Police: Ex-detective organized criminal activity
A former El Paso police detective who was arrested Friday and charged with commanding a gang of young auto thieves and drug dealers is out of jail on $5,000 bond. *** was arrested at 2:20 p.m. Friday at his West Side home on charges of organized criminal activity and auto theft, said Sgt. *** one of the police officers in charge of the investigation. Police said *** is the alleged head of a gang of 10 teenagers and young adults responsible for multiple burglaries, car thefts, and drug dealing. Most of the gang members, *** said, are dropouts from KIDS of El Paso, the drug rehabilitation program that closed down last year. Bond on *** originally was set at $50,000 on both charges but was reduced later by Magistrate *** to $5,000. If convicted, *** could serve up to 109 years in jail on both counts. *** stepdaughter and an alleged gang member, said in a telephone interview Saturday that most of the statements made in connection with the case were "totally wrong." "Both the media and the justice system have made a mockery of my family," he said. *** said the family would have a press conference to give their side of the story. *** said the arrests were the result of a long investigation into the thefts of more than five cars valued at about $93,000 from the *** car dealership in December. He said four young adults were arrested Jan. 15 in connection with those thefts were ***, 20; ***, 19; ***, 18; and ***, 17. "That's how it all came out, through witness statements and our own investigation," *** said. ** is the son of El Paso police Lt. ***. Another warrant for his arrest was issued Friday for burglary of a vehicle but he has not been arrested. *** would not release the names of the other gang members for fear of jeopardizing the investigation. None of them has been arrested. *** said two of the police would not release the names of the other gang members for fear of jeopardizing the investigation. Stolen cars were taken to Mexico and sold at a fraction of their costs. One was a 1988 BMW worth $30,000. Another was a 1983 Porsche sold for $600. The police said most of the gang members had been enrolled in KIDS of El Paso for drug treatment before becoming part of the gang. *** was an outspoken critic of KIDS for its alleged mistreatment and abuse of the youngsters undergoing treatment. ***, a policeman with the city from 1972 to 1987, was terminated for disciplinary reasons. At the time, *** said he was fired for his off-duty involvement with troubled youths. *** was arrested Oct. 12, 1988, for harboring a runaway juvenile from the KIDS program. Nov. 23 of that same year, he was convicted of assault for spanking a 13-year-old Sunland Park, N.M., boy. *** was first fired from the police department in 1979, when he faced sexual misconduct charges for alleged incidents with several Juarez children. *** was later reinstated.