Fifth time is not the charm for ex-Mexican mafia member René Enríquez’s parole
California Governor Gavin Newsom is obviously not convinced that Enríquez is a reformed man even after spending 27 years behind bars, denying him parole that he was so close to getting, he could taste it.
Enríquez defected from the mafia about 18 years ago and since then has helped authorities convict dozens of his former cohorts.
The parole board actually recommended Enríquez be released on parole though it was not to be. The California governor sent a letter to the parole board saying that Enríquez’s help to the authorities, self-help programming, and good behavior does not negate his “extensive history of violent behavior and manipulation.” Newsom also said that he was not convinced his changed life behind bars since leaving the Mexican mafia was nothing more than “simply an attempt to play with the system for his needs”.
The Mexican mafia seemed to be Enriquez’s destiny, being involved in criminal activity at a young age, his first arrest was when he was only 11-years old.
At the height of his time in the Mexican mafia, he possessed strong control over large areas of Southern California and soon gained a nefarious reputation as a vicious killer.
His first stint behind bars came when he was 18-years old when he was convicted for taking part in a sexual assault on a drunken minor plus his involvement in a string of armed robberies.
Enriquez was involved in it all. He committed murders and he ordered hits on people. He extorted money from other traffickers that sold in his territory and he also sold drugs. He attacked many of the Mexican mafia’s rivals and even some of his own mafia members.
In a recent federal case where he testified, he admitted his involvement in at least 10 murders. He left the Mexican mafia in 2002 and since then has testified in 40 state and federal trials.
Enriquez’s life is quite different now. He works at the prison for 11 cents per hour sorting recyclables and decoding gang communications in a special area of Ironwood State Prison – an area where they can protect inmates who have betrayed the mafia.