Nearly three dozen gangs and thousands of people involved in them is what the County Sheriff feels needs to be addressed with urgency, not the possibility of a spillover or as what other officials are now calling it, a "bleed over".
"This illusionary threat of spillover violence is overshadowing, it's covering up the real threat that we face," said Sheriff, Lupe Treviño.
Some will speculate these gang members may have come from across the river to commit these crimes but officials say the majority of these members are born and raised right here. Like this 20-year-old who got arrested on several counts of Aggravated Robberies, Kidnapping and Burglary. Genaro Perez III, born in Harlingen who lived in Mission, is a member of the, "Partido Revolucionario Mexicano Gang." he has an extensive criminal record that dates back to 2005.
"This is a classic serial criminal that needs to be incapacitated."
He served two years in prison for burglary. He was released less than a year ago but went back to his criminal ways when he robbed four convenience stores, car jacked a man and kidnapped another.
"The gang problem is a very serious problem and anybody can be victimized by them. You can be driving on the road and they can carjack you just like he did in one of those instances."
The Sheriff's Department has 8 deputies in their Gang Enforcement Unit.that unit, along with several informants work together with the FBI to address the gang problem in the county.