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Mickey Cobras

Mickey Cobras
Named afterHenry "Mickey" Cogwell
Founding locationWestside, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Years active1954–1966 (Egyptian Cobras)
1966–1977 (Cobra Stones)
1977–present (Mickey Cobras)
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Toronto, Canada
EthnicityAfrican American
Criminal activities

The Mickey Cobras are a large street gang affiliated with the nationwide gang alliance known as the People Nation. Based in Chicago, Illinois and consisting largely of African American membership, the gang is considered very mobile, wear the colors green, black and sometimes red. Factions of the gang are being established throughout the Mid-western United States.[1] The gang's criminal expertise is in narcotics. The Mickey Cobras main source of income is wholesale distribution of heroin, cocaine and marijuana to other gangs, where most gangs must deal within their own. On April 5, 2005, US Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald described The Mickey Cobras (few in numbers compared to other gangs with same power) as one of several "super-gangs" that constitute a sizable portion of Chicago's overall gang population.[2] Some of their rivals would include Folk Nation, some BPS and Vice Lord sets. Traces of the gang can now be found in Chicago, Detroit and Toronto.


"Egyptian Cobras"

The Egyptian Cobras formed in the year 1954 on Chicago’s west side on the corner of Roosevelt and Maxwell. The founder of the Egyptian Cobras was James Cogwell. During the mid 1950s the Egyptian Cobras fought heavily with a gang called the 14th Street Clovers. The 14th Street Clovers were the gang that later became the Vice Lords in the late 1950s. After several members of the 14th Street Clovers were incarcerated by 1957, the Egyptian Cobras had less competition. While incarcerated in the St. Charles Reformatory for Boys, the Clovers organized and became the Vice Lords. When the Vice Lords returned to Lawndale in the year 1958, they soon swelled into a force to be reckoned with. The Vice Lords were very aggressive and the dominant gang in Lawndale; by the year 1960 the Egyptian Cobras sought better opportunities on the South Side of Chicago. They relocated to the Woodlawn community. Cogwell led the Egyptian King Cobras as they gained a foothold and reputation in Chicago. In the year 1966 the Cobras new leader Henry (Mickey) Cogwell held second highest position in the Main 21 alliance, comprising the leaders of different gangs within the Black P. Stone Nation (BPSN). The Cobras and the Black P. Stone Nation allied against the Disciple Alliance and later the Gangster Nation. The Egyptian Cobras then changed their name to the Cobras Stones in 1966.

"Mickey Cobras Gang"

Mickey Cogwell and the Cobras policed the police in their communities, receiving government grants to feed kids breakfast in Fuller Park area before public schools offered meals - the template for school free lunch programs all over America - and worked as an organizer for a south side union. In 1970, the commander of the Gang Intelligence Unit for the Chicago Police Department portrayed Cogwell as the link between gangs and organized crime, particularly the Chicago Outfit. On February 25, 1977, Mickey Cogwell was assassinated by the Black P Stone leader because of his power within the People Nation, and his followers changed their organization's name again in late '70s early '80s, becoming the Mickey Cobras in his honor. The Mickey Cobras operate mainly in Chicago and surrounding suburbs, their main base of operation is particularly in the area around Fuller Park, and the Austin neighborhood.[3]

Involvement in Crime

The gang has been involved in many drug related criminal activities as well as criminal activities that surround the gang lifestyle such as homicide, extortion and robbery.

Cornell Green Case

Cornell Green was the second-highest ranked "king" in the Mickey Cobras street gang. Federal agents in the United States, wanted Green to cooperate and reports are falsely accusing him of doing so, although he refused.[4] He was convicted in September 2001 to 30 years in prison for the operation of a large-scale heroin scandal in the South side of Chicago. Green was among 15 people who were prosecuted as part of this drug scandal.

Some of the other members prosecuted involved: -Robert Thomas, aged 30, was the only one of the 15 defendants to go to trial; he received a 30-year sentence. -Kamorudeen Sowemimo, aged 31, was convicted of being a major heroin supplier to the gang; he was sentenced to 14 years in prison. -Roderick Parker, who was one of the 15 defendants, had admitted to selling hundreds of the bags on an average day.

Prosecutors stated that the drug scandal ran by Green used street sellers with cell phones to keep customers posted on their changing locations. Between 1993 and early 2001 it was said that the gang had sold hundreds of "dime" bags (2/10 to 3/10 of a gram) for 10$ per bag, and that Green profited over $100,000 a week in drug sales. After Green and the others were indicted in May, Green had many great assets that he owned including a house, furnished with hand carved Italian furniture and a home theatre, as well as several luxury vehicles and fur coats which he in turn had to give up as part of his plea bargain. The final total in cost of assets lost to the plea bargain is unknown.

Organizational Characteristics

Today the Mickey Cobras are known formally as the "Reformed Kingdom of Mickey's Cobras". In their original identity, they were known as the Egyptian King Cobras.[citation needed]

Islamic Influence

After three generations, the group has come to have a strong Islamic influence. The Mickey Cobras now have their own unique written constitution and by-laws, which show a strong Islamic influence, just like those of the modern-day BPSN. In the Illinois prison system, they are a part of the People Nation. The collective name of joined gangs under the five point star banner(V.L.,B.P.S.,L.K., M.C.,4.C.H.,).


  1. ^ Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives April 5, 2005
  2. ^ Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives April 5, 2005
  3. ^ The Chicago Tribune, February 23, 2006
  4. ^ O'Conor, Matt (September 15, 2001). "Top Gang Boss gets 30 Years for Drugs". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 7, 2015.

Further reading