OC Public Defender Makes Snitch Filet

[Moxley Confidential] Scott Sanders destroys credibility of Mexican Mafia punk turned prized government informant

OC Public Defender Makes Snitch Filet
Bob Aul

Dressed in a blue federal prison outfit, surrounded by armed guards, restricted by body chains and wearing a bulletproof vest, notoriously two-faced ex-Mexican Mafia shot caller turned confidential law-enforcement informant Fernando Perez (a.k.a. "Inmate F") entered Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals' courtroom on a mission. Individuals such as Perez sitting on the witness stand usually answer questions posed by lawyers. But from the outset of his late March testimony, this witness repeatedly ignored Deputy Public Defender Scott Sanders' inquiries. Instead, Perez planted evidence of sincerity on his face and volunteered dozens of dubious statements he thought local prosecutors—people in partial control of his incarceration stint and under fire for allegedly operating an unethical, confidential jailhouse-informant program—wanted him to say.

Perez, who is presently housed in protective federal custody at a secret location, shrugged his shoulders and said, "It's a combination of both—doing the right thing, and if they can help me get closer to home, then it is what it is."

It would be a huge, legal no-no for the government to trample on a charged defendant's constitutional rights by continuing to press for self-incriminating statements after the person invokes the right to remain silent and have defense counsel present during questioning. Sanders believes he uncovered convincing evidence Tony Rackauckas' district attorney's office (OCDA) and Sandra Hutchens' sheriff's department (OCSD) concocted an unscrupulous plan to skirt ethical responsibilities by using informants such as Perez to befriend targeted, pretrial inmates, solicit information about their charges or their defense lawyers' strategies, and then funnel the information to prosecution teams that hid evidence of the scheme. One potential route to a plausible-deniability defense for OCDA and OCSD in this situation could be that informants acted independently without any government aid or inducement—and that's the tale Perez had come to tell at Goethals' ongoing, special evidentiary hearing on Sanders' gross government-misconduct allegations.

According to Perez, who for years helped to craft the Mexican Mafia's "Hardy Candy" assassination list in Southern California, he woke up one day in his cell while awaiting punishment and had an epiphany: He forevermore will be "100 percent honest." Coincidentally, at the same time, he says, jail deputies began placing him in cells next to a series of prosecution-targeted inmates including Scott Dekraai and Daniel Wozniak (both Sanders' clients), as well as several other suspects. Also coincidentally, all of the targets confessed their crimes in excruciating detail without him ever once asking a single question for prosecutors, he claims.

"I just did what was right," Perez testified, explaining that his motivation to serve as a snitch had nothing to do with hopes or hints he'd win leniency while he faces a potential life punishment for a 2009 gang-related conviction, a case in which prosecutors oddly haven't sought a sentencing hearing in the five intervening years. "I'm a changed man. I've turned my life around."

Sanders didn't accept the story, perhaps because Perez had employed the conversion tale on at least two prior occasions while rising to a top tier in organized crime, moves that in 2000 inspired an Anaheim police detective to warn his colleagues to never trust him as an informant. But this time, the hoodlum crossed a life-risking, point-of-no-return status: Not only did he debrief deputies on Mexican Mafia hierarchy and politics, but he also translated their coded messages and squealed about their crimes. Surely, he expected to be rewarded by receiving "a benefit" from prosecutors, Sanders asked.

Perez stuck to his story. He became an informant for one reason only: "It felt right," he said, because he now wants to be "a family man" who operates on the concept that "what's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong."

But Sanders possesses proof of Perez's lies. For example, evidence the DA's office may have hidden for nearly two years until Goethals compelled its release shows the informant wrote notes about his "assignments" and "jobs" for law enforcement, displayed an eagerness to question targeted inmates, and made inquiries about winning compensation for his services. He even titled his work for the government "Operation Daylight" and won secret payments for his family from the FBI.

After several hours of Sanders' intense questioning, Perez—not exactly the brightest bulb on the block—cracked. Confronted with his informant memos that, for example, mention he tried "not to ask too many questions" of targets, he first said he couldn't recall writing such notes, but later admitted he had asked questions, if only to keep the flow of conversations going. In a separate memo, he wanted to know if deputies needed him "to fish" for information from a certain inmate. Sanders showed him the handwritten memo and asked if he would have fished for law enforcement.

"No," he replied as his eyes darted around the courtroom.

Sanders wasn't done fileting this snitch. He read another of the informant's notes to law-enforcement officials: "You know I've been helping you, and I'll do whatever it takes to get back to my wife and kids." But, said the public defender, you claim you were an informant only because it was the right thing to do.

Perez, who is presently housed in protective federal custody at a secret location, stared at Sanders and, after a pause, shrugged his shoulders and said, "It's a combination of both—doing the right thing, and if they can help me get closer to home, then it is what it is."

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17 comments
lindatoo2010
lindatoo2010

3/24/2014


STEVE FISHEL LETTER RECEIVED

ON 03/24/2014

Dear Linda

as you are aware I was scheduled to start my pre- lim on the new so called police assaults on the 18th of March well let me back this up some to the beginning of the month. Well, I apparently got cleared for celli, so I get this lil 25 yr. old kid that happens to be Asian. I'm not tripping, but a few days before my scheduled court appearance, he rolls out of my cell back words meaning he pc'ed up. So what then they move an old timer in my cell who happened to know alot of my old friends from throughout California whom like myself ended up doing our prison sentences in the shu. But I feel something’s not just right with this cat. As he's asking way too many? Reflecting on stories of things that's happen in the past with my friends whom most of them have been Ricoed so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure some funky business is going on March 17th "St. Paddy’s day." Go figure the cops pull this guy out like 4 different times. So whatever the old guy who's really not much older than my own damn self comes back each time with a story about how its parole. Ok I say since it seems phesable. So I just let it go. Ok then 10 pm at night they call this lil fucker out he states it was in regards to a grievance, so I say whatever. Go to sleep due to court in the morning. Now this is when my Spidy senses go on full alert, because they call me out to "early court" when I have late court. (See north Fullerton court is always late compared to central Santa Ana court, which always is early court). N E ways I’m the only convict standing there so here comes the MOD Deputy with chains. I'm like are you serious? Anyway the cop submits me to a full & complete strip search includes him searching every inch of my clothing and court papers I have with me. Then I go through the motions of hands out fingers spread flip them arms up, turn around, show the bottoms of my feet, squat & cough 2 times. Finger through the hair behind each ear, open my mouth. The cop shines his flash light so he can see. Pull the cheeks apart balls up and down, tongue up and down. Ok hands again. Satisfied I had nothing on me now in my mouth. Ok get dressed the MOD deputy says and then proceeds to put me in chains like I’m some type of dog or a dangerous killer. I ask him what’s all this about. He said I don't know just got a call last night from class IE... (I GI, Goon squad or Black shirts which even you prefer or relate to them as (telling us to put you in chains & search you (me) good. So I say whatever I’m not thinking anything serious. I just figure they are just screwing with me and given me the typical blues. You know its par for the course. So they take me down to court holding. So as I’m sitting there in the holding (and are you ready 4 yet another way out twist?) Well I stand in this cell still all chained up watching as they bring down all the rest of the court bodies. So I’m standing in the doorway watching out the cell at the other jail inmates. Seeing if I know any of them and out of the blue hear comes 3 black shirts (I GI. Goon squad etc...) You can tell they are on a mission. Ask other chainers, (by the way that's what they call or refer to those of us that get chained like a wild beast) their normie's no-no. They look around, come up to my door, ask me my name but before I can say it one of these 3 cops whom I have had prior run in's with say, that's Fishel, opened the yanked me out and physically put the wall. This whole time mind you, I'm talking to them, cracking jokes or whatever. So I say (what's really going on), they say you know, just doing random searches so they don't get rusty, I say Bullshit, but whatever I talked a little bit of shit. So they unchained me, stripped searched me yet again. This time it's more physical, they find nothing in my clothes, one cop has me interlace my fingers, grabs my hands a fingers tightly behind my back. Then told me not to do anything I'd regret, because it would be a losing battle, here's 3 deputies to one inmate (in his boxers) with his arms and hands behind his back keeping me in a finger lock. Then he tells me, we are going to squat and cough, well this queer of a cop straight up sexual assaulted me by internally fingering my rectum not once but twice. Moving his finger around and deep into my ass. SO I SAY... YOU LIKED THAT DIDN'T YOU? Then they tell me to get dressed and I do as I'm told, but remember this whole time I'm still talking with these ass holes. The rechain me, and as I go to turn around the one cop who I have had previous run ins with (who has tried to get added charges or some shit like that after I got booked into the county from my Oct. 6th, 2012 Ramada incident, which nothing came from that false charge). He then orders me to open my mouth while another officer shines his flashlight into my mouth. Then all of a sudden the cop that I had run ins with pounces on me like a tiger seeing a steak, better yet, like a fly on shit. He grabs me by the head and jaw, then shoves the back end of his flashlight in my mouth damn near gagging me to the point of vomiting. My mouth instantly started to salivate. He puts his other hand in my mouth yelling for me to "spit it out". I say, I have nothing in my mouth but my tongue and teeth. It was very hard to talk at this time because of what they were putting down my throat. He then starts fingering my mouth with all my drool spilling onto his fingers and hand. I stand there not fighting them but standing dumbstruck at what just happened. This is when I realized I was now a victim that has become that by allowing them to physically rape I and man handle me. I already knew they were doing all this to provoke a reaction from me. This next incident left me standing in shock as this cop is now holding a razor blade. Oh come on now this is to fucking obvious. They are really trying to twist me up good. Now they start asking me some questions, I looked them dead in the eyes and say... "This is bullshit", and why are you trying to set me up? Then they start making comments or should I say statements like... "What you don't like your attorney"? I tell them, "yes I like my attorney", and he’s really good. They then in turn state..."then why were you going to try and hit him", meaning stab, slice, cut etc. I told them I wasn't and you know it, all of you are making this bullshit up. By this time I am totally blown away but the things they have said. The accusations were all made up by these cops and by the one or ones who ordered this crime on me.  am now CHAINED everywhere I go. My 20th of March court date was once again trailed to the 21st of March. My attorney whose name is Eugene K. Sung from the Orange County Public Defendants Office, for North Court which is located in Fullerton ask me, and I "QUOTE," You and I are OK , aren't we? I told him yes why what's up, he states, “my boss says I have to file for a CONFLICT of INTEREST". I told him that's total bullshit. Do you see what they are doing, they are trying to twist me up. The D.A. is not ready for the Pre-limb on the Anaheim Police assaults that's bogus to start with, so now the alternate defenders refuse to take appointment.

All My Love And Respect
Written From The Bowels
Of the Belly Of The Beast
Steve P.O.W.

lindatoo2010
lindatoo2010

This is the exact same thing that the D.A. is using in the Steven Fishel case. The letter is to long, so The Weekly won't let me post it. Steve writes about what happened to him on the 24th and Moxley posted his story the 27th.

N-16
N-16

No humans involved, period.

g.judd1111
g.judd1111

Cops and prosecutors don't want to work for their money, so they convince this idiot to hand them what they need on a shiny silver platter of lies.  What this guy probably doesn't realize, is they get off on throwing him to his own kind in the end.  Cops and prosecutors will use snitches up but they have no respect or sympathy for a scumbag who turns on his own kind.  He better keep his nose clean in protective housing, if they send him to security housing for breaking some rules, it will probably be the end for him.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

Since your law enforcement community in Orange County CA uses confidential informants to commit the crimes of harassment, intimidation, reputation destruction, privacy violation, property damage and attempted murder AND the Orange County Sheriffs department participated in the criminal harassment of same victim - you don't have to speculate whether the:

Orange County Sheriffs department or DA concocted an unscrupulous plan to skirt ethical responsibilities. The confidential informant stunts that you reference in this article are the "leave it to beaver" activities of criminal Orange County, CA CI's.

Roy Dickinson
Roy Dickinson

99% of all fed cases plea out because in part to this tactic used throughout the fed system. This is no surprise

socaldefense
socaldefense

My problem with Fernando's story is different than Mr. Moxley's. The failure that I see is a system that threatened him with Life in Prison in the first place. Fernando has been in custody for all but, about 6 weeks since he was initially arrested in mid-2006 for what I see as a BS Possession of Meth for Sale case. Because prosecutors did not initially realize that Fernando had 2 "strike" priors, his bail was low and after finishing the 6 month parole violation sentence, he found himself able to bail out on $25,000 bail for Christmas of 2006.  This "Sales-Related" case consisted of Fernando being found driving his cheap old Volvo with a total of $5.15 on him and a relatively small amount of meth stuffed in an opening between the seats and with no drug scales, no "pay-owe" sheets but, with some empty small zip-loc baggies pushed up under the dash behind the steering column. What this "Sales-Related" case also had was the FACT that 1 day before he was caught in the Volvo, both Fernando and his mother voluntarily went in to Fernando's parole officer with Fernando admitting that he had a meth problem that was spiraling out of control and with both he and his mother begging the parole officer to help him get into a rehab program. The clear "personal use" evidence of Fernando's case should have saved the day, right? Wrong! All officers have to do is testify at a Preliminary Hearing that the fact are "consistent with sales" and the cases stay as sales cases headed towards prison instead of as "addiction" cases headed towards rehab. Fast forward to late 2006 and Fernando bailing out...DDA Erik Petersen had his colleagues stand in for 2 court appearances where Fernando was present out of custody on $25,000 bail (where $250,000+ would be normal for a 3rd Striker) and Petersen realized that his office had never asked bail to be raised as the Strike Prior allegations were added. Erik Petersen first asked the Judge (actually a Commissioner) to raise bail and later had the bail issue set for a hearing where DDA Petersen had another DDA stand in and argue that it was the court's fault for not catching the fact that higher bail would normally be required on a 3rd Striker. This did not go over well and Fernando stayed out...for 2 days.  The saddest part of Fernando staying out is that his family was all with him in court and we were all concerned because Fernando had relapsed on meth and was simply waiting for a positive lab test to show up at Parole. I believe that Fernando was struggling to stay on the right path but, that drug is insidious. That family courthouse hallway pow-wow was on a Thursday or Friday and he was arrested on what arguably was another BS case (with bail increased to the satisfaction of DDA Petersen) on Sunday. On the second case (end of January 2007), Fernando was at an apartment complex in Stanton where he ran into another parolee that he had met. The parolee (a white guy) was having problems with a child custody exchange with his ex and, unbeknownst to either, the ex had called the police for a disturbing the peace type of call. Fernando I believe identified with the problems that this other parolee was having and I believe that Fernando and the parolee decided to jump in the parolee's car to get a burger or drink or something like that. Unfortunately for Fernando, just as he sat in the passenger seat and closed the door, a uniformed officer walked around the corner of the complex and the parolee/driver informed Fernando that there was a gun in the car. That gun was ultimately found in the side pocket of the passenger door and I believe that Fernando's only connection to that gun was with him making a panicked and futile attempt to push that gun down into the door panel because anyone in his situation would recognize their life as being OVER had that officer found him around a gun.  The police officer did a very good job of describing Fernando as a person who was virtually trembling in fear and sweating bullets as the officer talked to Fernando and the driver. AND FERNANDO'S LIFE WAS OVER...the case had been one where a Commissioner had been on the absolute verge of giving Fernando a live-in rehab program...the case DESERVED IT. But, no judge or commissioner is going to put themselves out on a limb and ever be perceived as being easy on a guy who had 2 prior Strikes and who got caught with a gun while out on bail on a sales-related case.  I considered Fernando my friend during that time period and I can say that Fernando deserved better than the legal system gave him. And, before you are either critical of his weaknesses OR damning of his laughable Mexican Mafia role, you should take more than a fraction of a second to consider whether the problem is Fernando or whether the problem is, in the alternative, trigger happy OC juries, judges and prosecutors?

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

"Police coerced the victims and suspects with false confessions that they lied about".

These are illegal actions by the police, therefore the police are the criminals".

949girl
949girl topcommenter

Being that he was convicted in 2009 and still had not been sentenced 4 to 5 years later is a huge red flag.  I've heard of people pushing out their sentencing and it is always kind of strange.  Usually it signals that they are trying to make a deal or that they are cooperating in some sense.  Any amount of time after 6 months of a conviction and no sentence and still in county jail is weird.


Why would they even need an informant in the Dekraii case?  That one seems pretty open and shut.  


It's pretty dumb of the DA's office to use the same informant for two clients of the same public defender.  It's really arrogant of them to think they wouldn't get caught!  Can't wait to hear the testimony of the prosecutors under oath and what comes of it.

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

@socaldefense  You've crafted the best possible closing argument to soften Mr. Perez's image, provided largely decent context to two of his arrests, and raised important questions about the criminal justice system. But the dismissal of his Mexican Mafia role wasn't, as you asserted, "laughable." He was a dangerous, two-faced thug. That's not conjecture. That's how Mr. Perez described himself. He didn't rise to the upper ranks of the 18th Street gang because he was the innocent, accidental victim you portrayed. He told us last week during hours and hours of testimony that he participated in extortions, brutal assaults and for years put the names of individuals he didn't like on very real assassination lists. 

949girl
949girl topcommenter

@socaldefense I 100% agree with what your saying.  I think your argument is very valid.  I was under the impression that he was some hardened violent criminal.  I didn't realize, if what you are saying is true, that his convictions are all meth related offenses.  Anyway, I don't blame him for doing anything he can to lighten his sentence.  I do have a problem with him being used in the first place.  I think that is a criminal action in itself. 

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

Exactly, it suggests a criminal arrogance and desire to cheat that is at crack addict addiction levels. Why would you feel the need to cheat in a case like this? And remember that this DA's office is headed by a former Orange County Superior court judge.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

"Anyway, I don't blame him for doing anything he can to lighten his sentence"

Would you have a problem if you found out that confidential informants here in OC are used by the police for everything from harassment to attempted murder?

 
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