Tom Diaz

Posts Tagged ‘David Carradine’

MORE EXPLAINING TO DO — IS THROWING A GANG SIGN EVER JUST A JOKE?

In Crime, Gangs, Informants and other sophisticated means, Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence, Latino gangs, RICO, RICO indictments, Transnational crime, undercover investigations on August 25, 2009 at 6:24 pm
Alexander (Alex) Sanchez (AKA "Rebelde") Throwing Devils Horns Gang Sign

Alexander (Alex) Sanchez (AKA "Rebelde"), Left, Throwing Devil's Horns Gang Sign in 1999

The two men in the picture above could be fans of the University of Texas Longhorns.

Like the two men in the picture below — former President George W. Bush and University of Texas strength and conditioning coach Jeff “Mad Dog” Madden –  they could be expressing support for the University of Texas Longhorns football team by flashing the famous “hook ‘em horns” sign.

George_W._Bush_and_Jeff_Mad_Dog_Madden

President George W. Bush and University of Texas Coach Jeff "Mad Dog" Madden Flash "Hook 'Em Horns" Sign

Or not.

DR.JEKYLL_AND_MR.HYDE___31_The man on the left in the photo at the top of this post, Alexander (“Alex”) Sanchez, also known as “Rebelde” according to the government, is accused in a federal racketeering (RICO) indictment of  being a sort of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — saintly “anti-gang activist” by day, foul-mouthed, murder-conspiring boss (shot-caller) of the transnational MS-13 gang by night.  (“Rebelde” means “rebellious” when used as an adjective, and “rebel” when used as a noun.)

Here is how a government pleading in the criminal case sums up this aspect of the charges against Sanchez:

Sanchez is alleged to have been an influential leader, known as a shotcaller, of the Normandie clique of Mara Salvatrucha since the mid-1990s. In that role, which he never abandoned despite working at the anti-gang organization Homies Unidos, he profited from the gang’s narcotics trafficking and regular extortion rackets.

But what about the photo of Sanchez at the Golden Gate Bridge?  The following paragraphs come right after the same government pleading’s discussion of the contents of international wiretaps of Sanchez that were described in the last posting of Fairly Civil:

The government has also recovered photographic evidence of Sanchez’s double life during the execution of search warrants in 2001 and 2003.  For example, FBI agents executing a search warrant at the home of Rebecca Quezada, aka “Laughing Girl,” in February 2001 recovered two photographs of Sanchez that provide further physical evidence of Sanchez’s ongoing participation in MS-13 while working at Homies Unidos. (A copy of the two photographs are attached as Exhibit C).

In the first photograph, which was found on a 2000 calendar that featured a poem by Sanchez, Sanchez is depicted in his public role, standing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge with two other men at an anti-gang conference in San Francisco in 1999.  In the second photograph agents recovered [the one posted above], however, Sanchez is standing in the same spot in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in the same clothing with one of the same men on what is clearly the same occasion.  In the second photo, however, Sanchez and the other man are displaying the hand sign for MS-13.  This hand gesture, which is frequently encountered by law enforcement in photographs of and drawing and graffiti by MS-13 members, is universally recognized as the gang sign for MS-13 and is never made in peace.  This photograph, along with numerous other photographs showing Sanchez at parties with leaders of MS-13, are physical evidence that Sanchez has never renounced his membership in MS-13.

Government’s Response to Defendant Alex Sanchez’s Motion for Pretrial Release, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Docket No. CR-09-466-MLR.

This photograph of the “anti-gang worker” throwing the MS-13 gang sign long after his supposed “conversion” suggests that Alex Sanchez has more explaining to do.  Is he is is, is was, or is ain’t? (Or, for another version of the same old song, try this link.)

Here, for example, are MS-13 gang members in Central America “throwing” the infamous gang sign, which is known as the devil’s horns:

MS-13 Gangsters Flash Devil's Horns

MS-13 Gangsters Flash Devil's Horns

Here are some other instances of the MS-13 gang sign being recorded in public.  (“Fool’s names and dog’s faces often appear in public places.”)

MS-13 Gangsters "Throwing" Devil's Horn Gang Sign

MS-13 Gangsters "Throwing" Devil's Horn Gang Sign

MS-13 Graffiti Incorporates Devil's Horn and "Crossing Out" of Number 18, Showing Disrespect for Rival 18th Street gang

MS-13 Graffiti Incorporates Devil's Horn and "Crossing Out" of Number 18, Showing Disrespect for Rival 18th Street gang

It’s interesting to note that Sanchez and the other man (who appears to be identified as “Laughing Boy” in an inscription that accompanies the second photo) are flashing the gang sign right in the heart of Norteno country, the Northern California territory over which the prison gang Nuestra Familia claims sovereignty.  Most Latino street gangs in Northern California acknowledge fealty to Nuestra Familia, describe themselves as generically “Nortenos,” and affect the number “14″ (for “N,” the 14th letter of the alphabet) — or combinations of numbers totaling 14 — in clothing and graffiti.

Southern California gangs like MS-13 are with few exceptions loyal to EME (Spanish for the letter “M”), the Mexican Mafia.  (The 13 in MS-13 signifies the gang’s public expression of fealty to EME, the 13th letter of the alphabet.)

Nuestra Familia and EME have been at war for decades after a failed attempt at union.  Likewise, Sureno gangs loyal to the Mexican Mafia (EME) are at ceaseless war with Nuestra Familia’s Norteno gangs.

“Tom Diaz has worn out some shoe leather—much like a good detective—in gathering facts, not myths or urban legend. “

—Chris Swecker, Former Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.

“Few people know more about the subject than Tom Diaz and no single book tells the whole story better than No Boundaries. If you really want to know what organized crime in America looks like today, then read this alarming book.”

—Rocky Delgadillo, former City Attorney of Los Angeles

Order No Boundaries from Amazon.com

Depending on the planet upon which one spends most of one’s time, one might argue that (a) Sanchez and his friend are not throwing a gang sign but are UT fans like George W. Bush,  (b) are just horsing around, mocking the old life, or (c) the FBI created the picture in a laboratory in Area 51.

But “just goofing around” with their hand sign is not something gangsters are likely to tolerate.  FBI analyst Don Lyddane wrote about the following cautionary incident in an edition of the United States Attorneys’ Bulletin devoted to gang prosecutions:

Several years ago, a young lady attended a dance-concert in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She enjoyed the band so much that she leaped onto the stage to dance with the band. While dancing she gestured in sign language, “I love you,” over and over. She did not realize that her gestures were almost identical to the Latin King hand sign. Several Latin King members who were on the dance floor observed her “I love you” gesture and perceived it as a blatant disrespect to the Latin King and Queen Nation. She surely did not realize that they planned to kill her. Her innocent gestures cost this woman her life. Her murder was subsequently solved as part of a gang conspiracy investigation of the Latin Kings by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Donald Lyddane, Intelligence Analyst, Safe Streets and Gang Unit, FBI Headquarters, “Gangs and Gang Mentality: Acquiring Evidence of the Gang Conspiracy,” in United States Attorneys’ Bulletin, May 2006.

HOW COULD THIS BE?

Sanchez’s supporters flatly reject the government’s claim that he has been a secret shot-caller.

Funny, CIA Agent Aldrich Ames Didn't Look Like a Russian Mole

Funny, CIA Agent Aldrich Ames Didn't Look Like a Russian Mole

This is to be expected.  Revelations of double lives understandably evoke responses from those who have been gulled along the lines of, “There must be a mistake (or a plot) because this just can’t be true.  I’ve known so-and-so for X-number of years, and I never saw any sign of anything like that.  I know his good works and they show he is a good man — he would never do a bad thing.”

And yet recent history offers numerous examples of persons who led truly shocking double lives, including double agent spies, con men in the financial world, and even other boldly duplicitous “anti-gang workers” in Los Angeles.  They demonstrate that it is indeed possible to fool others, even in cases in which exacting mechanisms to detect precisely such duplicity are in place.

Funny, He Doesn't Look Like a Monster

Funny, He Doesn't Look Like a Monster

Ryan Jenkins. If you can stand “reality TV” and pop crime, take the case of “Reality TV Star” Ryan Jenkins, who was suspected of murdering his ex-wife, Jasmine Fiore. After a few days of flight and an international manhunt, Jenkins apparently committed suicide by hanging himself in a motel closet. Unless he was doing a David Carradine, this is not a sign of innocence. Flight in and of itself is generally evidence of a guilty mind.

But these bits from the UK’s Telegraph sum up the understandable resistance of Jenkins’s parents to the awful implications of the totality of facts — i.e., that their son was a murderous monster:

Fiore’s dismembered body was found 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles on August 15. Her teeth had been pulled out and her fingers cut off, apparently to impede her identification. Investigators identified her by the serial numbers on her breast implants.

Jenkins’ mother, who lives in Vancouver, refused to accept he killed Fiore. Nada Jenkins said in a brief telephone interview Monday that she’s sure the evidence will eventually prove his innocence.

“He was good, he’s kind and we need to clear his name,” she said, weeping.

Okay, perhaps citing the credulity of grieving parents is not fair.  How about cold-eyed intelligence professionals who are precisely and regularly warned to be on the alert for double agents?  Can they be fooled?

Mon00 Spy Nat KRT

Funny, She Didn't Look Like a Double Agent

Ana Belen Montes. You may have never heard of Ana Montes, but her career as a double agent for the intelligence service of Fidel Castro’s Cuba was breathtaking.  Montes rose to the top of the ranks of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).  When she was finally taken down, Montes was within hours of receiving a full briefing on the U.S. war plans for the attack on Afghanistan after the 9/11 disaster.  It’s not hard to figure out where that information would have gone if it had got into the hands of the Cubans.  Fairly Civil highly recommends True Believer (Annapolis:  Naval Institute Press, 2007) a slim volume by Scott W. Carmichael, the DIA counter-intelligence officer whose keen suspicions finally brought Montes down.

What is striking is that Carmichael had to work feverishly against the assumptions of Montes’s peers and superiors alike, not to mention the FBI’s Washington Field Office.  They at first refused to believe that a long-term, outstanding career employee like Ana Montes, with no ties to Cuba (her family was Puerto Rican), could be such a treacherous spy.  Sound familiar?

Here are a few salient quotes from the work:

Ana Montes … operated for sixteen years with impunity, becoming the U.S. government’s top intelligence analyst on Cuba at the same time she was reporting to the Cuban government.  She not only passed on U.S. secrets to Cuba but also helped influence what we thought we knew about Cuba. (p. viii.)

Ana’s supervisors at the DOJ [her previous employer] offered glowing recommendations…One called her an absolutely outstanding employee.  Another said she was one of the best employees their office ever had.  She was described as diligent, conscientious, highly productive, creative, and professional in her behavior and attitude. (p. 55)

There was also the matter of her security clearance.  Only 15 percent of Americans prosecuted for espionage during the modern era held the highest level of security clearance when they began spying.  That level is Top Secret clearance with access to sensitive compartmented information…That meant she had been screened, vetted, investigated, and judged by competent federal authorities to be a responsible U.S. citizen worthy of the government’s trust…[she] routinely accessed a great deal of sensitive compartmented information throughout her normal workday. (p. 41)

I do wish that spies would paint great big glowing, gooey globs on their foreheads for easy identification.  Green ones, perhaps.  It would certainly make my job much easier.  But spies do not do that.  Ana Montes certainly didn’t.  She simply slipped through the fog, never calling attention to herself for a moment.  And so she got away with espionage for a long time.  (p. 155)

Gosheroonie, Kids, FBI Agent David Hanssen Didn't Look Like a Russian Mole

Gosheroonie, Kids, FBI Agent David Hanssen Didn't Look Like a Russian Mole

The shock was so great for Montes’s loyal co-workers and friends that special counselors were brought in to help them work through the emotional trauma, the psychological wounds inflicted by her deep betrayal.  “Their initial reaction to the news was predictable and universal:  shock and disbelief.” (p. 131)

Of course, Ana Montes is not the only such spy eventually winkled out of the country’s most secret enterprises.  For informed summaries of more such stories, go to this link.  But the point here is that cold-blooded double agents — whose work costs the lives of truly loyal and faithful men and women — can evade even the most sophisticated screening and vetting.   The loyal followers of Alex Sanchez, to put it bluntly, have only a rudimentary “vetting” process to rely on.

There is another point worth learning from the Ana Montes case.   She was able not only to steal secrets but to influence the views of the U.S. government about Cuba.  If Alex Sanchez was truly a secret shot-caller, from his perch as saintlike “anti-gang worker” he too was able to influence a vast community’s views about Latino gangs, MS-13 in particular, and gangsters.

Okay, Maybe Hector Marroquin (In  Black) Did Kinda, Sorta Look Like a Double-Dealing Gangster

Okay, Maybe Hector ("Big Weasel") Marroquin (In Black) Did Kinda, Sorta Look Like a Double-Dealing Gangster

Hector Marroquin. Finally, there is the precedent of the case of Hector Marroquin, in outline an analog of the Sanchez case.  “Big Weasel” Marroquin represented himself as a “reformed” 18th Street gangster, successfully milking the city of “gang intervention and prevention funding.”

Here is a summary from The New York Times, a newspaper of record that actually writes from time to time the details of the peculations (as opposed to the adulation) of Los Angeles’s violent Latino gangsters:

The director of an antigang organization here that sought to reduce gun violence and received $1.5 million from the City of Los Angeles pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges that he sold illegal assault weapons to a federal undercover agent.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested the director, Hector Marroquin, in May after video surveillance showed him selling weapons and silencers to an agent and an informant. The weapons included a MAK-90 and a Ewbank, both semiautomatic assault rifles, and a M-11, a smaller assault weapon that is like an Uzi, said Eric Harmon, who prosecuted the case.

“Here is a guy who represented himself to the city as being a former gang member helping others to get out of gangs,” said Gary Hearnsberger, head of the Hardcore Gang Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, “and he is convicted of selling illegal weapons as a side business.”

Mr. Marroquin, 51, pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing and selling assault weapons and was sentenced to eight years in prison. His companion, Sylvia Arellano, 26, was named as an accomplice in the sales and also pleaded guilty. She is to be sentenced on Tuesday to four years in prison.

Rebecca Cathcart, “Director of Antigang Group Sold Illegal Assault Weapons,” The New York Times, January 19, 2008.

This is the cue for an acolyte of Sanchez to exclaim to the Los Angeles Times, “Wait a minute!  I knew Hector Marroquin, and Alex Sanchez is no Hector Marroquin.”

Possibly.

That’s why we have criminal trials.

Here is my very favorite observation on Marroquin, from the authoritative blog “In the Hat,” summing up the effect of “Big Weasel” Marroquin’s post-reformation career (go to the link for more detail about the “Big Weasel”):

Marroquin has basically been shoved down the throats of gang cops by their commanders for years as a person they should work with to quell gang violence and divert young people from the life.

Is any of this sounding familiar?

CAN WE PLEASE LEAVE THE FBI OUT OF DAVID CARRADINE’S CLOSET, MARK GERAGOS?

In Crime, Gangs, Latino gangs, Transnational crime on June 6, 2009 at 1:46 pm

You knew it was bound to happen.  Sex, lawyers, and publicity almost always equal = goofy idea.

Found Dead In Closet

Found Dead In Closet

Kung Fu actor David Carradine was found hanging in a Bangkok closet, tied up in an…unusal…configuration of rope.

“This certainly was not a natural cause of death,” Nantana Sirisap, the chief coroner, was quoted as saying in what was perhaps an unintentional masterpiece of understatement.

Now comes celebrity lawyer to the stars and other famous people accused of criminal wrongdoing Mark Geragos, telling CNN host Larry King that Carradine’s family wants the FBI to help the Bangkok police investigate the actor’s bizarre death:

BANGKOK (AP) — The family of American actor David Carradine has asked the FBI to help investigate his death after his body was found in a hotel closet in Thailand’s capital with a rope tied to his neck, wrist and genitals.

Carradine’s family does not believe he committed suicide and is troubled by conflicting accounts about the circumstances of his death, Mark Geragos, an attorney for brother Keith Carradine, told CNN’s Larry King late Friday.

“They want an investigation,” Geragos said. “I would think that the people in Bangkok would want to support an investigation and allow the FBI to go over there and assist in the investigation so we can get the answers to the questions.”

Thai police said Saturday they have not been contacted by the FBI.

In the unlikely case that it’s slipped your mind who Geragos is, here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia, chronicler of the 21st Century:

Mark John Geragos (born October 5, 1957) is an American criminal defense attorney best known for defending the musician Michael Jackson, actress Winona Ryder, politician Gary Condit, and Susan McDougal, who was involved in the Whitewater scandal. He also represented Scott Peterson, in another trial that received widespread media attention. He’s currently representing Paul and Kuhlbir Dhaliwal, two brothers injured after a tiger escaped in San Francisco Zoo, and pop superstar Chris Brown, accused of assaulting Grammy award winning entertainer Rihanna. He is considered a “celebrity lawyer”.

Larry King and Mark Geragos, Two Prominent Planetoids Whizzing About the Celebrity Constellation

Larry King and Mark Geragos, Two Prominent Planetoids Whizzing About the Celebrity Constellation

No doubt the Carradine family is shocked and grieved about the case.  But not every celebrity death is a federal case.  And some lawyers — I am sad to report — have been known to use this kind of spectacularly publicized request as a way to boost their profile.

Thai authorities have welcomed the idea with a whiff of, again, perhaps unintended humor, leavened with a dash of Police Academy put-down, according to this blog post:

Bangkok officials, who have since reneged on their initial theory that the 72-year-old’s committed suicide, said that the FBI would be welcomed simply as observers—the only position allowed for a foreign body under Thai law.

“If the FBI wants to get involved, we will do our best to cooperate,” Thai police Maj. Gen. Amnuay Nimmano told reporters at a press conference today. “We have nothing to hide.”

Meanwhile, The Smokinggun.com — as the site is wont to do — has posted a salacious excerpt from a court filing by Carradine’s ex-wife, knotting up the mysterious circumstances  even more.  Here is The Smoking Gun’s take, and the excerpt is here:

Carradine’s “Deviant Sexual Behavior”
Ex-wife accused actor of “potentially deadly” acts in court filing

JUNE 5–As investigators try to determine how actor David Carradine wound up hanging naked and dead in a Bangkok hotel closet with a rope tied around his genitals, a review of divorce court filings shows that his most recent ex-wife once accused the actor of “deviant sexual behavior which was potentially deadly.” Additionally, Marina Anderson alleged in a sworn declaration that Carradine engaged in an “incestuous relationship with a very close family member.” Anderson’s declaration, an excerpt of which you’ll find below, was filed in mid-2003 in Los Angeles Superior Court (the document was supposed to be filed under seal but was mistakenly placed in the public court file, where TSG found it). The declaration does not detail Carradine’s alleged “deviant sexual behavior.” As for the incest charge, Anderson reported that Carradine and the unnamed relative admitted the taboo relationship, but that her “pleas for him to get counseling in regards to this matter were ignored and he wanted no part in the healing process the other person needed in order to get closure.” In a phone interview today, Anderson, who was married to Carradine for four years, said she stands by the allegations in her court filing, but declined to further discuss her charges. A Bangkok police official told reporters that investigators were examining whether Carradine accidentally suffocated while engaging in an autoerotic sex act.

The authorities claim to have ruled out participation by another person in the bizarre drama:

Col. Somprasong Yenthuam, who is heading the investigation, said police have interviewed all staff at the hotel where Carradine was staying and reviewed surveillance footage outside his room. Based on that, they have found no evidence that anyone was in Carradine’s room before he died which they said all but ruled out foul play.

The inference has been drawn by some, perhaps many, that Carradine was thus obviously  a victim of an attempt at an act of auto-erotic asphyxia gone awry.  Here’s an excerpt from an old article in Britain’s The Independent that explains how this can happen:

Auto-erotic asphyxia is a method of increasing sexual excitement by restricting the oxygen supply to the brain, usually by tightening a noose around the neck. Although usually associated with hardcore sexual masochists it often arouses interest among the less experienced – curious schoolboys and young men keen to experiment with masturbation in the belief that the practice heightens sensation at orgasm. While rumours about how and why to do it abound in all-male locker rooms and dormitories, what is not passed on is the fact that it can be fatal.

‘When pressure is put on the vagus nerve in the neck, instantaneous death can happen,’ explains Dr (Peter) Dean, a coroner in Essex (England). ‘The sudden increase in pressure sends a message to the heart to shut down and a sudden cardiac death will result. This is why this practice is immensely hazardous and extremely dangerous.’

The vagus nerve plays a major role in the human nervous system, travelling from the brain-stem to all the major organs. Pressure on it can slow down the heart-beat and even stop it completely.

Vagus_nerves“Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” some might say. But, leave the vagus nerve out of it, seems to be the message.  According to ABC News, “The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates there are between 500 and 1,000 such deaths in the United States annually, mostly among young men. Many more may be falsely ruled as homicides or suicides.”  They keep statistics on the oddest things.  This may be worse than Swine Flu, or H1N1. or whatever it’s called now.

Be that as it may, Mark is ramping it up:

Carradine’s brother Keith met Friday with the FBI and filed reports that could lead to the agency opening its own inquiry, said Geragos, who represents Keith Carradine. The family will also seek a private autopsy by famed forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden to determine whether another person could have been involved, Geragos said.

But TMZ has found an expert who pooh-poohs the theory that another person would have to be involved to tie the knots:

David Carradine’s hands were tied above his head when he died — turns out, in the world of auto-erotic suspension, it’s an easy task to master.

Brent Turvey, a forensic scientist and criminal profiler who has studied auto-erotic asphyxiation, has examined the photo of Carradine’s body published in a Thai newspaper. The photo shows the body with a rope around his neck hanging in a closet … Carradine’s hands were tied above his head.

Turvey says it’s simple for someone to tie rope around his/her hands, by loosely tying the hands in front — then raising them up to tighten.

Turvey says undoing the knot is easy as well, allowing for a quick escape.

Turvey says, “By tying his hands above his head, and bending his knees in a sitting position, he can easily stand up and untie his hands with his teeth. Choking in this position is an accident that usually results from the rope being left on the neck a few seconds too long.”

Making A Slip Knot

Making A Slip Knot

The case is Gordian, but, please, Director Mueller, can we  just leave the FBI out of the investigation of this one?

You may have better things to do with your not inexhaustible supply of special agents.  Investigating gangs, for example, that threaten the safety of the rest of us non-celebrity commoners, right here at home, in the U.S. of A., a land far, far away from exotic, erotic Bangkok.

“Tom Diaz has worn out some shoe leather—much like a good detective—in gathering facts, not myths or urban legend. “

—Chris Swecker, Former Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.

“Few people know more about the subject than Tom Diaz and no single book tells the whole story better than No Boundaries. If you really want to know what organized crime in America looks like today, then read this alarming book.”

—Rocky Delgadillo, former City Attorney of Los Angeles

Order No Boundaries from Amazon.com

Here is a timely media release, issued by the FBI just this past week, on its activity in that area:

Highlighting Recent FBI Gang Investigations

The U.S. is seeing a rise in gang membership across the country and as membership spreads from urban to suburban areas, so does the associated criminal activity. Gangs are involved not only in auto theft, assault, home invasions, armed robbery, and extortion, but also in fraud, identity theft, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, alien smuggling, and murder.

“As our communities are exposed to higher levels of crime and violence, the FBI, along with local, state, and federal partners, are responding with an even greater measure of significant law enforcement action,” according to Assistant Director Kenneth W. Kaiser, FBI Criminal Investigative Division. “The goal is to take these violent offenders off the streets and make our neighborhoods safer.”

A selection of recent press releases from 2009 listed below reflects how law enforcement is disrupting and dismantling these violent gangs:

* On 01/12/2009, 10 members and associates of the Florencia 13 (F13) street gang were convicted on federal criminal charges, including racketeering and narcotics distribution. They were among 102 defendants named in four indictments in 2007 as part of Operation Joker’s Wild.

* On 02/13/2009, Operation Keys to the City led to 36 defendants charged with federal racketeering conspiracy, firearm offenses and drug trafficking violations. The year-long investigation targeted the criminal activities of the Mexican Mafia, Hispanic street gangs with ties to the Mexican Mafia, and the Mexico-based Arellano-Felix drug trafficking organization.

* On 02/17/2009, a “G-Mob” gang member pled guilty in a nationwide, million-dollar bank fraud scheme.

* On 02/25/2009, 15 individuals were indicted in a Charlotte-area drug conspiracy arising from their participation in an organization with ties to the United Blood Nation.

* On 03/07/2009, over 500 law enforcement personnel executed 29 search warrants, arrested 30 gang members and associates, and seized drugs, firearms, and vehicles in a massive sweep targeting the violent East Palo Alto/Menlo Park-based Taliban gang.

* On 04/01/2009, the National President of the Devil’s Diciples [sic] Motorcycle Gang was indicted for being a violent felon in possession of body armor, and 17 other members were charged in related criminal complaints.

* On 04/08/2009, 12 alleged members of the Puro Lil Mafia (PLM) street gang operating in Wichita Falls, Texas, were indicted on federal weapons and/or narcotics charges. More Weeks later, PLM gang leader Mauricio Diaz indicted on federal weapons and narcotics charges.

* On 04/16/2009, the ringleader of a gang conspiracy to import and distribute multi-kilo quantities of methamphetamine from California to Louisiana received a life sentence in Lafayette, Louisiana.

* On 04/22/2009, Oscar Omar Lobo-Lopez was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering activity, murder in aid of racketeering activity, and use of a firearm during a crime of violence causing death.

* On 04/22/2009, two dozen individuals associated with the Mexican Mafia and other Hispanic street gangs were charged federally for their roles in a narcotics distribution ring operating in the San Fernando Valley.

* On 04/23/2009, Raza Unida prison gang members and associates were indicted on drug trafficking and firearms charges in Operation Lunar Eclipse.

* On 05/14/2009, Bloods Street Gang members and criminal associates were arrested for narcotics and weapons violations.

* On 05/14/2009, 74 members and associates of the Highwaymen Motorcycle Club were charged in a superseding indictment with participating in the affairs of a corrupt organization through a pattern of racketeering activity (RICO), committing violent crimes in aid of racketeering, distributing controlled substances, and committing various federal gun violations.

* On 05/20/2009, Michael Vasquez was sentenced to 111 months in federal prison for his role in a gang-related shooting that left a toddler seriously injured.

* On 05/21/2009, approximately 1,400 law enforcement officers participated in the nation’s largest-ever gang sweep, arresting 88 individuals named in a federal RICO indictment that describes a war against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, as well as systematic efforts to rid the community of African-Americans with a campaign of shootings and other attacks. The investigation into the Varrio Hawaiian Gardens gang began after the fatal shooting of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Ortiz. The action was part of Operation Knock Out, which has led to the indictments of 147 defendants to date.

* On 05/29/2009, eight Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation gang members pled guilty to a variety of charges, including drug conspiracy and weapons trafficking.

* On 06/01/2009, eight Bloods Street Gang members were charged in a federal indictment with conspiring to organize a sect of the Bloods in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The charges allege that, in furtherance of the conspiracy, they committed robberies affecting interstate commerce, carjacking, and weapons offenses.

Man, those FBI cats have been kung-fu fightin‘!

Can we please just let them keep doing that?

Not FBI Agents

Not FBI Agents--Foo Fighters

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