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Confessions of a Former Gang Member

• Joel Poindexter

I had no desire to attend college after graduating from high school. Though I’d worked regular jobs, I was restless and looking for something more exciting. Like most kids my age I’d seen plenty of movies that romanticized the lifestyle, and I was attracted to it, so I joined a gang. I’d been told that if you could handle it, there was good money to be made, and if you were really good at it, room to advance.

The gang had international ties, and because of its overseas network I spent a couple of years working abroad. The particular syndicate I was part of would operate mostly in third world countries. It was easier to get away with our crimes there. We’d move into one town or another, and after pushing out the local gang, occupy the prime real estate.

We relied on local contacts, which acted as informants and low level muscle, and helped us to establish dominance on the street. In order to cover for our unlawful activity we had to operate under various front organizations. Usually we posed as security agencies or construction companies, and were in the employ of corrupt governments and big businesses. Our PR was world-class.


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