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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Major Prison Gangs

There are six major prison gangs that are recognized nationally for their participation in organized crime and violence. They have no known official affiliation with other alliances.

Each group is represented in Florida's prison system population; however some are not readily recognizable.

The six major prison gangs currently are:

  1. Neta
  2. Aryan Brotherhood
  3. Black Guerrilla Family
  4. Mexican Mafia
  5. La Nuestra Familia
  6. Texas Syndicate

Although their numbers are small in Florida prisons, if left unmonitored they could easily develop into highly predatory groups as they have in states with comparable inmate populations. The largest prison gangs in the Florida Department of Corrections are Neta and Aryan Brotherhood.

Neta

Gender Makeup: Male Drawing of hand with fingers crossed.

Racial Makeup: Puerto Rican-American/ Hispanic

Origin: an inmate established The Neta in 1970 in Rio Pedras Prison, Puerto Rico. It was formed to stop the violence between inmates housed in the Rio Pedras Prison.

Characteristics:

  • They use the facade of a cultural organization.
  • They are establishing ties to street gangs.
  • Members are strongly patriotic and have associated themselves with a revolutionary Puerto Rican group called the Los Macheteros
  • Their philosophy is "independence for the island" or "Puerto Rico."
  • They see themselves as oppressed people who are unwillingly to be governed by the United States.
  • Members are required to procure 20 prospective recruits.
  • Any disrespect shown to an individual Neta member is looked upon as disrespect to the group and is usually dealt with violently.
  • Neta members come together in observance of their fallen members on the 30th of each month.

Identifiers/Symbols: Photo of tatto

  • Their colors are red, white, and blue. There is also evidence that black is sometimes substituted for blue.
  • Members usually wear beads in these colors, but also will wear clothing such as bandannas, handkerchiefs sticking out of their pockets, white tops, black shorts, etc., in these colors.
  • Probationary members wear all white beads until they are considered loyal; then, they can wear black beads among the white, plus one red one.
  • Members usually display the Puerto Rican flag and are known to carry Neta identification cards.
  • The Neta emblem is a heart pierced by two crossing Puerto Rican flags with a shackled right hand with the middle and index fingers crossed.
  • Members salute each other by holding the crossed fingers of their right hand over their heart. This hand signal means togetherness and unity.

Enemies/Rivals: Drawing showing hand with fingers crossed.

  • Latin Kings
  • Los Solidos

Neta members are secretive and will not freely admit membership. This group is much more challenging to identify and validate than other gangs.

Propensity for Disruptive Behavior:

  • A classic Neta tactic is to keep a low profile while other Hispanic groups draw attention to themselves.
  • They have quietly entrenched themselves in the drug trade and extortion, and have performed "hits" for other STGs.
  • Neta is actively recruiting members in our correctional facilities.
  • Neta's growth should be closely monitored in prisons and they should never be taken lightly.

Neta is dangerous to staff and inmates. Drug activity, extortion, and gang-related violence are what they do and they do it violently. They like to carry semiautomatic and fully automatic weapons. Neta members are not deterred by police and will not hesitate to attack or to kill one if they feel it is necessary.

Aryan Brotherhood (AB)

Gender Makeup: Male

Racial Makeup: White Example of Aryan Brotherhood graffiti.

Origin: Originated in 1967 in the San Quentin State Prison, California Department of Corrections.

Characteristics:

  • Unaffiliated splinter groups sometimes use the name of their state along with the name "Aryan Brotherhood" (e.g., Aryan Brotherhood of Texas).

  • Members display many white supremacist, neo-nazi characteristics and ideology, but often state their goals as simply "getting high and getting over," or making their stay in the prison as comfortable as possible.

  • Members are ordinarily apolitical. Most are in custody for crimes such as robbery.

Identifiers/Symbols: Photo of tatto showing AB, heart, and swords.

  • Shamrock clover leaf
  • Initials "AB"
  • Swastikas
  • Double lighting bolts
  • The numbers "666"
  • Known to use Gaelic (old Irish) symbols as a method of coding communications
  • Aryan Brotherhood groups from other states often accompany the symbols mentioned above with the name of the state

Enemies/Rivals:

The AB maintains a working relationship with the Mexican Mafia (EME) and therefore opposes the EME's long-time enemy, the La Nuestra Familia (NF).

The Aryan Brotherhood has traditionally nurtured a deep hatred toward black individuals and members of black groups/gangs, such as the:

  • Black Guerrilla Family (BGF)
  • Crips
  • Bloods
  • El Rukns

Allies:

  • Maintains a working relationship with the Mexican Mafia (EME).

  • Is known to give moral support to black groups in an effort to encourage possible prison disturbances.

  • Utilizes black associates to buy and sell drugs to elements of the black prison population.

  • Compatibles with most motorcycle gangs; many members were former "Bikers."

  • Compatible with most white supremacy groups. This often leads to confusion in distinguishing AB members from other white supremacist groups, particularly when making identification by their tattoos or symbols.

  • "Copy cat" Aryan Brotherhood groups are generally tolerated by true members. However, federal and California ABs do not consider them to be legitimate and may threaten violence if AB tattoos are not burned or cut off.

  • Actively cooperates with the Dirty White Boys, an Anglo spin-off gang of the Texas Syndicate. Similar cooperation has been observed with the Silent Brotherhood.

Recruitment/Initiation: Photo of Tatto

  • Membership in the AB has traditionally come from white male inmates.
  • Lifelong allegiance is a requirement.
  • A "Blood in, blood out" oath must be taken.
  • Often a "hit" or significant act of violence is required before full membership is earned.
  • Candidacy for membership may last a year or more.

Propensity for Disruptive Behavior: Photo of Tatto

  • Aryan Brotherhood is not readily recognizable; however, receipt of inmates on interstate compact and the current membership in groups with white supremacy ideology lend to the threat of an organizing AB within our facilities.

  • Main activities of the AB are centered on drug trafficking, extortion, pressure rackets, and internal discipline.

  • Prison activities include introduction of contraband, distribution of drugs, and getting past facility rules and regulations.

  • Traditionally, targets have been non-gang inmates and internal discipline.

    Photo of Tatto

  • From 1975 to 1985, members committed 40 homicides in California prisons and local jails, as well as 13 homicides in the community.

  • From 1978 to 1992, AB members, suspects, and associates in the federal system were involved in 26 homicides, 3 of which involved staff victims.

Once released from custody, AB members are actively expected to continue to assist or "score" for the members remaining in prison.