MS-13, the target of a federal indictment in Maryland last summer, isn’t the state’s biggest gang problem. The Bloods are. The Baltimore Sun says that is the conclusion of state’s leading gang investigators, who presented their latest findings yesterday at a summit of 300 law enforcement officers, political leaders, and educators. The Bloods are “the outside influence here,” said Maj. David Engel, chief of the Baltimore Police Department’s criminal intelligence unit.
The daylong conference, funded by a $2 million federal grant to the Maryland U.S. attorney’s office, sought to promote local and federal efforts to prevent young people from joining gangs, to encourage current members to quit, and to lock up their leaders. “The first goal is no turf battles,” Gov. Robert Ehrlich told participants, adding that the effort to combat gangs should transcend partisan differences and bureaucratic wrangling. Ehrlich announced $300,000 in state funding for new anti-gang efforts in Maryland. The federal government, through Project Safe Neighborhoods, will kick in $500,000.