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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

San Francisco MS-13 Gang Wasn't Violent Enough for Edwin Ramos, Witness Says

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Accused murderer of the Bologna family jumped into a more violent clique in Richmond, witness testifies. One attorney alleges the murders could have been prevented had federal agents deported Ramos when they first knew about his crimes.

Edwin Ramos wasn't indicted with the 24 alleged MS-13 gangsters in Operation Devil Horns.
  • Edwin Ramos wasn't indicted with the 24 alleged MS-13 gangsters in Operation Devil Horns.
Edwin Ramos is a toxic name in San Francisco. He's the Salvadoran accused of killing an innocent father and his two sons in the Excelsior in 2008, setting off a nationwide blowback against San Francisco's sanctuary city policy. Ramos is facing state charges and is scheduled for trial in San Francisco Superior Court in June.

Even Ramos' attorney, Marla Zamora, says some friends have spurned her for defending him.

Ramos was not included when the feds indicted the MS-13 gang for racketeering conspiracy in 2008. But new details about him have emerged during the federal trial of seven accused gangsters -- the subject of our cover story today.

Abraham Martinez, an ex-MS-13 member, testified against his former homeys in the trial earlier this month. He said that Ramos had been a member of the transnational gang's 20th Street Clique in the Mission, going by the moniker "Popeye," until he decided the gang wasn't violent enough around 2005.

Meanwhile, another attorney defending an alleged gangster in the trial says that federal immigration authorities didn't deport Ramos so that they could construct a mega-indictment against the gang. A ICE spokeswoman denied comment on this story, given the ongoing trial.

Hunting for rivals

Zamora says Ramos wasn't an active member of MS-13, and that another gang member was the triggerman in the killing. The feds "didn't have crapola on Edwin," she says. "If they did, he would have been indicted. My argument is he wasn't active." (See update at the foot of this post.)

Martinez testified that Ramos was indeed a member. "We used to go hunting for Nortenos on a daily basis," Martinez said, referring to the time between 2003 and 2005. "Not with firearms, but with bats, bottles, chains -- stuff like that." He continued, "At the very least 10 to 15 times, one of us would get out of the car, assault someone with a bat -- that sort of thing."

You might call Martinez a biased source -- or a knowledgable one. Ramos was married to his sister, and the couple had a child together. Ramos lived with the family in their Richmond home.

Martinez says Ramos had grown restless with 20th Street's lax program of violence before 2005; he was instead drawn to the allegedly more militant Pasadena Surenos Locos clique, or PLS, a Southern California-based clique which had established a new turf in Richmond.

NEXT: Why Ramos wanted to join an even more violent street gang.

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Lauren Smiley


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