The Texas Department of Public Safety, in its annual 'threat assessment,' says criminal gangs remain a chief threat to public safety in Texas, 1200 WAOI news reports.


  "Gang violence and crime are a chief threat to public safety in Texas, and protecting our communities from these criminals remains a top priority," DPS Director Steven McCraw said.


  The report sassy gangs continue to work with Mexican cartels to smuggle drugs, weapons, and people across the border.  The relationships between some gangs and cartels have evolved over the past year due in part to volatility and changes in cartel structures and relationships in Mexico.


  The number one criminal gang in Texas remains the Tango Blast.  Tango Blast, or Puro Tango Blast, differentiates from other criminal gangs by not having a 'blood in, blood out' policy.  Most gangs, like the Aryan Nations, require a new member to commit a crime, on some occasions a murder, to become initiated, and does not allow members to leave the gang except by death.


  The Tango Blast is much more restrictive in its membership, and allows most members to come and go as they please.


  There are currently about 8200 Tango Blast made members in Texas, followed by the Texas Syndicate with 4400, and the Texas Mexican Mafia with 5500 members.


  Total gang membership in Texas exceeds 100,000, the report concludes.