Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Photo by Uncle Glen (Flickr)

That’s how the feds describe Alex Sanchez: An MS13 shot-caller who is alleged to have participated in a conspiracy to commit murder in 2006 while running Homies Unidos, a prominent gang intervention organization. Sanchez was arrested this morning at his Bellflower home as part of an FBI operation targeting two dozen members of the Salvadoran street gang.

WitnessLA editor Celeste Fremon splashed “Target of FBI Rampage” over a photograph of Sanchez following news of his arrest. Dueling replies posted on LA Weekly and LA Times articles take aim both at the FBI and the local politicians who celebrated and funded Sanchez’ intervention efforts.

It’s another sharp turn in a life of sharp turns. Sanchez arrived in the US around 1980 at age seven and joined MS13 at age 14. In 1994 he was deported to El Salvador on a parole violation. One year later, he returned to establish the US chapter of Homies Unidos and in 2002 won political asylum with the help of former California State Senator Tom Hayden. Hayden’s son, Troy Garity, is listed as chairman of Homies Unidos.

Last year, NPR sought Sanchez for comment on the FBI’s efforts to dismantle the 18th Street gang—specifically on leadership succession when law enforcement closes in. There are always new shot-callers to fill the void, Sanchez explains. “Shot callers are local heroes; role models.” … In what may emerge as a moment of prescience, he then added, “The lure of the gang culture may be stronger than any federal-local anti-gang collaboration.”

Labels: , , , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Fremon and the pastor of a church Sanchez has worked with think he's a good guy. Maybe, or maybe it's Hector Marroquin all over again. Everyone swore he was framed until it turned out he wasn't.

Sanchez was an illegal who came to the U. S. in 1980 at age 7, when he was deported for parole violations Tom Hayden got him allowed back? Even if he has done some good since surely we can get along without allowing deporting felons BACK into this country.

Other items: LAist thinks it sucks that the Council agreed to let Trutanich get his own 8 guys at a cost of $1.4 million/ year (using up funds that are supposed to go to a "consumer protection program" in the city attorney's office) just because Zine and Hahn AND Garcetti pressured them into it. Even though there are already some 600+ lawyers in the office, not counting these 7 being picked on because they worked for Rocky.

At a time when teachers and low-level workers are getting fired, furloughed and losing their homes.

Funny too how Wally Knox was NOT given a job for LAWA even though there's a vacancy there, after he resigned another commission post after having been offered it by the mayor. No one had anything but good to say about Knox ever, and usually that would have been routing but Hahn fought it, because -- people were getting laid off or fired from other city jobs. But now she's all over sucking upto Trutanich with Zine.

How long are Zine, Hahn and Trutanich going to play partisan politics seeing how far they can "get even" with Antonio, seems to be the game to watch. (And if there's any doubt Hahn's getting even for her brother, watch how often she keeps saying these days that "my brother was City Attorney for 16 years and would have gone on indefinitely getting elected" as she told Rocky today. But she never mentioned this when she felt her own hide could be at stake. Brave gasbag that she is.

June 24, 2009 8:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Angelenos are missing the reasons how Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa and the Lack of Leadership City Council waste millions or billions of tax payers, specifically on non-profit gang prevention and intervention programs.

It's not city employees, early retirement or pensions that created the budget deficit. Don’t be fooled by the wolves dressed in sheep clothing! Where is the Mayor Villaraigosa or the Lack of Leadership City Council with their worthless news conferences?

Homies Unidos - City of Los Angeles Councilmembers Tony Cardenas and Herb Wesson with Executive Director/Indicted MS-13 gang member, Alex Sanchez, of Homies Unidos, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization.



According to Sgt. Valdemar, a retired L.A. County Sheriff and Gang Specialist, indicates that by paying gang members it will ASSIST THE GANG MEMBERS IN FURTHERING THEIR ORGANIZED CRIME.

Full Disclosure “the news behind the news”

Issues Wire

June 24, 2009 8:32 PM  

Anonymous Celeste Fremon said:

Solomon and Mayor Sam,

Thanks for your even-handed coverage of this developing story.

And, no, Anonymous, Alex's arrest is not analogous to the arrest of Hector Marroquin. Not at all.

Some people may have been shocked at Marroquin's arrest. Most I know were not. They sensed something was off or a very long time.

In contrast, Alex Sanchez is a man who is known, respected and genuinely liked by a wide variety of people in and around the gang violence reduction field, locally and nationally---from gang intervention workers, to law enforcement...to people like me.

Thus, to believe that he was leading a double life is....

....Let's just say that it is very, very hard to swallow.

Thanks again.


June 24, 2009 10:28 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Garity is both Hayden and Jane Fonda's son, Hanoi Jane and Chicago 7 Tom gave him a different last name as some kind of loony left-wing hippie thing.

On the other hand his cousin Bridget Fonda was named after the daughter of a friend of Peter Fonda who died young.

June 24, 2009 11:17 PM  

Anonymous Celeste Fremon said:

Solomon and Mayor Sam,

Thanks for your even-handed coverage of this developing story.

And, no, Anonymous, Alex's arrest is not analogous to the arrest of Hector Marroquin. Not at all.

Some people may have been shocked at Marroquin's arrest. Most I know were not. They sensed something was off for a very long time.

In contrast, Alex Sanchez is a man who is known, respected and genuinely liked by a wide variety of people in and around the gang violence reduction field, locally and nationally---from gang intervention workers, to law enforcement...to people like me.

Thus, to believe that he was leading a double life is....

....Let's just say that it is very, very hard to swallow.

Thanks again.


June 24, 2009 11:28 PM  

Anonymous A liberal democrat said:

Left wing blogs are having a shit-fit about another f'ing gang banger letting down the liberal dream of all the crap in this city making nice and singing kumbya with them. I am so tempted to post on Witness LA, but they're still living in denial.

The Mayor is the biggest gang-banger of them all, and he's shitting himself tonight wondering when he gets indicted for funneling taxpayer money into supporting more of these monsters.

Let's be clear. Once a gang member, always a gang member. There's only one way out of the gangster lifestyle, and that's in a pine box.

There's only two places for a gang member in my world, one is in prison for life, and the other is in a grave. Now, how about we spend a bazzilion dollars on sending that message to our illegals, instead of the bullshit Villar is peddling?

I am sick of hearing how these people can be saved. They cannot be saved. More to the point, they should not be here in the first place, and they should be fucked out of the country back to the shitholes they crawled out of.

There's no politically correct way of dealing with gangmembers, they only understand one language, and that's to hit them so hard they don't get up again.

June 24, 2009 11:45 PM  

Blogger Rita Of Sunland/Wally Wharton said:

Wrong, Mayor Sam! "Garity" was the maiden name of Troy Garity's maternal grandmother, I do believe. (Well, how "maternal" Mrs. Fonda actually was in nature, I don't know.) But you know what's really weird? Steve Cooley looks a lot like Tom Hayden! It's one of those "Separated at Birth" -type thingies. Check it out!

June 25, 2009 12:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

8:13 -

You're all over the place. We can guess which side you're on...those of us who're smart and politically savvy but you're rambling like an ADD kid who didn't take his Ritalin.

June 25, 2009 1:00 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Celeste is still in LA LA land like her best friend Father Gang Banger boyle. these gang bangers never change. They are in denial. Everyone knows Father Boyle's gang bangers are still active and he protects them

June 25, 2009 6:47 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


LOS ANGELES - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today appointed Miguel Santana to the post of City Administrative Officer, the City's top non-elected position and lead financial steward.

Santana currently serves as Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Los Angeles County, overseeing the Children, Families and Adults Well-Being Cluster as a member of the senior staff of the Chief Administrative Office. The County of Los Angeles is the largest county in the country, with a budget of more than $22 billion and 100,000 employees.

Once confirmed by the City Council, Santana will become the first Latino to hold this significant post, the highest-ranking non-elected civilian position in the City of Los Angeles' government structure - with lead accountability for the City's fiscal affairs and $7 billion budget, as well lead responsibility for labor relations and debt management.

June 25, 2009 6:55 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This appointment will be interesting. Miguel is a career Gloria Molina staffer. Watch her husband and Antonio's best man at one of his sham weddings, benefit from this appointment. To find out how he will manage the budget, just have a look at Molina's discretionary fund.

June 25, 2009 8:43 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

8:13 You said "No one had anything but good to say about Knox ever" You'vd got to be kidding!!

Here is my comment...he is an idiot! During a DWP Commissioners meeting KNOX said DWP workers deserve to be paid the highest rate in the nation because they keep your air conditioners from shutting down during the summer!

What a flippin insult he is to our intelligence! He doesn't deserve to have a government job that "serves the people" We have military and trained public safety personnel putting their lives in danger every minute when they are on the job! They don't make that kind of money unless they are at the top rank. Knox is just a speial interest nut case like many of the other appointed officials.
It's not what they know, but who they know that and how much influence they have that gets the appointment to high level positions. The4y should have to pass a proficiency test in common sense first!

June 25, 2009 11:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Another one bites the dust. He was another associate of all the Latino politicos. Not a good day for our politicans. This guy Nativo was an idiot and radical for illegals. KARMA

...Investigators in the agency's election-fraud unit said Nativo V. Lopez, 57, of Santa Ana leased office space in Boyle Heights and registered to vote using that address although he lived with his family in Orange County. They also say Lopez, president of the Mexican American Political Assn., cast an illegal ballot in L.A. in the 2008 presidential primary.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office, which is working with the secretary of State, charged Lopez with four felonies: fraudulent voter registration, fraudulent document filing, perjury and fraudulent voting. A warrant was issued for his arrest and bail was set at $10,000. The offenses carry penalties of up to three years in prison.

Lopez is a longtime Latino political-rights advocate in Orange County who served on the Santa Ana school board. Lopez has been a vocal advocate for Latino voting rights and supported immigrant amnesty and allowing undocumented workers to have driver's licenses.

June 25, 2009 11:37 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why don't these stupid council members make these type of statements for anyone else that the media jumps on?

...It is my sincerest hope that the allegations are not true and that he is proven innocent through the judicial process," Cardenas said

June 25, 2009 11:46 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1:00 a.m. and 11:10 a.m.: yes, you're as "smart and politically savvy" as you say you are, and so modest, too. And let me "guess what side you're on." Such hypocrites - there's "no money" ever for those not of your rightwing bent, but if it's some chest-thumping buffoon like Zine favoring it, of course it's good.

Of course there's someone to trash anyone who's ever done anything in public service, and we can fully expect "your side" to do so as a matter of habit when it comes to anyone the mayor appoints, even someone like Knox.

You people live to trash decent people whose views you don't agree with -- you and your mouth pieces like Kevin James live for nothing else. How that man and some of you can even swallow, with so much bile, spite and mean-spiritness inside, I don't want to even imagine.

June 25, 2009 1:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Well, Celeste, lots of people have double lives, as we see every day. Sanchez's tale of woe that got him political asylum could have been told by far more upright wannabe citizens who didn't have anyone famous on their sides. Hayden's say-so is more the kiss of death than a hearty endorsement.

Mario Corona, Hector Marroquin--these guys always claim to do so much good, and then shit happens.

June 25, 2009 3:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wasn't Blinky Rodriguez vouched for by Janice Hahn when he got busted?

I have a hard time that the FBI and US Marhalls as well as LAPD are dumb enough not to know whether or not he was involved with this activity after a 3 year investigation, knowing how high profile he was and involved in the city's gang programs.

However those like the Weekly who are splashing his name in connection to the mayor are just typical of the sleazy "journalism" by mere name-dropping lately even where there's no evidence of wrongdoing by the officials.

I don't want to get between that debate raging between Jill Stewart and the Weekly and Rainey, Cooper etc. from the Times, but fact is that although Rainey is right about her hit pieces and using the media for her political biases - what she calls her "aggressive journalism" - the Times also does biased reporting and hit pieces against people it doesn't support and conversely biased spinning for those it does too.

And Marc Cooper may have been a relevant writer once but has become a shadow of his own self, writing the same hit pieces over and over too. His numerous repetitive slams on Hillary became a major embarrassment. It's funny to read his lame self-defense on the Weekly's comments section, then that other old hack Alan Mittelstaedt weighing in attacking Rainey but supporting both Cooper and Stewart. one old hack supporting another and slamming someone who tells the truth about a hack journalist for once -- these little nobodies hiding behind big keyboards with their Napoleon complexes are all passe.

June 25, 2009 3:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jill Stewart just absolutely rocks the city and believe it or not, I'm a hard-core Dem.

June 25, 2009 11:13 PM  

Anonymous g said:


June 27, 2009 4:45 PM  

Blogger Phil Jennerjahn said:

Public money should NEVER be funneled through the hands of someone previously arrested for a serious crime.

This shows the extreme level of incompetence of our Gangster Mayor. The liberal belief that if given enough money, criminals will change their evil ways.... it's idiotic!

Anti-gang money should go for more jails, more police, and more prison guards.

June 29, 2009 11:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

“And, no, Anonymous, Alex's arrest is not analogous to the arrest of Hector Marroquin. Not at all.”

You can call it a banana if want, but the fact of the matter is that once a gang always a gang member unless a gang member is jumped out of the gang, similar to when a gang member is jumped into the gang, blood in and blood out.

Just ask the gang members you know and report back with the GANG CRITERIA as to how gang members’ exit the gang. The opinion of politicians is irrelevant!

June 29, 2009 7:04 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home