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