01/30/2009

FBI: One million gang members behind 80% of street crime

By Kevin Johnson
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Criminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated 1 million members responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation, according to a gang threat assessment compiled by federal officials.

The major findings in a report by the Justice Department's National Gang Intelligence Center, which has not been publicly released, conclude gangs are the "primary retail-level distributors of most illicit drugs" and several are "capable" of competing with major U.S.-based Mexican drug-trafficking organizations.

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