Omaha (KPTM) - Thousands of gang members, more gang related crimes. Law enforcement and gang experts say it's something they're fighting more and more all the time.
You've seen it in your neighborhood or watched it on the news. Gunshots, sirens, lights and yellow police tape all becoming familiar sights in Omaha.
Bruce Ferrell is the president of the Midwest Gang Investigators.
He says some of the recent violence could be gang related.
Ferrell says, "We're seeing an up swing in gang violence, and that's why we see law enforcement addressing it the way they are with more patrols."
Ferrell says the increase in gang violence doesn't necessarily mean drive bys and drugs. "They're involved in burglaries, auto theft, and also get involved in credit card fraud as well."
According to the Omaha Police Department twenty-nine suspected gangs with more than twenty-five hundred members operate in Omaha.
FBI special agent, John Kavangh says, "Gang activity has been pretty consistent."
Kavangh helped with one of the biggest gang arrests last year. Breaking up the ms 13 organizations, arresting more than fifty people locally and more internationally. "We know what street gangs we have in certain areas."
It was part of the safe street task force working with Omaha police and other law enforcement agencies.
They've helped take down many of the major gang organizations. But Kavanagh says there are still a few in Omaha they're keeping an eye on.
Kavanagh says, "You have a lot of wanabes, a lot who want to be like the L.A. influenced gangs like the Las Suranos, the bloods, or crips."
Ferrell says the problem with wanabes is they're willing to commit any kind of crime to prove to others that they're worthy to be in a gang.
Now the FBI and the Omaha Police department work together on a regular basis to help put these gang members behind bars.
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