Gangs going high-tech, official warns

Gangs going high-tech, official warns

(Miami Herald) – Calling gangs a ”nationwide pandemic” that have harnessed the Internet for recruiting and cybercrime, Miami-Dade’s top gang prosecutor on Tuesday urged tougher enforcement and stepped-up prevention efforts.

Assistant State Attorney Frank Ledee, speaking at a conference on gangs held in West Kendall, cited several examples, including the indictment of the Terrorist Boys gang for a dozen murders in North Miami-Dade.

Among other cases cited:

Gangster Rudy ”Bird Road Rudy” Villanueva, convicted in March after taunting Miami-Dade police on Youtube.com; and Victor ”Magic” Lopez, the son of a well-heeled Miami Beach doctor who used the Web to teach himself about Chicago’s Imperial Gangsters and is now facing trial for cocaine trafficking.

”The problem is not going away,” Ledee told more than 400 people gathered for the fifth annual Gang Summit, hosted by the Dade-Miami Criminal Justice Council.

The summit, held at the Signature Gardens banquet hall, featured workshops with Miami-Dade police, the public defender’s office and community outreach organizations.

Ledee stressed the importance of programs that help convicts adjust after their release from prison, and organizations such as the Panzou Project, aimed at at-risk Haitian-American youths.

”It’s a cycle that starts so young,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle said.

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