Prison Gang Name: Texas Syndicate

Other Names: Syndicato Tejano; TS; ESE TE; Teresa Sanchez 

Origin and history: Originated in the California prison system at Folsom Prison  in the early 1970's

Ideology/Philosophy: The Texas Syndicate prison gang was formed in response to other prison gangs in the California Department of Corrections, such as the Mexican Mafia, and Aryan Brotherhood, which were attempting to prey on native Texas inmates.

Membership Characteristics: The Texas Syndicate is comprised of predominately Mexican-American inmates in the Texas DOC institution. Originally, the rule to allow only other Hispanics into the TS was not strictly followed.  This has since changed and the TS is now for Hispanics only. 

Leadership/Organizational Structure: The TS has a formal organizational structure and a set of written rules for its members. A TS member is called a "carnal," a group of members is called "carnales," and a TS recruit is called a "cardinal." The institutional leader is called the "chairman."

The TS reportedly has a paramilitary structure. It is headed by a president and a vice president who were elected by the general member population. In each prison, a chairman is in control and is tasked to oversee a vice chairman, captain, lieutenant, sergeant of arms, and numerous soldiers. Upon institutional reclassification, ranking members in prison are automatically demoted to the soldier level.

The TS also has its own Constitution which each member has to follow. Under the said constitution, it is stipulated that members should:

1. Be a Texan;
2. Always remain a member;
3. Place the Texas Syndicate before anything else;
4. Understand that the Texas Syndicate is always in the right;
5. Wear the Texas Syndicate tattoo;
6. Never let a member down;
7. Respect other members; and
8. Keep all gang information within the group (Fong 1990).


Geographic Locus: Since its formation in California, the TS is now strongest in Texas.

Associated Organizations: Texas Mafia; Dirty White Boys, Border Brothers

Antagonistic Organizations: Aryan Brotherhood; La Nuestra Familia; Mexican Mafia; Mexikanemi; Mandingo Warriors.

Typical Identifiers: Tattoos identifying affiliation with this group has a "TS" located somewhere in their design. This is not always obvious and may require close scrutiny.


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Robert Walker

This page was last updated on 03/14/2014


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