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LITTLE SEOUL Little Seoul is a bustling multi-cultural enclave in Los Santos, SA. The neighborhood is known for its density in East Asian and Latin American populations. Numerous ethnic groups are represented in this 4,275km² neighborhood. They include Koreans, Japanese, Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Hondurans. The businesses contain cafes, convenience stores, and bars. Little Seoul was known for its Korean emigrant population, which formed the largest Korean minority in the entire Western United States until 1992. Koreans first started arriving in Little Seoul during the 1950s and 1960s, fleeing from warfare, regime changes, authoritarianism, and militancy in South Korea. In the 2020s, Koreans are increasingly in decline in Little Seoul as Latin American immigration becomes more prominent, and other Asians such as Chinese immigrants begin to move in. Little Seoul is an urban neighborhood in West Los Santos that is bordered by Rockford Hills to the north, Downtown and Strawberry to the east, Vespucci to the west and La Puerta to the south. Little Seoul was a commercial area until the 1940s when many of the office buildings and businesses were redeveloped and repurposed for homes needed for returning World War 2 veterans. During the 1950s the veterans moved further out to the suburbs as the first refugees from the Korean War began arriving. The Korean population in Little Seoul peaked in 1987 but has been in a documented decline since the 1992 Los Santos riots. Despite their decreasing population, Korean businesses still form the majority of commerce in the neighborhood. International Asian corporations such as Kayton and Wiwang are headquartered there. During the 2000s Korean and Latin American business owners cooperatively ran restaurants together, during which they created infusions between Korean and Latin American cuisine. It's a densely populated and historically working-class neighborhood with an ethnically diverse and multicultural population. Many buildings in the area have Korean signage, and some of them are named after bars and restaurants in Seoul, South Korea. The criminal underworld in Little Seoul emerged during the 1960s and 70s with Korean criminal organizations enjoying a "golden era" from roughly 1963 until 2007. Gangs of Korean migrant adolescents were formed in the 1970s, and they included the Korean Playboys (KPB) & Red Tiger Gang (RTG). Simultaneously, the Korean Mob (Kkangpae) was documented by the LSPD and FBI as early as 1969. Since the 2000s the Korean Playboys are a dwindling gang of Kkangpae enforcers, while the Red Tiger Gang was disbanded by the LSPD in 1998. As of 2021, Korean criminality in the neighborhood has been rapidly outpaced by Latin American gangs such as 18th Street and the Mara Salvatrucha 13. The 18th Street gang mainly occupies the northern part of Ginger Street and has since the early 1990s. The first Mara Salvatrucha gang formed in Little Seoul was the Palomino Stoners, formed in 1981 by Salvadoran Civil War refugees and ex-insurgents. Despite MS-13's Salvadoran supremacist mentality, the Palomino Stoners were known for their tolerance and even acceptance of Koreans in the neighborhood. Some Korean American teenagers have allegedly been recruited into the Mara Salvatrucha since the early 2000s, according to LSPD Gang & Narcotics detectives. THE MARA SALVATRUCHA 13 The Mara Salvatrucha 13, known in the United States and Latin America as La Mara, The Two Letters, Trece Diecenueve, or simply MS-13, is a Central American street gang and transnational criminal organization that originated in Los Santos in the early 1980s. The Mara Salvatrucha's founding members were Northern Triangle refugees, fleeing the civil wars and revolutions taking place in Central American countries. Many of the gang's OGs were communist guerrillas during the civil wars. Other "mareros" were once soldiers in the national armies or illegal migrant workers. During the 1980s many Guatemalans, Salvadorans, and Nicaraguans were refused entry into the United States as refugees. Resultantly, Central Americans illegally settled across the American Southwest without any documentation. These migrants created Latino communities called "barrios" around their new cities. Most emigrants were faced with poverty, unemployment, workplace exploitation, racial profiling, and criminality. These austere conditions provided a flourishing environment for criminal gangs to form. Throughout the 1980s ragtag criminal groups of Salvadoran migrants popped up around Los Santos, SA. Among these competing groups, the Mara Salvatrucha Stoners grew pre-eminent by absorbing other disorganized gangs. The Mara Salvatrucha Stoners were concentrated in Little Seoul, East Vinewood, and Mirror Park, for the most part. Known for their attendance at punk rock concerts, and for smoking dope in public parks. Their revenue primarily came from selling marijuana and psychedelics, but they eschewed heavier drugs. Faced with hateful prejudice from other racial minorities, the Mara Salvatrucha Stoners became a fully-fledged street gang quite rapidly. This was achieved out of perceived necessity, as many Central Americans were denied employment and harassed by Mexican-Americans, Koreans, and blacks. The gang replicated wartime violence against other ethnic gangs such as the Bloods, Crips, Sureños, and the Korean Playboys (KPB). These street wars were seen as inter-ethnic clashes by the mainstream media and the general population of Los Santos. Within a decade the Mara Salvatrucha garnered a very fearful and notorious reputation around Los Santos. They employed insurgent tactics against rival gangs that involved sniper attacks, IEDs, non-explosive boobytraps, and alleyway ambushes. The Los Santos police and FBI documented the gang in 1986. Shortly thereafter Central American gang-bangers started getting deported in waves. These massive deportations are still happening today, and are often attributed to the MS-13's rapid rise and proliferation throughout Latin American countries such as El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and a much lesser extent, Southern Mexico. Until 1989 the Mara Salvatrucha collaborated with the 18th Street Gang in Los Santos. They partnered during street wars, narcotics production, and gun-running around the city. But in 1989 a Mirror Park-based MS-13 criminal was gunned down by an 18th Street Gang member. This killing was allegedly over a girlfriend who'd been romantically approached, rejected, and allegedly sexually assaulted by the deceased marero. Communication between the gangs broke down, and bloodshed immediately followed. From 1989-1995 alone, 200 criminals from both gangs had been killed across Los Santos. The first 5 years of the street war were especially brutal, as guerrilla-esque fighting ran rampant around the barrios. The Los Santos police were poorly equipped to handle this problem, and local gangs lacked the militant experience for effective defenses. In the late 1990s the Mexican Mafia were forced to mediate the situation because their profits were adversely affected. Additionally, the street war had received excessive attention from law enforcement and mainstream media. When the street wars of the 1980s and 1990s gradually died down between the years of 1996 and 1999, the Mara Salvatrucha was no longer a single clique of Salvadoran gang-bangers who identified with punk rock culture. They were a new and vicious breed of street gang who was feared throughout the city's impoverished districts and slums for their cold-blooded approach to crime. It was during this time period that the Mexican Mafia (eMe) met with Mara Salvatrucha shot-callers in the streets, and brought them under the umbrella of Latino gangs in Southern San Andreas. The shot-callers from the Mara Salvatrucha agreed to the Mexican Mafia's demands and officially added 13 to their street gang's name, thus making them the Mara Salvatrucha 13. MS-13 and 18th Street expanded to the American Midwest and Northeast in the 1990s. This was done to avoid harsher criminal penalties in San Andreas. Deportations heavily continued into the 2000s, with the eventual peak in 2003. Policing priorities shifted away from criminal gangs towards Islamic terrorism, as the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) was well underway. Exploiting this internal resource allocation. In addition to their even heavier presence in Los Santos and western states, the Mara Salvatrucha rapidly proliferated along the East Coast of the USA. Many Caribbean and South American kids were picked up for recruitment, much to the anger of other Latino gangs. Teenagers were sometimes forcibly taken from the streets and dysfunctional homes. They were made to join the gang under the threat of death. Entrepreneurial gang leaders from as far away as Los Santos and El Salvador would forever try to make the East Coast theirs. The region became a testing ground for some of the gang’s most ambitious schemes. Mostly failed forays into drug dealing, cigarette contraband, and human trafficking, but the MS-13 was also splintering. In the Eastern States of the US, cliques with Los Santos roots competed for attention from San Andreas-based gang leaders. Cliques originally based in El Salvador looked to Central America for direction. Still, others were native to the region and sought to build their own reputation within the gang instead. This diffuse nature caused the MS-13 gang to become a splintered organization mainly consisting of different sub-factions that became known within the gang as "programs" or "ranflas." The disorganization made for a near-constant leadership vacuum. Violent intergang reprisals led to police crackdowns—key members would go to prison and cliques would weaken. As new leaders emerged and cliques clawed back power, another violent incident would lead to more arrests and another power vacuum, perpetuating the cycle. Before long the gang on both sides of the country began a process of internal cleansing. MS-13 cliques turned on one another, and instead of focusing on street wars with rival gangs, were more focused on wiping each other out than anything else. This lasted for roughly 10 years before the internal war became nothing more than a washed-up rivalry between the MS-13's two main programs in the region, with some flare-ups during the early 2010s. Aside from the rare occasions when inter-program violence spilled into San Andreas, Los Santos-based MS-13 members were for the most part careless about the politics of their East Coast counterparts, and many looked down on the MS-13 gangs outside of San Andreas. Throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s, the Mara Salvatrucha in San Andreas rapidly organized itself and continued to operate heavily in their traditional neighborhoods of Little Seoul, Hawick, and East Vinewood. During this time period the Mara Salvatrucha made little noise in the street gang underworld and only made headlines once in 2011 when the FBI indicted the Vinewood Locos Salvatruchas clique on racketeering, intimidation, and murder charges. Among those arrested in the 2011 indictment was Irwin "Porky" Melendez. Melendez was alleged to have been the leader of the Mara Salvatrucha in San Andreas and was involved in a scheme with his fellow East Vinewood gang members to use the Mexican Mafia and the Arellano Félix Organization's pull in the criminal underworld to expand his control over the MS-13 street gangs across the US, and attempted to establish a drug pipeline that went from Tijuana to Florida. This plan came crashing down, and Irwin received a death sentence at the Bolingbroke Correctional Facility after he killed a Vinewood man and his entire family in a horrific gang-related attack. More crackdowns on the street gang took place throughout the mid to late 2010s as knowledge of the gang's heinous crimes began to become common knowledge. In 2017 several key members of the gang's Little Seoul offshoot were arrested in a RICO indictment dubbed "Operation 13 Scoops." A third RICO sting took place in 2019 where several members of the Mara Salvatrucha's Northside clique were targeted and arrested in Hawick following a series of brutal, medieval-style murders on rival gang members throughout Los Santos county. In one instance the victim's heart was carved out of his body after gang members witnessed him deface MS-13 graffiti in the area. In modern times the Mara Salvatrucha street gang in Los Santos isn't what it once was. It still maintains strongholds in Little Seoul, East Vinewood, Hawick, and other Western Los Santos suburbs, but is far less influential in East Los Santos, South Central, and Vespucci Beach, due to ongoing conflicts with Chicano street gangs in those areas. The Mara Salvatrucha street gang and transnational criminal organization's primary source of income in Los Santos and the rest of the country is derived from criminal activities such as drug dealing, gun dealing, mass narcotics distribution, mass firearm distribution, extortion, hijacking, automotive vehicle theft, stolen auto exports, contract killing, human trafficking, sex trafficking, and organ trafficking. The membership of the Mara Salvatrucha in Los Santos is largely made up of teenagers whose ethnic origins lay in Central American countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. A minority of members from the set are fresh off of the boat immigrants from the aforementioned countries, though this minority are almost all Americanized. Prospective street gang members are typically between the ages of 12 and 18 years old, usually coming from broken homes and dysfunctional families, or are heavily involved with the bullying phenomenon at area schools. It is rare for the set to recruit people over the age of 18, even though the shot-callers themselves are in their late teens and early 20s. As already stated, the street gang recruits teenagers who are caught up in very vulnerable situations with their biological families and/or in the school system, which makes them prime targets for coercion and intimidation. Teenagers who have outright refused to join up with the set in years past have faced beatings, stabbings, and in rare situations getting murdered on a whim. This fear of death, along with severe physical harm to a prospective member's friends/family helps to instill a sense of loyalty in new recruits and initiated members. Early on in a street gang member's career, they'll be made to deal illicit narcotics and stolen firearms by the higher-ups before they're able to move on to more severe crimes such as drive-by shootings and premeditated murders. LINDSAY LOCOS SALVATRUCHAS The Lindsay Locos Salvatruchas (LLS) is a clique of the Mara Salvatrucha 13 street gang and transnational criminal organization. Their turf is primarily located along Lindsay Circus and Palomino Avenue in Little Seoul. The Lindsay Locos originated as a Mara Salvatrucha Stoners offshoot in 1984. Like many MS13 cliques from this time period, they were predominately formed by refugees fleeing from the Salvadoran Civil War. A lot of the street gang's earliest members had served in combat with communist guerrillas and the Salvadoran Army during the Salvadoran Civil War. The guerrilla fighting and military training that the original members obtained in El Salvador proved to be effective in combating street gangs and the Los Santos Police Department in the first few years after the street gang's founding. The clique was originally named the Lindsay Circus Stoners (LCS) for their first few years of existence until they subsequently changed their name and became the Lindsay Locos Salvatruchas around the same time that the Mara Salvatrucha began to shed their 'stoner' image and removed the title from their name. In the clique's earliest days, they were primarily involved with small-time drug dealing. They sold drugs such as marijuana, LSD, and PCP at high schools, Little Seoul community centers, and local heavy metal concerts. They regularly drank light beer and smoked both marijuana & laced cigarettes in alleyways. They attended heavy metal concerts by acts such as Black Sabbath, AC/DC, and other similar bands when they toured Los Santos. Through attending heavy metal concerts, the Lindsay Locos took on the devil horns as their gang's official hand sign, a tradition that the Mara Salvatrucha has continued to use to this day. The Lindsay Locos became gradually more violent and aggressive towards their rivals following the death of Antonio 'Skooby' Locayo, an ex-Guatemalan communist guerrilla and highly respected member of LLS who was murdered by the 18th Street gang in 1989. He was publicly shot to death by members of 18th Street during a community barbecue in Little Seoul that was being hosted at Decker Park. This murder started a street war between MS13 and the 18th Street Gang that still exists today, and has also gone on throughout Mexico and Central America. In Los Santos, at least, the street war between the two large street gangs raged on until 1997 when the Mexican Mafia (La Eme) brought the Mara Salvatrucha gang under their umbrella. This formally classified them as Sureños. Despite being formally classified as Sureños, the Mara Salvatrucha in general continued to hold onto many of their original feuds, continuing after 1997 and going well into the early to late 2000s. They especially continued to hate the 18th Street gang and had previously begun street wars with Sureño street gangs as early as 1992. To this day, several Mara Salvatrucha street gangs in Los Santos and across the rural areas of Southern San Andreas have openly rebelled against the Mexican Mafia. They have violated many of their rules regarding the ethics of warfare between one street gang and another. Some of their cliques are heavily involved in sexual crimes and crimes against women & children. They have openly defied the Mexican Mafia's rulings on drive-by shootings, resulting in a few of their street gangs getting sanctioned (green lit) over the years. The Lindsay Locos themselves were involved in long and drawn-out street wars with various 18th Street cliques from Little Seoul, Vinewood, Vespucci, and South Central, beginning in 1989. Additionally, they occasionally attacked other Sureño street gangs such as Vespucci 13, Culver City Boys 13, Playboys 13, Ghetto Boyz 13, Orphans 13, and Harpys 13. In recent years, almost all of the original members of the LLS have either died in the streets, been incarcerated long-term, gotten deported back to Central America, or have managed to quietly retire from the gang life. As of 2018, only a few old retired members from the street gang continue to reside in Little Seoul, and they are all currently in their late 40s or early 50s. Today, the Lindsay Locos are primarily involved with the sale of methamphetamine and fake identification cards within Little Seoul. Some of its members sell stolen firearms that were robbed from people's dwellings or motor vehicles. Other crimes pursued by members of the street gang include extortion, violent kidnappings, and brutal premeditated murders. The only limits to their violent tendencies are rape, pimping, and other sexual crimes typically looked down upon by the Mexican Mafia. Many of these individualistically motivated violent crimes are perpetrated against members of their own ethnic Salvadoran enclaves, which has created widespread fear and hatred. Out of fear of either being deported or being targeted by the street gang, many Mexican and Central American residents of Little Seoul have refused to come forward to the police. The Mara Salvatrucha Lindsay Locos maintain very strong and friendly ties with most other Mara Salvatrucha 13 cliques in all regions of Los Santos. They especially have strong ties with the Ginger Locos (GLS), Tiny Winos (TWS), and Palomino Locos (PLS). However, they're known to feud with other MS13 cliques as well, mainly the Calais Lil Cycos (CLCS), with whom they fought a three-year war for control of Decker Park. LLS is one of the few Mara Salvatrucha sets to be openly hostile towards most, if not all African American street gangs, including gangs that other MS13 cliques are known to get along with such as the Rollin 20s Neighborhood Bloods. The general thinking among members of the LLS clique is that if you're not part of the Mara Salvatrucha banner then you're their sworn enemy. This, along with their racist tendencies has led to them being alienized and antagonized by most, if not all neighboring street gangs. MAJOR EVENTS THE AUGUST 23RD 1996 TEQUI-LA-LA NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING At 11 PM on August 23, 1996, a group of five Mara Salvatrucha 13 members arrived at the Tequi-La-La nightclub near the Little Armenia quarter of West Vinewood. The five Mara Salvatrucha members had been partying throughout the night and were drunk on hard liquor and stoned on marijuana when they arrived at the nightclub. Due to their current intoxication, they were refused entry into the club by the Armenian bouncers, who hardly spoke any English. This language barrier was taken as an insult by the Mara Salvatrucha members, who mistakenly shouted anti-Indian slurs at the nightclub bouncers while simultaneously starting a scuffle. Pushes became violent shoves and, eventually, fists were thrown. The four bouncers outside of the nightclub were overwhelmed at first, but the crowd gathered outside of the nightclub who were all waiting to enter helped the effort of the four bouncers. This abruptly became a tragedy when two members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang drew pistols from their jackets and opened fire into the crowd at close range, instantly striking many members of it. Two of the bouncers drew pistols of their own and returned fire, though did not strike the Mara Salvatrucha members, as they were absorbed in the crowd. The two MS-13 members beat and shot their way through the crowd before indiscriminately firing into it. Return fire from bouncers was ineffective, and the two gang members fled unscathed in a pickup truck. The rest of the Mara Salvatrucha members escaped except for a member who was beaten, knocked unconscious, and trampled all over by the crowd. When the ten minutes of chaos had ended, six people were dead, along with seventeen being critically injured, making it one of the worst shootings in Vinewood and surrounding areas in 13 years. On scene, the Los Santos Police Department arrested Rodney Vallejo, 24, of Little Seoul. He was hospitalized under the custody of police before being placed in a pre-trial detention annex of the Los Santos County Jail because of his extreme injuries suffered when he was horribly beaten by the crowd. James Orejon, 18, of Decker Park Locos Salvatruchas (DPLS), Alejando Villanueva, 20, of the Hawick Criminales Salvatruchas (HCS), and Andres Gramajo, 16, of the San Vitus Locos Salvatruchas (SVLS), fled on foot and were all arrested by the Los Santos Police Department together while hiding in a dumpster in the Vinewood neighborhood at 5 AM on August 23, 1996. Andrew Perez, 21, of Hawick, and Ronald Ortiz, 23, of Vinewood, were both arrested by the San Andreas Sheriff's Department while in hiding on a derelict farm in the Grapeseed region in the northern end of Blaine County on November 9, 1996. They had been living in abandoned barns and a farmhouse on the derelict farm for months...and were living off of bottled water and canned food that had been stolen from grocery stores in the Chumash and Paleto Bay areas. They were discovered living in hiding in deplorable conditions after several dozen local farmers reported them to police in unison. James Orejon was tried, convicted, and sentenced to 5 years of life in prison for his role as an accomplice in the deadly shooting. Andrew Perez and Ronald Ortiz were both tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for their roles as the gunmen in the shooting. Alejando Villanueva and Andres Gramajo were both tried, convicted, and sentenced to 10 years of life in prison for their roles as accomplices in the deadly shooting. All of these men entered the San Andreas penal system in 1999 after a frenzied trial rocked the city. At age 39, Rodney Vallejo was released from state prison in 2012 after serving 13 years behind bars. James Orejon was released from state prison in 2016 after serving 17 years behind bars, aged 38. Andrew Perez was stabbed to death during a riot at the maximum-security Bolingbroke Correctional Facility on December 28-30, 1999, at age 31. Ronald Ortiz died from cancer while incarcerated in 2009, at age 46. Alejandro Villanova and Andres Gramajo were released from incarceration in 2010 after serving 11 years behind bars. Two months after their release from incarceration, they were deported to their native Guatemala, aged 33 and 29. THE APRIL 4TH 2011 MURDERS OF MARCUS ZELAYA AND HIS FAMILY (PICTURED) IRWIN 'PORKY' MELENDEZ (RIGHT) PHOTOGRAPHED WITH AN UNKNOWN MS-13 MEMBER (LEFT) Irwin 'Porky' Melendez was a shot-caller of the Vinewood Locos Salvatruchas, a W/S Mara Salvatrucha cell located in East Vinewood. He was born to a father who was a former Salvadoran war guerrilla who was afflicted with PTSD and major depression from his fighting in the war. His mother was a war refugee from El Salvador who fled the country to avoid being arrested for helping to assassinate the brother of the chief of police in El Congo, Santa Ana Department. He joined the Mara Salvatrucha's click in East Vinewood, the Vinewood Locos Salvatruchas, in order to obtain protection from bullies at school. He started out as a drug dealer on the corners in all of Vinewood...but quickly garnered a fierce reputation when he began fighting against his bullies at school. Years of pent-up anger exploded, which resulted in him hospitalizing one of his bullies for 4 months in a schoolyard fight, in which he savagely beat his bully to a pulp with a tire iron. He was incarcerated in the San Andreas Youth Authority for 2 years at 15 years old and joined inmate and convict clicks of the Mara Salvatrucha 13 within the penitentiary. He was released from incarceration and hit the streets soon after, where he was initiated into the Vinewood clique nine months later at age 17. He committed his first gang-related murders in the months leading up to his jump-in and the months after it. At the age of 18, he joined the United States Army as an enlisted recruit in June 2008. He did so with the primary aim of learning tactical shooting and other tactical maneuvers in both open and urban combat so that he could train his fellow gang members in the streets once he returned from duty. He was assigned to an OSUT unit, also known as One Station Unit Training in Fort Benning, Georgia. He was sworn into the United States Army with the rank of Private (PV2), stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas - with the 18th Infantry Regiment within the 1st Infantry Division. In January 2009 he was deployed to Afghanistan as a part of troop rotations and served in Kandahar Province and Kabul Province in the country. It was here that he saw combat against the Taliban and local Pashtun tribal militias, and got first-hand experience in warfare as a soldier on the frontline. While serving in Afghanistan he went out of his way to kill as many Taliban operatives and Pashtun tribal militia members as humanly possible. He dismembered the fingers and ears of the Taliban and Pashtun tribal militia fighters that he knew he killed by shooting, keeping them as war souvenirs. He completed his tour of duty after he was rotated out of Afghanistan in June 2009 as a 19-year-old. Shortly after his return from deployment, his complex post-traumatic stress disorder began coming to fruition as the months went by. He was struck with major depression, and his day-to-day work on base drastically fell behind standards. And, given his natural authority problems, began acting out against his superiors while on base. Because of how good he was at masking his mental illnesses and true nature, nobody truly noticed what was happening with him until much later on. Due to mental health concerns and a lengthy pattern of misconduct that saw him spend days on end in the stockade, he was granted a general discharge from the United States Army at the rank of Specialist in August 2010, aged 20. After being discharged from the military he received little to no help from Veteran's Affairs, and thus had no socioeconomic support to keep him away from his previous lifestyle of gang-banging. Thus, he migrated back to West Los Santos after trying to make a living for himself in Kansas City for 4 months. He was welcomed back by the Vinewood Locos Salvatruchas, who greatly benefited from his expertise in firearms, tactical shooting, and other troop tactics. As a side to his activities, he began murdering the set's rivals in the streets far more efficiently than anybody else was. Drug dealing, and especially firearm dealing became the day-to-day norm for him and his own little social group within the set. His drug dealing and firearm dealing ring eventually came in contact with a 31-year-old retired Westside Playboys 13 street gang member, Marcus Zelaya - who resided in his old set's territory in Little Seoul, a metropolitan suburb of West Los Santos. In February 2011, Irwin Melendez and his social group made a group effort to arrange a drug and firearms deal with Marcus Zelaya, but only to backstab him right as it was happening. They gave Marcus Zelaya counterfeit money in exchange for ten ounces of crystal methamphetamine that was produced by Playboys 13 gang members in the neighborhood. When Marcus Zelaya found out that he had been screwed over, he hired hits on Irwin Melendez and his entire social group. When Irwin Melendez found out about this, he personally went to Marcus Zelaya's condominium unit on Palomino Avenue in the wee hours of April 4, 2011, and shot him, his wife, and two daughters to death with a silenced handgun as they slept in their bedrooms. He also shot the family pets to death. The aquarium tank which housed eight exotic South American species of fish was shot and shattered in the living room. After the fish landed on the ground and simultaneously became exposed to air, he crushed them to death by stomping on them or tearing them apart with his bare hands. He pillaged the condominium unit after the murdering of the family and killing of their pets, where he made off with tens of thousands of dollars in cash and debit cards. Upon warrants being issued for his arrest in the barbaric murders of Marcus Zelaya's family and the killing of all of their family pets, he tried to flee San Andreas for Arizona in May 2011, though ended up being intercepted on the way by state troopers from the San Andreas Sheriff's Department. He would spend the next year in a maximum-security annex of the Los Santos County Jail precinct before standing trial in a state criminal court for the murders, animal cruelty, and theft. He pled guilty to all of his misdemeanors and felonies, but when the judge asked him in court about why he carried the murders out in such a savage manner, he simply replied that "It was was due to business." He was sentenced to execution in the maximum-security Bolingbroke Correctional Facility in May 2012 and is still serving time on death row. His execution date is projected for sometime in 2026. Irwin "Porky" Melendez's barbarism towards Marcus Zelaya, his family, and their livelihoods, played a very integral part in putting the Mara Salvatrucha on the map as being one of, if not the most dangerous street gang in West Los Santos. THE MAY 18TH 2013 LITTLE SEOUL SHOOTING At 2 AM on May 18, 2013, two recently initiated members of the Palomino Locos Salvatruchas clique of the MS-13 were driving around Little Seoul in a 2007 Annis Pinnacle sedan. During their night-time drive, two vehicles began tailing them before driving around erratically in the road. Eventually, the two vehicles came to a stop in front and behind the 2007 Annis Pinnacle. Gang signs which were known to be used by members of the 18th Street gang were displayed towards the MS-13 affiliates. Upon seeing this, the two gang-bangers from the Palomino Locos abruptly left their vehicle with handguns drawn. They charged the other cars and shot everybody inside of them before fleeing the scene in a rush. James Penagos, 19, of Lindsay Circus, and Ricardo Enamorado, 17, of Palomino Avenue, were arrested 3 months later while found living in hiding in the Murietta Heights neighborhood of East Los Santos. They were living in an insect and rodent-infested building which had been abandoned since 2006. They had been living off of bottled water, junk food snacks, and fast food which was purchased from local convenience stores and restaurants in the neighborhood. James Penagos was tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for 25 years for his role in the murder of Gerald Bower, 21, from Vinewood, and the attempted murder of Joseph Tiruma, 20, from Chumash. Ricardo Enamorado was deported to his native Honduras for the murder of Devon Hamelin, 23, from Rockford Hills, and attempted murder of Caleb Pratt, 18, from Chumash. James Penagos was a native of the Little Seoul neighborhood, and had joined the Mara Salvatrucha while attending high school as a 17-year-old in 2010, but was not formally initiated until sometime in 2012. Ricardo Enamorado was an illegal immigrant from Honduras who came to West LS from his native country as a 14-year-old with his 17-year-old sister in 2009. Gerald Bower, Joseph Tiruma, Devon Hamelin, and Caleb Pratt were all college students attending the University of Southern San Andreas in the Alta neighborhood of Central Los Santos. On the night before their murders and attempted killings, they got drunk and high on marijuana at a house party in Vinewood, hosted by friends of theirs who were attending the local college. They went for a drive in Little Seoul in order to take their partying to the road. They were killed and severely injured by members of the Mara Salvatrucha after the gang signs that one of the men flashed out of the window were mistaken for membership to the 18th Street gang. Joseph Tiruma and Caleb Pratt have resided in assisted living care homes since that fateful night, where they remain in vegetative states due to extreme brain, bodily, and psychological damage from being shot in the chest and face multiple times. On September 16, 2016, Ricardo Enamorado was reported missing to Honduran police by his girlfriend in his birthplace of Yoro, Honduras. On February 20, 2017, Honduran police in the town of El Progreso declared in a press release to the public that a dismembered and disemboweled body was found strewn around in an alleyway in one of the town's poorest slums. Through dental records, it was identified as the body of 21-year-old Ricardo Enamorado. The Honduran police attributed his death to street gang warfare between unspecified rival gangs. THE AUGUST 18TH 2016 BAK FAMILY MURDERS At 10 PM on August 18, 2016, five relatives of 46-year-old Gerard Bak's family that included himself, his 51-year-old wife, his wife's 47-year-old brother, and their two 16 and 17-year-old teenage sons, were on their way home to the Sunshine Apartments from a family barbecue and monthly get-together at the local park. While on foot, they were approached by a group of eight Tiny Wynos Salvatruchas (TWS) members on Ginger Street near South Rockford Drive. They were ruthlessly hassled and confronted about their alleged ties to a local street gang, the Westside Asian Criminals (W/S ACS), a local Korean-American street gang with ties to the Kkangpae. The Bak family, who were small business owners and had their own restaurant in the neighborhood since 1986, vehemently denied that they belonged to a street gang. The confrontation turned physical when the TWS members started to push and shove the Bak family around. Punches, kicks, and headbutts were thrown, and a scuffle broke out. The scuffle was abruptly ended in a very unexpectedly shocking way. Three out of the eight MS-13 members, who were hammered on hard liquor and high on PCP, took handguns out from their clothing and shot all members of the Bak family at point-blank range. Gerard Bak, his wife, his wife's brother, and his 17-year-old son were hit with .32 caliber and .45 caliber live rounds multiple times and killed. His 16-year-old son was thought to be dead and was left to bleed out in the street. Local residents who witnessed the shooting from afar phoned the Los Santos Police Department and the Los Santos Fire Department to the scene, who pronounced all Bak family members dead except for the 16-year-old boy. The 16-year-old boy is, as of 2017, permanently paralyzed from the neck down, and remains wheelchair-bound and bedridden. Two out of the three gunmen were apprehended by the Los Santos Police Department, and are currently awaiting trial with the expectation that they will spend the rest of their lives in a San Andreas state prison. The last gunman fled San Andreas a week after the murders, making his way halfway across the United States to Tennessee over a month's period. He carried out the armed robbery of a 7-Eleven convenience store in rural Cumberland County, Tennessee, and was reported to the police by the staff there. After evading county law enforcement, the Tennessee Highway Patrol pursued him down the interstate, where he opened fire on them with a carbine rifle while speeding down the highway. The state troopers eventually caught up to him 25 minutes after they began their pursuit, where he was rammed off the road and into a ditch. He was shot over sixty times in his car with handguns and shotguns, where he was instantly killed. The last five members of the Tiny Wynos Salvatruchas involved in the Bak family murders were also all eventually incarcerated on sentences that ranged from 5 years to life for being accomplices to the murders and near-fatal shooting of the Bak family's 16-year-old son in a 2017 indictment. LOS SANTOS TIMES. JUNE 16, 2018 HUMAN REMAINS FOUND IN 55 GALLON OIL DRUM AT ABANDONED LITTLE SEOUL HOME A 55 gallon oil drum was found by construction workers who were working on a home demolition of an abandoned house and former drug den located in Little Seoul, Westside Los Santos. The 55 gallon oil drum, which turned out to be a gruesome discovery, was found in the basement of the abandoned house by workers from Iron Strong Construction, an East Los Santos based construction company. At first, the workers thought that the 55 gallon oil drum was heavy because it contained motor oil. Upon further investigation, however, the workers pryed the sealed top off of the drum and found the rotten remains of an undisclosed number of deceased persons. The remains consisted of limbs; arms, legs, hands and feet and were in badly decomposing states. The Los Santos Police Department were called to the scene at 11:06 AM and arrived at 11:13. The construction workers were sent home for the day while the police set up a crime scene investigation at the home demolition site. The police remained at the crime scene throughout the remainder of the day. These events occured on June 15, 2017. The house in question was condemned by the Los Santos Housing Authority on April 19, 2006 due to the high amount of squatters, local drunks and hard drug addicts who illegally resided on the property and within the house. Despite it's offically condemned status, the same people continued to use the property as a temporary residence; several dozen arrests of squatters have taken place at the residence for trespassing since early 2007. No demolition plans were made until August 2015, and it wasn't until June 14, 2017 that they got underway through clearing old debris and junk from the house. Iron Strong Construction was contracted to assist in the demolition of the house, along with the Los Santos Public Works. The police have not yet disclosed any details on how the dismembered body parts ended up in the 55 gallon oil drum, and nor have they released any information on the victims or potential suspects. The case is currently being treated as a homicide investigation by the Los Santos Police Department's Gang and Narcotics Division, who have stated in a brief public press release that they're treating this incident as street gang related violence. The Los Santos Police Department's Gang and Narcotics Division are urging members of the general public to contact Los Santos CrimeStoppers at 216-874-3284 or the LSPD's anonymous tipline at 216-983-1543.
A triad is a Chinese transnational organized crime syndicate based in Greater China and has outposts in various countries with significant overseas Chinese populations. The organizational structure of Chinese organized crime in the United States is quite complex. Broadly defined, there is a great variety of Chinese criminal organizations. These include gangs, secret societies, triads, tongs, Taiwanese organized crime groups, and strictly US-based tongs and gangs. According to Ko-lin Chin, the foremost academic expert in the U.S. on Chinese organized crime, there is no empirical support for the belief that there is a well-organized, monolithic, hierarchical criminal cartel called the “Chinese Mafia.” The Chinese gangs are best known for trafficking in heroin and opium, but they are in fact as diversified as the biggest multinational conglomerate. Among their other activities are arms smuggling, credit card fraud, counterfeiting, software piracy, prostitution, gambling, loansharking, white-collar crime, home-invasion robbery, high-tech theft, and trafficking in endangered animals and plants. The triads are equally increasingly involved in the smuggling of illegal aliens. U.S. officials estimate that up to 100,000 Chinese are illegally smuggled into the country each year, many of them forced to live in involuntary obedience for a long period of time, while they work off their debt to the gangsters and smugglers that helped them to make their way into the states. In order to simplify and focus our discussion, this analysis will concentrate on the Fuk Ching gang. The Fuk Ching are active in Liberty City, and are regarded as one of the most powerful, and also transnationally active, Chinese organized crime groups in the U.S. (Chin, 1996). They are estimated to have approximately 35 members, with another 20 members currently in prison. Other major gangs in Liberty include the Ghost Shadows, Flying Dragons, Tung On, and Born-to-Kill. The Liberty City gangs, like the Fuk Ching, mainly operate extortion and protection rackets in defined neighborhoods in Liberty City’s Chinatown. Their victims are mostly businesses in Chinatown. In San Andreas, however, the Chinese organized crime presence, and the problem is quite different from that in Liberty City. In San Andreas, the dominant groups are the Wo Hop To and the Wah Ching. The Liberty City Police Department (LCPD), which polices the neighborhood in which the Fuk Ching are active, uses all the standard law enforcement practices commonly used to combat organized crime. These include informants, undercover investigators, and electronic surveillance. In addition, both the police and the FBI support and encourage extortion victims to use hotlines to report their victimization. The LCPD has also created an Asian Gang Intelligence Unit that employs street patrols to monitor street gangs. One of the structural characteristics that make Chinese organized crime different from other forms is the relationship between some of the street gangs and certain adult organizations. The latter are called tongs. The Fuk Ching, for example, is affiliated with the Fukien American Association. The Fukien American Association – as with other tongs and their relationships with gangs – provide the Fuk Ching with a physical place to gather and hang out. They allow the gang to operate on their (the tong’s) territory, thus legitimizing them with the community. Which is what usually appears in San Andreas as well. The smaller Chinese gangs fall under triads, that allows them to distribute and use their street as their so-called turf. In the state of San Andreas, there are more than thirty-two estimated Cantonese-American street gangs, and triads. One of them is the Paul Yin Gang, the street gang gained power in the early beginning of the 21st century when a huge wave of Cantonese-American migrants went to the Korean district of Los Santos. Many of them were smuggled through containers, which forced them to work for the smugglers/gangsters until they paid their debt off. Even though the Paul Yin Gang has had little to no influence over the area for the past twenty years, they've made quite a big name for themselves, as the LSPD had launched multiple raids in the area, charging many affiliates with money laundering charges, and involvement in loansharking. Over the last 2 decades, the United States and especially San Andreas has seen a huge inflow of Asian Americans. A look at how great of an Asian population there is in San Andreas is simply by looking at the enrollment at the University of Los Santos schools. UC Los Santos consists of Asian American and UC Red County is approximately 45%. This migration of Asians has brought many hard workers but it has also brought a new form of gangs more violent and brutal than America has ever seen. The Triads and the Tongs are one of the reasons why some Asian-Americans feel it necessary to join these gangs even though it seems to contradict the Asian "model minority" myth. The Asian American has been stereotyped as the "model minority", which implies that Asians have a strong work ethic, low profile, and a sense of loyalty to their family. Yet crimes by Asians in gangs have been occurring throughout San Andreas much more frequently than in years past. There seems to be a definite irony here in that the increases in Asian-American youth crime and the stereotype of Asian-Americans do not follow the same pattern. One such reason for this deviation is based on a matter of perspective in that one might consider crime by Asian-American youth as an occupation. If one takes into consideration that crime could be considered an occupation, then if the Asian-American work ethic focuses on succeeding in the new world, then the crime cannot be ruled out as an option to attaining financial class success. However, there is a more reasonable explanation as to why current Asian youth seem to deviate from the so-called "model minority" myth because of the two different phases in which Asians came to the United States. This huge inflow of Asians into San Andreas essentially occurred in two phases. In 1965, Congress passed an Immigration Act which abolished the old national-origins quota and increased the limit of 100 immigrants from countries within the "Asian-Pacific Triangle" to 20,000 immigrants per country from the Eastern Hemisphere, plus immigrants accepted within family preference standards: specifically spouses, minor children, and parents of citizens. This gave rise to a major wave of Asian immigration to America. This first wave in the 1 970s consisted of Asians who were highly educated, middle class, and urban. They arrived in a very short time frame, which allowed them to establish themselves successfully in America and thus was born the "model minority" myth. These immigrants were hard-working and stressed education as the tools to success and these tools would allow them to live the "American Dream." But more recently the second wave which started around the mid 1980s to the present, the immigrants from Asia have been mainly refugees from harsh political conditions in Southeast Asia. These recent immigrants arrive seeking new jobs and new opportunities but the job market is shrinking for less-skilled workers due to technological change. There has been increased immigration into the United States because under the current family preference system, it admits not only spouses, minor children, and parents of citizens, but also siblings and children over the age of two. But, for too many of these immigrants, coming to America has been a myth-shattering experience; because they soon realize that it is still very hard to succeed in America. When immigrants arrive in America, they strive for financial status and a comfortable home. However the first means to achieve financial status is through a professional job but a professional job requires training and some form of education. Immigrants who face a language barrier have trouble attaining that education they need especially if a college degree is needed because it is difficult to raise the money to afford higher education. Entrepreneurship is blocked by many of these same obstacles. And media success is forgettable because of the tiny market for Asian Americans in the media. Consequently, these new immigrants arrive in America with little prospect for employment and thus contribute to the growing percentage of Asian-Americans living below the poverty line. In order to simply survive, some Asian youth turn to crime in order to get some of the things that their parents cannot give them, which is usually influenced by poverty, greed, social comfort, and overall attention. Hell Side Wah Ching 1990s The gang’s origins lie in the tag-banging crew Hellside Asian Boys (HAB), whose ex-members made up the core of Hellside Wah Ching’s membership. While original members of HAB were primarily concerned with graffiti and graffiti culture, the merge with KTown Seaside Mafia (KSM) severely transformed the nature of HAB. While prior to the merge, HAB had partaken in petty crime, merging with another tag-banging crew irreversibly changed the crew. Local law enforcement officials had speculated that the clique was primarily 'created' due to the spiking interest in the drug market. Following the merge the gang was known as Hellside Mafia and has been involved in selling drugs onto a new lucrative drug market appearing due to the mass-immigration of Asian/Chinese immigrants in the Little Seoul Area. It's been rumored that certain members of the gang had developed ties to the local tong. It's been speculated that the tong had used Hellside Mafia as their muscle when it came to local extortions and drug trafficking. 2000s At the brink of a new millennium a bloody feud had occurred. What was formerly known as the Hellside Mafia had split into Hellside Wah Ching and KTown Circle Boys. The members of Hellside Mafia whom had pled allegiance to the local tong had then formed the core membership of the Hellside Wah Ching, whilst everybody who "didn't get with the program" became part of the KTown Circle Boys clique. In 2003 the Los Santos Police Department classified them as a street gang for prosecution purposes when three HWC members Nestor Chung, 17, James Chuang, 16, along with Joshua Hu, 17 and Omar Chin, 15 who was not in a gang were involved in the double homicide of Jack Cho, 14 and his father Li Cho, 45, on November 5, 2003. Jack’s brother, Bradley Cho, 17, was a member of the KTown Circle Boys and had a dispute with Joshua at their high school earlier that day. The four assailants were looking for Bradley when they shot and killed his little brother (not a gang member) and his father. It's been said that the tong had severed ties with the Hellside Wah Ching following the homicide of Jack Cho and his father. Little Seoul (忠诚) is a group of Roleplayers aiming to portray a realistic Chinese tong/triad located at Little Seoul, Ginger Street/Sunshine. All aspiring players may approach us ICly, roleplaying a "move in" is highly frowned upon in the faction as neighborhood-foreign locals are not engaged proactively in the faction' activities whether classmates or known locals, friends, etc. are more involved. We suggest reading any sort of guide on how to portray a realistic Chinese mobster member prior to joining us, however, be aware that our faction puts heavy emphasis on environmental/group realism as a whole as well, affiliates and members may not post screenshots on the thread until they've been approved via our approval system as we're very strict on ourselves regarding the fashion regime we've been aiming to give out on our thread. We also have a guide in our Discord server which you are free to read. Upon joining the faction you also instantly agree to be Character Killed by the High Council members within the faction. Anyone wanting to roleplay with our faction is required to join our Discord server.