Violent gangs in the Pocono Mountains
A place where a Crip or a Blood would seem ... out of place.
Yet, jarringly, they are here: gang members from New York City and its suburbs who authorities say have quietly taken up residence in some of the private, gated communities of the Poconos, where they can stake out new drug turf with little interference from municipal or state police.
Many of these gang members are teenagers and young adults, brought here by their parents to escape big-city crime but instead bringing crime with them - creating fear and resentment among long-established residents.
"We're trying to stop the problem before it becomes overwhelming," said state police Maj. Joseph T. Marut, whose command includes much of the Poconos.
While the crime rate is still relatively low and gang violence has flared only sporadically, gang members have already made their presence felt in ways that frustrate and frighten the law-abiding majority.
Early on Jan. 14, police sirens awakened Susan Yanni and her neighbors in A Pocono Country Place, one of the region's largest private communities. Down the street, in a white Colonial, a wild melee had erupted between Crips and Bloods, and a reputed Blood was stabbed in the abdomen and forearm, authorities say.
Months later, Yanni shakes her head at the violence.
"It's getting too close to my backyard," said Yanni, 54, a school bus driver who has lived in the development for nearly two decades. "If I really want to deal with this, I can go back to New York."
Gangs Of The Poconos
Authorities try to stem gang resurgence