Maniac Latin Disciples, originated in Chicago in the late 1960s. The gang is composed of at least 10 structured and unstructured factions with an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 members and associate members. Most members are Puerto Rican males. Maniac Latin Disciples is the largest Hispanic gang in the Folk Nation Alliance. The gang is most active in the Great Lakes and southwestern regions of the United States. The street-level distribution of powdered cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and PCP is a primary source of income for the gang. Members also are involved in other criminal activity including assault, auto theft, carjacking, drive-by shooting, home invasion, homicide, money laundering, and weapons trafficking.
Maniac Latin Disciples originated in 1966 in the Humboldt Park community of Chicago, and was founded by Albert "Hitler" Hernandez. They were initially known as the Latin Scorpions in 1966.
In 1970, Hitler Hernandez was killed by the Latin Kings. Several other leaders filled the void including "Diablo" and Prince "Chi-Chi." The group established a relationship with the Gangster Disciples, eventually changing the gang's name to Latin Disciples.
In the mid-1970's, the Latin Disciples formed an alliance with the Latin Eagles, Spanish Cobras, and Imperial Gangsters street gangs; this alliance was called the United Latino Organization.
The Latin Disciples joined the "Folk Alliance" in 1978.
By 1983, Fernando "Ferny" Zayas assumed leadership of the gang and the gang began to incorporate the surname "Maniac".
The Maniac Latin Disciples grew at a tremendously rapid pace, recruiting many members from the Illinois correctional facilities. They established bases of operations throughout the North and West Sides of Chicago, using brute and violent force to eliminate rival gangs. In 1983, Zayas was incarcerated on murder charges. However he has been able to control his gang's day-to-day activity since being incarcerated, though some factions have broken away from his leadership. Zayas is currently in Tamms maximum security prison.
In the early 1990's, the MLD's initiated the "Maniac Family", allying several smaller Latin street gangs into a structured alliance. The Latin Lovers, Milwaukee Kings, and Maniac Campbell Boys, initial members of the Maniac Family, then later the Latin Jivers, which would later break away from the structured alliance which would result in bloodshed.
In 1996, the MLD's second-in-command, or "Don", Johnny "Loco" Almodovar, was arrested on murder charges. He and his cohorts declared an "all out war" against the Spanish Cobras after a high-ranking MLD was shot in Humboldt Park. Shortly thereafter, the street leader, or "Prince", Enrique "Rick Dog" Garcia, was gunned down by fellow MLD member Jamie "Tuffy" Ruiz.
In 1998-99, authorities arrested several top ranking MLD's on drug charges. Thomas "Outlaw" Ross was said to be the leader of the drug ring which spanned the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods.
After the gang was able to rebuild it's leadership structure, the F.B.I. conducted an investigation and arrested another slew of top MLD's in 2004 on drug conspiracy charges. Among the top MLD’s arrested were Fidel "Fiddle" Hernandez and Antonio "Bird" Perez. The two were acting as street leaders for the gang at the time of their arrest.
There is currently turmoil within the Maniac Latin Disciples organization because many of their branches (i.e. areas of operation, turf, etc.) have broken away from Ferny's control and several members have began to feud against another.
The MLD’s have virtually no allies on the streets as the gang has tested the patience of it's "subserviant" gangs within the Maniac Family (Milwaukee Kings, Latin Jivers and Latin Lovers). The gang also initiated wars with the former allies such as the Spanish Cobras, Latin Eagles, Imperial Gangsters and Simon City Royals.
The gang's primary criminal involvement has consisted of graffiti, drug trafficking, assault, armed robbery, auto theft, "ramming", kidnapping, extortion, shootings, and murder.
Name: Maniac Latin Disciples
Established: Chicago, IL
Symbols: Heart with horns and/or tail; Swastika; Pitchforks; 6-point star; Grim Reaper; letters LD, MLD
Color(s): Black & Light Blue
Territory: Chicago, Midwest
Membership: 1,500 to 2,000
Ethnicity: Predominantly Hispanic
Allies: Folk Nation (Disciples)
Rivals: People Nation (Latin Kings, Vice Lords, etc.)