Captured Gangster Impresses Federal Judge With Sincerity and Wins Punishment Reduction

A steady stream of criminal defendants regularly arrive in U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford's stately, 10th-floor, Santa Ana courtroom for sentencing, insist they'll never offend again and, sometimes while employing tears, seek leniency.

Most of the criminals are probably just telling the judge what they think he wants to hear, but one 26-year-old Orange County defendant landed in Guilford's court this month with undeniable proof he is leaving his gang and wants to turn his life around.

In fact, this defendant left himself no choice. He alerted the FBI to a murder plot involving his criminal street gang. Now, he's a likely retaliation target for assassination.

Shackled with body chains, wearing a tan-and-blue Santa Ana Jail jump suit and guarded by two U.S. marshals, the former Eastside Anaheim gangster--whose identity the Weekly is not revealing--awaited punishment in a sealed hearing for selling weapons and narcotics.

At the outset, Guilford announced federal sentencing guidelines for the case called for a maximum potential punishment of as much as 97 months before the judge applied mitigating factors.

"It took some courage," Guilford said to the defendant about giving the tip to the FBI. "The government certainly appreciates the cooperation you provided--as does the court. There were and there are risks to you."

The defendant, who earned a GED while in custody, claims he has permanently renounced his gang ties.

"I don't like that life, and I'm tired of it," he said. He also acknowledged his cooperation with federal agents means he has to "look over my shoulder every day," but it's worth it if he can "get a second chance."

Guilford agreed "the cooperation is worthy of credit" because "it underscores you want to get better."

Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Keenan also believed the defendant--who was poised and articulate throughout the hearing--deserved a significant sentencing break and recommended a term of 46 months in prison.

The judge considers the defendant's narcotics and weapons offenses serious.

"Meth is a bad deal," said Guilford, a 2006 appointee of President George W. Bush. "It destroys lives. I hope the message gets out: Sell that poison, and you will do time."

But the judge thought the cooperation with the FBI warranted more credit than the prosecutor recommended. He announced the "just punishment" is 41 months.

"You've had a tough life, and you're an intelligent man," Guilford told the defendant. "I see goodness in [you], and I hope you can rise to that goodness."

The defendant, whose rap sheet is devoid of violent crimes, nodded in appreciation.

"I hope you turn your life around," the judge continued. "I've cut you some slack. I really do wish you the best."

With U.S. marshals preparing to escort him away, the defendant replied, "Thank you, sir."

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ltpar topcommenter

suntananas - Thank you for your comments and I regret you have had a bad experience with law enforcement.  Having friends in the Criminal Justice System, you already know most law enforcement Officers are honest and dedicated men and women working on behalf of the citizens they serve.  However, no matter how hard we try, a few bad apples slip through the tough screening process and end up wearing a badge.  Often times, they go on to do stupid and outrageous things which give us all a black eye.  It sounds like you may have encountered one of those bad apples?  If he was previously fired, he never should have been hired by another, department had they done their background and screening process properly.  I am surprised that the District Attorney's Office has not picked up on this and dumped your case.  Good luck with your case in court and by all means take advantage of  those civil lawyers to get the attention of the City who employes this officer.  

ltpar topcommenter

This guy appears to be nothing but a run of the mill "Snitch."  Those guys will give up their mother, if it gets them a break in their sentencing.  Nothing noble or admirable in his actions, except giving the FBI additional crime stats.  Now as a labled "Snitch" the Court will likely have to send the guy to Club Fed, so he gets a vacation with white collar criminals and learns a new criminal trade.  Pardon me if I am skeptical about this guy, but I have worked with too many like individuals over the years.  Let's hope he learns a lesson and straightens up his life.  If he does, he will be part of a very small minority of criminals who do.     

18usc241 topcommenter

"Those guys will give up their mother, if it gets them a break in their sentencing"

Besides "giving up their mother" here are a few other things these subhumans will do:

Harass and intimidate Americans at the request of US law enforcement.

Damage an American's property at the request of US law enforcement (ex slashing tires, puncturing tires with nails, smashing car windows, scratching car).

Deliberately engage in the damaging of an American's reputation at the request of US law enforcement.

Invading the privacy of an American's home for harassment purposes at the request of US law enforcement.

Attempt murder against an American at the request of US law enforcement.

I'm just curious LtPar. How much of this did you know about? Did you participate in asking CI's to commit crimes against people in Orange County, CA from the 1990's to today?

rscottmoxley topcommenter

@ltpar  Given your history as a police officer in Irvine, I appreciate your apprehensions. Trusting a gangster for anything is risky business. But, just so you know, Judge Guilford's remarks were not pie-in-the-sky, wishful thinking: This defendant has risked his own life by providing previously unknown information about a pending lethal threat against a federal law enforcement officer. 

fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter


I greatly admire the fact that you still maintain a little bit of hope that some of these people can rehabilitate themselves. I'm sure that can't be an easy task considering your own personal experience...which seem to indicate that very few of them are actually capable (or willing) to turn their lives around. Never hurts to keep hoping, though. :-)

18usc241 topcommenter

If you @LtPar are not completely full of refried beans with the things you say here then maybe it's the FBI in Orange County, CA that's playing most of this police community for fools. It would explain why they ignored my request for assistance in 2012. Completely shocking when you consider this American's allegations. Not even a door knock. Hey, you OK Mr. Santos?

After watching this police fraud for 17+ years, it's been clear to us that one agency abuses the trust of another agency. One agency uses the police officer's / deputies of another agency. One agency puts another agencies actual people deliberately in dangerous scenarios unbeknowest to the officers themselves. We know more about your operation here than you do apparently. And if you cared about your men/women the way you claim, you'd stop being so arrogant towards me. However, if there is one thing more spectacular than the evil committed by some in OC law, it's the arrogance of the rest of you.

ltpar topcommenter

@18usc241  Well here is the "King of Know Nothing," expounding on his vast experience with criminal informants.  Not that it matters, in the 1990's I was in management and not directly working the streets and dealing with informants.  My informant management came during the early to mid 1970's when I was working undercover Narcotics, Vice and Intelligence at Costa Mesa P.D. I worked mostly with hypes and small time street dealers, made arrests and rolled them over to become CI's who introduced me to their suppliers.  Our Unit was very active, ran a clean and above board operation and the only ones we were harasing were the distributors of dope.  By the way, I never lost a case to entrapment.  I am guessing that all of the examples of harassment you listed stem from your tale of woe with Police?  Frankly speaking as a career law enforcement professional, it would have been absolutely beyond stupid for any Officer to even think about doing such things, much less engage in them.  Most Officers realize that their is no crook or ass hole that is worth getting fired over.  I suspect this is just a flashback from your visit to Fantasyland at Disney World.  Take your meds and you will feel better.  


@ltpar @18usc241 

I am torn between what I believe in  my heart, and what I see and hear happens in our county.

ltpar, that fact you boast of your accomplishments as an LEO has earned my respect.  Most of my life I have been surrounded by the types of LEOs who brag more about what they get away with not the times they followed the rules.  THANK YOU for your service, and try to put your prejudices aside,  Some of what the public says, sadly Ive found to be true,

I hope to have the chance to prove this soon in court, but Ive waited over 1 yr to get my day in court against a lying La Habra Police Officer.  Ive been contacted by civil lawyers who want to represent me "If I Win my DUI Case".  You know why?  Not so much because they feel I am innocent, because I know half of the sitting judges in OC, the head of the OC FBI, head of DHS, and I know them on a first name/ vacation with them basis,

I dont want to drag in people I have known my entire life, but I swear that fighting to prove my innocence against a known LEO who was fired from 2 agencies before landing in LH where he shot an unarmed man 2 times.  That same cop later held me at gun point, reported I was .15% BAC to DMV, said he found .20 Marijuana in my car, I was held 8 hours and could not call anyone.  DMV later told me my BAC was 0.00%, and together we made the OCSD audit every DUI going back to 2012.  It turns out they had a bad machine reporting only .003 higher readings.  Nothing as erroneous as .15 that is really 0.00 .

And so my fight continues, without any help from my families countless connections, in fact my dad who is sort of VIP in OC emailed people not to help me because I am a cop hater.

This is led me to wonder if my own father would rather blame me for a DUI of 0.00 and disown me, Id rather he not help or hurt my case right now.  However good old daddy reports to me indirectly exactly how they are going to screw me when I go to trial for a DUI of 0.00.

18USC41 in my opinion is truly a cop hater, and as much as I respect you its guys like him that make me feel like I sound crazy (not like the tin foil hat kind of crazy).  I hope you can for one minute believe that I trusted cops, I thought my dad had to be the biggest liar that ever had a badge.  Until last year, and when someone who knows how it should go down is arrested only then was I open to believing not all cops are out there to protect and serve.


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