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'American Cartel': Air time, how to live stream, trailer and all you need to know about Discovery+ docuseries

Watch the true story of the Vineland Boyz, the Mexican Mafias, and how the murder of Burbank officer, Matthew Pavelka unveiled it all
UPDATED MAR 31, 2021
The official poster of American Cartel (Discovery+)
The official poster of American Cartel (Discovery+)

The infamous legacy of the Vineland Boys, which was unveiled when one of them fatally shot Burbank cop Matthew Pavelka, is being brought to the screen as a Discovery+ docuseries. Arriving as part of the streaming portal's expansive documentary slate for the month of March, the series is titled 'Amertical Cartel' and explores the international manhunt and government corruption that Pavelka's murder kickstarted. The only bummer is having to wait all the way till March-end to witness it on the screen. Read on to find out all about it.

Release date and time

'American Cartel' begins streaming on Discovery+ on Tuesday, March 30, and will be available from midnight, 12:01 AM ET/PT. 


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Where to watch?

The official website details, "Discovery+ features a partnership with Verizon that gives their customers with select plans up to 12 months of discovery+ on Verizon." This means cable users can tune into the platform starting March 30 to catch the documentary at their ease.

How to live stream?

For those relying on streaming portals for the docuseries, discovery+ is also available on platforms and devices from Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku and Samsung.


According to its official release, 'American Cartel' "explores the explosive and devastating aftermath of the 2003 murder of Burbank police officer Matthew Pavelka after a routine traffic stop. His murder puts into motion an international manhunt, millions of dollars seized, multiple homicides, exposure of government corruption, a multi-state wiretap investigation, and the discovery of the Mexican Cartel's infiltration of a Unites States street gang."

True story of the Vineland Boys

Operating from the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, the Vineland Boys is a street gang, made up of mainly of Hispanic Americans. Founded in North Hollywood, Los Angeles in January 1988, the gang's founder Teddy Lopez, was murdered by Mexican Mafia members in 1998, leading to a rampant clash between the two. They eventually allied up, with the Vineland Boys eventually joining the Mexican Mafia-controlled Sureño gang coalition. With around 300 members, the gang has Armenian Power and the Abergil crime family as its allies. 

Murder of Matthew Pavelka

The inner workings of the gangs involved protection and cooperation to the Israeli mafia's Ecstacy trafficking ring operating within their territory. It was in 2003 when Pavelka was fatally shot by a member of the gang during a routine stop that they were exposed. Pavelka was 26, just 10 months into the job when he was killed in a gunfire exchange outside the Ramada Inn. His partner, Officer Gregory Campbell, was left wounded.

Operation Silent Night

This prompted 1300 federal and local law enforcement members to participate in 'Operation Silent Night' and arrested 23 members of the Vineland Boys. David Garcia, the man who was a passenger in the parked SUV that fired at the two officers, plead guilty to first-degree murder in 2012.