A North Carolina newspaper reports that a dozen alleged gang members southwest of Raleigh were recently arrested on wide variety of charges.
The 62 total allegations include attempted murder, armed robbery, criminal sexual conduct, weapons violations, carjacking and burglary, among others.
The oldest of the 12 arrested in the Rock Hill area is 23; the youngest is 16.
Police say those arrested are members of two feuding gangs.
The 20-year-old man police believe is the leader of a gang known as 715 FAM has in the past told a newspaper that he’s part of a rap group, not a gang. He said some of the music group’s younger fans are “living out their lyrics” about street life.
He argues that police should not try to hold the musical artists of 715 FAM accountable for what fans of the group do on their own.
Law enforcement officials apparently reject that argument, saying the music is just a cover for criminal activity that gang members try to keep secret with a “code of silence.”
The 20-year-old’s mother said the charges against her son (burglary and criminal conspiracy) indicate he’s not a “warlord” of a gang. She said his group only got together in a studio to record music, and that their weapons are words and music rather than guns and violence.
She added that she is “going to get a lawyer to fight” for her son.
That is exactly what he needs at this point: a criminal defense attorney experienced in carefully examining prosecution evidence and then vigorously defending rights and freedoms.
Source: Charlotte Observer, “Police: ‘No tolerance’ in Rock Hill for violent gangs, 12 arrested,” Jonathan McFadden, Jan. 24, 2014