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Suffolk County jails increase gang intelligence unit

Tue, February 28, 2017 1:11 PM | NYGIA (Administrator)


SUFFOLK COUNTY - Suffolk County has increased its anti-gang personnel to help combat what the sheriff's department calls an "overwhelming" problem.

Authorities say gang membership is growing. Suffolk police say they've arrested 125 suspected MS-13 gang members since September 2016. Many of them end up in the county’s jails, where authorities say they can sometimes get information about what’s going on in the streets.

So the sheriff's department has increased its own numbers. The gang unit has more than doubled in size, from four investigators to nine -- overseeing an estimated 274 gang members incarcerated in Yaphank and Riverhead.

The El Salvadoran street gang is believed to be responsible for six murders from last year. Five of the victims were teenagers.


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