DPS gang violence report highlights illicit activity in Texas - FOX34 Lubbock
DPS gang violence report highlights illicit activity in Texas
LUBBOCK, Texas -
The more than 100,000 gang members in Texas are responsible for the spike in drug, human, and weapon trafficking state-wide. This on top of violent crimes like murders, robberies, and assaults all this according to a new report released by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
State troopers report Lubbock county has higher than average gang activity, a notch below that reported in the metro counties like Dallas, Tarrant, and Harris counties. Texas is broken up into 5 regions, Lubbock is part of the northwest region along with Amarillo, Abilene, and Wichita Falls, as well as all the panhandle counties.
Lieutenant Bryan Witt said 85% of the gang arrests are for violent crimes like assault, beyond violent crimes gang members are mostly arrested for drug and property crimes.
"If you look around the Lubbock region of course you are going to have some of your bigger cities like Lubbock, Amarillo, Wichita Falls and Abilene which will have your larger groups of gang members," said Witt. "The smaller counties don't go without having some in there, there is gang members throughout the state and smaller counties they are just not in the big numbers."
These gangs are believed to be working closely with the Mexican cartels, providing a direct route for not only drugs, but also human and weapon smuggling. DPS notes that as long as illicit cross-border crimes are profitable, the relationship between cartels and Texas gangs will continue. Troopers said they have concerns about the role gangs play in trafficking of fentanyl and contributing to the national opioid epidemic.