On July 18, in an open letter published on the Homies Unidos Web site, the board of that non-profit, anti-gang organization invited friends and supporters to “visit our office, witness our programs in action, and meet Homies Unidos' dedicated staff.”

“Without you,” the board writes, “our work would not be possible.”

Times have been tough for Homies Unidos after its founder, self-described former gang member Alex Sanchez, was hit with federal racketeering charges in June for allegedly still calling the shots for the notorious Los Angeles gang MS 13.

In the letter, it's also revealed that Homies Unidos has appointed Mirna Solorzano as the “interim executive director” of the non-profit. Solorzano, according to the letter, has been with the “organization since it's inception in 1998, and has worked on the

development and implementation of key programs such as the Epiphany

Project and Family Wellness workshops.”

The board also states that they “believe unquestionably in (Sanchez's) innocence” and asks for continued donations for Homies Unidos.

Sanchez himself was denied bail earlier this month and remains in jail. L.A. liberal heavyweight and former state senator Tom Hayden, who attended the bail hearing, wrote on a blog for The Nation magazine that the “prosecution's narrative seemed weaker

than others brought during the police's and FBI's long wars against

crime, the left, revolutionaries, antiwar activists and, more recently,

narco-terrorists and violent gangs.”

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

LA Weekly