Jackson Street Boys

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Jackson Street Boys
Founding locationUnited States San Francisco, California, United States
Years active1990-present
TerritoryNorthern California
EthnicityPrimarily Cantonese
Criminal activitiesExtortion, racketeering, drug trafficking, drug dealing, arson, assault, murder, robbery, home invasions, car theft, burglary, loan sharking, credit card fraud, and illegal gambling
AlliesSeven Stars, 21 Boys
RivalsWah Ching, Hop Sing Boys

The Jackson Boyz, JBZ or Jackson Street Boys, JSB are a San Francisco, California based Asian American street gang and Triad society. The gang, composed of Cantonese and Vietnamese members, is centered in San Francisco's Chinatown, and named for Jackson Street. The Jackson Street Boys also have a presence in other U.S. cities.

However, there are members of the gang who are students in middle schools and high schools in addition to their Chinatown presence. The gang was involved in many criminal acts including the burning of a Chinese restaurant sparked by the owner's debt to the gang. Although the suspects were arrested, they were soon released.


The Jackson Boys gang is the successor to the Wo Hop To Triad which ruled the streets of San Francisco's Chinatown in the 1980s and early 1990s.[1] The Jackson Street Boys was founded by three brothers: Bobby Tsan, Johnny Tsan and Tommy Tsan. The three brothers were former Wah Ching members who defected to the Wo Hop To. The Wah Ching gang of Southern California was originally based in San Francisco. After the Wo Hop To forced the Wah Ching to head south, the Jackson Street Boys would be able to gain a stronghold in the mid-1990s and become the largest Asian criminal organization in the San Francisco Bay Area.[2]

Criminal activities[edit]

Unlike many other Asian street gangs which are composed primarily of American-born or Americanized Asians, the Jackson Boys has a mix of foreign-born and American-born members. The gang is unique in that though some members engage in low-level street crime like stealing cars or drug-dealing, other members also engage in sophisticated money-making schemes such as credit-card fraud, racketeering, illegal gambling, and other white-collar crimes. Slowly, but surely, the gang has branched out of San Francisco's Chinatown and spread out across all the Asian-dominated neighborhoods in San Francisco.

In the gang's history, there have also been instances of the gang branching out into other cities, such as nearby Oakland, and even as far as places like Seattle, Washington and Denver, Colorado.[3][4] These developments have been temporary, however, and their center of operations remains San Francisco.

A quick perusal of the San Francisco Chronicle’s archives will reveal some of the more famous crimes that Jackson Boys members have engaged in. One of the more noted crimes on June 30, 1995 involved two factions of the Jackson Street Boys. One faction opened fire on the other on a busy Chinatown street, Stockton Street, during the daytime. Seven innocent bystanders were struck, including a pregnant woman. Three males, ages 18, 16, and 14, were arrested in connection with the shooting.[5] Jackson Boys were also the primary trafficker of illegal fireworks back when fireworks were blatantly sold on the streets of Chinatown.[1][6][7][8][9]


  1. ^ a b Egelko, Bob (June 20, 1998). "Prosecutors dismiss Chinatown gang case". San Francisco Chronicle.
  2. ^ Isaacs, Matt (June 14, 2000). "Twice Burned". San Francisco Weekly.
  3. ^ Lee, Vic (July 16, 2008). ""Operation Smoking Dragon" nets 16 arrests". ABC7. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  4. ^ Wallace, Bill (November 24, 1997). "Asian Gangs on The Move Along I-5 / New crimes, recruits from Seattle to Mexico". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  5. ^ Walker, Thaai (September 22, 1995). "3 Indicted in June Chinatown Shootings". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  6. ^ Curiel, Jonathan (March 4, 2000). "Chinatown Gang Branching Out, FBI Says : Report alleges loansharking at casinos". San Francisco Chronicle.
  7. ^ Van Derbeken, Jaxon; Wallace, Bill; Rojas, Aurelio (June 20, 1998). "Boy, 16, Arrested In S.F. Chinatown Shooting Rampage / Suspect was at scene but didn't fire gun, cops say". San Francisco Chronicle.
  8. ^ Van Derbeken, Jaxon (May 20, 1998). "Man in Blast Linked to Fireworks Gang : He was involved in illegal sales in '80s and '90s, S.F. cops say". San Francisco Chronicle.
  9. ^ "Getting away with murder in the city of St. Francis : No justice in 3 out of 4 homicides; killers at large". San Francisco Call. November 19, 2001.