It is believed that one of the Little Rock Blood gangs, the Highland Court Crew, has been in existence in one form or another since 1984. Graffiti and other intelligence were noted around 1987. Most other area gangs formed in the late 80's and early 90's with the biggest growth year being 1990. Even though we have identified around forty gangs, almost all of them identify with the four major gangs from other states. Those are: 1) Crips; 2) Bloods; 3) Folk Nation; and 4) People Nation. The Crips and Bloods are Los Angeles oriented while the Folk Nation and People Nation are Chicago oriented. A more detailed discussion of these groups will follow. The Black Gangster Disciples (a sub-group of the Hoovers) appears to be the largest denomination with the Bloods being the second largest. Some believe the Disciples and Crips are aligning on the streets as well as in the prisons, as are the Bloods and Vice-Lords.
Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters of wholesale quantities of powdered cocaine into and through Arkansas. They generally smuggle the drug from Mexico through California and southwestern states to Arkansas. Mexican criminal groups also transport powdered cocaine into Arkansas from Chicago, Illinois; Kansas City, Kansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Memphis, Tennessee. African American street gangs and, to a lesser extent, African American independent dealers also transport wholesale quantities of powdered cocaine into Arkansas, primarily from Los Angeles.
Cocaine typically is transported into Arkansas via Interstates 30 and 40. The drug generally is concealed in hidden compartments located in commercial and private vehicles. Transporters also intermingle cocaine with legitimate items such as produce, or conceal the drug in luggage.
Cocaine destined for other states often is transported through Arkansas. Law enforcement officers in Arkansas have seized cocaine destined for other areas including Illinois, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C. For example, in March 2003 Arkansas State Police seized 35 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $1.5 million from a van traveling east on Highway 64 near I-40 in London. The officer had stopped the van for a traffic violation. A consensual search of the vehicle revealed the cocaine concealed inside the spare tire. The operator of the van identified himself as a resident of Marietta, Georgia, and claimed to be en route from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Atlanta, Georgia. He was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and obstructing governmental operations.
Most of the crack cocaine available in Arkansas is converted locally on an as-needed basis to avoid the stricter federal penalties associated with crack possession. However, African American street gangs and African American local independent dealers transport some crack cocaine into Arkansas from surrounding states. According to the Fayetteville Police Department, African American local independent dealers transport crack from West Memphis, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee, to Fayetteville. Law enforcement officials in Fort Smith report that African American local independent dealers transport crack into their jurisdiction from Oklahoma City.
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