The 38th Street Gang is a violent, Mexican criminal street gang in South Los Angeles, California. This gang is one of the oldest street gangs in Los Angeles and has been occupying its territory since the 1920s. The Mexican Mafia controls and routinely uses 38th Street gang members to carry out their orders. Founded in the 1920s, the 38th Street gang was formed at the border between South Central and the city of Vernon. The
The 38th Street gang became well known in the 1940s in the “Sleepy Lagoon” murder trial (“Sleepy Lagoon” was a popular swimming hole in what is now East Los Angeles). A Mexican juvenile named Jose Diaz was killed there in 1942, and members of the 38th Street Mexican gang were arrested and charged with murder by the LAPD. At the time of its conception, Many Mexican-Americans from the segregated parts of town were attacked by sailors and members of other branches of the United States military. Sailors also attacked innocent Hispanic civilians.
The 38th Street gang occupies a huge area on the east side of South Los Angeles and some areas in East Los Angeles. It is considered larger than average at 0.523 square miles stretching from Central Avenue (west) to Alameda (east) from approximately Martin Luther King Blvd (south) to 41st Street (north). The 38th Street turf also extends north to 24th Street betweenCompton (west) and Long Beach Avenues (east). The “Alameda Swap Meet” on Alameda & Vernon Avenue has been a stronghold in their turf for years.
Their territory puts them in direct conflict with the Barrio Mohados, Ghetto Boyz, Playboy Surenos 13, Florencia 13, MS-13, 52 Pueblo Bishop Bloods, All For Crime Bloods, King Boulevard Stoners, Hang Out Boys 13, Primera Flats, White Fence and mostly all East Los Angeles gangs and Watts. Their rivalries expand to most neighborhoods all over Los Angeles County. They also have confirmed cliques in Salt Lake City, Utah and Wisconsin.