Grove Street Families

Grove Street Families
The primary members and "OG's" or "shot-callers" of the Grove Street Families from left to right: Ryder, Big Smoke, Carl Johnson and Sweet.
Games: GTA San Andreas
Locations: Ganton
Playa del Seville
Santa Maria Beach
Vinewood Cemetery
Glen Park (After Doberman, reclaimed again after Beat Down on B-Dup)
Idlewood (after Grove 4 Life)
Leaders: Sweet
Carl Johnson
Type: Street Gang
Enemies: Ballas
Los Santos Vagos
Varrios Los Aztecas
San Fierro Rifa
Russian Mafia
Affiliations: Varrios Los Aztecas (briefly)
C.R.A.S.H. (formerly)
Colors: Green
Vehicles: Greenwood
Weapons: Pistol
MP5 (100% tags)
Desert Eagle (100% tags)
Knife (100% tags)
Micro Uzi (missions only)
Businesses: Arms dealing
Drug trafficking (Big Smoke's crew)
Fronts: Grove Street
Johnson House
Sweet's House
Ryder's House
Members: Sweet
Carl Johnson
Big Smoke (deceased)
B Dup (former)
Big Bear
Big Devil (deceased)
Little Devil (deceased)
Tony (deceased)

Grove Street Families, also known as The Families, Groves or GSF for short, is a leading gang set in Los Santos that appears in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Acting as the native gang of Carl "CJ" Johnson, the protagonist of the game, who eventually becomes a high-ranking co-leader, it is led by deuteragonist Sean "Sweet" Johnson, and is heavily involved in the criminal underworld of Los Santos and San Andreas.


The formation date of the Families, and Grove Street Families as a set is unknown. However, it is said that they are one of the oldest gangs in Los Santos. Since the Ballas formed in the 1970's, this puts the formation of the Grove Street Families to the 1960's or earlier. It is obvious the set was formed in Grove Street, Ganton due to their name. The Grove Street Families have a history of a traditional, intense, and bloody rivalry with the Ballas. Specifically when the gang war started is unknown, but the rivalry between the two gangs was in full swing as early as 1987.

The 1987 - 1992 period saw the Families begin to lose ground to the Ballas who became heavily involved in the drugs trade. Many OG's and high-ranking members were killed at this time - including Big Devil, Little Devil, and Tony as well the younger brother of Sweet and CJ - Brian Johnson. Sweet always maintained that drug dealing ultimately brought gangs to ruin, and thus remained adamant in his objection to the Families becoming involved in the trade. Big Smoke, a high ranking member, began to see the fall of the gang and the potential for power, influence and money the trade could bring. He secretly formed a business deal between the Ballas, Los Santos Vagos and the corrupt Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums department of the LSPD for drugs and crack-cocaine, while remaining involved in the Families to pass on information about their activities. Just before CJ's return in 1992, Big Smoke was also able to influence Ryder about the money and power that they could make from drugs. OG and high-ranking member B-Dup also becomes involved in the drugs trade and turns away from the GSF and gang-banging - while high-ranking OG Big Bear becomes a weak and hopeless crack addict and house slave of B-Dup.

The Grove Street Families were originally one large gang during the late 1980's. However, during the early 1990's, they split off into different "family" sets. This included the "Seville Boulevard Families", the "Temple Drive Families" and the "Grove Street Families". The primary reason for the split was due to the weakening of the gang by the Ballas and Vagos - causing the Grove Street Families to become unstable, and also because of differences in relation to the drugs trade as Sweet and the original Grove Street Families set in Ganton were against drug dealing.

The Grove Street Families also maintain an ongoing rivalry with the Los Santos Vagos and the Varrios Los Aztecas. The reasons or date for their feud with the Mexican gangs is unknown. It is likely due to territorial reasons due to the close proximity of East Beach (Vagos territory) and Ganton (GSF territory) and also because, like the Ballas, the Vagos are a significant factor for the spread of crack-cocaine - which the GSF are against.

Prior to 1992, the Grove Street Families also controlled parts of southern East Los Santos and Idlewood before been taken by the Ballas. It is also likely, but unknown if they controlled Willowfield due to Emmet's presence there.

Events of GTA San Andreas

The Grove Street Families are in a sorry state upon CJ's return in 1992. Repeated pressure from the Ballas and Vagos, the breaking up into different rival sets, their unwillingness to keep up with changes to make money or gain respect (refusal to sell drugs), and the heavy influence of crack cocaine in their territory has led to their downfall into the weakest and least influential gang in Los Santos.

The death of Beverly Johnson causes Sweet to phone his brother Carl in Liberty City. Carl returns for the funeral. Carl, initially intending to return to Liberty City, decides to stay and help the gang overcome the crack influence and the Ballas. The gang's fortunes, with Carl performing various jobs, manages to tackle the Ballas threat, strengthen the Families, resolve the crack-cocaine problem in GSF territory and even kill a substantial amount of Ballas gangsters in a drive-by shooting and take control of the Glen Park neighborhood. The three sub-groups also attempt to reconcile their differences, although this was interrupted by the SWAT.

The Ballas, however, continue their assault by attempting to take control of Ganton and Grove Street itself but fail as CJ, Sweet and Grove Street members are able to successfully defend their territory. The Families are also successful at crashing a Ballas funeral in which many high-ranking members and OG's who attended were killed - including Kane; an influential and high-ranking member of the Front Yard Ballas. Later, during the mission "The Green Sabre" the Grove Street Families and the Ballas engage in a gang war under the Mulholland Intersection. However, Sweet is hit and arrested, then taken to a prison-hospital; while CJ is abandoned from Los Santos and warned to stay away from Grove Street by CRASH. Big Smoke and Ryder have now completely defected to the crack-cocaine trade and away from gang-banging at this time. This leaves the Grove Street Families with no leaders or influential members/OG's.

During this time, the Families lose all of their influence and essentially become inactive. They become subservient to the Ballas and Los Santos Vagos. The Ballas then resume the spread of crack cocaine into Grove Street and Ganton again. Members of the Families are either dead, in hiding or are turned into hopeless crack addicts. The Ballas then eventually control the entirety of what had been GSF territory - including Ganton and Grove Street, Playa Del Seville, Temple, Vinewood Cemetery and Santa Maria Beach, they also recapture back Glen Park. Family members that do remain are forced to run drugs between a drugs factory in Doherty, San Fierro back to Los Santos for Big Smoke. Carl, after becoming a leading criminal figure in both San Fierro and Las Venturas, returns to Los Santos to take control of Madd Dogg's mansion. While at the mansion he is contacted by undercover government agent Mike Toreno, for whom he had previously worked, and steals a military jet and destroys five spy boats. Carl manages to perform the task and is rewarded by Toreno with the release of Sweet.

Carl attempts to convince Sweet to join him away from Los Santos but returns to take control of Ganton from the Ballas when an adamant Sweet informed him he would not be leaving. Crack dealers in Grove Street are also killed. The reformed Families, now being led by both Sweet and Carl, begin to exert their influence on the city again, including taking control of Glen Park and Idlewood. CJ and Grove Street members also help Cesar Vialpando and the Varrios Los Aztecas retake their territory of El Corona and Little Mexico back from the Los Santos Vagos in return for Cesar's help to CJ previously. This is one of the few opportunities where members of the Grove Street Families and the Varrios Los Aztecas cooperate without hostilities. The gang finally re-assert their dominance in the city when Carl and Sweet killed Smoke, destroyed his crack palace and caused Tenpenny's death during the final mission. This caused the crack-cocaine influence in Los Santos to massively decrease.

If the player wishes, they can take over all territory from the Ballas and the Vagos through the gang war mini-game - making the Grove Street Families the largest and most powerful gang in Los Santos.


The Grove Street Families are a street gang that are easily identifiable by their green gang color. They are involved in gang-banging, street violence, murder, gang warfare, vandalism and arms dealing. They can be found walking and driving around their territory - often seen smoking marijuana, drinking malt liquor and talking in groups. Like the other gangs, the Families will often flash their gang hand-signs as a form of representation. They also mark their territory with graffiti. Upon spotting a Balla, Vago, Azteca, Rifa, San Fierro Triad, or Italian Mafia gang member (especially Ballas) - they will often react with hostility - usually resulting in a street-fight or a fire-fight/shoot-out.

They are depicted as more honorable and traditional than the other gangs of Los Santos. Refusing to adapt to changes in the city - they are quite stubborn. Primarily due to Sweet, they refuse to sell drugs (especially crack cocaine) because Sweet believes it ruins the neighborhood and causes members to be influenced by money, bringing them away from gang-banging. This puts them at a massive disadvantage to the other gangs who are able to make massive profits by selling crack cocaine. However, some OG's are thought to be heavily involved in the PCP business.

On the streets, the Families are either unarmed or carry the 9mm pistol. Upon completion of Robbing Uncle Sam for Ryder, the Families begin carrying the TEC 9 sub-machine gun. In missions, they can be seen carrying the micro-SMG sub-machine gun. If all tags are sprayed by the player in Los Santos, the families replace the Tec-9 and 9mm pistol with the knife, Desert Eagle, and the MP5.

As with the other gangs in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the Ballas have three different skins that walk and drive around their territory. These include:

  • The first member is slightly overweight, wears a green sweater, black khakis, white sneakers and a green bandana.
  • The second member wears a green #7 Rimmers Basketball jersey, black khakis, a backwards black baseball cap, a golden cross chain, a golden watch and black/white sneakers.
  • The third member has dreadlocks, wears a green button-up plaid/flannel checkered jacket with a white shirt underneath, beige khaki pants and black and white hi-top sneakers.


There are three known sets of the Families:

All Family sets are allied and all fall and operate under the "Families" card while sharing similar traditions. Likewise, all sets wear green and are all sworn enemies of all Ballas sets. During the beginning of the game in 1992, the sets are not on good terms with each other but eventually reunite.

The difference between the sets are initially based off of different approaches to the drugs trade. The Grove Street Families are against the trade of crack cocaine - where as the Seville Boulevard Families and the Temple Drive Families weren't. However, upon unification; the crack cocaine trade amongst all sets stops and the differences from that point primarily rely on territorial differences. The Grove Street Families set is initially the weakest set during the beginning of the game, but eventually becomes the most powerful and active set throughout the game. The Grove Street Family set is the native set of CJ, Sweet, Big Smoke, Ryder, B-Dup and Big Bear. Sweet leads the set. The leaders of the other sets is unknown; however, Sweet resumes leadership over the other sets upon unification.

Gang Cars

The Grove Street Families can be seen driving the Greenwood, Savanna and the Voodoo. The Savanna and the Voodoo sometimes comes with hydraulics. Their favorite radio station is Radio Los Santos.

Like with other gangs, the player can modify the cargrp.dat file to make the Grove Street Families drive any vehicle that the player chooses.

Members and Associates

  • Sean "Sweet" Johnson: Leader and OG of the Grove Street Families.
  • Carl "CJ" Johnson: Second-in-command and OG of the Grove Street Families. Brother of Grove Street leader Sweet.
  • Melvin "Big Smoke" Harris (deceased): High-ranking OG/lieutenant . Childhood friend of CJ, Ryder and Sweet. Defects against the GSF and focused on drug dealing. Killed by CJ.
  • Lance "Ryder" Wilson (deceased): High-ranking OG/lieutenant. Childhood friend of CJ, Big Smoke and Sweet. Joins Big Smoke's defection from gang-banging into drug dealing. Killed by CJ.
  • Brian Johnson: Hang-around/new member before death. Younger brother of CJ and Sweet.
  • Barry "Big Bear" Thorne: OG and well-respected member due to physical strength. Turned crack addict during early game which turns him into a weak and hopeless addict. Eventually beats crack addiction and re-joins the GSF towards the end-game.
  • Mark "B-Dup" Wayne (formerly): OG and well respected member. Defects from gang-banging and GSF and focuses on drug dealing.
  • "Big Devil" (deceased): OG/high-ranking member. Was killed.
  • "Little Devil" (deceased): OG/High-ranking member. Was killed.
  • Tony (deceased): OG/High-ranking member. Was killed.
  • Denise Robinson: Fanatic and associate. Girlfriend of CJ.
  • Emmet: Weapon supplier and associates primarily with the Seville Boulevard Family set.
  • Jeffrey "OG Loc" Cross: Associate, wannabe-member and friend of many OG's including leaders Sweet and CJ. Jeffrey grew up on Grove Street but lacked the physical capability or mentality to join the Families.
  • LB: Supplier/Associate and friend of Ryder (although not physically seen, he was mentioned multiple times by Ryder).
  • Three Deep: Possible associate or member (although not physically seen, he was mentioned once by Big Smoke).
  • Troy: Gang Member of the Grove Street Families.
  • Tarnell: Gang Member of the Grove Street Families.

Mission appearances

Grove Street Families in the HD Universe

The existence of Grove Street Families is revealed in a conversation between Franklin Clinton and Lamar Davis in the mission Hood Safari:

Lamar: Eh, you know Grove Street used to be Families hood.
Franklin: Grove Street Families. Man, long time ago.
Lamar: What happened to them dudes?
Franklin: Shit, I don't know. Could be dead. Shit, or could be CEOs by now.
Lamar: Probably living in some suburb somewhere, driving SUVs and shit, you know, soccer moms and shit, coaching little league football teams.
Franklin: Yeah, the suburban flight, huh? Probably so.
Lamar: That's gonna be me and you one day dog.
Franklin: If we lucky, man. Shit, at the moment, it looks like we're gonna end up the other direction.


  • The original beta name for the gang was Orange Grove Families. Beta graffiti around South Central Los Santos referring to the "Orange Grove Families" and the "OGF" still exist. Likewise, CJ can get a tattoo on his upper back in Los Santos that references the "Orange Grove Families". CJ will also sometimes shout out phrases related to the "Orange Grove Families" and the "OGF" during a fight.
  • In the beta version of the game, the Grove Street Families looked different
  • An additional two Grove Street Family members/skins can be seen during the mission cutscenes of House Party and Los Sepulcros. It is unknown why they do not appear on the streets, though mods for the PC version exist to make them appear.
  • The player can choose to take control of all Ballas and Los Santos Vagos turf for the Grove Street Families, although this is not needed for completing the game.
  • The favorite radio station of Grove Street Families members is Radio Los Santos.
  • The rivalry between the Grove Street Families and the Ballas is loosely based off of the rivalry between the Bloods and the Crips in Los Angeles. Violence between the two gangs hit a peak during the early 1990's - largely due to the crack cocaine epidemic. A situation mirrored in early 1990's Los Santos.
  • The Grove Street Families members are automatically programmed to kill any law enforcement officers trying to arrest or kill the player.
  • Many members are seen wearing basketball jerseys, green bandanas, green hats, sweatshirts or plaid button-up shirts.
  • This is possibly a coincidence, but in GTA IV, groups of men wearing outfits similar to the Grove Street Families can be seen in some locations around Liberty City.



Gang tags

Non-interactive graffiti