November 12, 2019 – Historic crime boss Tony (Scarface) Virmontez is back in the Motor City. The 49-year old leader of the Latin Counts was released to a halfway house last week after spending more than a decade in a federal prison in Pennsylvania for drugs and racketeering.

Scarface Viramontez brought the Latin Counts to Michigan from his native Chicago in the late 1980s and planted a flag for the gang in Southwest Detroit, the epicenter of the city’s Latino community. Fighting a war for turf on simultaneous fronts against established local crews like the Latin Cobras and the Latin Kings and pop-up powers like the Bolo Boys and the Cash Flow Posse, by the end of the 1990s, the Latin Counts were the preeminent street gang in the area and Viramontez himself was the most notorious crime lord in Southwest Detroit.

His business dealings with The Highwaymen Motorcycle Club proved his undoing. Besides a short prison term for assault and gun possession, Viramontez had stayed out of handcuffs. The Latin Counts were doing drug deals with the Highwaymen and two of the bikers Viramontez were working with, “Downriver” chapter boss Phillip (Jocko) McDonald and his right-hand man Doug (Doc) Burnett, a newly patched-in soldier, were wired for sound. He was convicted on narcotics and attempted murder charges in 2008. Jocko McDonald recorded Viramontez requesting permission to murder Burnett, who had been identified as a confidential informant.

Octavius (Boots) Viramontez, Scarface’s Viramontez’s little brother, was slain in a drive-by shooting that took place in October 1990 in the midst of the increasing tensions in Southwest Detroit tied to their arrival and the founding of the city’s Latin Counts satellite operation. Per court records, the Viramontez brothers were banned from Chicago as teens for a beef Scarface had engaged in and gotten shot in the chin over, prompting their move to the Motor City where they had relatives, in the summer of 1987.

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