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Richard Valdemar

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Sgt. Richard Valdemar retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after spending most of his 33 years on the job combating gangs.

Blog - Gangs

Displaying 101  -  110  of  233

A Swahili Dictionary  

January 25, 2011
The Black Panther Press' underground "New Afrikan Swahili Dialect Dictionary" is a guide to words and phrases used by black gang members in prison. Break the code by learning these translated terms.
Radical African American groups preach the myth that the African race is a super race and new gang recruits can return to their African warrior tribal roots. Photo courtesy of Rich Valdemar.

Do You Speak Swahili?  

January 25, 2011
In prison, forms of black slang and African languages are used to code conversations to prevent non-black inmates and staff from understanding the communication. They also serve as a racial recruiting tool.

A Nahuatl Dictionary  

January 18, 2011
A Nahuatl dictionary was intercepted in a prison in September 2000. It contains the code to the ancient Aztec language now being used by gang members. Break the code by learning these translated terms.
The tattoo on this man's head is an Aztec shield symbol for eternal war.

Do You Speak Nahuatl?  

January 18, 2011
Mexicans and Mexican Americans who can barely say taco are being taught dialects of the ancient Aztec language Nahuatl. In California prisons both the Mexican Mafia and the rival Nuestra Familia use this Aztec mythology to recruit and train soldiers for their wars.
Mexican drug cartel members see themselves as soldiers in an elite army. They use badges, patches, flags or other militaristic symbols to represent this.

Drug Cartel Challenge Coin Recovered  

January 11, 2011
American and Mexican law enforcement agencies have recovered similar badges, patches, coins, flags and other items produced by the Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs). The items solidify military cohesion among cartel soldiers.
Jose "Bat" Marquez, a member of the Mexican Mafia, was extradited to the U.S. in January 2007 to face a multitude of drug and weapons charges. Photo courtesy of Richard Valdemar.

Blood Brothers: Cartel Ties That Bind  

January 4, 2011
Like the unwanted dandelions that sprout in lawns, cartel and gang partners continue to adapt and survive. The systematic corruption of our police, courts and political system is their goal.
The brutal murder of DEA Agent Kiki Camarena by a Mexican drug cartel is dramatized in the 1990 TV mini-series, "Drug Wars: The Camarena Story." Photo courtesy of Richard Valdemar.

Blood Brothers: Roots of a Cartel War  

December 29, 2010
Like the evolution of the Italian Mafia in U.S. cities such as New York and Chicago, Mexican smugglers or "contrabandistas" evolved from crude thuggish beginnings to more criminally sophisticated organized crime groups.


December 21, 2010
You don't become a gang expert overnight. You don't become qualified to testify in court in just a couple of years. LAPD rotated its officers in and out of CRASH gang units and station areas, but the OSS gang deputies remained in OSS and LASD stations for years, allowing them to develop greater, more complete expertise.

Florence 13: The Other Transnational Gang  

December 14, 2010
The Los Angeles Sheriff's OSS Gang Task Force targeting the F-13 gang soon received information that the F-13 gang was enforcing Mexican Mafia orders to tax all drug dealers, to tax Sureño gangs, to kill rival blacks and run them out of the city, and to tax "Mica Mills" (counterfeit document mills) that produce fake identification and immigration documents.
Det. Sgt. James Bisetti retired from the Long Beach (Calif.) PD after a 30 year career, including 20 as a gang cop.

Gangs: The 'Ultimate' In Police Work  

December 9, 2010
In his years as a gang cop, Sgt. James Bisetti witnessed few gang members in Long Beach, which is primarily a Crip-gang city, successfully leave gang life.
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