Colors: Black and Baby Blue
Ethnicity: mostly Latino
Symbols: Heart w/ Wings, Horns, and Tail, Pitchforks, Backwards Swastika, Monks, 6-Pointed Star
Aliases: MLDs, Maniacs, Yaks
Previously Known As: Latin Scorpions, Latin Disciples
Factions/Renegade Offshoots: several "renegade" branches/sets
Founder: Albert "Hitler" Hernandez
Historical Development: The Maniac Latin Disciples are the largest Latino folks gang and second largest predominantly Latino street gang in Chicago (estimated membership 10,000). Originally known as the Latin Scorpions, the group formed in Humboldt Park on the city’s West Side in the early 1960s. Originally, the group was founded by twelve members as operated as a softball club. Because the club was contantly harrased and attacked by resident Caucasian street gangs, such as the Royals, Gaylords, and Harrison Gents, they began to fight to protect themselves.By approximately 1966, they themselves had turned into a full fledged gang.Albert “Hitler” Hernandez would position himself as King of the club. In the late 1960s, the Scorpions changed their name to “Disciples.” Rumor has it that because twelve of them formed the grouyp, similar to the twelve disciples in Christianity, this name was chosen. However, they more than likely chose this title because of an alliance formed with the Black Gangster Disciples. Later, to identify with the predominant ethnicity of the gang, they became Latin Disciples. The Latin Disciples' first corner was Hirsch & Rockwell. Later, they would open up shop on Potomac & Rockwell, a set that would be dubbed “Twilight Zone.”
In 1970, Hitler was stabbed to death by members of the Latin Kings. The incident arose when Hitler requested the Kings to remove their sweaters while in LD territory. A brawl erupted and Hitler sustained mortal wounds. This initiated the long war with the Latin King for decades to come. After Hitler's death, men such as “Diablo,” “Chi-Chi,” and “Freckles” would fill the void and assume leadership positions. In 1973, the Latin Disciples became the Maniac Latin Disciples. They chose this name after a member called himself a “maniac” while being sentenced in court; an eposide that drew media attention. In the mid-1970s, the Latin Disciples formed an alliance with the Spanish Cobras, Imperial Gangsters, and Latin Eagles. This alliance was called the United Lation Organization.This was a precursor to joining the Folks alliance in 1978, as all four gangs did indeed join. The Disciples began to grow more significantly in Humboldt Park and eventually spread on the northwest side of the city. They fought with knives, sticks, pipesand other assorted weapons and began to make a proft off drug sales.
In July 1980, forty-six Latin Disciples were arrested in a federal drug bust in what up to that point had been the largest roundup in Chicago history. The Disciples were running the $20,000 a day drug business, mainly on the corer of Rockwell and Potomac. Among those arrested were Jose “Freckles” Cedeno, the president of the MLDs.
In the early 1980s, Fernando “Fernie” Zayas assumed leadership of the gang. His official rank would be that of “Prince.” In August of 1983, Fernie was incarcerated on murder charges and sentenced to serve life in prison. He had avenged the death of another fallen MLD. Fernie currently resides in Tamms Super Maximum Security Correctional. He is said to had been able to control a porition of the gangs' day-to-day activity before being transferred to Tamms in the mid-90s. The MLDs began to grow at a very rapid base in the mid-to late 80s, setting up bases of operations on the northwest and far northwest sides. They also recurited heavily in the prison system. During this time they engaged in territorial wars with many gangs, most prominantly the Latin Kings. A famed incident occurred in 1992 when three female members of the MLDs, known as a Lady D's, set up two members of the Latin Kings and killed them in Humboldt Park. This was retaliation to an earlier shooting done by the Kings. The females were caught in large part due to the fact that they had bragged about the killing. Testimony from other members of the gang led police to them.
In the early 1990s the MLDs formed the “Maniac family,” a group of allied Latino Folks gangs aside the umbrella of the Disciples.Among the initial gangs to join were the Maniac Campbel Boys, Milwaukee Kings and Latin Lovers. By the mid-1990s the MLDs were one of the largst and most organized gangs in the city. This was done to offset the recently formed "Insane Family," initiated by the Spanish Cobras.
The mid-1990s would bring a drastic change in the street politics of the Maniac Latin Disciples. They would began to feud with other Folks gangs, and eventually, themselves. Sometime after Ferny's incarceration, Enrique “Rick Dog” Garcia assumed the rank of Prince, and began to run the street operations. He later appointed Johnny “Loco” Almodovar as his underboss, or “Don.” In 1996, Loco was arrested on gun charged, which violated his parole. He and his cohorts delcared an all-out war with the Spanish Cobras street gang after a high-ranking member of the MLDs was shot in Humboldt Park. They launched a strategic attacked which resulted in the three members of the Cobras being shot in two seperate locations at the same time. The shootings made naional headlines. Almodovar is currently serving time in Tamms.
Also in 1996, a group of MLDs known as “the Bums” made a bid to take control of the gang. They attempted to take over Rick Dog's drug corner of Talman & Wabansia, dubbed “Real Side” or "T-Dubb." In order to do so they first needed to take out Rick Dog. This was done when Jamie “Tuffy Bums” Ruiz fatally shot Rick Dog as he talked to his “Minister of Information,” Ray Rolon, on his cell phone. It was said that over 1,000 mourners attended Rick Dog's funeral. As police gathered information, MLDs loyal to Rick Dog assassinated Tuffy Bums. His followers, who controlled Rockwell and Potomac, among other corners, launched retalitory shootings, thus prolonging the civil war. In the wake of Garcia's and Ruiz's death, Franciso “Pimp Daddy” Garcia assumed leadership of Rick Dog's faction while David “Little Bums” Hernandez assumed leadership of Tuffy Bums' faction. Assumedly, Fernie was unable to sqaush the beef as not even he could bring the gang back united.
To add to the gang's woes, in 1998 federal authorities launched Operation Devils Head and a subsequent operation was launched by local authorities. Several hih-ranking MLDs were later convicted on drugs and weapons charges. The assumed leader of the drug ring, Thomas “Outlaw” Ross was among them. The drug ring conspired and spanned throughout the Bucktown community.
The Maniac Latin Disciples also experienced discord within the Maniac family. Because the gang had routinely “stepped on the toes” of the smaller gangs within the family, gangs such as the Latin Jivers, Milwaukee Kings, and especially Latin Lovers , left the alliance. The Latin Lovers even intiated a war with the MLDs.
By 1999 prosecution of top leaders and internal strife was putting a hurt on the MLDs. Every “Governor,” became his own boss, having to get weapons and drugs on his own. Each section behaved with an “every man for himself” concept, though the gsnng is said to be divided into three main factions. After the gang was able to rebuild a familiar leadership structure, the F.B.I. conducted another investigation was able to arrest top ranking members in 2004. Among those arrested wre Fidel “Fiddle” Hernandez and Antonio “Bird” Perez. The Maniac Latin Disciples, nevertheless, have continued to act as a violent street gang.
Bases of Operation: The MLDs exercise a presence in Humboldt Park, Hermosa, Logan Square, Avondale, Montclare, Gage Park, West Town, Bucktown, and Wicker Park along with several Chicagoland suburbs including Aurora and Cicero. Beginning in the early 90s the gang spread its influence to dozens of cities throughout the United States, becoming a national powerhosue, or "super gang," slightly on par with the Latin Kings, Gangster Disciples, Bloods, Crips, and MS-13.
Method of Operation/Culture: The MLDs have been at odds with each other for over a decades. Also, they have virtually no allies on the streets outside those in the Maniac familty and have been at odds with the Latin Kings, Spanish Cobras, Latin Jivers, Latin Lovers, Insane Dragons, Insane Deuces, Vice Lords, Orhcestra Albany, Insane Popes. Simon City Royals, Ashland Vikings, Insane Unknowns, Spanish Lords, Two Two Boys, Satan Disciples and on and off again feuds with the Imperial Gangsters. The gang's primary criminal involvement has consisted on graffiti, drug trafficking, auto theft, assualt, extortion, kidnapping, shootings, and murder.
The MLDs started as a predominantly Puerto Rican gang. The gang now has several Mexicans, African Americans, and Caucasians (mostly in the suburbs and on the far northwest side).
Members of the MLDs refer to each other as “Folks,” “D,” “Maniac,” or “Yak.” They wear the colors black and light blue, usually sports wear and hooded sweatshirts. Some MLDs wear bandanas, a phenomenom usually restricted to West Coast gangs. A weapon of choice for the MLDs is the .25 caliber pistol. They are required to have a gun at the set when out selling drugs or gang banging. They have a female companion gang called the Lady D's.
The MLDs use the pitchfork handsign as well as the heart with horns handsign. They have the same handshake as the Gangster Disciples, members connect the index finger and form and the pitchfork with the index, middle finger, and thumb as well as forming the heart , then dropping the crown.
MLD members usually hip-hop/hood wear, often times hooded sweatshirts "hoodies," baggy pants, skull caps, baseball hats, heavy coats, and atheletic gym shoes. Clothing that is blue, or particularly light blue, is often worn by the gang, such as Carolina Panthers, Duke Blue Devils, Florida Marlins, or Depaul Blue Demons aporting apparel. Members usually have low cut hair, corn rolls, or bald. Additionally, this gang is particular for wearing "rags" or scarfs", which is not considered akin to Chicago's gang culture.
The gang's main enemies are the Latin Kings and the two groupd have engaged in a booody conflict that has claimed hundreds of lives within Humboldt Park. However as stated, the MLDs have virtually no allies and have feuded with just about every gang within proximity to thier turf, including former Maniac Family gangs. There has even been incidents of violence between MLDs and other "Disciple" gangs as the Gangster Disciples, Satan Disciples, and Spanish Gangster Disicples. The only known gang to never have come into dispute with the MLDs are the Young Latino Organization Disciples, which is closely related to them, (but apparently never officially part of the Maniac Family). Some of the MLDs most prominent enemies are: Latin Kings, Spanish Cobras, Imperial Gangsters, Latin Lovers, Spanish Lords, Insane Unknowns, Vice Lords, Simon City Royals, Latin Counts, Bishops, Insane Deuces, Four Corner Hustlers, Young Latino Organization Cobras, Ashland Vikings, C- Notes, and Gaylords. Like virtually all Chicago gangs, thier principal intreest involves the selling of narcotics, though members engaged in other crimes such as graffiti, battery, assault, gang banging, ramming, shootings, and murder.
Iconography: The MLD's symbols include the pitchforks, a heart with horns, wings, and a tail, monks, a backwards swastika and the 6-point star. The 6-pointed star was of course adopted from the Black Gangster Disciples' "star of King David," with the 6 points representing love, life, loyalty, knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. The heart w/ wings and tail and horns was also adopted from the BGDs, though the MLDs have used this symbol more and have added addtional "meanings" to it from those originally prescribed by the BGDN. The monks is taken as a derivitive from "IDsciple" and represent the original founders of the gang. The backwards swatsika was adopted to honor "Hitler," as obvious play to the Nazi leader, though intentionally stylized "backwards" to denounce any Aryan/white supremacist themes. It's concept is called "young future."
Hieararchy: The MLD's top position is “Prince.” Hitler had the rank of the “King,” but after he died no other leader held that rank. (The MLDs also pay homage to King David of the Black Disciples in their literature). The next rank down is the “Don,” then “Governor.” They also have a “Minister(s) (of Information),” “Chiefs of Security”, and some sets have they own rank and file positions. The lowest ranks are “Soldiers” and “Shorties.” After Ferny was incarcerated, Rick Dog assumed the rank of Prince, This was sometime in the 1980s. In 1996, when Tuffy Bums initiated civil war within the MLDs, he also called himself a Prince. Additionally, Outlaw may have held the rank of the Prince, although he was previously a Governor. Governors control individual corners. In the mid-2000s, Fiddle held the rank of Don, but he was the principle leader on the streets. Also, on the streets, Little Bums and Pimp Daddy control rival factions of MLDs, and they may be respected as Princes. Since now the gang is in turmoil, the ranks are more or less irrelevent.
. Altgeld & Washtenaw "Wild Side"
. Armitage & Pulaski
. Barry & California "BC"
. Barry & Kedzie
. Barry & Spaulding "Oakville"
. Beach & Ashland
. Belden & Kenneth "Omskiville"
. Belden & Keystone
. Belden & Kilbourn (Hermosa Park)
. Cortland & Keystone " Killa City "
. Dickens & Keystone
. Dickens & Mobile "Death Trap Pimps"
. Fullerton & Moody (Riis Park)
. Fullerton & Pulaski "8-Ball City"
. Grace & Albany
. Grand Ave. & Harding / Springfield " Grand City "
. Hirsch & Hamlin
. Maplewood & LeMoyne "Monk Land "
. Maplewood & Hirsch
. Maplewood & North
. Talman & Lemoyne
. Fairfield & Lemoyne
. Washtenaw & Wabansia
. Maplewood & Wabansia "Maplewood Park"
. Evergreen & Rockwell
. Evergreen & Washtenaw
. Artesian & Diversey "D-Block"
. Moffat & Campbell
. Rockwell & Cortland "Paisa Land"
. Rockwell & George "RG"
. Rockwell & LeMoyne "Death Rown"
. Rockwell & Potomac "Twi-Light Zone"
. Roscoe & Avers
. Schubert & Fairfield
. School & Albany " Pee-Wee City "
. Talman & Wabansia "Real Side"
. Wellington & Parkside
. 55th to 59th , Rockwell to California
. 55th & Talman
. 14th & Ridgeland in Berwyn, IL
. 30th & 50th ct. " Pablo City ", 31st & 49th Ave. "Wickedville" in Cicero, IL
. Aurora , IL "A-Town"
. Bellwood , IL . Elgin , IL
. Elk Grove Village , IL
. Highwood , IL
. Joliet , IL "J-Town"
. Northlake , IL "Lost City"
. Rockford , IL
. Round Lake , IL
. Sterling , IL
. South Park & Waters "Death Valley" in Waukegan, IL
. Hialeah & Jacksonville, FL
. Hammond and Indianapolis, IN "Nap-Town"
. Antioch, and Nashville, TN
. Grand Rapids , MI
. Bronx , NY (Lambert Projects)
. Millington, TN
. Dallas,Houston & Oak Cliff , TX
. Beloit and Milwaukee, WI"Mil-Town"
. Puerto Rico
. Ashland & Wabansia "A-Dub"
. Beach & Paulina "Ghost Town"
. Belden & Lowell
. Blackhawk & Ashland
. Blackhawk & Bosworth
. Cortez & Washtenaw
. Cuyler & Leavitt "JC/John Cooney School "
. Erie & Wood
. Fullerton & Austin
. Grand Ave. & Narragansett
. Lyndale & Campbell
. Mobile & George
. Mobile & Wrightwood
. North Ave. & Honore
. Palmer & Moody
. Pierce & Paulina
. Rosemont & California
. Shakespeare & Maplewood
. Taylor St. & Oakley
. Thomas & Washtenaw " Murder Town "
. Bloomington, IL
. Elgin , IL : Franklin & Spring
. Melrose Park , IL : 18th & Bloomingdale
. West Chicago , IL
. Munster ,In