Almighty Vice Lord Nation
Almighty Vice Lord Nation
Founding location Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Years active 1958-current
Ethnicity mostly African American
Membership Approx. 30,000 – 35,000
Criminal activities Drug trafficking, robbery, bank fraud, credit card fraud, extortion, mail fraud, money
laundering, murder, mortgage fraud, wire fraud
Notable members Edward “Pepalo” Perry, Alfonso Alfred, Bobby Gore, Willie Lloyd
The Almighty Vice Lord Nation (abbreviated AVLN, VLN, VL, or CVLN) is the second largest and one of the oldest street gangs in Chicago. Their total membership is estimated to be as many as 30,000. They are also one of the founding members of the People Nation multi-gang alliance.
In 1958, the Vice Lords “club” was founded by several African American youths originally from the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago. These youths met while incarcerated in the Illinois State Training School for Boys in St. Charles (also known as the St. Charles Juvenile Correctional Facility). At the time, they were led by founding member Edward “Pepalo” Perry. The name is taken from the dictionary definition of “vice”, meaning “to have a tight hold”.
As the original Vice Lords group were released from incarceration, they quickly began to recruit other African American and white youths from their neighborhood and began engaging in conflicts with other “clubs” from various Chicago neighborhoods. By 1964, they had grown significantly and law enforcement named them as a primary target
for their various illegal activities, including robbery, theft, assaults, battery, intimidation, and extortion. They were noted for their violent behavior and were feared throughout the Lawndale neighborhood.
In an attempt at softening their public image, the Vice Lord leaders changed the gang’s name to “Conservative Vice Lords”, which today serves as the foundation of the entire Vice Lord Nation. They developed new logos and advertised themselves as a community outreach group. They went as far as to petition for a community outreach
chapter named “Conservative Vice Lord Incorporated. This attempt was successful enough that the group began to receive a large amount of positive publicity from various politicians and community leaders. CVL, Inc. established a number of recreational areas for neighborhood children which were then used as meeting houses after they had
closed for the day.
In 1970, two Vice Lord leaders, Alfonso Alfred and Bobby Gore, applied for a $275,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The Rockefeller Foundation approved the grant. At the same time, the gang was successfully consolidating smaller neighborhood gangs (including the Cherokees, the Morphines, the Commanches, the Continental
Pimps, the Imperial Chaplains, the Clovers, the Cobras, and the Braves) into the Vice Lord Nation. As a result, their numbers swelled significantly. In spite of the positive press, it was soon discovered that the Vice Lords were still violent criminals. An introduction of narcotics into the Lawndale neighborhood during this time, along with a rapid increase in crimes involving intimidation, extortion, and murders of business owners who refused to
pay for “protection” were perpetuated by the gang.
In addition to their presence in Chicago, the Vice Lords also have a large presence in other cities throughout the United States. These include Detroit, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Memphis, Tennessee; Gary, Indiana; Jackson, Mississippi; and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Along with the “foundation” group Conservative Vice Lords, a number of factions and sub-gangs exist. These include the 4 Corner Hustlers, Cicero Insane Vice Lords, Ebony Vice Lords, Executioner Vice Lords, Imperial Insane Vice Lords, Mafia Insane Vice Lords, Renegade Vice Lords, Purple Hearted Vice Lords, Traveler Vice Lords,
Undertaker Vice Lords, and Unknown Vice Lords.
Symbols and emblems
Vice Lord street gangs use a variety of gang graffiti symbols or emblems, to identify themselves and their gang ‘turf’ including: A hat cocked to the left side.(Left represents the People Nation alliance and cocking to the right represents the
Folk Nation alliance)Rabbit wearing a bow tie (The Playboy logo)
Five-point star – The five points represent (clockwise from top): Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom and Justice.
Crescent moon (Teutonic)
Pitchfork pointing down – The pitchfork is a symbol of the Gangster Disciples, the inversion is a sign of
Broken heart with wings – As above, the heart with wings is a symbol of the Gangster Disciples, breaking it is a
sign of disrespect
Like the Black P. Stones, the Vice Lords often utilize pseudo-Islamic ideology and symbolism in their gang motif
Pyramid with an eye above it.
a six point star broken in half to disrespect Folk Nation.
Five point crown
Each faction of the Vice Lords has their own ‘Chief’ and ranking officers. However, high-ranking members that hold
the title of ‘Universal Elite’ are given respect by all Vice Lord factions. They are usually called “Lord Almighty”.