surenos report by VegasStreetProphet

VIEWS: 6,199 PAGES: 56

DES Fusion Centers state intelligence reports

More Info

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 enforcement agencies
from neighboring states into a regional network that interacts with law enforcement member agencies
nationwide. Funded by Congress through the Bureau of Justice Assistance, RISS provides secure commu-
nications, information sharing resources and investigative support to combat multi-jurisdictional crime.
RMIN is headquartered in Phoenix and serves more than 1,040 law enforcement member agencies in
Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and the provinces of Alberta
and Saskatchewan in Canada.

                                      Rocky Mountain Information Network
                                                 P.O. Box 41370
                                            Phoenix, AZ 85080-1370
                                        John E. Vinson, Executive Director
                                                   Jeff Crane, Editor
                                    Kate von Seeburg, Publications Support Specialist

                                              Surenos 2008
                                      “One rule, one law, one order.”

Surenos 2008 is a special report produced by the Publications Department of Rocky Mountain Information Network. The project was
supported by Grant No. 2008-RS-CX-K004 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a com-
ponent 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 docu-
ment are those of the author and do not represent the official position or policies of the United States Department of Justice and may
not represent the opinion of the RMIN Executive Policy Board of Directors. The information contained in this special report is privi-
leged, confidential and intended for use only by law enforcement officials with a need and right to know. Prior approval must be
obtained from RMIN to further disseminate information contained in this report.
Table of Contents

Fo r e w o r d ... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... .... ..... ..... .. 2
O v e r v i e w .. .... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... .... ..... .... 4
S u r e n o s A c r o s s t h e R e g i o n ... .... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... 1 3
T h e R i s e o f S u r 1 3 ... .... ..... ..... .... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... 1 5
S u r e n o I n f l u e n c e ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... 1 7
S u r e n a s - Fe m a l e G a n g M e m b e r s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 4
O f f i c e r S a f e t y . .... ..... ..... .... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ... 36
L a w E n f o r c e m e n t S t r a t e g i e s ... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... 3 7
A p p e n d i x A : G l o s s a r y ... .... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... ..... .. 4 0
A p p e n d i x B : S u r e n o R u l e s .... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... .... 4 1
A p p e n d i x C : S u r e n o Ta t t o o s .... ..... ..... .... ..... ..... .... 4 3
A p p e n d i x D : C o n t a c t s / We b s i t e s .... .... ..... ..... .... 4 9
A p p e n d i x E : A c k n o w l e d g m e n t s .. ..... .... ..... ..... .. 5 2
        Surenos 2008: Foreword
    BY CHUCK SCHOVILLE                                                         Hispanic gang members and
    RMIN TRAINING SPECIALIST                                                   inmates.
       “I am a Sureno. One rule, one than the MS-13 gang. This can be             Over the past decade, Surenos
    law, one order.”                     attributed to the overall size of the have migrated from California
                                         Sureno movement and the prox-         and are now living and active in
       When I heard that comment
                                         imity of the RMIN region to           almost every state in the country.
    made by a Sureno gang member
    in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I     California. The Mara Salvatrucha Members of the Sureno gangs
    knew we were right about the         gang is a Sureno gang and should operate within and outside prisons
                                         be considered one of many             across America and are tightly
    decision to dedicate a Rocky
                                         California-based Hispanic gangs       controlled by the California
    Mountain Information Network
                                         that are covered by the larger        Mexican Mafia. As a result of the
    (RMIN) special report to the
                                                                                  gang’s notoriety, the Surenos
    Surenos movement.
                                         Without exception, the Sureno            have grown exponentially and
       I had not heard such a simple,                                             are now being emulated by
                                       gang movement has migrated into
    clear and concise statement                                                   individuals who have no con-
                                       every state served by RMIN, into
    claiming allegiance to a gang                                                 nection to the California
                                       our correctional facilities and into
    since the early 1990s when the                                                Mexican Mafia, yet claim to be
                                       our communities.
    Gangster Disciples began                                                      Surenos. It should be noted
    migrating into Phoenix.                                                    that not all gang members claim-
                                         Sureno gang umbrella. To pay
       Several months earlier, a group attention to the Mara Salvatrucha ing to be Sureno or a “sur” are
    sat in a room and discussed the      members and to ignore the other       from California; these imitators
    intent to develop, publish and dis- gangs loyal to the Sureno cause        are not controlled by the
    tribute a document which would       would be dangerous and costly to California Mexican Mafia.
    be useful to those involved in the communities within the RMIN                In addition to individuals who
    fight against gang-related crime.    region.                               emulate the California Surenos,
    We discussed Crips, Bloods,                                                intelligence indicates that docu-
    Arizona Mexican Mafia, and, of          The Surenos gang movement
                                         originated in prisons in the state    mented Surenos are active in
    course, MS 13.                                                             every state within RMIN, com-
                                         of California as a result of con-
       Although the Mara Salvatrucha flicts between existing inmates           mitting crimes under the guidance
    gang is a serious national prob-     and street gang members who           and leadership of California
    lem, it is clear that the Sureno     were being incarcerated. This         Mexico Mafia and Sureno gang
    gang is a major threat within the    power struggle primarily was          members who are incarcerated in
    RMIN region and at this time, is a between the Southern (“sureno”)         federal, state, county, city and pri-
    more imminent threat requiring       and Northern (“norteno”)              vate facilities throughout the
    attention from law enforcement                                             United States.

2                                         For Law Enforcement Only
   Surenos 2008 is intended to            the Surenos or whether you will            future criminal control by the
inform and educate the law                wait as many did during the                Mexican Mafia.
enforcement and criminal justice          migration of the Crips and Bloods             During the research for this
communities about the Surenos             throughout the country during the          report, I conducted or participated
who are from California and are           1980s.                                     in numerous interviews with
loyal to the California Mexican              Without exception, the Sureno           incarcerated Sureno gang mem-
Mafia. This loyalty includes the          gang movement has migrated into            bers. From those interviews, com-
willingness of Surenos gang               every state served by RMIN, into           bined with 25 years of law
members to kill or be killed as a         our correctional facilities and into       enforcement experience, I say
supporter of the Mexican Mafia.           our communities.                           with certainty that Surenos are
   The goal of Surenos: 2008 is to           The movement is a major law             focused on a complete ideology
clearly identify what a Sureno is         enforcement issue that must be             and belief in their gang and that
and what types of strategies can          addressed before Surenos are suc-          they display a dedication and loy-
be developed and implemented to           cessful in infiltrating and control-       alty that surpasses that of any
disrupt and mitigate the impact of        ling all communities and correc-           gang I’ve ever dealt with.
Surenos on our communities.               tional facilities within the RMIN             Surenos believe in their cause.
   Make no mistake: Every state,          region.                                    Their loyalty includes the willing-
every community is in the path of            Officials must recognize that           ness to kill or be killed as a sup-
the Sureno movement. The issue            Surenos are in their community             porter of the Mexican Mafia.
is whether your agency will be            and are laying the foundation for
prepared to deal effectively with

                      About the author…
                      Chuck Schoville is Training Specialist with the Rocky Mountain Information Network. He is
                   founder/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 (AZ) Police Department and spanned 25 years until his retirement as a sergeant with the depart-
                   ment’s Gang & 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.

                                         For Law Enforcement Only                                                            3
       Surenos 2008
    BY CHUCK SCHOVILLE                                                             illusioned with the newly-formed
    RMIN TRAINING SPECIALIST                                                       Mexican Mafia. Many of these
                                                                                   maravilla gang members chose to
    ORIGIN OF THE SURENOS                    south. The Sureno gang or gang        no longer align themselves to the
                                             movement includes the three           mafia. A gang that developed near-
       California’s Hispanic criminal
                                             California “super” gangs--18th        by called itself Maravilla and with
    street gangs are divided into the                                              the gang’s believe that due to its
    north (norteno) or south (sureno).       Street, Florencia 13 and Mara
                                                                                   history and standing within the
    The dividing line is generally rec-      Salvatrucha--as well as hundreds of   community, it should not and
    ognized as being near the city of        other Hispanic gangs. Surenos         would not have a loyalty to the
    Delano but others argue the divid-       include all Southern California       Mexican Mafia. Gang members
    ing line is Bakersfield or some-                                               determined they would not pay
    where near the area of Kern                                                    taxes as other gangs willingly had
    County.                                                                        done. This blatant act of defiance
       Historically, Hispanic gangs                                                and disrespect resulted in members
                                                                                   of the Maravilla gangs being
    north of the dividing line have
                                                                                   placed on a gang “green light” list
    claimed allegiance to the Nortenos                                             by the Mexican Mafia. As a result
    and those to the south claimed alle-                                           of this kill on sight order by the
    giance to the Surenos. All                                                     Mexican Mafia, gangs claiming
    California Hispanic criminal street                                            allegiance to the Surenos were bit-
    gangs claim allegiance to the                                                  ter enemies with the Maravilla
    Nortenos or Surenos, with the                                                  gangs on the street. Once incarcer-
    exception of the Fresno Bulldogs.                                              ated, however, Maravilla gang
    Whether it’s on the streets or in the                                          members sought protection to
    correctional facilities, the Fresno                                            avoid being killed by members of
    Bulldogs function independently          criminal street gangs except the      the Mexican Mafia. It was not until
    and do not align themselves with         Maravilla* gangs of East Los          recently that the “kill on sight”
                                             Angeles.                              order against the Maravilla sets
    Nortenos or Surenos. The Fresno
                                                The Sureno gang structure is       was recalled by the leadership of
    Bulldogs are a unique California-                                              the Mexican Mafia.
    based gang that has the power,           very loose and has no formal rank
                                             structure but there are well-known        Currently there are several
    strength and a large enough mem-                                               gangs in the Maravilla area that
    bership to stand on its own and          veteranos and “shot callers” who
                                                                                   are loyal to the Mexican Mafia.
    remain free from the politics of the     have influence within the gangs.      There are also several Maravilla
    Nortenos and Surenos. All other             *The early residents of a low-     gangs in that area that aren’t
    Hispanic criminal street gangs are       cost housing project in East L.A.     aligned to the Mexican Mafia that
    forced to choose a side whether          nicknamed the housing project         are referred to as Los
    they want to join in or not.             maravillosa (Spanish for mar-         Maravillosos.They are led by those
                                             velous). In the early 1950s various   men that were disillusioned by the
    SURENO                                   maravillas were responsible for the
       The word sureno translates to                                               original mafia.
                                             creation of the Mexican Mafia
    “southerner” in Spanish and the          prison gang. Several of the mar-
    word “sur” translates to the word        avilla gangs members becames dis-

4                                           For Law Enforcement Only
SAME NAME, DIFFERENT                   neighborhood street gang.               WHAT IS A SURENO?
RESULTS                                   The same phenomena occurred           When a Sureno is asked what
   In the late 1990s to early 2000s,   with the Sureno name.                 being a Sureno means, gang mem-
the term “Sureno” was being used          Like weeds popping up after a      bers, without exception, answer, “A
more frequently. Law enforcement       rainstorm, young men and women        Sureno is a foot soldier for the
believed that Sureno was a name        began claiming to be Surenos. Young   Mexican Mafia.”
given to a Southern California         gang members who had never been          The majority of Southern
Hispanic gang that wore blue and       to California started telling anyone  California Hispanic criminal street
generally lived and functioned south   who would listen that they were       gangs will call themselves Surenos
of Bakersfield. Surenos were under-    “Surenos,” “Sur Trece,” “Sur,” “Sur
                                                                             and are loyal and obedient to the
stood to be enemies of the hated       13” or any other derivative of the
                                       word sur. They began (and continue)   Mexican Mafia, also known as the
Nortenos, the Hispanic gangs north                                           Mano Negra (Black Hand).
                                       to wear clothing or carry items with
of Bakersfield.
                                       the number 13 and the word Sur,          Sureno gangs function as a “feed-
   Most traditional Southern           Southside or Southsider to claim      er system” for the Mexican Mafia. In
California Hispanic gangs rarely       allegiance to the south side.          much the same way that college
migrated into Arizona and                                                     football supplies the NFL with the
as a result, little attention Surenos believe in their cause. Their loyalty necessary talent to play football on
was paid to Surenos. This includes the willingness to kill or be killed as Sundays, Sureno gangs provide
soon changed as commu-              a supporter of the Mexican Mafia.         players for the Mexican Mafia to
nities outside California                                                     control, intimidate and dominate
were beginning to deal                                                        communities, other criminal organi-
with the arrival of Hispanic gangs         Individuals from California
                                                                             zations and most importantly, to con-
into their communities.                 Sureno gangs would move into com-
                                        munities that were controlled and    tinue to attempt to control all correc-
THE STREET VERSION SURENO dominated by long-time neighbor-                   tional facilities.
   In the early 1990s, many gang        hood gangs, bringing with them the      Gabe Morales, founder and inau-
members throughout the RMIN             California gang member’s criminal    gural president of the International
region began to emulate the gangs of mindset.                                Latino Gang Investigators
Southern California (the Crips and         There was some movement of        Association (ILGIA), noted that
the Bloods), with gangs calling         Hispanic gang members from           Surenos are “…a pool from which
themselves the Rollin’ 30s, Rollin’     California to other RMIN region      the Mexican Mafia can recruit, culti-
40s and Hoover Street Crips.            states, but the numbers remained     vate and develop future Mexican
   These newly-formed gangs had no fairly low throughout the 1990s.          Mafia members.
connection with the Southern               It was not until the last several    A Sureno has about the same odds
California gangs, other than the gang years that the significance of the     of becoming a member of the
name, which was discovered on tele- Sureno movement from California          Mexican Mafia as does a college
vision or the Internet. The name of a throughout the United States became football player of making it into a
well-known, well-respected Southern clear.                                   professional football league. But just
California gang was far superior to                                          like the rare football player who has
naming your gang after an unknown                                            the desire, passion and attitude to do

                                       For Law Enforcement Only                                                        5
    whatever it takes to play football on    becoming a Sureno may seem like a          community, a place where very few
    Sundays, the same opportunity exists     more viable option to many.                things change from year to year,
    for the Sureno who is willing to give       Some Surenos believe it’s a way         from decade to decade, with the
    his life for the cause.                  up and out of the neighborhood,            exception of those found hanging out
       Unfortunately for others, the life    which is where many of their own           on the gang corners. Often, the
    that is given during a Sureno’s pur-     family members have lived for gen-         names are the same, but the genera-
    suit down the path is frequently         erations.                                  tions have changed.
    someone else’s and during the               And who are the people most                 Youngsters growing up in commu-
    research for this special report, many   admired in these conditions? They’re       nities controlled by criminal street
    Surenos discussed killing others as      often the validated and incarcerated       gangs often have little choice but to
    though they were talking about tak-      older members of the Mexican Mafia         join the gang. Although the gang
    ing a Sunday drive.                                                                 may be sheltered by the Surenos’
       Although the majori-                                                                          blue umbrella, the young
    ty of Surenos are                                                                                gang member may know
    Hispanics from                                                                                   little about the Surenos,
    California, there are                                                                            what the Surenos repre-
    exceptions.                                                                                      sent or the future he’s
                                                                                                     committing to by becom-
       As is the case with
                                                                                                     ing a Sureno. The young
    any gang, an investiga-
                                                                                                     gangster is content to rep-
    tor should never say
                                                                                                     resent his loyalty to his
    “never” and never say
                                                                                                     community (barrio)
                                             referred to as the “eme,” or the “big      through his new gang and gang
    WHERE DOES THE SURENOS                                                              members always remain loyal to
    PATH LEAD?                                                                          their neighborhood.
       Gang members claiming alle-              These admired individuals are the
                                             “unicorns” of the barrios: Larger              As time passes, the young gang
    giance to the Sureno movement want
                                             than life magical beasts that are          member continues to be mentored
    something to believe in and want a
                                             rarely seen by anyone in the commu-        and he’s trained to be a loyal barrio
    purpose for living. In a world that
                                             nity, yet these individuals are the fea-   warrior. Those willing to rise through
    often includes dysfunctional families,
                                             tured characters in gang legends.          the ranks of their neighborhood gang
    lower socio-economic status and lim-
                                                                                        often progress to the next level.
    ited education, gang members want           These leaders, known as “shot
    to believe they can become someone       callers,” control the barrios from the         After several years of being
    others look up to.                       inside of an eight by ten cell within      schooled by veteran gang members,
                                             the highest security level prisons         it is clear to gang leaders who the
       Many of those wanting to join the
                                             throughout the United States.              true gang warriors are. Loyal and
    Surenos are addicted to drugs or
                                                                                        dedicated gang members are identi-
    alcohol, many are sociopaths and            Long before a boy sets out on the
                                                                                        fied and then typically taken into an
    many are career criminals. Instead of    Sureno path, he begins as a young-
                                                                                        older Sureno gang member’s “crew.”
    living an entire life of despair,        ster living within a small, tightly-knit
                                                                                        The crew leaders choose wisely and

6                                            For Law Enforcement Only
only those gang members willing to       THE SURENO PATH HAS MANY                 GROWTH OF THE SURENOS
do whatever is necessary on behalf       DIRECTIONS                                  Surenos have grown into one of
of the Surenos become crew mem-              While gangs claiming allegiance      the nation’s largest criminal organi-
bers. Loyalty and dedication are         to the Surenos were migrating away       zations for several reasons.
absolute requirements for member-        from California, the path of the            First, most law enforcement agen-
ship and any sign of weakness is         Surenos took many directions             cies were snot prepared to handle the
dealt with quickly.                      throughout the United States.            rapid migration of the Surenos
   When a group of five Surenos             The Sureno movement gained            throughout the country.
recently was being escorted through      instant recognition from law enforce-       As a law enforcement profession-
a correctional facility by two correc-   ment professionals on the East Coast     al, how many times have you read or
tional officers, one of the inmates      with the migration of the Mara           been asked about the Mara
physically assaulted both correction-    Salvatrucha gang. Law enforcement        Salvatrucha (MS13) gang? The
al officers and the other Surenos        officials in major metropolitan areas    answer is most likely many times
joined in the assault.                   including Minneapolis, Washington        because of the national and interna-
   One of the Surenos was asked          D.C., Chicago and almost every           tional news coverage of MS-13. But
why he joined in on the assault, even    other major U.S. city have reported      how many times have you been
though he was not initially involved.    gang activity directly related to the    asked about the Surenos, or when
   His answer, short and direct,         Sureno gang movement. Some gang          was the last time you attended a
proved his loyalty and dedication to     experts have reported that some sets     training conference with a class dedi-
the Surenos: “I was obligated,” he       of the Latin Kings gang, which origi-    cated to the Surenos?
said.                                    nated in the greater Chicago area, are
                                                                                     Second, Surenos enjoy a large
                                         now starting to claim to be loyal to
   Failure to comply and take advan-                                              membership base from which to
                                         the Surenos.
tage of the opportunity to assault the                                            draw members. Once a Sureno gang
correctional officers would have                                                  member has made the transition from
resulted in severe consequences for                                               a neighborhood gang member to a
those who didn’t participate.                                                     Sureno gang member, he follows the

   Sureno clothes/cars/accessories: Each criminal street gang has commonly identifying clothing or related
items. Because most Surenos are slightly older than the usual gangster on a street corner hanging out with
other gang members, the older Sureno will not typically wear gang-specific clothing or items that indicate
Sureno membership. You should remember, however, that many younger Sureno gang members may choose
to identify themselves with typical Sureno clothing items that are blue and include the anything with the letter
S (Southside or Sur, for example) or the number 13 or 213; the city name Los Angeles on clothing also is
associated with Sureno membership.

                                         For Law Enforcement Only                                                          7
    simple rule that Surenos should               Once a Sureno, the rules of          within a new community, Surenos
    never fight each other, but instead        engagement change. Each and every       often “tax” the local businesses as
    must unite to further the cause of the     day for the rest of their lives, a gang well as current gangs that have been
    Mexican Mafia.                             member is dedicated to furthering       conducting illegal activities.
       Gangs that formerly were rivals         the cause of the Surenos and of the        For example, a citizen owns a suc-
    on the streets and who would kill          Mexican Mafia.                          cessful dry cleaning business. After
    one another on sight are now allies           Many
    under the direction of the Surenos         will have
    while incarcerated. All movements,         the number        Surenos always remember and act according to this
    issues and/or gang-related Sureno          13 tattooed      unwritten Sureno motto: Unorganized violence causes
    business while incarcerated must be        on their              mayhem. Organized violence causes respect.
    approved by Sureno gang leaders.           body which
       A Sureno who takes business into        in a true
    his own hands without approval will        Surenos world means one thing and       the Surenos establish a stronghold in
    be dealt with by the Sureno leader-        one thing only: Mexican Mafia.          the community, they will visit the
    ship. All Sureno business must be          People who do not belong or align       business owner and inform him that
    sanctioned by the leadership because       themselves to the Surenos may also      he will be required to pay a certain
    any and all actions taken by any           use the number 13, which has many       amount of money on a weekly basis.
    Sureno, either as an individual or as      interpretations, but there is only one  In exchange for the weekly fee, the
    part of an organized and approved          meaning of the number 13 to a “true     Surenos will provide protection from
    action, could have a negative effect       blue” Sureno.                           all other gangs.
    on all Surenos.                               A loyal Sureno must remain com-         Refusal to pay the weekly “taxes”
       From 1995 to 2003, the Mexican          mitted to the cause and must be will- to the Surenos will have a disastrous
    Mafia closed its membership and            ing to “do the work” necessary to       effect on the business. The result
    would not allow any new members            succeed. If a Sureno has been           may include frequent damage to the
    to join their ranks. Since 1993, the       deemed weak or disloyal to the          business and violent assaults against
    Mexican Mafia has admitted only 13         Sureno cause, he will be dealt with     the business owner, friends of the
    new members, all from within the           severely by his former Sureno broth- owner or to the business owner’s
    ranks of the Surenos support system.       ers.                                    family.
       The majority of Sureno gang                The crimes that the Surenos are         Surenos also will tax the existing
    members have participated in crimi-        involved in are numerous. Any type      criminal street gang members for the
    nal activity since their early teens, if   of crime that will generate revenue     right to continue to sell drugs in the
    not longer. After spending many            for the Surenos is the crime of         same area that the existing gang con-
    years as a member of their local           choice.                                 trolled and intimidated for years, if not
    neighborhood-based criminal street            The easiest and most profitable      decades. Failure to comply with the
    gang, they move to the next level of       crime for Surenos to be involved in     Surenos’ request for taxation is rare,
    being a “true blue” Sureno. Those          is selling drugs. Surenos often move    because criminal street gangs under-
    loyal to the cause are considered true     into a new community and within         stand that the consequence of failure to
    warriors.                                  days have networked with existing       comply equates to a self-imposed death
                                               gang members. Once established          penalty for the violators.

8                                              For Law Enforcement Only
SURENOS FEMALES                        without hesitation for the Sureno         emulate the California gang lifestyle
   All Surenos are males, however,     cause.                                    but very little attention is given to
as is the case with most criminal         Intelligence is being developed        this type of activity by the gangs.
street gangs, they have a large        concerning female members of the             He added, “Crips and Bloods are
extended group of females equally as Surenos claiming to be Surenas.             Black and the true Sureno is from
loyal to the Sureno cause. The                                                   Califas. That’s the way it has always
                                       DIFFERENT TYPES OF                        been and that’s the way it always
females are used to conduct illegal    SURENOS                                   will be.”
activities, and are often the people      First, it is important to remember
responsible for running the business                                                This same Sureno was unable to
                                       that there are three distinctive types
for their incarcerated boyfriends or                                             answer the second question because
                                       of Surenos: There are Surenos from
husbands. Numerous investigations                                                he was laughing.
                                       California and there are Surenos
have shown that the Security Threat    from other states. There are also a          Clearly, this Surenos’ viewpoint is
Groups (STG) within the RMIN           large number of Hispanics that are        different than what law enforcement
region rely heavily on female associ- migrating from South or Central            is actually dealing with.
ates to conduct correspondence and     America that are claiming they are           Based on recent research, there
communications to facilitate the       Sureno members.                           are females who have started to call
gang’s business. These females are                                               themselves Surenas but do not
                                          Many California Surenos have
                                                       been asked the same       appear to be associated with the
                                                       two questions concern-    California Surenos. Law enforcement
     From 1995 to 2003, the Mexican Mafia
                                                       ing membership or alle-   may encounter females who are
  closed its membership and would not allow
                                                                                 referring to themselves as Surenas
 any new members to join their ranks. Since giance to the Surenos:
                                                       1) Can you be a Sureno    (see page 40).
  1993, the Mexican Mafia has admitted only
  13 new members, all from within the ranks            if you are not from       HOW WILL SURENOS AFFECT
         of the Surenos support system.                California; and, 2) Are   YOUR COMMUNITY?
                                                       there female members         Within Arizona, Surenos are con-
                                                       of the Surenos, aka       sidered a Security Threat Group, a
often used to collect, store and dis-                                            distinction that was first recognized
seminate drugs on behalf of the gang                                             by Ken Lucas of the Corrections
and to act as an unofficial banker for    Without exception, a look of
                                       amazement and bewilderment                Corporation of America (CCA), a
Sureno members. The females asso-                                                nationally recognized STG expert.
ciated with the Surenos should be      accompanies the response, as typi-
                                                                                 While working for the Arizona
considered just as dangerous and are fied by this recent exchange:               Department of Corrections, Lucas
equally involved in criminal activi-      In response to the first question, a
                                       Sureno answered, “These fools that        recognized the early warning signs
ties as are the male gang members.                                               of an imminent danger from the
Females are occasionally referred to   aren’t from California can call them-
                                       selves Surenos if they want, but a        Surenos.
as Surenas, or females loyal to and
                                       true blue Sureno is from Califas.”           Early in 2000, Lucas wrote,
supportive of the Sureno men. The
female associates of the Sureno gang      This hard core member of the           “Universally, they [Surenos] present
members should be considered dan-      Sureno gang offered that the Surenos      a high threat level to the public and
                                       have seen youngsters wanting to           law enforcement communities.
gerous and will also harm or kill

                                       For Law Enforcement Only                                                           9
     Surenos in the Arizona prison system      and correctional facilities throughout rivals and few allies. The biggest
     are comprised of an undetermined          the RMIN region and the entire             threat to the Surenos is the Nortenos,
     number of members and associates—         country will be dealing with the neg- who align themselves with a separate
     more than 100. They are present           ative impact of the gangs’ migration. powerful California based prison
     throughout the Arizona Department             A quote from a Sureno incarcerat- gang, the Nuestra Familia.
     of Corrections. They have for all         ed in the Arizona Department of               The Surenos refer to the Nortenos
     intents and purposes declared war         Corrections mirrors Lucas’ warning,        as farmeros, derogatory slang for
     against the Arizona ‘New’ Mexican         not only to the state of Arizona but       “farmers,” as a way of indicating that
     Mafia. (Author’s note: It is important    to all states: “We represent strength      in the Surenos’ opinion, many of the
     to remember that the California           and those who are true will be proud Nortenos are Hispanic migrant farm
     Surenos are loyal to the Mexican          to fly under the bandera of the real       workers.
     Mafia that originated in the state of     mano de negra [Black Hand of the              Although Surenos are considered
     California; the Arizona Mexican           California Mexican Mafia].                 a Security Threat Group (STG) with-
     Mafia, which originated in Arizona,
                                                   “The enemy can know
     is separate and distinct from the
                                               all day long of the com-
     Mexican Mafia.)                                                             If you make the mistake of stripping a
                                               mon knowledge which is
        “Surenos currently pose the great-     the change that is com-             Sureno of his dignity or respect, be
     est potential for increasingly violent    ing—the change for the                prepared for the consequences.
     acts and Security Threat Group            better for kanpoleros
     Activities that will influence the safe   [brothers]—and that is common              in the Arizona Department of
     and orderly operation of our prison       knowledge.                                 Corrections, Surenos are not consid-
     system.”                                                                             ered an STG within the California
                                                   “And no matter what they think,
        Many did not recognize the early       they are going to be sneaky or smart. Department of Corrections but
     warning sirens that Lucas was acti-       They can never stop or disrupt what        instead, a group which is considered
     vating, but it was soon clear that he     is taking place and [expletive delet-      disruptive and is closely monitored.
     was right. Between the year 2000          ed] their leaders and the rules that       Due to the high number of inmates
     when Lucas sounded the warning            they try and set. We are under our         claiming membership in other vali-
     sirens and August of 2008, the            own codes and reglas [rules], and no dated California prison gangs, the
     Arizona Department of Corrections         basura [garbage] is going to tell us       California Department of Corrections
     has seen a dramatic increase of gang      what’s right and wrong. I’m riding         does not have the ability to include
     members claiming allegiance to the        hasta la muerta [‘til the death].”         the Surenos as a STG.
     Sureno prison gang.                                                                     A Sureno gang member recently
                                                   Make no mistake about it: The
        Today, the Arizona Department of       Surenos are a dangerous and violent        described how the Surenos have
     Corrections identifies Surenos as a       gang.                                      taken and will continue to take over
     validated Security Threat Group                                                      communities one street at a time, one
                                                   The Surenos have one clearly
     (STG). It is probable that as Hispanic                                               crime at a time.
                                               understood purpose, which is to sup-
     gang members from Southern                                                              According to this Sureno, there
                                               port the Mexican Mafia at all costs,
     California continue to flee that                                                     are many reasons why Surenos gang
                                               including death. Surenos have many
     state’s three strikes law, communities                                               members are migrating, with one

10                                             For Law Enforcement Only
being the most compelling: Many           Arizona Mexican Mafia have been              States and communities lacking a
California gang members are moving        “kill on sight” enemies for several        powerful Hispanic Security Threat
away from their home state as a           decades.                                   Group are easy prey for Surenos:
result of the “third strike” law in          However, with a newly-formed
California.                               truce between the Arizona and                 • The Surenos will not have to
    Out of fear of being incarcerated     California Mexican Mafia factions,         deal with the “politics” that are often
for life, many gang members move          members and supporters of both             involved in states with powerful
to states with less restrictive gang      gangs are hesitant to cause friction       Hispanic Security Threat Groups,
statutes. Once these gang members         between the two powerful groups.           such as Arizona and Texas.
arrive in a new community, they typ-      (Editor’s note: How this “truce”
                                                                                        • Without a gang powerful enough
ically find the local law enforcement     unfolds remains to be seen and law
                                                                                     to control gang migration, Surenos
ill-prepared to deal effectively with a   enforcement and corrections officials
                                                                                     will move quickly toward domina-
major criminal organization such as       are taking a “wait and see”
                                                                                     tion at all costs.
the Surenos.                              approach.)
                                                                                        • States without a valid Hispanic
    How a Sureno will operate and            As a result, when a Sureno moves
                                                                                     Security Threat Group have seen a
commit crimes in a new community          into Arizona—a state with an estab-
                                                                                     dramatic increase in the number of
will vary, depending on the state and     lished and powerful Hispanic
                                                                                     Surenos being incarcerated within
existing gangs within the area, and       Security Threat Group such as the
                                                                                     their states. Once incarcerated,
on the current status of the relation-    Arizona Mexican Mafia—Surenos
                                                                                     Surenos move quickly to gain con-
ships between those gangs.                will take the steps necessary to
                                                                                     trol over what the gang considers its
    For example, within the state of      establish themselves in Arizona.
                                                                                     portion of the prison yards, dining
Arizona, the majority of Hispanic            Those steps could include meeting       halls, housing dorms and every other
criminal street gangs are loyal to the    with representatives of the dominant       facet of every correctional facility
Arizona Mexican Mafia.                    gang in the area and paying “taxes” to
                                                                                     within the state.
                                          the controlling gang as a form of appre-
    The California Mexican Mafia          ciation for the gang’s acts of goodwill       Once settled into their new envi-
(with which all Surenos align them-       and willingness to share in the wealth.    ronment, Surenos quickly establish a
selves and are loyal to) and the                                                     reputation and garner respect from

    Sureno tattoos: Although there are numerous tattoos associated with being a Sureno, there is just one
 tattoo that signifies or proves membership. The word “Sureno” is a tattoo that must be earned and can never
 be taken for granted. If a person has the Sureno tattoo and has not earned it by dedicating himself to the
 Sureno cause and has proven he is “down for the cause,” he will have a difficult time explaining it to the
 Surenos if he is incarcerated. As one Sureno responded when asked about the possible scenario, the Sureno
 smiled and explained, “It wouldn’t be good.” There are other tattoos that may indicate Sureno membership
 such as “LA” or “213” (a Los Angeles telephone area code), yet these tattoos do not have the same signifi-
 cance as the word Sureno tattooed on a person. Tattoos such as “LA” or “SO CALI” should be considered indi-
 cators of possible Sureno membership.

                                          For Law Enforcement Only                                                             11
all other criminal street gangs. Most       Surenos and/or the Mexican Mafia.           back to the Surenos.
local criminal street gang members             Level#3: Don’t let your victim be           If a member of the crew is arrested
from these communities are fearful of       found. Ever.                                or is no longer able to actively partici-
the Surenos, a gang with a reputation                                                   pate in the criminal activity, he is
                                               Surenos are motivated by the possi-
for harming or killing if necessary to                                                  quickly replaced by another Sureno,
                                            bility of becoming a validated member
promote the Sureno cause. Most if not                                                   often from a different geographic area
                                            of the Mexican Mafia. “I’ll make you
all gang members across America                                                         of the country.
                                            famous,” a line from the movie “Billy
understand the dangers and conse-
                                            the Kid,” is a phrase that Mexican             As one Sureno recently explained,
quences of crossing the Surenos.
                                            Mafia members enjoy using. The              “Don’t think that when a Sureno gets
   Any gang or gang member refusing         mafia’s saying is indeed accurate: the      arrested by the local cops that he won’t
to pay the required respect to the newly    Mexican Mafia has made people               be replaced. He’ll be replaced by anoth-
arrived Sureno is dealt with quickly and    famous, but for all the wrong reasons.      er Surenos as a replacement for the
violently. An act of violence that would                                                incarcerated brother.” This replacement
                                               After Surenos have arrived and gar-
appear to be unlikely or infrequent in                                                  is often referred to as a carnale [broth-
                                            nered the respect of and established a
most communities is a way of life and a                                                 er].
                                            relationship with other criminals in the
common occurrence for the Surenos
                                            community, they are ready to become            “This is business,” the Sureno said,
and the Mexican Mafia.
                                            involved in many different types of         “and that’s why we are everywhere
   As explained by a Sureno, any            criminal activity.                          now.”
“SUR”—who he described as a
                                               Most Surenos are career criminals           While conducting criminal activity in
“Soldier Under Recognition”—is obli-
                                            and are able and willing to commit any      the new and often naïve communities,
gated to do whatever he is told to do to
                                            type of crime to make money.                the Surenos function under one simple
further the goals of the Surenos.
                                            Generally, Surenos will become              rule: Do whatever you need to do to
   This same Sureno explained that          involved in drug activity, stolen vehi-     accomplish the goals of the Surenos,
killing a person on behalf of the           cles, identity theft and associated         but just make sure you can justify it.
Mexican Mafia is expected if a person       crimes including fraud and extortion.          It is important to remember that if a
wants to be considered a strong soldier
                                               In order to be successful, Surenos       Sureno is arrested in a community and
and has hopes of becoming a validated
                                            often will bring several Sureno mem-        incarcerated in the local jail or correc-
member of the Mexican Mafia.
                                            bers, commonly referred to as a “crew,”     tional facility, he is expected to contin-
   He added that when a Sureno kills        into the community. The crew will           ue to conduct himself in a Sureno man-
another person, there are three levels of   work under the direction of a leader        ner to include committing crimes for
death:                                      chosen and sent to the new location by      the gang while in custody. And a
   Level #1: Do it quick and do it close.   a Sureno gang member with high              Sureno must always remember and act
   Level #2: Do it quick, do it close,      authority, typically referred to as a       according to this unwritten Sureno
but do it real good. Leave no doubt that    “shot caller.” The crew leader will man-    motto: Unorganized violence causes
the person being killed disrespected the    age the criminal operations and will        mayhem. Organized violence causes
                                            funnel proceeds from the illegal activity   respect.

        Sureno financial matters: It is difficult to predict or estimate the amount of illegal revenue that is generat-
     ed by members of the Surenos or to determine the origin or path of the money. Some Surenos and Mexican
     Mafia members may have access to large amounts of money, yet the norm would be for a Sureno to have lim-
     ited access to large amounts of currency. Often, money that is generated through illegal criminal activities is
     spent on drugs or on maintaining the gang lifestyle.

12                                          For Law Enforcement Only
Sureno Gang Activities Across the
Rocky Mountain Region

                                                                                money, not just protecting a barrio or
BY BRIAN NOVOTNY                                                                turf. They continue to have ties to
                                                                                their original communities but may
                                                                                not live there if more money can be
O     n May 5, 2008, a Sureno 13
      gang member was shot and
killed by officers from the Blackfoot
                                        enforcement dealing with them on a
                                        local level. Often times, local agen-
                                        cies arrest a gang suspect for crimes
                                                                                made by moving to another state.
                                                                                   In some cases, the Surenos may
(ID) Police Department following a      in their community and fail to look     direct specific members to locations
chase and fight with officers. After    at the big picture in terms of why      to “set up shop” for the gang. These
the fatal shooting, members from the    that particular gang member is in       members are often long time mem-
suspect’s Sureno gang                                                                       bers who hold rank with-
threatened to retaliate                                                                     in the gang and have
against officers and their                                                                  instant credibility with
families.                                                                                   local gang members. In
    The events revolving                                                                    addition, these same
around the shooting and                                                                     members may come from
its aftermath highlight                                                                     larger cities and become
how gang expansion                                                                          the proverbial “big fish in
across the RMIN region                                                                      a little pond.” Money
is no longer only a “big                                                                    generated by these expan-
city” problem. The Sureno gang has                                                          sion gangs is typically
spread across the region like a         their community. What other crimes      funneled back to the larger organiza-
plague and it is through the sharing    are gang members committing for         tion -- the Mexican Mafia, for exam-
of intelligence that law enforcement    the gang? If gang members aren’t        ple.
can work together to combat the         local, when did they come to the           Surenos have been documented in
Sureno expansion.                       community?                              every RMIN state. The largest num-
    Sureno gangs, like so many other       With gang mobility, the need to      bers have been seen in Arizona, New
gangs, have operated across the         share information is more vital than    Mexico, Nevada and Idaho. They
region for many years with law          ever. Gang members such as the          have begun to expand into the
                                        Surenos are now focused on making       remaining states but additional intel-

                                        For Law Enforcement Only                                                      13
     ligence is needed to confirm exact           Utah – Sureno gang members             stabbing and beating a man in May
     numbers and locations.                    arrested as part of Operation             2008.
        For example, in Wyoming, the           Community Shield, a comprehensive            Arizona – Surenos and Mexican
     Surenos have a large influence on         initiative launched by ICE in 2005 to     nationals have been integrated in
     Hispanic gangs in the Cheyenne area       disrupt and dismantle transnational       prison yards over the past several
     but in terms of numbers they are not      violent street gangs. This multi-         months. Isolated incidents have
     as large as in other cities. It is also   agency operation targeted violent         occurred but the Mexican Mafia still
     difficult for an accurate number to be    street gangs and their criminal asso-     controls the Hispanic prison inmate
     determined when agencies in differ-       ciates in 53 cities across 28 states.     population.
     ent states document Surenos in vari-      Nearly 50 Mexican Nationals
                                                                                            Federal Prison – Mexican
     ous manners. For example, Sur 13,         involved in gang activity across Utah
                                                                                         Mafia/Surenos have assaulted vari-
     Sureno 13, Sur X III, and Sureno          County and in Ogden, Utah, were
                                                                                         ous Paisa inmates and it is possible
     Thirteen each can be a Sureno gang        arrested.
                                                                                         that the Paisa and Border Brothers
     but shows up differently in database         Idaho – Jerome, Idaho investigat-      may form an alliance to protect
     searches. Another issue is that a         ed a series of shootings between Sur      themselves from EME and Surenos.
     Sureno is not limited to a “Southern      13 and Norte 14 gang members in           Additional intelligence/analysis is
     California” gang member only.             June 2008.                                being sought to confirm this.
        Highlights of Sureno activity             Wyoming – a 19-year-old with
     across the RMIN region include but        Sureno gang ties was charged with
     are not limited to:                       attempted second-degree murder for

                           About the author…
                           Brian Novotny is a criminal intelligence analyst with Rocky Mountain Information Network, conduct-
                        ing criminal intelligence work on gang/illegal activity in the eight RMIN states. Prior to joining RMIN,
                        Novotny served as a paralegal/bureau chief with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and as an instruc-
                        tor in the paralegal program at Long Technical College. A graduate of Arizona State University with a
                        bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, Novotny is a Civilian Reserve with the Arizona Department of
                        Public Safety, currently with the State Gang Enforcement Task Force. He is a member of numerous gang
     associations across the nation and serves on the board of directors of the Arizona Gang Investigators Association.

14                                      For Law Enforcement Only
The Rise of Sur 13
                                                                               EME and gang members from
MARYLAND STATE POLICE                                                          Northern California who adopted
                                                                               the name Nuestra Familia (NF).
   For decades, law enforcement           area have documented a growing          By the late 1970s, the
officers in Southern California           population of Sureno gangs—the       Californian city of Bakersfield
have seen the transformation of           largest two being Mara               was roughly the dividing line
independent Hispanic varrios into         Salvatrucha and 18th Street.         between the Nortenos and the
a more unified group collectively            Although East Coast Latino        Surenos. The varrios or gangs on
known as the Surenos. This col-           gangs often mirror the Sureno        each side of the line were expect-
lective, also known as South              hierarchy on the West Coast, the     ed to follow the edicts of EME or
Siders or Southern Mexicans, and          East Coast has a unique and often    NF.
sometimes called Southern United          misidentified stand alone, with         To show their allegiance to
Raza (SUR), was originally                independent Sureno gangs gain-       EME, Sureno gangs adopted the
formed by the Mexican Mafia               ing strength from a distant third    color blue and incorporated the
prison gang with the idea that a          place. This gang is known only       number “13” into their names.
degree of order and cooperation           by the generic name Sur 13.          Established varrios like Florencia,
could be introduced to neighbor-             La EME used the number “13,”      Tortilla Flats and Frogtown began
hood gangs that had been battling         representing the thirteenth letter   marking their territory with the
for generations. Together, the var-       of the alphabet, as a symbol of      identifiers F 13, CVTF 13, and
rios were stronger and more pow-          their organization. Members also     FTR 13, signifying the birth of
erful.                                    displayed their affiliation by       the Sureno gang identity. Terms
   On the East Coast, Sureno              wearing or carrying blue ban-        such as Sureno, Trece and Sur 13
gangs first received widespread           danas while incarcerated             came to be generic representa-
attention in the late 1990s after a       (Morales, 2006).                     tions of a gang or gang member’s
series of high profile crimes by             EME recruited largely from the    affiliation with La EME and that
members of Mara Salvatrucha in            Southern California varrios—a        the gang member was from
the Baltimore/Washington metro-           distinction that came to define      Southern California.
politan area. In the years since,         them in the late 1960s when a           Since the emergence of Sureno
law enforcement officers in that          violent conflict emerged between

                                          For Law Enforcement Only                                                   15
     gangs as a unified group, many          metropolitan area, Sur 13 operates        largest gangs in the
     members have left Southern              as independent geographically             Baltimore/Washington metropoli-
     California for other parts of the       based gangs with little or no hier-       tan area. Sur 13 members are
     country in search of social change      archy, rank structure or regional         involved in crimes ranging from
     or other opportunities both legal       interaction. Each Sur 13 set              illegal drug sales to homicide and
     and illegal (Egley and Ritz,            claims its own territory and com-         their numbers continue to swell.
     2006). With this migration, mem-        mits its own criminal activities          If Sur 13 remains under the radar
     bers of rival varrios have found        independent of other Sur 13 sets.         of law enforcement officers, the
     themselves thrown together in              Young Sur 13 members who               gang will continue to grown
     small groups.                           have been interviewed by capital          unabated in the shadow of other
        Their common bond drew for-          area law enforcement officers             nationally recognized Sureno
     mer enemies closer: They were all       seem to have little understanding         gangs.
     Surenos. The perceived need for         of their Sureno roots and have no            References:
     self-protection or to work together     direct or indirect contact with              Morales, G.C. (2006). Varrio Warfare:
     to commit crimes drove these            EME. Many have spent little or            Violence in the Latino Community. San
                                                                                       Antonio: Munguia Printers, Inc.
     groups to organize as gangs who         no time in L.A. Others have come
                                                                                          Egley, Arlen Jr. and Ritz, Christina E.
     identified themselves as Sur 13.        to the United States from Mexico
                                                                                       (2006). Highlights of the 2004 National
     This trend was first noticed by         already claiming membership in            Youth Gang Survey (Report #01) Office
     law enforcement officers in Texas       Sur 13.                                   of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
     and other parts of the southwest-          Anecdotal evidence suggests            Prevention: U.S. Department of Justice.
     ern United States and gradually         that despite being only loosely
     spread across the country.              related to the West Coast Surenos,
        In the Baltimore/Washington          today Sur 13 is among the ten

        About the author…
        Andy Eways is a sworn police officer currently holding the rank of sergeant with the Maryland State Police. He has
     served as a member and supervisor of Gang Enforcement Unit and is currently a Criminal Investigation supervisor, oversee-
     ing major investigations, tactical and field operations and helping coordinate gang intelligence between municipalities and
     the Office of the States Attorney. Sgt. Eways is a member of the East Coast Gang Investigator’s Association, International
     Latino Gang Investigator’s Association, New York Gang Investigator’s Association, New Jersey Gang Investigator’s
     Association, California Gang Investigator’s Association and MARGIN. He is a nationally known speaker on gang interdiction
     and investigation strategies.

16                                           For Law Enforcement Only
 The Sureno Influence in the
 Southern California Gangs
                                                                                    usually have few links to each other.
BY GABRIEL C. MORALES, FOUNDER AND VICE PRESIDENT                                   They seldom wear unified colors in
INTERNATIONAL LATINO GANG INVESTIGATORS ASSOCIATION                                 Los Angeles as they do not want to
                                                                                    bring attention onto themselves by
   Editor’s note: This portion of the      cation. In Southern California, the
                                                                                    law enforcement or their enemies.
Surenos 2008 special report provides       gang structure is very loose; the
                                                                                    Outside of Southern California,
you with an overview of individual         make-up is more horizontal than the
                                                                                    Sureños may wear blue to signify a
Sureno gangs or “sets.” It may be of       vertical hierarchy of many Midwest
                                                                                    unified group especially at parties or
use when a member of your agency           and East Coast gangs. There are no
                                                                                    funerals. Sureños from different and
encounters a gang member from one          generals or presidents, but there are
                                                                                    sometimes warring gangs in Los
of the following gangs. It recently        veteranos and “shotcallers” who
                                                                                    Angeles may come together in other
has been confirmed that there are          have influence within their gang.
                                                                                    parts of the country. They may make
more than 500 Hispanic criminal            Most Sureños do not personally
                                                                                    truces with other gangs, but when
street gangs under the Surenos             know any Mexican Mafia (EME)
                                                                                    they grow large enough, will often
alliance in California with an esti-       members, but will still put “13” for
                                                                                    declare war on them. In the
mated 50,000 members. This                 the 13th letter “M” after their name
                                                                                    California Department of
overview does not include every            as a matter of respect (Sur 13).
                                                                                    Corrections, Los Angeles County
Sureno gang but it does include the        Sureños are not so much foot sol-
                                                                                    Jail, and on the street in South
well-established gangs. We are             diers for La EME, but are more like
                                                                                    Central L.A. they are often at war
grateful to Gabe Morales for his per-      a pool from which La EME will
                                                                                    with African-American gangs.
mission to reprint this material           recruit the best and most feared ones.
which originally was published in                                                      Sureño gangs in Los Angeles,
                                              Mara Salvatrucha 13, 18th Street,
2006.                                                                               California, will often use their area
                                           Florencia 13, 38th Street and hun-
                                                                                    code, such as 213, in gang graffiti.
                                           dreds of other gangs originating in
                                                                                    Sureños in and out of Los Angeles
   “Sureño” means Southerner in            Southern California are all Sureño
                                                                                    may also don blue L.A. Dodgers
Spanish. When you are dealing with         gangs. These Sur 13 gangs often
                                                                                    baseball caps as another identifier.
Mexican-American or Chicano                have established themselves in large
                                           cities to small towns all across the        There are also Sureño gangs in
gangs, this term refers to Hispanic
                                           country and war for control of drug      other Southern California counties.
gangs in Southern California. It also
                                           trafficking with other local gangs.      Again, not all Surenos or Sur 13
refers to those gangs who have
                                           Law enforcement in these small           gangs get along in California, but
copied the Sureño style outside of
                                           towns often do not initially recognize   when they go to prison they are
Southern California or are part of the
                                           these gangs as Sureños. Sur 13 gangs     forced to band together on orders of
“Sureño Movement.” These gangs
                                           are often rivals on the streets and      La EME and because of the higher
differ in size, tradition and sophisti-

                                          For Law Enforcement Only                                                           17
     threat from other gangs such as            some may be connected to the East        Fence, according to veterano mem-
     Crips, Bloods, 415 and Norteños.           L.A. groups, and others may have         bers from White Fence. Kilroy
        Sureño migration has continued at       just used the same name. Some MV         Roybal is with Victory Outreach and
     a very fast pace throughout the            and former EME members did not           was recently in an accident.
     United States and even across inter-       like the EME trying to tax them and
     national borders. There may be local       telling them what to do in their own
                                                varrio. There was a green light put
                                                                                         PRIMERA FLATS AND 4TH
     Sureño 13 gangs with no direct con-                                                 FLATS
     nection to Southern California. Many       out by the EME on the MV's for
                                                                                            These gangs were both historically
     have been developed by Mexican             their rebellion. The MV had to be
                                                                                         part of the Aliso Village government
     immigrants on the East Coast who           separated from EME and Sureño
                                                                                         housing projects. Primera Flats is of
     spent little to no time in Los             sympathizers in the L.A. County jail.
                                                                                         course more notable as far as street
     Angeles. Also, the Sureños or Sur 13       To date this green light has not been
                                                                                         gangs are concerned. It lies approxi-
     gangs may have non-Hispanics as            lifted. One of the shotcallers for la
                                                                                         mately three miles east of the Los
     members. It is not uncommon to see         EME is Alfred “Chato” Sandoval
                                                                                         Angeles City Hall. This area also has
     Native-American, Caucasian, or             from Arizona Maravilla, so there are
                                                                                         street gangs that came into promi-
     other races in Sureño gangs.               some MV still loyal to the EME and
                                                                                         nence in the early 1940s. It also was
        Sureños are widespread, can be                                                   originally built for military person-
     very violent, and are a very complex                                                nel, but like Hazard, it became a
     group to deal with.                        WHITE FENCE                              low-income housing project. Primera
                                                   One of the first barrios in Los       Flats also had some bitter fights with
                                                Angeles to form its own gang was         some of the same gangs that Hazard
     EAST L.A. GANGS                            "White Fence." The gang was called       fought with. It, being closer to down-
                                                that because of a white picket fence     town, however, also had problems
     MARAVILLA                                  that ran along much of its territory     with many of those downtown gangs.
        The Maravilla (MV) gangs, also
                                                near railroad tracks near the Los        Primera Flats, like Maravilla, have
     called varrios, cover a large part of
                                                Angeles River and downtown. WF's         fights with street gangs within their
     East Los Angeles and are broken up
                                                original barrio is all of Boyle          own turf.
     into various cliques such as Hoyo
                                                Heights and WF is still strong along
     Mara (the "Hole" because of the low-
                                                Lorena Street. They allegedly used to
     ered terrain it sat in), Ford Mara
                                                have cliques throughout the San
     (after Ford Blvd.), Arizona Mara (a                                                    The government housing project
                                                Gabriel Valley and Northeast L.A.
     main street in East L.A.), Marillana                                                called Ramona Gardens is the oldest
                                                Maravillas' original barrio is farther
     Mara (MMV, sometimes confused                                                       type of housing in the East Los
                                                in East L.A. These two gangs have a
     with Mexican Mafia, they were                                                       Angeles area. It was built for the
                                                decades old rivalry, the longest ongo-
     around way before), Rock Mara                                                       families of the military in 1941. As
                                                ing feud in L.A. Both of these bar-
     (after a big rock in the projects), etc.                                            World War II waned toward the end
                                                rios have lost extensive territory and
     Maravilla predates the Mexican                                                      of 1945, most of the military families
                                                are now midgets compared to their
     Mafia but at one time there were a                                                  had relocated and families that were
                                                former size, but in actual gang mem-
     lot of Maravillas in la EME. Joe                                                    either dependent on a stipend from
                                                bers, they are bigger than ever. There
     Morgan, a figurehead for the EME                                                    Social Security, or were a low-
                                                is some evidence that the Hazards,
     for over 20 years was well known in                                                 income family started moving in.
                                                Avenues, Toonerville, and Frogtown
     East Los and Maravilla. There are                                                   This "barrio" has actually two sepa-
                                                were all once cliques off of White
     other Maravilla gangs in the U.S.,                                                  rate areas: Big Hazard and Little

18                                              For Law Enforcement Only
Hazard. Hazard got its name from a        Criminal Force, named after a street        (Baldwin Park), have been around for
park at the end of Lancaster Avenue       east of there in East L.A. street east of   decades and have gang members very
and Soto Street. There also is a street   there in East L.A.                          involved in La EME.
named Hazard. Big Hazard encom-
passes all the housing area and also                                                  SANGRA
the park. Little Hazard, is that area
                                          HOYO SOTO                                      “Sangra” is a very old gang. A for-
                                            Deceased EME shotcaller                   mer member, “Stumpy” Valencia, was
from west of Soto Street along
                                          Benjamin “Topo” Peters claimed this         involved in a sanctioned homicide of
Norfolk and to the railroad tracks
                                          varrio. EME Gilbert “Shotgun”               EME member Alex “Moe” Ferrel.
across from Lincoln Park.
                                          Sanchez (deceased) also lived there.        Ferrel had been involved in the rape
    Robert “Robot” Salas (deceased        His son “Ray-Ray” dropped out.
Dec. ’04) was from Hazard and was                                                     of a woman outside of Sacramento
involved in the first major EME con-                                                  soon after being paroled. This, com-
frontation with the NF at San Quentin     VARRIO NUEVO ESTRADA                        bined with his siding with the Nico
Sept. 16, 1968. Old EME shotcaller in      Hazard Gang also had trouble with          Velasquez of the Folsom EME faction
the Fed-BOP Adolf “Champ”               Varrio Nuevo Estrada. The Estrada             and against Joe Morgan of the San
Reynoso is also from Hazard as is       Courts Projects are just off of               Quentin faction concerning the BGF
Manuel “Cricket” Jackson. This varrio   Olympic Street and just east of Soto          war, put him “in the hat.” Velasquez
has also been the focus of much vio-    Street and west of Lorena. There are          was later killed.
lence over the years. EME David “Big    many colorful murals in this project.
                                                        VNE are not found             EL MONTE FLORES
                                                        much outside of the              El Monte Flores is an old clique
  As explained by a Sureno, any “SUR”—who he Estrada Courts area.                     that dominated gang activity in the
  described as a “Soldier Under Recognition”—is         Many other L.A.               City of Monte for decades. El Monte
  obligated to do whatever he is told to do to fur-     gangs are known even          Hicks is another gang located in the
                                                        outside of CA. Ray            city. David Alvarez from EMH was a
            ther the goals of the Surenos.
                                                        "Mundo” Mendoza               SUR/EME rep at the L.A. county jail
                                                        and “Eddie Sailor"            who would pass green-light lists. Both
Smilon" Gallardo from Hazard, "Pee-     Gonzales claimed VNE and rolled on            gangs declared war on North Side
Wee" Aguire from the Aves, and          the EME in the 70s. VNE has a repu-           Monte and that clique was near the
"Cowboy" Therrien from Big Basset       tation for being EME informants.              top of the EME green light list for
were found guilty of killing "Rocky"    EME Jimmy “Smokey” Sanchez is ok              years. Many members of EMF are
Luna who was from Hazard and an         at the Bay.                                   also EME members. Louie “Pelon”
advisor on the movie by Edward                                                        Maciel was a EMF member involved
James Olmos, “American Me.” Ana         SAN GABRIEL VALLEY (SGV)                      in one of the RICO trails. He was
Lizarga, another movie consultant,         The San Gabriel Valley grew                found to be involved in a large drug
also was killed. They were angry at     tremendously in the 1960s and ’70s.           running group at the L.A. Co. Jail that
her for snitching off a "dope house"    Many families who were originally             was busted up in “Operation Hard
and "Charlie Brown" Manriquez for       from East L.A. moved to the SGV.              Candy.” Jo-Jo Perea was a “money
not taking care of business and living  Later, some from SGV moved out to             man” for the prison gang. “Danger”
like a bum when he got out. "Lives in the Inland Empire. Gangs like El                Validivia was a EMF member who
Hazard" depicts some of these people Monte Flores, El Monte Hicks, La                 would do hits for La EME and was
and also includes a fairly new gang     Puente, Basset Grande, Bolen Parque           known to secrete a razor blade under
called M.C. Force, or Michigan                                                        his dentures.

                                          For Law Enforcement Only                                                         19
     LA PUENTE 13                             activists have resorted to painting        Pomona is in L.A. County but closer
        La Puente or just Puente 13, is       dark green ivy murals on major             to the Inland Empire than it is to
     another large and old clica. They        streets to keep the tagging down.          L.A. so rivals with most varrios in
     have since broken up into smaller        Gangs are very active in East Side         the Inland Empire. Recent suppres-
     factions who do not always affiliate     Bolen Parque.                              sion efforts by law enforcement have
     with one another. The Happy Homes                                                   reduced some of the violence.
     varrio (not to be confused with          POMONA VALLEY GANGS
     Happy Town in Pomona) does affili-                                                  INLAND EMPIRE GANGS
     ate with La Puente on occasion. La          Pomona is a large and isolated
     Puente can also be found in the          city in the extreme East of the San           The San Gabriel Valley grew
     Valinda Flats area where they have       Gabriel Valley in L.A. County. It is       tremendously in the 1960s and ’70s,
     intruded. Their rivals are Valinda       home to the L.A. County Fair at the        just as the Inland Empire did in the
     Flats gang members and in recent         famous Ganesha Park. It is home to         1980s and ’90s. The greater L.A.
     years there has been violent gang        many different various gangs. The          area is very spread out; many fami-
     activities in this area. Deceased        biggest and oldest is the Pomona 12        lies from East L.A. moved to the San
     Folsom EME Nico Velasquez was            Street gang named after a street           Gabriel Valley, and some from SGV
     from La Puente.                          there. It claims its origins back to the   moved out to the Inland Empire past
                                              40s. P12 is also called Sharkies and       Fontana, Colton, and Rialto as land
     BASSET GRANDE                            at one time they had their own “offi-      became more and more scarce, eat-
        Basset Grande, also known as Big      cial” park which the city has tried to     ing up valuable farmland, orchards,
     Basset, dates back to the 1950s. The     reclaim back from the gangsters.           and vineyards.
     turf boundaries of BG varrio are         Their symbol is a shark with a “cher-         The Ontario Black Angels are
     roughly Fransiquito Blvd. on the         ry” in its mouth. P12 has had several      infamous for being the clique of dis-
     north, Don Julian on the south, the      members in the past in La EME. A           graced EME shotcaller "Tupie"
     605 Freeway on the west, and             few P12 are in Oregon, Washington          Hernandez’ varrio. They have junior
     Sunquist Blvd. on the east. It has had   State, and even some in PA!                cliques such as OVS or Ontario
     several members involved with La             The secondary gang is Cherry           Varrio Sur. One member recently
     EME. The Huguez brothers are simi-       Ville, P12’s longtime rivals, which is     tried to make his bones by attempt-
     lar to the Grajeda family in that        at least from the 60s. Their territory     ing to shoot at an Ontario cop. There
     many of their blood relatives have       lies right up to P12 and centers           are the Chino Sinners which "Tupie"
     been involved with La EME. A             around Hamilton Park. Then there is        got in trouble for when he stepped in
     member named “Cowboy” Therion            P Michoacanos, E/S Carnales, W/S           while the EME wanted a "green
     was involved in a RICO trial in L.A.     Happy Town, Pomona Sur XIII who            light" on them. His mother also got
     of EME members. Cowboy has               are also rivals with P12 and many          involved in EME politics that result-
     “Mafioso” tattooed across his            have now moved to the La Puente            ed in several of his family being
     abdomen and has now dropped out          area or out to Las Vegas. There was a      assaulted and in combination with
     of the prison gang.                      group which is now mostly defunct          his insults about Joe Morgan and not
                                              called North Side Pomona. There is a       making a phone call for the carnales
     BOLEN PARQUE 13                          West Side Pomona who are also in           (brothers), led to him being stabbed
        Bolen Parque, in the city if          Washington. There is even a Hazard         in federal detention. Daryl Castrellon
     Balwin Park, has several gangs in its    clique, and a Dog Town clique, 18th        had the Black Angels’ reins in
     area. Local citizens and community       Street and MS clique there too.            California Department of

20                                            For Law Enforcement Only
Corrections, but since parole has        and a large letter "A" on his right      presence here are Florencia Trece
picked up “the Bible.” There is still a arm, along with "Ontario" on the          and King Boulevard Stoners (KBS).
lot of money to be made in the fast      back of his neck.                        Then there is the perpetual WSV
growing Inland Empire!                       “Spider” Arriaga was an old EME      enemy East Side Trece. We see a lot
   Back in Arizona in 1999, Officer      members mistakenly killed a few          of LA gang members moving into
Dale Thrush identified, with help        years ago by his crime partner           the area and causing problems, 18th
from a CI, a Black Angel member          “Colorado” Arias from Colton (also       Street being one of them.
named Frank "Smoky" Alcala, as           EME) during a robbery. Members
OVS. He was wanted out of                like Roland Berry have been              NORTH L.A. GANGS
California on a parole violation. He     involved in disputes around
had all the other gang members,          Bloomas. Recently, there was a           HIGHLAND PARK 13
from different gangs, scared of him      police sting operation on EME oper-         This gang is located in the area
and thinking he was EME. Reports         ating in the IE. Unfortunately, police   just west of Pasadena. It has a high
were coming in that he was taxing        hit them too late so evidence was        Hispanic population, and as the case
other members, allegedly for the         minimal. Word is, the EME carnales       in many of the barrios, a small per-
EME and was a suspect in a home          at Corcoran and Pelican Bay found        centage belong to HP13. They claim
invasion where a stabbing occurred.      out what was coming down, got            origins going back to the early
Alcala                                                                 word       1940s.
was a sus-                                                             out and
pect in a      When it comes to Sureno gangs, MS13 is not              all mail
stolen        the biggest, but by media accounts is the most           stopped,   AVENUES
vehicle                    violent in the U.S. today.                  which         Northeast Los is an old region of
pursuit                                                                just       LA barrios. Its most famous, and
then fled                                                              goes to    perhaps most infamous gang is the
on foot and two loaded pistols were      show they have a better network than     Avenues or Avenidas gang, which is
left behind. That night he was in the    we do! In Riverside, Casa Blanca,        named after the numbered avenues
parking lot of a Circle K, having just out in Rancho Cucamonga, the Cuca          off of Figueroa. They themselves
done a strong arm robbery on a 38th      Kings, and Corona has various            have several cliques such as 43rd
Street gang associate. He was in the     cliques, the oldest which centers        Avenue and Cypress Avenues and
process of carjacking the vehicle of a around 6th Street.                         did not get along at first but later
38th Street gang member. Shots were                                               joined together for convenience. The
                                            Verdugo Gangsters are from San
fired and law enforcement respond-                                                43rd allegedly broke off of Hazards
                                         Berdoo (San Bernardino). West Side
ed. Dale pulled in and was about to                                               and the Cypress allegedly broke off
                                         Verdugo is the predominant gang in
exit the vehicle when "Smoky" drove the middle of the valley. The major           Frogtown. The Avenues is a very
the Dodge Ram right into the dri-                                                 large gang in numbers and been sub-
                                         cliques of WSV are 7th Street (CSL),
ver’s door. Luckily, Dale was able to Sur Crazy Ones (SCO), and Little            ject to City/County Community Law
jump inside. Alcala then rammed the Counts. As a whole though, the                Enforcement and Recovery
door again. We put 16 rounds into                                                 (CLEAR). Alfred “Tigre” Salinas is
                                         entire Verdugo gang has a lot of
the vehicle and would you believe he problems and is constantly being             from the Aves. EME member “Pee-
was only hit in the arm and butt!                                                 Wee” Aguirre is from La EME. His
                                         challenged by other gangs from
These guys are very serious! Along                                                brother “Lil One” had been causing
                                         mostly the Los Angeles areas. The
with other tattoos he had a large let-                                            problems in the L.A. Co. Jail. EME
                                         two that are currently showing a
ter "B" on the back of his left arm                                               Black Bob Ramirez (deceased Sept.

                                       For Law Enforcement Only                                                          21
     ‘05) claimed Aves and Canta Ranas.     one point the largest and most pros-     have also had a original clique called
                                            perous mission in a golden chain of      Diablos. They started probably
                                            21 California missions. The famous       around 1970, in south Panorama
     TOONERVILLE                            rock-n-roll star Richie Valens was       City. They, like many varrios in the
        Another old Northeast Los
                                            from Pacoima. Cheech Marin had a         Valley, started as protection groups
     Angeles gang is Toonerville.
                                            well-known character in his early        against the San Fer's. Blythe Street
     Timothy “Timo” McGee was a EME
                                            career, "Pedro de Pacas" (Pacoima).      was very active and violent in the
     member from this varrio who was
                                                                                     early 1990s going to war with other
     captured in Arizona Feb. ’03 and
                                                                                     L.A. varrios. They also absorbed tag-
     involved in politics at the L.A. Co.   SAN FER 13                               ging crews to strengthen their num-
     Jail. Their relationship with            Varrio San Fer is one of the oldest
                                                                                     bers. Blythe St. is very violent.
     Frogtown is hard to follow. Some      gangs and now has members who
     say Toonerville started Frogtown,     have spread to the more affordable
     others say Frogtown started           Antelope Valley and High Desert.          VAN NUYS 13
     Toonerville, others say they had      Pacas at least 20 cliques sub-varrios,        Barrio or Varrio Van Nuys is
     nothing to do with each other. Some   with a minimum of 50 members,             another old and traditional varrio in
                                                               such as Pacas 13,     the Valley. Their neighborhood is
                                                               Pacas Flats, Latin    around the high school campus and
        Surenos have many rivals and few allies. The           Times, Project        Delano Street in South Van Nuys
        biggest threat to the Surenos is the Nortenos,         Boys, Criminals,      which dates to at least the 1940s.
       who align themselves with a separate powerful           Vaughn Street, etc.   They are formally divided into North
       California-based prison gang, the Nuestra Familia.      Latin Times appar-    Side and South Side, but they are
                                                               ently only claims     mainly in the South Side and Delano
                                                               Pacoima because       Street. They allegedly started as a
     say Toonerville started The Rascals;  of geography, but does not get along      Pachuco Club and claim to have
     others say Frogtown did. This may     with many of the other Pacoima            actually participated in the Zoot Suit
     be evidence that the two are inter-   cliques. Some of the cliques like         Riots. Van Nuys has been invaded by
     connected. Then some say they all     Vaughn Street may have started out        MS and has had other varrios start in
     started off of White Fence.           as a separate varrio, joined Pacoima,     their neighborhood, like Vanowen
                                           ended up not getting along with           Street, Haskells, Valerio Street. They
                                           some Pacoimas, but refused to stop        have held strong to the L.A. invasion
     PACAS 13                              claiming Pacoima. They are mainly         in general, except for MS, which
        The San Fernando Valley has a
                                           divided into Boys and Locos cliques,      claims the Van Nuys area as one of
     rich past history. It is located just
                                           which originally did not get along        its original cliques.
     north of L.A.'s Hollywood and has
                                           with each other. San Fernando Valley          In the North Hollywood/Burbank
     many movie studios located in and
                                           gangs will often write (SFV).             region, both Playboys and Carnales
     around Burbank. It was a agricultural
     area that quickly became a suburban                                             have started. The Playboys still claim
     area in the 1960s populated with                                                W/S, and the Carnales may already
                                           BLYTHE STREET                             claim North Side. Allegedly these
     people from the growing L.A. Basin.      Blythe Street is another varrio
     The San Fernando Mission was                                                    Carnales and the Granada Hills
                                           with a large veterano group which         Harpys are aligned. Allegedly, some
     founded by Padre Junipero Serra in    claimed the original Diablos clique.
     the late 1700s. Its full name is San                                            of these other varrios started out as
                                           Many of the varrios in the Valley         football teams in parks, such as
     Fernando, Rey de Espana. It was at

22                                          For Law Enforcement Only
Blythe Street, NHBZ, Langdon               just north of this area. There have     60% were illegal immigrants. Colors
Street, Columbus Street, and proba-        been many disturbances between          are often black and grey (Raider col-
bly Reseda and Vineland Boyz.              Black and Hispanic inmates in these     ors), dark blue (to show support for
Another varrios in this area is Bryant     facilities. The Black and Brown riots   SUR13), but they may wear red on
Street in the Northridge area. This        claimed two lives in 2006 with many     the East Coast and beads as well.
mostly well to do area was devastat-       more injured. Just north of San         Common hand signs are forming an
ed by earthquakes and is now largely       Fernando is Palmdale and Lancaster,     “18” or thrown sideways “E” (for
rebuilt. Bryant Street is very violent.    where a CDC prison is located.          Eighteen). Common 18th Street tats
                                              Frank Fernandez of the San           include 18, XV3, XVIII, Diesiocho,
                                           Fernando Valley branch of the           666 (=18).
   Canoga Parque - Alabama Street          Mexican Mafia was among 40 mem-            The 18th Street gang has chapters
is one of the oldest and most unique       bers of La EME to be indicted by a      on the North (Hollywood area), in
varrios in the alley. They are from at     federal grand jury in 1999 under the    East L.A./County, and in South
least the 1950s, and have a large vet-     Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt        Central Los Angeles where their tra-
erano group. They are rivals with          Organization (RICO) Act. Fernandez      ditional enemies are the Florencia 13
Barrio Reseda. Allegedly, they have        had been taxing local gangs. He was     gang. They also fight Black P-Stones
one of the strictest initiation process-   convicted in October of 2000. His       (R20s) in South Central and in jail.
es in the L.A. area. A CPA member          wife, Petra Cecilia Gonzales, was       They now have cliques in San Diego,
has to go on a probation period for        arrested in February of 2001. She has   Las Vegas, Inland Empire, the Bay
two years, and the ruling vet com-         been arrested on suspicion of run-      Area, Chicago, Texas Florida, and
mittee is very picky. The whole way        ning a mail and identity theft ring.    even a clique in New York. They are
you have to prove yourself, and the        She is reportedly the mother of         big in Portland, Oregon, and in
veteranos are very strict. Canoga          Dominique "Nick" Gonzales, a            Washington state where they have a
Park has a very large ratio of its         Mexican Mafia member who also           web site. They are seen in New
members in state pens, with fewer on       was also convicted in the RICO trial.   Jersey where they fall under La Raza
the street.                                                                        Unida umbrella. They have whole
                                                                                   towns claiming allegiance to them in
    The city of Glendale is west of        WEST L.A. GANGS                         El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico
the Valley and has a large population
                                                                                   with large cliques in Mexico City DF
of Armenians. Some are affiliated          18TH STREET                             and Tijuana. They even show a
with a gang called Armenian Power             This gang started on the West Side
                                                                                   clique from Australia on their main
13 and there have been several             of Los Angeles around 1965. It was
                                                                                   18th Street website!
recent gun battles between these           originally made up largely of second
groups. Some residents in the Valley       generation Hispanic immigrants. As
have suggested succession for this         the 18th Street gang began to battle    MARA SALVATRUCHA
area. There are actually physical          with more established Chicano              When it comes to Sureno gangs,
mountains that seem to separate this       gangs, they began to recruit outside    MS13 is not the biggest, but by most
area from the rest of L.A. The LAPD        of the Hispanic community. ILGIA        accounts is the most violent in the
and L.A. County Sheriff's Office is        estimates their size in 2006 to be      U.S. today. The Mara Salvatrucha
presently focusing on the area; they       20,000+ members in over 120 U.S.        (MS) gang was originally made up
have jurisdiction to crack down on         cities. They are also big in Latin      of mostly Salvadorans and originated
crime and gangs.                           America. According to the               in the Los Angeles area. During and
    There is also a L.A. jail facility     Department of Justice, an estimated     after the civil war that was going on

                                           For Law Enforcement Only                                                    23
     during the 1980s in El Salvador,         Salvatrucha” simply means              La Mirada St. Locos, The Magicians
     many Salvadorans migrated to the            Salvadoran Gang. “Mara” means       Club, Rockwood St., Armenian
     Pico-Union District around the area      gang or group, and “Salvatrucha”       Power (who claim 13 but will fight
     of McArthur Park, which has the          slang for Salvadoran, hence the        other Surenos), Mid-City Stoners,
     highest population density in the        meaning Salvadoran Gang.               and of course the large 18th Street
     United States outside of New York                                               and Mara Salvatrucha gang.
                                                  The MS did not consider them-
     City. Other neighborhoods that they
                                              selves Sureños for approximately 15
     moved into in Los Angeles County
     were Westlake, Hollywood, San
                                              years. Many of the older MS do not     CLANTONE 14
                                              have any "13" markings, just "MS"         There are many gangs on the
     Fernando Valley and East L.A.
                                              tattoos. Finally the Mara Salvatrucha Westside of L.A. in the Rampart
         When the MS first started out,       joined the Sureño back in 1994, dur- District (see 18th Street and MS
     many of their members were called        ing the Black vs. Brown riots in the   briefs). 18th Street started in large
     “MS Stoners.” They had long hair         Los Angeles County Jail system.        part to defend itself from C14, and
     and would listen to loud heavy metal Several Mexican Mafia RICO sus-            MS started in large part to defend
     music and would drive souped-up          pects had strong ties to MS and it is  itself from 18th St. Clantone 14 is
     muscle cars. A common MS hand-           now common to see MS13. Their          one of the very few Sureño gangs
     sign is the index finger                                                                       that has a 14 in front
     and pinky finger held up.                                                                      of its name which
     Some of the members              Surenos always remember and act according to this             stands for the street on
     were also into Satanism        unwritten Surenos motto: Unorganized violence causes            which they started.
     and were involved with a            mayhem. Organized violence causes respect.                 Gang members were
     Salvadoran National                                                                            grandfathered into
     Guard Unit called                                                                              Sureños and allowed
     "Santanas." There is another MS          original colors were black from their to keep the 14 because they predated
     clique called "Sailor's" allegedly       Santanas roots, but they will also     La EME and NF, 13 vs. 14 conflict.
     started by former military members.      wear blue and white colors, which      Clantone has been recruiting again
     Allegedly many MS were initially         match the Salvadorian flag. On the     lately and on the net.
     members of soccer teams. Later, they East Coast they often wear blue and
     evolved into a full-fledged gang, in     white beads. The MS have started
     part, to protect themselves from the     taxing street vendors, prostitutes,
     18th Street gang that was nearby and small businesses, and street level            According to varrio legend,
     victimizing them.                                                               Harpy’s gang started off as a football
                                              drug dealers working in their turf.
                                                                                     team. They fight 18s.
         This is how Mara Salvatrucha         Failure to pay will most likely result
     was originally translated from           in some type of violence. Mexicans,
     Spanish to English by law enforce-       Guatemalans, Hondurans, and other      PLAYBOYS
     ment when they first learned of this     Central Americans may join MS, but        Westside Playboys started on the
     violent gang. “Mara” meant gang,         not exclusively.                       corner of Pico Blvd and Fedora St.
     "Salva" was for El Salvador, and                                                They were originally a car club in
     "trucha" for beware. However, it                                                the mid-50s called "Latin Playboys
     turns out that many MS gang mem-
                                              TEMPLE ST.                             Car Club" and also have South Side
                                                 Temple Street started in the 1920s.
     bers and the Central American com-                                              Playboys faction. Playboys use the
                                              Other gangs in West L.A. are W/S
     munity are in agreement that “Mara                                              Playboy bunny as a symbol, not to
                                              Crazys, Diamond St., Big Top Locos,

24                                           For Law Enforcement Only
be confused with Playboy Crips or       County. The F13s are heavily             away from this area to move to other
Midwest groups that use the same        involved in drug dealing and have        jurisdictions or states. Compton
symbol.                                 been courted by the EME for many         gangs are notoriously violent! Black
                                        years. “Topo” Garcia is an EME           gang (Crips and Bloods) vs. Brown
                                        shotcaller. This gang has been found     gangs have feuded for years. EME
VENICE 13                               as far away as the East Coast. The       Phillip “Blackie” Segura claimed
   Old EME Veterano “Rube” Soto is
                                        F13 has been found in Mexico, and        Clover but also grew up in Compton.
from Venice. So were former EME
                                        all over the West Coast, especially in   He is mentioned in BOP disturbances
“Psycho Mike” Gaxiola and Luis
                                        Southern California, parts of Oregon,    many times.
Talamantes. Venice 13 are fighting
                                        and is also very active in                   On Nov. 30, 1996, a Los Angeles
Culver City and Blacks as well.
                                        Washington.                              Sheriff’s deputy responded to a dis-
                                                                                 turbance call. Once he arrived, he
SOUTH SIDE L.A. GANGS                                                            saw a suspect, from Compton Varrio
                                        38TH STREET
                                           The F-13 has a long running feud      Segundo, fleeing the scene. He gave
FLORENCIA 13                                                                     chase on foot and when he came into
   The Florencia 13 is the second       with the hated 18th Street gang with
                                        dozens of deaths attributed to the       contact with the suspect, a struggle
biggest Hispanic gang in L.A. and
                                        feud between these two major             occurred. The suspect shot the
strongest in South Central L.A. along
                                        groups. Florencia and 18th Street        deputy several times; one shot broke
Florence Avenue between the I-110
                                        have always been rivals but the situ-    the deputy’s arm, causing the officer
and I-710 freeways. This area is
                                        ation got worse when the 18s started     to drop his service weapon. The sus-
located very close to the flashpoint
                                        a South Side clique around the late      pect picked it up but accidentally
of the L.A. Riots and the F13 were
                                        1980s. On December 1, 1996, four         discharged it and shot himself in the
heavily involved in looting. They
                                        Florencia gang members were              leg. He was later apprehended. The
have battled with many of the larger
                                        gunned down by rival members of          gang member was a CDC parolee
Crip sets surrounding their varrio
                                        the notorious 38th Street gang of        and Three-Strikes candidate.
including Grape Street and the East
Coast Crips. There have been many       “Zoot-Suit” fame. The old 38th              Some of the Hispanic gangs in
deaths based on a 2005 false rumor      Street gang has taken the Western        Comptone (CPT) are Tiny Gangsters,
of a F13/EME dope rip-off by the        territory of Florencia and Barrio        Tiny Locos, 70s, 117s,
Crips. Their theme song is              Mojados which is nearly gone.               125s, 131s, 155s, Varrio Largo
“Florence” which is an old 1950s                                                 36s, Varrio Segundo, Varrio Tres,
song by the Paragons. Florencia         COMPTON-SOUTH GATE-                      Barrio Pobre, and of course, Tortilla
allegedly started near Florence and     NORWALK AREA GANGS                       Flats.
Atlantic and at one point claimed all
of Florence Street from Inglewood to      The California Three Strikes law
Santa Fe Springs. They are very
                                        has been enforced quite often com-          Nearby Lynwood has several
large and have many cliques in South    pared to some other states like          cliques including the CPT- 131s
L.A., Huntington Park, South Gate,      Washington where it is on the books      which spill over into its city as does
Paramount, Downey, Bellflower and       but not used that often. This fact       Barrio Los Padrinos. There is a fairly
more. They have clicked up other        combined with the L.A. County            large gang called “Kansas Street”
gangs and crews to fill their ranks.    Sheriff’s takeover of law enforce-       and one called the “Paragons.” There
Florencia has many cliques outside      ment duties in the city of Compton       is a Rebels 13 clique. A member of
L.A. including some toward Orange       has forced many gang members             “Young Crowd” killed an officer in

                                        For Law Enforcement Only                                                      25
     recent years when officers responded     DOWNEY                                  roundup, every single one was a
     to a shots fired call at a party house      The Downey Boys were made            Spanish surnamed individual!
     and YC members opened fire. The          famous in the pre-Zoot Suit Riot           During the time leading up to the
     YC suspect who killed the officer        incident of Downey Boys vs. the         trial and for two weeks into the trial,
     was Samoan. Young Crowd has been         38th Street gang. On the night of       Leyvas and his co-defendants were
     at war in the past with the Lynnwood     August 1, 1942, a zoot-suiter named     not allowed to change their clothes
     Dukes. The Dukes have been at war        Henry Leyvas and other members of       by order of the trial judge, Charles
     with “Rude Boyz,” also called            the 38th Street gang were involved in   Fricke. The district attorney rea-
     “Lynwood Mob.”                           a fight with another group of pachu-    soned, and Judge Fricke agreed, that
                                              cos at the Williams Ranch by a          the jury should see the defendants in
     BELL GARDENS & SOUTH                     lagoon. Later the next morning, a       the zoot suits, which were obviously
     GATE                                     man named José Díaz, a member of        only worn by "hoodlums." During
        Bell Gardens and South Gate have      the Downey Boys, was found bleed-       the trial, 22 of the 24 co-defendants,
     Sinaloan Cowboys, Sinaloan               ing and unconscious on a road near      including Leyvas, were tried togeth-
     Cowboys often drive four-wheel           the lagoon (later named the Sleepy      er. This entire incident is document-
     trucks and may have a Brahma bull        Lagoon by a reporter). Díaz later       ed in the 1981 movie by Luis Valdez,
     decal or one of their state decals in    died.                                   “Zoot Suit,” starring Eddy Olmos as
     the window or a lasso around the             The                                 the “pachuco conscience” of Henry.
     rear view mirror. Anything that sym-     autopsy
     bolizes their way of ranchos or out-     revealed
     law life. They wear cowboy clothing      that Díaz      As is the case with any or all gangs, a gang investigator
     and like a lot of gold, chains with      was drunk          should never say ‘never’ and never say ‘always.’
     marijuana leafs and sometimes            at the time
     images of their narco-santo Jesus        of death
     Malverde. The Sinaloans are often        and that his death was the result of        Another gang in the Downey area
     the distributors of black tar heroin,    blunt head trauma. Though one med-      and also Paramount is called
     cocaine, and marijuana. Rookstown        ical examiner stated that Diaz’         “Dogpatch.” Brown Nation is closely
     in Bell Gardens has caused a lot of      injuries were consistent with that of   tied to Dogpatch. A member of this
     problems lately. This gang often         being hit by a car, Henry Leyvas and gang recently killed a member of
     poses, throwin’ up the “R” for           24 other members of the 38th Street     Tortilla Flats. The victim Michael
     Rookstown, in Teen Angels maga-          gang were arrested and charged with “Wreck” Roybal was the nephew of
     zine (gang mag). Bell Garden Locos       the murder of Díaz. Led by the local    Adolph “Champ” Reynoso, longtime
     were big in Sunnyside, Washington        tabloids, a public outcry for "justice" EME figure still incarcerated in the
     and now some have moved to               and vengeance against the zoot suit-    federal prison system.
     Yakima. The Playboys & Playgirls         ers caused the Los Angeles Police           EAST SIDE PARAMOUNT 13
     13 have a clique in Bell Gardens.        Department to conduct a roundup of          Probably the biggest gang in this
     Another gang in this area is known       over 600 people on the nights of        area is East Side Paramount. It is just
     as “Krazy Ass Mexicans” or               August 10th and 11th. Charges           south of Downey. ESP has a clique
     “KAM.” Both street gangs are big         included suspicion of assault, armed    in Mt. Vernon, WA and can be found
     into the production of methampheta-      robbery, etc., and 175 people were      in other areas. Paramount has dealt
     mine.                                    held on these charges. Of the 600       with gangs rather successfully with
                                              plus people arrested during this        its Paramount Gang Prevention

26                                            For Law Enforcement Only
Program that is used in schools in       Orange County. It has ties to F-          14th St. Dukes, 17th Street Tiny
many areas. Just east of Paramount is    Troop. Former EME shotcaller Rene         Locos, 19th Street, Barrio Viejos.
the city of Bellflower.                  “Boxer” Enriquez is from Arta.            Some of the WSL cliques are
                                         Emero “Huero Shy” Shyrock claims          Cyclones, Summit/Canal, Corner
                                         Arta as does Sammy Villalba.              Boys, and Termites.
   Bellflower has a gang called          LONG BEACH-LONGOS                         RANCHO SAN PEDRO
“Varrio Bellflower Locos” and there          Long Beach has a wide variety of         The RSPs have had a history of
is a BGL clique in Yakima County,        gangs, some of which include several      violence in the area. They appear to
Washington. “Brown Nation” is            Long Beach Crip sets (seen in rap         be aligned with the Westside Longos.
another big gang and has been target-    music with Snoop Dogg and Warren          Rancho San Pedro has been at war
ed by recent injunctions. Nearby,        G), Sons of Samoa, Tiny Rascal            lately with the Dodge City Crips.
Hawaiian Gardens was the varrio of       Gangsters, Eastside, Westside, and        Turf areas controlled by RSP overlap
EME founder “Huero” Flores.              Northside Longos. Gangs in this area      between LAPD-Harbor Precinct and
                                         are well known for their violence         the LASD Carson Station. Gangs in
                                         and Brown vs. Black and Asian con-        this area caused so much trouble that
LAKEWOOD                                 flicts have arisen with changing eth-     local communities started to organize
   This area of South L.A. County
                                         nic demographics. The Tiny Rascal         “Community Reclamation” projects
just above Long Beach also has its
                                         Gangsters, who started off in the         and seek street injunctions against
fair share of Sureños.
                                         Long Beach area, have been at war         gang members so the community
                                         with other Longo gangs for years          could literally “take back the
NORWALK                                  and are still on the EME green light      streets.” Some community members
   Varrio Norwalk, sometimes called      list. Several Skinhead and Aryan fac-     and politicians in some San Pedro
“The One Ways,” is a large and old       tions live in this area but keep a very   and Wilmington neighborhoods have
gang dating from around the late         low profile. Eastside Longos and          sought to succeed from L.A. Similar
1940s or early ’50s. They have a         Westside Longos have had times of         efforts have been tried in the
NWK Chicos clique. Both have been        conflict and times of peace. Many of      Hollywood and San Fernando areas.
at odds with Carmelas. Another gang      these gangs have had gang suppres-
in this area are called “Chivas”         sion injunctions by Long Beach PD,
which also runs into the cities of       which has a Gang Unit of 42 detec-
                                                                                   LA RANA
                                                                                      One of the old EME vets, Manuel
Artesia and Downey. There is a gang      tives and sergeants, and with assis-
                                                                                   “Gordo/Tati” Torres, was from La
called, ironically, “Peaceful Valley.”   tance from other agencies including
                                                                                   Rana. He was killed in April 2005 by
Other gangs are “8-Ball Posse” and       CDC and County Probation. This is
                                                                                   EME members at the ADX-BOP in
“Canta Ranas,” not to be confused        good for the city of Long Beach, but
                                                                                   Florence, Colorado. The large
with “La Rana.” Several members of       what often happens is these gang-
                                                                                   Grajeda family is also from La Rana
VNWK have been on the EME green          sters leave town and end up in other
                                                                                   which is located in the South Bay
light list.                              cities and start cliques, as seen with
                                                                                   area. They have been very involved
                                         Longos, TRG, Asian Boyz, Insane
                                                                                   in La EME in the past, but most
ARTA                                     Crips, and Rollin 20s Crips, etc.
                                                                                   appear to be on the outs now except
   Varrio Arta in Artesia, California,       Some of the ESL cliques are           Senon Grajeda.
began in the late 1950s and is actual-   Niteowls, Santos, Chicos, Malditos,
ly in L.A. County but borders near       8th Street-Latin Times Playboys,

                                         For Law Enforcement Only                                                       27
     CARSON 13, HAWTHORNE 13,                  accompanying fraction of Latino          he was still sitting in the driver's seat
     AND GARDENA 13                            bangers in the community) and there      of the car." Mares' crime spree began
        One problematic gang in Carson         is friction with the more established    when he and Zatarain armed them-
     and areas that LAPD Harbor                Black gangs. Inglewood 13 has been       selves with assault rifles, borrowed a
     Division patrols is the Harbor City       fighting with Queen Sreet. Bloods,       woman's car and drove to rival-gang
     Boys. This gang is also known as          Hawthorn Pirus, and Legend Crips.        territories. Their apparent motive
     Varrio Harbor City. This group was        They even had to cancel Black            was to retaliate for the death of one
     hit hard with an injunction by the        History Month and Cinco de Mayo          of their gang friends the night before.
     L.A. City Attorney’s Office. The          celebrations at the high school in the       Mares and Zatarain evidently saw
     abate injunction notice outlawed acts     past because of racial conflicts--       two men walking down Centinela
     of murder, narcotics trafficking, con-    Inglewood 13 vs. Black gangs and         Boulevard near Culver City, exited
     sumption of alcohol, assault, use of      Inglewood 13 also bragging that they     the car and opened fire. One of the
     dangerous weapons, vandalism to           are “cop killers.” As we have seen       victims, an 18-year-old Santa
     include graffiti, blocking traffic, con-  lately, many Sureño gangs have tar-      Monica man named Gerardo Sernas,
     gregating in the areas they were ter-     geted law enforcement!                   was killed; the other escaped. Brown
     rorizing, wearing gang clothing, dis-                                                    and his partner, Francisco
     playing signs which denoted                                                              Dominguez, heard the shots
     narcotics peddling, possessing
                                             We hope you see that Sureños are wide- and spotted Mares' vehicle
     beepers and cellular phones in                                                           moments later, giving way to a
                                              spread, can be very violent, and are a
     drug areas, yelling out gang                                                             police chase. The chase ended
                                                   complex group to deal with.
     jargon, blocking the sidewalk,                                                           near Fox Hills Mall, when
     encouraging vehicles to go                                                               Mares allegedly crashed the car
     through their drug areas.                                                          and Zatarain started shooting. In the
        Some of the varrios in the City of         LAPD Officer Brian Brown was         confusion of the gun battle, Mares
     Carson are Dominguez 13, T-Flats,          gunned down in November, 1998, by slipped from the driver's seat, stole a
     La Loma, Varrio Keystone, and              an Inglewood 13 gangster. Brown's       taxi from a nearby gas station and
     Varrio Carson.                             killer, a gang member named Oscar       led another high-speed police chase
        Hawthorne has been known for a          Zatarain, was slain by police only      to Los Angeles International Airport.
     predominately Black population, but moments after a bullet from                    He crashed the cab into two cars and,
     Hispanics have been increasing and         Zatarain's assault rifle struck Officer again, fled the vehicle with police
     as we often see, a small, but very         Brown in the head. Zatarain’s crime     right behind him. Mares turned
     disruptive, percentage of Hispanic         partner, Jaime Alejandro Mares, 23,     around at police, shouted something
     gangsters. Carson 13 has had past          faced the death penalty. Mares was      (and) pointed what police believed to
     hostilities with E/S Wilmas. Lil           accused of driving the car from         be a gun. At that point in time, Los
     Watts is a small but violent gang          which Zatarain fired, and therefore     Angeles police officers ... shot
     there. Another gang in this area are       can be held equally culpable under      (Mares) numerous times. Mares sus-
     Lil’ Mobsters. Gardena 13 is fairly        the law. Deputy District Attorney       tained wounds to his back, leg,
     strong.                                    Danette Meyers described the cop        shoulder and forehead, but he lived.
                                                killing as an unfair fight. "Brown      The family of Officer Brown is still
                                                didn't have a chance," she said,        grieving.
     INGLEWOOD 13                               "because his seat belt was still on,
        This neighborhood, like many oth- his gun was still in his holster, and
     ers, is turning more Latino (with the

28                                             For Law Enforcement Only
LENNOX                                   Westside, and Eastside Wilmas.          NSR has a total membership of
   Lennox is a fairly large gang that    These different cliques have been       about 120 members, however at any
is centered just east of the LAX         known to shoot at each other. There     given time the active (unincarcerat-
Airport. Lennox gang members have        are several EME members from            ed) membership is closer to 30.
been targeted for injunctions, but       Wilmas varrios. For instance, a kite    While NSR is predominantly
again many of them just leave the        confiscated from EME members at         Hispanic, membership includes other
area to start doing crime in another     New Folsom stated, “I saw Big           races.
area. According to law enforcement       Sleepy from Wilmas at Chino (CIM),         NSR started in the 1960s as Los
gang specialists in Sonoma County,       he gives serious regards.”              Tules, a named derived from the
California, Lennox 13 had a reported                                             plant known as Tulipanes that was a
presence since 1998, starting with a     TORRANCE                                predominant plant in North Redondo
trio of brothers who moved up from          Eastside Torrance gangs have         before the area was developed for
L.A., claiming Compton Varrio            been involved in many local gang        residential use. As Los Tules grew
Lennox 132nd Street. Recently the        wars in the past including against T-   old, moved away or died off, the
presence, membership, and activities     Flats in Carson. Many ESTs were         gang simply became known as
of Westside Lennox 13 have taken         originally from 204th Street.           Redondo 13 or North Side Redondo.
off. Large "in your face" tagging in                                             During the 1980s, NSR developed a
Norteno neighborhoods, and assaults                                              clique, Los Nietos, which was the
on other members of different            LAWNDALE 13                             third generation of members.
Sureno sets, have set this group apart      Lawndale 13, primarily a Hispanic    Members would identify themselves
from other main Sureño sets in the       turf oriented gang, has been NSR’s      on NSR graffiti with LNS (Los
Santa Rosa, California area (Puro        chief rival since the ’70s. Many cur-   NietoS). Around the middle of 1996,
Sureno Cholo, and Varrio Sur Loco).      rent members of either gang do not      as Los Nietos members were reach-
They have been fighting Hawthorne        know why they don’t get along. The      ing adulthood, a second clique
Pirus.                                   rivalry has been past from generation   emerged claiming to be Los
                                         to generation, like the “Hatfield and   Diablitos (DBS). These members
                                         McCoy” feud. Los Compadres clique       were younger and less respectful.
TEPAS 13                                 in Lawndale are alleged to have
   Tepas has been a very active gang.                                            Los Diablitos clique was not looked
                                         EME ties.                               on too highly by the older genera-
Tepas 13 has also gone to war with
18th Street. Tepas 13 and Inglewood                                              tions because they were harder to
13 have fought against Lennox.           NORTH SIDE REDONDO                      control and brought about a lot of
These two gangs have been rumored        (NSR, REDONDO 13, R13,                  police attention.
to be called upon by the EME to do       NSR 13)                                    In 1990, North Side Redondo was
enforcement toward Lennox which             Redondo has had its share of hard-   declared a violent street gang under
has been on a green light list in the    core gang members, as early as the      186.22. In 1996 the City of Redondo
past for not paying taxes to the         1960s. “Willy-Boy” Geovia was in        Beach petitioned for a civil injunc-
Mexican Mafia. A Lennox gang             La EME. North Side Redondo is a         tion against 20 named members and
member was allegedly killed in           primarily Hispanic turf oriented        40 John Does. The injunction has
December of 1996 for this reason.        street gang, claiming the entire city   had a crippling effect on the visible
                                         of Redondo Beach. However, NSR          congregating of gang members on
                                         gang members live primarily in what     the streets of Redondo. Many mem-
WILMAS (WILMINGTON)                      is referred to as North Redondo.        bers now live and conduct their
  There is a Northside, Southside,

                                         For Law Enforcement Only                                                        29
     “business” outside of the city.          “H.A.” in reference to the Harbor        Ana, which has recorded more than
     Because of the impact of proactive       Area, “Round Town,” “Redondo             200 gang-related killings in the past
     enforcement, the cliques are not as      (R13),” “North Side Redondo              decade!
     divided as they have been in the past    (NSR)” and “King Harbor” to define          In June, 2005, Peter “Sana/El
     and officers can frequently find sev-    their location as in the picture of a    Señor,” Ojeda, was arrested by
     eral generations “kicking it” together   local gangster’s tats; Los Nietos        authorities. Ojeda and 23 associates
     at known hang outs or parties.           (LNS), Los Diablitos (DBS) or a          of the Mexican Mafia were business-
        North Side Redondo has been in        devil tat to show their clique. Brown    savvy "shot callers" who used threats
     conflict with the gangs that share       Town, Brown Pride, Sur 13, and           and violence to lord over Hispanic
     common borders with NSR.                 Surenos have been seen on three          street gangs and about 3,400
     Redondo refers to Lawndale as            members so far. Tags of Lil Watts        Hispanic inmates in Orange County
     Loppdale or Clowndale and                and Redondo have been shown              Jail, according to a federal indict-
     Lawndale 13 gangsters as Lopps for       together in Lawndale's turf, a sign of   ment. Once, the career criminal
     disrespect. Other enemies of             disrespect.                              “allegedly” tried to turn away from
     Redondo are Lil Mobsters, Lennox                                                  crime. In 1992, Ojeda unsuccessfully
     13 (derogatory name: Kleenex).           ORANGE COUNTY GANGS                      tried to broker a gang truce among
     Most recently, four NSR gang mem-                                                 local street gangs to stop a spree of
     bers awaiting trial on other crimes          Orange County lies between Los       drive-by killings. But two years later,
     (including 211/187 PC) in the Los        Angeles and San Diego Counties in        he was arrested again for possessing
     Angeles Men’s Central Jail, added        Southern California. It has some very    a handgun. He was sent back to
     Eastside Torrance to the list when       beautiful land and neighborhoods         prison for seven years.
     they got carried away with an EME        and is famous for its amusement
     ordered regulation and killed the        parks. It also has some gang activity
     Eastside Torrance gangster. All four
                                              in and around some of the poorer            There are several large gangs in
     were convicted in that jailhouse         neighborhoods and varrios. It is         the area with various clicas like
     homicide.                                called Orange County because at one      F-Troop. It was called F-Troop after
        While NSR is primarily always at      time, it had vast orange orchards        the TV series. This gang has multiple
     war with Lawndale 13, it has a           which now are sprawling cities.          clicas throughout the area including
     strong bond with Lil Watts, a pre-           Many Orange County gangsters         Santa Ana and in Anaheim. In the
     dominantly Hispanic turf oriented        will sport the five-point star.          late 1980s and early 1990s, many
     gang in Hawthorne. There are “mar-       Norteno-Northern Structure also          F-Troop cliques broke off and
     riages” between the two gangs. Gang      wore this symbol with an entirely        became independent. The Salvador
     graffiti is allowed by each gang in      different meaning and is usually         Park clique of FxT was overbearing
     the other’s turf and is even thrown      above the shoulders. Orange County       and controlling so many gangs that
     up together showing their allegiance.    Sureno gang members will usually         were associated with F-Troop wanted
     Lil Watts and NSR are “business”         wear it below the shoulders and say      nothing to do with them. Pete “Sana”
     partners and are frequently contacted    it only stands for Orange County and     Ojeda, long-time EME member who
     and/or arrested together. Their joint    the star resembles the stem on top of    recently got out of the Feds, was
     enterprises include narcotics, vehicle   an orange. One of the bigger cities in   rumored to be in the hat for not put-
     burglaries and vehicle thefts.           Orange County is Santa Ana. No city      ting in work; however, he again has
        Commonly displayed tattoos on         in Orange County has suffered more       been associating with members of
     North Side Redondo gang members:         at the hands of gangs than Santa         F-Troop.

30                                            For Law Enforcement Only
JEFFREY ST.                                  SAN DIEGO AREA GANGS                    and they rival Logan gangs. Just east
   Jeffrey St.-Anaheim is near the                                                   of Sherman Heights is the Golden
Disneyland theme park and there                                                      Hills community. Within this com-
                                            SHELLTOWN                                munity is the Lomas 26th Street
have been several efforts to clean the         Shelltown 38th Street (ST38th)
area around J Street up, also referred                                               gang. Lomas rivals Sherman gangs
                                            has a well-established rivalry with      and has been rather quiet recently.
to as Tijuanita because there are so        Logan, a Hispanic gang which exists
many Mexican nationals living there.        just south of its location. Cross            South of Sherman/Lomas area and
There are other gangs nearby includ-        Highway 15 overpass and you're into      east of Shelltown is the Market
ing Penguin City of Anaheim Blvd.,          Shelltown. Two separate gang sets        Street gang. Shelltown and Market
which got its name because many             exist within this community: the         Street gangs are separated by a large
members’ parents of the gang                Shelltown 38th Street; the other,        cemetery. The primary rival of the
worked at a local ice factory, and          Shelltown Gamma Street Boys              Market Street gang is Varrio Encanto
Jungle City just south of the 91            (ST/GB S). They will associate and       Locos (VELS) in the Encanto com-
Freeway in Anaheim, in an area              ally with each other, but often feud     munity of San Diego. Encanto is sit-
known as “The Jungle.”                      with each other as well. Primary         uated just east of the Market Street
                                            rivalry is Shelltown 38th Street vs.     area or east of Euclid Avenue, south
5TH STREET                                                                           of Highway 94. South and east of
   The 5th Street-Lopers around             Logan sets because of their close
                                            proximity. The Gamma Street Boys'        Encanto sits the Lomita Village area
Main Street in Santa Ana and in                                                      and turf for the rival, Lomita Village
Garden Grove recently had a "green          primary rivalry is with National City
                                            gang sets, which exist just south of     70s (LV70s). South and east of that
light" put on them by none other                                                     is the Paradise Hills Community, turf
than Pete "Sana" Ojeda, major EME           their location and across Division
                                            Street. Within the 38th Street area is   for the Paradise Hills Locos (PHL)
figure who has been in and out of the                                                gang. PHL rival LV70, but ally with
Federal system. The rumor was               a tagger crew that is working its way
                                            into the gangster world. This crew is    Varrio Encanto Locos. PHL also
$5,000 is required to lift it. 5th Street                                            rival all National City gangs, which
gained some turf after a war with the       SE73 or (Southeast San Diego). It is
                                            allied with Logan gang sets and          sits just west of their community.
now defunct gang called “Silver
Acres.” Its main rival is 17th Street.      therefore rivals the Shelltown gang.
                                            They have primarily been victims,        BARRIO LOGAN
TOKERSTOWN 13                               but that will likely change within a        Some of the biggest gangs in the
   Fullerton-Tokerstown lies near           short period of time.                    San Diego area are Barrio Logan
several college campuses. FTT start-                                                 gangs. Barrio Logan sits next to
ed in the 1940s in the Lemon Street                                                  Chicano Park which is filled with
and Valencia Drive area of Fullerton.
                                               East of the Logan Community is        murals painted underneath the
There is Los Coyotes in Buena Park                                                   Coronado Bridge which goes right
                                            the Sherman Heights area. The
which started as a bicycle club called                                               over the park. Of course the majority
                                            Sherman Grant Hills Park (SM/GHP)
“Momentos,” Mexican Posse and                                                        of its residents are not gang affiliat-
                                            gang exists there. In early 1990s, a
Underhill Street Cyclones which                                                      ed. Logan Heights is a community of
                                            second Sherman gang emerged, call-
started out as West Coast Kings.                                                     San Diego that is predominantly
                                            ing itself Sherman 20th Street.
Varrio Cypress in Orange was part of                                                 Hispanic, just on the outskirts of the
                                            Members initially feuded with
F-Troop; Barrio Chico in San                                                         downtown area. Within that commu-
                                            Sherman Grant Hills Park, but that
Clemente will fight San Juan Boys                                                    nity exists the Logan Heights Calle
                                            eventually died out. They are not
from San Juan Capistrano and West                                                    Treinta (LH30ta) gang, the Logan
                                            allied closely with one another. Their
Trece in Westminster.                                                                Heights Redsteps, the Logan Heights
                                            closest allies are Shelltown gangs

                                            For Law Enforcement Only                                                       31
     33rd Street gang, and the Logan          Macias Madriaga, was found guilty       by requiring lower prices for drugs.
     Heights Trece gang. Within this area of demanding cash payments from             Many of the identified members of
     are several "tagger" groups, includ-     drug suppliers as tribute to the        the gang are incarcerated in the
     ing ALS (Another Logan Soldier),         Mexican Mafia, also known as La         maximum-security Pelican Bay
     that associates closely with the vari- EME, for the phonetic Spanish pro-        state prison in Crescent City, where
     ous Logan gang sets. Probably the        nunciation of the letter "M."           Madriaga served time. Another
     most well-known Logan gangs are          Madriaga of National City was a         EME tax collector on Surenos is
     the LH30ta and Redsteps, some of         significant "made" or inducted          rumored to have taken his place.
     which have close ties with the           member of the Mexican Mafia,               In January, 2005, Operation La
     Mexican drug cartel in Tijuana.          prosecutors said. He sports the         Mano Negra was launched. La
     Their exploits are well-documented; black-hand tattoo of La EME on his           Mano Negra is Spanish for "the
     however, much of it is overstated.       chest.                                  black hand," one of the identifying
        A hired gunman from San Diego,           Federal and state authorities were   insignias of the Mexican Mafia. A
     David "C.H.-Popeye" Barron               tipped off to Madriaga's operation      prison guard, Jessica Chavez, was
     Corona, had over a dozen skulls, all in July, 1998, when they arrested           among 37 people arrested after a
     believed to be hits, and the letter      Mark Anthony Mendez, one of             two-year undercover investigation
     "M" for Mexican Mafia tattooed on Madriaga's main gang or "crew"                 of the Mexican Mafia prison gang
     his body. He was killed by                                                           and its street-gang associates in
     ricocheting bullets after he                                                         San Diego. Authorities believe
                                        Sureños from different gangs may band
     made an attempt to assassi-                                                          that the involvement of a guard
                                     together for protection or work together for
     nate Tijuana newspaper                                                               with a prison gang was an isolat-
                                     criminal enterprises when they set up shop
     editor Jesus Blancornelas.                                                           ed incident, but “this case sends
                                     outside of Southern California.
     More recently, Marco                                                                 a message to guards and
     “Pato” Quniones had                                                                  employees in the prison system
     worked as a gunner for the AFO.          members. Mendez began cooperat-         that activities on behalf of the
     “Bat” Marquez from Del Sol had           ing with investigators and led them     Mexican Mafia will not be tolerat-
     been hiding out in the Tijuana area      to Madriaga and dozens of other         ed," said FBI supervisor Max
     for quite some time. There were          methamphetamine traffickers in San      Regula of the San Diego office. The
     rumors of his death by the Tijuana       Diego County. Madriaga also was         original target of La Mano Negra
     cartel; however, these may have          implicated by Juan Carlos Lopez, a      was Richard Buchanan, 50, a for-
     been an attempt by him to try and        National City marijuana trafficker      mer prisoner described by the FBI
     fool authorities. He is now in cus-      who went to police the same month,      as a high-ranking member of the
     tody.                                    contending that Madriaga was            gang. Charges, both state and feder-
        Another member of the Mexican         demanding thousands of dollars in       al, will range from possession and
     Mafia was sentenced in the summer payment as a "tax" to La EME.                  distribution of methamphetamine to
     of 2000 to 29 years and four months During the trial, experts testified          conspiracy, kidnapping for extor-
     in prison for a conviction on            that La EME exerts control over the     tion, criminal street gang activity
     charges of extortion and distributing drug-trafficking world not only by         and being a felon in possession of a
     methamphetamine. Frank “Chino”           demanding payments and drugs, but       firearm. In addition to the arrests,

32                                        For Law Enforcement Only
agents seized at least 35 firearms,         There are Sureño gangs in other         have developed by Mexican immi-
more than seven pounds of metham-        Southern California counties: Bakers,      grants on the East Coast who spent
phetamine and more than $36,000,         Colonia Oxnard or Chiques in               little time in Los Angeles.
much of it acquired in the course of     Ventura County; Santa Barbara 501,             Also, the Sur gang may have non-
25 undercover purchases of weapons       Indio, Calexico, the list goes on and      Hispanics in it. It is not uncommon
and drugs.                               on.                                        to see one Native-American, White
   Remember, only a very small              Again, not all Sur gangs get along      kids, or other races in Sureño gangs.
number of active and former mem-         in California, but when they go to             We hope you see that Sureños are
bers of these gangs are connected        prison are forced to get together on       widespread, can be very violent, and
with the cartel or EME and give the      orders of La EME and because of the        are a complex group to deal with.
rest of their gang a sense of "notori-   higher threat from other gangs,
                                                                                            © 2006, ILGIA, All Rights Reserved;
ety" they readily exploit. The media     Crips, Bloods, 415, and Norteños.
                                                                                                      reprinted with permission.
has portrayed these gangs as outra-      Sureño migration has continued at a
geously vicious, but those connected     very fast pace throughout the United
to the cartels don't come into the       States and even across international
U.S. very often. The locals feed on      borders!
their notoriety, using it to build          Sureños from different gangs may
stature. The Logan sets have actually    band together for protection or work
been rather quiet recently, and          together for criminal enterprises
involved in more money-making            when they set up shop outside of
operations than rivalry confronta-       Southern California. There are local
tions.                                   Sureno 13 gangs with no direct con-
   ------------------------------        nection to Southern California. Many

                     About the author…
                       Gabe Morales, founder and current vice president of the International Latino Gang Investigators
                    Association, gave RMIN permission to reprint the article that appears here. Morales recently was appoint-
                    ed to the Washington Gang Study Group and serves as an advisor and consultant to many groups on gang
                    issues. After serving with the U.S. Marine Corp, Morales worked at Folsom State prison as a corrections
                    officer and then worked with youth in Los Angeles group homes and with gang members on probation. He
                    has worked at the King County (WA) jail in Seattle for approximately 15 years in the Classification Section
 where he specialized in Security Threat Groups and is considered an expert on the subject. He is the lead Gangs Instructor at
 the Washington State Academy for police agencies and most corrections staff and has taught at numerous conferences
 around the country. He is author of two books, “Varrio Warfare: Violence in the Latino Community” and most recently, “La
 Familia – The Family: Prison Gangs Across America” and is currently producing “For Our Kids, For Our Community,” a
 video on gang prevention. His private company, Gang Prevention Services, assists Puget Sound (WA) service providers and
 local agencies including Job Corps, Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration and the Washington Department of Social and
 Health Services.

                                         For Law Enforcement Only                                                              33
 Surenas: Female Gang Members

                                                                             male gang members.
     INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN                                                   Male Sureños in Portland gen-
                                                                             erally refer to the females as
     SUREÑO GANGS                        oped Sureña subsets called          “Jainas,” Spanish slang for
     DEVELOPING FEMALE                   Sureñas Locas that function         “my bitch.” Sureñas are
     SUBSET ORGANIZATIONS                interdependently within the         viewed by Sureños as gang
     Sureño gangs are developing         Sureño gang. Both of these          property, and even the high-
     female subsets that have            subsets are comprised of            est-ranking female is subordi-
     female leaders appointed by         wives, girlfriends, and other       nate to the lowest-ranking
     the male leaders of the gangs.      women who are “shared” by
     The identified sub-
     sets––Sureñas Locas,
     Southside Bitches, Sureñas            SUREÑA SUBSET STRUCTURE
     Malditas, Prima Loca 13, and          In each female subset, select Sureñas are charged
     Barrio Locas––are currently           with organizing the subset, coordinating female partici-
     subordinate to male Sureño            pation in Sureño activities, recruiting other females,
     gangs. However, as the lead-          and in some cases, recruiting male Sureño associates.
     ership skills of Sureñas              Sureñas in each subset are also actively involved in
     mature and their responsibili-        hiding and transferring drugs and weapons for
     ties increase, they may devel-        Sureños. Some females even attend Sureño meetings
     op the potential to split from        where they voice opinions and participate in the plan-
     the Sureños and form inde-            ning of gang activities. While they do not hold equal
     pendent gangs.                        rank with their Sureño counterparts, Sureñas partici-
     • The Portland Police Bureau          pate in all types of criminal activities and are often
     (PPB) reports that in Portland,       instrumental in organizing crimes that benefit both
     Oregon, local Sureño gangs            their subset and the Sureño gang as a whole.
                                                  - Source: Portland (OR) Police Bureau, 2008; FBI Seattle, 2008
     Pas Robles Boys and
     Southside 13 each have devel-

34                                       For Law Enforcement Only
male. Like their male counter-      Barrio Locas of the Barrio           Bitches are subordinate to the
parts, Sureñas Locas align with     Locos. Each subset has               Southside Devils, but have one
and are rivals to other female      between 8-10 members that            female who oversees the
subsets. Members of the female      range in age from 12-22 years        female subset. The Southside
subsets partake in all criminal     old. Both subsets are comprised      Bitches participate in crimes
activities committed by their       of wives, girlfriends, and asso-     committed by Sureño gang
male counterparts. Sureños also     ciates of Sureños. Female lead-      members.
use Sureñas as decoys to lure       ers are selected by shotcallers2     RPD intelligence indicates that
rival gang members for attack.1     and are referred to as either        several females have been
                                    “manager bitches” or “Queen          accomplices in burglaries and
SOURCE AND CONFIDENCE               bitches.” Female subsets in          various acts of criminal mis-
STATEMENT                           Seattle use to           chief in the area. Sureño gangs,
Information relative to female      recruit new members and to           including female subsets, con-
Sureno subset groups was            communicate with rivals and          stitute 40 percent of the overall
derived from national law           allies.3                             gang population in Rogers.5
enforcement contacts that have      • The Rogers Police
good to excellent access, in        Department (RPD) in Rogers,          1 - PPB, telephone interview, April
addition to open sources. The       Arkansas, has identified at least    2008.
FBI has high confidence in the                                           2 - A shotcaller is an individual of
                                    one Sureña subset, the               elevated status in a gang who dele-
reliability of the reporting from   Southside Bitches, that is affili-   gates to lower-ranking members and
these sources.                      ated with an all male Sureño         “calls the shots.”
• According to FBI investiga-       group, the Southside Devils.4        3 - FBI Seattle, telephone interview,
tive information, there are at      The Southside Devils and             April 2008.
least two active Sureña subsets                                          4 - FBI IIR 4 214 2208 08, January
                                    Southside Bitches were found-        2008 (UNCLASSIFIED).
in Seattle attached to Sureño       ed by a Sureño gang member           5 - RPD, telephone interview, April
gangs: Sureñas Malditas of the      who migrated to Rogers from          2008.
Gangster Sureño Clicka, and         California. The Southside

                                      For Law Enforcement Only                                                   35
 Officer Safety
                                         the stop and achieve their comfort        search a female gang member. Use
T    he biggest concern for you as a
     police officer when dealing with
gang members is SAFETY. Always
                                         zone                                      your judgment and follow department
                                                                                   policies when checking female gang
                                            • furtive movements by gang mem-
be cautious when dealing with gang       bers should raise a caution flag, and     members for weapons.
members and their associates. A large    may turn a contact from casual to            It is also important to be aware of
percentage of them will have             high risk                                 your nonverbal communication when
weapons on their person or within           • utilize contact and cover position   making contact with gang members.
their immediate area. Most gang          so that at least one officer ia always    Command presence is very important.
members have been involved in vio-       watching the person(s) being contact-     If gang members see an officer utiliz-
lent confrontations, with some having    ed.                                       ing poor tactics or lacks safety pre-
survived multiple shootings. This                                                  cautions, gang members will take
gives them experience in confronta-         In addition, whether it’s a traffic
                                                                                   advantage of the situation. Be con-
tions that many of you do not have.      stop or field contact:
                                                                                   scious of your appearance and actions
Many gang members are committed             • take occupants out of the vehicle    in order to deter a negative response
to violence and believe they will have   one at a time;                            from gang members.
a short life. Therefore, they will be       • pat each one down for weapons;          If you’re unable to control the con-
willing to take extreme risks when          • have them sit down and cross         tact with the officers on hand, request
dealing with law enforcement officers    their legs straight out in front of       additional backup immediately. Once
and the public. You should always        them; keep their hands in their lap or    you get behind the curve, it’s very
look for warning signs and treat gang    fingers interlocked on top of their       difficult to regain control. Gang
members according to their behavior.     head;                                     members know your intentions during
Always be professional and treat                                                   the contact but you don’t know their
                                            • have them keep their hands visi-
them with respect until they give you                                              intentions or frame of mind. Your job
                                         ble at all times;
a reason to act differently.                                                       is to be as safe as possible and not let
                                            • tell them “no talking” to each
   Whenever making contact with                                                    the gang members get the upper hand.
                                         other during the stop (this will help
gang members:                                                                         Editor’s note: A special note of
                                         keep them from making a coordinated
   • have a backup if possible.          plan on how to assault you or make a      thanks to Lt. Charlie Consolian of the
   • pick the spot for contact and if    getaway).                                 Violent Crimes Bureau, Gang
the gang members are now allowing           During these contacts, you should      Enforcement Unit of the Phoenix
this, a mental flag should signal you    also be cautious of female gang mem-      Police Department (PPD) for allow-
to a greater level of caution.           bers. Do not treat them as any less of    ing RMIN to reprint this column. It
   • be familiar with gang areas so      a threat to your safety. Female gang      originally appeared in the April 2008
gang members don’t have the ability      members often conceal weapons and         edition of the PPD’s Gang
to maneuver you into a hostile envi-     contraband for male gang members          Enforcement Unit’s Crackdown
ronment                                  and most gang members know that a         Bulletin.
   • don’t allow gangsters to control    male officer will not thoroughly

36                                       For Law Enforcement Only
Strategies/Recommendations for
Law Enforcement

                                                                          where must be willing and able to
RMIN TRAINING SPECIALIST                                                  address the issues they will be
                                                                          confronted with concerning the
   Although this publication has     height, weight, ethnicity or the     Surenos.
covered the Surenos that are loyal   gang they are loyal to should be
to the California Mexican Mafia,     treated as if they were capable         I was recently talking with
the reader should always be aware    of committing violent crimes in      Robert “Moco” Morrill, one of
of the following:                    furtherance of their cause and       the original California Prison
   If a gang member is claiming      gang.                                Task force members (Monterey
allegiance and loyalty to the                                             Park PD) about the migration of
Surenos and Mexican Mafia, he           During the 1970s and 1980s,       the Surenos. “Once the Sureno
should be treated and approached     law enforcement experienced the      graffiti starts showing up, it’s too
with the understanding that he       growth and migration of the Los      late,” said Morrill.
will commit violent crimes in        Angeles based Crips and Bloods
furtherance of his cause.            throughout the United States. This      In order for law enforcement to
   Any and all gang members          was followed with the migration      stay ahead of the Surenos, a
should be treated with respect and   of the Chicago based Folks and       multi-pronged approach must be
treated equally in all aspects of    People gangs to all parts of the     utilized which must include the
your encounter. Do not allow         country. As the Hispanic gangs of    entire community. During the
yourself to grow complacent          California continue the “second      1980s, the gang problem across
based upon who you are dealing       wave” of California based migra-     the country appeared to be a
with. All gang members, regard-      tion, law enforcement managers       major issue as a result of media
less of their place of origin,       within the RMIN region and else-     coverage.

                                     For Law Enforcement Only                                                    37
        During the 1990s, the gang           1. Law enforcement adminis-       the requesting agency. The
     problem continued to grow            trators must recognize the immi-     RMIN training can be tailored to
     while media coverage declined        nent threat posed to their com-      be specifically about Surenos or
     and gangs became “old news.”         munities by the sudden and           any other criminal street gang,
     As a result of less attention        unparalleled growth and migra-       outlaw motorcycle or prison
     being given to gang crimes and       tion of the Surenos.                 gang.
     gangs, community members                • Police managers must ensure        3. Law enforcement officials
     became complacent, as did many       that their employees understand      at the local, county, state and
     police administrators. As we         the significance and dangers         federal levels must agree to
     continue on, the gang problem is     involved with the Sureno gang        work together, share intelligence
     worsening.                           migration                            and take the necessary steps to
        Gangs that once remained             • This should include forming     ensure a joint agency, multi-
     within their own gang neighbor-      an intelligence network with         faceted response to the threat.
     hoods have started to move           states within the RMIN region        Information is meaningless
     freely into other parts of their     that are now facing the conse-       unless it is shared with others
     cities in order to make money        quences of being unprepared          who have a need to know.
     and commit crimes. Gangs that           2. Law enforcement officials         4. Sureno gang members are
     once were bitter rivals have now     must provide the necessary sup-      loyal to the gang and should be
     formed alliances in order to         port and training to gang special-   dealt with appropriately. Your
     expand their territory, allowing     ists to battle the threat of the     approach must be safe and made
     them to increase profits. Gangs      Surenos. Law enforcement man-        with sound planning. Your
     started moving not only from         agement must remember that the       approach will determine the
     neighborhood to neighborhood,        key to the success of any proj-      Surenos’ response.
     but continued moving from one        ect, including the influx of
     city to another to commit crimes                                             • As in the case with any
                                          recent fusion centers, is that       gang-related or motivated crime,
     and increase profits. Gangs have     without information being devel-
     now grown to be known as                                                  Surenos must be identified,
                                          oped on the street level, failure    investigated and prosecuted to
     transnational gangs, moving          is certain. Provide the necessary
     from one country to another to                                            the fullest extent if they commit
                                          staffing at the patrol and street    crimes in your jurisdiction.
     form alliances and to again,         level and the necessary leader-
     expand their market into areas                                               • Plea bargaining should not
                                          ship to effectively address the      be an option for Surenos con-
     with endless opportunities.          Sureno movement.
        This is the time for strategic                                         victed of violent felony crimes
     planning and preparation within         • The Rocky Mountain              in your jurisdiction.
     the RMIN region for the              Information Network can pro-            • Local prosecutors should be
     inevitable continued migration       vide gang training to RMIN           included in any Sureno gang
     of the Surenos.                      member agencies at no cost to        training and should be consid-

38                                       For Law Enforcement Only
ered and contacted from the onset     street gang and neighborhood the
of a Sureno gang motivated crimi-     Sureno came from and who his
nal investigation.                    associates were in his previous
   5. The successful preparation      community. Based on the inter-
for the migration of the Surenos      view, the person could be docu-
into your state and community         mented as a member of the crimi-
must include jail and correctional    nal street gang such as 18th
intelligence components. Officers     Street, White Fence, etc., and as a
who work the streets (gang inves-     Sureno. This is the same informa-
tigators) should be encouraged to     tion an investigator would want to
work closely with investigators       know if the investigator was inter-
who work in correctional facilities   viewing a Crip or Blood gang
to include the necessary cell         member from California. The
searches on a routine basis. By       investigator should try to deter-
working together, a significant       mine what type (gang set) of Crip
amount of intelligence can be         a person is, such as a Grape Street
gathered and shared.                  (Los Angeles), Westside City
   6. Law enforce-                    (Phoenix).
ment/Corrections must conduct            8. Police managers and fusion
thorough background and classifi-     center directors should strongly
cation screenings to determine the    consider assigning a specialized
validity of a Sureno gang mem-        criminal analyst to collect, ana-
ber. Intake classification staff      lyze and disseminate all Sureno
members and police investigators      information that is collected in the
should consult with the Security      field and prisons. Based on the
Threat Group investigators from       amount of criminal activity being
other states if the person being      committed by the Surenos, the
interviewed is from another state.    coordinated law enforcement
   7. Documentation should be         response should be quick and
completed on all Sureno gang          decisive. Surenos (Mexican
members, Sureno graffiti or           Mafia) should not be allowed to
crimes involving Surenos.             become established in a commu-
Investigators must remember that      nity.
everyone claiming to be a gang
member was or is a member of a
criminal street gang. Investigators
need to determine which criminal

                                      For Law Enforcement Only               39
 Ariza Raza: Arizona Hispanics
 Basura: “garbage” in Spanish; a term used to describe most rivals and enemies of the Surenos
 Big Homies: a validated member of the California Mexican Mafia
 Busters: person misrepresenting something that he/she is not; a fake
 Calles: “streets” in Spanish
 Camaradas: comrades
 Carnales: a name used to describe validated California Mexican Mafia members
 Car: A slang term used to gang members to describe their gang or crew
 Eme: Mexican Mafia
 Farmeros: “farmers” in Spanish; a derogatory term used by Surenos to describe the Arizona Mexican Mafia
 or any gang members claiming allegiance to the Nortenos in California
 Guerra: “war” in Spanish
 Hasta la muerta: “until the death” in Spanish
 Kanpol: soldier
 Lechuga: “lettuce” in Spanish; refers to the Arizona New Mexican Mafia
 Mano: refers to the hand, or the Black Hand of the Mexican Mafia
 Mexican Americans: A term used to describe Arizona Hispanics, who are clearly separated from the Surenos
 (California Hispanics) and the Border Brothers (illegal immigrants who are incarcerated)
 Nuevos: “new ones” in Spanish; derogatory term used to describe the Arizona Mexican Mafia
 Paisas: “brothers” in Spanish; a term used to describe the Border Brothers prison gang. Note: Not all
 “paisas” are members of the Border Brothers but all Border Brothers are paisas (Mexicans from Mexico)
 Paisa: “countryman” or a person from the same country as the others (Mexico). The term paisa is often used
 to describe a person from Mexico who has been in the United States a short time. Conversely, the term
 “Chicano” or “Mexican American” is often used to describe a person of Hispanic ethnicity who has lived in
 the United States most of, if not their entire, life.
 Patched: a person considered a member of the Mexican Mafia by the leaders of the Mexican Mafia
 Sur: “south”
 SUR: Soldier Under Recruitment; Soldier Under Recognition; Southern United Raza
 True Blue: loyal to the color blue, the color used by Surenos
 True Blue Riders: a loyal Sureno (may also use the term True Blue and/or True Riders)
 Validated: a person considered a member of the Mexican Mafia by the correctional authorities
 Verde: “green” in Spanish; refers to the “green light” or list upon which a person is placed when they are to
 be killed; permission to kill a person

40                                    For Law Enforcement Only
Surenos Reglas - Rules
These are Surenos reglas or rules confiscated from a Los Angeles County Jail cell. These
rules may not be uniform throughout the correctional system – they represent only the
rules as applied in one facility.

1. There is to be no fighting.
2. There is to be no horseplay.
3. No getting in the judas’ (correctional officers’) face. Stay off the nurse, store clerk, etc.
Show respect.
4. Stay off the truchas (inmate workers).
5. The program starts after lunch is served and ends at 10:30 p.m., except Friday and
Saturday. (The term program here refers to the Sureno commitment to the Sureno
lifestyle—being loyal, a good, solid “standup” Sureno; staying in good physical condition,
educating himself to the Sureno lifestyle while incarcerated.)
6. Keep conversations in your cell.
7. No yelling down the tira (tier).
8. No illegal activity is allowed until the last chain has gone to visiting on visit days.
(Nobody gets ‘stupid.’ Illegal activity that’s caught can result in lockdown and visitor
9. No mad-dogging the Homies in the high power cages. (Don’t provoke the older, estab-
lished members from the other Security Threat Groups).
10. No disrespecting or name calling on the tira.
11. There is to be one person up for the gallo (pruno) and the person up that day is
responsible. (One person per day is responsible for all transactions. There isn’t anything
in a correctional facility that isn’t bartered and all transactions go through a designated
12. All clavos (drugs) are to come to me; I will cut the third. (The author—or shot-
caller—explains drug transactions go through him and that he will take one third off the
top of any drug exchange.)
13. All personal transa (transactions) are susceptible to a South Sider, and double up

                            For Law Enforcement Only                                               41
     when late. (A fee or tax is applied by a South Sider to transactions and this fee is doubled
     when payment is delayed.)
     14. All South Side business or anything else discussed on the tira remains on the tira,
     unless told.
     15. All Homies are responsible for llaves y dulces (weapons and drugs).
     16. Guard your conversation on the phones.
     17. Mandatory workout of your choice, minimum of one hour.
     18. Keep the tira clean. No trash unless the tira is being swept.
     19. All wilas (“kites” or letters), verbals, items being brought from corte (court) or just
     down the tira are not to be short stopped. (Make sure material reaches its intended desti-
     20. All cell reps are to run down the rules to the new arrivals on their tira.
     21. Gang Module Homies (shotcallers) blast (assault) all verdes, varrios, and personals
     (gang or individual green lights). MANDATORY blast unless otherwise stated. Lista
     verdes (green light hit lists) shall be passed every night.
     22. It is mandatory to pack dules (weapons) to court if you are under 30 years old. All
     blasting must be reported to me (the shotcaller) ASAP, no ifs and or buts. If the courts are
     hot (searched for weapons), that should be reported to me also for further notice to pack
     or not.
     23. All 38s are to be handled with care and respect for the Homie who owns it.
     24. Any issues or complaints are to be taken up with your cell rep. After, and only after,
     will I accept wilas (letters) to settle the matter.
     25. Homies going to court should choose camaradas (brothers/partners) and relay verdes
     and personals.
     26. All Homies representing this module should show respect and set an example for
     mainline camaradas.
     27. Anyone wanting to go to another cell must get the OK from the white house (EME
     28. If one of the Homies feels disrespected and takes off (attacks) on the judas (correc-
     tional officers), all Homies will follow (back him up).

42                        For Law Enforcement Only
Surenos Tattoos

       Sur 13                            SUR

       Aztec 13                        Aztec 13

Los Angeles Area Code                        13

                  For Law Enforcement Only        43
             Sureno                      Big Hazard

       South Side Resenda                 Surenos

               SUR                         SUR 13

     Varrio Surenos Malditos        Barrio Surenos Trece

44                    For Law Enforcement Only
  Barrio Sureno Trece               18th Street

     Surenos 3CE                  Lopez Maravilla

         13                      San Fernando Valley

Logan Heights San Diego                  SUR 13

              For Law Enforcement Only                 45
        Orange County           Eternal Sword Shield With SUR

     Varrio Lokos 59th St.          South Side 42 Street

        Long Beach                    Orange County

        Highland Park                San Gabriel Valley

46                For Law Enforcement Only
 Southsider                East Side Torrence

     13                  Southern United Raza X3

  18th Street                    18th Street

Orange County                        SUR

          For Law Enforcement Only                 47
         White Fence            Orange County SUR Califas

           Compton               Gangster Life South Side

        Florencia 13                         13

     Eternal Sword Shield           Lynwood Sureno 13

48                For Law Enforcement Only
Call or click the contacts listed here for additional gang-   Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
related information. Every effort was made to ensure the      U.S. Department of Justice
contact information provided here is accurate and             www.cops.usdoj
up-to-date (as of November 2008). In some instances,          1-800-421-6770
you’ll note that only phone numbers—no individual con-
tact names—are provided: This is an intentional, precau-      E
tionary measure and is not an oversight.                      East Coast Gang Investigators Association
Arizona Gang Investigators Association                        East Valley (Maricopa County, AZ) Gang Task Force
Chuck Schoville, president                                    F                                  Federal Bureau of Investigation
Jeff Cutler, vice president                              Florida Gang Investigators Association
Arizona Department of Corrections
1601 W. Jefferson                                             G
Phoenix, AZ 85007                                             Georgia Gang Investigators Association

Arizona G.I.I.T.E.M. (Arizona State Gang Task Force)          I                                           Idaho Department of Corrections
                                                              1299 N. Orchard St., Suite 110
Asian Gang Investigator’s Association of California           Boise, ID 83706                                           208-658-2000
Boise-Nampa-Caldwell, Idaho Police departments                Idaho Gangs
California Gang Investigators Association                     International Latino Gang Investigator’s Association                                            (ILGIA)
                                                              Nelson Arriago, President
Colorado Department of Corrections                  
2862 S. Circle Dr.                                            P.O. Box 655552
Colorado Springs, CO 80906                                    University Place, WA 98464
719-579-9580                                                  Gabe Morales, Vice President
Colorado Security Threat Intelligence Network Group           International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators
(STING)                                                       Association (IOMGIA)
Irene Basta, President                              

                                         For Law Enforcement Only                                                    49
 Mid Atlantic Reginal Gang Investigators Network            New Mexico Gang and Terrorism Task Force
 (MARGIN)                                            New York Gang Investigators Association
 Midwest Cycle Intelligence Organization
                                                            North Carolina Gang Investigation Association
 Midwest Gang Investigators Association           
                                                            Northern California Gang Investigator’s Association
 Montana Department of Corrections                
 1538 11th Ave.
 Helena, MT 59620                                           Northwest Gang Investigator’s Association

 Morales, Gabe                                              Novotny, Brian
 Vice president, International Latino Gang Investigator’s   Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Rocky Mountain
 Association                                                Information Network                                    Editor, Western States Gang Intelligence Network
 N                                                          Editor, RMIN Gang Newsletter
 National Alliance of Gang Investigator’s Associations      623-587-8201, ext. 163                                              1-800-821-0640
 National Criminal Justice Reference Service
 National Gang Crime Research Center                        Oklahoma Gang Investigator’s Assocation                                    

 National Major Gang Task Force                             P                                              Phoenix (AZ) Police Department

 National Youth Gang Center                                 S                                          Salt Lake Area Gang Project

 Nevada Department of Corrections                           San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
 P.O. Box 7011
 Carson City, NV 89118                                      Schoville, Chuck
 702-486-9916                                               Training Specialist, Rocky Mountain Information
 New Mexico Department of Corrections                       Founder/president, Arizona Gang Investigators
 4337 NM 14                                                 Association
 Santa Fe, NM 87508                                         President, International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang
 505-827-8674                                               Investigators Association

50                                        For Law Enforcement Only
623-587-8201, ext. 122                                 Gang Resources
1-800-821-0640, ext. 122                               Arizona Drug and Gang Resource Center -                     
South Eastern Connecticut Gang Activities Group        Arizona Security Threat Group -                                
                                                       Gangs 101 -
T                                                      Gang Prevention Services -
Tennessee Gang Investigator’s Association                                             Gangstyle -
                                              Book Search -
Texas Gang Investigators Association                   Street Gangs -
                                                       Graffiti Sites
Tri-State (Nevada, California, Arizona) Intelligence -
Association                                   -

U                                                      Federal Law Enforcement websites:
Utah Department of Corrections                         Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
14717 S. Minuteman Dr.                                
Draper, UT 84020                                       Bureau of Justice Assistance -
                                                       California State Juvenile Officer's Association -
Utah Gang Investigators Association                   
                                                       Customs and Border Protection -
V                                                      Department of Homeland Security -
Virginia Gang Investigator’s Association               Federal Bureau of Investigation -                                           Federal Bureau of Prisons -
                                                       Immigration and Custom Enforcement -
Western States Gang Intelligence Network               International Organization of Asian Crime Investigators
                                                       and Specialists -
Wyoming Department of Corrections                      MAGLOCLEN -
 700 W. 21st St.                                      
Cheyenne, WY 82002-3427                                Military -
                                                       National Association of School Resource Officers -
Miscellaneous Gang-Related Websites                   
USDOJ: Gangs                                           National Drug Intelligence Center -
The Impact of Gangs on Communities (PDF)              
National Gang History                                  Office of National Drug Control Policy -
Know Gangs                                            
Gangs Across America                                   RISS Centers -
Gangs OR Us                                            U.S. Department of Justice - (Gang Fact Sheet)

                                      For Law Enforcement Only                                               51
     This special report would not have been possible without the help of numerous individuals. We are appre-
      ciative of those who provided useful information and critiques and we owe a special debt of gratitude to
     law enforcement professionals who took time out of their busy schedules to provide critical information.
     Some individuals did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the information they provided
                           and in honor of their request, we cannot thank them by name.

              We are grateful to the following individuals for their time and expertise in helping to
                                         make this special report possible:
     Nelson Arriaga, Inglewood (CA) Police Department/International Latino Gang Investigators Association
            Charlie Consolian, Gang Enforcement Unit, Violent Crimes, Phoenix Police Department
                          Philana Duprey-Riherd, Arizona Department of Public Safety
                                 Jerry Dunn, Arizona Department of Corrections
                                       Andy Eways, Maryland State Police
                                     John Feeney, Federal Bureau of Prisons
                                Steve Garcia, Arizona Department of Corrections
                                 Ken Lucas, Corrections Corporation of America
                               Steve Lucero, Colorado Department of Corrections
                       Frank “Paco” Marcell, Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff’s Office
                             Robert Marquez, California Department of Corrections
                                Mike Micu, Montana Department of Corrections
           Gabe Morales, King County (WA) Jail/International Latino Gang Investigators Association
                              Bryan Schwab, Corrections Corporations of America
                               Ramon Suarez, Corrections Corporation of America

              Representatives from the following associations also were generous with their time and
                                     assistance in making this report possible:
                                      Arizona Gang Investigators Association
                                                Colorado S.T.I.N.G.
                               International Latino Gang Investigator’s Association

52                                    For Law Enforcement Only

To top