John Joe and the others were part of the gang, Ping On, that ruled the area's illicit gambling dens and massage parlors. The group had been in power since the 1970s, when its notorious founder, Stephen "Sky Dragon" Tse, emigrated from China. Sky Dragon had deep and storied roots. Back in China, he was a leader in the 14K Triad, a faction of the country's organized crime underworld, with roots to the 17 th Century. Tse came to America to make Boston a new stronghold, recruiting local immigrants and schooling them in the gang's maxims of familial loyalty and ruthless enforcement.