Gangs in Aspen Hill
"Gang" is a term which has multiple definitions which vary by jurisdiction.
The highest profile in the public mind belongs to "youth gangs".
- 1 Youth Gangs
- 1.1 Definitions
- 1.2 Activity
- 1.3 Youth Gangs, "Crews", and "Cliques" in Aspen Hill
- 1.3.1 National / Transnational Scope (alphabetical order)
- 1.3.2 Local / Regional Scope
- 2 Organized Crime and Criminal Organizations
- 3 Anti-Gang Programs
A youth gang is a group of three or more individuals typically between the ages of 12 and 24 who engage in delinquent or criminal activity for the benefit of its members and/or to further the reputation of the gang. The gang shares a common identity and view themselves as members of a cohesive group. It is important to gang members that others view them as a gang, as well. The common gang identity may be one or more of the following:
- The gang has a name that separates the group from others.
- Members share common symbols such as style of clothing, graffiti, and hand signs.
- Members regularly come together as a group and may claim a specific geographic location.
The official definition of "gang" is much the same as detailed above.
A certain amount of "alleged gang activity" is comprised within the set of things that actually happened but cannot with certainty be ascribed to intentional activity on behalf of a gang.
Search at the website of the Montgomery Gazette.
If you have grafitti, contact Grafitti Abatement Partners. Their line for reporting graffiti is 301-607-4733.
Here are just a few representative examples:
- 14000 block Parkland Drive, green telco box tagged with "Sur X3" on side facing street, 2008 June 6.
Youth Gangs, "Crews", and "Cliques" in Aspen Hill
This list is primarily based on the 2006 Annual Report from the Montgomery County Department of Police, and does not at this time reflect any growth in gang membership or arrests/incarcerations/deportations of gang members since that time.
This list also does not yet reflect any changes in territories.
This list covers more than Aspen Hill proper, but is limited to the immediate surrounding areas.
Whether any of the groups here, claiming affiliation with larger groups of the same name, are actually affiliated, is uncertain.
National / Transnational Scope (alphabetical order)
Almighty Latin Kings and Queens Nation
Primarily "hispanic" but almost exclusively of American citizenship. At least 19 were indicted on Federal charges, in part relating to a botched firebombing as of January 8 2008 in the 13800 block of Parkland Drive. The Kings are widely believed to be the largest and most organized "hispanic" gang in North America. They originated in the 1940s as a social movement seeking equal justice for "all Latinos" although their origins in Chicago primarily comprised Puerto Ricans. Yet as a social movement they were broken, but their origins as a self-defense organization remained and degenerated into violence and crime.
See also "Kingism".
"Wheaton Bloods": Mostly black, Glenmont, 20 or so members.
"UNC Crips": Multiethnic, Glenmont, 30 or so members.
Mara Locos / Vatos Locos
Primarily "hispanic", Glenmont, 20 or more members.
Maras Salvatruchas ("MS-13")
Primarily Central American ethnic Salvadoran/American, transnational scope, primarily in Silver Spring, Wheaton Central Business District, Glenmont. 50 or more members.
Primarily Chicano (Mexican-American), origins in Southern California. Not known to be affiliated.
Local / Regional Scope
Hotboyz / Shoot 'Em Up
Multiethnic, Bel Pre Road area, as many as 20 members.
Lil R / Lil Raza
Primarily latino, not widely known or respected; mostly younger teenagers. A 2009 stabbing in Aspen Hill resulted in the charging as adults of Alvin Rey Valdez, 16, and Jose Romero, 14, both of the 3500 block of Harrell Street in Wheaton, with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault ("Two teenagers denied bail in Aspen Hill stabbing: Prosecutor says victim has brain damage", Brachfeld, Melissa, Montgomery Gazette, March 16, 2009 (downloaded 2009 March 17))
Up and Ready ("UnR")
Primarily black, Aspen Hill Road/Veirs Mill Road area, as many as a dozen members.
Organized Crime and Criminal Organizations
Probably every significant "real gang" is represented here in Aspen Hill.
"Real" gangs are often much the same as youth-gangs, as young people in the "gangsta" lifestyle very rarely just grow up out of it.
Some criminal organizations have their roots in the prison system, and others in ideology such as white-supremacy, and others still have their roots in the criminal traditions of other countries and societies. Some criminal organizations are probably best thought of as extended families, as in many case that is exactly what they are.
All levels of law-enforcement, from Federal through State and County, combat gangs in their own way, which is to say, investigation and prosecution for criminal acts.
Many of the County's efforts are distributed through multiple venues. The Schools, the Recreation department, and other agencies have developed and are evolving programs aimed at forestalling gang recruitment. Other programs are evolving which have a "keep them busy doing something useful" approach. Summertime non-school activities, afterschool activities during the school year, and opportunities for volunteer/community-service hours are included in this approach.
Perhaps you would like to see the website of the Joint County Gang Prevention Task Force.