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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    Trial involving violent Mexican drug gang begins

    Trial involving violent Mexican drug gang begins in San Diego; victims said to be put in acid

    By Elliot Spagat, The Associated Press | Associated Press – 8 mins ago...

    SAN DIEGO - A prosecutor has told a San Diego jury that two alleged members of a Mexican drug gang dissolved their victims' corpses in vats of acid.

    Mark Amador told jurors in his opening statement Wednesday that the defendants belonged to Mexican gang that broke away from a Tijuana cartel and brought its brutal methods of murder and kidnapping to the San Diego area around 2002.

    Jose Olivera Beritan and David Valencia are charged with murder in the deaths of two men whose corpses were dissolved in 55-gallon barrels of propane-heated liquid inside a San Diego home. Beritan is also charged with another killing.

    Dissolving bodies in vats of liquid is a common method for Mexican cartels to dispose of bodies but is rare in the United States.

    Trial involving violent Mexican drug gang begins in San Diego; victims said to be put in acid - Yahoo! News

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Kiara's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Rhode Island
    Disgusting! Hope they get what's coming to them!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2012
    Trial? More American money??...Here's an idea, Let them choose, GET OUT and Serve your time in YOUR OWN country prison...Or, suffer the fate of your victims and be put in Acid!...Trial done

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Cartel members accused of dissolving victims

    February 22.2012
    SAN DIEGO - Two members of a breakaway Mexican drug gang dissolved their victims' corpses in vats of acid in a gruesome display of Mexican cartel tactics played out on U.S. soil, a prosecutor told jurors Wednesday.

    The defendants held two kidnap victims for weeks in the bedroom of a home in a middle-income San Diego home as ransom payments were negotiated, said Mark Amador, a San Diego County prosecutor.

    The victims were dragged downstairs and killed before their bodies were placed in two 55-gallon barrels of simmering fluids being heated by propane tanks, Amador said.

    The technique of dissolving bodies in liquid is common among warring Mexican cartels but extremely rare on U.S. soil.

    Amador told jurors the liquids are typically made of supplies that can be purchased at Home Depot, such as pool cleaners. It allows for evidence to be destroyed.

    Jose Olivera Beritan and David Valencia are charged with both murders and kidnapping, while Beritan is charged with a third murder. They are the first defendants to go on trial among 17 people who were indicted in 2009 in what authorities said was a campaign to export violence used by a Mexican drug gang to the United States.

    Beritan is also charged with an attempted kidnapping in January 2007.

    Authorities said the victim was abducted in a San Diego suburb by assailants wearing police uniforms, then managed to escape. The victim is expected to testify.

    "Disturbing news, horrifying events, graphic images, evil deeds motivated by greed and revenge," Amador said.P

    rosecutors said the defendants belonged to "Los Palillos" — or "The
    Toothpicks" in English — a group that broke from the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix cartel around 2002 and moved to the San Diego area.

    CBS News
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    DA: Witnesses in drug-trafficking case in danger

    March 22, 2012

    SAN DIEGO — A man charged in a series of cartel-style kidnappings and killings in San Diego County has distributed information to co-defendants and known members of the Mexican Mafia prison gang that could put witnesses in danger, prosecutors say.

    Jorge Moreno, 41, one of more than a dozen suspected members of a drug-trafficking crew known as Los Palillos, is accused of sending a letter in January to David Valencia, who is now on trial in San Diego Superior Court.

    The letter included writings from a potential witness addressed to the lead prosecutor and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, according to court documents. The information had been provided to defense lawyers in the case but was barred by a court order from being shared with the defendants.

    Judge Charles Rogers issued the order in August 2009, saying unusual precautions were necessary because of “massive” concerns about witness safety in the case.
    Defense lawyers argued unsuccessfully at the time that such an order violated their clients’ constitutional rights.

    According to the documents, Moreno’s letter to Valencia was intercepted by Sheriff’s Department investigators in late February. As a result, the District Attorney’s Office initiated jail cell searches for all suspected Los Palillos members incarcerated locally. The gang’s name is Spanish for “toothpicks.”

    Paperwork was seized from Moreno and three of his co-defendants, including Jose Olivera Beritan, who is now on trial with Valencia facing charges of kidnapping for ransom, robbery and murder.

    Prosecutors have asked Judge John Einhorn to issue an order further limiting the dissemination of protected materials to the defendants. Einhorn, who is presiding over the first Los Palillos trial and two more scheduled for later this year, is expected to consider the issue during a hearing today.

    Deputy District Attorney Mark Amador, the lead prosecutor in the case, declined to discuss the matter before the hearing.

    Stephen Cline, one of Moreno’s defense lawyers, said Thursday that he disagreed that any of the letters were threatening. He said the protective order that is in place is “very restrictive.”

    “I don’t believe it can be restricted more than it already has,” Cline said.

    He would not discuss the order in detail or its effect on Moreno’s defense.

    Instead, Cline said a bigger issue involves how his client is being held at the Vista jail. He said Moreno has been segregated from the jail population in an “unusual” manner, but he would not explain further.

    In August 2009, the District Attorney’s Office announced the indictments of 17 suspected members of Los Palillos, who they said were responsible for several kidnappings and murders between 2004 and 2007.

    The group’s members are accused of abducting their victims, some of whom had ties to the notorious Arellano Felix drug cartel in Tijuana, and demanding ransom from their families. The victims were then disposed of in various ways — dissolving them in acid, abandoning them in stolen cars or dumping them on the side of a road.

    According to the prosecution’s recent court filing, Moreno also wrote other letters that were intercepted by jail authorities. In one, written to co-defendant Jorge Rojas Lopez in prison, he asked about Mexican Mafia gang members and told Rojas to inform the “homies” about a potential witness.

    Moreno used a Spanish slang term for “snitch” to describe the witness and said he wanted to “mess (the witness) up and that this was personal.” He also wrote to an inmate at Pelican Bay state prison, asking the inmate to write a letter to a defense investigator asking him to visit the prison and conduct interviews.

    In another letter, the court documents say, Moreno expressed his “dislike” for lead prosecutor Mark Amador and asked Rojas if he had passed on the word about the witness. Moreno wrote that he wanted “homies” from Pelican Bay to testify during the trial on his behalf and on Rojas’ behalf.

    UT San Diego
    Last edited by Newmexican; 03-23-2012 at 10:00 AM. Reason: spacing
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