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Gilbert police say 'Gilbert Goons' and 'Jack Boy Mafia' are 'hybrid' criminal gangs

Gilbert police have identified two East Valley groups — the "Gilbert Goons" and the "Jack Boy Mafia" — as "hybrid" criminal gangs.

In a press conference on Thursday, Gilbert Sgt. Dave Gale said that it's difficult to identify and charge members of these hybrid gangs because there are legal standards for what constitutes gang activity.

"Hybrid gangs are usually mixed gender, mixed races and all various ages," he said, "Also, your traditional gang has a code of conduct, typically. Hybrid gangs are mostly juvenile gangs, and they have no code of conduct or no hierarchy."

Gale also said that traditional gangs are usually comprised of one race and control a territory, with hand signs, colors and a code of conduct — criteria that means there isn't enough evidence for the police to submit gang-related charges against members of the Gilbert Goons or the Jack Boy Mafia.

Gilbert police officers have been poring over data they've received since the death of Preston Lord, according to Gale.

"Since November 2023, detectives conducted more than 100 interviews, and spent hundreds of hours reviewing video footage, social media posts and other evidence shared with the police department," he said.

Gilbert Police Chief Michael Soelberg said that despite in-depth investigation of these hybrid gangs, "based on the information available at this time there is not sufficient evidence to submit additional charges of participating in or assisting a criminal street gang."

Soelberg said that, "it's been a long six months for our communities," and said that the police department's work is not done.

The Gilbert Police Department is currently facing an overtime budget deficit of roughly $1.9 million in funding, in part due to investigating major incidences of teen violence.

The Gilbert Town Council is scheduled to consider the approval of more funding requested by the department next week on Tuesday.

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Nate Engle was an intern at KJZZ in 2024.