I received the following email from an anonymous sender over the weekend. Out of a need to show both sides of a story, I feel compelled to share it with you. That way you can make your own decisions regarding Norteños and any threat level it might represent here on the lower island. For my part, I believe it is a dangerous gang and will take this opportunity to let you know how to foil Norteños’ Canadian expansion.
An anonymous email
“Hahahaha don’t get to excited the Nortenos in victoria area joke they are a wanabe crew like the crips & bloods vic use to have they have no real connections to Nortenos in Cali they don’t even have one mexican in their crew when nortenos is a purely mexican Gang. Look up jason sheena on facebook he was also recently posted on the dirty he started Nortenos in vic he’s the “leader” in victoria. Also Mark & Cory Nguyen, davin Stewart are the orginal members in vic there a crew of meth head Wilki losers who refuse to grow up nothing to be worried about. Unlike Devils army who have been going around making everyone in Duncan & Langford by their stepped on garbage…”
Immediately upon receiving that email I contacted an old gangster girlfriend of mine from San Diego County, California. I asked her about Norteños and its dope supply. I told her that I was blogging about politics, gangs, crime, and drugs. Here is her very chilling response.
“Supply & demand,with out someone wanting it there. They would not bring. Ot . sorry to say .nortenos = M.A ,mexicsn mafia . they Will kill u ,go easy ,if at all. take up ceramics! Uwill live longer”. She continued, “That’s about all i know ,the one i love is doing life …pelican bay… [Author’s note: one of the toughest prisons in the U.S.] I understand Im sitting with a.61 year old OG [Author’s note: Old gangsta/guard] right this very min . so I’ll talk to u. Later k. My friend“.
So folks, you can listen to my anonymous e-mailer or to my friend from California. My advice is that Norteños, no matter how insignificant its presence at the moment might be, is no joke. They must be feared. Furthermore, if the persons my anonymous e-mailer referred to are nothing more than the “wannabes” he claims them to be, and if the supposedly self anointed “leader”, especially being from “Cali”, is simply posturing, they should understand the fatal consequences of pretending to be associated with such a gang.
Police sources and public records
That being understood, I know from police sources that there exists on our island, at the very least, some real members of Norteños. Therefore it would be ignorant not to take the threat seriously. Victoria needs to institute simple protective measures against Norteños and other gangs.
The first signs of Norteños in Victoria arose a few years back when police were investigating another crime. It was just a year ago. Police raided a home after a break and enter of a Victoria business. In that home police found weapons and evidence of a Norteños connection.
In addition to those incidents, there were the recent arrests of several people dealing drugs and intimidating residents of the Rock Bay Landing which police attributed to Norteños. Finally, there is street talk of Norteños in Nanaimo.
Police are intelligent and do not want to unnecessarily alarm the public.
Police are not easily tricked, so in my mind, when police take something seriously enough to investigate it and to publicize it, there is very likely an element of truth behind it. Some might like to argue that police publicizing such information in nothing more than an attempt by police to create an aura of self importance. Supposedly they do so in order to appear to be doing important investigations. I counter that argument with the commonsense position that police have consistently shown that they do not want to unnecessarily frighten the public. Therefore, police reports of Norteños should be taken at face value.
How to Recognize Norteños
Norteños loves the color red. Members often wear jackets, hats, bandanas, or jerseys of sports team with red logos. Norteños also associates itself with Mexican-American farm workers and sometimes adapts the symbols associated with those groups, such as a machete, a sombrero, or even a Huelga bird. Throughout this posting, I have included various pictures showing the types of tattoos, graffiti and symbols used by Norteños.
Where Norteños recruits
Norteños recruits in two areas, the street and prisons. On the street, Norteños recruits people as young as 13 years old. It wants young people because in this era of “shooter video games” youth have fewer inhibitions and are easily indoctrinated into the gang lifestyle. It recruits in prison also because there it can find people who are already steeped in violence and have already embraced a criminal mentality. This two-pronged approach to recruitment serves the additional benefit of allowing it to grow its ranks more quickly while making it more difficult for society to rein in its growth.
Norteños has a very compelling recruitment process.
Forget the image of a college sending out recruitment letters to promising athletes; we are talking about gangs here. Norteños does most of its recruiting with a carrot and a stick. The carrot is that young people and the non-incarcerated are told about the protection offered by Norteños. They are lured by the lifestyle of always having money and women, and acceptance of the gang camaraderie. The stick is that at the same time these potential recruits are also told that the consequences of not joining will probably be death. If you doubt this last statement, please re-read the quote, above, from my ex-girlfriend.
Expectations of a gang member, a pact with the devil
As a gang member, you are expected to do whatever you are asked to do by a higher ranking member. You might be required to rob a store, do B&E’s, or steal a car. Also, you might be ordered to rape a woman, beat somebody, or sell dope on this corner or that corner. You must do anything asked of you. You might have to kidnap somebody, do a home invasion, do drive-by shootings or even intentionally target a specific individual to be murdered.
It’s all part of the deal. Refusal on the part of any member to follow orders is not allowed. Your life belongs to the gang, as do your families’ lives.
If you get caught, you are expected to do your time. As a Norteños member, you will be provided for and given protection in jail. And if you do your time while showing loyalty to Norteños, you will move up the ranks. Norteños draws no distinction between those in prison and those out of prison except to honor incarcerated members, especially upon their release.
I guarantee you that if Victoria plunges headlong into opening marijuana dispensaries, which it seems to have done, those dispensaries will relatively quickly be surrounded by violence. This is because no matter what gang seizes control of them a different gang will want them.
We need to stop treating each branch of the justice system as autonomous entities. Instead, each branch must work with the other branches to achieve an outcome that protects the public.
Here is what citizens need to do about gangs and about Norteños.
You need to keep your eyes open in your neighborhood. You should be looking for “open air” drug transactions and for gang graffiti. Call the police if you see any. Do NOT attempt to intervene in anything you see. That is a job the police are equipped to perform, not you.
Here is what you on the “street” need to do. You all know what gang activity looks like, so report it. It’s that simple.
You need to wake up and understand that the peace and safety you experience here is a direct result of the police department(s). They keep the gangs and the pimps out of your area.
Let me break it down for you like this.
- To you ladies, nobody is holding you captive and throwing you on a mattress in the backroom to provide sexual services to whomever your captor might desire.
- Also to you ladies, if you get a bad date, you can call the police. They will treat you with respect, take your complaint seriously, and even try to protect your girlfriends from your predator. Call the police so your girlfriends do not suffer the same fate as you. CALL THEM. I BEG YOU.
- To you dealers, nobody is threatening you. Nobody is beating you, stabbing you or shooting you. Nobody is telling you that you are not allowed to work at this corner or that corner unless you buy your dope from them.
- To you users, male and female, nobody is threatening you or beating you if you don’t buy your dope from them.
The cops are obviously doing their job on the street by investigating and arresting gang members. If they were not doing their job we would not know about the gangs. There is one more step that the cops must take though. After arresting any Norteños gang member, anybody claiming to be a member of that gang, or for that matter, and member of any of the gangs that inhabit Canada, cops need to strongly impress upon Crown the danger that individual represents to the community, not just because he is a dope dealer or B&E guy, or whatever, but because he represents the gang, and as such, creates a greater danger than just a mere individual.
Here is what Crown Counsel needs to do about gangs and about Norteños.
Now the onus shifts to Crown. Crown must impress upon the courts the need to keep any gang member in jail. Crown needs to make the courts understand that the courts are not dealing with an individual, but with a representative of a collective group with ongoing criminal intent. Thus, the person standing before the Court is simply an extension of a group to whom that individual has already sworn a life or death oath. Thus he has sworn a greater oath to the gang than he will ever swear to any court. Anything the accused or his attorney might say to the contrary is pure poppycock. This is reality and it is a reality that must be imparted if the public is to be protected and the growth of Norteños, or any gang, is to be thwarted.
As I have stated in several previous blog postings, the primary duty of the courts when determining bail is to protect the public. All other objectives, either singularly or collectively, are a distant second. That being the case, the.
The courts must do so realizing that any gang member’s allegiance is to the gang. Therefore, gang members will assuredly commit crimes if out on bail. Gang members’ incentives will be to commit crimes, as commission of crimes will be demanded by the gang. Gang members have no incentive not to commit crimes because gang members gain stature with the gang by going to jail. The courts need to stop with their “get out of jail free” policy. That policy simply lets seasoned criminals out on bail to commit robberies and murder.
Assuming a conviction, with the bail question now resolved, the next step will be sentencing. It seems obvious to me that gang members, because of the threat of death against them should they fail to abide by the gang’s wishes and because of their allegiance to to gangs should be classified by the courts for what they are, either by their oaths to a gang or by past their past convictions, which is “prolific” and “dangerous” offenders, and should be sentenced as such. If the courts will not be tough enough, I guarantee you that the gangs will be.
The courts will have to show the courage to go against “legal precedent”, a fancy term for doing what they have always done. Doing so will protect the public and impede the growth of Norteños and other gangs.
This is what Corrections Canada needs to do if they don’t want our prisons looking like America’s prisons and our streets looking Chicago or New York.
The next step is creating an effective and cohesive policy against gangs is our prison system. Our prison system is a dismal failure as it now exists. It remands murderers to minimum security facilities and grants early paroles to anybody who flushes a toilet consistently and doesn’t beak off to a guard.
- Attempt to limit the numbers of any gang within any particular prison.
- Limit the ability of any gang member to forge bonds with other prisoners. This is especially true when dealing with prisoners of the same ethnicity. At lease house any gang members in different cell blocks. Arrange different recreation times and different meal times, etc.
- Carefully monitor any communications that any gang member might have with anybody outside of prison. Read every single piece of mail and record every phone call.
- Restrict the addition of identifying tattoos, especially those referencing gang affiliation. Then punish violations thereof with restrictions, etc.
- Forget about rehabilitation. These people will not rehabilitate. So do NOT send these gang bangers to less than maximum security prisons at any time. No matter how little time they have remaining on their sentences, they are going back to the gang. It’s a GUARANTEE.
Here are further measures that are required on the lower island. These are because Langford policing is under-funded and under-staffed. We have Mayor Stew Young to thank for that. He put development ahead of safety, and put us all at risk.
I propose the following:
- Langford should attempt to negotiate with the City of Saanich to provide policing for Langford, much as Esquimalt did with the City of Victoria. If Saanich and Langford can reach an agreement, which they should be able to within a few months, provided Saanich is willing to come “on board”, Langford, within the time constraints imposed by the Devils Army presence, will have a professional police force that is familiar with most of the criminals in Langford and will have canine units, intelligence units, rapid response teams, etc. Of course, there is nothing to say that Victoria might not want to throw its hat in the ring. Please note that both cities have a vested interest in what goes on in Langford. They should see any policing contract as a way in which they can assume greater control over their own destiny. This is especially true with the mangled management of Stew in regard to policing. Stew’s lack of diligence is creating problems for the entire lower island.
- The portion of the West Shore RCMP which is presently bundled with Langford could then be pulled from Langford duties and absorbed into those other West Shore communities. This would effectively beef up the police numbers within those municipalities. As an added bonus, the Members consolidated into the other West Shore communities would already be familiar with the areas, the residents and a large number of the drug dealers and other criminals with whom they would be dealing.
- The City of Langford and those other West Shore communities should develop a joint plan that projects growth. Then they should proportionately budget for future police. The West Shore communities still being policed by the RCMP should immediately ask for more Members.