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Attorney General: California Biggest Target For Cartels, Transnational Gangs In US

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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris releases a report on the growing influence of transnational criminal organizations and "cyber-gangs" in California on March 20, 2014. (credit: Claudia Peschiutta/KNX1070 Newsradio)

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris releases a report on the growing influence of transnational criminal organizations and “cyber-gangs” in California on March 20, 2014. (credit: Claudia Peschiutta/KNX1070 Newsradio)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Attorney General Kamala Harris was in Los Angeles Wednesday talking about the growing influence of transnational gangs in California.

KNX 1070′s Claudia Peschiutta reports Harris says California’s location, size and its role in the digital economy make the state a major hub for the money-making schemes of Mexican cartels and other transnational criminal organizations (TCOs).

“We are an attractive target,” she said at a press conference Wednesday. “There are more guns and drugs and human beings that are being trafficked in and out of California than any other state.”

Harris said 70 percent of the methamphetamine coming into the U.S. from Mexico enters through California.

She is asking for more state and federal funding to fight the gangs responsible and to help local police deal with them.

Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell supported Harris’ argument for sustained funding.

“Local law certainly plays a key role. All crime ultimately is local,” McDonnell said.

Harris’ remarks came as her office released the first comprehensive report analyzing the state of TCOs in California following research and consultation conducted with federal, state and local law enforcement as well as with NGOs and academics.

The report, entitled Gangs Beyond Borders: California and the Fight Against Transnational Organized Crime, also found that TCOs are using new technology and social media to facilitate criminal activity, recruitment, intimidation and harassment.

The full report, including Harris’ recommendations, can be viewed on the website for the Office of the Attorney General.

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