Asian Boyz

Asian Boyz
Founded 1970s[1]
Founding location Long Beach / Los Angeles, California, United States.
Years active 1970s[1]-present
Territory Active in 14 U.S. states (2009)[1]
Ethnicity Primarily of Laotian, Vietnamese and Cambodian descent.[1]
Membership (est.) 20000 - 25000[1]
Criminal activities Drug trafficking, robbery, assault, burglary, theft and homicide[1]
Allies Crips, Viet Boys[2]
Rivals Tiny Rascal gang,[3] Valerio Street Gang,[4] East Side Longos,[5] Bloods,[6] Wah Ching,[7] Lower East Side[8]

The Asian Boyz, or ABZ, are an Asian American street gang formed in the 1970s, according to the FBI,[1] or co-founded by Filipino American Marvin "Shy Boy" Mercado in the 1990s in southern California, according to The Huffington Post.[9] Gang members are mainly males of Vietnamese, Cambodian or Laotian descent.[1]

The gang are allied with the Crips. They are active in 14 states, in 28 different cities in the U.S.[1]


The Asian Boyz was formed in Long Beach due to Asian immigrants being harassed by the East Side Longos, a Mexican American gang that originated from Anaheim Street.[10]

On the East Coast, their gang colors are forest green, black and white. Asian Boyz also have a tattoo of a dragon head with crystal globes.[11] On the West Coast, they use blue, similar to the Crips.[12]

The Asian Boyz gang was established in Long Beach. There are additional factions in states on the east coast. However, the ABZ are spread across the United States, mainly on the east coast of the U.S.[11][13] According to the FBI's National Gang Threat Assessment in 2011, the Asian Boyz has members in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Utah.[14]

Notable crimes

In August 1997, the leader of the Asian Boyz Van Nuys set, Sothi Menh, was arrested in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and extradited to the United States after fleeing the country in January that year. He was wanted for committing five gang-related murders in the San Fernando Valley in 1995.[15] In September 1998, seven of the Asian Boyz were charged with seven murders, 18 attempted murders and five instances of conspiracy to commit murder in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, in 1995.[16]

On August 12, 2006, a fight broke out between Bloods and Asian Boyz gang members at a house in Lowell, Massachusetts, where a birthday party was being held. Asian Boyz members left the party and allegedly started throwing bottles and other objects. Billeoum Phan, 14, began firing at the Asian Boyz members. One of the shots hit Asian Boyz member Samnang Oth, killing him. Phan was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to incarceration until he turns 21. He is required to serve a 5-year probation after his release.[17][18]

Three members of the gang were charged with beating a 15-year-old boy named Sang Vu to death in New York, in December 2006. Richie Nguyen who was 16 was sentenced to 5 to 15 years of prison for manslaughter.[19][20][21] Samnang Chou was sentenced to 10 years of prison for second-degree assault.[8][22]

In March 2008, four men abducted 24-year-old Vutha Au from Santa Rosa and drove him to a beach near Jenner, California, where they fatally shot him. Quentin Russell, who was 24 years old at the time of the shooting, was the shooter, and brothers Sarith Prak and David Prak, and Preston Khaoone, were charged in connection with the murder and abduction of Au. All four defendants were convicted[23] and sentenced to life without parole on July 27, 2012.[24]

In the 1990s, Pierre Mercado, the brother of Marvin Mercado, was responsible for four murders in an attempt to intimidate other gangs. He fled to the Philippines and remained there for 11 years until he was extradited to the United States in 2012.[25] In 2013, Mercado was sentenced to 218 years to life in prison.[26]


The Asian Boyz has been in a long conflict with the Wah Ching gang. One of the first shootouts between the two the gangs occurred in the 1990s. The shooting occurred in El Monte at a pool hall. An Asian Boyz gang member, Lea Mek, was killed by Wah Ching gang member Chung Lewong Yang. Another shootout between the two gangs occurred in San Marino that led to the deaths of two youths at a San Marino High School graduation party in June. After an investigation by the authorities, police claimed that when the Asian Boyz gang members arrived at the party, they saw that Wah Ching gang members were there, so they left and came back later with weapons to open fire on the Wah Ching gang members. Over nine gang members were arrested. Police searched the homes of the gang members and seized five weapons. The shootouts between the two gangs were called "Summer Madness" by the Asian Boyz gang.[27][28]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 National Drug Intelligence Center (January 2009). "National Gang Threat Assessment 2009". FBI.
  2. Laviana, Hurst (September 9, 2013). "Detective says 2011 homicide is third involving feuding gangs". The Wichita Eagle.
  3. Hal Marcovitz; Dennis Dressang (2010). Gangs. ABDO. p. 33. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  4. Kevin Starr (2011). Coast of Dreams. Random House. p. 83. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  5. "As Cultures Meet, Gang War Paralyzes a City in California". New York Times. May 6, 1991. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
  6. Moore, Derek J. (March 15, 2008). "Ruthless Asian gangs blaze trail of violence Killing in Jenner casts spotlight on ultraviolent syndicates with roots in Long Beach". Press Democrat.
  7. "Asian Boyz Face Group Trial in Spate of Killings".
  8. 1 2 LaDuca, Rocco. Asian Boyz gang member from Utica stopped at Canadian border, Utica Observer-Dispatch, May 16, 2013.
  9. "Pierre Mercado, Asian Boyz LA Gang Member, Convicted Of Four Murders". Huffington Post. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  10. "From Killing Fields to Mean Streets". Time Magazine. June 24, 2001. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  11. 1 2 "Police eye gang in killing". NewsTimes. 27 January 2005. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  12. Ann Byers (15 January 2011). Frequently Asked Questions About Gangs and Urban Violence. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 34. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  13. "24 with gang links arrested in Maine cities during sweep". The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram. 21 August 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  14. "2011 National Gang Threat Assessment – Emerging Trends". 2011.
  15. "Gang Suspect Returned; Man Sought In Asian Boys Case In Custody". 2 August 1997. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  16. Evelyn Larrubia (20 September 1998). "Asian Boyz Face Group Trial in Spate of Killings". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  17. Mulvihill, Maggie; Favot, Sarah; Berg, Kirsten (February 12, 2012). "Teen killers get inconsistent sentences". Boston Telegram. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  18. "Lowell murder trial set to begin this week". Lowell Sun. December 2, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  19. Crossett, Nate (2007). "Nguyen Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter". WKTV. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  20. Crossett, Nate (1 March 2007). "Third Asian Boyz Gang Member Pleads Guilty". Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  21. "Nguyen Sentenced 5 - 15 Years". WKTV. April 11, 2007. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  22. "Utica Man Sentenced to 10 Years". WKTV. March 14, 2007. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  23. Payne, Paul (28 June 2012). "Jury convicts 4 gang members in Jenner beach slaying". The Press Democrat. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  24. "Asian Boyz Gang Members Sentenced to Life without the Possibility of Parole Plus 25 Years to Life for Blind Beach Murder" Archived October 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Press release, 27 July 2012, by the Office of the District Attorney, Sonoma County. Retrieved August 13, 2013
  25. "Pierre Mercado, Asian Boyz LA Gang Member, Convicted Of Four Murders". Huffington Post. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  26. Marcellino, Elizabeth (May 14, 2013). "Former Asian Boyz gang leader gets 218 years". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  27. "Officials Link Gang Rivalry to Party Slayings". Viki Torres (LA Times). Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  28. "Multi Agency Effort to Bring Two Violent Gang members to Justice". Retrieved 14 February 2015.
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