tv The Squeeze MSNBC November 11, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am PST
chicago's cook county jail. home to 10,000 detainees. and all hell is ready to break loose. the gang administer disciples, the biggest criminal organization inside and outside the jail, is headed toward civil war. >> stand by. it's in security, right? >> investigators dre carpenter and adrian sandoval are about to launch a search with their fellow officers. it's one of many tactical measures they take on a regular
>> a lot. >> you ready if? >> get on the bars right now. get on them bars, let's go. >> get on the bars. >> on the bars! >> get on those mother -- bars. >> catch them bars. >> lean forward. >> this ain't no trust, this is business. you hang up when i tell you to hang up and do what you told. follow orders. how much you looking for? >> put your hands behind your back. >> it is what it is. >> carpenter and sandoval are part of the criminal intelligence unit or ciu, have participated in thousands of
tier searches to date. >> give me 19, unlock 19. >> step out. hands on your friend, my friend. step over one time, two times coming out. >> you guys got anything on you? you got one chance at honesty, man, this is it. >> now, with seven other investigators, they're searching 38 inmates and their cells for shanks and for clues about what the gangster disciples and other groups are up to. >> we did go to the cells in which we had information on. we didn't find any metal up here. there was a lot of flushing going on when we hit the tiers so i'm pretty positive that there was definitely contraband on the tier. but by the time we get through both those dates, secure the day room and get to the cells we're
looking for, it gives them a minute, maybe a minute and a half head start. it's safer for them to get rid of it than get caught with it. that's what they know is coming when they see us. >> but carpenter and sandoval have found something equally important. kites. >> this is inmates' way of communication here. this is called a kite. it would normally be rolled up in a fashion maybe this small. okay, on the back it says division 1. it says the nickname chaos. this is supposed to be the person who gets the kite in the end. but it may go through four or five different inmates until it reaches him. what it is the count for their gang on this tier. their nicknames and their court dates. the reason why that's important is if you ever want to plot ahead or if you think you're going to be attacked, you'd like to know who's going to be in court with you, who's going to be in the bull pen, see who has the numbers. then it goes on for them to actually put that they have one shank, which they're calling it a banger 1, on the tier.
you'll be surprised how many kites actually go out. there's thousands going out, i would assume, every day. through medical movement. im, every avenue you could possibly think of. >> kite traffic is like the information superhighway for inmates. and it's almost impossible to stop. so carpenter and sandoval have turned it to their own advantage. seizing the right kite can help investigators shut down a gang war before it happens. >> it's excellent information for us these guys keep track of their infantry, their weapons. you know of anybody trying to take rank, we find out right away. certain gangs have certain openings. and as soon as we see that, we already know who it is. greetings, family. then at the end.
>> a lot of times it's not about them worrying about us catching it. it's about it getting to the person they want it to. that's more important than the kite getting caught, for them. >> as summer begins, carpenter and sandoval discover a major threat developing on the compound. they seize numerous kites pointing to a civil war wind the top ranks of the gangster disciples. chicago's largest criminal organization both inside the jail and on the street. >> there are two guys who believe they are in charge. they're housed in opposite buildings but they have followings in each other's buildings. we identified everybody. we have about an equal number of upper echelon. >> between the two competing factions, investigators have identified 26 senior to mid-level gangster disciples of key interest. they're the ones allegedly sending and dispersing the kites.
one faction is housed in maximum security division 9. they represent the current leadership in charge of all gangster disciples throughout the jail. the opposing faction is based in maximum security division 1. they held all the power in the past. and now they want it back again. >> basically what we have is an internal war going on. it's called a hostile takeover. >> carpenter and sandoval want to hear more from the inmates themselves, including this man whom we're calling franklin to hide his identity. he's on the side of the fang administer disciples plotting a takeover. he and his cohorts claim that the acting leader has pe trayed them. >> he's is leading guys against the organization entirely. he preaches his message.
and his credibility is not what it once was. the jail is closing in on him. the odds are on our side. >> franklin insists that his loyalty to his crew comes first. but he's also got other motives. he's fighting a drug conspiracy case and hopes to curry favor with the state's attorney. so he's agreed to keep carpenter and sandoval in the loop about the power struggle. he's one of many informants they have on both sides of the conflict who are helping them to intercept kites. >> there's been a lot of kites going back and forth between the two groups. this is one particular kite from division 9. it's an official memo. this is equivalent to what i would say is the third guy in charge, that he's saying take care of this business. he clearly states to people who
he wants hit, says they're being charged with disrupting organization unity, they ought to be blasted on sight asap. this is now the game. >> with information like this in hand, carpenter and sandoval are alerting jail officials. they're also warning multiple inmates who are under threat based on the kites they're receiving. among those inmates, their own source, frank lib. >> jail sa really small place. assuming you're going to come face to face. you're not initiating it, you're not even looking for it. we're not going to let them hurt us. >> all that being said, you know what's coming next. would you like to check into protective custody for your safety in regards to the violence being carried out against you? protective custody means, i need protection from somebody else outside of my gang.
then on top of it they've got to wear this yellow jumpsuit, the big bird suit. you ran to pc, you're a coward, you become the enemy of your own gang. >> what we going to do, player? >> i'm trying to come up with an answer. just give me a minute. >> whether a detainee wants to enter protective custody or not, he has to go on record with his decision. in this case, franklin is signing a statement of refusal. >> name, number, signature. >> name, number, signature. where does comments go? >> there's no comment section. >> you're not reviewing a movie. >> what happens, a lot of senses
we also confirm the addresses. we let them know that we are aware their coming out is violations, when it occurs they could take a hit for it. >> we're going to hit both sides. we've got multiple guys in both buildings, feeding us information, they're never going to figure it out, who said what, who did what, they're not going to know. >> by squeezing inside sources, authorities are preparing their next move. a sweeping crackdown on the gangster disciples both inside the jail and on the streets. >> the operation dubbed "hostile takeover." we're going to disrupt the heads and take them out of play inside the institution. >> the message will be sent. it's going to affect every building on the compound. and on the street. despite their numbers, we're still the biggest group here.
there's a civil war brewing inside chicago's cook county jail. two opposing factions of the gangster disciples are fighting for control of their organization. investigators drake carpenter and adrian sandoval want to stop them before the conflict turns violent. they've identified 26 senior members of the gangster disciples either in power or trying to take over. >> a lot of times until one person from the street that comes in that's heavy enough that says, hey, listen, this is what it is and both sides agree, then there's going to be violence. and people here can lose their lives. >> county is already a pressure cooker of rival gangs from all parts of the city living under one roof.
>> 37 a.b.e. 37 indiana burg street. >> got the ambrose. got the eyes. >> gang members make up more than 70% of the compound's 10 thousands inmates at any given time. most detainees here have been held for trial, as they've been charged but not convicted for crimes. it's up to corrections staff and the criminal intelligence unit or ciu to try to keep a lid on potential conflicts. >> it's controlled chaos. all the way from receiving to the buildings. >> you have 40, 50 guys on one tier that are killing each other out on the streets, and you're expecting them to get along. you can't just get over stuff like that. >> you know somebody tried to pull a fast one, you know what i'm saying, stick one on me, try
to bust me in the head with a tray. he got me. he got me but i got him good, yeah, i stabbed him good, he know what's up. >> sandoval and carpenter are bracing themselves for a long, tense summer. not only are they keeping a close eye on the gangster disciples and their feud, but also on other groups that present a high threat of violence. today, they're meeting with one of county's most notorious detainees. he's the leader of a fringe gang and he's made powerful enemies throughout the compound. this inmate named antoine is facing trial for murder and claims he's innocent. he recently survived an attempt on his life by the gangster disciples. antoine himself had belonged to the gangster disciples until he
broke off to form a renegade group behind bars. >> they started with the whole tier. 40 guys. we don't answer anybody, we're on our own, we just stick up for each other and that's it. from there they went to other tiers. almost like a cancer was spreading. >> you just got a group of individuals that don't want to participate. our mission was this. to get the people that's in the gang to get them out the gang and get them to realize that their gang is dead. we're not going to let the ges tell them, this is what you're going to do. why should i get on account and pay you dues? that's like you paying for protection. i don't need anybody to protect me, i'm a grown-ass man. >> he was a big voice, he was a big threat. he's made a name for himself. he feels like he's somewhat of a legend in here. his reign is coming to an end real fast now. but pretty strong for a time. >> antoine and his crew, who have a reputation for violence, became known as atg, or against
the grain. they stirred up turmoil inside the jail but ultimately, their rivals outnumbered them. >> they were trying to like wipe us out. what my mission was, they was like, he disrupted organization unity. so therefore, kill this bitch. i'm like the osama bin laden of cook county, that's what i am for real. that's what it is. i have so many people saying, are we going to kill antoine? i been here four years, seven months. i ain't dead. i had eight fights. the idea was getting slashed with a razor a couple of times and stabbed, that ain't nothing. if i got my end they have some trouble for real. >> recently eight or ten guys tried to jump on him. they didn't do a lot of damage. now it's a badge of honor for him. he's kind of feeling himself even a little more right now. >> they ain't going to fight me
one on one. they going to play with the knifes. i ain't with it. move me out of this county, map. somebody going to be hurting, somebody going to end up dead, man. >> we're working on it. >> antoine is lobbying to be moved to another jail outside cook county where he won't be a high-profile target and he'll have more freedom. since the latest attempt on his life, he's been confined to a super max tier. >> he's housed alone. he's out in the day room alone. he showers alone. he goes to court under special escort. any movement he has is going to be handcuffed, shackles at all times. it's just a threat level. and he's in for his own protection. >> if i could put you on the moon right now, that's where your ass would go. >> anywhere is better than here. >> bottom line, it's still our job to make sure that he finishes his case, that the sentence is conducted, and that he goes to the state or he goes home. so the entire time he's like our baby right now. so if you act up, we've still got to look out for you. >> but sandoval and carpenter
haven't heard the last from antoine or his followers. before the summer is over, antoine and his crew will prove they're still a force to be reckoned with. and they'll add fuel to the fire of a civil war that's dividing the gangster disciples. >> people are smelling the blood in the water right now. >> it's inevitable. there's going to be some kind of retaliation. snapshot, and 30 days later, i was saving big on car insurance. i was worried it would be hard to install. but it's really easy. the better i drive, the more i save. i wish our company had something this cool. yeah. you're not... filming this, are you? aw! camera shy. snapshot from progressive. plug into the savings you deserve with snapshot from progressive.
they might think that we're scared. if they think that, that's the worst mistake that they could ever make. because you don't respect nothing else, you definitely respect that. >> investigators drake carpenter and adrian sandoval are facing the threat of civil war inside chicago's cook county jail. the top ranks of county's biggest gang, the gangster disciples, have split into two factions competing for power.
this inmate whom we're calling franklin is tied to the faction that's tried to retake control of the whole organization. >> has it gone just too far to compromise, period? >> for it to go any way, yeah. >> with the help of informants like franklin, carpenter and sandoval have identified 26 key players in the power struggle. >> who from division 9 are we looking at moving? >> now they want to take all of those conspirators out of the equation. >> looking at jack, spider, hightower, middleman -- >> and make them irrelevant. >> that basically is is lineup for 9, correct? >> correct. >> what about 1? >> that's the goal of a coordinated sweep they're naming "hostile takeover." >> it's going to be all these
guys. all of them the same day, before they know what happens. >> carpenter has a list. he'll go through it briefly. to let you know who we're anticipating on moving where. >> their strategy is two-pronged in the jail. first, disrupt the gangster disciples' lines of communication by transferring their top members to different buildings and tiers. second, put them under close surveillance as they rebuild their communication channels from the ground up. >> the bottom line is, they don't have that many avenues to communicate. kites. the phone. the mail. and visitors. so we're going to be up on all those avenues. >> what we're trying to do is gather the information proactively. be objective. stop the violence. >> finally, a third phase will take place on the street.
the sheriff's men will saturate the gangsters' neighborhoods, hitting them where it hurts most, their pockets. >> we drive away all the business and they're not going to make any money selling drugs. it will push people inside, shut down their street markets. we're going to affect a whole group of individuals who are affiliated with the gang administer disciples. >> they're going to hear about it on the street. everyone's going to know on the street. >> they're going to know. >> but there's no guarantee that the operation will work. it could make tensions inside the jail worse and provoke retaliation against police on the street. taking on the gangster disciples is dangerous business. there's been no greater menace to more chicago communities for the past 30 years.
>> right now i'll kill that bitch right now. know what i'm saying? take that, bitch. >> at their height during the 1980s and 1990s, the gangster disciples built a highly structured drug empire. thanks to the rise of powder and crack cocaine. >> tell your mama your real names, ho. >> chicago police and the feds clamped down on them. their ranks splintered and they spread from the inner city to the outlying suburbs. >> the gds because they're one of the largest gangs we see them more frequently. a lot of times they won't say they're affiliated with a gang. it's up to us to try and learn who these guys are. it's not like it was in the '80s or in the '90s. it's very loose. and very fluid. and that's how you have that much internal conflict inside the gang. it was never like that before.
>> what today's gds lack in unity they make up for in numbers. police estimate that 30,000 members live throughout the chicago area. they claim up to 3,000 city blocks as gang turf and they've expanded into more than 30 suburbs. their most recognizable symbol, a six-pointed star, honors their co-founder king david barksdale. and the sheriff's police are seeing it in more and more places. >> why'd you run, man? >> i just don't like being around police. >> are you gd? no, sir. >> these six-point star earrings in your ear? that's a star of david? >> tell us why you're wearing those earrings right now. you are a gd. you don't need to lie. we already know that. >> stand up for yourself, man.
>> i don't want to get in no trouble. >> you're not going to get in any trouble for telling us stuff. what you can get in trouble from is running from the police today. >> as long as there is a demand for narcotics, we're never going to break the back of any gang, no matter what. so until something's done along those lines, we'll be out here every single day. >> the gangster disciples are likely here to stay. but authorities hope to hit them as hard as they can with "operation hostile headacheover." >> this is the message sending here, you heat the guys at the top, the rest of the guys see them leave the tier under direct escort from us, they know that's where the message is sent. >> everybody finds their comfort zone, take them out of it, how do they react? >> let's get it.
there's many more brewing at any given time at chicago's cook county jail. >> you put these guys all together in a confined area with rules they never had their whole life, there's going to be violence and that's what you're going to be subjected to every single day. >> right now, a civil war within the top ranks of the gangster disciples poses the greatest danger to the entire compound. so authorities are getting ready to shake up the main suspects. >> what we're going to do is within the jail we're going to transfer them around, we're going to hit their cells, and we're going to do it through the entire gang. >> the operation dubbed "hostile takeover" will be an attempt to avert all-out violence between two factions of gangster disciples. investigators have recruited informants from both sides who will continue playing a key role after the big sweep. >> the jail will be buzzing. for a week, at least.
and that's when we'll be able to gain a lot of information. >> you need the informant information to get inside. >> but an inmate with a score to settle is about to change their plans. his name is antoine. and he's a former gangster disciple who went renegade to start his own gang. investigators drake carpenter and adrian sandoval met with him a month back after the gangster disciples try to kill him. >> they rushed me. rushed me to the wall. i fell on the ground, fell on the ground for about five, ten seconds. i jumped back off the ground, kept swinging. i got sliced on my throat and my back. they stabbed me. they know it ain't over with. >> antoine predicted that his followers would take matters into his own hands as long as he was locked up on a super max
tier. >> i catch the right people, they going to strike back. i can't company nothing. y'all got me. i can't tell them not to do nothing. they going to do what they want to do. >> now, several weeks later, one of antoine's people has made good on that prediction. by savagely beating the top security chief for the gangster disciples. it's a symbolic blow to the gang's leadership. >> i've never seen somebody in that position getting touched. i've never seen it happen. i don't think i've seen it happen since either of us have been here. so it's bad. >> it's inevitable. there's going to be some kind of retaliation.
>> the attack took place on a maximum security deck while nearly half of the inmates were on exercise break. it happened in a matter of seconds. four alleged assailants jumped the victim and stomped his head into the floor. they had no weapons, only their fists and feet, and sent him to the hospital with massive head trauma. >> all the guys were separated and we started interviewing one by one everybody who was out. we were able to get our main suspects involved. >> the lead suspect belongs to the atgs. while the others are vice lords. they also opposed the gangster disciples. >> thanks. >> thanks. >> that opens up a whole new can of worms for investigators. >> this is the vice lord aspect is what i'm more worried about than atg aspect. they're taking some of you guys
from me a week. >> they want to move as one afford. >> now, they've got to find out if it was an isolated incident or the start of an even larger war throughout the jail. >> it's a chess game. people here can lose their lives. ♪ sen♪ co-signed her credit card - "buy books, not beer!" ♪ ♪ut the second at she shut the door ♪ ♪ girl started blowing up their credit score ♪ ♪ she bought a pizza party for the whole dorm floor ♪ ♪ hundred pounds of makeup at the makeup store ♪ ♪ and a ticket down to spring break in mexico ♪ ♪ but her folks didn't know 'cause her folks didn't go ♪ ♪ to free-credit-score-dot-com hard times for daddy and mom. ♪
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now that a guy like this gets hit, some retaliation is going to have to happen. >> a perfect storm appears to be gathering inside chicago's cook county jail. at the center, the gangster disciples. the biggest gang on the compound. their chief of security has been beaten and nearly killed by rival gang members. the alleged assailants belong to two different groups. the atgs and vice lords. they've exposed the gangster disciples' leaders for being vulnerable. a result of their own internal disarray. the gang's senior ranks are split in two. one faction that's in power, and the other that's trying to take over. now the question is whether the
attack by the atgs and vice lords will remain an isolated incident. or whether it will spark a bigger war on multiple fronts. that's what investigators have to find out quickly. they're leaning on many different sources for intel. including an inmate whom we've been calling franklin. he belongs to the side of gangster disciples plotting a takeover against their current leaders. >> people are smelling that blood in the water right now. that you guys aren't on the same page. so they're taking some of you guys. >> they're taking me. let's make this plain and simple. >> it's the vice lord aspect is what i'm more worried about than
the atg aspect. >> i don't condone what they did. but i don't see nothing changing in the relationship with the vice lords and the ges right now. with all the deposition. the last couple of years have been a peace treaty. so i don't think the gds. >> so basically they just took advantage of the situation. >> yeah. on the floor and nobody help him? >> it was considered by the gds. everyone was either in the shower, on the phone, or watching tv. >> that should be a clear message to them, know what i mean? ain't nobody care. the jail is always about the numbers. you outnumbered, you outpowered. this is not a place you want to be outpowered. >> go ahead.
>> based on what they've heard, investigators aren't waiting for the next shoe to drop. they're moving ahead of schedule to shake up both factions of gangster disciples in a coordinated sweep. >> i'm going to meet with sergeant cabo and sandoval and his group is headed -- >> it's the next phase of "operation hostile takeover." >> everybody's got radio. >> you're going to identify where the subjects are, where they're housed. >> it's on a large scale but it's not something that's never been done before. >> this is jail 101. searching inmates and looking for contraband. that's what we do. >> it will be an effort between us, emergency response unit, k-9, front-line staff. >> more than 80 officers, divided into two teams, will be hitting a pair of maximum-security buildings at
once in a show of force. their goal, take the 26 highest-ranking members of the gangster disciples into custody. officers will use pepper spray if the inmates fight back. investigator adrian sandoval is the case agent for one of the buildings. division 9. while investigator drake carpenter is the case agent for the other, division 1. they're about to rush the tiers where their targets are housed. >> everything is element of surprise. so the potential for stuff to go wrong is high. >> you got one time in cell 7? >> cell 4.
>> two times. where do you want them? >> it really went as well as it can go. able to ride on the tier security, in the day room, the rest of the guys caught in the hallway, the corridor. they were all secured. guys that normally are not mad about seeing me, don't look real happy right now. >> be advised, 83 went smoothly. three of our five targets were in the day room. no incident. >> it's your birthday? happy birthday, man. happy birthday. this your party. just ain't no cake. >> the first round-up is over
within 15 minutes. now that one tier's down, authorities have ten more to go. they're already moving the gangster disciples off the tier. they'll transfer them to other tiers or divisions. meanwhile, the team division 9 is ready to grab more heavy-hitters, including the leader of the whole organization. >> if there's one up there. i don't know who -- maybe this one. face the wall right there. coming at you. >> this is huge. just the fact we came in here
and took down -- this is the guy they've been following the past three years, just got taken off the tier. now what do we do? who's going to take over? who's the mouthpiece? who's the brains? there will be a lot of confusion for a minute. it's perfect. >> in a matter of hours, authorities take 24 of their targets into custody. from here, they'll transfer them to their new homes and put them under surveillance. >> it's going to open up a ton of different avenues for us. i guarantee you, you'll probably flip three or four guys. guys who didn't talk to us, now they got moved to a different division or a different county and it's not conducive to what they're used to. now they'll be wanting to talk. coming up on "the squeeze" -- >> the guys on the street know that we're out here because their leaders are causing conflict. you cause conflict in the jail,
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the clearest way to send a message is through force. that's the idea behind "operation hostile takeover." after rounding up all of the top gangster disciples in cook county jail, authorities are taking the last phase of their operation to the streets. >> one city radio, each sergeant's car. three teams are going to area one, three teams are going to area two. zero tolerance, everybody goes to jail. >> not only are the key players feeling the squeeze inside the jail -- >> you're under arrest, big boy.
>> now their blocks are feeling it too. the sheriffs' gang units, together with chicago police, are making a massive sweep of the city's west and south sides. >> our goal is to target the gangster disciples in the communities they live. the more problems you cause for us inside the institution, we're going to cause conflict for you guys on the street. you're going to go to jail for everything. whether it's public intoxication, driving on suspended license. you're going to go to jail for everything. >> never been in no gang? never in your life? your neighbors won't come back and say you never been in no gang? you hang out with the gds? >> police drive their message home by racking up 68 arrests over two days on gangster disciple turf.
>> like i was telling you guys earlier, gds are having a night. >> they have a message of their own to send. >> basically it speaks for itself. cpd, chicago police department, and the "k" is for killers. >> right now a group of guys are coming up. i relate it or attribute to it a video game. they think they can hit the button and get four more lives. you don't. once you ruin this one, it's ruined. >> while the street operation is in full swing, an alleged gang member shoots and injured two chicago officers. it happens in a neighborhood that's not part of the sweep. but the impact is just the same. >> mayor told us today, when you're out in the city be careful because they're not afraid to shoot the police. prime example.
>> both officers are lucky to be alive. each was grazed in the head by gunfire. a city-wide manhunt endues. yet the shooter evades capture. for now. >> you've seen how many police officers that was out there. we not going to lose. we going to fight for us. we going to win, period. >> man, where you from? >> i'm from the south side. >> south side where? what are you, gd? >> after three days of jail and street sweeps, investigators sandoval and carpenter face the real test. to find out whether the
operation worked. what their sources are telling them is good news. the gangster disciples' civil war is now over. the two sides have finally agreed to share power as a result of police pressure. >> this had to be the end of it, this operation, that's the whole point of it was to end the nonsense. and right now it's ended. >> sandoval and carpenter welcome the outcome. and move on to the next potential threat. for one thing, they've still got antoine and his atg followers on the compound. >> this is not a new gang, it's a movement. that's what it is. >> sort of like a bowel movement. >> it would be easier just to turnkeys and give them their food. but then you're not helping law enforcement in general. you've got to be willing to go an extra step. >> we're out there all the time.
on the tiers these guys have knives. you ask life insurance agencies. there's a reason why our policies ar lot higher. >> bottom line to it is this is life and death situation. it has that potential every single day. >> you're going to a place where stuff happens. whether you want it to or not, something could happen. so you've got to make the most of it when you leave your house, kiss your kids. tell the people you love you love them. because, you know, unfortunately it could happen to you. you know? so you have to take advantage of that. to me, i keep that in my mind every day when i come to work. that's why most of the time we meet people in corrections, it's a small, tight-knit group. those guys can only understand why. it's a bond. we have to look out for each other. that's the most important part.