Gangland TV - Ron Stallworth - Break Merino - Susan Burke - Mr C - Drugs Inc TV -
Salt Lake City is the headquarters of the Mormon Church. But it’s not as saintly as it appears. Today it’s under siege, terrorised by a gang whose agenda is simple – to be the baddest around. It’s a strange place – where violence and religion co-exist ... The religion of Crippin. Gangland s3e5: From Heaven to Hell, History 2008
23rd July 1992: it was the eve of the State’s biggest celebration – Pioneer Day. Thousands of people flooded the downtown area, eating, drinking and setting off fireworks ahead of the next day’s parade. Hidden amongst the crowd were members of the Crips … Mr C noticed Crips from a rival set ... Within seconds the festive atmosphere turned to terror. Mr C pulled the gun from his trousers. ibid.
The city is perceived to be white, conservative, squeaky clean, and the last place you would expect to find gangs. But close to three hundred gangs call this valley town home ... Among them are an estimated one thousand Crips, divided into numerous smaller sects. The gangs are motivated by one thing – reputation. ibid.
Like many Crips in Utah, Mr C was raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. ibid.
The city has a dark underside: with drive-by shootings, drug deals and robberies by gangs like the Crips. Within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or LDS, these two worlds are strangely intertwined. Salt Lake City may seem like an unlikely place for gang activity, but the Mormon Church inadvertently brought the problem to its own doorstep. ibid.
In 1987 Salt Lake police saw the first evidence that gangs like the Crips had arrived. ibid.
The violence escalated but city officials were always in denial. ibid.
By 1993 parts of Salt Lake felt like a war zone. And the Crips were at the centre of it. The city continued to deny it had a problem ... Denial is part of the problem. ibid.
Some of these kids carry the Book of Mormon with them while they are gang-banging. Sgt Ron Stallworth, Salt Lake Metro Gang Unit, retired
I’ve even arrested kids who were out all night doing beer and robberies and they are completely intoxicated, and there are asking, how long is it going to be because they have to go to Church and fulfil their Church duties. Detective Break Merino, Salt Lake PD
Once they get involved in the gang lifestyle, it really becomes about the gang and less about the family. Susan Burke, Gang Prevention specialist
We had to live a double life – on Sundays we would be at Church, and the rest of the week we would be climbing C – you know what I’m saying? It’s all about the do or die. Mr C aka Kinikini Miles
I’m a Church guy. Mr C
In a gang you are either going to be six feet under or you going to be doing life in prison – that’s the bottom line. I do believe that gangs is a tool of Satan to pull these kids from their potential. Mr C
The problem is getting worse by the day and no-one is immune. But Salt Lake’s appetite for prescription drugs has created an entirely new breed of dealer: one that plugs directly into the City’s religious culture. Drugs Inc s5e1: Salt Lake Sinners, 2014
There’s one drug that stands out from the pack: Oxycodone ... In 2012 over 50% of prescription opioid deaths in Utah were caused by Oxycodone. ibid.
The city’s drug market is changing fast. Heroin is in huge demand. ibid.
Mexico’s most feared cartel is closing in. ibid.
Salt Lake City has 2,500 known gang members. ibid.