Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Arrest of 63-year-old anti-Hispanic cyber-stalker underscores disturbing trend

Arrest of 63-year-old anti-Hispanic cyber-stalker underscores disturbing trend

LatinaLista — The 63-yearold man’s real name is Vincent P. Johnson. Yet, this New Jersey resident is more comfortable going by the pseudonym Devilfish579, especially when he’s emailing a number of his favorite Hispanic advocacy targets with threats and cyberstalking them.


Johnson, or Devilfish579, was arrested and indicted on charges he threatened employees of five Hispanic civil rights groups between November 2006 and February 2009.

His favorite targets were the: LatinoJustice Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Council of La Raza, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders.

Johnson thought it a hoot or clever, to write such things as:

“do you have a last will and testament? If not, better get one real soon.”



“our guns are loaded and we will take you out as well whether by the courts or by true fire power” and “if the idiots in the organizations which this e-mail is being copied to can’t fathom the serious nature of their actions, then they will be on the hit list just like any illegal alien . . . actually, they are already on the list.”


“I am giving you fair warning that your presence and position is being tracked . . . you are dead meat . . . along with anyone else in your organization.”

In fact, at one time Latina Lista was one of Devilfish579’s targets but I was able to block him. Never really thought about him again until I saw that this time he bit off more than he could chew.

I wish I could say Johnson was an anomaly when it comes to cyber-critics of Hispanic advocacy groups and activists but he’s not. Unfortunately, he’s the norm.

While popular characterization of members of White Supremacist groups and those with an abnormal intolerance of Spanish-speaking immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, has been young and white, it is also true that there is a sizable over-50 crowd.

Though it’s only anecdotal on my part, through my experience I have found that the majority of Latina Lista’s critics over the years have been retirement age. It’s not that they so easily regurgitate misinformation gleaned from conservative talk radio or anti-immigrant enthusiasts with no desire to compare the facts, the young do that as well, it’s that there’s a stubbornness about them that has vanquished all doubt from their reasoning.

At times, even the younger critics will concede a doubt, though not for long but older critics don’t . They feel justified in condemning those whom they were led to believe are their enemies. They wag the argument of patriotism like their own battle flag and fail to understand that patriotism is a non-issue in this debate.

They believe the misinformation and spout it as truth.

For example, one of the biggest examples of misinformation that is constantly fed to get these people riled up over “Hispanics” is how undocumented immigrants are a drain on public services.

No matter how often it’s refuted, there is a steadfast insistence to believe it not true.

For example, a new study by the Missouri Food Bank Association (MFBA) and Feeding America shows one in eight Missourians needs help getting food. According to the study, “about 66 percent of people getting food help are non-Hispanic white, 27 percent are non-Hispanic black, and 4 percent are Hispanic.”

Now, if Hispanics were the drain on society, assuming undocumented are also included in this tally, regardless of their number in the population, they should comprise if not the same as blacks, even more.

But they don’t.

They only comprise 4% of those people looking for help with their food needs.

Of course, every state, county and city are different but the overall characteristic of undocumented Hispanic immigrants is that they don’t go looking for hand-outs and pride themselves on their self-efficiency.

They have to be. To earn less than a minimum wage and still be able to live in this country and send remittances home is a big accomplishment.

Unfortunately, this kind of information is readily dismissed by critics like Devilfish579 because it upsets how they see the world and they would rather see the world as they believe it to be than see the reality of how it really exists.

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  • cookie
    February 9, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    So this is a “trend” now?
    Most Americans base their opposition to illegal aliens on our laws first and foremost. There are some pretty compelling stats out there to back up their net drain on our society however and there is no denying that they are doing many jobs that Americans WILL do for a fair wage. But somehow opposition to them is viewed as racist or hateful even though they are here in violation of our immigration laws, period. I will never understand how any American can defend them based on that alone.

  • Ned Hamson
    February 9, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Happy this guy is being prosecuted – agree that a lot of folks his age and over may be prejudiced against Mexican-Americans, Guatemalan-Americans, Nicaraguan-Americans, etc. but that older folks are more prejudiced than younger ones – that’s a bit of a broad brush. I’m 65 and have stood with my Mexican-American neighbors for at least 60 of those years. For the first five years, I did not know that people were supposed to be treated differently – grin. Once I found out about it, I was taught it was wrong by my parents. I agreed and have fought against that prejudice ever since.

  • maryelizabeth
    February 9, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    It seems as if people like Devilfish579 are bitter at life and their lack of accomplishments. They see others work hard and get ahead and they become angry and bitter over it. They also act like schoolyard bully’s. I picture these retrictionist’s as the kids in highschool and grammer school that noone could tame. They picked on other kids around them, they picked on the vulnerable, the harrassed the good students, I remember they harrassed the exchange students, they called everyone names around them and everyone feared them. Even the teachers feared them and threw the red carpet down for them just to keep them calm. Does anyone remember how horrible it was to go to school with these kind of people. I remember them. I remember one of them painting a frail boy’s fingernails in front of a busload of kids. I remember them making up lies and labeling specific girls as “easy” in highschool just to smear their names because they were envious of a nice girl. Many of them thought they were “Gods” gift to women because they looked good way back then…and that wore thin with age. I remember one of them was physically big and threw a handcapped person (chair and all) down the steps. These people are disgusting and can not be reasoned with. They ruined the atmosphere for everyone around them and often hurt others at the expense of their own ego. I often wonder what happened to these losers. It seems like they turned into tea baggers that hold anti-immigrant signs with nasty sentiments on them. When they grew up they probably had to grow up and try to hold a job and my guess is some of them never really grew up and probably couldn’t hold jobs that easily. I think that Devilfish579 sounds like he might have been a schoolyard bully. It seems like all these anti-hispanic…anti-immigrant lunatics are a bunch of bitter schoolyard bully’s that didn’t grow up and now they pick on a bunch of Immigrant’s to make themselves feel better about their lack of everything. It wouldn’t surprise me if the bully’s from my highschool are picking on Immigrants. It would be their grown up version of what they got away with as kids. The Devilfish579s of today, are the Devilfish579s of yesterday! They still didn’t grow up. They were annoying then and they are still annoying today. I am glad that the FBI are arresting them. I sure wish their parents and teachers would have dealt with them early on. These people grew up to be monsters.

  • Marisa Treviño
    February 10, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Ned, you’re right and I applaud your open mindedness and tolerance. I have had many readers over the years who share your age and inclusive nature. However, it’s just been my personal experience since I’ve had this site that I’ve also had more than my share of older people who feel the opposite and have expressed themselves in inappropriate ways. This may be because they are retired and have more time on their hands and so find themselves commenting on sites like this one.

  • American
    February 10, 2010 at 8:22 am

    But somehow opposition to them is viewed as racist or hateful even though the invaders are here in violation of our immigration laws, period.
    Here is a link indicating 30 % of our federal prison population are illegal aliens.

  • american
    February 10, 2010 at 8:26 am

    more on illegal alien crime rates
    >really outrageous

  • Di
    February 10, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I understand why people are upset at illegals. Like for example free health care, housing, clothing, nutrition, etc. Although it’s something that bothers me I don’t hate them. I want them to go to school here rather than selling drugs or joining a gang.
    I’m not upset at the fact that they are “stealing” our jobs. Really! How many people do you know who are out of a job and go looking for work at the fields? I’ve never met such a person! Let’s face it, the jobs they do are the jobs that so many Americans would never do because it’s beneath them. Since when is any job beneath us? It’s an opportunity for them. I say take it if it’ll feed your family be that their mother, sister, wife or children!

  • Texan124
    February 10, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Threatening someone’s life is horrible no matter who is doing it. I do not think it is fair to compare this thug with citizens who want their government to enforce laws. Nor do I think the tea bag protesters are lunatics. Most want less government taxation and intrusion in their lives.
    The Federal government has failed to secure the border as promised in the Amnesty Act of 1986. The proof is pretty evident now with 12 million + illegal immigrants demanding the same rights as legal immigrants. The anger felt by many, if not most, citizens is directed at an uncaring government. Of course, many Latinos have taken full advantage of the lack of enforcement, so they share the responsibility for problems related to illegal immigration.
    I would love to see a study done to see how many children of illegal immigrants in this country collect food stamps and every other benefit available. How many of these kids are born with no father listed on birth certificate, even when daddy lives with mom? Many illegal immigrants cheat to receive benefits they should not receive, including jobs.
    The human smugglers do terrible things to illegal immigrants for the sake of money. Why not do a story about why our government does not do more to stop human trafficing?

  • Marisa Treviño
    February 11, 2010 at 6:57 am

    American, these stats are not so outrageous when it’s understood the actual crime charged against many of these immigrants amounts to nothing more than a violation of legal status. Sure, there are some who are truly criminal and come to the U.S. to escape but the same happens here. How many times do we hear of people who have committed crimes in the U.S. only to escape into Mexico? It’s a two-way street. Just because we don’t have access to those stats doesn’t mean it’s not happening. So, it’s somewhat disingenuous to assume it’s just happening here or that all these immigrants fit what the average person defines as a hard-core criminal. It only applies to a small portion compared to the overall number.

  • Marisa Treviño
    February 11, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Di and Texan, Please include the links to those government stats, state or federal, that illustrate the points you’re trying to make about undocumented immigrants receiving free healthcare and other benefits. It’s one thing to receive healthcare, it’s another to receive emergency care. That means those people have had no choice, and most likely, waited till the very end to seek needed medical care. Would you rather they die? It’s a blunt question but your arguments strike me as not only insensitive but a failure to understand what this picture shows. Anyway, I would like to analyze those stats because in the past, every state and federal official, not politicians, but people who actually work with these services have revealed a different set of data.

  • Texan123
    February 11, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Only in the last 4 years or so has any attempt been made to gather stats regarding illegal immigrants. The data was concealed from taxpayers and no one was allowed to ask about legal status.
    How many hospitals have closed due to unreimbursed expenses? How many schools are being forced to hire bilingual teachers?
    As a long time Texas resident, I have seen the overwhelming number of Latinos
    filling our schools. Most are on the free breakfast and lunch programs. My daughter worked at the county clinic and was amazed that all the clients were Spanish speaking. Very few were black, white, or Asian.
    So if hospitals and schools are forbidden to ask about legal status, how will we ever know the truth?

  • cookie
    February 11, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Di, funny how the apologists for illegal aliens always refer to field work as jobs Americans won’t do. You do realize that illegal aliens are also doing a lot of jobs that most Americans WILL do, don’t you? Take construction for examaple.
    No one has the right to come here to feed their family by stealing jobs from Americans for less pay. What about the American who is trying to feed his family? Whose country is this anyway?
    Evidently you feel that our immigration laws are laws to be snubbed at just as long somone has a need for something. Does that also apply to Americans who steal or break other laws because they need something?

  • cookie
    February 11, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Here you go, Marisa. These are only the costs associated with illegal alien’s kids in California alone.

  • cookie
    February 11, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Marisa, the link I provided you are actually the costs for only L.A. county alone! Imagine what they are statewide and nationwide.

  • irma
    February 11, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    You must be living on another planet.
    On a recent visit to Alabama, I saw for the first time in my life, a white woman mopping a floor in a hotel! Now, I have lived in a number of states including Texas, and this was a new sight for me.
    Americans (white or black) don’t want to mop floors, wash dishes, scrub toilets or work as maids. Hispanics and Asians
    take what they can get and are grateful for it. Fair wage ? First and foremost – food has to put on the table. Families need a roof over their heads. This is why Hispanics and Asians will work for less than 5 dollars and hour and no health insurance. Have you ever heard of capitalism? Fair wages? Thats for
    all the lazy Americans who refuse to do certain jobs because it is “beneath them”. These people are taking jobs, Americans simply don’t want.

  • Kathryn
    February 11, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    “For example, one of the biggest examples of misinformation that is constantly fed to get these people riled up over “Hispanics” is how undocumented immigrants are a drain on public services.”
    I guess that we are just going by the history of the working poor citizens in this country, who, by the very nature of their economic state are heavy users of public services. The fact is that Hispanic illegal aliens, millions of whom are working poor, will ultimately become eligible for public services. This is an absolute certainty, because La Raza and their other patrons would ensure this would happen. Adopting millions of new working poor is not in the interests of those who pay the majority of the income taxes of this country, because they will have to take up the slack. As a typical taxpayer, I resent the idea of being called xenophobe, racist, etc. by advocates of illegal aliens who care nothing for the long term of my economic future, but are acting out of their own narrow parochial interests of adopting people of their own ethnic group because the feel sorry for them. It is for this reason that I, and millions more Americans will not stand for amnesty.

  • Karen
    February 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Re: “Like for example free health care, housing, clothing, nutrition, etc.”
    They don’t get all those things free. That’s right wing propaganda. Ilegal immigrants come here and work in low wage, often dangerous jobs, and if they don’t get paid, or if they get hurt, they have little recourse. They’re trying to SURVIVE because NAFTA has pushed them off of their own land. The root of the problem is NAFTA.

  • Evelyn
    February 11, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    You are guilty of doing the same thing Rep. Steven King was guilty of, not checking your facts.
    During an Immigration debate on the floor of the House in congress Rep. King tried to prove that most people whose status is ‘Illegal alien,’ are criminals, by using the same evidence you have.
    Below are three links that correct the misinformation he tried to use as fact.
    I also noticed you site both of the reports as pertaining to people whose status in this country is ‘illegal alien.’
    Perhaps you overlooked fact that both reports state they are for ‘non citizens,’ this includes anyone of several categories whose status in this country is ‘legal or illegal alien.’
    “Lies, Conservatives and Statistics: Crime Waves, Lie Waves”
    He also claimed that 28 percent of all U.S. prison inmates are “criminal aliens.” King claims to have “extracted” his death toll from that number.
    But King’s claim that 28 percent of prison inmates are “criminal aliens” is itself questionable. Statistics from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and has found no support for his assertion; according to the BJS, 6.4 percent of all state and federal inmates at midyear 2005 were “noncitizens.”
    Even conservative blogs such as Captain’s Quarters ridiculed King’s and WND’s numbers: “[T]he numbers demonstrate rather clearly that King and WND are talking out of their hats. Of all the people arrested for murders in 2005 (10,083), only 4,955 were white/Hispanic, and that includes all arrests in that racial category. In order to believe King and WND, every single one of these people would have to be illegal aliens.” The blog added:
    Asinine hardly begins to describe this report. Conservative decry junk science; bad statistics are just as bad. It took me all of 10 minutes to check this data, something that Rep. King apparently couldn’t bother to have his staff do, and a standard fact check that [World Net Daily] declined to perform. It seems that some people will believe almost anything as long as it can be used to demonize illegal aliens.
    “Debunk Here”
    “Debunk Here”
    Below is a link to the truth about people who’s status is illegal alien and crime, including credable statistics.
    “The El Paso Miracle”

  • Evelyn
    February 13, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Evidently you feel that our immigration laws are laws to be snubbed at just as long somone has a need for something. Does that also apply to Americans who steal or break other laws because they need something?
    I would say definatly, yes because our immigration laws go against equality and justice for all which are included in our constitution. Why dont you tell me if you still feel the same after you read “Here”

  • Bryan J.
    February 14, 2010 at 9:02 am

    So you are saying you are not sure whether “illegals” are a drain on society because no one is allowed to ask about “legal status”?
    Have you perhaps considered any economic benefits “illegal” labor has has, like, for example, lower prices of goods because of lower wages paid?

  • Alonzo
    February 14, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    “Have you perhaps considered any economic benefits “illegal” labor has has, like, for example, lower prices of goods because of lower wages paid?”
    You want to have your cake and eat it too. You praise the low costs that result from the presence of illegal aliens because they work for low wages, all-the-while suggesting that they be legalized, the consequence of which is that they will receive higher wages , and making the price of goods go up. Obviously we’d have to unscrupulously exploit illegal aliens to make them valued workers. This is common progressive double speak.

  • Bryan J.
    February 15, 2010 at 10:37 am

    this isn’t george orwell’s 1984. Stop with the doomsday language.
    Currently, there are many employers that pay “illegals” fair wage while many do not. Those that do not are what legalization would remedy. And, yes, prices would go up but they would still be low.

  • Alonzo
    February 16, 2010 at 7:49 am

    “Thats for all the lazy Americans who refuse to do certain jobs because it is “beneath them”. These people are taking jobs, Americans simply don’t want.”
    I always love it when people who would call themselves Americans condemn their nation en masse as lazy. This hardly endears them to the people that that need a compelling argument to be generous to illegal aliens. This is a mistake that advocates constantly make. Insulting and derisive talk are just turn-offs. Such strategies rarely work.

  • cookie
    February 16, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Why not give those jobs to Americans instead rather than legalizing millions of illegal aliens and increasing THEIR pay? Who do you think use to do those jobs before the arrival of millions of illegal aliens? I don’t want to hear about the picking crops jobs that Americans won’t do either because only a small fraction of illegals are doing that. Most of them are doing construction and other jobs that Americans will do.

  • Texan123
    February 16, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    If the undocumented are doing work that Americans won’t do, what will happen if Reform passes? Do you think legal status will encourage workers to ask for better wages? You bet it will. Employers will soon replace the new legal workers with new ilegal workers, who will still work for less pay.
    My family once made a living in construction in south Texas. We were willing to paint, replace roofing, electrical wiring, and remodeling. The employer started hiring Latino workers for less pay. It became evident that pay increases were out of the question as well as any insurance benefits. It was a dead end job at that point. We were told the Mexican workers did not want health insurance payments deducted from their pay. If they get sick, they can go to Mexico for treatment for much less money.
    Every illegal worker in this country must use false papers to get a job. The money paid to counterfeiters for Social Security numbers is considered the price of employment. These workers can not seem to understand that they may be stealing from someone else. Not only a number, but the job.
    American citizens have a legal right to all the jobs available in the U.S. Our legal immigration system will allow those with needed skills or some willing to do the work Americans do not want to do. As our economy shrinks and jobs get harder to come by, Americans will again want the jobs currently filled by illegal workers.
    I believed the lies in the Amnesty Act of 1986. It promised all the things the new “reform” promises. All it did was encourage more illegal workers to come.

  • Evelyn
    February 19, 2010 at 5:21 am

    “Dirty Work”
    What are the jobs Americans won’t do?
    By Daniel Gross
    The United States is a nation of hard workers. Compared with many other developed countries, the U.S. boasts high rates of labor-force participation and productivity and has a very low unemployment rate. Americans work longer hours than Europeans—1,804 hours per worker for the United States in 2005, compared to 1,434 in Germany and 1,535 in France, according to the OECD.
    Yet it’s increasingly common to hear politicians, CEOs, and immigration activists impugn American workers as a bunch of shiftless layabouts who regard many good jobs as beneath their dignity. That, they say, is why employers have to turn to immigrants—some of them legal, many of them illegal. To hear CEOs tell it, they’d much rather hire English-speaking, tax-paying U.S. citizens, people who won’t disrupt operations by getting rounded up in Homeland Security sweeps. But they just can’t find any Americans willing to do their jobs. As President Bush himself said last March, the United States needs a temporary guest-worker program that would “match willing foreign workers with willing American employers to fill jobs that Americans will not do.

  • Candy
    February 23, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Just because they may be jobs that citizens are reluctant to do, doesn’t mean that undocumented immigrants are entitled to do them. There are people who would come to this country legally who would be glad to do the work. I’ve traveled quite a bit in South East Asia and found many people who would likely jump at the chance. Latin America has no special right to cross our borders and take jobs without the permission of the American people.

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