Gang activity is a growing problem in North Carolina
“These guys will traffic young girls for sex and young boys for violence.”
During a Governor’s Crime Commission quarterly meeting on Thursday, U.S. Attorney Michael Easley said gang activity is a growing problem in North Carolina.
The Eastern District of North Carolina’s Deputy Chief for Organized Crime Scott Lemmon said they are seeing them lure in more and more kids, often in the guise of community building.
“They are often suggesting to the community that they are a public interest group, a group that's dedicated to the community it’s in,” he said, “One group in Raleigh, they call themselves Black Men Growing in their neighborhoods, but among themselves they were the Black Mob Gangsters.
Lemmon said they are seeing kids lured into gang membership more and more often.
“They're using kids to carry guns, to carry out violence. They're also using young girls in human trafficking, prostituting girls in hotels and taking the money,” he said.
One contributing factor in the rise in gang violence is the increase in technology use – like 3D printing – that can give them easy access to weapons tools like 3-D printed Glock switches, or auto sears.
Lemmon said, “These can be printed on a 3D printing machine and dropped into a Glock handgun or another type of firearm and convert it from a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon.”
Easley said criminals caught with the Glock switches could go to prison for a very long time.
“If they're used in a crime of violence or a drug trafficking offense, it triggers a 30-year mandatory minimum, very heavy federal penalty,” he said.
The Governor's Crime Commission is gathering information about crime in the state in order to make recommendations to Governor Roy Cooper and the secretary of public safety.
State officials will use those recommendations to apply for federal public safety grants.