18th Street Gang in Los Angeles County | Shatto Park | Columbia Lil Cycos | Alsace | Red Shield | South Central | Smiley Dr | Rimpau | 106th | Grand View

Home > Hispanic Gangs > 18th Street

By Alex Alonso Staff Writer Streetgangs
updated December 22, 2002
updated June 25, 2008


“The spread of 18th Street’s violence is shown by 154 murders linked to the gang from 1985 to 1995. This only plots homicides within Los Angeles where the killings have been tied to the gang.” The killings on the map show 18th Street as both victims and assailants of murder and one can see a concentration west of the 110 Freeway near downtown Los Angeles, November 17-19, 1996.

In Los Angeles the 18th Street gang is considered the largest gang in Los Angeles County but that label is very misleading. Even though 18th Street are estimated to have approximately 15,000 members in Los Angeles County, they are actually a collection of approximately 20 separate individual autonomous gangs operating under the same label with separate barrios in the San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, the South Bay, South Los Angeles, Downtown Los Angeles, Pico Union, Inglewood, and Cudahy. Some estimates of the 18th Street are as low as 8,000 members. The notoriety of the gang is based on four distinct barrios, three near downtown Los Angeles west of the Staple’s Center and the 110 Freeway, and one in the West Adams area.

The individual factions can number from 50 to several hundred members and they are dispersed throughout the County, but their strong hold and their oldest barrio is located in the Pico Union (Grand View, Hoover clicks) area east of the Staples Center between the Harbor 110 Freeway (east) and Hoover Ave (west). Slightly to the north, are two other barrios in the Shatto Park and MacArthur Park (Colombia Lil Cycos click) areas. There are also two significant size 18th Street Barrios in South LA, one between Vernon (north) and Slauson (south) along Vermont Avenue and the second one being between Florence (north) and 91st Street (south). One of the most infamous 18th Street neighborhoods would be in the West Adams (Smiley, Alsace, Lil Lowks) because member Catorina Gonzales was convicted for killing LAPD officer Filbert Cuesta in 1998, and more recently, member Pedro Espinoza was charged in the murder of High School star athlete Jamiel Shaw stemming from the conflict with the Bloods.

The media often states that 18th Street is the largest gang in Los Angeles, but the largest single Hispanic gang in terms of turf size and membership would be one of 18th Street’s main rivals, the Florencia 13 gang that has a turf that stretches from Western (west) to Compton Avenues (east). Members of this gang were indicted by the Federal Government in a RICO case in 2007 on drug trafficking and murder charges.

Historical Background

The 18th Street gang formed around 1965 in the Pico Union area when members of larger Westside Clanton 14th Street neighborhood decided to start a new click. Originally, 18th Street was a click of the bigger Clanton 14th Street neighborhood (Frist Hood) who had another neighborhood, Eastside Clanton that was split by the freeway construction of the early 1950s.

As membership of Clanton grew, newer members who lived off of 18th Street decided to start Clanton 18th Street. Forming a new click of a gang can sometimes be a challenge, because some members may look at it as an action that does not unify but separates the neighborhood, and possibly creates division between members that will be forced to choose sides during a conflict. On the other hand, adding a click can expand the turf, bring in more members, and make the neighborhood appear to be stronger.

There is usually a protocol to creating a new click and each neighborhood is different when it comes to that, but ultimately Clanton 14 core members did not approve of having Clanton 18. One of the reasons why original Clanton members began to reject the 18th click, was because it was being led by a non Mexican-American, named Rocky Lee Glover (b. 1950 – ).

The new click members had to make a decision between falling in line with Clanton 14 and the strict rule of Mexican-Americans only, or take a defiant position to start their own gang and create Varrio 18th Street.

Some decided to stay with the more established Clanton identity, but Rocky Glover and a dozen other teens decided to just simply dropped the Clanton off their name and then became rivals against them. As the years progressed, Clanton lost most of their first westside hood in the Pico-Union area, and today that area is completely dominated by 18th Street and a few other gangs. Other early 18th Street members during the 1960s included Beto, Eddie Boy, Goofy, Indio, Penguin, Tank, Toro and Smiley who were initially Clanton members of the 1st hood that all decided to take their click into another direction.

Clanton did not disappear though as their neighborhood in Hollywood off Beverly has survived and their other Eastside neighborhood still exists in two areas. Most gangs today have clicks and there is usually little resistance from the rest of the gang when members want to start a new click, because there is a perceived benefit to the entire gang as outsiders will assume the gang is growing, and it provides a psychological edge against their rivals.

Through a small act of defiance, one of the most well known gangs was born in Los Angeles. Because of its aggressive recruiting techniques of accepting members even if they were not Mexican-American, the name of this gang has caught on and has been copied and mimicked in several other cities and countries around the world. Contrary to popular belief, not all of the 18th Street neighborhoods operate in unison, know each other, or even get along.

Global Reach: Real or Perceived?

Since its inception, youth from every large city in the US, Canada, Mexico and countries in Central & South America America, Europe and most likely several other cities and countries have adapted the use of the name 18th Street. Because of the wide spread popularity, the FBI has labeled this gang a transnational gang with global reach, but there is no evidence to support the existence of any such global network in which the 18th Street gang operates between cities or across national borders. Because of deportation, the gang culture of LA was introduced into Mexico and Central America, but transnational linkages in which the 18th Street gang operate have not been uncovered thus far. A study from 2007 found that international connections among Hispanic gangs like 18th Street and Mara Salvatrucha were over stated and that there were no signs of transnational coordination among gang members. Academic studies have also fell short from identifying these types of networks among Los Angeles based Hispanic gangs.

Any suggestion that these gangs operate in this sophisticated manner has been considered propaganda from law enforcement and designed to stigmatize the gang and its members by exaggerating the extent to which the gang operates. Phrases like “violent foreign-born gang members” and “their behavior is often deadly” uses the fear card to gain public support for what ever law enforcement action is desired against the group. For years the FBI has been telling us that there exists parallels between 18th Street and international crime but many of those linkages have been overstated and just because the federal government says that 18th Street possesses weapons of mass destruction does not necessarily mean that it is true. United States Senator Dianne Feinstein published a report in 2003 which erroneously stated that 80 percent of the 18th Street gang membership in California consists of illegal immigrants but according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department only about 10 percent of the gang membership in Los Angeles County are illegal citizens.

Gang Injunctions

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has three gang injunctions against the 18th Street; two in the Rampart Division and one in the Southwest Division of the LAPD against the same faction that Catorino Gonzales and Pedro Espinoza were from. This specific 18th Street gang has several clicks including Alcase, Lil Lowks, and Smiley Drive.

The Rampart injunctions were under review and temporarily halted in September of 1999 because of the Rampart corruption scandal that implicated several LAPD officers in criminal activity. In 2002 these injunctions were refiled by the City Attorney’s Office and placed back into effect.

Warring with Bloods

Graffiti of the 18th Street gang from off the area of Hoover and 74th Street of South Los Angeles.

Certain factions of 18th Street in South Los Angeles are feuding with Black gangs, specifically the Bloods. In 1994, members of the Rancho Park click that were hanging out on Gibraltar Avenue in the Jungles got into a conflict with members of the Black P Stones in the Jungles. The actual source of this conflict remains in question, but an argument ensued, and an 18th Street member was murdered, thus starting the cycle of violence between the Bloods and the 18th Street. The Black Stones from the City joined the conflict, then in 1996 the Rollin’ 20s Bloods got involved. More recently the Fruit Town Brims, the 4th Blood gang joined the conflict against the 18th Street. This conflict followed the war between the Venice Shoreline Crips, a predominately black gang and the Hispanic Venice 13, that saw 17 murders in 9 months from 1993-94. Eventually, Venice 13 had the support of three other Hispanic gangs; Culver City Boys, Sotel, and Santa Monica 13, but that war was over by 1996.

List of all 18th Street Neighborhoods in Los Angeles County

371 Comments for “18th Street Gang in Los Angeles County | Shatto Park | Columbia Lil Cycos | Alsace | Red Shield | South Central | Smiley Dr | Rimpau | 106th | Grand View”

  1. 18 STREET

    BIG SS 18 STREET GANG FUCK ALL U LOPS SSXV3ST TCS EBKAYY

  2. 18 STREET

    v.SS18ST TINYCRIMINALS EBKAYY!!

  3. […] Though loosely connected, the gang is thought to be the largest street gang in California, with roughly 15,000 members. […]

  4. BEEKAY GHOST

    WEST SIDE EIGHTEEN STREET GANG..FUCK SLOBZ AND BURRAS…FUCK ALL MY ENEMIES AND ALL BITCH MADE NIGGAZ..HOOVER LOKOS…GV RS TLS CL SP HG E’Z UP to all the clicks and sides

  5. BEEKAY GHOST

    E”z up to all my homies and homegirls..FUCK SLOBZ AND BURRAS…WSEIGHTEEN STRRET GANG HOOVER LOKOS..FUCK THEM PUNKS FROM PSYCHO REALM.. FUCK THEM TAGEERZ THAT SDOWN WITH THE BURRAS…187. WHAT IT DO TO ALL MY HOMIES TO ALL SIDES AND CLICKAS..VIVA LA DIESIOCHO. WHAT UP TO ALL MY 666 GANGEROS IN THE PEN. MUCH LOVE. AND TO BIG HOMIES IN SOLITARY LOCKDOWN VIVA LA RAZA…18HVLOKOS GV CL SP TLS PICO GANGSTERS 54 53 LGS LPS RPK SDG RED SHIELD 7B 7S ..TDS SS ES WS NS BEST GANG…..

  6. BEEKAY GHOST

    E’Z UP HOES DOWN..FUCK COCKWOOD DIAPERS TAMPAX MIERDAS AND ALL ENEMIES..WEST BEST GANG.. E’Z UP TO ALL THE CLICKS AND SIDES

  7. 9duece

    fuck tha MOKOS and FAKETEENS Blood

  8. junior

    ahora si es tiempo de dar y quitar dice … x. el tmm una stupida puso queja y quiera darme llanta. la cachetie y estos majes se creen del jaro

  9. junior

    la diezcireyton ala verga la mara salvatrucha y la diezciete

  10. junior

    no one is as big as 81 not even 81 turn into 18 in until you seee

  11. junior

    were all the bitches in this street of shit everyones behind is to busy staring go fuck your self and bring out your taste give me a taste of your holy bittchhinnn

  12. lifers

    the big red book of baloney

  13. Angel Warrior

    LISTEN TO YOURSELVES FOOLS……..SOUND LIKE A BUNCHA SHITHEADS …….COME TO THE LIGHT…….BANGIN IS BS ……..GOD CREATED YOU FOR A REASON AND THIS AINT IT…….THE GLOVER BROS STARTED THIS ON 18TH AND MAGNOLIA….IT WAS STUPID THEN AND IT’S STUPID NOW……SORRY HOMIES YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG………GO TO THE LIGHT…..STAY ON THE RIGHT…..THEN TAKE TO THE SKY ON A NATURAL HIGH…..YOU CAN BE LOVED TILL THE DAY YOU DIE…….PEACE TO ALL THE HOMIES …..YOU STILL GOT TIME……..

  14. IGOR

    Monsters where are you taking? Blood and cripples stupid niggers!! Russian Guys steeper and more reliable than you stupid bitch!! We have toned Lada and steep lolitas silly buggers!! Peace all!! Tupac Alive

  15. 111st stomper

    Rest in piss moreno frm faketeen
    106stk twsk wskc13 city of inglewood
    Run up levas, u foos are dead over here,
    Over seen we smoke ur homie moreno ,
    U levas left da city, tell ur other faketeen
    Homies how we kill him ,kc13 gang fuk 18k
    Wskrazycrowd13 u know were we at

    • Lil Scrappy

      F*cx you puto The 106 is still up and stronger than ever. Aint no 1 out in Inglewood. You levas are all hiding in hawthorne or got jumped into Flowers you fucking lame.WSXV3st 106 TWS CSGS BK all DAY FUCK K-SHITS

    • BUGZY18

      FUCK STOMPER FROM KAGANDO CHORRAS YOU FUCKING LAME YOU WERE SUCKING DICK IN CYA .YOU FORGOT HOW WE USE TO TAKE YOU SHIT. FUCK YOUR DEAD HOMIES AND YOUR LIL. ASS BARRIO NEVER HEAR YOU FUHS PUT IN WORK. WE KEEP PUTTING THE SMASH DOWN ON YOU LAMES . WS EIGHTEEN TH ST HVLS SOY ESE BUGZEE ALL THE WAY FROM CANCUN X8 WE TAKING OVER PUTOS

    • the truth

      fuck Kagando Chorras SS18STR

  16. RIVAL SS18ST

    KAILE TO CUDAHY MY HOMIES SHOOT TO KILL I PROMISE U WONT BE DISAPOINTED LEVA..HAHAHHAHA TEST UR LAME ASS HOOD

  17. O.G.ONE ZERO SIX HOOD WS TEPA 13

    FUCK SISSY OCHO. YALL THE FAKE 106. O.G. ONE ZERO SIX TEPA GANG. WHERE YOU FOOS AT AIN’T SEEN YOU FAKES EAST OF PRARIE IN A MINUTE! TEE ONE THREE ONE ZERO SIX STILL POSTED FROM SNOT-THONE BLVD TO PRARIE AV SINCE 82 SUCKAS

  18. DINOE

    I DONT BANG BUT I SEND MUCH LOVE TO ALL DIZ KRAZY AS DIECIOCHEROS SPECIALLY TO MY KARNALITA ESA DOWNER. MUCH LOVE TO ALL. AND FUCK EM H8TERS..

  19. DINOE

    I DONT BANG BUT I SEND MUCH LOVE TO ALL THE KRAZY DIECIOCHEROS SPECIALLY MY CARNALITA ESA DOWNER.

  20. Gangbangers are lowlife pussies

    You “gangsters” amuse me. With your first grade grammar. Your ignorance is incredible. Stop living off welfare you lazy fucks. Being in a gang doesn’t make you a man. Get a job and an education you dirty swap meet clothes wearing cunts.

  21. MIGUEL

    FUCK FAKETEEN..KANSAS STREET 13 KP.TOB.LKS.TLS 56ST-61ST

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