Thursday, September 24, 2009

There's probably no other single neighborhood that's been hammered harder than Avenues. This week the US Attorney unsealed a 222-page indictment naming some 88 Avenues, Eme members, Associates and various camaradas for crimes ranging from drug dealing to murder.

These are big time RICO charges that can put a lot of people away for a very long time. Avenues is no stranger to RICO cases. Or massive media attention.

Since 1993 when the Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Crime first hit Avenues with RICO charges, the progress and setbacks for Avenues would look like a stock market graph - peaks, valleys, periods of no growth and wildly erratic movement.

The up and down movement, as per usual, is generally connected to how much attention the Emeros are paying to the neighborhood and the amount of dope available.

A cursory reading of the indictment reveals a few interesting details for the careful observer. I don't want this blog dragged into court in the coming trial so we won't call out individuals by name. But it's obvious that the family that's had the single most powerful influence in Avenues is still calling shots and collecting. Even though two of the siblings are behind bars, easy communication facilitated by at least one crooked cop has allowed one of the brothers to continue controlling Northeast. Also interesting is that the patriarch has been named as a defendant in this case and may likely join his two sons behind bars. For years, Dad racked up a lot of minor beefs but never caught a RICO case.

What's also interesting is the number of fairly new players that joined the ranks after the last major prosecution. These individuals were minor players ten years ago but have matured and grown into managerial roles. This is a typical dynamic. Avenues, and lots of other neighborhoods, have an amazing capacity to reconstitute after big cases. Frankly, even this blog thought that it would take a lot longer for AVES to come back. They beat the odds and predictions and did it with impressive speed.

One curious fact emerges from the indictment. One of the major players in this case was apparently a tutor at a well-known and highly-celebrated gang intervention group in Los Angeles. This person was running dope and guns, according to the indictment at least, while working at this intervention program supposedly teaching youngsters how to stay out of the life. Chances are, there won't be any blowback for this intervention group when the details come to light during the trial. Some of these groups appear to be bulletproof to public scrutiny of questionable behavior.

Sorry to be cryptic about all this but we don't want to prejudice a potential jury or get dragged into the discovery process prior to trial. Let's see if the the Times, LA Weekly, Daily News and the rest of the gatekeepers have the cojones to cover these compelling topics.