The federal indictment yesterday of nine gang members in Nashville signals the growth of gangs in Middle Tennessee, reports the Tennessean. In two years, federal prosecutors have worked on cases involving gangs MS-13, Rollin’ Crips, La Familia Cartel, and now the Traveling Vice Lords. Local, state and federal agencies have worked together on all of them.
Police say there are more than three dozen gang-affiliated groups in Middle Tennessee. Gangs grow through recruitment in jails and prisons, said Sgt. Gary Kemper of the Nashville Metro police gang unit. Inmates “go into prison and youth facilities unaffiliated but they come out gang members,” he said. “That’s the problem. That’s why you see them in rural areas.”