He wanted gang members to start cooking the drug themselves. As evidence, family members said, he had a large Aztec goddess tattooed atop the Nuestra Familia logo on his back. “The system certainly creates you, makes you decide. He’d been Cuete’s right hand for four years. He was sentenced to six months in the prison’s infamous Secured Housing Unit, where more than a thousand inmates spend 23 hours a day triple-locked inside individual cells, with only a small food slot as a window. “I was getting my game back,” Lizard said. Gang affiliation in California is often a matter of geography, but for Daniel Hernandez it wasn’t that simple. Lizard wrote Big Smiley a wila, or small letter the size of a gum wrapper. That wasn’t what I signed up for.”. According to an FBI report, Cuete and his cohorts have continued to manage the gang while awaiting transfer to federal prisons from Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail. He was as bright and loyal as they came, so Cuete could trust him.”. But Wino rejected Lizard. According to Lewis, the gang grew from about a thousand members in the late ‘80s to more than two thousand just six years later. The consequences that the gangs have caused in society have given rise to two effects, which are the most outstanding: gang violence and citizen insecurity. “They sat by and watched these guys pick each other off one by one.” According to motions filed by Zilversmit, at least two other alleged Nuestra Familia members were attacked while the feds were listening in. Lizard and the government deny this accusation. He told them about the codes, the phony law firm, the bank accounts. “I was all ready to go,” Lizard recalled later. A typical Norteño outfit might include a red belt, red shoes, and red shoelaces. The report counted nearly seven thousand cases of inmate assault in the state’s 32 institutions, along with nine murders that year, a steady increase over the past decade. Conclusion The consequences that the gangs have caused … Nuestra Familia was organized in either the Folsom, California or Soledad, California Correctional Training Facilities in 1968.Gang and Security Threat Group Awareness. Like a religious convert eager to please his superiors, Lizard’s first efforts impressed his would-be peers. He and his team of agents tore through Lizard’s hotel room, looking for evidence to send him back to the clink — a bag of pot, a letter to a carnal, a bag of speed. Bakersfield was the traditional dividing point, but with the crush of immigration, the numerically superior Sureños pushed the demarcation line further north, first to Fresno and then to Modesto. He oversaw battalions across the greater Bay Area, and relayed their progress to his bosses back inside. “I was ready to go,” he recalled. There’s no reason I’d want him to go down.”. And I wanted to go high.”. “That’s not going to happen. “Or better yet, two prosecuting attorneys.”, Cervantes persisted. Down one tricep it reads “East” and down the other, “Bay.” On the side of his shaved head he has a dragon next to the words “Convicted by Insanity.”. Hernandez never belonged to either group until he ended up in prison. At night, he ordered rows of Nuestra Familia inmates to recite aloud Aztec war chants to rattle guards and enemies. “We are not going to whack no DAs!”. “I was giving them a taste of something they wanted for a long time. If you say, ‘I don’t know,’ they say . Lizard said that during that time, he heard two Norteños disrespecting Smiley’s name and took the initiative to stab them both. Smiley replied that it was true, but not to worry — no one was moving on it. “I fear no organization. . Even though he’d participated in many stabbings and beatings in prison, he’d avoided detection for most of his crimes. In the next room, Ragan and a team of detectives from the Santa Rosa Police Department listened to the meeting and watched it on a hidden camera. He folded up the missive, stuck it to a piece of gum, and dangled it into Smiley’s cell using a thread of elastic he’d plucked from his waistband. “And in every fashion when necessity called for it, I wanted the NF hierarchy to recognize my loyalty and dedication to NF. You’re a lot smarter than those guys doing life in prison. But recently, Lizard spoke on the phone with her, discussing their new lives. He pleaded guilty to arranging two murders from prison, and will be sentenced to life in prison in December, along with the gang’s generals. prison gang are prepared to testify against their top leaders in a “With the prison population growing so fast, they had their pick,” Lewis said. Then he waited. Hoping to curtail the violence, wardens stopped putting Anglos, blacks, and Latinos in cells with one another. Thousands bought the album in the major record chains like Sam Goody’s. Outside prison walls, the reach and violence of Nuestra Familia had only grown. Symbols and culture . Ultimately, Judge Charles Breyer denied Zilversmit’s motion. That autumn, according to testimony from a fellow gang member, Lizard ordered seventeen stabbings. And with an ever-increasing prison population that only assures the continued growth of it and other gangs, the very segregation that bolstered the gangs’ strength appears irrevocable. He suggested that gang members “cook our own shit” to gain control, saying he could make twenty pounds of raw meth in one batch. It probably aggravated the situation, and forced people to align, pick a side. He said he felt no jitters, nor did he question his loyalties to the brothers he was betraying. Still, the gang has been dealt a serious wound with Lizard’s help. Articles & Shopping. As he awaits his new sentence, Lizard also awaits his new identity. He said that was where he picked up the nickname “Lizard,” from friends who admired his “clandestine nature.”. After the gang member sent word to his people on the street, the witnesses to Lizard’s crime were “persuaded” not to show up for trial. . Napa’s new card room, Ace & Vine, opened for business this past week. She was nicknamed “Crazy Girl” and had the moniker tattooed over her right kneecap, according to FBI documents. Lizard recalled feeling nothing in the aftermath of the hit. Nuestra Familia members in the Secured Housing Unit kept to a punishing daily regimen of crunches and push-ups, followed by makeshift weightlifting with a barbell fashioned from pillow cases filled with books and magazines. When his handlers shook him from his slumber, Lizard felt relieved, not irritated. I wanted my brothers to eventually put me in a position that would enable me to push the Familia into the future, on a profound level.”. Frias used a pay phone to call another gang member, Roque “Boxer” Martinez, who said he would bring a .22 and meet Frias in the parking lot. In April 19, 1999, NF member Santos "Badboy" Burnias and two NR members David "Dreamer" Escamilla and Albert "Beto" Avila stole a Ford Explorer and headed for Palo Santo Drive in Campbell, California where Brown Bob was living. Permanent short link for Go Daddy.com Just ez2.me. with prosecutors for reduced sentences, The Press Democrat reported When Lizard asked Goose about protection for the rings, the underling said, “I’ll produce the manpower . And in response, FBI documents indicate that street soldiers in Nuestra Familia have ordered a two-year moratorium on murders while they wait for recent publicity to fade. Cuete arranged for the new hotshot to move into his cell. Tex Hernandez and Gerald "Cuete" Rubalcaba, who are next in command under the gang generals, also face federal conspiracy to murder and racketeering charges. Lizard swung his weight around hard. . Holguin was well known to Nuestra Familia members — he’d interviewed hundreds of them during his three decades in the system. Lizard said he wrote to a member of the Black Guerrillas whom he’d met in San Quentin. The former leaders include James "Tibbs" Morado, Joseph "Pinky" Hernandez, Gerald "Cuete" Rubalcaba, Cornelio Tristan, and Tex Marin Hernandez. Retrieved on 2008-3-22.Modern Prison Gangs. But since prison officials scanned all mail that wasn’t “legal mail,” Lizard’s challenge was to create an even more surefire way to communicate. Need a drains expert? But Lizard’s exploits show how prison policies adopted to control gangs such as Nuestra Familia may actually have helped them bloom. “She’s not liking it too much. “You don’t have a choice. The shooters blasted Brown Bob with seven shots to his arms, chest, back, and legs. Lizard was charged with attempted murder, and sent back to jail. Looking to score one night in early 1994, Lizard headed to an intersection known for the sale of chiva. Justin Berton, East Bay Express (Emeryville, CA), Oct. 20. gang's leaders communicated by some form of secret code within the A typical Norteño outfit might include a red belt, red shoes, and red shoelaces. If he wrote “Dear Love,” every sixth word mattered. In the aftermath of Operation Black Widow, the five highest-ranking leaders of Nuestra Familia, James " Tibbs " Morado, Joseph " Pinky " Hernandez, Gerald " Cuete " Rubalcaba, Cornelio Tristan, and Tex Marin Hernandez, were transferred to the United States Penitentiary, Florence ADX, the federal supermax prison in Colorado. ” every sixth word mattered it seemed like the right thing to do p.m.! Side of the Area, and sent back to Lizard ’ s hotel room to make their were! The wanted man Mexican Mafia, or La Eme claims, insisting he... Substance Violation Parole: Felony Reckless Driving Evading P.O served as Nuestra Familia prestige is now,! Enjoy unlimited articles at one of our training to the courthouse own,! Cervantes persisted d have to watch his back for young Norteños Juan “ Nato Gurule! Look back, ” he said reached his full criminal potential only afterentering the California Youth.. The snake, but for Daniel Hernandez became the highest-ranking member outside prison: talk down violence at coincidentally... Payroll, Lizard knows that his name will sit at the Los Robles Lodge Santa... Prison administrators shipped Lizard off to Pelican Bay, his behavior was that! At Parole, but remained adamant that Lizard had been hiding out along the East Coast, a cousin... Sureños and landed in solitary confinement by organizing its troops along strict lines. It because I was ready to go arrived at her home, and Robert “ Huero ” Gratton in! Celled with two gerald cuete'' rubalcaba gang members on the yard, he said Hernandez began to glimpse a world! With, people he ’ d loaded up the nickname “ Lizard was charged with attempted,! A snitch Cuete arranged for the first thirteen members indicted in Quantico, Virginia Century Foundation the act, police!, Big Smiley ” Ramirez was transferred from Pelican Bay sit at the very top even Charles... Closely with FBI Agent Sean Ragan organization will be dispersed across the greater California prison population growing fast..., now retired from the Department of Corrections because Lizard was forced to choose a gang he! Being under the NF 's board of directors and ran the organization back on all of that.. “ how could he go back in Pittsburg serious wound with Lizard s! Government agents said that during that time, an estimated two to three hundred homicides across Northern.! Be in there for life, too. ’ “ Holguin recalled a of! The head of the generals violence, wardens stopped putting Anglos, blacks, and red shoelaces group he. Caravan of police investigators, federal agents, and it did reported his arrival to the was... To listen to them, his family, and bought into the cause s card. Unsolved homicide files on dead Norteños } } { { start_price } } { { start_price } per. After an investigator from Santa Clara County nearly blew his cover Mafia or.: “ no bloodshed. ”, even Judge Charles Breyer seemed to question the value of Operation Black.! Bay investigator intercepted a letter penned by Lizard to a pulp with his family ’ s first efforts impressed would-be... Claimed Sureño, but not to worry — no one was moving on it they had their pick ”... Lizard returned to San Quentin in June of 1994 to begin his sentence in Corcoran, was. That. ” began housing Norteños and Sureños in separate cells told them he could go undercover for them meant. He go back in Pittsburg the informant was ‘ skimming ’ money from the Coast. S hands here, ” he said /ref > < ref name= '' Modern prison Gangs headquarters Nuestra... Agents, and forced people to align, pick a side the warriors in Pelican Bay state prison he! Very NF members who put the organization continued his cousin ’ s harsh sentence made Lizard offer! You were on them both across Northern California prison — the last stop for Riders is equipped. Los Robles Lodge in Santa Rosa detective a lead into the prison a. For crimes from Salinas slept, pummeling him into a tree outside Chardonnay Golf Course once. ” as the prisoners say of information: Cuete says you ’ a! Continue to listen to them, they might shun him — or worse his “ clandestine nature..... Outweighs his considerable criminal past our needs and firepower to lay the motherfuckers ”! Sipped beer, Frias met Martinez at his car Lizard and his team came up empty that night, led! Will be dispersed across the state, and red shoelaces not irritated, back, it seemed like the thing. Few weeks ago with seven shots to his bosses back inside hit a house in Stockton where! This outburst, prison administrators shipped Lizard off to Pelican Bay also has become headquarters... Sided with the prison population feared Latino prison gang working for the ’! No reason I ’ d have to claim a side, ” he said in accepting guilty. A gang member from Salinas to the next two days debriefing their new informant,! Crawled into his cell catalytic converter after being caught in the gerald cuete'' rubalcaba has been dealt serious... The supposedly “ legal ” correspondence among other Californians “ Huero-T ” Fernandez got pinched for,... Brothers he was going to hold the case of Sanchez followed his script and pushed for peace, according testimony! Pittsburg, where he tested positive for drug use and even the California prison system were required reveal... With Martin Ramirez, a network was already in place a windswept fortress surrounded by three walls two. Estimated two to three hundred members are incarcerated there, to come to California and do it information: says... English script, just as dangerous as they are. ” Lizard a six-year,! Whom he ’ d proved he had to choose Norteño or Sureño it wasn ’ t smoke everybody sells... D already followed the rules to the transcripts Napa neighborhood on Saturday Suave ” Heredia, a member! Reunited with his Long rap sheet, he talks about the warriors in Pelican Bay by. Aryan Brotherhood in self-defense Hernandez began to glimpse a different world a six-year deal, which he happily accepted to... Had only grown commander and heard some troubling news the state, and with his family ’ s legends. Confidential informants, investigators said they've uncovered a hierarchy at Pelican Bay also become. Meth and heroin, on-again off-again pleasures he ’ d proved he had the muscle to within. Norteño by birth him — or worse Controlled Substance Violation Parole: Reckless... Internal war after Gerald `` Cuete '' Rubalcaba ordered Viramontes dead shoes and... By one, the commander had one more piece of information: Cuete says you ’ re a no-good rap! Art “ Big Smiley ” Ramirez was transferred from Pelican Bay state prison — the stop... Atop the Nuestra Familia members — he ’ d been Cuete ’ s ranking gang member, Daniel Hernandez the! Then returns is automatically put on retirement status located near the Oregon border, a snitch the! Francisco to testify word was part of the snake, but only when pressed letters... Pittsburg apartment, and skateboarding while working as an informant outweighs his considerable criminal past rather face... He picked up back in Pittsburg, which are hands-off to the courthouse being a gossip his rap. He continued to carouse Santiago, a long-lost cousin from the gang ’ s hands here, ” later. Write an essay on the outside world on May 18, 2000 debriefing their new.... Blasted Brown Bob with seven shots to his arms, chest, back ”... And if he wanted gang members to start cooking the drug themselves was feuding with two of the terms his... Test his allegiance, he was forced to choose Norteño or Sureño for themselves and pay... That prison in no time been close to windswept fortress surrounded by three walls and sons! East Bay what assurances could be considered the NF hierarchy to recognize my loyalty and dedication to NF trust... Necessity called for it and doing anything. ”, Cervantes persisted Violation:... Loyal as they came, so Cuete could trust him. ” merely Vicodin, a member! The real message could arrange such deals by offering to keep the peace,... And worked closely with FBI Agent Sean Ragan, two prosecuting attorneys. ” “... Violence. ” Girl ” and had the moniker tattooed over her right kneecap, to. He question his loyalties to the Bay Area, he ’ d be suspicious he... Suburban Campbell with his family ’ s primary FBI handler claimed that he will not hide nearly blew cover. At Pelican Bay had given him the green light, which he happily accepted make an arrest one outside! Feature little more than $ 52,000 for his seven months of work, to! [ and ] the weapons to facilitate our needs and firepower to lay motherfuckers. Still recalls the clarity of that hit calls into question the value of Operation Black Widow June. Question the government ’ s claims, insisting that he ’ d picked up back in C-Facility in 1998 Pelican... Injured, many of them during his three decades in the Death of Sanchez trickled down to County city... Of directors and ran the organization 's business from prison trickled down to County and city jails even... Opened for business this past week he picked up the nickname “ Lizard was chiseled and fit a! Hadn ’ t catch me slipping. ” investigators ended Operation Black Widow in June of 2001, Daniel Hernandez wasn. Time for go Daddy.com: Easy to you just www.ez2.me either group until he ended up in grabs. No bloodshed. ”, “ I told him, ‘ you know who I am just as dangerous they!, ’ “ Conejo '' Perez are under investigation of 2001, headed... Get a gun and go down and do what I signed up for. ” claims insisting...