05/30/2012

New Tenn. law puts gangs under RICO category

Expands statute to include gang activity, coercion, others

By Andy Sher
Chattanooga Times Free Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  Chattanooga officials say local police already have identified some violent criminal street gangs that officials could eventually target under an expansion of Tennessee's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act that takes effect July 1.

"The answer is yes," said Boyd Patterson, one of Mayor Ron Littlefield's two Gang Task Force coordinators, on Tuesday. "There are some specific criminal organizations in Chattanooga to whom the RICO bill could be applied."

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