Bound                        Mob; Gutta Squad; Mara
       assaults and other minor           , Ferguson - Rush Mob;               Salvatrucha 13
       crimes. As with other criminal       Valley Mob Gangsters; Pimp
       groups from other countries,                                        ,   Maryville - Mara
                                            Tight Hustlers                     Salvatrucha 13; Deuces
       these gangs present a
       challenge to Missouri law          , Florissant - Da Gutta          ,   Monett - Brownside 13;
       enforcement due to cultural          Squad; Blacc Mobb; Knock           Killer White Boyz
                                            Out Boyz
       and language barriers which                                         ,   Neosho - Folk Nation; MS-
       often limit the amount of          , Grandview - 512; Mobb              13; Joplin Honkys; Tiny
       information and intelligence         Life; Trey Side; Killin’ Not       Toon Nortenos
       about their criminal activities.     Willin’
                                                                           ,   Normandy - Valley Mob;
       The following list of street       , Hannibal - Black P-Stones;         Rollin’ 60 Crips; Pimp Tight
       gangs reported in Missouri           Gangster Disciples; Bloods;        Hustlers
       communities reflects the wide        Crips
                                                                           ,   North Kansas City - Mara
       diversity of gangs in the state.   , Hazelwood - Blacc Mobb;            Salvatrucha 13; Insane
       More importantly, it shows           Knock Out Boyz; Da Gutta           Clown Posse
       how many gangs are locally           Squad
       formed rather than national                                         ,   O’Fallon - Glengate Crips;
                                          , Holden - Surenos, Nortenos,        Surenos 13
                                            Bloods, Crips
                                                                           ,   Rolla - Gangster Disciples;
       A sampling of active street        , Independence - Surenos;            Cowboy Redneck Aryans;
       gangs reported by Missouri           Nortenos; East Side Locos,         Crips
       Law Enforcement (does not            Kentucky Hills Mafia
       reflect all of the gangs                                            ,   St. John - Rex Plex; Vatos
                                          , Jefferson City - East Block        Locos; Surenos; Nortenos;
       reported by each jurisdiction)       Boyz; Vienna Mafia ;               Crips; Bloods
       City Street Gangs                    Gangster Disciples
                                                                           ,   St. Joseph - Surenos 13;
                                          , Joplin - Joplin Honkys             Mara Salvatrucha 13
       , Bellefontaine Neighbors
         Murda Mobb; Block 9ne;           , Kansas City 512 Crips; Trey    ,   St. Louis - County Green
         Pimp Tight Hustlers                Wall Bloods; Surenos; East         Valley Crips; Pimp Tight
                                            Side Locos                         Hustlers; Blacc Mob
       , Blue Springs - Surenos 13;
         Nortenos 14                      , Kirkwood - Meacham Park        ,   St. Louis - City Six Deuce
                                            Gangsters                          Crips; Rollin’ 60 Crips; 9-
       , Cape Girardeau - Gangster
         Disciples; South Side            , Lee’s Summit - Click Clack;        Deuce Bloods; JVL Bloods;
                                            9 Trey Crips                   ,   Sedalia - New Breed GD;
       , Caruthersville - M.O.B;
         Bootheel Bangers                 , Maplewood - Bloods; Crips;         Gangster Disciples; 5 Block;
                                            Gangster Disciples; Blacc          Nortenos; Surenos

Lakshmi V. Dundoo, M.D.                              SPRINGER ENTERPRISE
St. Anthony's Medical office Bldg.
 10004 Kennerly Rd., Suite 271B                                14989 Rintoul Rd.
       St. Louis, MO 63128
                                                               Godfrey, IL 62035
      Phone: (314) 842-0443                                       314.972.9600
                                                                                              SPRING 2009 / 15
Street Gangs in Missouri
                           , Sikeston - Ruth Street                      of prevention, intervention and      , Gang intelligence is
                             Gangsters; Gangster                         suppression. While aggressive          gathered, collated and
                             Disciples; Killer Squad                     law enforcement efforts must           maintained at differing
                           , Springfield - Gangster                      be employed, the problem will          degrees among many law
                             Disciples; Surenos 13;                      not go away unless youths at           enforcement agencies. Many
                             Rollin’ 60 Crips; Bloods                    risk are identified and                agencies rely on the personal
                                                                         periphery members of gangs             knowledge of a few officers
                           , University - City 8 Deuce                   be provided with some                  who are interested in the
                             Bloods; Eastgate Crips; 10                  alternatives to their chosen           street gang culture. Many
                             Block                                       lifestyle of gang activity.            agencies still fail to
                           , Vernon County - East Side                   Among those issues that                document and track gangs,
                             Crips; Bloods                               continue to exist in Missouri          members and their criminal
                                                                         communities:                           activities.
                           Common Problems                                                                    , There remains a gap in the
                                                                         , Some law enforcement
                           in communities                                  officers recognize the signs         street gang intelligence being
                           with street                                     of street gang activity in their     gathered and shared among
                                                                                                                state correctional facilities
                           gangs                                           jurisdiction, but their
                                                                                                                (although the Missouri
                                                                           supervisors or agency heads
                           While many Missouri                             refuse to acknowledge the            Department of Corrections is
                           communities are proactive in                    emerging problem. Some               currently working to enact a
                           their response to street gangs,                 agencies believe their               statewide gang tracking
                           others are mired in problems                    community is immune to the           system). Many county
                           ranging from denial of the                      threat of gangs, and ignore          detention centers in the state
                           problem to lack of training on                  the signs of emerging gang           fail to train staff to recognize
                           how to address the issue. In                    activity when it begins to           and document street gang
                           some communities there is a                     appear.                              indicators on prisoners, thus
                           definite movement to deny or                                                         missing a great opportunity.
                                                                         , There remains a lack of
                           downplay the existence of
                           gangs in the area. This may be
                                                                           coordinated intelligence data      , Many agencies fail to obtain
                                                                           collection and placement of          updated training on street
                           an attempt to avoid the
                                                                           gang information into                gangs for their personnel.
                           community perception that
                                                                           databases that can be                The gang culture continues
                           gangs exist, but this will only
                                                                           accessed and shared by               to evolve and requires that
                           allow the problem to fester and
                                                                           various parts of the criminal        officers, detectives,
                           eventually manifest itself with
                                                                           justice community. Proven            corrections officers,
                           an increased crime rate.
                                                                           systems such as the                  probation/parole officers and
                           When any community finds                        M.O.C.I.C. RISSGANG                  prosecutors understand the
                           itself dealing with street gangs,               system should be used on a           current gang methods and
                           it is absolutely essential that                 larger scale by agencies             trends in order to effectively
                           the response be a combination                   statewide.                           investigate and prosecute

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 them. Training includes
 recognition, investigative
 techniques, effective gang
 reduction strategies and
 other topics. Officer safety
 issues are a key component
 in the need for training on
Suggestions in
Dealing with
As a community attempts to
deal with the problems
associated with street gangs,
consideration should be given      Approximately 200 law enforcement, corrections and probation/parole
to employing some or all of        officers attended the 2008 MGIA Gang Conference in Springfield, Missouri.
the following:                     Topics included Hispanic gangs, Prison Gangs, Juggalos, Interviewing Gang
, Conduct an unbiased,             Members, Gangs in Schools, Missouri Gang Updates and other topics. It is
                                   essential that those working with gang members receive updated training in
  accurate assessment of the       order to effectively deal with the situation and to be aware of changing gang
  scope of the gang situation.     trends. The next MGIA state gang conference will be held again in Springfield
  This should include input        on September 22-24th, 2009.
  from law enforcement,
  community groups,
  educators and social
  agencies that may have input    conferences in Missouri each            , Due to the increasing
  on the topic.                   year.                                     transient nature of many
                                  , Review current agency                   gangs, and their increasing
, Identify exactly “what is the
                                    procedures, databases and               involvement in violent
  gang problem”. Is it
                                    report forms to ensure that             crimes, firearms and
  primarily gang graffiti
                                    information on street gangs             narcotics trafficking and
  showing up in the
                                    and members is being clearly            other crimes it is absolutely
  community? Is it gang
                                    documented and collated, in             necessary for local agencies
  members engaging in certain
                                    order to access and utilize             to establish a working
  types of crimes such as drug
                                    this information for                    relationship with federal
  sales, burglaries or
                                    investigative and intelligence          agencies such as FBI and
  otherwise? Is it a spike in
                                    purposes.                               ATF. Many gang crimes
  violence which is determined
                                                                            overlap to other
  to be between rival gangs?      , Hold regular intelligence               jurisdictions, states and
  Some agencies do not take         sharing meetings among law              countries. When appropriate,
  the time to identify the          enforcement agencies to                 federal prosecution of gangs
  problem before they leap          discuss and share                       can seriously impact the
  into trying to solve the          information on emerging                 presence and scope of crime
  problem.                          gang trends and criminal                involving gangs in a
, Ensure that personnel             activity. This should include           community.
  receive training on current       patrol officers, detectives,
                                    prosecutors, school resource          , Establish procedures with
  street gang trends and
                                    officers, corrections                   county prosecutors offices,
  methods, including
                                    personnel, juvenile officers,           which keep them informed
  recognition and
                                    probation officers and                  of emerging gang problems
  identification of gang
                                    federal agencies in the area            and the specific gangs and
  members. Professional
                                    that are involved in gang               offenders that are most
  associations such as the
                                    investigations.                         problematic. It is highly
  Midwest Gang Investigators
                                                                            effective to have a
  Association host street gang                                                                                     SPRING 2009 / 17
  designated prosecutor who                    resources of law enforcement,    
  handles street gang cases, and is            prosecution, corrections and the           National Gang Center:
  updated on current gang trends               overall community. Experience    
  in the area in order to prioritize           has shown that proactive efforts of        Midwest Gang Investigators
  these court cases.                           law enforcement and the                    Association:
                                               community will help to reduce              National Alliance Gang Investigator
• Develop partnerships with                                                               Associations:
agencies and organizations that                gang problems before they
                                               become deeply ingrained in the             Office Juvenile Justice & Deliquency
might provide services or                                                                 Prevention:
programs which aid in the                      region. Denial of the problem will
prevention or intervention of                  only allow the issue to fester and
                                               affect not only the quality of life        Author
youths at risk, or offer training for
adult offenders to provide them                in the community, but can impact           David Starbuck is a consultant for both
                                               the effectiveness of the law               the National Youth Gang Center in
tools for breaking away from the                                                          Tallahassee, Florida and the National
criminal lifestyle.                            enforcement agency in the
                                                                                          Drug Intelligence Center in Johnstown,
                                               community.                                 Pennsylvania. He retired as a Sergeant
In conclusion, the proliferation of                                                       with the Kansas City, Missouri Police
street gangs continues to spread               References                                 Department with 29 years of service.
throughout the United States, and              Federal Bureau of Investigation –          He investigated dozens of street gang
                                               National Gang Intelligence Center          cases and later organized and
the state of Missouri is impacted
                                               Publication 2009-MO335-001                 supervised the Kansas City Police Gang
by almost every type of gang. The              “National Gang Threat Assessment”,         Squad until his retirement. He currently
problem is two-fold, with many                 January, 2009                              serves as President of the Missouri
youths being drawn to the gang                 Midwest Gang Investigators                 Chapter of Midwest Gang Investigators
lifestyle and a constant migration             Association – Interviews and Surveys       Association, and is a nationally
of gang members from other parts               of Missouri Chapter members 2007-          recognized expert and trainer on street
of the country and Central                     2009                                       gangs. He may be contacted by e-mail
America. The problems of street                Recommended Website Resources              at
gangs continue to test the                     National Youth Gang Center:

                     Missouri Peace Officers Association
    I wish to become a member of the Missouri Peace Officers Association, entitled to all the services, benefits, and privileges
               extended to members thereof. Dues $15.00 per year* Includes $1 for LAW ENFORCEMENT magazine.
 Name of Applicant:                                                Title:
 Agency:                                                           E-mail:
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 Title:                                                    Agency:
 Checks payable to: MPOA Mail to: Missouri Peace Officers Association, 1806 Swift, Suite 102, North Kansas City, MO 64116


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