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Modern-day mafia story had its roots in Houston's East End
Houston Chronicle ^ | March 20, 2011 | DANE SCHILLER

Posted on 03/21/2011 6:30:55 AM PDT by SwinneySwitch

He was just a skinny kid with a thick head of hair who stole cars and sold pot around his East End neighborhood.

But Daniel Zamora climbed the crime ranks to reach one of the world's most ruthless employers: a Mexican drug cartel capable of providing power and money even if the path meant prison or death.

Which for "Danny Boy," it did. He was dead by the age of 32, but not before bringing his family and friends along for a wildly perilous ride.

Their collective story is one of a modern-day mafia, every bit as merciless as the mobsters of Chicago, Boston and New York — but these small-time criminals hit it big on the streets of Houston.

"We all knew each other for years," said Saul Salinas Jr., now serving 10 years for a plot involving more than a ton of cocaine, and whose brother became Zamora's hated rival.

Zamora's rise and fall is chronicled by police reports, interviews, court testimony and an array of documents churned out by several prosecutions, including his brother's capital murder conviction last week.

From it all emerges a vivid account of kidnapping, murders, pistol-whippings, robberies and betrayal tying the East End clan to Mexico.

"So many lives were ruined or were marked," Assistant Harris County District Attorney Colleen Barnett said. "We are the tail of the dog, and the people in Mexico are running the show. We see the violence right in our backyard."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Mexico; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: corruption; houston; mexico; sanctuarycity; spillover; wod

"Oh "Danny Boy", the pipes, the pipes are calling"

1 posted on 03/21/2011 6:31:00 AM PDT by SwinneySwitch
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To: SwinneySwitch


2 posted on 03/21/2011 6:45:15 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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