Recently, America’s Most Wanted announced the nations’ Most Wanted Gang Members list. This list is in cooperation with The National Gang Targeting, Enforcement & Coordination Center (GangTECC). Gang TECC began operations in summer 2006 as the national anti-gang task force created by the Attorney General.
GangTECC is a multi-agency center that was designed to serve as a critical catalyst in unifying federal efforts to help disrupt and dismantle the most significant and violent gangs in the United States. The senior investigators at GangTECC come from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Marshals Service (USMS) and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Department of Homeland Security. These federal agents work in close collaboration with the Gang Squad prosecutors in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, and with analysts and others at the National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC).
Street gangs such as the Bloods, Crips, MS-13 and Latin Kings are probably the largest group and control the most geographic area. However, from the 11 known national gangs, most are small and have limited influence. As national gangs move from the southwest to urban areas, law enforcement needs to be more aware of their violent crimes and drug markets.
Many innocent people are caught in gang wars and some communities have found that 80 percent of their crime is gang related. These communities have found an increase in shoplifting, drugs and even murder. No longer do the gangs operate with stereotypical hand signs, colors and tattoos. They try to keep a low profile to do their crimes.
Gang membership is increasing in the U.S. At last count NGIC knew of at least 20,000 named gangs with more than 1 million members.