The bones of La Nuestra Familia (NF) originated in September 1967 with the initial name “La Familia” at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, California. The gang’s initiators then changed the organizations name to “La Nuestra Familia” on September 1968 at the Northern California’s Soledad Correction Training Facility. The violent prison gangs founding fathers, Haero Morgan, Robert Joseph Gonzales, Bobby Joe Barkley and Freddy Gonzales believed that the gang would unite all northern Hispanic inmates. Their main objective was to divide prisoners from northern California and compete with the southern California based Mexican Mafia.

Symbols: Huelga eagle “XIV” Possible NF number, Norteno, Norte, 14, catorce, ENE, sombrero over a bloody machete.
Ranking structure: Paramilitary
Territory: Northern California
Alliances: Northern Structure, Nuestra Raza, most street gangs in northern California.
Members: 8,000
Racial make up: Hispanic
Threat: High

As soon as Nuestra Familia members began arriving at the San Quentin maximum security prison in 1968, high ranking Mexican Mafia members attempted to kill the NF seed before it grew. NF member Sonny Pena was the first victim to be murdered by the Mexican Mafia. Pena’s brutal murder was the Mexican Mafia’s way of informing California’s prison population that new gangs would not be accepted. The Mexican Mafia wasn’t the only prison gang to reject the idea of a new barracuda in the pond. The Aryan Brotherhood also joined in the attack by murdering Nuestra Familia member Fred Charles Castillo on February 3, 1972. All Mexican-American prisoners from northern California became immediate targets, leaving the California Department of Corrections with no other choice but to segregate all Nuestra Familia members and northern California inmates. This gave Nuestra Familia the perfect opportunity to unite all northern California inmates and opened the doors to thousands of new members.
Bakersfield, California soon became the dividing line between the Nuestra Familia and Mexican Mafia territory.

The NF operates in a paramilitary fashion. The gang has a Supreme Commander, several Generals, regimental captains, lieutenants and soldiers.

Northern California’s Pelican Bay maximum security prison became a command center for the NF and was home of most of the gang’s highest ranking members. Behind bars they ran the prison drug trade and controlled thousands of street gang members. All Mexican Mafia members unfortunate enough to be sent to Pelican Bay were murdered by the NF on sight. As the NF matured, so did the seriousness of their crimes. The Nuestra Familia became involved in murder, burglaries, extortion, and drug dealing on the streets of San Jose, Fresno, Bakersfield and Sacramento. The gang adopted then adopted the blood in blood out policy in 1974 and began murdering off NF members who proved to be unloyal to the gang.

Nuestra Familia leaders decided to organize a structure division called “Nuestra Raza”, more commonly known as “Northern Structure”. The new branch would serve as a prospect base for those interested in joining Nuestra Familia. Northern Structure prospects would have to earn membership into NF by following the gang’s orders. Gang hits were always handed down to Northern Structure prospects and gave wanna be’s the opportunity of proving themselves to the NF. Before a sponsored prospect can qualify as a member of the NF, the offender must gain knowledge of the gang’s constitution officially known as the “XIV Bonds”. The Northern Structure became the ears of the senior Nuestra Familia and was required to deal drugs for its father hierarchy. Northern Structure sold drugs in the streets and brought in funds for ranking NF members behind bars.

Soon after the U.S. government began hammering La Nuestra Familia with RICO, many of its high ranking members became paranoid and began ordering the murders of dozens of its members suspected of cooperating with police. Hundreds of NF members lost moral as a result and began quitting the gang. Today the Nuestra Familia remains active but lacks the power it once had.


In 1966, “La Familia” is formed in the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, California, but is renamed “La Nuestra Familia” in Northern California’s Soledad Correction Training Facility in 1968.

In 1968, Sonny Pena is stabbed to death by the Mexican Mafia at San Quentin state prison. The killing was the official starting point of non stop warfare between both prison gangs.

On September 16, 1968, A Nuestra Familia member is brutally stabbed in the Folsom state prison by the Mexican Mafia.

In 1971, Nuestra Familia founder Freddy Gonzalez dies of a heroin overdose.
On February 3, 1972, Aryan Brotherhood members murder Nuestra familia member Fred Charles Castillo.

On October 19, 1972, Mexican Mafia member Leonard Arias is stabbed to death by Nuestra Familia members in a dormitory at the California Correctional Institution at Tehachapi, California. (People v. Vargas, 5 Crim. 1735)

On December 31, 1976, Mexican Mafia member Alejandro Moreno is murdered by Nuestra familia members.

In 1976, Nuestra Familia members Daniel Ramos and Jose Cobos are ordered to murder fellow gang member George Tenario after the leaders of Nuestra Familia suspect Tenario is a FBI informant. (In re Ramos, H031160 (Cal. App. 5/9/2008) (Cal. App., 2008)

On March 22, 1977, Nuestra Familia members murder NF member Flavio Garza for refusing to kill someone else. (Gutierrez v. Griggs, 695 F.2d 1195 (C.A.9 (Cal.), 1983)

On April 9, 1979, Nuestra Familia member Juan Lorenzo Baca guns down Toby Baca in front of the victim’s wife in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The murder involved a drug transaction gone badly. (Baca v. Sullivan, 821 F.2d 1480 (C.A.10 (N.M.), 1987)

In January 1982, the Nuestra Familia becomes the first prison gang in United States history to be charged under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. RICO marks the beginning of the end of La Nuestra Familia.

In 1993, Nuestra Familia members are indicted for a string of murders involving drugs. The motive of the murders involves narcotics. (The People v. Vargas, 110 Cal.Rptr.2d 210 (Cal. App. 6 Dist., 2001)

 On January 27, 1994, Nuestra Familia members murder Osvaldo Mojarro Rios of the Mexican Mafia. (People v. Valdez, 68 Cal.Rptr.2d 135, 58 Cal.App.4th 494 (Cal. App. 6 Dist., 1997)

 On July 13, 1998, Nuestra Familia members raid the home of Andrea Mestas in an attempt to murder her boyfriend Ronny Giminez. The gang members murder Mestas and her unborn fetus as she puts up a fight. (People v. Valdez, C036614 (CA 2/4/2005)

On April 19, 1999, Nuestra Familia murder 20 year gang veteran ROBERT “Brown Bob,” VIRAMONTES in his garage. NF leaders in Pelican Bay state prison ordered the hit because Viramontes was no longer involving himself in crime.

In April 2001, 13 high ranking Nuestra Familia members and associates are indicted under the federal RICO.

On May, 2007, FBI and DEA officials arrest several Nuestra Familia members on drug trafficking charges in Bakersfield, California. Officials seize 148 pounds of methamphetamine, 32 kilos of cocaine, 14 fire arms, 3 high priced automobiles, and $113,000 dollars in cash. (U.S.Department of Justice News Release – Eastern District of California)



BARRIO AZTECA – The Azteca use codes so deciphering gang messages is difficult for gang intelligence.

BORDER BROTHERS – The gang made bitter enemies with the Mara Salvatrucha &other prison gangs..

HPL – HERMANDAD DE PISTOLEROS LATINOS – Translates to “Brotherhood of the Latin Gunman”

INDIAN POSSE – The Indian Posse are involved in cocaine and marijuana dealing, boot legging & murder.

LATIN KINGS – The Latin Kings originated in the streets in Chicago in the 1943…………………………………….

LOS SOLIDOS – Los Solidos gang was founded in 1990 by ruthless Puerto Rican street thugs …………………

MEXICAN MAFIA – The Mexican Mafia is commonly confused with the Texas based Mexikanemi…………

MEXIKANEMI – Texas Mexican Mafia – There is an estimated 17,000 Mexikanemi members………………..

MEXICLES – Typical of all prison gangs, the PRM transformed from prey to predator in no time……………..

MS-13 – MARA SALVATRUCHA – In 1980, The MS 13 was founded by El Salvadorian criminals……………

MANITOBA WARRIORS – The Manitoba Warriors met its first rival, the Indian Posse prison gang………..

NATIVE SYNDICATE – The NS made immediate enemies with other violent Native American cliques………

TEXAS SYNDICATE – The Texas Syndicate is one of Texas’s most established prison gangs…………………..

NEW MEXICO SYNDICATE – The prison gang spread into the New Mexico prison system in 1980…………

NETAS – The gang was responsible for causing over 50 deaths in several Puerto Rico prison riots……………

NORTHERN STRUCTURE – NS consists of united gang members from northern California gangs…………

PRM – PARTIDO REVOLUCIONARIO MEXICANO – The gang began recruiting Texas inmates…………

RAZA UNIDA – The Raza Unida (RU) is an organized prison gang that originated in 1988………………………..

TANGO BLAST – This Texas based prison gang emerged in the Texas prison system in 1990………………….

TEXAS CHICANO BROTHERHOOD – Texas prison gangs refused to allow the TCB to recruit……………..

TRI CITY BOMBERS – Paroled members of the TCB adopted the highly organized structure…………………

WEST TEXAS TANGO – The WT is currently involved in extortion and drug dealing in prison………………..