inside prison

Texas Syndicate: Prison Gang Profile

Reported US prison locations

In 1978, in California, making the Texas Syndicate the oldest prison gang in Texas' history.

As of 2000, the Texas Syndicate had about 1,000 members in prisons and jails state-wide, with many more on the outside.

826 Hispanic members operate across Texas, including specific reportings in the Coffield Unit, about 60 miles southwest of Tyler, and at the Allred prison unit outside of Wichita Falls. However, they still maintain their headquarters in California, where their national president resides, and their numbers continue to reach into state and federal prisons across the US. They have been reported in the Federal Correctional Institute at Oakdale, Louisiana, and in San Quentin, Calfornia, with frequency. As a street gang, heavy activity has been reported in Austin, Texas, and Corpus Christi, Texas..

Rivals of the Texas Syndicate have included or presently include:

Development of the Texas Syndicate was initially motivated by self-protection against the historical "building tenders" in prison. After building tenders disappeared, the Syndicate's activities turned to drug trafficking, extortion, prostitution, protection, gambling, and contract murder. Released or parole members who generate money for the Texas Syndicate must surrender a 10% tax of all proceeds toward the gang in prison.

TS has a paramilitary structure, headed by a president and vice president elected by the general member population. Each prison unit is controlled by a chairman, who oversees a vice chairman, captain, lieutenant, sergeant of arms, and numerous soldiers. Ranking members in prison are automatically demoted to the level of soldier upon institutional reclassification.

Texas Syndicate members are required to follow a "Constitution," stipulating that members:

  1. Be a Texan
  2. Always remain a member
  3. Place the Texas Syndicate before anything else
  4. Understand that the Texas Syndicate is always in the right
  5. Wear the Texas Syndicate tattoo
  6. Never let a member down
  7. Respect other members
  8. Keep all gang information within the group (Fong 1990)

Leadership is determined by democratic vote, requiring unanimity. Recruitment is achieved by demonstrating a "homeboy connection," passing a background check to make sure the prospect is not an informer, and receiving a unanimous vote.

According to news reports, the following members have (or have had) alleged executive connections:

TS members have communicated via:

The Texas Syndicate's artistic identification system includes:



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