Gangland - Vice Lords (Chicago Gang)  

Sunday, September 27, 2009


The Vice Lords are the oldest and second largest black street gang in the Chicago area. It was originally formed in the late 1950s as a club in the Illinois State Training School for Boys in St. Charles. As "club" members were released, several relocated to the Lawndale area of Chicago. They gained recognition as a gang during this time. Their main area of power remains the West-side of Chicago. Since the original formation numerous breakaway factions have formed. These factions now operate throughout the city of Chicago and outlying areas. Each faction has its own distinctive name and leader.

The Vice Lords utilize gold, black and red as their colors and the five-pointed star, top hat, martini glass, Playboy bunny, dollar sign and the cane. The different factions also utilize specific graffiti to identify themselves individually. Their common hand signs are a single upraised hand with the thumb, index and middle fingers to form a "VL." Also utilized is the upraised hand with all fingers extended and a separation between the middle and ring fingers. The Vice Lords call fellow members "People" and use the term "All is well." Members of the Vice Lords can be seen wearing University of Iowa Pittsburg Steelers Pirates and Penguins attire. Members also wear Louis Vitton (VL reversed) caps and UNLV Jackets (UNLV - YVNU reversed, Vice Lord Nation United.)

The Vice Lords can be found in the Midwest and some Eastern cities. They continue to have a stronghold over many Chicago neighborhoods.

The Vice Lords possess a rank structure within the individual factions which includes General, Minister, Lieutenant and Foot Soldiers. This structure is similar in all factions of the Vice Lords; however, each faction's leadership is unique and has no power over members of other factions.

The Vice Lords is the oldest street gang in Chicago. Members are predominantly African American. The Vice Lords comprises major factions such as the Conservative Vice Lords, Traveling Vice Lords, and Four Corner Hustlers. Each faction has distinct membership and leadership that is not as structured as the Gangster Disciples. The Vice Lords' drug trafficking networks operate in Chicago, neighboring counties, and surrounding states. Although there are many sets, all incorporate emblems with a bunny wearing a bow tie, a Martini Glass, a Top Hat, Cane, Gloves, Dollar Sign, 5 Point Star and a Crescent Moon.

Vice Lord Nation's main rivals are all gangs
belonging to the Folk Nation alliance, particularly
Gangster Disciples. Folk Nation is the rival alliance
to People Nation, and was created to protect
alliance members within the state and federal
prison systems. The Folk Nation alliance includes
Gangster Disciples, Black Disciples, Black Gangsters,
Crips, Imperial Gangsters, International
Posse, La Raza, Latin Disciples, Spanish Gangster
Disciples, Party People, and Satan Disciples.

Vice Lord Nation is a leading national group
in the People Nation alliance system. The alliance
system was established in the 1980s as a means of
protecting alliance members within the state and
federal prison systems. The alliance is strong
within the prison system but less effective once a
member is back on the street. The People Nation
alliance also includes Latin Kings, Bloods, Black
PeaceStones, Cobra Stones, EI Rukn, Insane Popes,
Gaylords, Future Stones, Insane Unknown, King
Cobras, Latin Counts, Latin Dragons, Latin
Pachucos, Latin Saints, and Spanish Lords.

In 1971 CVL expanded
from a single gang into an association of numerous
VLN gangs. Although CVL remains the largest gang
in the VLN, other significant gangs that emerged
include Mafia Insane Vice Lords (MIVL), Four
Comer Hustlers (4CH), Traveling Vice Lords (TVL),
and Unknown Vice Lords (UVL), all of which are
still active. By the mid-1970s VLN gangs were
distributing significant amounts of cocaine throughout
most of Chicago's West Side. By the late 1970s
VLN's prominence in drug distribution and violent
crime resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of '
many of its leaders and the subsequent weakening of
the gangs that compose VLN.
In the early 1980s VLN was still weakened by
the imprisonment of many of its leaders. By the middle
of the decade, however, VLN gangs had established
control of the distribution of coccune and heroin on
Chicago's West Side and were moving into the North
Side and South Side. VLN members then began to
migrate to neighboring states, expanding the VLN's
drug distribution operations. By 1989 VLN gangs
were transporting and distributing powdered cocaine,
crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in eight states.
During the 1990s VLN membership, territory, and
drug distribution activities continued to increase, making
it one of the lmgest associations of street gangs in the
United States. VLN membership grew to over 30,000
individuals residing in cities throughout the United
States. VLN gangs used intimidation tactics against their
own members as well as rival gangs and law enforcement
in order to control and further expand drug
distribution. In addition, the gangs began to interact
directly with Nigericilland Mexiccill drug trafficking
organizations in order to smuggle heroin and powdered
cocaine into the country.
VLN remains one of the largest and most violent
street gang associations in Chicago and throughout
much of the United States. In February 2000 VLN
leaders decided to reorganize to improve the coordination
of drug distribution operations. In 2001 several
high-ranking members were released from prison,
resulting in a reorganization and an a_em t to formal!
coordinate the various VLN gangs.

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