Texas gangs working closely with Mexican cartels, DPS threat assessment says

Findings part of Texas gang threat assessment

By Ben Spicer - Web Producer

SAN ANTONIO - Gangs in Texas are continuing to work closely with the Mexican cartels, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a gang threat assessment released Wednesday.

The findings were part of an evaluation that classifies Texas gangs and identifies which organizations represent the most substantial public threat.

“Gangs and their associates remain a significant threat to public safety, not only because of their penchant for violence and criminal activity, but also their relationships with other criminal organizations, such as Mexican cartels,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “This report provides an overview of the gangs operating in Texas, which gives law enforcement critical information to help protect our communities from these violent organizations.”

The new report said there are as many as 100,000 gang members in Texas.

Some of the interesting findings released on Wednesday include: 

  • Gangs are a significant threat to public safety in Texas.
  • Gangs in Texas continue to work closely with the Mexican cartels.
  • Gangs assessed with a Tier 1 ranking pose the greatest gang threat to the state.
  • Some members within traditional gangs, such as Texas Syndicate and Texas Mexican Mafia, operate independently of the gang.  
  • Younger gang members are relinquishing traditional gang structure and rules, opting for less organizational oversight and the freedom to serve in self-interested roles.
  • Motorcycle gangs continue to challenge the dominance of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang in Texas.  
  • Gangs use social media to communicate, boast and recruit.  

“The findings in this report are further evidence that the State of Texas must continue to do all it can to proactively and aggressively combat gangs operating in our state,” said Governor Greg Abbott. “With gangs continuing to pose a serious threat to public safety in Texas, our residents can rest assured that we will remove these ruthless criminals from the streets and bolster the safety and security of our communities.”

The assessment released is based on a collaboration between multiple law enforcement and criminal justice agencies across both the state and nation. To read the full-report, click here.

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