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Cops play 'cat and mouse' with criminals
Valley Press ^ | December 24, 2003. | HEATHER LAKE

Posted on 12/24/2003 7:54:15 PM PST by BenLurkin

Some parents raise their children praying they won't find their way into a particular lifestyle. Some simply know it's only a matter of time. Others can't even begin to imagine. Once a week the Los Angeles County sheriff's Palmdale station's Partners Against Crime patrol take to the streets; they know who they are looking for, and they know where to find them. In many cases they have seen them before. And odds are, unless they go to prison for life, they will see them again.

"It's a career," said Richard Evans, 28, who was arrested Monday on a parole violation, of his life as a gang member that began when he was 16.

Beginning with a briefing at the Palmdale Sheriff's Station, a handful of deputies, Detective Bob Farkas and one patrol officer decided which of the "thousands" of ex-cons suspected of violating their parole they would visit that day.

The crew converges on a Pearblossom residence and finds no one home. The condition of the home is deplorable and entry is unhindered, the door and some windows are missing. Dogs watch as the deputies enter, conduct a quick search and then decide to move on.

But one dog decides he doesn't want the deputies to leave and begins barking and growling, blocking the exit. Farkas fires off a round of pepper balls, the deputy is free, the dog irritated but unharmed and the team moves on.

Next stop, Courson Park just behind the sheriff's station in Palmdale. All at once the deputies surround a group gathered at the park, some pulling their patrol cars over the curb and onto the lawn.

A dozen or so individuals are sitting at picnic tables warding off the winter chill with a couple bottles of hard liquor, their eyes bloodshot, their breath pungent.

On the ground near the unsuspecting crowd, the deputies find the drug PCP and some rock cocaine, which Farkas said was most certainly dropped when the deputies pulled up.

Although most of them, they complain, have been passing a casual morning playing cards and chatting, one man, around 40, is so intoxicated he rants and raves, telling deputies that rather than sign the ticket and be fined for being drunk in public, he would rather go to jail.

His companions and the deputies try to convince him otherwise, but eventually he earns himself a seat in the back of a patrol car where he is still not happy. His girlfriend is not thrilled either because she wants the man deputies described as an "abusive drunk" free.

"I've got bills to pay," she says.

And there are more. In all, the team delivers five men to the Lancaster Sheriff's Station jail to be booked. Four others for parole violations.

During the afternoon-long sweep, a razor-sharp Samurai sword is confiscated, along with an unseemly amount of cash from a bunch of men with nothing better to do but sit in the park and drink all day. The alcohol is dumped out and the bottles are thrown away by deputies as they scan the area.

Farkas called it a game of "cat and mouse." They call it "fun."

"If we aren't messing with the bad guys, we're messing with each other," Farkas says.

Those targeted Monday clearly know the drill. As deputies approach them, they get out their identifications.

Deputies expect at least one to give them a chase sometime during the day, but no one does.

One by one, the men are searched.

With 14 years in law enforcement, Farkas has worked with gang members in the Sheriff's Department and before then with the Los Angeles Police Department. He has been with the PAC team for six years.

He isn't pushy, condescending or cruel. There is no bitterness in the man once shot in the chest, his life saved because he was wearing a bulletproof vest. He knows how to talk to the suspects, is versed in the lingo, is firm but not harsh. He knows that every bit of information he can get from a suspect could be a tip to something bigger later on.

Cuffed in the back of his patrol car is Richard Evans, who is being brought in because he was there with the drugs and weapons - a violation of his parole.

Evans' breath is heavy with alcohol, but he is anything but remiss in trying to convince Farkas that he has done nothing wrong.

He wonders if it snows much in the Antelope Valley. He says he has only been here for a while from Los Angeles where he ran with a well-known street gang.

Evans is surprised to hear Farkas tell him there are others from his gang hanging around the Valley and he remarks on the differences between L.A. and Palmdale.

"It's crazy out there, you have to drive around with a gun," Evans says of L.A.

If these others from the gang he runs with are in the Valley, he wonders aloud, where are they and where do they hang out?

It's different here, he says. "There are no hoods."

Since age 17, Evans says he has only been out of prison for about 18 months.

His two felony convictions are for armed robberies and on the three strike system, one more such offense could mean life without patrol.

Farkas asks him how many crimes he has committed that he hasn't gotten caught for. But Evans isn't about to go there.

He says his first baby is on the way. Due in the spring, he thinks. He takes a moment to come up with his "girl's" last name.

Evans doesn't know what the PAC team is, per se. But he notes its thoroughness.

"You guys come kind of thick, man, all the time … you seem to get whoever you want," he says.

More than once Evans throws out the name of his parole officer, and Farkas promises to put in a good word for him because he is cooperative.

Cooperative, that is, as he stands in the chilly park, lifting his shirt to display his gang tattoos so Farkas can snap digital photos of them. Cooperative because he sits patiently in the back of the patrol car while the scene around him is rowdy and loud.

En route to Lancaster station for booking, Evans says he would like to have his tattoos removed; Farkas tells him if he is serious he can give him a name of someone who will "hook him up."

At the station the men and a near-equal number of law enforcement personnel crowd into the small booking room where they are searched again, photographed, fingerprinted and allowed to make their phone calls.

The intoxicated man is now banging on the window telling one deputy he will "see him on the street." Out of view of the man in custody, the deputy chuckles. He doesn't take it as a threat, but knows it is, on another level, probably the truth.

These men have been arrested before and chances are, they will be arrested again.

In all, Horace Ross, 23, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance for sales and parole violation; Eric Porter, 35, Todd Gilliam, 34, and Raymond Carreno, 42, all were arrested for parole violations.

Two others, whose names were not available, were cited for possession of marijuana.

That was in the daylight hours. In all, 10 probation/parole searches were conducted on Monday.

When his work is done at Lancaster station, Farkas heads back to Palmdale. On the way he sees fellow deputies have pulled over a car and stops to see if there is anything he can do to help.

Because three of the car's occupants are parolees, again, search and seizure is permissible. By the time Farkas has arrived, a search of the car has turned up more than an ounce of marijuana, clearly packaged for sale.

Again, Farkas knows the suspects. Here he takes some more photos of tattoos on the suspects, all in their 20s.

As one suspect is being photographed, he says he doesn't know what the big deal is because the tattoos are all old. He got them when he was "young."

"Their concept of young is different than ours. They don't expect to live past their 30s," Farkas says as he drives away from the scene, leaving it in the hands of his counterparts as he heads back to the station where he will meet up with the rest of the team to plan their next surprise visit.

Saturation patrols are conducted about once a week in Palmdale and neighboring communities and each time arrests are made, either planned or at random.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; US: California
KEYWORDS: gangbangers; gangs; greatsociety
I blame the "Great Society" and its progeny.

I'd like to see each of these sweeps end with PERMANENT incarceration.

Silly aren't I?

And where is my Christmas spirit?

1 posted on 12/24/2003 7:54:16 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin
Telling:"Since age 17, Evans says he has only been out of prison for about 18 months.

His two felony convictions are for armed robberies and on the three strike system, one more such offense could mean life without patrol."

Not the victim of the WOD that everybody bitches and moans about stuffing our prisons.

One stupid fudge!
2 posted on 12/25/2003 12:04:39 AM PST by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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To: thegreatbeast
The problem with the WoD is that it obscures the problem and stuffs the system with cases that may, or may not, be putting thse kinds of people away.

We needs time for the cops, and space in the prisons, for career criminals that commit violent and serious property crime. The only "cure" is to keep them inside until they are too old to play that game.
3 posted on 12/25/2003 5:28:21 AM PST by eno_ (Freedom Lite - it's almost worth defending)
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To: eno_
"The problem with the WoD is that it obscures the problem..."

Nothing obscure about it...breaking the law is breaking the law.

4 posted on 12/25/2003 5:31:18 AM PST by CWOJackson
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To: CWOJackson
That is a tautology. We have laws out the kazoo now. WOuld you care to bet you are not comitting an evironmental felony with household chemicals or wastes stored on your property? Breaking the law, is, after all, breaking the law.

The reason I don't like the WoD is that it is irrelvant to property and violent crime that affects me. It also wastes a HUGE amount of money I earn that is taxed from me. If there were no WoD, there would be fewer criminals, fewer police, fewer prisons, and fewer intrusive laws that harm my financial and medical privacy (there would be no case against Rush without the WoD "doctor shopping" and financial "structuring" laws).

But hey, if your idea of "conservatism" is laws that enable the government to know everything about your financial and medical records, that's your choice.
5 posted on 12/25/2003 5:48:22 AM PST by eno_ (Freedom Lite - it's almost worth defending)
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To: eno_
"If there were no WoD, there would be fewer criminals..."

Libertarian logic at work, LOL!

Hey, if people didn't elect to break the law there would be fewer criminals.

6 posted on 12/25/2003 6:29:09 AM PST by CWOJackson
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To: CWOJackson
Under our current set of laws you are almost certainly a tax dodger, an environmental criminal, and a financial criminal. Most of the intrusive financial and other privacy-killing laws are part of the Drug War. Are you happy with those laws?
7 posted on 12/25/2003 7:11:23 AM PST by eno_ (Freedom Lite - it's almost worth defending)
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To: CWOJackson
Specifically, do you support the law that makes what Rush did a "doctor shopping" crime? It's a felony, too.

How about "structuring?" Why should the governemnt know anything at all about your money without probable cause?
8 posted on 12/25/2003 7:16:17 AM PST by eno_ (Freedom Lite - it's almost worth defending)
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To: eno_
Ah, yet another of the tortured examples the pro-dope crowd tries to use to justify their vices.

No thanks but I do enjoy the pretzel logic...it's funny as all get out.

9 posted on 12/25/2003 7:17:44 AM PST by CWOJackson
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To: CWOJackson
Do you have any answer for the questions, or not?

Do you support financial reporting laws that enable any LEO with a hair across his ass to seize your bank account?

Do you support property siezure laws that enable taking before convictions?

Do you support laws that make your medical records available to government to peruse?

Do you understand why crime declined after Prohibition was repealed? Do you understand why the mob now runs cigarettes into high tax jurisdictions?
10 posted on 12/25/2003 10:32:19 AM PST by eno_ (Freedom Lite - it's almost worth defending)
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To: eno_
LOL!

Try getting yourself a dog...it might be impressed with your commands.

11 posted on 12/25/2003 10:37:39 AM PST by CWOJackson
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To: eno_
What does a moron do when they go into brainlock?

Apparently, they LOL!
12 posted on 12/25/2003 10:50:19 AM PST by Bluntpoint
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To: CWOJackson
Nothing obscure about it...breaking the law is breaking the law.

In CWO's world, all laws are equal. Jim Crow, segregation, slavery, etc.
13 posted on 12/25/2003 12:00:41 PM PST by Conservative til I die
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To: Bluntpoint
"What does a moron do when they go into brainlock?"

LOL! See, you even find yourself funny.

14 posted on 12/25/2003 12:01:44 PM PST by CWOJackson
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To: Conservative til I die
Not at all...but there's nothing wrong with the drug laws.
15 posted on 12/25/2003 12:02:05 PM PST by CWOJackson
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To: CWOJackson
No thanks but I do enjoy the pretzel logic...it's funny as all get out.

As opposed to your logic which is so twisted it actually turns on itself like a black hole, making a singular point. It's actually zero-dimensional thinking.

You only wish your logic could be pretzel-like or maybe even circular
16 posted on 12/25/2003 12:03:22 PM PST by Conservative til I die
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To: Conservative til I die
"As opposed to your logic which is so twisted it actually turns on itself like a black hole, making a singular point. It's actually zero-dimensional thinking."

Naw, I have no interest in the libertarian party whatsoever...but thanks for the offer.

17 posted on 12/25/2003 12:04:18 PM PST by CWOJackson
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To: CWOJackson
But you just said breaking the law is breaking the law. So those uppity negroes got what they deserved right? I mean, like you said, the law is the law.

Maybe you ought to revise your statement to say it's really about the laws that you personally like which go after the people you don't personally lilke (Rush Limbaugh excluded of course).
18 posted on 12/25/2003 12:06:40 PM PST by Conservative til I die
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To: Conservative til I die
Wow, you can really stretch the BS a long ways. LOL! Do you get headaches thinking this tortured stuff up?
19 posted on 12/25/2003 12:07:44 PM PST by CWOJackson
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To: eno_
Keep things simple: Build more prisons.
20 posted on 12/25/2003 10:03:32 PM PST by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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To: CWOJackson
Was there ever anything wrong with the alcohol laws? If not, why did anyone ever bother to repeal them?
21 posted on 12/25/2003 10:11:35 PM PST by The Red Zone
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To: CWOJackson
laugh it off, it just proves you lack of debating and logic skills.
22 posted on 12/25/2003 10:17:29 PM PST by flashbunny (The constitution doesn't protect only the things you approve of.)
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To: CWOJackson
BTW, if someone breaks the newly ruled constitutional CFR laws by running an ad 60 days before the election, should they be sent to jail for exercising the constitutional right of free speech?

The law is the law, you know...
23 posted on 12/25/2003 10:21:10 PM PST by flashbunny (The constitution doesn't protect only the things you approve of.)
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To: flashbunny
Actually, that part should either be "it just proves your lack of debating and logic skills" or "it just proves you lack debating and logic skills". Either one is appropriate in this case.
24 posted on 12/25/2003 10:22:33 PM PST by flashbunny (The constitution doesn't protect only the things you approve of.)
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To: flashbunny; Conservative til I die; eno_
You guys haven't figured him out yet have you? Take some time to read Mr. CWOJackson's previous posts, you'll see what I mean. He comes to these threads to agitate and nothing more. You'll not get any replies other than condescension and rudeness.

I did a ransom sampling of his posts and they all follow the same pattern. You fellows just happen to be his latest targets. Once you read up on him, you will know what to expect when he comes out of hiding again..

It's actually quite amusing to watch.
25 posted on 12/25/2003 10:41:42 PM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (Did you see me escaping? I was all like WOOB, WOOB, WOOB, WOOB, WOOB, WOOB!!!)
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To: Dr.Zoidberg
Thanks for doing the research. I figured as much, the name rung a bell but not any good ones. Too many people like that around here - low candle power upstairs, so instead of actually getting into a real debate and arguing the facts, they just try to agitate everyone and run away. I guess it proves to themselves that they are superior to us idiots who take the time to back up their positions with facts and logic.
26 posted on 12/25/2003 10:54:05 PM PST by flashbunny (The constitution doesn't protect only the things you approve of.)
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To: flashbunny
No worries, I just dislike watching people get worked up over silliness.

Anytime you see The august Mr. CWOJackson post to a thread, you can expect more of the same. He's a one trick pony thats a little long in the tooth.

Happy New Year :-)
27 posted on 12/25/2003 11:00:49 PM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (Did you see me escaping? I was all like WOOB, WOOB, WOOB, WOOB, WOOB, WOOB!!!)
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To: Dr.Zoidberg
Thanks for the vote of confidence. With a barometer like you and your kind folks know their on the right track.
28 posted on 12/26/2003 4:45:05 AM PST by CWOJackson
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To: thegreatbeast
Keep things simple: Build more prisons.

The problem with the Drug War is that you would need an upsupportable number of prisons. And, consequently, as this article points out, police are swimming in a sea of criminals. They don't have the time to sort out the ones that will burglarize your house from the drug runners. Sometimes they overlap, sometimes they don't. Until we end the Drug War, the current situation, where it is impossible for police to bring property crime solution rates up out of the toilet, will continue.

We need as many prisons as it takes to keep habitual criminals inside until they are too old for the game. But with the Drug War, we already imprison more people than just about anyplace else, and we have twice as many LEOs as Communist Police State Red China.

29 posted on 12/26/2003 5:40:31 AM PST by eno_ (Freedom Lite - it's almost worth defending)
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To: CWOJackson; flashbunny; Conservative til I die; eno_
Well, I thank you. I appreciate your taking the time to express your support. God knows there's not enough positive reenforcement for those just trying to help. It warms the heart.

I expect I'll hear more of your wonderfully witty and well reasoned replies to similar threads in the future. As always, I'll give them the time and consideration they so richly deserve.

Too All, may God bless you and yours in the year to come. - Dr. John Zoidberg.
30 posted on 12/26/2003 10:27:48 AM PST by Dr.Zoidberg (Did you see me escaping? I was all like WOOB, WOOB, WOOB, WOOB, WOOB, WOOB!!!)
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To: Dr.Zoidberg
"As always, I'll give them the time and consideration they so richly deserve."

And I can assure you I will give your posts the consideration and response they so richly deserve.

31 posted on 12/26/2003 10:29:14 AM PST by CWOJackson
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