Escambia County News

Thoughts on Mexican Mafia

October 22, 2009

Today the daily newspaper published the interview with Silvano Gonzalez, that we posted on this blog on Monday. Based on that interview, the paper reports “Mafia theory falls flat in Billings murder case.” I don’t know if the Mexican Mafia is involved in the murders of Bud and Melanie Billings.

I do know that several of the witnesses and suspects mentioned the Mexican mafia. Several that I’ve interviewed are scared to death of them.

Patrick Gonzalez mentioned them to Chief Deputy Bill Chavers. Tice brings it up in his interview. Then in August, Silvano Gonzalez tells investigators he made it all up.

But why did Tice mention the Mexican mafia if it had nothing to do with Billings case? Tice also tells investigators about Jose Sanchez, who Tice is a used car dealer and money launderer. He tells that he threatened Sanchez, who Tice also claimed was trying to destroy his ex-wife and son’s car business in Foley. “If you ever pull a gun on me, I’ll take it away from you and beat you to death with it.”

Is there a Mexican mafia in the Pensacola area? As I reported earlier, the Cancun Mexican Grill (Gulf Breeze) had direct ties to the Mexican drug cartels, according to testimony in the trial of Rogelio Galvan-Chavez. Chavez was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine, conspiracy to use a communication facility to commit a felony, concealing, harboring and shielding illegal aliens for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, and aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by two illegal aliens.

The Sun Herald in Biloxi reported on the Mexican mafia in south Mississippi (read). Guns and Hugh Wiggins are mentioned in the article.

Not sure why the PNJ continues to diss any story angles beyond what the state attorney releases.

  • Maxwell Edison October 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    Why would Salvino Gonzalez admit he was tied to the Mexican Mafia? Of course he would deny it. You can’t get caught up in the denial = admission sort of thing, but you certainly can’t take him simply at his word that he’s not in the mafia.

  • Mary October 23, 2009 at 9:26 am

    bajewel4u makes perfect sense to me. Pensacola may seem like a sleepy little southern town, but that is the exact thing groups like the Mexican Mafia and other gangs trying to get a foothold look for. I’m afraid if a more indepth look was taken it would be found that this area is in reality “crawling with gangs.” I mean look at the Mayfair/Oakcrest area and the Brownsville area. Those are just examples of the more noticable and most boisterous ones. Look deeper and you’ll probably find them in every corner of our area. So very sad and so very scarey.

  • bajewel4u October 23, 2009 at 6:05 am

    One of the things that puzzle me is, how did Salvino Gonzales manage to save $20,000 working in this area? And, if it is “his” actual life savings, why in the world would he loan it out?

    What if Salvino is connected to the Mexican Mafia by letting them use his name and bank account to laudry money. The Mafia could have been making regular deposits to Salvino’s personal account for months (perhaps years). Then, when money needs to be “loaned out” Salvino can say “It was my money I loaned him, from my bank. Go to the bank and check it out”. Of course Salvino is going to deny being a part of the Mexican Mafia.

  • Betty October 22, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I think Pete is on to something. It seems everyone involved in this terrible case thought of themselves as Bad Hombres. They remind me of little boys playing bad guys, if it were not for the brutal results of their crime their playacting would be funny. Sad maybe but funny.

  • escambiamom October 22, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    It sure seems that way, Maxwell.

  • Maxwell Edison October 22, 2009 at 11:36 am

    You know why they “diss” the other angles: they do not like Morgan.

  • Pete October 22, 2009 at 10:34 am

    No doubt there are some bad actors here and some of the wittnesses are scared to open their mouths. I think some of those who like to associate themselves with danger are probably phonies and have no more connection to the Mexican Mafia than anyone else but they allow people to think they have connections. That belief can intimidate the heck out of someone, especially the dim-witted and greedy like the defedants in this case. I knew a man once who actively spread rumors that he was in the Mob, the real Mafia. After a while everyone believed it and this guy could bully himself into anything we wanted. He turned out to be a big phony and went to jail for intimidation and tax fraud.