Cops were asked by a federal judge to come to court next week and testify in a bail hearing for anti-gang activist Alex Sanchez, who has been jailed without bail on federal charges of alleged involvement in multiple slayings, assaults and extortion.
U.S. district court Judge Manuel L. Real said Los Angeles Police Department gang experts should testify at a Jan. 13 closed-door hearing about Sanchez's alleged association with his old gang, Mara Salvatrucha. Sanchez, 37, appealed his no-bail status to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and won, with the panel ordering Real to revisit his denial of bail for the widely supported activist.
Sanchez was arrested and jailed based on a 16-count indictment against him a group of M.S. gangsters that call South Normandie Avenue near West Eighth Street in Koreatown the mega-gang's ground zero. While Sanchez has been praised for his work as a gang-intervention worker, the indictment accuses him of a major leader, or “shot-caller,” in the organziation and that, as such, he conspired to distribute cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine.
Prosecutors state they have wiretaps of Sanchez, in Spanish, ordering a hit on a rival. Prosecutors argue he has “strong incentive to flee.”
His work as director of the gang-intervention group Homies Unidos, however, has brought out strong support from some big names, including former state Sen. Tom Hayden. The liberal activist noted that $2 million has been “proffered” by supporters to ensure his court appearances, and that a former FBI director has personally guaranteed that Sanchez would not flee if offered bail.