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Texas Bill Would Criminalize Online Gang Recruitment, Tackle Transnational Crime

March 10, 2009

Texas Bill Would Criminalize Online Gang Recruitment, Tackle Transnational Crime
Mar 10, 2009, News Report

“Today, we are sending a message to let these violent gangs know that they are not welcome here in Texas, and that we will do whatever it takes to drive them out of our state.” 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was joined by Sen. John Carona and law enforcement officials yesterday to emphasize the need to combat the escalating threat of transnational gangs in Texas communities. Carona yesterday filed Senate Bill (SB) 11, legislation that if passed will significantly disrupt the operations of transnational gangs in Texas.

“Today, we are sending a message to let these violent gangs know that they are not welcome here in Texas, and that we will do whatever it takes to drive them out of our state,” Perry said. “It is time to act and I believe we should devote the necessary resources to properly address this gang threat head-on in communities across the state.”

Gangs like the Mexican Mafia, the Texas Syndicate, Barrio Azteca and MS-13 are a threat to Texas citizens, said the Governor’s Office, and growing increasingly sophisticated as they work to expand their influence across our state, recruiting members from our schools, communities and prisons.
Online Recruitment an Offense

SB 11 will create an offense for the online promotion of criminal gangs which will be a powerful tool in protecting young Texans and preventing them from being recruited into these illicit organizations. The bill will also allow parents, communities and government entities to file civil suits against criminal street gangs or individual gang members, enabling those parties to recover for damages caused by gang-related crimes.

Perry’s gang initiative builds on the border security strategy of working with local law enforcement, increasing resources for surge operations, providing resources for investigations and prosecutions, and establishing a multi-agency gang intelligence section in the Texas Fusion Center. The initiative calls for a multi-jurisdictional gang strategy that includes:

* Expanding the sharing of vital gang information at all levels of
law enforcement across the state
* Centralizing gang intelligence
* Expanding effective local law enforcement gang operations in
identified “hot spots”
* Increasing resources dedicated to multiagency criminal enterprise
investigations that target leaders of the most dangerous gangs
* Seeking enabling legislation to arm law enforcement with essential
gang fighting tools
* Expanding gang prevention efforts.

Securing the international border is a federal responsibility that Washington has yet to fulfill, said the Governor’s Office in a release. “As a result,” continued the release, “the Texas Legislature took decisive action last session by providing necessary funding to secure the Texas border. Perry has urged the 2009 Legislature for continued leadership on this issue by supporting $135 million to fund continued border security efforts and combat transnational gang activity across the state through the next biennium.”
(SB) 11

Page 14:
(a) In this section, “criminal street gang” has the meaning assigned by Section 71.01.
(b) A person commits an offense if, with the intent to benefit, to promote, or to further the interests of a criminal street gang or to increase the person ‘s standing, position, or status in the criminal street gang, the person uses the Internet, including distributing, selling, transmitting, or posting on the Internet an audio, video, or still representation of a person engaged in criminal activity, to:
(1) intimidate or harass another person; or
(2) advertise the presence of the criminal street gang in a specific geographic location.
(c) An offense under this section is a state jail felony.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2009 9:53 pm

    Well i hope they do it soon. Keep up the excellent updates.

  2. April 9, 2009 10:28 pm

    You really did your homework on this post. I like what you have to say about it and could not agree with you more. Keep up the good work, thanks for sharing!

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