It’s understandable that “Trigger,” the gang moniker for Jose Flores, would feel comfortable in February using social media to sell firearms, ammunition and methamphetamine to a particular unsavory character.
Living less than two miles from Disneyland, Flores—a member off the La Jolla Street criminal street gang in Anaheim—didn’t know his buyer is a confidential informant (CI) for Orange County-based special agents at the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
He only saw a fellow underworld character who despises cops.
The government’s CI lives with the well-established aura of a hardened criminal. He’s been convicted of domestic violence, petty theft, stealing gas, unlawful possession of a weapon, evading a cop, illegal drug consumption as well as vehicle theft. He spent 17 years in prison for assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon.
Nowadays, this CI works the streets as a secret paid snitch whom ATF officers insist can be relied upon for honesty as they build cases before handing them off to prosecutors.
When the informant wearing a hidden listening device arrived at Flores’ home, he said he was a convicted felon.
A relieved Flores, who was born in 1979, said he was too, even out on bail at the time for attempted murder charges.
He sold a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and eight rounds of ammunition, according to an ATF investigation report.
Ultimately, clandestine observing law enforcement agents claim Flores sold another gun and 109 grams of pure methamphetamine to the CI, including at a cemetery exchange involving another man who claimed his potent drugs came from Sinaloa in Mexico.
This month inside Orange County’s Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse, a grand jury indicted Flores and a magistrate judge ordered him detained with the U.S, Marshal for trial, which so far has not been scheduled.
CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.