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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

Compton's 155th Street Gang

Compton's 155th Street Gang

The worst of these 155th Street members were usually high on "red devils" (Seconal) and drunk on wine. They were dangerous to everyone and lethal to rivals. They were as bad as any Willowbrook gang such as the Compton Varrio Tres, Tortilla Flats, Willowbrook Winos, or any black gang.

February 27, 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

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

Gang Profile: Varrio Hawaiian Gardens

Gang Profile: Varrio Hawaiian Gardens

Varrio Hawaiian Gardens was a Sureño gang fiercely loyal to the Mexican Mafia, and the Mafia was in a racial war against Blacks. Varrio Hawaiian Gardens (HG) was also known as the "Hate Gang" because of the hate crimes it had committed against African Americans.

October 20, 2011

Keep Your Eye on Pseudo Sureños

Keep Your Eye on Pseudo Sureños

Just because a gang may seem unsophisticated and maybe it's just a pseudo-Sureño gang, don't ignore their potential for violence. They may start slow on the gang learning curve but some of them will get tough just trying to survive. Jail and prison will further harden and train them.

August 2, 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

Dodger Blues: Take Me Out At the Ballgame

Dodger Blues: Take Me Out At the Ballgame

To Bryan Stow and the rest of the sane world, his Giants baseball gear represented his love of baseball and his support for his team. To that cowardly pack of gang thugs, it was the symbol for the rival Norteño gangs and the Nuestra Familia prison gang. To them, this is like wearing a Nazi uniform to the Auschwitz survivors' reunion.

April 11, 2011

Florence 13: The Other Transnational Gang

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.

December 14, 2010

Mexican Mafia: The Most Dangerous Gang

Mexican Mafia: The Most Dangerous Gang

No matter which big bad bloody band of barrio bad boys you might be dealing with, I'll bet they are taking their orders from prison-gang inmates. And when one prison gang member can walk with immunity into some street gang's turf and order them to murder one of their own, that's a clue.

April 12, 2010

Sureño Tattoos and Symbols

Sureño Tattoos and Symbols

Sureños can be found in every major city in the U.S. They can be found in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and South America. The big transnational super gangs such as Florence, 18th Street, and Mara Salvatrucha threaten the stability of some Central American nations.

March 3, 2010

Gangster Clothing: Dressing for Success In Prison

Gangster Clothing: Dressing for Success In Prison

No one in a predatory environment wanted tight, close-fitting clothing. Status in custody was displayed by wearing new, especially large baggy clothing, ironed or pressed to military-like creases.

January 25, 2010

The Grape Street Gang, the CCO, and Honcho Day

In the mid-1980s these crack and PCP drug wars exploded into unprecedented violence and open gang wars on the streets of Los Angeles and Compton. The evolution of fortified crack houses with iron sally port entrances and video surveillance and the appearance of gang members wearing body armor who engaged in firefights using military-style weapons and multiple shooters, forced the police to play catch-up tactically. And the cost in human lives was staggering.

December 2, 2009