THE SUMMER OF RICO
We haven't seen this level of LE activity in ten years. First we had the big SANA bust in the OC. Following quickly on the heels of that, we've now got a RICO case on the VINELAND BOYZ. US ATTORNEY DEBRA YANG has clearly been a busy lady and the TASK FORCE has been working at what the military calls a high operational tempo.
Just before dawn on June 21, 1300 Federal and local cops brought the big fist down on 36 Vineland soldados and shot callers in North Hollywood, Sun Valley, Simi and the Antelope Valley. Most of them were arrested in their underwear or PJs.
VINELAND last made a big noise in 2003 when one of their soldiers, DAVID GARCIA, killed BURBANK police officer MATT PAVELKA. Garcia escaped to Mexico where hundreds of other suspected murderers and criminals have found a safe haven and protection under Mexico's vile judicial system. Mexico won't surrender fugitives if they face a death sentence or even LWOP in US courts.
Garcia wasn't as lucky as the rest. For reasons I still don't understand, Mexico gave up Garcia. I posted something after his arrest wondering aloud if Garcia's return was the beginning of a new Mexican policy. Apparently not. It looks like Garcia's give-up was one of those non-recurring phenomenons. Since Garcia is also named in this recent RICO indictment, chances are he'll get yanked from County and taken into Federal custody.
It doesn't take much imagination to figure out why VINELAND was targeted by the TASK FORCE. After Officer Pavelka's murder, that neighborhood got an awful lot of LE "attention." Something Vineland resented. Instead of taking their lumps and laying low, the BOYZ went on the offensive and even declared open season on LE. Bad move. A loser move. Especially since TASK FORCE headquarters is right there in the SF Valley. Vineland is in the TF's back yard.
So here we are 18 months later and VINELAND is practically no more. When you murder cops and then openly challenge them, you're just begging for it. What would have been shorter County or State time for low level beefs is now longer Federal time someplace far, far away. The Feds have the manpower and money to sustain the long-term surveilance and investigation that local cops can only dream about. Local cops clock out at the end of their shifts. Not because they want to or they're lazy. It's just impossible to get enough bodies assigned and overtime pay approved. It's a mundane matter of city budgets. The Federal Task Force on the other hand never sleeps. It's also a lot easier for the FBI to get wiretap authority than local LE. Plus they've got better security and relocation programs for CIs. All of which adds up to bad news for anyone who gets in their crosshairs. VINELAND found that out the hard way.