Fighting Gangs

Q:  What should you do if you see gang graffiti?

Graffiti is used by gang members to identify turf, communicate threats and show allegiance. As a result it is important to call the police at 703-691-2131 if graffiti is spotted. These reports are taken seriously and an officer will be dispatched to the location to photograph and record the graffiti and incident. Once the report is taken we strongly encourage the property owners to immediately have the graffiti removed.

You may not know, but Delegate Dave Albo has written most of Virginia’s anti-gang laws, thus making Virginia’s  anti-gang laws the toughest in the U.S.  These laws include stipulating harsh prison sentences for gang crimes, punishing the recruitment of juveniles into gangs, establishing enhanced punishments on gang activities in our schools, and deporting gang members who are illegal aliens after they serve their sentences for the crimes they commit. 

And because 70-80% of Gangs such MS-13 or SSL are made up of illegal aliens, you can see some of Delegate Albo’s initiatives regarding immigration, which have the ancillary effect of stopping gang activity.

In addition, the Fairfax County police have an anti-gang unit.  Here is some more information taken from the Fairfax County Police Department website ( about gangs in Fairfax County, and specifically what to do if you see more graffiti in the future.

Quick info from Delegate Albo, Supervisor Herrity and School Board Rep.Bradsher on Gang activity and the anti- gang unit:

The Gang Unit was started in 1993.  Now, it consists of two Supervisors and 13 detectives.  Also there is one gang officer in every substation, and each School Resource Officer is is cross-trained in gang crime detection.

Merely charging a person with graffiti can stop him eventually from killing someone because the Court can intercede early and get the kid re-directed.

There are about 3000 gang members or associates in Fairfax.  In Springfield, most gang activities are done by groups known as Gangster Disciples, SSL, MS 13, and Cryps.

This picture, unfortunately, is from the back of a commercial building in Springfield. You may be able to read it, but if not, you can see “SSL” and “MS-13.” These are the two most notoriously violent gangs in our area.

“Gangs are here. they are in our neighborhood and recruiting in our schools. my pledge to you that as Chairman of the Courts of Justice Committee, i will never rest until every gang member is in prison or deported.”
                   Delegate Dave Albo

Dave Albo’s Fight Against Gangs

Dave Albo is Virginia’s leader in our fight against criminal street gangs.  Delegate Albo has made Virginia’s Anti-Gang laws the toughest in the US.  He has sponsored 12 Anti-Gang Bills since taking office, stipulating harsh prison sentences for gang crimes, punishing the recruitment of juveniles into gangs, establishing enhanced punishments on gang activities in our schools, and deporting gang members who are illegal aliens after they serve their sentences for the crimes they commit.  A few of these are listed below:


Juvenile delinquents; gangs: SB 885 (Albo Co-Patron). Allows the court to require a juvenile found delinquent based on certain crimes to participate in a gang-activity prevention program funded under the Virginia Juvenile Community Crime Control Act and requires that transfer reports and social history reports include an assessment of affiliation with a youth gang.


Recruitment of juveniles for criminal street gang: HB 569 (Albo Chief Patron). Includes within the definition of "criminal street gang" the current definition of "pattern of criminal gang activity." The bill creates a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person of any age to recruit a person into a criminal street gang. Current law punishes an adult recruiting a minor as a Class 6 felony. The bill creates a Class 6 felony for forcing a person to become a gang member through the use or threat of force against that person or another person. The bill makes a third or subsequent conviction within 10 years of prohibited criminal street gang participation and recruitment a Class 3 felony (five to 20 years). The bill allows for the forfeiture of any property, real or personal, used in connection with street gang activity. The bill also amends the obstruction of justice statute to include gang-related crimes. The bill adds gang activity to the list of crimes that a multijurisdictional grand jury can investigate. This bill is identical to SB 321.

Crimes by gangs: HB 572 (Albo Chief Patron ).  Includes within the definition of "criminal street gang" the current definition of "pattern of criminal gang activity."  This bill was merged into my HB 569.

Predicate crimes by criminal street gangs: HB 1149 (Albo Co-Patron). Expands the list of predicate criminal acts that define a pattern of criminal activity and a criminal street gang to include certain drug sale, distribution, transportation, possession and manufacturing crimes and recruitment of a juvenile into a street gang.


Crimes; criminal street gangs; penalties: HB 2217 (Albo Chief Patron).  Adds to the list of crimes defined as "predicate criminal act" the following: § 18.2-42, assault by mob; § 18.2-56.1, reckless handling of a firearm; § 18.2-59, extorting money; § 18.2-286.1, shooting from a motor vehicle; § 18.2-287.4, carrying a loaded firearm in public areas in certain localities; and § 18.2-308.1, possession of a firearm, stun weapon or taser on school property. In addition, the bill provides that "predicate criminal act" includes the violation of any offense substantially similar to these newly added crimes as well as the existing listed crimes when committed in another state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, or the United States. The bill provides enhanced punishments for gang activities taking place at or near schools, colleges, and school buses.  The bill allows a witness in a gang prosecution to request that certain information about the witness not be disclosed. Finally, the bill treats criminal street gangs as public nuisances and allows for the enjoinment of such nuisances.  This bill is identical to SB1217.


Crimes; brandishing a machete; penalty: HB 588 (Albo Co-Patron). Makes it illegal to brandish a machete, with a 12 inch blade or longer, with intent to intimidate, and includes such offense as one of the predicate criminal acts that defines street gang activity.  The penalty for a violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor, or if the violation occurs on or within 1,000 feet of any public, private, or religious school, a Class 6 felony.  The bill makes an exception for excusable or justifiable self-defense.  This bill is identical to SB 183.

Gang information; juvenile records: HB 847 (Albo Chief Patron). Requires the Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice to collect information on individuals identified as gang members and transmit it to the Commonwealth's Attorneys' Services Council. The Council will disseminate the information to attorneys for the Commonwealth. The bill also specifies that law-enforcement agencies, school administrations and probation offices are included as entities that may examine certain juvenile records held by the Department of Juvenile Justice if there is a court order determining that they have a legitimate interest. The bill also says that the court order may be granted if the person, agency, or institution has a legitimate interest in the juvenile. Under current law the interest is limited to the case or in the work of the court. In addition, the Department of Juvenile Justice will be allowed to release the social reports and records of a child to certain law enforcement employees for the purpose of investigating criminal street gang activity. This bill is identical to SB 561.

Authorized and Paid for by Dave Albo for Delegate