Gang Problems in Palm Beach County As of:July 1, 2008
Palm Beach County GangHistorical Perspective • There have been documented gangs in the County/Region for over 20 years. • The gangs mostly associated with illicitdrug trade. • Law enforcement and elected officials did not address gang issues unless a violent crime occurred. • Law enforcement agencies focused resources directly to the gang related violent crime. • No on-going gang related investigations occurred following the initial incident.
Palm Beach County Gang Trends • Gangs, gang membership, and violent crimes have increased each year, with the end of 2006 and the first part of 2007 being the worst. • The gangs have become extremely violent. • Approximately 160 gangs, with 7,000 gang members operating in Palm Beach County. • Approximately 60% of all violent crime in the County/Region is directly related to the gangs. • Gang members have shot at law enforcement officers and their vehicles. • Gang members have directly threatened law enforcement officers.
West Palm Beach & Riviera Beach Gangs • Sypho, 44th St, Firehouse Clique, 9 Pound, Monroe Heights Posse, 34th St, Tre-Four, Ave S, and others. • Responsible for several homicides and numerous attempted homicides over the past several months. • Most of these incidents have occurred in the City of Riviera Beach. • Increase in Jamaican gang activity.
Western Community Gangs • Bloods, Crips, Gangster Disciples – Royal Palm Beach and Wellington. • Jack Boys, Dogs Under Fire, Tru Bay Soldiers – Belle Glade, Pahokee, South Bay. • Over 100 shooting incidents in Belle Glade, Pahokee, and South Bay from January 1, 2007 to present. • 13 homicides in the Western Communities.
Videos of Gangs • “Gangsters and Thugs” • Glamorizes the gangs and thug lifestyle. • Gang members have been identified. • “Gangsters and Thugs II” • Was released six months ago. • More graphic than the first. • Two additional “Gangsters and Thugs” DVD will be released son. • http://www.myspace.com/ • Used for recruiting new members. • http://www.youtube.com/
12-31-2006 Tavares Carter, Jr., 8 months old
Gregory Beasley was abducted at gun point and shot during a drug deal in Miami.
Beasley’s body was dumped in West Palm Beach and set on fire. Beasley was a gang member from Broward County.
Top 6 • Predominately Haitian, Haitian-American, and American Black gang. • There are approximately 12 different “cliques” which comprise Top 6. • Responsible for the most violence of any gang in Palm Beach County, approximately 100 shootings. • Lake Worth PD, Boynton Beach PD, Lantana PD, Delray Beach PD, West Palm Beach PD, Riviera Beach PD, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office have had violent incidents in their jurisdictions.
Top 6 - Continued • Has ties to Zoe Pound from Miami. • Rap artists. • Similar types of violence. • Ties to the Latin Kings & Mexican drug cartels. • Drug suppliers for Top 6. • Top 6 gang members have expanded to Orlando, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Tampa, and Atlanta. • Starting branches of the gang outside of Palm Beach County.
Atlanta/Top 6 Top 6/Tallahassee Top 6/Pensacola Top 6/Orlando Top 6/Tampa Top 6/Base Operations Zoe Pound / Top 6/Miami
Top 6 - Continued • 22 Homicides • Frank Joseph - innocent bystander. • Christmas Eve shooting at the Boynton Beach Mall. • Triple homicide in Lake Worth. • 39 Attempted Homicides • Most of these shootings have been in retaliation for other shootings.
On September 24, 2006, Jonquinton “Colby” Jackson shot multiple times with AK-47 bullets. Incident related to the “Top 6” Gang.
3 victims were shot with rounds from an AK-47 Three victims shot with AK-47 rounds.
On October 5, 2006, Higue Pierre was shot in retaliation for the Colby Jackson homicide. Pierre was a suspect in the Jackson killing.
March 27, 2007, 3 “Top 6” Generals were shot and killed with multiple rounds from an AK-47 and handgun in Lake Worth.
All 3 victims were killed “execution style” with gunshots to the head.
Top 6 • VCTF and PBSO Gang Unit have targeted members of this gang. • Numerous members have been arrested on state and federal charges. • Many of the gangs leaders are in prison. • Have not had much violent activity for the past few months. • Several members have moved to St. Lucie County. • Indicted 12 core members on RICO charges.
Take Over Robbery Gangs • Highly skilled • Military/Law Enforcement Trained • Majority are from Central America • Miami Dade/Broward/ Palm Beach based • Committed robberies all over the State
3 Amigo’s Robbery • November 30, 2007 – Boynton Beach. • 5 suspects entered store and forced everyone to the ground. • 6th suspect waited with vehicle. • Samuel Salomon killed as suspects fired at store owner who followed. • All but one of the suspects are in custody.
Check Cashing Store Robberies • Group from Miami. • Central America • Multiple suspects entered store. • 5 suspects arrested for multiple robberies in Palm Beach County.
Jewelry/Liquor Store Robberies • 5 robberies in Palm Beach County and 1 in Martin County. • Identified 1 suspect in the West Palm area. • Identified 4 suspects from the Miami area. • All arrested and in custody. • 1 suspect confessed to being involved in the 3 Amigo’s case.
Jamaican Gangs • Increase in gang members in Palm Beach and all of South Florida. • Extremely organized and violent. • Run a majority of the marijuana trade. • 7 homicides over the past year that we know of. • These groups rarely miss their target.
What Have We Done? • Palm Beach County Violent Crimes Task Force • 12 full-time Detectives • Boca Raton PD, Boynton Beach PD, Delray Beach PD, FHP, Lantana PD, Riviera Beach PD, PBSO, and West Palm Beach PD • 13 part-time Detectives • ATF, Atlantis PD, Greenacres PD, FDLE, Palm Beach County School PD, Jupiter PD, and Palm Springs PD
What Have We Done? • Multi-agency Gang Unit • Part of the Violent Crimes Task Force - 10 Full-time Detectives - Boynton Beach PD, Lake Worth PD, PBSO. - 5 Part-time Detectives - Boynton Beach PD, Delray Beach PD, Palm Beach Gardens PD, and Palm Beach County School PD.
Operation Gangbusters • Began January 18, 2007 • 75 PBSO members • 4 West Palm Beach members • 4 FHP members • 1 Boynton Beach member • 1 Lake Worth member • Other Palm Beach County law enforcement agencies assisting within their jurisdictions. • Partner with Broward, Miami-Dade, and Martin Counties. • Federal agencies assisting with investigations.
Operation Gangbusters • 2,115 arrests - Numerous arrest for drugs. - Assisted during several VCTF homicide investigations. • 3,428 citations • 2,472 Field Interview Reports • 148 weapons seized • 348 vehicles seized
Operation Sugarland • Began February 5, 2005. • PBSO deputies in the Glades area. • Targeting the Western Community gangs. • Assisting VCTF who investigates all serious violent crime in the Glades. • Community Policing type approach.
Operation Sugarland • 45 Arrests • 352 FIR’s • 146 Citations • 12 Weapons seized • 7 vehicles seized.
Impact • Gang Related Homicides • January 1, 2007 – March 31, 2007 – 10 • January 1, 2008 – March 31, 2008 – 5 • 50% decrease in gang related homicides for the first 3 months of 2008. • VCTF cases • 25% reduction in violent crime calls during “Operation Gangbusters”
Impact • First Gang RICO in history of Palm Beach County. • 10 SUR 13 gang members arrested. • Additional arrests being made. • Multiple ongoing gang investigations. • Have disrupted numerous gangs in the region.
Questions ? • Lt. Michael Wallace • (561) 688-4041 – Office • (561) 662-1662 – Cell • firstname.lastname@example.org - email