Menace of Destruction

"Menace of Destruction" (MOD), formerly known as "Masters of Destruction,"[1][15] was created in 1988 by immigrant Hmong youth to protect their community from gang violence. Today, it is active in every state with a large Hmong community from California to the Midwestern United States and Southern States. It is known for murders, fights, and drugs and weapons trafficking (especially methamphetamine).[1]

Menace of Destruction
Founding locationFresno, California, United States, Sacramento, California, Twin Cities, Minnesota
Years active1988–present
TerritoryCalifornia,[2] Wisconsin,[2] Colorado,[2] Minnesota,[2] North Carolina,[2] Georgia,[3] Oregon,[4] South Carolina, Michigan, Bakersfield, Texas, Alaska,[4] Washington,[5] Oklahoma,[6]
EthnicityPredominantly Hmong
Criminal activitiesDrug trafficking, weapon trafficking, assault, burglary, robbery, kidnapping, theft, and murder.
AlliesNuestra Familia, Sun Yi Phoenix,[7] Romanian Mafia, Darkside Guild,[8] Crazy Brother Clan Tiny Little Rascal[9]
RivalsFresno Bulldogs, Alliance,[9] Asian Crips,[1][10] Asian Family Gangsters,[8] Hmong Nation Society,[11] Laotian Posse,[9] Enemy Spyder Killer,[9] Oriental Ruthless Boys,[12][13] Ruthless Crip Gangsters,[14] Junior Criminal Crips, Original Mono Boys, Crips, East Side Longos, Latin Kings, Tiny Rascal Gang,[8]

MOD is the oldest active Asian street gang in Northern California and the largest Hmong gang in America.


In 1988, a handful of Hmong youth broke off from a Hmong gang known as "Peace MOD", originally formed in 1985 in Fresno, California to fight off the Norteños, Bulldogs, Crips, Bloods, and other Asian gangs preying upon the Hmong community. These youth formed the "Masters of Destruction" (MOD). The reason behind the breakup is unclear, although it is suggested that there was a power struggle between members which caused "Peace MOD" to break into three gangs that included "Masters of Destruction". The other two splinter gangs were known as the "Mongolian Boys Society" (MBS) and the "Oriental Ruthless Boys" (ORB). The breakup of "Peace MOD" created rivalries between MOD, ORB and MBS until the latter two became defunct in the late 1990s.

In 1991, the name of MOD was changed to "Menace of Destruction" by the younger generation to better align with their youth, recruiting gang members as young as 12 years old.

Fearing for their children's lives, Hmong parents either moved or sent their teenagers off to live with relatives in other towns or out of state. However, the relocation of gang members caused the gang to grow rapidly as members created their own cliques in their new settings to rival other local gangs. In Portland, Oregon, due to a small Hmong community, Vietnamese migrants were recruited to rival Biker gangs and other street gangs. In the Midwest, Wisconsin's first Hmong gang known as the "White Tigers" was quickly annihilated upon MOD's presence in the Twin Cities.[citation needed]

MOD flexed its muscle through intimidation, fights, and murders. Rival gang members would often become targets of ambush assaults in public areas or at popular Hmong cultural events such as the Hmong New Year celebrations and sports tournaments within the Hmong communities across America.

MOD is the oldest active Hmong gang in America[citation needed] and is the oldest active Asian street gang in Northern California. It is also one of the most revered and feared among Asian street gangs in the country. At its peak, MOD brought many gangs to their knees and decreased violent robberies targeting urban Hmong families by gangs from other ethnic groups. Many splinter groups have formed out of MOD that eventually became defunct or still exist as rival gangs. However, as with many gangs today, there is a dwindling membership within MOD as gang culture slowly fades out of appeal with urban Hmong youth due to growing prosperity from increased economic resources and opportunities in the Hmong communities. In addition, Hmong youth today have assimilated very well into American society by following the examples set by their parents who toiled through the migrant era for a better future for their families.


Menace of Destruction members tend to use the color red. They may also identify themselves with grey and black.[10][2] They are also identified by gang-related tattoos such as their gang initial and the numeric code "301". The three standing for "M", zero standing for "O", and combining the 0 and one forms a "D".[2]



During 1993 in Sacramento, California, tensions between the Menace of Destruction and the Asian Family Gangsters were intense. Following the death of a young M.O.D gang member and a shooting at several Tiny Little Rascals; a junior version of M.O.D, the M.O.D retaliated back by performing a drive-by shooting in North Sacramento at the Asian Family Gangsters. A shotgun blast to the head of a rival gang member led to his death from the Menace of Destruction. What was outstanding about the shooting was that the M.O.D went into their rival gang territory to shoot and kill a rival gang member to show them who was tougher. Around the same period, the Menace of Destruction was also responsible of killing a rival Lao gang member and another one two years later in 1995.[8]

Two teens surrendered to Spokane police in connection with a California drive-by shooting after a six-hour standoff. The suspects are members of the gang Menace of Destruction and were wanted on warrants charging them with violating parole and attempted murder in a January 6, 1998 drive-by shooting near Merced, California. A man was shot in the eye during that attack but survived. California authorities called Spokane police to tell them the teens might be in the area. Undercover officers staked out the house to confirm the two were staying there. The house was widely known for drug trafficking. The teens were believed to be heavily armed, with several pistols and possibly rifles or shotguns. At least a dozen SWAT team members with police dogs and high-powered rifles surrounded the house. Police searched the home and found several guns.[5]

At one time, the Menace of Destruction gang was the most active gang in Merced, California during April 2002. The Southeast Asian groups was far more violent comparing to the black, white, and Hispanic gangs.


In February 2005, members of the Menace of Destruction were involved in a shooting attack on a group of Tibetan Americans that left two people, a Tibetan and a Cambodian American, dead and four others wounded outside a pool hall in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. The Tibetans were mistakenly thought to be members of a rival gang, and the two groups engaged into a fistfight. The fistfight escalated to bottles and other objects being thrown at each parties, and then multiple M.O.D. members retrieved firearms from their cars and opened fire at the Tibetans. Two men were arrested and convicted of first-degree murder, and six other gang members were convicted of lesser offenses. Two M.O.D gang members was sentenced to 126 years for the shooting, and another was sentenced to 6 years.[2][16]

Yatau Her, Xee Lor, and Fong Vang were M.O.D gang members also involved in the pool hall shooting. Yatau had escaped from a juvenile prison during a work release program in California. After the pool hall shooting, Yatau was involved in an armed robbery and attempted homicide at a local store in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, along with other M.O.D gang members. The three gang members were spotted a few weeks later by two police authorities. At this point, Xee Lor shot and fired at the officers with a .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun. In return, the officers fired back, wounding Xee. The three of them were captured the same day after a few hours of pursuit.[2][15]

Two officers were patrolling in Saint Paul, Minnesota, when they spotted a fugitive from the Menace of Destruction gang in February 2007. Mitchell Moua; the gang member, was wanted for aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and federal weapons charges. During the pursuit, Mitchell fired shots at the officers while they fired back in return, resulting in Moua's car crash and death. Moua had turned the gun to himself instead of being taken alive.[2]

A national drug ring based in Twin Cities was busted after months of surveillance and wiretaps in March 2012. The cartel La Familia smuggled millions of dollars worth of methamphetamine from Mexico to Minnesota. The drugs then went through a local member of the cartel and the Menace of Destruction gang.[7]

On July 10, 2013, a Menace of Destruction gang member was arrested with three felony counts of car theft and receiving stolen property in Woodbury, Minnesota. A detective working undercover spotted a Honda Accord in a parking lot. The car's license plate was not fastened properly to the car, and was hanging at an angle. The detective saw a man and a woman in the car. He ran the Honda's license plate and found that it was registered to a different vehicle. When he checked the car's vehicle identification number, he discovered it did not match the license plate and came up as a stolen vehicle. When the man and woman returned to the car, the detective arrested them. During a search, police found a set of keys, including a shaved key. The shaved key had been used to open the Accord's door, police said. The M.O.D gang member had a criminal record that included convictions for car theft, possession of dangerous weapons, possession of a short-barrel shotgun, burglary, fleeing police, criminal damage to property, obstructing justice and resisting arrest. In an unrelated case, the M.O.D gang member also pleaded guilty in October 2013 to a felony drug possession in Ramsey County.[17]

Police were called on August 3, 2014 about a man who crashed his car, pointed a gun at a man and robbed him of his bike, fired shots at a passing car, and carjacking another vehicle. The man robbed a 72-year-old bicyclist at gunpoint, but had trouble riding the bike because it requires special shoes. He left the bike in the road and shot at a passing vehicle, which didn't stop, but a bullet hit the driver's door. A witness took photos of the carjacker and police saw that he was holding a black handgun. The man then was able to get in the back of a SUV, which had two men inside, and forced them to drive. About two miles away, police caught up to the vehicle and pulled it over. The man exited and fired the gun at officers who returned fire, fatally wounding him. In past contact with the St. Paul police gang unit, the man admitted he was a member of the Menace of Destruction gang.[18]


Two men were accused of shooting five people at a Hmong New Year's festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma in October 2013. Prosecutors believed one victim was the target because he mediated a dispute involving one of the suspects' family. The suspects were arrested shortly after the shooting when a police helicopter spotted a car driving away from the scene with its headlights off. They had thrown clothes and a semi-automatic handgun out of the vehicle, prior to their arrest. Prosecutors believed that one of the suspect is to be connected to the Menace of Destruction gang in California. Tulsa police also recovered guns, gang paraphernalia and ammunition after serving search warrants on two homes in connection with the shooting.[19]


Four members of the gang Menace of Destruction were involved in a Wausau-area tavern stabbing in July 1994. The stabbing incident, which occurred in Schofield, Wisconsin, landed a bouncer in the hospital with knife wounds after he attempted to break up a fight between two men over a stolen cassette tape. Around the same month, the M.O.D was involved in a dispute with two other gangs the Laotian Posse and the Alliance. In Stevens Point, for instance, one incident involved gunfire. That hassle started with a fight in Wausau. During this time, M.O.D members were migrating to the Midwestern states while having a turf war with Hood Infiltrator Boys in Fresno, California.[9]

A female was talking to the police basically called "snitching." Menace of Destruction attacked five girls in a car in Wausau during April 1995. Bottles were thrown at the vehicle and windows were smashed. The assault left one girl with a gash in her nose.[20]

The Menace of Destruction gangs were involved in a confrontation that erupted into a shooting that wounded two teenagers in June 2002 in Wausau, Wisconsin. Two carloads of young people pulled up to a home where a party and porch cookout was taking place and exchanged words before the shooting happened. A man fired at least three shots into the crowd, wounding a 17-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy in the leg. The boy has been connected to the gang Menace of Destruction, also known as Men of Destruction.[12]

A rival gang member was sentenced to 18 years in prison for his role in a gang-related shooting in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on April 12, 2004. Several members of the Ruthless Crip Gangsters drove to the Eau Claire home of a member of the gang Menace of Destruction. Three to five shots were fired at a man after a verbal confrontation, one shot narrowly missing his head. One bullet hit a neighboring house, striking a couch inside where a woman was sitting.[14]

Seventeen members of the Menace of Destruction gang were indicted in federal court in Milwaukee of March 2010. A federal criminal complaint charging people for being involved with the gang says they were involved in violence and in methamphetamine and ecstasy sales to support the gang and the gang members. The gang also wanted to promote solidarity within the local Hmong community, as well as throughout the United States. As part of the bust, several suburban residents were arrested for their alleged roles in selling "Menace of Destruction" drugs. Suspects were also arrested in Appleton, in Eau Claire, and in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.[1]

Fifteen members of the Menace of Destruction gang were charged for various crimes during the year of 2004 through 2009 in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin of May 2010. They were all charged with 18 counts altogether, including racketeering, aggravated battery while armed, burglary, endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to harbor a felon and perjury. During the years between 2004 and 2009, M.O.D. and other Hmong gangs were involved in a turf war with each other, which resulted in more than 120 shootings in the area.[10]

In September 2011, an investigation led to eight people arrested for a meth trafficking ring by several agencies. Several homes were raided in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. At least 1/4 pound of methamphetamine, small amount of other drugs, and two hand guns were seized. One of the guns had its serial numbers removed. At least two of the men were responsible for distributing 13-pounds of meth to people in the Chippewa Valley. Some of the people arrested had ties to the gang M.O.D. or Menace of Destruction.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e Trevey, Mick. Feds Bust Milwaukee Asian Gang, WTMJ, March 10, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Minnesota - Gangland Documentary - Menace Of Destruction Gang (MOD), Gangland
  3. ^ Gangs in Gwinnett: How to Identify Them, 2004.
  4. ^ a b 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment – Emerging Trends, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Rivers, Robin & Lynn, Adam. StandoffF ends with surrender of two teens, The Spokesman-Review, February 26, 1998.
  6. ^ Fullbright, Lori.Tulsa Police Say Asian Gang Fight Responsible For Latest Homicide, News on 6 Now, August 5, 2013.
  7. ^ a b McEnroe, Paul. As ATF nominee, U.S. Attorney Jones faces distrust from some agents, judges, prosecutors, Star Tribune, March 19, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d Magagnini, Stephen. 2001: Stephen Magagnini, The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, The Sacramento Bee, September 10, 2000.
  9. ^ a b c d e Not on our turf California gangs create havoc here, "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel", July 28, 1994.
  10. ^ a b c Vielmetti, Bruce. 15 charged with being part of violent Hmong gang, Journal Sentinel, May 25, 2010.
  11. ^ Gang Criminal Justice Directory
  12. ^ a b 2 identified as gang members are charged, "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel", June 13, 2002.
  13. ^ Arax, Mark. In Fresno, Agencies Fight Gangs With MAGEC, Los Angeles Times, February 2, 1998.
  14. ^ a b Imrie, Robert. Man's sentence in Eau Claire gang-related shooting was fair, appeals court rules, Pioneer Press, November 26, 2008.
  15. ^ a b Alleged shooter of Ramsey County deputy pleads not guilty, The Chippewa Herald, March 12, 2005.
  16. ^ Ashmore, Kerry. Items of Note in the News Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Northeaster, January 9, 2008.
  17. ^ Sundquist, Betsy. Minneapolis Man Sentenced for Theft of Car Found in Woodbury, Woodbury Patch, January 3, 2014.
  18. ^ Gottfried, Mara H. St. Paul carjacker who died in shootout was gang member, police say, Pioneer Press, August 14, 2014.
  19. ^ Boonmlee Lee, Meng Lee Charged In Tulsa Shooting Of 5, Huffington Post, October 18, 2013.
  20. ^ Recent gang incidents, "The Journal Times", June 18, 1995.
  21. ^ Baylor, Chris. Eight arrested, three more wanted for meth trafficking ring, WEAU, September 23, 2011.