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A Ride-Along with Ilai Daniels: Los Zetas & Los Santos.

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Rory Muzzafetto, Weazel News. Date of publish 09/08/2019.

A Ride-Along with Ilai Daniels: Los Zetas & Los Santos.

Crime pays, or does it? We dive deeper into the mind of one of Los Santos Police Department's most experienced officers, Ilai Daniels. (Senior Lead Officer of the LSPD.)

Throughout this interview we'll be providing an insight into Los Zetas. One of the city's most feared and reputable gangs as a bit of a teaser for Weazel News' upcoming documentary Rory & Amin on Gangs: Los Zetas.

We began the interview with a lot of red tape. First I had to get permission from the Los Santos media relations supervisor and only then was I allowed to apply for a ride along. Throughout the interview expectations were held to a high standard, as not only was I talking to someone with years of experience but someone who obviously didn't have time for irrelevant questioning.

 I could evidently tell that some of the answers given weren't what Ilai wanted to answer, but what he had to instead, due to particular protocol.

We began by climbing into the Granger, a 4x4 vehicle familiarly used for tactical operations. The vehicle was unmarked, alongside Ilai's uniform, however, the atmosphere was still set to a professional tone.

"So where do you want to go?" Ilai asked, adjusting his wristwatch as we approached the intersection next to Los Santos Bank. "Stuff's pretty quiet right now" he uttered, as he checked his MDC.

"Anywhere" I answered, as I adjusted my camera. I then switched on my microphone, to appropriate the following interview.

(RORY): Would you say the introduction and the recent update of the penal code, which uncapped recent prison sentences, has deterred crime in the city?

(ILAI): Absolutely, that was the end goal. And it seems like it worked. Although crime rates are sill high, it is no secret that they've decreased in their severity and the amount in which they take place.

(RORY): How about the Los Zetas? Do you know much about them?

(ILAI): Not as much as you probably know.

At this point, Ilai laughed. I could tell to a certain extent he didn't wish to share the extent of what he knew.

(RORY): In alls honesty, I know but a minimal amount. I know they are more of a civilised gang in comparison to some of the lesser known groups in the city. Would you agree?

(ILAI): I would say they're not hot headed like other groups. I agree with that.

(RORY): I have often heard the term vigilantes used very loosely when it comes to the Los Zetas. Would you class them as so?

He turned his head out of the window. Clearly he wasn't a fan of the question asked. He didn't answer.

(RORY): I spoke to a member of the Los Zetas earlier.
(RORY): He expressed to me that usually they 'look after' of the 'little guys' in town.
(ILAI): Define look after them.
(RORY): Well, in other words, he said they maintain control of general criminals to ensure they're not impacting the working class.
(RORY): Such as Miners, Postal Workers, you get the idea.

He then faced back towards me, a disconcerted look on his face.

(ILAI): I'm not confident enough to comment on that.
(ILAI): But what I will say is they're not like most groups.
(ILAI): They don't just rob anyone they see. Nonetheless, I would say they make exceptions.

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We then moved onto the topic of the hierarchy of Los Zetas. We discussed how a criminal organisation can distribute their workload utilising methods of recruitment, we also talked about one person in particular, Jay Gamble.

(RORY): So what do you know about Jay Gamble?
(RORY): This man runs practically the biggest criminal enterprise in Los Santos. How can one man front an illegal operation of that calibur?
(ILAI): That he does. Overall, you'd be surprised. I can't really comment on them too much.
(RORY): How about the illegal firearms trade? Would you say they're the main supply of some of the deadliest weapons on the streets right now?
(ILAI): No comment.

Obviously this wasn't his topic to discuss. He seemed disinterested, and demotivated to share such information to myself. There was a bigger picture of why, but I couldn't add the pieces together. Had he experienced the full scale of the brutality presented by gangs of this size, or again, was it just protocol? I wasn't able to tell. Ilai showed little to no emotion. He was one of those characters where you just couldn't tell how he felt about things. Maybe he just didn't give a fuck. Who knows.

At this moment in time, he received a call through his radio which indicated that there was a scene. He immediately switched his lights on and veered in the general direction of Mirror Park.

Whilst we headed to the scene, we moved onto the topic of shamed officer Jeff Rivers, who was recently dismissed through 'conduct unbecoming of a police officer.'

The word on the streets that officer Rivers was recently dismissed on the basis of threatening to kill a member of criminal organisation Los Zetas, whilst off duty.

(RORY): Do you know Jeff Rivers?
(ILAI): I do.
(RORY): Do you know what happened recently which lead to his dismissal?
(ILAI): I am aware of some stuff, but not all.
(RORY): I've heard common talk recently on the basis of his dismissal. Apparently he threatened to kill somebody?
(ILAI): I refuse to comment on that.

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We then pulled up to the scene in question. Where the owner of a teal Elegy Retro had been pursued and apprehended. The man appeared to be carrying an automatic sub machine gun on his back. I looked at Ilai and his expression was that it was just another day on the job. He seemed like he didn't care. Putting criminals in cuffs was first nature to this man, and walking into the line of danger was something he willingly embraced. 

The officers then cleared up the scene, congratulated each other on the valour they'd displayed in apprehending such criminals, and then took off. We climbed back into the Granger.

(RORY): That man had a submachine gun.
(ILAI): The usual.
(RORY): Where do you think he obtained such a firearm?
(ILAI): That i'm unsure of. But what I do know is that we catch them all.
(RORY): So it's just another day for you at work right?
(ILAI): Yep.

We then spent a little time disposing of a criminal scene up north (which will be displayed in our documentary Rory and Amin on Gangs: Los Zetasbefore heading back to the police department. We then shook hands and went our separate ways. Throughout the interview I felt more or less of a burden on Ilai, like he was subject to doing things a little bit more convenient for the sake of the camera.

This concludes todays report. Please stay tuned for the release of Weazel News' latest documentary Rory and Aminn on Gangs: Los Zetas for more information on this subject.

Rory Muzzafetto, Reporter, Weazel News.

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