FBI arrests three more of United Blood Nation suspects

CHARLOTTE, NC — “There’s a lot of movement in and out and people build relationships, people go to prison and they come back to the same communities,” said UNC Charlotte Asst. Professor of Criminal Justice, Dr. Shannon Reid.

Dr. Shannon Reid researches gang activity. She says it’s no surprise dozens of the suspects are accused of helping run the Bloods empire from behind bars. In fact out of the 83 suspects indicted this week 23 were already in jails or prisons across North Carolina. Twenty-five of the suspects arrested are from Charlotte, 14 from Shelby, four are from Morven in Anson County and one from Gastonia.

“It’s a step an important step to get dangerous people off the streets but its not a solution to dealing with what is potentially a fair number of people who are going to come back eventually to the same community,” said Dr. Reid.

The gang members are accused of terrorizing neighborhoods across our area committing financial crimes, drug deals, robberies, assaults and at least six murders. Dr. Reid says it’s important to work with young gang members before they are too entrenched.

“What we need to do is get to those youth as early as possible provide them with educational opportunities, work opportunities and sort of help them have that pipeline out of the gang,” said Reid.

For example youth gang prevention programs. Dr Reid says research shows young people stay in a gang for about a year, so that’s a crucial time.

“I think Charlotte right now actually has no youth gang initiatives the old one was Gang of One and I believe that is defunct now,” said Reid.