The O.G.’s Are Falling – Changing Face of the Mexican Mafia
(This is the First Segment of a multiple-part series focusing on significant Mexican Mafia Members who have died)
NEXT: “Victorio”, “Tati” Torrez, and “Frankie B.”)
Recent events in the ranks of the Mexican Mafia has prompted this series of articles. As the First and Second Wave of EME O.G.’s begin to depart from this earth and “pass the baton” to the “Pepsi Generation,” we will rehash some of the Big Homies who have made their “transition” from life to death to the hereafter. Regardless of each Carnal’s ultimate position in La EME, every member we will discuss at some point served the Mob to some significant degree as “made” men and contributed their blood, sweat, and tears in the furtherance of the EME’s criminal agenda.
- On December 17, 1972, Rudy “Cheyenne” Cadena, 29, was murdered in CIM (California Institution for Men) at the Palm Hall Adjustment Center by rival members of the Nuestra Familia. Convicted of a 1959 Bakersfield street gang homicide committed with crime partner, co-defendant, and fellow Mexican Mafia member Richard “Richie” Ruiz, “Cheyenne” served over a decade at San Quentin and Folsom prisons. His death punctuated a period known as the EME-NF War of 1972 in which ten Nuestra Familia members were killed – eight at the hands of La EME and two by the Aryan Brotherhood. It also ushered in the prison and street war launching of hostilities between Norteños and Sureños (Northern versus Southern California Hispanic gang members). This struggle has endured for almost half a century and has accounted for an unknown number of lost lives. At this publishing, the word from the inside is the EME vs. NF-sponsored “war by proxy” may be coming to a gradual halt as a result of EME and NF “Big Homies” currently crafting the formation of a lasting truce. (This subject will be covered in a future story). A highly respected member, “Cheyenne” Cadena and the EME’s founder introduced the Death Oath (sometime in 1960-61 at San Quentin) along with the EME reglas (rules) which govern their Code of Conduct to this day. “Chy” remains one of the most respected and significant Mexican Mafia O.G.’s in their storied history.
- On June 8, 1991, Mexican Mafia founder Louis “Huero Buff” Flores, 50, passed away in his Southeast Los Angeles home as a result of substance abuse. In 1957, as a California Youth Authority inmate at DVI (Deuel Vocational Institution), “Huero Buff” exercised remarkable vision at the age of 17 convincing Mexican-American inmates to cease their street rivalries inside the incarcerated world. He then proceeded to calculatedly embrace and recruit the leaders of these barrios and formed the Gang of Gangs: The Mexican Mafia. Among the highest placed and respected EME Carnales, Flores was the first to conduct international heroin business on behalf of his organization working in conjunction with Hawaiian Gardens street gang associate and fellow original EME cohort Alejandro “Hondo” Lechuga. “Hondo,” an escaped fugitive from Folsom Prison’s minimum security facility in 1969, utilized his Mexican drug contacts in Juarez, Mexico, to establish a pipeline with Flores. Beginning in 1970, “Huero Buff” and “Hondo” successfully employed the services of primarily Hawaiian Gardens and Artesia street gang members to distribute the heroin thought Los Angeles.
- On November 9, 1993, Mexican Mafia icon Joseph “Joe” Morgan, 64, died from liver cancer at the hospital section of Corcoran State Prison. Like Cadena, Flores, and other highly placed Mexican Mafia members, he was held in high esteem by his fellow confederates. In the gang’s 60+ years of existence and for the most part due to Joe’s vast Mob and Mexican drug connections, Morgan is recognized as the highest placed EME member of all time. In 1975, together with fellow Carnales Ramon “Mundo” Mendoza, Robert “Robot” Salas, Eddie “Sailor Boy” Gonzalez, and Alfredo “Alfie” Sosa, they are credited with laying the drug foundation (“spreading the EME Gospel”) in Los Angeles and in many California cities paving the way for La EME’s future ventures throughout the state and beyond. The propensity for brutal violence by these men, also known as the Mexican Mafia’s “inner circle,” was unprecedented as Joe and his cohorts sponsored over 40 street homicides on behalf of their organization. Although Joe Morgan was of Slavic extraction, his heart was Chicano. Being raised in the Maravilla and San Pedro areas of Los Angeles, he spoke with a distinct Hispanic accent and none of his underworld cohorts considered him anything other than a bonafide Chicano. In an unexpected and ironic development, it was Mendoza who turned state’s witness against Morgan in a Los Angeles murder-for-hire contract hit that put Joe away for the rest of his natural life.
COMING SOON: “Victorio”, “Tati” Torrez, and “Frankie B.”