Thursday, December 16, 2004

The war between the EME and the MONGOLS has apparently been called off due to television. The medium that was once described as a "vast wasteland" may be responsible for saving some lives or at least prevent some bloodshed.

After CHRIS BLATCHFORD broadcast his story on the war between the two groups on FOX 11 NEWS in LA last week, a shot caller concluded that any overt moves would draw an awful lot of attention from LE.

As a result, all SOUTHERN SOLDIERS have been ordered to stand down and wait for further instructions. For now, we have a cease fire. Further updates as they arrive. Stay tuned.
Thanks to a heads up from a regular reader, it's been confirmed that ROBERT "ROBOT" SALAS passed away some three weeks ago in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.

We're not sure of the exact cause of death, but we're positive he did not die by the sword. Salas had been out of prison for years and was living in SOCAL in what some sources claim in a state of semi- or full retirement. His passing marks another milestone in the history of the brotherhood.

SALAS, along with other deceased carnals like MIKE "HATCHET MIKE" ISON, BEN "TOPO" PETERS, and JOE "COCOLISO" MORGAN, could be considered part of the OLD GUARD in the organization. They were there at the beginning, or very close to it, when you could count the number of validated brothers on the fingers of both hands.

It's interesting to note that of this group, only ISON died a violent death. He'd been paroled and living in San Francisco, apparently adjusting well to life on the outside, enjoying his freedom and spending time with his family. He got into a brawl with some guys in a bar and was clubbed to death with pool cues. MORGAN and PETERS died of cancer.

More on SALAS as information arrives.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

In response to the previous post on long-ago ties between the brothers and Mexican cartels, I got this email from an anonymous reader. This isn't the first of its kind so maybe it's time to reiterate what this blog is all about. Here's the email with some snipping.

"Your account on the Arujo/Morgan association is right on! Also the part of many parolees being "taken care of when they went PAL. At that time it was almost impossible to get them back to the USA. [Snipped] Do you have anything on the infamous "Shoe War"? The more I read from your articles, I believe you to be an ex-cop with a good source...such as 'Mundo.' -- Tio Moco."

To paraphrase RICHARD NIXON, "I am not a cop." Never was and they'd never have me even if I wanted to.

Yeah, I do have really good sources in and out of law enforcement. But the most important tool is doing the homework. Every scrap of information I've come across in the past decade is stored in a way that I can cross-reference it and retrieve it. You'd be amazed at the stuff you can find in public records archives and through Freedom of Information requests if you know what you're looking for. There's no mystery in putting together information even if you have to wade through heavily redacted documents. All you need is enough information to ask the right guy the right questions. Nobody volunteers anything. But they will respond honestly (most of the time) if you ask a direct question about a specific incident. In time, little bits of info start falling in place and you've got a decent picture to look at. Just plain work, some luck and informed guessing.

As to "Machine Gun Mundo," I only wish I could get a tape recorder in front of the guy. Also Chuco, Enriquez, Gratton, and all the other CIs who have debriefed or are currently debriefing. Having a chat with them would be like grabbing the keys to Fort Knox.

As to the "shoe war," there's not much mystery left in that event. It's been documented in books and court documents, verified by interviews with LE who either ran debriefs or have direct knowledge of debriefs and it's even covered on some web sites. Be alert, however, because a lot of the stuff on line is misleading or flat wrong. But even the wrong info can sometimes lead to the right conclusion. I'll take a shot at it for those who may not be familiar with the shoe incident. Look for it soon.

So Tio, I hope that answers your question. If you have more or want to share some insight, you know where to email. Always happy to hear from interested parties and I'm always ready to be set straight if I get it wrong.

Monday, December 13, 2004

On December 9, 2004, ANDY FURILLO, staff writer at the SACRAMENTO BEE went a little off his usual NORCAL beat and came up with a terrific article about the Eme and its connection to the ARELLANO FELIX drug cartel with a SAN DIEGO dateline. An easy search should bring you to the SAC BEE website and you can read it for yourself. The story adds a big chunk of information to the diligent student's database.

While the story has a lot of threads (a crooked but so far unconvicted CDC prison guard, an aborted prison escape, a barber shop that was a essentially an EME "war room," a planned hit on a San Diego cop etc.) the most enlightening was a hard connection between the brothers and the AF cartel.

If you follow local drug and homicide trials, invariably, there's always some kind of connection between SOUTHERN SOLDIERS and narco dealers south of the border. Local LE has always suspected that deals were being made at a level way above the average street dealer's pay grade. Furillo's story confirms that theory.

Furillo's story echoes a relationship between the brothers and Mexican drug cartels that goes back to the 1970s. At the time, the biggest Mexican supplier and business associate of the Eme was a guy by the name of CHUY ARAUJO. He lived and operated in Mexico and packaged up big loads for delivery to the US. The brothers also sent him parolees or fugitives so they could decompress with some R&R in sunny Mexico. Araujo's main contact was none other than JOE "COCOLISO" MORGAN. He was also called PEGLEG, but never to his face.

ARUAJO and MORGAN were eventually taken out of circulation, but obviously, the connections were reactivated and have flourished. We're probably only becoming aware of the very tip of that iceberg.