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Alex Sanchez: Finally Out on Bail

February 11th, 2010 by Celeste Fremon


Just under two months after he was granted bail
in his third bail hearing, Alex Sanchez was actually released from jail to rejoin his family on Friday, February 5.

Since his release, money has been issue for Sanchez,
as there are still some additional bail fees to pay and he has been locked up without income since June. Alex is not allowed to go back to work as the executive director Homie Unidoes since one of the conditions of his parole, is no association with anyone who might be a gang member, former or active—which means he can’t really set foot inside Homies Unidos, much less run it.

Friends have done some fundraising to help out,
but that strategy can only be a stopgap measure. He will have to find some other form of income and/or employment as he works with his lawyer on his case,

As a followup to Alex Sanchez’ release, , L’Opinion’s Assistant Editor and Columnist, Gabriel Lerner
has written a very long column for the Huffington Post about Sanchez and his case.

For those of you interested in Sanchez’ legal situation, it is recommended reading. While I do not agree with every single word that Lerner has written, his portrait of the emotional reactions to Sanchez arrest and subsequent court hearings provides an informative perspective. Moreover, Lerner’s views and perceptions are very representative of the feelings of those in the communities who know Sanchez best—and should not be too easily discounted.

He also points out that, pretty much without exception, the English language newspapers, when they have reported on the Alex Sanchez case at all, have done little more than regurgitate, unchallenged, the official versions of the case. Whereas Spanish language media has acted as if there are two possible sides to the story.

Here’s a big clip from the column:

As Roberto Lovato points out, while charges against the other 23 defendants were backed by hard evidence, charges against Sánchez were based on “a series of phone conversations” in which he allegedly participated and discussed the killing of the Mara Salvatrucha member in El Salvador.

The tape of the conversation, which was played in court, is not conclusive and is prone to interpretation.

Those who defend Sánchez believe the legal campaign against him
has broad social and political ramifications, and threatens to de-legitimize the social justice approach to the problem of gangs. That perception is widespread. “If they demonize this population – with whom we work around here – then it’s a short hop to demonize the people who work with them,” said Father Greg Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries, one of the most successful gang intervention programs in Los Angeles, pointing to himself in an interview. “I think that’s what happened to Alex”.

This case could thus be a wake up call for those ex-gang members
who now work in prevention and intervention and, to be effective use the gang’s language, appearance, and set of values (i.e. respect, family, homies). They are, like Sánchez, in many cases, ex-gang members, who now fear that they too will be mistakenly accused of maintaining ties with those still committing crimes.

So, the arrest became a daunting reality for many young Blacks and Latinos in the inner city who for years have struggled to escape the reach of gangs. If Alex Sánchez was still considered a gangbanger after all these years, after all he did, goes the narrative, how will they redeem themselves, be able to escape that environment? Will they be able to make the transition, be allowed to study, work and thrive?

The direct effect of seeing an ex-gang member who has made the transition, Sánchez said, is crucial. “Nobody can do it except somebody who’s been there. All the kids who looked up to me because of the bad things that I was doing; now they seek change and want to do good in the neighborhood”. This example, seeing someone make that all-important transition, is now in jeopardy.

Most of the coverage of the arrest tilted heavily in crediting chief Bratton, the FBI, the US Attorney, the grand jury and others for the charges in the indictment, assuming this was sufficient evidence. It failed to separate the severe accusations against the other defendants and the weaker ones against Sánchez, who is, by far, the most important target of the 3-year-investigation….

Here’s the rest.

Photo from Cuéntame photo and video collection

Posted in Arresting Alex Sanchez, criminal justice | 32 Comments »

32 Responses

  1. Woody Says:

    Wonderful! We had gone so long without a post on Sanchez that I thought this blog was going to shut down.

  2. Celeste Fremon Says:

    How true, Woody. And I knew you were pining away for a new Sanchez post. Plus, I can rely solely on linking to student posts.

  3. WTF Says:

    Sánchez said, is crucial. “Nobody can do it except somebody who’s been there.


    Heaven forbid we let a non-convicted, regular good-hearted person help the kids escape the stupidity of gangs.

    By the way, which gang was Father Greg Boyle a member of?

  4. Woody Says:

    Better question. Which gang did Celeste join?

    - – -

    (Off topic) What’s wrong? Has the government taken away your guns in California?

    FAIRFIELD, Calif. — A Fairfield teen used a ninja sword to fend off a mountain lion after it attacked his dog Wednesday afternoon.

  5. Celeste Fremon Says:

    In reverse order:

    Woody, Nah, we just like drama out here in the golden and broke left coast. Swords are loaded with drama.

    (I’ve always felt that a machete could be my sidearm of choice.)

    One of my UCI students wrote about a former mafiosi who was in his dotage—80-something years old— and carried a rolling pin as his chosen weapon. I rather like that. She saw him actually take the thing out and brandish it in a blind fury in a supermarket when an unsuspecting jerk figured he could cut in line in front of the old guy. Wrong assumption.

    WTF, Fr. Greg’s an Irish Catholic Jesuit, which is pretty hard core, right from the get go.

    I’m from Topanga by way northeastern Montana. I think no more cred should be needed.

    As for Alex: There is a typical gang internventionist line one hears from those working in the field about so-called “license to operate.” But I’ve never personally heard him push that POV, although many do. I know for a fact that his view is much more expansive than that. (And when I have that particular line lobbed at me, I try to keep my eye-rolling at a minimum.)

    But about the quote: I can’t be sure, as I wasn’t present when he said whatever Lerner is quoting, but the way I interpreted what Alex said is that former gang members can provide a kind of modeling that others cannot. Because they’ve actually made the transition from point A to point B. So they can literally embody what that change looks like.

    I’ve had guys ask me to hook them up with this person or that person who made it out so they can ask them how they (the person who made it out) managed to do it.

    You know how that works: the former addict can talk to an addict who is struggling with recovery in a way that’s different from the way a non addict can. Both can be helpful and have a potentially transformative effect, but the one who has been through it provides something a little different.

    Hey, these are big problems. There’s a place for everyone.

  6. RobThomas Says:

    WTF, Sanchez could have also meant that being there would include someone who’s entrenched in a poor area with gangs, as Father Boyle is. I think his shot was more at those in the system who live outside of LA and think they’re going to just drive into town on a daily basis and stop gangs from their cubicle…or their squad car. Maybe the next time Celeste runs into Sanchez she can ask him to clarify that statement. I’ll bet you that’s what he meant.

  7. WTF Says:

    Maybe Alex should go to Mexico continue his work in gang prevention. Mexico seems to have lots of gangs and gang members who need counseling.


    Drug cartels threaten Mexican stability

    Crime ‘has become defiant,’ president says, as police and politicians are forced to face ‘the bribe or the bullet’
    The drug cartels of Mexico have grown into such a massive criminal enterprise that they have supplanted the government in whole regions and threaten to turn the country into a narco-state like 1990s-era Colombia, say law enforcement and criminal experts.

    Attempts by the United States and Mexico’s federal government have failed to stem the power of the cartels, which economists say employ as much as one-fifth of the people in some Mexican states.

    “We are approaching that red zone,” said Edgardo Buscaglia, an expert on organized crime at the Autonomous Technological University of Mexico. “There are pockets of ungovernability in the country, and they will expand.”

    For the past decade, large parts of Mexico have been sliding toward the lawlessness Colombia experienced in which drug traffickers in league with left-wing rebels controlled small towns and large parts of the interior through drug-funded bribery and gun-barrel intimidation, Buscaglia and others say.

  8. RobThomas Says:

    I’m so scared of Mexico now, and I now take the threat of illegal immigration seriously. You’ve changed me, WTF. Seriously.

  9. jim hitchcock Says:

    The newest blogger in town is pretty darn cute:

  10. Sure Fire Says:

    Robbie’s hate of cops just drips from his pathetic posts every day. Maybe Robbie could post some type of plan where the gangs could actually be kept in line without the use of law enforcement since we don’t have a clue.

    Sanchez taking a shot at law enforcement means nothing, he’s never worked from the law enforcement side and hasn’t a clue, just like his boy Robbie, about what individual cops bring to the table. Oh wait, forgot, we’re all Neanderthal type white guys.

  11. Walt Says:

    “Oh no, Jim! She’s an eight-year-old child! Okay, I won’t say it.”

    So is this now a rule that every X number of days Woody insists on making a pedophile joke? Wow, you’re sick. If you were my neighbor, I’d punch you in the mouth for making jokes like that.

  12. Conchita Says:

    R.T. do you still beleive we would be better off if the Mexican Drug Cartels ran our country instead of the Rebulicans?

    You do remember that comment?

  13. Woody Says:

    Walt, I never said that. Go look at the comments above and see if you can find it.

  14. Woody Says:

    Breaking news. Alex Sanchez had eggs and toast for breakfast.

  15. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Walt, Woody’s vaguely pedophilish comment did somehow vanish, so maybe he never said it.

    OR maybe my spam catcher came and got it belatedly. I’d vote for the latter, but one never knows. Machines sometimes have a mind of their own. Curious that.

  16. Woody Says:

    Let’s get it straight. I’m not the one being accused of liking kids, but I won’t point out who does any more, except to say that Celeste’s spam catcher belongs to NAMBLA and doesn’t want any attention on it. Machines have minds of their own.

  17. Gava Joe Says:

    Rather the photo of Alex should have him in LAC coveralls and his kid looking haggard and hungry? His smile doesn’t look so malicious, his garb doesn’t elicit gangster. It’s so very typical of established response to condemn before adjudicating all the evidence. Sidebar your Honor: “Frankly I submit that if the defendant did discuss the execution of a Mara Salvatrucha gangmember outside of US jurisdiction I say more fucking power to him”.. Excuse my blurb, it’s that Tourette’s creeping on me again.

    Hey I dunno the guy, he’s got a nice smile considering all he’s been through, and his kid looks thrilled. Send his family and him to Kansas. I’ll put him to work. He can be a community organizer. God knows that’s a criteria for a better job.

  18. RobThomas Says:

    Sure Fire, what’s wrong with hating cops? Is hating a cop any less moral than hating a defense lawyer for doing their job? Hating ACLU members? If so, please explain why.

  19. RobThomas Says:

    Gava Joe, Sanchez can’t work for you. He can’t associate with ex cons.

  20. RobThomas Says:

    Conchita, could the Mexican drug cartels run a country better than Republicans? You’re asking a trick question. Because drug cartels only operate for money and power anyway. If they were viable Republican candidates in America, they wouldn’t need the drug trade anymore. The Republican lobby would set them up with everything they needed, and we’re talking big oil, health insurers, tobacco (guess they wouldn’t entirely be leaving the drug trade…), military industries…I think their coke slinging days would be over. Considering that, it’s hard to say. Most of them come from humble backgrounds. They could change the Republican party, make it more compassionate. So, I’d have to say, yes. I think the Mexican drug cartels would run this country better than Republicans, considering the circumstances.

  21. Gava Joe Says:

    As usual you’re shooting from the hip again #19, with malice and without any forethought. “Ex-cons” who’ve received Certificates of Rehabilitation and Governor’s pardons ( which by the way is available to any ex- offender who’s non-violent and fulfills parole and has 5 yrs clean time) are granted full citizen’s rights. My offer of a job to Alex was purely metaphorical. Your jibe was more crap you pulled from your gaping ass-cheeks (which I’ve explained previously to you in a different forum, would be “gapier” were you to have landed in my situation 35 yrs ago).. But I digress to suggest that maybe you could offer Alex a job at some obscure Sacramento Safeway store bagging groceries alongside your sarcastic frame, but he’d probably excel at that and have your job in no time. Reformed over-achievers are like that.

    How’s that for a civilized reponse, Celeste?

  22. RobThomas Says:

    Your mock offer to Sanchez was “metaphorical”? Is this like how ex cons use long words to try to sound smart?

  23. Gava Joe Says:

    If you have to ask you might try further study, or actually have any experience whatsoever besides just flapping your jibs.

  24. RobThomas Says:

    I’m glad you brought up experience. Because you like to use your experience as a convict to mock anyone who dares to disagree with you on anything having to do with gangs or inner city violence. But now when your experience as a convict gets thrown back in your face in a way that’s not so flattering, suddenly you don’t want the label. You’re pretending you’re on some higher level than Sanchez. Considering the instigating and race baiting you’ve done for years on these LA related blogs, and the fact that Sanchez does nothing but promote peace, I think it’s obvious which ex con is more rehabilitated.

  25. Gava Joe Says:

    My 35 yr. old experience with the CDC is neither a stigma nor anything I’ve denied or tried to hide. hell, for me it’s a badge of honor in that I beat the high recidivism rate! For you to bring up my past is nothing less than ignorant and completely in keeping with your lack of tact. As for your contrived impression of that experience getting “thrown up in my face”, I can only laugh and repeat that were you to have done my time you’d have shit down your britches lil scamp.
    The way I’ve transformed my life isn’t beyond the ability of any ex-offender. Alex Sanchez looks to have made terrific inroads in that direction. As for your shirtsleeve determination as to who’s “more rehabilitated” one needs only to observe the way you conduct your online business to see you’re certainly no judge. So please take a knee and thank your lucky stars you don’t have to endure incarceration because you continually show your disability to do it honorably.

  26. Gava Joe Says:

    shoulda been “inability” , damn!

  27. Conchita Says:

    “Most of them come from humble backgrounds. They could change the Republican party, make it more compassionate. So, I’d have to say, yes.”


    Ah yes the campassionate, of cutting off heads of their victims, the compassion of kiling 16 young people at a party, or the compassion of hanging their headless victims from a bridge.

    R.T. thanks for continually showing your hate and ignorance.

  28. RobThomas Says:

    Conchita, our troops, while probably not cutting off heads, have killed their share of 16 year olds in Iraq and Vietnam. I’m sorry but senseless killing is not something America has the high ground on. And, you’re showing your hatred and ignorance of Mexico, so what gives you the high ground to judge anyone else for showing hate and ignorance?

  29. RobThomas Says:

    And I should emphasize that our troops did such killing under orders from our political leaders, many of them who’ve never picked up a gun. So I guess if there’s a difference between the cartel leaders and our leaders, it’s that most of the cartel leaders have had their hands dirty at one point. Again, further demonstrates my point about them coming from more humble backgrounds. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see where a war for control of drug turf is any less moral than a war for oil. But I’m all ears if you want to explain it. Are you saying the war for oil is more morally sound because we don’t chop off heads? We just slice bodies in half with assault rifles and slaughter families with bombs dropped from airplanes. Nothing wrong with that…

  30. Sure Fire Says:

    Robbie could be the biggest idiot on the entire net. I thought one other light-weight menatl case had him beat out but I think Robbie’s the champ douche. Is there anything he understands the first time around? Is he so devoid of the ability to comprehend that he has to use examples having nothing to do with a conversation or subject with the hope he can make some non-existent point? He stretches others words further than Reed Richards can stretch his arms.

    Robbie is a total fraud.

  31. Sure Fire Says:

    In Robbie’s mondless head up ass world when someone is firing at one of our troops, before firing back they need to get an i.d. and make sure it’s not just some teen-ager goofing around.

    Cartel members who kill a dozen or so kids at a party seem to be no different to him than our troops.

    What a disgrace this idiot is.

  32. RobThomas Says:

    Sure Fire, I was talking more of the leadership, not the troops taking orders. My point is that a war for oil is no more moral than a war for drugs.

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