Anti-Gang Activist Alex Sanchez Gets Another Bail Hearing

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Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Los Angeles anti-gang activist Alex Sanchez, who's still sitting in jail and facing federal charges for allegedly living a double life as a "shot caller" with the notorious MS-13 gang, will get another bail hearing on Wednesday.

click to enlarge Anti-gang expert Alex Sanchez
  • Anti-gang expert Alex Sanchez

U.S. District Judge Manuel Real had previously denied Sanchez bail, creating a storm of protest among Sanchez's supporters.

"Real is widely regarded as hostile and arbitrary," former state senator and liberal heavyweight Tom Hayden writes in a recent press release, "and has been admonished or reversed many times before by the higher courts."

The new hearing comes after the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Real to reconsider Sanchez's bail request and to make a judgment based on "findings of facts."

Hayden, a longtime supporter of Sanchez, does not expect Real to suddenly change his mind and allow bail.

But Hayden says Sanchez is clearly not a flight risk or a danger to the community -- which have been the reasons for his continued imprisonment.

"Of particular interest is how the judge will find that Sanchez is a danger to the community 'beyond a reasonable doubt,'" writes Hayden. "Hundreds of letters demanding bail for Sanchez have been filed with the court, insisting that his gang intervention efforts at Homies Unidos help maintain community peace rather than violence.

"As to whether the preponderance of evidence indicates Sanchez is a flight risk," Hayden continues, "the judge must consider the fact that over $2 million in property and funds has been proffered by Sanchez supporters, including a pledge by a former Los Angeles FBI director, Thomas Harper, to personally ensure that the defendant makes his scheduled court appearances."

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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