Monday, September 29, 2008

Clearly there's interest out there for more information. I've gotten numerous emails inquiring on the availability of Mundo Mendoza's CD autobiography, "From Altar Boy to Hit Man." The only place I know for sure that has it is the following.

Ken Whitley & Associates
P.O. Box 2623
Corona, CA 92878-2623

There's no phone number available but the cost is $22 per CD. That includes shipping. Make the check payable to Ken Whitley & Associates. I'm told it takes two to three weeks for delivery. Like Blatchford's book, this one is a must have for the library.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


TV journalist Chris Blatchford's long awaited book on Rene Enriquez is finally out and it's an awesome read. Second only to Raymond Mendoza's CD autobiography, The Black Hand is the best look we've had so far into the workings of the mob, the vertical integration of the mob with street gangs, Eme and CDC politics and some insight on how the mob can play prison reformers and politicians into actually advancing the mob's agenda.
If you've ever heard Enriquez speak (he was on the Glenn Beck show last week with Blatchford, albeit on the phone) you'll get a dose of cognitive dissonance. He sounds thoughtful, he's clearly bright and presents an image totally out of character to what his life's been about for the past few decades. This is not a knuckle dragging thug. Blatchford keeps himself totally out of the narrative and allows Enriquez' conflicted and sometimes tortured personality to come through.
For the serious student of this subject, it's all there - who stabbed who in what yard and what was behind it, who's the stone killer, the paranoid schemer, dirtbag manipulator - names are named and events chronicled. While there's the inevitable morbid fascination with all this, the violence in the book isn't gratiutous. It's not there for shock value or to sell more books. Violence and murder are, after all, the mob's mechanisms of control and influence. To leave that stuff out - - as earlier books about the Panthers and other criminal groups have done -- is to miss the central point.
In contrast to a book like "Monster," Enriquez doesn't weasel around like Cody Scott who blames his actions on some imaginary "Amerika" that "made" him a criminal. Enriquez, and for that matter most emeros who have expressed opinions on the subject, cops to the fact that he was a criminal, proud of if when he was active, and doesn't try to lay off the blame on anyone or anything. In fact, he credits his parents for trying from the very beginning of his criminal career to get him pointed in the right direction. And they never abandoned him even when he was buried in the SHU.
When it first became common knowledge that Rene had dropped out and was actually willing to testify against his former brothers in court, close observers marked his departure as a milestone event in the mob's history. In the mob world, Rene's defection and redemption is on the same Richter magnitude as Aldrich Ames, Kim Philby or Robert Hanssen in the spy biz. Now we have the book that documents his steps from high ranking shot caller to drop out/informant. For the student of the subject, this book is a no brainer for acquisition. You just gotta have it in the library if you're going to speak with authority on the subject. For cops, correctional officers and prosecutors, the book is invaluable for doing the job. The people who should be forced to read this book, or have it read to them while jetting around the country or riding in the back of chaufered limos are the politicians and policy makers. Policy decisions and laws cannot and should not be made based on information filtered through staff panels, social scientists, mis-informed or biased "advocates, " or groups who have a financial interest in the outcome of policies.
Speaking from personal experience, you don't make a lot of money writing this type of book. Blatchford and Enriquez collaborated on this book for reasons that have nothing to do with making a few bucks. There are lessons in this book that need to be drilled into heads -- young and old ones, shaved, grey or what have you. There are of readers of this site that are either smack in the middle of the life, dabbling at the fringe of it, know people who are heading there or are trying to come back from it. Buy a copy for yourself and one for somebody you care about. Then talk about it. And never stop talking about it until the subject of your concern gets the message.
Despite his clearly genuine change of heart and thorough redemption, Rene Enriquez will spend the rest of his life in prison. That's just the way the world works. As he states in the book, he "wasted" his life pursuing false gods and corrupt ideals. In or out of prison, society will never have anything to fear from him. The saddest and most tragic idea to ponder is "what if." Talented, bright and energetic, what if he'd gone another direction? That's a question that will never be answered for him. But for tens of thousands of young blue-wearing soldiers, there's still a chance to exercise the "what if" option.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

As if we needed any reminder that Mexico is about to achieve critical mass, here comes another story of multiple beheadings. Click on the link for the details.

The Zs carved into the victims is the mark of the Zetas. Look it up if you're not familiar with that group. It's becoming clear that Mexico is a far more dangerous place than Iraq or Afghanistan if you're cop, citizen or a tourist. While the war it the Middle East seems to get the bulk of attention from politicians and the media, the homicide rates, kidnappings and general lawlessness in certain parts of Mexico make our troop presence in the Stans appear like a minor police action.

Unfortunately, the dope wars, violence and all the collateral problems that come with it are not longer confined to south of the border. Hospitals in Texas border towns are compelled to accept the all too frequent gunshot victims driven at high speed from Mexico. When that happens, local Texas cops have to drop what they're doing and create a cordon sanitaire around the hospital to prevent follow-up homicides. As reported in Mexican media, cartel operators will often follow an ambulance bearing their victims to the hospital and finish the job with high velocity lead right there in the operating or recovery rooms. And recently, there was the not well reported incident where rogue Mexican Army soldiers invaded a rival drug house in Phoenix, Arizona. The soldiers, armed with full auto weapons, were preparing an ambush for responding Phoenix coppers but luckily for the cops, the army dudes didn't bring enough ammo. They ran dry shooting up the house.

There have also been two cases of corrupt Mexican Army officers arrested here in the U.S. where they were living in safe houses. I was recently sent some unpublished photos of the aftermath of the big Tijuana shootout between Mexican Federal Police and some cartel shooters. At least two of the cartel guys appeared to have been shot in their vehicles while trying to blast their way out of the perimeter. It's interesting to note that both vehicles wore California license plates. That's a fairly clear indication that the cartels are operating freely on both sides of the fence and probably have allies they can count on to run whatever business needs to be run.

All the indicators are pointing to some troubling times ahead for local and Federal U.S. law enforcement.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I've been alerted that some assbite is trolling the web, leaving idiotic comments and linking back to this site in an effort to discredit me. Be advised it's not working. This person is laboring under the illusion that the rest of the world is as stupid and gullible as he or she is. I urge you to come out of that dark place where you reside, step into the light of day and grow a spine. If you have problems whose only resolution is posting lunacy, you need to cowboy up and face life square on. You'll be amazed at how liberating it can be to stand on your own feet instead of kicking others in the shins and pointing to some other guy and saying, "he did it." Your vessel is empty. You'll never feel good about yourself by sucking others into your void.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

In case you missed it, yours truly was on the local air this afternoon on KPCC. The host was Patt Morrison and I was on with USA Tom O'Brien, head of the Central District of California. The ubiquitous Connie Rice joined in by phone for a short comment. The topic was the increasingly better lubricated cooperation between the DOJ and local coppers.

It should be fairly obvious to even a casual observer that the US Attorney's Office is at full throttle with regard to bringing Federal cases against local gangsters, shooters, dealers and shot callers. O'Brien, a former LAC ADA and former member of the Hard Core Gang Unit, is clearly at the front of the charge. He's a fully functioning example of what happens when you're armed with the street smarts of a local prosecutor and then granted access to the huge resources of the Federal government. For the individuals in his reticle, this is a double whammy.

Morrison touched on the history of bad cooperation between local cops and the Feds. That history, in my view at least, died with the first of the three RICO cases brought forward in 1995. Those three cases, filed in fairly rapid succession, clearly engineered the template for the subsequent task forces we've seen in the years since.

I expressed some fears in my book that government entities have a disturbing habit of periodically re-inventing the wheel. In the past, there seemed to be no baton passing from one regime to the next. There was no corporate memory and every time they opened the gate on a new task force, it was like they never did it before. That dynamic is apparently no longer in effect. Since those first RICO cases, we've got a new FBI head, new USA, new LAPD and LASD chiefs and most of the foot soldiers and street cops have retired or moved on to other assignments. Despite this new cast of characters, the old cast must have left a sufficiently robust legacy of cooperation because the recent TFs are operating with remarkable speed and efficiency.

One interesting development is that the current Federal net is more capacious. In the past, the various task forces targeted the high level shot callers, picking only the choicest fruit for prosecution. Under the new regime, as evidenced by the 70 or so individuals named in the Drew Street indictment, the USA is drilling deeper. Apparently, the DOJ is no longer satisfied picking off the shot callers. They're going after everybody in a particular organization -- shot callers, associates, tax collectors, third part information passers and low level dealers. Basically, anybody who knowingly participates in any capacity in the chain has become a legitimate target for RICO prosecution. They're not just going in to cut the head off the snake. The current MO seems to be to grab the whole animal.

What this means is that even if you're marginally involved in the decision-making process or even if you're not at all involved and just slanging, driving, looking out or passing intel, in the eyes of the RICO statutes, you're liable for major time. So instead of a few years in Corcoran or Q, you're likely to land in Colorado, Florida or Illinois for decades.

I remember writing some time back that the eye of Sauron was gazing hard in all directions. I'll make another film analogy. Think Soylent Green. Remember the front loaders scooping up people on the street? Think front loader.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Robert "Huero" Gratton, the Norteno dropout at the center of a massive Federal RICO case against the NF was killed in a traffic collision on July 18, 2008. Diligent students of the subject will remember that the 44-year-old Gratton, a long time NF member, dropped out, flipped and testified against a legion of NF members and associates in what came to be known as Operation Black Widow.

Although he claimed to be a high ranking member, a number of law enforcement officials close to the subject believe that he pumped up his status and hadn't climb all that high up the corporate ladder. Nevertheless, he did provide sufficient valid information to send a lot of his former associates to Federal prison.

According to the scant information, Gratton was living in Palmdale. At 1:15 AM he was apparently backing up on the 14 Freeway near Aqua Dulce Canyon when he was struck from the rear by Rafael Hernandez. Hernandez only received minor injuries but Gratton was killed instantly. The CHP suspects that both drivers might have been under the influence. If we find out more, we'll let you know.

Friday, January 18, 2008

It appears someone using my names Wally Fay (screen) and Tony Rafael (print) is posting comments on the Mayor Sam website (possibly other places) and trying to make me look like a racist goon. I was just made aware of this and the person who runs that site has promised to delete all comments coming from anyone using those names. I guess you don't need to be as visible as Brad Pitt or Madonna to attract stalkers. And, just like those two, I'll go to the legal mat if required. Will it be necessary to file suit? To paraphrase Claude Rains in Casablanca, "I'm afraid Colonel Strasser will insist." In this case, it's my publisher that will insist.

And just so you know, I'll be kept from posting until at least Feb. 4. Other projects cooking.