Pubdate: Mon, 11 Apr 2016
Source: Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Page: 6
Copyright: 2016 The Calgary Sun
Author: Reid Southwick


They're not the infamous Bloods and Crips that have waged bloody 
battles over the drug trade in Los Angeles.

But a Blood Tribe police investigator warns the two gangs who've 
adopted those monikers - and are prone to wielding machetes and 
hatchets - could spur a rise in violence in two southern Alberta communities.

The Bloods and the Crips, who are not affiliated with the Los Angeles 
street gangs, began their long-standing feud on the Blood Tribe, a 
sprawling First Nation southwest of Lethbridge.

Over the past year and a half, members of these gangs have become 
increasingly involved in the illicit drug trade on the reserve and in 
nearby Lethbridge, said Const. Drew Kanyo of the Blood Tribe Police Service.

The biggest concern for police is these gangs are known for brutal 
beatings, stabbings and other violence that Kanyo fears will only get worse.

"We're going to see a lot more violence in the future," he said.

"We know how the gangs function out here and how violent they are, 
and how they move their weapons."

Staff Sgt. Rod Klassen, of Lethbridge police, said two rival gangs, 
which he wouldn't identify by name, have been violent with each 
other, but he doesn't believe there is any risk to the public.

"There are always groups in our city or any city or any town that 
have the propensity for violence," he said.

"We're on an ongoing basis fighting that."

Kanyo said he's heard from sources in the drug trade that dealers in 
Lethbridge have increasingly been selling methamphetamine and have 
dubbed that city "Methbridge."

Klassen said meth is on the rise in Lethbridge, but cocaine and 
fentanyl, a deadly painkiller linked to hundreds of deaths in 
Alberta, remain bigger problems for police.

He said the rival gangs may be involved in the local drug trade, but 
he said police have not linked meth's rise to members of these groups.

The Bloods began as a family gang, naming themselves after the Blood 
reserve 10 to 15 years ago, Kanyo said. There are 50- and 60-year-old 
men on the reserve calling themselves Bloods.

They formed enemies with opposing families who named themselves 
Crips, a nod to the L.A. gang rivalry.

"Our biggest problem with them out here is the violence they bring 
with them everywhere they go," Kanyo said.

"We're looking at machetes, baseball bats, hatchets, anything they 
can get their hands on."

The Bloods and Crips remain active on the reserve, where they recruit 
new members, Kanyo said, but they appear to be shifting their drug 
activities outside the band's borders.

"We're seeing more of the new guys that are just going into 
Lethbridge and staying there," he said.

"The drugs are plentiful. They can hide easier.

"There's more people for their product.

"And there's a lot more street corners to work." 
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