Arizona is the 6th largest state in the United States. Phoenix is its largest city with 1.6 million people residing there since 2020. In the same year Arizona was also home to 37,731 prisoners. Of those 37,731 members there are roughyl 9,260 validated gang members locked up. So to say Arizona gangs are non existent is a pure lie.

Gang violence in Arizona is definitely an issue, it is making Arizona seem like a bad place to visit or to even live.

Phoenix was settled in 1867 as an agricultural community, and since 1930 there have be documented recordings of gangs. There are over 300 gangs on record in Arizona, which may or may not be active.

Crime in Arizona

By the 1960s, crime started to become a major in Phoenix, and into the 1970s crime continued to increase in the city at a faster rate than almost anywhere else in the country.

With it being so close to Mexico, drug trafficking and street gangs being to become a public safety issue in the 1980s.

In the mid 90s crime rates peaked but have slowly but has seen a decrease in crime rates.

In 2001 and 2002 Phoenix ranked first in the Country for moto vehicle thefts with over 25,000 cars stolen in a year.

Arizona has become the entry point into the U.S borders for Drug Trafficking. With the drug trafficking, kidnappings have seen an increase as they are saying they are connected in a way. In the late 2000’s Phoenix became the kidnapping capital of the U.S. Most kidnappings are due to human smuggling or related to the drug game, and the kidnappers are said to be part of the Mexican Drug Cartels.

All this goes hand in hand with gangs, as drug trafficking is a lot of gangs main source of income, and distributers operate in a strict network.

Arizona at War with the Cartels

As mentioned Arizona has become the entry point for the Cartels in the United States. With its close vicinity to Mexico it makes it a lot easier for things to get smuggled in and smuggled out.

Drug and Human trafficking are on the thoughts of a lot of Arizona residents now a days. In 2021 the Scottsdale Police and DEA seized $9 million worth of fentanyl. This operation targeted the notorious Sinaloa cartel.

Fentanyl has become a wide spread issue across all of North America, with over doses happening on a regular basis.

Human Trafficking has become a major concern as well, reportedly earning more than $14 million each day in February 2021.

These types of events bring all kinds of violence along the border. With so much product moving across the border it is ending up in the streets. Which ties into street gangs and other types of gangs, as they are the main distributors once they get past the border.

All this ties into street gangs, and how they are making money.

List of Gangs in Arizona

Arizona Crime Rates

Number of Crimes35,980165,323201,303
Crime Rate
(per 1,000 residents)


POPULATION: 7,151,502
Report Total5133,2636,21125,993
Rate per 1,0000.070.460.873.63


POPULATION: 331,449,281
Report Total21,570126,430243,600921,505
Rate per 1,0000.070.380.732.78


POPULATION: 7,151,502
Report Total24,488122,89817,937
Rate per 1,0003.4217.182.51


POPULATION: 331,449,281
Report Total1,035,3144,606,324810,400
Rate per 1,0003.1213.902.45

One Response

  1. I feel this is an informative site. I am adding its link information to an Arizona section on an informal website. I wonder if Arizona’s political leaders have this information. It seems to me some of Arizona’s congressional leaders aid or are part of a soft blue wall along the border which is pro-immigrant. The current era seems particularly bad for this. I suspect this furthers gang and cartel activity. I keep an Arizona section on my website. Incidentally, I have noticed housing purchase prices have skyrocketed in Arizona. We used to find pockets of lower cost material that was adequate for housing. It seems a person cannot find anything under $300,000 that is worth much. It seems to me that this problem would impact senior citizens coming into the state. They have traditionally helped keep things lower key although I know there are exceptions. I think criminal activity in general goes up when the price of living does as it creates a bottleneck through which most of the population cannot move through. Arizona’s heat in much of the state further compounds the problem of a general sense of imbalance. There also seems to be a greater divide between the have’s and have not’s in government versus the public – with Arizona government increasingly elitist toward the public, especially toward anyone not keeping up with the rat race or disenfranchised. I feel social services and medically related psychological-sociological counseling can be quite corrupt and inadequately responding to a variety of disenfranchised populations of all races, including whites. The state has an ongoing and growing water shortage problem which will only get worse. All of these things exacerbate imbalance and tensions, which add to crime. Add to this the border protection and illegal immigration problem, and Arizona needs as much help as Texas demands from other states. There are a circle of sheriffs of who have been outspoken regularly about the border problems over a period of years. I suspect we have CBP (border patrol agent) corruption adding to the problems at the border that includes those we the public see when going through checkpoints on I-8 between Yuma, Arizona and San Diego County. I think real deal oversight on those border agents would immediately impact the quailty of border protection.

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