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Ex-Mexican Mafia Leader Rene ‘Boxer’ Enriquez Denied Release by Governor Newsom

10:05 AM PDT on April 25, 2019

    [dropcap size=big]R[/dropcap]ene "Boxer" Enriquez says he and an associate drugged a fellow member of the Mexican Mafia, who had fallen out of favor, and then shot him several times to make sure he was dead. He says he ordered the death of a woman because she was a drug dealer for La Eme and was stealing some of the proceeds. He also says he's reformed and has vowed "to never violate another law" and "to never harm another soul."

    Last December, Enriquez was granted parole for the fourth time since 1993 when he was convicted and sentenced to 20 years-to-life for those murders and other crimes. This month, Gov. Gavin Newsom became the latest California governor to block Enriquez's parole, calling his release "dangerous."

    Newsom blocked his release despite Enriquez becoming a key witness for the government and working as an anti-gangs activist from prison. "I encourage him to continue down this path of self-development and insight. However, given his current risk to public safety, I am not prepared to approve his release," Newsom wrote in a three-page letter.

    Enriquez is originally from Cerritos. He says he was jumped into Artesia 13 when he was about 12 years old. "Members of a Los Angeles street gang beat him behind a gas station as an initiation. He went to juvenile hall after he and two other partygoers raped an intoxicated woman. He joined the Mexican Mafia during his first stint in prison," according to the Associated Press.

    He rose to prominence within the organization by committing hits and helping to organize the prison gangs. He also claims responsibility for convincing L.A. street gangs to put a moratorium on drive-by shootings in the early 90s. "Our true motivation for stopping the drive-bys was to infiltrate the street gangs and place representatives in each gang—representatives which then, in turn, tax illicit activities in the areas," he told NPR.

    According to reports, Enriquez began to cooperate with authorities in 2003 and now has a price on his head for turning on the Mexican Mafia.

    RELATED: Death of a Godfather: Peter ‘Sana’ Ojeda Reshaped the Mexican Mafia and Paved the Way for SoCal's Gentrification

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