Hit Man Trained by Mexican Cartels
Twelve years ago, Jose Saenz was a Los Angeles Unified School District dropout and run-of-the-mill tagger known on the east side of Los Angeles as Smiley, a nod to the way he flashed his trademark brilliant grin. At age 22, he sidled up to two young east-side men peddling dope on North Clarence Street in Boyle Heights, pretending to be friend not foe. When Smiley got real close, he yanked out a hidden gun and killed Josue Hernandez and Leonardo Ponce, two members of the East L.A. 13 gang.

Worried about a Prizzi's Honor-style scenario, police believe, Smiley feared that those close to him knew too much about the double murder — honor killings, in his mind, required after his two victims beat up his teenage buddy, Juan Pena. So 11 days after the Clarence Street murders, on a hot August afternoon in 1998, police say, Smiley raped and executed the woman who had intimate knowledge of him: his pretty, dark-haired, estranged girlfriend, 21-year-old Sigreda Fernandez, mother of his 2-year-old baby girl.

He left Fernandez's ravaged body sprawled in his grandmother's bedroom in East Los Angeles, with an eerie, apologetic note scrawled on the wall.

Brian Stauffer
Sigreda Fernandez, holding the baby she had with Jose "Smiley" Saenz, was assassinated by Smiley to keep her quiet.
Sigreda Fernandez, holding the baby she had with Jose "Smiley" Saenz, was assassinated by Smiley to keep her quiet.
Smiley is on the lam.
Smiley is on the lam.
Smiley knocks on Oscar Torres' door before dawn, laughs and gleefully rubs his hands together, chases Torres out the front door, and shoots the fallen Torres in the face at close range in Torres own front yard.
Smiley knocks on Oscar Torres' door before dawn, laughs and gleefully rubs his hands together, chases Torres out the front door, and shoots the fallen Torres in the face at close range in Torres own front yard.
Smiley's friend and victim Oscar Torres.
Smiley's friend and victim Oscar Torres.
Bogart Bello's gravestone overlooks his old gang East L.A. territory.
Bogart Bello's gravestone overlooks his old gang East L.A. territory.

For years, nobody has had a death wish strong enough to rat out Smiley for the killings, save for young Juan Pena. Dying several years ago of childhood leukemia, he fingered his blood brother Saenz for the executions on North Clarence Street.

But Smiley, with his intense black eyes and his quick, deviant mind, vanished from the local cops' radar for 10 years — to Mexico for some of that time, the FBI says, where he morphed from East L.A. tagger to a connected, Mexican-cartel drug "soldier" — simply put, a high-level executioner and trafficker, operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border.

Many facts are unknown, and his long periods of time in Mexico remain a mystery. But U.S. authorities believe Saenz hooked up in northern Mexico with former Cal State Los Angeles business student Rolando Ontiveros, a smart, nattily dressed former private school student who used his college education to ill ends south of the border.

Like Rolo, Smiley rose to operate in high-end international drug-smuggling circles, where million-dollar coke transactions went down. He sometimes used Tijuana bars as a base, crossing to the United States regularly with a bogus Mexican passport to do business with dealers in L.A. and Orange counties, and in other states.

According to Rene Enriquez, a former Mexican Mafia leader, the key operators move easily between Southern California and Mexico; they are principally Mexican-American men drawn from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties.

"It's like coming to East Los Angeles," when they arrive in Mexico, surrounded by other Southern California Latino gang members and former convicts, many of whom met in California prisons, Enrique says. "He's walking right in the loop again, from one geographic location to another . . . It's the California gang world in Mexico."

"[Saenz] was pretty much on the run when he left here," says Los Angeles Police Department homicide detective Ron Chavarria, investigating the 1998 Clarence Street murders attributed to Smiley. "He didn't have a car or anything. Then, years later, he is an established drug dealer."

In the intervening years, "He did something to get himself to that level. People are deathly afraid of this guy. You mention this guy's name and [potential informants] are done. They don't want to talk about him."

It is now known that during that time Smiley, now 34, partied under the noses of LAPD and city and county police agencies throughout Southern California with his drug-dealer pals, frequenting nice, suburban Long Beach-area bars like Lakewood's Elephant Club, Hollywood Boulevard hot spots, and chic Southern California watering holes.

Life was fine. At one point, Smiley was ferried around by a chauffeur employed by his gangster buddy Oscar Torres, a Los Angeles Hummer limo-service owner who wore upscale clothes, lived as "Sam" in a quiet, suburban equestrian community in Whittier — and sold prodigious quantities of coke.

But Oscar Torres ended up on his friend Smiley's execution list in 2008, after a careless screw-up that for an average person would have resulted in a traffic ticket but for Torres had mortal consequences.

In summer 2008, as Torres drove through Missouri heading to L.A., fresh from an East Coast coke deal, two small-town sheriff's deputies in St. Charles County pulled him over for tailgating and speeding. He and his passenger seemed extremely nervous, so the cops searched the car. They found $610,000 in hidden packets of cash — but, incredibly, the deputies let Torres go without trying to figure out who he was or what he was up to.

The cash, however, stayed in Missouri — and some of it was Smiley's money.

Two of Torres' Southern California homes were in Pellissier Village, where he often slept in his rundown two-bedroom crash pad, tricked out with a sauna and nine surveillance cameras. Three months after he lost the $610,000 in Missouri, Torres heard pre-dawn knocking on his door and opened it to find Smiley, grinning like a madman.

Smiley, police say, executed his friend with four shots to the face. Then, he carefully removed from Torres' surveillance system the DVD disc he knew had captured it all — from several unflattering angles.

Smiley should have finished his education at a high school on the east side. He didn't quite understand how the surveillance system worked. When L.A. County Sheriff detective Traci Gonzales saw that the DVD was missing, she took the security equipment to her tech guys, and they retrieved from its hard drive crystal-clear pictures of a Latino man cackling shortly before he blew away the doomed Torres. (Watch the video here.)

In a matter of days, LAPD Hollenbeck Division detectives viewing the tape recognized the executioner as former youthful tagger and LAUSD dropout Jose Saenz.

With that videotape in hand, the Los Angeles FBI office jumped into a hard-fought nationwide contest in 2009: They proposed Saenz for the government's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List, and Special Agent Scott Garriola submitted a detailed five-page application to compete against 55 other FBI offices that insisted their fugitives were the baddest.

Garriola had a major edge. For nine years, he and his Fugitive Apprehension Team had been tracking a guy on the Top Ten, a man who had shot and seriously hurt an L.A. County Sheriff's deputy. That fugitive was caught in a rural town in Mexico last year, meaning Garriola was among the first to know that a spot on the Top Ten was about to open.

"The early bird catches the worm," laughs the 22-year-veteran agent, who, at any given time, tracks 40 to 50 rapists, murderers, dope dealers, and gangsters. "Who else knew there was going to be an opening but me?"

Smiley won the nationwide beauty contest. Last October, the FBI's deputy director announced on CNN that Saenz; Ukrainian-born Semion Mogilevich, wanted for his involvement in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud thousands of investors; and Eduardo Ravelo, a captain in the Juarez, Mexico-based Barrio Azteca criminal enterprise, would join the Ten Most Wanted list of international terrorists, cyber criminals, serial killers, and organized-crime figures, ranging from Osama bin Laden to Boston mobster James J. "Whitey" Bulger.

"You don't celebrate with drinks and a DJ," Garriola says. "It's not like we were high-fiving in the bullpen."

Now, the feds and local police hope that, with the extra funding and attention that automatically flow to any case on the famed list, the killer of his own daughter's mother will finally be hunted down. (The feds are offering $100,000 for tips leading to his conviction, and can be contacted at 310-477-6565.)

But even if authorities catch up to Smiley, one question may be unanswerable: How did a screwed-up teen raised in a rough American barrio rise to become one of the most vicious criminals in America, in all probability trained by cartels in Mexico, then sent back to represent the worst of both nations?

Smiley was the only child of a Marravia gang-member father and a mother with substance-abuse problems. He lived with his grandmother in a small backyard bungalow on rundown, historic Ferris Avenue just two blocks from the East Los Angeles Sheriff's Station. He spent much of his time with his cousins at the 29-acre Pico-Aliso projects, a five-minute drive from Los Angeles City Hall and the largest — some say the most dangerous — public-housing development west of the Mississippi.

Saenz was not one of those tortured kids who saw beyond the grimy walls and corruption inside Pico-Aliso and dreamed of escape. Even as a sly youngster, he was mired in it. Families lived in fear at the projects, which were controlled by several gangs, including the Cuatro Flats. In fact, the Cuatro Flats crime organization arose in 1942 soon after the projects — a disastrous social experiment that urban planners had insisted would lift up the poor — were erected.

In 1999, after years of pressure, the city of Los Angeles started tearing down Pico-Aliso's two-story buildings, grouped around yards that were entered through breezeways. In their place, developers constructed a complex of attractive detached and semi-detached single-family houses called Pueblo del Sol — which urban planners believed could transform L.A.'s inner-city areas. On the day demolition began, a pastor marched down the street, carrying a replica of the Virgin of Guadalupe — to bless Pico-Aliso's destruction.

On these streets in 1998, Smiley decided to return the insult done to his youthful gangster friend, 14-year-old Juan Pena, who'd been attacked by East L.A. 13 gangbangers Hernandez and Ponce. Seven days after that beating, LAPD Detective Chavarria says, as Pena looked on, the smiling Saenz casually approached the two young men as if to buy drugs, then shot Ponce in the chest, thigh, and back and Hernandez three times in the head.

Bullets delivered to the head would become Saenz's signature. As Hernandez and Ponce lay bleeding, Smiley advised his young pal never to leave a crime scene until he was sure his targets were dead. "He said, 'Sometimes they fake it or pretend they're dead,' " Chavarria says Pena told police.

For the next several days after those killings, Southern California was caught in a blistering heat wave. The sun-baked San Fernando Valley saw record temperatures of 107 degrees in Chatsworth; Los Angeles and Orange County authorities received more than 100 calls per minute from motorists stranded in overheated cars, and air-conditioning repair businesses helped people with busted coolers and boiling tempers.

It was a great week for a despicable act. Early on August 5, Smiley's dark-eyed former girlfriend, Sigreda Fernandez, mother of his toddler daughter, must have been worried when she saw Smiley and another gangster at the Pico-Aliso housing projects where she lived.

Nobody will ever know what was said between Smiley and Sigreda, or the rage and horror she endured when she realized he meant her harm. Police say Saenz and his accomplices abducted Fernandez, a Roosevelt High School graduate employed by the Santa Fe Railroad company, and drove her to Smiley's grandmother's house six miles away.

There, he told his grandmother to leave her own home. The older woman later claimed, according to a coroner's report, that she complied because Smiley said he and Fernandez had a lot of talking to do, and were trying to reconcile.

Three hours later, at 11 a.m., he called his grandmother and told her not to come home, authorities say, because he had just made a big mistake. But the elderly woman didn't obey this time. His grandmother returned to her cramped bungalow, where she discovered the slain Fernandez in the back bedroom, sprawled half-nude with a bullet wound to her temple. The only movement was a fan, eerily blowing near the body.

On a dresser at the foot of the bed, Sheriff's detectives found a pile of .357 magnum shells and a misspelled note that read: "the guys who drove me hear have nothing to do with this." On the living room wall, they found a message scrawled in pencil: Saenz asked his grandmother to take care of his child and told her he loved her.

Police quickly picked up one of Saenz's accomplices — youngster Juan Pena. They ultimately charged Pena with the two homicides on Clarence Street after a tipster placed him at the scene with Saenz. Although not the shooter, Pena was convicted of murdering East L.A. 13 gang members Hernandez and Ponce and sent to the California Youth Authority, where he died at 17 of leukemia. But not before spilling his guts about Saenz's alleged premeditated murders of the two men who beat him up.

"I don't know why he decided to give up the whole story," Chavarria says. "Maybe part of it was because he knew he was going to die."

But Smiley disappeared for 10 long years. Los Angeles authorities believe Saenz decided his best career move was to go south into Mexico, to learn the vicious drug trade on the other side of the border. There, Mexican authorities are in a losing war with the cartels, and the chances that they will find or keep tabs on Americans who have joined the dark side are poor.

"If you get to the level, you would probably have to be working for the cartel," Chavarria says. "You are the middleman at that point."

LAPD investigators say Smiley was probably recruited by one of the key cartels. The cartels are known to train recruits in military-style outlaw camps in Mexico and send them back to Southern California to distribute drugs or work on hit squads. According to the California Department of Justice, Americans are desired by Mexican crime lords because they can easily cross into California and operate statewide using cartel-taught skills, including counter-surveillance and ambush tactics. Chavarria says the cross-border system of American and Mexican criminals "is huge. You can get a headache trying to take it all in."

In Mexico, Smiley hooked up with Rolando "Rolo" Ontiveros, the former private school and Cal State L.A. student turned Mexican Mafia soldier.

Described as a thinker and very ambitious, Ontiveros grew up on tattered Blanchard Street in East Los Angeles, the home turf of the Lott gang, joining it as a teenager along with his childhood friend Oscar Torres. Later on, the two were joined by a kid named Bogart Bello, who formed a clique inside the gang called the Lott Boys. Torres' demise was captured on video, and Bello's bizarre disappearance and death, though ruled an accident, are widely assumed to be Saenz's work as well.

"[Rolo] was from a traditional Mexican family," says L.A. County sheriff's detective Gonzales "They were hardworking. His parents had been married for numerous years. He had a typical father figure. His brothers and sisters are traditional, law-abiding citizens." In fact, his brother Mario is an LAPD Central Division traffic officer.

From the outside, it seemed that Ontiveros had escaped the streets by graduating from LAUSD's troubled Roosevelt High School and in 1991 enrolling in a business and economics course at Cal State Los Angeles on the heavily urbanized east side. But, in fact, police say, he was holding gang meetings and drug sales at a campus library. Cal State L.A. officials acknowledge only that Ontiveros was a student from 1991 to 1997 but didn't graduate.

"If you went to a gangster park, the cops would be there, so why not go to Cal State L.A., where nobody would suspect?" says Detective Gonzales, who is probing the murders of Sigreda Fernandez and Oscar Torres. "This is not street-level drug sales or gangster crimes. This is hardcore drug trafficking."

Ontiveros lived as a downtown Los Angeles hipster, renting a posh unit in the classy Bunker Hill Towers on West First Street, sharing the building with other choosy tenants: judges, lawyers, and downtown professionals.

He was one of 43 reputed Mexican Mafia members and associates indicted in 1999 by a Los Angeles County grand jury for racketeering, murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, and drug trafficking. Federal authorities believe Ontiveros helped plot to kill drug dealer Richard Serrano at his Montebello auto-body shop in 1998 — details of which poured from the mouth of former Cal State L.A. student and Mexican Mafia associate Max Torvisco, who cut a plea deal and is now in federal prison.

Last October, federal and local authorities finally caught up to Rolo, blending into well-kept, middle-class Rowland Heights, where he was in the midst of turning the home into an indoor marijuana farm. Police say $1 million (retail) in pot was confiscated. He goes on trial on July 27 on federal RICO charges.

Assistant United States Attorney Bob Dugdale, pursuing the RICO charges, says, "[Ontiveros] worked his way through the Lott gang to become a leader and eventually a soldier."

There is one deeply troubling hint that Rolo may have had friends in high places. In 1999, the cops nearly closed in on Rolo, according to an anonymous law enforcement source who cannot be named because he fears department reprisal. But when the LAPD's Eme Task Force (named for La Eme, or the Mexican Mafia) showed up at his apartment in Bunker Hill Towers, Rolo was gone, which left cops unnerved and jumpy. "Someone tipped him off," says the source. Yet only a handful of people inside LAPD knew about the raid on Rolo. LAPD internal affairs reportedly began an investigation, whose secret outcome probably will never be known.

Police believe Rolo Ontiveros fled to Mexico, and rumors drifted back that he had opened up restaurants there while keeping his hand in the drug trade in Southern California, along with his Cuatro Flats gang pal Saenz, and his Lott gang pals, Torres and Bello.

"They were all in it deep," says Gonzales, a small woman who sounds tough, and is. "These guys are intelligent. They are not dumbasses. They didn't look like your typical shave-your-head baggy-pants gangster. They went to high-dollar clubs. They were trendy. That was the image they were looking for. They know what the laws are. What police can and cannot do. How to avoid detection."

Homicide detective Chavarria began hearing rumors that Smiley was in Los Angeles and had brazenly walked into LAPD's Hollenbeck station and used an ATM, set up inside so residents of tough Hollenbeck, with its small stucco homes and numerous gangs, could feel safe while getting cash.

Another informant says Saenz had plastic surgery to change his face. Chavarria heard that Saenz was killed in Mexico by drug cartels. Smiley was becoming a legend who moved silently between the First and Third Worlds, an elusive go-between supplying the U.S. drug appetite and fighting in Mexico's violent drug wars.

"His homeboys put that out," Chavarria scoffs. "They would say he was shot and killed in a shootout in Mexico. It was all bullshit."

But unsettling news about Saenz kept dribbling in. A woman in Boyle Heights had been kidnapped for money, a crime rarely seen in Los Angeles, yet harrowingly similar to the crisis in Mexico, where thousands of kidnappings have occurred. She was released unharmed after a large, undisclosed amount was paid to her abductors. Chavarria heard about it all later, and street rumors pointed to Saenz.

It's not hard to hide in plain sight in massive, diverse Los Angeles and its eastern suburbs. At the entrance to Pellissier Village in Whittier, signs warn that horses use the same roads. In fact, they and their riders amble freely down the middle of the streets. Roosters cock-a-doodle-do. About 80 percent of the 200 residences include horses in stables behind modest, plain-Jane houses. Others have miniature donkeys or a cow or two.

People ride along the nearby San Gabriel River, just up from the treasured wetland ecosystem of the Whittier Narrows. The area, designated as a equestrian district in 1972, has a small-town feel.

Its peace was shaken early on October 5, 2008, when shots rang out. Responding police found the bullet-ridden body of Oscar Torres on the front lawn of his two-bedroom house on Mardel Avenue. One neighbor, awakened by nearby knocking and gunfire, recalls, "My daughter told me to stay down."

Neighbors knew Oscar Torres as Sam, a "nice guy who never bothered anyone" and who operated a party equipment rental business and a black-stretch Hummer-limo service. But close friends say he went by the street name EZ and was a martial arts practitioner who routinely frisked even his friends.

"If he met you, he would shake you down," says Efrain Bello, whose late brother, Bogart, was close to Torres and Ontiveros before his own bizarre death. Torres "didn't trust anybody. But he was extremely loyal. When my brother disappeared, he was the first person there. He wasn't afraid of anybody. He was well respected on the streets."

Inside the home where Torres was slain, detectives found a man barely alive who'd been shot in the back. Inside a sauna in Torres' bedroom, they found two duffel bags crammed with 40 handguns and assault rifles. Wedged between his mattress and spring box was a short rifle. Over his bedroom door a sign read "EZ Street."

"None of the cars were registered in his [real] name," says Detective Gonzales. "He had no ties to anything. We talked to many of the neighbors, and they had no idea. They just knew him as Sam. There were multiple people who said, 'Nice guy, we never would have known.' "

Detectives also found a high-tech system of monitors that would later provide chilling video evidence pointing directly to Torres' friend Smiley as his killer.

Anthony Limon, the victim found shot in the back, told detectives that he'd agreed as a favor to limo-service owner "Sam" to ferry around four guys in his Hummer limo that night, picking up the first three and taking them to a spot in the Long Beach area — the upscale Elephant Bar Restaurant in suburban Lakewood — where they picked up Smiley. Then it was on to El Parral Club in working-class South Gate, then several hours cruising in Hollywood, then back to Lakewood.

But one of the guys, who police later determined was Saenz, was restless. He ordered Limon to drive to Montebello, then at 5 a.m. ordered him to drive to the limo owner's home in Whittier.

Later, at a dramatic meeting between Traci Gonzales and FBI special agent Garriola, she showed him the video retrieved from that night. Like a scene out of The Ring, the video flickers with shadowy, ethereal black-and-white images of Saenz smiling and rubbing his hands together gleefully while knocking repeatedly on Torres' door. At one point, Saenz reaches into his pants pocket to check on something.

Torres is seen opening the door in his underwear, and the men barge in. Limon told police that inside, Smiley pulled a gun on Torres, so Limon jumped in front of Torres and pleaded with Smiley to calm down. Instead, Limon was hit on the head, and as he fell he heard one of the men he'd driven around all night bark out: "Dome him!" — street lingo for a bullet to the head. Before the shot slammed into his back, he recalled to cops, Limon heard someone giggle.

It was all about that vast amount of cash sitting back in Missouri, confiscated three months earlier by the St. Charles County cops who had pulled Torres over. "There was some money owed and a timetable," Garriola says. "Oscar didn't meet it."

Gonzales says Torres already had been forced, either by the local Mexican Mafia or the cartels in Mexico, to prove that the money had really been confiscated by the St. Charles deputies. "We heard through informants he took the letter [a receipt provided by the Missouri cops] and showed it to his people," she says.

A month after Torres' murder, Smiley's cousin Johnny Prado, who clearly can be seen in the video, was arrested for murder and attempted murder, and last November he went to prison for 26 years. His friends told police that he was an industrious construction worker, but Chavarria says Prado couldn't get away from the East L.A. gangs. "When they get older, they still have an allegiance," he says. "If they are called upon, they have to step up."

Smiley is still out there, crossing back and forth between Mexico and California, cashing in and spreading mayhem. "It is like chasing a ghost," Chavarria notes.

Bogart Bello's gravesite at the Calvary Mortuary in East Los Angeles is on a hill that overlooks the Guadalupe Church on Third Street and the gang territory where he grew up with his childhood friends Torres and Ontiveros. His tombstone reads: "Forever Living On The Top," an homage to his Lott gang. Most of those buried nearby are long dead, and visitors are few. But Efrain Bello tends his brother's site religiously.

"The police don't care," says Bello of his brother Bogart's death. "It's like another drug dealer dead. I don't think my life can continue until there is justice for my brother. To me, it was the worst thing that could ever happen."

Efrain says Bogart Bello and Rolo Ontiveros became big-time dealers because they and their families "were dirt-poor." He admits that Bello earned his first $1 million by age 19, and by 2008 was reaping $25,000 monthly thanks to cocaine funneled from Mexico. Among his best coke customers were downtown L.A.'s lawyer population.

But, he says, his brother tried to go into a legit business by founding Lott Records and producing a number of rap songs, whose lyrics were often about the Lott gang.

In 2008, Bello was found dead in the backseat of his Audi Q7 on Chamberlain Street in Mission Hills, a stone's throw from the Ronald Reagan Freeway. After police turned up few clues, a detective hired by Efrain discovered that Bello and Smiley had just been involved in a drug deal in which Smiley disliked the quality of the coke and "took it as a great disrespect."

Chavarria and Gonzales believe Smiley kidnapped and probably killed Bello, but LAPD Foothills Division homicide supervisor Jim Freund says, "We can't prove that he was kidnapped. That came from the brother . . . Obviously someone dropped him off in the position" in which he was found, lying in his backseat with a bag pulled over his head.

But when it comes to murders and kidnappings in linked to Jose Saenz, Detective Gonzales says, "People aren't willing to cooperate and talk about what is going on and what is happening."

The killer of his daughter's mother has won silence on the streets of Southern California. Short of a confession from Smiley, Bello's death will go down as accidental, a reminder that the cross-border drug carnage in America's cities — fueled by Smiley and those like him, and their willing customers — is never fully measured.

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25 comments
Jrfrk01
Jrfrk01

California"s not mexico?

ByteRider
ByteRider

What an awesome and scary story, Christine. Thank you! Now, could you run a copy past Lemons before he writes another article that puts the Copy Editor on suicide watch? Thanks.

Ace08650
Ace08650

And it's more of these people you folks want coming here,right? These upstanding model citizen types like this Saenz person? You people at New Times are just as obteuse as president Obama. I fail to understand why you love these people so much, and seem to want the dissolution of the border so that the American taxpayer can support them medically,economically, and education wise. It has to stop somewhere.SB 1070 clearly sends the message, the time is NOW ,the place is HERE.

billy
billy

I agree with the one guy.......tell stories about all the good stuff hispanics have done and do. I am white, but know a lot of so-called "hispanics" I think all the labels of color and creed are really stupid and perpetuated by liberals in office using minorities for political means. Exploitation is rampant, but a white, semi-conservative I am not anti-hispanic in any way but totally against illegal immigration from any country.

rsepoca
rsepoca

When are we/those gonna learn that a piece of shit will always be just that...damn what has America come too? We all have an obligation to stop paying for the criminals/illegals in the US....hang all the MF'ing criminals/illegals...bring capital punishment back and stop wasting taxpayers money!!!!

C. Randall
C. Randall

As long as gang-bangers want to kill each other, I fully support it. Every one of them shot means one less in our society. The killing of the girlfriend was sad, but when you lay down with dogs you're gonna get fleas.

Linda
Linda

This article illustrates why Governor Brewer is taking action to prevent Arizona from becoming another California. Those yahoos on the L.A. Council who are boycotting want more Mexicans to come here to take over the entire southwest. Then what? Another cess pool like L.A. They attend college at taxpayers' expense, major in ethnic studies like Villaraigosa and then set out to destroy everything we have accomplished in this country. Further, it was not the Mexicans who settled the southwest. It was the Spaniards, as well as people from England, Germany, and France. There was no such thing as a Mexican.

Hammerhead
Hammerhead

Hopefully the mexican police will find his dead body in the bottom of a pit.

dopey
dopey

this guy in an AMERICAN institution!!! we liberals love this guy!! we like to make them famous, write articles about them , raise thier prestige, this guy is perfect to run the jails too!!! and proudly he will!!here at the new times we support all liberals!!!!! it works so well, we are proud to do our part, with a name like smilly!!!!! he can be on obamas cabinet!!!! go smilly we love you!!!!!!!!!

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phill
phill

Deporting all the immigrants will not solve cartel violence problems. The best thing to combat these mafias is to bring these drugs under control through legalization and tax the living daylights out of this stuff and then educate everyone about the dangers of these products like the government does with tobacco and alcohol. This problem will persist as long as the money stays lucrative and it is easy to get rich quick.

phxstreets
phxstreets

yet ANOTHER criminal who ought to have been born to ravage a different country because of his rich Mexican cultural heritage.

This is not news. This is typical of Arizona and California because there is no security on the border. Travis Murphy was murdered because of NO border security. If the MURDERER would have been born in his MOTHER'S country of origin and LANGUAGE, and if his MOTHER never had the opportunity to break our laws, Officer Murphy would be alive. How many of our law enforcement public servants would be alive today if illegals were not extended that ridiculous welfare benefit of legitimizing their unending offspring by virtue of birth over the border?

Anyone want to tackle that question? It seems that our university researchers are afraid to delve into that issue.

Hey. How about we allow EVERYONE on the FACE of the EARTH to become an AMERICAN CITIZEN if only they make it through the "harsh" Arizona desert and immediately have unprotected SEX??

To you intelligent ( oh, probably genius ) professors, how long until the state is TOTALLY bankrupt?

In order to avoid bankruptcy, how about we simply make AZ a part of Mexico? Mexicans believe they belong here. We can just let them have this wasteland of filth and stickers and dirty alleys.

Provided they do not attempt agree not to penetrate Utah (HA HA HA)

Roy Lorenz
Roy Lorenz

Why spend your talented resources on someone who chose such violent and negative path. There are many Hispanic-Americans who have overcome extremely impoverished circumstances through dedication and perseverance, their stories need to be known!

WenG
WenG

Sloppy police work + laws preventing police (the ones who are awake) from detaining you unless you've committed a felony + drug violence. Check, check, and check. SB 1070 was inevitable. Arizona reminds me of a drunk with clinical depression. Once the drunk is sober, they're still a pain in the ass to live with. Taking the emotion out of the equation, legalize everything and put Arpaio and the cartels out of business in one move. Force MX into parity. If they treat their citizens like crap, give the U.S. something in return for providing asylum and/or citizenship.

jan
jan

A well researched article. I agree with the 1st comment. I too am confused regarding the author trying to highlight life as a hispanic/Mexican. This article is of horror and mayhem. I bet you if you gave each of the people in the projects the opportunity to "escape" and never see another hispanic. They would take it. I too am an immigrant. I have sacrificed everything to give my children and the next generation a better life. I believe you always have a choice. It is what you do to get what you want. Is the the choice one that would lead to a better life or violence, murder, rape, horror. If you look at what was highlighted in this article. the movement of people across borders, criminals, etc. These are people that have only greed and self in mind. Others as I did come here to create a new reality. just go and look at Mexico and their laws around immigration. Wow. It is a failure as a state/country...is there any goodness or joy eft in this world. This guy in this article and the person that romanticize him (author) and his culture is such a farce. That is the very reason a law like SB1070 is written, You manage to the lowest common denominator. Not the poor people that cross the border, desperate, trying to escape a failed state/country. God bless America. In Rome you do as the Romans do.

ajibik
ajibik

I agree with Willy, but with the added feature that we make it retroactive to ALL non-indigenous people living here from 1442 on.

Rachael
Rachael

I'm confused by the "Editor's Note" at the beginning of this article. It states that the VVM is "telling the story of Hispanics among us...and the struggles they face." This story is about a criminal, regardless of race, he is a criminal. What this story has to do with our national illegal-immigration problem is lost on me. And Arizona is not full of clowns, but rather a people who are tired of not having our Federal government enforce it's own laws. With the clown name calling comment you have yourself proven to pass judgment on a people whom you know nothing about.

Bob Johnson
Bob Johnson

Law enforcement had him and they let him go. They have nothing to comaplain about as he luxuriates in his heinous depravity. And thus his carnage continues unabated. Anyone mind if he is shot dead upon sight? Girlymen? Tissue Queens? Leotard Lawyers?

jay
jay

I totally agree with betterthanyou, willy whacker is everything better called him. people like willy are the reason we all get called racist. (I"m a 60 year old white guy) and I"d really like to think that willy is the minority. If it was a choice of shooting a hispanic (as he suggests)or willy ,,,,bye,bye willy

betterthanyou
betterthanyou

Wow, WillyWhacker (and it sounds like you like to whack yourself a lot) what a piece of filthy, racist sh*t you are. You're no better than the trash this article was written about. You should all be let loose together on some desert island where you will hopefully all off each other and leave Planet Earth for those of us who AREN'T inbred knuckle draggers. You should move to Arizona to hang out with other clowns of your kind.

WillyWhacker
WillyWhacker

This is why we should implant a surveillance chip in every mexican so we can track them on satellite. If we find a mexican without a chip, we shoot them. Racial profiling is necessary to wipe out these kinds of criminal sydicates.

MXSKS
MXSKS

sends money for support her???!!!...you're kidding Kristine...obviously you didn't ready the part what he did to the mother...first raped then shot in head...to you understand the gravity of the things this human excrement did...caring is the last thing in his dictionary, he is a ruthless thug/maniac who I hope will one day get what he deserves and I am not talking about prison…that’s way too good of an ending to this story.

Larry in Oak Cliff
Larry in Oak Cliff

What a sad story. With that said, he played the gangster life. In my world, he's just another player with a gun who failed his family.

The one good thing about his death: He is no longer harming anyone. He was a criminal psychopath. Nothing more and nothing less.

Kristine
Kristine

What a well written story... sad and chilling to know that there are murderers on our street, passing by in cars or on foot, free for years and years, while families continue to mourn.What a shame for Smiley's daughter. I wonder if she knows the truth about her father, or if he sends money to support her.

Think Tonya Craft and her ex
Think Tonya Craft and her ex

Makes one wonder how many fathers have harmed their daughter's Mother. Even more deviously than using a gun. On this Father's Day week-end, it's also time to remember the father's who have destroyed their wives, ex-wives for their own self-interest and caused great harm to their children that will remain with them forever.

 
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