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Categories: Investigations, Special Units
Investigating Gangs Outside the Gang Squad

I remember riding with another L.A. Deputy Sheriff in an East Los Angeles gang car in 1975. To me, it was a privilege working with a special gang...

https://www.policemag.com/339771/investigating-gangs-outside-the-gang-squad
Edged Weapons and Gang Culture

Edged-weapon gang culture flourished most prominently in American jails and prisons. Every inmate is expected to be able to defend himself. Gang members...

https://www.policemag.com/373726/edged-weapons-and-gang-culture
Inside the Black Panther Party (1 of 2)

The Black Panther Party was formed to protect and defend African-American neighborhoods from police brutality. By the late 1960s, it represented a major...

https://www.policemag.com/374148/inside-the-black-panther-party-1-of-2
The Black Guerrilla Family Prison Gang

The Black Guerrilla Family was founded by George Jackson, a former Black Panther and excellent orator who rallied inmates by speaking about the system's...

https://www.policemag.com/374117/the-black-guerrilla-family-prison-gang
Blood Brothers: Cartel Ties That Bind

Like the unwanted dandelions that sprout in lawns, cartel and gang partners continue to adapt and survive. The systematic corruption of our police, courts...

https://www.policemag.com/373702/blood-brothers-cartel-ties-that-bind
The Border War With Mexican Cartels

The word "war" is not just hyperbole; it correctly describes what is going on. It's estimated that the violence—kidnapping and murder—has driven 400,000...

https://www.policemag.com/373537/the-border-war-with-mexican-cartels
How One Gang Corrupted 13 Baltimore COs

Anyone who has worked in the jail or prison for any length of time is probably aware of the psychological manipulation practiced by many sophisticated...

https://www.policemag.com/374312/how-one-gang-corrupted-13-baltimore-cos
Gang Intelligence and the Need to Know

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

https://www.policemag.com/374169/gang-intelligence-and-the-need-to-know
A Path to Citizenship for Gangs and Terrorists

In April, I joined many other local, state, and federal law enforcement experts in Washington D.C. to voice opposition to the flawed amnesty bill misnamed...

https://www.policemag.com/374330/a-path-to-citizenship-for-gangs-and-terrorists
Criminal Gangs and the Perfect Storm

If you live in one of the cities that accepted Katrina refugees, you know what followed. While most Katrina survivors were appreciative of their host...

https://www.policemag.com/373454/criminal-gangs-and-the-perfect-storm
How a Cartel Enforcer Thrived In Lockup

Jose "Bat" Marquez received a life sentence for trafficking methamphetamine from a prison cell. Most law enforcement officials would consider this a...

https://www.policemag.com/373968/how-a-cartel-enforcer-thrived-in-lockup
The Mexican Mafia: Down But Not Out

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

https://www.policemag.com/374357/the-mexican-mafia-down-but-not-out
'Evil Evan' Ebel and the 211 Crew

The 211 Crew is a white-supremacist prison gang. The loosely structured group had its early formation in the Denver County Jail, and its members included a...

https://www.policemag.com/374270/evil-evan-ebel-and-the-211-crew
The Buela Street Witch

Vetrovec and I were at the south window in hyper-vigilance mode, when one of the Geraghty homeboys pulled down the plywood covering the living room door,...

https://www.policemag.com/373400/the-buela-street-witch
Dodger Blues: Take Me Out At the Ballgame

To Bryan Stow and the rest of the sane world, his Giants baseball gear represented his love of baseball and his support for his team. To that cowardly pack...

https://www.policemag.com/373787/dodger-blues-take-me-out-at-the-ballgame
Gangs and Lowrider Car Shows

If I worked a gang unit in your area, I would send plainclothes officers inside to monitor any Lowrider shows near your jurisdiction. I would also watch...

https://www.policemag.com/373861/gangs-and-lowrider-car-shows
Are Some Gang Members Serial Killers?

Even in the murderous world of gangs, the most wicked killings are perpetrated by individuals who seem motivated by some other dark, twisted presence within...

https://www.policemag.com/374231/are-some-gang-members-serial-killers
Gang Members Practice Their Skills

One at a time each of the three targets got out of the vehicle, walked in a big circle around the McDonald’s, went inside, only to return to the vehicle...

https://www.policemag.com/373349/gang-members-practice-their-skills
Gangs and Electronic Surveillance—Part I

Sometimes separate local, state, or county police are used for physical surveillance. Occasionally when intercepted communications seem to have gone...

https://www.policemag.com/374031/gangs-and-electronic-surveillancepart-i
Gangsterish Athletes and Their Entourages

Like so many lucky lotto winners, the same fame and financial fortune that helps them escape the ghetto contributes to bringing them down. This is...

https://www.policemag.com/374338/gangsterish-athletes-and-their-entourages
Survivalists and the Harrowing Norco Bank Robbery

The careful study of the Norco incident reveals many outstanding training lessons about non-traditional and unusual criminal groups, multiple advisory...

https://www.policemag.com/373843/survivalists-and-the-harrowing-norco-bank-robbery
Taking Down Mexican Mafia Cliques In the O.C.

Operation Black Flag was another "staggering and comprehensive blow" to California's most powerful gang, according to U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte. However,...

https://www.policemag.com/373888/taking-down-mexican-mafia-cliques-in-the-o-c
Gangs and Electronic Surveillance—Part II

The girlfriend was provided with a “burnout phone.” A burnout phone is one that would be operational for a few months before being burned out. By that time...

https://www.policemag.com/374034/gangs-and-electronic-surveillancepart-ii
Knocking Down Barrio Azteca

The Barrio Azteca gang members organize themselves using a paramilitary structure and apply English terms or their Spanish equivalent words for ranks such...

https://www.policemag.com/373990/knocking-down-barrio-azteca
Are Muslim Radicals Crossing Our Border?

The transnational gangs, drug trafficking organizations and Muslim terrorists have taken advantage of American apathy and the lack of will in Latin America....

https://www.policemag.com/373676/are-muslim-radicals-crossing-our-border
Mexico's Deal With the Devil

The Mexican press estimates that 19.5% of the official ballot boxes were installed in areas controlled by the drug cartels. Many voters avoided the poles...

https://www.policemag.com/374111/mexicos-deal-with-the-devil
Equal Justice Under the Law?

If ending corruption is the real goal, let's apply all the regulations equally across the board. I can support mandatory financial disclosure for all...

https://www.policemag.com/373732/equal-justice-under-the-law
A Devil's Playground for Gang Members

The court transportation system is the first weak point. Did you know that 40% of all inmate escapes occur during transport? Any gang member who's spent any...

https://www.policemag.com/374346/a-devils-playground-for-gang-members
Booby Traps: Death by Trick or Device

In recent years, attacks against police officers have increasingly become sneaky ambushes rather than direct confrontations. They may involve improvised...

https://www.policemag.com/373805/booby-traps-death-by-trick-or-device
Mexican Mafia: The Most Dangerous Gang

No matter which big bad bloody band of barrio bad boys you might be dealing with, I'll bet they are taking their orders from prison-gang inmates. And when...

https://www.policemag.com/373488/mexican-mafia-the-most-dangerous-gang
Patron Saints of the Mexican Drug Underworld (Part 2 of 2)

Some human sacrifices to Santa Muerte have been claimed in Tijuana and Nuevo Laredo in 2006. In 2008, 11 headless bodies were found in the Yucatan and the...

https://www.policemag.com/373527/patron-saints-of-the-mexican-drug-underworld-part-2-of-2
LAPD's CRASH vs. LASD's OSS

You don't become a gang expert overnight. You don't become qualified to testify in court in just a couple of years. LAPD rotated its officers in and out of...

https://www.policemag.com/373693/lapds-crash-vs-lasds-oss
Categories: Special Units
Murder Ink

One afternoon about five years ago, I was summoned from my desk at the detective division of a major Southern California urban sheriff's department and...

https://www.policemag.com/339501/murder-ink
California's Budget Fix: Cut Gang and Drug Fighters

State lawmakers are positioning their budget axe over the heads of the state Department of Justice's Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement (BNE) and Bureau of...

https://www.policemag.com/373957/californias-budget-fix-cut-gang-and-drug-fighters
Chicano Power and the Brown Berets

Although the Brown Berets claimed to be advocates of education and the politically informed, the majority of the Brown Beret members were high school...

https://www.policemag.com/373939/chicano-power-and-the-brown-berets
Paintball Wars: Defending Against Multiple Attackers

In paintball scenarios, you battle multiple adversaries often in close quarter combat in urban or built-up locations. You either assault or defend a...

https://www.policemag.com/373665/paintball-wars-defending-against-multiple-attackers
Can Education Cure Gang Members?

There seems to be an illogical perception in the U.S. that "bad guys," especially those associated with criminal gangs, are dumb—or at least uneducated. But...

https://www.policemag.com/374097/can-education-cure-gang-members
Gangs and Terrorism

We often focus on one puzzle piece rather than the whole puzzle. If we would slow down and step back, we might see the whole of our enemy's tactics and...

https://www.policemag.com/374085/gangs-and-terrorism
Facing the Facts of Gang Denial

Denial and minimization of a gang problem allows the city's criminal gangs to take root. It also thwarts proactive anti-gang measures.

https://www.policemag.com/373495/facing-the-facts-of-gang-denial
Carcinogenic Cannabis

Federal, state and local police as well as other government officials have succumbed to the money involved in the cannabis cancer. Whether it's the legal...

https://www.policemag.com/374387/carcinogenic-cannabis
A Jaundiced Eye and Blood Red Ink

The Times apparently now has a policy of protecting teen suspects from public exposure, while choosing to expose a witness who courageously risked...

https://www.policemag.com/373646/a-jaundiced-eye-and-blood-red-ink
Understanding Inmate Codes of Conduct

I've always marveled at this irony. Young men who rebel against authority and parental control, who commonly hate school, hate memorizing verses and...

https://www.policemag.com/373799/understanding-inmate-codes-of-conduct
Categories: Weapons
Kel-Tec PF-9 Pistol

For undercover police work or even off-duty use, a small gun that can easily be concealed yet fires a reasonably powerful cartridge is essential. Kel-Tec...

https://www.policemag.com/339855/kel-tec-pf-9-pistol
The Wolf Pack Mentality

Do not underestimate gang members because they are young or small, scrawny wolves. Maybe you have even encountered and dealt with several of them...

https://www.policemag.com/373471/the-wolf-pack-mentality
Homeboys and the Return of Heroin

Heroin's old dirty image is being revamped to appeal to the younger generation. Heroin that is smokable or snortable can be marketed to avoid the old...

https://www.policemag.com/373924/homeboys-and-the-return-of-heroin
TV Gang Docs: Turning Hoodlums Into Heroes

Why do some people feel the need to rewrite history to suit their needs? Many of these "documentaries" are only as good as their sources of information and...

https://www.policemag.com/373877/tv-gang-docs-turning-hoodlums-into-heroes
Gangs In the Courtroom

Every victim or witness had heard the stories in the ghetto about gang retaliation against those who were foolish enough to snitch on gang members. Most of...

https://www.policemag.com/374187/gangs-in-the-courtroom
Gangster Clothing: Dressing for Success In Prison

No one in a predatory environment wanted tight, close-fitting clothing. Status in custody was displayed by wearing new, especially large baggy clothing,...

https://www.policemag.com/373447/gangster-clothing-dressing-for-success-in-prison
Hells Angels: Taking Away Their Toys

When you plan a raid of Hell Angels outlaw motorcycle gang locations for felons, drugs, and guns, don't assume you'll encounter good old boys who ride bikes...

https://www.policemag.com/373759/hells-angels-taking-away-their-toys
Gang Finances: Living Off the Grid

Gang members belong to a gangster culture, believing that only lame punks do menial work for "the man." Why be a lowly worker, when you can be the boss? As...

https://www.policemag.com/373737/gang-finances-living-off-the-grid


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