|Fanoosian crime family|
Los Angeles, California, Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
200 inducted members, 500+ associates
Drug trafficking, guns trafficking, humans trafficking, smuggling, extortion, insurance fraud, auto theft, corruption, bribery, contract killing, murder, other rackets and crimes.
Surenos, Bloods, Crips
13-15 billion a year
The Fanoosian crime family is an Armenian and Armenian-American crime family, ran out of Los Angeles, California, but also has members inside Armenia and the de facto republic of Nagorno-Karabakh as well. It was started around 1992, by Armenian national Arshak Fanoosian, a Vory v Zakone, which he earned during his time inside Soviet prisons. He met up with his cousin Edik Minchevyan, who had been living in Glensdale, LA, California for a few years now. Together, they started a small gang of Armenian criminals that has now turned into a full blown mafia, with rules, traditions and an induction ceremony that is used to induct members officially. Only Armenians or Armenian-Americans of 100% Armenian descent are allowed to become full members.
The 90's Edit
Arshak "Big Man" Fanoosian, is an Armenian criminal who served 8 years in Soviet Prison for robbery charges. During his time in prison, he would become involved with a multi-ethnic group of gangsters, called Vor v Zakone. This was essentially a made man of the Russian Mafia, and he earned his tattoos and his right to be called such. After his time in prison, it was around the time the Soviet Union began to disintegrate. So in early 1992, Fanoosian, looking for new opportunities, moved out to Los Angeles, California, specifically Glendale, where he met up with his cousin Edik "Eddie Money" Minchevyan. Together, the two began a small gang of local Armenians, running small protection rackets, moving small amounts of drugs and working their way up the criminal ladder. Notable members of this early version of the family were Hagop "The Finger" Tufenkian, Gostandin "Pogo" Pogosian and Atanas "AK" Karmaryan. Together, they protected themselves from the local LA gangs, such as the Surenos, the Bloods and the Crips, making their money all by themselves.
With Fanoosian as the boss, he started to make up new rules for the organization. He created the rank system that is now in place, with him as the boss, Edik as his right hand man, Hagop as his left hand man, Gostandin and Atanas as his underbosses, with lieutenants, soldiers and associates underneath that. He created an induction ceremony, in which members, inside of a local Armenian Apostolic church, swear their loyalty to the organization under oath, in which a verse from the bible is recited in Classical Armenian, and they are officially inducted. Official members can be noted by their Armenian cross tattoo, which is inked on after full membership is attained. Only full-blooded Armenians are allowed full membership, which in itself comes with a wide array of benefits and perks.
During the latter part of the 90s, Fanoosian went to war with a large Crip set ran by Clifford "The Coon" Cole, in which 7 people died. Fanoosian ultimately won the war, after some of his enforcers went and firebombed Cole's house and killing him. The war brought the gang world's attention to Fanoosian, as Fanoosian looked to become the don of LA, and don he did become. The war with Cole's crips was a success, and soon no one truly challenged Fanoosian until later in the 2000s. The so-called Pax Armenia, began and a relatively peaceful period of calm occurred across the Armenian gangster world. Top earning lieutenants such as Hmayag Bagratuni, Robert Ovasapian and Matsag Aronyan ran stock market rackets, earning hundreds of millions for the organization, as it grew in power. Fanoosian worked with Russian crime boss Dima Bogomolov, and the LA-based Bruciatta crime family, eventually surpassing it as Los Angeles' most powerful criminal organization. Back in Armenia, Fanoosian had allies in the Yerevan-based Ghazaryan crime family, in which they would fly back and forth between America and Armenia doing business, especially in guns and in the auto theft business, which became a huge business for Fanoosian and Bako Ghazaryan. Together, they ran various car dealerships, and using stolen cars, which were stripped down, cleaned out, and made sure to be untraceable, were sold as if they were brand new. By 1999, the Fanoosian crime family was the most powerful criminal organization in California.
The 2000s Edit
Before the war with the Surenos 2000-2007 Edit
As the millennium approached, Fanoosian and his crime family spread its tentacles into various rackets in California, making sure to not step on the toes of other, already established gangs. Fronts were set up, such as Ghulian's Armenian Restaurant, the Hamegh Deli and Little Yerevan's, an Armenian bar in Orange County. Matsag Aronyan, a top lieutenant of the organization, set up a partnership with the Triad in San Francisco, the Sun Yee Wo, ran by David Wong. Together, the Armenians and the Triads worked together on prostitution, in which women were exchanged and brothels shared profits. The partnership would not last long however, and David Wong claimed that Fanoosian and his organization were cheating him out of his money. So Fanoosian ordered the killings of Wong, and his top guys, Jiahao Luong, Marcus Tan, Jing Zu and Zhi Deng. Outside of a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown in SF, on September 25th, 2000, the now infamous Chinatown massacre occurred. Four soldiers of Fanoosian crime family, Geghard "Mr. Sunshine" Davidyan, Nazaret "Naz' Gabrelyan, Tateos "The Bull" Baltaian and Anthony "Mardaspan" Azatardyian, all members of lieutenant Hayrig "Paintbrush" Janikyan's crew, rolled up in a blacked out Ford SUV, armed with M16's, and opened fire on them as they left a meeting in Han's Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown. All four of the Triad were riddled with at least 40 bullets, and the shooting rocked the country as no one was sure who was responsible for it. The rest of the Triad were taken care of as well over the next few months, as lieutenants and high ranking members were shot and killed in various shootings, in all totaling to about 10 more deaths. People reported the bodies of the gangsters in the back of freezers, inside garbage trucks, floating onshore to local beaches and even one was found in the sewers by sewer workers. But Fanoosian had connections with the LAPD, the SFPD, the California Govt. and local unions as well, and made sure nothing traced back to him or his organization. The Armenians didn't lose a single person, and after the murders, took over territory in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego and various other cities. LA remained the powerhouse faction of the family, but small crews were set up across other cities in California to establish an Armenian presence elsewhere in the state.
After the Triad murders, Fanoosian and the inner circle were essentially kings in the underworld. Most gangs paid protection money to them, and the family thrived on extortion and protection rackets to hundreds of businesses, organizations and other places across their territory. An influx of gangsters coming in and out of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh republic, meant that Fanoosian could have associates set up there too, to run various rackets. He made round trips there at least once a month, to check on business and make sure everything there was good. Gostandin Pogosian, a underboss of Fanoosian, brokered a deal with the Mexican drug cartels that would supply the family with shipments of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, heroin and MDMA. Fanoosian essentially controlled the state of California with his drug money, living in a mansion in Beverly Hills.
As the good times rolled, occasionally a bump or two in the road occurred. Lieutenants Harold Zoniqazian, Hambarsoom Canvichelyan and Samvel Puavochordian, three lieutenants