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Man with tattoo convicted of murder now faces California drug charges

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The original investigation centered on a 2004 shooting outside a Pico Rivera liquor store. A homicide officer reportedly was reviewing photographs of tattoos of suspected gang members when he saw a familiar depiction on the chest of the 25-year-old. The investigator says the tattoo depicted a scene similar to that involved in the 2004 liquor store shooting.

Police arrested the man on a minor charge in 2008. While the tattooed man was being held in jail on the minor charge, police say they used a jailhouse decoy to get a confession to murder from the young man.

While he was being held on the murder charge, law enforcement claims the man called his mother on two separate two occasions. The calls in the jail are monitored. Prosecutors say the phone calls include evidence of a drug conspiracy. Prosecutors claim that the man conspired with his mother and three other people to smuggle narcotics into the jail system.

The man was scheduled for a court hearing related to the murder charge on June 10, 2010. Police say he used a cell phone from the courthouse lockup to call his brother, inquiring when a friend was going to turn himself in to begin serving a sentence on a separate conviction.

The friend allegedly turned himself in on that same day so the two could meet in the courthouse lockup. Police believe the meeting was to facilitate the transfer of drugs. The co-conspirator allegedly had concealed four balloons in a body cavity. Prosecutors allege the balloons contained drugs that were to be sold in the jail.

Prosecutors filed California drug charges against five people on April 11. Authorities allege all five played a role in the alleged attempted drug smuggling conspiracy.

Source: AOL News, "Gang Member With Murder Scene Tattoo Faces New Charges With Mom, Brother," Tori Richards 25 Apr 2011

Los Angeles Times, "Murderer who tattooed crime on chest was involved in jail drug ring, detectives say," Catherine Saillant 25 Apr 2011

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