Rising Threats California's Battle With the 5 Most Dangerous Gangs

Rising Threats: California’s Battle With the 5 Most Dangerous Gangs

Over 1.4 million Americans are affiliated with more than 33,000 gangs nationwide, as reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Though some of these gangs operate on a local scale with loose organization, others are growing in numbers and extending their influence globally. Here are the top five most dangerous gangs currently gaining dominance in California:

The 18th Street Gang

The 18th Street Gang, established in the 1960s near 18th Street and Union in Los Angeles, holds the title of the largest gang in the LA area. Ranker.com reports that they boast a staggering 15,000 members solely within LA.

According to StreetGangs.com, the gang originated in 1965 in the Pico Union area of LA, specifically near 18th Street, formed by various sets in the vicinity.

Rising Threats: California's Battle With the 5 Most Dangerous Gangs

The Department of Justice highlights that approximately 80% of the 18th Street Gang’s members are illegal immigrants. Moreover, the Department of Justice estimates the gang’s overall membership to range between 30,000 and 50,000 individuals.

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The presence of the Bloods in Los Angeles wouldn’t be complete without the Crips. Established in the 1960s in LA, the Crips have now grown to more than double the size of their red counterparts, boasting roughly 50,000 members nationwide, including California.

As per the U.S. Department of Justice, the general belief is that the Crips originated in 1969. Teenagers from Washington High School adopted the school’s colors, giving rise to the formation of the Crips.

While it’s challenging to determine the exact number of murders and crimes committed by the Crips, InfoTracer notes that their conflict with the Bloods in the 1980s resulted in a significant amount of bloodshed.

This figure is likely even higher, considering that the Crips operate not only in California but also in other states across the country.

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West Coast Bloods

The Bloods, often referred to as “Bloods,” originated as a response to the threat posed by the Crips. Today, they boast a national membership of nearly 20,000 individuals, with approximately half concentrated in the Los Angeles area, as reported by Ranker.com. Bloods are also present throughout Colorado.

As per the US Department of Justice, the Bloods trace their roots back to the 1970s when the Brims and the Pirus gangs formed an alliance to defend themselves against the Crips.

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38th Street Gang

Established in South Central LA during the 1920s, the 38th Street Gang gained notoriety for drug distribution on 38th Street in Los Angeles. According to Ranker.com, the city took measures to address the influx of people seeking drugs by temporarily closing several streets around the 38th Street area.

Rising Threats: California's Battle With the 5 Most Dangerous Gangs

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The Sureños, meaning “Southern” in Spanish, originated in Southern California and are affiliated gangs paying homage to the Mexican Mafia. Although they are most prominent in California, they operate as a nationwide gang with a presence in Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and other states.

As per the ICE website, the Sureños are involved in a range of criminal activities beyond murder, including extortion, prostitution, arms dealing, and various crimes associated with MS-13, the international criminal gang.

To Conclude

California’s gang situation serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by organized crime. The five gangs discussed here only scratch the surface of the intricate network operating within the state, with their influence extending beyond California’s borders.

Despite some viewing them as local disturbances, these organizations hold significant sway, impacting communities through violence, drug trafficking, and various illegal activities.

Effectively addressing this problem requires a comprehensive approach. While law enforcement is crucial in disrupting gang operations and bringing offenders to justice, sustainable solutions depend on addressing the underlying factors that drive gang recruitment, such as poverty, limited opportunities, and exposure to violence.

Community-based initiatives focused on education, job training, and mentorship can provide viable alternatives to the gang lifestyle, empowering individuals to pursue brighter futures.

Ultimately, fostering a safer California necessitates a holistic strategy that acknowledges the complexities of the issue and invests in both proactive prevention and efficient law enforcement.

With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.