A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department letter given to a parole board recommending the release of infamous Mexican mafia hitman Rene "Boxer" Enriquez was sent without approval.
In just nine days the convicted double murderer could be walking the streets after the California Parole Board (CPB) recommended his release.
Documents obtained by NBC 4 showed the 52-year-old killer had earned the written gratitude of some of California’s top cops, including the Los Angeles Police Department chief Charlie Beck, for his work as a snitch.
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However a letter that actually recommended him for parole, which was sent by someone in the LA County Sheriff’s Department, had not been green-lighted. A department spokesman said any recommendation for Enriquez' release "was done without approval of the sheriff."
The deputy commissioner of the CPB was impressed by the amount of letters that were produced supporting Enriquez, saying calling them a few would be "an understatement."
The LAPD validated three letters, adding the department does not advocate parole for the hitman from South Los Angeles.
Chief Beck wrote directly to Enriquez about his appearance in a gang intervention training video.
"Your life experiences and your ability to articulate them...added a tremendous amount of credibility," Beck said.
Bill Bratton signed two separate letters when LA’s police chief, including one to an FBI agent after Enriquez was the guest speaker at a gang symposium in 2009.
Bratton applauded "his skill in presenting very sensitive and controversial information, adding it contributed to the success of the symposium."
While they recommended his release the parole board did express concern for Enriquez’ safety should he become a free man.
Only Governor of California Jerry Brown can now stop or amend his release.
Brown's office has refused to be drawn on how the decision may turn out.
"We do not comment on pending parole reviews. The governor has until February 22nd to act," a spokesman said.
Enriquez is the subject of the book "The Black Hand: The Bloody Rise and Redemption of 'Boxer' Enriquez, a Mexican Mob Killer." He worked his way up from enforcer to shot caller for the organization known as La Eme before his arrest.
In 1989, he pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. One of his victims was a female drug dealer he suspected was stealing drugs from him, and the second was a fellow gang member who had ran away from a fight.
He was controversially given a SWAT escort to an event hosted by the LAPD in downtown Los Angeles last month, where he gave a crowd of about 125 people a firsthand insight about the inner-workings of the criminal enterprise.