The Investigation & Prosecution of Gang Related Crimes: an Introduction

The Investigation & Prosecution of Gang Related Crimes: an Introduction
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Resources
Recorded on: 2019-10-22
Unit 1Slide Deck: The Investigation & Prosecution of Gang Related Crimes
Unit 2Workbook: The Investigation & Prosecution of Gang Related Crimes
Unit 3Recording: The Investigation & Prosecution of Gang Related Crimes

This webinar will serve as a primer for basic gang investigation and prosecution.  It will focus on different types of gangs, the importance of documenting gang members and gangs, and the tools prosecutors need and have in order to be successful in court.

Police agencies are doing their best to zero in on the perpetrators of violent crimes within communities. One of the major actors identified to contribute to violent crimes are street gangs. In Arizona, there are statutes specifically created to avert gang-related violence and crimes.

To provide an overview of this subject are this course’s resource speakers, Mike Gingold and Will Babb. Mike is the Chief of the Gang Bureau at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office where he started as a prosecutor and since has served in its various units. Meanwhile, Will is the Deputy County Attorney for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office where he specializes in violent gang crimes.

Together, Mike and Will provide an overview of gangs, Arizona gang statutes, and tips when handling gang cases. Specifics discussed in this webinar are:

  • Arizona’s legal definition of criminal street gangs and the criteria used to classify individuals as either gang members or gang associates.
  • The four major types of gangs that may exist within a jurisdiction.
  • Unpacking Arizona’s statutes enforced and catered specifically for gangs and gang crimes.
    • The four points that comprise participation in a criminal street gang.
    • The elements of the most common gang charge – assisting a criminal street gang.
    • Threatening or intimidating as part of gang activity and what constitutes a class 3 and class 6 felony threat/intimidation.
    • Criminal damages as defacing, damaging or tampering property linked to gang activity.
    • Penalty enhancements that may be utilized to increase the length of sentences for crimes.
  • The importance of having a team member who is familiar with gang lingo and terms to fully understand how gang members communicate whether in the street or while incarcerated.
  • Tips on collecting evidence to prove a crime and/or a suspect’s link to a gang.
  • Other activities to look out for that may be associated with gang activity that may be added as charges.
  • Guidelines on protecting witnesses to gang crimes who are likely to be threatened or retaliated to.
  • Will and Mike addressed audience queries during the Q&A related to:
    • Using terrorism statutes for threats.
    • Animal cruelty and crimes that may be linked to gangs.
    • Prosecuting criminal street gangs and organized crime families.
    • The difference between gang members and associates.
    • Difficulties when working with hybrid gangs.

This is the first of a 3-part Series on Gang-Related Crime.  The other webinars in this series include:



Audience Comments:

  • “Very good information on steps for the successful prosecution of gang-related crime. A very challenging field and I look forward to the upcoming webinar on hybrid gang behavior. Thanks to Michael, and William for the great information and expertise.” — Anthony
  • “The seven criteria that is used to identify gang members and the vocabulary terms; and the difference between an associate and an actual gang member; I am amazed by the level(s) of organization that these “street gangs” have and dare I say, sophistication (it is an amazing study in itself).” — Pamela
  • “I was aware of much of this information but the instructors did a very good job of explaining the topics. It was a good refresher. I am from Ohio but much of this information is very similar to the laws here. Thank you.” — James
  • “Seeing how state law is written in other states was informative as we are always looking to enhance our gang laws in my jurisdiction.” — Hailee
  • “This was a fantastic webinar overall! I learned a lot in a short time about prosecuting gangs and protecting witnesses, and the hard work that goes into it, which will hopefully help me in my career.” — Nicholas
  • “Good review of the criteria needed to identify an actor as a “member” versus “associate” of a gang. Arizona statutes seem well-written for this area of concern; especially the enhanced sentencing guidelines for gang-affiliated felonies.” — W


Additional Resources
2 years ago
What Dog Fighters Don’t Want You to Know: Considerations for the Justice Professional
Animal fighting is one of the most barbaric crimes out there. The scene and aftermath of such fights […]
4 years ago
White Nationalists: What Justice Professionals Need to Know
White supremacy is a concept that most people thought was buried in the past. If its remnants ever c […]
4 years ago
The History, Beliefs and Symbols of the White Nationalist Movement
A few months ago, the whole of the US was shaken as protesters marched in Charlottesville, carrying […]
5 years ago
Security Threat Groups and Gangs in Prisons and Jails
For many people, when word “gangs” is mentioned, one thinks of groups of criminals in society.  […]