10. Aryan Brotherhood
The Aryan Brotherhood is a neo-Nazi prison gang and organized crime syndicate based in the United States, with an estimated 15,000-20,000 members inside and outside prisons.
It is one of the oldest and most feared prison gangs in the US.
Typical of organized crime groups, the gang currently focuses more on “money-rich” crimes, including drug trafficking, extortion, prostitution and murder-for-hire.
The Aryan Brotherhood makes up a very small percentage of the US prison population, yet is responsible for a disproportionate number of prison murders, according to the FBI.
The 14k is a Hong Kong-based triad that operates worldwide. With roughly 25,000 members divided into thirty subgroups, it is the second largest triad group in the world. They have an extremely deadly rivalry with the Sun Yee On, the largest Triad in the world, making 14K the second largest Triad branch in the world. The 14K is charged with large-scale drug trafficking around the world, with most of the heroin and opium coming from China or Southeast Asia. Their main source of income is illegal gambling, but they are also involved in usury, money laundering, murder, arms trafficking, prostitution, human trafficking, extortion, counterfeiting, and, to a lesser extent, home burglary. From southern China and Southeast Asia to the United States and Europe, their criminal empire has expanded.
8. Solntsevskaya Bratvac
The Solntsevskaya Bratva (Russian: олневскa ратва) was a major Russian mafia group. Sergei Mikhailov is the man who founded the Solntsevskaya Bratva, often known as the Solntsevo Brotherhood. Mikhas, as he is known, worked as a waiter in various Moscow restaurants, but the salary was not enough for him, so he turned to crime. Solntsevskaya has only grown in size over the years, and its members are professionals in all kinds of sectors, allowing them to diversify their ventures. Since their inception, Solntsevskaya Bratva has been involved in drug trafficking, extortion, fraud and money laundering. They have also formed alliances in many parts of the world to broaden their business.
7. Los Rastrojos
The Rastrojos emerged from the Norte del Valle drug cartel and grew into one of Colombia’s most prominent global crime syndicates, until its top leadership surrendered or was captured in 2012. The strongholds of the Rastrojos are usually located in the region where they originated: the provinces of Valle del Cauca and Cauca on the Pacific coast. They are also active in Antioquia, Bolivar, Cesar, Choco, Cordoba, Nario, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Santander, and Valle del Cauca, and in Venezuela and Ecuador, where they have developed a presence and smuggling activities. The Rastrojos are different from other Colombian criminal organizations in that they do not seek to control every aspect of the drug distribution chain, rather than relying on strategic alliances. To move their belongings, they have formed ties with rebel groups and former right-wing paramilitaries.
The various intertwined gangs known as Norteos pay tribute to Nuestra Familia while incarcerated in state and federal prisons in California. Norte Califas is a term used by Norteos to denote Northern California. The Sureos of Southern California are their main opponents. Most members of the gang are Mexican Americans. In 1968, Mexican-American inmates in California’s state prison system were divided into two factions: Norteos (Northerners) and Sureos (Southerns) (Sureos). The prison opponents of the Southern Latinos, which are members and affiliates of La Eme, also known as the Mexican Mafia, were the Norteos, who were associated with Nuestra Familia. The gang’s common crimes include assault, robbery, burglary, extortion, murder, armed robbery, carjacking, drug trafficking, and arms trafficking.
5. Jalisco Cartel New Generation
The New Generation Jalisco Cartel (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación – CJNG) is a criminal organization that grew out of the deaths, imprisonments, and schisms of previous cartels. She is notorious for her public relations operations and aggressive use of violence. Despite the arrest of several key leaders, it is now Mexico’s most serious criminal threat and appears to be growing. The CJNG has grown rapidly, and is now present in almost every part of Mexico except Sinaloa and the Golden Triangle of heroin production. During an ambush in Jalisco state in April 2015, the CJNG killed 15 Mexican police officers, making it one of the worst attacks on security personnel in recent Mexican history. In March 2015, the gang was also responsible for an incident that killed five federal agents. The CJNG has also been linked to high profile killings of government officials. The gang attempted to murder Luis Carlos Nájera, the former security secretary of Jalisco, in May 2018, and Omar Garcia Harfuch, Mexico City’s secretary of public security, in June 2020.
4. Los Zetas
Los Zetas is a Mexican crime syndicate that was founded in 1997 as the enforcement wing of the Gulf Cartel, a drug trafficking organization. In 2010, it broke down as a separate organized criminal operation. The organization was notorious for its brutal tactics and well-organized structure. Human smuggling, kidnapping, extortion, and arms trafficking were all part of the group’s activities, in addition to protection and enforcement. The theft of more than $1 billion worth of oil from Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company, was also carried out by Los Zetas and other gangs. The size of Los Zetas remained a mystery, with estimates ranging from a few dozen to several thousand people. Los Zetas is believed to have resulted from both a symptom and a cause of the militarization of Mexico’s drug wars. Competition between major smuggling organizations intensified in the first decade of the 21st century, and conflicts between smugglers and the police and military became more frequent. Much of the violence is attributed to Los Zetas.
The Crips are a Los Angeles street gang engaged in a variety of illegal activities, including drug distribution, theft, extortion, and murder. The color blue has long been associated with the largely African American community. The Crips’ bloody feud with the Bloods drew national attention. By the early 1970s, the Crips developed a reputation for extreme violence. In response to the growing power of the Crips, other gangs emerged, especially the Bloods. The Crips turned their attention to drugs, especially crack cocaine, in the 1980s, eventually developing ties to Mexican cartels. The gang’s narcotics business allowed it to spread beyond Los Angeles. It was active in 40 states and had more than 20,000 members by the turn of the 21st century. Their rivalry found its way into popular culture, generating songs and movies.
2. Sinaloa Cartel
The Sinaloa Cartel is a global crime syndicate that is one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in the world. Its headquarters are in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico. Its roots go back to the Guadalajara cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful crime syndicates in the early 1980s. Both the Tijuana and Juárez cartel lost territory to Sinaloa, cementing its position as one of the world’s most formidable drug organizations. By the early 21st century, the cartel had operations in more than 50 countries, but it was especially powerful in the United States. According to sources at the time, Sinaloa was responsible for the majority of illegal substances shipped from Mexico to the United States, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.
MS-13 is an international gang engaged in criminal activities such as drug and people smuggling, prostitution, murder and extortion. Originated in the 1980s in Los Angeles by El Salvadoran immigrants, it later spread throughout the United States, Central America, and Canada, earning a reputation for severe ferocity. In the early 1990s, it formed an alliance with the Mexican Mafia, a formidable gang based in downtown Los Angeles, to bolster its position. Mara Salvatrucha became known as MS-13 during this time because M was the 13th letter of the alphabet. Mara Salvatrucha grew into one of the most powerful but loosely organized gangs in the Northern Hemisphere, with a reputation for brutality; its motto was “kill, rape and rule”. Reportedly, by the turn of the 21st century, MS-13 was active in virtually every U.S. state and the District of Columbia. MS-13 members were involved in brutal gang fighting, murder, prostitution, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and illegal immigration across the US-Mexico border.