Saturday, December 30, 2006
In today's LA TIMES, Sam Quinones has a follow up story on the murder of 14-year-old Cheryl Green, a black teenager shot by a 204 gangster a few weeks ago. It was apparent almost from the beginning that this was one of those murders that the media has, up to now, been reluctant to call by its rightful name -- ethnic cleansing. That seems to be changing as a result of this year's Federal trial against members of the Avenues. As we reported years ago when dicussing the Marco Milla murder of Reginald Hightower in connection to over a dozen other racially motivated homicides the media never covered, Harbor Gateway (aka Shoestring) is no stranger to B-on-B killing.
To underscore the utter ignorance and powerlessness of our politicians, the piquantly coiffured City Councilwoman Janice Hahn wants the city attorney to issue - get ready - a gang injunction. That'll put the fear of god into the shooters. The other thing she wants to do is sue landlords who rent to gang families. This is something she should know is as unconstitional as prohibiting landlords from renting to illegal aliens, drug users, Wiccans, the disbaled, crazy cat ladies or Al-Qaida sympathizers. Who elects these people?
During the time that Bird, Sneaky, Clever, Lucky and Shadow were going around Northeast shooting and harassing blacks, there were three separate gang injunctions in effect against the Avenues. You can see how well that worked out. Note to Janice Hahn: for the sake of your own credibility, please check your history and examine your premise. Lucky was living in a house owned by his parents. So what do you do with gangsters who are homeowners and not renters? Burn down the house and put the family on the street? According to the court testimony in his Federal trial, Lucky was also earning an excellent salary working construction at Vandenberg Air Force base.
With two murders and half a score of shootings, assaults and acts of intimidation to that neighborhood's credit, you have to wonder if this is enough to trigger interest by the US Attorney. The USA did it in Northeast and it may do it again in 204. We'll see.
And true to form, the NAACP has been as silent on this latest murder as it was in the race-motivated murders in Avenues, Compton, Watts, Pacoima, Pomona, Colton, San Berdoo and other neighborhoods. I hate to sound cynical but they're planning a march (bring your own candles) and organizing a display of solidarity. Good luck with that. God forbid they should ever tackle the root of the problem.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
During a conversation with a curious civilian the other day he wondered if the membership of the Mexican Mafia was going up or down from the 30,000 members he read about. He was asked where he got this insanely inflated number since the actual membership numbers in the hundreds, not thousands or tens of thousands. He said he got it off Wikipedia on the net. A visit to that site confirmed the bogus number of 30,000. In addition there were other errors such as Joe Morgan being one of the "original" members. God knows where hacks get this information and where they get the confidence to blast it to the world. There's an awful lot of good stuff on the net but there seems to be an equal amount of crap.
If we can impose on some of our old friends to bang out a few words on the true birth and original membership of the Mexican Mafia, maybe we can educate some misinformed readers and make this place the repository of correct information. Turning it over to you all for this one.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
After consulting with people who know a lot more than I do about the net, the concensus of opinion seems to be that hands-on moderation is the only bulletproof solution to dealing with knuckleheads. So the comments are back up but the catch is I get to approve or reject them before they show up on the blog. That means a lot more work for me but there appears to be no easy digital solution to this problem. There will inevitably be a delay between posting a comment and having it show up in the Comments section because I've got a life. So to those who tried to screw things up, don't even bother. I get to play grand inquisitor so if you act like a jerk, you're just wasting your time.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
It's always interesting to see how other countries handle gangs and street violence. While going through some downloaded news stories this week, this interesting piece of information left me a little puzzled. Apparently Spain is starting to have a street gang problem as a result of immigration from Central and South America. This is their conclusion, not mine.
Young people are forming pandillas, their word for gangs, comprised of people from the same home country. So they've got Salvadoran and Guatamalan gangs and, of all things, the Latin Kings. The Kings started in the U.S. primarily as a Puerto Rican gang so how they ended up with official chapters in Spain is a story that's probably worth looking into.
While some areas in Spain are using conventional methods to suppress gang activity, others are trying to buy off gangs to get them to stop capering. The way it works is, if your gang swears off violence and drug dealing, the government will "charter" you as a legitimate organization and give you money and benefits. It was unclear from the story what the benefits are but the upshot seems to be that you can get paid in Spain for being a reformed gangster. Depending on how this works out, this can be a brilliant idea or a totally absurd one.
On the one hand, getting paid to be a reformed gangster sounds great for a gangster. Free government money and whatever benefits. And you don't have to risk your hide regulating the neighborhood. But if you're going to be off violence and dope, what's the point of joining in the first place. You might as well join the YMCA or the Boy Scouts or whatever the Spanish equivalent is. So on the face of it, it sounds like a neat idea. Forget the gang, I'm joining the church soccer team.
But as history has shown, there's the little matter of the unintended consequence. Way back in the 1960s, New York City tried a similar approach using the squeaky wheel concept to apportion resources and money. The biggest and most violent New York gangs were flooded with social workers, free clubhouses, meetings with politicians, jobs with the city on gang intervention programs and the like. Smaller, less violent gangs who weren't getting any of these benefits decided they wanted some of that too. But the only way to get the city to pay attention to them was to make some noise and kick up dust. Which they did. And New York found itself in the unhappy position of actually encouraging more violence. It was good idea gone sideways when it hit the realities of the street and the law of unintended consequences.
You have to wonder if Spain is going to run into the same problem. For instance, why join what is essentially a government sponsored non-violent gang making a little bit of money when you can sling dope and make a lot of it. One could see a situation arising where the chartered gangs may decide that they're not getting enough resources from the taxpayers. Human nature being what it is, once you start getting free stuff, you start wondering if there isn't some more to be gotten. This is the argument that activists and gang intervention people in the U.S. have made for years. As in, why would a kid work at MacDonald's flipping burgers for $10 an hour when he could make ten times that slinging crack? The call here has been to get more money into people's pockets to keep them from capering. So who gets to decide how much is enough to get the Latin Kings or the MS to stop capering? You can only imagine what the negotiating sessions are like.
Govt: "For five bills a week each, you must stop all illegal activities."
LKs: "No way. For five we'll stop BFMVs and home invasions, but we reserve the right to sell dope. If you want us out of the dope business, that'll cost you another five a week."
Govt: "We'll go two fifty. Not a penny more."
LKs: "For that we'll stay out of coke but we're still in the chronic business."
Govt: "Done. Here are the papers. Have you lawyers call our lawyers."
You could see where this starts being more of an extortion racket than social welfare.
The Spanish model seems even more puzzling when you consider that Spain is often held up as a shining Socialist model. Like England, France and Germany, Spain has a cradle-to-grave benefit system. Spanish citizens get near universal health care, free education, generous welfare payments for the unemployed, nearly free housing, six weeks guaranteed vacation every year, a mandated 35-hour work week, generous maternity leave, almost unlimited sick leave and it's almost impossible to fire a worker for poor job performance. If, as many claim, that the seeds of gangsterism are sown in the fertile soil of poverty, then Spain shouldn't have a gang problem to begin with. Go figure.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
As a number of SOCAL papers reported this week, Peter "Sana" Ojeda was sentenced to 14 years on various RICO charges having to do with selling dope and collecting taxes. If he serves his entire sentence, he'll be 78 when he comes out. As a lifelong reputed Emero, Sana will no doubt be placed in the Pantheon of legendary brothers along with Huero Flores, Chy Cadena, Joe Morgan, Hatchet Mike and a handful of others. While there's some dispute as to whether the idea of taxation was original to him, there's no question that he was the first to launch that particular initiative and enforce it with extreme measures. History will have to give him the credit for that.
What was a first a mere trial balloon, the idea of street taxes took off and became more successful than anyone on either side of the law had imagined. Frankly, the Emeros really had no idea that the neighborhoods were going to fall in line as quickly as they did. We're at the point now where tax resistance is isolated to a few cliques that, despite all efforts to bring them into the fold, remain holdouts. The overwhelming majority of neighborhoods, however, got with the program and continue to salute the blue flag, happily or otherwise.
The issue of taxation can't be viewed as a standalone phenomenon. With the taxation came a significant consolidation of power, a huge network of intelligence and naturally, large amounts of cash. The concept of consolidation, or as a business theoretician might call it, vertical integration, is one that policy makers, politicians, activists and, to some degree law enforcement, has yet to fully understand or deal with. Some, even when presented with irrefutable evidence, continue to insist on the model of "disorganized" crime. If the planned LA "gang Czar" is ever to succeed, the first lesson he, or she, will have to learn is that the problem has to be tackled from top down. With a combination of suppression at the top and intervention at the bottom, there may be a chance to break the chain of command, disrupt the internal policy structure and enforcement and deprive the mid-level and senior level managers of the next generation of recruits.
Friday, December 15, 2006
As you'll notice I've taken down the comments section. Frankly, I'm sick of the infantile nonsense that transpired there. I tried to create a forum for intelligent, or even semi-intelligent conversation. And for a long time it seemed to be working. Then the assholes showed up and drove out the smart ones. And the assholes just make everybody look bad. And I don't want to be associated with assholes. I tried blocking and banning and you idiots still snuck in. I apologize to the people who were there at the beginning and had a clue about what was happening here. To the rest of you cell soldiers and net bangers, fuck you all very much. Let me know when you start evolving into something that resembles a human being.
I'll continue to post because this is a topic that deserves attention. I just won't have to read your bullshit anymore.
The recent stories here and elsewhere about Hector Marroquin are a classic example of history repeating itself and our political leaders' inability, or maybe refusal, to learn from previous mistakes.
Let's take the wayback machine to the year 1977. Then, as now, politicians were flush with cash and were looking for "novel" and "innovative" ways to curb gangsterism and drug addiction. And there was no shortage of groups lining up for government money.
Then, as now, politicians were making alliances with people with very dubious histories. Los Angeles had groups like LUCHA (League of United Citizens to Help Addicts), SPAN (Special Program for Alcholism and Narcotics), CCC (Community Concern Corporation) and the Get Going Project. All these programs had one thing in common. They were all being run by "reformed" criminals. The most notorious of these was Get Going located on 127 South Utah Street in Boyle Heights, just a few blocks from Hollenbeck station. Get Going was founded by Michael Delia, a convicted bank robber and associate of Jimmy "The Weasel" Fratianno and Jimmy Coppola, both Cosa Nostra operators. Delia was also an associate of several high ranking brothers. Get Going's most visible and vocal supporter was State Senator Alex P. Garcia. Garcia ran interference for Delia and greased the rails to get Delia government funding.
Michael Delia had another ally, Ellen Levitt who would eventually marry him and change her name to Delia. Ellen Delia was a brilliant writer of grant proposals. One person who hired her said that when, "she walked in the door, the money would follow."
Get Going was nothing more than a front to rob the government. And the house on Utah Street was nothing more than a heroin distribution center for the Mexican Mafia. When people in the neighborhood complained to the police and Garcia that the "patients" at Get Going we shooting up right on the sidewalk, breaking into apartments and threatening anybody that complained, Garcia told the citizens of Boyle Heights that Get Going was there to stay "whether you like it or not."
When Ellen Delia eventually realized that the project she helped fund was thoroughly corrupted and infiltrated by the Eme, her husband conspired to have Alfie Sosa kill her. Ironically, the car that drove her to that drainage ditch on Elkhorn Boulevard in Sacramento was bought and paid for by a government grant. She helped finance her own killing with the help of idiot politicians. Her killing, and a number of other murders connected to Michael Delia and his associates, eventually prompted City Councilman Art Snyder to pull the funding on Get Going and every other program that had questionable directors and missing funds. Of course, Snyder got the usual death threats and the usual invectives about not caring for poor and drug addicted people. According to the estimates at the time, Los Angeles wasted roughly $48 million on these programs. Most of that money just vaporized.
Then, as now, the politicians had ample warnings from law enforcement that all these programs had been infiltrated. Then, as now, the politicians ignored the warnings. Then, as now, the programs ran with almost no supervision or oversight. Then, as now, the program directors put family members on the payroll which is contrary to the directives of the program charter. Then, as now, the politicians looked the other way. Then, as now, the programs never needed to show verifiable proof that the programs were working.
Has the current crop of bonehead pols ever read any of this? Is there no corporate memory?
The concept of turning over drug programs, or gang intervention programs to ex offenders without the slightest level of supervision is criminally negligent. This is worse than pounding money down rat holes. This is handing your tax money to criminal enterprises. And even worse, or course, is that the people who genuinely need and want help get nothing.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Okay, it's time for a little housekeeping and some reminders of common courtesy and simple rules.
First of all, don't sign Wally to any comments you post. Let me state this again. I never post comments in the Comments section. Ever. And I take great exception to anyone who signs my name. Veteranos who are regular readers already know this but new people that drop in don't. To avoid confusion and trouble, your comments will be deleted if my name is used as a signature, even if you call me the greatest contribution to literature since Shakespeare. Since I started tracking hits,we're well over 350,000 page views so far but only a handful of that number are regular commenters. I don't want to confuse the occasional drop ins with things I may or may not have said. My voice is the blog, the comments are yours.
As I've said in the past, I've got a high treshold for trash talk and foul language but some of the stuff lately had to be deleted because not only was it foul, it was stupid. I have no tolerance for stupid.
Secondly, I stand by everything I've ever written, here or elsewhere. If you want to argue or cofront me with anything, quote me or ream me, be my guest. Just use a signature other than Wally.
If you want a response to something specific and want it aired out in the blog or dealt with one on one, email me directly -- email@example.com. The reason is I don't read every word of every single comment. No time. But I do read all my email.
On the subject of the long-awaited book, I just got notice it will hit the bookstores in July, 2007 -- all 700+ pages of it. We're undergoing the tedious but necessary vetting process right now so that every word of it will be verified with facts, dates and the blessing of the people involved. I'm also trying to work out a system so that anyone who wants a personally signed inscription can order a copy, have it inscribed and then shipped to the buyer. For some reason, it's a lot harder than I thought, but I'm working on it to make it affordable and quick.
Thanks for your patience and now back to business.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
We've been holding off on this until we could develop some intel on the recent events involving Hector "NO GUNS" Marroquin. I'll quote Tom Hayden from his book "Street Wars" in describing Hector and some of his history. Hayden calls him, "An older veteran of gang wars who owned a roofing business and was deeply involved in a violence prevention group called NOGUNS." Hayden goes on to say, "He [Hector] was a regular target of police and occasional media harassment for purported connections to La Eme, but in my experience he was sincerely interested in ending the violence. Years before, he'd sought a blessing in a family safety matter from an individual known to be 'connected,' a relationship that might now be helpful."
The naturally curious wonder what that safety issue was, what was the root of it and how was it resolved.
As interested parties might recall, Hector got in legal hot water this year when LE found him in possession of firearms, a serious violation for a convicted felon and at the very least a questionable circumstance for someone who runs a group called NOGUNS.
Then a few weeks ago, a hit team confronted Hector at his business and shot him but failed to kill him as they intended. We recently learned the same hit team rolled up on another victim in another part of town and ran into a buzz saw. We'll refrain from getting into the details of that one until the dust settles.
Needless to say, the gun possession and the attempted murder has stirred renewed LE interest in Hector. But all sorts of questions arise from the incidents. Who tried to hit him? And why? It's obvious he's made some enemies. The question is who are those enemies? Local soldados? Shot callers? Emeros? We'll leave the guessing game to you. The saga has yet to play itself out but it's obvious Hector has lost his political capital as a peacemaker and probably whatever status he had on the street. Like a lot of guys before him, Hector may end up becoming a man without a country.
Friday, October 27, 2006
When we first posted on the killing of officer Matt Pavelka and the ensuing GREENLIGHT that the Boys put on all cops, we knew there was going to be some serious fallout. Yesterday we saw the final result of that fallout in Federal court. Law enforcement sidestepped State prosecution and instead dropped the biggest bomb in the Federal arsenal -- RICO statutes. It looks like they invited everybody to the pile-on party including the Internal Revenue Service. Ouch!
Yesterday, nine Vinelanders were convicted on racketeering charges and will eventually land in a Federal prison someplace far, far away. Oddly, David Garcia, the guy who is accused of pulling the trigger in the murder of Pavelka, will face State charges in a few months. We can only speculate that they want to save him for the State court for a one way bus trip to San Quentin.
The point of all this is clearly to send the strongest message possible that you can't shoot a cop and greenlight the juras and expect to be treated like a common killer. According to US Attorney Debra Yang, "This is the first time in Southern California that the RICO statute has been used to dismantle the leadership of an entire street gang." And it probably won't be the last. In SOCAL, Federal law enforcement has gotten better and becoming more educated in prosecuting street gangs. Witness the Avenues racial homicides they successfully prosecuted two months ago.
For history fans, the Vineland Boys were started as an offshoot of 18th Street by two homies, Teddy "Greeneyes" Lopez and his brother Hilario. The 18th Streeters saw that as set jumping and have been feuding with them ever since. Because they wouldn't follow the rules, Vineland was greenlighted by the Eme in the late 1980s but since then, they've tried to mend fences and become loyal Surenos. Apparently the turning point came in January 1998 when Teddy "Greeneyes" was killed in a nightclub called "Baby Doe's" in Monterey Park. The killers in that case shouted "Pacoima" when they cut loose. Somebody got the message and since then, Vineland has joined the fold.
Friday, October 13, 2006
I wasn't going to post anything about this but with the new revelation regarding the man who shot 5-year-old Kaytlyn Avila goes right to an issue that needs to be addressed. I'm not going to mention this guy's name. According to what LAPD has determined after this guy shot up Cesar Avila, Kaytlyn's father, he turned around and was ready to leave. Then he changed his mind and went back to the car and fired directly at the little girl. This is just pure evil.
What's significant about this is the difference in public reaction between this shooting and the infamous Stephanie Kuhen shooting in 1995. If you're a student of this sort of thing, Kuhen's killing at the hands of the Assassins clique of the Avenues in HP made headlines all over the country and a lot of European papers and electronic media. It even prompted then president Clinton to pledge money to put an additional 100,000 cops on the nation's streets.
Notice the almost complete lack of urgency in the wake of the Avila killing. Certainly the LAPD is doing what it should by increasing patrols and hammering on the P-Stones and 18th Street to short-circuit the inevitable payback. But outside of that and the usual suspects making their inevitable appearance and making their usual noises, there's been nothing like the moral outrage that broke out after the Kuhen killing.
You have to wonder why. Could it because Kuhen was white and the shooters were brown? Or was it that the victim in this case is brown and the shooter is black? It looks like only a very specific combination of race qualifies a killing for moral outrage and this one doesn't seem to contain the correct ingredients to fulfill the formula.
And for all those people out there who don't like snitches, keep in mind that somebody dropped a dime on Kaytlyn's shooter. If that hadn't happened, chances are this guy would still be in the wind. Why is it nobody likes a snitch unless he's ratting out somebody you don't like?
Needless to say, the shooter is as green as a shamrock right now and he's probably in the deepest, darkest PC module there is. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out when the case goes to trial.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Here's a blast from the past. RUBEN "NITE OWL" CASTRO was one of the many Emeros rolled up in the three RICO cases that came out of the LOS ANGELES METROPOLITAN TASK FORCE ON VIOLENT CRIME. Students of history will remember that the Task Force, with the help of big time dropout ERNIE "CHUCO" CASTRO put away a lot of brothers and Associates in the mid and late 1990s. But as anyone familiar with the subject already knows, going to prison, even Federal prison, doesn't necessarily put you out of business. Going to prison just means you're reassigned to the home office. A change of address, not a change of operations.
Today's LA Times carries a story on a Federal indictment charging NITE OWL with running 18th Street dope operations out of his Supermax cell in Florence. We're shocked, shocked! True to form, NITE OWL was using codes and a third party on the outside to run his neighborhoods, collect taxes and generally regulate offenders and interlopers.
Some law enforcement officials (aka Bill Bratton), "activists" (aka Greg Boyle, Connie Rice) and sociologists (aka James Diego Vigil, Joan Moore, et al) still have their heads firmly planted in the sand when they maintain that street gangs are "disorganized crime." Street cops and homies, the people on opposing sides of the front lines, know better. As current events continue to demonstrate, there is no longer a clear line of demarcation between Sureno street gangs and the Eme. What we have now is a near total vertical integration between the streets and the prisons. Clearly, it's not in every single barrio and every single click. There are still resisters, pecetas, greenlight clicks and assorted independents. But the tide of history is going in one direction and those who stand in its way will be steamrolled.
You've all noticed the lack of posting lately. I've been traveling and working feverishly on the Big Project. Posting will be very light until October 1. Big news to follow after that.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Oh, boy. Here we go again. After a study by Connie Rice's nonprofit group, The Advancement Group, (yeah, she's cousin to the other Connie Rice that's running the State Department), our city leaders are once again dragging that tired old beast - a Gang Czar - out of the attic and hooking him (or her) up to Dr. Frankenstein's re-animation surgery table. Yeah, it's deja vu all over again.
After a very long study Rice's group came to the conclusion that gang intervention efforts (as opposed to LE gang suppression efforts) are (trumpet flourish) too scattered and totally lacking in oversight. Did we really need a study to tell us that? Back in November of 2005, Tony Cardenas came to that conclusion. And years before that during the Riordan years, any number of civil servants came to the same conclusion. They held a few meetings, threw some ideas around about a gang Czar, couldn't figure out how to appease all the special interests and then they went home. And years before that, we heard -- well, you get the drift.
So here we go again. The last time around we heard that after spending $26 million dollars on intervention, no one was able to produce a single homie who was diverted away from his neighborhood and put on the straight and narrow. That was Cardenas' conclusion.
Well, guess what? The same people who couldn't produce a single body after pounding $26 million down a rat hole will probably be brought on board to craft new ways of spending even more money. This time, however, a figurehead will be installed to take all the blame when programs fail and kids continue to drop out of school.
Here's a suggestion. Appoint Connie Rice as the gang Czar. Give her five years and all the money she asks for. If she can't show results verified by the same people that are monitoring the LAPD's consent decree, pull the plug and forget about a gang Czar forever.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Last week a CPA paid the ultimate price for his neighborhod. This could be payback for that Haskell who went down a month ago or it could be something even deeper. There's a persistent rumor that all of CPA has been greenlighted for failure to file their 1040s. More as things develop in the West SF Valley.
Monday, July 31, 2006
In the aftermath of the homicide and ADW on Avenue 40 last week, the LAUSD is smutting up the victims. The simple truth is that the victims were not gang members or associates. And they weren't a tagging crew. They were just casual high school kids.
Word from the school they attended, however, tries to paint a somewhat darker picture of these kids. First, certain school reps are saying that this homicide was not racially motivated. You can sort of understand that because the school disctrict doesn't want to deal with another round of black/brown mini riots. They should have left it at that. However, they went on to suggest that somehow the victims were associated with a gang or crew. This is total nonsense. When you run for cover, the first to do is blame the victims.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
A number of IPs have been banned but certain individuals keep popping up with the same log on name but different IPs. What's happening here is that some person (or maybe more than one person) continues to make the same idiotic comments from different machines. As the comments appear, they'll be deleted and the new IPs banned. Eventually, this knucklehead, or knuckleheads, will run out of available IPs to use. Until then, just ignore the jerk(s).
Monday, July 24, 2006
More bad news coming out of Northeast. It hasn't made the papers or other media yet, as far as I know, but there was a shooting on Avenue 40 this weekend that resulted with one dead and one wounded. The way it pieces together is that a Lincoln High football team was having a party on Ave. 40. The team is composed of Blacks and Hispanics. While the party was in progress, it's alleged that Avenue 43 homies showed up and started a beef with one of the black players. A couple of the Hispanic players came to the guy's defense. A fight broke out, a gun was produced and one Hispanic ball player was shot and killed. Another was wounded. They were both hit defending their black team mate.
You would think that with five 43s currently on trial for killing blacks the ones still on the street would try to fly low. Apparently not. More to come.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
It appears that Avenues is once again making national news. Since the Federal hate crime case started downtown, the Avenues' ethnic cleansing policy has so far made it to the LA Times, Newsweek, got a mention on Drudge and will soon be appearing in the LA Weekly. Information has filtered into In The Hat's vast underground intel bunker that Fox News is actively looking for informed people to talk to about this case. They haven't called here, of course, but what else is new?
For the benefit of out of town, and out of country In The Hat readers who have expressed an interest in this case and have contacted me privately, here's the case in a nutshell. This will spare me the time of answering each query individually. Apparently, the Mideast isn't the only item of interest to the foreign media. So here goes.
The US Dept. of Justice unsealed an indictment last year charging five members of the Avenues gang with conspiracy to deprive blacks of their civil rights. We guess shooting and killing non gang-affiliated Blacks qualifies as depriving people of their civil rights.
The five defendants are Alejandro "Bird" Martinez, Gilbert "Lucky" Saldana, Porfirio "Dreamer" Avila, Fernando "Sneaky" Cazares and Merced "Shadow" Cambero. All except Cambero are in custody and on trial. Cambero is in the wind and a fugitive. The victims in the case are three male Blacks - Christopher Bowser, Anthony Prudhomme and Kenneth Wilson. All three were shot to death within a short time period in mid-1999. All the victims had a documented history of being harassed, assaulted and robbed by the defendants. Several witnesses who knew the victims have come forward and testified that this harassment had been going on for some time prior to the murders.
The prosecution's two main witnesses are Jessie (aka Jesse, depending on which document you read) "Listo" Diaz and Jose "Clever" De La Cruz. Both are serving a very long time on state, not Federal, charges. Diaz went away on four counts of attempted murder (not related to this case) and De La Cruz is doing time for his part in the Wilson homicide. The motivation of these two informants is to get the US Attorney to petition the State to reduce their sentences. The defense, of course, is doing its best to paint these two as untrustworthy bottom feeders who would put a case on their gandmothers to go free.
What's interesting here is the motivation. What prompted these guys in this part of town to ethnically cleanse their neighborhood of Blacks? Let's face it, that's what it is. So far, the prosecution hasn't touched that subject. It may do so further into the case.
According to the original IOs in Northeast and Hollenbeck who first investigated these cases, their belief is that Avenues and many other neighborhoods all over SOCAL have been given orders by the Brothers to broom the blacks out of the varrios. This was not a bottom up policy, but rather one that came down from on high. Shoot a black, earn a stripe. You're in up status with the carnales. That's the theory of law enforcement.
There's more than a little truth to that according to the files locked deep in Wally's Fortress of Solitude. Similar racially motivated shootings, assaults and murders have happened in Pomona, Riverside, San Bernardino, Compton, Venice, Santa Monica, San Diego and San Pedro among others. There are at least two that may go that way in the San Fernando Valley if the IOs ever get the cases solved. These are notoriously hard to solve without a confidential informant (snitch to the unitiated). And, of course, we're all familiar with the dust kicked up regularly in County, the CDC and the local high schools between Blacks and Hispanics. This is not a new phenomenon. This has been brewing for decades.
This trial is setting off some interesting issues. One is retaliation. The murder of the Marcials and Cervantes in South LA two weeks ago sounds an awful lot like payback. Like the victims in the Federal trial, these victims were non gang-affiliated. Casual people as the homies call them. And then there was the death threat made against one of the defense attorneys. There's also a lot of talk as to why the US DOJ is even prosecuting this case. Observers are asking each other what's to be gained from this, especially since all the accused are already doing lots and lots of time? One of the defense attorneys inexplicably blamed the Bush administration for filing this case. Frankly, this accusation doesn't make any sense.
If you're following current events, GWB is, if anything, pro-Latino and in favor of very liberal immigration policies. This has gotten him in trouble with his base and with other GOP politicians. Goosing the DOJ to go forward with this reflects badly on W's immigration policy. If anything, it would make more sense for W to try to sweep something like this under the rug rather than put it up in neon. If you're opposed to illegal immigration, you can use this entire Brown on Black issue as one more reason to clamp the borders shut if for no other reason than to spare the lives of innocent blacks. Granted, the accused aren't all illegal immigrants, but they could be used as a foil to demonstrate how unassimilated Hispanics are negatively impacting society's march towards color blindness, tolerance and ethno-diversity. So this defense attorney's argument is dopey and doesn't make the slightest sense.
As to why, the US DOJ is prosecuting these Avenues for hate crimes, the answer is simple. The US government is sending a clear signal to the shot callers that this has to stop. Left unchecked, ethnically mixed neighborhoods could turn into little Rwandas or the Balkans. I can't understand anyone even asking that question. Why is the government bothering? Because we're not Bosnia.
One other issue that is notable by its absence is the call for more hate crime legislation. The dragging death of James Byrd made national headlines for weeks. Black activists called for more hate crime legislation and the case even became an issue in the presidential election. Byrd's sister was used in Democratic campaign ads saying that the failure of the Republicans to endorse more hate crime legislation was like having her brother killed all over again.
The point here is that the silence of Black activists on this case, and the others I've documented, is absolutely deafening. Not one peep out of the usual suspects. No Rainbow Push, no NAACP, no Najee Ali, Earl Hutchinson, Maxine Waters, Leo Terrell or Nate Holden. You have to wonder why. If anything, the response from Black civil rights activists should be even louder. Look at the scale. The Byrd murder was an isolated act by individuals out of personal racial animosity. Once the killers went away, the danger from them was over.
These murders, on the other hand, are the result of a policy initiated by a powerful criminal organization. Even after the shooters are put away, there are hundreds, if not thousands more ready to take up where the guilty left off. This is, and will continue to be, a major social problem because the gangs and the carnales aren't going away. If anything, they're getting bigger and more violent.
So, to all the out of town and foreign readers of In The Hat, that's the story so far. Yeah, we've got a big problem here and it's about time we stop pretending it doesn't exist.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
According to this article
the prison system is becoming a breeding ground for radical islam. The writer cites the Torrance case and makes an argument that the prisons aren't doing enough to monitor these guys because they generally don't start violence in prison. So they fly under the radar. Just curious to know what you all think.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
I thought I'd like the "southside blue" comments section (somewhat appropriate) but it turned out to be as hard to read as the Southsiders. So this morning I selected a neutral white so some people won't have to be reminded of the joint or the sixties. Anybody have problems with access or commenting, let me know.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
I didn't want to do this but a few knuckleheads refused to cooperate. So now Haloscan is up and working and your IP will be blocked at my discretion.
As you'll see, the comments section is now at the top of every new post. All comments starting with this post are now being run through Haloscan. That means I'll be able to see your IP and shut you out of commenting forever.
This is a big hammer and I'll use it only sparingly. I've got a lot of patience and it takes a lot to get me riled but the last few rounds of comments pushed me over the limit. You all know who the knucklehead was and we won't give him/her/it added attention by mentioning the name. In case the knucklehead doesn't get it, it works like this. You can change your logon name, but you can't change your IP as easily. For everyone else, have a great weekend.
Today's LA TIMES carries a story on the public response to the recent assassination of three Hispanics on 49th Street in central LA last week. As you all know by now, Larry and David Marcial and Luis Cervantes were killed by two male blacks using Kalashnikov rifles. The three victims were not affiliated and the murders were dubbed as "senseless." On Saturday, the usual suspects, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Najee Ali and Jan Perry are organizing a "Black & Brown Unity Walk" on South Central Avenue and on Tuesday, they'll have an emergency "summit" of Black and Latino leaders in a coffee house in Leimert Park Village.
The Times quotes Hutchinson, "We're not saying it's [the murders] racially motivated . . . we're calling for a summit to reduce tensions." This is odd coming from a guy who said in the recent past that if Latinos instead of blacks were being assaulted in County Jail, Mayor V. would be the first to call for some kind of intervention. But we'll leave that aside for now.
As much as the LAPD and activists may deny this, the indicators are that this triple homicide was nothing if not racially motivated. Two things. First it came just as the Avenues Federal hate crime trial got under way in downtown. Coincidence? We think not. Secondly, just this past week, an attorney defending one of the Avenues members in that trial got a death threat. The big media knows about this but for some reason, hasn't seen fit to release that information. Another coincidence? You be the judge.
Even the cops suspect this but are being coy. An LAPD rep was quoted as saying that the murders were some kind of message but they don't quite know what the message is. Unfortunately we do.
Here's some wild speculation based on nothing but observation of the landscape and some history. If I were a cop, I'd start looking at the Four One Five. That's KUMI NATION to the uninitiated. The 415 is the "underground" branch of the BGF made up of members that are more hard core than the average BGF member. My gut tells me the shooters were probably not even locals. They might have been imported "talent" from out of town or out of state whose services were bought or bartered.
I hope to hell I'm wrong and that the killings were just mistaken identy or one of the extant theories. But I don't think so. They better do some real hard talking at that coffee house.
I've been way tolerant over the comments, but some of this shit is getting deep. Even worse, it's getting stupid. I'm trying to maintain some sort of coherent discussion of issues and until recently, with your input and contributions, the effort has been mostly successful. Lately though, the tone is getting too close to the gutter and it's starting to get old for me. If you want to comment, make an argument, vent your spleen, quote another source, or even be an outright racist, there's been plenty of latitude. You want to shout out to your neighborhood? Go ahead. My warning is just don't be stupid. I'm talking about comments that refer to the things you want to do with your genitals, other people's genitals and the various arrangements thereof. Knock it off!
In the three years I've been doing this, I've never blocked an IP address but we're getting real close to making that a policy. I know where this stuff is coming from. There are vested interests in this town, and elsewhere, that would love to see this site turned into a garbage pile. I'm not going to let that happen.
I hate sounding like a scolding schoolteacher and this will be the last time. If you can't play by some simple, common sense rules, go play someplace else. From now on, crap gets blocked. Apologies to all the commenters who do it right.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
A few posts back I made some comments about Robert "Moco Verde" Morrill's book, "The Mexican Mafia - The Story." Some readers misunderstood the point of the comments. I have no quarrel with the accuracy of the book. He's writing about first-hand experience. He was there from the beginning and lived the tale he tells. My main objection was simple grammar and his jumping around from topic to topic. The narrative is hard to follow and you need a road map and copious notes to keep track of it all. I've been informed that some valiant efforts were made to clean up the copy. So grammatically, it could have been even worse.
Despite the faults, I still think it's a worthwhile read and here's how to get a copy.
P.O. Box 769337
San Antonio, TX 78245
The cost is $30.00 plus $3.00 for shipping to US and $5.00 for Canada. Write them for overseas shipping. Curiously, Inthehat gets lots of hits from overseas. A lot of Euros can't figure out what the hell goes on in our streets and they drop in. Most of what they know they get from the movies and we know how accurate that is.
As long as I'm on the subject of reading material, a great companion book (CD actually) to Moco's book is Mundo Mendoza's, "From Altar Boy to Hit Man." It's the unvarnished truth and still the best book out there about you know what. You can order a copy from copsandconvicts.com. Click on the Training Products section and you'll find the ordering process. Happy beach reading.
Apparently something happened with Blogger and the comments section got turned off. In case you were having a mojo for a good rant, the comments are now back on. Contrary to some of the comments, nobody shut me down or asked me to moderate the comments. Ease up, already. This is how conspiracy theories get started. It was just a dopey computer thing.
Also for your convenience and to reduce the bandwith, Blogger will now let you add a link to your comments. That'll save you a lot of cutting and pasting and reduce the amount of scrolling. How's that for free access and free speech?
Saturday, July 01, 2006
After years of neglecting this story, on June 29th and July 4 the LA Times finally woke up and smelled the gunpowder rising up out of Kenny Wilson's homicide. As many of you know, I've been following this caper since it happened in 1999. Many of you also know about my failed efforts in getting this case, and similar cases in Pomona, Compton, SB, SM, SD and San Pedro out to the public. I've been pitching this story to all the usual LA media suspects and got zero takers. The closest I got to seeing the piece in print was when it was basically given to a staffer at the LA Weekly after two years of repeated attempts to that very staffer to get the Weekly to run it. I guess they don't teach ethics in J school. Note to Laurie Ochoa at the LA Weekly, Google Gilbert Saldana and Merced Cambero and see who pops up first with the earliest mention. My blog, or your paper?
And then just today, the July 4 LA Times article shows up on the Drudge Report. It's now going national. Let's see how wrong they get this story and what kind of feeding frenzy, if any, this story kicks off. For starters, the LA Times stated that Kenny Wilson was going to his apartment the night he was killed. He wasn't. Wilson lived in the IE and was in HP visiting friends. For those keeping score at home, there are a few more errors, but let's have fun seeing where they go with it.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Some readers have wondered if I read all the posts or any of them. I read some of them. My personal filter process is if the post starts with something like "F*ck you putos," I don't bother reading it. It's pointless. There's nothing to learn there. Also, I don't respond to questions in the comments section. If I respond to anything, I'll do it right here. So if anyone logs in as Wally or any variation of that in the comments section, trust me, it's not me. The other thing I never do is post "anonymous" comments in the comments section to either goose the conversation or slam somebody. As longtime readers have figured out, I don't slam people or get into net beefs. One last thing. I have no clue who the commenters are and I have no way of getting in touch with them. I periodically get requests from people wanting to get in touch with this or that commenter. Can't help you. I have no way of tracking and I wouldn't even if I could. If you want to get in touch with somebody, work it out in the comments section. I'm not in that loop.
On another topic, the recent incidents in Venice and SB have gotten the attention of some senior members. Nobody's seen a lista yet but there's an awful lot of "chatter" in County. Could be BS or the real thing. Let's hope it doesn't turn into a long hot summer.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
It's nice to know you've been missed. Despite my absence, the hits to the site continue to go up. This is puzzling and weird and it may prove that a blogger doesn't need to post a lot to keep people coming back. But unlike most blogs, this one is more than opinions and rants. It started out with the intention of providing the kind of information you weren't getting from "legit" media. And you all keep coming back for more, even if I'm not there to provide it. This tells me there's a desire for this kind of info. The question is, why won't the big media fill that yawning hole?
For instance, the LA DA's office just got a conviction on the last of eight Avenues homies in a case that has been dragging through the courts since 2001. This is the biggest Eme murder conspiracy case ever filed by the DA's office in its entire history and there hasn't been one word written about it. There have been bigger Federal cases against the Emeros but nothing this big in the state system. I can understand the big national media overlooking it, but what's the local media's excuse.? The LA Times did a huge investigative story on crooked Las Vegas politicians and judges. The paper will apparently go out of state to dig up stories but won't walk across First Street from the Times office to the CCB to cover something of local importance. Does the Times care more about Vegas than LA? You be the judge.
I'll cover some of the more interesting aspects of this case next week after the penalty phase. Stay tuned.
On another subject, I just finished reading Robert Morrill's self-published book, "The Mexican Mafia -- The Story" and I wish I could say it was a great book. It's an okay book, good for some fact mining and background information. The problem is that Morrill isn't a writer. And he's a worst typist. The book is riddled with typos, run-ons, bad punctuation and some whoppers. For instance, when he meant to say "for all intents and purposes" he says "for all intensive purposes." He uses "perspective" for "respective," and is guilty of numerous grammatical sins. Just bad. Frankly, Mundo Mendoza's book is way better written and more literate in every respect. But there's so little written about the Eme that you're missing out if you don't buy Moco Morrill's book. The stuff on the Monterey Park PD Task Force is worth the price of admission. If you're an obsessive completist like I am, you need to know this stuff.
And in case you missed it, the US Attorney unsealed an indictment in San Diego against Raul Leon and 35 others in a giant Eme RICO case. It was the culmination of a 21-month investigation into Eme operations in SD. The FBI called the operation "In The Hat." Those whacky Feds.
More later. Actually sooner than later.
Friday, April 28, 2006
You don't usually hear much going on in the SF Valley. But something's about to kick off. Last week a carload of alleged CPA homies rolled up on four alleged Haskell Streeters in broad daylight in the 20000 block of Sherman Way. Fists flew, a knife came out and one Haskell paid the ultimate price for living the life. The usually wrong media attributed the incident to rival tagging crews. Haskell apparently is moving West, and CPA is claiming more streets to the East. Result? You figure it out. Somebody ought to clamp a lid on this before it gets crazy.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
In case you missed it, HECTOR MARROQUIN, the founder of a gang intervention program called NO GUNS, was arrested last week for being in possession of a firearm. As a convicted felon, he isn't allowed to have a gun. And even if he was allowed to own a gun, as head of an organization that calls itself NO GUNS, it would have looked hypocritical anyway. According to some law enforcement sources, Marroquin and his organization have long been suspected of working both sides of the street. In the interest of being fair and balanced, Hector's defenders claim that he's the victim of some kind of law enforcement vendetta to discredit him. Just prior to his arrest, Hector was tapped as an unpaid consultant to a panel of gang experts to revamp the county's largely failing gang intervention programs. The LAT ran a profile of Marroquin and his program in July of 2005. So far, the Times hasn't run anything that we could find on his arrest. Maybe we missed it.
While on the subject of guns, Sheriff Lee Baca is in the spotlight for handing out badges and concealed carry permits to a group of civilian Homeland Security "consultants" that also contributes money to the department. While no one has come right out and said this is an exchange of favors for money, it sure sounds bogus. There's been a long tradition in this state, and others, of rewarding law enforcement "supporters" with honorary titles, badges and carry permits. Rank and file coppers consider handing out "near legal looking" badges to non-sworn personnel as a slap in the face. These supporters have little or no training and they've never put in the time and sweat to become bona fide reserves. It's also a source of anger for law-abiding civilians who can't get permits because they don't have the money that grants them access to people like Baca and other top cops in a position of granting permits. As we've seen with people like Sean Penn, Robert Blake, James Caan, Howard Stern and even anti-gun Senator Dianne Feinstein, if you've got the money and the access, you too can legally defend yourself in a life-threatening situation. The rest of us, well, our skins somehow aren't as precious as those of politicians or actors.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
After a little bit of snooping, people in a position to know are claiming that the kites are saying the riots are over. At least for now. From several usually reliable sources, the start of the all the trouble was a San Fer shot caller currently in High Power waiting for his case to go to trial. It was all a pure power move to check the blacks, flex his muscle and keep tight control on the flow of dope and money into County. This was a total County thing and had little to do with homies in the state system. Which is not to say that it has nothing to do with them. Somebody, probably more than one somebody in State, is backing this shot caller's play. The move would have been a hollow threat if somebody in the State system hadn't promised to check whoever got put on the lista once they hit the state system. The message to resisters and blacks was loud and clear. Don't mess with M or you get ass-kicked and stomped.
Think of it as a strategic move to consolidate business in County into one large monopoly. Black free lancers and independents will now either have to think twice about doing business at all or just knuckle under and buy from the one source that either controls all the supply or taxes it.
I hate to drag politics into all this, but sometimes it needs pointing out. Some of the ugliest fallout of the riots came from politicians and activists. Earl Ofari Hutchinson and Najee Ali went on TV at the height of the violence and essentially accused Tony V. of being either racist or race biased. Earl said something to the effect that if Hispanic inmates were getting beaten, Tony V. would be up in arms and shouting for peace. But because the victims, were black, Tony kept quiet. This sort of comment underscores the absurdity of "ethnic" leaders and race politics. Tony V. may be a lot of things, but he ain't racist. The notion that black gangsters will obey you because you're black, or that Hispanics gangsters will somehow snap to attention because the Hispanic mayor yells at them is farcical. Maybe it hasn't dawned on Earl Ofari that some problems are beyond the power of politicians and well-intended activists to fix. Which brings us to the next item.
That $26 million a year LA pays for gang intervention and diversion is going down a big drain. All that money has apparently not been able to get one little homie to leave the life and go straight. City Councilman Tony Cardenas was reported in the Daily News saying, "We've been wasting a lot of money in this city. Because we have a lot of gang intervention and prevention programs to deal with these people and for us not to have success with one is just beyond me." Read about in the Daily News, 2/18/2006. It's a sad commentary when a guy on the city payroll comes to a realization that's been common knowledge for years to every 16-year-old with a spray can. Dude, have you checked your programs? Do you know who's running them?
Thursday, February 09, 2006
The public and media reaction to the jail riots finally got a dose of reality last night when I heard for the first time the magic words -- Mexican Mafia. To regular readers of this site, it's no big surprise. We know who runs the jails and the prisons. It's not the jailers. For anybody who's been in the system or is familiar with it, COs and deputies aren't much more than referees. The real power resides in the SHUs and it's about time that the rest of world starts to realize it.
There are a few simple truths that the media, politicians and social activists don't seem to get. One is that most of the "rioters" don't want to riot. But the reality is that once you're in the system, it's almost impossible to lay low and just do your program. The shot callers won't let you. When the call goes out, you either clique up and get with their program or you'll find yourself completely isolated with a target on your back for not having any heart. It's a no win situation for the "average" inmate.
The other reality most don't get is that even relocating the shot callers to Alaska isn't going to stop their influence. As long as they can make a call, pass a kite or get a letter out through an attorney, they'll continue to exert their influence. There's no getting around that. So it's laughable when you hear calls for isolating the "bad apples" (I actually heard some knucklehead use that term on TV) to reduce their influence.
And then of course, there's the call to put more deputies on the tiers. That won't work either. At least, not completely. There will never be enough deputies to keep people who want to assault or kill from doing exactly what they want.
Maybe the nuttiest response to the riots was articulated by Ramona Ripston from the ACLU. She blamed "this Congress and this President." Remember this is the same group that demanded desegregation of the prisons, a move that provides written assurance that more inmates will be killed. It's hard to know if the ACLU wants to solve the problem or make it even worse.
If there's any good that can possibly come from this is that it may make some little homie decide not to do things that could land him in jail. As bad as things may be on the street, it's nothing like th hell of being locked up.