Eight alleged members of a Bloods gang were arrested in the Philadelphia suburbs for a variety of crimes.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Augustus Anthony Simmons and seven other members of the Bloods-affiliated gang, Gangsta Killer Blood, face charges ranging from attempted murder to arson in a crime spree meant to establish the nascent gang's power in Montgomery County.
Simmons allegedly moved to Norristown to start the local chapter of the Bloods gang and recruited the co-defendants to terrorize the neighborhood in a series of firebombings, assaults, and robberies, reports the Inquirer.
While gangs may not be as prevalent in the Philadelphia-area as they are in Los Angeles or New York, Simmons’ move to Norristown may be a sign that national gangs are recruiting in the area and looking to set up shop.
This is especially true with the growth of national gangs like the Bloods who may be looking to expand to Philadelphia and its suburbs because there may be less police oversight.
The Bloods, a gang originating in Los Angeles, has grown tremendously in recent years establishing a national network of drug dealing, human trafficking, and violent crimes. They are now one of the biggest gangs in the East Coast, reports the Inquirer.
However, police and prosecutors have several weapons at their disposal to stop the increased gang activity.
Along with setting up gang task forces and charging gang members like Augustus Anthony Simmons with their crimes, officials can also employ laws such as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) meant to combat organized crime.
RICO is a federal law that provides severe punishments for organized crime members engaged in certain activities like bribery, felony theft, embezzlement fraud, tampering, and drug dealing.
The fact that alleged Bloods gang members were arrested in suburban Philadelphia is alarming not just for the crimes they are accused of committing, but also because they may portend the growth of national gangs in Philadelphia and its suburbs.
- Find a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- Arrest of 10 alleged affiliates of Bloods gang announced in Montco (phillyBurbs.com)
- Gangs (FindLaw’s LawBrain)