The L.A. Times blog reports:
A Los Angeles anti-gang intervention worker was arrested Saturday in connection with a jewelry robbery and beating at a Universal City hotel, police said.
The suspect, Marlo “Bow Wow” Jones, 30, was a contract employee for the anti-gang organization Unity One, which is hired for the city’s L.A. Bridges II gang intervention program, according to the LAPD.
It is a badly kept secret that a lot of the “anti-gang” industry in Los Angeles is actually a collection of criminals. Long-time readers will remember how, in 2005, Hector Marroquin was given a puff piece by the L.A. Times about how he had turned his life around as the founder of a gang intervention agency called “No Guns.” Then, as I told you in January 2007, the L.A. Weekly did the job that the L.A. Times should have done, and revealed that law enforcement considered Marroquin to be a shot-caller with the Mexican Mafia. The Weekly followed up with other stories, including this one with lovely shots of Mr. Marroquin throwing gang signs.
In January 2008, Mr. “No Guns” pled guilty to selling illegal assault weapons to an undercover federal agent.
Marroquin is hardly the only “anti-gang” worker on L.A.’s payroll whom authorities suspect of being an active criminal. Tony Rafael, the author of “The Mexican Mafia,” an excellent book about the prosecution of murders by the Mafia-connected Avenues gang, has written on his blog:
Unfortunately for our city and county, No Guns isn’t the only questionable program receiving public funds. There are some out there still operating and doing a better job of deflecting scrutiny. Maybe in the fullness of time, our elected officials will catch a clue.
For example, another L.A. Weekly story reported:
Just last week, another purported gang-member-turned-good, 30-year-old Mario Corona, with a group called Communities in Schools, also a recipient of L.A. Bridges money, was sentenced to 32 months in prison for transporting a large amount of methamphetamine and being a felon with a gun.
Among knowledgeable people in law enforcement with whom I have spoken, “Communities in Schools” is definitely a group that merits further investigation.
When people tell you it’s impossible to cut government programs, I have at least one suggestion for them. Stop funding criminals who are taking our money under the guise of fighting crime, and using it to commit crime.