Hispanic gangs in america

Hispanic gangs in america DEFAULT
Tattoos and gang sign of Latin Kings gang

The Latin Kings originally started in Chicago. | Javier Ramirez/Wikimedia Commons

America is home to some dangerous places. We have our sketchy cities and states where you’ll want to watch your back, even though the “bad” parts of the United States tend to be much friendlier than the dangerous areas in other countries. Still, we have a culture that has ingrained a “watch your back” type of mentality. While generally trusting and friendly, we Americans retain a sense of skepticism. We know that anybody could turn out to be a cloaked villain of some sort. Or, they might even be in a gang.

Gangsters can be funny and relatable, and their crews embody a sense of freedom that few of us rarely get to experience. But that doesn’t mean that real gangs — the street gangs, prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle clubs that are rooting around among us — are full of nice guys. In fact, many are extremely dangerous.

Below, we’ll take a look at 15 of the most dangerous and notorious gangs in the U.S. The list isn’t ranked in any way, as it’s hard to try and come up with some sort of parameters for how “dangerous” something is. But in law enforcement circles, these are the gangs that can be dangerous if you somehow find yourself face to face with them.

1. Latin Kings

  • The Latin Kings started up in Chicago in the 1950s. 

With an estimated 20,000-35,000 members, the Latin Kings is mostly comprised of Latinos from a number of different countries. Originally, the gang started up in Humboldt Park in Chicago, with the coming together of Latino groups to defend themselves against discrimination and violence. Since then, though, the gang has adopted violence as its own. Look out for the colors black and gold, and the group’s famous “sacred crown” insignia.

Next: A fearsome outlaw motorcycle gang.

2. The Mongols

Machine Gun Preacher Sam Childers and Big Al Aceves, founder of The Mongols Motorcycle Club

The founders of the club started it in the 1960s. | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

  • The Mongols Motorcycle Club was originally founded in California in the late 1960s.

For more information on the Mongols, you can check out their official website. You can even order merch and check out chapters. They’ve even trademarked their logo. It’s an outlaw motorcycle club that’s a bit more privy to the law than you’d think. The club is estimated to have between 1,000 and 1,500 members and operates mostly in the American West. It’s also known to be involved in all sorts of criminal activity, including engaging in violence with other biker clubs.

Next: A huge gang from the Los Angeles area.

3. 18th Street Gang

A former 18th Street gang member attends a class on biblical education

They span the whole country. | Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images

  • 18th Street goes by a variety of names, including Calle 18, Barrio 18, Mara 18, and La 18.

If anybody is willing to give MS-13 a run for its money, it’s 18th Street. The gang has a presence in numerous states, spanning the whole country. It’s mostly comprised of Latinos from Mexico and Central America, but its main base of operations (and birthplace) is Los Angeles. It was originally founded in the ’60s and has been tied to numerous organized crime activities.

Next: A drug cartel.

4. Los Zetas

Ivan Velazquez Caballero, aka "Z 50" or "El Taliban" (2nd-R), senior leader in the Zetas drug cartel and member of the Gulf cartel

The drug cartel is one of the most advanced in Mexico. | Alfredo Estrella/AFP/GettyImages

  • Operating along the U.S. border, the Zetas have been called “the most technologically advanced, sophisticated and dangerous cartel operating in Mexico.”

You’ve likely heard of the Zetas before, as they’re one of the most brutal drug cartels in the world. We’ll spare you the details, but they’re famous for making rather gory “examples” out of people — including children. Their history is fascinating too, as, at one time, many members were actually a part of the Mexican army which fought against the cartels. But learning their methods, those military members became their own cartel and took over.

Next: A white supremacist group.

5. Aryan Brotherhood

aryan brotherhood tattoo

The gang has 15,000 members in and out of jail. | United States Department of Justice

  • This band of white supremacists has an estimated 15,000 members in and out of prison.

White supremacists have been in the news lately, and that includes people associated with the Aryan Brotherhood. Founded as a prison gang more than 50 years ago in the notorious San Quentin State Prison, the Aryan Brotherhood makes up a small percentage of inmates around the country. But the group is responsible for 18-25% of all the murders within state and federal prisons.

Next: Another fearsome outlaw motorcycle gang.

6. Hells Angels

Members of the "Hells Angels" motorcycle club ride their motorbikes

They’re one of the most famous motorcycle gangs. | Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

  • The Hells Angels may be the most famous outlaw motorcycle cluband were founded shortly after the end of World War II.

Another motorcycle gang with its own website and incorporations, the Hells Angels have a worldwide presence. Officially established in 1948 in California, the Hells Angels now have a presence in 56 countries. The history of the Hells Angels is long and rich — with too much detail to go into here. Suffice it to say that they’ve been involved in just about everything you can think of, and it’d be worth it to pick up a book about the club, like the one written by Hunter S. Thompson.

Next: A Chicago-based street gang.

7. Gangster Disciples

Gangster disciples street graffiti

They’re the sum of two smaller gangs. | Supaflyrobby/Wikimedia Commons

The Gangster Disciples is actually the sum of two smaller gangs: The High Life Supreme Gangsters and the Black Disciples. In the late 1960s, leaders of the two combined them into a larger street gang, which has been on the loose ever since. The Gangster Disciples are yet another Chicago-based gang, and though they’ve been relatively quiet in recent years, members still occasionally make headlines.

Next: A fearsome outlaw motorcycle gang.

8. Vagos

Motorcycle headlight

They’re mostly out on the West Coast, but have expanded. | joey333/iStock/Getty Images

Yet another motorcycle gang, the Vagos can typically be found wearing green and causing havoc in and around the western U.S. Formed in California in the mid-60s, the Vagos have since expanded around the country and even internationally. They were originally called the Psychos before a few members broke off and began calling themselves “Vagos.” And like the Hells Angels, many original members were former military men.

Next: A New York-based gang.

9. Trinitarios

the bars of a jail cell looking down the hallway

They started as a prison gang. | Richard Bouhet/AFP/Getty Images

  • The Trinitarios are also known as 3ni.

The Trinitarios are another gang, like the Aryan Brotherhood, that was born in prisons and has since spilled into the streets. In this case, the gang is based in New York and is mostly comprised of Dominican immigrants and their relatives. They’ve done it all, too, from murder to rape, kidnapping, and even drug trafficking. In a score for justice, however, the group’s former leader was sentenced to 19 years in prison a few years back for his role in a racketeering conspiracy.

Next: The Mexican Mafia.

10. Mexican Mafia

Silhouette of barbed wires and watchtower of prison.

Another gang started in prison. | Gatsi/iStock/Getty Images

The name is a bit misleading, as the Mexican Mafia is yet another product of the U.S. prison system. It’s mostly centralized in the federal and California prisons systems, but the approximately 400 individuals in the gang punch above their weight. It was originally formed by 13 Hispanic gangsters in the late 1950s and is notable for its ability to form loose alliances with groups like the Aryan Brotherhood.

Next: A famous L.A. street gang.

11. Bloods

Blood gang sign

They’re well known for their gang sign. | Shawn Ishihara/Wikimedia Commons

  • The Bloods are one of the most notorious gangs in American history.

Original Blood Family, or the Bloods as they’re commonly known, are an L.A. street gang known for their distinctive hand signs and red attire. After being formed in the early 1970s, the Bloods spread all across the country. They’re also famous for their well-known rivalry with another L.A. street gang, the Crips. Today, there are an estimated 20,000-25,000 Bloods spread throughout the country.

Next: The Bloods’ chief rivals.

12. Crips

Crips Money seizure

They have been caught laundering thousands. | Drug Enforcement Administration/Wikimedia

  • Original Crip Homies were founded in the late ’60s in L.A.

Like the Bloods, the Crips are seemingly a relic of a bygone era. But they’re still very much around, and very active. There is as many as 50,000 still combing the streets around the country, and its members have been involved in murders, racketeering, and drug trafficking. Though they’re originally a California product, many young Crips are in and around New York, with arrests sometimes making the news.

Next: Are you a Sopranos fan?

13. Cosa Nostra

Special squad police officers show a picture of Mafia boss Domenico Raccuglia after he was brought by police following his arrest to the police headquarters in Palermo

They definitely didn’t disappear with Al Capone. | Marcello Paternostro/AFP/Getty Images

  • Better known as The Mob, or The Mafia.

The Mob, or Cosa Nostra, is actually the Sicilian Mafia crime syndicate. Of course, the American Mafia is an offshoot, which is what we typically think of when we discuss the Mob, and is made up of Italian-Americans and others. They’re mostly spread around the east coast, in cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, and over the years, have engaged in all sorts of criminal activity. In the U.S., there are an estimated 3,000 “made men” comprising the Five Families in New York, and groups operating around the country.

Next: This street gang is allied with the Mexican Mafia. 

14. Florencia 13

Handgun

They were started way back in the 1930s. | Cas Photography/iStock/Getty Images

  • Another L.A. street gang, Florencia 13 is allied with the Mexican Mafia.

Florencia 13 is named after Florence — the area in California from which it originates. A for the 13? The letter “M” is the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, and it’s meant as an homage to the Mexican Mafia. The gang was established way back in the 1930s by Mexican-Americans, and has a long history of attacking African-Americans in South Central L.A. There are an estimated 10,000 members currently, located all around the country.

Finally: Perhaps the most feared gang of them all.

15. MS-13

MS13-Gang

They work close to the White House. | Mara Salvatrucha/Wikimedia Commons

  • There are as many as 10,000 members of Mara Salvatrucha operating in 46 states.

MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, is a violent gang mostly comprised of Salvadorans. They’re not a very old gang but have quickly made a name for themselves due to their distinctive tattoos and brutal crime sprees. They’re involved in trafficking and robberies, and are known to be very violent as well. Some MS-13 members have even been terrorizing communities only miles from the White House in Washington D.C.

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Hispanic Gangs

Gang Allegiances


In Sonoma County, Criminal Street Gangs are primarily made up of members claiming allegiance to either Northern or Southern California. Those claiming allegiance to Northern California consider themselves Norteños or Northerners. Those from Southern California - Sureños or Southerners.

Gang Genesis


Hispanic street gangs in their current form saw their genesis in the 1960s, in the California State Prison system. Urbanized Southern Hispanics came together for protection and to control the drug trade within the prison walls. The Southerners preyed upon the Northern farm workers who were seen as poorly educated “sod busters.” As a result, the Northerners banded together for protection from the Southerners and to run their own illegitimate businesses within the prison walls.

Mexican Mafia


Southern gangs owe their loyalty to the Mexican Mafia - La EME. They took the color blue and the number 13 (M being the thirteenth letter of the alphabet). Sureño gangs are made up of primarily Hispanic but also some White members.

Nuestra Familia


Northern gangs fall under the umbrella of the Nuestra Familia, or NF. In the prison system, inmates were issued either blue or red railroad style bandanas. As the Southerners had already taken the color blue, the Northerners took the only remaining color, red, and used it as a means of identification during prison assaults and riots. With N being the fourteenth letter of the alphabet, they also claimed the number 14 as one of their symbols. As the Norteños had to quickly build their membership to conflict with the Sureños, they decided to take in members of all races, as long as that person was dedicated to the Norteño cause.

North / South Dividing Line


The current North / South dividing line is somewhere between the Fresno and Bakersfield areas, although some investigators believe the line has moved North to San Jose. However, it should be noted that while Norteño gangs are nearly nonexistent in Southern California, Sureño gangs are active throughout both Northern and Southern California. There is a strong relationship between the activities of the street gangs and the prison gangs. Gang members incarcerated in the prison system can wield a great deal of power from their cells and will use the gang members on the street to engage in crimes that not only benefit the street gangs, but also those gang members in the prisons. These crimes can range from money making enterprises like drug dealing and robberies, to crimes like assaults and homicides that enforce gang rules and alter the power structure.

Sonoma County


Here in Sonoma County, there is a nearly equal division of Norteño and Sureño gang members, usually hovering within a 100-200 member difference, or approximately 1,600 Norteños to 1,400 Sureños, the rest being Asian, Black, and White gangs.

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Organized Crime

Just like black Americans, Hispanics flooded into Southern California during the World War II years in search of war industry jobs. They crowded into the poor Mexican neighborhoods and Hispanic street gangs grew. By the early 1940s gang members had adopted a specific form of dressing, wearing what was called a "zoot suit." Originating in El Paso, Texas, and catching on in Los Angeles, the zoot suit consisted of pleated baggy pants, a long loose fitting coat, highly polished shoes, and a long chain hanging from the belt into a trouser side pocket.

In the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s Hispanics moved into various housing projects in East Los Angeles. Fights between gangs were common, generally over protecting a gang's territory or "turf."

Hispanic gangs continued growing in membership in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Gangs preyed on gangs, fighting turf battles, and often victimizing innocent residents of their communities. Residents, fearing retaliation, would not help law enforcement investigate gang violence. Around 1980 Hispanic gangs began to sell drugs supplied by the Mexican Mafia to make money. Selling drugs was so profitable for the gangs that even more young Hispanics wanted to join.

Community violence escalated with 452 gang-related murders in Los Angeles County in 1988, with 50,000 reported gang members in 450 different gangs. Seven years later in 1995, there were 1,500 different gangs with 150,000 members located in the Los Angeles area. Although the Crips and Bloods were part of these figures, most of the street gangs were Hispanic.

The Mexican Mafia began requiring a tax on the sale of drugs supposedly to help members in prison. Some street gangs refused to pay the tax and called themselves the "green lighters"—tax free and proud of it. Soon they were known as the Green Light Gangs. By 2000 Hispanic gangs were better organized, operated in cities around the country, and were the fastest growing kind of U.S. gang.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawOrganized Crime - Rico, Organized Crime Offenses, Characteristics Of Organized Crime, Early Las Vegas And The Mafia

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5 Biggest Mexican Gangs In Los Angeles
Skip nagivation.To Contents     To Appendix A     To Appendix C     To Department of Justice Home Page

National Drug Intelligence Center
Attorney General's Report to Congress on the Growth of Violent Street Gangs in Suburban Areas
April 2008


Appendix B. National-Level Street, Prison, and Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Profiles

STREET GANGS

18th Street (National)

Formed in Los Angeles, 18th Street is a group of loosely associated sets or cliques, each led by an influential member. Membership is estimated to be 30,000 to 50,000. In California approximately 80 percent of the gang's members are illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America. The gang is active in 50 cities in 28 states. The gang's main source of income is retail-level distribution of cocaine and marijuana and, to a lesser extent, heroin and methamphetamine. Gang members also commit assault, auto theft, carjacking, drive-by shooting, extortion, homicide, identification fraud, and robbery.

Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (National)

Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (ALKQN) was formed in the 1970s by Luis Felipe. The gang shares a common culture and structure with the Chicago-based Latin Kings but does not report to Latin Kings. Membership is estimated to be 2,200 to 7,500, divided among several dozen chapters operating in 25 cities in 21 states. A primary source of income is the distribution of powder cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana. The gang is also involved in various criminal activities including assault, auto theft, burglary, and homicide.

Asian Boyz (National)

Asian Boyz is one of the largest Asian street gangs operating in the United States. Formed in southern California in the early 1970s, the gang is estimated to have 1,300 to 2,000 members operating in at least 28 cities in 14 states. Members primarily are Vietnamese or Cambodian males. Members of Asian Boyz are involved in producing, transporting, and distributing methamphetamine, as well as distributing MDMA and marijuana. In addition, gang members are involved in other criminal activities including assault, burglary, drive-by shooting, and homicide.

Black Peace Stone Nation (National)

Black Peace Stone Nation, one of the largest and most violent associations of street gangs in the United States, consists of seven highly structured street gangs with a single leader and a common culture. It has an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 members, most of whom are African American males from the Chicago metropolitan area operating in 31 cities in 22 states. The gang's main source of income is the street-level distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and, to a lesser extent, methamphetamine. Members also are involved in many other types of criminal activity including assault, auto theft, burglary, carjacking, drive-by shooting, extortion, homicide, and robbery.

Bloods (National)

Bloods is an association of structured and unstructured gangs that have adopted a single gang culture. Large, national-level Bloods gangs include Bounty Hunter Bloods and Crenshaw Mafia Gangsters. Bloods membership is estimated to be 5,000 to 20,000; most members are African American males. Bloods gangs are active in 123 cities in 37 states. The main source of income for Bloods gangs is retail-level distribution of cocaine and marijuana. Bloods members also are involved in transporting and distributing methamphetamine, heroin and, to a much lesser extent, PCP (phencyclidine). The gangs also are involved in other criminal activity including assault, auto theft, burglary, carjacking, drive-by shooting, extortion, homicide, identification fraud, and robbery.

Crips (National)

Crips is a collection of structured and unstructured gangs that have adopted a common gang culture. Crips membership is estimated to be 30,000 to 35,000; most members are African American males from the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Large, national-level Crips gangs include Insane Gangster Crips, Rolling 90s Crips, and Shotgun Crips. Crips gangs operate in 221 cities in 41 states. The main source of income for Crips gangs is the street-level distribution of powder cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, and PCP. The gangs also are involved in other criminal activity such as assault, auto theft, burglary, and homicide.

Florencia 13 (Regional)

Florencia 13 (F 13 or FX 13) originated in Los Angeles in the early 1960s; gang membership is estimated to be more than 3,000. The gang operates primarily in California and increasingly in Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, and Utah. Florencia 13 is subordinate to the Mexican Mafia (La Eme) prison gang and claims Sure�os (Sur 13) affiliation. A primary source of income for gang members is the trafficking of cocaine and methamphetamine. Gang members smuggle multikilogram quantities of powder cocaine and methamphetamine obtained from sources of supply in Mexico into the United States for distribution. Also, gang members produce large quantities of methamphetamine in southern California for local distribution. Florencia members are involved in other criminal activities including assault, drive-by shooting, and homicide.

Fresno Bulldogs (Regional)

Fresno Bulldogs (Bulldogs) is a street gang that originated in Fresno, California, in the late 1960s. It is the largest Hispanic gang operating in central California, with membership estimated at 5,000 to 6,000. Bulldogs are one of the few Hispanic gangs in California that claim neither Sure�os (Southern) nor Norte�os (Northern) affiliation. However, gang members associate with Nuestra Familia (NF) members, particularly when trafficking drugs. The street-level distribution of methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin is a primary source of income for gang members. In addition, members are involved in other types of criminal activity including assault, burglary, homicide, and robbery.

Gangster Disciples (National)

The Gangster Disciples street gang was formed in Chicago, Illinois, in the mid-1960s. It is structured like a corporation and is led by a chairman of the board. Gang membership is estimated to be 25,000 to 50,000; most members are African American males from the Chicago metropolitan area. The gang is active in 110 cities in 33 states. Its main source of income is the retail-level distribution of cocaine, marijuana, and heroin. The gang also is involved in other criminal activity including assault, auto theft, fraud, homicide, and money laundering.

Latin Disciples (Regional)

Latin Disciples, also known as Maniac Latin Disciples and Young Latino Organization, originated in Chicago in the late 1960s. The gang is composed of at least 10 structured and unstructured factions with an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 members and associate members active in at least six states. Most members are Puerto Rican males. Maniac Latin Disciples is the largest Hispanic gang in the Folk Nation Alliance. The gang is most active in the Great Lakes and Southwest Regions of the United States. The street-level distribution of powder cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and PCP is a primary source of income for the gang. Members also are involved in other criminal activity including assault, auto theft, carjacking, drive-by shooting, home invasion, homicide, money laundering, and weapons trafficking.

Latin Kings (National)

The Chicago-based Almighty Latin King Nation, commonly referred to as Latin Kings, is a collection of over 160 structured gangs, referred to as chapters, operating in 158 cities in 34 states. The gang's current membership is estimated to be 20,000 to 35,000. Most members are Mexican American or Puerto Rican males. Latin Kings' main source of income is street-level distribution of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. Gang members obtain drugs primarily from several Mexican DTOs that operate along the U.S.-Mexico border. Members also engage in other criminal activity such as assault, burglary, homicide, identity theft, and money laundering.

Mara Salvatrucha (National)

Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, is one of the largest Hispanic street gangs in the United States. Traditionally, the gang consisted of loosely affiliated groups known as cliques; however, law enforcement officials have reported the coordination of criminal activity among Mara Salvatrucha cliques in the Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C., metropolitan areas. The gang is estimated to have 30,000 to 50,000 members and associate members worldwide, 8,000 to 10,000 of whom are active in at least 38 states. According to recent law enforcement reporting, MS 13 is active in suburban areas outside Naples, Florida. Members smuggle illicit drugs, primarily powder cocaine and marijuana, into the United States and transport and distribute the drugs throughout the country. Some members also are involved in alien smuggling, assault, drive-by shooting, homicide, identification theft, prostitution operations, robbery, and weapons trafficking.

Tiny Rascal Gangsters (National)

Tiny Rascal Gangsters is one of the largest and most violent Asian street gang associations in the United States. It is composed of at least 60 structured and unstructured gangs, commonly referred to as sets, with an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 members and associates active in at least 16 states. Most members are Asian American males. The sets are most active in the Southwest, Pacific, and New England Regions. The retail-level distribution of powder cocaine, marijuana, MDMA, and methamphetamine is a primary source of income for the sets. Members also are involved in other criminal activity including assault, drive-by shooting, extortion, home invasion, homicide, robbery, and theft.

United Blood Nation (Regional)

United Blood Nation (UBN) is a loose confederation of street gangs, or sets, that once were predominantly African American but now include Asians, Caucasians, and Hispanics. UBN began in the Rikers Island Jail in New York City in 1993 and spread throughout the East Coast. Membership is estimated to be more than 7,000; members are active in seven states. UBN derives its income from street-level distribution of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana; robbery; auto theft; and smuggling of drugs to inmates in prison. UBN members also engage in arson, carjacking, credit card fraud, extortion, homicide, identity theft, intimidation, prostitution operations, and weapons distribution.

Vice Lord Nation (National)

Vice Lord Nation, based in Chicago, is a collection of structured gangs located in 74 cities in 28 states, primarily in the Great Lakes Region. Led by a national board, the various gangs comprise an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 members, most of whom are African American males. The gang's main source of income is street-level distribution of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. Members also engage in other criminal activity such as assault, burglary, homicide, identity theft, and money laundering.

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PRISON GANGS

Aryan Brotherhood (National)

Aryan Brotherhood, also known as AB, was originally ruled by consensus but is now highly structured with two factions--one in the California Department of Corrections (CDC) and the other in the Federal Bureau of Prisons system. The majority of members are Caucasian males, and the gang is primarily active in the Southwest and Pacific Regions. Its main source of income is the distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine within the prison systems as well as on the streets. Some AB members have business relationships with Mexican DTOs that smuggle illegal drugs into California for AB distribution. AB is notoriously violent and is often involved in murder-for-hire. Although historically linked to the California-based Hispanic prison gang Mexican Mafia (La Eme), tension between AB and La Eme is becoming increasingly evident as seen in recent fights between Caucasians and Hispanics within the CDC.

Barrio Azteca (National)

Barrio Azteca is one of the most violent prison gangs in the United States. The gang is highly structured and has an estimated membership of 2,000. Most members are Mexican national or Mexican American males. Barrio Azteca is most active in the Southwest Region, primarily in federal, state, and local corrections facilities in Texas and outside prison in southwestern Texas and southeastern New Mexico. The gang's main source of income is derived from smuggling heroin, powder cocaine, and marijuana from Mexico into the United States for distribution both inside and outside prisons. Gang members often transport illicit drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border for DTOs. Barrio Azteca members also are involved in alien smuggling, arson, assault, auto theft, burglary, extortion, intimidation, kidnapping, robbery, and weapons violations.

Black Guerrilla Family (Regional)

Black Guerrilla Family (BGF), originally called Black Family or Black Vanguard, is a prison gang that was founded in the San Quentin State Prison, California, in 1966. The gang is highly organized, along paramilitary lines, with a supreme leader and central committee. BGF has an established national charter, code of ethics, and oath of allegiance. BGF members operate primarily in California, Georgia, Maryland, and Missouri. The gang has 100 to 300 members, most of whom are African American males. A primary source of income for gang members is the distribution of cocaine and marijuana. BGF members obtain these drugs primarily from Nuestra Familia/Norte�os members or from local Mexican traffickers. BGF members are involved in other criminal activities including auto theft, burglary, drive-by shooting, and homicide.

Four Horsemen, Tangos, and Tango Blast (Local)

Texas prison officials first noted the presence of a gang known as Four Horsemen in 1998. Some Hispanic gang members entering the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) from the cities of Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston were not interested in joining an established prison gang and established Four Horsemen to protect one another and to engage in illegal activities, particularly drug trafficking, to make money. Four Horsemen became known as Tangos, because its members wore tattoos that reflected the town (or tango) in which they resided prior to incarceration. As interest in Tangos grew among Hispanic gang members entering TDCJ from other areas of Texas, Tangos from West Texas, the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, and El Paso were accepted. Of the eight groups now recognized as Tangos, only six are part of Tango Blast, also known as Puro Tango Blast. Tango Blast includes Tangos from the four original cities as well as the West Texas and Rio Grande Valley areas. Tango Blast differs from Tangos in that separate Tango Blast gangs sometimes band together to help one another. The gang's rapid growth poses a significant new security threat, and elements of Tango Blast within TDCJ appear to be challenging Texas Syndicate for control of illegal prison activities. Tango members appear to return to their local street gangs when released from prison, rather than continue their prison-based affiliation.

Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos (Local)

Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos (HPL) is a Hispanic prison gang formed in the TDCJ in the late 1980s. It operates in most prisons in Texas and on the streets in many communities in Texas, particularly Laredo. HPL is also active in several cities in Mexico, and its largest contingent in that country is located in Nuevo Laredo. The gang is structured and is estimated to have 1,000 members. Gang members maintain close ties to several Mexican DTOs and are involved in the trafficking of large quantities of cocaine and marijuana from Mexico into the United States for distribution.

Mexican Mafia (National)

The Mexican Mafia prison gang, also known as La Eme (Spanish for the letter M), was formed in the late 1950s within the California Department of Corrections (CDC). It is loosely structured and has strict rules that must be followed by the estimated 350 to 400 members. Most members are Mexican American males who previously belonged to a southern California street gang. Mexican Mafia is active in 13 states, but its power base is in California. The gang's main source of income is extorting drug distributors outside prison and distributing methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana within the prison systems and on the streets. Some members have direct links to Mexican DTOs and broker deals for themselves and their associates. Mexican Mafia also is involved in other criminal activities including controlling gambling and homosexual prostitution in prison.

Mexikanemi (National)

The Mexikanemi prison gang (also known as Texas Mexican Mafia or Emi) was formed in the early 1980s within the TDCJ. The gang is highly structured and is estimated to have 2,000 members, most of whom are Mexican national or Mexican American males who were living in Texas at the time of incarceration. Mexikanemi poses a significant drug trafficking threat to communities in the Southwest Region, particularly in Texas. Gang members reportedly traffic multikilogram quantities of powder cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine; and multiton quantities of marijuana from Mexico into the United States for distribution inside and outside prison. Gang members obtain drugs from associates or members of the Osiel C�rdenas-Gu�llen, and/or Vicente Carrillo-Fuentes Mexican DTOs. In addition, Mexikanemi members possibly maintain a relationship with Los Zetas, which is associated with a Gulf Cartel.

Nazi Low Riders (Regional)

Nazi Low Riders (NLR) is a violent California-based prison gang that subscribes to a white supremacist philosophy. The gang has 800 to 1,000 members, most of whom are Caucasian males with a history of street gang activity and drug abuse. NLR operates in correctional facilities and communities, primarily in the Pacific and Southwest Regions. The gang's primary sources of income are derived from the distribution of multiounce to multipound quantities of methamphetamine, retail-level distribution of heroin and marijuana, and extortion of independent Caucasian drug dealers and other white supremacist gangs. Members also engage in violent criminal activity such as armed robbery, assault, assault with deadly weapons, murder, and attempted murder; in addition they commit identity fraud, money laundering, witness intimidation, and witness retaliation.

�eta (National)

�eta is a prison gang that began in Puerto Rico and spread to the United States. �eta is one of the largest and most violent prison gangs, with about 7,000 members in Puerto Rico and 5,000 in the United States. �eta chapters in Puerto Rico exist exclusively inside prisons; once members are released from prison they no longer are considered to be part of the gang. In the United States �eta chapters exist both inside and outside prisons within 36 cities in nine states, primarily in the Northeast Region. The gang's main source of income is the retail-level distribution of powder and crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana and, to a lesser extent, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), MDMA, methamphetamine, and PCP. �eta members also commit such crimes as assault, auto theft, burglary, drive-by shooting, extortion, home invasion, money laundering, robbery, weapons and explosives trafficking, and witness intimidation.

Public Enemy Number One (Local)

Public Enemy Number One (PEN1) is the fastest-growing Caucasian prison gang, with an estimated 400 to 500 members operating in prisons and communities in California and, to a much lesser extent, in locations throughout the Northeast, Pacific, Southwest, Southeast, and West Central Regions of the country. PEN1 members espouse a white supremacist philosophy and pose a criminal threat inside and outside prison because of their alliance with AB and NLR. Gang members derive their income from distributing midlevel and retail-level quantities of methamphetamine. In addition, members engage in violent criminal activity such as assault, attempted murder, and homicide as well as auto theft, burglary, identity theft, and property crimes.

Sure�os and Norte�os (National/National)

As individual Hispanic street gang members enter the prison systems, they put aside former rivalries with other Hispanic street gangs and unite under the name Sure�os or Norte�os. The original Mexican Mafia members, most of whom were from southern California, considered Mexicans from the rural, agricultural areas of northern California as weak and viewed them with contempt. To distinguish themselves from the agricultural workers or farmers from northern California, members of Mexican Mafia began to refer to the Hispanic gang members that worked for them as Sure�os (Southerners). Inmates from northern California became known as Norte�os (Northerners) and are affiliated with NF. Because of its size and strength, Fresno Bulldogs is the only Hispanic gang in CDC that does not fall under Sure�os or Norte�os but remains independent. Sure�os gang members' main sources of income are the retail-level distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine both within prison systems and in the community, as well as the extortion of drug distributors on the streets. Some members have direct links to Mexican DTOs and broker deals for Mexican Mafia as well as their own gang. Sure�os gangs also are involved in other criminal activities such as assault, carjacking, home invasion, homicide, and robbery. Norte�os gang members' main sources of income are the retail-level distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, and PCP within prison systems and in the community, as well as the extortion of drug distributors on the streets. Norte�os gangs also are involved in other criminal activities such as assault, carjacking, home invasion, homicide, and robbery.

Texas Syndicate (Regional)

Texas Syndicate (TS) is one of the largest and most violent prison gangs; it is active on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border and poses a significant drug trafficking threat to communities in the Southwest Region. The gang is highly structured and is estimated to have 1,300 members, most of whom are Mexican American males between 20 and 40 years of age. Gang members smuggle multikilogram quantities of powder cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine and multiton quantities of marijuana from Mexico into the United States for distribution inside and outside prison. Gang members have a direct working relationship with associates and/or members of the Osiel C�rdenas-Guill�n DTO. In addition, TS members possibly maintain a relationship with Los Zetas.

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OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE GANGS

Bandidos (National)

Bandidos, an OMG with 2,000 to 2,500 members in the United States and 13 other countries, is a growing criminal threat to the nation. Law enforcement authorities estimate that Bandidos is one of the two largest OMGs in the United States, with approximately 900 members belonging to over 93 chapters. Bandidos is involved in transporting and distributing cocaine and marijuana and producing, transporting, and distributing methamphetamine. Bandidos is most active in the Pacific, Southeast, Southwest, and West Central Regions and is expanding in these regions by forming new chapters and allowing members of support clubs--"uppet" or "duck" club members who have sworn allegiance to another club and whose purpose is to do the "dirty work" of the mother club--to form or join Bandidos chapters.

Black Pistons Motorcycle Club (National)

Black Pistons Motorcycle Club is the official support club of Outlaws Motorcycle Club. Established in 2002 with the backing of Outlaws, Black Pistons has expanded rapidly throughout the United States and into Canada and Europe. The OMG has an estimated 70 domestic chapters in 20 states and an unknown number of foreign chapters in Belgium, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Norway, and Poland. The exact number of members is unknown but is estimated to be more than 200 in the United States. The Outlaws OMG uses Black Pistons chapters as sources of prospective Outlaws members. The Outlaws OMG also uses Black Pistons chapters to conduct criminal activity, especially transporting and distributing drugs. Black Piston members engage in assault, extortion, fraud, intimidation, and theft.

Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (National)

Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) is an OMG with 2,000 to 2,500 members belonging to over 230 chapters in the United States and 26 foreign countries. HAMC poses a criminal threat on six continents. U.S. law enforcement authorities estimate that HAMC has more than 92 chapters in 27 states with over 800 members. HAMC members produce, transport, and distribute marijuana and methamphetamine and transport and distribute cocaine, hashish, heroin, LSD, MDMA, PCP, and diverted pharmaceuticals. HAMC members engage in other criminal activity including assault, extortion, homicide, money laundering, and motorcycle theft.

Mongols Motorcycle Club (Regional)

Mongols Motorcycle Club is an extremely violent OMG that poses a serious criminal threat to the Pacific and Southwest Regions of the United States. Mongols members transport and distribute cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine and frequently commit violent crimes including assault, intimidation, and murder to defend Mongols territory and uphold its reputation. Most of the club's 300 members are Hispanic males who live in the Los Angeles area, and many are former street gang members with a long history of using violence to settle grievances. In the 1980s, the Mongols OMG seized control of southern California from the HAMC, and today it is allied with Bandidos, Outlaws, Sons of Silence, and Pagan's OMGs against the HAMC. The Mongols OMG also maintains ties to Hispanic street gangs in Los Angeles.

Outlaws Motorcycle Club (National)

Outlaws has more than 1,700 members belonging to 176 chapters in the United States and 12 foreign countries. U.S. law enforcement authorities estimate that Outlaws has more than 86 chapters in 21 states with over 700 members. Outlaws also identifies itself as the A.O.A. (American Outlaws Association) and Outlaws Nation. Outlaws is the dominant OMG in the Great Lakes Region. Gang members produce, transport, and distribute methamphetamine and transport and distribute cocaine, marijuana and, to a lesser extent, MDMA. Outlaws members engage in various criminal activities including arson, assault, explosives operations, extortion, fraud, homicide, intimidation, kidnapping, money laundering, prostitution operations, robbery, theft, and weapons violations. It competes with the HAMC for membership and territory.

Pagan's Motorcycle Club (Regional)

Pagan's Motorcycle Club is a violent OMG whose members distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and PCP. It is one of the more prominent OMGs in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Pagan's OMG has an estimated 200 to 250 members among 41 chapters in 11 states. The club has been linked to traditional organized crime (TOC) groups in New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh and engages in criminal activities such as arson, assault, bombing, extortion, and murder.

Vagos Motorcycle Club (National)

Vagos OMG has hundreds of members in the United States and Mexico and poses a serious criminal threat to those areas in which its chapters are located. Law enforcement agencies report that Vagos has approximately 300 members among 24 chapters in California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Oregon, and three chapters in Mexico. Vagos members produce, transport, and distribute methamphetamine and distribute marijuana. Vagos Members also have been implicated in other criminal activities including assault, extortion, insurance fraud, money laundering, murder, vehicle theft, weapons violations, and witness intimidation.


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End of page.



Sours: https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs27/27612/appendb.htm

In america gangs hispanic

List of gangs in the United States

Wikimedia list article

The Federal Bureau of Investigation website in 2014 stated that there were some 33,000 gangs in the United States which they classified as street gangs, motorcycle gangs or prison gangs. While some gangs are multi-ethnic, many criminal enterprises are organized along racial lines and restrict membership to individuals of particular ethnicities or races.[4]

Notable criminal gangs include:

By ethnic origin[edit]

African-American[edit]

Caribbean[edit]

Caucasian and white supremacist[edit]

East Asian[edit]

  • Chung Ching Yee, Chinese
  • Fullerton Boys, Korean
  • Kkangpae, Korean
  • Snakehead, Chinese
  • Tong, Chinese
  • Triad
    • 14K Triad, Chinese
    • Bamboo Union, Taiwanese
    • Big Circle Gang, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Cambodian
    • Black Dragons, Chinese and Vietnamese
    • Flying Dragons, Chinese and Vietnamese
    • Four Seas Gang, Taiwanese
    • Ghost Shadows, Chinese and Vietnamese
    • Jackson Street Boys, Cantonese
    • Ping On, Chinese
    • Sun Yee On, Chinese
    • Wah Ching, Chinese
    • Wo Hop To, Hong Kong
    • Wo Shing Wo, Hong Kong
  • Wah Kee, Chinese and Malaysian
  • Yakuza, Japanese

Eastern European[edit]

Hispanic[edit]

Irish-American[edit]

Italian-American[edit]

Jewish[edit]

North American[edit]

Pacific Islander[edit]

Southeast Asian[edit]

West Asian[edit]

Outlaw motorcycle clubs[edit]

Prison[edit]

Membership in this group may overlap other groups above.

See also[edit]

General:

References[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gangs_in_the_United_States
5 Biggest Mexican Gangs In Los Angeles

12 Gangs That Are Keeping The FBI Awake At Night

gang
Flickr
America may be getting safer, but gangs are expanding and becoming more violent, posing a growing threat across the country, according to a 2011 FBI report.

An estimated 1.4 million Americans belong to 33,000 gangs, and together they are responsible for 48% of violent crime in the country.

Following up on a 2012 article, we have profiled 12 of the gangs mentioned in the report and noted their recent activity.

The 18th Street gang is a huge transnational gang in Los Angeles.

gang signs
Wikimedia

One of the most well-known of the "Sureño" gangs in Southern California, the 18th Street Gang is a violent enterprise that was linked last year to a large methamphetamine ring.

The gang is one of the most rapidly expanding criminal groups in the country, with a reach that extends across 32 states, from Maryland to Hawaii.

18th Street gangsters have been linked to homicide, extortion, alien smuggling, drug smuggling, auto theft, and running massive document mills in New York City. These "mills" paper the streets with fraudulent government identification allowing anyone to gain fresh lines of credit, government benefits, and driver licenses.

Florencia 13 nearly turned Los Angeles into a war zone.

Florencia 13
AP Photo/California Department of Corrections

Florencia 13 works closely with the Mexican Mafia and is a rival of the 18th Street gang. Florencia 13 is part of a terrifying gang war scene in Los Angeles, and it also has influence in more rural states like Virginia and Iowa.

Gang members have been charged with offenses ranging from piracy to conspiracy to selling drugs to murder. In August, three dozen members of Florencia 13 were indicted for racketeering and drugs. At the time, the Los Angeles Times reported that the gang allegedly "controls swaths of Los Angeles County" and had outposts there for drug-dealing and illegal gambling.

 

 

Barrio Azteca's violence comes straight from the Mexican cartels.

barrio azteca head tattoo
Justice Department via Mafia Today

Originally based out of El Paso, Texas, Los Aztecas are a powerful paramilitary force on both sides of the Mexican border. Many of the gang's members are recruited from Texas prisons, with some of the organization's most notorious activity taking place inside prison walls.

Los Aztecas work with the Juarez and Los Zetas cartels running drugs and smuggling illegal aliens; gang members also allegedly murdered consulate officials. The gang has a military-like structure that has helped keep rigid order.

In March 2011, 35 members of the gang were charged with a variety of crimes, including the murder of a U.S. Consulate employee and several family members.

That trial was still underway in February 2014.

 

The Almighty Latin King Nation preys on damaged children to fill its ranks.

latin king
Wikimedia

Formed in Chicago in the '40s, the Almighty Latin King Nation (ALKN) has a strictly organized structure and is one of the biggest Hispanic gangs in the U.S. The gang's influence stretches to 34 states, with an estimated 18,000 members in Chicago alone.

Although the gang is splintered into the original Chicago clique and an east coast set, all members identify as Latin Kings. Members subscribe to the group's religious aesthetic, which calls for the eventual rebirth of a member as a New King, enlightened and ready to serve the downtrodden peoples of the world.

In February, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported on a former ALKN member who says that he and his former gang members were nothing more than terrorists: 

"[We are] a terrorist organization looking to make your child a domestic terrorist.

"Gangs will teach your children how to use guns, clean them, take them apart and reassemble them. With them, your child will even learn how to make bombs; invade and rob homes; how to injure and/or kill someone using different methods; and make, smuggle and sell drugs."

Fears of a Somali gang war are plaguing Minnesota.

somali gang tshirt
FBI

Somali gangs have cropped up in many U.S. cities, including Seattle, San Diego, and Minneapolis, which has a history of welcoming Somali refugees.

While some Somali immigrants adopt Blood or Crip membership, separate Somali gangs are becoming more prevalent across the country. They often experience tension with other African-American gangs, such as groups comprised of Ethiopian refugees.

Somali gangs have been involved in alien smuggling, human trafficking, credit card fraud, prostitution, and violent crime. Minneapolis continues to have problems with Somali gangs. Over the summer, a number of shootings aimed at Somalis sparked fears of a gang war in the Somali community in Minnesota.

MS-13 is one of the most sophisticated criminal organizations in the Western Hemisphere.

tattoo face
Flickr

After recently occupying headlines in the national press for its part in a Virginia double shooting that wounded a pregnant teenager, La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) is now seizing global headlines for its international political influence.

The gang is keeping voters from the polls in the tight El Salvadoran presidential election. That fighting is already affecting the drastic need for political change in an already heavily destabilized country.

The gang's level of sophistication became apparent in October 2012, when federal authorities labeled MS-13 a "transnational criminal organization." MS-13 was the first-ever street gang to get this designation, which barred banks from dealing with its members, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The gang — which began with Salvadoran refugees including many ex-soldiers — has branched out into extortion and human trafficking, according to the Times. MS-13 is also known for particularly gruesome crimes, including hacking a pregnant, 17-year-old informant to death.

The Trinitarios are recruiting American kids straight from school.

Sours: https://www.businessinsider.com/12-gangs-on-the-fbis-radar-2014-3

You will also be interested:

13 American Gangs That Are Keeping The FBI Up At Night

Gang trinitarios
YouTube
More than 1.4 million Americans are wearing the colors of more than 33,000 gangs across the country, according to a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Based on evidence from federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, the FBI says gangs commit 48% of violent crime, and are only becoming more dangerous. Some even source weapons from the military.

While many of these groups are regional and only loosely organized, many gangs are expanding their ranks and establishing themselves at international levels. 

Florencia 13 members have been caught buying weapons from U.S. military personnel

graffiti wall
Flickr - kootenayvolcano

Another rapidly expanding Sureño gang, Florencia 13, works closely with the Mexican Mafia and is a rival of the 18th Street set. Based out of South Los Angeles, Florencia 13 is part of a terrifying gang war scene that has turned L.A. into one of the most dangerous counties in the country.

It also has members and influence in states like Virginia and Iowa.

The gang has racked up charges ranging from piracy to conspiracy to sell drugs and murder over the last few years. They also have been cited as another gang infiltrating the U.S. military. In 2010, six members were given life sentences out of the 94 that pleaded guilty to their crimes.

Barrio Azteca has ties to several major Mexican drug trafficking organizations

barrio azteca head tattoo
Mafia Today

Originally based out of El Paso, Texas, Los Aztecas have become a powerful paramilitary force on both sides of the Mexico border. Now many of the gang's members are recruited from Texas prisons, and some of its work takes place inside prison walls, such as heroin production.

Los Aztecas work with the Juarez cartel and Los Zetas running drugs, smuggling illegal aliens and murdering consulate officials.The gang has a military structure that has helped keep order.

In March 2011, 35 members of the gang were charged with a variety of crimes, including 10 gangsters involved in the murder of the U.S. Consulate employee and several family members.

Juggalos are somewhere between ridiculous and dangerous

juggalo barbeque
Flickr - K.Rock

Originally just the crazed and face-painted fans of the horrorcore rap group Insane Clown Posse, "Juggalos" have become a non-traditional hybrid gang with a loose structure and unclear motives.

Many Juggalos only engage in low-level crime, like simple drug possession and theft. But the FBI has noticed increasingly gang-like behavior, such as forming organized subsets and committing more serious crimes, "such as felony assaults, thefts, robberies, and drug sales."

Though only recognized as a gang in four states, the already established Juggalo culture has aided the transition to greater violence and gang-like activity. The transient nature of the group makes it hard to locate exact pockets of influence, but Juggalo activity has been noted in states like California, Pennsylvania and Utah.

The Almighty Latin King Nation is said to be the largest Hispanic street gang in the country

latin king
Wikimedia

Originally formed in Chicago in the 1940s, the strictly organized structure of the Latin Kings has helped them become the biggest Hispanic gang in the U.S. The gang's influence stretches to 34 states, and there an estimated 18,000 members in Chicago alone.

Though the gang is splintered into the original Chicago clique and an east coast set, all members subscribe to being Latin Kings. All gang members subscribe to the group's religious aesthetic, which calls for the eventual rebirth of a member as a New King, enlightened and ready to serve the downtrodden peoples of the world.

The Kings have been the subject of multiple federal operations, looking to arrest gang members and limit the group's growing influence. Recently, the latest sting produced a conviction of Augustin "Tino" Zambrano, considered to the be the highest ranking out-of-prison member in the nation.

Somali gangs are seeing increasing influence in places like Minnesota

somali gang tshirt
FBI

While some Somali immigrants adopt Blood or Crip membership, separate Somali gangs are becoming more prevalent across the country. They often experience tension with other African-American gangs, such as groups comprised of Ethiopian refugees.

Somali gangs have been involved in alien smuggling, human trafficking, credit card fraud, prostitution and violent crime.

Strangely, the biggest pockets of Somali gangs can be found in states like Minnesota, Washington, and Missouri.

MS-13 is the gang that has the FBI most worried

tattoo face
Sours: https://www.businessinsider.com/dangerous-american-gangs-fbi-2011-11


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