Street gang splinters into two 0
A rift among members of the MOB street gang led Corrections officials at Milner Ridge provincial jail to move longtime MOB member Michael Balingit to a different range of the prison.
A mysterious rift among members of a notorious Winnipeg street gang has led to the birth of a new splinter group inside provincial jails and on city streets, the Winnipeg Sun has learned.
A handful of MOB (Most Organized Brothers) members have split off and recently formed a new gang faction dubbed the "334" - a numerical nod to the tattoos worn by some MOB members, a Manitoba Justice gang prosecutor told court Tuesday. Within the gang, the digits carry the meaning, "MOB for life."
The split took place sometime after mid-December 2011, when longtime MOB member Michael Balingit, 23, was arrested and held at the Milner Ridge provincial jail, Judge Robert Heinrichs was told.
Balinjit, known in the gang as 'Legs,' was moved by Corrections officials out of the MOB range and into a different area of the jail.
From there, he was "running a crew" of about five 334 members despite being locked up in custody, the Crown said.
Balinjit admitted Tuesday to selling a small amount of crack cocaine to an undercover cop last winter and breaching several conditions of a probation order.
He was sentenced to two years, minus seven months of time already served.
Balinjit will be supervised by GRASP - a monitoring program aimed at getting high-risk gang members out of gang life - for a full two years after he gets out.
Justice sources couldn't say specifically what led to the MOB/334 split, only that "something happened" to trigger it. The street gang situation is "fluid" in terms of who represents who, said the source.
Winnipeg cops were recently issued an internal warning to watch for a flare up of conflict between the MOB and rivals the Indian Posse (IP).
"The gangs are expecting to run into each other and they will clash," a source told the Sun in mid-June, around the time of the Red River Exhibition.
It wouldn't be the first time tensions between the MOB and IP resulted in violence. Late last summer and into the fall, the rivals were embroiled in a feud that turned deadly.
First, IP associate Clarky Stevenson, 15, was stabbed in September in a long-standing beef with rivals MOB. Not long after MOB members allegedly killed Stevenson, David Vincett, 20, was shot and killed on Boyd Avenue.
From all appearances, Vincett wasn't a gang member, but might have told the accused he was connected to MOB during a brief argument.
-with files from Tamara King