The arrest earlier this week of James Hughes -- a Miami-based ministry director since 1995 whose group provides counseling to battered women and drug addicts in Honduras -- for a 1981 triple murder in California "in an apparent plot to silence them before they blew the whistle on corruption at the Cabazon Indian casino" was due in part to the dogged determination of Rachel Begley who is the daughter of one of the victims as reported by David Kelly for the Los Angeles Times:
Hughes stands accused of murdering Begley's father, Ralph Boger; former Cabazon Vice Chairman Alfred Alvarez; and their friend Patricia Castro. * * * Begley followed Hughes' movements for two years and finally confronted him in 2008 at a religious conference in Fresno. She and Michael Alvarez, the son of Alfred Alvarez, checked in under assumed names and carried hidden cameras. The event was sponsored by the Full Gospel Businessman Fellowship International. The group's website has an autobiography describing Hughes as a former "professional hit man for the Mafia." "I know what it's like to cut the throat of a man, see a man die, or throw a man in the trunk of a car and take him to his death," he wrote. Hughes recalled a hit when he "walked into the man's house one day, pulled out my pistol, and put a bullet in everybody's head. . . . I had been paid to kill one man but had killed half a dozen people. The rest were in the wrong place at the wrong time." When it came time for his speech, Begley secretly filmed it. Afterward, she approached Hughes and introduced herself as Ralph Boger's daughter. With the camera still running, Hughes turned on her and Alvarez. "Your parents got killed in a Mafia hit. That's life. That's what happened," he said. "Your parents were involved in some very dangerous things -- your dads. That's the only thing I can tell you. . . . I want to forget about the past. . . . I don't live there anymore." He told Alvarez that he knew his father and had ridden motorcycles with him. "Your dad and I were friends. He talked to somebody, they gave an order and that's what happened to him," he said. "It's a lot bigger than the murder of this guy or that guy. You're talking political people. I have told you more than I should."
In California authorities have charged James Hughes, a Miami-based ministry director since 1995 whose group provides counseling to battered women and drug addicts in Honduras, "with killing a Cabazon Indian Reservation tribal leader and two other people in 1981 in an effort to stop them from exposing allegedly illegal activities on the reservation" as reported by Robert J. Lopez for the Los Angeles Times:
Hughes, a former Army Ranger who was security director for the casino and its bingo operations, was arrested after a probe launched in February by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and the California attorney general's office. Hughes is accused of conspiring with three others to kill Fred Alvarez and two others before they could expose illegal activities on the reservation in rural Riverside County, according to a felony complaint for extradition filed Thursday in Riverside County Superior Court. * * * According to court records, he allegedly killed the three victims in June 1981. * * * The Times reported in 1991 that the reservation's casino room was run by a reputed organized crime figure and that Alvarez, a tribe vice president, began complaining that money was being "skimmed." Shortly afterward, he and the two others were killed.
Hughes, 52, faces three counts of murder in the execution-style shootings of Cabazon tribal official Alfred Alvarez and his friends Patricia Castro and Ralph Boger, as well as a count of conspiracy to commit a crime. * * * The complaint alleges that Hughes conspired with non-Indian tribal financial consultant John Philip Nichols, Nichols' son John Paul Nichols, and others in the days immediately before the murders to "prevent Fred Alvarez from exposing illegal activities of John Philip Nichols, occurring at the Cabazon Indian Reservation." * * * The elder Nichols died in 2001 after pleading no contest to two counts of murder solicitation and serving 18 months in prison in another murder-for-hire plot. At the time, investigators said they couldn't tie him to the unsolved 1981 slayings. * * * The others named in the complaint have not been charged.