Imperial Gangsters
Imperial Gangsters

Imperial Gangsters

Founded Founded in 1970 in or near Logan Square
Formerly known as

Imperial Spanish Gangsters

Affiliations Folk Nation — 1978 – 2000 or later;
Almighty — 1992 – 2000 or later;
SGD / La Tabla;
United Latino Organization — 1978 – c. 1992;
Colors Black and Pink
Primary ethnicities Latino (Puerto Rican)
Symbols Pink Panther, Shotgun, and 7 Point Crown
Symbol usage

Rounded 7 point crown with a “G” in the middle

Status Active

The story of the Imperial Gangsters begins in the year 1970 at Kelvyn Park High School.  The Hispanic population of Logan Square was growing significantly during this time and there was a rise of Hispanic youths attending the high school. The high school was heavily populated by white gangs like Gaylords for example and the streets all around the high school were controlled by the Gaylords.  Many groups of whites and high school staff often victimized and/or treated many Hispanic students unfairly and this is what drove a group of Hispanic youths to form the Imperial Spanish Gangsters in 1970 in the high school so they could group together and deal with issues as a club.  The Imperial Spanish Gangsters did not have territory claimed outside of the school it was more of a club for dealing with issues during school hours.

In the year 1971, kids from the Logan Square neighborhood by Drake and Palmer and Armitage and Drake looked up to the Imperial Spanish Gangsters like older brothers and in 1971 the youths joined the Imperial Spanish Gangsters and put the organization on the streets at the original sections of Armitage and Drake and Drake and Palmer.  These were of course the young members of the group, and they were led and assembled by Carlos “Little Mexico” Quintanilla. Little Mexico and his friends were attending Kelvyn Park high as freshmen at the time which originally connected them with the Imperial Spanish Gangsters.  The biggest reason of all for Little Mexico and his friends starting up the Drake Street turfs was constant harassment from the Taylor Street Jousters from the Belden and Kimball area that would bully, assault, and even lift up the skirts of female members of the youth’s families.  Their families were threatened and assaulted by the Jousters, and this became an urgent reason for the youths to become part of the Imperial Spanish Gangsters.  This also made the Taylor Jousters the first enemies of the Imperial Gangsters.  Shortly after the Gangsters had heavy animosity with the Gaylords.  In the beginning the IGs only fought with white gangs but many original IGs were white including the beloved “Alley Cat” who was very close to Little Mexico.

In the year 1972, the older Imperial Spanish Gangsters began to leave the group and move on with marriage and starting families leaving the younger Gangsters to take over.  At this point the Godfather movie was just released in theaters and gave Little Mexico inspiration to re-organize the Gangsters into an organized crime type of group like the mafia.  These high school kids would visit “The Armitage” which was a theater that existed at 3553 W. Armitage Avenue which was right on the corner of Armitage and Drake where these young IGs first started as is where they saw the movie.  Under the leadership of “Little Mexico” the IGs were able to establish a relationship with the theater’s owner and offered protection from rival gangs in the area just like what the Mafia does.  The IGs acted as ushers in the theater and there was often 50+ members seen in the theater.  The youths started dressing like Italian gangsters wearing the long coats, Al Capone shoes, the long coats with the white scarfs and they even twirled around canes.  “Little Mexico” also wanted his members to have guns, so now every member at least carried a small pistol (Chicago Tribune, Keegan, P 1, Dec 12 1979).  The club was now named “Imperial Gangsters” in 1972.

Within no time the Imperial Gangsters developed a sophisticated syndicate through sales of marijuana, Tick and extortion of local businesses in exchange for protection.  Little Mexico wanted the IGs to be well armed; therefore, the IGs purchased several firearms like .30-06 rifles and shotguns.  The IGs ended up with more guns than any other group in Logan Square.  The IGs were more sophisticated and advanced in an organized way than most gangs in the area and Little Mexico himself was an honor student with straight As.  Carlos and many of the other original IGs were honor students that participated in many extracurricular activities and school organizations.  These original members were smart academically and on the streets.  The Imperial Gangsters also were a large part of the ROTC program and basically ran the program.  Little Mexico himself was a Lieutenant in the program.  Imperial Gangsters were strategical and analytical when it came to dealing with their enemies on the streets crafting clever battle plans.

As far as the colors and symbols part of the history is concerned, there has been much debate and different stories told about the origin including some very elaborate tales; however, the decision on the colors truly did not entail much sophistication.  The black and pink colors were solely chosen by Carlos Quintanilla and another member because all other color combos were taken by other gangs and black and pink was all that was left.  That is the story on that and there is nothing else.  The Gangster crown was chosen from the Imperial Margarine logo and that story is correct.

In the year 1974, The Imperial Gangsters would have their first war with another Hispanic gang the Latin Kings because the Imperial Gangsters were growing in numbers setting off Latin King jealousy.  The Latin Kings began giving the IGs a hard time which led to violence and a permanent war on the streets.

In the year 1975, the Imperial Gangsters were fighting one day with the Gaylords at Central Park Ave and Fullerton in a major brawl.  During the heat of this brawl a plain clothed police officer arrived by his lonesome to somewhat intervene in the fight and did not identify himself as a police officer as he looked like a Gaylord or perhaps was a former Gaylord, in either case Ronald “Mad Dog” Carrasquillo felt threatened by this individual and fired a gun at him killing the police officer on the scene.  Carrasquillo had no idea the man was a police officer and the whole situation with the officer there on rather strange terms was questionable at best.  Carrasquillo was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the murder.  During the investigation Chicago police were furious hotly pursuing Imperial Gangsters by arresting several members and torturing them in custody as they were tied to wall heaters, chairs and even monkey bars while being tortured and beaten even though the killer was already apprehended at the scene.

In the year 1975, the Stoned Freaks formed at the intersection of St. Louis and Armitage which was a mostly white biker-type of marijuana smoking clique.  The conflict between the two groups got heated and led to a shooting death of a Stoned Freak in 1976. The Freaks then moved out of the area toward Humboldt Park.

In 1976 the police aggressively pursued the IGs over gang conflicts and it led to the school becoming involved.  Kelvyn Park High School made an abrupt and unconstitutional decision to immediately expel Carlos Quintanilla suddenly.  The school staff was aggressive about the expulsion cornering him and demanding he leave the building for good immediately even though Quintanilla’s street endeavors at the time had nothing to do with his education or a cause of any disruption in school.  When Quintanilla questioned them on how and why they felt they could do this they physically grabbed his possessions and threw them out the door and told him to “get the fuck out of here!”  This treatment was not administered to white students or white gang members, and it just so happened the school had a history of expelling many Hispanic students, Imperial Gangsters, and Imperial Spanish Gangsters with no due process.  Quintanilla fought this legally against the Chicago Board of Education by suing the institution and won.  The Board of Education was found liable for expelling students unfairly especially Hispanic students.

After all these heated issues Carlos Quintanilla faced he now had a family and realized raising a family did not coincide with running a mafia type organization forcing him to retire from gang life in 1976.

In the year 1976 the Imperial Gangsters opened a branch in West Humboldt Park at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Central Park Ave.  The members of the club attended James Russell Lowell Elementary School at Hirsch and Spaulding (3320 W Hirsch St, Chicago, IL 60651) but they mainly attended Cameron School located at located at 1234 N Monticello Ave, Chicago, IL 60651 at Division and Grand area.  This put them in direct conflict with the Latin Kings from Division and Spaulding that were just blocks away from the school.  This section of Imperial Gangsters had a unique name being the Cameron Gangsters named after Cameron School.

In the year 1976 the Imperial Gangsters settled in the Hermosa neighborhood at Kostner and Cortland.  This section became well-known by white gangs nearby like Youngblood Freaks, Gaylords and PVRs.  The Imperial Gangsters here engaged in a violent war with the Rice Boys in 1977, White Knights, Gaylords, Karlov Boys and sometimes Latin Kings from outside the area.  The Imperial Gangsters of Cortland and Kostner became the first Hispanic gang to settle on these streets and the white gangs were furious and teamed up on them but the IGs here stood strong and fought legendary gang wars against these many adversaries until 1982.





In the year 1978 Imperial Gangsters, Spanish Cobras, Maniac Latin Disciples and Latin Eagles created the “United Latino Organization” (ULO) which unified these street gangs against Latin Kings and the rival “UFO” which consisted of 5 large white gangs that included the Gaylords.  In the same year 1978 in April, the Imperial Gangsters joined the Folk Nation alliance that was created behind prison walls.  Spanish Cobras, Latin Disciples, Latin Eagles all had joined this alliance so it was a perfect fit for the IGs.

In 1979, the Imperial Gangster opened one of the first Chicago based Hispanic gang chapters in history when they opened in the suburb of Franklin Park (The Jungle).  This Imperial Gangsters would become legendary as they managed to prevent any other gangs from growing in that area and they viciously battled rival gangs from nearby Maywood and Bellwood.

In the year 1979, Imperial Gangsters first started to refer to themselves as “Almighty” as this more of less unofficial alliance first started with Latin Eagles and Simon City Royals.

In the year 1980, a ranking incarcerated Maniac Latin Disciples named Victor “King Vic” Gomez” and Imperial Gangster leader Ronald “Mad Dog” Carrasquillo of the Imperial Gangsters drew up a constitution for a way to govern the “Latin Folks” behind prison walls.  The Latin Folks consisted of all the Hispanic gangs that were part of the Folk alliance that included all four of the ULO organizations.  This established alliance would become known as the “Spanish Gangster Disciples” or “La Tabla.”  This establishment was approved and sanctioned by Larry Hoover who was the leader of the Black Gangster Disciples and the Chairman of the Folk alliance.  This new order also allowed King Vic to appoint more gangs into the Folk alliance as they also joined SGD.

It was in the year 1980 when Imperial Gangsters first opened territory in the suburb of Cicero.  This group moved in around 19th and Cicero Ave. The Imperial Gangsters of Cicero became very close allies with Two Six and lessor but still tight relationship with the Two Two Boys.  All three of these groups were Folks.  In 1989, these Imperial Gangster flipped to Two Six thus closing Cicero Imperial Gangster operations.

In the year 1985 the Imperial Gangsters made a comeback to the Hermosa neighborhood as they arrived at Fullerton and Kildare.  The Imperial Gangsters had immediate rivalries with the Gaylords and Stoned Freaks in the area.  Imperial Gangsters united with Spanish Cobras and Latin Eagles in the area.  Once war erupted between Imperial Gangsters and Spanish Cobras in the area the IGs of Fullerton and Kildare flipped to Spanish Cobras, thus, ending the Hermosa operations for the Imperial Gangsters a second time.

Beginning in the year 1985, bad blood first started brewing within the north side Folks which began the background for what would later come as all ULO allied gangs would eventually split.  In the year 1985, Imperial Gangsters began to feud among themselves as Spaulding and Armitage IGs began conflicting with IGs from Kimball and Cortland.  Imperial Gangsters from Kimball and Cortland under the leadership of Tea Bags were put together when they collaborated with Crazy Willie of the Spanish Cobras to open a section together known as Cobra Gangsters or CGs.  This did not sit well with IGs from Spaulding and Armitage, so Fat Jose from the Spaulding and Armitage IGs worked with Pee Wee of the Maniac Latin Disciples to create the Gangster Disciples or GDs (no relation to the Gangster Disciples gang).  This was a brief war that resulted in the SGD board stepping in to resolve this issue in 1986.  Even though this was resolved it started the beginning of bitterness between the ULO allies.  As a result of this Talman and Wabansia MLDs were formed and Western and Cortez Imperial Gangsters were formed in the aftermath.

In the late 1980s, Imperial Gangsters first became “Almighty” which helped IGs identify better with Insane Popes, Simon City Royals and Latin Eagles as these groups had been hanging out since 1979 in an unofficial alliance loosely called “Almighty.”  Now Almighty got a little deeper because of the Imperial Gangsters as they drew their allies the Latin Eagles, Simon City Royals and Insane Popes closer.

in 1989,  a argument happened at a party with the Western and Cortez Imperial Gangsters.  One of the MLDs got into it with “Flaco G” of the Imperial Gangsters and this led to the MLD shooting Flaco G dead at the party.  Angry feelings ensued but a war was not initiated as an agreement was reached.  The real anger came months later when another MLD shot and killed another Imperial Gangster and the IGs threatened war if MLDs did not turn over the shooter, the MLDs refused and this started a very nasty war between Maniac Latin Disciples and Imperial Gangsters.  This became the first major Folk against Folk war on the northern part of the city.

The war with the Western and Cortez Imperial Gangsters was nasty over the next two years as several shootings went down between them.  Very frequently Western and Cortez Imperial Gangsters would take shots at MLDs right after school at nearby Roberto Clemente High School, this led to “Flintstone G” of the Imperial Gangsters making an attempted assassination until he ran out of bullets then he ran home and cut through the gangway at Augusta and Cortez where an MLD was waiting in the alley for him and shot him dead.

At about New Years Even of 1991, going into 1992, the Imperial Gangster and Maniac Latin Disciple war ended for the time being.  The war was ugly when it happened and it led to issues with Insanes as well as Imperial Gangsters began having feuds with Insane Campbell Boys, Spanish Cobras and YLO Cobras, relations were not looking good with fellow Folks and the Almighty family did not exist yet and there was conflict with Maniacs and Insanes.  It was then rumored that there were discussions in prison between Imperial Gangsters and Latin Kings over the possibility of IGs flipping to the People alliance, however, much of the IG nation was infuriated with such a possibility and this never happened according to the rumor. One thing that did happen in 1992 was the closing of Western and Cortez as the wars with Insanes and Maniacs became very intense.

The IGs did open solid territory in the suburb of Franklin Park “The Jungle” in the year 1979; however, the Cicero chapter had to close down by the late 1980s but Franklin remained strong.

The Imperial Gangsters would eventually become big in the Belmont-Cragin area I think starting in the early 1980s which has become one of their stronger territories up to present day.

Known sections of the Imperial Gangsters

Albany Park neighborhood 1990s and 2000s

Sections of Albany Park

Bernard & Leland

Monticello & Leland (Murder Land)

Belmont-Cragin neighborhood 80s-present

Sections of Belmont-Cragin

Fullerton to Grand, Mango to Central Ave (Belden City) 1980s-present years

George to Diversey, Central to Linder

Altgeld & Lavergne

Altgeld & Parkside 1990s-present years

Deming Pl & Leclaire

Grand & Austin

Beldon & Mason (Bloody Murder)

Wrightwood & La Vargne 90s-present years

Brighton Park neighborhood 80s-1993

Sections of Brighton Park

45th & Spaulding 80s-1993

Bucktown neighborhood 2010s-present years

Altgeld & Campbell 2010s-present

East Humboldt Park neighborhood Established 1986

Sections of East Humboldt Park

Western & Cortez Established 1986

Gage Park neighborhood 80s-1993

Sections of Gage Park

59th & Spaulding

Hermosa neighborhood  Established 1976-1982, re-established 1985-1987

Sections of Hermosa

Cortland & Springfield

Fullerton & Kildare Established 1985-1987

Kostner & Cortland Established 1976-1982

Logan Square neighborhood Established 1971-present years

Sections of Logan Square

Fullerton to Palmer, Lawndale to Drake (Devil Side) Established 1969

Altgeld & Harding

Altgeld & Avers

Altgeld & Lawndale

Armitage & Spaulding

Armitage & Sawyer Established 1972

Belden & Drake

Fullerton & Kimball (Gangster City)

Fullerton & St. Louis

Kimball & Palmer (Killer Park)

Dickens & Central Park Ave

Mclean & St.Louis (Devil’s Side IGs)

Kimball & Cortland (Darkside IGs)

Dickens & Spaulding (Darkside IGs)

Drake & Cortland (Darkside IGs)

Cortland to Bloomingdale Ave, Springfield to Monticello (Cameron City Outlaws)

Marquette Park neighborhood 80s-1993

Sections of Marquette Park

64th & Kedzie 80s-1993

63rd & Rockwell 80s-1993

Portage Park neighborhood 90s

Sections of Portage Park

Leland & Major 90s

West Humboldt Park neighborhood Established 1976-present years

Sections of West Humboldt Park

Wabansia & Central Park Ave (Devil Side IGs)

Bloomingdale Ave to Grand, Springfield to Monticello (Cameron City Outlaws) Established 1976

Hirsch & Spaulding Established 1976


Bensenville Established 1980

Carpentersville Established 1980

Cicero Established 1980-1989

Crystal Lake

Des Plains

Franklin Park (The Jungle) Established 1979

Melrose Park

Mount Prospect

Northlake (King Arthurs Courts)





Hammond, IND