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Five members of a Columbia Heights criminal ring pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court, along with their leader, Rocio Sanchez-Flores. According to court records, Sanchez-Flores went by the nickname “Taliban.”

So, what heinous crime did Sanchez-Flores commit using a nickname so tough that its namesake frustrates NATO coalition forces to this day? According to his guilty plea, Sanchez-Flores counterfeited fake identification cards and sold them at the Columbia Heights Metro station.

Cue the sad trombone. When did getting a scary nom de crime become so easy in the District? Take his reaction, revealed in court documents, to some ID vendors trying to rip him off:

If you are going to continue like this, forget about everything because there’s not going to be favors, not even for you, and that’s the truth.

Hardly an intimidating threat, right?

The court files on Sanchez-Flores’ ring, incidentally, read like a tourist’s guide to Columbia Heights. In addition to the Metro station, members of the organization met with potential customers by the fire house, the CVS, and the Potbelly. What, was Pete’s Apizza too “hot”?

Photo by isafmedia used under a Creative Commons license.