Tango Blast – the name brings to mind, perhaps, a soda or bubble gum flavor. But Tango Blast is actually considered to be the greatest gang threat in Texas, according to a new, in-depth Texas Department of Public Safety gang activity assessment report.
All told, DPS says that there are more than 100,000 active gang members in the state. And Texas continues to be home to the most dangerous gangs in the country – what DPS terms "tier 1" organizations – which include Tango Blast, the Crips and Bloods, the Latin Kings, Texas Mexican Mafia and MS-13.
Mitchel Roth, a criminal justice professor at Sam Houston State University, says MS-13, singled out recently by President Donald Trump in a critical speech to New York law enforcement officers, has been moving away from Los Angeles over time, using Texas as a "transitional zone" on its way to the east coast. The differences between the transnational gang MS-13 and Tango Blast, says Roth, is that MS-13 is highly-structured and adaptable to changes in law enforcement tactics.
DPS reports no decrease in gang activity in the state since the last assessment, which Roth attributes to insufficient funding and an inadequate proportion of police officers to tamp down the threat.
Written by Louise Rodriguez.