The film opens with a raid on an illegal casino performed by a group of blacks with automatic weapons. The audience discovers the perpetrators are white disguised as blacks. The story moves to a Vietnam War flashbacks with a patrol being ambushed by the Vietcong, and the resulting firefight. The leader of the vigilante veterans is a man known simply as the Lieutenant who was their platoon leader and disfigured in the action. Recuperating in a hospital he regroups the survivors for a series of escalating raids to not only to enrich themselves, but to wipe out organised criminal gangs involved in illegal gambling and narcotics distribution.
The main protagonist of the film is Carmine Longo, a Mafia enforcer sent to meet with local chief to discover who performed the action. The two are assisted by a corrupt Los Angeles Police Department detective sergeant. Their suspicion falls on their only known suspects, a gang of drug dealing black criminals who deny their involvement. Longo schemes to eliminate them through their police contact who will set up a drug deal where they can be killed by the police.
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