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Border Crossings: A Look at the Very Real Threat of Cross Border Gangs to the U.S.

NCJ Number
Journal of Gang Research Volume: 15 Issue: 2 Dated: Winter 2008 Pages: 33-52
G. V. Corbiscello
Date Published
20 pages
This paper presents an overview of the threat posed by cross border gangs to the United States in the areas of drug smuggling, human smuggling, and murder and the response by the United States.
To many who have been born in other countries, the United States still looks like the Land of Opportunity. Therefore, emigration is, and has been for many decades, a natural outgrowth of seeing the riches of the North due to the poverty in the South. As with every group of immigrants coming into the United States, whether legal or illegal, those from Central America brought with them a relatively small number of criminals. Until recently, the crimes committed by these criminals, who had formed into gangs here in the United States, stood beneath the radar because those who were victimized were other immigrants. However, today, drug cartels are hiring gangs to smuggle large quantities of Mexican drugs, such as heroin, marijuana, and cocaine across the border. In addition, there are terrorist groups hiring these same and other cross border gangs to smuggle illegal aliens from other places than Mexico into the United States. This article examines theses gangs, such as the Mara Salvatrucha Stoners (also known as the MS X3) Border Brothers, and other Central American gangs. These gangs are a patchwork of organizations that smuggle drugs for distribution throughout the United States. The origin of these gangs, specifically the MS X3 and the response or lack of response by the United States Government is discussed. 42 endnotes