Patterico's Pontifications


Another “Anti-Gang Worker” Who Is a Criminal

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 12:34 am

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.

23 Responses to “Another “Anti-Gang Worker” Who Is a Criminal”

  1. Fannie and Freddie are huge examples of “you cannot cut government programs” involving criminal activity. See the warning signs and speak up about how to fix something before catastrophic failure and be called racist for your efforts. This LA program is under the same protection, I am certain. What’s more, it appears this LA program is throwing nearly all its money at minorities for the minorities to spend.

    You can’t cut a program that is directed almost exclusively to minorities because to do so is to be a racist. Nevermind the numerous examples of the particular minorities picked for the big buck donations are less than kosher. There are plenty of minorities who can help fix the problem. And there are also plenty of “majorities” who can help fix the problem.

    Perhaps if the various governments would be less financially domineering and get out of the way of other programs, those other programs might be able to succeed. Government programs are notoriously less successful than private programs while costing a hundred-fold more. And everyone gets the honor of paying for the unsuccessful programs while only a select few get the honor of paying for the successful ones.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  2. One problem with criminal gangs is they are usually formed along racial lines. For examples see ‘West Side Story’ or ‘Gangland’. Another is they continue to flaunt the law due to some sort of perceived importance to the community at large. It’s not unusual for gangs to coerce innocent victims to part with their valuables in the name of ‘wealth redistribution’.

    Then we have Congress…

    SeniorD (50f696)

  3. (In a high-pitched whiney voice, akin to the way people speak to their dogs.) But the bad man became a good man and doesn’t he have the best skills to do the job? Doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance? (Ahem, back to normal speaking voice…)
    That’s the way the liberal yahoo mindset works. Instead of getting involved and telling the scum of the earth that they are, indeed, the scum of the earth the liberal effette,will get someone with “cred” ( A word learned on Discovery channel)to ‘handle this issue’.
    The only skill or attribute these people possess is an ‘unexpected’ command of the english language, a good line of BS and a criminal record that doesn’t offend (too deeply) the person tasked with actually solving the problem.
    You put a thug in a suit and a church all you have is a well dressed thug and a church at risk of being ripped off.
    This crap has been going on now for 30 years. And now were acting surprised? yeeeeeesh

    pitchforksntorches (4dd8c4)

  4. Welcome to the new wave of policing- the “Chicago model”.

    Yes, I’m serious. For those of you who don’t know about it, Chicago has been running an experimental policing program for nearly 10 years, after the “New York model” of cracking down on petty crime (and snaring big fish in the process) didn’t work.

    Part of the Chicago method relies on non-cop outreach workers teaching non-violence (often in conjunction with local religious groups). The second part involves ex-cons beating the streets at night, encouraging gang members to pulp each others faces instead of shooting each other, and persuading drug lords not to war over turf by convincing them that it would be bad for business. The resulting “drop” in crime justifies the methods, of course.

    What’s one city that will start a pilot program this year similar to Chicago’s? New York City.

    We’ll see how that turns out.

    Teflon Don (0d1e49)

  5. The difference between the “New York Model” in NY and the “New York Model” in Chi? They actually took it seriously in NY. And it worked in NY.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  6. John, the “NY Model” you are thinking of was Rudy’s “Arrest the criminals, and put them in jail”. This new one is slightly different.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  7. For examples see ‘West Side Story’ or ‘Gangland

    I don’t know to break this gently, but besides being fiction, West Side Story hasn’t been relevant to the study of real gangs for oh, 40 years.

    Kate (bd06f2)

  8. Patterico,

    Have you ever walked in Jordan Downs? As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure none of your law enforcement friends haven’t either. You see, there are places in LA that require hard-core gang interventionists to quell rumors, often times started by the LAPD. Don’t get me wrong, the LAPD has done a lot of good stuff over the years, but they, too, have a high number of corrupt officers that have also been arrested for similar crimes.

    Leslie Croom (bd2316)

  9. From the LAPD Web site
    December 08, 2008
    LAPD Officer Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges

    Los Angeles: An off-duty LAPD Officer stands accused of sexual assault following a holiday celebration at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport.

    Police Officer Eduardo Bermudez, 29 years of age, assigned to Pacific Area Patrol Division, two years on the Department, was arrested Sunday morning, December 7, 2008, at around 8:00 a.m. by detectives assigned to Internal Affairs Division. Officer Bermudez was booked for California Penal Code Section 664-261, Attempt Rape. Officer Bermudez was booked at Men’s Central Jail and was held on $100,000 bail.

    Leslie Croom (bd2316)

  10. LAPD officer arrested in rape of Chino girl, 17

    February 19, 2007 in print edition B-4

    A Los Angeles police officer has been arrested by Chino police on suspicion of raping a 17-year-old girl, authorities said Sunday.

    Jeffrey Sandwell, 37, an eight-year veteran of the LAPD, was pulled over in his own car and arrested while returning home from work about 7 p.m. Friday, according to a Chino police spokesman.

    Leslie Croom (bd2316)

  11. Rookie LAPD officer accused of sexual assault

    By Richard Winton
    July 11, 2007 in print edition B-4

    A rookie Los Angeles police officer has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a woman at his South Los Angeles home, authorities said.

    Hector Villalta, 23, was booked late Saturday by internal affairs investigators. He has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the assault case and an internal police investigation, according to LAPD spokesman Jason Lee.

    Leslie Croom (bd2316)

  12. LAPD Officer Is Arrested in Weapons Probe;
    West Valley patrolman allegedly failed to book intoevidence guns given to him for safekeeping. Silencer, assault rifles reportedly confiscated.

    BYLINE: Andrew Blankstein and Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writers

    Responding to an anonymous tip, Los Angeles police arrested a West Valley Division patrol officer on suspicion of possessing an illegal weapon after he allegedly failed to book into evidence guns that had been turned over to him for safekeeping.

    Richard Baubak Piffard, 29, was arrested without incident Dec. 14 on a West Valley street, and booked on suspicion of possessing an illegal silencer, police said. He was released after posting $20,000 bail. Piffard, who joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1995, has not been charged with any offense, but officials said he could face weapons charges, including possession of illegal assault rifles. The case is being reviewed by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s Judicial System Integrity Division.

    Leslie Croom (bd2316)

  13. I am shocked to find out that not all members of the LAPD are on the fastrack to Sainthood.

    Leslie, you have some anger issues you need to work out.

    The problems on the streets of Los Angeles, as in most of our major urban areas, are not ones created by their respective police departments.
    Our major population centers need more policing, not less.
    And the first step is to deport the criminal aliens.

    AD (f2ee3d)

  14. More police, more money, you wonder why our state is broke! We spend more money ($10 billion per year) to incarcerate a young person, mostly black and brown, than we do to educate them. I agree with you, AD, we can do more to control our borders, but blame the BUSH administration for turning a blind eye during the economic boom in the early 2000s.


    Leslie Croom (bd2316)

  15. “but blame the BUSH administration for turning a blind eye during the economic boom in the early 2000s.”

    Ding Ding Ding Ding Liberal Conventional Wisdom

    Leslie – Bush inherited a recession from Bill Clinton then the country was hit by 9/11. Blind hatred for Bush rather than attention to facts doesn’t play well here. Problems with excessive illegal immigration started well before Bush and unfortunately neither major political party has had the guts to do what is necessary to deal with the issue over the years. Public outcry defeated the last major effort in Washington. The American public is just not in favor of easy anmesty, but our leaders in Washington seem tone deaf to their constituents.

    As a community organizer, what do you see as the solutions and are you in favor of school vouchers.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  16. The State of California is not going (or gone) broke due to the costs of incarcerating criminals. That money is a small number compared to the costs to society of the crime these cretins would be committing if they were running loose.
    Our problems have more to do with the unproductive programs at all levels of government that just spend money, and accomplish nothing except the employment of “civil servants” at wages in excess of what the private sector pays, and with benefits in excess also of what is available in the private sector. As just the most glaring example, I give you the public education system that doesn’t, or can’t, or won’t.

    So, you don’t like having all of these miscreants in the lock-up?
    Well, let ’em out. I’m sure that the citizens can take care of the problem of their recidivism if we are given enough warning, and allowed to avail ourselves of the proper hardware.
    But then, what would the “criminal justice system” have to do to occupy their time.

    AD (f2ee3d)

  17. Ahh, my favorite subject just came up… school vouchers. Let me see if I can wrap my head around the new math of school vouchers.

    Public School System spends $6000 per student. Voucher gives $2500 per student so parent can put student in school parent wishes. Each student leaving Public School System takes $2500 out of Public School System budget, leaving other $3500 in Public School System budget. Public School System cannot afford the per student increase in funding due to the loss of 42% of student’s money while keeping 58% of student’s money when student leaves.

    Did I get the new math righgt?

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  18. Comment by Leslie Croom — 1/11/2009 @ 6:23 pm

    You need to check your facts and figures.
    The LAUSD, all by itself, has a budget of $12B, so how are we spending more on incarceration than education in the State of California?

    AD (f2ee3d)

  19. Have you ever walked in Jordan Downs? As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure none of your law enforcement friends haven’t either.

    You didn’t give me a chance to answer.


    But I have walked in Nickerson Gardens, Imperial Courts, and Hacienda Village projects. I challenge you to tell me the difference.

    The main reason I haven’t walked in Jordan Downs is that the Grape Street gang is targeted by the guy around the corner from me, so the Grape Streeters tend to get prosecuted by him. And yeah, he’s been there.

    So the thing you’re pretty sure of is wrong, and your assumption about me is right only by accident, and not in any meaningful way.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  20. How do we educate students if they fail to come to school?

    And how does paying criminals stop them committing crime?

    I assume Leslie Croom speaks from experience. Are you a gang counselor, social worker or what?

    Patricia (89cb84)

  21. More to above:

    We cannot educate students if their parents are out getting high.

    Alta Bob (f69930)

  22. […] Must Los Angeles put career criminals on public payroll as part of “anti-gang” efforts? [Patterico] […]

    January 12 roundup (1562ea)

  23. No, I’m not a staunch liberal, so sorry to disappoint you. As a matter of fact, I’d prefer to be called a reformed-republican-turned-independent, who happens to be a Los Angeles County Probation Officer.

    While there is no question that the city must be protected from dangerous criminals, the majority of our prisoners have been convicted for nonviolent crimes. They serve their sentences — at great taxpayer expense — in a negative and often corrosive environment that sometimes does more harm than good.

    There are less costly and more effective ways to deter nonviolent offenses, and the time to carry them out is now. In the current economic crisis, the American taxpayer suffers when there is excessive incarceration.

    History will judge America on how it deals with criminal justice issues. Excessive incarceration for nonviolent offenders is not only offensive, but dangerous and very expensive. Centuries from now our society will be evaluated and the question will be asked: Why was there not a better plan?

    Lastly, let me clarify my incarceration versus education point. California spends $8,500 per year in the classroom to educate a child and $35,500 (or $220,000 if a youth is detained in the California Department of Juvenile Justice) per year to incarcerate an inmate. This is not sustainable folks!

    Leslie Croom (ad4d8e)

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