RMIN Gangs Report by BrianCharles


Their increasing grip
 on the RMIN Region
A special report from the Rocky Mountain Information Network
                           June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     RMIN’s U.S. Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
                                                                                                                                                                         2010 Edition                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Map (shown at left) and Path of an Outlaw
                                                                                                                                                              U.S. OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE GANGS                                                                                                                                                                                        iomgia.net
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Motorcycle Gang (shown below) docu-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ments are now available in PDF and
                                                                   FREE SOULS

                                                                  DIRT & GRIME

                                                                GYPSY JOKERS

                                                     AMIGOS, HOMBRES

                                                                                       GHOST RIDERS

                                                                                                                        BOOZEFIGHTERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 CHIEFTAINS                  EXILES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 poster-size printouts.
                                                     CANYON RIDERS, GURIO                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           COMBATANTS                SARACENS
                                                     DESTRALOS, UNFORGIVEN        BROTHER SPEED
                                                                                                                                                          AMIGOS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         UNRULY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     RMIN and the International Outlaw
                                                     (BANDIDOS FARM CLUBS)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MOUNTAIN MEN
                                                                                          OUTSIDERS                                                                                                                                                                    OUTLAWS                                                                                                                                                                    CROSS ROADS
                                                          BANDIDOS         VIETNAM VETS                                                                              BAD COMPANY              HERMANOS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (pending confirmation)                                                                                                                                                        FLYING IRON
                                                                                                                                          COSSACKS                                                                                                                      THUNDERBIRDS                                                                                                                                                                IRON EAGLES
                                                                                   HELLS ANGELS                                                                                                                                                  SPARTANS                                  BROTHERHOOD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         NORSEMEN                                        WARLORDS                                                                                                                                                                  MILFORD & CO               IRON HORSEMEN
                                                                                                                                                               MONTANA                                                                                                               PEACEMAKERS HELLS OUTCAST                                                                                                                                    MOUNTAIN MEN
                                                                                                                                                                                             BROTHERSPEED                  NORTH DAKOTA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   DIABLOS
                                                                                                        THE OTHERS                                                                                                                                     SILENT THUNDER        FOSSILS                                                                                                                                                                 ROAD KINGS
                                                                                                                                   GALLOPING GOOSE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               MIDNIGHT RIDERS                                                                                                                                                             HELLS ANGELS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association
                                                                          GYPSY JOKERS
                                                     FREE SOULS                                                                                                                                                         DAKOTA RIDERS
                                                                                                                                                                        MONGOLS                                                                                              EL FORASTEROS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SONS OF SILENCE                                                                                                                                                                                                                 OUTLAWS
                                                                                                        BROTHERSPEED                                                                                                                                                                   GALLOPING GOOSE                                                                                                                                                  VERMONT
                                          MONGOLS             OREGON                                                                                                                                                                                 VIETNAM VETS           ICE COLD RIDERS       BPM’s     CHOSEN FEW                                                                                                                          KINGSMEN    MOUNTAIN
                                                                                                        I-84 ROADBROTHERS          SET FREE SOLDIERS                   VIETNAM VETS                                                                                                 MINNESOTA         BROTHERHOOD                                                                                                                           DEMON KNIGHTS MEN            NH
                                                                     BROTHER SPEED                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         CHOSEN FEW

                                                                                                                                                                                            BARONS                                                                          STREET SOLDIERS                    BLACK PISTONS                                                                                                                                          DIABLOS
                                                  OUTSIDERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   OUTCAST                                  AVENGERS                                                                 HIGHWAYMEN
                                                                                                  VAGOS - (NEED TO CONFIRM)                                                                                                                                                              TRU BREED DIABLO LOBOS                                                                                                                                                      OUTLAWS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 partnered to create the Path of an Outlaw
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BRIDGE RUNNERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            THEMADONES                 SFB      EL FORASTEROS                                     BROTHERHOOD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 DORSAI                                                                                                                                                     BLACK PISTONS, CHIEFTONS, DIABLOS,
                                                                                                                IDAHO                                                                                                       DEADMEN              EL FORASTEROS                                                                                                                                                                                     RARE BREED       HELLS ANGELS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LOS VALIENTES   D.C. EAGLES WISCONSIN                                        BLACK PISTONS                                                       IRON HORSEMEN                                        DOMINERS, FREEWHEELERS, HEADSMEN

                                                                                                  EMPTIES                                                          GRIM REAPERS                                                                                                WHEELS OF SOUL                                                                                                                                                                                               PHANTOM LORDS, PALE RIDERS
                                                                                                                        HIGHWAYMEN                                                                                                                                                                           HEATHENS      ROAD DOGS                                                                                                        SET FREE SOLDIERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SOUTH DAKOTA                           HELLS ANGELS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             DEVILS DICIPLES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      69 ers                                  MA            RED EMERALDS, RED DEVILS
                                                                                                        VIETNAM VETS                                                                                                     HERMANOS                                                                      HELLS LOVERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SIN CITY DECIPLES                     MICHIGAN                                                                          NEW YORK HELLS ANGELS                       RUM POT RUSTLERS, SIDEWINDERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            SOUTH SHORE HAWGS, TRIBEMAN
                                 GRAND FATHERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SONS OF SILENCE                                                                                                                            MORTAL SKULLS
                                                                                                                         THE SELECTS              CHING-A-LINGS                           VIETNAM VETS                                                                                                                                                        IRON COFFINS                                                                        BROTHERHOOD VIETNAM VETS     OUTLAWS      VICTORS, VIGILANTES, LONG RIDERS,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       IMMORTALS                                                  ZULUS                                ROAD VULTURES
                                          JUS BROTHERS                                                                                                                                                                                                 BANDIDOS                                 OL TIMERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             GHOST DANCE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                VIETNAM VETS                                    SUNDOWNERS                  SIN CITY DESCIPLES                                                SATENS SOLDIERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BLACK PISTONS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         RI                 DEVILS DISCIPLES
                              UNKNOWN LOCOS                                                                  BANDIDOS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Motorcycle Gang Member poster. The
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              WILD BUNCH                                                                       HELLS ANGELS
                                                                 SATIN SINNERS
                                                                                                                                 PHUK                   BANDIDOS         WYOMING                                                            VIETNAM VETS                        BOND SLAVES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BOOZEFIGHTERS             BPM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ZODIACS                     NEW ATTITUDE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     VIETNAM VETS UNFORGIVEN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HELLS ANGELS VIETNAM VETS
                              BRAVADOS      DEVILS DICIPLES                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   SCORPIONS                        CONDEMNED FEW WARLOCKS                                             BOOZE FIGHTERS
                                                                            MONGOLS                                                                                                           KNIGHTS                                                                                                                    MIXTECAS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   OUTLAWS                         OUTCAST HIGHWAYMEN                         VICIOUS CIRCLE                          OUTLAWS CT                  HIGHWAY DRIFTERS
                             BORDER BANDITS    DIABLOS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             HELLS ANGELS         PAGANS                    RED DEVILS,
                                                                GREEN MACHINE      P.O.B.O.B.     DOWN & DIRTY                                            DESTROYERS                                                                                                                  EL FORASTEROS                                                       WHEELS OF SOUL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             VIETNAM VETS                                   WARLOCKS                                                   (frozen)                                   HELLS ANGELS, VIETNAM VETS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BELIEVERS                                               HELLS ANGELS
                                      SONS OF HAWAII                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                IRON HORSEMEN
                                                                      BRANDED FEW               VAGOS                                                                                                             BRUDENSCHAFT                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TRIBE
                             CRUCIFIERS                                                                              BROTHERSPEED                                  LOS LOBOS        LEGACY VETS                                              DEFIANT FEW                    HANDLEBAR JOCKEYS                                                                          VIETNAM VETS                         BREED                  KINGSMEN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             THE CREW
                                     DEVILS HORSEMEN            RENEGADES                                                                         UMF                                                                                                                                                                                                       OUTLAWS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TRIBESMEN                                                                                             BROTHERHOOD                                                    PAGANS     BLACK PISTONS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                PENNSYLVANIA BREED

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 chart is designed to help law enforcement
                             MESCALEROS                                           BOOZE FIGHTERS                                                                                                                IRON RAGE                              VALHALLAS                 TRIBESMEN                                                                               JOURNEYMEN                                                                                                       BOOZE FIGHTERS HELTER SKELTER
                                                                                                                       VAGOS                                                                                                                                                                     IOWA      CIRCLE OF PRIDE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MONGOLS                        SWORDSMEN
                                            CRUCIFIERS          BROTHERHOOD
                                                                                                                                                                                  WEHRMACHT                                                                                                                                         CROSS ROADS                           IRON HORSEMEN                      WARLOCKS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           WHEELS OF SOUL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NJ WARLOCKS SOUL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               WHEELS OF
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BRANDED ONES HOLE IN THE WALL
                              RAMBLERS                                                             TRIBE
                                                                                                                                                                                                              UMF                       NEBRASKA                                BOND SLAVES                                      DEATH MARAUDERS  BROTHERHOOD                          SIN CITY DESCIPLES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               HELLS ANGELS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          CHARTER OAKS JAMES GANG
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          CHOSEN          LOST TRIBE
                                                                                                                           BANDALEROS                                                                                                                                                              SONS OF SILENCE                                       BLACK PISTONS DEVILS DICIPLES        AVENGERS                                      PAGANS
                                             HUMPERS                     RIGHTEOUS ONES                                                                                                                                   FLAT LANDERS                                                                                                    D.C. EAGLES
                               LOST SOULS                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BANDIDOS                                                       HOMBRES                 DEVILS DICIPLES                                                VIETNAM VETS OUTLAWS                PAGANS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               IRON DEMONS                COMBAT VETS     PHANTOM LORDS
                                                                                                HOMBRES                                                                       AMERICAN IRON                                                                                             VIETNAM VETS                                                                                       OHIO                                                                SATANS SOLDIERS            COMPADRES       RESERVOIR DOGS
                                         HELL BENT                 HESSIANS
                                                                                                                                    HERMANOS                                                                                                                                                            RAPTORZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     DIRTY DOZEN             INDIANA RENEGADES             BROTHERHOOD                                                                                    CROSS ROADS     RIGHTEOUS & UNRULY
                                                                                 NEVADA                                                                                                             FREE TOMORROW                     VIETNAM VETS                                                                        WHEELS OF SOUL            WHEELS OF SOUL          BLACK PISTONS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     VIETNAM VETS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DIABLOS         RED DEVILS
                                   NUGGETS                                                                             BARONS                                         FLYING WHEELS                                                                      HELLS ANGELS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ILLINOIS                                                                             APACHE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MD                                              DISMANTLERS     OUTLAWS
                                          RIGHTOUS ONES                                                                                                                                  VALIANTS                                                                                                                                                     GRIM REAPERS                    WHEELS OF SOUL                                                      WHEELS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     DE TRIBE OF SOUL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 personnel better understand the path a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   FUGARWE TRIBE                                                                                        PAGANS                                            FORBIDDEN
                                                                                                                                          KERBEROS                                                   IRON HORSEMEN                                                                         MIDWEST DRIFTERS             INVADERS                          IRON HORSEMEN IRON COFFINS VIETNAM VETS           AVENGERS
                                 GHOST MOUNTAIN RIDERS                      SKONERS             WILD BUNCH                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                THUNDERGUARDS
                                                                                                                 MONGOLS                                            HIGH PLAINS DRIFTERS                                                                                                          BOOZE FIGHTERS                 DEVILS DISCIPLES                                                       TRIBE            WHEEL ILLUSIONS
                                               TOP HATTERS                                                                       UTAH                                                                  DIABLOS LOBOS                                                                                                      OUTCASTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      INVADERS DIABLOS OUTLAWS HELLS ANGELS                 HERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OF THE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          WARLOCKS, WHEELS OF SOUL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          VIETNAM VETS, PAGANS
                                                                                         HELLS ANGELS                                                                                                                                                                                    VIETNAM VETS                                                                                                  BROT
                                                                                                                                                                               COLORADO                                                                               THE MEN                         EL FORASTEROS          GRIM REAPERS               SIN CITY DECIPLES        BOOZE FIGHTERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     W. VIRGINIA                    WARLOCKS
                                                          AMIGOS                                                  SUNDOWNERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 TRIBE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ROUGES            BOOZE FIGHTERS                                                                     BLACK PISTONS     HELLS ANGELS                                  LAST REBELS                                                  BLITZKRIEG, DERELICTS
        BAY RIDERS                    HEATHENS                                   BANDIDOS                                              BANDIDOS                    OUTLAWS          HELLS LOVERS        MONGOLS                                                                            GALLOPING GOOSE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                HELLS LOVERS                 OUTLAWS                                                   CHING-A-LINGS    VIRGINIA                IRON HORSEMEN
         MAYHEM                                      HESSIANS                                                                                                                                                                                                       EL FORASTEROS                                                                                                               TITANS BARBARIANS                                               KINGSMEN, PHANTOMS, TRIBE
                                    AMONS                                                                    DESTRALOS                                                                                                                                                                                      HELLS LOVERS                            SONS OF SILENCE      BLACK PISTONS                                VIETNAM VETS       MONGOLS
      HEAVY HITTERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                   GALLOPING GOOSE                                         NEW BREED                           SONS OF SILENCE                                              GHOST RIDERS                                                     THUNDERGUARDS, WHEELS OF SOUL
                                                            RESURRECTION                                                                                                                             SUNDOWNERS                                                                                                                                      VIETNAM VETS                                       WARLOCKS OUTLAWS DERANGED FEW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 person must follow in order to become a
       HELLBOUND                    SAINTS S/S SINNERS                                                                     VIETNAM VETS                            INVADERS         BANDIDOS                                                                                                                                                                                   CUSTOM RIDERS                                                                    HELLS ANGELS
                                                                                       VIETNAM VETS
       MOST ENVIED                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     KANSAS                                                 MISSOURI           HELLS ANGELS     BOOZEFIGHTERS                                     VIETNAM VETS SCORPIONS MERCILESS SOULS
  WEST COAST O.G. RIDERZ             RED NATION        AGAINST THE WALL                                                                 LEGACY VETS                    BOOZEFIGHTERS                     VIETNAM VETS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             DIABLOS LOBOS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ROAD SAINTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                VIETNAM VETS                          KENTUCKY                        PAGANS
         MALDITOS                                               MISFITS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             PAGANS DEVILS GRIP
                                              SUNDOWNERS                                  GENTS                                                                                                                                                            MEXTECAS                                                                  OUTLAWS                   IRON HORSEMEN       GRIM REAPERS
        VIOLATORS                                                                                                                                                                   HELLS ANGELS                                      LONERS                                                ROCK MACHINE       SIN CITY DECIPLES                                                                      DESPERADOES MESSENGERS
                                                                                                                                                            SET FREE SOLDIERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                      SONS OF SILENCE
     SKELETON CREW                       SAINTS      GALLOPING GOOSE                                            COCHISE RIDERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                         SONS OF SILENCE OUTLAWS                  WHEELS OF SOUL
        HENCHMEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   VIETNAM VETS                                   INVADERS       SADDLE TRAMPS                                               HELLS ANGELS                                          RENEGADES
                                                                    CHOSEN FEW                                                   NOMADENS                                              DESTROYERS                                                                   SONS OF SILENCE
        VITUSCANS                             BOOZE FIGHTERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     PAGANS      VIETNAM VETS                                       DESPERADOS
         MOLOCHS                                                   MILITARY MISFITS                        SOUL BROTHERS                                              MALDITOS                                                                                                                  BROTHERS WORD       STATESMEN                                                                                              VETERANS NOMADS RED DEVILS
                                            IRON HORSEMEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WHEELS OF SOUL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 member of an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. It
         WANTED                                                                                                                                                                   HUNS                                                                                                                                                                                                                      STEEL REBELS
                                                  PECKERWOODS        SADISTICS                                              DEVILS DICIPLES                     WILD ONES                    REGULATORS                             SET FREE SOLDIERS                                          WHEELS OF SOUL      SET FREE SOLDIERS                                  LIMITED FEW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     HENCHMEN                                 N. CAROLINA
                                                                            SOLO ANGELS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GRIM REAPERS                                            BOANERGES
                                                         LONERS                                      LOST DUTCHMAN                                        PAISANOS                 LOS TRAVIESOS                                                                          MONGOLS                                                                                             GHOST RIDERS                                             BLACK PISTONS
                                                                  UMG                                                                                                                                                                                   LONERS
                                                                         MONGOLS                                                                                    HIGH PLAINS DRIFTERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               BANCHEES      SOUTHSIDE CREW               IRON CROSS TENNESSEE                                    IRON TRIBE          BROTHERHOOD
                                                                                                             VAGOS               LONERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     THE FAMILY                                                HELLS ANGELS
                                                                   VAGOS SOUL BROTHERS                                                                    BOOZE FIGHTERS                   BLACK BERETS                                         ROGUES              FORSAKEN FEW                DIABLOS LOBOS                                     IRON HORSEMEN OUTLAWS                                WARLOCKS                    OUTLAWS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  SATANS TRAMPS
                                                                                                         HUNS      ARIZONA                                                                                                                                                                       BOOZE FIGHTERS                         BLACK PISTONS VAGOS                                         TRINITY       HAMMERHEADZ           PAGANS
                                                                  GREEN MACHINE                                                  CHOSEN FEW                          NEW MEXICO              LOS CARNALES                                      HESSIANS       OKLAHOMA                                            OZARK RIDERS                                                                       STEELE STALLIONS WILD BUNCH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 also identifies the meaning behind several
                                                                          HELLS ANGELS
                                                                                                        SPARTAN RIDERS                                                                                                       DORSAI
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ARKANSAS                                                                                        SOUTHERN VIKINGS        SPARTANS
                                                                       VIETNAM VETS
                                                                                                                         HAWG RIDIN FOOLS                 LOS HERMANOS
                                                                                                                                                                              NARBONAS                                                               GRIM REAPERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BLACK PISTONS          SONS OF SILENCE      OUTLAWS                       IRON CROSS                    S. CAROLINA
                                                                    SET FREE SOLDIERS                                                                                                      GERMAN M/C                                                                                            ROAD BARONS                                                                                                MAN-O-WAR
                                                                                                  LUCIFERS CREW                                                                                                                                               VIETNAM VETS         OUTLAWS                                                ASGARDS       ALABAMA RIDERS                                                       GODS FEW
                                                                                                                          HELLS ANGELS             LOS COMPADRES                  GERMAN ARMY VETS                COSSACKS                                                                              VIETNAM VETS                                                                            BLACK PISTONS       ROLLING REBELS
                                                                                            SET FREE SOLDIERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               DEVILS DICIPLES         OUTCASTS                         HELLS ANGELS
                                                                                                                                                                                 BANDOLEROS                                                                                                      OUTLAWS                           BOOZE FIGHTERS
                                                                                                                                                          SOLDADOS                                                                                                                                           BANDIDOS                                                                                                DIRE WOLFZ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RIGHTOUS ONES

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 of the tabs, or cookies, members wear on
                                                                                                                          VIETNAM VETS
                                                                                                            MONGOLS                                                NATIVE THUNDER        PACOTEROS                                                                                                                                                          ALABAMA                            GEORGIA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       BANSHEES                                         SONS OF SILENCE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          REAPERS                                               MISSISSIPPI                                                               RAPPERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PISTOLEROS                     SAINTS
                                                                                                                           LEGACY VETS                      VIETNAM VETS                 BANDIDOS                   COMPANIEROS            FREEWHEELERS                                               GREY GHOST                    PISTOLEROS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BLACK PISTONS                    SET FREE SOLDIERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           THE FAMILY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          TIBERONES                                                                     VIETNAM VETS                                      OUTLAWS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       GALLOPING GOOSE                                                                     VIETNAM VETS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TEXAS                                                                                 BANDIDOS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 their vests. A copy of this chart, along with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       MEXHETEXOS                                                                                                                                    BANDIDOS
                                                                                                                                                                                             GERMAN ARMY VETS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       LOUISIANA                        VIETNAM VETS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 DEADMEN             HOMBRES                                                                                              AVENGERS                       BREED
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LA RIDERS                                               CC RIDERS ROCK MACHINE    BROTHERHOOD
                                                                                                                                                                                              GERMAN M/C                                                                                                                                                                                               COBRAS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           SCORPIONS                                                                      SATANS TRAMPS                                                     BLACK PISTONS MONGOLS     PHANTOMS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     BOOZEFIGHTERS                                                           VIETNAM VETS                                  FLY IN WHEELS       HIGHWAYMEN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      VIEX DEUX DAWGS
                                                                                                                                                                                                     SET FREE SOLDIERS                                                                                                    SONS OF SILENCE                                                            ROUGH RIDERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          GHOST RIDERS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             BANDIDOS                                                                              IRON COFFINS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the 2010 U.S. Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
                                                     PAN HANDLERS                                                                                                                                                                     BANDELOROS                                                                          HELLS ANGELS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    HOLE-N-DAWALL         (pending confirmation)                                                            OUTCASTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LOS CARNALES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   HELLS LOVERS
                                                                                                                                          HAWAII              NA KUA ANA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             FLORIDA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        VIETNAM VETS
                                                       ALASKA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   BOOZEFIGHTERS
                                                                                                                                                                     KINSMEN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       KINGSMEN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Map, is available in PDF format on the
                                                                                                                                                   ALII                                                                                         BANDIDOS                                                                                                                                                            MYSTIC SEVEN
                                                   HELLS ANGELS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               NAM NIGHTS
                                                                     SENTINELS                                                                              KOA PUNA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    TRIBESMEN
                                             VIETNAM VETS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       WARLOCKS
                                                                     SCOOTER TRAMPS                                                                                                        JESTERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                         SONS OF SILENCE
                                                                                                                                                                    DEVILS BREED                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             VIETNAM VETS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 RISSGANG website or you can e-mail

                                                                                                                                                                             LEGACY VETS

                                                                                                                                                                              VIETNAM VETS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               LARGEST 1% CLUBS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         RED = HELLS ANGELS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 RMIN Criminal Intelligence Analyst Brian
                                                                                                                                                                                   SET FREE SOLDIERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ORANGE = BANDIDOS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BLUE = PAGANS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BROWN = OUTLAWS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    PURPLE = VIETNAM VETS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    GREEN = SONS OF SILENCE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ILLUSTRATION & DESIGN BY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         RMIN ANALYST: BRIAN NOVOTNY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Novotny at bnovotny@rmin.riss.net to re-
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Gangs                                            June 2010

             RMIN Special Report
Article                                   Page
Gangs: Taking over one corner at a time   03
By Chuck Schoville
Gangs in Indian Country:
An overview of a growing problem          10
By Christopher M. Grant, MA
A national perspective on OMGs             15
By Steve Trethewy
Aryan gangs of Idaho
By Timothy Higgins
Evolution of gangs in Arizona
By Frank “Paco” Marcell                   25

The Wonder Boys                           29
By Joseph Preciado
Juggalos: A fan club or a gang?           31
By Michelle Vasey
New Mexico gang update                     33
By Chuck Schoville
STG activity in the Montana Dept. of
Corrections                               34
By Tracy Napier
Tattoos in the RMIN Region                36
Gangs                                                                         June 2010

                 RMIN Special Report
A look at Nevada’s gangs                                                 40
By Brian Novotny, CCA
Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang                                             44
expansion in Nevada
By Jim Lopey and Michelle McNeely
Overview of Salt Lake area gang activity                                 47
By Marilyn Felkner
Wyoming gang activity                                                    49
By Elvin Ehrhardt
Polynesian Gangs: Warriors to gangsters                                  52
By Trudy A. Cropper

Rocky Mountain hot zone                                                  54
By Jimmy Wattles

Western States Gang Investigators Network                                56
By Wes McBride

California Dept. Of Corrections and Rehabilitation                       58
By Brian Parry

Gang investigator’s toolbox                                              60
    Appendix   A: Proposed law regarding pat downs
    Appendix   B: Resources and statutes
    Appendix   C: Creating historical documents for gang investigators
    Appendix   D: RISSGang
    Appendix   E: Gang Graffiti
    Appendix   F: Gang signs
                                                                       RMIN Special Report

Gangs: Taking over one corner at a time

           angs no longer                  Make no mistake about it.       gang problem. Legislators

   G       respect boundaries,
           territory or turf.
Worse yet, gangs and gang
                                      When trouble arises, there are
                                      no California Surenos, no
                                      Wyoming Surenos, but just one
                                                                           enacted gang laws and
                                                                           enhanced gang sentencing
                                                                           guidelines to aggressively
members place no value on             army known as Surenos.               attack the problem.
human life. Gang violence                 During the last 25 years I           During the last 17 years,
occurs in big cities and small        have watched as gangs and the        hundreds, if not thousands, of
towns throughout the RMIN             crimes they commit affect each       gang members have been sen-
region. Gangs that align them-        of us, one region, one state,        tenced to lengthy prison terms
selves underneath the Sureno          one city, one community, one         for terrorizing the communities
umbrella continue to migrate          corner at a time. I have             they live in. Gangs rely on
from California to each and           watched as the gang situation        intimidation and fear tactics to
every RMIN state. Most recent-                 was called an epidemic,     survive. Most gang members
ly, gangs that                                  a crisis and out of        won’t hesitate or back down
claim to be              Gangs and gang          control. The gang sit-    from a violent encounter if the
Nortenos, the                                    uation forced many        results will further the criminal
enemy and               members place no
                                                 police agencies into a    interests of their gang.
rival of any          value on human life. reactive mode, hoping
                                                                               Yet, 17 years later, many if
Sureno gang,          Gang violence occurs that an innocent                not most states in the RMIN
are also spring-      in both big cities and bystander, child or           region still have no criteria for
ing up                 small towns in the        non-gang member           a consistent method to formal-
throughout the                                   didn’t die for being in
                          RMIN region.                                     ly identify suspected gang
RMIN region.                                     the wrong place at the    members, and most states still
Ask any mili-                                   wrong time.                have no gang statutes or
tary strategist
                                          This report provides an          enhanced sentencing guide-
and he or she will agree with a
                                      overview of gang activity in the     lines. Unless consistency is
simple concept – the greater
                                      Southwestern United States. It       established from one RMIN
their numbers, the greater
                                      is certain that what happened        region state to the next, gang
their strength. The Sureno
                                      in California will happen in         members will continue to
gangs realize that the larger
                                      RMIN states soon, and the            understand and criminally
they are, it’s less likely they
                                      gang activity and trends will        exploit the weaknesses in the
will be stopped. Therefore, the
                                      continue to spread further into      system.
Surenos have started to
                                      the country unless stopped.              The gang problem is further
“adopt” Sureno gang members
                                      But, it is unlikely the gang         compounded by many gang
from within the RMIN region
                                      activity can be stopped based        experts who are reluctant or
that have never had any con-
                                      on the low level of priority         unwilling to take the necessary
nection to the California
                                      many police agencies, and            steps to share relevant gang
Surenos. An example of this
                                      worse yet, many states, have         specific information or intelli-
adoptive process would be a
                                      placed on stopping the prob-         gence. While fusion centers pro-
large group of Nevada Surenos
                                      lem.                                 liferate, a collaborative approach
that was once incarcerated in
the Nevada Department of                 In 1993, Arizona leaders,         to analyzing and distributing
Corrections who refer to them-        politicians, and police agencies     gang-related intelligence is often
selves as the “Nevada Trece.”         recognized the severity of the       lacking. The analysis and distri-

                                                                  Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010           3
        RMIN Special Report

    bution of timely, actionable             find educational and useful in      one Nevada gang member told
    intelligence is critical to line-level   preparing for and dealing with      me recently, “You need to let
    officers on the streets and within       the continued onslaught of vio-     the street cops know that
    our correctional facilities.             lent gang crimes being commit-      everything that they see hap-
        This challenge often starts          ted across the country. Articles    pening on the streets started in
    with those chosen by agencies            have been submitted by mem-         here, in the facilities. They go
    to confront the gang problem:            bers of the law enforcement         hand-in-hand.”
    We’re frequently our own worst           community in California, the           I have heard people say they
    enemy when it comes to shar-             well-documented birthplace of       believe gangs were around dur-
    ing critical information. How            most gangs being encountered        ing biblical times, while others
    many times have we sat in a              in the Western United States.       deny we have a gang problem.
    meeting convened to share                   As the training specialist for   I believe the gang problem as
    gang intelligence, information           RMIN, I have had the opportu-       we now know it started in the
    and trends, and take our turn            nity to travel throughout the       1950s, with most gangs being
    discussing our community’s               RMIN region, and have talked        formed within small tight-knit
    gang problems? Many people               to many law enforcement offi-       communities. As time passed,
    waste this great opportunity to          cers and current gang mem-          gangs started to migrate from
    share information by stating             bers about gangs in the region.     one community to another in
    “nothing’s really going on in               Although each state and          search of excitement, friendship,
    our town” as they return to              community has its own unique        girls and for other reasons.
    their seats to listen as others          gang-related concerns, one             We often hear that a gang
    share information.                       thing is glaringly obvious: The     was not really a gang, but
        Several people in the                gangs that once lived and cre-      instead, just the local guys
    Western United States recog-             ated havoc in California are on     hanging out, based on their
    nized the importance of shar-            the move. What was once con-        race or neighborhood.
    ing gang-related information             sidered a prison or correctional    Regardless of the reasons why
    not only on the local level, but         issue involving prison gangs        they joined together, at some
    on a regional level as well. In          (Security Threat Groups) is no      point, criminal activity was
    2008, approximately 35 people            longer only a prison issue. As      added to their list of activities.
    representing local, state, feder-
    al and tribal agencies con-
    verged in Anaheim, California
    to meet and discuss relevant
    gang intelligence, which was
    then passed on to others at all
        This working group of prac-
    titioners is now called the
    Western States Gang
    Intelligence Network (WSGIN),
    which is not to be confused
    with the Western States
    Information Network (WSIN).
        WSGIN has no formal asso-
    ciation and has no formal
    board or executive board struc-
    ture, but instead, is focused on
    providing timely intelligence.
        Numerous participants of
    the WSGIN have submitted
    articles that we hope you will

4   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                          RMIN Special Report

    Whether a gang in your         Phoenix became home to                     Casper, not in Colorado
community has formed within        numerous Los Angeles-based                 Springs, not in Clovis, and
the last few months or has         gangs that came to Ariona for              most assuredly not in our own
been around for many decades,      one reason,                                                          backyards.
it is imperative that the gang’s   and only one                                                            What we
creation and criminal activity     reason: to        “Violent urban gangs control most                     once con-
be researched and well docu-       make                                                                    sidered a
mented by the use of a Gang        money.            retail-level drug distribution                        California
Historical document. An exam-      Phoenix also      nationally, and some have relocat- problem
ple of a Gang Historical docu-     now had to        ed from inner cities to suburban                      is now
ment involving the La Victoria     deal with the and rural areas. Moreover, gangs                          our prob-
Locos gang is included with the    newly             are increasing their involvement in                   lem.
Investigator’s Toolbox at the      formed local      wholesale-level drug distribution,                       While
back of this publication. If you   Black gangs,                                                            the
have one gang or 100 gangs in      as well as        aided by their connections with
your community, gang histori-      the hun-          Mexican and Asian drug trafficking details of         gang
cal documentation is a necessi-    dreds of          organizations (DTOs).”                                activity
ty for successful criminal pros-   Hispanic                                                                vary from
ecution at a later date.           street gangs      – National Drug Intelligence Center, U.S. Department
                                                        of Justice, National Drug Threat Assessment 2009 state to
    During the 1980s, Arizona      that were                                                               state and
law enforcement saw our first      looking on                                                              from
major migration of California-     as interested                                                          gang to
based gang members. During         parties.                                   gang, the threat gangs pose to
this period, the Phoenix area         The sudden migration of Los public safety is consistent.
was hit hard and fast by Black     Angeles-based gangs into the                   The following reviews and
gang members claiming loyalty      Phoenix metropolitan area                  trend information should be of
to the Crips and Bloods. The       forced local agencies to form              value to law enforcement
Crips and Bloods were coming       specialty gang units to deal               throughout the RMIN region.
to Arizona to sell the newest      with the problems.
drug sensation to hit the              After traveling throughout
streets, known as crack            the RMIN region and dis-                   CURRENT TRENDS
cocaine. Profits were huge and     cussing gangs with others, it is
law enforcement offered very       clear to me that the largest
little resistance to the drug      issue facing law enforcement in Drug Cartels and Criminal
dealers because Arizona law        the region is the continued                Street Gangs/Prison Gangs
enforcement officials were         migration of California gangs                  Law enforcement has seen a
caught off guard and unpre-        into other communities.                    drastic increase in border-
pared for the “crack rush.” In                                                related crimes in the RMIN
                                      Gangs claiming loyalty to
an attempt to control their own
                                   the Surenos and Nortenos have region. Phoenix was named the
neighborhoods, Phoenix saw a                                                  kidnapping capital of the coun-
                                   migrated to every state in the
noticeable increase in the for-                                               try in 2009 and has seen an
                                   region. Gangs claiming loyalty
mation of Black gangs includ-                                                 increase in home invasions
                                   to the Nortenos are following
ing local sets of Crips and                                                   and homicides and violent acts
                                   their Sureno rivals into areas
Bloods and other Black crimi-
                                   we once considered immune to that are connected to the bor-
nal street gangs that referred                                                der crisis. In 2008 alone,
                                   big city problems.
to themselves as Gangsters                                                    Phoenix police reported 366
(Broadway Gangsters). Local           Unfortunately, we have                  kidnappings and 370 home
Black gangs took exception to      grown calloused and expect                 invasion robberies. This may
outsiders attempting to come       this type of gang activity in              be just the tip of the iceberg.
into their neighborhoods to sell   major metropolitan areas, but
                                   not in the heart of America,                   Suspects are dressing as
crack, so they quickly formed                                                 and impersonating police
their own gangs. As a result,      not in Carson City, not in
                                                                              officers; the suspects are heav-

                                                                   Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010                  5
        RMIN Special Report

    ily armed and multiple               majority of the information is           the RMIN region lack a direct
    assailants are threatening and       uncorroborated and unsub-                connection and trust with
    assaulting their victims. The        stantiated. Instead, law                 members of the cartels. There
    perpetrators are in pursuit of       enforcement is left wondering            are many street and prison
    other drug dealer’s drugs,           about the specifics of the rela-         gangs in New Mexico and
    undocumented aliens, money,          tionship between the drug car- Arizona, however, that have
    weapons, plasma televisions,         tels and the U.S. street and             members from Mexico or have
    laptop computers, jewelry or         prison gangs. A few simple               family members still living in
    anything of value.                   truths about the connection              Mexico, so the door of opportu-
       While the United States and       have been gleaned by law                 nity is wide open. In Arizona,
    Mexico work together to              enforcement over the last sev-           individual gang members have
    strengthen a border which            eral years concerning the                been apprehended at the bor-
    stretches some 1,900-plus            nexus between the groups.                der crossings attempting to
    miles across four states, the           First and foremost we                 smuggle drugs back into the
    enemy works just as hard to          should start by looking at the           United States. There is little
    make the border more vulnera-        recent investigation involving           information to lead us to
    ble and easier to traverse ille-     the Barrio Azteca prison gang            believe that these individuals
    gally. Within the RMIN region        in the Texas Department of               were attempting to bring the
    alone, the Arizona border            Corrections, and the subse-              drugs back into Arizona to fur-
    measures 377 miles long while        quent indictments and suc-               ther the criminal interests of
    New Mexico authorities con-          cessful prosecution against the their particular gang. Instead,
    tend with a 180 mile border.         gang members. The Barrio                 it appears that most gang
                                         Azteca gang is well known for            members apprehended are act-
       While U.S. law enforcement
                                         its control of the gangs in and          ing on their own to make a
    is struggling daily with the ille-
                                         around the El Paso, Texas                sizeable profit. They may bring
    gal movement of drugs and
                                         area. The gang, simply known             the drugs back into their
    humans through the RMIN
                                         as the BA, con-                                                    respective
    region, we are also attempting
                                         trols the border       “The problem that affects                    gang con-
    to stop large amounts of
                                         drug trade and                                                      trolled
    money and large quantities of                                   everybody … is this:                     communi-
    weapons going from the RMIN          works hand-in-               Crime migrates.”
                                         hand with a                                                         ties and
    region into Mexico. The drug                                 –Albert Herring, Executive Assistant, U.S.
                                         counterpart                                                         sell it to
    cartels have an increased inter-                             Attorney for the Department of Commerce
                                         organization on                                                     other gang
    est in .50 caliber weapons and
                                         the Mexican side                                                   members
    drum magazines capable of
                                         of the border in Ciudad Juárez.          from their own gang as well as
    holding between 50 and 100
    rounds. The weapons and              Barrio Azteca controls cocaine, others, but this is not being
    ammunition are being pur-            heroin and marijuana distribu- done on behalf of the entire
                                         tion in El Paso. Because of its          gang. Regardless, we do know
    chased at gun shows using
                                         connections to Mexican Drug              that gang members are pur-
    straw purchasers. A straw pur-
                                         Trafficking Operations (DTOs)            chasing drugs from the drug
    chaser is anyone who knowing-
                                         functioning in the El                    cartels in Mexico and bringing
    ly acquires an item or service
                                         Paso/Juárez plaza, Barrio                the drugs into the United
    for someone who is, for whatev-
                                         Azteca has a direct source for           States for distribution.
    er reason, unable to purchase
    the item or service legally.         heroin and other illicit drugs.             How do we confirm a con-
                                            A prison gang or criminal             nection between criminal street
       While many intelligence bul-
                                         street gang must have a direct           and prison gangs and the drug
    letins list Outlaw Motorcycle
                                         connection to someone within             cartels? We must start by look-
    Gangs (OMGs) and criminal
    street gangs as a source for         a drug cartel, and must be able ing at the arrest of every gang
                                         to speak fluent Spanish.                 member caught in possession
    drug/human smuggling opera-
                                         Sounds simple enough, but                of illegal drugs as an opportu-
    tions, the intelligence has been
                                         most criminal street gangs in            nity to dismantle an entire
    difficult to verify because the
                                                                                  drug organization, or at mini-

6   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                  RMIN Special Report

mum, to seriously disrupt ille-    the United States, the immi-       vate and federal correctional
gal activities. We can no longer   grants found themselves living     facilities.
be satisfied with one arrest,      and working in the same com-          Once incarcerated, the men
one booking, and one convic-       munities that had been inhab-      from Mexico quickly realized
tion of a gang member in pos-      ited by Mexican Americans for      they were outnumbered. They
session of drugs that originat-    decades. Although both groups      also learned the prison philos-
ed in Mexico.                      shared the same culture and        ophy that there are two types
   Instead of stopping with a      heritage, the fight was on.        of people in our prisons: pred-
simple interview, officers         Mexican Americans who had          ators and victims. The newly
should make every effort to        been living in neighborhoods       incarcerated individuals from
work the drugs backward,           suddenly found themselves          Mexico were being extorted,
toward the original source.        being squeezed out of their        attacked and violently victim-
Although this may seem diffi-      comfort zones. Conflicts,          ized and traumatized.
cult and time consuming, it is     including gang conflicts, soon
                                                                         It did not take long for these
imperative that a higher level     developed between established
                                                                      men to understand that their
of emphasis be placed on the       residents and the newcomers.
                                                                      only hope for security and pro-
interview process. Officers        As a result of the intimidation
                                                                      tection was to gain strength by
should attempt to determine        and fear tactics being used
                                                                      joining together and increasing
where the drugs were pur-          against them, many disenfran-
                                                                      their numbers. They began
chased and the identity of         chised youths from Mexico
                                                                      grouping together, one facility,
those involved in the distribu-    started forming their own
                                                                      one yard, one unit, one hous-
tion of the drugs. The informa-    gangs. The gangs were formed
                                                                      ing pod at a time. They shared
tion developed should be care-     to protect themselves from the
                                                                      a common goal of wanting to
fully collected, analyzed,         predators and often took on
                                                                      survive in a shark tank, and
processed and distributed          names that clearly indicated
                                                                      they soon joined together and
within the law enforcement         that they were from Mexico.
                                                                      began referring to each other
community.                         During the 1990s, Arizona law
                                                                      as Paisas, meaning my fellow
                                   enforcement witnessed the
                                                                      country (Mexico) man. Early
                                   fastest growing and most vio-
                                                                      on, these men only needed
PAISAS                             lent criminal street gang to hit
   The term Paisas is pro-         the streets in some time,
nounced “pie-sa” and when          known simply as “Doble” (pro-                  June 2009
translated from Spanish to         nounced doe-bley), which is        Nine correctional officers from the
English, simply means “coun-       the Spanish pronunciation for      Arizona Department of Corrections
tryman.”                           the letter W. The gang was         were injured while breaking up two
                                   also known as Wetback Power        separate fights within a week at a
   What is a Paisa? The
                                   and quickly spread into almost     prison complex in Tucson. According
answer depends on who you
                                   every Hispanic neighborhood
ask because the term is broad                                         to news reports, about two dozen
                                   in the Phoenix area. Wetback
and open to interpretation. But                                       inmates were injured. The fights
                                   Power sets were now standing
ask any gang expert and you                                           broke out between the Mexican-
                                   up to their rivals from tradi-
will learn that the Paisas are                                        American and Mexican National
                                   tional Hispanic criminal street
one of the fast growing threats                                       inmates, which included a large num-
                                   gangs and refusing to back
to our communities, with the
                                   down.                              ber of Paisas. With the increased
biggest challenges being faced
by those working in a correc-         At the same time, many of       growth of the Paisas within RMIN
tional setting.                    the first-generation Mexican       state correctional facilities, similar
                                   immigrants were finding their      problems are almost inevitable and
   During the last decade, we
                                   way into trouble, committing       difficult to prevent. Surenos believe
have seen a dramatic increase
                                   serious felony crimes for which    in their cause. Their loyalty includes
in the number of undocument-
                                   they were being incarcerated.      the willingness to kill or be killed as
ed aliens (UDAs) entering the
                                   These men were being locked
United States. After arriving in                                      a supporter of the Mexican Mafia.
                                   up in local, county, state, pri-

                                                             Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010                7
       RMIN Special Report

    protection from the prison          necessarily mean the Paisas        against other vulnerable indi-
    gangs that were terrorizing         are 10 times as strong. They       viduals.
    them; their lack of leadership      seem to lack the support or           There is no established
    and direction was unimpor-          feeder system that other           Paisa gang tattoo yet, but they
    tant.                               groups enjoy, including the        do use several common themes
       Soon, the Paisas were walk-      Mexican Mafia and the hun-         or terms, including:
    ing and talking like other          dreds of Sureno gangs that
                                                                           • Hecho en Mexico (Made in
    prison Security Threat Groups       feed into the Mexican Mafia.
    (STGs), moving and posturing           The United States Federal
                                                                           • Paisas
    for their positions in the prison   Bureau of Prisons (BOP) con-
    recreation yards, prison chow       siders the Paisas a Security       • Puro Paisa (Pure Paisa)
    halls and into any other area       Threat Group and closely mon-      • Tattoo of the Mexican war
    typically controlled by the         itors the group’s activities. In   bird
    dominant prison STGs. The           April 2009, the Arizona                Paisas may be a Spanish
    Paisas were now being noticed       Department of Corrections          word that is currently difficult
    by the STG facility investiga-      added the Paisas as the newest     for some to pronounce in some
    tors who realized that they         STG to be closely monitored        RMIN communities, but give it
    were a force to be dealt with,      and controlled.                    time and it will be a term we
    not only by the other prison           The Paisas should not be        use as often as we use the
    gangs, but by the prison man-       confused with the Border           words Crips, Bloods, Mafia and
    agement teams as well.              Brothers, a separate prison        Hells Angels and soon there-
       In almost every                  STG. Paisas and Border             after it will be a force to be
    Southwestern correctional           Brothers share the same val-       reckoned with in your state and
    facility, the fastest growing       ues, culture and desire to         in your correctional facilities.
    prison group is the Paisas.         remain safe while incarcerated.
    Paisas outnumber the next           In fact, both groups have used
    largest prison gang sometimes       their newfound power and           BLACK GANGS
    by as many as 10-to-one in          strength to turn from being            Traditionally, members of
    some facilities. This does not      victims to being predators         Black criminal street gangs
                                                                           have focused their efforts on
                                                                           any type of illegal activity that
                                                                           would generate large amounts
                                                                           of income in a short amount of
                                                                           time. This generally meant the
                                                                           illegal distribution of illicit
                                                                           drugs, primarily crack cocaine.
                                                                           Ten years ago, if you were try-
                                                                           ing to buy drugs from gang
                                                                           members, you would buy
                                                                           methamphetamine from White
                                                                           gang members, often Outlaw
                                                                           Motorcycle Gang members.
                                                                           You would buy crack cocaine
                                                                           from the Black gangs and
                                                                           heroin or marijuana from
                                                                           Hispanic gang members.
                                                                               The rules have changed.
                                                                               All gangs, regardless of eth-
                                                                           nicity, are now attempting to
                                                                           make a profit by selling any
                                                                           type of drug. Black gang mem-
                                                                           bers are now distributing large

8   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                                    RMIN Special Report

amounts of methamphetamine,                 for “paper crimes.” A lengthy               robbery crew would wear dur-
marijuana, heroin and other                 investigation, Operation                    ing the robbery. The Crips
drugs that were once consid-                Checkmate, was recently com-                seem to like to wear the color
ered off limits to Black gangs.             pleted by the Phoenix Police                red and the Bloods like to wear
   The Black gangs have also                Department. Black gang mem-                 blue during the robberies,
ventured into areas that once               bers were illegally obtaining               choosing to wear the colors of
carried a higher risk of capture            valid identification from unsus-            their rival gangs during the
and were shied away from.                   pecting victims and creating                commission of their crimes.
Additionally, Black gangs have              bogus checks with valid                        Black gang members are
branched off into new illegal               account numbers. Gang mem-                  also forming Party Crews using
business ventures that are                  bers would then drive female                a different name than the gang
proving to be effective income              associates to several banks                 they belong to in an attempt to
generators, including the for-              and would withdraw thou-                    avoid detection. It’s a little eas-
mation of crews that operate as             sands of dollars from business              ier to get non-gang members to
bank robbery crews, home                    accounts. The withdrawals                   join and pay to enter your par-
invasion crews, drug rip off                often would not be discovered               ties when the young partici-
crews and other similar ven-                for months and by then, the                 pants think you are merely an
tures. It is not uncommon for a             gangs had moved on to a new                 entertainment group, not hard
group of between six and 12                 bank and new victims. This                  core gang members.
Black gang members to fly or                operation involved a large
                                                                                           Black gang members are
drive into a new area, commit               organization that had bilked
                                                                                        also jumping from hard core
numerous crimes, or in their                banks out of hundreds of
                                                                                        ruthless gangs into Hip Hop
own words, “bust a few licks”               thousands of dollars before the
                                                                                        crews, often hiding behind the
before returning to their                   gang leaders and many others
                                                                                        front of a music production
homes, which are often hun-                 were arrested.
                                                                                        company. They are still gang
dreds if not thousands of miles                Black gang members claim-                members, but are now
away. Not being from the area               ing allegiance to the Crips and             attempting to use their power
and not being easily recogniza-             Bloods have been stopped dur-               and intimidation tactics to gen-
ble reduces the chance of cap-              ing bank robbery investiga-                 erate income from an unsus-
ture by the law enforcement                 tions. In some cases, Crips                 pecting music crowd. It’s the
authorities.                                were found in possession of                 same wolf, but now dressed in
   Black gangs have also seen               duffle bags of clothing, hats,              sheep’s clothing.
the ease of using computers                 bandanas, etc., that the armed

About the author…
Chuck Schoville is Training Specialist with the Rocky Mountain Information Network. He is a founder and president of the
Arizona Gang Investigators Association and president of the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association.
His law enforcement career began as a patrol officer with the Tempe (Arizona) Police Department and spanned 25 years until
his retirement as a sergeant with the department’s Gang and Intelligence Unit. He served as Hostage Negotiations team leader
and is a certified Crime Prevention Specialist. Schoville has written for numerous publications and is a certified instructor on
all aspects of gangs and gang investigations. He has delivered law enforcement related presentations throughout the United
States. Schoville earned his bachelor of science degree in Education from Northern Arizona University.

                                                                              Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010                  9
      RMIN Special Report

 Gangs in Indian Country:
 An overview of a growing problem

 THE EMERGENCE OF GANG CONTRIBUTING FACTORS –                             sense to some degree. While
 ACTIVITY IN INDIAN    SOCIAL ISSUES                                      many individuals involved in
                                                                          gang activity know each other
 COUNTRY                 There are a myriad of con-                       and often grew up in the same
      As gang activity continues     tributing factors to gang            neighborhood, housing area or
 to flourish and spread              behavior across Indian               community, what may have
 throughout communities              Country. Certainly the social        previously been a “family feud”
 across the United States, so        issues many tribal communi-          situation between specific
 too does the influence of gang      ties face continue to be a           familial groups often evolves
 activity in many tribal commu-      causative or contributing factor     into a gang-like style of behav-
 nities.                             to some degree, in terms of          ior, with individuals using gang
                                     substance abuse, unemploy-           affiliation names to identify
      The origins of gang behavior   ment, poverty, drop-out rates
 in Indian Country can essen-                                             their allegiance to a family
                                     and the relative lack of social,     group, as opposed to using a
 tially be traced back to the late   cultural and recreational
 1980s and early 1990s, when                                              family name. This pattern is
                                     resources in many tribal com-        not an absolute because there
 such behavior began to emerge       munities. Although many of
 in a handful of tribal commu-                                            are individuals who will form
                                     these same social issues are         gang cliques and “crews” out-
 nities, primarily in the            faced by juveniles and young
 Southwest, Northwest and                                                 side the realm of a family con-
                                     adults in other parts of the         text. Increasingly, however,
 Midwest regions of the country.     country, the lack of resources
 By the mid to late 1990s, how-                                           interviews reveal that a certain
                                     to deal with these problems in       degree of gang claiming is
 ever, and more specifically dur-    Indian Country tends to exac-
 ing the last five to seven years,                                        actually about opposition
                                     erbate the situation and per-        between family structures.
 significant increases in gang       petuate destructive behavior
 activity have occurred in an        such as gang activity.
 increasing number of tribal
                                                                          CONTRIBUTING FACTORS –
      Notably, however, the emer-    CONTRIBUTING FACTORS –               PROTECTION
 gence and growth of gang            FAMILIAL CONFLICT                        Protection is the primary
                                                                          reason many youth in Indian
 activity in Indian Country has
 little or nothing to do with            Increasingly, however, a         Country give for their involve-
 urban gang members infiltrat-       pattern of gang behavior has         ment in gang activity. This
 ing tribal communities to start     emerged in Indian Country            theme is consistently heard in
 gang “chapters” or “sets.”          that is seen to be connected         field interviews with gang-
                                     directly to family affiliation and   involved subjects, mainly ado-
      Rather, the behavior most      animosity between families
 frequently involves certain                                              lescents, and is a very real and
                                     within the tribal community.         powerful dynamic in under-
 Native Americans residing in        Because many tribal communi-
 such communities choosing                                                standing the motivation behind
                                     ties are relatively small and        claiming affiliation in an Indian
 this path of behavior.              close-knit, this pattern makes

10   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                    RMIN Special Report

Country gang. The real or per-       family influences. Field inter-    lifestyle depicted and portrayed
ceived need to “claim” gang          views consistently reveal that     in music (gangster rap),
affiliation for self-protection is   many adolescents in Indian         movies, television, interactive
one of the most, if not the most     Country who are gang-involved      video games, magazines and
powerful influencing factor in       have older siblings or cousins,    via the Internet, young Native
much of the Indian Country           and sometimes parents, who         Americans, like all youth and
gang activity that is occurring.     are or were involved in the        young adults, can learn about
    This is not to suggest that      behavior as well. While the pre-   the gang lifestyle regularly and
all Indian Country gangs form        dominant age range for most        consistently. Added to this
or exist for that sole purpose.      Indian Country gang activity is    equation is the popular image
There are also the elements of       12 to 19 years, gang behavior      of the “successful gangster”
individuals choosing the gang        in tribal communities is           projected by some components
as a replace-                        increasingly seen at younger       of the mainstream media,
ment for the                                         ages, and may      resulting in a flawed image of
family because                                       occur as early     gang life that certain Native
being in a                                           as elementary      American youth seek to emu-
gang offers the                                      school years.      late as a means to cope with or
promise of                                               At the oppo-   compensate for their social
love, attention,                                     site end of the    condition. While the great
respect and                                          age spectrum       majority of youth in Indian
belonging –                                          are the individ-   Country do not emulate the
elements that                                        uals who main-     gang activity they see, read
are often                                            tain their gang    and hear about through the
absent or min-                                       affiliation well   media, certain young people
imized in the                                        into their adult   identify with the gangster
lives of many                                        years. Notably,    lifestyle and seek to replicate
individuals who choose the           many of these individuals will     such behavior in their commu-
path of gang behavior.               be more covert about their         nities and schools.
    There is also the element of     gang involvement, but they are
fascination with the gang            often a powerful influencing
lifestyle, peer pressure to claim    factor behind gang activity that   CONTRIBUTING FACTORS –
                                     is occurring at the adolescent
gang affiliation, the desire to
appear to be “cool” and the          level. This dynamic portends       JAIL AND PRISON
feeling of “power” that some         that gang activity will continue   INFLUENCE
individuals experience when          to grow within the Native              Yet another contributing
claiming to belong to a specific     American population as a gen-      element is the influence of
gang, particularly one that has      erational model of gang activity   prison gang activity. Gang
a reputation in the tribal com-      continues to emerge.
                                                                        activity occurs in many tribal,
munity or school.                                                       state and federal correctional
    Still, protection has emerged    CONTRIBUTING FACTORS –             facilities and a certain degree
as a core and consistent predic-
tor of gang involvement in           MEDIA INFLUENCE                    of “gang education” occurs in
                                                                        this environment. Field inter-
many tribal communities.                 Aside from the personal and    views reveal that the gangster
                                     family dynamics that con-
                                                                        mentality is often learned in
                                     tribute to gang involvement,
CONTRIBUTING FACTORS –               there are also three primary
                                                                        this environment, resulting in
                                                                        a transplanting of gang behav-
FAMILY GANG                          “external influencing factors”
                                                                        ior back into the tribal commu-
INVOLVEMENT                          that are important to consider.
                                     One of these factors is media      nity after an incarcerated indi-
    Another predictor of gang        influence, in that with the        vidual has been released from
involvement in Indian Country        “mainstreaming” of the gang        custody. In fact, several inter-
is parental, sibling or extended                                        views have revealed that hav-

                                                             Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010       11
      RMIN Special Report

 ing served time in prison or jail   CONTRIBUTING FACTORS –              Gangster Crips, Native Gangster
                                                                         Disciples, etc. Gang structures
 is seen by some individuals as
 a “rite of passage” into the
                                     MINIMIZATION AND DENIAL             also form with unique names,
                                         Finally, the attitudes of       e.g., The Boyz, Odd Squad, Red
 gang world, to the extent that
                                     minimization and denial con-        Nation Klique, etc., but the typi-
 individuals have been shown         tinue to be prevalent in many
 “respect” for their incarceration                                       cal trend involves claiming affili-
                                     tribal communities, and             ation with a nationally recog-
 time.                               remain connected to the false       nized gang structure. The pur-
     This does not suggest that      perception that “real” gang         pose of this revolves around the
 all tribal members who serve        activity is an urban-based prob-    instant name recognition asso-
 jail or prison time are indoctri-   lem that can’t affect tribal com-   ciated with claiming affiliation
 nated into the gang life, but       munities in a truly negative        with a nationally known gang,
 the evidence and information        form. These attitudes are typi-     as well as the perception of
                                     cally prevalent in tribal commu-    power and respect associated
 points to a growing connection
                                     nities that are experiencing an     with claiming the name. While
 between prison gangs and the        emerging gang problem.
 transplanting of such behavior                                          this is a hybrid form of gang
                                     However, in tribal communities      behavior, it is nonetheless the
 back into tribal communities.       with more entrenched gang           same gangster mentality which
                                     problems, acknowledgment of         is at the core of gang violence,
                                     the legitimacy of the problem is
 CONTRIBUTING FACTORS –              more likely to occur. Still, the
                                                                         criminality and anti-social
 URBAN GANG INFLUENCES               tendency to downplay or mini-
                                                                             However, there are excep-
                                     mize gang activity continues to
     Another influencing factor                                          tions to the hybrid rule. Native
                                     be the primary reasons for the
 is that of urban gang influ-        continued growth of the gang        Mob, for example, has its roots
 ences. Earlier in this essay it     problem, as does the feeling of     in Minneapolis, Minnesota,
 was mentioned that the growth       helplessness in understanding       through connections with the
 of the gang problem in Indian       how to deal with the behavior.      Vice Lords street gang. In the
 Country does not tend to                                                mid-1990s, Native Mob became
 involve urban gangs moving to                                           an independent Native
 reservation communities to          NATIVE AMERICAN GANGS -             American gang structure and is
 start “chapters” or “sets.”         TYPE AND STYLE                      currently active on many reser-
                                                                         vations in Minnesota, as well as
 However, an urban influence             Like many street gangs          in the Minnesota prison system.
 does exist in the form of trans-    across the country, the great       Native Mob is more structured
 planted gang behavior.              majority of Native American         than many Native American
 Research has revealed that a        street gangs are loose-knit and     gangs and is closest to being
 certain amount of gang activity     unorganized, with little or no      considered an organized Native
 involves tribal members who         organizational hierarchy. Many      American street gang.
 move away from the tribal           of these gangs are small, and
                                     may be comprised of only five-          In the state and federal
 community to an urban area,                                             prison system there are several
 or have gang-involved friends       20 subjects.
                                                                         Native American-based gangs
 or relatives in an urban area,          For the most part, the type     that tend to follow a more rigid
 and bring such behavior back        and style of gang activity in       organizational pattern, includ-
 to the tribal community.            Indian Country can best be          ing Warrior Society (Arizona),
                                     described as a “hybrid” form of     Indian Pride Organization
     While no firm statistical       gang behavior. The majority of
 data exists to support the                                              (Oregon) and Indian
                                     gangs in tribal communities         Brotherhood (Oklahoma), to
 degree or extent of such activi-    adopt the names and symbols         name a few. These gangs have
 ty, field interviews, once again,   of urban gangs, identifying         a code that members must fol-
 support that such activity is       themselves by such names as         low and adhere to, and each
 occurring.                          Native Gangster Bloods, Native      actively recruits new members,

12   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                   RMIN Special Report

not only in correctional facili-    munity poses a threat to a trib-   abuse issues endemic to many
ties, but also within many trib-    al gang, other native gang         such communities, as well as
al communities.                     members, regardless of their       taking advantage of limited law
                                    affiliation, will group together   enforcement resources and the
                                    to confront this outside threat.   ability to assimilate within the
OPPOSING GANG                                                          community.
    Another interesting aspect
                                    FEMALE GANG                            As gang activity continues
                                                                       to increase across Indian
of gang behavior in Indian          INVOLVEMENT                        Country, it can be logically
Country has to do with the              Yet another increasing gang    expected that drug activity will
relationship between individu-      dynamic in Indian Country is       increase as well and will
als involved in opposing gang       female involvement in the gang     become a more frequent aspect
structures. While the potential     subculture. While most gang-       of gang behavior.
for violence is always constant     involved individuals continue
between rival gang members,         to be males, female involve-
there is often a “leave each        ment has escalated, both in        CRIMINAL JUSTICE
other alone” attitude that          terms of females associated        CONSIDERATIONS
exists in many tribal communi-      with male gangs and females            Another important consid-
ties, schools and housing           forming their own gangs. This,     eration in this discussion
areas. In other words, individu-    too, follows national gang pat-    involves the fact that many
als are free to claim and repre-    terns in that gang behavior        Native Americans who are
sent their gang affiliation with-   increasingly involves females      involved in gangs, crime and
out undue concern that they         on a national level.               drug activity do not feel threat-
will be attacked or victimized                                         ened that their behavior will be
by a rival for doing so. This
symbiotic relationship is most      THE GANG AND DRUG                  addressed through the tribal
                                                                       criminal justice system. Part of
frequently seen in school envi-     CONNECTION                         this perception is due to the
ronments, but also occurs in
                                        Of the many concerns con-      relative lack of law enforcement
many tribal communities. The
                                    nected to the growth of gang       officers in Indian Country and
fact that such a relationship is
                                    activity in Indian Country, one    the lack of detention or jail
known in the community tends
                                    of the most prevalent is the       facilities in many tribal com-
to lessen the concern that gang
                                    connection between gang activ-     munities.
violence will occur because
there is the appearance or          ity and drug activ-                                    A number of
impression that everyone gets       ity. While the typi-                               tribes have to
along with each other. The flaw     cal trend is toward                                transport arrest-
in this attitude is that violence   drug usage among                                   ed subjects
can erupt between gang-             gang-involved indi-                                many miles to a
involved individuals at any         viduals, there is                                  holding facility,
time, given the right set of cir-   increasing evi-                                    resulting in sig-
cumstances, whether it be an        dence of drug dis-                                 nificant down-
act of disrespect or the desire     tribution activity                                 time for officers,
to exact revenge for a real or      connected to gang                                  which adds to
perceived insult or slight.         activity in certain                                the lack of a
                                    tribal communi-                                    strong law
    Notably, a number of sub-
                                    ties. As well, a                                   enforcement
jects interviewed have revealed
                                    number of tribal                                   presence in the
that despite the hatred and
                                    communities are                                    community.
animosity gang members in
                                    known to have been identified      Many tribes are also struggling
tribal communities often
                                    and targeted, specifically by      with inadequate numbers of
express for each other, there is
also the attitude that if a gang    Mexican drug distributors who      prosecutors and judges, as well
from “outside” the tribal com-      seek to exploit the substance      as federal laws that limit the

                                                            Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010        13
      RMIN Special Report

 amount of time criminal defen-       approach. Such an approach            tribal communities and to
 dants can be sentenced to in         must involve collaboration and        gang-involved individuals.
 tribal court. All of these ele-      cooperation between law               While there must certainly be
 ments contribute to the per-         enforcement and community             an effective law enforcement
 ception that little or no conse-     agencies and organizations in         approach to the gang issue in
 quence for criminal behavior         order to be effective.                any community, there must
 will occur at the tribal court           Tribal communities that           also be effective intervention
 level. Also, the perceived lack      recognize gang behavior in its        and prevention programs that
 of law enforcement effective-        early stages and take steps to        seek to strengthen families,
 ness in dealing with gang and        effectively mitigate the behavior     traditional culture and individ-
 drug issues results in a degree      have an opportunity to effec-         ual lives, because gang behav-
 of empowerment for those             tively mitigate the growth of the     ior is always interconnected to
 involved in the behavior, who        problem, and some tribal com-         other underlying issues that
 believe they can engage in           munities are taking such steps.       contribute to its growth and
 such behavior with impunity.                                               manifestation.
     Having said this, there are                                                 Finally, while it is impor-
 also tribal law enforcement          COMMUNITY EDUCATION                   tant to remember that the
 agencies that are aggressively           One of the core components        great majority of Native
 addressing gang issues and           of the community approach             American youth and adults are
 dealing with them effectively.       toward dealing with gang              not involved in gang behavior,
 The creation of multi-agency         issues effectively is education       it is clear that the gang prob-
 tribal, state and federal task       regarding the gangster mentali-       lem in Indian Country will con-
 forces has served to reduce          ty and lifestyle. Communities         tinue to grow and adversely
 gang activity by providing a         that are educated in under-           impact the lives of those who
 more visible law enforcement         standing the gangster mentali-        choose this path of behavior.
 presence and proactive               ty and belief system, as well as
 approach to gang-based crimi-        recognition of the manifesta-         About the author…
 nal events. Such task forces         tions of gang behavior, are
 not only address gang behavior                                             Christopher M. Grant (Ret.) is the former
                                      much better prepared to recog-
 through directed patrol, sur-        nize and address gang activity.       Chief of Detectives of the Rapid City
 veillance and enforcement            This is especially true in            (South Dakota) Police Department's
 operations, but they also pro-       schools, where a great deal of        Criminal Investigation Division and the
 vide for positive interaction        gang representing and recruit-        former commander of the Rapid City
 between law enforcement and          ing occurs.                           Area Gang Task Force. Grant is a gradu-
 gang-involved individuals, cre-          While there are different atti-   ate of the University of South Dakota
 ating greater potential for effec-   tudes about the effectiveness of      with a master's degree in Political Science
 tive communication, as well as       gang awareness training, what         and is a graduate of the FBI National
 the potential for changing gang      remains true is that informed         Academy. Grant is a nationally recog-
 behavior.                            communities are better pre-           nized gang specialist who has worked on
     While law enforcement is         pared to deal with gang issues        more than 50 reservations across the U.S.,
 an important component in            than are communities that do
                                                                            conducting gang assessments and provid-
 addressing gang issues in trib-      not understand or recognize
 al communities, it is by no          this destructive behavior.            ing gang awareness training services to
 means the only approach that                                               tribal leaders, educators, law enforcement
 is needed. One of the denial                                               agencies and community members. Grant
 attitudes seen in both tribal        SUMMARY                               maintains his law enforcement certifica-
 and non-tribal communities               The precise answer to deal-       tion as a Reserve Special Agent for the
 has to do with the belief that       ing with the growing problem          South Dakota Division of Criminal
 gangs are a law enforcement          of gang activity in Indian            Investigation. He can be reached at
 problem, when in truth they          Country is unknown. What is           (605) 431-6520 or via e-mail to
 are a community problem              known is that any approach            nativegangs@gmail.com
 requiring a community-based          must be tailored to individual

14   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                  RMIN Special Report

A national perspective on OMGs

          lthough there are         area street gangs. In appear-     Hollister and 1948 Riverside

   A      hundreds of Outlaw
          Motorcycle Gangs
(OMGs) throughout the coun-
                                    ance, the Mongols are the anti-
                                    spit and polish that the Hells
                                    Angels are known for. In
                                                                      incidents in California, giving
                                                                      the biker clubs their outlaw
                                                                      nickname. Although they were
try, some receive more atten-       appearance, they are the          not much more than a large
tion from law enforcement.          stereotypical 1960’s “old         gathering of rowdy bikers act-
Traditionally, the largest have     school” hardcore motorcycle       ing like hooligans, one person
been known as the “Big Four” –      gang. If attitude could have an   died due to some careless rid-
Hells Angels, Outlaws,              appearance, the Mongols           ing. The 1953 movie, “The Wild
Bandidos and Pagans. Others         would epitomize it. They want     Ones” with Lee Marvin and
gaining notoriety that can rival    the reputation of being the       Marlon Brando, gave the biker
the Big Four include the            “baddest” bikers anywhere, as     lifestyle what they wanted – the
Mongols, Vagos, Sons of             demonstrated by their anti-       rebel. By the 1960s, the Big
Silence, Warlocks, Devils           social appearance and attitude.   Four were established and
Disciples, Gypsy Jokers and         Their motto further reflects      weaving their way into the
Galloping Goose. Often times,       their view: “Respect Few, Fear    criminal fabric of our culture.
they beat the Big Four at their     None.”                            They got a boost from the 1968
“own game.” Case in point is a           High profile historical      movie “Easy Rider,” starring
recent brawl between the Hells      events such as the 1947 Gypsy     “Captain America” Peter Fonda,
Angels and the Mongols at           Tour in Hollister, California     Dennis Hopper and Jack
Harrah’s Casino in Laughlin,        (first high profile biker event   Nicholson.
Nevada in 2002. It ended with       recorded), or the 1964                The biggest and fastest
three dead Hells Angels and         Monterey rape case involving      expansion of motorcycle gangs
one dead Mongol – Mongols           the Hells Angels, or the early    occurred during the 1970s
won.                                1970s wars between the Hells      with the addition of more than
    The Hells Angels are the        Angels and the Outlaws, or the    800 clubs. A 1983 FBI report,
cornerstone of the outlaw biker     Hells Angels and the Mongols,     among others, labeled the Big
world. It is the oldest, most       have carried on through the       Four as organized crime.
powerful and wealthiest motor-      years, giving the gangs their     Subsequently the FBI set up
cycle gang in the world. It is      reputation. Even though the       federal task forces and wire tap
what other clubs want to be         Hells Angels is considered to     investigations and many major
and has the high profile, spit      be the “number one” club, the     OMG investigations became
and polish of the OMG world.        club is viewed by the Big Four    law enforcement success sto-
Hells Angels don’t believe in       as well as other major gangs as   ries.
justice – they do believe in        their nemesis.                        During the 1990s, biker
“just us” (their rules, constitu-                                     gangs began to flourish and
tion and bylaws). They live in                                        grow. For instance, the Hells
their world, a secret society       HISTORY                           Angels grew from a 72-chapter
where typical society norms are        Outlaw bikers started to       club during the 1980s to near-
unknown.                            become part of the American       ly 200 chapters by the end of
    Conversely, the Mongols are     subculture in the 1940s, but      the 1990s. The Bureau of
the epitome of a street gang on     gained steam in the 1960s. The    Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
wheels, typically recruiting        cornerstone for the culture had   (ATF) started working many of
membership from Los Angeles         been laid with the 1947           these organizations with

                                                            Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010     15
      RMIN Special Report

 undercover infiltrations, in       clubs, but it also has taught        the protectors of society – that
 contrast to the successful wire-   members how to be more               has been at the forefront of
 tap cases of the 1980s led by      astute bikers; they honed their stopping these guys and now,
 FBI task forces.                   skills to survive. They learned      some law enforcement want to
     Today there are more           how to use discovery motions in look and act like OMGs. There
 motorcycle gangs and wannabe       court and the                                             has been
 clubs than ever before. More is    use of                                                      public
 known about the outlaw cul-        Freedom of         Numerous Outlaw Motorcycle               accept-
 ture today, whereas a few          Information                                                 ance of
                                    Act effective-     Gang members have begun to               outlaws
 decades ago the culture was
 draped in secrecy. The code of     ly. They           again use an existing gesture to         that not
 silence is still key to the OMG    learned from       notify others that there are             only
 world as evidenced in the way      their mis-         police nearby. OMG members               includes
 members do business. Top           takes and          will use a free hand to tap the          law
 secret exchanges are conduct-      they learned       top of their heads, which is             enforce-
 ed by word of mouth, away          from law                                                    ment, but
                                    enforcements’      supposed to represent the roof           politi-
 from meetings and phones.
 Assuming their phones are          mistakes.          lights of a patrol vehicle. This         cians,
 tapped or that a “rat” member      Their intelli-     signal has been verified by              judges,
 may be phoning information         gence meth-        members of OMG clubs and has             movie
 out of the meeting are big con-    ods                been seen numerous times while           stars and
 cerns. At high level meetings,     improved,          law enforcement was involved in          athletes
 no phones are allowed and          and like law                                                who
                                    enforcement,       mobile or stationary surveillance        embrace
 sweeps and pat downs are
 common. Polygraphs are             they too were      of OMG clubs.                            the biker
 administered and even the          successful at                                               culture.
 motto of the Hells Angels,         infiltrations.                                             The Robin
 “Three people will keep a secret   Intimidation, a biker trade-         Hood image of the big bad
 if two are dead,” is taken to      mark, has not diminished.            biker with a heart of gold col-
 heart. Successful cases against                                         lecting toys for needy kids has
 bigger gangs are occurring                                              left an indelible image of posi-
 more frequently as officers        IMAGE: SMOKE SCREENS & tive behavior in the minds of
 infiltrate gangs, and high level   PUBLIC RELATIONS                     the public. The image of a
 turncoats leave gangs to cut           The image of the 1960s bik- Christmas-time photo in the
 sentencing deals. With books       ers has changed. Bikers are          newspaper of a toy toting Hells
 authored by big name outlaws       more educated and business           Angel, Bandido, or Outlaws
 like Hells Angel legend Sonny      savvy. Their PR machine works should not minimize what
 Barger and Mongols former          well and uninformed citizens         OMGs represent – violence and
 International President Doc        have bought into their bad boy drugs. OMGs want to have it
 Cavazos, as well as ATF agents     image. Other social organiza-        both ways, and seem to be
 Billy Queen and Jay Dobyns         tions have bought into the           succeeding.
 who successfully infiltrated the   biker culture and even more              The public doesn’t often see
 Mongols and Hells Angels, we       disturbing, cops have bought         the flip side of the biker cul-
 are learning more about the        into the image, starting up          ture – the criminal activity that
 biker secret society.              bike clubs that in some cases        includes murder, assault,
     ATF has conducted major        rival the image of outlaws,          rapes, intimidation, thefts, for-
 cases since the 1990s on the       complete with patches, tattoos, gery, drugs, weapons charges,
 Hells Angels, Outlaws,             club runs, bylaws, and most          etc. The Margo Compton mur-
 Bandidos, Vagos, Mongols,          upsetting, the attitude. Sadly,      der case of the 1970s or the
 Sons of Silence, and Warlocks.     the OMG tentacles have               Billy Grondalski murder case
 This has hurt these major          reached into the last bastion –      of the 1980s should prove to

16   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                    RMIN Special Report

anyone that these gangs are         found the independent RUB           (Maryland); Outlaws in the
truly dangerous. In each of         (Rich Urban Biker) an enjoy-        North and Southeast (Illinois
these cases, families of four       able lifestyle, some even daring    and Florida); and Bandidos to
were killed – four of them chil-    to cross the line into criminal     the South (Texas). Within a
dren as young as five years         behavior.                           short period of time, the
old, and twin girls age seven.          Somehow, looking bad is         Outlaws spread east and south;
    People must realize that        looking good. The movie and         the Bandidos spread northwest.
OMGs are not a bunch of fun         television industry, clothing       The Hells Angels spread north
loving, toy toting good guys        and fashion manufactures            and east. The Pagans focused
delivering gifts to needy kids.     have all benefitted from this       their growth primarily in eastern
The investigations are stagger-     attitude; many                                   states and were the
ing and go on and on. The inci-     charities have too.                              only one of the Big
dents, beginning with Hollister,    The perception of                                Four that didn’t
go on through the years and         what the true out-                               eventually become
have shaped our image of the        law biker is about                               an international
OMG culture and no amount of        has been twisted                                 club.
spin, public relations or veneer    and turned into an                                   Today, the Hells
should make a bit of difference     acceptable part of                               Angels continues its
in exposing what the gangs          our culture. Citizens                            quest for domi-
stand for.                          don’t often see the                              nance and is locat-
    Schmoozing the public has       crimes, and victims                              ed in almost 50
provided OMGs with an               are often kept in                                percent of the
improved image, taking the          check by intimida-                               states. The big
spotlight off the terror and hor-   tion, so the crime                               clubs are now over-
ror they mete out and overrid-      goes unreported and                              lapping into other
ing the malicious side of their     the public remains in the dark      gang territories, clouding the
culture. The bad boy look is        about biker crimes. Biker           map and blurring lines of
popular today with many.            crimes are frequently not           demarcation. Colorado has
OMGs, like the rest of society,     reported as such or kept away       more major clubs -- including
have learned how to fit in and      from juries as prejudicial and      Hells Angels, Bandidos,
change as needed. Riding hun-       the biker element or gang           Outlaws, Sons of Silence,
dreds of miles on a chopped         involvement is often unknown        Vietnam Vets and Mongols --
hard tail into a campground on      to juries.                          than any other state.
a run isn’t reality as it was           “Are there still Hells Angels       Internationally, the Hells
decades ago. Even hard core         out there?” or “They’re not so      Angels has spread to 30 coun-
outlaws are known to trailer        bad anymore,” or “They do           tries, with the Bandidos and
their factory cushioned Harleys     Toys for Tots,” are statements      Outlaws having chapters in
to a hotel to stay for a relaxing   that minimize what OMGs real-       about half as many countries.
weekend run, giving them            ly stand for. Unfortunately, as     In terms of membership, the
access to showers, computers,       a society we have accepted and      Bandidos are probably as big
laundry, and restaurant food.       embraced it as mainstream           as the Hells Angels, but are in
The years have changed their        and socially acceptable.            fewer countries, which would
image, but it hasn’t changed                                            account for larger member-
loyalty to their clubs or their                                         ships in individual chapters.
zest for power and crime.           GROWTH AND SUPPORT                  Other major clubs including
    The growth of motorcycle           Looking at a map of the          the Mongols, Vagos, Gypsy
clubs has forged a new social       United States 30 or 40 years        Jokers, Sons of Silence and
culture that has become part        ago, it would have been obvious     Vietnam Vets have also become
of the American way of life.        where the major OMGs were:          international clubs with some
Even those not involved in an       The Hells Angels in the West        surpassing the Pagans in
OMG or social biker clubs have      (California); Pagans in the East    membership.

                                                             Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010       17
      RMIN Special Report

     In a 2009 congressional         home from the mid-eastern            OMGs, it’s similar in that the
 report, motorcycle gangs were       wars to join. They call them-        club with the most power or
 identified as transnational         selves the Legacy Vets. The          territory wins – as though they
 gangs known for carrying out        Vietnam Vets and Legacy Vets         own it. They believe that they
 crimes including drugs, stolen      are one club with two names.         have control over others, to the
 motorcycles, assaults and               Other clubs including the        point that they “allow” who can
 murder. Examples include the        Sin City Disciples, Chosen Few       wear colors of other clubs into
 Hells Angels running drugs          and East Bay Dragons are             “their territory,” truly a gang
 from South America to Canada        restricted to African                mentality. Confederations and
 and from South Africa to            Americans; the Narbones and          coalitions of motorcycle clubs
 Arizona. Other crimes included      Rez Riders are open to Native        have been set up nationally
 a Hells Angel from Canada and       Americans. There are female          and by state. They serve as a
 one from the U.S. shooting          clubs including the Devil Dolls      type of lobbying organization or
 Outlaws a few years ago in          and Dykes on Bikes. More             voice for biker rights, legisla-
 Sturgis, South Dakota, and          recently, some sport bike clubs      tion (no helmet laws), attor-
 Outlaws killing a Canadian          are starting to factor into the      neys, etc. A common topic at
 Hells Angel in England.             OMG culture as well. One of          their meetings has been law-
 Another situation involved a        the larger sport bike clubs          suits against law enforcement.
 Hells Angel from Europe             known as the Ruff Ryders are         These coalitions and confeder-
 attempting to kill a U.S. federal   wearing Hells Angel support          ations also control which clubs
 agent. A Hells Angel on the run     patches. Uniquely, they are a        are allowed in their areas and
 for a murder that occurred in       mixed-race club unlike the “no       are assessed dues. The confed-
 Mesa, Arizona was identified in     Blacks allowed” Hells Angels         eration and coalitions in the
 Canada riding with the club.        OMG, yet Ruff Ryders show            various states are further con-
     Aside from OMGs, there are      support for the Hells Angels.        trolled by the more powerful
 other biker clubs across the        Other information has indicat-       gangs in that state. Disputes
 country that don’t fit into the     ed the Latin Kings street gang       over territory have caused most
 OMG mold but may be consid-         is starting a sport bike club        of the major OMG assaults and
 ered “fringe clubs” that are vis-   called the Kings Knights. There      murders. There have been
 ible at OMG get-togethers. Law      has been a relationship              more “bottom rocker” (patch
 enforcement tends to work the       between the Outlaws OMG and          designating state) wars than
 major OMGs, paying little           the Latin Kings in the Illinois      any other reason for biker con-
 attention to these fringe clubs.    area for years.                      flict. In Arizona, for example,
 While these clubs dabble in                                              the Dirty Dozen battled it out
                                         Many of these clubs have
 petty crimes, they don’t fit the                                         with the Outlaws, Devils
                                     some peripheral involvement
 definition of being an outlaw                                            Diciples, Sons of Silence, Bad
                                     with the OMGs, dabbling in the
 club, yet have the potential                                             Company, Seekers, Vagos and
                                     lifestyle and some crimes; how-
 opportunity to work their way                                            Mongols over the right to wear
                                     ever, with the exception of a
 into becoming outlaws. These                                             the Arizona bottom rocker.
                                     few, these clubs are not con-
 clubs are usually made up of                                             Many gang members were
                                     sidered outlaw clubs.
 individuals sharing the same                                             murdered or assaulted over
                                         Although many aspects of         that “right” and this is com-
 social interests, profession,
                                     OMGs have remained consis-           mon practice among OMGs all
 cultural background or race.
                                     tent over the years, there have      over the world.
     A major national U.S. veter-    been some changes.
 ans club is the Vietnam Vets.                                                 Smaller clubs are also mov-
                                         Unchanged is the posturing       ing into the Big Four’s areas.
 The club was built as a dying
                                     for power and territory. OMGs        These interlopers are being
 club: Only Vietnam veterans
                                     use intimidation, assaults and       given the blessing from the
 can be members and as mem-
                                     murder to maintain control of        major gang controlling the
 bers die, membership dwindles
                                     various territories. It’s like the   area, and if not, dissipate with-
 until the club dies out. A deci-
                                     old adage, “He who dies with         in a short time. New York has
 sion allowed veterans returning
                                     the most toys wins.” With

18   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                 RMIN Special Report

had bloodshed between             gence to the major clubs. In       on the club. An example of
Outlaws, Pagans, Hells Angels     some instances, members of         that was the Dirty Dozen in
and smaller gangs for years, to   the support club will patch up     Arizona. The Dirty Dozen was
include the 1990s Lancaster       and become a member of the         the premier outlaw motorcycle
Speedway shootings where the      dominant club. Support clubs       gang in Arizona for 30 years
presidents of the Hells Angel     have become part of the main-      when they started prospecting
and Outlaws were killed in the    stream existence of the bigger     as Hells Angels. Just prior to
gun battle, or the 2002           gangs, and function much like      prospecting, Dirty Dozen mem-
Hellraisers Ball when 75          the low rung hangaround does       bers were seen wearing red
Pagans attacked the Hells         within the hierarchy of a club.    and White t-shirts (Hells Angel
Angels only to be on the losing        The Outlaws have a major      colors), with lettering that said
end with one murdered Pagan.      support club called the Black      “Come in peace, or leave in
There was bloodshed in            Pistons with a patch that has      pieces.” The Hells Angels chose
Outlaws-controlled Illinois and   some Outlaw similarities and       the top 60 members out of 120
Indiana when the Hells Angels     the Black and White color          Dirty Dozen to start prospect-
took over the long standing       scheme of the Outlaws. The         ing as potential Hells Angels.
Hells Henchmen in the mid-        Bandidos, on the other hand,       Only 42 members successfully
1990s. The Outlaws started        seem to have more support          became fully patched Hells
assassinating Hells Angels for    clubs than any of the major        Angels.
moving into their territory.      gangs. When on a major run,            • An OMG can put in a new
    Conversely, Colorado has      the Bandidos typically have        club (support club). The club
had more major OMGs than          15-20+ support clubs traveling     will then act on its own under
any other state with Hells        with them, unlike others that      the guidance of the major club.
Angels, Bandidos, Outlaws,        may have a couple of clubs         An example of this was when
Sons of Silence and Mongols,      that attend major runs. This       the Hells Angels put in the Red
but it has been fairly low key    makes the Bandidos look like a     Demons in Nevada.
and other than minor skir-        much bigger organization than      Unfortunately for the Red
mishes, OMGs avoid one            it is. The Bandido colors are      Demons (and fortunately for
another. Interestingly, there     gold with red lettering and        law enforcement), the Red
has been a tit-for-tat Hells      Bandido support clubs typical-     Demons flunked the test and
Angel/Bandido thing going on      ly wear a reverse color scheme,    did not become Hells Angels.
where the clubs have been         red backgrounds with gold let-     They didn’t stay Red Demons
“testing” each other by con-      tering. Recently, the newer        either, because they had been
ducting their national runs in    support clubs for the Hells        infiltrated by Las Vegas Metro
the other gang’s territories.     Angels are seen with colors        Police Department officers. The
This has continued with little    involving lots of red color with   Red Devils in Orange County,
consequence. However, the         flaming skulls, or ball peen       California did pass the test and
opportunity did present itself    hammers or other symbolism         eventually became Hells
at the 2007 Hells Angel USA       that trained investigators know    Angels.
Run in Eureka Springs,            is Hells Angels-connected.             In addition to clubs associ-
Arkansas (Bandido state). The     Support stickers on their          ating with their support clubs,
Bandidos were thumped and         motorcycles are also a good        they are also known to associ-
bloodied for making their pres-   indicator of their allegiance.     ate with other gangs, groups
ence known near the Hells              Other than adding member-     and countercultures. There is
Angels Run.                       ship to an existing club,          ample documentation of OMGs
    Support/puppet clubs and      expansion of the gangs occurs      associating with prison gangs
associates give the major clubs   one of two ways:                   (Aryan Brotherhood and
a layer of insulation and keep         • An OMG will take over an    Mexican Mafia), Los Cosa
OMGs away from the eyes of        existing club and typically have   Nostra/mafia, KKK and other
law enforcement. They also        members prospect, usually six      White supremacists groups,
supply security and intelli-      months to a year, depending        drug cartels, and street gangs.

                                                          Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010       19
      RMIN Special Report

 In rare instances, there has              the criminal world.                         come to enjoy the camaraderie
 been documentation of a con-                  Historically, gangs are just            and freedom the lifestyle repre-
 nection to a Chinese Triad                as bad now as they were years               sents. What was once a
 (Canada) and Lebanese and                 ago, but they have learned how              lifestyle for the outlaws has
 other Mideastern groups. There            to survive – functioning differ-            become blurred as other
 are rare instances where mem-             ently through the years, learn-             aspects of society have bought
 bers are “double patched,”                ing how to use the system to                into it. Growth, power, violence
 meaning that they not only                their advantage, putting on a               and territory are present and
 associate with, but belong to             layer of insulation using asso-             important to their existence as
 an OMG as well as another                 ciations with other                         they continue their global
 organization (street gang,                groups/gangs and counter cul-               expansion. The image of the
 prison gang, KKK, skinhead,               tures, as well as through pub-              outlaw on a motorcycle with
 etc.). This compounds the                 lic relations techniques previ-             the three-piece patch brings
 problems and creates a com-               ously explained. The bad boy                about very powerful imagery of
 plex gang network. This gives             image is popular in today’s cul-            intimidation – a trademark of
 gangs more power and ability              ture, and others not involved               their culture which demands
 to be crime connected and to              in the criminal culture have                respect.
 operate more effectively within

 About the author…
 Steve Trethewy served with the Arizona Department of Public Safety from 1975-99 and joined RMIN as a Field Services
 Coordinator, Arizona, upon retirement from DPS. Trethewy helped develop the Arizona Gang Investigator’s Association and
 the Tri-State Intelligence Association and is a member of the board of the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigator’s
 Association. He has published numerous articles on street, prison and motorcycle gangs in publications including Police Chief,
 Law & Order and in the RMIN Bulletin. He was interviewed as a resource for background information on two documentaries
 on the Discovery Channel regarding Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs and was interviewed on air for the History Channel’s
 Gangland series on the Hells Angels.

20   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                   RMIN Special Report

Aryan gangs of Idaho

       daho has become known        that attracted White suprema-      shotgun to an informant.

   I   nationally for two things:
       potatoes and unfortu-
nately, Aryans.
                                    cists from around the country
                                    and held widely publicized
                                    marches through
                                                                       Weaver refused to show up for
                                                                       trial, triggering the August
                                                                                       1992 shootout
    A relatively small number of    downtown Coeur                                     with federal
anti-government extremists          d'Alene that drew                                  agents at Ruby
were actually behind Idaho’s        many more protest-                                 Ridge, Idaho.
Aryan reputation but due to         ers than partici-                                  Weaver’s son
the level of violence they          pants. Aryan Nations                               and wife and a
employed, they managed to win       became the parent                                  deputy U.S.
national notoriety. These           organization for a                                 Marshal were
extremists were attracted to        number of violent                                  killed during the
the dense woods and high            splinter groups that                               gun battle with
mountain ranges in Idaho’s          terrorized the United                              federal authori-
northern panhandle that pro-        States during the                                  ties.
vided remote and easy access        1980s.                                 In July 1998, Victoria
to surrounding states and the           In September 1983, Aryan       Keenan and her son Jason were
Canadian border. They found         Nations supporter Robert           shot at by Aryan Nations securi-
the area ideal for establishing a   Mathews formed an Aryan ter-       ty staff during a car chase near
base for their operations.          rorist group called “The Order.”   the Aryan Nations compound.
                                    The Order launched a crime         The Southern Poverty Law
                                    spree that included robbing        Center won a $6.3 million judg-
IDAHO’S HISTORY OF                  armored cars, printing coun-       ment against the Aryan Nations
ARYAN GANGS                         terfeit money, bombing a syna-     for the Keenans. The Aryan
    Aryan Nations is behind         gogue in Boise, Idaho and          Nations lost possession of its
most of Idaho’s Aryan               assassinating Jewish talk-radio    compound, which was later
reputation. The original                    host Alan Berg in          turned into a “peace park.”
Aryan Nations arose                         Denver, Colorado.          Richard Butler died a few years
from a Christian                               During the July         later and the Aryan Nations was
Identity religious group                    1986 conference, Aryan     quiet until recently.
founded in California in                    Nations Security Chief
                                            David Dorr formed “The
the 1940s. Richard
Butler was an aero-                         Order II” which was        TODAY’S IDAHO
space engineer for Lockheed         responsible for exploding three    ARYAN GANGS
who moved to northern Idaho         pipe bombs in Coeur d'Alene,          The Aryan Nations
in the 1970s, bought 20 acres       including one at the U.S.          (Christian Identity) have
of land near Idaho’s Hayden         Courthouse.                        recently been distributing fliers
Lake, and set up a compound             In January 1991, Randy         and recruiting new members
which became known as the           Weaver, who regularly attended     while trying to create a new
Church of Jesus Christ              Aryan Nations gatherings, was      “world headquarters” in Idaho.
Christian, Aryan Nations. He        arrested for selling a sawed-off   Their latest web site lists
hosted annual conventions

                                                            Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010       21
      RMIN Special Report

 Coeur d’Alene residents Jerald      in the Oregon Prison System.        Inmates eventually made the
 O’Brien and Michael Lombard         There are approximately 15          term Peckerwood a source of
 as the new leaders of the Aryan     members in Idaho prisons.           pride in the late 1980s. In
 Nations. The Aryan Nations is       They are closely aligned with       addition to various Nazi sym-
 a common name that is used          the Aryan Knights and are           bols, Peckerwoods usually dis-
 by 11 different groups operat-      openly accepted as equals. The      play the phrases “Peckerwood,”
 ing nationally that claim north-    European Kindred exhibit the        “Pure Peckerwood,” “100%
 ern Idaho as their homeland.        traditional Nazi symbols to         Pure Wood,” “Pure Peck,” “Pure
 There are approximately 50          denote their White supremacy        Wood,” “Peckerwood Inc,”
 Aryan Nations members in            ideology and typically display      “Peckerwood Tribe,” “100%
 Idaho prisons today. Aryan          the initials “EK” inside a shield   Peckerwood,” or images of the
 Nations members frequently          to indicate set affiliation.        woodpecker bird. Female mem-
 exhibit Nazi symbols to denote                                          bers are commonly referred to
 their White supremacy ideology                                          as “Featherwoods.”
 and typically display the ini-      MEMBER PROFILE                          The American Outlaws
 tials “AN,” the phrase “Aryan           The Skinheads (Neo-Nazi /       (Neo-Confederate) were first
 Nations,” and/or the Aryan          Neopagans) in Idaho are some-       identified on the streets of
 Nations’ emblem to indicate         times known as “Yard Skins”         Idaho Falls in eastern Idaho in
 affiliation with the organiza-      and include members from the        2007. There are approximately
 tion.                               Nazi Low Riders, Public Enemy       30 known members. While
     The Aryan Knights (Neo-         Number 1 (PEN1),                    membership is restricted to
 Confederate) is Idaho’s largest     Hammerskins and various             Whites only, this is primarily a
 and most powerful Aryan             other skinhead gangs. There         criminal organization with a
 prison gang with more than          are approximately 120 known         focus on drug trafficking. Harsh
 200 known members. The gang         members of this group. Their        punishments are dispensed to
 was formed in the early 1990s       symbols include crossed ham-        those who prove to be disloyal
 at the Idaho Maximum                mers and various Celtic,            or don’t perform assigned tasks.
 Security Institution and is a       Odinist and Nazi symbols.           Last year, an American Outlaw
 profit-based criminal organiza-     They claim to be Odinists and       member who did not meet
 tion. The Aryan Knights exhibit     follow the teachings of David       expectations had his “AO” tattoo
 the traditional Nazi symbols to     Lane. They frequently display       cut off his chest. Members are
 denote their White supremacy        “14,” representing Lane’s 14        tattooed with “American
 ideology and frequently display     words, “We must secure the          Outlaw,” “AO,” and/or the Iron
 the initials “AK,” the phrase       existence of our people and a       Cross, sometimes with an anar-
 “Aryan Knight,” and/or the          future for White children” and      chy symbol in the center to
 numbers “1 - 11” which repre-       “88” representing Lane’s 88         show set affiliation.
 sents the 1st and 11th letters      precepts and/or the eighth let-         The Psychotic Soldiers (Neo-
 of the alphabet (AK). There are     ter of the alphabet twice mean-     Nazi) were first identified in the
 two smaller Aryan Knight sub-       ing “Heil Hitler.”                  Idaho State Correctional
 sets known as Irish Assassins           The Peckerwoods (Neo-           Institution in 2008. There are
 and Insane Outlaws that serve       Confederate) are a loose organ-     approximately 25 known mem-
 primarily as their contract         ization in Idaho that perform       bers. It was formed by a group
 muscle. These subsets fre-          tasks and serve as a recruiting     of skinheads who felt the other
 quently display the initials “IO”   pool for the more powerful          Aryan gangs were too passive.
 or “IA.”                            Aryan Knights. There are            The gang set out to make a
     David Patrick Kennedy           approximately 70 known              name for itself through acts of
 founded the European Kindred        Peckerwood members in Idaho.        violence. Other gangs frequent-
 (Neo-Confederate) in 1998 in        Coined in the 19th century,         ly pay the Psychotic Soldiers to
 Eastern Oregon’s Snake River        “Peckerwood” or “Wood” is a         perform collections and con-
 Correctional Institution. It is     derogatory term used to             tract hits. Members display the
 one of the most powerful gangs      describe poor rural Whites.         letters “PS” and Nazi symbols.

22   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                   RMIN Special Report

IDAHO ARYAN GANGS                  Many of the Aryan religious         ed resources. We will continue
                                   groups continue to let fear and     to identify gang members as
OF TOMORROW                        paranoia drive their hatred of      early as possible and carefully
    The Aryans of tomorrow         non-Whites. They view their         track them as they move
appear to be dividing into three   incarcerated members as pris-       through the system through
basic types based on their ide-    oners of war. They reportedly       our intelligence sharing net-
ology. These include Neo-          have been stockpiling firearms      works. Working together we
Confederate groups, Christian      and ammunition based on             will be able to meet any chal-
Identity or Creativity Movement    their belief that President         lenge the future may present.
religious groups, and Neo-Nazi     Barack Obama will restrict
groups.                            their ability to buy additional
    The modern Neo-                weapons. Their members fre-
Confederate Aryan gang mem-        quently choose to serve their
ber places more emphasis on        full sentence in order to avoid
operating a criminal                          having a parole offi-
enterprise and much                           cer in their homes or    About the author…
less on being a                               around their families.   Timothy Higgins served for 10 years in
White supremacist.                            This makes it more       the U.S. Air Force as a Security Police
We have seen these                            difficult for criminal   Manager, obtaining the rank of
Aryan gangs employ-                           justice officials to     Technical Sergeant. He has worked for
ing more modern                               monitor their organi-
                                                                       the Idaho Department of Correction
technology in their                           zation and intercede
                                              in criminal activity.    since October 1989 and currently serves
methods of operation
                                                                       as a Program Coordinator in the
and entering into                                  Today’s Neo-Nazi
alliances with non-                           group seems to care      Central Office, providing oversight for
White gangs for                               little about the revo-   the investigation, intelligence and
business purposes.                            lutionary creation of    Security Threat Group Management
It has become common to find       a fascist political state but       Programs statewide. He is the creator of
Aryan Knights joining forces       focuses on simple hatred of         the website www.Idaho Gangs.com and
with the Sureno gangs when it      homosexuals, sex offenders          is a member of the northwest Gang
serves their purpose. We have      and non-Whites. They rebel          Investigators Association. He has served
found these Aryan gangs have       against any type of authority       as Idaho’s State representative for the
been investing in legitimate       over them and make it their         National Major Gang Task Force since
small businesses that employ       mission to break all the rules.
                                                                       2001. He earned a degree in criminology
their members on the street        If they want something, they
and are currently sponsoring       simply take it from the weaker      from the University of Maryland and is
some of their members in           inmates, by force if necessary.     an adjunct instructor for Boise State
Ultimate Fighting competitions.    They travel in packs like           University’s Criminal Justice
Our local gyms have become a       wolves, feeding on the weaker       Department in gang management.
common meeting place for           members of the pack.                Higgins chairs a multi-agency subcom-
Aryan gang members on the              Idaho is working to develop     mittee for the Idaho Criminal Justice
streets.                           a statewide systems approach        Commission that is developing a
    The number of Aryan reli-      for dealing with the anticipated    statewide strategy for dealing with
gious groups and anti-govern-      gang problems of tomorrow.          Idaho’s growing gang problem. Higgins
ment extremists are steadily       Joint agency task forces, a new     can be reached at thiggins@idoc.idaho.gov
increasing, both nationally and    Criminal Intelligence Sharing       or (208)658-2134.
in Idaho. The anti-immigration     Center and the statewide de-
movement and most recently         confliction of criminal investi-
the election of a Black presi-     gations have enabled Idaho’s
dent of the United States          criminal justice agencies to
sparked much of this growth.       maximize the use of our limit-

                                                            Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010                23
     RMIN Special Report

24   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                     RMIN Special Report

Evolution of gangs in Arizona

           rizona natives relate      Surenos come from communi-         shows they are more career

   A       that gangs, particular-
           ly street gangs, have
been around for several
                                      ties throughout Arizona and
                                      California. Many grew up in
                                      Hispanic neighborhoods or
                                                                         criminals than racial ideo-
                                                                         logues, and many have close
                                                                         friendships with Mexican-
decades.                              barrios steeped in the gang        Americans and other races.
    From the mid 1970s, the           culture and most were mem-             The Border Brothers are
Aryan Brotherhood, Mexican            bers of a street gang.             strictly Mexican nationals.
Mafia and Mau Mau prison              Generally, their pattern of        They formed to protect them-
gangs came into existence at          crime started at an early age      selves, as is common with all
the Florence Complex, Arizona         with stints in and out of the      the other prison groups, as
Department of Corrections             juvenile justice system, county    well as to seek power. Its initial
(ADOC). These groups formed           jails and eventually ending up     membership was from the
along racial lines, and immedi-       incarcerated in the adult          most criminally oriented of the
ately initiated a campaign to         prison system.                     Mexican national prison popu-
control all illegal activities            The Aryan Brotherhood,         lation. From the onset, Border
within the prison yards. They         from inception to the present,     Brothers were willing to face off
also began a recruitment drive        has been the undisputed rulers     against the established New
for membership of the most            of the White inmate prison         Mexican Mafia which resulted
criminally orientated among           population. Although recent        in a riot at the Arizona Prison
each race. I am sure, at that         assessment indicates they have     Complex in Winslow in 1997.
time, prison administrators           lost direction and their influ-    Historically, second generation
could not realize the impact          ence today is threatened by a      Mexican nationals coming into
these groups eventually would         large influx of Skinheads who      the prison population with the
have within the Arizona               have steadily come into the        street gang mentality of
Department of Corrections.            prison system in the last five     “Wetback Power” sets shunned
Nor, in time, that other groups       years. Skinheads too, as           membership in groups such as
including the New Mexican             Hispanic criminal gang mem-        the Border Brothers. This is
Mafia, Border Brothers,               bers, have a pattern of criminal   true for many other Mexican
Warrior Society, Grandels and         behavior. Unlike the Hispanics,    national inmates who refer to
Surenos would form. In addi-          the environment and location       themselves as Paisas or coun-
tion, the ADOC inmate popula-         where they grew up seems to        trymen.
tion has grown to more than           play a lesser role as an indica-       The Mau Maus have
30,000 inmates and the prison         tor of future crime. Their         remained the sole Black prison
system has expanded to                recruitment and membership         gang. In the late 1980s, an
include several new prison            has always been about who is       attempt was made by various
facilities statewide.                 willing to take care of business   Crips gang set members from
    The membership of these           (that is, conduct assaults or      Los Angeles who were incarcer-
groups is an interesting study.       even murder when called            ated in ADOC to form a group
It tells a story of their life-long   upon). Most have a life-long       known as the United Crip
commitment to crime and of            history of drug abuse and          Gang (UCG). This take-over
recidivism.                           infatuation with weapons. They     never gained prominence.
                                      have gained notoriety as being     Originally, the Mau Maus were
    Mexican-American prison
                                      White racist extremists            the racial ideologues of all the
gangs like the New and Old
                                      although, truth from fiction       prison groups and today Mau
Mexican Mafias, Grandels and

                                                               Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010        25
     RMIN Special Report

 Mau membership has largely         advancement of their criminal       Complex, CB-6 search.
 diminished. The present con-       enterprises. Upon release from      Detonating cord, blasting caps
 cern is focusing on the increas-   prison, they hook up with fel-      and other contraband was
 ing Black street gang popula-      low gang members to form            found during the search in the
 tion due to the FBI Violent        cells. They tend to gravitate to    possession of suspected Aryan
 Gang Task Force RICO investi-      crimes with the highest vio-        Brotherhood members.
 gations targeting Black street     lence potential such as armed       • Intelligence collected indicat-
 gang sets. The prospect of a       robbery, drug distribution and      ed that there were ties with the
 group such as the “West Side       home invasions or the lucrative     Aryan Brotherhood to the then
 City” Crips, who have an over-     profit from identification theft.   highly visible nationwide White
 whelming number of members             Since the inception of          extremist movement.
 incarcerated, becoming a           prison gangs within the                 For these reasons, in 1984,
 Security Threat Group is           Arizona prison system, there        the first federally funded
 alarming.                                          have been inter-    Prison Gang Task Force (PGTF)
      In the 1970s                                  nal struggles       came into existence. The PGTF
 when prison                                        with each           consisted of a sergeant and
 gangs, now                                         group. Political    squad from the Department of
 referred to as                                     jockeying for       Public Safety (DPS). Also
 Security Threat                                    power and influ-    assigned were two full time
 Groups (STGs)                                      ence is as com-     attorneys and investigators
 came into exis-                                    monplace to         from the state Attorney
 tence, few in the                                  them as any         General’s Office (AG) and per-
 criminal justice                                   organization.       sonnel from the Department of
 community could                                    This often has      Corrections (DOC).
 predict the effect                                 led to paranoia
                                                                            The goals of the PGTF were
 they would have                                    and jealousy of
 upon our state                                     which the result
 and communi-                                       is a member         • Develop a collection plan to
 ties.                                              being put on a      identify all known gang mem-
                                                    “hit list.” From    bers within these groups
      The sum of
 their impact on crime, victim-     1977 to 1984 several murders        • Identify prison housing
 ization and applied justice        that took place in the prisons      assignments and addresses of
 resources is staggering. They      and out on the streets were         those out on the streets
 have become a recruitment          attributed to this in-fighting.     • Develop sources within the
 attraction for impressionable      The Arizona Department of           prison
 youngsters entering the crimi-     Public Safety, Criminal             • Utilize intelligence techniques
 nal justice system.                Investigation Bureau, had           in prison to disrupt gang and
                                    investigators who routinely         illegal activities
      These members possess the
                                    responded to these incidents.
 highest recidivism rate of any                                         • Arrest and prosecute mem-
 type of criminal. The prison           Leading up to 1983, several     bers using organized crime
 environment is their domain        significant events involving        enhancement statutes and
 and they are committed to a        prison gang members caught          without plea bargain
 life of crime. This commitment,    the attention of both prison
                                    and law enforcement authori-            One of the most important
 coupled with an outward hos-                                           results that came from the
 tility toward authority, has       ties:
                                                                        PGTF was the creation of the
 increasingly led to officer-       • An upswing of murders and         Gang Member Identifying
 involved shootings and attacks.    assaults by Hispanic inmates        Criteria (GMIC). GMIC came
 They routinely tie-up the court    was occurring between two fac-      about because PGTF prosecu-
 system with appeals, subpoe-       tions.                              tors were seeking the most
 nas, and writs and use the         • Critical information obtained     severe enhanced sentencing
 system to their advantage and      led to the Florence Prison          laws. Subsequently, it necessi-

26   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                   RMIN Special Report

tated defense attorneys prove       unfolding storm in Los Angeles.    gained notoriety, an insurgence
their clients were not members      My recollection, and according     of Hispanic gang activity was
of an organized criminal enter-     to Retired Phoenix Police          increasing in Phoenix.
prise. During court proceed-        Department Detective Alex              From 1984 and into the
ings, to overcome these objec-      Fermina who was a member of        1990s, the street gang problem
tives, prosecutors and investiga-   the gang squad, was that they      was increasing on many fronts.
tors needed to provide criteria     began receiving information        Street gang turf fights and rival-
utilizing documentation to sub-     from South Mountain Precinct       ries had escalated into several
stantiate gang membership and       that Los Angeles-based Black       shootings. Throughout
thus, GMIC was written.             gangsters were now in Phoenix.     Maricopa County, new street
    Years later, around 1992,       At that time, the squad did not    gang sets were being identified
GMIC was introduced into legis-     perceive that a serious gang       (in non-traditional neighbor-
lation and became new statutes      problem existed, but things        hoods). Car thefts, increase use
under the Arizona Revised           were about to change.              and sales of drugs and distur-
Criminal Code.                          The distribution of drugs      bances at high schools were on
    From my perspective, the        and a bit of entrepreneurship      the rise.
gang phenomenon that we face        from various Los Angeles Black         In 1989, the Department of
today in Arizona is a direct        gang sets obviously led them to    Public Safety, Intelligence
result of the gang explosion in     a potential market in Phoenix,     Division, dedicated a squad to
California from the 1980s. Until    perhaps with the thought that it   work gangs under the supervi-
that time, gangs had been part      would be easy to take over.        sion of Sergeant Steve Trethewy
of the Los Angeles scene for            This was not the case, and     who had been working outlaw
decades and viewed as a social      in time a                                                motorcycle
issue confined to the inner city    turf war                                                 gangs for
and various barrios throughout      developed                                                years. This
Los Angeles.                        between                                                  squad was
    The catalyst that spawned       Phoenix                                                  unique for
this phenomenon was the intro-      and Los                                                  its time, in
duction of crack cocaine. This      Angeles                                                  that each
product resulted in a Crip and      Black gang                                               squad mem-
Blood rivalry for the drug trade.   sets that                                                ber could
Both Crip and Blood members         lasted for a                                             specialize in
took up arms to eliminate com-      few years.                                               street,
petition. To enhance their image    Eventually,                                              prison or
and swagger, they began to          after                                                    motorcycle
dress and emulate in Cholo          numerous                                                 gangs and
style, a long-held tradition of     shootings,                                               assist one
Hispanic street gangs. This did     some                                                     another
not sit well with members of the    reported,                                                when help
established Hispanic barrios,       many not,                                                was needed
who perceived Black street          the LA crews were run out of       in targeting a specific group.
gangs as rivals. As bloodshed       Phoenix.                           The squad also assisted other
and body counts increased,              Det. Fermina also recalled     cities that had no formal gang
fueled by a heavy dose of notori-   that the event that led to the     enforcement.
ety by nightly news and from        increased resources of dedicated       By 1993, the gang problem
the entertainment business, a       PPD gang squads was a Phoenix      was felt throughout Arizona
perfect storm of gang warfare       Fire Department truck that had     both in size and scope. In 1994
was created: soldiers without       responded to a fire at 21st        the Gang Intelligence Team
dedicated uniforms.                 Street and Broadway and had        Enforcement Mission (GITEM)
    In 1984, when the PGTF was      taken fire from suspected gang     was created, initiated and
created, Phoenix was starting to    members. Additionally, as the      approved for legislative funding.
feel the spin-off from this         Los Angeles gang phenomenon        GITEM became a multi-agency

                                                             Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010         27
     RMIN Special Report

 task force with the authority to      attorneys to prosecute gang           long established smuggling
 operate anywhere in the state.        related crimes. Last but certain-     operations (cartels) from Mexico.
 Its initial concept was based on      ly not least, the Maricopa            California’s economy, third
 the Los Angeles Police                County Sheriff’s Office has jail      strike law and an assortment of
 Department Metro concept from         and phone monitoring units that       other ills will drive more and
 the 1950-60s that handled             provide daily service to all crimi-   more bad guys to Arizona for
 problematic and high profile          nal justice agencies.                 autonomy. There will be no
 crime. GITEM’s first commander            The future and evolution of       time for denial or loss of
 was Captain Mike Denney, fol-         gangs within Arizona is trouble-      resources. Intelligence collec-
 lowed by Captain David                some. Arizona is faced with sev-      tion and analysis will be the
 Gonzales. GITEM was highly            eral fronts to be concerned with.     key to law enforcement’s suc-
 successful and after a few years      Within the last couple of years,      cess in the fight against gangs.
 in existence, was recognized by       the Arizona New Mexican Mafia
 the National Chiefs of Police         has struck an alliance with the
 Association for its originality       California and Federal Mexican
 and concept.                          Mafias, groups that are synony-
     GITEM is still in operation       mous with one another and per-
 today after a few years hiatus        haps the largest organized crime
 due to funding problems. It is        group in the nation. Could this       About the author…
 known today as GIITEM, and an         allegiance eventually lead to old
                                                                             Frank “Paco” Marcell retired in May
 aspect of immigration enforce-        and new drug transshipment
 ment has been added.                  routes from Arizona’s borders,        from the Maricopa County Sheriff ’s
                                       with control by the Mexican           Office after 37 years of service with
     Today, the gang problem in
 Arizona is top priority and well it   Mafias collectively?                  various law enforcement and corrections
 should be. It is an epidemic              Mexican national gangs are        agencies. He currently is serving on the
 problem on a national level and       attempting to gain a foothold in      governing boards of the Arizona Gang
 according to a recent FBI intelli-    Arizona. They remain connected        Investigators Association and the
 gence assessment, gang crime          to organized drug and human           National Major Gang Task Force. He is
 may be responsible for 80 per-        smuggling groups operating            an advisor to the International Latino
 cent of crime statistics.             along the Arizona-Mexico border.      Gang Investigators Association and a
     I have witnessed many posi-       All indications show they have
                                       targeted Phoenix as the hub and       member of the California Gang Task
 tive changes since I first started
                                       distribution centers of these         Force. During the last 25 years of his
 in this specialized field. Arizona
 now has a gang information            commodities. Over the last sev-       law enforcement career, Marcell worked
 repository. The Phoenix Police        eral years their propensity for       and supervised various prison and street
 Department has several dedicat-       violence is indicative of the         gang units. While assigned to the
 ed gang squads, one of which,         numerous unsolved homicides of        Arizona Prison Gang Task Force in
 the Syndicate Squad, works            Mexican nationals, who have           1985, he co-authored the Gang Member
 exclusively on the New Mexican        been dumped in rural areas and
                                       shot in the head with their           Identifying Criteria and conceptualized
 Mafia. Several other police agen-                                           the Gang Intelligence Team
 cies throughout the state have        hands tied behind their backs.
 assigned gang detectives. The         The accounts of running gun           Enforcement Mission with the Arizona
 Phoenix FBI Violent Gang Task         battles along the I-10 east to        Department of Public Safety. He has
 Force has done an excellent job       west corridor through Arizona         published numerous articles in law
 on numerous multi-indictment          and numerous violent home             enforcement journals and has spoken on
 RICO investigations. The ADOC         invasions show these gangs are        gang-related topics to groups across the
 for several years has had a           serious.
                                                                             country. Marcell is in the process of
 Security Threat Group valida-             The gang problem through-         establishing a consulting business while
 tion process that has greatly         out Arizona is likely to increase.
 improved the safety and security      The flow of drugs and human           he continues to meet his public speaking
 within the prisons. The               cargo is too lucrative. Prison        and writing commitments. He can be
 Maricopa County Attorney’s            and street gangs will be the          reached at azpacomar@gmail.com
 office has an aggressive staff of     intermediaries and soldiers for

28   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                   RMIN Special Report

The Wonder Boys

           .S. Border Patrol         San Luis, Sonora. This area of    area and more specifically, to

   U       agents of the Yuma
           Sector have come in
contact more frequently with
                                     operation extends to the west
                                     and ends
                                     at the
                                                                       target The Wonder Boys gang
                                                                                         during these
Sureno (Southern Hispanics)          riverbed of                                         “Gang
gang members who have family         the now                                             Sweeps.”
ties in the United States.           dry                                                 Newspaper
    Located 25 miles south of        Colorado                                            articles
Yuma, Arizona, is the small          River. The                                          regarding
border town of San Luis,             Wonder                                              arrests of
Arizona. San Luis, Arizona,          Boys sup-                                           gang mem-
and San Luis, Sonora, Mexico         port their                                          bers, particu-
share the international border       gang                                                larly Wonder
that divides the United States       endeavors                                           Boys, have
from Mexico. It is here that the     by com-                                             been pub-
border patrol agents have had        mitting car                                         lished with
a constant conflict with a           thefts,                                             regularity in
Mexican street gang known as         strong                                              the local
“Los Wonders” (The Wonder            armed robberies, assaults,        newspaper and media. Some of
Boys) that is identified as a        extortion, prostitution and       The Wonder Boys arrested
Sureno street gang.                  home invasions, etc. Some         have been identified as leaders
                                     members have been arrested        (Shot Callers) within the gang
    The area that they control
                                     for disorderly conduct, assault   by Mexican law enforcement.
and operate solely from is
                                     on police officers and some           Members of The Wonder
known as La Colonia Rio, San
                                     have been suspects in homi-       Boys often frequent the local
Luis, Sonora, Mexico. The
                                     cides.                            San Luis, Sonora, dance clubs
Wonder Boys have now
expanded their criminal net-             The Wonder Boys are           and have been photographed
work and enterprise to popu-         known to carry concealed          flashing gang signs on the
late the other neighborhoods in      weapons and caution should        dance club website. The tattoo
the city of San Luis, Sonora.        be taken when encountered by      most commonly used by The
Wonder Boys are also believed        law enforcement or border         Wonder Boys is the initials
to be presently living in the city   patrol agents in the field.       W.B. or Wonder Bois in old
of San Luis, Arizona.                    The Mexican Government        English script.
    The Wonder Boys criminal         has conducted coordinated             The Wonder Boys are not
organization is mainly involved      street gang operations in San     the only Mexican street gang
in illegal alien trafficking from    Luis, Sonora, in the past few     that has been targeted by San
Mexico into the United States.       years. The operations were        Luis, Sonora, law enforcement.
They operate along the interna-      conducted in order to seek out        Another street gang that is
tional border fence that sepa-       and arrest any street gang        active is known by the name
rates San Luis, Arizona and          members in San Luis, Sonora       “Chopas” (unknown meaning).

                                                              Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010     29
     RMIN Special Report

 Chopas are also located in San              translates loosely to the wear-
 Luis, Sonora. Chopas gang                   ing of oversized clothing.
 members or associates live                  Brands of pants such as Ben
 near or have congregated in                 Davis, Friscos or Dickies are
 the neighborhood known as El                worn with an oversized white
 Callejon (Guerrero 8 Y 9) in                T-shirt and Nike Cortez tennis                     The following are some of
 San Luis, Sonora. A decal with              shoes with blue or black                       the Sureno street gangs that
 the wording Chopas and                      shoelaces. This can be the uni-                have been encountered and
 affixed to the rear windows of              form of the day for some                       arrested in Yuma:
 vehicles has been observed in               Surenos. They also prefer                      • Bakers Trece, Bakersfield, CA
 known gang neighborhoods in                 wearing SouthSider trece (13)                  • 18th Street, Arlington, VA
 Yuma. The Chopas are rivals of              brand football jerseys or any-                 • Barrio Vagos, Salinas, CA
 The Wonder Boys due to the                  thing that represents the num-
                                                                                            • Hollywood Hobart Tiny Ones,
 illegal alien trafficking trade             ber 13 on the clothing being
                                                                                            Los Angeles, CA
 along the border and the                    worn. By displaying this type
 money it generates for their                of clothing they immediately                   • White Fence, Los Angeles, CA
 respective gangs. Chopas and                identify within themselves and                 • Crazy Riders, Los Angeles, CA
 a gang identified as Los                    to others who they represent                   • Little Town, San Luis, AZ
 Demonios (The Demons) are                   and their allegiance to the
                                                                                            • Border Brothers, various
 not as high profile as The                  Sureno mission. Sureno gang
                                                                                            parts of Mexico
 Wonder Boys but are also a                  members will wear predomi-
 concern to the local Mexican                nately any clothing except the                 • Lomas Trece, Los Angeles, CA
 law enforcement community.                  color red or the number 14.                    • Florencia Trece, Los Angeles, CA
 They too are a Sureno street                The color red or the number                    • SouthSider Trece, Las Vegas, NV
 gang.                                       14 identifies a Norteno gang                   • Orange County Trece, Orange
     All three of these Mexican-             member or associate.                           County, CA
 based street gangs keep their                   Mexican authorities are                    • Surenos Trece, East LA
 hair groomed as short as pos-               stating that they are seeing a                 Clique, Los Angeles
 sible and dress in the same                 steady rise in Sureno street
 style as their Hispanic street              gangs in San Luis, Sonora                      • Mara Salvatrucha,
 gang counterparts in California             which is a growing concern for                 El Salvador, Guatemala,
 and Arizona. In San Luis, the               Mexican law enforcement and                    Honduras and Mexico
 Sureno lifestyle is embraced                the general public. The majori-
 and has a strong influence                  ty of illegal alien gang mem-
 along the San Luis border                   bers arrested in Yuma have a
 area. The style of dress that               connection to a particular
 has been adopted is a style                 Sureno street gang in
 referred to as “tumblado” that              California.

 About the author…
 Joe Preciado has more than 20 years of service with the United States Border Patrol and serves as a Lead Border Patrol Agent
 with the Yuma Sector Intelligence Unit in Yuma, AZ. Agent Preciado has been involved in tracking criminal street gangs since
 being selected as the Yuma Station Intelligence Agent in 1998. He was promoted to his current position in 2001. As a Lead
 Border Patrol Agent, he monitors street, prison, transnational gangs, their distinctive tattoos and how they relate to the involve-
 ment of illegal aliens and street gangs. Agent Preciado recently returned from the International Law Enforcement Academy in
 San Salvador, El Salvador, where he provided training to various Central American law enforcement personnel regarding
 transnational gangs and their effect on the U.S. Border. Agent Preciado can be reached by e-mail at Joseph.F.Preciado@dhs.gov

30   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                            RMIN Special Report

Juggalos: A fan club or a gang?
       n the late 1980s and             In 2004, the Arizona                   as they are) on numerous

   I   early ’90s, two men from
       Detroit, Michigan, walked
away from a gang they began,
                                    Department of Public Safety
                                    Gang Immigration Intelligence
                                    Team Enforcement Mission
                                                                               Internet sites. In short, the
                                                                               message of ICP is, for the true
                                                                               die-hard Juggalos, not what
known as Inner City Posse,          (GIITEM) began investigating               they hear, but what they ARE.”
and tried their hand in the         several incidents at Palo Verde                 Shortly after Det. Van
underground rap scene.              High School in Tucson,                     Woert wrote his definition of
    Changing their name from        Arizona. The juveniles, who                the Juggalos, he found a simi-
Inner City Posse to Insane          were self-proclaimed Juggalos,             lar definition written by a
Clown Posse (ICP), Joseph           were threatening a student for             Juggalo on the Internet: “Many
Bruce and Joey Utsler, or as        reasons unknown. Detectives                people often believe that
they like to be called, Violent J   began conducting research on               Juggalos & Juggalettes are just
and Shaggy 2 Dope, claimed to       the Juggalos and the Insane                another name for fans of
have been visited by the carni-     Clown Posse. Based on the                  Insane Clown Posse. Being a
val spirit. They were told to       information developed along                Juggalo is much more than lik-
send a message of society’s         with the Palo Verde case, the              ing the music; it is a way of
need for cleansing or perish        Juggalos were officially docu-             life. A fan is someone who only
when the world ends.                mented as a gang within the                likes the music either because
                                    State of Arizona in 2007. The              it’s the fad right now, or
    They began their own            lead detective in the case, Hal
record label called                                                            because they want to conform.
                                    Van Woert, noted, “Juggalos                Fans don’t see the true mes-
Psychopathic Records, and           have adopted the message and
decided to send the message                                                    sage of the music, just the
                                    philosophy of ICP and others               outer layer. Fans are quick to
through six joker cards which       on the Psychopathic Records
became albums. Each album                                                      forget you as soon as the next
                                    label as a mission and a total             big sensation comes along.
has a specific message and          lifestyle. They immerse them-
although the lyrics brought                                                    They also will hound ICP for
                                    selves in the imagery and lis-             autographs and see them only
controversy, their fan base         ten to the music whenever and
erupted.                                                                       as big famous stars. A Juggalo
                                    wherever they can. They meet               is one who lives their life by
    The fans refer to themselves    at annual and semiannual                   the hatchet. In other words,
as Juggalos. The name Juggalo       ‘gatherings,’ and they share               they believe in the true mean-
comes from Violent J’s so-          their views and thoughts (such             ing behind ICP’s songs [and]
called alter ego, “The Juggla.”                                                try to live by J and Shaggy’s
Fans say that Violent J called                                                 preachings. Juggalos are down
out to the fans during a con-                                                  with the clown for life, and will
cert calling them “My Juggalos”                                                never turn their back on ICP
and the name stuck. The lyrics                                                 because they are said to be
speak of clown love and paying                                                 ‘uncool’ … They are dedicated
homage to the hatchet. The                                                     to Psychopathic forever.”1
lyrics also speak of extreme
violence and hatred toward                                                          Juggalos can be identified
society that has disrespected                                                  by the following indicia:
all those that society has                                                     1) Any and all Psychopathic
labeled loners or outcasts.                                                    record label clothing and para-
    Juggalos are fans of Insane                                                phernalia
Clown Posse but several                                                        2) Tattoos relating to Insane
groups of Juggalos have                    These “Juggalettes” flash           Clown Posse and Psychopathic
evolved into gangs.                           their gang signs.                associated artists to include

                                                                       Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010     31
      RMIN Special Report

 the six joker card album covers          Arizona municipalities                     and then mutilated the carcass,
 and the hatchet man which is             reporting Juggalo sets                     scaring those in attendance.
 the Psychopathic record label            include:                                       Also in 2008, several
 insignia                                 Mesa                                       Juggalos who now claim to be
     Juggalos do not claim a              • Juggalo Ryder Bitch                      members of Juggalo Ryder
 specific color such as red for                                                      Bitch committed armed rob-
 Bloods or blue for Crips but                                                        bery in Mesa, Arizona. Those
 colors have been documented              Tempe                                      involved have been charged
 depending on the set. For                • Southwest Bloods, in this set,           with crimes related to armed
 instance, the Eastside Juggalos                                                     robbery, hindering prosecution
                                          not all Juggalos are Southwest             and participating in a criminal
 from the Navajo Nation claim             Bloods but all Southwest                   street gang. In 2009, a group
 red in part because some of              Bloods are Juggalos                        of Juggalos who also claim to
 the members are former mem-                                                         be Southwest Bloods were
 bers of the Insane Cobra                                                            charged with aggravated
 Nation.                                  Tucson
                                                                                     assault and participating in a
     Since 2004, Arizona, along           • Juggalo Ryder Bitch                      criminal street gang after one
 with several states throughout           • Juggalo Street Mafia                     member wanted out of the
 the nation, has seen an                  • Eastside Juggalos                        gang and was told to stab
 increase in Juggalo member-                                                         another member in Tempe,
 ship to include gang related                                                        Arizona.
 crimes. Arizona tribes have                  Crimes associated with                     The name Juggalos have
 also seen an increase in gang            each of these sets include, but            created a split between gang
 related crimes involving                 are not limited to, drive by               detectives throughout the
 Juggalos to include gang mem-            shootings, aggravated assaults,            United States. The question
 bers from traditional gangs              assaults, weapons offenses,                asked is how does the law
 leaving and joining Juggalo              drug offenses, animal cruelty              enforcement community differ-
 sets.                                    and criminal damage. Officer               entiate between a fan and an
                                          Neil Yazzie with the Navajo                actual gang member?
                                          Nation Police Department is                    My response to this ques-
 Arizona tribes reporting                 investigating several arsons               tion is that just because we do
 Juggalos sets are:                       that are Juggalo related. A                not understand this phenome-
 Navajo Nation                            source informed him that the               non fully, we can’t as gang
                                          arsons were a means for                    detectives ignore it.
 • Eastside Juggalos                      Juggalos to gain rank within                   It is imperative that upon
 • Insane Dark Flames                     the Juggalo sets. He also states           contacting a Juggalo we are
                                          that members of the Eastside               diligent in our investigation to
 Tohono O’odham Nation                    Juggalos are now jumping in                answer the question: Are you a
                                          their members much like tradi-             fan or are you a member of a
 •   Eastside Juggalos                    tional gangs.                              gang?
 •   Red Hatchet Representing                 In 2008, several Juggalos                  We in law enforcement
 •   Juggalo Mafia                        also members of the Rez Crew               must be willing to take that
 •   Juggalo Ryder Bitch                  were charged with animal cruel-            extra step in our intelligence
                                          ty and participating in a crimi-           gathering to see if we are in
                                          nal street gang in Fort                    fact dealing with a gang mem-
 Fort McDowell Reservation                McDowell, Arizona. The juve-               ber or just a crazed fan.
 • Rez Crew                               niles killed a dog while at a park                            1www.whatisajuggalo.com

 About the author…
 Michelle Vasey began her career in law enforcement in 2000 with the Maricopa County Sheriff ’s Office. She joined the Fort
 McDowell Police Department in 2002 and was appointed the department’s Gang Intelligence Officer. She was promoted to ser-
 geant in 2004 and became a committee member for the Arizona Indian Country Gang Summit. In 2006 she founded the
 Arizona Indian Country Gang Task Force and in 2007, Vasey accepted a position as a detective with the Arizona Department
 of Public Safety, assigned to the Arizona State Gang Task Force, Gang Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission
 (GIITEM). Sgt. Vasey can be reached by e-mail to mvasey@azdps.gov or by phone at (602) 501-9049.

32   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                  RMIN Special Report

New Mexico gang update

           ew Mexico continues      in New Mexico that traditional-   an Albuquerque or El Paso,

   N       to find itself at the
           crossroads of gang
activity. Just as I-25 and I-40
                                    ly have had little exposure to
                                    gang activity now find them-
                                    selves trying to keep up with
                                                                      Texas, gang problem is as
                                                                      prevalent in the smaller cities
                                                                      and towns throughout New
meet in Albuquerque, gang           the gangs and gang motivated      Mexico. Law enforcement in
trends also seem to find their      crimes.                           New Mexico has continued to
way into the heart of New               Albuquerque has approxi-      see most Hispanic gangs claim-
Mexico. New Mexico continues        mately 313 gangs and 9,297        ing to be Surenos or Nortenos.
to grapple with the effect of the   gang members. The largest         The Albuquerque area has also
California gang migration,          gangs operating within            seen a noticeable increase of
which is most notable by the        Albuquerque are the Southside     the migration of gangs from the
continued increase of Sureno        Locos, Bernatown (Berna           Midwest, primarily the
gang members who are loyal to       Varrio Town Grande),              Gangster Disciples and Latin
the Mexican Mafia. A young          Brewtown, Northside Locos,        Kings.
gang member in Albuquerque          TCK (Thugz Causing Kaos), Los         As is the case with most
was recently asked what the         Padillas, Barelas, East Side      Surenos who are not from
most obvious change was in          San Jose, South Side San          California, the New Mexico
Albuquerque gangs and he            Jose, El Washe Locos and          Surenos are dealing with
replied, “There’s a lot of that     Juaritos. The gangs within        issues within the correctional
213 stuff showing up” (213 is a     Albuquerque are involved in       facilities from the “True Blue”
reference to the area code for      the traditional gang crimes       California Surenos. The New
Los Angeles).                       seen throughout the RMIN          Mexico Surenos are referred to
    In addition to the presence     region.                           as the “Free riders” by the
of California-based Sureno              Smaller towns such as         California Surenos, because
gangs, New Mexico has been          Hobbs, Roswell, Santa Fe and      they are not loyal to the
challenged by gang members          Artesia are no longer safe or     California Mexican Mafia, yet
migrating from South and            immune from gang activity. In     they benefit from the respect of
Central America. Small towns        fact, what was once considered    the use of the name Sureno.

                                                            Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010     33
      RMIN Special Report

 STG activity in the Montana DOC
            ontana does not           these gangs you are talking              The secret gang problem

      M     have gangs.”

     This is a common belief in
                                      about?” she asked me.
                                          Four or five years ago,
                                      when I was discussing this
                                                                           that was once hidden behind
                                                                           prison walls is now spilling
                                                                           over onto the streets of almost
 our state. I can recall dis-         with my professor, gang activi-      every community within
 cussing gangs and violence in        ty was in full bloom within the      Montana.
 a criminal justice course I was      prison walls of Montana State            According to Lieutenant
 taking in college four or five       Prison. Corrections officials        Dan Hess, Montana
 years ago. The professor was         were dealing with national           Department of Corrections STG
 talking about these issues from      gangs including Surenos,             Coordinator, there are gangs
 other state’s perspectives. I        Nortenos, Bloods, Crips and          active on all seven Indian
 distinctly remember her say-         White Supremacists groups            reservations in Montana. Every
 ing, “Thank goodness I can           (Peckerwoods and Skinheads).         major city in Montana has
 only teach about these issues        The prison was also dealing          gangs that are active and
 from other state’s experiences.      with hybrid gangs including          recruiting, too. Smaller, more
 Montana is so blessed because        the Modern Outlaws and the           rural communities are starting
 we don’t have gangs in our           Suicide Mafia.                       to see graffiti and other signs
 cities and towns.”                       It was obvious why my pro-       of a gang presence.
     Being an employee of the         fessor was not aware of the              During 2009 in Great Falls,
 Montana Department of                gang problem in Montana:             Montana, the Northland Mafia
 Corrections and an active            most of the gang members             was involved in several rob-
 member of the Montana                were locked up safely behind         beries and an attempt to bur-
 Department of Corrections            prison walls. As most of us          glarize a local convenience
 Strategic Threat Group (STG)         know though, the majority of         store. Gang members were
 Task Force, my eyebrows              offenders will eventually be         responsible for several auto
 raised quickly and I almost          released into the community.         thefts and the distribution of
 spit my coffee out in disbelief.     Just as in California and            narcotics, according to Jeff
     “Montana does not have           Arizona, when gang members           Beecroft, a detective with the
 gangs?” I questioned.                in Montana are released from         Great Falls Police Department.
                                      prison, they take their gang         The Modern Outlaws have been
     “No we don’t,” she responded.
                                      affiliation with them. Many of       involved in selling cocaine,
     I went on to dispute this        the active gang members with-        marijuana, and methampheta-
 statement and fill the rest of       in the prison walls were serv-       mine. One member of this gang
 the class in on the gang prob-       ing short sentences and are          is wanted for his involvement
 lem the Department of                now being released.                  in a home invasion and a bur-
 Corrections was dealing with at                                           glary of a local pawn shop.
                                          I would be willing to bet if I
 that time. I had a hard time
                                      called that professor today, she         Also of note is the LVL or
 believing a professor for one of
                                      would be able to tell me she         Little Valley Locos, who have
 the best criminal justice pro-
                                      sees graffiti on local businesses    been discharged from prison at
 grams in our state was not
                                      and houses in her city. I would      high rates and are making a
 aware of the rising gang prob-
                                      also be willing to bet she is        strong presence in the Great
 lem in Montana.
                                      teaching about Montana’s own         Falls community. One member
     “I have never seen graffiti or   gang problems in her criminal        of the LVL was being investi-
 drive-bys. I don’t hear about it     justice classes.                     gated for firing random gun
 on the news. So, where are                                                shots from a 9mm while walk-

34   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                       RMIN Special Report

ing down the street. It is likely   with them, but the majority of    Units. The problem, so far, has
that this group will continue to    Montana’s gangs do not have       been successfully contained in
recruit and cause problems for      national ties.                    these cities because of these
the Great Falls community.              With the exception of White proactive measures, but as
Members of these gangs have         Supremacist groups, Montana       other states have seen, gangs
been leaving graffiti on busi-      gangs do not support racial       are here to stay.
nesses and houses on the            discrimination. Native                 The Montana Department of
main streets of Great Falls.        American gang members tend        Corrections has been proactive
The city makes it mandatory         to take on traditional Hispanic   since the introduction of gangs
for home or business owners to      gang affiliation, but any race    into this state, and it will con-
remove the graffiti within 72       can be affiliated with any gang   tinue to reach out to local law
hours in order to prevent turf      in Montana. White                 enforcement officials and agen-
wars from starting.                 Supremacist groups are the        cies in an attempt to control
    Billings has seen an            one excep-                                                      recruit-
increase in drive-by shootings      tion to this                                                     ment
and graffiti as well. During        trend.          With the exception of White                      and
2009, several patrol cars and           Montana Supremacist groups, Montana gangs                    expan-
police officer’s homes were         gangs do        do not support racial discrimination             sion of
tagged with gang graffiti           not typically                                                    the cur-
throughout the course of a few      follow                                                           rent
nights. This bold and rebel-        national alliances. Over the      gangs in Montana. This unified
lious move by gang members          past five years, Surenos have     front and sharing of informa-
prompted the Department of          been the dominant gang within tion has been key to keeping
Corrections to get Probation &      the prison system and have        gang activity in Montana to a
Parole officers more involved in    had the highest number of val- minimum.
gang recognition and tracking.      idated members, but this trend
Lt. Hess met with several           is changing. Currently,          About the author…
Probation & Parole officials to     Nortenos are recruiting at a     Tracy Napier is a Staff Training &
coordinate an effort to have        high rate and are attempting to Development Specialist for the Montana
one main STG officer in each        become the dominant force        Department of Corrections (DOC). She
Probation & Parole region for       within the Montana
the purpose of identifying and                                       started her career in corrections at the
                                    Department of Corrections. The Montana State Prison as a correctional
tracking active gang members        Nortenos are aligning with the
in that region. So far, this has    Crips, while the Surenos are     officer. She promoted to an
proven successful, but the          aligning with the White          intake/admissions officer and became
department is working toward        Supremacists. On Sept. 29,       involved in the identification of security
having one officer for each         2008, Montana State Prison       threat group (STG) members as they
community, rather than one          experienced a disturbance in     entered the institution. She was promot-
for each of the six regions         the high security gym as a       ed to Correctional Case Manager, and
around the state.                   result of the White              then was offered the training position
    Montana is not unique in        Supremacists attacking Crips     with the Department of Corrections.
the fact that gang members are      and Nortenos. Correctional offi- She has been the coordinator for the
not following national trends.      cers and Recreation staff quick- Montana DOC STG Taskforce for more
Although they may claim and         ly contained the disturbance
mimic Surenos, they most like-      and only minor injuries were     than four years and remains involved
ly do not have any ties to the      received by inmates and staff.   with all aspects of STG issues within the
California-based Surenos.                                            state of Montana. Napier obtained her
                                        A few of Montana’s larger
Some Surenos and Nortenos in        cities have been proactive in    bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is
Montana have relocated from         their attempts to deal with the working toward her master’s degree in
larger states and prisons and       rising gang problems by coor-    Professional Counseling. She can be
have brought their affiliation      dinating Gang Task Force         reached by e-mail to tnapier@mt.gov

                                                               Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010           35
        RMIN Special Report

                                  Tattoos in the
  Each bar respresents five and the dots are one and is commonly
  used by the Surenos to represent the number 13                            Latin King 5-point c
                                      12 jurors + 1 judge = half a chance

   Dark Lotus Records label for
   the Insane Clown Posse

                                     United Samoan Organization

A version used White
Supremacists as a swastika
                                                                                       The Hatchet Man:
                                                                                      Used by the Insane
                                                                                       Clown Posse gang

  “D” of the “GD” (Gangster Disciple) on hands

 36    June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                     RMIN Special Report

    RMIN region
                                                                                       Bird used
                                  Celtic Cross covering
crown                             Aryan Circle behind


                                   Califas ideology

                                                     Latin King with 5-point crown
                                Aryan Circle

                                                                         100% Mexicano

 Hidden “A” in Barrios Azteca

                                               Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010         37
      RMIN Special Report

                                            Hidden TS

                                                        Made in Mexico

                  Mexikanemi                                logo
                  (emi replaced eme)

                   Nazi Low Riders

38   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                 RMIN Special Report


                 Public Enemy No.1 (PEN1) White Supremacist
                                          Lightning Bolts
18th Street

                                   Pistolero in waistband

  Aryan Circle

                                           Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010   39
      RMIN Special Report

 A look at Nevada’s gangs

             hat happens in         nation, the gang population        group’s activity inside and out-

     W       Vegas, stays in
             Vegas” has become
 a marketing pitch known
                                    grew faster than any agency
                                    could handle.
                                        The following examines
                                                                       side of prison.
                                                                           The Aryan Warriors is a
                                                                       White prison gang that has
 across the world.                  some of the gangs in Nevada        operated within the Nevada
     Unfortunately, this also       and issues related to them. It     Department of Corrections for
 makes Las Vegas a target for       also examines Nevada’s law         nearly 30 years. Its violence
 gang members and other crimi-      enforcement response to gang       inside and out of prison
 nals from across the world.        violence.                          includes murder, assault, rob-
     The glamour and glitz of the       Las Vegas has approximate-     bery, extortion, identity theft
 Las Vegas Strip draws people       ly 300 gangs comprised of          and drug trafficking. Gang
 who think they can strike it       8,000 gang members and             members have also been
 rich at the casinos or just        2,000 associates.1 This num-       accused of bribing prison
 enjoy the party lifestyle of the   ber helps demonstrate what         guards and violence within the
 city. While many people are        officers face every day in Las     Nevada prison system. Like
 drawn to Las Vegas for enter-      Vegas. Various estimates indi-     many other prison gangs, the
 tainment and relaxation, oth-      cate that Clark County, which      Aryan Warriors use female
 ers come to the city to commit     includes Las Vegas, has            associates on the outside to
 criminal acts in “Sin City.”       approximately 10,000 gang          conduct drug dealing and other
                                    members across the county.         criminal activity. Aryan
     Although Las Vegas is the
                                    With the number of gang mem-       Warriors reportedly run a
 largest and possibly best
                                    bers in communities like Reno,     “street program” in the Las
 known city in Nevada, it is not
                                    Carson City, Laughlin,             Vegas, Reno and Pahrump
 the only city in Nevada that
                                    Henderson, Elko, Winnemucca        areas of Nevada.3
 draws tens of thousands of vis-
 itors each year to its casinos     and Indian Reservations, the
                                    total number of gang members
 and tourist locations. Laughlin,
                                    across the state is estimated at   EASTWOOD TOKERS
 Reno and Lake Tahoe are also
 locations with visitors year-      15,000 to 20,000.                      One of the largest street
 round. With the wide range of                                         gangs in the Carson City area
 diversity among Nevada citi-                                          of Nevada is the Eastwood
 zens and its tourism industry,     ARYAN WARRIORS                     Tokers. This group is usually
 various gangs have tried to            On July 6, 2009, five mem-     active in its specific geographi-
 establish themselves in Nevada     bers of the Aryan Warriors         cal area, including a mobile
 to make money off tourists         were found guilty of RICO          home park area where most of
 through drug dealing, scams,       charges or conspiracy to dis-      the gang’s illegal activity
 robberies, assaults and other      tribute methamphetamine, as        occurs.
 crimes. Law enforcement            well as various other charges
                                    each faced.2 Seven people had
 across Nevada has done its
 best to stop the rapid growth of   previously plead guilty to         18TH STREET
 gang violence but with             charges and an additional              Just like their counterparts
 Nevada’s population growth in      defendant awaits trial. A total    from Los Angeles, 18th Street
 the mid-2000s consistently         of 14 defendants were charged      has also demonstrated violent
 being one of the highest in the    after an investigation into this   activity in the Carson City

40   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                   RMIN Special Report

area. Gang members from 18th        HELLS ANGELS                       these crews to communicate by
Street were reportedly involved         Hells Angels operate three     text messaging, it can be diffi-
in an April 2009 shooting that      chapters in Nevada – Las           cult for law enforcement to
left one male victim injured.       Vegas, West Vegas and              track party locations and
                                    Nomads in Reno. In July 2008,      attendees. In several cases
                                                                       gang members are claiming to
LIMA STREET                         then Nomads President David
                                    Burgess was convicted of pos-      be a party crew to avoid the
AND BAMBINOS                        session of child pornography       gang label and future legal
                                    and sentenced to 15 years in       ramifications for gang crimes
    Two additional street gangs                                        or penalty enhancements.
currently active in the Carson      prison. Hells Angles continue
                                    to conduct various runs in         Several of these party crews
City area are Lima Street and                                          are displaying allegiance to the
Bambinos.                           Nevada and sell support mer-
                                    chandise at these events. The      Surenos gang movement.
    Similar to Eastwood Tokers
and 18th Street, these gangs        largest run is the Reno Poker
have a relatively low profile       run. Currently there are
                                    approximately 30 Hells Angels
                                                                       ADDITIONAL GANGS
compared to gangs in other
                                    members statewide with addi-       WITH A PRESENCE
major cites. Most of its activity
has centered on graffiti, rob-      tional supporters across the       IN NEVADA
beries and assaults; more vio-      state.
lent crimes such as drive-by
shootings and homicides are         NATIVE AMERICAN GANGS                  Vagos are rapidly expand-
                                        Nevada has 32 reservations     ing across the Southern
    Each of these gangs claims      (colonies) across the state.6
a loyalty to the Surenos move-                                         Nevada region. This growth is
                                    Gangs that operate on reserva-     also being seen in Northern
ment which is rapidly expand-       tion lands will often commit
ing across the United States.                                          Arizona near Bullhead City. In
                                    crimes off the reservation and     the past several weeks tensions
On occasion, gang members           flee to their reservation in an
will commit violent acts to                                            between the Hells Angels and
                                    attempt to elude law enforce-      Vagos seems to be progressive-
prove themselves to fellow gang     ment. Sovereignty issues make
members but to date the                                                ly worsening.
                                    this a complex legal battle for
majority of those crimes            local agencies. Several agencies
involve other gang members.
This results in reluctant wit-
                                    participate in gang task force     BANDIDOS
                                    meetings and are able to assist        Bandidos have a presence
nesses and victims who do not       agencies when possible.
contact police or fail to cooper-                                      in Nevada but have remained
ate with any investigation.             Crimes relating to reserva-    fairly low key and quiet across
                                    tion gangs are often drug relat-   the state. During the Elko,
                                    ed. Some of the reservation        Nevada Jamboree, Hells Angels
NV TRECE                            gangs are:                         and Bandidos reportedly met
    Recognized by Nevada            Mean Violent Natives               prior to the event and
Department of Corrections           East 2nd Street                    expressed a neutral stance
(NDOC) as a Security Threat                                            with each other. No issues
                                    Rez Boys                           between the clubs have been
Group, NV Trece continues to
                                    ICP                                reported.
commit assaults within the
NDOC system. Members claim
allegiance with the Mexican         PARTY CREWS (KREWS)                SILVER STATE SURENOS
Mafia and may be called
“Nevadans” or “Nevadenos” by           Party Crews are quickly             Active in the Elko area,
rivals who do not recognize the     escalating into a serious threat   Silver State Surenos are com-
Trece allegiance to the             across the state of Nevada.        prised primarily of Hispanic
Surenos.4                           With the increased ability of      street gang members. Gang

                                                             Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010       41
      RMIN Special Report

 members are involved in a                 LAW ENFORCEMENTS                            Carson City. Nearly 200 people
 range of crimes and tagging in
 the Elko area.
                                           RESPONSE                                    received training during these
                                                                                       sessions which spent one day
                                               Nevada law enforcement                  focusing on Nevada gang issues
                                           has been active in the fight                and a second day training new
 RECENT GANG ACTIVITY                      against all crimes and several              terrorism liaison officers.
     Two Carson City gang                  programs have focused on gang
                                                                                           There are additional meet-
 members recently were sen-                related crimes specifically. In
                                                                                       ings and training relating to
 tenced to prison terms for                Carson City, the Regional Gang
                                                                                       gangs occurring across Nevada
 shooting at residents of an               Unit conducts regular meetings
                                                                                       each month. Las Vegas and
 apartment complex in July                 in which local, state, county,
                                                                                       Laughlin are locations where
 2008.                                     and tribal law enforcement offi-
                                                                                       regional training often occurs,
                                           cers meet to share gang infor-
     Ricardo Llama was sen-                                                            bringing law enforcement from
                                           mation and trends. Prosecutors
 tenced to 24 years in prison                                                          Arizona, California and Nevada
                                           are also present to provide
 and John Turner received a                                                            together. These regional meet-
                                           updates on cases currently in
 four to 12 year sentence.                                                             ings help expand information
                                           the court system.
     Four gang members are fac-                                                        sharing and resource network-
                                               Nevada has three fusion                 ing.
 ing possible murder charges
                                           centers operating across the
 for the death of a potential
                                           state. Each of these centers                References:
 gang member during a gang
                                           provides law enforcement with               1Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
                                           analysis of current crime                   Department website – Gang Crimes
     The victim suffered severe            trends and information sharing              Bureau
 head injuries during the March            across the state.                           http://www.lvmpd.com/bureaus/gang_cri
 14th beating.                                                                         mes.html
                                               In February 2009, the                   2Nevada Jury Convicts Aryan Warrior
     Gang members are becom-               Nevada Threat Analysis Center               Gang Members – Fox5Vegas.com
 ing more aggressive toward law            partnered with the Rocky                    3Nevada Jury Convicts Aryan Warrior
 enforcement in Nevada.                    Mountain Information Network                Gang Members – Fox5Vegas.com
                                                                                       4Northern Nevada Gang Intelligence
     They are more open in their           to provide gang and terrorism
 displays of hostility toward law          liaison officer training to rural           Bulletin
                                                                                       5Rocky Mountain Information Network
 enforcement and less fearful of           areas of Nevada. Over the
                                                                                       – Brian Novotny
 the consequences of these                 course of two weeks, four sepa-             6Nevada Department of Transportation
 actions.                                  rate two-day courses were pro-              7Rocky Mountain Information Network
                                           vided in Ely, Elko, Tonopah and

 About the author…
 Brian Novotny is a Certified Criminal Intelligence Analyst with Rocky Mountain Information Network, specializing in gang
 and domestic terrorism activity in the eight RMIN states. Prior to joining RMIN, Novotny served as a paralegal/bureau chief
 with the Marciopa County Attorney’s Office and as an instructor in the paralegal program at Long Technical College. A gradu-
 ate of Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, Novotny volunteers as a reserve with the Arizona
 Department of Public Safety State Gang Task Force – GIITEM. He is a member of numerous gang associations across the
 nation and serves on the board of directors of the Arizona Gang Investigators Association.

42   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                     RMIN Special Report

               The Mexican War Eagle
             ith the steady

   W         growth of the
             Surenos and
Nortenos in California, all eight
RMIN states have seen a con-
tinual migration of Surenos
and Nortenos into the states.
     One of the most visible
symbols of the Nortenos and
the Nuestra Familia (NF) prison
gang is what is commonly
called the “Mexican War
Eagle.” It is known to many as
the “Huelga” bird or the war
eagle. The origin and creation
of the Huelga bird was unrelat-
ed to Nortenos or the Nuestra
    Marc Grossman, the former
personal aide to the late Cesar
Chavez, provided personal
insight into the origin and
meaning of the Huelga bird.
    According to Grossman, the      eagles are an important part of          Grossman said he was cer-
original Huelga bird was the        the Mexican culture. The rea-        tain that his longtime friend
creation of Cesar Chavez’s          son for the simplicity of the        Cesar Chavez would be disap-
brother Richard and their first     eagle was basic: Neither of          pointed that the UFW Huelga
cousin Manuel. When Chavez          Cesar Chavez’s relatives were        bird is now being used by
helped form the United Farm         artists and “…both lacked any        gangs. “Cesar Chavez spent
Workers (UFW) union in 1962,        high level of artistic talent,” so   his entire life teaching the
his relatives wanted to design a    they decided to use straight         principles of peaceful resolu-
symbol to be used by the            lines and right angles which         tion and non-violence,” said
organization. The two men           they and others could easily         Grossman.
decided on an eagle because         draw, explained Grossman.

                                                              Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010     43
      RMIN Special Report

 Vagos OMG expansion in Nevada

     Regional law enforcement in         Utah has rapidly expanding     extortion, insurance fraud,
 Nevada has seen a rapid             Vagos chapters as well.            money laundering, murder,
 expansion of the Vagos Outlaw       According to the Utah              vehicle theft, witness intimida-
 Motorcycle Gang (OMG). The          Statewide Information and          tion and weapons violations.
 ongoing collection of informa-      Analysis Center (SIAC), approx-    They are also considered one of
 tion concerning active Vagos        imately 25 Vagos members           the more heavily armed OMGs.
 OMG members in Nevada               claim membership in Salt Lake          The Vagos have a history of
 reveals a strong membership         City and Ogden chapters. A         “counter intelligence” efforts.
 base. In response to this           third Utah Vagos Chapter is        For example, in 1995, a Vagos
 emerging threat, this report        reportedly being formed in         member reportedly infiltrated a
 will focus on the Vagos expan-      Utah County. Utah authorities      law enforcement seminar on
 sion in Northern Nevada coun-       indicate that Vagos are actively   outlaw motorcycle gangs.
 ties, but will further include      recruiting from various motor-     Material from the conference
 the semi-rural Vagos chapters       cycle clubs, including but not     was later recovered during an
 located in Lincoln and Nye          limited to the Vietnam Vets        arrest of a Vagos member.
 counties, with some emphasis        and Legacy Vets.
                                                                            On March 9, 2006, 25
 on Las Vegas and Utah.
                                                                        Vagos members and associates
     The Nevada Threat Analysis
 Center (NTAC) has concentrat-       HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE             were arrested on firearms and
                                                                        drug violations charges follow-
 ed its Vagos OMG intelligence           The Vagos OMG was estab-       ing one of the largest coordi-
 gathering efforts within those      lished in Southern California      nated law enforcement probes
 counties normally serviced by       in 1965. The Vagos evolved         ever conducted in Southern
 NTAC (all counties excluding        from the Psychos motorcycle        California. The operation,
 Washoe and Clark). However,         club in Corona, California, and    known as “Operation 22
 active Vagos chapters in north-     took on the name “Los Vagos”       Green,” involved approximately
 ern Nevada exist in the Reno        when they became a 1% outlaw       700 personnel from the ATF
 and Carson City areas and           club. The name was later           and local police and sheriff's
 their regional activities tend to   changed to “Vago,” meaning         departments. Ninety-five illegal
 overlap in several Nevada           tramp, vagabond or transient.      firearms, illegal drugs, $6,000
 counties including Washoe,          The club’s insignia is “Loki,”     in cash and two stolen motor-
 Carson, Lyon, Douglas,              the Norse god of mischief, rid-    cycles were seized.
 Churchill and Humboldt.             ing a motorcycle. Members
                                     commonly wear green apparel.           Most recently, three Vagos
 Vagos chapters in Southern
                                                                        members were arrested on
 Nevada also exist in Lincoln,           The Federal Bureau of          June 22, 2009 for sexually
 Clark and Nye counties. The         Investigation (FBI) and the        assaulting a woman in San
 Vagos Tri-State, Las Vegas,         Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,        Jose, California. On May 4,
 and Forsaken 7 chapters based       Firearms and Explosives (ATF)      2009, Eduardo Larios, Jose
 in Las Vegas (Clark County)         have identified the Vagos as an    Portillo-Garcia, and his
 have significant memberships.       OMG, claiming that members         younger brother Edwin met the
 Las Vegas Metro Police author-      are involved in criminal activi-   woman at a nightclub. They
 ities estimate that there are       ties such as producing, trans-     told her they would drive her
 approximately 47 active Vagos       porting and distributing           home, but instead drove her to
 chapters within the greater Las     methamphetamine and mari-          their clubhouse on Kings Row
 Vegas area.                         juana, as well as assault,         in San Jose. There, the crimi-

44   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                  RMIN Special Report

nal report states, they gang       only one unverified). The          Las Vegas area, including the
raped and beat her.                Nevada Vagos is predominately      Las Vegas, Tri-State, and
                                   comprised of White males, with     Forsaken seven chapters, com-
                                   only a few having Latino or        prised of 47 members: (Three
CLUB STRUCTURE                     American Indian surnames. Of       of the Las Vegas region Vagos
    Each chapter of the Vagos      the 72 documented members          are also on our roster; two
is organized in a similar man-     and or prospects, no fewer         from Lincoln County and one
ner, in various geographical-      than 17 members are ex-felons      also known to frequent the
based areas. The typical chap-     for various crimes (roughly one    Carson area).
ter officers are president, vice   out of four). Most of the 72           The general breakdown of
president, sergeant-at-arms,       Vagos have had contacts with       demographics reveal that the
road captain and secre-            law enforcement and have been      72 Vagos examined in this
tary/treasurer. Most chapters      arrested and or convicted of a     report reside in the following
have more than one sergeant-       myriad of different crimes, cat-   cities:
at-arms since that position is     egorized as follows:
                                                                      • Reno: (city and unincorporat-
responsible for security at club   • Sex Crimes: 3 members            ed) 18 members
meetings and enforcement as        • Assault and/or Battery: 17
directed by the chapter presi-                                        • Sparks: (city and unincorpo-
                                   members                            rated) 19 members
dent. They also have an inter-
national hierarchy with one        • Driving Under the Influence:     • Carson City: 8 members
international president, two       11 members
                                                                      • Gardnerville: 4 members
international vice presidents,     • Property Crimes (includes
                                                                      • Fernley: 4 members
two international sergeants-at-    Fraud, Burglary, and Theft):
arms, and one international                                           • Dayton: 2 members
                                   14 members
secretary. The recognized                                             • Pahrump: 6 members
                                   • Drug Violations: 14 members
leader and international presi-                                       • Pioche/Lincoln County: 5
dent of the Vagos is Terry Lee     • Attempted Murder: 1 member
Orendorff, aka “Terry the          • Robbery: 1 member
                                                                      • Silver Springs: 2 members
Tramp.” He resides and con-        • Misc. Misdemeanors: 7 mem-
ducts business in the San                                             • Winnemucca: 2 members
Gabriel Valley area of Eastern                                        • Fallon: 1 member
                                   • Misc. Felonies: 1 member
Los Angeles County.                                                   • Unk: 1 member
                                   • Unknown or No Criminal
                                   Record: 17 members
VAGOS MEMBERS IN                       The 72 Vagos members               The typical Nevada Vagos
                                                                      (roughly three-fourths of known
NORTHERN                           documented in Nevada (exclud-
                                                                      members) exhibit past criminal
                                   ing those in Clark County) live
NEVADA/LINCOLN                     in several cities. The members     behavior, including large num-
COUNTY/NYE COUNTY                  so noted belong to various         bers having assault and battery
                                   chapters, including but not        arrests and/or convictions.
    The Vagos are expanding
                                   limited to the Carson City,        Only about 17 Vagos either
and continue to seek new
                                   Lyon County, Reno, Sparks,         have no criminal history and or
members. According to the
                                   Border Town, Lincoln County        criminal histories that are
data and intelligence reports
                                   and Pahrump Chapters. It           unknown. Drug convictions are
collected by NTAC, 72 full
                                   should be noted that Pahrump       also significant within the com-
patched members and
                                   Rockers haven’t been seen for      posite group. Coupled with the
prospects live in Carson, Lyon,
                                   quite some time, but authori-      Vagos’ long history of involve-
Douglas, Washoe, Lincoln and
                                   ties in Southern Nevada believe    ment in the manufacture and
Nye counties, with three resid-
                                   that the chapter still exists or   distribution of methampheta-
ing in Churchill and Humboldt
                                   is being reactivated. Las Vegas    mine, as well as other con-
counties. Of the 72 total mem-
                                   Metro authorities report three     trolled substances, there’s no
bers, approximately eight are
                                   Vagos chapters in the greater      reason to believe that the Vagos
believed to be prospects (with
                                                                      will slow down anytime soon.

                                                           Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010      45
      RMIN Special Report

     Recent events illustrate        embedded in Arizona (recent      ry runs by the club leaders).
 propensity for conflict. For        RMIN-generated organizational    They are often observed on the
 example, on May 12, 2009, a         charts document no less than     various roadways throughout
 large group of Vagos were rid-      29 Vagos in the state). Vagos    the state. At least twice a year
 ing around the San Fernando         are also expand-                                large numbers of
 Valley, California, in a large      ing in Utah, with                               Vagos flock to
 pack when they caught the           about 25 active                                 Pioche, to party
 attention of law enforcement –      members on the                                  and socialize at a
 primarily because they were         roster of the Salt                              local watering
 excessively speeding and run-       Lake City and                                   hole.
 ning vehicles off the road.         Ogden Vagos                                         According to
 Responding officers detained        chapters (note                                  law enforcement
 approximately 20 members            that another                                    sources, the
 and 11 Vagos were booked for        chapter is appar-                               Vagos have a long
 reckless driving with an added      ently forming in                                history of
 gang enhancement. Three of          Utah County as                                  methampheta-
 the 11 Vagos were booked on         well).                                          mine distribution
 felony charges related to hav-           The swelling                               and are one of
 ing possession of dangerous         numbers of Nevada Vagos          more heavily armed motorcycle
 weapons. It was later deter-        members far exceeds the over-    gangs. Caution should be
 mined that five of the arrested     all numbers of other Nevada      employed when dealing with
 Vagos were from Carson City,        OMGs. For example, the Vagos     large numbers of these mem-
 Fernley, and Gardnerville.          numbers far exceed the Las       bers, and sufficient back-up is
                                     Vegas and Reno chapters of       recommended during traffic
                                     the Hells Angels.                stops. Recent arrests in
 LAW ENFORCEMENT                                                      California for charges related
                                          The Vagos numbers also
 IMPLICATIONS/TAKE-AWAYS             exceed those of the Bandidos     to “running cars off the road”
     The Vagos have large num-       who currently have chapters in   and reckless driving illustrate
 bers of patched members in          Elko and Las Vegas. Currently    periodic disregard for other
 Nevada. Excluding Clark             there are no significant con-    motorists, when club members
 County, about 72 active mem-        flicts existing between the      are traveling in large groups.
 bers exist in the counties of       Vagos and other OMGs in              During the same incident
 Carson, Washoe, Lyon,               Nevada, but because of the       three Vagos were arrested on
 Lincoln, Douglas, Humboldt,         sheer numbers of Vagos and       dangerous weapons related
 Churchill and Nye.                  the declining influence of the   charges. The Vagos, like other
     Approximately three-quarters    Mongols, the Vagos is arguably   OMGs, are known to employ
 of this number have had arrests     the OMG to watch. The Vagos      the use of chase vehicles,
 and or convictions for various      are steadily moving to rural     which can pose an additional
 misdemeanor and felony crimes.      Nevada areas and have active     threat. Vagos are further
 About 47 active Vagos reside in     chapters in Pioche and           known to conduct counter-sur-
 the greater Las Vegas area of       Pahrump, Nevada, but are         veillance.
 Nevada. In total, about 116         most active in Northern              Anyone having information
 active Vagos inhabit the state of   Nevada, with an additional 47    on known Vagos members or
 Nevada (note that three of the      Vagos actively engaged in the    other OMGs in Nevada are
 Las Vegas area Vagos are also       various Las Vegas chapters.      encouraged to contact TLO
 listed in the Northern Nevada       Each year the Vagos maintains    Coordinator Jim Lopey at
 and rural Vagos roster, hence       a significant presence in        (775) 687-0454 or Analyst
 the adjustment).                    Laughlin and Street Vibrations   Michelle McNeely at
     Vagos are also firmly           (they are considered mandato-    (775) 687-0332.

46   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                                                      RMIN Special Report

SOURCES/ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:                             Shelly Kelly, San Bernardino                          Trevor Meade, Nye County
Pete Grimm, Washoe County                            County Sheriff’s Office                               Sheriff’s Office
D.A.’s Office                                        Sheriff Kerry Lee, Lincoln                            Ty Trouten, Elko County
                                                     County Sheriff’s Office                               Sheriff’s Office
Bryan Parsons, Lyon County
Sheriff’s Office                                     Brian Novotny, Rocky                                  Jed Crittendon, Utah Statewide
                                                     Mountain Information Network                          Information and Analysis
Don Fieselman, Las Vegas                             (RMIN)                                                Center
Metro Police Department
                                                     RMIN (Vagos Historical                                http://wikipedia.org - Search
Sam Hatley, Brian Humphrey                           Information)                                          for “Vagos MC”
and Rick Dodds, Carson City
Sheriff’s Office                                     Paul Martino, Nevada DPS-                             Pam Hererra, Northern Nevada
                                                     Investigations                                        Counter Terrorism Center

About the authors…
Jim Lopey serves as Terrorism/Infrastructure Liaison Coordinator for 15 of 17 counties with the Nevada Department of Public Safety and coordinates
information sharing among 120+ Terrorism Liaison officers recruited throughout the state. He began his career in law enforcement with Washoe County
(NV) Juvenile Probation in 1976 and was hired by the Washoe County (NV) Sheriff ’s Office (WCSO) two years later. He served as Acting Undersheriff
and Assistant Sheriff with WCSO and led the agency’s Homeland Security activities, Patrol, Detectives, Training, Records, Civil, Backgrounds, Search and
Rescue and Aviation units. He organized and developed and served as the first Internal Affairs Section Commander with WCSO. He served with the
United States Army and has been the recipient of numerous law enforcement awards, including the WCSO Sheriff ’s Star and a Transportation Security
Administration Commendation when he subdued a suspect who attempted to break into the cockpit of an airliner during a flight from Africa to the United
States. Lopey earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from University of Nevada, Reno and has a master’s degree in Emergency Crisis Management
from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Michelle McNeely is the Senior Criminal Intelligence Analyst at the Nevada Threat Analysis Center (NTAC) located in Carson City, Nevada. She received
her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Administration in 2004. As part of her degree program, she served internships with the Nevada
Attorney General’s Office in Carson City, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Reno, where she specialized in investigations and legal research. Prior
to her current position with the Nevada Department of Public Safety, she served three years as a Booking Officer at the Carson City Jail under the jurisdic-
tion of the Carson City Sheriff ’s Office. During her tenure there, she became the Carson City Sheriff ’s first civilian Field Training Officer and trained a
number of civilians and law enforcement officers on the various aspects of jail operations.

Overview of Salt Lake area gang activity
            angs in the Salt Lake                    more immediate reward is                              ent gangs. Within these group-

    G       area tend to be mul-
            tiracial, less territori-
al, highly mobile and often
                                                     within reach.
                                                         Salt Lake gang members
                                                     join gangs for many of the
                                                                                                           ings, various sets are known to
                                                                                                           fight among themselves. This is
                                                                                                           especially evident with Surenos
form unexpected alliances. Salt                      same reasons youth across the                         sets, although they tend to
Lake City gangs tend to be                           nation join gangs: acceptance,                        support each other in situa-
unsophisticated and not well-                        power, a sense of belonging,                          tions where, for example, a
organized, with an organiza-                         thrills, or the search for money                      Nortenos set is threatening
tional structure that resembles                      and other material compensa-                          them.
more leadership by committee                         tion.                                                     Folk and People gangs
than by a structured hierar-                                                                               exist, but not to the extent
                                                         The major groups that exist
chy. Although many gangs                                                                                   they do in the Midwest.
                                                     in the Salt Lake City area are
have attempted to become                                                                                   Perhaps because they have
                                                     Bloods, Crips, Surenos,
more organized and structure                                                                               fewer members, they tend to be
                                                     Nortenos, Folk, People, White
their operations more efficient-                                                                           much less organized and, at
                                                     Supremacists, Outlaw
ly, this is often thwarted by                                                                              the present time, have not
                                                     Motorcycle Gangs, extremist
their petty squabbles, personal                                                                            exerted any type of control over
                                                     gangs (such as Juggalos and
drug use, and their inability to                                                                           other gangs or illicit business
                                                     Straight Edge), and independ-
see a future benefit when a                                                                                endeavors.

                                                                                           Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010                             47
      RMIN Special Report

     Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs in              tions, outstanding war-                       ries in order to carry out prof-
 Utah consist of the following:              rants/protective orders,                      itable illicit business transac-
 Sundowners, Barons, Hells                   domestic violence convictions                 tions. Methamphetamine,
 Angels, Bandidos, Hermanos,                 or even age                                                           cocaine
 and Kerberos (a Hells Angels                requirements,                                                         and mari-
 support group).                             gang members                                                          juana
     Hispanic gang members                   typically can’t buy                                                   appear to
 comprise 50 percent of all doc-             firearms from                                                         be as pop-
 umented gang members in the                 licensed dealers                                                      ular as
 Salt Lake area. Surenos 13                  because they will                                                     ever
 and the independent Hispanic                not pass the                                                          among
 gang known as QVO each have                 background                                                            gang
 in excess of 200 members. The               check.                                                                members.
 community has seen several                      One of the                                                        It has
 incidents in which escalating               most difficult                                                        been clear
 violence has occurred.                      parts of investi-                                                     now for
 Hispanic gang members have                  gating gangs and                                                      many
 been involved in crimes includ-             gang-related crimes is the con-               years that in Utah there are no
 ing homicides, drive-by shoot-              stantly changing gang lifestyle.              lines between gangs when it
 ings, robberies, narcotics use              Gangs have learned to evolve                  comes to drugs. The bottom
 and distribution, and weapon-               with the times to better accom-               line is always money, not color,
 related offenses.                           modate what goals and pur-                    not set, not allegiance. Gangs
                                             poses they have. Law enforce-                 and gang members have con-
     Drugs, money, guns and
                                             ment has seen a decrease in                   tinued to establish a lucrative
 violence are the combustible
                                             the flashy clothing or “flying                business involving the drug
 components that make for a
                                             colors,” making it difficult to               trade.
 volatile gang problem. Violent
 gang members can be found                   detect gang gatherings or                         With the state budget cuts
 throughout Salt Lake County                 events. Gangs also don’t                      and the lack of space in the
 and more importantly, are car-              appear to be openly “advertis-                state prison and county jails,
 rying and using firearms.                   ing” as much in recent years.                 the federal system has become
                                             Sadly, this isn’t an indication               a very effective tool for the
     Firearms trafficking investi-
                                             that gang activity is decreas-                prosecution and removal of
 gations involve criminals deal-
                                             ing. Gang violence is on the                  dangerous gang members from
 ing firearms without a license,
                                             rise. The “smile now, cry later”              the community. The sentences
 illegal interstate transfers, and
                                             mentality is still very much a                these weapons and drug viola-
 lying and buying firearms from
                                             part of the active gang lifestyle.            tions carry are very hard on
 dealers (straw purchases). A
                                                 Another trend gang detec-                 gang members because they
 common occurrence in gang
                                             tives in the Salt Lake area                   are usually removed from Utah
 circles is for the female com-
                                             report on is the entrenchment                 to another state to serve their
 panions of gang members to
                                             of illicit drug trafficking as an             federal sentences, thus dis-
 purchase firearms from
                                             established gang enterprise.                  rupting the gang’s activities on
 licensed dealers for persons
                                             Gang members will often devi-                 the streets, in the jails and in
 who can’t lawfully buy
                                             ate from their traditional rival-             the Utah State Prison.
 firearms. Due to felony convic-

 About the author…
 Marilyn Felkner is the analyst for the Salt Lake Area Gang Project and has been with the Project since 1993. Felkner has
 extensive experience in graphics, writing, criminal intelligence analysis and database management. She has written articles
 addressing database structure and the creation of charts and graphs that help others visualize gang-related statistics. Felkner has
 a bachelor of arts in Mathematics and English. Since graduation, she has completed additional course work in computer
 programming, graphic design and writing.

48   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                   RMIN Special Report

Wyoming gang activity

           angs in the state of    a search for money and other        drive-by shootings in 2008 and

   G       Wyoming tend to be
           of the hybrid nature
because they do not always fol-
                                   material compensations.
                                       The major groups that exist
                                   in Wyoming are Surenos,
                                                                       five to date in 2009. In these
                                                                       cases, all but two involved
                                                                       members of the Surenos gang
low the societal norms estab-      Nortenos, Viet Boys, Puro           sets. There are also cases of
lished by original gangs (OGs)     Tango Blast, Folk Nation and        various sets which have been
or gang namesakes that they        People Nation Gangs, Bloods,        known to fight among them-
attempt to emulate.                Crips Gangster Disciples, Latin     selves. This is especially evident
    There are a growing num-       Disciples and ICP Juggalos and      with Surenos sets, although
bers of West Coast Bloods and      Juggaletts. Native American         they tend to support each other
Crips gangs which, from the        gangs such as South West            in most situations where, for
OG example, tend to be pre-        Gangstes (Surenos), Mid West        example, a Nortenos set is
dominately composed of             Menace (ICP), Lower Arapahoe        threatening them.
Blacks. Here, however, those       (Warrior Society), South Side           Intelligence efforts have
same gang elements are pre-        Playaz (Surenos/Mexican             documented cases of state
dominately White. This is due      Mafia), N8tive Bonzez (Warrior      prison incarcerated Surenos
to a below national average        Society), INK Indian Nation         gang members directing gang
(12.6 percent – 2007 census)       Klic (Surenos/ Warrior Society)     activity on the street. These
Black population in Wyoming        and 307 (Surenos/Mexican            cases predominantly have been
(1.2 percent – 2007 census).       Mafia) are all very active on the   identified through seizure and
    There are also other OG        Wind River Indian Reservation.      decoding of coded letters
commonalities that are not         Within these groupings, we          mailed by known Surenos gang
found among Wyoming hybrid         have seen uncommon associa-         members, coupled with intelli-
gangs. An example is               tions inconsistent with OG          gence gathered from personal
Wyoming’s version of Crips         common rivalry.                     contact with confidential
gangs. In the Eastern part of          The gangs currently most        sources and gang member
the United States, Crips gangs     active and largest in size in       associates.
are associated to the Folk         Wyoming are the varied sets of          Other gangs operating in
Nation. These Crips gangs use      the Surenos gangs. Those            Wyoming are White supremacy
symbols (such as the six-point-    Surenos gangs are violent           gangs including Skinhead
ed star) that are found offen-     rivals with the Nortenos,           Groups, Knights of the Ku
sive by West Coast Crips.          Bloods and even Crips in the        Klux Klan, Soldiers of the
However, Wyoming Crips             Cheyenne, Casper, Rawlins           Aryan Culture and Silent
gangs, including the Killa         and Rock Springs areas. But in      Aryan Warriors. Outlaw
Lunatic Crips or the Hoover        some areas like the less popu-      Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs)
Duce Crips with West Coast         lated areas of North Central        including Hells Angels MC,
origins, commonly use those        Wyoming and even the Wind           Destroyers MC, Bandidos MC,
Folk Nation symbols in their       River Indian reservation, those     Los Lobos MC, Knights MC,
graffiti.                          rivalries seem nonexistent.         Ghost Riders MC, Grim
    Gang members in Wyoming            The Hispanic gangs com-         Reapers MC, Sons of Silence
tend to join gangs for many of     prise an average of 70 percent      MC, Wehrmacht MC, Vagos
the same reasons as other          of Wyoming’s known gang mem-        MC, Ching-A-Lings MC,
youth across the rest of the       bers. Violence among the varied     Heathens MC, Bad Company
nation: for acceptance, power,     rival gangs has been limited to     MC and Outlaws MC are active
a sense of belonging, thrills or   date with seven documented          in Wyoming.

                                                            Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010        49
      RMIN Special Report

     Firearms theft and traffick-           gang members serving hard                   where this booming industry is
 ing investigations involve sev-            time in the Wyoming state                   operating. In several cases we
 eral gang elements in                      prison system, several more in              have found these OG gang
 Wyoming. Over the last year,               the federal prison system and               members or their parents came
 there have been reports and                many of their juvenile counter-             here for the work and are in
 documented arrests of Surenos              parts in juvenile community                 fact working as a part of this
 and Crips gang members bur-                and residential treatment pro-              growing industry.
 glarizing gun stores and homes             grams, the days of the so                       With budget shortfalls and
 for guns. Several drug delivery            called “wannabes” have long                 staffing issues, tracking, docu-
 cases have been executed                   past.                                       menting and sharing gang
 against gang members from                      As documented by the U.S.               intelligence is an ever growing
 the Surenos, Crips, Bloods and             Department of Justice (DOJ),                challenge. Programs being
 even Juggalos gangs where siz-             the downturn in the U.S. econ-              organized by the U.S.
 able gun seizures were made.               omy has generated a migration               Attorney’s Office, Wyoming
 This trend clearly documents               of some big city OG gang ele-               Association of Sheriffs and
 the common street gang ten-                ments into Middle America.                  Chiefs of Police, Wyoming DCI
 dency to arm themselves with               Wyoming has and continues to                and the DOJ-funded Project
 firearms to engage law enforce-            suffer from this phenomenon.                Safe Neighborhoods are under-
 ment and rival gang violence.                                                          way to expand intelligence
                                                With ever growing gas and
     Wyoming criminal gangs                 oil well drilling operations scat-          gathering and sharing to better
 continue to evolve to better               tered across the state, high                deal with the growing gang
 accommodate what the local                 dollar unskilled labor positions            problems in Wyoming. Other
 lifestyles and economy will                have brought outsiders run-                 programs to expand law
 support. Wyoming has long                  ning to capitalize on these                 enforcement training on gang
 dealt with local gang elements             wages. In many cases, we have               investigations and intervention
 which in many cases local law              witnessed a steady increase of              programs are also underway to
 enforcement referred to as                 never before seen OG elements               better equip authorities for this
 “wannabes.” With close to 100              surfacing in the jurisdictions              challenge.

 About the author…
 Elvin Ehrhardt started his career in law enforcement in 1971 as a law enforcement specialist with the United States Air Force
 and has worked in law enforcement ever since. For the past 12+ years he has been the senior intelligence investigator/analyst
 with the Wyoming Attorney General’s Division of Criminal Investigation, assigned to the Criminal Intelligence Unit. His edu-
 cation includes a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration and a master’s in Criminal Justice and Terrorism Studies.
 He is a member of the Wyoming Peace Officers Association, Northwest Gang Investigators Association, International Outlaw
 Motorcycle Gang Investigations Association, and the National Major Gang Task Force. Ehrhardt can be reached at
 (307) 777-6615.

50   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                          RMIN Special Report

Wyoming gang tattoos and graffiti

                    Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010   51
      RMIN Special Report

 Polynesian gangs: Warriors to gangsters

           s with all crime, gang     family is showing disrespect to    TSG (Tongan Style Gangsters)

      A    activity dips and then
           spikes over a series of
 years. In late 2006 and early
                                      the entire family. Loyalty
                                      between family members can
                                      be very strong and often
                                                                         TCR (Tongan Crip Regulators)
                                                                         TCR/BR (Regulators/Baby
 2007, high-profile gang crimes       Polynesians will defend their
 committed by Polynesian gang         family at all cost. These family   KRQ (Krazy Rose Park Queens)
 members increased as did a           ties can also lead to difficulty   Rose Park Family
 rivalry between                                      in investigating   Doomstown Crips
 the two largest                                      crimes and         SPI (South Pacific Islanders)
 Polynesian                                           prosecuting
 gangs in Utah.                                       suspected          SKS (Sandy Kandy Soldiers)
 Drugs, alcohol                                       Polynesian gang    TRG (Tiny Regulator Gang)
 and violent                                          members.
 crimes continue                                          In the world       TCG is one of the largest
 to define the                                        of criminal        Polynesian gangs across the
 gang activities.                                     street gangs,      United States. There are mem-
 Polynesian gang                                      Polynesians        bers in Northern and Southern
 members con-                                         have estab-        California, Hawaii, Utah,
 tinue to trade                                       lished them-       Nevada and Washington.
 their cultural values for the life   selves as both violent and
 of crime and have become                                                    TCG has a stronghold in
                                      forceful. From the very first      the Rose Park and Glendale
 gangsters where their ances-         Polynesian gangs they have
 tors were once warriors.                                                areas—Salt Lake City’s west
                                      touted themselves as very          side. TCG members have been
     Many came to the Salt Lake       strong and fearless. Most of the   involved in all types of criminal
 area to be near the center of        Polynesian street gangs identify   activity and violent felonies
 the LDS Church, while others         themselves not only by their       including homicides, arson,
 came to be near family mem-          gang, such as Crip or Blood,       shootings, robberies, taxing for
 bers, to seek better economic        but also by their ethnicity,       drug dealers, drug sales and
 prospects, and to provide their      such as the Tongan Crip Gang.      beer thefts. They continue to
 children with improved aca-                                             be very active in criminal activ-
 demic opportunities.
     In Polynesian societies the      SAMOAN GANGS                       ity today. TCG members have
                                                                         been known to commit violent
 family is the most important         DOCUMENTED IN UTAH:                felonies such as aggravated
 component. The family                SOS (Sons of Samoa)                burglaries, drive-by shootings,
 includes not only the immedi-        PVCC (Park Village Compton         aggravated assaults and
 ate family unit of mother,           Crips)                             firearms violations. TCG con-
 father and children, but also                                           tinues to maintain its violent
 the extended family of aunts,        SIA (Samoans in Action)
                                                                         way of life. Members continue
 uncles, grandparents, and            KSR (Keepin’ Suckers Runnin’)      to have a violent rivalry with
 cousins. In the Tongan lan-          Rose Park Hamos                    the “Regulators,” a gang that
 guage there is no separate           RSP (Royal Samoan Posse)           broke off from TCG in the early
 word for sibling and cousin                                             1990s.
 and at times they are consid-        Tongan Gangs Documented in
                                      Utah:                                  The Baby Regulators (BR)
 ered to be one and the same.                                            formed as the younger brothers
 Disrespecting a member of a          TCG (Tongan Crip Gang)
                                                                         and cousins of TCR. In recent

52   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                                  RMIN Special Report

years the Baby Regulators have            some of the TCG and BR mem-                 Polynesian gang members are
been the most active of all               bers are closely related to one             often reluctant to get involved
Polynesian gangs in Utah and              another, they have shown that               because they don’t want to be
often refer to themselves as              their gang ties are stronger than           considered a “snitch” or they
simply “Regulators.” They have            their family connections.                   are afraid of retaliation. Many
been involved in violent crimes               Many Polynesian gang                    people are willing to come for-
including homicides, attempted            members have been found in                  ward with information anony-
homicides, aggravated assaults,           possession of a variety of                  mously; however, very few are
burglaries, robberies, home               firearms and other weapons,                 willing to testify in court due to
invasions, strong-arm robberies           including a grenade. They have              possible repercussions. Gang
and beer thefts. Gang members             access not only to weapons,                 members will often intimidate
have threatened store clerks              but also to drugs and alcohol.              witnesses, victims, or other
with bodily harm, or threatened                                                       participants with threats of vio-
                                              Like many other gangs,
to use a gun, thus turning a                                                          lence if information is given.
                                          Polynesian gang members and
misdemeanor theft into a felony                                                       Witness tampering where actu-
                                          their associates have found the
robbery. This is also a very                                                          al violence is used does occur.
                                          Internet as a place to represent
common practice among TCG                                                             Gang members also use idle
                                          their gang lifestyle. There are
members. The Regulators have                                                          threats to their advantage to
                                          websites that often talk about
been the most powerful and                                                            keep good people from getting
                                          the gang lifestyle where people
prominent Polynesian gang in                                                          involved. While these practices
                                          will represent their gang set.
the past several years. While                                                         are not promoted among
they are loosely organized,                   As a result of gang activity            Polynesians, they have caused
respect is shown to older mem-            there are many Polynesian                   serious problems in convicting
bers. They do not seem to have            gang members who are incar-                 violent gang members of the
a formal hierarchy. Many mem-             cerated in county jails and the             crimes that they are commit-
bers established themselves as            Utah State Prison and incarcer-             ting.
security for those involved in            ated Polynesian gang members,
                                                                                          To effectively handle the
the methamphetamine trade.                as do other gang members,
                                                                                      current crisis of Polynesian
They serve as tax collectors for          tend to congregate along racial
                                                                                      gangs, law enforcement and the
drug dealers using their fierce           lines. Despite what may be
                                                                                      Polynesian community must
reputations to collect debts              going on out on the streets,
                                                                                      continue to work together in a
from drug users. This has been            Polynesians generally unite
                                                                                      cooperative effort. Law enforce-
apparent in                               together to form a unified front
                                                                                      ment agencies need to increase
crimes including                                        while in prison.
                                                                                      their knowledge of Polynesian
assaults, home                                          Tongans and
                                                                                      cultures, discredit inaccurate
invasions and                                           Samoans come
                                                                                      stereotypes and learn effective
burglaries.                                             together and unite
                                                                                      ways to successfully work with-
                                                        as Polynesians
    In the past                                                                       in Polynesian communities. The
                                                        and not as their
there has been an                                                                     Polynesian community must
                                                        individual gangs.
ongoing war                                                                           continue to acknowledge the
                                                        BR and TCG mem-
between TCG and                                                                       gang problem and find ways to
                                                        bers also come
BR resulting in                                                                       direct Polynesian youth away
                                                        together as
homicides,                                                                            from destructive gang activities
                                          Tongans and often put aside
attempted homicides, shootings,                                                       that are dragging them away
                                          the ongoing street war.
drive-by shootings, arsons and                                                        from the opportunity for suc-
other crimes committed against                Individuals who are wit-                cess that their parents and
each other. Despite the fact that         nesses to crimes committed by               ancestors sacrificed for.

About the author…
Trudy A. Cropper began working for West Valley City (Utah) Police Department in 1999. She served as a Field Training
Officer in the Patrol Division and then became a detective in 2002. She has been assigned as a detective on the H.E.A.T. (High
Enforcement apprehension Team), the Salt Lake Area Gang Project/Metro Gang Unit, and the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force.
She recently was promoted to sergeant and is currently assigned to the Patrol Division.

                                                                          Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010                53
      RMIN Special Report

 Rocky Mountain hot zone

            olorado has become a     training to approximately 5,000     most of the major gangs. The

     C      unique location for
            the 1% Outlaw
 Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs). In
                                     law enforcement personnel, I
                                     still am surprised by some com-
                                     ments made by law enforcement
                                                                         SOSMC have established two
                                                                         support clubs in Colorado with
                                                                         the Deuces Wild in Greeley and
 2001, when the Hells Angels         who seem to view these gangs        the American Iron in Denver
 formed its chapter in Denver,       as a harmless bunch of beer         and Colorado Springs. The
 Colorado became a place which       drinkers, who get in an occa-       BMC has its own support
 now had chapters of the Hells       sional bar fight and like to ride   clubs in the Peligrosos in
 Angels, Bandidos, Outlaws,          motorcycles                                            Denver and
 Mongols and the Sons of             and give                                               the Los
 Silence, all considered among       stuffed teddy                                          Bravos in
 the largest and most violent of     bears to kids                                          Denver and
 the OMGs. The “biker wars”          in the hospi-                                          Colorado
 that had been waged else-           tal at                                                 Springs.
 where, Hells Angels vs              Christmas.                                             These sup-
 Bandidos, Hells Angels vs           Those views                                            port clubs
 Outlaws, and the Hells Angels       are far from                                           are used to
 vs Mongols, now came to             the truth.                                             prepare new
 Colorado overnight. In the               The                                               prospective
 past eight years, the fears of      recruiting for                                         members for
 law enforcement have been           OMG mem-                                               the mother
 reduced, with only minor inci-      bership has                                            clubs. These
 dents between the rival gangs.      been at a                                              clubs exist
     The on-going rivalries are in   frenzied pace for the past eight    only because the mother club
 constant change, as the major       years. The Sons of Silence          allows them to operate and
 gangs strive to maintain or ele-    (SOSMC) and Bandidos (BMC)          they are steadfast in their sup-
 vate their status and hold on       have been the most prolific in      port to the mother club and
 to their territories. Incidents     their membership drives.            are a constant source of new
 in other states and even other      Since 2000, the BMC has             members.
 countries have an effect on         expanded from little more than          The Hells Angels (HAMC)
 how the gangs interact in           15 members in Denver, to its        has remained relatively con-
 Colorado. So, tracking violent      current membership of approx-       stant in its membership levels
 incidents that occur between        imately 60 in Colorado through      and recruits more carefully
 these gangs all over the world      its three chapters in Denver        than its rivals. New members
 becomes a necessity and net-        and a chapter in Pueblo.            are a rarity with the Angels,
 working with biker investiga-             The SOSMC has not stood       but they have found quality
 tors around the world also          by watching. Since 2000, the        and dedicated members and
 becomes a necessity as the          SOSMC has almost doubled in         seem to want quality more
 gangs spread their wings on an      size in Colorado, with current      than quantity. The HAMC has
 international level.                membership of about 110 and         also developed its support club
     Law enforcement should          expanding from five chapters to     in the newly formed
 remain vigilant and not become      12.                                 Destroyers. The Destroyers
 blind to the OMGs. Even after                                           have members living from
                                          This expansion and growth
 investigating the OMGs for 32                                           Castle Rock, Colorado to mem-
                                     can also be seen in the estab-
 years, and having provided                                              bers living in Wyoming.
                                     lishment of “support clubs” by

54   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                                RMIN Special Report

     This expansion has brought          back up their
on territory issues among the            threats. In
rival gangs. Minor skirmishes            late January
and fights have occurred, but            2009, at the
mostly it has been chest                 yearly Denver
thumping and belly bumping               Swap Meet,
incidents, as the OMGs                   intelligence
attempt to keep their place in           was received
the 1% world they live in.               that indicated
     Several years ago, the              a meeting
SOSMC, Colorado’s largest and            would take
most dominant gang, entered              place between
into an agreement with the               the SOSMC
BMC and opened a chapter in              and BMC
Pueblo, where the BMC had                leadership.
established a chapter several            The BMC told
years before. Apparently the             the SOSMC if
agreement between the two
                                         the chapter
gangs limited the number of
                                         size was not
members the SOSMC could                                                             support club in Colorado
have in its new Southern                 reduced, the BMC were going
                                                                                    Springs to form the new
Colorado chapter. In late                to start a chapter in Colorado
                                                                                    Central Colorado Sons of
2008, intelligence indicated the         Springs. Colorado Springs has
                                                                                    Silence chapter. Members of
BMC in Pueblo were upset with            long been considered the Sons
                                                                                    the new chapter live in
the number of members in the             of Silence’s headquarters and
                                                                                    Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
SOSMC chapter in Pueblo and              is considered sacred ground,
told the Sons to “thin their             where no other OMGs have                       Officers should be aware
herd!”                                   ever established a chapter. In             that these gangs travel with a
                                         response to the BMC threat, in             variety of weapons and should
      The SOSMC apparently did                                                      use caution in contacts with
little to reduce its membership          February 2009, the SOSMC
                                         immediately patched over 14                any of the 1% outlaw gangs
and the BMC were going to be
                                         members of its American Iron               they come in contact with.
forced to take a stand and

About the author…
James “Jimmy” Wattles is a Criminal Investigator with the Colorado Division of Gaming. He joined the division in 2000 after
retiring from the Denver Police Department. During his 30-year career with Denver PD, he served as a detective with the
Intelligence Unit from 1974 to 2000 and specialized in OMG investigations. He has been a member of the International
Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association since 1978 and has provided expert OMG testimony in district courts in
Iowa (Sons of Silence) and New Hampshire (Bandidos) as well as in Colorado (Sons of Silence). He can be contacted at

                                                                        Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010               55
      RMIN Special Report

 Western States Gang Investigators Network

            ang violence contin-     tors. Another goal is to            Investigation’s National Gang

     G      ues to plague the
            nation, especially in
 the Southwestern states.
                                     debunk gang mythology that
                                     has grown up around the
                                     gangs of the Southwest. An
                                                                         Intelligence Center
                                                                         • Los Angeles Gang Intelligence
     These violent gangs present     e-mail list provides a forum for
                                                                         • International Latino Gang
 a clear and present danger to       immediate distribution of
                                                                         Investigator’s Association
 the public at large and the         investigators’ concerns to the
                                     network.                            • ICE
 internal security of our coun-
 try. In order to address this           The following organizations     • FBI Safe Streets Task Force
 phenomenon from a law               form the core of the Western        • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
 enforcement perspective, a new      States Gang Investigators           Firearms, and Explosives (Los
 network of Western states gang      Intelligence Network, however       Angeles)
 investigators was formed to         any agency or association           • San Diego North County
 discuss this problem. The net-      involved in gang investigations     Gang Task Force.
 work consists of the existing       or that an interest in that field   • Southern California Outlaw
 Western states gang investiga-      is invited to participate:          Motorcycle Gang Investigators
 tor associations, federal agen-     • Arizona Gang Investigators        Association (SCOMGIA)
 cies, and law enforcement
                                     • California Gang Investigators     • Tri-state Outlaw Motorcycle
 groups involved in the investi-
                                     Association                         Gang Investigators
 gation of gang violence. This
 project provides a forum for        • Northern California Gang
                                     Investigators Association
 training and the exchanging of
 information about the various       • Orange County Gang
                                                                         CALIFORNIA GANG SITUATION
 concerns about the gangs in         Investigator’s Association               Overall, the gang situation
 the Western United States. It                                           seems to be basically static, yet
                                     • Texas Gang Investigator’s
 was found that there is very lit-                                       still at atrociously high rates.
 tle networking done across                                              It is difficult to get accurate
                                     • Oklahoma Gang                     gang related statistics, because
 jurisdictional lines, other than    Investigator’s Association
 that established by individual                                          there is no repository for the
 investigators or gang investiga-    • New Mexico Gang Task Force        state. Several large depart-
 tors associations.                  • GIITEM                            ments have reported a decline
                                     • Northwest Gang Investigator’s     in activity.
     The Western States Gang
 Investigators Network was           Association                              Violence still remains, pri-
 established to provide that         • STING                             marily, in the Hispanic gang
 communication platform.                                                 community. The warfare
                                     • Inland Empire Gang                between Nortenos and Sureno
     This network is not intend-     Investigator’s Association          sets is the major problem in
 ed to be a new gang associa-        • Western States Intelligence       Northern California, while in
 tion or to replace or replicate     Network                             the South, the warfare tends to
 the work that current gang
                                     • Rocky Mountain Intelligence       be between Sureno sets
 investigators associations are
                                     Network                             because there are no Norteno
 now performing. It is a forum
                                     • RISSNET                           sets in Southern California.
 for those existing organizations
                                                                         This does not diminish the
 in the western states to meet       • California Gang Node              problem within the African-
 regularly and exchange gang         Administrators Committee            American communities as that
 information and discuss trends      • Federal Bureau of                 problem also exists, but not at
 of interest to those investiga-

56   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                                  RMIN Special Report

the magnitude of the Hispanic             they spread into other coun-                regenerate in small cells and
gangs.                                    tries. When these gang mem-                 continue their criminal enter-
    Gang migration from                   bers decide to return to the                prise. A side effect of the fed-
California to other states                U.S., they tend to enter through            eral prosecution and convic-
remains a major problem. The              the porous border along the                 tions of various prison gang
Sureno umbrella, in particular,           Western states and spread east              members has in some cases
has made its way across the               and northeast, following the                caused the federal prison sys-
nation. Southern California               migrant worker patterns. They               tem to suffer. The inmates are
Hispanic gangs are represented            are particularly adept at seek-             scattered into federal prisons
throughout the Southern and               ing out low paying agricultural             around the country, which
Midwestern states. The Eastern            and meat processing jobs.                   spreads their influence like a
seaboard is also a major target               California gang investiga-              communicable disease. Not
of some of the California gangs,          tors continue to hear that the              only are the prisons affected but
particularly the MS-13.                   California Crips and Bloods are             also the surrounding communi-
Florencia gang out of South L.A.          major gangs on the Eastern                  ties as families of the gangster
has spread into several states.           seaboard, however, after con-               move in to be close to their
This gang is an old traditional           sultation with detectives from              incarcerated family member.
Mexican-American gang that is             that area, we are convinced                     It is through the efforts of
also well represented in the              that those Eastern versions of              gang investigators associations
Mexican Mafia. 18th Street                the Crips and Bloods are relat-             and members of WSGIN that
gang is the largest Hispanic              ed in name only. There seems                some of these problems can be
gang in Southern California               to be no continuing interaction             alleviated by regular exchanges
and a rival to the MS-13. Both            between the various sets.                   of information and briefings.
have spread their tentacles                   Prison gangs are a continu-             Personal contacts are
from America throughout                   ing problem, as is their inter-             enhanced when the parties
Central America. Much of this             action with the street gangs.               know each other and tend to
is attributable to the deporta-           While federal RICO cases have               be more attentive to the needs
tion of violent gangsters back            splintered some of the gangs,               of the other investigators.
to their homelands of El                  they have the unique ability to
Salvador and Honduras, where

About the author…
Of the 36 years Wes McBride spent as a Los Angeles Sheriff ’s Deputy, 28 of those years were spent in the agency’s gang unit.
McBride retired as a sergeant. He is executive director of the California Gang Investigator’s Association and co-author of the
textbook, “Understanding Street Gangs.” He is an advisory board member of the National Gang Center and guest lecturer for
various law enforcement institutions and academies and university programs worldwide. He assisted the U.S. State Department
with the formation of a gang training program for South Africa and a counselor to the International Advisory Board for the
Department for the Study of the Contemporary Criminal Menace, located in Paris, France.

                                                                          Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010                57
      RMIN Special Report

 California DOC and Rehabilitation

           he California

      T    Department of
           Corrections and
 Rehabilitation (CDCR) has
 approximately 300,000
 inmates and parolees under its
 jurisdiction, making it one of
 the largest prison and parole
 systems in the free world. The
 CDCR is in crisis. It is operat-
 ing at almost 200 percent
 capacity. The severe over-
 crowding contributes to a
 number of operational prob-
 lems. The number of gangs
 and gang members and their
 violence only exacerbates the
 crisis. It is estimated that half
 of the inmates and parolees—
 about 150,000—are involved
 with gangs to one degree or
                                     ons (200 percent capacity)       • Approximately 30
     The CDCR’s medical divi-                                         riots/disturbances monthly
 sion is under federal receiver-     • 125,000 parolees (70 percent
                                     recidivism rate)                 (Surenos in about half)
 ship and the department’s use
 of force policy and incidents       • Approximately 6500 inmates     • 29 lock downs a month (dis-
 are also under federal scrutiny.    in private facilities            rupts programming)
     A federal judge is consider-    • 16,000 parole absconders (at   • Average of 14 homicides a
 ing releasing 22,000 to 50,000      large with felony warrants)      year
 inmates from prison if CDCR         • 150,000 estimated gang         • 25,000 inmates assigned to
 cannot adopt a reasonable           members                          soft yards – sensitive needs
 solution to the overcrowding                                         yards which translates to pro-
                                     • 10,000 validated gang mem-
 problem. This of course would                                        tective security yards, with a
 be the equivalent of a tsunami                                       lengthy waiting list
 crime wave, impacting not only      • Six major prison gangs
                                                                      • Average nine assaults a day
 California but its neighboring      (Mexican Mafia, Aryan
                                                                      on staff
 states as well. CDCR’s Parole       Brotherhood, Nuestra Familia,
                                     Northern Structure, Black        • Major conflicts between
 Division, with a current recidi-                                     Surenos and Nortenos
 vism rate of 70 percent, would      Guerilla Family, Nazi Low
 be severely impacted.               Riders)
                                     • Approximately 900 other        INFORMATION ON MAJOR
                                     gangs including street gangs
 A STATISTICAL SNAPSHOT              and disruptive groups            GANGS REVEALS:
 OF CDCR REVEALS:                    • Approximately 20,000 illegal   Mexican Mafia
 • 170,000 inmates in 33 pris-       criminal aliens in the system    • Some talk of attempting to for-
                                                                      mulate a leadership structure

58   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
                                                                                       RMIN Special Report

(no single source of leadership
since the death of Joe Morgan)
• Books are open for recruit-
ment, some connections to Los
Aryan Brotherhood
• Recruiting from PEN1 and
other White groups
• Have a contract or “green
light” on members of the
United Society of Aryan Skins
• Being courted by the Nuestra
Familia to align against the
Mexican Mafia
Black Guerilla Family
• Same leadership since the
• Recruiting from Black inmate
• At peace with Kumi
• Some cross recruitment with
the Ansar El Mohammed (AEM)
• Keeping Crips and Bloods in
line for the time being
Nuestra Familia/Northern
• NF wrote new constitution
• Instructed all street regi-
ments to pay allegiance to the
California NF and not to he
Federal NF

About the author…
Brian Parry worked for the California Department of Corrections for more than 30 years and retired in 2002 as the assistant
director of the Law Enforcement and Investigations Unit. The Unit was responsible for gang suppression, intelligence and man-
agement, apprehension of paroled fugitives and escapees, officer involved shootings, threat assessments and other investigative
duties. Parry has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton and has been a firearms instructor, polygraph examiner and
a licensed private investigator. He received the Distinguished Service Medal on behalf of the Unit’s exemplary work during the
1993 Los Angeles riot. He also has served was a parole agent, special agent and chief of Investigations. Parry has taught all
over the country on gangs and officer safety issues and has served as an expert witness and consultant for several agencies on
gang related issues since his retirement. He has authored several articles on gang related issues and currently is on contract to the
FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center working on gang intelligence related issues.

                                                                              Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010                   59
      RMIN Special Report
                                                                                        Appendix A

 Gang investigator’s toolbox
                                        Johnson for weapons.               Secondly, the court noted that
 Proposed Law                               This revealed Johnson, a       discussing issues unrelated to
                                        prohibited possessor, had a        the stop does not change the
 Regarding                              firearm. Johnson was arrested,     nature of the lawful detention
                                                                           so long as the ancillary ques-
                                        tried and convicted for being a
 Pat Downs                              prohibited possessor.              tioning does not “measurably
                                                                           extend the stop.” (citing
                                            Johnson appealed his con-
 Johnson v. Arizona,                                                       Muehler v. Mena, 544 U.S. 93
                                        viction. The Arizona Court of
 ___S.Ct.___, 2009 WL 160434                                               (2005)). Third, the Court noted
                                        Appeals reversed the conviction
 (Jan. 26, 2009)                                                           that when an officer makes a
                                        reasoning that when the officer
     Holding:                                                              traffic stop and contacts a pas-
                                        began to question Johnson
                                                                           senger, the same considera-
      A traffic stop may permis-        about matters unrelated to the
                                                                           tions as to officer safety apply
 sibly lead to a protective “pat        traffic stop, the nature of the
                                                                           regarding the passenger as the
 down” on vehicle passengers            contact had changed from
                                                                           driver (citing Maryland v.
 when the officer has a reason-         detention of a passenger as
                                                                           Wilson, 519 U.S. 408 (1997)).
 able belief that the passenger         part of a traffic stop to a con-
                                                                           And finally, the Court noted
 may be armed and dangerous.            sensual conversation about
                                                                           that when an officer has a rea-
 Questions to the involved pas-         Johnson’s gang affiliation.
                                                                           sonable belief that a person is
 senger about matters unrelated         With that, the Court of Appeals
                                                                           armed and dangerous, the offi-
 to the original traffic stop do        ruled that the officer had no
                                                                           cer may conduct a protective
 not change the nature of the           right to “pat down” Johnson
                                                                           “pat down” to ensure his or her
 original detention or constitute       even if the officer reasonably
                                                                           safety and that of the public
 an unlawful search or seizure.         believed that Johnson might be
                                                                           (Johnson v. Arizona, ___
     Facts:                             armed and dangerous. The
                                                                           S.Ct.___, 2009WL160434, p. 7).
                                        Arizona Supreme Court refused
     Officers in Tucson stopped         to review the Court of Appeals
 a vehicle for a civil traffic viola-   decision. Ultimately, the State        Note:
 tion. Johnson was a rear seat          of Arizona appealed and the
 passenger in the vehicle. An                                                  This case does not overrule
                                        case was heard by the United       the holding set forth in In re
 officer noticed that Johnson           States Supreme Court.
 was dressed in attire consis-                                             Ilono H, 210 Ariz. 473, 113
 tent with a Crips street gang              The United States Supreme      P.3d 696 (App. Div. 2, 2005)
 member. The officer ques-              Court’s opinion recognizes that    wherein the Court of Appeals
 tioned Johnson about his pos-          a passenger in vehicle which is    overturned the defendant’s
 sible gang affiliation and             stopped for a legitimate traffic   conviction because the police
 learned that he was from an            violation is detained just as is   had a generalized suspicion
 area with a known Crip gang            the driver of such vehicle (cit-   that the defendant might be
 population and that Johnson            ing Brendlin v. California, 551    involved in gang activity largely
 had served time in prison for a        U.S. 249 (2007).                   by virtue of the fact that the
 burglary. Following this, the              Thus, the lawfulness of the    defendant was seen loitering in
 officer had Johnson step out of        detention of a passenger in a      a park area that was noted for
 the car and “patted down”              vehicle stop is not an issue.      gang activity.

60   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
Appendix B
                                                                              RMIN Special Report

    Gang investigator associations
            and meetings
• Utah Gang Investigators              • National Gang Center:                 • Oklahoma Gang Investigators
Association: http://www.ugia.org       http://www.nationalgangcenter.gov       Association: http://www.ogia.us/
• Arizona Gang Investigators           • National Major Gang Task Force:       • Northern California Gang
Association:                           http://www.nmgtf.org                    Investigators Association:
https://www.arizonaagia.com            • National Criminal Justice             http://www.ncgia.com/
• Northwest Gang Investigator          Reference Service:                      • North Carolina Gang Investigators
Association: http://www.nwgia.com      http://www.ncjrs.gov/spotlight/gan      Association:
• New Mexico Gang Task Force:          gs/summary.html                         http://www.ncgangcops.org/
http:www.dps.nm.org                    • Florida Gang Investigators            • New York Gang Investigators
• International Latino Gang            Association: http://www.fgia.com        Association: http://www.nygia.org/
Investigator Association:              • East Coast Gang Investigators         • New Jersey Gang Investigators
http://www.ilgia.org                   Association: http://www.ecgia.org/      Association: http://www.njgia.org/
• International Outlaw Motorcycle      • Gang Related Legislation:             • Ontario Gang Investigators
Gang Investigator Association:         http://www.iir.com/nygc/gang-           Association: http://www.ongia.org/
https://www.iomgia.net                 legis/#State                            • National Alliance of Gang
• Colorado Security Threat             • California Gang Investigator’s        Investigator’s Associations:
Intelligence Network Group:            Association:                            http://www.nagia.org/
http:www.coloradosting.org             http://www.cgiaonline.org/              • Tennessee Gang Investigators
• National Major Gang Task Force:      • Colorado Security Threat              Association (TNGIA): http://www.tn-
http://www.nmgtf.org                   Intelligence Network Group (STING):     gia.ning.com/
• Idaho Gangs: www.idahogangs.com      http://www.coloradosting.org/           • International Latino Gang
• Montana Outlaw Motorcycle Gang       • Georgia Gang Investigator’s           Investigators Association:
Investigators                          Association: http://www.ggia.net/       http://www.ilgia.org/
• Treasure Valley Regional Gang        • Great Lakes International Gang        • Arizona Gang Investigators
Task Force (Idaho)                     Investigators Coalition:                Association: http://arizonagia.com/
                                       http://www.gligic.org/                  • Utah Gang Investigators
• Idaho Department of Corrections
                                       • Mid-Atlantic Regional Gang            Association:
• Tri-State Intelligence Association
                                       Investigators Network:                  http://www.ugiaonline.org/
(Nevada, California, Arizona)
                                       http://www.margingangs.org/             • Idaho Gangs:
• Salt Lake Area Gang Project
                                       • Midwest Gang Investigators            http://www.idahogangs.com/
• Skinhead Information Network         Association: http://www.mgia.org/       • National Gang Intelligence Center
• East Valley Gang and Criminal        • Virginia Gang Investigators           Public Information:
Information Fusion Center (Mesa,       Association:                            http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ngic/
AZ)                                    http://vgia.org/web/news.php            • Pennsylvania Gang Investigators
• Western States Gang Intelligence     • Texas Gang Investigators              Association: http://www.pagia.org/
Network                                Association: http://www.tgia.net/       • Kansas Gang Investigators
• Midwest Cycle Intelligence           • Connecticut Gang Investigators        Association:
Organization                           Association: http://www.ctgia.org/      http://www.kgiakansas.com/
• Consolidated Gang Intelligence       • South Carolina Gang Investigators’    • Central Coast Gang Investigator
Team and Regional Gang Unit            Association:                            Association (CCGIA):
(Carson City, NV)                      http://www.scgia.com/main.htm           http://ccgia.org/index.html
• East Valley and West Valley Gang     • NorthWest Gang Investigator
Task Forces (Arizona)                  Association: http://www.nwgia.com/

                                                                    Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010             61
      RMIN Special Report                                                                           Appendix B

               Resources within the
                  RMIN region:

      • National Alliance of Gang Investigators Associations:
             • Arizona Gang Investigators Association:
      • New Mexico Gang Task Force: http:www.dps.nm.org
       • International Latino Gang Investigator Association:
       • International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigator
                Association: https://www.iomgia.net
     • Colorado Security Threat Intelligence Network Group:               RMIN produces a Gang and Domestic
                                                                       Terrorism Newsletter that’s distributed
                 • National Major Gang Task Force:
                                                                      electronically. The e-newsletter contains
                                                                    RMIN region state-by-state gang and domes-
                • Idaho Gangs: www.idahogangs.com
                                                                    tic terrorism updates and analysis. Contact
               • Utah Gang Investigators Association:
                                                                    Brian Novotny, Criminal Intelligence Analyst
                                                                      with RMIN, at bnovotny@rmin.riss.net if
                                                                             you’d like to be added to the
                                                                                   distribution list.

         Gangs defined by                                               Sentencing guidelines defined
                                                                                 by statute
      Arizona Statute 13-105
      “Criminal street gang” means an ongoing formal or informal                13-709.02
 association of persons in which members or associates individ-           C. A person who is convicted of committing any
 ually or collectively engage in the commission, attempted com-       felony offense with the intent to promote, further or
 mission, facilitation or solicitation of any felony act and that     assist any criminal conduct by a criminal street gang
 has at least one individual who is a criminal street gang mem-       shall not be eligible for suspension of sentence, pro-
 ber.                                                                 bation, pardon or release from confinement on any
     “Criminal street gang member” means an individual to             basis except as authorized by section 31-233, sub-
 whom at least two of the following seven criteria that indicate      section A or B until the sentence imposed by the
 criminal street gang membership apply:                               court has been served, the person is eligible for
                                                                      release pursuant to section 41-1604.07 or the sen-
      (a) Self-proclamation.
                                                                      tence is commuted. The presumptive, minimum and
      (b) Witness testimony or official statement.                    maximum sentence for the offense shall be increased
      (c) Written or electronic correspondence.                       by three years if the offense is a class 4, 5 or 6
      (d) Paraphernalia or photographs.                               felony or shall be increased by five years if the
      (e) Tattoos.                                                    offense is a class 2 or 3 felony. The additional sen-
                                                                      tence imposed pursuant to this subsection is in
      (f) Clothing or colors.
                                                                      addition to any enhanced sentence that may be
      (g) Any other indicia of street gang membership.                applicable.

62   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
Appendix C
                             RMIN Special Report

   How to: Create a historical
document for gang investigations
                            hen a gang arrives in a community, it

                   W        often takes time before the gang
                            appears on law enforcement’s radar
                screen. Many gangs no longer dress as gang
                members, congregate in groups or commit highly
                visible crimes to establish credibility. Instead,
                many gangs are attempting to fly under the radar
                screen to avoid interference by local law enforce-
                    The following is an example of a “gang histori-
                cal” document that was created by members of
                the Tempe (Arizona) Police Department. Names
                and addresses have been redacted.
                    The creation and continued ongoing mainte-
                nance of a gang historical document has several
                    First and most importantly, the document cre-
                ates the necessary “backbone and foundation” for
                any attempt at prosecuting a member of the
                gang. Without a historical perspective on the
                gang, law enforcement could only hope for a con-
                viction against a member of the gang.
                    The two most important questions you will be
                asked to prove in a criminal trial are:
                    Q1: Is the defendant a member of a criminal
                street gang?
                    A: If you answer yes, you will be asked to
                justify your answer.
                    Q2: What gang does the defendant belong to?
                    A: You will be asked to justify why you think
                the group is a criminal street gang.


                      Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010      63
     RMIN Special Report                                                           Appendix C

                                                                      • Research your state correc-
                                                                      tions department and find the
                                                                      “OGs” (Old Gangsters) and
                                                                      determine where they are
                                                                      Work with your state correc-
                                                                      tions Security Threat Group
                                                                      experts to set up an interview.
                                                                      With the right approach, most
                                                                      people will talk to you because
                                                                      they want you and everyone
                                                                      else to believe their gang has
                                                                      • Talk to current gang mem-
                                                                      bers about their thoughts on
                                                                      the gang, and what they know
                                                                      about the history of their gang.
                                                                      • Obtain and download copies
                                                                      of newspaper articles featuring
                                                                      the gang.
                                                                          It doesn’t matter how large
     The ability to answer these    complete a gang historical doc-   or small your agency is, there
 two questions may hinge on         ument on each and every gang.     are two simple facts:
 having a historical perspective    The person completing the doc-        First: Every agency that
 on the gang.                       ument could utilize the follow-   has a gang (or gangs) in its
     We have also included a        ing tips:                         community needs to complete
 “what to include guide” for his-   • Start the historical perspec-   a gang historical document on
 torical gang documents. The        tive as far back as possible.     each gang.
 guide was prepared by Tempe        Talk to retired officers who           Second: People within
 Police Department Gang Unit        worked the area when the gang     your agency who knows some-
 Detective Tim Moriarty.            was formed.                       thing about the gang will
     If you have known criminal     • Find and talk to people who     someday retire and as they
 street gangs within your com-      were in the neighborhood when     walk out the door, they’ll take
 munity, someone within your                                          their knowledge with them
                                    the gang was formed.
 agency should be asked to                                            unless it has been saved.

64   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
 Appendix C
                                                                        RMIN Special Report

 Compiling a Historical Document on Street Gangs

When did the street gang start Does the street gang derive its              3. Does the STG choose the gang
                                                                            because of the gang’s reputation?
and when did it become active beliefs from racial pride, its bar-           4. Do the gang’s members show
                                                                            immediate allegiance to STG once
(looking for dates)?           rio, its religion, or its culture?           in prison?
1. Where/how the street gang’s
                                                                            5. Are there members of the
name originated.
                                      1. Are there families or persons      street gang who are patched
2. Who were the founding mem-         of major influence in the gang?       members of the STG?
bers of the gang?
                                      2. Is the street gang money           6. Are there members of the
3. Does gang have/feel responsi-      oriented or more focused on the       street gang who are high ranking
bility to protect “barrio”?                                                 members of the STG?
                                      barrio pride?
4. Who do gang members have to
protect the barrio from?
5. Who are considered rivals;         What type of criminal activity        Tattoos, clothing and hand signs
main rival historically?                                                    1. Common tattoos for the street
6. Boundaries of the neighbor-        is the street gang involved in?       gang.
hood the gang claims.                 1. Motivation for criminal acts.      2. Any tattoos that show alle-
7. Size of gang in the beginning      2. Do criminal acts change one’s      giance to STG or that a gang
and estimated size currently.         status or rank within gang?           member has done work in prison
8. What is the racial make-up of      3. Does prison change/effect sta-     for the STG.
the street gang?                      tus in the gang?                      3. What are the hand signs?
     -Are there exceptions if it is   4. How does the gang perceive         4. What color or type of clothing
     through family?                  civilians?                            do gang members wear to identi-
                                      5. How does the gang react or         fy themselves as members of the
                                      treat other non-rival street gangs?   gang?
Is the street gang                    6. How does the gang react to
multi-generational?                   Mexican Nationals or Paisas?          Females in the gang
1. How can someone get into the       7. How does the gang react to         1. Can women be members of the
gang?                                 “snitches”?                           street gang?
     a. Jumped in                     8. How does the gang react to         2. What do the women have to do
     b. Born-in                       other races?                          to gain membership in the street
     c. Commit criminal act
2. Can a gang member be from          What is street gang’s link to         3. What is the status of women in
outside the neighborhood and                                                the gang?
still join the gang?                  the prison Security Threat
     a. If not, will family ties
     change that rule?                Groups (i.e., New Eme, AB, Mau        What is the street gang’s
3. Gang’s main area or hangout        Mau)?                                 reputation and how did it get
inside the neighborhood?              1. Does the gang commit crimes
4. Chain of command or rank           for STGs and if so, what kind of
                                                                            the reputation?
structure within the gang?                                                  1. Major events in the gang’s
5. Have the gangs rivals changed      2. Does STG have control over the
over the years?                       gang’s neighborhood (i.e., taxes)?

                                                                Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010         65
      RMIN Special Report                                                                     Appendix C

 La Victoria Locos: A historical perspective

         n 1945, the Victory Acres       public works and substandard           their barrio, which included the

     I   neighborhood was estab-
         lished several miles east of
 town, next to the Tempe Canal.
                                         housing in the area. The
                                         Escalante Center was built in
                                         1971 to house county-funded
                                                                                     The territory La Victoria Locos
                                                                                gang members protect has gradu-
 George Tibshraeny, a Lebanese           social programs that had started       ally changed since the Loop 101
 immigrant, subdivided 80 acres of       at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church.     freeway was built in the early to
 farmland and offered one-acre lots      Soon after, a federal Community        mid-’90s. The freeway runs direct-
 for sale to soldiers returning from     Development Block Grant provid-        ly through the middle of the old
 World War II. The long lots were        ed sewers, storm drains, under-        Victory Acres neighborhood, now
 good for raising gardens and ani-       ground utilities, paved streets and    creating two separate neighbor-
 mals, and the land was priced           sidewalks to the neighborhood. In      hoods. Prior to the arrival of the
 low. Word of these lots spread          1974, an area of 230 households        Wet Back Power (WBP) street gang
 among the Mexican families, and         was designated as a redevelop-         that is LVL’s main rival street
 most of the first settlers were         ment area, and the city received       gang, La Victoria’s boundaries
 returning Hispanic servicemen           HUD funds to rehabilitate housing      stretched from McClintock Drive
 who built their own homes. A            in the neighborhood. New homes         east to Evergreen and from
 small tight-knit community that         were built without displacing the      Apache Blvd. north to University
 included St. Margaret’s Catholic        homeowners. The large one acre         Drive. Since the arrival of WBP,
 Church, two stores and a saloon         lots were divided and new houses       and more importantly the con-
 quickly developed.                      were built on back lots facing new     struction of the Loop 101 freeway,
     The hope for a “victorious” war     streets. The old houses were then      the main concentration of La
 effort, as well as a reference to the   cleared and more new homes were        Victoria’s barrio is now east of the
 configurations of the lots being        built.                                 Loop 101 to the Mesa border, and
 conducive to planting “victory”              During the 1960s, the             still, Apache Boulevard north to
 gardens on the one “acre” size lots     Hispanic Street Gang “La Victoria      University. Some members of LVL
 lead to the name “Victory Acres.”       Locos” (LVL) had developed and         have begun to move outside
 These lots were large and allowed       become active in the area subse-       Victory Acres into west Mesa, the
 the new land owners to use the          quently giving the Victory Acres       Salt River Reservation just north
 space to make a living various          community a bad reputation. The        of Mesa, and different areas of the
 ways. The original streets in           La Victoria Locos continued to         East Valley, including Gilbert and
 Victory Acres were also named by        claim this neighborhood as their       Chandler.
 the Tibshraenys: George and             territory or “barrio” and had now           Second and third generation
 Maryland after themselves;              become a second and third gener-       LVL gang members grew up
 Lebanon after their country of ori-     ation gang. Since the inception of     attending Thew School, followed
 gin; Roosevelt (now Evergreen)          the gang, La Victoria Locos gang       by Connolly Middle School, and
 after the popular president;            members have held the belief that      then McClintock High School.
 Victory as the central street of the    it is their duty and responsibility    Some of the past and present local
 subdivision; and McArthur after         to protect their barrio from out-      LVL gang hangouts include the
 the revered general.                    siders, including other rival street   intersection of Victory and George,
     Victory Acres, or La Victoria,      gangs. Examples of this mindset        where large groups of LVL gang
 was annexed by Tempe in 1960. It        are cases of LVL gang members          members, sometimes up to 100,
 remained a relatively undeveloped       assaulting people who unknowing-       will hang out on any given corner
 neighborhood of mostly low              ly would stop at the Sunshine          and loiter, harass and assault
 income Hispanic families. In the        Convenience Mart at University         “outsiders” as well as starting
 early 1970s, the City of Tempe          and Evergreen. LVL gang mem-           bonfires and hosting rock throw-
 decided to deal with the lack of        bers would assault these unsus-        ing parties. There are houses near
                                         pecting citizens simply for being in

66   June 2010 Law Enforcement Sensitive
Appendix C
                                                                           RMIN Special Report

the intersection of Victory and        prison for numerous offenses in         bers made numerous taggings in
George belonging to the Bello and      the past 30 years. More recently,       and on the property showing sup-
Perez families where family mem-       members of the Piniera and              port for Betty. The City of Tempe
bers, as well as LVL gang mem-         Montoya families are now serving        is working with members of the
bers, will hang out in the front       long prison terms for numerous          community to determine what the
yard, have parties, and stand          violent offenses they have been         property should become. Several
watch over the intersection. Other     prosecuted for in the past 10           community members from the
hangouts of LVL gang members           years.                                  Victory Acres neighborhood have
include the Sunshine Convenience            The years 2003-2006 were           thanked the Tempe Police
Mart and Escalante Park.               very active for the rivalry between     Department for tearing down the
    Currently, the main rival for      WBP and LVL. The Tempe Police           house.
LVL gang members is the Wet            Department’s Gang Unit worked                On Mother’s Day, May 14,
Back Power North Tempe and             continually with School Resource        2006, several LVL members were
East Side Wet Back Power street        Officers and community members          having a party at the corner of
gangs. Problems between LVL and        to identify problem areas and the       Victory and George. The members
these two street WBP sets started      gang members likely perpetuating        were drinking and some were
when Mexican immigrants started        the rivalry. Members of both LVL        using drugs (including metham-
moving into the neighborhood           and WBP were arrested on various        phetamines and marijuana) and
between McClintock Drive and           charges including assault, aggra-       jumped in a new gang member.
Smith. Many of these immigrants        vated assault, threatening and          During the party the group was
and children of the immigrants         intimidating to promote a criminal      talking about taking the neighbor-
were degraded and beaten by the        syndicate, and assisting a crimi-       hood back from outsiders, specifi-
LVL gang on a continual basis at       nal syndicate. Some of the victims      cally “the wetbacks.” The group
which time the immigrants formed       who were targeted were not docu-        was stirred up by a passing vehi-
WBP to protect themselves. As          mented members of either gang           cle believed to be occupied by
stated before, WBP began to claim      and investigations revealed they        members of a rival gang who were
the west side of the old Victory       were only targeted because of           throwing up gang signs as they
Acres as their territory, causing      their perceived relation to the rival   drove by the corner of Victory and
an obvious problem for the non-        gang (e.g., Mexican Nationals were      George. The group of gang mem-
gang related citizens as well as       thought to be members of WBP            bers left the corner and chased
police. WBP now claims the area        and assaulted just because they         after the vehicle which sped away.
between McClintock east to Smith,      were “wetbacks”).                       The gang then stopped in front of
and Apache, north to University,            In December 2004, the Tempe        2416 E. Laird where a Mexican
as its territory. Adding to the feud   PD Gang Unit completed a five-          family was celebrating Mother’s
between LVL and WBP, most of           year investigation into drug sales      Day. The gang began to threaten
the children related to both gang’s    from the Gomez house at 2227 E.         and intimidate the family by
members go to the same schools         Randall in Tempe. This house was        claiming the neighborhood to be
(Thew, Connolly and McClintock).       run by Beatrice Vargas who is           “their barrio” and told the family
    LVL’s original main rival was      known as “Old Lady Betty” in the        members to “go back to
Los Cuatros Milpas (LCM) street        neighborhood. Betty and LVL gang        Mexico…this is the Victoria.” In an
gang from South Phoenix. LVL’s         members used the house to sell          attempt to calm the situation, the
current rivals include WBP,            methamphetamines, heroine, and          homeowner approached the gang
Southside Chandler, and any gang       marijuana for profit. The drugs         members, telling them there was
from Mesa regardless of its loca-      being sold by Betty were reported-      no problem and asking them to
tion in Mesa.                          ly linked to the New Mexican            leave his family alone. An LVL
                                       Mafia (an Arizona Department of         member assaulted the slightly
    Currently there are 270 docu-
                                       Corrections prison gang). The           built homeowner, knocking him to
mented gang members and associ-
                                       house was seized by the City of         the ground. The owner’s brother-
ates of LVL. Many of the “older”
                                       Tempe during a criminal forfeiture      in-law called police and tried to
gang members including members
                                       process and subsequently                break up the fight. At this time,
from the Gomez, Montemayor,
                                       destroyed in May 2005. Before the       LVL member Matt Perez shot and
Casteneda, Ochoa, and Medina
                                       house was torn down, LVL mem-           killed the brother-in-law with a
families have been in and out of

                                                                   Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010          67
     RMIN Special Report
                                                                                             Appendix C

  .44 caliber handgun. All the LVL       LVL. On 03-02-07 William Bello        lights shine in the neighbors yard
  members fled the scene, leaving        aka Bully JR was arrested (07-        as the neighbor is the “God
  the man to die in front of his wife,   019339) for assisting a criminal      Father” of the neighborhood. No
  his newborn son, pregnant sister       street gang, threaten and intimi-     direct threats could be established
  and other family members.              dating to further a criminal street   for a criminal investigation
      Within a few days Matt Perez       gang and failure to obey a police     though the landowner stated he
  (aka “Monster”) had tagged the         officer when.                         would move his son out of the
  area of Victory and George and              Detective Campbell has been      neighborhood and rent the prop-
  other parts of the neighborhood,       working with Mesa PD over the         erty.
  bragging about taking the neigh-       last three weeks on a shooting             The residence at 2331 E Don
  borhood back. A three-month            that occurred in their city. It has   Carlos has long been reported to
  investigation led to the arrest of     been learned that Matt Perez's        be a drug house. The occupants
  Perez for the Mother’s Day homi-       Cousin Paul Perez (AKA Paul           are an elderly couple Esteban
  cide. Others involved in the           Perez-Para, Paul Para) was            Garcia (retired USPS) and Yolanda
  threatening and intimidating were      attempting to shoot at witnesses      Jaime. Yolanda Jaime’s son, Rudy
  used as witnesses in the homicide      to the Tempe murder trial. It is      Jaime, has been sentenced to the
  or charged in the crime. The           believed that Paul backed out at      AZ DOC for numerous charges
  Tempe PD Gang Unit received tips       the last minute and was seen by       including narcotics charges and
  that LVL gang members were             witnesses handing a .45 caliber       vehicle theft. Search warrants
  threatening family members of the      hand gun to a subject we only         have been served on the property
  witnesses to the homicide and          know as “BULL” and he then did        by the Chandler Police
  those witnesses were warned            the shooting. Two rounds entered      Department Auto Theft Division
  about “snitching” against the          a garage several houses down and      and the Tempe Gang Unit for nar-
  gang. At this time no valid threats    went through one side and out         cotics crimes.
  have been sustained. The Tempe         the other. This particular night a         Currently the Gang Unit is
  Gang Unit continues to work and        boy in that house was having a        still seeing a rivalry between WBP
  develop relationships within the       sleep over with several friends in    and LVL on the McClintock High
  community to assure any threats        the garage. The bullets went over     School Campus. WBP and LVL
  aren’t acted upon.                     them by two feet as they slept on     members and associates were
      In 2006 during the Mother’s        the garage floor.                     contacted at the McClintock High
  Day homicide investigation, it was          In September 2007 the Tempe      School and Tempe High School as
  learned that members of LVL were       Gang Unit received information        both gangs were representing
  upset about the conditions of the      that a new house built on the         their respective colors and a lot of
  Acres, especially the way that         S/W corner of Don Carlos and          posturing was occurring at the
  Mexican Nationals and other            George is occupied by a White col-    game. After the game a fight
  gangs such as West Side Mesa           lege student. Complaints have         between 6 LVL mem-
  and WBP North Tempe had been           arisen from the landown-              bers/associates and 2 suspected
  allowed to enter into their neigh-     er/investor/parent of the student     members of WBP broke out in the
  borhood. The Tempe Gang Unit           stating his son has been              middle of the street (Del Rio just
  has learned information that           approached by people in the           east of McClintock). The fight was
  members of LVL have stated they        neighborhood who are complain-        broken up by police just as it
  are going to take their neighbor-      ing about the parties the college     started and no-punches were
  hood back.                             student is throwing and the trash     thrown. The LVL mem-
       As a result of the homicide       being found on the street because     bers/affiliates had a gun with
  investigation, members of LVL          of them. The neighbors reportedly     them at the fight but the gun was
  were labeled “snitches” and            told the student that “Anglos” are    not displayed.
  attempts have been made to run         not typically welcome in the               On February 10th 2008
  specific individuals out of the        neighborhood and he should be         Documented LVL gang member,
  neighborhood. On 02-03-07,             careful. A comment was also           Jaime Martinez, and a female
  Ezekiel Soliaza was arrested (07-      made about the house behind his       associate, Sawajee Chiquette, con-
  020230) for punching Daniel            house at 2331 E Don Carlos stat-      ducted a carjacking of a resident
  Estrada then giving a shout out to     ing the student should not let his    living in the Oaks (condos border-

68 June 2010     Law Enforcement Sensitive
 Appendix C
                                                                           RMIN Special Report

ing the Acres to the East).             2008, and it was clear these tags      October and November 2008 in
Immediately after stealing the vehi-    were directly related to the upcom-    and around Escalante Park though
cle they went into Mesa where they      ing trial as one of the witness’s      all suspects are gone by the time
did a home invasion. Both Mesa          (Daniel Estrada) grandmother’s         police arrive. On Nov. 7, 2008, sev-
and Tempe Police Officers were in       homes was tagged with large let-       eral male subjects that were hang-
the area and contacted the vehicle.     ters “FUCK SNITCHES” as well as        ing out at 2117 E. Howe Avenue (a
Martinez began firing on Officers       LVL tags directly across the street.   common LVL hangout just south of
from his vehicle that Chiquette was     Photos of the graffiti along with      Escalante Park) confronted another
driving. Chiquette surrendered and      several hours of recorded jail tapes   LVL member (Emmanuel
jumped out of the moving vehicle        of Matt Perez talking to family and    “Shamrock” Serrano) who was
while Martinez exited also.             friends about snitches and how to      leaving the house after talking with
Martinez walked up to officers          deal with them were turned over to     a female subject (08-187448). The
while firing at them as they tried to   Matt’s defense attorney. Members       group surrounded Serrano and at
retreat. Martinez was killed by         of the Perez and Bello family were     least five subjects assaulted him
returning gunfire. According to         notified of the potential cases        causing serious physical injury.
Mesa PD Martinez’ family is upset       against them and asked not to          Two of the suspects were identified
with the police for killing Jaime. It   intimidate or hurt any victims or      and arrested for aggravated
should be noted that Martinez was       witnesses related to the Mother’s      assault, Roger and Jonathon
also being investigated by MCSO         Day Homicide Investigation. Matt       Austin (LVL members). A notice
for two drive-by shootings against      pleaded guilty to the Second           was mailed to Joe Yanez (the sus-
affiliates of Varrio Guadalupe          Degree Murder on March 24th            pects’ grandfather and RP for the
Locos and striking a female pas-        2008, and was sentenced to 20          residence) from the Crime
senger of a vehicle driving east-       years in prison on May 23rd 2008.      Prevention Unit notifying the resi-
bound on Guadalupe into Tempe.              The symbols for LVL now also       dents about the illegal activity
The vehicle was again shot at while     include the Tempe “T,” ASU             occurring at the residence and the
turning northbound on Rural Road        (maroon color and ASU symbol) as       notice included a warning about
from Guadalupe. The female was          well as the ASU Sun Devil              the Criminal Abatement statutes.
reportedly an ex-girlfriend of          (Sparky). The Sparky tattoo has             On Dec. 13, 2008, LVL and
Martinez.                               been seen on both Steven Ferrell       Guadalupe (VGL gang members
     At the end of February 2008        and Tyson Salas (both LVL mem-         seen at the event) had their annual
LVL member Rafael Jaramillo and         ber). On 5-24-08 a vehicle occu-       football game at the new park on
Daniel Holman (not a documented         pied by Steven Fowler and Paul         McArthur (Esquer Park). The event
member) conducted a home inva-          Brandon Hale (both LVL members)        was well attended with many of the
sion on a suspected drug house          was displaying a Sparky sticker on     LVL subjects wearing maroon or
near 1900 E. Hayden Lane in             the rear window. The annual LVL        Black t-shirts with La Victoria writ-
Tempe. Jaramillo and Holman tied        football game also has all LVL         ten on them along with a skull
up the five occupants of the resi-      members and affiliates dressed         logo. The Tempe Gang Unit and
dence at gunpoint and stole             down in ASU clothing and maroon        Mesa Gang Unit conducted surveil-
approximately $7,000 in property        colors. A group photo of the LVL       lance and ensured the safety of the
from the residence. Both suspects       team was discovered on a MySpace       surrounding citizens. The Gang
were later arrested and charged         account of an LVL member. Maroon       Unit originally learned about the
with robbery and kidnapping.            colored flags (or bandanas) have       game through a phone call from a
     During the month of March          been displayed by LVL members at       concerned citizen from the neigh-
2008 the Acres received more than       McClintock High School Football        borhood who was fearful violence
50 new LVL taggings throughout          games in 2007-2008. LVL claims         might break out between the two
the neighborhood including every        these symbols as synonymous with       gangs. There was one small fight
entrance to the neighborhood.           the gang as their territory is adja-   that broke out on the field during
Some of the tags depicted anti-         cent to the ASU campus and hous-       play but was broken up by both
snitching slogans. The Mother’s         ing facilities.                        sides. Noah Morales (LVL) signed
Day (Matt Perez) homicide trial was         Tempe PD has received several      for the event permit.
scheduled to begin on March 31,         fight and assault calls between

                                                                   Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010           69
      RMIN Special Report                                                                                 Appendix D

  RISSGang Project™
            hink of RISSGang as one of           Each page contains news items,          WHO CAN ACCESS RISSGANG?
      T     many tools you can use in
            the battle against gangs.
  RISSGang can serve as your agency’s
                                            documents, publications, graphics,
                                            pictures, and links to other websites
                                            related to gangs and gang-identifying
                                                                                              RISSGang is available to all law
                                                                                         enforcement and criminal justice agen-
  sole gang intelligence database or it     information. Gang-related information
  can be used to supplement the gang        that is more general in nature is pre-
  database you are now using.               sented on the RISSGang website home
                                                                                         WHAT ARE THE ADDITIONAL
                                                 The RISSGang Program also offers        BENEFITS OF RISSGANG?
  WHAT IS THE RISS® NATIONAL                the RISSGang Bulletin Board, a collab-            Through RISSNET™, the RISS
  GANG PROGRAM?                             orative information sharing bulletin         secure intranet, all RISSGang users
       The RISS National Gang Program       board where authorized users can post        are provided with a secure e-mail
  is a suite of applications, known col-    and share gang-related information,          address and access to the RISS
  lectively as RISSGang, that provides a    questions and case information. The          Automated Trusted Information
  comprehensive investigative tool to       RISSGang Bulletin Board provides a           Exchange™ (ATIX). RISS ATIX™ pro-
  help combat gang-related crimes. The      live chat feature for on-line, real-time     vides governmental and nongovern-
  applications include the RISS National    communication.                               mental agency officials and executive
  Gang Intelligence Database, the                                                        staff with secure interagency commu-
  RISSGang website, and the RISSGang                                                     nication and sharing of national secu-
  Bulletin Board.                           LINKS AND SPECIAL SECURITY                   rity, disaster, and terrorist threat infor-
                                            FOR YOUR SAFETY                              mation. Through RISS ATIX, users can
                                                                                         access secure web pages, bulletin
  INTELLIGENCE                                   The RISSGang website provides
                                                                                         boards, chat sessions, e-mail and
      The RISS National Gang                links to websites operated by govern-
                                                                                         other resources.
  Intelligence Database provides law        ment and private organizations that
  enforcement agencies with easy access     have an interest in tracking and com-
  to gang information – including sus-      bating illegal gang activities, as well as   WHY SHOULD I USE
                                            websites of interest to law enforcement
  pects, organizations, weapons, loca-
                                            agencies. A special filter is automati-      RISSGANG?
  tions, and vehicles – as well as visual
                                            cally applied when a user clicks on one          • Easy to Use: The database
  imagery of gang members, gang sym-
                                            of the links to these websites, eliminat-    enables users to easily submit and
  bols, and gang graffiti.
                                            ing the ability of the target websites to    search information.
                                            identify agencies and officers visiting
  INFORMATION AND RESOURCES                 the site – you’re an anonymous visitor.
                                                                                             • Valuable: RISSGang contains
                                                                                         nationwide criminal gang and gang
       In addition to the multitude of
                                                                                         member information.
  intelligence records contained in the
  RISS National Gang Intelligence           TRAINING                                         • Secure: RISSGang is only avail-
  Database, users can access additional                                                  able by accessing RISSNET, which
                                                 RISS and other organizations            employs state-of-the-art internet tech-
  tools and resources through the           develop training materials and conduct
  RISSGang website. Gang-specific news,                                                  nologies to safeguard and provide fine-
                                            training classes on topics of interest to    grained access control to resources.
  documents, and publications are           law enforcement agencies involved in
  organized into topical areas including:                                                     • No Cost: Through BJA funding,
                                            combating illegal gang activities. The
  • Motorcycle Gangs • Prison Gangs                                                      there is no cost for users to become
                                            RISSGang website provides access to a
                                                                                         activated or maintain their access to
  • Ethnic Gangs • Graffiti • Colors        collection of that information on a sep-
                                            arate page within the site.
  • Street Gangs • Youth Gangs
                                                                                              To get started, talk with your
  • Tattoos • Crypto/Codes                                                               RMIN Field Services Coordinator or
  • Drug Gangs • Hate Groups                                                             visit www.riss.net
  • Hand Signs • Terminology

70 June 2010     Law Enforcement Sensitive
 Appendix E
                                                      RMIN Special Report

Documenting, deciphering gang graffiti
     Graffiti produced by gang members is
different than graffiti produced by non-
gang members (“taggers” describes indi-
viduals who produce graffiti, often with
aerosol paint, and are not associated with
a gang).
     Graffiti should be removed immediate-
ly after the graffiti has been:
• Documented with date/time/location/
description and other available informa-
• Photographed and catalogued or filed for
easy retrieval
• Deciphered, including listing any/all
names and whether there are indications
the person caused the damage or was list-
ed on a “roll call” (a listing of all members
of the gang, including the person who
caused the damage)
• Reviewed for threats. Treat all threats
within the graffiti as if they were verbal
threats and take the threats seriously.
Deciphering gang graffiti:
• When something is painted upside
down, split in half or crossed out using an
“X,” these are signs of disrespect to the
particular gang.
• Arrows pointing down in gang graffiti is
a sign of disrespect to the particular gang.
• Arrows pointing up in gang graffiti is a
sign of respect for a particular gang.
• Gangs will typically use a directional
indicator, such as East Side (ES)
• Gangs will use their own area code to
indicate where they are from.
• Gangs will use their state initials or
name to “represent” where they are from.
• Gangs often use Roman numerals in
place of ordinal numbers.
• Gangs often list their rivals and allies
within the graffiti.

                                                Law Enforcement Sensitive June 2010   71
                                                                           Appendix F

       Gang signs throughout
         the RMIN region
   Gang hand signs are typically used by gang members to identify
their gang affiliation to two distinct groups. Gang hand signs are
“thrown up” or “stacked” to gang members within their own gang,
to their gang allies, to their rivals and/or anyone that they are
attempting to disrespect or intimidate by their actions. If a gang
member displays an individual hand sign, it is being “thrown up,”
however if the gang member combines
several signs of a sequence, it is called “stacking” the signs.         3 point
   The simple display of a gang hand sign to a fellow gang mem-
ber may simply imply a high level of respect for their gang and fel-    crown -
low gang members. However, when signs are shown to rival gang
members it is very often the catalyst for a violent encounter.
                                                                        Latin Kings

6 point star - Folk Nation
                                                                       Latin Kings

Heart with wings - Folk Nation
                 Gangs: Their Increasing Grip on the Nation
        A special report from Rocky Mountain Information Network®
                                  John E. Vinson, Executive Director
                                Jeff Pierce, MS, EJD, Deputy Director
                          Val Biebrich, Administrative Services Manager
                                Mark Fritts, Field Services Manager
                                Chuck Schoville, Training Specialist
                               Kate von Seeburg, Publications Editor
                         Kelly L. Reynolds, Publications Support Specialist

About the illustrator…
Ramon Suarez is the artist who provided the original artwork on the cover of this report. He has
been with Corrections Corporation of America for 15 years, the last 10 of which he’s served as the
Facility Gang Investigator at the Central Arizona Detention Center in Florence, Arizona. Suarez
served with the U.S. Air Force as a security specialist and was deployed to Operations Desert Shield
and Desert Storm. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of
Phoenix. Our very special thanks to this talented individual who developed the concept for the
cover illustration and then drew it, freehand. The original artwork has been framed and now is on
display at Rocky Mountain Information Network headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona.

Rocky Mountain Information Network® (RMIN) is one of six regional projects in the United States
that comprise the Regional Information Sharing Systems® (RISS). Each project links law enforce-
ment agencies from neighboring states into a regional network that interacts with law enforce-
ment member agencies nation-wide. Funded by the United States Congress through the Bureau of
Justice Assistance, RISS provides secure communications, information sharing resources and in-
vestigative support to help detect, deter, prevent and prosecute multi-jurisdictional crime. Head-
quartered in Phoenix, Arizona, RMIN serves more than 15,000 law enforcement officers from
1,038 agencies in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and

Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not represent the offi-
cial position or policies of the United States Department of Justice. This report is provided for non-
commercial use only and is restricted to law enforcement agencies and personnel. Unauthorized
distribution of or posting to a non-RMIN website is prohibited. The recipient is responsible for the
security and privacy protection of this information.

                     Published 2010 by Rocky Mountain Information Network
                                         P.O. Box 41370
                                    Phoenix, AZ 85080-1370

If you’d like more information about gangs in the RMIN region or are interested in training oppor-
tunities available to member agencies at no charge, contact Chuck Schoville, Training Specialist, at
cschoville@rmin.riss.net or (800) 821-0640, ext. 122.

For information about gangs and the monthly Gang and Domestic Terrorism e-bulletin produced
by RMIN, contact Brian Novotny, CCA, Criminal Intelligence Analyst, at bnovotny@rmin.riss.net or
(800) 821-0640, ext. 163.
Rocky Mountain Information Network
Phoenix, Arizona
(800) 821-0640

           This project was supported by Grant No. 2008-RS-CX-K004
           awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau
           of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice
           Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice
           Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of
           Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Office
           for Victims of Crime. Points of view or opinions in this
           document are those of the author and do not represent
           the official position or policies of the United States
           Department of Justice.

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