Bloods gang invading South Jersey’s streets

by Jim Walsh (Courier Post)
March 30, 2010

Gangs have a long history in this troubled city, but the criminal group now causing the most concern is a relative newcomer.

The Bloods, an often-violent street gang that arrived in North Jersey less than 20 years ago, has steadily expanded its range to this area.

The Bloods — a collection of drug dealers, killers and other criminals — currently represent “the most serious gang problem” in about 65 percent of municipalities across South Jersey, according to a State Police survey.

But the Bloods are only the latest underworld power in Camden. They follow in the bloody footsteps of murderous groups from recent decades like the Sons of Malcolm X, the Perez Organization and the Middle of the Block Boys, or M.O.B.

Behind that constant criminal presence is an unending appetite for heroin, cocaine and other drugs.

“The demand for illicit drugs and services has been a sustaining force for gangs,” said Lee Seglem of the State Commission of Investigation. “The drug trade continues to be the lifeblood of gangs.”

Some of Camden’s local gangs initially resisted the push from national gangs like the Bloods, said Raymond Massi, a former Camden police captain who now is with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

But a more concentrated push to grab turf started here in 2004-05, leading to gains for the Bloods, said Michael Poulton, acting senior supervisory resident agent for the FBI’s Cherry Hill Office.

The number of reported Bloods in Camden County jumped to 859 in 2008, up from 457 two years earlier, according to the FBI.

“National gangs went through Trenton like a hot knife through butter (in 2003),” said Poulton. “They are doing the same thing in Camden right now.”

Indeed, an SCI report last year noted members of the Bloods “are prolific in both their use of violence and in their methods of recruitment, particularly within the prison system.”

It also notes the Bloods have expanded beyond gangs’ traditional demographic limits. “With a rank-and-file membership of every race, creed and color, they are equal opportunity recruiters,” says the SCI report.

That’s an evolutionary change for gangs that started in prisons “primarily as self-protective organizations” for inmates who shared a common racial or ethnic background, according to the SCI. Those groups include the Bloods, which began in California in the 1970s, as well as the Latin Kings and the Association Neta.

The Bloods’ early history in New Jersey is recorded, perhaps fittingly, in an October 2004 indictment. In that document, federal officials charged almost 20 alleged members and associates of the Double II set in Essex County with five murders, 14 attempted murders and other violent offenses.

The indictment says two California Bloods traveled to East Orange in 1993 and helped unify several local gangs, including the Drama Lords and Gutter Rats. That led to creation of the Double II set, the first in New Jersey, the indictment says.

About the same time, an inmate at Rikers Island Correctional Facility in New York City formed the East Coast Bloods — also known as the United Bloods Nation, the indictment says.

The local Bloods adopted the hierarchical leadership structure of the West Coast Bloods, as well as such practices as using hand signals to communicate and feuding with rival Crips. They also identified themselves with red clothing and gang tattoos, and marked their territory with graffiti.

To join the Bloods, authorities said, newcomers were “put to work” — the gang’s term for committing acts of violence, including murder. Recruits also could be “beaten into the gang” — a 31-second pounding also used as a form of punishment.

From that start, says the SCI, the Bloods “evolved to become the fastest-growing, most dominant criminal enterprise of its kind both on the streets and in the prisons of this state.”

Here’s a look at some of the Bloods’ predecessors in the Camden area:

– The Sons of Malcolm X spread drugs and fear in the early 1990s. The group was linked to seven killings, including the deaths of three innocent victims during initiation rites one night in March 1992.

Three gang members also beat and set fire to a woman and a teenager suspected of stealing from a drug house. The woman died of her injuries.

Most of the gang’s leaders were imprisoned by 1995, but some later resurfaced in another deadly gang.

– The Organization flourished throughout the 1990s, collecting some $2 million annually from drug sales in The Alley, an isolated area near the now-demolished McGuire Gardens housing complex.

The drug ring was overseen by J.R. Rivera of Cherry Hill, who was known to the community as a Camden businessman. Rivera was arrested in February 1998 at his East Camden store, J.R.’s Custom Auto Parts, where investigators found more than $236,000 in drug proceeds.

Rivera later received a reduced sentence of 16 years after testifying for the government at the corruption trial of one-time Camden Mayor Milton Milan.

– The Perez Organization gained notoriety after the daylight slaying of a Rutgers-Camden senior, Hiram Rosa, outside his home near the school’s campus in February 2001. It was one of three murders blamed on the gang, which operated from January 1998 to September 2002.

Rosa, 22, was marked for death after he intervened in a turf dispute between a friend and a gang member, authorities said. An AK-47 assault rifle was used in his death.

The gang, which included former members of the Sons of Malcolm X, had revenues of $35,000 a week from a North Camden drug set, authorities said.

– The M.O.B. Boys took their name from a drug set in the 1200 block of Morton Street — specifically, the middle of the block. The violent gang, which operated from January 1998 to May 2006, was dismantled with a series of early-morning raids that netted 20 suspects.

– The Morales Organization operated from 1993 to 2004, selling kilograms of cocaine to area dealers and running an open-air market at Atlantic Avenue and Norris Street.

The gang’s leader, Raymond Morales, secretly switched sides after his arrest in March 2003. His cooperation helped prosecutors win convictions of more than 20 “high-level drug dealers” and four people accused in drug-related murders, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Morales has admitted to ordering the deaths of six people and trying to arrange the death of a witness. That death toll included one man who was the victim of mistaken identity.

The former drug kingpin faces a potential maximum of seven life sentences. But federal authorities have said that, under an agreement with Morales, the government can recommend that he not face life in prison.

A Morales hit man, Karah Moore, 36, of Camden, also became a government witness. He was sentenced Friday to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to a murder and drug activity.

Authorities alleged Moore received $10,000 in cocaine from Morales for an April 2001 killing.

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17 Comments for “Bloods gang invading South Jersey’s streets”

  1. It’s funny how snitches are fing up the game for the real homies no matter what state you live in. Damus run Jerz period but all that ratting needs to stop. These fools act like they will live, breathe and eat that g ish but when the cards drop they are quick to drop a dime in a minute. I am not with all that 031 and 5 reppin ish but I give respect to real B-Doggs on the East or The West.

  2. yeah all these snitches need to get there mouths klosed shut we need to stop snitches from doing that ish they lettin in snitches nd ish F dem guys we keep dis ish original Blood dont matter if u from the east or west everyone is reppin blood. texas blood valley dawg straight out from weslako texas

  3. I thought Jiwe was the person who brought the bloods to N.J.?

  4. What Blood set did Jiwe rep?

  5. C-DOGG

    f the bloods…….cs up bs down……you see the only ones snitcing is the bloods…..they all guys anyway!!!!!! clackity clack hit a cblood in his cback……gyea!!!!

    • Sois unos idiotas

      C-dog, you must need tweezers to pull your d#$k out when u need to piss. That Blood/Crips ish is old and played out like yo mammy’s butt hole. Check yo ghetto blank turned out black sheba butt to retirement home and hang yoself. Lets not waste any more precious oxygen on dumb blank has been banger mother humpers

    • Sois unos idiotas

      Oh my, u must need tweezers to pull your d#$k out when u need to piss. That C/B ish is old ni66a, get your black ghetto blank to a retirement home. The new thing is doing good ish for your neighborhoods and yourselves. Get with

  6. DOUBLE ii is the largest and oldest Bloods Set in New Jersey. is the blog of Tewhan “Mblankacre” Butler who was profiled in Season 1 of the History Channel series Gangland. Having been prosecuted by then-US Attorney and current New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Butler is currently serving a 30-year sentence in the Special Management Unit of a maximum security United States Penitentiary where he is locked down 23 hours or more a day.

  7. 66. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such wonderful information being shared freely out there.

  8. D-Roc

    Bloods. Crips. Pirus. The East Coast has NOTHING on The West Coast. The West do it faster. They do it louder and they do it with a hella lot more love them the East EVER will. Compton, Oakland, Oceanside, and San livego makes Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York look like Disneyland. These Cali groups are so good at what they do, you never hear about them. F’n Ninjas.

    • DatPhillyBul

      @D-Roc…..u can mention New York an New Jerzey awl u want….but u betta not EVA mmention nuffin bout my hometown Philly eva again in ur life bul……we dnt an aint neva gave a f bout sum nut blank Crip N Blood bullchit y’mzaayin…..we Philly guyz show luv an respect 2 LA guyz……show us [Philly] respect Ock

  9. Dolaana

    Being old enough to have seen it in the thetaer, I remember that at the time all the usual talking heads were decrying it as celebrating vigilante-ism, and deliberately advocating that people take justice into their own hands. Pretty much the same argument that the anti-CCW crowd spouts now. The difference of course, is that in Death Wish, Charles Bronson didn’t have a CCW and of course he was violating the law. Which begs the question; if you are living in an extremely high crime neighborhood, is it being a reckless vigilante today if you are merely exercising your legal right to CCW and move about in a free society, even when you know that there is a possibility that you might end up gunning down a criminal? Where do we cross the line from common sense self defense to being a reckless vigilante? My answer is that I’d rather be judged by twelve than carried by six, but I’d like to hear your thoughts. BTW, I also remember that MAD magazine did a hilarious spoof of Death Wish’ as well. Those were the days

  10. Lanora

    I was able to find good advice from your content.

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