Yesterday Jack Dunphy noted the arrest of yet another “former” gang member who may not be quite so “former” as advertised:
Alex Sanchez, described by the Los Angeles Times as a “nationally recognized anti-gang leader,” was arrested today by the FBI. Among the charges against him is conspiracy to commit murder.
I’m always very skeptical of anyone who claims to be a “former gang member.” This is just the latest justification for my skepticism.
Along those lines, I thought I would resurrect the words of noted sucker Tom Hayden from 2000, published in (of course) the Los Angeles Times. The title? We Need Peacemakers Like Alex Sanchez:
[I]t appears that the anti-gang war is directed even against former gang members working for peace on the streets.
Last Friday, Rampart CRASH officers arrested Alex Sanchez, 27, as he was getting into his car in the mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles. Sanchez is a respected leader of Homies Unidos, an anti-violence organization formed in L.A. and El Salvador by former gang members who have turned their lives around. . . The U.S. government already pays for illegal aliens to stay in the country when they are undercover informants of use to law enforcement. Why not grant the same to a peacemaker in the hope of reducing gang violence?
You read that right. Hayden wanted to pay Sanchez to stay in this country.
The rumor I hear is that he very nearly got his wish. According to that rumor, Sanchez was on the verge of receiving $100,000 from the City of Los Angeles for gang prevention when he was arrested. (I can’t confirm the rumor, and neither can my very reliable source. Take it for what it’s worth, which isn’t much unless it’s confirmed.) He would hardly be the only such person; this blog has previously discussed how Hector Marroquin was illegally selling guns as he ran a city-funded gang intervention program called “No Guns.” (As I wrote at the time, this story was pushed by the L.A. Weekly, which ate the L.A. Times‘s lunch on the story.)
Back in the days when Marc Cooper liked the L.A. Weekly, it published a naive piece about Sanchez which contained this gem of a quote:
[A]lthough Sanchez remains in INS custody, he also remains in the U.S. while supporters appeal to federal authorities for leniency.
Those supporters, including state Senator Tom Hayden, contend that Sanchez is just the sort of person the community needs — a reformed gang member who turned his life around and has dedicated himself to leading a new generation of street-wise youth away from gang violence.
The current version of the L.A. Weekly that Marc Cooper and James Rainey despise so much reminds us of some of the embarrassing connections Sanchez had with local politicians:
Sanchez has ties to powerful, local politicians who range from L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
“Homies Unidos is exactly the kind of community-based violence prevention and intervention program Los Angeles needs to help eliminate its gang problem,” reads a glowing statement from Garcetti, which has been posted on the Homies Unidos Web site. (Note: The Web site has now been taken down.)
Also on the non-profit’s Web site, a recent “Letter from the Executive Director” thanks Los Angeles City Councilmen Ed Reyes and Tony Cardenas for attending a November, 2008, banquet celebrating the 10th anniversary of Homies Unidos.
Sanchez also commends staff members who work for Reyes, Cardenas, and Villaraigosa. The city of Los Angeles, with the help of the mayor’s office, officially recognized Sanchez’s work with a resolution that was passed by the L.A. City Council.
“Silvia Beltran and George Magallanes from Councilman Ed Reyes office, Michael DelaRocha and Eduardo Hewitt from Councilman Tony Cardenas and Rafael Gonzales from the Mayor’s Office were instrumental in helping Los Angeles City Council pass a resolution for Homies Unidos 10 years of work in the city of Los Angeles,” Sanchez writes.
Nice work by Patrick Range McDonald, as always.
The public needs to wake up to the fact that there is a liberal cabal, consisting of folks like Tom Hayden and Eric Garcetti and the editors of the Los Angeles Times, who think it’s a good idea to give large sums of money to “former” gang members, who use that money to fund criminal activities.
Taxpayers are paying for crime. When will we demand that it stop?