Friday, November 16, 2007

This year has to be some kind of record for Federal gang prosecutions. Following on the heels of the F13 and 18th Street indictments we now have a major MS-13 case dropping. The entity behind the MS-13 case is the Metropolitan Task on Violent Crime, a group we haven't seen officially credited with an investigation in a very long time. This was the same group, but clearly different people, that put together the three big Eme RICO cases in the mid and late 1990s. The guy behind all these indictments is US Attorney Tom O'Brien who without question qualifies for a cape and utility belt. For the completists, O'Brien was briefly in charge of prosecuting the four Avenues shooters who killed Chris Bowser, Tony Prudhomme and Kenny Wilson in Highland Park. He promoted up and the court phase of the case went to Alex Bustamante and Barbara Bernstein.

Putting together these Federal/local PD task forces is remarkably cheap in the overall picture of law enforcement spending. The way these things work is that local cops assigned to the task forces are paid their usual salary by their departments and the Federal authorities pay for overtime, cars, equipment etc. This task force also had the cooperation of Salvadoran cops working right here in LA. Accordng to Chief Bratton, the MS-13 task force worked flawlessly. In the US Attorney's press release, Bratton once again stated that gangs are the "number one problem facing our city."

Ironically, the cost of paying public defenders will probably dwarf the cost of the investigation and prosecution. In the F13 case alone, each of the 102 named defendants will no doubt have his own lawyer. String that out over the two years or so the case will last and you can see how the public cash register will start smoking.

After 9/11, there was apprenhension among local cops and pols that the Federales would divert all their resources to fighting the terrorists among us, especially here in LA. As these cases have demonstrated, when the political will is in place, the government can walk and chew gum at the same time.


Anonymous said...

"When the political will is in place the government can walk and chew gum at the same time".

No Shit. Exactly. What's ironic about these RICO gang cases is that it is the FEDS who made it happen. Where is the "political" will in LA?
This shit has been going on for years now in LA. That's how these gangs got so fucking big.
These cases could make the LAPD and the LASD look really good.
Are they cracking down on these gangs and cleaning up the streets and doing what they are supposed to do? If so, GREAT!!
OR, are these two organizations so fucked up that the feds have to come in and do their jobs for them?
Have the past leaders of these organizations put so much emphasis on other politically correct bullshit that their number one problem just got worse, until the feds finally stepped in and took control?
It could be looked at either way.
The insiders know what's up.
Maybe Wally could enlighten us on this question.

Anonymous said...


Barf in the Hat said...

As these cases have demonstrated, when the political will is in place, the government can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Excellent analogy TR.. Investigative reporters influence the will of the people. People ideally should influence the will of the pols. Final analysis: "And the gumshoes shall lead them"..

Anonymous said...

Wally it was cool seeing you on TV last night, even if it was behind those shades. If any of you missed it, the show was on Eme on the History channel. Pretty cool, nothing new but a lot of old photo's and stuff.

OC/SJ Half Breed

jetho - from the roof of my trailer said...

Wally writes .......

"The entity behind the MS-13 case is the Metropolitan Task on Violent Crime, a group we haven't seen officially credited with an investigation in a very long time."


See link below for more info on

Los Angeles Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Crime (LA Task Force).

Anonymous said...

For those who still beleive that LAPD caused violent gangs. Why is there a mexican street gang in a nice quiet town like San Juan Capistrano? Could it be that a certain group of people just don't want to change their criminal ways?


Judge approves gang restrictions in San Juan Capistrano

By the Associated Press
11:22 AM PST, November 16, 2007

An Orange County Superior Court judge approved a preliminary injunction today against 139 alleged members of a gang in the historic mission town of San Juan Capistrano.

The injunction, approved by Judge Daniel J. Didier, means that alleged members of the Varrio Viejo gang will be arrested if they are seen associating with one another, wearing gang clothing or making gang handsigns within a 161/27-square-mile area in San Juan Capistrano and Mission Viejo.

A civil trial will be held to determine whether the injunction becomes permanent.

"This is a very insidious street gang. This cannot be tolerated," Didier said. "This terror cannot continue."

The judge was expected to approve another preliminary injunction against a rival gang, the San Clemente-based Varrio Chicos, later today.

Anonymous said...

"For those who still beleive that LAPD caused violent gangs. Why is there a mexican street gang in a nice quiet town like San Juan Capistrano? Could it be that a certain group of people just don't want to change their criminal ways?"

Who exactly is that "certain group of people..."? Are you talking all Mexicans, Latinos in general or just gang members.

Those two gangs in South Orange County have been around for many, many years.

OC/SJ Half Bread

Anonymous said...

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and a coalition of government watchdog groups have launched The site consolidates United States government documents produced by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from various organizations. The FOIA requires the federal government to disclose documents detailing its activities, when asked.

FOIA requests seek to hold the government accountable for abuse, corruption and unfulfilled promises to citizens. allows visitors to search a database of documents uncovered by watchdog groups. Registered site users may comment on the documents.

Anonymous said...

Jan. 2007,
In my opinion so far (admittedly I haven't had a chance to read it as it's not released to the public yet), it's coming from the law-and-order point of view which is typical for the genre (which is fine if someone in law and order were writing it and not Wally). How much of this is his publisher's marketing department doings and how much of it is his is still in question. There's often some tug-of-war there. I haven't been impressed by this guy to be honest. Despite all his "gumshoe" investigating, I don't think he ever really took the time to learn the real like Alonso did. There was a time when Alonso risked life and limb to get at the real. You have to respect that. This guy talks like he likes to mix it up but I wonder if he didn't get most of his info from the cops?

Sort of like that Brit did recently on his expose` on Peni. He flys over here, goes to The Shack, gets the cold shoulder, runs to the police and busts in on Mar Vista looking for a story. Then he pieces that mess together with a bunch of stuff off the internet. What a waste of time. Looked like he was trying to make a quick buck while vacationing in the states if you ask me.

Wally dug deeper than that, I have to admit, but did he ever get at what's real? I guess we'll have to read the book to know.

Anonymous said...

StillNoScript wrote:
I check out the inthehat blog all the time. Everybody's anonymous there so it's hard to tell who's really who. There was one commenter there named "Tijuana Jailer" who's a former CO, but he was hella cool and didn't take that hard line attitude. He would break down the beginnings of both the Mexican Mafia and Nuestra Familia, giving the good and bad of both, as he worked in Quintin in the '60s and' 70s.

Wally always takes the pro cop approach, no matter what. A lot of cops sit in that comments section (or perhaps Wally himself even though he claims he doesn't respond to people in there) and wait for someone to post anything blaming anyone other than the gangs themselves for the entire gang problem. And when someone does, they just tear that person apart and label them as being a cop hater, etc. Trying to morph them in with terrorist types. I just check the blog out every now and then because once in a while some old school homeboy will come in there and tell a good story.

Anonymous said...

OC/SJ Halfbreed said...

Who exactly is that "certain group of people..."? Are you talking all Mexicans, Latinos in general or just gang members ?


Anonymous said...,0,1227087,full.story?coll=la-home-center

L.A. gang unit cops slow their pace when it's calm. Suddenly, shots are heard, then screams, sirens and police radios.

Palm Hall said...

San Juan has had a Varrio for the longest. Before it was a nice little beach town. It had an area that was low riden way back. Bought a bag of weed there in like 75

don quixote said...

A sign of the times? From the NY Times.

Published: November 17, 2007
Step aside Moore and Taylor. Welcome Garcia and Rodriguez.

Smith remains the most common surname in the United States, according to a new analysis released yesterday by the Census Bureau. But for the first time, two Hispanic surnames — Garcia and Rodriguez — are among the top 10 most common in the nation, and Martinez nearly edged out Wilson for 10th place.

The number of Hispanics living in the United States grew by 58 percent in the 1990s to nearly 13 percent of the total population, and cracking the list of top 10 names suggests just how pervasively the Latino migration has permeated everyday American culture.

Garcia moved to No. 8 in 2000, up from No. 18, and Rodriguez jumped to No. 9 from 22nd place. The number of Hispanic surnames among the top 25 doubled, to 6.

Compiling the rankings is a cumbersome task, in part because of confidentiality and accuracy issues, according to the Census Bureau, and it is only the second time it has prepared such a list. While the historical record is sketchy, several demographers said it was probably the first time that any non-Anglo name was among the 10 most common in the nation. “It’s difficult to say, but it’s probably likely,” said Robert A. Kominski, assistant chief of social characteristics for the census.

Luis Padilla, 48, a banker who has lived in Miami since he arrived from Colombia 14 years ago, greeted the ascendance of Hispanic surnames enthusiastically.

“It shows we’re getting stronger,” Mr. Padilla said. “If there’s that many of us to outnumber the Anglo names, it’s a great thing.”

Reinaldo M. Valdes, a board member of the Miami-based Spanish American League Against Discrimination, said the milestone “gives the Hispanic community a standing within the social structure of the country.”

“People of Hispanic descent who hardly speak Spanish are more eager to take their Hispanic last names,” he said. “Today, kids identify more with their roots than they did before.”

Demographers pointed to more than one factor in explaining the increase in Hispanic surnames.

Generations ago, immigration officials sometimes arbitrarily Anglicized or simplified names when foreigners arrived from Europe.

“The movie studios used to demand that their employees have standard Waspy names,” said Justin Kaplan, an historian and co-author of “The Language of Names.”

“Now, look at Renée Zellweger,” Mr. Kaplan said.

And because recent Hispanic and Asian immigrants might consider themselves more identifiable by their physical characteristics than Europeans do, they are less likely to change their surnames, though they often choose Anglicized first names for their children.

don quixote said...

Hey Wally, while reading your book “The Mexican Mafia” I noticed your mention of Jackie Palomares as not only one of the Avenues but a real up and comer with the Mero’s.
Your telling of the incident when Palomares was with some of the Carnales on business,and some vatos from Dogtown crossed their paths and some mad dog looks were exchanged, Palomares pulled his cuete and was ready to start blasting, until some of the Brothers checked his ass, and reminded him that they were on a strictly business run and varrio bullshit would screw up the negocio.
That was not only funny, but ironic, as some of Palomares ancestors who were violent, headstrong, and gangsters as well were from Dogtown.
The irony to me is that in Palomares case the generational varrio loyalty one so often hears about was missing, but he isn’t the first of his family to break ranks with the old neighborhood.
Jackie Palomares’ father, also Jackie Palomares was a homeboy of mine from East Side Clover, deadly enemies of the Avenues, Juniors varrio of choice.
Not only that but Juniors Uncles, “Big Calles” and “Lil Calles” were notorious and violent gangsters from “Dogtown” who go back to at least the 1940’s.
Big Calles from Dogtown was a very feared and respected sociopath, he was a big (6’ 4’ 250 lb. Solid muscled), and an extremely violent vato who ran and collected extortion taxes from many businesses on North Broadway in Lincoln Hts. He was a notorious “leg breaker” for the Mero’s back in the 60’s and 70’s.

When his body was found in the bathroom at the old Downey Playground (Heroin OD) many people claimed it was no accident due to his big mouth and violent demeanor, which brought too much heat down on everyone. I don’t remember many people shedding tears over his death.

Lil Calles or Uncle Freddy Palomares was the prototype pachuco and pinto. He was covered in joint tats and his speech and body language were a stereotype of the gangster and pachuco (or cholo if you prefer), he was tall, dark and indio looking with pachuco cross’s and marks on his face as well.
Freddy though was the complete opposite of Big Calles, after he was in his late 30’s he calmed down completely. He was the Marido of one of my family members for many years and incredibly turned out to be a good guy and much loved by many in the family, especially the children, who all loved Freddy and vice versa, He had a God given talent for gaining the affection of children with his gravelly pachuco accented voice, laugh, and good humor.

The younger brother was Jackie Palomares Sr. who was much like Big Calles with his tendency for violence and his headstrong, don’t give a fuck attitude.
Jackie and I went back to Albion St. Elementary School together and he ended up being one of my homeboys from the Jokers, East Side Clover, even though his older brothers were straight up vatos from Dogtown (varrio just across the LA River from ESC), a deadly rival of Clover.

So you see Jackie Jr. isn’t the first in his family to switch allegiances.
Tijuana Jailer might remember us discussing the demise of Jackie Palomares back a while. The discussion was over a disagreement I had with Tijuas, who (if I recall correctly), said that the Emeros when they killed only affected other criminals or didn’t involve innocent people, something along those lines, and I pointed out three cases that I knew of when innocent people were killed and injured even though not green lighted,
One of these incidents involved the father of Jackie Palomares who is now ironically almost a made brother himself.
Jackie Palomares Sr. was an associate of the Carnals and along with his brother in law “Baldo” (Avenues) was dealing lot’s of “Carga” around NE LA, but like his carnal “Big Calles”, threw his weight around a lot, made lot’s of demands, came up short a lot of times I heard, and he shot his mouth off to the Big Homies as was his MO.
I guess someone finally got tired of the bullshit from Jackie and Baldo and a green light was put on them.
This was during the time people in the drug business were dropping like flies around the east side of LA and it was due to the Emeros taking control of the drug business and anybody who resisted ended up MIA (read Tijuanero’s posts).
Anyway Baldo’s body was found in the grass on a hill above Verdugo Park, all black and rotten after two weeks in the weeds, they smelled his body blocks away, that's how his body was discovered.
Supposedly he had enough chiva in him to kill an elephant.

Jackie was on his Harley with a girlfriend on the back, cruising along N. Figueroa at the curve by Sycamore Grove Park when a car pulled up alongside and both Jackie and his girlfriend were blasted off the bike and into the street by a 12 ga. sawed off shotgun.
At first the grapevine said it was just a gang hit by some vatos from Hazard (another enemy varrio) but later on the Chicano Daily News chisme said it was an Eme hit squad made up of Mero’s from Hazard. (Hey Tijuas! Who you think it could have been huh? lol).

So that’s the story of the heritage of Jackie Palomares from the Avenues and soon to be? The son of Jackie Palomares from East Side Clover and almost from? Also the nephew of Big and Lil Calles from Dogtown, was he a?
Life is a Trip que no ese?

Ps, Oh I almost forgot, his cousin is Eddie “the animal” Lopez, former heavyweight contender from Hazard/NELA

TijuanaJailer said...

The RICO statute is indeed an effective manner in which to proceed against EME and similar groups. Stay tuned for more action in the following months.

"Anonymous said: Further info on Buelna/Frankie B, I have heard he had close ties to the NF or might have been a NF member prior to becoming EME".

Frankie "Chivo" Buelna was originally Chivo from Merced. Being from NorCal, he undoubtedly had close ties to NorCal gang members who later joined the NF.
But, he had NO "close ties" to NF members nor was he ever a member of the NF.

There is no EME member in existence who was previously a member of the Nuestra Familia. However, there are several Northern California EME carnales (recruited in the early pre-NF years) whom some equate with the NF by virtue of the fact that they hailed from the North.

On another front, Louie Araujo (Hoyo Maravilla) was one of the "first wave" of EME members (after 1957 and before 1960) who was recruited by the carnales BEFORE the death oath was implemented.

In the early-1960's, (1960 or '61), the EME initiated a death oath in which any carnal who was recruited into the cartel was in for life and the only way out was via the cemetery. Any
"pre-death oath" carnal had the option of not re-joining (and not being killed) or re-joining under the new structure.

Louie Araujo never re-upped and later became an NF ally as the EME abused his Maravilla homeboys almost as much as they did those from NorCal.

On the prison yards, he was part of a group of Maravilla members who opposed the EME and EME's brutality. Maravilla stood shoulder to shoulder with the NF although Araujo privately confided with other L.A. convicts that he wasn't crazy about being associated with the NF and the NorCal element. This dichotomy was a prevelant Maravilla attitude at the time but they needed the NF backing (and vice versa) to put on a concerted united front vs. the ruthless EME.

Years later, most of these anti-EME Maravilla guys severed their ties with the NF and either went independent or joined the EME camp.
Juan "Green Eyes" Gonzales was one of these convicts who shared this insight with one of several EME dropouts we interviewed back then.
In fact, Gonzales later became an EME carnal and remains one to this day (to my understanding).

"Palm Hall said...
....Most the other clicks wanted numbers and the Brand and eMe wanted for the most part guys that could kill ...."

In Mundo's CD book "Mexican Mafia: From Altar Boy to Hitman", Mundo describes it exactly this way:

"EME had an insistence on quality vs. quantity".

The EME and AB, despite their ethnic contrast, developed a close criminal bond that extended beyond a relationship of convenience.

Many of these prison gang members sort of "adopted" each other and became close with some of their personal family members as well.

Martin "Kato" Vargas (EME) and Barry "Red Baron" Mills (AB) were like two blood brothers; Joe Morgan and Bobby Headburg (ditto); Alejandro "Moe" Ferrel - "New York" Crane; "Mundo" Mendoza and Billy "Buzzard" Harris who corresponded utilizing a female family member of Harris; Daniel "Cuate" Grajeda & John "Youngster" Stinson, who were also crime partners in the South Bay area; "Champ" Reynoso & William "Puppet" Mckinnley, who split a $39,000 bank robbery job in Thousand Oaks, CA (1977); etc. and etc.

Still No Script made an interesting observation somewhere in the earlier In-The-Hat section when he inquired about "farmers" from Southern California and whether Surenos felt a similar dislike for "farmers" from SoCal. I didn't have time to make a comment then.

The disdain that EME and So. Cal convicts displayed against NorCal "farmeros" had nothing to do with anyone's occupation as it did with what they perceived to be a difference of gangster attitude and mannerisms between L.A./SoCal vatos and Nortenos.

Maybe a good analogy would be to compare a New York city slicker with his "New Yawk" accent and a hillbilly from Kentucky or Kansas (sorry, Gava Joe).

The Southern Cal gangsters consider themselves superior to others. The term "farmer" is a derisive one intended to degrade and depict a Nor Cal gang member as a "fruit picker" performing the menial task of working the fields rather than picking up a gun and being a "real" gangster.

This description is solely intended to put them down. Obviously, NorCal gangsters have "learned" how to "perform" on the streets in their areas and this "war of words" has no real credibility today.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.


Tijuana Jailer

Anonymous said...

Jackie Palomares’ father, also Jackie Palomares was a homeboy of mine from East Side Clover, deadly enemies of the Avenues, Juniors varrio of choice.
Not only that but Juniors Uncles, “Big Calles” and “Lil Calles” were notorious and violent gangsters from “Dogtown” who go back to at least the 1940’s.
Big Calles from Dogtown was a very feared and respected sociopath, he was a big (6’ 4’ 250 lb. Solid muscled), and an extremely violent vato who ran and collected extortion taxes from many businesses on North Broadway in Lincoln Hts. He was a notorious “leg breaker” for the Mero’s back in the 60’s and 70’s.


Was he also poor innocent victim of the gavachos and the republicans? Or is he just one of many low life criminals?

dick clark said...

"I give this Blog a 10...because it has a good pair of writers in Don Quixote and Tijuanero and its easy to get some history if some others would shut up"

hiroshi said...

Thieving monkeys 'out of control' in northeast India - AFP.
Troupes of monkeys are out of control in India's northeast, stealing mobile phones and breaking into homes to steal soft drinks from refrigerators, lawmakers in the region have complained.
"Monkeys are wreaking havoc in my constituency by taking away mobile phones, toothpastes, sipping coke after opening the refrigerators," Hiren Das told Assam state's assembly.

He said the primates were "even slapping women who try to chase them".

"It is a cause of serious concern in my area, with more than 1,000 such simians turning aggressive by the day," fumed Goneswar Das, another legislator representing Raha in eastern Assam.

Assam's wildlife minister, Rockybul Hussain, said the state government has formed a panel to study the problem.

Because of shrinking forest cover, monkeys have increasingly moved into cities elsewhere in India as well.

Last week, around two dozen people were hurt after monkeys rampaged through a New Delhi neighbourhood.

Last month, the deputy mayor of Delhi died when he fell from his balcony after being attacked by monkeys.

Efforts to drive out the animals is complicated by the fact that devout Hindus view them as an incarnation of Hanuman, the monkey god who symbolises strength.


Gava Joe said...

"Maybe a good analogy would be to compare a New York city slicker with his "New Yawk" accent and a hillbilly from Kentucky or Kansas (sorry, Gava Joe)."

No offense taken TJ. As you know I'm born and bred expatriot CA native. I take a lot of flak on this board re. my adoptive home, mostly from the local motormouth. Those taunts I enjoy because I've usually raised his hackles and he lashes out in his not so eloquent fashion..Not a problem.

Everyone enjoys your historical commentary. You info takes on a life of its own when one sees a show like the History Channel's Gangland..It's a complete package..

We've got Rafael to bring us current events, TJ with the history, and DQ and Santiago for the humor and opinions. This blog rocks!

My choice to live and raise my kid in KS relates a lot to what I read right here. Sure there's sacrifices. I don't miss the multiplexes and the malls, but I do miss the taco trucks! and the Pacific.. KU has only to whip up on Oklahoma and Missouri to have a perfect season and play for the National Championship..What else could I ask for?
Now I'm going to grab my gage, call my son, and we'll go out and kill something! LOL

Anonymous said...

Jerks: Every blog has them. There should be in place, the no asshole rule to deal with creeps, tyrants, egomaniacs, and other undesirables.
They hold entry level, management and executive positions. They are the office jerks – the people who demean and demoralize their fellow workers and/or LE officers.

Big Betty said...

Dick Clark writes .....
"I give this Blog a 10...because it has a good pair of writers in Don Quixote and Tijuanero and its easy to get some history if some others would shut up"


I agree with you, now I am going to eat some menudo with tortillas de masa.

Anonymous said...


Nobody cares about your "out of control" cousins in India.

Anonymous said...

Looks like that U.S. attorney in El Paso is going to have some problems over his prosecution of the two migra agents.
How politically motivated does that look now?
Just another example.

hiroshi said...

Anonymous said...
Nobody cares about your "out of control" cousins in India.

Hiroshi reply,
Joy equals astonishment at seeing simian offspring reply on Wally's blog.
Anonymous, hasty conclusion like hind legs of mule - kick backwards.

don quixote said...

Hey I know Wally’s ITH isn’t the “Calendar” section of the LA Times but last night I saw a movie, “No Country For Old Men”, that really captured the essence of the USA in many areas of the country, as it changes from it’s Daniel Boone frontier Indian fighter mentality to something much different.

Story takes place in West Texas in the early 1980’s, although I recognized most of the scenes in and around Silver City, and Hillsborough NM, and Albuquerque (beautiful landscapes).

Josh Brolin is great as the Viet Nam Combat Vet out hunting antelope who comes across the aftermath of a major drug deal gone bad.
Dead Mexicans (including a pit bull) all over the place. Brolin discovers a truckload of Heroin and a briefcase with a million or more dollars in it and decides to keep it (cause he lives with his wife in a shitty single wide at the trailer park).

Things go very bad from there, Javier Bardem as the killer, comes looking for the money and he is the scariest weird killer since Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs.
The killer uses a pneumatic gun and air tank that is used to dispatch cattle in the slaughterhouses along with a riot style shotgun that has a silencer on it the size of an auto muffler.

Tommy Lee Jones is the West Texas Sheriff who tracks the Killer, although completely outmatched and outdated.
Jones is an old west idealist who seems caught in a time warp when America was simpler, he makes statements like
“things started going downhill when people stopped saying “yes ma’m and no sir”,
Jones is an old school Texas Lawman who upon finding the body’s of the dozen dead Mexicans in the desert replies to his Deputy’s question about why the coyotes hadn’t gotten to the bodies with
“ Can’t really say son, but I’ve always heard that coyote’s won’t eat a Mexican”.

Or the old Texas lady who replies to the well dressed Chicano who helps with her luggage at the bus station with,
“ well there’s at least one gentleman around here, but I’ve never seen a Mexican in a suit before”. Funny!

All this outdated Frontier philosophy is overwhelmed by the slaughter going on in the new Frontier.
A truly great film from the Coen Bros. that’s as good or better than “Fargo”, “The Big Lebowski”, or “Blood Simple”,
Javier Bardem should get an Oscar for his performance as the “stone cold killer”.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

6:20 PM

mr ironic said...

How is this for irony....
You know who is here since the beginning. He talked about the EME members like they were heroes. He constantly bitches and whines about the "gavachos" and the "system". He says he's a veterano. He claims to know a lot of carnals personally. He tries to come off like a guy who's down.

Then Wally comes out with his book. It's about what a threat to the nation EME is. Wally goes on a speaking tour, further trying to get LE to concentrate it's sources on EME and put an end to their dynasty. And you know who just keeps on kissing Wally's ass, and fawning all over him, telling him what a firme vato he is.
Now that people, is a seriously messed up individual with split personalities.

What would the kids and grandkids of this person think about gangs? I say gang intervention needs to start at home.

Anonymous said...

MONROVIA - Three people were shot and two more shooting incidents occurred over the weekend, all of which appear to be gang-related, police said.

Three black men were shot, and others appear to have been shot at, likely by Latino gang members, and a known Latino gang member had his house shot at, according to Richard Wagnon.

On Friday night, just before midnight, police received calls about shots fired around the 200 block of Central Avenue. Witnesses told police they saw several black men running out of an alley that runs along Myrtle Avenue between Los Angeles and Central, as if they were fleeing the gunfire.

On Saturday afternoon, a 19-year-old black male was checked into the Methodist Hospital in Monrovia with two gunshot wounds, one in his leg, and the other on his lower lip, where a bullet grazed him.

Police were informed of the gunshot wounds from the hospital, and went to interview the suspect, who told them he was attacked in a drive-by around the intersection of Primrose Avenue and Cypress Avenue, according to Wagnon

He added that the victim described the shooters in the car as Latino gang members, and the victim is part of a a black gang in the area.

The victim is now in stable condition, according to Monrovia Police Sgt. Jaime Alfaro.
On Saturday night around 9:00, police received reports of gunfire at the residence of the Latino gang member at the 200 block of E. Atara, said Wagnon. Bullet holes were found in the house.

On Sunday night, two black males in their 40s were shot in drive-bys in two incidents that happened within a few hours, said Wagnon.

The victims were not gang members, or suspected to be related to gang members, he added.

The first shooting occurred around 6:40 p.m. in the 500 block of Los Angeles Avenue, according to Monrovia Police Sgt. Tom Wright.

The 41-year-old victim was walking to his car when a light-colored car containing several male Latino gang members passed by and opened fire, Wright said.

The victim was stuck in the leg and the hand, he said.

Nothing was said prior to the attack, added Wright. The suspects simply drove by and fired.

The second shooting was reported around 8:50 p.m. on Shamrock Avenue and Walnut Avenue, said Wagnon.

A black male in his 40s was driving his car, when Latino gang members pulled up next to him and fired.

The male was shot in the arm once, said Wagnon.

The female passenger took over driving and took the wounded man straight to the hospital.

Neither victim's wounds are believed to be life-threatening.

Wagnon said that the police planned to provide extra patrols in neighborhoods that police felt would be at risk of further gang violence.

He added that police would also be adding additional patrols to areas around schools to keep an eye on potential gang activity.

Anonymous said...

Frustrated student of gangland mayhem exclaims:

"its easy to get some history if some others would shut up"

The spirit of Mr. Roberts reminds us that "please" is a magic word..

Anonymous said...

OK this is too weird.. My word verification letters were: dqsux. I swear to God - too weird..

Anonymous said...

Do you know a homie from Clover named Leonard, not positive on the last name Aguilera maybe, probably late 40's?

OC/SJ Half Breed

tim leary said...

"Brolin discovers a truckload of Heroin and a briefcase with a yada-yada"...

The capitalized "heroin" caught me cold in my tracks.. That mis-keyed letter says much about the commenter. It's pure psychiatric evidentiary data. Excuse my foibles. I'm working on my Doctoral thesis re. long term cravings and their ramifications..

dorian gray said...

tim leary says

The capitalized "heroin" caught me cold in my tracks.. That mis-keyed letter says much about the commenter. It's pure psychiatric evidentiary data. Excuse my foibles. I'm working on my Doctoral thesis re. long term cravings and their ramifications..

Leary forget the foibles and the thesis, the ramifications are due to a probable acid flashback, but in case you forgot let me remind you,
You've been dead now for quite a few years and your really starting to stink.

anony-mouse said...

I see mexican gangs are now trying to kill blacks in Monrovia. Is some fool on this blog, going to tell us about the extreme poverty in those ghettos of Monrovia.

Or is this a case of more low life Mexicans who just want to be in gangs and be involved in criminal behavior. Boy how quickly a group of low life mexican gang members can ruin an otherwise nice quite town like Monrovia.

Anonymous said...

i remember when the mexicans and blacks where all getting along and crippen it together.

HIROSHI said...

Nude Man Accused of Causing I-95 Crashes... Nov. 20, 2007.
BRANDYWINE HUNDRED, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police have arrested a Chester, Pennsylvania, man who they said was running naked and drunk on Interstate-95 and caused three accidents.

Police said Ardonas Gilbert, 26, was running along the southbound lanes near Marsh Road about 10 p.m. Monday. He is charged with two counts of assault and a single count of being drunk on the highway.

Two citizens tried to help Gilbert, but police say he began to assault them. Then police said he ran back into traffic and caused three accidents when cars tried to avoid hitting him.

Gilbert is being held at the Howard Young Correctional Institute in Wilmington.



The Constitution is under threat from those who swore to protect it.

Sacrifice civil liberties for politics; everyone loses.

The dollar plummets, in direct proportion to our reputation.

AGNEW said...

Brokaw: WASHINGTON POST Print Paper 'Probably' Dead in 10 Years...


Anonymous said...

The D.A.’s Mixed Record

Steve Cooley’s pals may hinder his drive to clean up troubled cities

Anonymous said...

I heard that the legendary Frankie B was on his way out anyways. Does anyone know if that was true?

Anonymous said...

anony-mouse said...

I see mexican gangs are now trying to kill blacks in Monrovia. Is some fool on this blog, going to tell us about the extreme poverty in those ghettos of Monrovia.

Or is this a case of more low life Mexicans who just want to be in gangs and be involved in criminal behavior. Boy how quickly a group of low life mexican gang members can ruin an otherwise nice quite town like Monrovia.


Parts of Monrovia are impoverished. You make it sound as if South Central, Compton, Inglewood, Long Beach, and East LA are the ONLY impoverished parts of LA. Those are just the worst parts.

Why are you in such denial of poverty's role in gangs? Seriously? What do you lose by just admitting that it's true? Oh, besides your entire agenda which blames Mexicans for everything on the planet...

George Washington Carver said...

Anonymous said...
i remember when the mexicans and blacks where all getting along and crippen it together.

I remember when the whites and blacks were all gettting along and picking cotton together.

don quixote said...

Feliz "Dia de Guajolote" para todos mis amigos, vaya a sus familia's y que Dios te bendiga.

Anonymous said...

I've got your guajolote hanging Jethro.

a pardoned turkey said...

Holy Shit! So you've got Salvadoran police working along with the LAPD to battle the MS13? Who in their right mind thinks these mokes are going to do anything but feed off the sugar tit the US dangles whenever it needs egress.. I don't fault the mission, but can unfortunately predict the outcome. Salvadoran police will retreat after they've taken their fill and Salvadoran gangs in this country will not even flinch..

Lou Dobbs said...

George Washington Carver said...
Anonymous said...
i remember when the mexicans and blacks where all getting along and crippen it together.

I remember when the whites and blacks were all gettting along and picking cotton together.


No George, You guy's where pickin. We were whippin.

anony-mouse said...

A fool who does not know Monrovia ....

Parts of Monrovia are impoverished. You make it sound as if South Central, Compton, Inglewood, Long Beach, and East LA are the ONLY impoverished parts of LA. Those are just the worst parts.

Why are you in such denial of poverty's role in gangs? Seriously? What do you lose by just admitting that it's true? Oh, besides your entire agenda which blames Mexicans for everything on the planet...


Sr. Estupido, I lived in Monrovia for many years and have family and friends still living there. There are NO ghettos in Monrovia, There are no projects or even run down apartment buildings in Monrovia. The worst part of Monrovia would be like Beverly Hills in poor places like Tijuana.

You obviously know nothing about Monrovia and where the shootings occurred. The cholos house that got shot up (off Myrtle Ave) is two blocks from the city of Arcadia and houses which are now selling for over $ 700,000 dollars. The Mexicans in Monrovia are in gangs because of stupidity and plain laziness. First learn about the area then open your mouth. Why can’t you admit some people are losers and criminals because they choose to be criminals? There is only one high school in Monrovia and all the kids get the same educational opportunity. There are no white schools and poor minority schools.

The cholos who were involved in a shooting Friday night went to Gem-City bar in downtown Monrovia after their drive-by. A local bar where mostly whites hang-out.

You tell me what you really know about the area of Monrovia and then tell us something which is actually fact and not your incorrect opinion. Please tell us what street the poor ghetto is on.

And I will prove you wrong.

drinking with tony, said...

A member of the Repentant Daughter's (who else?) said...
Holy Guacamole, Batman! So you've got Salvadoran police working along with the LAPD to battle the MS13? Who in their right mind thinks these mokes are going to do anything but feed off the sugar tit the US dangles whenever it needs egress.. I don't fault the mission, but can unfortunately predict the outcome. Salvadoran police will retreat after they've taken their fill and Salvadoran gangs in this country will not even flinch.


Anonymous said...

Oh for God's sake, Barf, shut up! Please make your annoying "send back all mexikins diatribe" on some other blog. Blow a fart man,if it aleviates some built up stress.

Anonymous said...

"I see mexican gangs are now trying to kill blacks in Monrovia. Is some fool on this blog, going to tell us about the extreme poverty in those ghettos of Monrovia.

Or is this a case of more low life Mexicans who just want to be in gangs and be involved in criminal behavior. Boy how quickly a group of low life mexican gang members "can ruin an otherwise nice quite town like Monrovia."

This guy just sounds like a person looking for answers on a blog for why things are happening. What is funny about Monrvovia's homies is that they talk like mayates and grew up with alot of the mayates in that city. I met some of the monrovia homies at the Brass Elephant and they showed alot of love to my neighborhood. Both black and brown gangs in that city know each other well and talk back and forth well. The problem in that city is that the 2 night spots Brass Elephant and 4 D's are hangouts for both gangs. When hard heads cross paths you know what is going to happen. To me from what it looked liked was that they like each other personally. One dude saw the look on my face when he was talking to the mayates and he even straightend up and was like "Nah we grew up going to school togethor and playing baseball and football togethor" to justify why he was talking to them. In my neighborhood that is never something you do and he knew the city I grew up ins reputation so he felt he had to explain himself.

That is off the track but, what I am getting at is that I think they are just following suit of what Raza has in play. They want to be respected by the big boys, from what I know monrovia "don't bust a grape". There seems to be a few that want to be a real gang and not a social group anymore ahhaha

"Youngster With Game"

drinking with tony, said...

Tony Rafael gin fizz

1 1/2 ounces gin (such as Taaka or Tanqueray)
1 tablespoon simple syrup
2 ounces half-and-half
1 egg white
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 ounce orange flower water
1 ounce lemon-lime soda
Orange wedge, for garnish

Simple syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
In heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together water and sugar until sugar dissolves. Increase heat slightly, then simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate syrup until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

In bottom part of cocktail shaker, combine first 6 ingredients. Blend with stick or immersion blender for 30 seconds. Partly fill highball or old-fashioned glass with three or four large ice cubes. Pour in drink. Top with soda. Garnish with orange wedge. Get it? Got it? Good!

drinking with tony, said...

Illegal Immigrant Rescues Boy in Desert.
Nov 23
Associated Press writer
PHOENIX (AP) - A 9-year-old boy looking for help after his mother crashed their van in the southern Arizona desert was rescued by a man entering the U.S. illegally, who stayed with him until help arrived the next day, an official said.

The 45-year-old woman, who eventually died while awaiting help, had been driving on a U.S. Forest Service road in a remote area just north of the Mexican border when she lost control of her van on a curve on Thanksgiving, Sheriff Tony Estrada said.

The van vaulted into a canyon and landed 300 feet from the road, he said. The woman, from Rimrock, north of Phoenix, survived the impact but was pinned inside, Estrada said.

Her son, unhurt but disoriented, crawled out to get help and was found about two hours later by Jesus Manuel Cordova, 26, of Magdalena de Kino in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. Unable to pull the mother out, he comforted the boy while they waited for help.

The woman died a short time later.

"He stayed with him, told him that everything was going to be all right," Estrada said.

As temperatures dropped, he gave him a jacket, built a bonfire and stayed with him until about 8 a.m. Friday, when hunters passed by and called authorities, Estrada said. The boy was flown to University Medical Center in Tucson as a precaution but appeared unhurt.

Cordova was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents, who were the first to respond to the call for help. He had been trying to walk into the U.S. when he came across the boy.

The boy and his mother were in the area camping, Estrada said. The woman's husband, the boy's father, had died only two months ago. The names of the woman and her son were not being released until relatives were notified.

Cordova likely saved the boy, Estrada said, and his actions should remind people not to quickly characterize illegal immigrants as criminals.

"They do get demonized for a lot of reasons, and they do a lot of good. Obviously this is one example of what an individual can do," he said.

O.K. gutless, lets start hearing the cheap retorts

Anonymous said...

The only recent gang killing in Monrovia was on the corner, outside the 4D's billiard club/night club. (the club Younster mentions)

And you can guess wich group of low life losers was responsible for this killing. Anybody who says there is violence and gangs because the cholos in Monrovia and Duarte are poor does not not jack shit about the area. These losers cholos in Monrovia and Duarte just want to try and be like the loser cholos from Los Angeles.

The Youngster is right that everybody in the city of Monrovia attends the one (1) high school. And in Duarte there is only one high school. So the blacks, mexicans and whites all know each other in these two cities.

Unfortunately too many mexicans have made being a cholo a thing of machismo, pride and culture. Monrovia and Duarte have lots of activities available to any kid who wants to do something positive. My nephews in the area play basketball, baseball and swim at two local parks, all for a very cheap price.

Poverty is but one small component of the gang problem. There are now gangs in many cities as Los Angeles mexican move around the country.

detective story said...

An embittered cop, Detective Trouser Pilot, leads a precinct of characters in their grim daily battle with the city's lowlife. Little does he realize that his obsessive pursuit of a jaywalker is leading him to personal disaster. later in the book the cop gets hit and run over by a milk truck with lousy brakes. Characters who pass through the precinct over the course of the book read include a young petty embezzler-LA Resident, a pair of burglars-Homer and Jethro, and a naive shoplifter-Barf suffering from a chromosome imbalance.

Anonymous said...

Uh we go again. One murder in the suburbs and Mr. blame Mexicans for everything is trying to use it as an example to demonstrate that poverty has nothing to do with gangs. Never mind the 100:1 ratio of murders in impoverished areas compared to murders in good areas...our gabacho worshiper has an agenda and now he's got a prop to work with.

Anonymous said...

Why is Tony posting up the recipies for alcholic drinks?

Did he already post a recipe for menudo?

I wonder if the cholos in Monrovia eat menudo before trying to murder blacks. There would be at least over 6 dead blacks in one weekend in Monrovia, if the cholos knew how to aim and shoot a gun. Thank god the cholos are either, stupid, drunk, high on crack when they do the drive-by shootings. Does this qualify as ethnic cleansing? Or are we going to say it is not ethnic cleansing because the cholos could not shoot straight?


Mr. ironic said...
"Then Wally comes out with his book. It's about what a threat to the nation EME is. Wally goes on a speaking tour, further trying to get LE to concentrate it's sources on EME and put an end to their dynasty."

Mr. Ironic you pansy wimp, lacking vital moral underpinnings, and have absolutely no character nor integrity! The way you talk, you spin into a trajectory like a lunatic. You are nothing but a devotee of hate and racism. Gin drunk creed drunk! Everyone here knows your MO.

ps Wally, we need a legal system that’s not going to give you pumpkin pie and ice cream for raping a woman!!!

Anonymous said...

Uh we go again. One murder in the suburbs and Mr. blame Mexicans for everything


The subject is gangs and shootings in an area which is other wise very quiet and peaceful. And yes the mexican are the ones who are mostly in gangs. Just stating the facts.

So it is always the gavachos fault, and we never hold the mexican gang member responsible for any of his criminal, low-life conduct?

Anonymous said...

does anyone know what gangs have a green-light now? do the maravillas still have the light? whats about asians do they still have the green light?

Anonymous said...

Ms. Santa Monica Sally,
As soon as we figure out how many personalities and names you have, we will be able to diagnose and label you. You may even suffer from gender identity disorder.

We need a legal system which will provide better medical treatment for criminals with multiple personailty disorder. We don't want these type of psychos lose on the internet or the streets.

Anonymous said...

I'm an LAPD gang detective and I just finished a book called "Gangs of Los Angeles" in which I do an in depth history LA gangs, and a lengthy chapter about Huero Buff, Joe Morgan, Eme, etc. and how the Mexican Mafia came into being. I spent five years researching the subject and I also cover all of the gangs you wanted information about including the Mateo Street Bombers, 38th Street and Sleepy Lagoon, General Rojo and Alpine Street, Macy Street, etc. I take the gangs back to 1892. The book is on Barnes and Noble and Amazon. A hard cover edition with photographs and a new chapter with information about "Murphy" from White Fence - and how he got heroin going in LA in the 1930's - should be out soon.

Anonymous said...

Gangs find a foothold in Morris
Popular culture helps glorify membership, county expert warns


Saturday, November 17, 2007

MORRIS TWP. -- Edwin Santana said on Friday that he used to go to urban neighborhoods to get magazines that touted gang activity.

"Now I just go to the mall," said Santana, a corporal in the Morris County Sheriff's Department's Bureau of Corrections.

A street gang and graffiti specialist, Santana presented a program on gangs, sponsored by Morris County Prevention is the Key, a Rockaway-based abuse prevention organization.

The increasingly easy access to magazines, films, videos, video games and music that celebrate the "gangsta" lifestyle to teens is a troubling sign, Santana said, and it is directly tied to the growing number of Morris County teenagers who claim some gang affiliation.

homer, jethro said...

When we were in junior high school, my friend Jethro and I made a map of the school lunch tables according to popularity. This was easy to do, because kids only ate lunch with others of about the same popularity. We graded them from A to E. A tables were full of football players and cheerleaders and so on. E tables contained the kids with mild cases of Down's Syndrome, what in the language of the time we called "retards."

We sat at a D table, as low as you could get without looking physically different. We were not being especially candid to grade ourselves as D. It would have taken a deliberate lie to say otherwise. Everyone in the school knew exactly how popular everyone else was, including us.

Anonymous said...

Uh oh, everyone, we just had a murder in the suburbs. Now it's time for the right wingers to sing in unison that gang violence has nothing to do with poverty, despite the fact that for every one gang murder in the burbs there's probably a hundred in impoverished neighborhoods. But, who needs math? When you've got an agenda that includes blaming Mexicans for all the world's problems, you run with any exhibit you can, regardless of how flemsy.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Was Santiago at the 4th Dimension in Monrovia last night when more pedo went down? The gavachos and the LAPD are starting lots of pedo at the 4th Dimension in Monrovia.

Those damn rich gavachos are causing all the pedo at the 4th Dimension night club. The poor mexicanas are once again the victims of the gavachos. A homie has a hard time buying 22" chrome rims for his Cadillac Escalade, some homies have 20" chrome rims on their Escalades, the pinche gavachos are always keeping the cholos in poverty.

The hura was once again keeping a homie from buying a $7.00 cerzeza at 4th dimension, pinche Monrovia hura, does not care about our extreme poverty.

sun tzu said...

"A Racist: A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e. people of European descent) living in the United States regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities or acts of discrimination."

I'm quite certain this is not the correct definition, but since I'm white, I'm obviously biased under this definition and my opinion is irrelevant. This is however the definition provided by some universities. This would explain the ease with which it is claimed when it doesn't actually exist, or at least the misapplication of the term.

sun tzu said...

A pointless question to pose to politicians, particularly in the present American mindset, but a useful for actual people. Basically when asked when or if 'human rights' trumps security, most of the politicos answered that security comes before rights with Richardson saying no and Obama delivering one of his now patented evasive rhetorics-
Obama challenged the question, saying "the concepts are not contradictory." lol

sun tzu said...

Gov. Bill Richardson's got a book out (doesn't everyone?) called "Leading by Example: How We Can Inspire an Energy and Security Revolution."
A taste: he favors a public-private partnership instead of a government-directed program of technology investment.

I'll make a prediction. If I'm wrong, no one will know or care, and if I'm right, I can pat myself on the back. Learned that from reading about psychics. Anyway: Richardson is really running for Vice-president, and he will in fact be chosen as such by the Democratic nominee. The latino vote is big and getting bigger.

Anonymous said...

ank Girardot: Real-life Mexican mob not 'Sopranos'

Frankie Buelna of Bassett took a bullet to the gut at a sports bar in Pomona this month.

Jimmy Palma of San Gabriel got shivved on Death Row in San Quentin in 1997.

Jose Uribe of Rosemead took a shank 40 times to various parts of his body and was killed in county jail in 1993.

All three had something in common - an affiliation with La Eme, otherwise known as the Mexican Mafia. All three deaths likely came from crossing the gang leaders.

There's a whole history of the gang and tales of colorful characters like Joe "Pegleg" Morgan and Rudy "Cheyenne" Cadena. But make no mistake, these guys are not "The Sopranos."

The shot callers don't live in fancy suburban homes and drive expensive SUVs. They aren't the type that make appointments with leggy shrinks to discuss their mother fixations.

In truth, La Eme is a violent gang run from inside the state prison system. And it has long-standing ties to the San Gabriel Valley.

As far back as the 1970s, murders in the area were attributed to the gang. In one case in 1970, a woman identified as a police informant was killed in Monterey Park. A note that read "Eme" was taped to her body.

A few years later, another Monterey
Park woman headed to Sacramento to testify about La Eme before the state Legislature. She was met at the airport, shot in the head and dumped in an irrigation ditch at the side of the road.
La Eme, Spanish for the letter "M," as in Mafia, was organized in the early 1940s. Its first leaders were gathered from East Los Angeles street gangs.

The gang grew up in the 1970s and by the 1990s controlled most of Southern California's street trade in illegal drugs.

Gang members in Whittier, San Gabriel, El Monte, La Puente, Pomona, Baldwin Park, Pico Rivera, Montebello and El Sereno began paying "taxes" on their drug sales and taking part in the loosely organized group.

The ties were further revealed in 1995 when the federal government brought a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, Act case against 22 suspected members of the group. Many had long-standing ties to area gangs like El Monte Flores and Bassett Grande.

About that time, reporter Robert Morales and I wrote a series of articles about how La Eme called a halt to drive-by shootings in all area barrios. The idea was to keep the cops out of neighborhoods because their presence was slicing into drug profits.

The results were pretty dramatic, and Uribe was one of those who paid the price for violating the edict. He pulled two drive-bys on a rival in violation of the order.

A couple of days after arriving in the county lockup he was


Sangra gang member Jimmy Palma's demise came from violating another edict: Never kill children. He was convicted of doing just that.

Palma and Richard Anthony Valdez of West Covina had been ordered to kill Anthony Moreno of El Monte. They did. They also killed Moreno's sister, her 5-year-old daughter, her 6-month-old son and a family friend.

As for Frank "Frankie B" Buelna, the verdict is out.

Tony Rafael, who writes at and recently published a book titled "The Mexican Mafia" detailing the history of the gang, summed it up like this on his blog:

"What's behind his killing? Too soon to say," he wrote.

"It may be politics eating up the old-school shot callers or maybe it was a personal," he wrote. "There's more to this, but we may not know for a long time. Or maybe never."

(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2717

Frank Girardot is city editor of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Visit his blog at

Anonymous said...

Monday, Nov. 26, 2007 | In February 2006, a group of young men from Encinitas calling themselves the "Shadow Crew" cruised around the clean streets of coastal North County searching for twin brothers Jeff and Josh Gregson. According to government prosecutors, the Shadow Crew wanted to kill the Gregsons to settle a score -- and a debt -- for the gang’s leader. When the group couldn’t find the twins, they went out for sushi instead.

Months later, another group of young, middle-class men in Murietta, calling themselves the "Fight Club," assaulted a man at a birthday party. Eleven young men later pleaded guilty to charges ranging from burglary to assault to arson. At one point, members of the group had stolen a display case full of designer sunglasses from a local gym.

Then, in May 2007, Emery Kauanui, an aspiring professional surfer from La Jolla, got into a bar fight with another local surfer. That fight spiraled into a confrontation outside Kauanui’s home that left Kauanui’s skull cracked. He died four days later. A 21-year-old has now been charged with murder and five La Jollan 20-somethings face gang charges after prosecutors discovered the group had a name, the Bird Rock Bandits, and had been accused of a string of other assaults and robberies.

Local law enforcement officials, prosecutors and gang-crime experts said these three high-profile cases could represent a nasty new trend in gang-related crimes. Troubled young teens and 20-somethings in tony middle-class neighborhoods are increasingly turning to the gang lifestyle purely for the prestige and the intangible currency of respect, they said. That’s a marked change from the traditional catalysts of gang activity: Financial hardship and a necessity to stay tough to survive on the mean streets of a dangerous neighborhood.

But attorneys and family members of those accused of the recent gang crimes turn that concept on its head. In all three of the region’s recent "middle-class" gang cases, lawyers and loved ones have accused prosecutors of piling on gang charges with reckless abandon to extend sentences. That’s nothing more than a politicized charade of really getting tough on crime, they said. By labeling Eagle Scouts and college quarterbacks as gang bangers and sociopaths, they have argued, prosecutors have cheapened the very laws designed to protect society.

What prosecutors have called gangs, attorneys and relatives have labeled social clubs or drinking buddies. The distinction is a crucial one: Tough anti-gang laws enacted in the last few decades have given judges and juries the ability to add 10 years to sentences for crimes that are proven to be gang-related.

Related Links

Legal Troubles May Deepen for Bird Rock Bandits (NBC 7/37)

"It’s overzealous prosecutors using laws that weren’t designed for the kinds of 'gangs' that they are going after," said Jan Ronis, a defense attorney who has represented members of both the Bird Rock Bandits and the Shadow Crew.

The Bandits, Crew and the Club
The Bird Rock Bandits, the Shadow Crew and Fight Club have noticeable similarities: All were started in high school by groups of competitive athletes -- the Bird Rock Bandits were football stars, baseball players and surfers; the Shadow Crew were wrestlers; and Fight Club started with a group of high school football players who got into injecting steroids.

All three groups seem to have contained a core leadership around whose enigmatic personalities newer members gravitated, and each of the groups seems to have sprung from fairly benign beginnings to evolve into a more complex organization over a period of time.

Unlike traditional gangs, however, the three groups did not share serious economic and social struggles. All were formed in safe, middle or upper-middle class neighborhoods by groups of teenagers who should have had opportunities galore to succeed. A member of the Bird Rock Bandits had attended a prestigious East Coast boarding school. One of the Shadow Crew was an Eagle Scout and the leader of the crew lived in a million-dollar home a few blocks from the ocean. He drove a souped-up Cadillac Escalade.

The suburbs where these groups thrived are a world apart from the troubled, crime-ridden neighborhoods usually associated with street gangs.

"What drives gang formation is large numbers of at-risk young men in difficult community circumstances, without a lot of opportunities, with marginal or worse social institutions, like education, available to them and without clear, easy paths to legitimate work," said David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

The three groups, unlike street gangs in tough neighborhoods, did not need to unite to protect themselves. Yet all three groups had a penchant for violence, according to prosecutors.

After Emery Kauanui was beaten to death, investigators in his murder case began to look more closely at the loose-knit group of men who called themselves the Bird Rock Bandits. At a hearing in September to increase bail for the defendants, prosecutors announced they had compiled evidence of a string of violent incidents involving members of the group, including a number of assaults they said had been carried out by Bandits.

In the Shadow Crew case, Scott Sepulveda, a charismatic business owner who participated in cage fighting and was addicted to painkillers, seems to have imbued his followers with a taste for violence, according to court documents. The case centers around an alleged plot hatched by Sepulveda to kidnap and kill twin brothers Jeff and Josh Gregson, whom Sepulveda owed a gambling debt of more than $13,000. The Gregsons, personal trainers who stand 6 foot, 3 inches tall and weigh almost 250 pounds, said they weren’t worried about the Shadow Crew until they learned the crew’s members owned several weapons, cattle prods, ski masks and body armor.

"If they wanted to bring it on, it, bring it on," Josh Gregson said. "But you can’t dodge bullets."

And the Fight Club was all about violence. Media reports about the group describe it being based on the 1999 movie starring Brad Pitt. Members of the Murrieta Fight Club would routinely fight each other and beat up targets picked seemingly at random from house parties, prosecutors in the case alleged. The whole escapade seems to have been fuelled by steroids bought with funds raised by burglarizing homes or by armed robberies committed by members of the club, according to media reports.

But Kennedy stressed that a pervasion of violence, per se, in a neighborhood doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a pervasion of gang activity. Indeed, Kennedy said, most violence that's labeled as gang activity isn’t actually carried out in furtherance of a gang’s objectives at all, but is more likely to be personal in nature.

"Only about 20 percent of killings are about money," Kennedy said. "All the rest of it is essentially about one thing -- respect."

And it’s that notion of respect that Kennedy and other experts said has seeped into almost all elements of mainstream pop culture and that probably influenced the members of the three middle-class groups.

"Gang-banging and violence and crime and especially this type of crew-based, gangish kind of crime, has become trendy," Kennedy said.

The result is increasing numbers of what Tim Haley, commander of the Murrieta and Temecula Gang Task Force, calls "Non-traditional gangs," in middle and upper-middle class neighborhoods. Haley said the allure of gangs is attractive to suburban, higher-income teenagers and 20-somethings from homes without a strong family bond.

Katie Salvato, William Mueller and Angel Mendoza, all 18-year-old seniors at La Jolla High School said no one at their school really looks up to gang members or respects violent criminals. Teenagers might dress a little like gangsters or repeat phrases they learn from music videos or films, they said, but most stop short of actually mimicking the actions of gang members because it simply isn’t considered cool.

Far from growing as a phenomenon, they said, the teenagers they know consider gang activity somewhat passé. "I would definitely say that a few years ago our school had a lot more fighting and stuff. Now it seems there’s nothing," Salvato said.

But the La Jolla High seniors said there’s no question their nice neighborhoods could just as easily be breeding grounds for gang members as other, less affluent parts of town.

Increasingly, the seniors said, their friends and peers are left to fend for themselves because their parents spend a lot of time away from home. Whether for business or travel, La Jolla parents are increasingly disconnected from their children, the seniors said. And teenagers who are left home alone, sometimes for weeks on end, are likely to have parties, abuse alcohol, and get into trouble, they said.

'No Single, Good Definition'
The defense attorneys representing members of the three groups accused of being gangs propose an entirely different reason why gang crime is apparently creeping into the region’s more affluent suburbs. They claim the incursion is driven by one simple factor -- an increasingly wide definition of the very word "gang."

Groups that previously might have been labeled differently are now immediately branded as gangs by overzealous prosecutors seeking to make the weightiest charges stick, the defense attorneys say, which is why there are now "gangs" in La Jolla, Encinitas and Temecula.

"There is no single, good definition of what a gang is," Kennedy said. "So arm wrestling about what is and isn’t a gang turns out to be a venerable pastime for both scholars and law enforcement. It’s an unresolved and probably un-resolvable question."

But prosecutors argue that the law is perfectly clear on what does and doesn’t constitute a gang. California Penal Code provides an exhaustive list of criteria a group needs to meet in order to warrant being called a "criminal street gang," they said.

In essence, the gang section asks prosecutors to show that the crime has been committed by a group of three or more people and that it is part of a pattern of gang activity. The section has a list of 33 crimes that can be classified as gang crimes, which ranges from assault to theft of a vehicle to identity theft.

The Bird Rock Bandits is a gang that meets those requirements, the prosecutors allege. Seth Cravens, the member of the group who allegedly threw the punch that knocked Kauanui down and killed him, owned a host of gang-type paraphernalia that investigators found in his room. That included "a notebook full of Bird Rock Bandit symbols depicting wounded warriors tattooed with 'BRB' and Nazi symbols, such as lightning bolts and swastikas," according to court documents.

On the night Kauanui was killed, the members of the group were also allegedly video-taped flashing gang hand symbols and shouting "BRB for life," and "Bandits for life."

The Shadow Crew also had its moniker. All the alleged gang members had a common tattoo -- a Japanese symbol that marked them as a member of the group. Sepulveda, the gang leader, was actively recruiting new members, who prosecutors claim were initiated into the gang with a group beating. The group dealt drugs and robbed other drug dealers to get painkillers to feed Sepulveda’s habit, prosecutors alleged. He has been sentenced to prison for eight years.

And the Fight Club, prosecutors said, had formed an ongoing criminal enterprise that formed under a common name and that committed crimes directly for the benefit of the gang. Those are all elements of what constitutes an illegal street gang under the Penal Code, prosecutors alleged, which means the Fight Club were in reality much more than just a social club.

The fact that prosecutors have made the case that the three groups are gangs doesn’t surprise Alex Alonso, an author and editor of, an online magazine about street gangs in Los Angeles. Alonso said the legal definition of a gang is so wide that it could include just about any group of three or more individuals involved in committing crime.

Thus, a fraternity that hazes its members could be considered a gang, Alonso said. Similarly, Dana Nurge, a researcher on gangs at San Diego State University said, the trio of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Brent Wilkes and Mitch Wade, who have either been convicted or pleaded guilty in a government corruption case, meet the strict statutory definition of a gang.

Gang allegations add tremendous weight to a prosecutors’ case, which is the real reason more and more diverse groups are being labeled as gangs, Alonso and defense attorneys said.

"District attorneys, when they overcharge, they have tremendous bargaining power," said Allen Bloom, defense attorney for Brian McConnell, the alleged second-in-command of the Shadow Crew. "When they can add a gang allegation, you’re talking about doubling sentences and adding 10 years and adding 15 years. You’re tightening the screws and increasing your power to gain a plea bargain in a case."

Alonso went one step further, saying there’s also a strong political element to bringing gang charges.

"It’s all politics. It has nothing to do with crime, nothing to do with helping out the community. ... (Politicians) want to get reelected, they want to get reappointed, and they want to look strong on crime. And a great way to look strong on crime is to look anti-gang and to do everything you can do that’s anti-gang, whether it works or not," he said.

A spokesman for the San Diego District Attorney’s Office said prosecutors could not comment about the Bird Rock Bandits case. The prosecutor on the Shadow Crew case did not return repeated calls and the prosecutor on the Fight Club case could also not be reached.

But Dana Greisen, chief of the San Diego County Gang Prosecution Unit at the District Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors don’t care what part of town criminals come from, how much money their parents make or the color of their skin. Investigators research crimes and where they find a pattern of activity that meets the statutory criteria, they pursue gang charges.

"We look at each case on a case-by-case basis and see if it meets the statutory criteria," he said. "I’m not aware of numerous uses of this statute in unorthodox cases."

Fuelling the debate, Greisen said, is that in many cases the statutory definition of a gang has evolved faster than the public’s own perception of what is and isn’t a gang.

The La Jolla High School seniors knew the Bird Rock Bandits well. Salvato said a friend of hers was punched in the face by Cravens when she asked him to leave a house party she was throwing. But she scoffed at the suggestion the group was a gang.

Jessica Cardona, whose uncle Luis Cardona still faces gang charges in the Shadow Crew case, pulled out certificates and letters from friends showing her uncle couldn’t possibly be a gang member. He was one of the Shadow Crew, sure, she said, but the Shadow Crew was just a group of drinking buddies -- friends who met for barbecues and went bowling together. They weren’t a real gang.

"The district attorney made Luis out to be this drug user who lived a double life and was a hard-core gang member," Jessica Cardona said. "But he was on honor roll. How could you be on honor roll if you’re a cocaine user?"

And the parents of members of the Murietta Fight Club expressed outrage that their clean-cut sons could be considered gang members. In media reports, parents claimed their sons were upstanding members of the community. Some even counseled gang members and warned kids to stay away from the evil power of gangs.

Peter Mejico is president of a self-help group that weans gang members away from the addictions of the gang lifestyle. His father was a co-founder of the Mexican Mafia and his father and brother are both serving life sentences in prison for gang-related crimes. He said every neighborhood, from Beverly Hills to Compton, has its gangs. He’s constantly learning about new gangs, in new parts of town, with new names and new causes, he said.

"I know a lot, as far as what I’m used to, in the low-income neighborhoods, in the urban cities, but I’ve never really met anyone from Temecula, so I don’t know what’s going on out there, what’s sparking all of this," Mejico said.

"But I do think, if it’s a true gang, it’s valid," he said. "And what makes it a true gang? Well, I’m not really sure."

Please contact Will Carless directly with your thoughts, ideas, personal stories or tips. Or send a letter to the editor.

Anonymous said...

Chase ends with four arrests
By Ruby Gonzales

WHITTIER- Police arrested four people and recovered a stolen car Monday after a short chase that ended with the vehicle hitting a curb and overturning.
The driver fled but was later found hiding in a yard.

David Gavaldon, 27, of Whittier was arrested on suspicion of grand theft auto, evading police and burglary.

Arrested on suspicion of grand theft auto were Chante Prieto, 21, of Whittier, Guadalupe Jacobo, 33, of Whittier and Monica Padilla, 30, of West Covina.

They were booked at Whittier Jail and will be arraigned Wednesday at Whittier Superior Court.

Whittier Police Officer Diana Salazar said Prieto is also a parolee at large and that the 2006 gold-colored Honda Accord was stolen from Pico Rivera. She didn't know when it was stolen.

No one was injured in the incident that began at 8:49 a.m.

Salazar said the Accord drew an officer's interest because its license plates were covered in paper and the driver also committed a traffic violation. When the officer tried to pull over the car, the driver took off. The chase was on.

"(The Accord) hit an unoccupied parked car. It continues to evade the officer," Salazar said.

The short pursuit ended at Norwalk Boulevard and Dorland Street when the car hit a curb

and overturned. It ended up lying on its roof, she added.
The driver fled. A sheriff's helicopter spotted the man jumping over fences. Officers closed off an area.

She said the man was found in the 5900 block of Morrill Avenue.

"He was in a back yard near a garage," Salazar said

Anonymous said...

Team to target gangs, drugs
By Alison Hewitt, Staff Writer

A grant received by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department last week will help a new team of deputies investigate gangs, find the "drug kingpins," and "eliminate" them by putting them in jail, said the captain of the Narcotics Bureau.

"Narcotics is the fuel that allows gangs to do what they do: It buys their guns," said bureau Capt. Dennis Werner. "By focusing on that and eliminating the heavy hitters, the violence goes down and the neighborhood gets better."

A $1.65million grant from the Department of Justice will create the new Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team, or GANET.

The roving team includes both gang investigators and narcotics investigators, blending their talents into a single task force for the first time, according to Sgt. Ronald Williams, who wrote the grant application.

"There was transparency before, but now they're under the same roof," William said.

GANET will include a lieutenant, a sergeant, four narcotics investigators and two gang investigators. They'll also work with a slew of other agencies: county probation, the state parole office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the District Attorney's Office, and the Drug Enforcement Agency,

Williams said. More cooperation means more databases to mine, he said.
"I can't get into a whole lot of detail, but that's the gist of it," Williams said.

Werner was also reluctant to get into the nitty-gritty details about the team.

"We don't want to tip our hand too much, because a lot of these guys work undercover," he said. "All I can say is that it's legal."

But Werner did share some information about how the team would work.

He hopes GANET will begin working by January. The task force would rotate from one sheriff's station to another, switching every three months between the north county, the south central county and the east county - a region that includes local stations such as Industry, Pico Rivera, and Walnut/Diamond Bar.

"They'll have to provide at least two deputies and some clerical support, or we'll go to another station," Werner said. "They work together to identify particularly violent gangs, and then they'll go in and ID the drug kingpins."

GANET will be a variation on an old team - COMNET, or the Community Oriented Multiple Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team. COMNET was grant-supported in the '90s and part of this decade, but lost funding in June. COMNET's investigators have been relegated to other investigations since then, but will soon make up part of the GANET team, Werner said.

"They're some of the best investigators I have," he said. "I even get calls from cities saying, `Is there any way that you're going to have COMNET again?"'

But while COMNET gave deputies a chance to work with police officers, GANET will function solely within the Sheriff's Department, he said. GANET also narrows the focus to gang-related drug problems.

"With COMNET, the missions they were going to work on were developed with the local patrol station," Werner said. "We'd ask them, `What are your local narcotics problems?' and they'd identify a street or a house or a group. GANET is gang-driven."

Werner is eager to get the group started. The more people they can "take out of the trade," the fewer shootings and assaults there will be, he said.

"I know that we're not going to be out of business. As long as there's a market for drugs, this is going to occur," Werner said. "But we have to do the best we can to suppress that."

(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2730

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:

"La Eme, Spanish for the letter "M," as in Mafia, was organized in the early 1940s. Its first leaders were gathered from East Los Angeles street gangs"..

1940's???? Now I'm really confused!!

This is good shit. The collegiate input regarding racism is right on.The info about Shadow Crew is spooky. The Richardson Veep speculation is toothy, and Sun Tzu's wisdom is well, philharmonic.. Get Down James brown.


Of all the various holiday events in Los Angeles this year, Esotouric has come up with by far the coolest: The James Ellroy Digs L.A. Bus Tour.

The tour takes place Saturday, Dec. 22, and it looks like Esotouric added a second date, on Dec. 29. Sadly, it appears both events are already sold out; I'm sure you can at least get your name on the waiting list for one of the $60 tickets.

Here are the details:

Passengers on "James Ellroy Digs L.A." will gather at Arnie Morton's downtown bar (opened specially for our party), then accompany the author in a luxurious coach class bus on an uncensored time travel journey to tony Hancock Park, where he stalked his teenage classmates and later broke into houses... to the Hollywood flats to explore some of the heinous 1950s murder cases that fascinated him as a youth and continue to feed his obsessions... and out to El Monte, where his mother Geneva was murdered, the unsolved crime that runs through all his work, from "The Black Dahlia" to "My Dark Places."

James Ellroy says, "I dig L.A. because I'm from here. My parents hatched me in a cool locale. I'm desperate to impress people, I'm a good talker, I know a shitload about L.A. and I want to share it. On this tour, you'll get L.A. crime and social history on an unparalleled AND intimate scale."

HIROSHI said...

Chief Dan Matthews was a tough guy with a gruff voice fighting crime somewhere in the West in a gritty series lent much dramatic heft by Oscar winner Broderick Crawford (`All the King's Men'). The show is memorable for its framing of tight shots, quick-cut edits and Crawford's Buick Special, which he seemed forever to be leaning against, shouting into his two-way radio, a 19' cheese with basil pizza, and a small meatball sandwich with extra sauce.

Anonymous said...


Rising Latino Numbers, Rising Black Fears

(November 26, 2007)

Last month a small but vocal group of Los Angeles black community activists turned up at City Hall to blast Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Latino elected officials for their tight lip silence when the feds cracked down on the terrorist Latino street gang, Florencia 13.

The gang's arsenal of mayhem included murders, assaults and intimidation against blacks in South L.A. Though the protestors were few in number many blacks privately cheered their finger point at Latino leaders for not speaking out on the violence.

In the past two years some Latino leaders have also pointed the same blame finger at blacks when Latino men were robbed, beaten and even murdered in Plainfield, New Jersey, Jacksonville, Florida, and in Annapolis, Maryland, and seven members of a Latino family were murdered in Indianapolis.

The attackers in all cases were young black males. Latinos complained bitterly that blacks were targeting Latinos because they were Latinos.

Latino and black violence against each other is another tormenting sign of the worst kept secret in race relations in America.

Race and ethnic conflicts can be just as easily between blacks and Latinos as between blacks and whites. .... (READ MORE)

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His new book: The Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation between African- Americans and Hispanics (Middle Passage Press October 2007). (email: - web:


The Mayor of Monrovia is also silent about the five recent shooting in Monrovia, Ca..

The mexican mafia controls young mexican gang bangers like the stupid puppets thay are. The mexican mafia will pull their little strings, until the graduate to prison, where they will control all their daily criminal activities.

This is the "genius" of the sureno gang members. Their familys must be so proud of them. They should make a movie and glamorize this achivement. (oh wait they already did this)

Anonymous said...


anony-mouse said...

I will share a little more information about Flora Fuentes age 71. She was also the manager at the apartment where she lived.

She often had problems with the cholos selling drugs at the apartment buiding. Only a low life group of animals such as the sureno cholos would stab a defenseless old lady to death.

Which idiot is going to tell us how brave sureno cholos are. Or which idiot is going to tell us how the cholo who killed the old lady will be "handled".

Rememeber the baby killed by 18th st gang in Westlake, The cholos were trying to collect street taxes from old lady street vendors. And remember the sureno cholos arrested for trying to intimidate an old lady who is a witness.

Come on you memeber.


Westlake: Flora Fuentes, 71, a Latina woman, was discovered dead of stab wounds in her apartment at 725 S. Alvarado Street in LAPD's Rampart Division in Westlake at about noon on Nov. 24. She ran a Salvadoran restaurant with her family, and usually opened the business up early in the morning. When she failed to do so on this day, family members went to the apartment where she lived alone, and discovered her dead on the floor with numerous stab wounds, said Rampart Det. Fred Faustino. There was no sign of forced entry, detectives said.

R.I.P. Sra. Flora Fuentes

Anonymous said...

Wow this is a great blog, thanks to the great posts by Hiroshi, Sun Tzu, Drinking with Tony, Santa Monica Sally, and anonymous.

And I agree about the info on "Shadow Crew" that was another great post here at InTheHat. The insight and wisdom we read on this blog can NOT be found any where else. Keep up the great comments guys, I learn alot from your insightful comments. Where has Don Quixote been lately, I hope he is doing well.

If we could only lose Jethro and Homer and thier racist comments, this would be an even better place for the rest of us.

God Bless you all

Anonymous said...

THE HUTCHINSON POLITICAL REPORT, Says, "Rising Latino numbers, rising black fears"...(YOU CAN GET GOOD DEALS ON "HOW TO SPEAK SPANISH LESSONS" ON EBAY).....The Mexican Mafia controls young Mexican gangbangers like the puppets thay are..The Mexican Mafia will pull their strings, until they graduate to prison, where they will control all their daily criminal activities...(YOUNG GANGBANGERS,JUST LIKE PUPPETS ON A STRING,RIGHT-ON "CUZ",OR "BLOOD").......This is the "genius" of the Sureno gang member..Their familys must be so proud of them..They should make a movie and glamorize this achivement..(oh wait, they already did this)....(THEIR FAMILIES WOULD BE MORE PROUD OF THEM IF THEY MADE SOME MONEY$ GLAMORIZING GANGS THRU GANGSTA RAP MUSIC, OH WAIT, "THAY" ALREADY DID THIS)...."JUST KEEPING IT REAL HOMEBOY", A LOS ANGELES RESIDENT..

Santiago said...

Anonymous said...
Wow this is a great blog, thanks to the great posts by Hiroshi, Sun Tzu, Drinking with Tony, Santa Monica Sally, and anonymous.


Anonymous said...

The Blacks know how they are being killed by the mexican gangs.
Why is Wally the only one writing about the EME ordering the killing of blacks by the low life cholos? We need hundreds of federal agents giving out RICO indicments to all the mexican gangs like halloween candy. And also deport all those illgeal mexicans in gangs and keep them out.


Building bridges in a violent neighborhood

A pastor tries to bring blacks and Latinos together in a community where gangs from both groups are warring for supremacy.

By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
Staff Writer

No major miracles unfolded Sunday in the small park on the corner of Firestone Boulevard and Maie Avenue. None of the rival gangs battling for control of the surrounding South Los Angeles streets came forward to pledge peace. No one offered an easy solution to the poverty and crime that defines so much of life on those streets.

But for Pastor Chris Le Grande, Sunday wasn't about big miracles. It was about the small ones, the subtle ones.

"In the name of Jesus! En el nombre de Jesús! We got all kind of folk up here today!" Le Grande, pastor of Great Hope Fellowship in Faith, preached to a few dozen worshipers in the parking lot. "When I see Hispanics here and blacks, I realize that we are of the right mind-set.

"There can be no color lines!" he said. "I don't care whether you are black, whether you are Hispanic. . . . We need to have a mind-set of oneness."

For the second year, Le Grande, who is black, and volunteers from his and other churches left their pews and altars and set up for the day in Washington Park -- a small, rare strip of green in a blighted, urban area that has undergone an enormous, tumultuous shift in the last two decades from nearly all black to heavily Latino. With race an undeniable factor in the ever-simmering tensions and frictions here, Le Grande's charity event was a small but powerful anecdote.

At nearby picnic tables covered in donated clothes, black and Latino men and women milled about, taking needed T-shirts, pants and dresses.

"Excuse me, lady, you can have more than just one pair of shoes," Delores Cotledge, a member of Great Hope, said to a Latina mother who was walking away with only one box.

"You sure?" she asked, glancing back at the table. "Of course!" Cotledge said. It would have been an unremarkable exchange were it not for the history of those streets.

Last month, after a lengthy undercover investigation, federal prosecutors indicted more than 60 members of Florencia 13, a Latino street gang, for crimes committed during a violent campaign to drive African American rivals out of the area, authorities said. The turf battle is thought to have led to at least 20 killings in the last three years.

Much of the violence occurred in the park's Florence-Firestone neighborhood, a working-class, unincorporated community of 60,000 north of Watts. After the dramatic influx of Mexican immigrants to the area that began in the 1980s, officials said, Latino gang leaders in recent years have sought to drive the remaining black gangs and their supporters from the neighborhood and had repeatedly ordered members to attack black gang members.

Too often, the violence spilled over onto innocent lives. Of the 41 homicides recorded in the neighborhood in 2005, about half of those killed had no gang affiliation, authorities have said.

Killings dropped to 19 last year after a major law enforcement crackdown that led to hundreds of felony arrests and weapon seizures. But the violence continues -- at a level greater than in many other parts of Southern California that have undergone similar demographic shifts.

Le Grande and others have said that the continued upheaval threatens to thwart an economic revival struggling to take root. The pastor is trying to extend bridges into the Latino community. He lends space in his church, which boasts one of the largest black followings in the area, to a Latino congregation. It is a small group, with only a few worshipers. But small is better than nothing. Le Grande also wants to start Spanish and English classes in the church.

"I've seen the tensions that have come with the changes," said Cotledge, 51, who has lived in the neighborhood for about three decades. "But people want the same thing: a safe environment. If you're a working parent and just want something better for your family, then we can all get along."

Along with the free clothes, people lined up to receive bags of groceries and registered to pick up more food Tuesday for Thanksgiving Day meals.

"Unfortunately we often still get stuck on color. There is a lot of racism and resentment. It's a shameful thing," said Miguel Diaz, as he took in the scene. "Small things like this do help. Hopefully, it makes us open our eyes that the person next to us is really the same as us. We're all human."

santigao said...

This is what happens when you serve turkey instead of menudo and tamales at a mexican thanksgiving. may sure to order your tamales early for next year. And someone here is an expert on menudo and has many great menudo stories and recipies.


Mario Gutierrez, a 37-year-old Latino man, was shot in the 4442 Verdemour Avenue in El Sereno at about 10:45 p.m. Nov. 22, Thanksgiving, and died at the scene. LAPD Hollenbeck detectives said that Gutierrez and his brother-in-law got into an argument during the family's Thanksgiving gathering over a remark the brother-in-law had made about Gutierrez's wife. The argument escalated to pushing and shoving, then spilled out onto the street where Gutierrez was shot. The 27-year-old brother-in-law turned himself into a police a few hours later.

don quixote said...

Que de nuevo camaradas?

Hope it's all good and everyone survived the holiday.
I was visiting with familia in beautiful San Diego and had to go into Tijuana to load up on La Jefa's diabetes pindora's which are $15 a hundred as opposed to $75 here in the promised land.

The border areas are always special places to me due to the human hustle factor to be found on both sides. A kind of never never land where everything is available and offered up for a price. The border is a special place where there is a fading away of any sense of national belonging or protection and instead a kind of international or human only hustle is to be found.
The new US law effective Jan 1 08,that requires everyone crossing the border (even for only a few hours) to have a USA Passport has everyone on the border in a panic and many business's on both sides have already closed down or cut back.
There is a feeling of doom and gloom due to the stricter crossing laws.
I can't imagine the chaos and confusion that will occur after Jan 1.
My prediction is that immediately after the world gets rid of the Bush/Cheney nightmare the new US leader will recind the "passport" bullshit on the border.
It's bad for business!

Funny though how the Mexicans always have an answer and hustle going to "grease" the wheels.
Sunday my wife and I were walking back to the border crossing at San Ysidro and as we crossed the bridge I almost fell out when I saw the pedestrian line to cross the border.
Fucking mile long! I just stood on the bridge looking in shock and talking to some Mexicanos there.
They told me it was a 4 hour wait at minimum.
One of the vatos hit me up for a buck for a beer (he was crudo) and I gave him a buck.
Another dude comes walking up to us who was a friend of this guy and the guy I gave the buck to asked him if he could work some magic to help my wife and I get back across the linea sooner.

Bingo! The vato walks us down the back way into traffic and flags down a primo driving a passenger van in a special line for bus's and commercial passenger vehicles.
I gave the guy 5 bucks and another 5 for the hookup, wife and we got into the van and rode a hundred yards to the checkpoint where we all got out and into a special immigration line for bus passengers.
We were across the border and to our car in 20 minutets instead of 4 to 6 hours in line.
Thats what I love about the Border, if you got the hookup anythings possible for a price.

Anonymous said...

(Building bridges in a violent neighborhood)...."Too often the violence spilled over onto innocent lives, of the 41 homocides recorded in the neighborhood in 2005, about half of those killed had no gang affiliation, authorities have said"..(I BET MOST OF THOSE INNOCENT 41 KILLED WERE JUST MEXICANS WITH "NO GANG TIES".. "ALOT SAFER HIT, THAN FIGHTING THE OTHER ACTUAL GANG")...JUST KEEPING IT REAL, A LOS ANGELES RESIDENT..

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering when the law would catch up with Stephen Yagman. I've been following his shenanigans for more than 20 years. His sentence is too light.