One of America's most violent prison gangs, Barrio Azteca is most active in Texas prisons as well as communities in southwestern Texas and southeastern New Mexico.
Members are often linked to Mexican drug cartels, and the gang's main source of income is the smuggling of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana from Mexico into the U.S. for distribution both inside and outside the prison systems.
The gang has been tied to immigration smuggling, arson, assault, auto theft, burglary, extortion, intimidation, kidnapping, robbery, and weapons violations.
In 2006 leadership told a member to begin recruiting in Virginia, so he assaulted a cop to get into the system. Dead Man has started swallowing up smaller gangs and is now one of the largest prison gangs in Maryland.
The gang is involved in murder-for-hire, acts of intimidation, violence, and drug distribution.
Ñeta (7,000 members in Puerto Rico and 5,000 in the U.S.)
One of the largest and most violent gangs in America,Ñeta has chapters both inside and outside prisons in 36 cities and within nine states (primarily in the Northeast).
Ñeta's main source of income comes from distributing powdered and crack cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and, to a lesser extent, LSD, ecstasy, meth, and PCP.
Ñeta members also commit crimes including assault, auto theft, burglary, drive-by shooting, extortion, home invasion, money laundering, robbery, weapons, explosives trafficking, and witness intimidation.
HPL also operates in several cities in Mexico, particularly Nuevo Laredo. HPL keeps close ties with Mexican drug cartels and is involved in trafficking large quantities of cocaine and marijuana from Mexico into the U.S. for distribution.
In 2007 members of HPL were charged with stealing large loads of narcotics from McAllen, Texas, drug traffickers and reselling the drugs.
Mexican Mafia, also known as La Eme (400 members and 1,000+ associates)
Formed in California prisons in the 1950s, the Mexican Mafia has about 400 members who follow strict rules.
Mainly comprised of Mexican-American males who previously belonged to a Southern California street gang, La Eme is a powerful California gang.
Its main source of income is controlling gambling and prostitution within the prison systems, in addition to extorting drug distributors outside prison and distributing meth, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in prisons and on the streets.
Its members are very closely connected to Mexican cartels.
The Texas Syndicate (1,300 members and 10,000+ associates)
The Texas Syndicate (TS), which has mostly Mexican-American inmates, formed in California’s Folsom prison in the early 1970s in direct response to the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Mafia preying on native Texas inmates.
Active on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, TS smuggles multi-ton quantities of marijuana and loads of powdered cocaine, heroin, and meth from Mexico into the U.S. for distribution both inside and outside of prison.
Like Mexikanemi, the group is tight with Los Zetas. TS activities include drug trafficking, extortion, prostitution, protection, illegal gambling, and contract killing.
Released or paroled members surrender a 10 percent tax (“the dime”) of all money generated outside to the gang on the inside.