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<b>STRADDLING WORLDS:</b>  Raymond Macias stands against the wall of City Council chambers as authorities discuss the potential benefits and repercussions of a proposed gang injunction. In front of him sits J.P. Herrada (in glasses), surrounded by members of Palabra and Santa Barbara law enforcement officials. (May 15, 2013)

Paul Wellman

STRADDLING WORLDS: Raymond Macias stands against the wall of City Council chambers as authorities discuss the potential benefits and repercussions of a proposed gang injunction. In front of him sits J.P. Herrada (in glasses), surrounded by members of Palabra and Santa Barbara law enforcement officials. (May 15, 2013)


Gangbuster or Gangbanger?

Arrest Casts Shadow on La Palabra


Thursday, June 13, 2013
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Raymond Macias, a defendant on the city’s proposed gang-injunction list and the Eastside program coordinator for La Palabra ​— ​a nonprofit working with at-risk youth ​— ​is sitting in Santa Barbara County Jail on $3.8 million bail. He faces allegations that he was the head of a criminal organization that collected drug taxes from street gangs throughout the county, and if convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

The charges against Macias, one of 15 people indicted by a Grand Jury and arrested last Thursday, put a sharper focus on an organization that has been in the crosshairs for years. Many prosecutors and members of the SBPD don’t like Palabra and don’t trust the people working with the organization, including Executive Director J.P. Herrada, himself a former gang member and two-striker. Authorities question the motives of group leaders and wonder if their interests really lie in helping the city’s at-risk youth. But supporters see it as one of few organizations taking an innovative and grassroots approach to dealing with gang-related issues in Santa Barbara.

Down Low for the LowDown

Palabra sprung up a few years ago out of the Collaborative Communities Foundation. Herrada originally worked with the Foundation but eventually molded it into Palabra. It came at a time when teenage gang violence was a citywide focus, and several groups working with troubled youth were fighting for grant money. Palabra was eventually able to secure significant funding from the McCune Foundation, the Fund for Santa Barbara, and the Bower Foundation.

Group leaders say their goal is to minimize violence on the streets of Santa Barbara and decrease the number of youths entering the justice system. Recognizing the difficulty in doing so, Palabra doesn’t make kids denounce or quit gangs but tries instead to develop alternative paths for them. The group regularly conducts street mediation, and it recently stood against the proposed gang injunction with an organized showing at City Hall when councilors addressed the issue.

Palabra doesn’t have a lot of infrastructure in place, but Herrada is smart and articulate about what he knows ​— ​the streets. “J.P. has opened my eyes that life doesn’t always look like it does over here,” said the Bower Foundation’s Jon Clark. “Walk a mile in another man’s shoes … J.P. has shown me that more than anybody. We must have that different voice in our community.” Herrada is working with the foundations to improve the way hard data is collected so there can be a better understanding of how Palabra works.

While it may be hard to quantify what exactly Herrada does on the streets, foundations trust him, as evidenced by the checks they write. The Bower Foundation, for example, gave Palabra $75,000 last year. And there are stories about the work Herrada and company have accomplished, like helping kids avoid gangs or get out of them. Herrada also says Palabra is able to stop violence before it happens, another metric difficult to calculate.

Herrada’s methods, however, often come into question as authorities observe how he and fellow leaders seem to keep one foot in the gang game. Part of the reason for the rocky relationship is Herrada’s lack of a rapport with police, which likely stems from a culture that distrusts law enforcement as well as a desire to protect the kids with whom he is interacting. Though he has his ear to the ground, Herrada, in order to keep the trust of the kids he works with (and to avoid getting labeled a snitch), won’t share information with police. “We knew we were coming in, rocking the boat,” Herrada said of Palabra’s style.

Since Palabra has been around, authorities say they have experienced more defiance from youth and find it suspicious that Herrada, Macias, and Joe Sanchez ​— ​another Palabra worker ​— ​tend to show up at some crime scenes shortly after an incident has taken place. An assault outside the Franklin Center last year, which Macias and Sanchez witnessed, led to Palabra being banned from holding meetings at city facilities.

Some law enforcement officials don’t mind that Palabra doesn’t work with them, but they say the group is helping to actively thwart police efforts. Police and prosecutors allege Herrada and company expose informants, use their meetings to teach kids how to avoid law enforcement, and actually encourage gang culture. “It’s long been our belief that they’ve been involved in gang organizing,” one official said. And, quietly, authorities are using Macias’s arrest to prove their point.

By Paul Wellman

FULL-COURT PRESS: (from left) ATF agent John D’Angelo, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, and Lompoc Police Chief Larry Ralston held a press conference to announce the arrest of 15 alleged gang members. (June 7, 2014)

Troublesome Connection

While his association with Palabra wasn’t mentioned at a press conference last Thursday, Macias, according to Lompoc Police Chief Larry Ralston, was the head of a criminal enterprise, coordinating and collecting a drug tax from numerous street gangs around Santa Barbara County. His reputation on the street was apparently well-known, and his arrest didn’t come as a surprise to many.

The money collected, Ralston said, was routed to leaders and influential members of a gang, identified in court documents as the Sureño gang. The Sureños ​— ​a prison-based outfit of Southern California gang members ​— ​work as foot soldiers for the Mexican Mafia, a highly organized Hispanic prison gang. Last week’s arrests took out “the most influential, top-rung drug dealers of our communities,” Ralston said.

If Macias was profiting from the alleged transactions, he didn’t show it in the modest way he lived, attempting to support his family in a small home on the Eastside. Still, police believe they have their man. “He was the leader of this gang,” Ralston said. “The person that kind of calls the shots for the gang.”

Fifteen people were arrested June 6 after a Grand Jury indicted them on a number of charges. “Sixteen [sic] of the most ruthless individuals in our community are now behind bars,” said Sheriff Bill Brown, calling the group “scourges of criminal gang and illicit activities in Santa Barbara County.” During the arrest, authorities also confiscated seven firearms, 10 ounces of cocaine, and 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine. Macias, along with eight others, is facing charges of kidnapping for extortion and torture with the special allegations of use of a gun and a gang enhancement. Officials wouldn’t comment on the circumstances of the alleged kidnapping and torture, other than to say the incident occurred January 3. Ralston said his department began its investigation into Macias and the others about eight months ago.

Macias, 33, and Juan Zavala ​— ​the only other Santa Barbara–based suspect arrested last week ​— were also indicted for solicitation for extortion with a gang enhancement. Macias was also indicted for drug sales with a gang enhancement. According to Sergeant Lorenzo Duarte of the SBPD, four of the guns, the cocaine and meth, and a large sum of money were all taken from Zavala’s residence.

Macias has a criminal history dating back to 1998, when he was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse. He was 19 when he had sex with a 15-year-old, records show. Since then, he has been in trouble for various drug-related crimes ​— ​possession of a syringe at the County Jail in 2001, possession of a pipe in 2008, possession of cocaine and opium in 2008, and possession of heroin and a syringe in 2009. He has spent time in prison but been off probation since July 2012. There was no mention of gang status in any of his previous records.

In a legal filing related to the gang injunction, a declaration from Detective Gary Siegel outlined 16 contacts police had with Macias when he was a minor. He was arrested four of those times and cited three others, according to the court documents.

His attorney, Santa Maria–based Michael Scott, said he hadn’t yet received documents related to the newest case. “The chief made some strong comments,” Scott said, “but without seeing the Grand Jury transcript or police reports, I can’t comment on the accuracy of those statements.” He called the charges “very serious.” Indeed, if the charges against Macias and the 14 other defendants are true, the Mexican Mafia and the Sureño gang are perhaps more pervasive in the community than previously thought. And if true, Macias’s connection to La Palabra could cause more trouble for the nonprofit.

Support Runs Deep

Herrada wouldn’t comment on the charges against Macias, saying he would “let the system do what it has to do.” But until he is proved guilty, Herrada said, “We have his back.”

Herrada said Palabra had been working in Santa Maria around the same time investigators started looking into Macias. Palabra was attempting to get a crisis-response program up and running after a rash of killings ​— ​several police-related ​— ​upended the city. Many people in Santa Maria wanted to retaliate against officers, Herrada said, but Palabra’s workers stopped it. “This isn’t the best way to do it,” Herrada said he told them. Palabra organized a march in the city and sought to introduce training through the Santa Barbara Response Network.

Herrada said he and others were working to unite groups in Santa Maria, not for nefarious purposes, but to “see if we can come together to really change the community we live in.” He doesn’t hide the fact that many of the people they interact with are active gang members. “We know some of them are involved still,” Herrada said. “But to make a change, I have to get to those people.” Macias was heading up that effort, Herrada said, so he was up in North County almost every other weekend.

Herrada said he takes full responsibility for anything his organization does, but he hopes people also look at the good work Macias was carrying out, explaining he’s spoken to kids and parents whom Macias has helped. And he said he’s not worried about rocking the boat. “For once in my life, I’m doing something positive and real and trying to make a difference,” Herrada said. “I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing.”

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

Nick,Ken-Anybody?
Let's just make sure we don't let those homophobe Boy Scouts recruit on school grounds!

garfish (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 9:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you, Chris. I rely on the Independent to provide me the backstory to the headlines. This paper continues to be a great resource to the community.

Moonrunner (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 10:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I suspect this gang-bangers "supporters" will continue to voice their support as it's not likely they want to be seen as duped by a bean flatulating gang-banger! If the allegations are true, seems this group could have two or more businesses going. If the "Financials" for this group are accurate, it appears Palabra, as of December 2011 had almost $500,000 in assets. Anyone know if this is accurate or how money received was dispersed? Was Macias employed? Off probation since July 2012. Way to go Raymond, almost one year! What is so innovative about the approach this organization has taken in dealing with gang related activities?

If Herrada is supposedly " smart and articulate about what he knows - the streets," as indicated by Clark, how is it that all this alleged illegal activity was occurring with someone as close to him as Macias and he knows nothing? Herrada admits he interacts with active gang members and he knows nothing about these issues? Herrada's ear must have been way above the ground not to have heard about the crimes of this magnitude in the position he is in and with the "active" gang members he deals with. Or does he go deaf and dumb(er) when information received involves people he is close to?

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 11:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Racism is as uglier than gang violence.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 11:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Public enemy number on in this town is the SEIU-cozy, uber-liberal Fund for Santa Barbara.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So none of you wise commentators see the "Drug War" itself as the mother of these problems?
Too busy chasing windmills I guess.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 11:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Political Correctness -when the truth is offensive.
We need to stop rewarding those least qualified to parent to have kids and give those who are qualified a bit of a break.But alas,too many non-profits like La Palabra,county workers and Micheal Towbes profit from the status quo.
Ken,tell Bobby Simpson's family how ugly racism is and how much gang violence is overblown.

garfish (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 12:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I will tell you how ugly you are to try and use gang violence and criminal charges as some kind of excuse to support homophobia.
As an acquaintance of Simpson's, shame on you.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 12:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Do we as a society need to chose between paying more welfare moms, or for leave time for working moms? Should we as a society be required to provide for both, or neither.

Should tax payers only pay for the former, but business owners pay for the latter? Something has gone terribly wrong with the idea of a family.

Baby-daddies are obviously MIA in this discussion. Man up, men. These are your kids. Provide for them.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 12:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The idea of "family" has always been an emotional construct as much as a genetic one. Today, there are many families that don't fit the traditional model but are often far healthier than their contemporary traditional counterparts.
So it's not the concept of :"family", it's the act or lack of parenting as well as soceo-economic issues and a great big fraud called the Drug War which is creating and perpetuating this mess.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 1:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow, looks like the cat is out of the bag. To be running under the guise of a non profit status and pulling some of these shenanigans is deplorable. Even worse, if the non profits knew of some of these activities/allegations, it would seem their actions would also be criminal in funding these individuals. Like the defense attorney said, they need to review the accuracy of the statements, but regardless, they have a lot of sssplaining to do!

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 1:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

they are gang bangers. lock them up.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 2:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

mr macias is on the g.i list. that makes him a gang banger. its my opinion the indictments will stick. lock them up.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 2:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Is Macias on the Palabra payroll for any reason? If Macias is on the Palabra payroll will he remain a paid employee while spending time in jail awaiting trial.

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 2:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You have opinion but no evidence whatinsb.
And another bigot threw out a figure of $500,000 in assets that is nowhere in the article and not attributed. All the uglies really come out from under their rocks when brown people are arrested. I don't know if they're guilty or innocent and I bet no one commenting here really does either.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 3:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Glad I got things started-
Looks like the perpetually offended-unless you are lucky enough to be professionally offended,are out in force!

garfish (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 3:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nicely written and informative article by CM, thanks for the backstory and knitting it together. I am looking forward to a followup when they release more information.

pointssouth (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 4:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Once a crook always a crook if left in the same element. No different than the mafia setting up organizations to help the poor as a means to cover their crimes and gain favor.

See them for what they are. Violent predators we have no use for in society.

Validated (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 5:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken -

All we read in this forum is "opinion," and it is definitely not "evidence." All you have to do to learn a little more about this group is go to Google and enter Palabra Santa Barbara. If this is the group being discussed, in part, you will find the following information:

Financials
Financials Edit
Revenue Amount $103,895
Asset Range $10,000 to $24,999
Asset Amount
$12,763
Income Range $100,000 to $499,999
Income Amount
$103,895
Tax Period
Dec-11
Embed
Asset Amount
Palabra
$12,763
Goleta
$129,268
Kindergarten, Preschool, Nursery ...
$223,894
Crime, Legal-Related
$104,857
All Santa Barbara Area Nonprofits
$20,748

You are correct, this information was not in the article but that doesn't mean the information does not exist. In light of the allegations against a member of the group it would be interesting to learn what these numbers mean. I don't give a rats behind regarding the race/color of the person(s) involved. I would have taken the two minutes to research and see what I could learn about any other person/group involved in this activity regardless of their race/color. Get off your darned whining race soapbox!

Do you consider "kidnapping for extortion and torture" ugly? What about these little wayward "wanna be's" that were arrested possessing 7 guns, 10-ounces of cocaine and 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine. How do you perceive their possession of these items?

What's your thought? Because "brown people," as you identify them, are arrested, everyone should keep their mouths shut and not render a thought, opinion or share information that could be relative to the issue?

If I were leading an organization and one of my leaders was suspected of involvement in activity as reported I'd be more than a little concerned. As a donor I may want to know more before I cut any more checks!

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 5:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If the article said CONVICTED...then there would be some meat. Right now in this country we are innocent until proven otherwise. An arrest is NOT proof of guilt.

I was born and raised in Santa Barbara. I am often asked by Anglo's where I'm from. My family dates back to the native Californian indigenous people.

I was arrested as a teen for smoking pot. The white kids got sent home. I was told I was part of a gang. I never was! I was in private schools through the eight grade, until my Dad suffered a massive heart attack. It was in SBJHS and SBHS that I suffered the most prejudice.

I've work with businesses in town over 25 years. I have to say the least emphatic and quickest cheats are not brown or black.

This is my home. I do my best to live with an open mind and an open heart. And it is painful to see the "Mexican" (could be Indians or some other ethnicity) youth living like there is no future for them in their own home town. And I'm not referring to growing up to be someone's gardener!

oliviaathome (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 5:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Cry me a brown river. Every arrested perp...especially a known criminal with a lengthy record will get written up......you dilute real racism charges with this bs. This thug was hauled in with 14 others after an 8 month investigation including the Feds.

Ya, and I'm a minority, and my own peeps have their gangs in Carson, long beach, sacto, all thru Cali...

Lock their gang banging asses up.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 6:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Name me one politician in a position to effect a positive outcome in this matter who has the guts/common sense to address the economics of illegal immigraton (cheap expendable labor) and the consequences of the Drug War. (As Ken mentioned)

Any takers?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
June 13, 2013 at 7:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What illegal immigration?

The brown skinned people were here way before the Spanish set foot on California land.

We need to address a much deeper issue than purely economics. There are deep social scars, and hatred on both sides of the table.

oliviaathome (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 4:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

gotta wait and see here, this issue complicated. I appreciate oliviaathome's comments. At the same time, the Clovis culture natives were here prior to the Chumash, and then the conquerors from Spanish Mexico took over, and after 1848 the Yankees surged in and now... it's the American Empire now.
No one has yet been convicted of anything.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 5:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If you appreciate olivaathome's comments DD you have lost your mind:
Sorry honey but it is illegal immigration; grow up and face the modern world; take a look at Mexico's southern boarder policy.
Mexico has officially performed mass genocide on their own indigenous people within the past 40 years so get off the back of the United States.
Newsflash, almost !00% of the gangbangers in this town are Latino; it's not racial profiling when those are the facts dear.

"I've work with businesses in town over 25 years. I have to say the least emphatic and quickest cheats are not brown or black." So now you are racial profiling and using your own ignorant bigotry to make a point about racism?
Please go back to your minimum wage job serving people that are smarter than you, which appears to be nearly every human in SB.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 6:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

OUCH! Sad but have to agree, the Mexican officials are ruthless to illegal immigrants coming into their country and their indigenous peoples (or if you are a foreign citizen without a passport, or set up for a drug bust) but by they almost encourage migration out of their country.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 9:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's a story on an illegal immigrant and a gangmember and probably a commentator here too.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/naz...

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 10:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Palabra has been on the radar of law enforcement since its inception due to the people who have been hired to provide services. I used to work with a local nonprofit who provides services for youth who are gang-involved or at-risk of gang involvement, and the program managers often spoke of the “shady” practices Palabra staff was using. There are some foundations in town that, for whatever reason, throw money at grassroots organizations, whether they are the best groups to provide services or not.

Palabra is a very small operation. With only $100k in assets, there’s not a lot of programming that can be offered. One full-time staff member with benefits would easily be $45k a year, unless they get paid next to nothing and offer no benefits, which is entirely true. But $100k in Santa Barbara is NOTHING. So what is the programming that is offered? And what evidenced-based practices are being used? What, besides “former” gang affiliation, qualifies the staff to help these youth exit criminal life and bring up their educational and vocational skills enough to secure legitimate employment, and support themselves without illegal activities? These are the real questions. The gang members in Santa Barbara County are by a very large majority, Latino. That is a fact. The majority of these gang members are young, living in impoverished families with older siblings or relatives serving time in local, State, or Federal prisons. When these “veteranos” get out, they have to be careful not to violate parole and therefore the youth are perfect “runners.” I’m not guessing about this stuff, I’ve done actual research with actual gang members in South County.

While people don’t want to throw race or ethnicity into this conversation, it is a fact that cannot be ignored.

goldcoasting (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 10:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Legalize all drugs to eliminate profit for gangs, as the International Red Cross advocated in March 2011.
The syringe in County Jail got there in an envelope, not with a prison guard (lol).

14noscams (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 10:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Do we hold young Germans accountable for the atrocities of their parents during WWII? If not, why not. Get over all this cultural rage pimping and get on with your lives. You will soon be the new demographic majority in the US and if you broke it, you fix it.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 10:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Mexican officials are ruthless to their own citizens not only illegals.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 3:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mexican officials are ruthless to other Mexican officials. The combination of NAFTA and the Drug war have wrecked havoc on every sphere of that country.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 3:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I read this great article and have been following all the comments. I have not commented myself because I did not want to get sucked into some of the ethnic animosity. Also I admit to a lot of ambivalence in issues like this. Being a liberal, I acknowledge that the "drug war" as created crimes that would not have been but for the drug war. On the other hand, long ago (in the 70s), I flirted with the drug world and realized that it had no good future. Early on in these flirtations any idiot will realize that there is no good future in this business. To be unable to extricate yourself from it is both tragic and stupid. We cannot blame the "drug war" for people (white, black, brown, or whatever) making stupid decisions about how to make a living. I went to work making minimum wage rather than sell drugs and I worked my way to success. That choice is available to everybody. I agree that we need different drug policies, but we should not let people claim that they are victims of the "drug war" when they are really victims of their own stupid decisions.

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 8:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Do we hold young Germans accountable for the atrocities of their parents during WWII?"

foofighter (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 10:21 a.m.

I don't.

@Oliviaathome: There is an economic component to illegal immigration that cannot be denied. Look at how politician talk out one side of their mouths about "coming in the right way" and then out the other about "they are the backbone of our economy" when this issue is raised.

Follow the money.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
June 14, 2013 at 9:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Spiritwalker - What do you mean you when you state "It seems like a lot of commenters here either didn't read the article or are willfully blind -?" What are you referring to as "TPB?"

The article simply contains information probably gathered by the reporter from police reports/sources. Each reader must then maker their own determination on whether or not to believe the information contained in the article may or may not be accurate. Most police reports are available to the press and news articles are based on these reports. Would you want the reporter to include in their article information about which they have no personal knowledge?

Police personnel didn't write the article. Are you accusing the reporter of writing what you describe as a "hit piece?" You sound like our idiot president that restricts information that is legally available to the public.

The truth is police arrested "Raymond Macias, a defendant on the city’s proposed gang-injunction list and the Eastside program coordinator for La Palabra ​— ​a nonprofit working with at-risk youth." The truth is Palabra's Executive Director is J.P. Herrada, obviously a close associate of Macias. The truth is, until this issue is resolved in court, we should all be concerned about Palabra because of the connection between these two individuals and the crimes alleged.

The truth is, if arresting officers are unable to provide legally obtained evidence to support their arrest the defendant goes free. You should know nothing you read about in any of these forums is "evidence." Again, like the idiot that is a complete failure as a president, do you want everyone that comments in a forum to identify themselves so people, maybe someone like you, can go out and do what they can to harass and intimidate those opposed to your position?

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
June 15, 2013 at 10:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Spirit walker....you and the truth have never shared the same zip code. Ever. But your conspiracy theories are hilarious in a Saturday morning cartoons sort of way.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
June 15, 2013 at 11:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

People are not necessarily innocent, until proven guilty. Merely the state cannot impose a state sanctioned punishment until they are found guilty in a court of law.

This means the burden of proof is on the state to prove guilt, not the accused. This might be where you got confused regarding guilt or innocence.

Big difference. Absence of state imposed "guilt", is not proof of innocence. Only that the state failed to make its case.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
June 15, 2013 at 8:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

spiritwalker -

Let's use your emphatic use of the word "PROVE" as it applies to your comments that "LEOs monitor internet forums." I doubt you can "PROVE" this statement and are using "logic" (your term) to simply presume law enforcement is monitoring, i.e., because they have access as does everyone else with a computer? I suspect law enforcement monitors these forums but does it really matter? Why should we care?

Why can't we use your same logic after reading about the arrest of Macias and his "gang banging" compadres to presume that something illegal was probably occurring that led to their arrest? I'm not saying; and I doubt the majority of people in this forum will say they are guilty of anything. But, doesn't logic tell you law enforcement investigated the "gang bangers" because one or more of them was (probably) doing something illegal. The investigation led to the arrests and seizure of the guns and illegal drugs. Not much information provided regarding the "kidnapping for extortion and torture" allegations so we will have to wait and see what occurred?

Spiritwalker, what do you think the "wanna be's" that were arrested possessing 7 guns, 10-ounces of cocaine and 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine were going to do with these illegal items? Auction them, have a garage sale or maybe donate them to a health facility or the NRA? You never answered this question or did you forget the fact that this substantial amount of illegal items were seized?

Keep your mind open for the truth and facts that will soon be identified. Too many crooks involved in this issue to believe that one or more will not have a lot to lose if they are convicted. I don't care how "macho" these fools think they are, no one wants to serve time in jail or prison. If this is accurate, I expect one or more of these clowns will roll over, "snitch;" and provide law enforcement with information relative to this case. It's the nature of the beast! I suspect there are some people not sleeping very well lately.

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
June 16, 2013 at 9:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Eckermann....

Thank you... for your comment. Regardless of you socioeconomic status we all have the tools to self sufficient, and make a the best out of the worst or poorest state we find our selves in... all we need is the power to succeed and sometimes a sign pointing us in the right direction...

SBhunny (anonymous profile)
June 24, 2013 at 4:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I was just reading about a pale-face physicist that tried to do this(run a racist criminal organization under the guise of a non-profit to evade taxes) he failed... Tip of the hat goes to you palabra! Now you just gotta teach those kids how they can use psychological economic warfare for legal (though just as worthless of course) enterprise.

PaleFacesGoHome (anonymous profile)
June 29, 2013 at 3:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

whatinsb: "The truth is, if arresting officers are unable to provide legally obtained evidence to support their arrest the defendant goes free." ?
You missed the important point that Macias was indicted by the Grand Jury, a secret process in which witnesses testify against the suspect without the suspect or the suspect's lawyer present.
If the DA's office had filed a complaint, Macias would have been entitled to a preliminary hearing at which the DA would have been required to show that the state has enough evidence of the crime to warrant a trial.
Dudley chose Criminal Grand Jury members, and we don't know what evidence there is against Macias. Unlike Kasi Beutel, who was videotaped planting heroin on Jane Doe, and then committed perjury by writing a police report charging her with bringing it into the jail for sale, all we currently know about Macias is reports written by other officers in good standing and their Grand Jury testimony.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2013 at 4:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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