O. G. Mack

By Christopher Zoukis

In 1993, O.G.Mack formed the East Coast version of the Bloods.  Mack called his organization the United Blood Nation, but most simply referred to it as the East Side Bloods. 

O.G. Mack, whose real name was Omar Portee grew up in the Bronx, where he was raised by his grandmother.  A member of a ruthlessly brutal gang called the One Eight Trey Gangsters, Mack was arrested in 1988 for armed robbery.  He was 16 years old at the time.  Mack spent the next three years in prison, Rikers Island.  After being released in 1991, Mack’s grandmother sent him to California to live with relatives.  Her goal was to separate him from the noxious influence of gangs.  It didn’t work.  Most of his relatives in L.A. were members of the Miller Gangster Bloods.  In no time at all, Mack was neck deep in the L.A. gang culture.  Although he never officially joined the Miller Gangster Bloods, Mack ran with the gang, whose members considered him a Blood.   O. G. Mack / Image courtesy thehoodup.com

Mack returned to the Bronx two years later, in 1993.  He immediately took up where he left off, re-uniting with the One Eight Trey Gangsters.  Impressed by Bloods’ culture in L.A., Mack wasted little time convincing his fellow gangbangers that they should become part of the Blood alliance.  The gangbangers liked what they heard.  The One Eight Trey Gangsters became the One Eight Trey Gangster Bloods. 

A few months later, O.G. Mack was arrested for attempted murder.  While awaiting trial, Mack was again held on Rikers Island, in the George Mochen Detention Center (GMDC), which was also called C-73.  Individuals in GMDC were considered problem inmates and were segregated from the general prison population.  On Rikers Island, where the prison was controlled by the Latino gangs, the independent black gangs found themselves fighting not only the Latino gangs, but also fighting other black gangs because of street grudges that carried over into prison.  Most of these independent black gangs were affiliated with the umbrella alliance known as the African Blood Brotherhood or the Almighty Blood Brotherhood.  Mack, realizing that the independent black gangs in prison needed a way to protect themselves from the Latino gangs, called for a meeting of independent black gang leaders.  Mack’s idea, which he presented to the leaders, was to unite as a set of the Bloods.  This unity would allow them to successfully defend themselves against the Latino gangs. 

The independent gang leaders, impressed by Mack's rhetorical skills and personal charisma, decided the idea of unification was worthy of consideration.  Not only would the proposed unification enable them to protect themselves against the Latino gangs but it would put an end to their petty squabbles with other black gangs.  One by one, the gang leaders voted for the proposed unification.  A merger took place, giving birth to the Nine Trey Gangster Bloods.  This unification was the foundation of the United Blood Nation or East Side Bloods.

By 2001, the East Side Bloods were a major force in the prisons and cities along the eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida.  Five Blood sets originated under the name United Blood Nation:  One Eight Trey Gangsters, Sex Money Murder, Valentine Gangster Bloods, G Shine, and the Nine Trey Gangsters. 

G Shine aka Gangster Killer Bloods, a Brooklyn-based gang, was led by Leonard Mackenzie, whose nickname was O.G. Deadeye.  The Valentine Gangsters were the result of the 4th Chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation gang deciding to flip to the United Blood Nation.  The Valentine Gangsters operated out of the Bronx River Projects in the East Bronx. 

At this time, during the late 1990s, the Bloods, although much more prone to violence than the other gangs, were very loosely organized, without any Regional, National or local leadership or connection. 

East Side Bloods operated prostitution rings, engaged in armed robbery, protection rackets, and were deeply involved in drug trafficking.  They also banged (went to war) with other gangs, including other Bloods, to expand their territories. 

Due to a lack of evidence, his reputation for violence – his exacting revenge on anyone who testified against him – and the fact that Mack had the money to engage the services of a competent criminal defense attorney, O.G. Mack served only five years for the attempted murder charge.  When he was released from prison in 1999, O.G. Mack went right back to banging, being the acknowledged leader of the United Blood Nation. 

O.G. Mack quickly took control of his gang.  Surrounded by armed gangbangers, everywhere he went Mack carried a 9mm Glock, along with an AK-47 assault rifle.  The One Eight Trey Gangster Bloods were back in business.  Business-as-usual included racketeering, theft, and armed robbery.  The gang also expanded into cocaine distribution, which proved to be very lucrative.  Because of their tendency for brutal violence, the One Eight Trey Gangster Bloods came to the attention of law enforcement officials.

In 2002, O.G. Mack was arrested by federal officials and charged with racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder, illegal possession of an AK-47, and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.  After a two month trial, Mack was convicted.  Sentencing took place in April of 2003.  O.G. Mack was sentenced to 50 years in prison.