Gangs are becoming a growing threat across Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 UTAH) – Law enforcement says gang activity is on the rise and something to be concerned about going into the summer.

“Meth is ramped, heroin is making a big come back right now,” said Detective Zach Van Emmerik with the Metro Gang Unit.

That’s one major issue police are worried about when it comes to gangs in the valley.

“You know it all stems from opiate use, like Oxycontin in high school and stuff. The kids don’t think it’s all that big of a deal. They start running into money issues and Oxycontin is so expensive on the street and so much cheaper to buy heroin and the kids just start smoking it,” Det. Van Emmerik added.

It is cheaper because men like Gilbert “Crazy” Caldwell deal to them.

Caldwell is known by most police for his drug dealings and usage in front of children.

“He is an associate with SAC-a white supremacist gang Solider of Aryan Culture which is one of the home grown white supremacist groups here in Utah,” said Det. Van Emmerik.

SAC isn’t the only gang in town. The Bloods, Crips, Surenos, Nortenos, and home grown gangs like QVO, VLT, WVC are also here.

“Motorcycle gangs are starting to make a showing now. We haven’t seem them so largely in the past but you are starting to see the Mongols move in and they are starting to beef up their ranks,” says Det. Van Emmerik.

The gangs in the valley are not racially divided or territorial.

“You will see rival gang units that live a couple houses from each other, a couple streets away. Where as the bigger cities you don’t see that,” says Det. Van Emmerik. “Drugs, money, and guns rule the gang world. You mess with their money they are going to come shoot ya. You mess with their drugs they will come deal with ya.”

One person they won’t have to deal with any time soon is Caldwell.

“I don’t know how to do life. I don’t know how to look for a job. I don’t know how to do none of that. All I know is jail,” said Gilbert “Crazy” Caldwell.

Caldwell was arrested for drug charges, resisting arrest and having a dangerous weapon.

Police say more and more graffiti is popping up across the valley and they need your help identifying these gangs because of how spread out they truly are.

More Stories

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center