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Trinitario, also known as 3ni, is a violent New York based multinational street gang composed of Hispanics, whose heritage is traced to the Dominican Republic[1]. Trinitario was founded in 1989 within the New York state prison system [2] by a man known as El Caballon[3], and since spilled into the streets, with chapters in all five boroughs of New York City. Reports of Trinitario activity have also been made in New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania,[4] Alaska,[5] and even Spain. It is considered the fastest-growing gang in New York[6], recruiting members from high schools local to the gang's area of activity, with the highest numbers of reports coming from Chelsea, Gramercy Park, Harlem, the Morris Heights section of The Bronx and from Washington Heights[7]. Their slogan is, "Dios, Patria y Libertad," the words printed on the Dominican Coat of Arms.

   

Trinitario
Founded 1989
In New York City
Territory East Coast
Ethnicity Hispanic
Membership 6,000 - 9,000 in New York 300,000 World Wide
Criminal activities Drug Trafficking, Assault, Murder, and Robberies
Allies None
Rivals Bloods, Crips, Latin kings, Dominicans Don't Play, Mara Salvatrucha, Los Zetas

History

Trinitario (sometimes called Trinitarians by the media[8]) were formed as a prison gang, providing protection and unity for Dominican inmates within the New York City Department of Corrections.[9] It was composed of members of smaller, now-defunct Dominican gangs such as Los Papi Chulos, Dominican Power and Dominican Posse [10], as well as unaffiliated drug dealers, and members of their current rival gang, Dominicans Don't Play, because the Latin Kings and Ñetas, two rivaling and primarily Puerto Rican gangs, were, at the time, the dominant forces in the prison system. Many members remained affiliated with the gang after serving their sentences, and began recruiting in their neighborhoods, [11] the path many prison gangs take as they become street gangs. Now Trinitario exists to provide protection and unity for all Dominican inmates at every prison system it operates.
 

Criminal Activity

Trinitario have been arrested for a number of crimes including the sale of heroin [12], crack and powdered cocaine, and marijuana. [29] The Trinitario have been sought by various federal agencies including the ATF, DEA, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the United States Marshals Service for the Southern District of New York (USMS), as well as the the NYPD. [13] in what has been said to be a two year investigation ending in March 2009. [14].

Identification

They are known for their call of "Patria." [15] The Trinitarios primarily use lime-green bandanas [16] along with beaded necklaces with the colors blue, white, red, and lime green, as identifiers [17], green clothing [18]; however, due to law enforcement's increasing awareness of the gang, they may not be wearing either as an identifier. Other clothing commonly used by Trinitarios include green shoe laces and/or green Nike shoes, and any article of clothing containing blue, white, red, and green, the colors of the Dominican flag. They are known for their extreme violence,[19] as well as use of machetes and knives [20].

3Ni

Trini

7 Poppin' all Droppin' Nation [22]

DPL: Dios Patria Libertad [23]

OT (Original Trinitario) [24]

Patria (Their calling to one another)

227 (Get Ready for war)

Growth

According to New York Law Enforcement, the Trinitario are the fastest growing gang in New York. [25]. According to the FBI National Gang Assessment for 2009, the Trinitario have increased their growth on the East Coast. [26] In addition, they have become an emerging gang in the New England area [27].

Recent Activity

On March 10, 2009, members of the Trinitario were arrested and 41 were charged on multiple counts of "committed and conspired, attempted and threatened to commit acts of violence to protect and expand their drug-trafficking operation." [28]

On the street, they have been reported in:

  • Alaska
    • Anchorage
  • Connecticut
    • Winsted
  • Dominican Republic - where 10,000's of members exist throughout the country
  • Europe
  • Spain
    • Madrid
  • Florida
    • Orlando
    • Fort Lauderdale
    • Palm Bay
    • West Palm Beach
  • Illinois
    • Springfield
    • Chicago
  • Massachusetts
    • Boston
    • Lawrence
  • New Jersey
    • Bayonne
    • East Orange
    • Elizabeth
    • Hudson County
    • Irvington
    • Jersey City
    • New Brunswick
    • North Bergen
    • Passaic County
    • Patterson
    • Perth Amboy
    • Trenton
    • Union City
    • West New York, according to news reports and user sources.
  • New York, NY - has chapters in all five New York City boroughs, including
    • Staten Island in Richmond County
    • Baldwin Town in Nassau County
    • Yonkers in Westchester County
    • Southside Williamsbug in Brooklyn
  • North Carolina
    • Raleigh
  • Ohio
    • Colombus
    • Hilliard
  • Pennsylvania
    • Hazleton
    • Bethlehem
    • Allentown
  • Rhode Island
    • Providence
  • South America (specific locations needed)

In prison, they have so far they been reported in:

  • Attica Correctional Facility, NY- where they operate with frequency with over 100 members
  • Clinton Correctional Facility, NY- where they operate with frequency with over 100 members
  • Coxsackie Correctional Facility, NY
  • Collins Correctional Facility, NY- where they operate with frequency with over 200 members
  • Franklin Correctional Facility, NY- where they operate with frequency with over 100 members
  • Greene Correctional Facility, NY- where they operate with frequency with over 100 members
  • Hudson County Jail, NJ - where they operate with frequency with over 100 members
  • Jamesburg Youth Correctional Center, NJ
  • Lehigh County Prison, Pennsylvania
  • Mercer County Jail, New Jersey
  • New Jersey State Prison (Trenton)
  • Passiac County Jail, NJ - where they operate with frequency with over 300 members
  • Rikers Island, NY - where they operate with frequency with over 700 members
  • Sing Sing - frequently active, over 300 members
  • South Woods State Prison, NJ - where they operate with frequency with over 100 members
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Last modified: 12/17/11