(April 17, 2014) The updated Texas Gang Threat Assessment report released Thursday says gangs pose a substantial threat in Central Texas and around the state.
“Gang violence and crime are a chief threat to public safety in Texas, and protecting our communities from these criminals remains a top priority,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw.
The report, which is the product of a collaboration between numerous local law enforcement and criminal justice agencies across the state, identifies the predominant gangs in the region that includes Central Texas as the Texas Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate, Tango Blast (ATX) and Tango clique (Orejones).
The report identifies Tango Blast and Tango cliques, with about 8,200 members, as the state’s most significant gang threat, along with the Texas Syndicate with more than 4,400 members and the Texas Mexican Maria with more than 5,500 members.
Other groups in the Central Texas region include the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, various cliques of the Crips and Bloods, the Bandidos, Hermandad de Pistoleros Latinos, Sureño 13, Aryan Circle, Latin Kings, and Gangster Disciples.
“Gangs represent one of the top organized-crime threats to public safety,” said state Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Homeland Security.
The report says gangs are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime in communities around the state and says many of them continue to work with Mexican drug cartels to smuggle drugs, weapon, people and cash across the border.
Gangs, the report says, are active in both human smuggling and human trafficking, which often includes sex trafficking and compelling prostitution of adult and minor victims.