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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

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Ramos wanted into a more violent clique of the MS-13

"He felt there was more work being put in by PLS, more freedom in L.A. to commit crimes over there, and he felt more at home over there," Martinez testified. In the sinister terms of the MS-13, "work," or jale in Spanish, is the word for attacks on rival gang members. "He didn't feel 20th Street was out there as much and not doing as much things as in L.A., where in Pasadena [they're] doing all sorts of crimes, and he felt more at home doing those crimes."

Martinez said that wasn't the only reason Ramos wanted out. He said Ramos had had a "falling out" over a "personal problem" with Martinez's uncle, Jaime Martinez, an older member who worked on the sly as a government informant. "Because of [the personal problem], he felt Mickey might try to greenlight him over some rumors and went to be jumped into Pasadena, and I felt like it was a coward move to do that." ("Greenlight" means to put a hit on someone.)

Ramos then annoyed some 20th Street members by wearing a 49ers jacket to the Mission -- which is considered a Norteno team. Surenos, the umbrella group that includes MS-13, wear blue, preferring Dodgers or Dallas Cowboys gear, former gang task force officer Mario Molina said during the trial.

Because of all these factors, Ramos joined PLS while still technically a member of 20th Street. In MS-13, Martinez explained, "he did it all backwards." You're not supposed to "jump out" of one clique -- getting a beating from other gang members for usually 13 seconds, derived from the "MS-13" -- before "jumping into" another.

Martinez said his Uncle Mickey and another gang member, Douglas Largaespada, or "Droopy," had decided that they might as well jump Ramos out. "One of the rules we set is that he wouldn't come around the neighborhood anymore, [20th Street]. Mickey, Droopy, and I decided let's get him out of the way -- jump him out and forget about it."

NEXT: Did immigration authorities let Ramos stay in country to make their mega-gang case?

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Lauren Smiley

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