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Gang activity is a growing problem in North Carolina

U.S. Attorney Michael Easley.
(Screenshot of
U.S. Attorney Michael Easley.

“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.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to