Public Enemy No. 1 (street gang)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Public Enemy No. 1.
Public Enemy No.1
Founded 1986
Founding location Long Beach, California, U.S.
Years active 1986-present
Territory California, Victoria, Arizona, Idaho and Nevada
Ethnicity White
Membership (est.) 200+900
Criminal activities Drug trafficking, arms trafficking, assault, identity theft, murder, dog fighting
Allies Aryan Brotherhood, Nazi Lowriders, Ku Klux Klan, Mexican Mafia, Sureños, Sinaloa Cartel, La Mirada Punks, L.A. Death Squad, Serbian mafia, Peckerwood, Vagos MC, Highwaymen MC
Rivals Crips, Bloods, Norteños, Black Guerrilla Family, Nuestra Familia, Latin Kings, MS-13, 18th Street gang, D.C. Blacks, United Blood Nation, Compton Crips gang, Jewish Defense League, Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice, Friends Stand United, Anti-Racist Action, People Nation, Red and Anarchist Skinheads

Public Enemy No. 1 (abbreviated as PEN1) is a white supremacist street gang based in Southern California, United States. The California Department of Justice in 2004 described it as "one of the most powerful and fastest-growing gangs inside and outside prison"[1] and said it had about 200 members statewide. Its main activities include identity theft, credit card fraud and methamphetamine sales.[2]


The formation of the group was greatly influenced by members in the hardcore punk rock scene in Long Beach, California during the 1980s.[3] However, by the 1990s, PEN1’s base of operations was in Orange County where they began recruiting white suburban adolescents.[3] They have ties to the prison gangs.[2]

Identity theft[edit]

PEN1 is heavily involved in identity theft, not a crime usually associated with gangs; most of the income from this is allegedly used to finance methamphetamine sale and other operations. Originally they did this by raiding mailboxes and trash cans for personal information, but the gang later used contacts inside of banks, mortgage companies and state motor vehicle departments in order to gain access to credit profiles. This has led to law enforcement officials requesting that their personal information be removed so that it can't be used by gang members to identify home addresses of police officers.[3]


  1. ^ "Racist gang caught in sting kept a list of Orange County police targets", San Diego Union-Tribune, December 17, 2006
  2. ^ a b "Hit list led to wave of O.C. arrests", Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2006
  3. ^ a b c "Alliance adds to gang's clout: Public Enemy No. 1 rumored though not true to be teaming with Aryan Brotherhood", Associated Press, cited by San Diego Union-Tribune, March 4, 2007

External links[edit]