The Varrio Harpys Gang (HPS) also known as the Harpys 13 (HPS13) or Varrio Harpys, is a long-standing Hispanic street gang, located in the West Adams district of South Los Angeles, California. The heart of their neighborhood stretches from Figueroa Street and Normandie Ave, between Washington Blvd and Jefferson Blvd. The Varrio Harpys have over 200 active members and originated in the 1960s, according to police records.
The Harpys name is derived from the American Harpy Eagle, which is the largest and most powerful raptor found in America. They consist of two sub-sets the Harpys “Dead End” and the Harpys “Wild Bunch”. These two cliques were originally local football teams, both emerged as one with the larger Harpys gang. They consist of multiple cliques such as the 25th Street Tiny Locos (TLS), 27th Street Chicos Malos (CM), 28th Street Dukes (DKS), 39th Street Tokers, and 5th Avenue Midgets (MGS).
The Harpys Gang also share their varrio with the Rollin 20s Neighborhood Bloods, a well-known predominantly African-American street gang who mainly feud with the Rollin 30s Harlem Crips. Members of the Harpys, are known to sport apparel by the Houston-Astros, with the large letter “H” to show affiliation to the Harpys. Conejo, a local rapper who is affiliated with the West Side Harpys (25th Street), was on the run for over 10-years for murder.
In The News
On Dec 6, 2012, Law enforcement authorities participated in a sting dubbed Operation Roman Empire, arresting 29 members of the West Side Harpys, after being named in a federal indictment. Which, also included Vianna Roman, the daughter of Danny Roman, a well-known member of The Mexican Mafia and leader of the Harpys 13, who was convicted of murder, in 1982.
Despite serving a life serving a sentenced without parole at Pelican Bay State Prison, in northern California. Danny Roman, manage to run the Harpys criminal gang from prison, though his daughter Vianna Roma and her husband. The two allegedly ran the day-to-day operations of the Harpys organization, using mob tactics such as shake downs on small businesses, local taco and hamburger stands.
On May 1, 2013, Vianna Roman, pleaded guilty to racketeering, narcotics and weapons charges following a plea agreement, and faces 20-years in federal prison. Vianna Roman admitted that she acted as a conduit for her father’s orders as he exercised control over the Harpys gang. On May 7, 2013, Manuel Valencia, a high-ranking member of the West Side Harpys Gang who acted on orders from Danny Roman, pleaded guilty to federal racketeering and drug trafficking as well as engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise.
The 30-years-old Manuel Valencia agreed to a sentence of 27 years to life in prison. The indictment also named Jaime Montano and Edgar Gonzalez, both are connected to the East Side Trece (ES13), a violent Latino gang. Montano and Gonzales, both pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and faces twenty-years or more in a federal prison.
Allies And Rivals
The Harpys Gang are allies of The Mexican-Mafia and the A2M (Addicted To Money). They have an long-standing rivalry with the 18th Street Gang and the EasyRiders 13. For instance, on September 6, 1980, three members of the 18th Street Gang were killed by members of the Harpys Gang. However, the 18th Streeters are known to return gunfire, Felipe Alvarado, known on the streets as “Clumsy” was shot to death on the corner of Washington Blvd and Normandie Ave, the alleged shooter was a member of the 18th Street Gang.
The Harpys also feud with a tagging crew known as S4M (Sex For Money) or S4MK (Sex For Money Krew), mainly due to their alliance with the 18th Street Gang. On May 7, 2006, Manuel Vega, a member of the S4M, was shot and killed outside of a liquor store, located on Orchard Street, between 18th Street and Washington in Los Angeles. Daniel Martinez, a known member of the A2M, was charged with the murder of Manual Vegas. The fatal shooting was retaliation for the killing of Brian “Panda” Verdesoto, who was affiliated with the Harpys 13 (28th Street Dukes).
Despite, the Harpys Gang being connected to The Mexican Mafia, they mainly feud with Southern Latino gangs under the Sureño 13, such as the Alley Tiny Criminals 13.