MS-13 Gang Leader Arrest In Ohio Explained: He Feared Getting Shot, FBI/DEA/ICE Possibly Alerted Highway Patrol
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Apropos of A.W. Morgan’s recent blog about the arrest of MS-13 gang leader and murder suspect Edenilson Velasquez Larin in Ohio, a few observations about arresting illegal aliens and why they are more compliant than blacks during an arrest.

  • For one thing, illegals come from countries where it is not unusual for the police to shoot to kill.

Years ago, I was talking to a bounty hunter. He had gone to El Salvador to pick up a rapist who bonded out of jail and fled back home. The bounty hunter met with the local police, then went to the suspect’s house. Surrounded by police, the suspect tried running out the backdoor, and the cops shot him dead.  “Is that good enough for you?” they asked the bounty hunter. A young man who had been in trouble with law himself, he was shocked. (I suspect his employer sent the newest employee down there because he didn’t want to go, and he wanted to test the new guy.)  The young bounty hunter told the cops, “no,” it wasn’t “good enough,” because he wasn’t even sure they got the right guy. They still had to fingerprint and identify the corpse!

A lot of countries don’t have civil rights laws, legal protections for criminal suspects, or accountability for police as we do in the United States.

So gang leader Larin might very well have feared the cops would shoot him dead. As it is, he might face the death penalty:

[Could alleged MS-13 gang leader Larin be sentenced to death?, by Brian Dugger, WTOL11, July 11, 2023]

  • Going back to the vehicle stop, when was the last time you heard of someone getting pulled over for tailgating? It’s usually tacked on to reckless driving, failure to use turn signals, or passing on the right, etc.

My guess: It was a targeted arrest. The FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement might have wiretapped the suspect or had an informant. In this case, agents might have heard that Larin was returning from Colorado and headed to New York City on Interstate 80, as his fiancée in the back seat told the cop. They might have sent a BOLO—be on the lookout—to state troopers for an SUV with Colorado tags and to “make your own probable cause” for a stop. The investigating agency wouldn’t blow its wiretap or informant(s) if local cops make up a reason to pull over the suspect: speeding, an obscured license plate, too many air fresheners on the rearview mirror, or whatever the cops can get them on. 

Perhaps the local cop—in this case, the Ohio Highway Patrol officer—pretended it was a routine stop and lo and behold, he just happened across an MS-13 gang leader. What luck! 

At trial, wiretaps are revealed, and oftentimes informants testify. I guarantee that Larin is wondering whether it was the fiancée in the back seat or one of the already arrested gang members who flipped. 

  • When it came time for the vehicle stop, the highway patrolman appeared very relaxed, putting his hands on the door. It’s very common for illegal aliens to have a Hispanic U.S.-born girlfriend or even wife who speaks English. Strangely, the patrolman wasn’t too concerned that the driver had no driver’s license. I suspect he was trying to put them at ease and make them think the stop was no big deal. “I’m not going to issue him a citation,” he said. “It’s just going to be a warning, OK?”

After that, the patrolman chatted up Larin’s fiancée about her delivery job at Amazon in Denver and trip back home to Long Island, New York.

“I’m not going to issue a citation, or anything like that,” he said again as he took passports from Larin and his unidentified cousin, the driver. The patrolman reassuringly said he simply wanted to check for “wants or warrants” and then “get you out of here.”

The video cut while he ran the names and dates of birth for criminal history, after which a U.S. Border Patrol agent showed up on the passenger side to remove the driver.

The patrolman then ordered Larin out of the vehicle, patted him down for weapons, and walked him back to his patrol SUV. After removing his tricky bag, which might contain gloves, extra ammo, a flashlight, and maybe even lunch, the patrolman put the gang leader in the back seat. He didn’t even handcuff him. I suspect that when the Border Patrol Agent stuffed the driver into his ride, the two cops then pulled out the gang leader and searched him more thoroughly. They probably handcuffed him, too.

Perhaps Larin readily complied with the patrolman’s commands because suspects who resist arrest in El Salvador, again, can wind up dead.

  • As for MS-13 itself, some people have a Hollywood view of MS-13 and think that all of its members have face tattoos and look really scary despite being 5-feet-2-inches tall. That might be true of those who are serving life sentences with no hope of getting out. However, the gang members on the outside are much more low key. As with the gang leader in this case, they don’t walk around with big signs on their faces that say, “Look at me, I’m a narco-terrorist.” More likely, a gang member has a discreet tattoo on his back or shoulder that is easily concealed by a shirt. The tattoo might not even be an obvious gang tattoo, but something much more subtle. The 18th Street Gang used an owl’s eyes for the number 8 and conceal the No. 1 on the owl’s body somewhere. 
  • As for stopping blacks who aren’t compliant, I add this interesting note:

Years ago, a friend’s brother was a cop in Frederick, Maryland. He said that he could always tell when he pulled over a vehicle with blacks from Prince George’s County, Maryland.  The moment the vehicle was on the side of the road, all the windows came down and all the occupants put their hands out the windows. It was full compliance. 

My friend’s brother also recalled that a black guy he pulled out of a vehicle was shaking like a leaf.

“Just tell me when it’s going to come, tell me when it’s gonna come,” the black guy kept repeating.

The cop: “Tell you when what’s going to come?” 

Black guy: “The beating, man, the beating!” 

That wasn’t in the dark ages of the 1960s or 1970s, either. It was the 1990s. Still, it was before the widespread use of body and dashboard cameras, and before the advent of smartphones that blacks use to record police beatings.

The Prince George’s County Police Department had quite the reputation for excessive force. The county was transitioning from being a rural area policed by redneck cops to getting a massive increase of blacks from inner city D.C.  The cops were not happy about it, and acted out accordingly. Still, they weren’t just violating the civil rights of blacks. Anyone who gave the authorities any lip would regret it.

In 2004, after two federal investigations—one in 1999 into misconduct by the police department’s canine unit, and another in 2000 into excessive force, including misusing pepper spray—the county, the police, and the Justice Department signed an agreement that required the police to modify their use-of-force policies and permit an outsider to monitor compliance with the agreement.

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