Photo: Operation Black Flag
Operation Black Flag, a multi-agency California-based investigation, netted a total of 99 defendants including 69 people in 57 federal indictments and 26 people in seven Orange County criminal complaints.
The defendants were charged for their participation in conspiracies to commit murders and aggravated assaults on inmates throughout California prisons at the direction of a violent, Hispanic California Prison Gang.
The Prison Gang operates throughout California and exercises control over “Southern Hispanic” inmates within the State prison and jail systems. Southern Hispanics are defined as any Hispanic person from Southern California.
The Prison Gang also controls criminal street gangs, whose members pay drug-sale “taxes” to the Prison Gang as a sign of respect and as an assurance that they will be viewed as loyal to the Prison Gang if and when they are arrested and incarcerated in jail or state prison.
The two primary functions of the Prison Gang are to incite fear in other inmates and control the prison drug trade. Drugs may be sold in prison at five to 10 times the price on the street.
Southern Hispanic inmates are accused of receiving orders transmitted using “kites,” or small notes passed throughout the jail between gang members to target specifically named people.