1. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Is their anywhere I can research how gangs recruit new members in this case?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Ryan Elder, Feb 16, 2016.

    For my story I want an undercover cop, to join a gang, so he can infiltrate it.

    However, in doing research I cannot find anyways to join a gang. So far I can only find cases, where youths join, but scenarios in which youths are drafted into gangs (through school related examples), are very different compared to how an adult would be.

    So I am wondering if their are any books or sites that talk about it at all? Thank you for your input. I really appreciate it.
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, it depends on what kind of gang. I can tell you that latino gangs are very community oriented. What I mean by that is that they tend to draw lines dependent on where you live, where you grew up. Los Angeles gangs are like this and the gangs here in Puerto Rico are also very much like this. For a cop to infiltrate a gang here requires getting into the community first. Here gangs are centered on what we call residenciales. In the U.S. you would probably call these the projects, depending on where you live. Infiltrating isn't easy, obviously, and the cost, risk and investment is high. Easier to flip someone already in the community.

    So, what kind of gang?
     
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  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    The show Gangland may help. It has info on all types of gangs, so you can watch the episodes that best fit your needs.
     
  4. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Well this gang doesn't have a certain area of town that they would prefer everyone to reside in. Basically there is a gang going around, responsible for several kidnappings and possibly murders, and the police want to infiltrate it. But they do not stick to a certain area of town. The police do not know who any of the members are, so they would have to appeal to their egos somehow, by infiltrating them in a way, in which they do not know any of the members.

    And the members themselves would have to take precautions, but the advantage to hiring someone who does not know who any of the members are means, that it's easier for the gang to create plausible deniability since the new recruit does not know any of them.

    It's sort of like the movie Reservoir Dogs, where you have a gang but no one knows who each other is, in it. So how would the police infiltrate a gang like that, if they do not know any of the members. They would have to appeal to their egos somehow and make contact with social media or something, I am guessing?
     
  5. Startled Crow
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    Startled Crow Member Supporter

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    Look for real life examples. I want to say that I have heard many actual cases where undercover law enforcers successfully joint gangs such as Hell's Angels, GD, Bloods, etc. and even some domestic terrorist groups in different countries such as the KKK and what not. Look for those accounts and research them heavily to get an ideas.
     
  6. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Okay thanks. I already researched Hell's Angels and the KKK. All of the undercovers I could find, already new members though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  7. MockingJD
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    MockingJD Member

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    Under and Alone by William Queen is about how the author infiltrated a violent biker gang in California while he was a member of the ATF.

    In my conversations with detectives, apparently committing a murder and getting beaten up by current members have been ways certain gangs performed initiations.
     
  8. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    If it's your gang you can invent your own method of recruitment and it's nuances. Researching such cases as suggested would be good for making it realistic, I would suggest researching real anonymous gangs. I think these guys would probably use a invitation-only system, where you don't come to them they come to you. That would help them with the anonymous bit and it would fit with how such gangs function. But you don't need to copy any specific version of that, you can invent a realistic method out of nowhere. Not every reasonable, feasible method has a documented case of it's use.
     
  9. Davek74
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    Davek74 New Member

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    Undercover usually use some one already on the inside to get in. Maybe a member of the gang has a crisis of conscience and contacts the police, or maybe a low level gang member is arrested for a low level crime (assault or drugs possession) the cop isn't meant to snoop through their phone (or maybe it is legitimate) and the link to the wider gang is identified (photos on the phone etc).
    The cops can then put pressure on the gang member to introduce the Undercover to the gang (a book called the big white lie by Michael levene explains this method very well).
    Or another method would be to socially engineer a meeting with gang members. The cops identify a suspect member and research them / surveillance, which then provides an opportunity for a "chance" meeting. This is the method used in the film point break where Keanu arranges private surfing lessons with an associate linked to the gang (albeit not directly involved) likewise with the first fast and furious film.
    In any scenario it will be natural for the Undercover to have to prove themselves, which could be a great source of conflict for your mc. For example I recall reading that to join the hells angels, new recruits had to rape someone to prove they weren't cops. This even happens with low level Street gangs around London where youths have to stab someone. It provides a lot of danger moments for the undercover (why won't they snort that cocaine in front of us etc) and also opportunity for the Undercover to start identifying with the gang (again as in point break).
     
  10. Ryan Elder
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    Ryan Elder Contributing Member

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    Oh okay. Other writers have been telling me that it's unrealistic as well, to join a gang where the cop does not know any of the members. I thought that maybe the gang could actually seek out people, that they thought would be good for the gang and do things to get them to want to join, but without revealing who any of them are. The police can then take advantage of this opportunity, by creating a person, who the gang could seek out as their next recruit, and make contact with him that way.

    But it's important for my story that the cop does not know who any of the gang members are. So I might drop the idea and find another way. Mainly the cop has to witness the gang commit a certain crime, but he cannot know WHO did it.

    I thought if he was undercover, it would be a good reason to be in the same place the gang was, at the same time, to witness the crime. But maybe he could witness it another way, such as being their coincidentally, while tending to another police matter. Or one of the gang members could have a crisis of conscience and call 911, which would get him to respond and come witness the crime.

    But it would be difficult for one of the gang members to call 911 since the gang would probably not let any members have any phones while committing this crime, which is a kidnapping type situation.

    What do you think? Which of these three methods is best to get the cop to be there to witness the kidnapping? Or is their a better way other than these three?
     

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