Tango Blast


They identify themselves as the Tango Blast and it’s members number well over 17,000 in prisons across the state of Texas. This Texas based prison gang emerged in the Texas prison system in 1990 as established prison gangs such as the Texas Syndicate, Mexkanemi, and the Barrio Azteca were knotted in a decade long gang war. The Tango Blast thrived during this time and formed a federation of prisoners from cities such as Houston, Dallas and Austin. Together they united and vowed to out number traditional prison gangs. Their goal was achieved and as a result have become one of the states largest and most feared prison gangs.

Symbols: Houston Astros star, Dallas Cowboys star, Houstone, 713, TB, the Four Horsemen, 214, Foritos, H-Town, D-Town, A-Town
Ranking structure: Unorganized
Territory: Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Waco, Austin, West Texas
Alliances: none
Members: 17,000
Racial make up: Hispanic, black and white
Threat: Moderate


Tango Blast lacks leadership just as the gangs founding fathers intended. Members of this large prison gang are not obligated to follow orders, other than protect each other during times of war. Unlike traditional prison gangs which method of fighting begins with an order and ends with a shank, the Tango Blast uses the power of numbers and infuses fear with brutal gang beatings against their enemies. Prospects must submit themselves to an initiation beating in order to gain full membership, and are required to tattoo a star, the gang’s symbol, on either their head or side flank.
Joining the gang was never intended to be a life time commitment as is the case with traditional prison gangs. If a Tango Blast member ever decides to quit the gang all that is required is the same initiation they received when joining the gang.


Tango Blast eventually began recruiting members from other cities across the state in 1994 and tended to attract members who resented established prison gangs. They revolted against these gangs and began seeking absolute control of the entire Texas prison system.
The Texas Syndicate was the first prison gang to declare war on the Tango Blast; their goal was to dismantle the gang since it seemed to be gaining control of their Dallas / Houston territory. Efforts of the out numbered Texas Syndicate failed since the Tango Blast had already grown twice its size.


Tension then arose between Tango Blast and the Mexikanemi in 1997 when the unorganized gang began recruiting new members from the Mexikanemi home capital of San Antonio, Texas. Out numbered, both the Mexikamemi and Texas Syndicate conspired to destroy the Tango Blast by joining forces in a surprise attack against the Tango Blast.
The plot failed when TDCJ gang intelligence officials learned about the conspiracy and prevented the attack by segregating hundreds of Texas Syndicate and Mexikanemi members in prisons state wide.


The Texas Syndicate was left with no other choice but to take the war out to the streets. The violent prison gang began selectively murdering members of the rival Tango Blast in the streets of Houston in 2005. In retaliation the Tango Blast declared war on TS. The two gangs settled a truce in 2007 but peace between the two remains threatened as a result of sporadic conflicts in prisons state wide.


In 1990, the Tango Blast prison gang is formed in the Clemens state prison in Brazoria, Texas. (Gang Intelligence 101)

In 2001, both the Tango Blast and Barrio Azteca engage in a gang fight in a gymnasium at the Torrez state prison in Hondo, Texas. Both gangs settle a truce soon after. (Associated Press)

On January of 2002, members of the Barrio Azteca brutally stab a Tango Blast member while the victim is using the restroom at the Robertson state prison in Abilene, Texas. A gang war between the two gangs erupts state wide soon after. (Associated Press)

On June 2002, the Tango Blast retaliates against the Barrio Azteca by severely beating 4 of its members in the John B. Connally state prison in Kenedy, Texas. (Gang Intelligence 101)

In mid 2002, the Texas Syndicate declares war on the Tango Blast prison gang. (Gang Intelligence 101)

In April 2002, members of the Texas Syndicate murder a Tango Blast member at the J.B. Connally state prison. (Gang Intelligence 101)

On August 7, 2005, Tango Blast member Rolando Vasquez murders Juan Rodriguez, a member of the Varrio Northside street gang in Houston, Texas. (Vasquez v. State, No. 2-06-409-CR (Tex. App. 9/4/2008)

On August 31, 2006, several Tango Blast members are arrested for drug distribution and trafficking in Dallas, Texas. (Aguilar v. State, No. 05-07-00660-CR (Tex. App. 8/18/2008)

In 2007 Tango Blast gangmember Ronnie Tienda engages in a deadly freeway car pursuit with David Valadez and his two passengers after an argument at a night club in Dallas, Texas. The victim and his friends flee for their lives but are shot several times and crash into a concrete divider. Valadez dies. (Ronnie TIENDA, Jr., v. The STATE of Texas) – No. PD–0312–11.

Last In October 2007, Tango Blast member William Linzer kidnaps and rapes a teenage girl in Houston. (Associated Press)

On May 2007, Tango Blast member Jesus Elizondo, 22, shoots and kills a 15-year-old boy in Dallas. (Associated Press)

In June 2008, The Tango Blast prison gang attack Texas Chicano Brotherhood members in the J.B. Connally state prison. (Gang Intelligence 101)

On November 16, 2008, Tango Blast members murder Alejandro Vasquez in a nightclub in downtown Dallas. (Associated Press)

On December 2008, ten members of the West Texas Tango gang are arrested in a major cocaine and meth trafficking ring. (U.S. Department of Justice Press Release)

In 2009, four members of the Tango Blast gang are arrested by FBI officials in Houston for possession of more than five kilos of cocaine. Agents seized fire arms, high end cars and jewelry. (Associated Press)

On May 5th 2011, Mexikanemi prison gang members recogize a rival Tango Blast gang member ar a local Seguin, Texas bar and brutally stab the victim to death. SEE REPORT

On December 28, 2011 Tango Blast prison gang members Sesilio Lopez, 28, and Brian Suniga, 32 shoot and kill David Rowser, 26 in Lubbock, Texas after attempting to rob the victim at a pizza parlor where he worked. (AVALANCHE-JOURNAL)



Schooled in the penitentiary to ‘jack fools’

The Decline of Traditional Prison Gangs

Conflicts between both traditional and modern prison gangs arise.