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Bloods, Crips, Juggalos? FBI: Insane Clown Posse fans are gang

November 2, 2011 |  4:28 pm

Juggalos, the face-painting fans of the hard-core hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse, have long-considered themselves a misunderstood bunch. But a gang?

Insane Clown PosseThey paint their faces with black and white clown makeup like their musical idols, connect on Internet message boards and even have a large musical festival dubbed the "Gathering of the Juggalos."

But according to the FBI, they aren’t clowning around.

In the agency’s 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, the agency officially classifies the fans of the Detroit-based duo as a fast-growing, violent gang.

The agency described the Juggalos as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” akin to traditionally ethnic-based gangs like the Latin Kings.

Only four states recognize the Juggalos as a gang -- Arizona, California, Pennsylvania and Utah -- but many criminal Juggalo subsets have been identified in 21 states, the report said. And New Mexico seems to be a target of sorts, with the report noting that the gangs are attracted to the area's Native American tribal and cultural traditions.

Juggalo criminal activity tends to be disorganized, individualistic and consist of simple assault; personal drug use and possession; petty theft; and vandalism, the report said. But a small number of Juggalos are becoming more organized and engaging in more traditionally gang-like crimes such as felony assaults, thefts, robberies and drug sales.

Says the report: "Juggalos’ disorganization and lack of structure within their groups, coupled with their transient nature, makes it difficult to classify them and identify their members and migration patterns. Many criminal Juggalo subsets are comprised of transient or homeless individuals, according to law enforcement reporting. ... Transient, criminal Juggalo groups pose a threat to communities due to the potential for violence, drug use/sales, and their general destructive and violent nature."

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--Stephen Ceasar

Photo: The rap duo Insane Clown Posse, Shaggy 2 Dope, left, and Violent J, pose in their stage makeup in a 1999 promotional photo. Credit: Joseph Cultice / Associated Press

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