Tuesday, August 20, 2019

"He was paid to keep kids [in Los Angeles] out of gangs. Now, he’s charged in grisly MS-13 killings"

As a “peace ambassador” for a Los Angeles nonprofit funded with public money, it was [the accused man's] job to steer young people clear of gangs. For those who’d joined one, his role was to convince them to leave, as he had.

Or as he said he had.

[He] was one of 22 individuals arrested last month in a federal takedown of MS-13’s Fulton clique, a cell of the transnational gang that claims swaths of the San Fernando Valley as its turf and is accused of murdering and dismembering its enemies in the mountains above Los Angeles. [He] was far from the reformed gang member he claimed to be, authorities say.

He acted as the Fulton clique’s “facilitator, advisor, supporter, and protector,” prosecutors allege, hiding gang members from the police, coordinating drug deals with an MS-13 clique in Maryland, and “intimidating those he perceived to be cooperating with law enforcement.”

At the time of his arrest, [he] was employed as a gang intervention counselor by Communities in Schools of the San Fernando Valley and Greater Los Angeles, a well-established nonprofit that has received millions of dollars in city, county and federal contracts since its founding in 1994.