Grew up in LV, got noticed and was asked to join the ranks of a crime group. My exploits gave me a life of luxury and also took me to prison. I can answer questions in regards to prison,being deported and working for the "short man"

Really surprised by the amount of feedback I don't mind keeping this open just leave questions may not answer in a timely manner but the question will be answered once I remember to check this website.

Good luck and happy holidays

Comments: 177 • Responses: 75  • Date: 

backwardbeatle26 karma

In relation to the crimes you committed, did you view them as a source of income, like you would a job, or was it more than that? In television and film, I've always thought the majority of major criminal characters are portrayed as being mostly interested in a "rush" from crime or a higher calling, as opposed to simply running an operation for monetary gains which seems more plausible in the real world. Thanks for the AmA!

Elchinola34 karma

I treated it as a job. We literally had to clock in and clock out. I never had to hurt anyone and had to turn in receipts for what I bought and what I spent. It was nice on our days off.

Bill_Casbay17 karma

What was the scariest situation you experienced and how did you deal with it?

Elchinola30 karma

Being pulled over with enough money to retire on, and enough fake money to maybe get me behind bars for life. I played it cool.

With the amount of money we dealt with eventually we ran into fake money. I was also in charge of getting rid of it, that in itself became a challenge

Bill_Casbay10 karma

Impressive that you had that composure. I would have turned red and started shaking.

Elchinola26 karma

I honestly remembered to answer, be polite and brief. I also pinched my inner thigh. Once he stated I turned a corner while people were in the crosswalk i sighed and expressed how sorry I was.

MARATHONman2216 karma


Elchinola40 karma

In highschool I used to sell items that I bought. No drugs but like shirts,cd's ect. In no time i had save up enough to buy a Navigator and started hitting the club scene (under 18 clubs) from there one of the workers saw me thinking I was indeed selling drugs and moving in on their turf. I was confronted and explained everything in detail. Once cleared they like the fact that I was honest and had ties to where they are from. I was brought in low level and worked up.

  1. I did my time and did not tell. I left that part of life and am now working a normal job. I would not discuss names nor events in detail. Hence why "my proof" is missing quite a bit to protect myself and to cover the legal names of those who may still be in group working.

We have/had a code of honor go to prison not say shit and you will be paid for your time. Upon leaving you are given the option continue or leave as is. Many groups count on the court system deporting people on first time infractions. So its like this work for us and when you get busted do your time get paid and use the money to go straight. That is how they get alot of people to join.

dampew1 karma

So would you say that for some people there is actually an incentive to go to prison?

Elchinola4 karma

Of course if your poor from another country you can go to prison sit down and earn $20-$35 k for not saying shit per year. Remember in mexico the average person earns about $120 a week 20-35k for a year is enough to start a business in mexico and have extra. The higher you are the more your paid per year to sit down

dampew5 karma

This was an unbelievably interesting ama, hope you stay safe and out of trouble. Thank you for answering questions.

Elchinola4 karma

Like wise and not a problem the AmA section kicks ass

PhiLLyinDaLLaS13 karma

Very interesting to hear your story. What was the best "job" you had to do?

Elchinola46 karma

Best its a bit boring but I was told rent a restaurant in a casino I contacted the GM explained the situation and we agreed on the price and menu. I advised I would go the following day to pay for said event. Next day I show up wearing jeans,sneakers and a flat billed hat; ask for the GM. The GM is an older lady and looks at me scared to death. I advise her I was the gentleman she spoke to over the phone and we should speak in private. She agrees and asks me to wait out front while she finishes up with a customer. 2 minutes later Casino security show up and are at my side. GM walks out and greets me again. Asked to follow her back to the office. Sit down with guards watching me. Proceed to have convo in regards to plans. She pulls out the contract and when asked how I will be paying I say deposit cash. Proceed to pull 20K out of my pockets and a Mastercard for the rest. Her jaw dropped and we finished the details. Afterward she admitted she thought I was there to rob her. From that moment I changed my clothing and how I present myself to people.

I also had to help girls go out and buy stuff, not spend more than their daddy's allowed. It was funny to see girls controlling men who literally were heartless.

I also got to personally fly charter plane from McCarren Executive to Mexico it was great.

PhiLLyinDaLLaS7 karma

Awesome stories. Thanks for the reply.

Elchinola6 karma

no problem

BurgNast12 karma

Where were you deported to and what do you do now?

Elchinola34 karma

I was placed on probation in 2008 violated in 2010 got caught laundering money. The state did not pursue the laundering charge as I already had time over my head. I had a little bit of money saved up now I run a business in Tijuana. Since I did not "snitch or rat" anyone out I was free to leave the group having finished my time.

Spell check*

Rispetto9 karma

I'm quite surprised to hear they let you go.

It was my understanding that these groups had you for life, seeing as how theres always a small possibility of snitching.

Elchinola21 karma

This is a BIG misconception. They understand you cannot be in the business for life. As long as you you do not snitch or screw up you can leave with no problem. You do have to advise them beforehand as they will ask everyone if they have any issues with it and if so they solve it.

Let me go further into this

1 time person going to prison normally gets out on first parole hearing, thus the group plans on everyone being caught at one time or another. If you stay quiet and do your time you did your duty. (As soon as you get to prison they check your PSI which includes everything you told the cops ect) you dont have your PSI you are marked and taken off the yard not killed but beat up and put into PC once your get out its a go to kill you.

But if you stay quiet not say shit you get paid for the time you were in as you are in there because of the business.

2nd time caught your looking at time so after the 1st time they give you the option continue or move on. You already proved you wouldnt snitch and by then you see their reach you stay shut collect your money and move on

weevhy8 karma

What's a PSI?

Elchinola15 karma

Pre Sentence Investigation this paper states what you did, if you spoke to the cops if so what you told them. It is verbatim so if you try to talk your way out its there, you snitch its there. If you try to change it they will know.

Every group in prison except the blacks check paperwork. No child molesters, or snitches or nortenos were allowed to walk the yard at high desert state prison.

Ignacio146 karma

Every group in prison except the blacks check paperwork.

Why don't blacks check the paperwork?

Elchinola3 karma

No idea why....but if a leader or key holder as we called the shot callers found out they had a child molester they would ask the black key holder for an OK to get rid of him. The blacks would then just tell said child molester to go into protective custody as to not have a race riot. Normally issues between groups could be discussed by the key holders and nothing major outside the groups would occur. All infractions were handled within the group

UnrustledJimmie6 karma

now I run a business in Tijuana

What kind of "business"?

Elchinola29 karma

Come to Playas de Tijuana support your local seafood shops :)

shmegegy12 karma


Elchinola19 karma

All these plans were in place while I was working. We ALWAYS knew at the top they were in direct contact with other people who allowed us to make the moves we did.

From my understanding it was keep the money, but with it keep the violence down on this side of the border which was kept to a minimum.

The problem is you give a little and people want more. They could cleanly take XXX amount of dollars and they wanted more off the books ect.

shmegegy6 karma


Elchinola7 karma

no problem

IamJahova5912 karma

What did you like the most about that life style?

Elchinola25 karma

The money, traveling. I used to fly to Hawaii about 5-6 times per year. Owned a Lexus Rx330, Lexus Ls430 and an SC430 all bought through "dealer auctions." The ability splurge on family and help any way I could. Going out to eat leaving a $50 tip for $15 worth of food ect.

BaconNEggs127 karma

what do you mean by " dealer auctions" in parentheses?

Elchinola13 karma

Car dealers when they have cars they cant sell take them to "dealer auctions" anyone with a dealer licence can bid on them. Needless to say they owned quite a few car dealerships where they did "in house financing"

Geldtron5 karma

and by "in house financing" I have to assume it was a great way to cook the books and launder cash.

Elchinola12 karma

exactly. The bough car for X amount yet on books sold it to "me" for XXXXXX with crazy interest I never made a car payment and got the title in a few weeks. They hated when they had to pay business tax

jcmorrow1910 karma

Would you say that it was a "positive" experience? It sounds like you were treated with dignity, is that the case for everyone? Or, were you just good at your job?

Elchinola25 karma

It was positive as it gave me the chance to travel and do things I could not. Negatives were it ruined my life in U.S. put my family through stuff when I got busted.

Everyone is treated with respect. Remember these same people you see day in and day out if caught have everything they need to drag you with them. Your word was everything never get caught in a lie and be honest in your opinions. There was no rebuttals if you disagreed. People think its all savages and ect. Its the opposite everything is not overlooked and over plan everything.

I was great at my job, I never took a penny that was not mine. Any "extra" they added would be returned. I never fell for the traps they set.

WcDeckel10 karma

what do you mean with extra added and traps?

Elchinola16 karma

At times to test if someone was not being truthful they would mark the bags $15000 and add $15080 or something like that to see where the $80 would go whether it would be turned in or kept. The even wrote the serial numbers down and at times we all had to take bills out of our wallets to make sure we did not have said marked bills ect

blowingloudallday10 karma

Most heads you chopped off in one day?

Elchinola21 karma

None that wasn't part of my job. I handled the money. The way it works is on a need to know basis. Less risk of you snitching on other people if you get caught.

sd515110 karma


Elchinola29 karma

Crazy as it sounds yes. They fall for the power from what I saw not the money. Fun times

spennasty10 karma

If you could go back and change one thing, would you? If so what would it be and why? And do you have an advice for someone just finishing college? Not about doing this work but general life advice

Elchinola24 karma

Save money for a rainy day. This day and age poeple have forgotten what it means to be true, your word means everything. Be upfront with people and they show you who they really are. If you ever plan on doing something wrong make sure its worth the price.

Rispetto9 karma

What was going through your mind when you were asked to join the crime group? Was it excitement, a bit of fear, maybe both?

Did your status in the crime group help you while you were in prison, or did it make life more difficult?

What was the largest amount of money you had on person at any one time?

Thanks for the AMA!

Elchinola16 karma

Honestly I was scared when I was followed then stopped then told to follow them. Once everything came to light I was feeling pretty cool. It was a rush understanding your part of something powerful.

In prison the groups are paisas (latinos, hispanic non gang related but can be cartel member) South siders, White, Blacks, Usues sp? (asians) Paisas Run the yard we had a connect for everything. Once leaving the fish tank which is 30 days locked in your cell leaving every 3rd day to shower and back while they classify you everything was gravy. People knew me before even touching the yard...I remember getting to level 3 hitting the yard and bam 2-3 dudes come up to me and intorduce themselves. I never met them but on the streets I heard their names being tossed around.

I used to walk around daily with about $1000 and the most was about $30k in a backpack for myself.

Rispetto7 karma

Damn man that's pretty intense.

That's like a whole other world I'll never truly know.

Thanks for this AMA.

Elchinola7 karma

no problem thats what AMA are for

TrinidadRex9 karma

Did you ever have a partner or co worker that just kinda stopped coming to work out of the blue? If someone had violated the trust of others or messed up, were you informed about it or did people just kinda disappear?

How was your relationship with the people you worked with?

Elchinola6 karma

Sorry just saw this question...

No if you screwed up badly you were asked to fly to mexico there you would be punished ect.

The relationship was like anyother workplace we would make fun of each other laugh at each other but always stayed serious when it came to actual work. We could be cracking jokes about something then someone says they are short and everything comes to a standstill. It changes the mood 180 degrees

Tsing_Tao9 karma

What level of violence did you witness? Can you give us a few stories of some of the crazy stuff?

Elchinola35 karma

Violence not so much, I was not an enforcer. The less you know the better. There is less chance to tell on others. I rented Wolfgang Puck's Chinois restaurant in the forum shoppes in caesars palace for myself and my date $26k cash for a tuedsay night

1the_healer15 karma

I see you had the club going up on a Tuesday. (I just had to mention that)

Elchinola15 karma

Well played sir, it was literally the only days we got off because we were always working on the weekends

Balikiliki9 karma

Academically curious about a few topics here so please forgive the list:

  • To the best of your knowledge, was it exclusively certain individuals who performed executions, torture, or other acts of extreme violence?
  • If so, how were these people regarded by the rest of the organization?
  • To what degree was the organization run like a white-collar company?
  • How often, to your knowledge, do law enforcement or other official organizations get involved in covering-up elements of the business vs violence side of your organization's activities?
  • What is your favorite seafood dish? (ok, maybe not all academic questions)

Thanks! B

Elchinola13 karma

Yes certain people were enforcers. They were view as the black sheep or group you knew if they came around something made another person higher up in the ladder unhappy. Or they appear then we had rivals in the area to either meet the threat or find out why.

Its exactly like a company..remove the ceo the stock tumbles for a bit while the company is restructured but day to day operations do not stop.

Seafood: Lobster al estillo pueto nuevo..Google puerto nuevo lobster. rice beans and lobster with a pacifico

Balikiliki4 karma

Thanks for the speedy reply! Two follow-ups if you don't mind:

  • Do you feel that enforcers been involved in that level of violence even outside the framework of the organization?

  • What, if anything, would you see or do to change/reduce the level of violence associated with these organizations?

Si se prefiere explicarlo en espanol, lo puedo traducir para los demas.

Elchinola5 karma

Of course most enforcers are military trained or ex military. I never saw but did hear the PMC companies were training people. There was also people who were brought in to train others. The grapevine always produced stories like hey they got "Marines eating Tomatoes" I never understood but then Tomatoes are a large crop in Sinaloa thus meaning they had marines training others in that area.

I heard most of the weapons actually came in through Nicaragua funneled to EL Salvador when they had their civil war. The excess was stored and never returned to the gov't when they stopped fight those were sold and then brought into Mex where some were scrapped other refurbished and bam now they had weapons.

I have no answer for the send question. Honestly the demand is so high the risk is worth it. Better communication between groups would work. Mexico would need to move toward Columbias form of live and let live. They have rival factions who dont fight as to not bring more attention to them.

English Spanish it doesn't matter im fluent in both

glitterlaoishe2 karma

Puerto Nuevo lobster is amazing, man.

Good on you for turning your life around.

Elchinola2 karma

Yea it is try it with a michelada and a spicy chipotle sauce it works very well together

BDMiller9 karma

Do you have any regrets?

Elchinola24 karma

Yes I would have saved more money, spent less of Bullshit. And helped more people in need. I was too young to understand what I had the chance to do. Once I got busted I thought "crap now I need to save this as fast as I can"

babyshamus8 karma

Were you part of a gang or cartel of some sort? Or contributing to handling their money?

Elchinola15 karma

not a gang but the other option yes. I handled the money counted,delivered and spent money on items I was told to do so.

babyshamus7 karma

Awesome thank you for responding. Also that's pretty cool so you were like a treasurer for them in a way?

Elchinola9 karma

Not sure what that job entails I was to count the deposits move the money and stash it at locations. I was also instructed to purchase items for use as needed this included cars, clothes ect.

Here is a link to a guy doing life now called "Pallios" He took over LV after I jumped ship. This is a good look at the type of foundation we had.

bigdongately8 karma

This is fascinating. Thank-you for responding.

How did you hear about Reddit and AMA? Why did you decide to do this?

Elchinola10 karma

A friend of mine told me about this after he heard my exploits and brought me here; I read a few and thought you guys would get a kick out it. Before 11/17/2014 I didnt even know this place existed it's rare I speak on the subject I guess it to fill me need also. After this I'm done it will be a closed chapter on my life.

swiftysam7 karma

  • How'd you clean the money?
  • What kinds of things were you buying for them regularly?
  • What was your rank among your syndicate?

Thanks, really interesting topic.

Elchinola9 karma

How much money are we talking? Daily would send out to our people and meet with those who ran real with businesses and have them take the bad money and just switch it out. We were always at the store buying stuff $20 and pay with $100 all this stuff was then sent to mexico where it would be sold at swapmeets ect.

I would be told to buy everything leave it like this you have money what would you want to buy? TV's shoes,cars,cell phones oh god yes cellphones like crazy.

My rank on a scale of 1-10 maybe a 3-4 if they are nice. Thats what I think the problem is in these groups you never know where your at at rankings unless your high up. Between ourselves we had groups who planted misinformation. "hey do you know Pablo?" (there was never a pablo in our group) ect

DarkWandererAU2 karma

What kind of jobs and responsibilities would a person at rank 1 have? And how about rank 10 (if you were able to know about those jobs)?

Elchinola3 karma

the ranking system is as follows somewhat.

0: People who act as sellers/movers it calls attention to themselves which make us have to waste time into looking into them.

1 : People who sell once in a blue moon, yet bring attention to regular sellers they in turn bitch to us.

2: these are your corner sellers, they guys you physically buy drugs from

3: these are local suppliers they buy from us and give to their workers to sell. Considered small time as they rarely buy more than a few pounds or kilos.

4: local leaders who maintain sales areas they dealer directly with us.

that is the street breakdown for dealers our breakdown is as follows.

workers: (they bag product,move it, have shell businesses for us.)

watchers: they watch the workers and make sure nothing is missing

collectors : the collect money from businesses and from sellers they do this directly as to not have the telephone issue.

counters: they count everything that comes in and leaves.

Counter/buyers: (Me) We double check EVERYTHING. We are the spenders for the group anyone needs something we are the ones to buy it. We have fake shops to launder money and we report. To area/district managers.

Moving into the big movers

Area managers they focus on controlling specific areas of a city such as a neighborhood.

They report to

City managers who over see the city and make sure everyone is doing their jobs. They solve most issues inhouse.

They report to District managers who run parts of the country. (* I was to report directly to these people, as an issue with money may mean overs were on the take also within the group)

They report to the council in Mexico. If an issue reaches this far its a major issue.

Top of the line these are the people who set prices, work with the production lines, have the ability to set truces and start wars.

That was a very brief explanation.

Enforcers at the whim of district managers but can be requested by lower ranking people. There is a whole process to get violence involved.

Most of it is actually super low level dealers fighting over turf. We never get into the middle of these battle it is not worth our time. If it becomes too much we calm everyone down but this happens when they screw up and cause the public to bring attention; they are handled quickly.

[deleted]1 karma


Elchinola5 karma

In HS i sold stuff like shirts, candy, anything of value. I bought a nice SUV and they thought I was pushing drugs. I was approached and explained everything as how I got the stuff. The guy was impressed and offered me a job.

Initiation what is that? I guess so they gave a me a cellphone and told me to pick up when they called.

At first my duty was just to pick up money and move it to another location where it would be counted ect in time my duties changed.

swiftysam1 karma

Pretty lax work then, not too bad at all, just a handful of risk. Deleted my comment because I noticed you answered that question already - thanks for getting at me anyways.

Elchinola5 karma

no problem

IamJahova597 karma

Do you have any corridos written about you? If so which one is your personal favorite?

Elchinola12 karma

No This is actually frowned upon. In the states wannabes use it, or only those who think thy are big ups. We were always told the fish died by opening its mouth. We tried to never call more attention than was needed.

NorbitGorbit7 karma

I thought deportation was not allowed for US citizens -- did you have citizenry somewhere else that allowed them to deport you?

Elchinola15 karma

I was in the U.S. as a resident not a citizen once all this came to light they took took it away. Not to worry I belong to several countries ;)

hoverboom7 karma

Great username, chinola is delicious. Are you Dominican?

Elchinola12 karma

lol no chinola is what pople from Sinaloa,Mexico are called it's a slang term

charlieso6 karma

What's the largest amount of cash you've seen at one time?

Elchinola12 karma

I once went to a house in North Las Vegas off Craig and Camino el Norte....3 bedroom house 2 bedrooms about 11x10 stacked about 3 ft high with nothing but boxes filled.

The only reason why I was allowed to this house was a pick up to gather enough money. The money was to pay off a rival set. Back story a shipment of drugs was seized and left the west coast dry....the supply had to be bought from people in Colorado I was to get the money take to the spot and leave...the transaction went off without a problem

[deleted]1 karma


Elchinola2 karma

No there would never be just hundreds these were mixed with smaller bills. This money was the return from dealers who sell to junkies ect doubt they all pay with $100 bills. Thats why when they needed to pay for supply's we gave them our problems small bills let them have to move it. I'm not sure if that makes sense.

Edited to make more clear;

This money was the return money from day to day sales. Direct from consumers. Small issue bills like when people pay for a quick $20 ect. It became an issue for us as it was a lot of small money that it was not smart for us to have to move this money. Given any chance we would use this money to buy coke, weapons,ice,weed from others and pay them in nothing but 1's 5's ect to give our counterparts our problems.

Also this was used when we used to go to treasures,sapphire's the library and little darlings. Just spending money.

To grasp the type the type of money we dealt with was to round to the nearest 50 if I was sent to buy food I better bring $50 worth of food or I'd keep the difference as to not call more attention.

dampew1 karma

So if it's mostly $10s it's $20 million. Etc.

Sorry I deleted the comment by mistake -- I had said that would work out to $200 million if it were all hundreds.

Elchinola1 karma

Not a problem I must be over estimating as the rules were not to have more than 10 in one place. My judgment on room size must be off. Pretty cool you can figure that out let me know if you ever need a job haha full benefits in a tropical climate

oobydewby5 karma

How were you caught?

Best party you've ever attended?

Any information about the safety of visiting mexico border towns these days?

I love Lobster al estillo pueto nuevo but just wanna be a non trouble making tourist who sits on the beach drinking pacifico and eating, honestly, the best food in the world.

Elchinola13 karma

A lower level person snitched and quite a few of us got caught. He tried to talk his way out of it and just screwed himself more. In Nevada they use the ROPE method to convict you..meaning they give you enough to hang yourself he had a tail didn't know and when caught he spilled everything.

Cabo 2007 we had a few Miss Mexico contenders, some bunnies;) and just in general sexy women

Stay in the tourist areas, there is an understanding between law enforcement and these groups

1 DO NOT MESS with TOURISTS as they bring in money..if you hurt the cashflow you are in trouble.

2 in mexico any tourist can simply dial *088 this is for an english speaking police operator who will assist you in any from something not feel right hit the number and bam you get cops there in minutes. Just make sure you have a point of reference like I'm by the lighthouse and the area will be filled by cops shortly.

ifartedhaha4 karma

what happened to the lower level person who snitched?

Elchinola6 karma

Honestly I never found out nor heard anything. The last I heard he was transferred to a different prison out of state for his safety. Once I left prison I had my fill and closed the door.

oobydewby1 karma

Gracias my friend. If I'm ever in your neck of the woods I'll stop by your place and ask for Elchinola from reddit.

Elchinola7 karma

Dont do that thats asking for trouble....theyll think your a connect just find the best marlin tacos on the beach. Dont ask for ketchup and I'll know it's you

oobydewby3 karma

Haha ok.

Ketchup? On marlin? Dear lord!

Elchinola6 karma

Only americans I swear....don't know why put yes....

NewMe805 karma

What's your price to snitch? I learnt everyone has a price

Elchinola10 karma

Honestly I would say $60k a year in witness protection for life and for my family also. But understand if they can't get you your family will pay the price. This is what happens when you see that cartels kill families ect. If you screw up they ask you to turn yourself in and done deal.MANY people take this route as once killed your family is paid out. If you run your family pays the price and then you are looked for until the end of time. There is actually a book with pics names ect that they have on a "find list"

zt0wnsend5 karma

How long were you in prison before being deported?

Elchinola11 karma

I did about 1 year and then 1 month before being deported. I had more time to serve but having an ICE detainer on me my 1st parole was granted knowing they would deport me.

TheDirtyOnion5 karma

Did you ever try learning a musical instrument as a kid? If so, which one? And when did you give it up (if you did)?

Elchinola6 karma

Never tried I'm not talented in that way.

TheDirtyOnion2 karma

How do you know that if you never tried?

Elchinola7 karma

Not something that calls my attention really.

DinoKc3 karma

First of all, your AMA is one of the most interesting I read! My question: Describe your first day in prison if possible, what happens with new fishes?

Elchinola2 karma

Your woken up at county jail. Taken to a room stripped and put in jump suits. A van takes you and others to prison for us its a 40minute drive from Vegas to HDSP. Once there you are placed in a holding tank they call you out one by one to see the Dr for any medical issues,then you move to a case worker who asks about your background education and family life. Then they help you register yourself on the phone system. After this you go see the SART team who ask if you are a part of a gang ect(we were to always deny everything) if you have tattoos they take pics of them.

Now you go back to the holding tank.At 3pm they finally walk you to the "fish tank" where you spend 24-45 days in a cell with no free time. You shower once every3 days for 10minutes and your cell gets the phone 1 time per week for 30minutes so if you have a celly you get it for 15 minutes per week until you hit level 3.

DinoKc2 karma

What happens in level 3?

Elchinola3 karma

Level 3 is when you go to general population. This is the most dangerous part of prison . Level 3 is where everyone hits the yard. This is where they check your paper work and make sure you are not a snitch or child molester ect. Anything that calls in question your character gets you taken off the yard. You may be asked to roll up or ask for protective custody. If you refuse then you are forced out. By being beat up stabbed or the most common method getting hit in the face with a rock. The yard in High desert state prison is all rocks so weapons are everywhere.

Level 3 you get tier time 1.5 hours on the tier. 1.25 hours in the yard the rest is of the time you are in your cell. If your lucky you get a celly with a TV or radio. If your paisa its a matter of when you get your TV. Books are everywhere. For breakfast and dinner your pod is woke on up and you go to the yard and wait. Once all the pod is released you walk to the chow hall,this is dangerous when its winter because they have 2 guards watching 200 inmates. During winter or it rains pretty much when its dark if they need to get rid of someone this is when they do it. The line to chow hall is about 1/4 mile so there's a lot to keep track of and while no one is looking people are stabbed or hit with rocks......that pretty much sums up level 3

DinoKc2 karma

Do correction offiers order you to hang-out with inmates of your own race, what happens if e.x you're white and you approach a black group of people? (By the way, thanks for answering, really interesting)

Elchinola2 karma

No CO's don't care....we just separate into our own races. Basically whites, southsiders and paisas can intermingle. You cannot intermingle with blacks. There was business deals with blacks but with was heavily watched.

When I say intermingle meaning you could talk play cards trade books let them borrow stuff. You could not sit with them for breakfast or dinner. Your group has tables and that's where you sit.

The power system was whites paisas and south siders vs blacks. Or paisas and south siders vs whoever. That how the system works.

If your white and approach blacks you always need to have people with you. If you wanna say hi that's not a problem just keep it brief because your group may think your loyalty is else where. If you want to do business with blacks or any group 3 people from each side must be present as they will the witnesses in what's involved in the deal and should anything go wrong they would speak to the shot caller and that way make sure no one is lying.

Audifred62673 karma

Tony Soprano - dead or alive?

Elchinola9 karma

sorry never watched that show enough to tell ya

snarky_cat3 karma

What's your monthly income? How do you make money do you have a monthly salary? Or do you get a cut on whatever you do?

Thanks for the AMA

Elchinola12 karma

At the start I made $800 per delivery to drop off money. You would be held accountable if you were stopped and money seized. Counting money I made about $2500-3000 per week here if money came up missing I had to report the findings.

But these amounts do no include tips I got or spending I did for them. Buy a pair of shoes for them buy a pair for me.

EatingSandwiches13 karma

Any interactions with the Mafia?

Elchinola8 karma

Personally myself no, However I am pretty sure they do have contacts and contracts. On the West Coast it was mostly SE Asian groups and a few russians that I heard about.

Bandit_263 karma

Might be taboo, but were there any times besides your run-ins with the cops that genuinely terrified you? Also tell us about the parties man, did you go all out?

Elchinola4 karma

Parties really werent my thing to be honest. I preferred to spend money on random shit. Like exoticsracing, buying cars clothes ect.

But I did get the chance to live it up in Cabo with a few bunnies.

Goldsound3 karma

What do you think about the current situation in Mexico with all the protests?

Elchinola6 karma

Honestly..Here on the west coast we have heard little about it. Mexico is very region specific sad but true...that mindset hinders us. We have been screwed so much by the gov't we just care about ourselves and hope we don't get screwed. I feel for them but the riots on the side of the country have not effected the routine here.

rorosama3 karma

So I gotta ask.. Why no tattoos?

Elchinola10 karma

Simple we were told not to having anything to have law enforcement label us. There are a lot of rules that the core group has to follow. Years ago they were being too loud with the lifestyle and it was agreed to keep the money going we were to be the opposite of what they expect

rorosama5 karma

I never even thought of that. I guess that's why I'd make an awful con, I don't have enough foresight.

Thanks for the response, and for the AMA!

Elchinola7 karma

Its the little things like that, that set the group apart

Fun fact ever watch a movie where a guy cuts into a brick taste the cocaine to see if its real? That is b.s. first of all they can dust baking with just enough cocaine so you can taste it. If you have to do it that way you need to get a sample from the core of the brick. Or the way we were told to do so we had a lab kit as used by cops to test the purity of it a lot easier ;)

rorosama2 karma

So you're saying Scarface lied to me!? :(

That's pretty cool though. I'm sure opening up the brick to get samples from the core would definitely upset some people though right?

Elchinola6 karma

This only happens when you buy from people you don't know so yes its tense but its business practice. Its not frowned upon but seen more as a safety measure your paying for what you actually want

legendairy3 karma

How would you communicate? Do you use messaging apps on your phones that encrypt the text or do you just constantly get new burner sims?

How many apartments did you have? Wondering if you had place all around or if you cohabitated with other associates.

Thanks for all of your replies this has been super interesting to read, hope you are still around answering a few more!

Elchinola4 karma

Prepaid cell phones...nextel....boost mobile chirping....this is why they got rid of it because cops started following the chatter. They brought phones from mexico that were prepaid for our communication. We kept convos short and used code. Like vamos a pistiar....was code for hey we need to work...and vamos a trabajar ...was code for let's go party. It got complicated and real hard core information was only given to a few we had a group that handled the orders and fed them to who they needed to go.

I had a condo in Panarama towers across city center this was my act like I'm an entitled rich kid where I would bring girls and have expensive stuff shipped to me. I owned/own a house that I gave to my family. We had about 5-10 locations we kept in middle to upper class neighborhoods. They were used for short times depending on their need.

legendairy3 karma

Not a bad lifestyle while it lasted, glad you made the most out of it.

I have watched the wire several times through so I am guessing they were pulling similar tactics to your team. I bet it is easy now adays to use some type of app that encrypts everything.

Elchinola4 karma

Back then those services weren't available to us so we made the best we could. I really need to watch more TV I haven't seen any show everyone mentions like breaking bad ,sopranos or the wire. I figure its like a Dr watching a Dr drama just to see everything the show gets wrong.

legendairy2 karma

I think of any show, the Wire would relate the most to the time you were runnin, def check it out.

Elchinola6 karma

I just ordered the dvds of the show. Its hard to make something realistic when it comes to that type of subject. The world can be broken into 2 , dealers and distributors.

No one has asked how some of this stuff in brought in the states. So here is how fad they are willing to go as an example. I once had to buy 5....$2300 drones. They were from a company called 3drobotics. They had a very easy to use auto pilot system. They could only carry about 2 lbs a little less than a kilo. But they could be launched in mexico told to fly to u.s. GPS point at 10 ft off the ground. With on successful flight that were worth the investment.

We were always using technology that was available. We never wrote anything off and idea was used. Moving drugs in the city involved motorcycles. Moving money involved a convoy.

ponuz3 karma

How was jail? Are there "hidden rules" you'll have to follow?

Elchinola7 karma

In jail I think you mean prison...if so there are a lot of rules once you leave the shower you must have your shoes on. The walk to the chow hall you go with the group you are a part of walking to chow is mandatory even if your not hungry in case a fight goes off. Southsiders must do 113 sets of burpies while paisas its if you want and its 116 sets as p is the 16th letter. Whites bunk with whites..blacks with blacks and Asians with Asians ...while paisas and southsiders can mix. This being that most Sur13 gangs have ties to cartels who are their bosses. We would cover each others backs. There are a lot of rules we had phone assigned to our groups....your phone busy and there a free phone assigned to the whites? You had to ask all the white guys on the tier if it was OK to use afterwards you had to wipe it down with a rag they gave you.

sdhillon3 karma

How do I get good cocaine in Las Vegas?

Elchinola5 karma

It depends if hour trying to sell or use for personal use. Personal use your only going to get stepped on product. Stuff that has been cut to make extra money. If your a tourist just go into any night club and head towards the men's bathroom. Tell them your a local and want straight. It'll run you a bit more but they'll give it to you.

Now if you wanna want to buy bricks I suggest you visit the projects off Donna st and Carey where Donna st crips are at. Buy a little and just mention you may want a brick or more they'll call you and then transfer you to our group. Your looking at about $22.5-$28k for uncut yes you can get it cheaper ect but we offer a steady supply and a product better than the rest. We can cut and make to your request 70/30 mixes....ect we also have a no b.s. policy its business. And treated as one g Can't sell what you bought se can buy it back at current street value. Many people would buy some hold out until we had deliveries seized and sell them back. We can take the hit as long as we are not dry and our buyers were supplied.

DarkWandererAU3 karma

In all honesty...does crime really pay? Both money wise and as a sense of fulfilment in your life?

What about a moral code? Did you ever have to hurt/antagonise/fuck with someone's life as part of your work and how did it make you feel? Or does this line of work have it's own moral code, if so, was it good enough for you?

Elchinola3 karma

Crime pays Extremely well earlier I said if your going to make break the law make sure its worth it. Overall when I sit down and do the actual math I earned about $75k a year. That also includes me spending a year in prison. You have to be really smart with the money. Invest in stuff the govt can't seize and protect your family from the RICO act. This is why I refused to touch the drugs strictly the money for me. I had a lawyer on retainer years before getting caught he gave me the do's and don'ts. I made sure my run was worth it because everyone in the game understands its a matter of how long before I'm caught. The fulfilment sucks it feels like your working a dead end job not moving forward. Being smart it was worse.... There were moments where I would think I'm wasting my time. The good thing is that pushed me to enter college. I didn't qualify for fasfa and I didn't have true legal status so I paid for a year at DeVry didn't like it then moved to UNLV for a year out of pocket. Couldn't make the classes and left. At that point I I turned my job into school every business practice there I now use for my business. And I'm currently going to school here to get a degree.

I never had to fuck with people. We have enforcers who's job it to do that stuff. Yes the moral code is a lot different. To an extent the code is better than normal peoples code. You have to respect everyone you have to be nice and you really are given an equal voice to speak up on issues.

I kept work and family separate. Once home I devoted my time to my family. Doing anything I could washing cleaning chores ect. You cannot take work home. There is a very powerful code no business at home. If you are needed they will not come for you but instead will call ect. Not yelling but respectful if its your day off they will wait until hour back on shift or in emergencies also everything has to be respectful.

Morally it killed me inside knowing your doing bad. I was an addict to the money and lifestyle. I don't know I believe in a God and I hope he can forgive me.

When your working its just that work. Your boss asks you something g you answer to the best of your knowledge. Simple as that, I did my work and kept my nose down.

DarkWandererAU3 karma

I have often thought that about the code of crime syndicates and crime families from what I have read. Respect & honesty seem to be regarded above all else, not like in the legal work-force where people fuck you over for a pat on the head and snipe and stab each other in the back. It's what I find the most difficult about work life.

So it morally killed you inside? But the work that you did, did it ever directly affect innocent people in a bad way? You were just responsible for the financial handling of things, correct?

Did you ever socialise or ever have to work along-side an enforcer at any time? If so, what were they like as people? Morally empty and hollow? Sadistic psycho's? Or nice guys that just saw what they did as "a part of their job" and they took no pleasure in it?

If you have it in you to feel remorse about it, it means you have decency in you, and if there is a god he can see that

Elchinola3 karma

It didn't kill me it did make me understand that to a certain point life has has no value. You do as you want and you are what you make of it. It brings out alot of questions in regards to how screwed up and unfair life is. How can a dealer make more money than a cop, or even some university grad?

My morals stayed the same. I didn't steal or go out of my way to screw people over. I did my job and nothing more. I kept my word and stayed out of trouble.

Yes at times we had to entertain, or help gather stuff needed for the enforcers. Some were happy nonchalant type people who did see it as their job. But I did see some who honestly did not give F$&K. These were the ones I stayed away from, always had a fear I'd get caught with them. We had a very strict rule of not using drugs but some enforcers did ALOT of it and spent money like there was no tomorrow. I guess for them there really wasn't a tomorrow.

Not going to lie this was the first question I really had to put some thought into, I was unsure how I feel about it.

DJiViRaL2 karma

Whats the highest amount of money you have seen with your eyes?

Whats the highest amount of money you have walked down the road with?

Elchinola2 karma

I once got to see a room filled with boxes just filled with money. I would estimate maybe $6-8 million.

The most I had personally for my use was about $30k

The most we were in charged of moving was about $6 million this took 3 trips in 3 cars. We also learned to stay on the main roads instead of trying to save time. We once went to Tijuana driving through 29 palms worst choice ever very limited traffic and the cops are better trained. Now they take the long way Vegas to L.A. then L.A. to S.D. and across the border


Is there anyone who you had a friendship with like co-workers or anything like that that you still would like to talk to / meet with?

If so would you be allowed to do so, or would that cause problems?

Are women involved? How common and in what ways?

Also, if you've seen Breaking Bad, are there any similarities with the way they are perceived? (eg. Tuco and tortoise, the twins, etc.?)

Elchinola8 karma

Yes you actually meet some for the most part stand up guys. It's not against the rules to keep in touch. Just that you honor the code and don't speak about work. A true friend can careless about what is going on and would rather ask how your doing and your family is. Only if they bring up work can you follow up.

Women are heavily involved they attract less attention. Most of the driver are women,so if pulled over and got nervous could cry and make a b.s. story up and play on the heart of the cop. They are treated just as men if they are workers we are an EOE. Women who are our special others are off limits too many issues have been brought on by one man sleeping with someone's wife/girlfriend. This code if broken would bring death,for failure to respect boundaries.

Sorry the 3rd question I never watched that t.v. show. I tried to stay away from stuff like that because the bad guys always lose. I watched denzel Washington's American Gangster and that movie scared the crap out of me. I stayed glued to history channel sports and discovery

uniqueusernamebro1 karma

This just might be one of my favorite AMA's. I know I am days late, but OP, if I came down to TJ and proved myself to you could you put in a good word for me and get me a job.?

Elchinola1 karma

I am no longer working for them so my word would be worthless. There are a lot of things that need to be answered before hand. What skill set do you have? Are you or your family from Mexico if so what part? If your not its VERY hard to get into it. What is it that you think you can do? Its not like there is an application you fill out you would go through a background check and then maybe start as a super low level there is always a way. Start looking on deeper web sites

ElephantVagina1 karma

Damn, I have been reading this while in my dead end job and even though I wouldn't do anything illegal its definitely a good read. What would be a quick, easy way to make some more money on top of a shitty wage to put aside? I used to buy/fix/sell mobile phones, people knew and I made more than a wage on that but now no one buys them as its too easy to buy a good quality phone from a supermarket for a small amount. Is there a legal get rich quick scheme? Is there a better way to make money than working in a shitty job for a shitty boss for shitty money?

Thanks man, great read.

Elchinola2 karma

There are tons of ways to make money. Not everything we did was illegal. There are very good business ideas floating around best bet would to open a business not using your money. Or if you really want to make fast money move away from a developed country to another place where your skill set would earn you top dollar. Fast legal way would be buy old junk cars at auction I mean cars that suck ship to a poor country and sell. Cars that don't pass smog inspection or safety inspections in the USA can be sold in other countries and still hold top dollar.