Monday, September 30, 2013


Last week we heard that the Feds and local coppers took down something like 130 Orange County Surenos. The haul apparently included some senior shot callers, Associates and street soldiers as well as female auxiliaries who might just as well be considered Associates. The use of females as enablers and facilitators is nothing new, but in recent years it seems the Carnales have been relying more and more on the abilities of these associated females to do the work the males can't or won't do. Witness the Tablas kite recently published by KQED in NORCAL.

Despite the increasing importance of females in furthering the goals of the Mob, we've yet to hear of any female that has been officially recognized as a shot caller much less a full blown Hermana. Clearly gender equality has yet to make any inroads into the male-dominated society of La Eme. You have to wonder how long it will be before some bright politician decides to file a suit against the Eme forcing the Brothers to induct a woman into their ranks or face Federal discrimination charges.

The subject of female gangsters isn't a mere side issue on the larger issue of criminal gangs. We remember years ago when the LA Times ran an Op Ed piece by Greg Boyle. This was on the occasion of Bill Bratton being hired by the LAPD. The Op Ed piece took the form of advice to the newly appointed chief. Among the more startling claims Boyle made was that he had never seen any evidence of multi-generational gang families. He also called the gang phenomenon "dis-organized" crime.

Anyone even tangentially familiar with that world knows these assertions to be nonsense. As we know, there is a fairly high level of sophistication in the organizational structure of the Eme. There's the enforcement arm(s), the intelligence gathering arm, the communications system and the core of command and control operators. There's also the operational level in charge of the movement of drugs and money. You might also claim legitimately that there's the farm team comprised of set-bangers who earn their stripes, show heart and in doing so come to the attention of senior management. You could also assert that the Eme also has a political arm. More on that in another post.

The recent indictments against Orange County and Florencia (both of them numbering in the hundreds of defendants), and this coming after dozens of indictments since the early 1990s, has to make one ask the question: Is any of this doing any good?

The statistics seem to indicate that putting a lot of people in prison drives down the murder/violence rates. Even with the lousy economy, crime has been going down. This has created a lot of head-scratching among the stat geeks because the accepted doctrine is that poverty drives crime. That hasn't happened. We've got historic rates of high unemployment and a record number of people on some sort of government assistance and yet the crime stats have remained low. At the same time we've got California prisons bursting at the seams. Obviously, bad actors off the streets keeps the streets safer.

At the same time, we're seeing the same or higher level of gang prosecutions as there was in the 1990s. What's the explanation? It may be that gangsters have gotten smarter in the way they conduct their business -- less killing and more focus on business.

The Cosa Nostra learned a long, long time ago that mass blood letting is bad for business. The Carnales may be operating from the Italian Mob's playbook. Keep the violence to a minimum and solve disputes with either cash or some other concession. Tablas' kite seems to bear this out. He ordered Florencia to check the set banging and refer all disputes to Pelican Bay. We've heard this before in 1990s and to a large degree it worked.

And it may work again.

The bottom line is that massive indictments aren't going to stop the increasing sophistication and growth of criminal enterprises. But it may put the brakes on the sort of bloodshed we saw twenty years. Your thoughts.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Thanks to an email from a loyal reader, we were made aware of a kite that Tablas Castellanos sent to Florencia. Apparently, a reporter for KQED in San Francisco got a copy of the kite and put it online.
Here's the link if you're curious:

There's some interesting information for the diligent student who has the time to parse and read between the lines.

A couple of things were surprising. For one, Tablas is ordering Florencia to elect a President and a Vice President for each of the cliques and those two would be the "official" representatives and report directly to Tablas. This is a new one. At least to us. There always have been one or two up-status Camaradas or Associates from cliques who report to the Hermanos. But this is the first mention we've ever seen of the term "President" and "VP." We're not sure if this is just semantics or an actual departure from the traditional horizontal structure of the Eme and their associated street soldiers. If you can add anything to this, feel free to comment. President of a clique? Just sounds too corporate.

The other item is also a novelty. According to Tablas, Paisas in Florencia are now completely hands-off. No extortion or taxation. Reading between the lines, the Paisas are essentially allowed to operate without any interference. The question of why was made clear last month when a number of Cartel operators and Florencianos were indicted. Cearly, these are the Paisas that Tablas has made the alliance with (The Project).

We can only speculate on how this "hands-off paisas" will play out. Historically, Paisas were the easiest targets for Soldados who wanted to earn stripes and make some money - taxing dope sales, forcing Paisas to pay tribute to use certain pay phones, forcing Paisas to buy stolen phone cards from them, extorting the fruit sellers and ice cream stands etc.

You have to wonder if this hands-off policy will in time give non-native gangsters in Florencia a chance to grow, prosper and recruit enough manpower to actually create a rival force to the native-born sets.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


A few weeks ago I was a guest on a nationally syndicated radio show. I was asked to comment on the usual topics - street gangs, crime, cops and prison gangs. One of the topics was the Mexican Cartels. There had been something on the news about a Cartel bust south of border. I happened to mention to the host that some Cartels were operating right here on our side of the border. And her reaction was total surprise. She said something to the effect that, "You're saying Cartels are operating in the U.S.?"

Frankly, I was surprised that she was surprised. What the hell else is new? Then I realized that the host lives and broadcasts from the East Coast. Despite the relative ease of getting news instantly from anywhere in the world, your average citizen on the East Coast isn't as up to speed as the Left Coasters who stare right down the barrel of the cannon pointed in our direction.

There was a time when Cartel-connected crimes were fairly infrequent. Now, it seems a week doesn't go by without some significant Cartel-connected news hitting us in the face. 

Every week it appears another Panga shows up in Malibu, Orange County or Santa Barbara loaded with dope and/or illegal aliens. Then there was the "startling" revelation a few weeks ago that Florencia 13 had a deal with a Mexican Cartel that was brokered, apparently, by Tablas Castellanos. Never mind that arrangements like that have been going on for decades. 

And the latest is the revelation of a stash house in Orange County rented by a Mexican National where coppers found over a $1 million in cash and hundreds of pounds of cocaine. 

It's astonishing that news of foreign organized criminal enterprises operating on the same streets we all walk on doesn't make more of an impression in the national psyche. The LA TIMES for instance ran a dozen stories on the Pelican Bay hunger strike. In the great scheme of things, this is a minor Eme-sponsored policy initiative to facilitate easier communications between the SHU and the street where you live. 

News of a foreign DTO operating out of an upscale Irvine apartment complex hasn't even been mentioned in the Times. The ominous stuff gets buried. The cynical gamesmanship of the Eme, on the other hand, makes the LA Times look like the Public Relations department of the Carnales. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013


The so-called California prison hunger strike is now into its seventh week and nobody has yet to land in the hospital. According to stories in the LA Times and other sources, the "hunger strikers" are only ingesting Gatorade. This is laughable. Unless they're getting food from sources other than the prison kitchen, the handful of strikers should be dead by now. The accepted time table is that you can survive ten days without food and three days without water. After that, the body starts feeding on itself and systems start shutting down. Seven weeks without solid food? Really?

The published details are that the strikers are a little pale and slightly dehydrated but still very coherent, alert and otherwise healthy. So what are they eating? According to people who are in the system or recently released, they're eating commissary or forcing non-strikers to share their food. They're refusing the prison meals but clearly stuffing their faces from other sources. The fact that they're still healthy proves it.

For some reason, this very obvious point is completely missed by the media. Why is it so hard for the media to ask these fundamental questions? I'll leave you to ponder that and feel free to comment. I'd love to have a rational answer to that one.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Adding more confusion to an already confusing issue, Attorney General Holder issued a memo to his local AGs on recreational and medical marijuana use. Basically, it gives local AGs the option of prosecuting if they feel that local pot laws are not being enforced. There's also some curious wording about what will NOT trigger a Federal prosecution. The two items are the amount of money changing hands and the volume of marijuana trafficked.

This sort of goes against the DOJ's prior ruling that armored car operators are forbidden to transport money from Med Pot stores to banks.

So you can make as much money as you want and sell as much pot as you want but you can't deliver the proceeds of the sales in an armored car to a bank. Is that clear to anyone?

It seems to be a set of laws tailor made for hijackers.

Also curious is leaving prosecutions to local AGs but providing them with a very thin set of hard and fast rules. This once again throws confusion on top of confusion and opens more questions than it answers.

Why is this issue important to this blog which is supposed to be about gangs and organized crime?

It doesn't take much analysis to realize that the beneficiaries of relaxed sales and cultivation will be the people who have always been in the business of sales and cultivation. Say what you will about ultra high quality cross bred Cannabis, nutrient-rich hydroponics or what have you in the world of gourmet Cannabis, the fact still remains that tons and tons of street dope comes from south of the border and from illegal growers inside the border. This memo does nothing to address that issue.

There's nothing in this memo about permissible quantities in possession, under cultivation or hauled during transport.

Also, there's no Federal mechanism to tax sales or cultivation and the States are doing a lousy job of monitoring sales. This leaves the door wide open for an untaxed, cash only underground economy. Basically, there's reason to wonder if this latest memo was designed to make the issue better or way worse.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


The poisonous thug culture seems to have no boundaries. The LA Times reported today that some campers at Prado Regional Park in Chino got into a boozed up argument over loud music or something and then started popping rounds. Some reports say they shot at each other. Others say they shot into the air. The shooters on both sides of the argument turned out to be off-duty LA County Sheriff's Deputies.

If this story is true - and at this point, there's no reason to believe it isn't - these two assbites should be immediately fired and stripped of all pension and health benefits. There's absolutely no excuse for a cop to fire his weapon under those circumstances. Firing into the air? Idiotic and goes against the policies of every department in the country. Firing at a target you can' identify when there's no immediate deadly threat to innocent life? Ditto.

This is outrageous and if it were a couple of civilians engaged in this event, they'd be in jail right now. These two cops should be there instead of paid leave. Cops should not be allowed to act like thugs and they aren't given any extra-judicial power to act like asses and get away with it.

One more thing. Baca should resign immediately. He clearly does not have his head in the game and he's letting thugs with badges into a department that should know better run around in a county that deserves better. From elected officials more preoccupied with their private parts, pensions and back room deals to thug cops acting like they ARE the law, the citizens of this County, State and Country are not being well served at all. Time to clean house.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


If you've been keeping your ear to the ground, you've no doubt heard that the murder rate in Pomona is heading upward. The LA Times and other local papers have covered this but none have so far gotten close to what's happening.

Be advised that this comes from two separate sources and not something I pulled out of my bag of speculation. When I speculate, I let you know that.

From someone who just came out of the system, the story seems to be that Crips and Bloods have come  to some sort of understand when they're out playing in Pomona. They've put aside their ancient animosity and presenting a united front to the one entity they both agree is the real enemy -- the Surenos. Red and Blue has apparently been replaced by Orange - the new indicator of some kind of unity. Like we said, this comes from a reliable source and while it may sound far fetched, there may be more than a little truth to it.

Another sources seems to have validated this contention and further elaborated that the Black IE is also putting out a welcome mat for Crips and Blood factions that operate in the IE. The point of the alliance is not wasting time fighting each other when they're both battling Surenos.

What to make of this?

If true and if the alliance holds, we're going to see some major violence erupting in Pomona and elsewhere. If it's not true, then we're back to the old paradigm and the status quo remains.

More on this if it develops.