Gang Interventionist Tried For Conspiracy To Be Freed On Bail (UPDATED)
Alex Sanchez, the Los Angeles anti-gang activist accused by federal authorities of diving back into street life and conspiring to commit serious crimes, was granted bail Wednesday, according to Celeste Fremon's WitnessLA.
After two hearings on the matter and much support for Sanchez among some politicians and law enforcers, U.S. District Judge Manuel Real finally granted him $2 million bail, which his supporters tell Fremon has essentially already been covered. "It's only a matter of the paperwork," said Monica Novoa, a member of the board of Homies Unidos, the anti-gang group Sanchez founded.
Last week Real had asked that cops come to Wednesday's hearing to testify as to why they think that Sanchez is not a reformed gangster but rather still a street thug.
It's not clear if that happened. UPDATE: Tom Hayden blogs at The Nation that officials from "the FBI, the LAPD and the LA city attorney's office" testified during a 90 minute hearing and that "an additional witness testified on condition of anonymity."
He writes that Sanchez's attorney, Kerry Bensinger, emerged from the downtown L.A. hearing and said: "We got bail ... We can't talk about this any further."
Real, who has the support of Tom Hayden and a former FBI director, has been accused of being a shot-caller for the massive, Koreatown-based Mara Salvatrucha gang. Authorities allege he conspired to distribute cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine as part of what they claim were his duties as an purported gang leader. Sanchez denies it all.