|Founded||Mid to late 1970s|
|Territory||Southern California, Texas|
|Ethnicity||Primarily White, sizable Hispanic membership|
|Membership||1,000-5,000 members and associates in and out of prison|
|Criminal activities||Robbery, drug trafficking, hate crimes, extortion, murder, dog fighting, armed robbery, assault, assault with deadly weapons, attempted murder identity fraud, money laundering, witness intimidation, witness retaliation|
|Allies||Aryan Brotherhood, Public Enemy No. 1, Mexican Mafia, Sureños, Vagos Motorcycle Club, Ku Klux Klan|
|Rivals||Crips, Bloods, Nuestra Familia, Black Guerrilla Family, Norteños, Jewish Defense League, Latin Kings, Israeli mafia, Friends Stand United, Los Angeles crime family|
The Nazi Lowriders (or NLR, or "The Ride") are a criminal organization primarily based in southern California, but also having small factions in rural and suburban Chicago, and also believed to have spread to other states. They are allies of the larger and more notorious gang, the Aryan Brotherhood. They are currently allied with fellow White Supremacist gang Public Enemy No. 1. Their main rivals are the Bloods, the Crips, and the Black Guerrilla Family.
The gang originated in the mid to late 1970s from the Aryan Brotherhood, but was not really noticed by law enforcement until the early 1990s, by which time the California authorities had been cracking down on the Brotherhood. As opposed to other white criminal gangs in California prisons, the NLR gained a reputation for being very violent. They are labeled as a prison gang by the California Department of Corrections. They are strong in numbers in such California communities as Oildale, Bakersfield, Lancaster, Inland Empire, and Orange County. The "Nazi" part of their name is more a sign of a racist belief in white supremacy than anti-Semitism, while "Lowriders" is a play on the term used for Hispanic gangs.
The gang eventually progressed from being muscle for the Brotherhood to a fast-growing gang in their own right. Unlike other white supremacist gangs, they appear to be well organized and have developed links with other white organizations throughout the West Coast, including the Ku Klux Klan. Paroled gang members have been known to move east to further spread the organization's reach.
On January 28, 1999, California prison officials recognised the Lowriders as a prison gang. Consequently, in an attempt to disrupt the gang's criminal activities, inmates known to be members can now be subjected to removal from the general population, as well as other restrictive treatments. To this, the Lowriders have responded by striking an alliance with Public Enemy No. 1, another white disruptive group, which has since taken over the reins on California's white mainline prison population. Where Aryan Brotherhood and NLR have left off, PENI or Public Enemy No. 1 (Pronounced 'PEE NYE') plan to continue the 'key holding'.
Organization and members
In prison, the Nazi Lowriders have a three-tier hierarchy system consisting of senior members, junior members, and kids. The seniors typically lead the gang. For senior status, gang members must have been active for at least five years and been elected by at least three other senior members. Below them are juniors, who cannot themselves induct new members but can attempt to recruit potentials. Kids usually come from gangs like Public Enemy No.1, and the senior member who inducts them becomes their mentor. On the streets, the organization structure is not so clear, and appears to be more loosely connected.
Gang members may have tattoos and other body art depicting swastikas and SS sigrunes, although members are not necessarily required to bear them. A tattoo of the letters NLR (the acronym for "Nazi Lowriders") commonly appears on member's stomachs, backs or necks. Other popular tattoos include "Nazi Low Riders" written in Old English script or the runic alphabet.
Despite the NLR's avowed racism, much of the organization's upper echelon is composed of Hispanics and there exists an unofficial policy of tolerance towards Caucasians with Latino wives or girlfriends. Due to there extreme underground ties with other hardcore, racial organizations (such as Combat 18 B/H.), experts say, accepted Latino members must be only of Spaniard decent, or be at least half Caucasian. All must show loyalty to the white race and subscribe to an ideology of hatred, especially against blacks and "race traitors."
The 8 Keys
This is the oath that is taken before one joins the NLR:
1. I, as a Nazi Low Rider, hereby swear an unrelenting oath upon the green graves of our sires, upon the children in the wombs of our wives, upon the throne of god almighty, sacred to his name, to join together in the holy union with the brothers in this circle and to declare forthright that from this day moment on that I have no fear of death, no fear of foe, that I have a sacred duty to do whatever is necessary to deliver our people from the Jew and bring total victory to the Nazi Low Riders.
2. I, as a Nazi Low Rider Warrior, swear myself to complete secrecy to the Order and total loyalty to my comrades.
3. Let me bear witness to you, my brothers, that should one of you fall in battle, I will see to the welfare and well being of your family.
4. Let me bear witness to you, my brothers, that should one of you be taken prisoner, I will do whatever is necessary to regain your freedom.
5. Let me bear witness to you, my brothers, that should an enemy agent hurt you, I will chase him to the ends of the earth and remove his head from his body.
6. And furthermore, let me bear witness to you, my brothers, that if I break this oath let me be forever cursed upon the lips of our people as a coward and an oath breaker.
7. My brothers, let us be his battle axe and weapons of war. Let us go forward by one’s and two’s, by scores and legions and as true Nazi Low Riders with pure hearts and strong minds face the enemies of our brotherhood and families, with courage and determination.
8. We hereby invoke the blood covenant and declare that we are in a full state of war and will not lay down our weapons until we have driven the enemy into the sea and reclaimed that which is rightfully ours. Through our blood and gods will, the land will be that of our children.
The organization is involved in criminal activity both in and out of prison, notably in the production and distribution of methamphetamine, and has become a distributor of the drug in Southern California.
While the organization's main motive appears to be criminal profit, it has been associated with a number of racist attacks, including several outside prison. Various incidents associated with the gang have made the news. In April 1996, Danny Williams and Eric Dillard, two known members of the gang, beat a black teenage boy to death with a baseball bat. In July of the same year, they attacked two more black men, stabbing one of them in the back several times. On March 29, 2001, Nazi Low Rider members Scott Kuhn, 29, and Marcello Castellano, 22, were arrested. When police raided their home they found 73 firearms, 200 switchblades, sheriff's uniform, hand grenades, and body armor. On April 2004, NLR members kidnapped and murdered a bisexual man in Salinas, California. On February 2005, 19-year-old Armando Perez assaulted African-American high school student Kenny Turner outside his school in Lake Elsmore, California with an ice pick. Perez later pleaded guilty to a felony hate crime.
- Anti-Defamation League - The Nazi Low Riders
- California Department of Justice - Organized Crime in California 2004 Annual Report