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Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

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.

Comments (23)

Displaying 1 - 23 of 23

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?

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 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!

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.

Papi @ 6/3/2015 10:23 PM

some truth in all these but also some not true.. Either way sounds pretty intresting...

OG Spooky @ 12/4/2015 11:51 AM

WASup vatos FLORENCE UP fuck toast and tramps 38k CCK

YoungxSinner @ 1/2/2016 10:49 PM

Ayy OG spooky hit me up adapter?!!!

Jose carbajal @ 1/17/2016 10:35 PM

Everyone likes to comment.but nobody really no these guys like they claim to all of bunch of ear hustling name droppers

Random @ 1/25/2016 2:32 AM

My dad was apart of the knightowl or termights paco
Ha hes out with pee wee

sg @ 2/17/2016 4:09 PM

Wolfman Jack was a DJ in New York, so no one in Los Angeles would have been listening to his station. The part about the song being played as a challenge to rivals by Wolfman Jack is untrue.

I don't recall that Trinidad "Trinny" Inglesias was ever a made member of the Mexican Mafia.

Florencia was using the number 13 prior to the existence to the Mexican Mafia, so to describe the use of the number 13 as representing loyalty to the Mexican Mafia is not true.

Most of the members of Florencia 13 are US born and American citizens, so it is completely untrue to characterize the gang as undocumented.

I'll stop here.

Tumacro @ 4/27/2016 7:24 AM

I live in Washington and in the town over there are lots of F13's. It's interesting to see the origin of them.

Dave @ 5/9/2016 7:53 PM

I remeber arturo at gage jr high , crazy as hell. He hanged out with a big guy Named tony. Marcos Guzman , jose Serrano, good guy until the gangs came recruiting . I felt sorry for them. Hard to walk the straight and narrow when your dad is a og

Rudy Enriquez jr @ 9/25/2016 12:55 PM

My family has been in the Florence area since the 20s All my uncles were from Florence most of the Vatos you heard of My family Ran with them!! Crazy Homeboys back then 76st RE jr

N/A @ 10/20/2016 5:06 AM

I was born in & raised in Florence. I was an F13 gang member as long as I can remember. I've spent most of my life in cya and in prison. I WAS a gang member. I feel so bad for all of those young boys who are going to go through all of the shit I went through. I just got out after 23 yrs.

anonymous @ 12/10/2016 3:52 PM

fuCC f13 LAme a$$ niCCas they ain't hkaRd we'll kill them anytime anyplace anywhere they ain't shii we eat f13 for breakfast bkig bkad W$ RXCHK R60LLXNH NKAYBKORHK60D CRIPK'$ GANG ON TKOPK fuCC all LAme a$$ f13 bkitChes

Anonymous @ 1/28/2017 5:15 PM

Fuck u

Cheestoast @ 2/6/2017 8:50 AM

Fuck a crab

Los Antrax @ 2/25/2017 7:40 AM

Que se vallan a la chingada todos esos pinches putos que hablan mal de mi querida SSFLORENCE13 GANG.
Sepan que Florence gang has my back any time
Mis saludos y respetos para los vatos de Florence gang y para los vatos que son parte de Los Antrax y el cartel de sinaloa junto conmigo.

Fuck all anemigas!!!
Ki'll you any time motherfuckers!

eme @ 3/12/2017 9:46 AM

Those haters could some my think fuck all en emy

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