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The Spanish Cobras is a primarily, but not exclusively, Latino
gang A gang is a group or society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically subject to the sa ...
started by Puerto Rican teens in Humboldt Park Chicago during the late 1950s. The Cobras are considered the second-largest Latino Folk gang on the north and northwest side, with the Maniac Latin Disciples being the first. Richard "King Cobra" Medina became leader of the Spanish Cobras in the early 1970s and grew them from Campbell & Potomac/Maplewood & Potomac to Division & Maplewood. Medina strategically placed Young Cobras on Artesian & Potomac "A-Town", Mozart & Cortland "Sin City", and expanded into West Humboldt Park on Springfield & Hirsch and Avers & Hirsch "Westown Cobras"; and on Ridgeway & Thomas. Absorbing the Evergreen Hustlers, the Cobras opened a set on Evergreen & Washtenaw. The Spanish Cobras were introduced to the world when they stabbed a Latin King during the annual Puerto Rican Parade in June 1977. That event became the catalyst for the Humboldt Park Riots when the Latin Kings retaliated and Chicago Police shot at the fighting gangs, killing two innocent bystanders. Rioting broke out for the next 24 hours. The Insane Spanish Cobras made headlines again during their violent war with the Insane Unknowns during Spring of 1979, resulting in multiple homicides. After King Cobras murder in a drive-by, Tuffy C took the reigns, and the shooter and driver were found dead three days later full of bullets. A couple years later Tuffy went to prison for an incident on Monticello & Cortland, but remained in charge behind bars. According to criminologist John Haggerdon's book, Insane the Chicago Way: "What began to take shape was the daring plan of gang leaders incarcerated in Statesville—Fernando "Prince Fernie" Zayas from the Maniac Latin Disciples, Anibal "Tuffy C" Santiago from the Insane Spanish Cobras, and David Ayala from the Two Sixers—to create a local Latino Mafia". ISCs then opened sets in Hermosa off Fullerton Avenue known as the “Killing Fields”. YLO Cobras and Insane OAs attacked the white gang Simon City Royals in a series of shootouts and rumbles to take control of Kosciusko Park in Logan Square. Spanish Cobras are Folks and sworn enemies of all People gangs. Spanish Cobras and Latin Disciples were strong allies in the 1970s and 80s but began deadly turf wars over drug territory in the early 1990s. As head of the Insane Familia of nations, Spanish Cobras took the alliance of Dragons, Orchestra Albany, Insane Campbell Boys and others to war against Maniacs and Almighty Folks. After a nine month undercover narcotics investigation, in 1998 the Chicago Police Department arrested 31 Spanish Cobras in "Operation: Mongoose". This resulted in the closure of a Cobra section. Within Chicago, the neighborhoods with the strongest Insane and YLO Spanish Cobra presence are Humboldt Park, Hermosa, Logan Square, Belmont-Cragin, Albany Park and Kelvyn Park. They are also found in the suburbs of Waukegan, Bensenville and Cicero, with a small presence in the McKinley Park, Chicago, McKinley Park area on the south side. They are also known to operate in other parts of Illinois, as well as Milwaukee, Racine, Wisconsin, Racine and Kenosha, Wisconsin, Kenosha in Wisconsin, and Detroit and are quite large in Flint, Michigan. Spanish Cobras have also been reported in Ohio, Connecticut and Florida.


References

https://m.chicagoreader.com/chicago/insane-way-john-hagedorn-latino-gangs-sgd/Content?oid=20511448 https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1996-08-29-9608290299-story.html


Further reading

* {{Organized crime in Detroit 1960s establishments in Illinois Latino street gangs Hispanic-American gangs Folk Nation Gangs in Chicago Gangs in Detroit Gangs in Wisconsin https://blockclubchicago.org/2019/05/06/gang-war-to-blame-for-string-of-shootings-in-hermosa-west-logan-square-police-say/