I was part of a team of Los Angeles Times reporters and editors that was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service for a series of stories exposing alleged government corruption in the City of Bell.
PHOTO: 2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners
Our articles detailed how top officials in Bell, one of the poorest cities in Los Angeles County, enriched themselves with extraordinary salaries and benefits while illegally raising taxes on residents and resorting to other legally questionable schemes to raise revenue.
This investigation took me into the underworld of human smuggling, organized crime and narco-trafficking in the badlands east of Tijuana. The area was controlled by the ruthless Arellano-Felix drug cartel. My colleagues and I investigated the Mexican smuggling village of Jacume and the corrupt law enforcement officials who allowed the...