The 7 Most Notorious Gangs

1. The Mexican Mafia is the oldest and most powerful prison gang in the US. Since its founding in the 1950s the group has grown to hundreds of operatives who specialize in knifing murder and drug-running. In 2010, 20 Mexican Mafia members were arrested for carrying out operations ordered from within the prison system.

2. The Mongols biker gang was formed by Hispanic vets who were denied membership to the Hells Angels. It’s grown to 14 states and has international tangents in Mexico, Italy, Germany and even Australia. They’re known for their hatred of African Americans and their willingness to murder civilians. In 2008, a federal sting resulted in the arrest of 61 Mongols on charges ranging from murder, drug trafficking (mostly meth), money laundering, and racketeering.

3. Mara Malvatrucha, or MS-13, is the gang that keeps the FBI up at night. It developed a reputation as the most dangerous gang in the US by being merciless and brutal killers, such as a 2008 incident when one member killed a father and two sons for briefly blocking his car. The FBI actually has a separate task force assigned to stopping the gang and alerting the public to the danger it poses.

4. The 18th Street Gang is the largest street gang in California with roughly 15,000 members and LAPD reports that the gang is responsible for at least one robbery or assault a day in LA County. Despite the focus on California, membership is national. Members have been linked to murder, extortion, alien smuggling, drug smuggling nd auto theft.

5. Florencia 13 is allied with the Mexican Mafia and is a rival of the 18th Street gang. Members have been charged with a litany of crimes including piracy, murder, conspiracy to sell drugs. Most terrifyingly, they have been caught buying weapons from US military personnel.

6. Hermanos de Pistoleros dominates Texas prisons and towns along the Mexican-Texan border. The gang runs guns and drugs over the border and sells them in the US. Additionally, gangsters have been linked to numerous murders including children, car-jacking, protection rackets, and assaults inside prison on inmates and staff.

7. The Almighty Latin King Nation is the largest Hispanic street gang in the country, with influence that stretches the breadth of the entire country. The criminal franchise encompasses drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, murder, assault, robbery, auto theft and racketeering. Their brutality is legend and they are active both inside prison and out.

Join the discussion.