Public Enemy Number One (PENI) is an unusual hybrid of a racist Skinhead gang, street gang and prison gang. Since the early 2000s, the group has grown considerably, particularly in California, where it originated, and has also spread to nearby states. PENI's increasing strength stems to a large degree from its ability to position itself as a white power criminal organization capable of operating both on the streets and in the prison yards as foot soldiers for older, more established white supremacist prison gangs, such as the Aryan Brotherhood.
Heavily involved in the drug trade, PENI members have a strong history of violence, both in the prisons and on the streets. In addition to drug-related criminal activity, PENI members have committed a number of violent crimes, including assault, murder and attempted murder. The group’s mercenary and criminal nature, coupled with a white supremacist ideology and a subculture of violence, makes it a triple threat, both to law enforcement and to the public at large. Even people far removed from the worlds of narcotics and gangs may become victim to the PENI through white collar crimes ranging from fraud to counterfeiting to identity theft.
Leaders: Donald Reed "Popeye" Mazza
Founded: Formed by white youths active in the punk music subculture in Southern California in the mid-1980s
Background: The group quickly divided into two camps, one emphasizing white supremacist ideology and the other criminal activity; the current leadership steered the group into criminal operations in and out of prison
Type of group: Hybrid racist skinhead gang, street gang and prison gang, active mostly in California
Composition: White males in and out of prison but also includes female members, mostly in support roles
Criminal Activities: Illegal drug trade, identity theft, counterfeiting, fraud, assaults, murder
Ideology: White supremacy
Affiliations: Aryan Brotherhood