Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Funny Of The Day -- Anti-gun Group Leader Arrested On Gun Charges

Yes, you did read that correctly. Is it not amusing? After all, it's an antigun group that works towards the turnover of firearms. But this story just struck me as amusing:

The founder of an antiviolence group called No Guns pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal weapons charges.

Hector "Big Weasel" Marroquin is accused of selling an assault rifle, a machine gun, two pistols and two silencers to undercover federal agents last fall. He could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

Marroquin, 51, of Downey, is a onetime member of the 18th Street gang who founded No Guns in 1996. No Guns received $1.5 million from the city as a subcontractor on anti-gang efforts, but its contract was canceled last year.

Marroquin is charged with three counts of manufacture, distribution and transport for sale of an unlawful assault weapon, along with one count each of machine gun conversion and possession of a silencer. He remains free on $260,000 bail.

Now when I went on a search about the "No Guns" group, I located this story from the LA Weekly from June 1st of this year; just 21 days old:

FEDERAL ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS AGENTS knocked first, then entered the Downey home of purported anti-gang activist Hector Marroquin on Wednesday, arresting him for selling silencers and weapons — including three assault rifles and a machine gun — to an undercover ATF agent.

The gun sales, some of which Marroquin, the founder of the gang-intervention group No Guns, transacted at his bar in the city of Cudahy, were captured on videotape and audiotape, said police officers present at his arrest. Inside the house, the 51-year-old veteran of the 18th Street Gang surrendered as his daughter’s boyfriend, David Jimenez, a parolee at large, jumped out a window, tossed a gun into the backyard pool and climbed on the roof, authorities said.

Officials said ATF agents then confronted him, he climbed back inside and was arrested and charged as a felon in possession of a gun. Marroquin, an alleged associate of the prison-based Mexican Mafia, has grown accustomed to such intrusions, having been arrested many times over the years while at the same time being the founder and CEO of No Guns, which has received $1.5 million from Los Angeles City Hall via the much-criticized L.A. Bridges program designed by the Los Angeles City Council to keep youth out of gangs.

Last December, the L.A. Weekly exposed Marroquin’s allegedly persistent gang ties and suspected mafia association, in its “Broken Bridges” article, based on federal Drug Enforcement Agency memos, classified L.A. County Sheriff’s Department documents, wiretap transcripts and interviews with current and former law enforcers. Since then, John Chavez, the head of L.A. Bridges, which funded No Guns through the Community Development Department, has lost his job.

On Wednesday, the L.A. District Attorney’s Office filed five charges related to Marroquin’s sale of automatic weapons and silencers to the undercover ATF agent, according to a criminal complaint filed in L.A. Superior Court. Also charged was Marroquin’s girlfriend, Sylvia Arellano, who police arrested the same day in Cudahy. Police searched Marroquin’s bar on Atlantic Avenue in Cudahy, as well as an auto yard in South Gate, where they recovered gang photos and journals.

The criminal charges against Marroquin are elevated by his gang membership, according to the complaint. If convicted on all counts, he and Arellano face up to 50 years in prison. At the time of his arrest Marroquin faced a separate gun possession charge, also reported in December by the Weekly. That trial has been delayed. Meanwhile, his son, Hector Marroquin Jr., a former No Guns officer who police say is an admitted 18th Street Gang member, has been indicted on charges of home invasion robbery and faces up to 40 years in prison.

No Guns finally lost its funding last year, after city officials found the organization had engaged in nepotism and misappropriation of public funds. Along with his wife, son and daughter, who police say is a member of the Hawthorne L’il Watts Gang, the Marroquins made more than $200,000 a year in salaries — public funds paid by L.A. taxpayers — to steer children away from gangs and help active gangsters escape the life.

So this is much bigger than the LA Times has reported. There is no mention in the LA Times report above (Hat-Tip: Mark Steyn @ NRO's The Corner) of the funding from city hall, the fact that his son and girlfriend are both facing chargesor his association with the Mexican Mafia. Gee, is this a case of the LA Times being too lazy, or too PC-minded to do any further investigating because of the man's ethnic background?



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