...The state prison system is a primary conduit for street gang growth, particularly in non-urban parts of North Carolina, said Asheville Police Det. Louis Tomasetti, a member of the Western Carolina Gang Task Force and regional coordinator for the N.C. Gang Investigators Association.
"I would say street gangs are growing and are largely spread through the prison system. When someone comes in, particularly from a rural area, they're shell-shocked and they want a connection to a group," said Tomasetti, who has investigated numerous violent crimes involving gangs.
"When get they out of prison, they become like a seed from a dandelion flower" by encouraging others to become part of their gang, he said adding that new members typically range from teenagers to young men in their mid-20s. ...Read the full article