There are a variety of ways drugs find their way into the United States but not many people realize that gangs are part of the reason. There are 3 primary types of gangs that are responsible for distributing and sometimes producing drugs in the United States. Gangs not only distribute and produce drugs in the U.S. but they are also responsible for smuggling them into the country.
There are Street Gangs, Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs), and Prison Gangs that are responsible for a huge portion of the drugs available on the streets today. In the early part of 2010 there were around a million active gang members in the U.S. Criminal gangs have changed throughout the years, they're becoming much more advanced, structured and organized and have a lot more influence in large scale drug trafficking.
Hispanic and African American street gangs are growing and taking a lot more control over the distribution of drugs in suburban and rural areas and get their drugs from Drug Trafficking Organizations in Mexico or areas along the Southwest Border.
When it comes to cocaine and PCP, members of street gangs convert powdered cocaine into crack and also produce the majority of PCP that's available throughout the United States. When it comes to street gangs, they can be found in various size groups and they're all structured differently. The larger groups of street gangs throughout the country are the most troublesome and are extremely violent. These street gangs not only smuggle drugs in, they produce, transport and distribute very large amounts of illegal drugs throughout the United States.
Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs for the most part produce methamphetamines and marijuana and they're equally as dangerous.
There are prison gangs that are active throughout the United States and they have a lot of power when it comes to drug trafficking along the Southwest Border. At one time prison gangs were a small operation distributing drugs at a retail level but not anymore, now they're becoming a lot more involved with transporting and wholesale distribution of these drugs.
Gangs are responsible for distributing and transporting drugs like PCP, MDMA (Ecstasy) meth, marijuana, crack, heroin, and powdered cocaine throughout the U.S. What many people may not realize is that some gangs actually make millions every month selling illicit drugs, dealing in weapons, running prostitution rings, and selling stolen property. The big money they collect monthly is laundered in various ways which include real estate investments, recording studios, motorcycle shops, and construction companies.
Some of their money is also used to operate barbershops, music stores, restaurants, catering businesses, tattoo parlors, and strip clubs. Operating cash based businesses is a way of mixing their illegal drug money with legitimate money that comes from genuine businesses.
Most of the serious and violent crime throughout the United States has to do with gang activity. Besides illegal drugs, gangs are involved with assaults, burglaries, drive by shootings, extortion, homicides, identification fraud, laundering money, prostitution operations, robberies, selling stolen goods, and trafficking weapons. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) is working hard to dismantle gangs through their intelligence driven investigations and new initiatives and partnerships.