Tuesday, February 10, 2004

In a conversation with an SEU cop the other day, I was told that the VINELAND BOYZ gang is actually a migratory gang that used to claim NORTH HOLLYWOOD but were driven out or moved out due to pressure from other NH gangs. At one point in their move from NH to SUNLAND, they called themselves the VILLAGE BOYS. If anybody can shed light on this, feel free to correct me. This cop also pointed out that most VB players don't like to be inked and don't look like the average citizen's image of a gangster.

If you notice, DAVID GARCIA shows no visible tattoos in his mug shots. This goes back to the roots of the VINELAND BOYZ, which, according to this cop, began life as a football team. From the beginning, VB didn't dress down or get inked up and preferred a clean cut look. That footballer tradition apparently is still part of the VB code and you won't find much ink on guys who claim VB. They made the transition from ball players to tagging crews back in the mid 90s and by 1998 were heavily involved in drive-bys, slanging and tax collection. VB, of course, took a big hit when BURBANK PD and LAPD arrested dozens of players after PAVELKA's murder. While it may not be in shambles, VB isn't the hegemonic powerhouse it used to be. In the wake of police pressure, we heard that some shot callers in VB actually GREENLIGHTED every cop in the area. That may or may not be true. But the cops sure as hell believed it and it got them hotter than the last glass pipe at a CRACK HOUSE.
While going through my backlog of recent gang activity I was struck by how quickly the Mexican authorities handed over DAVID GARCIA to the BURBANK PD after his arrest in Tijuana on Thanksgiving Day of 2003. No doubt you recall GARCIA is the alleged killer of BURBANK POPLICE OFFICER MATTHEW PAVELKA. PAVELKA was killed and another BURBANK cop, GREGORY CAMPBELL was wounded in a shootout with GARCIA and fellow VINELAND BOYZ gang member RAMON ARANDA. ARANDA was also killed in the shootout.

In the past, MEXICO has been forbidden by their own laws from extraditing criminals to the US who faced either a death penalty case or even life imprisonment. As far as I know, those laws are still on the books in MEXICO. So it makes me wonder why the historically reluctant MEXICAN officials gave GARCIA up faster than SADDAM offering to negotiate. Something clearly happened with their attitudes towards harboring US killers. We wonder if this was part of some agreement between VINCENTE FOX and GEORGE W. BUSH. Is it possible that in exchange for offering near amnesty to illegal aliens, BUSH got FOX to promise to give up bad guys without the MEXICAN government putting on their holier than thee face with regard to capital punishment or even life sentences? We'll see. If the Mexican authorities suddenly allow US law enforcement to carry guns across the border, as we let MEXICAN cops do in the US, then we'll know somebody in the FOX administration is getting religion.

But for the immediate future, the once safe haven of MEXICO may no longer be fugitive friendly. So anybody out there thinking of making a break for the border, be advised that friendly MEXICO has yanked the welcome mat for wanted criminals.