Prison Gangs

Warden M.R. by Robert Rosso

December 6, 2000. I was standing in the lieutenant’s office inside of USP Leavenworth, hands cuffed behind my back. From the waist down my pants were splattered with the victim’s blood, his skin embedded on the tips of my steel-toe boot’s. Dusty and I had just gotten through assaulting RM in the chow hall, and the staff members surrounding me weren’t to happy about it.

A wild-eyed man who I’d never seen before stepped forward. “Just who’n the hell do you think you are?” he asked me, his southern draw consistent with a person from Arkansas. He was in his mid to late fifties with short strawberry-blonde hair that was neatly parted on the side. For some reason, he reminded me of a cross between former president Jimmy Carter and Adolph Hitler.

I ignored him and looked away.

“What’s the matter, Punk?” he said to me. “You to stupid to talk?”
“Punk?” I said, surprised to hear him use such a blatant penitentiary insult. “Just because you have on a suit and tie doesn’t give you the right to talk to me anyway you want, asshole. Go fuck yourself.”

A slow devious grin began to form on his face. Without taking his eyes off of me, he asked asked Lt. S if he knew who I was.

“Yes, sir. I do,” Lt. S said. “Inmate Rosso is a Dirty White Boy.”

I almost told Lt. S that he was a dumbass; I was not a member of the DWB’s. But instead, I just said, “You don’t have a clue. I’m not in a prison gang.”

“He’s lying,” Lt. S shot back. “Dusty is on record as being a Dirty White Boy and he and Rosso are close. There’s no doubt in my mind that the assault on Marks was gang related.”

I rolled my eyes, amazed that the BOP would promote a schmuck like Lt. S to the an. position of lieutenant. Dusty was not on record as being a member of the Dirty White Boys, he was on record as being a member of the Nazi Low Riders, a California-based prison gang that was in no way affiliated with the DWBs. And the reason we left RM unconscious and laying in a pool of blood had nothing to do with a gang hit, it was a personal matter. But I wasn’t about to tell him that.

“This one’s a real smartass, aint he?” The man standing in front of me said, watching my facial expression. “Alright, tough guy. Let’s see your patch.”

He wanted to see my gang tattoo or insignia, which I didn’t have. “I told you, I’m not in a gang.”

What happened next totally blew my mind. The crazy bastard reached out, grabbed my collar and ripped my shirt open.”

“What the fuck are doing?” I cried out, taking a step back. “Where’s your patch?” the man demanded.


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