LAPD Officer Specializing in MS-13 Accused of Helping a Gang Killer Flee in 2010, Memo From Nevada Police Shows

The accusation against the Los Angeles gang cop was as strange as it was troubling.

Authorities arrested about two dozen suspected members of the violent gang MS-13 in Los Angeles County on May 17, 2017. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Authorities arrested about two dozen suspected members of the violent gang MS-13 in Los Angeles County on May 17, 2017. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A police sergeant hundreds of miles away in Nevada claimed that LAPD Det. Frank Flores and one of his gang informants had interfered with the hunt for a murder suspect. Flores’ meddling, the officer alleged, had helped the killer flee the country.

It was 2011 and Flores was part of an FBI-led task force investigating Mara Salvatrucha, the notoriously violent gang commonly known as MS-13. Flores had established himself as an MS-13 expert who testified frequently about the gang’s secretive inner workings. A product of East L.A., he wrote in a court filing that he “learned early on the language, culture, rivalries and turf territories associated with gangs.”

The sergeant from Sparks, just east of Reno, detailed her complaint in a 10-page memo to the FBI that The Times reviewed. “Detective Flores openly discussed the identity of a tipster with his informant and overlooked the opportunity to immediately apprehend our murder suspect,” she wrote.

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