Saturday Feb 19

The Boyz are Back


Marvin Mercado, the thirty-seven year old former leader of Asian Boyz (or ABZ), has been convicted of an astounding number of eight murders and 10 attempted murders. 

The Asian Boyz are an Asian American street gang, some formed with the Crips (which would then be known as the ABZ Crips). The history is relatively simple - in 1985, ABZ was created by a group of Cambodian youths. They represent themselves by the color blue, like the Crips. They are mostly comprised of boys from Vietnamese or Cambodian descent.

By the mid-1990’s, the Boyz were about 200 members strong with many of them hailing from Southern California and also containing affiliates from Northern California an Texas. Their past offenses include Mercado pulling the pin on a live grenade at a party, killing one and injuring two others. In addition, one of their past leaders, Sothi Menh, got arrested in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1997 after fleeing the country just a few months before his capture. He was accused of committing five gang-related murders in the San Fernando Valley. Then on 1998, seven members of Asian Boyz were charged with a total of seven murders, 18 attempted murders, and five instances of intended murder in Van Nuys, CA. Then in 2007, three of its members were charged with physically assaulting a 15-year-old boy to death in Utica, NY. These and many more offenses can be pinpointed to this Asian American gang. 

They’re also allegedly responsible for many property crimes targeted toward Southeast Asian immigrant business people. 

The predominantly white suburban Los Angeles area has good reason to be scared of this of this gang of minorities, and for good reason. 

Here are a few more facts about these Asian Boyz:

  • Mercado was involved in the ambush homicides of two rival Latino gang members, Armando Estrada and Miguel Limon, in Van Nuys in the spring of 1995.
  • Authorities have said Asian gangs like the Boyz could be behind “grow houses" in San Gabriel Valley neighborhoods that churn out pounds of high-grade pot.
  • Mercado was involved in an attack on three victims were mistaken for rival Taiwanese gang members; they were followed in the car they were riding in by three carloads of Asian Boyz in 1995.

 In addition, LAWeekly adds a somewhat lighthearted but all the more serious ending note to their interesting article on the Boyz -

So what have we learned today about [one] of L.A.’s more notorious gangs? Really, the only conclusion is that any ethnicity, even ones with “model minority” stereotypes, can be made to scare the bejesus out of white, suburban SoCal with deft use of the English language:

Add Boyz to the end of your ethnic group. Again: Argentinian … Boyz. Welsh Boyz. New Guinean Boyz. See. Too tough. 

Having recently made the headlines for the murder charges against Mercado, what comes to light is that they’re an interesting group not only because they’re an Asian American gang - a minority that is not largely associated with that sort of culture - but rather, the individual case studies of certain members, such as that of David Evangelista

[He] got straight A’s in school, volunteered at a hospital and delivered jewelry while he was involved in a five- month crime spree in 1995 that left seven people dead. Evangelista was eventually convicted.


1 note

  1. generasian posted this