The Big Hazard (BH) also known as Hazard Grande, is a Hispanic-American street gang that originated in Boyle Heights, a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, California. They dominated the Ramona Gardens housing projects (low-income) since the 1940s, which was originally built during World War II (WWII or WW2).
The Ramona Gardens were predominantly a Mexican-American project, with a handful of black families, which caused racial tension. The Big Hazard allegedly originated as a clique of White Fence, one of the oldest street gangs in East Los Angeles. In 1972, artist Willie Herron, who became popular after painting a mural “The Wall That Cracked Open,” which was inspired by his younger brother who was stabbed and beaten by members of the Big Hazard.
They are known for their brutal shootouts and attempted murders on local law enforcement, which intensified after the death of Mauricio Cornejo, a well-known member of the Big Hazard who went into cardiac arrest while being detained in a holding cell at the Hollenbeck police station, in 2007. Eyewitnesses allege Cornejo was severely beaten after being handcuffed with batons by Los Angeles Police Officers.
Gang Ties To The Mexican-Mafia
The Hazard gang is known for having deep-rooted connections to the Mexican-Mafia, dating back to the 1950s. Robert Salas, better known on the streets of Boyle Heights as “Robot,” was considered a godfather of the Hazard Gang, and an active member of the Mexican Mafia. However, in 2004, Robert Salas reign of terror from behind bars ended after he died, on December 4, 2004.
Adolf Reynoso, better known on the streets as “Champ,” who is also affiliated with the Big Hazard and a shot caller for the Mexican Mafia. However, members of the Big Hazard have been murdered by gunmen hired by The Mexican-Mafia, such as Manuel “Rocky” Luna (1993) and Ricardo “Rascal” Gonzalez (1993) as well as Charles “Charlie Brown” Manriquez (1992).
David “Smilon” Gallardo, a known member of the Hazard Gang who graduated to the Mexican Mafia. Gallardo was known for regulating the Ramona Gardens and carrying out hits on behalf of the Mexican Mafia. 12 members of The Mexican Mafia were arrested including David Gallardo who was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Lives In The Hazard
In 1994, Olmos Productions, a film company by Edward James Olmos, produced “Lives In The Hazard,” a documentary based on the lives of cast members from “American Me” (film) affiliated with the Big Hazard. The Documentary, also featured members of the Michigan Chicano Force (M.C. Force), a rival Latino street gang located in Boyle Heights, California.
Manuel “Rocky” Luna and 49-year-old Ana Lizarraga, a counselor with Community Youth Gang Services, who grew up in the Ramona Gardens housing projects, were advisors to Edward James Olmos during the filming of American Me. However, on May 12, 1992, Ana Lizarraga was found dead in her the driveway of her home shot multiple times (execution style).
30-year-old Jose Gilbert Gonzales, an active member of the EastSide Hazard gang, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Ana Lizarraga. The death of Lizarraga was a devastating blow to the Latino community and especially residents of the Ramona Gardens, she was gunned down a month before her 50th birthday.
Allies & Rivals
The Big Hazard and the Michigan Chicano Force, shared a truce during the early 1990s, for the filming of American Me. Ana Lizarraga, was responsible for brokering the truce, between the two feuding gangs as well as several other gangs in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles.
They mostly feud with Latino gangs in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights as well as Terrace City, such as the Avenues, 38th Street Gang and Varrio Nuevo Estrada. However, their mortal rivals were the Geraghty Loma 13 and the Krazy Ass Mexicans (KAM) as well as the MC Force.