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18th Street
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18th Street is a Hispanic gang with a national presence. The gang is organized by groups of loosely organized sets and cliques with limited oversight from a disorganized hierarchical structure. Each set and clique is led by an independent leader who is influential only within a specific community.

18th Street gang members are active in the distribution of narcotics, cocaine and marijuana, and have been known to commit carjackings, drive-by shootings, extortion, murder, falsification of documents and other criminal acts. Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) is their most common rival.
 
Identification
18th Street gang colors are black and white, though some specific cliques continue to use the Sureno gang colors, blue and white.

Each member of the 18th Street gang has a number of tattoos on his or her body, the most common of which are “XVIII” and “666.” Tattoos may appear in any location on the body, with some members covering their entire bodies. Specific tattoos may indicate an association with a particular set or clique.
 
Membership
18th Street was formed in Los Angeles, California during the 1960’s. Membership is estimated to be 30,000 to 50,000 strong nationwide. Individual cliques can number in members between twenty to several hundred.

Members are primarily Hispanic, with many of its members being either first generation American citizens or illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Some factions recruit Asians, Caucasians, and African Americans as well.

Known as “The Children’s Army,” the gang is well known for recruiting elementary and middle school aged children. Members range in age between 12 years of age and 28.

18th Street members must follow a strict set of rules and are forbidden to use crack cocaine and other serious drugs. A refusal to follow any of the rules or a failure to carry out commands from a senior member frequently results in death.
 
 
 
 
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