Are the men in this picture two gangsters, as the federal government claims?
Or are they one gangster and a dedicated anti-gang worker bonding with an ex-homie as part of his work in steering gangsters toward redemption?
Federal Judge Manuel L. Real is scheduled to to slice this baby Monday afternoon, October 19th. [Update: Judge Real again denied bail.]
That’s when the judge will hear again the application of the man on the left — Alex Sanchez — for bail. Sanchez was charged in June with living a double life as a secret “shot caller” while pretending to be an anti-gang worker as executive director of Homies Unidos.
The shock was palpable.
Sanchez is right up there with Mother Teresa in the hagiography of good works. An unyielding corps of his fans have absolutely insisted that that there is no way Sanchez could have been anything other than the selfless man he presented himself to be.
As an earlier post of Fairly Civil enthusiastically noted (here), the government’s case against Sanchez’s release pending trial rested primarily on what appeared to be a damning series of four wiretap transcripts and the expert opinion of Los Angeles Police Department Detective Frank Flores interpreting the transcripts of those calls.
But a statement filed Wednesday by Father Greg Boyle on behalf of Sanchez raises the bar considerably. Father Boyle points out a troubling omission from the transcript in the government’s case — namely, the statement of one of the gangster’s that pretty clearly appears to say (in so many words) “butt out, Alex, you are no longer one of us.”
To quote an L.A. news website, WitnessLA: “WTF?”
If you indict Mother Teresa, you better be able to prove her guilt slam dunk style.
(It’s worth noting that the Los Angeles Times appears to be — nay, is — sleeping soundly through this case, as it does so many other gang cases. That is scandalous either way this case goes, because either an innocent man is being railroaded or he pulled off the greatest scam in the history of do-goodism!)
Excerpt from Father Boyle’s Filing
Here is an excerpt from the gut of Father Boyle’s court filing. [Declaration of Father Greg Boyle Filed in Support of Defendant Sanchez's Application for Review of Detention Order, United States v. Alfaro, United States District Court for the Central District of California, Docket No. CR-09-00466-R-22.]
(Note: Sanchez is called by his gang moniker “Rebelde” in this filing. Camaro is the late gangster whose murder Sanchez is accused of plotting as a secret shot-caller.)
No doubt, the government will have an answer (not filed as of this posting). If it does not have a zippy and persuasive reply to the following, you won’t be able to count the ruined careers on all your hands and toes. [For a reply to this post, and to Father Boyle's filing, from a retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's gang sergeant, go here.]
12. I am fluent in Spanish and I have listened to the tapes of the four recorded calls. I have read and considered the government’s Memorandum of Points and Authorities as well as the Declaration of Detective Flores. Based upon my experience, history and qualifications as a gang expert, I believe the government’s conclusions and Detective Frank Flores’s opinions are mistaken and are based upon a misinterpretation of the language and meaning of these four calls. Similarly, the government and Detective Flores have misconstrued Alex Sanchez’s role in these calls, his purpose in participating in these calls and the import of his statements.
13. Before I discuss my review of each of the calls, it is important to highlight the fact the government and Detective Flores completely omit and ignore one of the most important — if not the most important — sections in these calls: the clear and unequivocal statements by participants in the calls that Mr. Sanchez is not an active gang member. This omission, in and of itself, raises concerns in my mind about the balance and fairness of the government’s and Detective Flores’s presentation. It is unlikely, if not impossible, the government and Detective Flores overlooked this part of the calls. More likely, they did not make mention of these statement because the recorded statements undermine their conclusions.
14. Unlike many of the potentially ambiguous statements lifted from the calls by Detective Flores, there is no ambiguity in the statement made by Camaron, during the third call, that Alex Sanchez is not an active member of the MS-13 gang. Camaron states:
CAMARON: Listen man! And-and-and-and I don’t know why you [stutters] come … you know, and you get involved in things, when you are not longer active, man! You see? Better yet, what you should do is to be careful with the “United Homies” and not-not to get involved in our things, you see? [Call breaks] [UI] with us, because you are no longer active, see what I mean?
REBELDE: If you told him — If you told Boxer that I’m working with the FBI, then you know what, you are getting me involved!
15. Camaron does not mince words. He says Mr. Sanchez should have no voice in the conversation because he is not part of the gang. From Camaron’s perspective, Mr. Sanchez is an outsider and should not get involved in “our things” because he is “no longer active.” There is no way to reconcile this statement — that Mr. Sanchez is not an active gang member — with the government’s and Detective Flores’s position; in fact, it turns their argument on its head. If Mr. Sanchez is not an active gang member, he is certainly not a “shot caller.” No one can be a shot caller if they are not an active gang members. It is that simple.”
Whatever else Fr. Boyle writes in his filing, he puts his pen here right on a camel the government will have to get through the needle: “You are no longer active.”
Match point. Serve. Better be a zinger.