Gang members increasingly are using the internet to discuss crimes in private chat rooms and offer gangbanger wannabes a chance to enlist by posting membership applications online. And law enforcement officials nationwide are taking notice.

In the last few years, the number of gang-related web sites has grown to tens of thousands, with about 20 percent to 30 percent run by actual gang members, said Detective Chuck Zeglin of the Los Angeles Police Department's career criminal apprehension section.

"We recently found one site for a Crip gang back East

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