ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The FBI is now joining the effort to stop gang violence in Orange County. The federal agency is the latest to get involved in the gang crackdown.
What You Need To Know
- The FBI has joined local law enforcement to stop gang violence in Orange County
- There have been 200 arrests have been made and more than 50 guns have been confiscated from gang members this year
- The 438 and Army gangs are being scrutinized by the FBI
The Orange County Sheriffs Office, Orlando Police Department, and now FBI are all working to end gang violence in Orange County. Something community leaders say is needed if it helps keep people safe.
Gang violence currently occurring in parts of Orange County, has people on high alert.
“It’s coming right to your door front," Bishop Kelvin Cobaris says. "You can’t go to a mall, you can’t go to a wedding reception.”
Cobaris grew up in the Richmond Heights part of town, but says a shift happened in 2008.
“Murders and all those types of things were on the rise," he said. "I did not see the gang organization or that type of activity back then like we see it now.”
That’s why the FBI is now helping both the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Orlando Police Department with two gangs in particular.
“These two gangs, the 438 gang and the Army gang, have got our attention now,” FBI Special Agent Ron Hopper said at the Orange County Sheriff's Office Friday.
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According to Mina and OPD officials, they have combined to make nearly 200 arrests and have confiscated over 50 guns from gang members this year.
The FBI now wants to do its part as well.
“Right now I am not concerned they are overtaking the state of Florida," Hopper said. "I am just concerned with the brazen acts of violence they will do in broad daylight.”
Cobaris believes, like Mina, the community needs to come together in helping the different law agencies if they want to see change.
“The community, we know what is going on," Cobaris said. "We know what is going on, we have to cut this stuff out and act like, ah I am afraid and not going to say something because the reality is it's this family today and your family tomorrow.”
The Cobaris, the FBI, Sheriff’s Office, and OPD are now all coming together asking everyone more than ever if you see something, say something.
FBI officials also say they are hoping to make arrests in at least groups of five and charge them with racketeering at the federal level for their involvement in murders, robberies, and drug distribution.