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FBI: Gangs move south to Boardman

Published: Thu, September 15, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern



An FBI supervisory special agent says he wants to bring the crime-fighting techniques used in Youngstown across the border to Boardman.

Jon Holloway, who also is is the head of the Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force, spoke to township trustees earlier this week and explained what the task force and FBI can do to help deter criminals.

“I apparently did my job a little too well. I pushed some gang members into Boardman from Youngstown,” he said.

Holloway said there are 28 active street gangs in Youngstown, not including the three national biker gangs in the area. Of the 28 street gangs, “there are currently four that are at war on the South Side shooting each other,” he said.

“The gangs are funding themselves not just through drug trafficking, but also from street robberies, kick-in burglaries and stolen autos and insurance fraud,” Holloway said.

Holloway said the FBI has evidence that gang crime is migrating to Boardman, but still needs more information.

“You are having a huge heroin problem here,” Holloway told trustees. “You have a market here and you have some sellers here.”

He added that in one ongoing gang case, 40 percent of the gang’s drug customers are Boardman residents.

“They’re coming over [to Youngstown] and buying. Where are they getting money to buy heroin? They’re stealing stuff from Boardman. We’re trying to attack that,” he said.

In order to gather more information, Holloway said he wants to do “knock and talks,” meaning task force officers suit up in full gear, walk streets and knock on doors to talk to residents.

“We’re going to be out here more often,” he said.

“... If we knock on your neighborhood, don’t think you live in a bad neighborhood. I’m also putting a picture together of what’s going on in Boardman because ... we need to address it.”

He also plans to have a quarterly crime summit, such as those in Youngstown.

“Basically you tell me what the problems are, and I tell you what I can try to do about it. When they come back for the next summit, I should have some results about what I’ve done,” Holloway said.

He added that he would like to have the first crime summit in late November or early December at St. Dominic Church in Youngstown because it previously has hosted the regional summits. After that, the summits would alternate between Boardman, Youngstown and other locations.

Boardman Police Chief Jack Nichols said several members of his department are, or have been, part of the violent crimes task force and that the partnership is beneficial. He added that the department’s narcotics unit has done the “knock and talk” strategy with success.

“We have pockets of activity,” Nichols said. “I’d like to go to addresses where ,information has come in and ... have a conversation.”

Chuck Coristin, a co-founder of the New England Lanes neighborhood watch in Boardman, said he thinks the strategies are a good idea. Nichols and Holloway attended the group’s Monday meeting.

“We’re going to participate in the summit,” Coristin said.

He also said that he is planning to attend an Oct. 22 meeting of Youngstown block watches to learn from them and share ideas.

“[We need] to get some cohesiveness and I am 100 percent for that,” Coristin said.

Holloway said ideally he would have a task force member assigned to each block watch in Youngstown and Boardman, but he doesn’t have the staff to do that.

He also mentioned another growing problem in Boardman: drug sellers using houses in Boardman to stash their drugs and guns while operating a sale house in Youngstown. Holloway said criminals turned to that strategy because of the success of the multi-agency Violence Gun Reduction and Interdiction Program (VGRIP). V-GRIP’s main aim is to take guns off the streets.

“It gets out when you’re doing that type of interdiction,” Holloway said.

Now when law enforcement search a suspected drug house, they don’t see the guns or stash of drugs that they used to, he said.

“The lion’s share of the work has been in Youngstown, and I think personally that we’re pushing it other places,” Holloway said. “I’m seeing things in Warren that I didn’t see before, and I’m seeing things in Boardman that I didn’t see before.”


1PhilMcCrackin(58 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I did my job a little too well? Pushing the gangs to another spot isn't solving anything. If they come to my side of town they will all be greeted by an arsenal.

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2pgurney(296 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Why would they want to use the same techniques in Boardman? Because they work so well here??? I think NOT.

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3howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Wouldn't it be easier is the government just set up some opium and heroin dens and supplied them for free?
We would still have the addicts, but the drug dealers, violent crimes, and property crime would all but disappear.
Isn't this the reason we have troops in Afghanistan to secure the opium supply?

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4kensgirl(1056 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Wow- and I remember when the only thing in Boardman was Hills!

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5Superstar7(122 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Once caught, stop their welfare, Medicaid, Medicare. Block their use of hospitals as their free doctor's office. Remove all their forms of taxpayer funded aid. Make it impossible for these generational failures & disruptors to live in this area. Cut off the roots feeding these peoples and the tree will die.

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6Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Shoot 'em all.

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7auntiem4cabs(115 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I did my job TOO WELL?? ahem. If you DID your job too well, they would be under control, not out here in Bdman. And, HOW HARD ARE YOU LOOKING IN BOARDMAN? Not very. Knock and talk in a few upper class areas, THEY'LL tell you whats been going on in their neighborhood for years. People report these 'houses' all the time, but no one cares. Pfffffft

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8Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

The movement to Boardman was just simply a matter of prosperity allowing them to do so . Shutting the crack houses down as soon as they are detected and wealth confiscation is the solution .

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9Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Maybe after this report the good people of Boardman will get their heads out of the sand and see the truth of what is going on out here and has been for years . . Maybe the cover up will come to light .

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10NoBS(2758 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I'm with the others - causing criminals and gang-bangers to relocate isn't a successful outcome. Apprehension and incarceration is.

Also, how about a description of what we citizens should look for? How do we recognize if a gang or whatever is moving into our area?

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11lefty83(313 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

They need to have checkpoints on all the major intersections leading in and out of boardman.Your neighbors are doing drugs,people.WAKE UP.

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12redvert(2239 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I second your opinion NoBS!

A number of us here choose to disagree on a lot of things but it is nice to see that we are united on this issue.

"I apparently did my job a little too well."

What a joke!

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13AnotherAverageCitizen(1193 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I am shocked there is crime in Boardman. Before the tax increase election, every incident that was in the Vindy was just put in the vindy as a scare tactic. Well at least that is what I kept reading on all these posts. There is no crime in boardman. They just want our money.

Ytown, Bdmn, Warren, Atown, let me tell you, there is crime in all these areas. If the Feds are here to help why do you not want to support them. Stopping all the crime in y-town is like putting out the fires in Texas. It's going to spread before it will be contained. The crime is spreading and all you folks want to do is point fingers,. How about giving solutions and support what the feds are trying to do.

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14ytown1(398 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I smell another levy.

because they are still not going to be able to hire the 10 officers promised from the last two levies.

Oh, and do not include the two officers just hired using the federal grant, that would mean we should have 12 new officers real soon to head off the gang bangers, or is this more of the scare tactics. You decide when you vote.

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15Bigben(1996 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

"Once caught, stop their welfare, Medicaid, Medicare. Block their use of hospitals as their free doctor's office. Remove all their forms of taxpayer funded aid. Make it impossible for these generational failures & disruptors to live in this area. Cut off the roots feeding these peoples and the tree will die." - - - - - -

Well none of this matters to drug dealers. Why? Because they can afford all that and more. A kid slinging dope at 6 figures a year isn't worrying about food stamps being revoked. I get your point though.

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16Bigben(1996 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago


"Isn't this the reason we have troops in Afghanistan to secure the opium supply?" - - -Bingo! I have been saying this since Fox ran a special Geraldo Rivera about the U.S. troops guarding the opium fields in Afghanistan.

They are not permitted to destroy the crop but rather can offer watermelon or wheat seeds as an alternative.

So could one surmise the powers that be want the world's leading opium producer to remain in business in order to produce heroin that goes all over the globe including here ?

I am not saying anything that isn't clearly documented.

So efforts on a local level while I believe are well intended ....

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17republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Buy guns and stop the thugs. Fight force with force, that is the only way that has worked through history.
Whining and crying and giving them welfare does not work, only the threat of violence will deter the thugs.

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18redvert(2239 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Citizen, I agree with your thoughts but somehow when Holloway wants to pat himself on the back cause the crime/drug crowd has expanded their territory, I see a problem.

The reason they are expanding is that the revenue in the Southside is drying up. It is nothing to celebrate.

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19Bigben(1996 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

"it is natural causes resulting from the types, quality, and age of structures and developments. " - -I have to disagree , the age of a structure doesn't necessitate crime. Immorality fosters crime.New Philadelphia Ohio has many older structures but it isn't a haven for crime.

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20AnotherAverageCitizen(1193 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I think Hollaway patting himself on the back is a little early. However, if the dealers are moving away it shows that the dealers recognize the Feds are aware of what is going on. Dealers are not stupid, if being watched they will continue to move. The more they move and the farther they are away from the other dealers and gangs are further apart the weaker they will be.

Even football players celebrate a touchdown even though they have not won the game. Sometimes small victories deserve a pat on ther back.. I just don't like those who pat themselves on the back.

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21seminole(476 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Elliot Ness hould have been as good as this ass...the ghetto crawlers are here because they can be here, they have never been stopped. Nichols quote: “We have pockets of activity,” Nichols said. “I’d like to go to addresses where ,information has come in and ... have a conversation.”...have a conversation? Put lead in these pieces of sh--, stop knowing and thinking about it, go frickin DO SOMETHING!!! This isn't the first time Boardman PD has had knowledge of drug activity, yet they again wait to knock on doors, For what? To play it out with the "how to stop a drug dealer" handbook? Go out, drill these societal ingrates and put 'em six under. You knock, you are going to be the one with lead in you. Get aggressive and handle your business. I figure there has to ne maybe one or two of the $80K/yr officers willing to put on some gear and go make a difference, right? If not, give me and a couple other posters a holler...

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22apollo(1227 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

There is no solution. You're going to have crime no matter what. If there is a demand for drugs in Boardman and surrounding communities, then someone will step up with a supply. It's too lucrative. Cracking down in Youngstown only makes them move to the burbs. Police work is 90% reactive. They can't set up traffic stops at the Youngstown border and force criminals to turn around. Adding officers won't help either and paying them 90K and above won't either. That being said, crime isn't rampant in Boardman and is still made up of 90% property crimes at the retail outlets. No murders, few rapes, few burglaries. Drugs are part of every community.

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23Bigben(1996 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

A through C can be true but location is king.

"I'll put in a qualifier- the oldest developments with the smallest homes that are next to established ghettos will be the first for for the ghetto to expand into." - - -Especially when the government helps the process along .

It is interesting to note that Youngstown 's population decreased significantly with the last census but Boardman and Austintown did not absorb the lions share so lots of city folks have left the area.

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24youngspartanrepublican(92 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Location is most important. You have beautiful homes in and around the Glen coming under fire but the 24x28 postwar type neighborhood near Glenwood and the Stadium is just fine for the most part. Unforturnately for Boardman (exception of the Glen and the part by Cornersburg along Tippecanoe) and some of Poland/Struthers, the smallest housing stock in most communities is found right along the edge of Youngstown.

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25valleynative19(52 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

LOL It's nice to see that the FBI has their share of egotistical morons too!

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26Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

We need to interview one of the crack dealing gangbangers to see what their perspective is .

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27computer_rick(137 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago


Please explain to me the logic behind "once Bammy gets those awfule millionaires to pay their fair share, Boardman will share the same blight."

See, this is what I mean when I say you folks are unable to form a coherent thought yourselves. You have to quote daytime talk radio to have a logical thought. Please stop trying to think for yourself,. just post "ditto ditto ditto" and we will all know what you mean, and not have to slog through the doggerrel formed in the misty shrouded reccesses of your hate clouded brains.

I mean, once again, great job defending folks, that would not cross the street to spit on you if you were on fire. Like you are a millionaire, yeah, right!

Anyway, vote Ron Paul, kill the sick, and legalize drugs.

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28VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Wooppie...I'm glad the gangs moved out of Youngstown...now I feel safe.

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29commyliberal(94 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

It is about ADDICTION!
If there was no market for illegal drugs, there would be no illegal drug market!!!

How many years have we been at "WAR On Drugs"? Since Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1971!. That is 40 years folks!

What have we gotten for it.? More addicts, failed narco-states in Mexico & Columbia, an entire generation from the inner city lost to crack, billions of tax $ flushed down the drain, endless victims who are not drug addicts but have the sad misfortune of living near, walking by or being in the wrong place at the wrong time when someone decides to shoot it out in a drug turf war.

The only way to stop the madness is to deal with the addiction. Addiction is the root of the problem.

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