Oklahoma gang members have begun using cell phones and text messaging to conduct criminal activities, and Internet social media such as Facebook and YouTube to recruit members as young as second-graders, according to a survey of gang activity reported by The Oklahoman. Youth in the state are joining gangs at an earlier age and gang members are becoming more prone to violent actions.
As a result, the entire community, not just law enforcement, must address the gang issues facing Oklahoma, said Prof. Michael Wilds of Northeastern State University, author of the report. “You're seeing more recruiting done to the younger population,” he said. Gang members are using cell phones and text messaging for communications related to criminal activities such as drug manufacturing and distribution routes, the survey found. They use cell phones and international dialing to maintain contact with incarcerated gang members or gang members who have been deported to Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, and other Central American countries.