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~*Know Ur Gangs*~

~*The 18th Street Gang*~

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The 18th Street gang was formed in the 1960s. 
During the 1960s, the Clanton Street gang, a well-established Hispanic street gang, was in its second generation.

Youth in the local neighborhood wanted to join the gang, but the membership of Clanton Street was limited to those youth who were American citizens from a pure Hispanic background.  Youth who were undocumented immigrants or of mixed ancestry were not allowed to join the gang.  Although turned away by Clanton Street, these juveniles still participated in criminal activities.  Like many young juvenile offenders, they were arrested and sent to juvenile detention facilities. 

The 18th Street gang was the first Hispanic gang to break the racial membership barrier.  This willingness to step across racial lines allowed rapid and unchecked growth in the gang's membership, which was largely composed of immigrants and multi-racial youths.  18th Street also recruited heavily from the populations of illegal immigrants entering the United States from Mexico and South/Central America. 

For example, West Side 18th Street "jumped in" 50 members of a tagger crew known as KWS, Kings With Style.  KWS members were known by law enforcement to be involved in robbery, assaults, drive-by shootings, and murder. 18th Street gang members, though primarily turf-oriented, also travel to other areas and states for membership recruitment and illegal activities.  This tendency to travel explains 18th Street's wide-scale presence in many different states.

Members of 18th Street frequently adorn their bodies with tattoos.  The most common tattoo is that of the number 18 (XVIII).  The tattoos can be located anywhere on the body, and some members will cover their entire body with 18th Street tattoos, including placing an 18 on their foreheads or above their eyebrows.  The number "666" can also be used to represent 18th Street.  The tattoos also might indicate the clique of 18th Street to which the individual belongs.

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