PROJECT WILDFIRE STING: 1000 gangsters, 239 gangs, 282 cities

Apr 9, 2015

In a nationwide sweep dubbed Project Wildfire, about a 1,000 gangsters from 239 gangs in 282 American cities found themselves relocated this spring.  

To jail, that is.

Those arrested in last month’s sting included hundreds of U.S. citizens as well as 200 foreign nationals from such continents as South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Most now face both state and federal charges for their various organized criminal activities, and some even deportation for immigration violations.

It’s a serious setback for infamous gangs like the Bloods, Crips, Sureños, and Norteños, since the seizure involved both high-ranking homeys and group assets as well.

In all, Customs Enforcement officers and agents from Homeland Security seized firearms, drugs, money, counterfeit merchandise and automobiles, delivering a crippling blow to business as usual in Gangland USA.

But pundits warn that surges and crackdowns like Project Wildfire, while effective in the short run, are merely a band-aid approach to the real underlying problems that make gang-life so appealing.

“Gangs would not exist if they did not satisfy -- albeit in very anti-social and destructive ways -- the desperate need young people have for protection, a sense of empowerment and group membership, mentoring and employment” says Douglas Perkins, an expert on the topic of youth violence.

“It is not just any youths who are most at risk,” he adds, “it is those marginalized by discrimination based on class, race and nationality.”

Little doubt then, with so many of these disenfranchised outcasts joining gangs in their hoods, there will soon be plenty of contenders vying to fill all the suddenly empty chairs.


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