Jailhouse Snitch Hoped For Punishment Break But Lands Huge Prison Sentence
A Mexican Mafia gangster who worked as a government informant inside the Orange County Jail during a massive investigation into the underworld's Southern California activities probably hoped for a significant punishment reduction.
But Brian Todd Ruorock (a.k.a. "Sporty") learned this month that his enthusiastic snitch services during a period around 2010-2011 didn't save him from a hefty prison punishment of 88 months for dealing methamphetamine.
When the gangster emerges from custody he must undergo supervised probation for a decade, according to a July 17 sentencing order by U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford.
The judge banned the Huntington Beach man, who attended Edison High School, from any future association with East Side Longos gangsters, unless they are relatives.
What break federal authorities gave Ruorock, if any, will never be known because the majority of the criminal case against him--including discussions about appropriate sentencing scenarios--was permanently sealed from public view inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.
The career criminal was a soldier for Mexican Mafia boss Peter Ojeda in the bloody, lethal war with Armando Moreno for gang control, according to court records.
As I've previously reported, unethical law enforcement officers secretly used Ruorock to obtain self-incriminating statements from other in-custody defendants in violation of basic legal rules. (Massiah v. United States (1964) establishes that the constitution prohibits government officials or their agents, like snitches, to question pre-trial defendants who have been charged and are represented by a lawyer.)
Records the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) tried to keep buried show Special Handling Unit deputies inside the jail worked with Ruorock to manipulate inmate housing locations so that he could gain the confidence of unwitting government targets.
(Willing to tell blatant lies under oath, veteran deputies--Ben Garcia and Seth Tunstall--working for Sheriff Sandra Hutchens stated in People v. Scott Dekraai that the agency had no informant program and therefore couldn't surrender records of a non-existent program. Hutchens has allowed the perjury to go unpunished; District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, whose prosecutors defended the lies and benefited from the Massiah cheating, declined to file charges before handing off Dekraai to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who so far is letting the deputies escape accountability.)
Other records eventually forced out of OCSD by a superior court judge last year reveal the stunning number of Mexican Mafia-related thugs who were independently working as rats hoping for secret benefits such as punishment reductions. For example, another high-ranking gangster, Fernando Perez, routinely wrote notes to deputies about Ruorock's activities, including his jailhouse murder plans against Moreno in the turf war over who would control crime in the region. Deputies also used Perez to violate Massiah prohibitions.
As of this morning, Ruorock--who was born in 1977--remains in the custody of U.S. marshals in Orange County and is awaiting transportation to a federal prison.
Todd Spitzer, a former prosecutor and current chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, will conduct a July 24 hearing into potential improved law enforcement oversight models for the Office of Independent Review. Spitzer has criticized the office as ineffective and says Rackauckas, his former boss who adamantly denies any intentional DA cheating, is ethically warped. Scheduled participants include Hutchens, UC Irvine School of Law dean Erwin Chemerinsky, Michael Gennaco with the OIR Group and Tom Dominguez, the union boss for the county's sheriff's deputies.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts