Txt messages from downtown

Got this text from reporter Ruby Gonzales who is downtown covering a preliminary hearing for a 15-year-old accused of gunning down Albert Garcia and his father while the two attended a graduation party in a Montebello backyard in June.

Here’s Ruby’s text:

Witness sez she saw shooter and chose 2 write his name than say it. Da dropped gang allegation dunno y. Just heard it in court.

I’ll have more when I get it. Ruby said the prelim started at 11 and will likely go all day.

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Prelim in Montebello homicide case postponed

A preliminary hearing for a Montebello teen-aged gang member accused of slaying two people at a backyard party last summer was put off until Monday, authorities said.

Albert Anthony Garcia, 12, and his father Juan were shot and killed June 21.

Prosecutors have shared some of the evidence in the case and it seems pretty compelling.

Suspect Angel Sosa, 15, an alleged gang member, is being held without bail in connection with the case. Upon his arrest, Sosa was in the Montebello jail on suspicion of disturbing the peace. Detectives who questioned him in conneciton with the shooting were stymied when he asserted his fifth amendment right and asked for an attorney.

Later those same detectives served three search warrants and recovered 9 mm rounds that were consistent with the type of ammunition that killed the Garcias.

The prosecution is expected to call five witnesses, including party-goers who witnessed the shooting.

The prelim gets underway at 8:30 a.m .Monday in Div. 30 at the Criminal Courts Building downtown.

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Shot in the head and set ablaze

Whittier area police are seeking information in three homicides that occurred over the weekend. One, which occurred in Montebello, was discovered after firefighters were called to a blaze in the 900 block of Lincoln Avenue.

When they arrived authorities discovered a man’s body burning. Here’s the top of our stories on the various incidents:

Authorities are asking for the public’s help on separate shootings in Montebello, Norwalk and Santa Fe Springs that left three men dead.

The Norwalk fatality was identified today as Hugo Gutierrez of Norwalk. Coroner’s officials didn’t release the names of the two other victims because their relatives haven’t been identified.

The first victim was found 4:30 a.m., Sunday by Montebello firefighters and police officers who responded to a possible fire in the 900 block of Lincoln Avenue, near the Whittier Narrows Dam.

“A passerby drove by, saw what they thought was a brush fire so they called 9-1-1. They had no idea what it was,” said Montebello Sgt. Luis Lopez.

It turned out to be the body of a man who had been shot in the head and set ablaze.

Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations for the Los Angeles County Department of the Coroner said the victim was a 37-year-old Latino and the autopsy will be done today.

The second fatality was in front of an apartment complex in the 12700 block of Pioneer Boulevard in Norwalk. Deputies got a call of shots being fired in the area about 9:30 p.m., Sunday and discovered a man shot several times.

The victim was originally reported to be a teen.

Sheriff’s Homicide Detective Lt. Dave Dolson said Hugo Gutierrez was 26. He said Gutierrez didn’t live at the apartment but was a Norwalk resident.

 

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“There are a lot of Hells Angels dying at the hands of Mongols”

The Eureka Times-Standard is reporting that a Montebello police detective was brought to court in Eureka this week to testify at a preliminary hearing for a man accused of attempted murder following a dispute between the Mongols Motorcycle Club and the Hell’s Angels.

Here’s the story:

Continue reading

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Rival taggers get rough

I don’t know what to make of this story. There’s a lot of questions that Montebello PD declined to answer.

The jist is that two groups of taggers got into two fights over the course of the afternoon.

Here’s the story we posted early this a.m.:

MONTEBELLO – Rival tagging crews “beat each other up” Sunday afternoon, resulting in two people being sent to the hospital, said Montebello Police Lt. Govan Yee.

The first incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. at the 100 block of 18th Street. A man was attacked and beaten with an object by several members of a rival tagging crew.

Immediately after, the victim retaliated by attacking a rival tagging member, who was at his home on Wilcox Avenue.

Yee said it does not appear that either victim will press charges.

“Both of them were not very cooperative as to giving information,” Yee said. “It’s typical that gangs and tagging crews handle their own problems. Unfortunately, it results in more violence down the road.”

Yee declined to give the names of the gangs, the names of the victims, or the victims ages

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Meth bust nets El Monte man featured on America’s Most Wanted

This from the City News Service:

A narcotics unit of the Redondo Beach Police Department announced today the arrest of a suspected drug dealer who turned out to be wanted for two murders in Colorado and was
profiled on “America’s Most Wanted.”

The Redondo PD’s Special Investigations Unit got a tip about an alleged
narcotics dealer who lived in Montebello, said Sgt. Gene Tomatani.

While the suspect was under surveillance Monday, he was allegedly observed
selling methamphetamine to a buyer in a shopping center parking lot in El
Monte, the sergeant said.

Officers arrested 28-year-old Rodolfo “Rudy” Gonzalez, who allegedly had a
small amount of contraband on him, and also took the buyer into custody,
Tomatani said.

When Gonzalez was taken into custody, he casually remarked that he was wanted
for two murders and refused to say more, according to the sergeant, who said
the suspect also gave police a phony name.

Meanwhile, he was jailed in the Redondo Beach lockup, and a search warrant was obtained late last night to search his home in Montebello, where three pounds of methamphetamine and a smaller quantity of cocaine and marijuana were recovered, Tomatani said.

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Questions about Doc

This comes from Aging Rebel:

Maybe the Feds have the Mongols by the huevos. Maybe after, numerous attempts over the last 30 years, the Department of Justice is finally, actually going to deconstruct a major outlaw motorcycle club. Maybe not. But, don’t dismiss the possibility. “The future right now,” former Mongol Tony Vodnik rhetorically asked the Associated Press yesterday. [...]

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Mongols in the spotlight in Tuesday’s Column

About the time Ruben “Doc” Cavazos published his autobiography, “Honor Few, Fear None,” his life as an outlaw motorcycle gang member began to come apart.

The book, published in June, tells Cavazos’ story and includes re-tellings of violent episodes between members of the gang and outsiders.

To hear “Doc” tell it, the Mongols were taking on an assortment of gangs in an international turf battle that stretched beyond the San Gabriel Valley.

Last week a federal grand jury handed down an 84-count racketeering indictment against Cavazos and dozens of other Mongols. It detailed allegations including murder, attempted murder, gun possessions, racial attacks, maimings and drug offenses.

As part of the criminal case, the government barred members of the gang from wearing clothing displaying the Mongols’ logo.

Here’s how the book jacket pitches Cavazos’ story:

“In reality, the Mongols are a tightly knit band of brothers devoted in equal measure to the club, their fellow Mongols, and their freedom. They live to enjoy life, party and travel the open road. Above all, they demand respect. When pushed too far, Mongols join together to push back. Just ask the Hells Angels, the Ukrainian mafia, the Mexican mafia and the U.S. government. All have tested the Mongols’ resolve.

“Doc takes you to the streets and into the bars, the secret meetings, the brawls, and the shoot-outs, all proof that if you live like a Mongol does, you must honor few, fear none.”

But why buy the book when the indictment lays out some of the same excitement without the hyperbole?

For example, on the day the book was published by HarperCollins, Cavazos awarded patches to two members accused of stabbing two innocent by-standers at a Mobil gas station in Pasadena on April 6.

They were among the last patches Cavazos awarded.

As Cavazos embarked on a high-profile tour of swanky bookstores in upscale neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, other members of the gang began to grumble about his leadership.

Principle among their complaints was Cavazos’ penchant for recruiting street gang members and a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars of Mongol money.

Cavazos frequently hit up his buddies for contributions to a Mongols legal fund. The money began to go missing.

Finally on Aug. 30, at the “House Lounge” in Vernon, Hector “Largo” Gonzalez and William Munz told the rest of the gang that “Doc” was stealing from them.

They also pointed to tensions between the gang and La Eme and voted Cavazos “out bad” from the organization.

“Out Bad” – sounds like a good title for the sequel.

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Photo from a Mongols party in Beverly Hills

18218-mongolsparty-thumb-300x173.jpgMongul author Ruben “Doc” Cavazos, Mongol Little Rubes, Mongol Ogre and Mongol Bouncer attend the Book Expo Celebrity Dinner at Restaurant 208 on May 30, 2008 in Beverly Hills, California.

 

Doc, Little Rubes, and Bouncer are all mentioned in the 177-page federal indictment handed down against the gang Tuesday.

Here’s a mention of “Bouncer”:

COUNT THIRTY-THREE

[21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B)(viii)]

On or about July 25, 2006, in Los Angeles County, within the

Central District of California, defendant PETER SOTO, also known

as “Bouncer,” knowingly and intentionally distributed at least

five grams, that is, approximately 13.5 grams, of actual

methamphetamine, a schedule II controlled substance.

 

Here’s a mention of “LIttle Rubes”

COUNT SIXTY-FIVE

[18 U.S.C. 924(c)]

On or about May 24, 2008, in Los Angeles County, within the

Central District of California, defendants RUBEN CAVAZOS, JR.,

also known as “Lil Rubes,” and BRIAN MCCAULEY, knowingly

possessed a firearm, namely, an H&K .45 caliber handgun, bearing

serial number 25-093654, during and in relation to, and in

furtherance of, a crime of violence, namely, the racketeering

conspiracy set forth in Count One of this Indictment, a violation

of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(d).

 

 

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The strange and terrible saga of Thursday’s column

There are some fascinating peeks at the workings of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang in the federal grand jury indictment released Tuesday.

Their brutality is apparent:

“On August 18, 2006, in Los Angeles County, defendant (William `Dago Bill’ Shawley) advised an undercover law enforcement officer that he and defendants (David `L.A. Bull’ Gil) and (Aaron `Sick Boy’ Price) had captured an individual and tortured him for three hours, by breaking the man’s knuckles with a pair of pliers, breaking his knee by hitting it with a metal pipe.”

Alongside the action, a sub-plot emerges from the pages and pages of court documents.

It lies in the ongoing feuds among individual Mongols and a turf battle between bikers and area street gangs who are loyal to La Eme.

While there’s been a push by former Mongols president Ruben “Doc” Cavazos to recruit street gang members, old-time members have been resistant.

Meanwhile, newer members have been reluctant to pay taxes on illicit drug sales to La Eme, because they are already paying the Mongols.

Last year, Cavazos wanted to broker an agreement between the organizations, but instead found himself targeted, according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, an informant told an undercover ATF agent that “Cavazos was attempting to negotiate with La Eme to compensate them for the narcotics-trafficking being conducted by Mongols members.

“Cavazos had met with

La Eme representatives at City Walk in Studio City to offer them a one-time tax payment, but that the offer had been rejected and La Eme had ordered a greenlight on the Mongols.”

Although the meeting took place on the other side of town, it’s pretty clear the San Gabriel Valley is fertile ground for organized crime.

This is prime turf for credit card scams, dope deals, money laundering, extortion, prostitution, assault and murder.

Stuff that happens here every day. Stuff that often gets reported in the newspaper, but in a disconnected, bullet-points-on-a-blotter sort of way that occasionally fleshes out the big picture.

Think about all the groups that operate in our neighborhoods. There’s La Eme. We have the Wah Ching and assorted other Asian gangs. Crips and Bloods rule some neighborhoods, while Armenian and Russian gangsters continue to filter into the SGV from Glendale and Los Angeles.

If anything it’s a Balkanization of sorts. And from time to time, each gang has its moment in the spotlight because of a large-scale federal or county prosecution.

Despite turf battles and rivalries, the prosecutions of these gangs highlight plenty of similarities – mainly the desire to make money. Lots of it. By any means necessary – including beatings and murder.

But it also paints a picture of young men who believe they are the last true individualists in America.

In his 1966 book “Hell’s Angels,” Hunter S. Thompson saw violent motorcycle gangs as part of the bleak and terrible rise of a new form of gangsterism dispensing equal amounts of violence and dope.

“(They are) not some romantic leftover, but the first wave of a future that nothing in our history has prepared us to deal with,” Thompson wrote.

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