More Gang News in LA

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More Gang News in LA

Unread post by Anonymous20 » October 1st, 2004, 3:59 pm

Friday, October 01, 2004

OPERATION BLACK WIDOW WINDS DOWN
This week we saw the final installment of OPERATION BLACK WIDOW in NORCAL. Eight shot callers of the NUESTRA FAMILIA took a guilty plea to federal racketeering charges and will be spending time in the federal prison system far from California. Five of the Familianos got life sentences while three got 10-year terms.

The five who'll be spending life in a Federal penitentiary are Gerald "Cuete" Rubalcaba, James Morado, Cornelio "Comi" Tristan, Joseph Raymond "Pinky" Hernandez, and Tex "Terrible T" Hernandez. These Familianos could be considered the NF's board of directors and ran the organization's business from prison.

The three with 10-year sentences are Daniel "Stork" Perez, Alberto Larez, and Henry "Big Happy" Cervantes.

Like LA's Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Crime, Operation Black Widow in Norcal was a combined Federal and local LE venture that targeted the leadership of organized crime syndicates. And like LA's Task Force, the investigation and prosecution would not have happened wihout the cooperation of confidential informants. From the LE point of view, it's impossible to crack organized crime without snitches. In the case of Black Widow, the most prominent snitch was ROBERT GRATTON. In LA's Task Force, LE had Ernest "Chuco" Castro that got the ball rolling and resulted in three huge RICO cases.

While there are a lot of similarities between the Norcal and Socal cases, there are a number of distinct differences. In Socal, the "business" was conventional street-oriented crime like tax collection and murder. Up north, the NF showed a remarkable capacity to morph into legitimate and/or semi-legitimate operations.

Gratton, with Gerry Cuete's blessing and support, founded NORTH STAR RECORDS, a rap label that launched the career of NORTENO rap star, SIR DYNO. The first CD, G.U.N. (Generation of United Nortenos), was a huge hit and was even carried in the racks at Sam Goody's. North Star was then used to launder drug money. As a result, Gratton was putting $5,000 a month into the NF's bank account in Idaho.

Other quasi legal businesses owned or controlled by Norteno shot callers included auto customizing shops, nightclubs and tire stores. Life was sweet and money was pouring in. That is until Gratton was put in the hat for being a little too independent. He was becoming too visible to LE and the media, and the Mesa, NF's board of directors, decided to check him.

In the end, Gratton cashed in his chips and ratted out the entire organization.

With the shot callers now scattered throughout the Federal prison system, it will no longer be as easy for them to communicate with the street as it was in Pelican Bay. At least that's LE's contention.

It remains to be seen if this latest blow to the NF will create a leadership crisis and a power vacuum that the Eme will try to exploit.

posted by Wally | 7:28 AM | 0 comments

BRATTON IS NOW SWORN
LAPD chief Bill Bratton is no longer a civilian. After studying and training for months, the Chief passed his P.O.S.T. tests and is now a sworn California peace officer and no longer needs his self-issued civilian permit to carry a concealed weapon. Lest you might think they bent the rules or made the tests easy to given Bratton his certification, former Chief Willie Williams never did pass the P.O.S.T. Williams tried four times and failed. LA cops no longer need to feel funny about saluting a civilian.

posted by Wally | 7:16 AM | 0 comments
Monday, September 27, 2004

DAILY NEWS GANG SERIES
For out of town readers, the LA Daily News is publishing an 8-part series on street gangs. The first installment ran on Sunday. You can read it and the rest of the series at dailynews.com.

So far, there's very little new information. At least new to us. Lots of stats and personal stories but not a whole lot of analysis or the kind of juicy stuff we like to read. We're curious to see if they run anything at all about the Wilson, Bowser, Hightower, Haggins etc. racially motivated homicides. The Times and DN have both done a great job of ignoring these killings and the motivation behind them.

posted by Wally | 10:19 AM | 0 comments
Thursday, September 23, 2004

JOHN MILLER GUN BUST
KABC TV news reported this afternoon that LA's Il Duce of anti-terror, John Miller, was stopped at LAX security for trying to carry a loaded gun onto a plane. The gun was in his carry-on luggage and apparently he just forgot it was there. Dumb!

From what we know, Miller has one of those nearly impossible to get LAPD permits to carry a concealed weapon. Miller, like William Bratton, is not a sworn peace officer. They're both civilian employees of the LAPD. Therefore the only way they can legally carry a gun is to obtain a civilian carry permit, something denied to the average law abiding Angeleno. The funny thing is, as chief of police Bratton had to apply to himself to get a permit. Naturally, he gave himself one. And Miller has one as well. They're pals and go back a long way and hey, what are friends for if you can't get a carry permit out of it?

Bratton comes from the New York City old boy network of permit patronage. In New York City, you're not even allowed to own a handgun in your house, let alone carry one, without a permit from the NYPD. Traditionally, any well-heeled and connected New Yorker has always had an easy time getting a permit to carry. New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, a big time anti-gunner, has one. So does Howard Stern, comedian Pat Cooper and dozens of business people and celebrities. In our own fair state of California, the same rules apply. Notorious anti-gun advocate Dianne Feinstein for years had a permit to carry, but said she gave it up. So does/did James Caan (he might have had his revoked, we hear). And of course, Robert (I forgot my gun in Vitello's) Blake. It might surprise a lot of Angelenos how many anti-gun Hollywood celebrities have permits to carry while they contribute to anti-gun groups like Sarah Brady's HCI. Sarah herself got into hot water when she bought a gun under her name and gave it to her son as a birthday present. Under one of the many laws she favors, this was an illegal transfer and she should have gone to jail.

LA celebrities don't get their permits from the LAPD. Like Blake who established a paper residence in Culver City while living in the Valley (LAPD jurisdiction), a lot of the elites establish residence in permit-friendly jurisdictions. Ted Cooke, the retired chief of Culver PD was very liberal in doling out permits and looking the other way on the issue of residence. That's where Caan got his. Edward James Olmos got his from the LASD. Permits are issued locally but are good all over the state. So if you have a second or third or fourth home somewhere in a rural permit friendly county, or Culver City, you're good to carry in Bel Air or Malibu.

But getting back to the John Miller incident. Miller's permit is only good in California. California carry permits are not recognized by any other state because California does not recognize any other state's carry permits. This means that when Miller landed in New York, merely being in possession of a gun without a local permit to carry or own would have put him in flagrant violation of New York City weapons laws. After all, he's no longer a New York resident and that disqualifies him from owning or carrying a gun or even being in possession of a handgun in New York City. What the hell was Miller going to do with his piece when he got there? It is illegal to bring a handgun into New York City. Motorists from other states have been arrested in the Big Apple and their guns confiscated merely for carrying unloaded guns in the trunks of their cars while passing through town. Same with Chuck Schumer's New Jersey.

The truth is, the New York cops would probably give Miller a pass and let him carry. After all, there are two sets of laws in the U.S. when it comes to personal defense. One that applies to the rich and mighty. And one that applies to the rest of us whose hides aren't worth as much. The right of self defense is one reserved for the elite and not us mere proles.



posted by Wally | 6:10 PM | 0 comments
Tuesday, September 21, 2004

WAS THIS INEVITABLE?
One of my out of town readers just sent me an item from the Brownsville, Texas paper, The Herald. On September 3, Emma Perez-Trevino wrote about contacts between AL-QAIDA and the MARA SALVATRUCHA, a street gang with sets in Los Angeles, Texas, the US-MEXICO border and as far away as Virginia, New York and Boston. Just so you know, MS has a lot of sets, some of whom operate under the Sureno flag. Others don't. Look for the MS13 placa to determine if they're Sureno. Non-affiliates drop the 13.

The information on this possible alliance came from the U.S. House Select Committee on Homeland Security. According to a member of that committee, Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz, a Democrat from Texas, "We have been in contact wtih El Salvadoran officials and they have verified that Al-Qaida has been active in these gangs."

Ortiz, along with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Rep. Jim Turner, both Texas Democrats, have asked for more cooperation between the Border Patrol, the FBI and the CIA. All three pols called the OTM policy (Other Than Mexican), "nothing more than a conduit for terrorists." Apparently, 80% to 90% of the 25,000 OTMs arrested on the U.S. side of the border are released on their own recognizance with nothing more than a promise to appear for a hearing. Guess how many actually show up.

For the complete story, a Google search for the Brownsville Herald will take you to the site. I don't do links.

The concept of streets gangs making alliances with foreign powers is not new. In 1987, four members of Chicago's El Rukn gang were convicted of accepting $2.5 million from Lybia to plan and execute terrorist attacks in the U.S. That same year, Jeff Fort, founder of the Blackstone Rangers traveled to Lybia where Muammar Qaddafi presented him with a rocket launcher. The FBI intercepted the weapon and arrested Fort. Louis Farrakhan made the introductions and accompanied Fort to Lybia. More recently, Jose Padilla, a Chicago street gangster was arrested for trying to organize a dirty bomb attack in the U.S.

On the other side of the coin, Italian mobster Lucky Luciano made a deal with the Government during the war. In exchange for his help in gathering intelligence and putting friends on the ground prior to the invasion of Sicily, Luciano was allowed to leave prison and deported at the end of the war. Even without the aid of the internet and satellite phones, Luciano had no trouble calling the shots to his New York crime family from his villa in Palermo.

We'll see what develops with the MS.

posted by Wally | 5:26 PM | 0 comments

BERNARD PARKS DOESN'T LIKE THE SHIFT SCHEDULE
It's been fairly well established by now that Bernard Parks, the former LAPD police chief, is attempting to gain some political capital by focusing on the current homicide spike. He posed for the media with the families of homicide victims and blamed the spike on the LAPD's 3/12 shift schedule. His claim is that the new schedule puts fewer cops on the street and that contributes to the rise in killings. Never mind that some of the victims were killed under the old schedule.

Parks wants to be mayor. And he wants to heap some blame on his successor, William Bratton. For you non-Los Angeles residents who may not be up on LA politics, James Hahn, the current mayor is the man who made the decision to get rid of Parks and replace him with Bratton.

During the ramp up to Bratton's appointment, Parks' strongest political ally was former council member Nate Holden. Holden term-limited out and was succeeded in his council seat by Parks. Holden was nothing if not an old-school strong arm meister. In his lobbying for Parks, Holden pointed fingers of blame for Parks' failure as a chief in every direction.

Despite the fact that rank and file cops gave Parks failing grades as a chief, Holden maintained that Parks was an effective leader. Parks was being sabotaged by a mostly white command structure, Holden said. When the city council pointed to the awful academy recruitment record under Parks, Holden blamed a thriving a economy for siphoning away qualified candidates into the private sector. And when the council and others pointed to the rising crime rate under Parks, Holden used the peculiar logic of a lousy job market as a reason for the rising crime rate. So in Holden's view, the economy was simultaneously good and bad. Mr. Greenspan should look into this.

When it became clear that Bratton was going to be annointed chief, Holden encouraged Parks to sue the city for not renewing his contract. Parks was smart enough to pass on this suggestion. And when Bratton was confirmed as Hahn's choice, Holden promised that Hahn would "pay" for his "betrayal."

In Holden's view, the people Hahn betrayed was the black community. It was obvious at the time that Holden believed skin color was more important than effective leadership. Parks is a good guy in every sense of a word. But he's not what you'd call an inspiring leader. He was a micro-manager. A from-the-top down, command and control, rigidly structured operator who wouldn't let subordinates exercise any personal initiative. It was his way or the highway. Rank and file morale plainly sucked under Parks. At least two coppers put in their jackets that if they were killed in the line of duty, they didn't want Parks at their funeral. Nothing like that has happened under Bratton's watch.

While Bratton may not be as popular with the blue suits as one of their own might have been (Mark Kroeker comes to mind), he's gained big points for letting subordinates become pro-active and creative. The Valley's Motel Six squad recently reported on by Jason Kandel in the Daily News is just one example. It's yielding results and Bratton is blessing the operation for use in other divisions. That came from the bottom, not the top. Ideas like that come from the bottom because that's where the eyes and ears are. You don't see known felons walking in and out of motels on Sepulveda Boulevard sitting in Parker Center. Educated eyeballs like that can only come from street cops. And it takes a flexible command structure to see the value of a good idea and give it the proper resources, even if it's Not Invented Here.

As the mayor's race spools up, you have to wonder if Parks will continue to work the rising homicide rate as an issue. You also have to wonder how much advice he's getting from Holden. Is Holden sitting in his Marina condo nursing his "betrayal" and working to leverage a little payback on Hahn? Will Parks take Holden's advice? Will Holden ever get beyond the skin game? It should be an interesting race.

posted by Wally | 3:44 PM | 1 comments
Friday, September 17, 2004

A DUBIOUS ANNIVERSARY
For those who keep track of these things, yesterday, Sept. 16, is a day that the NUESTRA FAMILIA celebrates as something akin to their day of Independence. It also happens to be Mexican Independence day.

According to NF lore, Sept. 16th, 1972 is the day that RUDY "CHEYENNE" CADENA, an EME brother was assassinated by FAMILIANOS on the second tier of PALM HALL in CHINO STATE PRISON.

There's a backstory to this. The Eme and NF have been locked into a no-win war since the NF first started organizing in 1965. But CADENA was a true believer in the concept of a Hispanic supergang that would supersede the geographic loyalties of the Eme and the NF. He had a vision of a united La Raza uber-gang that would stop the brown-on-brown war and stop wasting the energies and depleting the manpower of both gangs. There's also reason to believe that CADENA ultimately wanted to use that base of power to gain some social and political capital outside of prison.

Although he was counseled not to do so by some of his brothers like JOE MORGAN, CADENA went ahead and set up a meeting with NF shot callers. The meeting took place in CHINO.

By all accounts, CADENA's intentions were honorable. He wanted a genuine truce that would eventually evolve into a full blown alliance. The NF, however were suspicious. They thought it was a set up and CADENA was actually there to hit the NF shot callers. He never got the chance to prove otherwise.

Before a single word was exchanged, three Familianos (FRANK "JOKER" MENDOZA, JUAN "MANSANAS" COLON, and BOBBY "CRACKERS" VINDIOLA) shanked and beat CADENA and threw him off the tier. When he landed, another Familiano was there with a shank to finish CADENA off. CADENA was stabbed at least 50 times.

It's supposed to be a red letter day for the NF and certainly a black one for the Eme. There's never been another attempt to unite the two factions. Needless to say, they've been at war ever since.

Last month, for instance, Folsom was purged of all Nortenos by the CDC for reasons that remain not fully explained. Folsom is now apparently a 100% Eme controlled institution. Eventually, I'll tell you what's going on in Folsom. But now is not the time. We'll wait for the dead tree media's version of this situation before we comment.

The CADENA killing was portrayed in AMERICAN ME, the Edward James Olmos movie. In the film, however, the character based on CADENA was killed by his own brothers. This was something that the EME found outrageous. And we don't blame the brothers for being upset. The truth is interesting enough. It doesn't require embellishment or outright fabrication to make it dramatic or compelling. Not to mention that it's a slap in the face to the brothers who tried to talk CADENA out of the sit down with the Familianos. As a result, Olmos was allegedly greenlighted and is said to have paid his way out of it. And we know what happened to ANNA LIZARAGA.

The irony of the CADENA assassination is that while the NF celebrates that hit on Sept. 16, the killing actually happened on December 17, 1972. Nations don't always celebrate events on the date they happened. So it's not that odd that any other organization should do the same.

posted by Wally | 1:53 PM | 1 comments
Saturday, September 04, 2004

IT'S NOT A HATE CRIME UNTIL THE BIG MEDIA SAYS IT IS
Regular readers of INTHEHAT probably already know about the racially motivated homicide of Kenneth Wilson. It happened in Highland Park in April of 1999. The shooters all claimed Avenues, 43 to be specific. I first mentioned the Wilson killing in a February '03 post even though it's been in the files for longer than that. I sat on the story until '03 for a couple of reasons. For one, I was putting that killing together with the killing of Christopher Bowser and Robert Hightower. All three black victims were targeted because of their race. They had absolutely no gang affiliation whatsoever. They were civilians. As it turned out, I dug up quite a few more racially motivated murders and assaults against other blacks in other parts of LA County. And there are at least three more I'm aware of that might go that way if and when the investigations bear fruit. These victims, like Wilson, were also civilians with no gang affiliation. All of the verified assaults and murders were committed by neighborhoods with strong ties to the Brothers.

I also sat on it because I was trying to bring the work of INTHEHAT to a different audience. I wanted to get the Wilson, Bowser and Hightower murders into the print media. Those killings, unlike the dragging death of James Byrd in Texas, never got a single mention in the Los Angeles big media. This situation struck me as odd. The Byrd murder was an isolated act carried out by individuals out of personal racial hatred. Once the evil people who killed Byrd were in jail, the threat to other blacks in that town was basically over.

The Wilson et al murders, on the other hand, were committed as part of a larger ongoing criminal enterprise. The fact is, the Brothers have issued orders to keep blacks out of neighborhoods they control. And we're not talking just black gangsters. We're talking black citizens who are doing nothing more nefarious than breathing while black. By any standard you care to use, this declared war on blacks by the Eme fulfills every definition of ethnic cleansing. There's no other term for it. Unlike the Byrd killing, when the people guilty of killing Wilson, Bowser and Hightower are put away, there will be others, many others to carry on the work. Other blacks will be harassed, intimidated, assaulted and probably killed.

What amazed me, was the total lack of interest in this story by the big media. The LA Times, LA Weekly, Citybeat, Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Sacramento News and Review, The Atlantic, New York Times, you name it, they all turned down my proposal to do a story bout these killings. Frankly, I didn't get it. But then there are a lot of things I don't get about the media. So the story stayed in the files until someone, somewhere might show some interest in it. That was two years ago. I posted the Wilson incident and pursued other stories for INTHEHAT.

Occasionally, new information would emerge on the Wilson case. Last year I learned, for instance, that the US Attorney in LA was putting together a Federal hate crime case against Wilson's killers. That was interesting to me because of the complicated and unbelievable back story that culminated in the Federal prosecution. I won't go into that because it took me months of effort and interviews to put the whole sequence of events in place. And I'm not giving it away for free anymore. Frankly, I'm tired of having stories poached. I won't name the dude, but a local TV guy has poached at least two stories that I broke on INTHEHAT. So, no more soup for you.

Unfortunately, that means you readers aren't getting all the "deep" stuff. I'm willing to share information with other writers and journalists, but I'll draw the line at getting robbed by lazy assholes who are paid to dig up this stuff but prefer to boost it without payment or even attribution. I got more respect for a homeboy who pulls a cuete and tells you to give it up than this dude. At least it's a stand-up robbery and you know you're getting boosted. But on with the Wilson case.

Five years after the fact, the LA Times finally got around to mentioning the Wilson homicide. It was in the August 20, 2004 issue. I guess the Times was forced to acknowledge Wilson's killing because that was the day after the US Attorney's office unsealed the indictment against the shooters and accomplices. And as the paper of record in LA, they can't ignore a Federal indictment involving racial hate crimes that happened just a few miles from Spring Street. The most interesting thing about the Times piece was all the stuff that Times readers were not told. Sometime in the future, I'll share it with all of you. It's a tale that's stranger than fiction. A week later, the Times ran another brief item regarding the Wilson case. This one announcing a $20,000 reward by the FBI for information about one of Wilson's alleged shooters, Merced "Shadow" Cambero. He's been on the loose since the chilly morning of Wilson's execution on Avenue 52. We'll wait and see how the LA media will cover the Federal trial, if at all, and how much of it gets told correctly. It will be amusing.

Few need to be told this, but the media in this country needs a major cojones transplant. The next time you pick up your favorite paper or tune in to TV or radio news, be aware that the media have gatekeepers. There's a person at a desk that will decide what you see and what you hear. And if this person doesn't think you need to know, in the days before the internet, you'd never know. In terms of this little part of the world that I know a little something about, I can tell you straight up that you are being under-served and under-informed. And as far as the average LA citizen is concerned, the Wilson, Bowser and Hightower killings never happened until the big media says they happened. Practice safe news reading. Use www.

posted by Wally | 10:59 AM | 3 comments
Thursday, August 26, 2004

AMERICAN INDIAN NEIGHBORHOODS
This has to be the strangest iteration of the gang phenomenon I've ever come across. According to a cop up in Bellingham, Washington, the Lummi Nation, an Native American tribe officially has a gang problem. The strange thing is that this problem was apparently a bootstrap operation where the reservation residents and the local white boys decided to form up gangs. Prior to that, there had never been any kind of friction between the Indians and the white kids. They've been getting along just fine for generations.

The whole gang scene emerged the same way friends choose up sides for a game of touch football. The young people were so hell bent on emulating the attitude, dress and music of LA gangsters that they went out and got themselves the clothes, assumed the position and started representing. The white kids decided to represent Bloods while the Native kids picked the Crips. These kids are nowhere near being the hard core shooters and slangers of LA fame but the local cops expect that one of these days, the friendly rivalry might blow up into some serious trouble. The drugs aren't quite there yet since the locals seem to prefer huffing to skonce or chronic.

For the sociologists out there who research this stuff, this sounds like fertile ground to study because none of the dynamics that exist in big cities seem to be present up there. Any jokes I can think of about kids in the past playing cowboys and indians for fun would be out of place here. But it sure sounds the Lummi (Crips) and White boy Bloods are doing just that. Except in this case, let's hope the "bang bang you're dead" doesn't get realistic.

posted by Wally | 6:29 PM | 0 comments

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Re: More Gang News in LA

Unread post by Kemosave » October 1st, 2004, 4:08 pm

Actually the Indians have been banging since the early 90's in Cali at the least.

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Re: More Gang News in LA

Unread post by wisper » October 3rd, 2004, 9:06 am

anurwarizra wrote:Friday, October 01, 2004

OPERATION BLACK WIDOW WINDS DOWN
This week we saw the final installment of OPERATION BLACK WIDOW in NORCAL. Eight shot callers of the NUESTRA FAMILIA took a guilty plea to federal racketeering charges and will be spending time in the federal prison system far from California. Five of the Familianos got life sentences while three got 10-year terms.

The five who'll be spending life in a Federal penitentiary are Gerald "Cuete" Rubalcaba, James Morado, Cornelio "Comi" Tristan, Joseph Raymond "Pinky" Hernandez, and Tex "Terrible T" Hernandez. These Familianos could be considered the NF's board of directors and ran the organization's business from prison.


hey so what is the reson for all the nortenos getting moved out of folsom
The three with 10-year sentences are Daniel "Stork" Perez, Alberto Larez, and Henry "Big Happy" Cervantes.

Like LA's Metropolitan Task Force on Violent Crime, Operation Black Widow in Norcal was a combined Federal and local LE venture that targeted the leadership of organized crime syndicates. And like LA's Task Force, the investigation and prosecution would not have happened wihout the cooperation of confidential informants. From the LE point of view, it's impossible to crack organized crime without snitches. In the case of Black Widow, the most prominent snitch was ROBERT GRATTON. In LA's Task Force, LE had Ernest "Chuco" Castro that got the ball rolling and resulted in three huge RICO cases.

While there are a lot of similarities between the Norcal and Socal cases, there are a number of distinct differences. In Socal, the "business" was conventional street-oriented crime like tax collection and murder. Up north, the NF showed a remarkable capacity to morph into legitimate and/or semi-legitimate operations.

Gratton, with Gerry Cuete's blessing and support, founded NORTH STAR RECORDS, a rap label that launched the career of NORTENO rap star, SIR DYNO. The first CD, G.U.N. (Generation of United Nortenos), was a huge hit and was even carried in the racks at Sam Goody's. North Star was then used to launder drug money. As a result, Gratton was putting $5,000 a month into the NF's bank account in Idaho.

Other quasi legal businesses owned or controlled by Norteno shot callers included auto customizing shops, nightclubs and tire stores. Life was sweet and money was pouring in. That is until Gratton was put in the hat for being a little too independent. He was becoming too visible to LE and the media, and the Mesa, NF's board of directors, decided to check him.

In the end, Gratton cashed in his chips and ratted out the entire organization.

With the shot callers now scattered throughout the Federal prison system, it will no longer be as easy for them to communicate with the street as it was in Pelican Bay. At least that's LE's contention.

It remains to be seen if this latest blow to the NF will create a leadership crisis and a power vacuum that the Eme will try to exploit.

posted by Wally | 7:28 AM | 0 comments

BRATTON IS NOW SWORN
LAPD chief Bill Bratton is no longer a civilian. After studying and training for months, the Chief passed his P.O.S.T. tests and is now a sworn California peace officer and no longer needs his self-issued civilian permit to carry a concealed weapon. Lest you might think they bent the rules or made the tests easy to given Bratton his certification, former Chief Willie Williams never did pass the P.O.S.T. Williams tried four times and failed. LA cops no longer need to feel funny about saluting a civilian.

posted by Wally | 7:16 AM | 0 comments
Monday, September 27, 2004

DAILY NEWS GANG SERIES
For out of town readers, the LA Daily News is publishing an 8-part series on street gangs. The first installment ran on Sunday. You can read it and the rest of the series at dailynews.com.

So far, there's very little new information. At least new to us. Lots of stats and personal stories but not a whole lot of analysis or the kind of juicy stuff we like to read. We're curious to see if they run anything at all about the Wilson, Bowser, Hightower, Haggins etc. racially motivated homicides. The Times and DN have both done a great job of ignoring these killings and the motivation behind them.

posted by Wally | 10:19 AM | 0 comments
Thursday, September 23, 2004

JOHN MILLER GUN BUST
KABC TV news reported this afternoon that LA's Il Duce of anti-terror, John Miller, was stopped at LAX security for trying to carry a loaded gun onto a plane. The gun was in his carry-on luggage and apparently he just forgot it was there. Dumb!

From what we know, Miller has one of those nearly impossible to get LAPD permits to carry a concealed weapon. Miller, like William Bratton, is not a sworn peace officer. They're both civilian employees of the LAPD. Therefore the only way they can legally carry a gun is to obtain a civilian carry permit, something denied to the average law abiding Angeleno. The funny thing is, as chief of police Bratton had to apply to himself to get a permit. Naturally, he gave himself one. And Miller has one as well. They're pals and go back a long way and hey, what are friends for if you can't get a carry permit out of it?

Bratton comes from the New York City old boy network of permit patronage. In New York City, you're not even allowed to own a handgun in your house, let alone carry one, without a permit from the NYPD. Traditionally, any well-heeled and connected New Yorker has always had an easy time getting a permit to carry. New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, a big time anti-gunner, has one. So does Howard Stern, comedian Pat Cooper and dozens of business people and celebrities. In our own fair state of California, the same rules apply. Notorious anti-gun advocate Dianne Feinstein for years had a permit to carry, but said she gave it up. So does/did James Caan (he might have had his revoked, we hear). And of course, Robert (I forgot my gun in Vitello's) Blake. It might surprise a lot of Angelenos how many anti-gun Hollywood celebrities have permits to carry while they contribute to anti-gun groups like Sarah Brady's HCI. Sarah herself got into hot water when she bought a gun under her name and gave it to her son as a birthday present. Under one of the many laws she favors, this was an illegal transfer and she should have gone to jail.

LA celebrities don't get their permits from the LAPD. Like Blake who established a paper residence in Culver City while living in the Valley (LAPD jurisdiction), a lot of the elites establish residence in permit-friendly jurisdictions. Ted Cooke, the retired chief of Culver PD was very liberal in doling out permits and looking the other way on the issue of residence. That's where Caan got his. Edward James Olmos got his from the LASD. Permits are issued locally but are good all over the state. So if you have a second or third or fourth home somewhere in a rural permit friendly county, or Culver City, you're good to carry in Bel Air or Malibu.

But getting back to the John Miller incident. Miller's permit is only good in California. California carry permits are not recognized by any other state because California does not recognize any other state's carry permits. This means that when Miller landed in New York, merely being in possession of a gun without a local permit to carry or own would have put him in flagrant violation of New York City weapons laws. After all, he's no longer a New York resident and that disqualifies him from owning or carrying a gun or even being in possession of a handgun in New York City. What the hell was Miller going to do with his piece when he got there? It is illegal to bring a handgun into New York City. Motorists from other states have been arrested in the Big Apple and their guns confiscated merely for carrying unloaded guns in the trunks of their cars while passing through town. Same with Chuck Schumer's New Jersey.

The truth is, the New York cops would probably give Miller a pass and let him carry. After all, there are two sets of laws in the U.S. when it comes to personal defense. One that applies to the rich and mighty. And one that applies to the rest of us whose hides aren't worth as much. The right of self defense is one reserved for the elite and not us mere proles.



posted by Wally | 6:10 PM | 0 comments
Tuesday, September 21, 2004

WAS THIS INEVITABLE?
One of my out of town readers just sent me an item from the Brownsville, Texas paper, The Herald. On September 3, Emma Perez-Trevino wrote about contacts between AL-QAIDA and the MARA SALVATRUCHA, a street gang with sets in Los Angeles, Texas, the US-MEXICO border and as far away as Virginia, New York and Boston. Just so you know, MS has a lot of sets, some of whom operate under the Sureno flag. Others don't. Look for the MS13 placa to determine if they're Sureno. Non-affiliates drop the 13.

The information on this possible alliance came from the U.S. House Select Committee on Homeland Security. According to a member of that committee, Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz, a Democrat from Texas, "We have been in contact wtih El Salvadoran officials and they have verified that Al-Qaida has been active in these gangs."

Ortiz, along with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Rep. Jim Turner, both Texas Democrats, have asked for more cooperation between the Border Patrol, the FBI and the CIA. All three pols called the OTM policy (Other Than Mexican), "nothing more than a conduit for terrorists." Apparently, 80% to 90% of the 25,000 OTMs arrested on the U.S. side of the border are released on their own recognizance with nothing more than a promise to appear for a hearing. Guess how many actually show up.

For the complete story, a Google search for the Brownsville Herald will take you to the site. I don't do links.

The concept of streets gangs making alliances with foreign powers is not new. In 1987, four members of Chicago's El Rukn gang were convicted of accepting $2.5 million from Lybia to plan and execute terrorist attacks in the U.S. That same year, Jeff Fort, founder of the Blackstone Rangers traveled to Lybia where Muammar Qaddafi presented him with a rocket launcher. The FBI intercepted the weapon and arrested Fort. Louis Farrakhan made the introductions and accompanied Fort to Lybia. More recently, Jose Padilla, a Chicago street gangster was arrested for trying to organize a dirty bomb attack in the U.S.

On the other side of the coin, Italian mobster Lucky Luciano made a deal with the Government during the war. In exchange for his help in gathering intelligence and putting friends on the ground prior to the invasion of Sicily, Luciano was allowed to leave prison and deported at the end of the war. Even without the aid of the internet and satellite phones, Luciano had no trouble calling the shots to his New York crime family from his villa in Palermo.

We'll see what develops with the MS.

posted by Wally | 5:26 PM | 0 comments

BERNARD PARKS DOESN'T LIKE THE SHIFT SCHEDULE
It's been fairly well established by now that Bernard Parks, the former LAPD police chief, is attempting to gain some political capital by focusing on the current homicide spike. He posed for the media with the families of homicide victims and blamed the spike on the LAPD's 3/12 shift schedule. His claim is that the new schedule puts fewer cops on the street and that contributes to the rise in killings. Never mind that some of the victims were killed under the old schedule.

Parks wants to be mayor. And he wants to heap some blame on his successor, William Bratton. For you non-Los Angeles residents who may not be up on LA politics, James Hahn, the current mayor is the man who made the decision to get rid of Parks and replace him with Bratton.

During the ramp up to Bratton's appointment, Parks' strongest political ally was former council member Nate Holden. Holden term-limited out and was succeeded in his council seat by Parks. Holden was nothing if not an old-school strong arm meister. In his lobbying for Parks, Holden pointed fingers of blame for Parks' failure as a chief in every direction.

Despite the fact that rank and file cops gave Parks failing grades as a chief, Holden maintained that Parks was an effective leader. Parks was being sabotaged by a mostly white command structure, Holden said. When the city council pointed to the awful academy recruitment record under Parks, Holden blamed a thriving a economy for siphoning away qualified candidates into the private sector. And when the council and others pointed to the rising crime rate under Parks, Holden used the peculiar logic of a lousy job market as a reason for the rising crime rate. So in Holden's view, the economy was simultaneously good and bad. Mr. Greenspan should look into this.

When it became clear that Bratton was going to be annointed chief, Holden encouraged Parks to sue the city for not renewing his contract. Parks was smart enough to pass on this suggestion. And when Bratton was confirmed as Hahn's choice, Holden promised that Hahn would "pay" for his "betrayal."

In Holden's view, the people Hahn betrayed was the black community. It was obvious at the time that Holden believed skin color was more important than effective leadership. Parks is a good guy in every sense of a word. But he's not what you'd call an inspiring leader. He was a micro-manager. A from-the-top down, command and control, rigidly structured operator who wouldn't let subordinates exercise any personal initiative. It was his way or the highway. Rank and file morale plainly sucked under Parks. At least two coppers put in their jackets that if they were killed in the line of duty, they didn't want Parks at their funeral. Nothing like that has happened under Bratton's watch.

While Bratton may not be as popular with the blue suits as one of their own might have been (Mark Kroeker comes to mind), he's gained big points for letting subordinates become pro-active and creative. The Valley's Motel Six squad recently reported on by Jason Kandel in the Daily News is just one example. It's yielding results and Bratton is blessing the operation for use in other divisions. That came from the bottom, not the top. Ideas like that come from the bottom because that's where the eyes and ears are. You don't see known felons walking in and out of motels on Sepulveda Boulevard sitting in Parker Center. Educated eyeballs like that can only come from street cops. And it takes a flexible command structure to see the value of a good idea and give it the proper resources, even if it's Not Invented Here.

As the mayor's race spools up, you have to wonder if Parks will continue to work the rising homicide rate as an issue. You also have to wonder how much advice he's getting from Holden. Is Holden sitting in his Marina condo nursing his "betrayal" and working to leverage a little payback on Hahn? Will Parks take Holden's advice? Will Holden ever get beyond the skin game? It should be an interesting race.

posted by Wally | 3:44 PM | 1 comments
Friday, September 17, 2004

A DUBIOUS ANNIVERSARY
For those who keep track of these things, yesterday, Sept. 16, is a day that the NUESTRA FAMILIA celebrates as something akin to their day of Independence. It also happens to be Mexican Independence day.

According to NF lore, Sept. 16th, 1972 is the day that RUDY "CHEYENNE" CADENA, an EME brother was assassinated by FAMILIANOS on the second tier of PALM HALL in CHINO STATE PRISON.

There's a backstory to this. The Eme and NF have been locked into a no-win war since the NF first started organizing in 1965. But CADENA was a true believer in the concept of a Hispanic supergang that would supersede the geographic loyalties of the Eme and the NF. He had a vision of a united La Raza uber-gang that would stop the brown-on-brown war and stop wasting the energies and depleting the manpower of both gangs. There's also reason to believe that CADENA ultimately wanted to use that base of power to gain some social and political capital outside of prison.

Although he was counseled not to do so by some of his brothers like JOE MORGAN, CADENA went ahead and set up a meeting with NF shot callers. The meeting took place in CHINO.

By all accounts, CADENA's intentions were honorable. He wanted a genuine truce that would eventually evolve into a full blown alliance. The NF, however were suspicious. They thought it was a set up and CADENA was actually there to hit the NF shot callers. He never got the chance to prove otherwise.

Before a single word was exchanged, three Familianos (FRANK "JOKER" MENDOZA, JUAN "MANSANAS" COLON, and BOBBY "CRACKERS" VINDIOLA) shanked and beat CADENA and threw him off the tier. When he landed, another Familiano was there with a shank to finish CADENA off. CADENA was stabbed at least 50 times.

It's supposed to be a red letter day for the NF and certainly a black one for the Eme. There's never been another attempt to unite the two factions. Needless to say, they've been at war ever since.

Last month, for instance, Folsom was purged of all Nortenos by the CDC for reasons that remain not fully explained. Folsom is now apparently a 100% Eme controlled institution. Eventually, I'll tell you what's going on in Folsom. But now is not the time. We'll wait for the dead tree media's version of this situation before we comment.

The CADENA killing was portrayed in AMERICAN ME, the Edward James Olmos movie. In the film, however, the character based on CADENA was killed by his own brothers. This was something that the EME found outrageous. And we don't blame the brothers for being upset. The truth is interesting enough. It doesn't require embellishment or outright fabrication to make it dramatic or compelling. Not to mention that it's a slap in the face to the brothers who tried to talk CADENA out of the sit down with the Familianos. As a result, Olmos was allegedly greenlighted and is said to have paid his way out of it. And we know what happened to ANNA LIZARAGA.

The irony of the CADENA assassination is that while the NF celebrates that hit on Sept. 16, the killing actually happened on December 17, 1972. Nations don't always celebrate events on the date they happened. So it's not that odd that any other organization should do the same.

posted by Wally | 1:53 PM | 1 comments
Saturday, September 04, 2004

IT'S NOT A HATE CRIME UNTIL THE BIG MEDIA SAYS IT IS
Regular readers of INTHEHAT probably already know about the racially motivated homicide of Kenneth Wilson. It happened in Highland Park in April of 1999. The shooters all claimed Avenues, 43 to be specific. I first mentioned the Wilson killing in a February '03 post even though it's been in the files for longer than that. I sat on the story until '03 for a couple of reasons. For one, I was putting that killing together with the killing of Christopher Bowser and Robert Hightower. All three black victims were targeted because of their race. They had absolutely no gang affiliation whatsoever. They were civilians. As it turned out, I dug up quite a few more racially motivated murders and assaults against other blacks in other parts of LA County. And there are at least three more I'm aware of that might go that way if and when the investigations bear fruit. These victims, like Wilson, were also civilians with no gang affiliation. All of the verified assaults and murders were committed by neighborhoods with strong ties to the Brothers.

I also sat on it because I was trying to bring the work of INTHEHAT to a different audience. I wanted to get the Wilson, Bowser and Hightower murders into the print media. Those killings, unlike the dragging death of James Byrd in Texas, never got a single mention in the Los Angeles big media. This situation struck me as odd. The Byrd murder was an isolated act carried out by individuals out of personal racial hatred. Once the evil people who killed Byrd were in jail, the threat to other blacks in that town was basically over.

The Wilson et al murders, on the other hand, were committed as part of a larger ongoing criminal enterprise. The fact is, the Brothers have issued orders to keep blacks out of neighborhoods they control. And we're not talking just black gangsters. We're talking black citizens who are doing nothing more nefarious than breathing while black. By any standard you care to use, this declared war on blacks by the Eme fulfills every definition of ethnic cleansing. There's no other term for it. Unlike the Byrd killing, when the people guilty of killing Wilson, Bowser and Hightower are put away, there will be others, many others to carry on the work. Other blacks will be harassed, intimidated, assaulted and probably killed.

What amazed me, was the total lack of interest in this story by the big media. The LA Times, LA Weekly, Citybeat, Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Sacramento News and Review, The Atlantic, New York Times, you name it, they all turned down my proposal to do a story bout these killings. Frankly, I didn't get it. But then there are a lot of things I don't get about the media. So the story stayed in the files until someone, somewhere might show some interest in it. That was two years ago. I posted the Wilson incident and pursued other stories for INTHEHAT.

Occasionally, new information would emerge on the Wilson case. Last year I learned, for instance, that the US Attorney in LA was putting together a Federal hate crime case against Wilson's killers. That was interesting to me because of the complicated and unbelievable back story that culminated in the Federal prosecution. I won't go into that because it took me months of effort and interviews to put the whole sequence of events in place. And I'm not giving it away for free anymore. Frankly, I'm tired of having stories poached. I won't name the dude, but a local TV guy has poached at least two stories that I broke on INTHEHAT. So, no more soup for you.

Unfortunately, that means you readers aren't getting all the "deep" stuff. I'm willing to share information with other writers and journalists, but I'll draw the line at getting robbed by lazy assholes who are paid to dig up this stuff but prefer to boost it without payment or even attribution. I got more respect for a homeboy who pulls a cuete and tells you to give it up than this dude. At least it's a stand-up robbery and you know you're getting boosted. But on with the Wilson case.

Five years after the fact, the LA Times finally got around to mentioning the Wilson homicide. It was in the August 20, 2004 issue. I guess the Times was forced to acknowledge Wilson's killing because that was the day after the US Attorney's office unsealed the indictment against the shooters and accomplices. And as the paper of record in LA, they can't ignore a Federal indictment involving racial hate crimes that happened just a few miles from Spring Street. The most interesting thing about the Times piece was all the stuff that Times readers were not told. Sometime in the future, I'll share it with all of you. It's a tale that's stranger than fiction. A week later, the Times ran another brief item regarding the Wilson case. This one announcing a $20,000 reward by the FBI for information about one of Wilson's alleged shooters, Merced "Shadow" Cambero. He's been on the loose since the chilly morning of Wilson's execution on Avenue 52. We'll wait and see how the LA media will cover the Federal trial, if at all, and how much of it gets told correctly. It will be amusing.

Few need to be told this, but the media in this country needs a major cojones transplant. The next time you pick up your favorite paper or tune in to TV or radio news, be aware that the media have gatekeepers. There's a person at a desk that will decide what you see and what you hear. And if this person doesn't think you need to know, in the days before the internet, you'd never know. In terms of this little part of the world that I know a little something about, I can tell you straight up that you are being under-served and under-informed. And as far as the average LA citizen is concerned, the Wilson, Bowser and Hightower killings never happened until the big media says they happened. Practice safe news reading. Use www.

posted by Wally | 10:59 AM | 3 comments
Thursday, August 26, 2004

AMERICAN INDIAN NEIGHBORHOODS
This has to be the strangest iteration of the gang phenomenon I've ever come across. According to a cop up in Bellingham, Washington, the Lummi Nation, an Native American tribe officially has a gang problem. The strange thing is that this problem was apparently a bootstrap operation where the reservation residents and the local white boys decided to form up gangs. Prior to that, there had never been any kind of friction between the Indians and the white kids. They've been getting along just fine for generations.

The whole gang scene emerged the same way friends choose up sides for a game of touch football. The young people were so hell bent on emulating the attitude, dress and music of LA gangsters that they went out and got themselves the clothes, assumed the position and started representing. The white kids decided to represent Bloods while the Native kids picked the Crips. These kids are nowhere near being the hard core shooters and slangers of LA fame but the local cops expect that one of these days, the friendly rivalry might blow up into some serious trouble. The drugs aren't quite there yet since the locals seem to prefer huffing to skonce or chronic.

For the sociologists out there who research this stuff, this sounds like fertile ground to study because none of the dynamics that exist in big cities seem to be present up there. Any jokes I can think of about kids in the past playing cowboys and indians for fun would be out of place here. But it sure sounds the Lummi (Crips) and White boy Bloods are doing just that. Except in this case, let's hope the "bang bang you're dead" doesn't get realistic.

posted by Wally | 6:29 PM | 0 comments

wisper
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Re: More Gang News in LA

Unread post by wisper » October 4th, 2004, 7:05 pm

why did they move all the nortenos from folson

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