Responsible for roughly 1/4 of prison murders in the United States, if you want to be a member of this gang, you must kill or assault a fellow prisoner. It is a practice known as “blood in, blood out,” so anyone who tries to leave the gang usually ends up dead or in the hospital as well. These gang members are responsible for male prostitution rings, gambling, and extortion inside prison walls, and just about every possible criminal behavior outside of prison.
La Nuestra Familia
As another prison gang with origins in California, La Nuestra Familia was established to protect younger, rural, Mexican-American inmates. This gang is known for requiring extremely strict allegiance and primarily traffics drugs both in and out of prison.
Widely considered to be one of the best organized gangs Latin gangs in the world, the Kings have significant influence throughout the US. With both a male and female (Latin Queens) presence, the Latin Kings are a major force in Chicago that was started in the 1940’s to help the Hispanic community. It has evolved to into a major criminal organization.
Mexican Mafia (La Eme)
This west coast prison gang started in California as a “gang of gangs” to protect Hispanic men in the prison system. La Eme is known to be heavily involved in the business of drug trafficking but also dabbles in murder, extortion, and kidnapping. Their members are identifiable by the tattoo of a black hand, usually across the chest.
Although the origins of this international gang are disputed, there is one thing that is for sure – they are good at making money. Not formally associated with the triads, the street gang has been known to resort to extreme violence. Violence of the Wah Ching in a turf war called the Golden Dragon Massacre was so severe that it lead to the creation of the San Francisco Police Department’s Asian Gang Task Force. However, most of their operations are focused around money laundering and financial crimes in Los Angeles and eastern Asia.