Their color is red; their number, 14. Their arch-enemies, Los Serranos.
Gang experts know they couldn't be dealing with anyone but Los Nortenos. On Monday, law enforcement had ten Nortenos under arrest. They were still looking for one more.
"They are the worst of the worst," said Attorney General Pam Bondi.
The suspected gang members were nabbed as part of a ten-month investigation called "Operation Red Dawn."
The Nortenos operate out of East Hillsborough County, but have committed crimes including murder in other counties such as Polk as well. According to experts, there are about 100 members locally.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Col. Donna Luscyznski says arresting the men is like cutting a head off a snake.
"These are key members of [Los Nortenos]," she said. "So they're the ones that influence the other gang members and direct them what to do."
Law enforcement says the crackdown won't eliminate Los Nortenos, just cripple them for a while until they regain their strength or a new gang comes into their area.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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