Twenty-four people accused of belonging to a violent Milwaukee street gang known as the First and Keefe Vice Lords have been charged in federal court, bringing to 100 the number of purported gang members facing federal charges so far this year, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The new defendants are charged with dealing crack cocaine, powder cocaine, and marijuana. This year, officials announced charges against 45 members of the 1-9 Nash Street Boys. Also charged this year were 31 people implicated in a ring moving high-grade marijuana from California to Wisconsin and other states.
U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said, “We will continue to march through these gangs.” Several in the marijuana case from this year grew up in Milwaukee’s suburbs. He also noted that efforts are under way to target the flow of suburban money into the city to buy drugs. “It is a regional problem,” he said. Mayor Tom Barrett called the investigation an example of “breathtaking” cooperation. Officials are following up crackdowns with services in an effort to help neighborhoods and prevent new gangs from filling in behind those arrested, through the federal “Safe Streets” program.