Gang Success Stories
Boston: The Almighty Latin King/Queen Nation (ALKQN)
Operation Dethrone was an investigation by the Western Massachusetts Gang Task Force, consisting of the FBI, the Chicopee Police Department, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, the Holyoke Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, the Springfield Police Department, and the West Springfield Police Department. The first phase of the investigation, targeting the Lawrence chapter of the ALKQN, was converted to an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force/High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (OCDETF/HIDTA) interagency case involving numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. After the significant disruption of the Lawrence chapter in February 2004, information provided by cooperating defendants led to the significant disruption of the Springfield chapter in June 2005. Fifty-seven ALKQN members have been indicted.
Chicago: The Black Disciples
The Joint Task Force on Gangs-I, consisting of the FBI and the Chicago Police Department, initiated an investigation against the Black Disciples street gang. The gang, one of the largest in Chicago, dates back to the 1960s. It has an estimated 20,000 members in the Chicago area and numerous other cliques located throughout the U.S. The FBI and the Chicago Police Department used a variety of sophisticated investigative techniques that resulted in the indictment and arrest of 49 subjects on drug conspiracy, racketeering, and money laundering charges; the seizure of more than 50 kilograms of cocaine, more than 20 weapons, more than $835,000, and 10 parcels of real property, including a radio station; and additional investigative information on 20 unsolved gang homicides by the Chicago Police Department. By mid-2006, all but three subjects have pled or were found guilty in U.S. District Court.
Denver: The Gallant Knights Insane (GKI)
The Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force investigated crack cocaine and firearms trafficking by the GKI street gang, responsible for homicides, drive-by shootings, aggravated assaults, home invasions, and robberies. Law enforcement officers from the FBI, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, the Aurora Police Department, the Colorado Department of Corrections, the Denver Police Department, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office executed 56 search warrants, secured 47 indictments, and seized 26 firearms, as well as two pipe bombs, in their efforts to dismantle the gang.
Detroit: The Chaldean Mafia
The Chaldean Mafia, composed predominantly of Iraqi nationals, operated a narcotics distribution network moving drugs from Phoenix and San Diego to Detroit. Involved in violent crimes such as homicide, assault, kidnaping, armed robbery, and arson, the gang used intimidation and brutal force to move the narcotics and collect drug proceeds. The work of the Detroit Metropolitan Violent Crime Task Force—with representatives from the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Detroit Police Department; the Michigan State Police Department; and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office—resulted in the conviction of 111 subjects and the seizure of $5.3 million, 6.5 tons of marijuana, 25 kilograms of cocaine, five pounds of crystal methamphetamine, and 78 firearms.
Keyser , West Virginia: The Blue Boys
This case, investigated by the Potomac Highlands Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force consisting of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office, the Martinsburg City Police Department, and the West Virginia State Police Department, targeted a gang known as the Blue Boys. The gang, named because they dyed their crack cocaine the color blue, was responsible for the crack cocaine distribution in the Keyser, West Virginia area. The gang members were from the Baltimore, Maryland, area and distributed significant quantities of crack cocaine. The investigation resulted in 32 indictments.
Las Vegas: The Rolling 60s Crips
This investigation was initiated in response to a local gang war between the Rolling 60s Crips and Gearson Park Kingsmen. Since December 2001, this conflict had resulted in more than 50 documented violent incidents, 42 shootings, and 24 deaths. The investigation by the Las Vegas Safe Streets Gang Task Force—consisting of the FBI, the Henderson Police Department, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department, and the North Las Vegas Police Department—led to 41 arrests, 37 federal indictments, and a 20 percent drop in violent crime in North Las Vegas.
Memphis: The Vice Lords
The FBI, DEA, the Memphis Police Department, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and the Internal Revenue Service‑Criminal Investigation Division identified the person responsible for the shipment of cocaine from Dallas to Memphis as a Vice Lords gang member. The investigation led to the disruption of the gang in Memphis and the dismantlement of a drug trafficking organization in Dallas. Accomplishments include 34 indictments and the seizure of 54.6 kilograms of cocaine, 2.9 kilograms of crack cocaine, more than $2.0 million in cash, 11 vehicles, 13 motorcycles and ATVs, and three trailers.
New York: The Hellbound Crips
This joint FBI/New York Police Department investigation targeted a violent Crips subset known as the Hellbound Crips, responsible for 15 homicides, 13 attempted homicides, and extensive narcotics trafficking in New York and South Carolina. Five search warrants were conducted in conjunction with the arrest of 48 members of the gang. Indictments were handed down against 49 gang members, including five who were eligible for the death penalty.
San Antonio: The Texas Mexican Mafia
Operation Deception, a joint investigation with the FBI, DEA, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice focused on the Texas Mexican Mafia operating in San Antonio. The Texas Mexican Mafia is engaged in smuggling, narcotics distribution, murder, and extortion. Information discerned via the investigation led to the recovery of the bodies of two murder victims. To date, the investigation has resulted in 62 arrests and 39 indictments in 2003 and 2004.
San Diego: The Mexican Mafia (La Eme)
Operation La Mano Negra targeted the Mexican Mafia operating in Southern California. This two year joint investigation by the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, San Diego County Probation, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, and the San Diego Police Department was initiated by a source within the Mexican Mafia in the San Diego area. Eventually, the investigation identified 527 members or associates of the Mexican Mafia. The investigation also included 25 evidence purchases of weapons and drugs and 27 search warrants. The investigation to date has resulted in 37 federal indictments, 35 state indictments, and the indictment of the highest ranking Mexican Mafia gang member in San Diego.
Tampa: The Almighty Latin Kings (ALKN)
Operation Down Crown, a joint FBI/Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office investigation, targeted the Almighty Latin Kings in the Tampa area. Intelligence derived from investigation indicated that members of the ALKN were trafficking large amounts of drugs, especially ecstasy. The investigation targeted three ALKN members in particular: the Tampa “First Crown” ALKN leader; the “Second Crown”; and the “Enforcer.” To date the investigation has resulted in 25 arrests and 21 indictments.