The Texas Department of Public Safety has released its 2017 Texas Gang Threat Assessment, a collaboration with federal, state and local law enforcement and criminal justice agencies across Texas and the U.S.
In Central Texas, which the report noted as region six, the DPS said the most significant gangs were the Tango cliques of San Antonio (Orejon) and Austin (La Capirucha), and TMM.
It noted the most active street gangs in this region as the Bloods, Sureños, Crips and Gangster Disciples. Other gangs specifically mentioned were the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, Texas Syndicate, Aryan Circle and the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, which contributed to the May 2015 shootout in Waco that killed nine people and also involved the Cossacks Motorcycle Club.
The State Intelligence Estimate produced by the Texas Joint Crime Information Center said that as many as 100,000 gang members are in Texas at any given time, and the most significant gangs throughout the entire state are Tango Blast, Latin Kings, Texas Mexican Mafia and Mara Salvatrucha.
Tango Blast and associated Tango clique members were estimated at greater than 19,000 members, while the Latin Kings were estimated at greater than 1,300 members, the Texas Mexican Mafia at greater than 4,100, and Mara Salvatrucha members were estimated at more than 500. The assessment stated that these “Tier 1” gangs pose the greatest threat potential based on their cartel relationships, high levels of transnational criminal activity, the level of committed violence and overall statewide strength and presence.
According to the report, the four Texas counties with the highest concentration of suspected gang activity were Tarrant, Dallas, Harris and Bexar counties. Travis, Williamson and Bell counties, among 23, others ranked one level below the previous four and one level above the "near median" range.
While the highest concentration of gang activity tends to be found near major metropolitan areas, the report noted that many gang members can still be found in surrounding suburban areas. It mentioned that gang activity is notably high in counties adjacent to Mexico due to gang involvement in cross-boarding smuggling and trafficking.
For more information on Texas gang activity, the full 62-page report can be found here.
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