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The Mexican Mafia: Down But Not Out

The Mexican Mafia: Down But Not Out

Every time law enforcement thought that they had knocked out or retired the Eme organization, they found that the Eme came back again. The Mexican Mafia absorbed the blows and grew stronger.

August 13, 2013

A Devil's Playground for Gang Members

A Devil's Playground for Gang Members

The court transportation system is the first weak point. Did you know that 40% of all inmate escapes occur during transport? Any gang member who's spent any time in custody has practiced slipping out of handcuffs and shackles, and you can bet one or more of them carry jail-made handcuff keys.

July 23, 2013

Gang Task Forces Take Down Mexican Mafia 'Carnals'

Gang Task Forces Take Down Mexican Mafia 'Carnals'

Two recent investigations show us the value of gang task forces that combine resources from law enforcement, prosecutors, and corrections to take down Mexican Mafia "carnals" in Southern California.

March 14, 2013

Sureño Fight Club

Sureño Fight Club

While in custody, most Sureño gang members are educated in martial arts fighting tactics and are primarily trained in fighting with edged weapons. The culture of jails and prisons is a knife culture. Jail-improvised weapons start with "shanks" but can include spears, clubs, zip guns, and bombs.

November 26, 2012

Gangs In the Courtroom

Gangs In the Courtroom

Every victim or witness had heard the stories in the ghetto about gang retaliation against those who were foolish enough to snitch on gang members. Most of these stories were only urban legends that grew with each telling. Some were absolutely true. Gangs do target witnesses.

November 7, 2012

Gang Intelligence and the Need to Know

Gang Intelligence and the Need to Know

No matter how small or large a town they work in, and whether they work urban or rural, gang cops need to know about and recognize the signs of criminal gang activity associated with national and international gangs.

October 2, 2012

Sureños: Understanding Kanpol and Pilli

Sureños: Understanding Kanpol and Pilli

Sureños identify with the color blue and use tattoos with the number 13, sureño, sur, south sider, or "kanpol" (a word taken from the ancient Aztec language of Nahuatl that means southerner).

March 14, 2012

Gangs and Electronic Surveillance—Part II

Gangs and Electronic Surveillance—Part II

The girlfriend was provided with a “burnout phone.” A burnout phone is one that would be operational for a few months before being burned out. By that time the bill would have grown to many thousands of dollars, which they had no intention of paying.

March 6, 2012

Gangs and Electronic Surveillance—Part I

Gangs and Electronic Surveillance—Part I

Sometimes separate local, state, or county police are used for physical surveillance. Occasionally when intercepted communications seem to have gone dormant, the surveillance team will also be used to deliberately arrest or conduct a traffic stop on individuals to cause them to increase their criminal communications or "tickle the wire."

March 1, 2012

How a Cartel Enforcer Thrived In Lockup

How a Cartel Enforcer Thrived In Lockup

Jose "Bat" Marquez received a life sentence for trafficking methamphetamine from a prison cell. Most law enforcement officials would consider this a success; however, it was too little, too late for those of us familiar with his criminal past as a violent enforcer for Mexican Mafia and Tijuana drug cartel.

November 23, 2011

Exploiting the Mexican Mafia's Weaknesses

Exploiting the Mexican Mafia's Weaknesses

The Mexican Mafia is composed of cell-like cliques united in a coalition under the umbrella name. These cliques or sub-groups are led by informal charismatic leaders who function under the overall gang structure. Sometimes the nature of this beast aids law enforcement gang fighters in delivering the critical blow.

September 21, 2011

Taking Down Mexican Mafia Cliques In the O.C.

Taking Down Mexican Mafia Cliques In the O.C.

Operation Black Flag was another "staggering and comprehensive blow" to California's most powerful gang, according to U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte. However, the La EME prison gang has proved to be resilient to extermination. Mexican Mafia leaders have managed to operate their criminal enterprise from the most secure housing units in the most secure prisons in America.

August 9, 2011

The Best Argument Against the Death Penalty

The Best Argument Against the Death Penalty

Former Mexican Mafia leader Ramon "Mundo" Mendoza's motivation for writing, "Mexican Mafia: The Gang of Gangs," is to get the book into the hands of gang members and inmates in the hope that it might prevent them from following in his footsteps. His intent is to break the negative brainwashing the prison gangs utilize and illuminate the path to redemption.

July 14, 2011

Gangs and Lowrider Car Shows

Gangs and Lowrider Car Shows

If I worked a gang unit in your area, I would send plainclothes officers inside to monitor any Lowrider shows near your jurisdiction. I would also watch carefully and stop in unannounced at your local Lowrider custom shop. These shops are often also stolen car chop shops.

July 5, 2011

Understanding Inmate Codes of Conduct

Understanding Inmate Codes of Conduct

I've always marveled at this irony. Young men who rebel against authority and parental control, who commonly hate school, hate memorizing verses and symbols, hate reading history, hate learning new languages, and hate participating in physical education, enjoy doing all these things for their prison gang leaders.

April 25, 2011