Local street gangs now also on the 'net
National gangs are surfacing in Augusta thanks to the internet.
By Chase Cain
WJBF NewsCHANNEL 6
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Gangs from California to Miami are recruiting members, bragging about crimes-- even selling drugs on their websites. It's all just a click away-- or maybe right next door.
Bloods, Crips, Vice Lords-- they're all gangs you'd probably expect to find on the streets of LA. But these notorious groups have made their way to the Garden City- in part because of the internet.
"They are more noticeable. We're recognizing more gangs," says Richmond County Investigator Tess Alexander-Brunson. She spends much of her time tracking local gangs, not just on the streets, but on the net.
And finding a gang's website isn't too hard. A couple of clicks and you can find this-- sights showing a group's hand signs, clothing, and even videos of gang members. It’s all information useful to police, "to make as many arrests as possible. And more so- to just intelligence- to find out what they're doing," says Investigator Alexander-Brunson.
What the gangs are doing might surprise you. Investigators say group members talk about how they're helping their gang- by selling drugs and buying guns. And deputies tell us it's all for one reason, "to see who's the biggest and who's the baddest."
They also helps local upstart groups learn from the bigger, experienced gangs. That means the world-wide web is bringing the crime and the gangs of L.A., Chicago, and New York to Augusta.
Investigator Alexander-Brunson says, "We cannot compare to Chicago and California- but if we don't go ahead and try to be proactive then we will have the same problems they're having with gangs."
Deputies tell us they're seeing a lot more gang crimes in the area- mainly by kids and teens. And these websites are only making the crimes easier to coordinate. That’s why investigators say they'll continue to keep an eye on several local gang sites they've found.
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