Gang graffiti using tags of notorious and dangerous street gangs have appeared in Floyd County with the latest spray-painted on the side of a wall at The Village Green on Main Street.
“MM — Blood 4 Life” is, according to the Virginia State Police, a tag for a Bloods African American gang operating out of Roanoke but other gang experts say it could be a tag for La Eme, also known as the “Mexican Mafia. ” Along with MS-13, a Latin American gang, they are considered among the most dangerous by law enforcement officers who deal with gang violence.
Is this sign for real, the work of a “wannabe” or just a prank?
Hard to tell at this point but Roanoke-based community activist Jeff Artis says gang influence is growing in Southwestern Virginia and includes both La Eme and MS-13. Other gang experts say the appearance of gang graffiti means that gang has staked out an area as its own.
Floyd County Sheriff’s Department chief investigator Jeff Dalton says the Virginia State Police’s gang investigators believe the graffiti at the Village Green is a Bloods tag and does not feel it is from a Latin gang. Investigators who work with the Northern Virginia gang task force, however, say it would be a tag from La Eme. It depends on whether the top line of the graffiti is
“MM” or a three-point crown. However, MS-13 tags have appeared elsewhere in the county.
I’ll have a more complete story in this week’s Floyd Press.