Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Thirty-five years ago I never thought that I would be writing this. You see, I was one of the many cops from several agencies that were trying to put him back in prison. It was amongst other things that I thought this man was what I termed the "Communicator" for the eMe. Some of our informants agreed. I was told that he was using his agency for criminal activities. Most of the investigators, including myself agreed on this point. I know that the Prison Gang Task Force did everything in it's power to discover all we could about his agency and most of his employees, in fact I even had an inside man (an ex-con) who passed on anything he heard.

As we assembled the various pieces of the puzzle, we could not come up with enough to arrest him. We, (law enforcement) made several arrests of employees, and investigated the deaths of some of the employees but could not connect him directly to any of these activities. He had political clout, as did a few other similar agencies.

We went so far as to include the media, but this too was not enough, until the Get Going Project started to catch heat. I was there on the day this man's project closed, so was a young Lieutenant and his Sergeant from LAPD. We were indeed happy, why not, we had taken down one of what we considered the eMe's strongholds. (It was actually the LA City Councilman, Arthur Snyder whose relentless pursuit that made it official.)

I could go on and on, but I will bring it to a close in the next few paragraphs.

It was around 2002 that I was asked by CIA, an informant of mine (Not the Central Intelligence Agency), to meet with this man. I was leery at first for good reasons. This man certainly knew who I was, even my former boss COP Jon Elder told me he thought it was a bad idea, I wouldn't be the first man that this guy had murdered.

We met in a Denny's Restaurant in Newport Beach, California. The man was as awesome then as when I first started pursuing him. It took about 1/2 hour to clear the air, and we both agreed that what happened in the past should be put behind us. He told me that he had became a born-again Christian and was trying to change the attitudes of not only the kids on the street that were leaning to get into the gang life, but also going inside the prisons to talk to gang members telling them there was a better life through Jesus Christ. He seemed sincere, and I tended to believe him. We talked about how this action was needed and must have talked for a couple of hours.
We met several times after this meeting. We never discussed eMe business per say, if I knew something about a person or incident he would just look at me and smile. From this, I knew it must be true.
He was in the process of writing a book, which I never had a chance to see, because he died before it was published.
I had given him a copy of my book and his comment was that it was written by someone who knew what he was talking about, one who would have had to have lived it to tell it as accurate as portrayed. He even liked the fact that I corrected the part about "Pie Face" being his Padrino. He was not, but when asked, he said that he swore never to divulge that information, and he would take it to the grave; he did.
His name is Rafael "Chispas" Sandoval, ex-director of the COMMUNITY CONCERN CORPORATION. As Paul Harvey says, "now you know the rest of the story".

Monday, February 11, 2008


This was written by a dear friend and fellow employee of mine while working for TDC.

"Wish I had pictures from my early years with TDCJ, I could top this. During an AC (Aryan Circle) and MM (Mexican Mafia) war in 1996, I caught 3 inmates going o the outside recreation yard. They were looking rather "buffed-up" (inmates who work out a lot tend to get big muscles).
Of course they are routinely searched before going to the recreation yard and were found with 1/2" - 1" thick magines sewn together with thread and wire to form a vest under their uniforms that covered from just below the throat to below the waist band. If that wasn't enough, they even had fashioned a type of shin guard from the same material. Thanks went out to the family and citizens concerned for their "mental stimulation" enough to send the mags to the poor offender.

Oh, and they were "laced up" meaning they each had "picos" (shanks, or stabbing devices), secured inside their boxers, tied up to their draws by a strong woven thread so it would dangle just below the crotch. (We had to be very careful to always strip search since a shank in that area would obviously injure the searching officer.)

During the HPL (Hermanos Pistoleros Latinos) and the TS (Texas Sydicate war, I later found some HPL members at the Garza Unit with "pens" in their pocket, which they innocently carried in their uniform pockets. Upon perusal, we found the blades from standard pencil sharpeners wedged and melted into the ends of the ppens cartridges (ink cartridges removed or chopped off to disguise the weapons. (Pencil sharpeners have very strong blades, about the width of 5-6 razor blades, and quite a bit sharper. They make a good throat slasher.) The cap remained in place and they tried to look like a bunch of "nerds", but their intent was to attack the TS members...Such is the life in prison. Stay safe out there.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


I would venture to say that most people have noticed the tattoos on people of all walks of life.

Although I personally find them distasteful, maybe due to my age (73), I must admit that some of them actually are quite fasinating. They come in all sizes and shapes. Most of the ones that people see are done by persons that work/own a tattoo studio. These tattoos are brightly colored and depict such innocuous things such as flowers, animales, fruits, etc.

The tattoos that I want to talk about are not so innocuous, in fact they are quite harmful and even deadly, if used by those non-members of various prison gangs, outlaw motorcyle gangs etc.
I remember receiving word from a CDC (Cal.Dept.of Corrections) employee that said that a new inmate was received at Folsom Prison in the early 1970's wearing the emblem of the prison gang known as the Aryan Brotherhood. The inmate was held down by several AB members while one used a sharp shank to cut the tattoo of his chest. Most prison gangs take it personal when a non member takes it upon himself to use what they consider a copy righted symbol.

It is easy for the trained eye, (especially a gang officer) to distinguish a prison tattoo from a free world tattoo. Most of those older and some newer prison tattoos are made with Indian Ink using any kind of pin or needle to penetrate the skin. Over the years there have been ex-cons and
street gang members afflicted with the hepititus C virus. (This virus attacks the liver and can cause death.)

Here are just a few examples of weird places on the body that I have witnessed or have been told to me by reliable persons:

On the inside of the lower lip; behind the ears; on the neck; on the ear lobe; between the fingers; on the top of the head; and the best (worse one), was on the penis of an old time Mexican Mafia member who was recently murdered in a bar. This was discovered by a policeman who was booking the member in on a narcotics charge.

I am sure there are many other places but these are the ones that I know about.