Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Authorities say Francisco "Puppet" Martinez controlled much of the gang violence and drug trade in the neighborhood around L.A.'s MacArthur Park from a federal prison cell in the late 1990s. Martinez ran the Columbia Lil Cycos clique of the 18th Street Gang. From prison, he directed his "loyal soldiers" and his wife to carry out his orders.
Martinez was eventually convicted on the first racketeering charges against gang members in Los Angeles, as well as several other charges. He is now serving three life sentences. [Mark Godsey]