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Richard Valdemar

Richard Valdemar

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

History of the Florence 13 Gang

September 12, 2007  |  by Richard Valdemar - Also by this author

When most Americans think of Hispanic gangs, they think of East Los Angeles, the San Fernando or San Gabriel Valleys, Boyle Heights, or Downtown Los Angeles. They would be surprised to know that much of Los Angeles Hispanic gang history actually happened in South Central. The 38th Street Gang of the Sleepy Lagoon murder and Zoot Suit Riot fame (1943) was from an area patrolled by LAPD Newton Division. Although South Central L.A. has been known primarily for its African American gang activity, there were often small enclaves of Hispanics scattered among them.

Before the Second World War, many Hispanic immigrants and locals were hired by the railroad and the "Red Line" electric car company to lay track and work on the rail lines between Los Angeles and the port and harbor areas of San Pedro and Long Beach. Some workers settled in an area of South Central Los Angeles which they called "Colonia Watts" (the Watts Colony). Here the small markets and businesses catered to the Spanish speaking community. Many of the Hispanic street gangs which were spawned after the war take their names from the colony or the streets in this area.

I grew up in the Willowbrook area of Compton near the Willowbrook railroad tracks in the 1960s. At that time, the Florence 13 Gang (F13) was already a long established and large Hispanic Gang from the "Florence" area of South Central Los Angeles. It was a rival to the Hispanic Compton Varrio Tres (CV3), Tortilla Flats (TF), Hickory Street, Grape Street, Elm Street, Watts Jardin (Watts Garden), Lynwood Paragons, Ochentas (80's), and Colonia Watts local street gangs. Florence also sometimes "rumbled" with White Fence and other East and Central Los Angeles gangs, not to mention the continual skirmishes with the surrounding African-American street gangs.

The F13 gang got its name from the major street, Florence Avenue, which runs east and west, parallel and between Imperial Highway and Firestone Boulevard. The name Florence is pronounced Florencia in Spanish. Florence is also a woman's name, so the gang adopted a 50's "doo-woop" song, "Florence" by the Paragons, as its theme song. The song was often requested to be played by DJs like Huggie Boy or Wolfman Jack on the radio to let everybody know Florencia was in town and as an implicit challenge to rivals. The song was also played at Mexican weddings, cincinedas, baptisms, and dances, wherever "Oldies but Goodies" were popular. If Florence gang members were present in any numbers, it often proved a catalyst for fights.

As long as I can remember the Florence gang has used the "13" in their name, showing their strong allegiance to the Mexican Mafia prison gang. Many early members of the Mexican Mafia were recruited from the Florencia gang. All the gangs from this area were veterans of many battles with black gangs. Often outnumbered by rival blacks, they earned a reputation for fierceness and treachery. This made them prime recruits in the Mexican Mafia's war against black gang members in prison.

A few early Eme soldiers from F13 include: Gabby Baeza, Tablas Castellanos and his brother Babo, Magoo Delagarza, Winedog Encinas, Loco Gallegos, Eddie Boy Marquez, Enano Martinez, Smiley Mendoza, Gator Meza, Jaws Moreno, Puppet Paez, Little Man Perez, Tudy Picaso, Chago Ramirez, Smokey Rivera, Sniper Sanchez, Both Snuffy brothers (Ruben & Victor) Sanchez, and Magoo Velasquez, just to name a few.

The most infamous Florencia and Mexican Mafia gang member, Trinidad "Trinny" Inglesias, was convicted of the murder of Deputy Gary Saunders on May 22, 1971. He is also considered the prime suspect in the shooting of a Huntington Park Narcotics Officer shot in the head as he used a urinal in a public bathroom. Shot unexpectedly from behind, the victim survived but could not identify Inglesias. Inglesias moved out of Los Angeles after his prison term for the murder of Deputy Saunders and at last report was living in the State of Washington or Oregon.

The Florence gang has a long history of being involved in drug trafficking in Los Angeles, where they have held a leadership position even in this already drug saturated area. They have been known to deal directly with both major African American drug distributors and Colombian and Mexican drug cartels.

The gang today continues to grow. It is one of the three largest gangs in Los Angeles. Like the other two super Hispanic gangs - 18th street & Mara Salvatrucha - Florencia 13 is now primarily made up of undocumented (illegal) immigrants. They continue to finance themselves primarily through narcotics trafficking. False document and identification mills are also a large source of income for all three of the super gangs.

Currently the Florencia 13 continues to follow the Mexican Mafia's direction, "taxing" drug dealers, running document mills, fighting other gang members, and killing their African-American rivals. They currently are at war with "38th Street" and the L.A."East Coast Crips."

This writer believes that the Mexican Mafia has pushed Hispanic gangs in the South and Central areas of Los Angeles to attack blacks at every opportunity, to take over control of drug trafficking in these areas, and to secure and maintain the Mafia's dominance.

Tags: Florence 13, Mexican Mafia, Surenos

Comments (54)

Displaying 1 - 54 of 54

pa18 @ 9/15/2007 7:30 AM

Excellent Gang Intel!!

Orlando1971 @ 1/27/2008 4:58 PM

10-4 to this intel as I am able to attest to such here in chicago.

trinidad @ 11/29/2011 7:41 AM

So, where are these people now?

Trinidas @ 11/30/2011 7:16 AM

So, where all these people now? In prison or dead?

John Dough @ 1/25/2012 9:46 PM

Theyre actually named after Florence Graham not the street.

zcompz @ 4/21/2012 11:45 PM

alot of gang members die young and alot also go to prison you can love the game but the game loves no one its just like the big time capos of Colombian Cartels or italian mob they are all mostly dead and in prison only a few survive

Bob @ 6/19/2012 7:59 AM

Excellent info, how many subset does F13 have?

BIG DANNY @ 7/2/2012 12:45 PM

@john dough-You don't know what your talking about!...FLORENCIA is named after the street FLORENCE

Big Jokes @ 7/31/2012 11:47 AM

I thought the part where it mentions about Florencia is made up of undocumented immigrants is ridiculous because some of these members come from two-to-three generations of this type of lifestyle. It is very important to gathEr the correct information and provide facts in order to make a state like this!

chucho @ 8/8/2012 9:55 PM

to big danny it was name after florence-graham. florence crosses into south central, inglewood and to the east goes all the way to commerce and more. so actually YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT!

Linda @ 9/13/2012 7:37 PM

what happen to winedog?

Linda @ 9/13/2012 7:46 PM

What was winedog encinas full name , I think I knew him?

Mzzvintage @ 10/2/2012 7:08 AM

Yes, I lived there during this time and the city was referred to as Florence and a little south was the Graham area. I knew most of those guys. What happened to Termite, Lardo, Buzzard, and little James? These guys partied with my mom when I was so young. As well as the Silva brothers. Gabby is in prison doing life.

Riley @ 10/2/2012 1:26 PM

Wait so how is da gang made up of illegals now if its a mexican american gang

tony @ 10/6/2012 11:14 AM

Florencia got its name from the street Florence, it was initially immigrants to protect themselves as a group from other races.

Martin @ 12/18/2012 2:01 PM

Me and my brothers grew up in the Firestone area , my carnal chago was from the Midgets and Pablo , sisco and my self are from los hermanos ! Hell how can they say the varrio is made of mostly unducomented people ? when i was in florence ave school there was only four kids that did not speak english , and one of them was me, and another thing how can you say there are about 3000 members ! you dont have no idea of how many of us there really is !! and thats the way we like it .

cee los @ 1/18/2013 1:08 PM

these fucking idiots gets killed all the time.. The block and I laugh our asses off when we they got shot up full of holes. Another one bites the dust.. good riddance i hope they're getting penetrated by the devils pitchfork. If youre this gang you can go fornicate yourself with an iron stick.

Misses @ 3/25/2013 7:59 PM

Noone mentions how the dead is forgotten about. I lived in Huntington Park from 1986 - 1993 and it was bad. Alot of my friends died and noone remembers them now. Night Owl, shot in a drive by shooting. Turtle, young, killed and left dead on Cental and 60th st. Yet ask anyone whom they are and noone knows, yet they were big too. You gang members need to know that noone loves you and noone will remember you after death. Most people I knew and still know are not illegal immis however, running the game at the top is full of illegals, just not on the street. I moved out of there to get away from it all, they destroy their own people and neighborhood.

Jesse @ 4/19/2013 10:48 PM

It's a trip how shit evolves I grew up on beach st and went to graham school with a bunch of neighborhood kids all childhood buddies then moved away when I came back they were all claiming Florencia 13. That's my neighborhood and I love it and the people in it although I ain't no gang banger I'm still loyal to it. Cuz we kicked ass then and they still do now

fatal69... @ 4/29/2013 7:46 PM

Florencia 13 will always be the most powerful gang in South Central. I'm used to the violene that comes from living in this city,however I will never get used to seeing innocent people get hurt.My hope is that one day we put the guns away,and come united as one! The only way we're ever gonna rise above these sorroundings, is the day when black and brown unite as one! I know this seems like a distant and foggy ilusion,but just keep in mind that God is good,and nothing is impossible with Him. Peace N blessings I leave unto all my brothers and sisters that live in the Florence-Firestone district.

Diana1 @ 5/6/2013 12:21 PM

My uncle was in that gang he died though,he will always be a true thug that never let anybody bring him down.He is still loved from his family always and forever.I Love You Tio !

HuBCiTy @ 5/20/2013 1:26 AM

Aye Florence does run parallel with Firestone and Imperial, but it isn't between these streets, c'mon now...anyone living on LOS or within range knows this

Bob @ 6/13/2013 10:11 PM

Author omitted the fact that Trini's brother was killed by Firestone Deputies while he was serving time. The killing of Deputy Saunders unleashed widespread brutality upon the community; everyone was affected, gang banger or not, we all paid the price. A " Stony Boy" encounter meant; a beat down, a " Drop off "at Pueblo Housing Project,( African-American housing project, home of the Pueblo Bishops) beating then dumped in an alley. The Deputies of the 70's and 80's ruled with impunity and brutality. I made the mistake of walking into the Firestone Sheriffs station to " complain" against a deputy that struck me with his baton for incorrectly referring to him as " Sheriff" instead of Deputy. The Deputy behind the desk told me I had three seconds to get the Fuck out of the station or he was going to bust my head with his much for community relations... My family has lived in the area since the late 40's, I left the area because of a potent gang that harassed and abused us; the Firestone Deputies, " Stony Boys", "Vikings" and Narcs..

handelit @ 7/9/2013 2:23 AM

Bob, your story has struck a nerve with me. I am trying to imagine what it must have been like to undergo those circumstances in regards to the "Firestone Deputies." Do you mind continuing to share and expand on those events where you actuallt felt menaced by the same people sworn to protect and serve us? I respect how F13 came into existence as a "need." A need to carve out a piece of space in this migrant land L.A. An identity is something we all want out of life, but do not necessarily start out with. I understand that back then recognition and respect-by-force was necessary as the diversity of this migrant land took shape and the Mexican identity emerged and formed as a true contender among all other contenders for a piece of the pie here. But now, it's all become an enterprise. And ambition steps on its own brother. And that, my friends, has led to our downfall. Although F13 continues its foothold here, it has become a powerfully-enforced business with little room for anything else. The only purpose is not brown anymore, but green. In any case, thanks for everyone's posting. There's nothing like hearing straight from the people.

Bob @ 7/11/2013 10:39 PM

handelit, I was born and raised in the Florence area. My first encounter with Firestone Deputies took place in elementary school, Lillian St School. The typical dog and pony show; we are here to protect you, obey and respect the law of the land and you will be treated with respect and dignity. I actually believed this, however my first " street" encounter with a deputy forever changed my view of local law enforcement. I was about 12, playing with friends in the street when a deputy rolled up. He slowly stepped out of the car and called us over. I expected a friendly exchange, as in school, however the ass beating soon began. He lifted my white Hanes T- shirt, looked for " Tattoos" then began kicking us with what seemed, at the time, an enormous military boot. It was now "Us" vs. " them" The beating instilled a hatred and lack of respect for the deputies. I no longer looked at them for protection, but rather as an invading force . Thus the first of many encounters with the deputies began. We quickly learned to avoid a "Stony Boy" at all costs. We ran, jumped fences and walls with great skill and agility. Baseball and football games always had planned escape routes in case they showed up. Luck was not always on our side. I was caught running away for no apparent reason. The deputy asked me why I ran, I responded, " because your going to kick my ass" his response was, " Your fucking right" and began striking me in the back with his baton and ended it with a swift kick in the ass. At a young age I experienced the brutality and anger that could have led me to the wrong choices. I wanted nothing more than to inflict the same upon them, yet was powerless to do so.

robert michael salazar @ 8/20/2013 10:36 AM

@ linda yea you were askng about winedog the eme carnal from Florence right? well I probably shouldn't be saying this but hes probably dead now anyways I don't know for sure? but I knew winedog I was in the joint with him but he dropped out of the eme I don't know how or why or any of the details about that? but I know he tested positive for HIV I seen him in chino east yard in 92 or 93 I was doing a violation when I seen him in the del norte yard of chino east where they keep everyone who has tested positive for HIV while in the CDC (prison) I was in the columa yard next door. I hope he is doing okay though.

Anonymous @ 9/13/2013 4:49 PM

Didn't the HP police kill Frank-Stomper in 1988

looney @ 10/2/2013 1:30 PM

florence gang nhd 61st looney locc

Aztlán @ 10/4/2013 9:59 PM

My Tio "Big Snoop" Snoopy from the OG Midgets is finally gonna be free after almost 35 years. I remember him telling me the history behind the cause. They weren't gangsters or thugs like the hoodlums of today. They were there to protect La Raza from the crooked Firestone cops and the negros. Saludos to the OG's that were and are. Con respeto, Aztlán!

Jessica Silva @ 10/9/2013 1:55 AM

@misses - Turtle was my father he was killed when I was 9 yrs old. I don't know if you know my mom Denise. We stayed on Missouri Ave South Gate.
I would like to talk to you if that is ok. Contact me [email protected]

Danny @ 10/15/2013 2:45 PM

I came up in Florence...Got into the Tiny Locos in 1980,and ran with some of the best of them,but around 20 yrs ago Jesus got a hold of my life,and He delivered me,saved me,and changed my life.God has done something powerful in my life,as well as many of the Homeboys lives.People who were pres in some of the clicks are pastors,and many others who came up in Florence God has saved,and changed them.From the Tiny Locos,Midgets,Diablos,Hermanos,Termites,Midnites,and so on.I thank God for saving me,and raising me up to minister,and evangelize His word.I never forgot where i came from,so i still go to the old neighborhood and take good ol friends to lunch and spend time with them.I have alot of love for my old friends,Homeboys,my brothers,and i simply just take the love of Jesus to them through me.I know God has something good,and powerful for them,and it's simply because He loves them.Much Blessings to all

PeeFunk @ 11/6/2013 2:24 AM

Here's a list of Florencia cliques: Malditos, 64Locos, Malos, Dreamboys, Asesinos, 85st,
Eazyboys,Midnites, Holmstreets, Dukes, Termites, Gangsters, Bear St, Tokers, Looniez,
Klan, Jokers, Midgits, Little Raskals, Diablos,
Midnite Locas, Criminals, Pee Wees,
Los Hermanos, Santos, Gangster Locas,
Tiny Locas, Neighborhood Locas, and many more...

RUDY ENRIQUEZ @ 1/19/2014 4:17 PM

Growing up in florence ive seen alot and did alot of things.I did to join the infamous click the Tiny locos back in the day,and yes we lost alot of good dudes. And yes i did know turtle he was agood dude and yes to my friend and long time homie danny glad yr doing well. And as for winedog he is not passed old and still sick Thiers still homies i would like to see and those who just want to forget all is well and dont blame them

RUDY ENRIQUEZ @ 1/19/2014 4:38 PM

Yeah as a kid i did to attend florence ave school and yes i know martin and his brothers my father and uncles all from florence and who grew up their i got to know just about everyone i needed to know all the real og s and let me tell you those dudes didnt play. i quess now alot of them have faded into time.But i will never forget the BROTHERS who showed me alot and to old man buzzard who has been passed on lardo is still alive termite well hes old and still living

RUDY ENRIQUEZ @ 1/19/2014 5:10 PM

And to the family of BIG SNOOPY sorry to hear that He was a good dude i knew him for many many years since i was a young kid.I first met yr uncle at the park ROOSEVLET PARK he spent alot of time their when he wasnt busted .And he told me alot of stories about back in the day.I will miss him for sure my blessings go out to your FAMILIA

gloria @ 1/20/2014 10:21 PM

Whatever happen to Amador , from pee wee, use date him, .?

gloria @ 1/20/2014 10:23 PM

What ever happen to Amador from florencia use to date him, in the pee wees..? In the 1960

Big Pee Wee @ 1/24/2014 10:08 PM

@Gloria last I know he became gay and was a prostitute on Figueroa.

bob @ 1/29/2014 7:43 PM

Does anyone remember Cevero/Severo? He used to go around the neighborhood and try to help the youngsters out..

superhamster @ 2/5/2014 3:45 PM

They're actually named after Florence Henderson, the actress from the Brady Bunch, because they're a bunch of cowardly wusses who run around in girl's clothes when they're not making weird signs with their hands like a bunch of spastics and plotting petty crimes. And they can't imagine anything worth doing with their ridiculously pathetic lives.

Chaparro @ 2/28/2014 8:12 AM

Buenos Diaz Homies..

Chaparro @ 2/28/2014 8:17 AM

I've been looking for an old homie, Lost contact with him like 5 Yrs ago... The Homie Limpy... He turned it around & I herd he was doing good for his people.. I just wanted to see if he was still doing his thing & see how everything turned out for him..

anonymous @ 6/4/2014 1:42 PM

Gloria... amador was killed in 1986 in his home by his "homeboys" with an injection of 100% uncut morphine... cops knew he sold...knew it was murder and never did shit to investigate...

anonymous @ 6/4/2014 1:47 PM

Big peewee only gay prostitute muthrfucker is you...

M3GA @ 7/1/2014 10:58 AM

We (F13) have finally decided to spread out and we WILL take over. Fucking nigers think that they can run the streets. HA!

M3GA @ 7/1/2014 11:00 AM

so to answer your question trinidad, we are not only in LA but are from LA to Santa Clarita

faggetteK Flower bashin @ 8/22/2014 11:54 PM

fake ass article flowersk gettn smashed by ECC and 38st! f13 is watered down illegals with no heart just number's in firestone district. the w/s f13s are scared of the w.s rollin 60s crips and i13. eazy boys and nds are scared of Swans and East Coast, Broadway etc why are these hood still there if f13 is so powerful? fuc outta here

sss @ 8/24/2014 11:36 AM

Pwee where u at Compton Alondra 13, hit me [email protected]

sandra m @ 8/24/2014 11:38 AM

Where u at pwee from Compton Alondra 13. I kicked with you shorty , raton hit me up [email protected]

Aztlán @ 8/25/2014 7:26 PM

Rudy Enriquez, So u know my Tio Snoopy? I finally got the opportunity to chill with him out here in the free world. He finally made it out but unfortunately he's spending his days in a hospital. He's been really bad. Cancer ain't no joke! Viva El Snoop de Los Midgets.

miguel @ 9/19/2014 9:24 AM

Niggers u know who rule the streets u just free load off our supplies from the our cousins from the south we started it all just keep singing your rap and playing basketball and stay out of our way our it will be like rosewood all over again

Youngster tiny locos @ 10/4/2014 6:04 AM

Much respect to the BIG homies the Diaz brothers... Im sorry to have heard about Chago from Midgets, he was a real OG all the diaz brothers where.. To all u youngsters tstill holding it down.. This gang has grandpas and grandsons in it. Martin! How have u been,, RIP CHAGO

BEATRIZ @ 10/6/2014 4:53 AM

What ever happen to Michael Beaver Snuffy I used write to him when he was busted in Y A

bob @ 12/11/2014 9:42 PM

Can anyone confirm the death of "Chief"?

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