Young suburban girls being tempted to join violent gangs

Detroit doctor says poison leading cause of accidental deaths in young people

Published On: Jul 16 2012 10:49:17 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 16 2012 11:06:08 PM EDT
Local 4 Defenders Logo
DETROIT -

Are young girls in your neighborhood being recruited by local gangs? Before you answer, the Defenders have this eye-opening report.

You may have heard about the prescription pill addiction epidemic growing among teenagers, but there is something else that is taking more young lives that that.

Dr Susan Smolinske

“Injury, could be a car accident, gun fire, whatever, but poisoning is now the leading cause of those unintentional injuries,” said Dr. Susan Smolinske, Detroit Medical Center’s managing director for Children's Hospital of Michigan Regional Posion Control Center.

She said alarming statistics show poisoning is the leading accidental killer of young people.

“If they take a double dose, they may decrease their breathing so much that they stop breathing or depress their mental state so much that they may go into a coma,” Smolinske said.

One group paying particularly close attention to young people’s compulsion for pills and drugs are gangs.

Detroit gang “The Hustle Boys” are accused of making a killing selling prescription drugs, and recruiting young women to deliver the pills – they think women are less suspicious to police than men.

In court documents obtained by the Defenders, one report reads that a teen girl was picked up by a couple of Hustle Boys driving south from Detroit. She had 600 OxyContin pills for sale and was to return with $60,000 cash. The money, according to feds, is so good that other gangs are fighting to get in on it.

Police say the Hustle Boys have gone to way with the Seven Mile Bloods, the Knock Out Boys, the Cooper Street boys and the Stay Real gangs.

“As a result of these rivalries, members of the Hustle Boys were the targets of and perpetrators of acts of violence, including shootings involving rivals,” court documents read.

 The Hustle Boys go on trial next Monday in federal court. One gang member has pleaded guilty and received just over four years in prison.

Additional resources