Warlords Wicker Park, La Familia Warlords

Founded Founded in 1964 by Frank in or near West Town: Wicker Park
Formerly known as

Warlords; La Familia Warlords

Affiliations ;
Colors Black and Orange
Primary ethnicities Latino (Puerto Rican)
Symbols Knight's Helmet
Status Active

 

 

The Warlord’s began in the year 1964 in the Wicker Park neighborhood.  The Warlords were born out of the Latin Kings that formed in this community the same year in the winter.  Once the weather got nicer and spring time came in 1964 the Latin Kings wanted to put together a softball team but the city had banished any team that would be called “Latin Kings,” therefore, the Latin Kings needed to create a team with a different name and that’s when one of their members, Frank, assembled a Latin King softball team called the “Warlords.” The team played at 1425 N. Damen (Damen and Schiller) in the actual Wicker Park park as their home field.  The team congregated at the intersection of Evergreen and Damen (Headquarters) which became the first Warlord section.  Later in the year the Warlords took on their own identity from the Latin Kings and became a club of their own but remained allied with the Latin Kings.  

In the same year of 1964, Warlords and Spanish Lords came together to create the United Neighborhoods unity that was an agreement not to war with each other and to help each other against common greaser enemies.  The United neighborhoods reached out to the Latin Kings and other Puerto Rican clubs to all protect their communities.  The Warlord’s worst enemies were Taylor Jousters, Chi-West, Gaylords and PVR/PVPs which were white greaser clubs that wanted to flush out groups of Puerto Rican youths.  The Warlords also found rivalry with the Vice Lords. 

By the early 1970s, the Warlord leader was Orlando Quintana.  Quintana may have been the leader since 1964 but Frank the founder chose not to be the leader but instead as a behind the scenes type leader. 

Quintana was a positive leader that preached to young Warlords to stay in school and pursue going to college, he even was loved by the community and viewed as a positive leader; however, to law enforcement he was still a member of the gang and was looked at as a criminal only.  Quintana was an active participant with the Association House that was located at the time at 2150 W. North Ave in the Wicker Park neighborhood.  Orlando worked with gang members in the community to try to help them go in the right direction.  Orlando himself was college educated; however, he also delved into the criminal life as well which is what led to his death. 

At 4:30 in the morning on July 29, 1973, Lee Smernis has just exited a tavern located at 2014 W. North Avenue in Wicker Park.  According to court documents Smernis was approached by a man holding a gun and demanding money. Smernis ran away across the street instead of complying until a second man pulled out a gun also from across the street and told him to pay up.  Smernis tried to run again but the two men jumped in front of him.  Smernis gave the men $15 but the men said they knew he had more and said to pay up.  Smernis then handed over 4 twenty-dollar bills and a wad of 22 singles.  The men told him to give them his wristwatch too.  Right after the watch was handed over off-duty police officer Garford Eveland came out of the tavern and saw the robbery taking place.  The two men began to flee after seeing the officer but then some how they also turned to shoot at officer Eveland and one of the men hit the officer in the stomach.  According to court documents and local newspapers officer Eveland then fired back and gunned down Orlando Quintana.  The other alleged shooter involved Gerardo Diaz, then 16 years old at the time, was arrested and charged (The People of The State of Illinois vs. Gerardo Diaz, 1979).  After the shooting, the community was upset because the people in the area had a different version of what went down during the robbery.  I myself find it strange that Orlando and Gerardo would run away then suddenly decide to shoot at the officer.  I would think they would just focus on trying to get away from the scene.  In the court documents it does not state that Eveland even chased after the two, so why would they need to turn around and shoot?  The community mourned the death of Orlando Quintana and the Association House even partially funded the defense of Diaz in order to clear Orlando’s name.  The gymnasium at 2150 W. North Ave was dedicated to Orlando until the Association house moved to Humboldt Park in later years (Chicago Tribune Page 5, July 29, 1974) (Daily Herald from Del Rio, Texas, page 5, July 30, 1973). 

In the year 1974, the Warlord leadership sat down to have a meeting to discuss expansion beyond Damen and Evergreen.  It was voted to expand their territory in Wicker Park and that was when Damen and Potomac and Leavitt and Evergreen opened which opened an opportunity for the Warlords to operate in a nice chunk of territory.  It was also in this same year that Warlords accepted the Insane Unknowns into the United Neighborhoods alliance which now consisted of Warlords, Spanish Lords and Insane Unknowns.  After the meeting for expansion in 1974 Lord Crook was in charge of the headquarters at Damen and Evergreen while Lord Chief was running Damen and Potomac.  Freddie became the head of Leavitt and Evergreen.  Papo Warlord was in charge of all Senior Warlords.  Papo Warlord had a special relationship with Lord Gino who was the leader of the entire northern Latin Kings.  Before Lord Gino became a Latin King he was a member of the Warlords in the 1960s.  This relationship between Lord Gino and the heads of the Warlords further solidified the strong alliance between them.  The Warlords would also open Milwaukee and Wolcott in Wicker Park in an apartment complex they shared with Latin Kings. 

In 1977, the Warlords invited the YBO/GBO into the United Neighborhoods alliance, now United Neighborhoods was Warlords, Spanish Lords, Insane Unknowns and YBO/GBO. 

In the year 1978, the Warlords expanded just north of them into a new neighborhood, the Bucktown section of the Logan Square community and had influence at Roberto Clemente High School located at Division and Western (1147 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622). During the 1977-1978 school year there was a rising star in the Warlords named Lord Eggie or Lord “E.”  He was 17 years old by 1978 and had been a Warlord since 1974.  As a high school junior Lord E rose through the ranks to take control of all Warlords attended Roberto Clemente High School.  Even though the Latin Kings were not yet a part of the United Neighborhoods alliance the Warlord still agreed to protect Latin Kings that attended the High School which further solidified their alliance and Latin Kings would protect Lord E as he would walk down Spaulding wearing his sweater as the Kings stood on roof tops.  Lord E lived in West Humboldt Park on Spaulding Avenue and was able to open a branch of Warlords at Division and Spaulding in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood.  Lord E also established the Bucktown Warlords at Webster and Seeley.  Lord E wanted his new chapters to be unique so he created a new addition to the name as “La Familia” Warlords.  The La Familias consisted of Bucktown, Roberto Clemente School and Division and Spaulding, while Wicker Park stood separately governed, however, Lord Chief and Coolie wanted total control of both Warlord groups. 

Some issues happened that nearly caused a divide in 1978 when Warlords from Evergreen and Damen and Evergreen and Potomac allowed the Latin Stylers to move close to Spanish Lord territory right near the motherland of the Spanish Lords at North Avenue and Claremont.  The Stylers were to start moving in between North Ave and Claremont and North Ave and Bell which upset the Spanish Lords who had a deep rivalry with the Stylers.  Lord Flaco of the pee wee of the Spanish Lords called a meeting on Spanish Lord turf to discuss where La Familia stood on this issue and how YBO/GBOs and Insane Unknowns stood.  The meeting was held at 5:00 P.M. When school let out that day at Clemente Lord E gathered all La Familia and informed Lord Flaco he was willing to kill all Stylers and anyone that backed them which included the Damen and Potomac Warlords and Damen and Evergreen Warlords.  Lord E’s brother Lord Tic was confused and asked his brother if he understood that Evergreen and Potomac Warlords were ready to fight for the Stylers but Lord E angerly said he didn’t care and their loyalty was with United Neighborhoods.  Lord E stormed toward a court yard where Stylers and Damen and Potomac Warlords were going to meet at 5:30 ready to fight.  The Senior Warlords of Damen and Evergreen wanted no part in the fight and were not going to back up Damen and Potomac and the Coolie family and Lord Crook with Damen and Evergreen.  The message was brought to Lord Crook that La Familia was coming with allies and no one showed up to the fight on the Lord Crook and Styler’s side.  When the Stylers heard from Lord Crook of Evergreen and Damen Warlords that La Familia didn’t support this alliance the Stylers left the area and Wicker Park Warlords dropped that alliance with the Stylers.  It was best for Wicker Park to drop this alliance because Lord E and all of the La Familia’s had the Bucktown Insane Unknows, K-Town Insane Unknowns, YBO/GBO and Spanish Lords on their side that were ready to war with Stylers and Wicker Park Warlords if need being.  A short time later Lord Crook and Damen and Potomac instead focused on expansion and opened up Damen and Crystal in the Wicker Park neighborhood. 

In early 1979, Lord E invited the M.A. Players and Latin Kings into the United Neighborhoods alliance.   

In April 1979, Lord E went off the Marine Corps boot camp and returned on temporary leave in the summer after boot camp was finished.  When he returned the Warlords were getting revenge for the attempted rape of one of their female members while they were wearing their war sweaters.  After the incident Lord E ended up separated from the group on Damen Ave and he needed to walk back home to Spaulding.  He was accompanied by a female Warlette named Maria who was his brother’s girlfriend.  As he got closer to home, he needed to give the sweater to Maria while passing through other gang neighborhoods.  Later that night after Maria and Lord E separated, she went to see her other boyfriend Lil Ray that Lord E and the rest were not aware of, this boyfriend was a Latin King from Wabansia and Maria gave the sweater to Lil Ray.  When Lord E found out he contacted the Wabansia Latin Kings and told them to give it back to him, Lil Ray refused and said it was his property now.  Lord E responded by threatening to take down all the Latin Kings at Wabansia if he continued to refuse and he made a personal voyage by himself to Wabansia.  When he got there, he found out the threat worked and the Latin Kings had already given the sweater back to the Warlords, however, they took the sweater to the headquarters at Evergreen and Damen and it ended up in Lord Crook’s hands, the same Lord Crook that nearly sided with the Latin Stylers a year prior when the Stylers tried to move into the neighborhood.  Lord E then ventured back to the headquarters and asked Lord Crook to hand over his sweater but Lord Crook said it was his now and wouldn’t give it back and all the Warlords from Evergreen and Potomac and Evergreen and Damen were backing him up.  Lord E then said he would deal with it after he returned from the Marines again since he couldn’t risk getting a record. 

Later into the year 1979, Lord E was on leave again from the Marines and was now fully trained by the Corps.  He had unfinished business with Lord Crook over the stolen sweater.  Lord E made phone calls to several members to meet at the Wicker Park School Yard.  At the school yard the Senior Warlords were ready to put Lord E on “trial” for losing his sweater which was a serious violation.  Lord Crook arrived with his backers first as Lord E stood alone.  The Senior Warlords arrived and told Lord Crook to give the sweater back as it was decided that Maria was accountable for losing the sweater at this trial, but Lord Crook was allowed to tell the Seniors that he wouldn’t give it back, the Seniors then allowed Lord E to fight Crook for it but he may be in trouble again for assaulting a fellow Warlord and the punishment would be a violation.  Lord E decided to risk the violation and square off with Lord Crook while Lord Crook’s supporters cheered him on, then Lord E’s supporters arrived that consisted of some Spanish Lords, Insane Unknowns and YBO/GBOs.  Lord E told Crook to swing on him first and Lord Crook responded by swinging a fist full of high school rings near Lord E’s face but the punch didn’t connect then Lord E countered him and decked Crook in the face.  Crook knew he was doomed at that point because Lord E’s Marine Corps training kicked in and made for an easy fight.  Still Crook heckled Lord E saying the sweater was still his even if he loses but then Lord E body slammed him face first into the mud and pounded the back of his head with fists of fury as many Warlords looked on in disappointment.  The other Warlords wanted Lord E to lose because La Familia was never given the blessing back in 78 and they wanted to see it dissolved but instead Lord E would win the fight and take over Damen and Evergreen as the new chief.  Lord E then smoothed over hard feelings by buying the rest of the Warlords alcohol and marijuana to forget about the violations, instead when they sobered up the next day, they violated Lord Crook, Lord E went back to the Marines right after. 

Lord Chief took over leadership of the Warlords after Lord E was away in the Marines. 

While Lord E was away in the Marines in 1981, Lord Chief guided the Warlords to join the People Nation alliance alongside the YBO/GBO while Spanish Lords, Latin Kings and Insane Unknowns had already joined in prison in 1978, now the People Nation was on the streets and the Senior Warlords made the decision to join the People Nation, this would squash the war with the Vice Lords.  1981 was a year that new gangs were allowed to join the Folk and People Nations and the Warlords were one of the organizations invited to join People perhaps because of the close relationship between Warlord founders and former Warlord/Latin King north side leader Lord Gino. 

In February 1982, Lord E returned from the Marine Corps and was upset the Warlords joined the People nation and chose not to identify the La Familia’s with People nation even though the whole nation was technically part of this alliance.  Lord E decided to take back over the nation and started by spending $5,000 he saved up to buy a quarter pound of marijuana and sell it.  He went to a dealer at Campbell and Maplewood but the dealer sold him quantity with too many seeds, Lord E demanded it be corrected which the dealer “Dolphin” supposedly corrected, however, there were still too many seeds and customers were upset.  Lord E got payback by breaking into his place and stealing $300 worth of cocaine this was the introduction to bigger drug business for the Warlords. 

In 1983, Lord E took the Warlords into the cocaine dealing business.  The cocaine business was moved on EL trains around the city and paid off crooked police officers assured the cocaine moved smoothly.  Radios were used and teenagers on bikes were moving product.  Lord E also set up a new alliance called the “UPK” or “Unknowns, Players and Kings” which was an alliance between Warlords, Latin Kings, Insane Unknows and M.A. Players.  This was an alliance that dealt in the West Humboldt Park area and protected K-Town Insane Unknown territory.  The United Neighborhoods was for Bucktown but by this time Bucktown Warlord operations were closing and moving to Wicker Park. 

In the mid-1980s the Warlord’s cocaine business was doing very well and Lord E was doing business out of a bar called Austin City Limits which was located at 1403 West Irving Park Road (Irving Park Road and Southport Ave) in the Lakeview neighborhood.  All was well until the crack cocaine wave struck the nation and some of the Warlords became addicted to using the drug by the late 1980s.  On one occasion in 1990, some members were getting high with some women from New York City that came to visit.  These women were so gone on crack that they came up with the crazy idea that they wanted to see someone get killed right in front of them.  The girls organized a plan to kid nap junkie drug dealer from Rockwell Street that happened to be a father and even though the man begged for his life they still killed him and dumped the body then partied on like it was nothing.  Since the Wicker Park Warlords were hanging out with them like Lord Edgar and Chief Billy they went to prison for the murder, this is where became closer to the Latin Kings then flipped to a Latin King.  Damen and Potomac would then close in 1990. 

After Lord Edgar and others went to prison Lord E took over the all sections of Warlords accept Division and Hoyne which was territory where his cousin Cachi was doing business at that corner and was a Latin King.  Lord Capone and his brother Elvis wanted this piece of territory for their own benefit and called a meeting to hash this out.  It was decided that the corner would be divided in half between Warlords and Latin Kings this was how the Warlords opened division and Hoyne in Wicker Park.   

Lord Capone became acquainted with co-worker at Norweigen Hospital nicknamed Wee Wee who was a Spanish Cobra from Artesian.  The two became work friends despite being in rival gangs and this brought Lord Capone into secret dealings with Spanish Cobras and other Folks like Milwaukee Kings.  He also got connected to the Insane Deuces who were at war with Latin Kings.  Although the Deuces were at war with Latin Kings, they were still with the People Nation alliance at that time before they flipped in 1992, but at this point in time the Deuces were first becoming cozy with the Cobras.  Every night a mysterious car pulled into an alley at Division and Hoyne to do business with Lord Capone. Lord E didn’t like this shady business and wanted to blow up the car especially once Lord Capone admitted they were Milwaukee Kings.  Lord E later found out that Lord Capone was making secret deals with the Cobras for the Warlords to flip from People Nation to Folk Nation, Lord E heavily objected to this and spoke to the Evergreen and Damen Warlords about this.  Lord Capone had a soft spot for Folks because he used to be a Latin Disciple (MLD) until he flipped in 1979.  He possibly was also upset about sharing the corner with Latin Kings that probably effected his business on that corner. 

Lord E also had Warlord business at Pioneer Bowling Alley located at Pulaski Road and North Ave in West Humboldt Park neighborhood, a bar at Irving Park Road and Sheffield and two transmission shops.  At this point in the early 90s Lord E was moving away from corner business and instead visiting legit businesses to carry out operations behind closed doors.   

In the early 90s there was a vote held with higher up members of the Warlords to remove the La Familia name and grow closer to Wicker Park operations.  Lord E voted in favor of the move much to the objection of fellow La Familias that didn’t trust Lord Crook and others, this is when all Warlords became the Wicker Park Warlords. 

In 1993, Lord Capone’s brother Elvis had an argument one night over a drug deal with a Vice Lord and used a racial slur when the Vice Lord first arrived.  The Vice Lord was offended by the slur and the altercation eventually turned into the Vice Lord saying something about Elvis’ girlfriend which led the Latin Kings to get involved and come down and punch the Vice Lord in the face the Vice Lord then said he would be back, later that night Lord E’s cousin Edward was gunned down over this when the Vice Lords returned.  Lord E was told his daughter would be harmed if he sought revenge for his cousin’s death.  This is what prompted Lord E and many of the Damen and Evergreen Warlords to go against Division and Hoyne and get rid or Lord Capone and Elvis and his crew, Division and Hoyne was then conquered and Damen and Evergreen were closed down in the early 90s. 

Around 1993, the Warlords had a brief war with Latin Kings after Latin Kings began moving in on Warlord territory in Wicker Park, this resulted in gang fight inside a restaurant at Damen and Division.  12 Warlords fought against 20 older Latin Kings and won the fight, however, Lord E realized it was time to close all of Wicker Park. 

The Warlords have not claimed turf since the early 1990s.  Instead they do business in legit businesses and on the Wisconsin/Illinois state line.  The Warlords are just no longer typical corner street gang and don’t feel the need to claim turf. 

 

Please send in 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s pics