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Gang Deterrence & Community Protection Act Passes

May 11, 2005

Washington, May 11, 2005 - The Gang Deterrence & Community Protection Act of 2005, H.R. 1279, passed the House on May 11, 2005 with Congressman Rohrabacher's support. The bill:

  • Authorizes funds for joint federal, state, and local gang investigation and prosecution
  • Creates a statute to prosecute criminal gang enterprises similar to the existing RICO statute used to prosecute federal racketeering
  • Creates mandatory minimum sentences for gang crimes and violent crimes
  • Funds gang investigation technology, joint databases, and law enforcement and prosecution training

This legislation is part of an increasing federal effort to assist local law enforcement in targeting and federally prosecuting violent criminals who are associated with street gangs. According to the U.S. Justice Department, there are currently over 25,000 gangs and over 750,000 gang members who are active in more than 3,000 jurisdictions across the United States. Gang activity has been directly linked to the narcotics trade, human trafficking, identification document falsification, violent maiming and assault, and the use of firearms to commit deadly shootings.