Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Way back in old days (I think what would be 2009) this blog raised the issue that our home-grown prison gang (the Eme) was making deals and arrangements with Mexican Drug Cartels. This was based on some threads of evidence that we came across combined with common sense predictions.

It appears we were once again prescient and way ahead of the curve. It's not like we created Cold Fusion or anything but just indicates that if you ask the right questions based on current best knowledge can lead to some inevitable conclusions.

Last week, the Feds (ICE, DEA) and local coppers broke up a significant Florencia 13/La Familia operation. The usual shocked faces appeared on the news and the usual platitudes were uttered by law enforcement about what a great job they do and how this puts a big dent in the operations of a DTO and how much safer we all are etc. etc. etc.

These alliances are nothing new. Just bigger and better organized and with more players involved with more money to play with and bigger loads to deliver.

A quick review of history will reveal that as far back as the days when Joe Morgan was playing on the streets, the Eme always had a south-facing strategy that ebbed and flowed with who was on the streets and how good their connections were south of San Diego. Morgan was known to visit Mexico with a girlfriend in a motor home. In the days before dope sniffing dogs, X-ray machines and the rest of the electronic tools, Morgan would pack the empty spaces in the Mo Ho with dope and drive it back into the U.S. To the curious, Morgan and the girl looked like tourists. Sort of a precursor to the current "We're the Millers" movie.

Over time, the arrangements shifted. We had Bat Marquez and Popeye Barron worked with the Arellano Felix Organization. And there was a whole squad of Logan Heights gangsters working as enforcers directly for the AFO in Tijuana with the permission of the Big Homies.

And, of course, there was Chata Leon in Northeast running her narco organization more along the lines of a Cartel Op as opposed to the standard SOP of Surenos.

And now this Florencia/La Familia alliance. The shotcaller on this side of the border appears to be Arturo Tablas Castellanos. As the diligent student knows, Tablas hasn't been on the streets since 1979 but you can't keep an enterprising Homie from conducting his business merely by housing him in the SHU at the Bay.

According to what the press reported, something like $150K changed hands to allow La Familia operators to work with Florencia. Not a huge amount by Cartel standards but significant by Sureno standards. On the streets and the Bay, this is big cubic money. Enough to buy you an entire neighborhood. Or a hunger strike.

Tablas was involved in the much celebrated SHU hunger strike. The usual suspects in the press presented this as a prison rights and human rights issue. In fact, it was a street-control and lines of communications issue. Controlling a dope enterprise from the SHU is not impossible. But it is a pain. Housing in the mainline makes communication a lot easier and you can have real time information delivered and transmitted to keep the troops energized, informed and on top of their game.

We noticed that the day the Federal indictment was issued and named Tablas as an un-indicted co-conspirator, the hunger strike story completely disappeared from the news. Coincidence? We think not.

What was interesting was that Tablas got shot callers from the three other prison gangs to go along with the strike. You have to wonder if some of that $150 was used as a deposit to those other prison gangs to get them on board with the hunger strike. The deal being, that this down payment was only a taste of what was to come from the streets if they helped Tablas get out of the SHU. Pure speculation on our part, but this is something that came up in conversation here in the bunker as we drank coffee, discussed possible scenarios and fielded phone calls from active and retired individuals on both sides of the law.

The question for the curious to ponder is this: When the Eme initiates a merger or a working arrangement with a Cartel, what form does the resulting hybrid entity take?

The two entities have historically been different in style, operational tempo, operational methods, organizational structure and, significantly, the level of violence employed to further their goals. Does this signal a possible change in the Eme's horizontal organizational structure to emulate their Southern partners in crime? Or does the cartel operate in the more decentralized model of the Eme? Will the neighborhoods involved shift alliances over time from the Big Homies that came out of those neighborhoods or will they abandon the usual neighborhood loyalty and start waving the Cartel flag?

Just something to think about. Feel free to comment intelligently and, as always, the comments are moderated so no net banging.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE THIS BLOG!!!! Keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

is anyone sure this was LFM and not CT? LFM isn't even mentioned in any of the stuff going on in Michoacan right now...its all CT and they have a totally different philosophy and organization structure from EME. I'm curious as to how it works over there i.e, that dude Kilo from Washington was tatted up with Norteno tattoos and got deported, then joined the Zetas and was given a crew...his name came up as one of the people who gave the go ahead to massacre those people in San Fernando, Tam, Mex. So would MS13'S working for Zetas, have to answer to him? I haven't heard of other sureno groups working with them or the gulf cartel...also what happens between surenos affiliated with warring cartels?

Wally said...

All good questions. Clearly, you're thinking. Probably more clearly than media types and the cops.

Anonymous said...

From Richard Valdemars blog "Mundo" Mendoza commented to me on this Mexican drug alliance. "The Eme's relationship with Mexican drug families is almost as old as the Eme itself," he said. "Beginning in 1969, Eme member Alejandro "Hondo" Lechuga established a pipeline from his hideout in Juarez, Mexico, to the Hawaiian Gardens section of Los Angeles. Jesus "Chuy" Araujo was another major Mexican drug lord who worked with us in the mid-1970s, and his family was taken down by DEA. In varying degrees since then, we have seen the Eme work with the Felix-Arellano Cartel and pretty much whichever cartel is good for Eme business."

Mundo offered the following advice to law enforcement "My current advice (which is echoed by Rene "Boxer" Enriquez in "The Mexican Mafia Encyclopedia") is for the Bureau of Prisons (and any state facilities where Eme and cartel members are housed) to separate these two groups before solid relationships can be established and nurtured. Mexican cartels would also be wise to shun too close a relationship with Eme because the Mexican Mafia would ultimately seek to control it all."
Yeah, I think LA Eme will want full control and would never give up being the ones in control. I believe the reason there has never been an on going relationship in the past is because of trust issues. Paisas have always been leary of doing business with the South. Too many deals gone bad since the Carga days. I have spoken to paisas that have said to have been approached with boxes of cash and are too scared to continue to do business because of lack of trust and the heat they attract. However, with more paisas joining gangs , it seems like the trust issues are being over come.

Anonymous said...

Since this investigation is a few years old I'm thinking the guys were La Familia back then. Now they would be considered CT.

Anyways the corrido of one those indicted, El Tucan.

In the lyrics it says they he was La Familia but now he is with the Templars. For those of you who don't speak Spanish.

Anonymous said...

"All good questions. Clearly, you're thinking. Probably more clearly than media types and the cops."

Thanks! Chata Leon hails from Guerrero, which is territory claimed by the CT...they don't allow their members to use meth, so it won't be a merger with EME unless they lift those reglas. Also, Tuta comes off as too smart to let the EME run things...besides, it wouldn't work out for la Eme if they tried to take over CT, the people there are too proud to let outsiders run them...they smashed the aztecs, then the Zetas, and as bad as people think the Eme is, they are no match for the Tarrascos of guess is its CT midlevel management working deal with la eme, and not really a Tuta thing...he seems more concerned with social movements (power) than money making

Anonymous said...

The indictment says that the main informant "CI-1" was a made eme member. Any word on who it was?

TijuanaJailer03 said...

Greetings gentlemen! After a hiatus of 2+ years, I was hoping that Dear Wally was not "sleeping with the fishes!" Glad you are back in the saddle, sir.
(Part I of II) - Picking up where we left of on this Blog in 2011, the EME continues to reinvent itself as many of their Big Homies get slammed with long term prison sentences. A recent comment I read touched upon how Mexicans perform at their optimum in Mexico whereas the EME functions better in the U.S. This is something I’d like to address.
It has to start with Surenos. First of all, Mexican cartels have for years demonstrated they don't necessarily need Hispanic street gangs to successfully introduce their illegal drugs into the U.S. but how can they not wish to tap into such vast resources?? What they are discovering, however, (at least in certain Southern California areas) is that the vast majority of Sureno street gangs, whether you wish to call them idiots or “pendejos,” have seriously “bought into” the EME-Sureno relationship. It runs deep, it often borders on love-hate but it has passed the sometimes turbulent test of time. The only thing older than the EME in this relationship is the age of the street gangs they hail from. They (the street gangs) have weathered long term confinement and many other pitfalls and yet they continue from generation to generation. Their heroes, again, for better or worse, are those EME Big Homies who are slammed in places like Pelican Bay and ADX-Florence, to name some. Yes, Hollywood has indeed succeeded in making them “bigger than life” but, in their barrios, they were such BEFORE “American Me” and other gang-related movies.
Is this status warranted? Just depends on the prism you are checking it out from. No matter what we may speculate, deduce or hope for, it is what it is and these EME characters have slowly (and, yes, even by accident in many instances so let’s not give them THAT much credit) spread their virus throughout the United States in varying degrees. They have succeeded in exporting a mentality (Surenos) that is currently infecting the federal prison system and the streets of many other states.
This relationship with a Mexican drug cartel, as Rich Valdemar’s Police Magazine article explains, is not without precedent. (SEE: There is no doubt in my mind that, based on the current state of affairs between EME guys in the feds and in The Bay interacting with certain Mexican nationals and cartel people, that we have only seen the beginning.
("they smashed the aztecs, then the Zetas, and as bad as people think the Eme is, they are no match for the Tarrascos of Michoacan")
Don’t we wish it were that simple. Let’s see, The Cartels dig a trench on one side and the EME digs in on the other side and they have at it. Of course, the EME would be destroyed in this fantasy Star Wars movie. They’d be too busy shooting drugs in their veins while the automatic gunfire mowed them down. But that’s not how it works in the world of U.S. prison gang control. Even those of us in the LE community have been overheard making remarks such as, “we need to line up all these scumbags and mow them down.” Sounds cool and everything but it is not reality. This is far from a Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday going to the OK Corral type of scenario and even the Feds are finally, after over 30 years of denial, getting it.

Next: Part II

TijuanaJailer03 said...

Neither are EME guys your "let's go to the shooting range and hone our marksmen skills" type. Life sentences are not a deterrent because they are more “at home” doing time in prison. They specialize in 1)Controlling prisons and they have mastered the concept of the “inside deterring those on the outside (from resistance to EME) and vice versa”; 2)Controlling street Chicano street gangs, who worship the almighty dollar as much as the next street gangster but they too (like their EME puppet masters) are predominately tecatos and thrive on the status that comes with being associated with their Mexican Mafia heroes/legends.
It may sound warped and dysfunctional to most of us but that’s the mentality that sadly exists. How many times do we hear these youngsters exclaim, “I’ll die for my barrio.” Many of them are “bloviating” but untold scores of them do indeed die for their so-called Causa.
Rather than fantasizing about who is bigger and badder than the next bad guy, I think we need to recognize that Evil has many faces and some of the uglier players have inevitably moved closer to each other in what may become an unholy relationship. I wouldn’t call it an alliance because just like certain cartel guys look upon U.S. Chicanos as peons, EME doesn’t agree with many of the cartel tactics either. The Mexican Mafia has proven that generating FEAR can easily be accomplished by eliminating key adversaries who stand in their way and have done a decent job of getting to their desired targets with unnecessary collateral damage. The Mexican cartel m.o. works well in Mexico where their police (in great numbers) are basically corrupt, underpaid and spineless.
But no one wishes to incur the wrath of the American people and, more importantly, the U.S. law enforcement community. More importantly, there is too much money to be made in the U.S. to rock the boat.

There’s also an “apples and oranges” mentality going on here. Like other prison gangs, the EME has a warrior mentality honed behind the prison walls which borders on suicidal. As such, they look upon the perpetrators of the murders of innocent women, men and children as a cowardly manner of operating and unnecessary to generate fear. Not to mention that this surely turns the Law Enforcement community (in the U.S.) totally against them and is counterproductive to their business.
I think it is obvious to surmise that once a crime group executes family members of another crime family, a similar response would be in order. Real bad guys aren’t deterred by “hitting below the belt.” Instead, it just changes the rules of engagement and everybody loses.

Peace to All ………………….

Peace ………………

Mike Kinkel said...

Wally's back...must be working on a new book. Cartels and Cannibis.

RobThomas said...

And just think, if drugs were legal, we wouldn't be talking about any of this and all of the law enforcement built up to fight this drug war wouldn't even...uh oh...never mind.

Anonymous said...

Iv always wondered why the southern northern conflict has not produced a conflict of interest seeing as the cartels sinaloa CT do business with both?