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Monday, 28 July 2014

two sisters running a bakery in a desert

Posted On 07:13 0 comments

The land in Los Monegros in Aragon in northeastern Spain, is almost as arid as a desert. In the 1960s, it was one of the backdrops chosen for spaghetti western films.

Yet for two twenty-something Spanish sisters, it has become the perfect place for their farming and bread-baking business.

Ana Marcen, the elder of the two, says she had no previous experience in agriculture.

"I studied Greek and Latin and used to work in an orchestra as a singer."

Her younger sister Laura used to work as a waitress and studied engineering.

Their business idea grew out of something their uncle told them - that in times gone by, the bread in this part of Spain tasted different.

It was a flavour he missed.

From seed to loaf

'For the seed we grow, the climate is perfect', two sisters explain why they started a bakery and are growing wheat in a Spanish desert.

The sisters say their uncle was "a very curious person, he used to ask himself why bread didn´t taste any longer as it used to."

They discovered that a type of wheat seed, known as Aragon 03, had been the secret behind the region's distinctly-flavoured bread.

They found an elderly couple who still had a small quantity of the Aragon 03 seed. The Marcens bought two bags of the seeds - and from that their business has grown.

The concept of their business is to control the entire bread-making process.

They grow the wheat, mill the flour and bake the bread, muffins and other bakery snacks.

"Unlike other traditional bakeries that just sell organic products, we control the whole process", says Laura.

A combine harvester in a wheat field Los Monegros may be very dry - but the Marcen sisters' wheat is well-suited to these conditions

'You must be mad'

They set up their business in 2007, just before Spain's economic and financial crisis hit.

They were able to get a bank loan of €250,000, ($335,000; £200,000) which they think would be harder to come by in today's post-recession climate.

In the first year, their business lost lots of money, but by the third year they broke even.

Now, seven years after they first started farming and baking, they own two bakeries and sell their products in eight others.

Whatever profit they make, they reinvest in their business as they want to expand and sell online.

"Many people told us we were crazy for trying to run a business like ours in a (dry) place like this. But we found out that the seed we grow is perfect for this climate", says Laura.

"People think that there is no life in Los Monegros, but in reality the region is rich in plants and wildlife.

"As my uncle used to say, you have to bend your knees and look closely. For example, I see opportunities where others don't."

A man buying baked goods in the company shopThe niche product has a loyal clientele which has been the key to the business turning a profit

Family idea, family business

From the very start, this was a family-run business.

Their father Daniel harvests the crop, their mother Mercedes, works in one of their shops, and their younger brother, Jesus, mills the flour and bakes the bread.


Sunday, 27 July 2014

Spain: Royals' plane food budget to double

Posted On 08:45 0 comments

The Spanish Ministry of Defence has doubled its catering budget for a fleet of seven planes carrying Spanish royals, ministers and other senior officials, it seems. The government's congressional record has said the annual budget is going up to 133,000 euros (£105,000) from 65,000 euros the year before, news website 20minutos reports, adding that it's not unusual for officials to end up exceeding the budget. The website suggests the final bill for 2014 could come in at around 414,000 euros. Trays of peeled seasonal fruit, sirloin steak, Segovia suckling pig and Bilbao sea bass are among the 29 dishes on the menu - although it's reported that alcohol hasn't been served on board since 2012. Prices will be capped for some individual items - for example, the government won't pay more than 35 euros for a kilo of pecorino cheese - and some of the most expensive items have been taken off the menu altogether. The new budget comes amid a defence department review of the fleet's maintenance procedures following two recent breakdowns, and may consider renewing some of the aircraft in the fleet.


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Colombian cocaine smuggler gets 15 years

Posted On 19:20 0 comments

A federal judge in Tampa sentenced a cocaine smuggler on Friday to more than 15 years in prison. U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. sentenced Luis Alberto Urrego-Contreras to 15 years and six months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. In January 2005, Urrego-Contreras, who was known by the nickname “Bacon,” bought a Beechcraft King Air airplane from a St. Petersburg business. He bought the plane on behalf of Colombian cocaine trafficker Fabio Enrique Ochoa-Vasco, according to the federal court. In June 2005, the plan was for the plane to fly from Venezuela to Colombia to retrieve 2,000 kilograms of cocaine. But when the pilot saw the Colombian Air Force was monitoring the Colombian airstrip, the pilot flew back to Venezuela where the pilot and co-pilot were arrested, according to the federal court. In October 2010, Urrego-Contreras was arrested at the American Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, according to the federal court. He agreed to speak to agents where he identified Ochoa-Vasco in several photographs and others involved in the smuggling conspiracy, according to the federal court. Urrego-Contreras told investigators that he was paid $50,000 to $100,000 for each cocaine load. He admitted to investigators that he was responsible for 1,000 kilograms of cocaine that was flown from Colombia to Mexico and later distributed in the United States by Ochoa-Vasco, according to the federal court.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Dream Warrior Recovery: Individual selfhood is expressed in the self's capacity for self-transcendence

Posted On 09:40 0 comments

Dream Warrior Recovery: Individual selfhood is expressed in the self's capacity for self-transcendence

Individual selfhood is expressed in the self's capacity for self-transcendence and not in its rational capacity for conceptual and analytic procedures." Reinhold Neibuhr - Theologian/Author of the "Serenity Prayer"


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Tramps bikie club loses appeal to get back its guns because of link to Hells Angels Motorcycle Club

Posted On 16:14 0 comments

MEMBERS of a small-town motorcycle club linked to the Hells Angels have failed in their appeal to retrieve their confiscated guns. A decision was handed down today by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal upholding a decision to cancel four Tramps bikies’ gun licences because of their membership and social associations with other gangs. The verdict comes almost a year after nine current and former members of the Tramps MC fronted the Firearms Appeal Committee, one of which is a mobile butcher, arguing that Victoria Police had no right cancel their licences. Club head Ronald Harding, who took leave to withdraw, butcher Michael Oxenham, Malcolm Dinsdale and David Windsor are now considering appealing the decision to the appeal court of the Victorian Supreme Court. In August 2012, Chief Commissioner Ken Lay made a controversial decision to seize more than 100 registered guns from members of “outlaw’’ bikie gangs across the state. The VCAT appeal, taken on by four Tramps members, was seen as a test case for other “outlaw’ bikie members who also had their gun licences cancelled. The guns were seized under the test to whether the licence holder was a “fit and proper’’ person.


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings

Posted On 20:31 0 comments

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings, officials said on Saturday. Officers arrested the 40-year-old, whose real name is reportedly Hernan Alonso Villa, in the eastern seaside city of Alicante on Friday, according to a police statement. He is considered ‘the top leader of the military wing of the Oficina de Envigado, a Colombian criminal organisation accused of 400 killings as well as drug-trafficking, extorsion and forced displacements of Colombian citizens’, it said. ‘He is one of the criminals most wanted by the Colombian authorities. He had more than 200 people under his command and was responsible for exporting cocaine to Spain, the United States and Holland,’ the statement said. Spanish officers arrested him under a Colombian extradition warrant for charges including alleged homicide and arms offences. He was carrying 40,000 euros ($54,000) in cash when he was caught, the statement said. Authorities say the ‘Oficina’ gang dates back to the 1980s when it carried out killings for the now-dismantled Medellin Cartel. Spain is one of the main entry points for illegal narcotics into Europe and Colombia is one of the world’s biggest sources of cocaine. Colombia produced 290 tonnes of cocaine in 2013, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.


Friday, 18 July 2014

SPANISH police arrest UK gangland murder suspect

Posted On 10:15 0 comments

Police in Madrid have arrested William Thomas Robert Paterson, wanted over the murder of a gangland enforcer in a car park in Scotland.

Paterson, nicknamed Buff and Billy, was wanted over the 2010 death of  Kevin 'Gerbil' Carroll in a supermarket car park in Glasgow. The 34-year-old fled to Spain after that crime where he remained in hiding until his arrest, Spain's El Diario newspaper reported on Thursday. Paterson appeared on a ten most wanted crime list released by  the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency and Crimestoppers as part of a campaign known as Operation Captura. This campaign targets criminals that UK authorities believe are on the run in Spain.


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Alleged gang members in Santa Monica shooting charged with murder, accessory

Posted On 23:00 0 comments

Two alleged gang members were charged with murder and attempted murder and a third was charged with being an accessory in a shooting near Santa Monica College on Tuesday that left one man dead and another hospitalized, according to the District Attorney's Office. Christopher Chonan Osumi, 19, and Meliton Lorenzo Lopez, 23, were charged with one count each of murder and attempted murder with gang allegations and could face up to life in prison if convicted. Noah Jason Farris, 32, was charged with being an accessory and faces up to seven years in prison, according to a statement released by the D.A.'s office. Osumi pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Thursday afternoon. The arraignments for Lopez and Farris were continued to a later date, said Jean Guccione, a spokesperson for the D.A. Osumi is alleged to have shot two men multiple times with a handgun around 8:15 a.m. Tuesday in the 1500 block of Michigan Avenue. One of the victims, 29-year-old Santa Monica resident Gil Verastegui, died from his wounds. The other victim remains in the hospital. Bail was set at $3 million each for Osumi and Lopez and $500,000 for Farris. The next court date for all three is June 20 in Department 144 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court's Airport Branch. Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Barnes with the Hardcore Gang Division is prosecuting, according to a statement from the D.A.'s office.


The Black Souls are accused of at least six murders, kidnapping, gun-running and drug dealing.

Posted On 22:59 0 comments

The leaders of a street gang on Chicago’s West Side gang, accused of ruthlessly enforcing a “no-snitch” code and shooting two Chicago police officers in the head in 2011, were arrested Thursday in a massive roundup under a new state racketeering law. The Black Souls are accused of at least six murders, kidnapping, gun-running and drug dealing. The investigation, called Operation 40 Cal, began in October after the gang allegedly killed a West Side man who complained to the police about illegal activity on his block. Authorities said the gang is among the most difficult to infiltrate because the leaders use murders to keep witnesses from testifying against them.


Indictment links 20 members of Hoffman Triangle-area gang to 10 murders

Posted On 22:50 0 comments

Twenty members of the 3-N-G gang based in the Hoffman Triangle are responsible for at least 10 murders since 2008 — including the killing of 2-year-old Keira Holmes in the B.W. Cooper housing complex in December 2011, according to an indictment charging them all in a racketeering plot to distribute illegal drugs, authorities said. The gang, which takes its name from the corner of Third and Galvez streets where it focused its activities, also includes an alleged member named McCoy Walker, who boasted about committing the December 2010 double murder in New Orleans East that killed popular female rapper “Magnolia Shorty,” the indictment states.


Friday, 11 July 2014

Five Bodies Discovered in Burned Car Near Arizona-Mexico Border

Posted On 22:11 0 comments

It was a gruesome scene out of Arizona where five bodies were found burned in an SUV. Fox News’ Casey Stegall reported that in investigators are saying the bodies were scorched so badly that they could not identify the gender or ethnicity. This part of Arizona sits between Phoenix and the border of Mexico, making it a smuggling area for cartels, and now investigators are looking into whether this incident was cartel-related.


Illegals to Fly Without Verifiable ID, Says Border Patrol Union

Posted On 22:08 0 comments

Illegal aliens are being allowed to fly on commercial airliners without valid identification, according to the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC). “The aliens who are getting released on their own recognizance are being allowed to board and travel commercial airliners by simply showing their Notice to Appear forms,” NBPC’s Local 2455 Spokesman, Hector Garza, told Breitbart Texas.


Mara Salvatrucha—or MS-13. Gang members left graffiti on the walls of the Nogales (Arizona) Border Patrol processing center

Posted On 22:05 0 comments

Mara Salvatrucha—or MS-13. Gang members left graffiti on the walls of the Nogales (Arizona) Border Patrol processing center, which suggested they had ties to the organization, Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich reported earlier this week. She discussed the alarming report this morning on America's Newsroom, explaining that some of the "unaccompanied minors" are actually teenage MS-13 or drug cartel members. According to current law, the Border Patrol cannot immediately send the teens back because they're under 18. "They're now using the Nogales processing center as a recruitment hub for new members to come in. They're trying to recruit other teenage boys that are sharing cells with them and they're using the phones that the Red Cross has set up. They're supposed to be using those to call back home or to call family members in the United States. They're also using those as a way to communicate with gang members already in U.S. cities," she said. Pavlich said the Border Patrol's hands are tied because they cannot separate the gang members from other children. She said according to her sources, these MS-13 members are scheduled for placement somewhere in the United States, adding that I.C.E policy has been to release illegal immigrants with a notice to appear at a hearing at a later date. Watch the full segment above and read Katie's newest report on this at TownHall.com. Later on Happening Now, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said MS-13 gang members are also coming into Texas. "This is very, very dangerous," said Abbott, arguing that President Obama "is causing imminent harm and danger to the people of this country."


MS-13 Gang Members Recruiting Inside Immigration Facility

Posted On 22:04 0 comments

MS-13 gang members are said to be crossing into the U.S. amongst the massive influx of children from Central America. The notoriously violent Mara Salvatrucha gang has origins in Central America and their members are active in cities across the United States.


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Suspect burned during gang attack on Liverpool pub Taff's Tavern

Posted On 22:59 0 comments

A suspected arsonist burned himself during a bungled gang attack on a Liverpool pub. Four masked men entered Taff’s Tavern in Derby Lane, Old Swan shortly before 10.30pm on Friday, while staff were still serving customers. One of the gang poured flammable liquid on the floor of the bar area before setting it alight and they fled the scene. None of the staff, customers or residents living in the flats above the pub were injured in the fire. But a man with burns was found a short distance away by paramedics.


Ian and Jason Fitzgibbon facing jail over £7m drug smuggling

Posted On 22:57 0 comments

Key members of Liverpool’s notorious Fitzgibbon crime family today faced lengthy jail terms over an international plot to flood Merseyside with super-strength heroin. Drug lords Jason and Ian Fitzgibbon were behind a lucrative plan to import 57kg of the class  A drug from Turkey.  But their scheme was foiled after Turkish police smashed a drugs racket in Istanbul – with the  trail leading back to Liverpool. Jason, 40, and Ian, 39, appeared at Manchester crown court for sentencing, along with their mum Christine, 52, who admitted laundering drug cash found  hidden in her Mossley Hill home.

Ian also admitted an £800k plot to flood Merseyside with 168,000 ecstasy tablets. Paul Mitchell, prosecuting, said: "The drug dealing involved huge quantities of both heroin and Ecstasy.  "It involved the importation of multi kilogram quantities of the drugs into this country and then the onward supply of those drugs.

 The scope of the enterprise was truly breathtaking. " Those involved had established criminal networks not only in the United Kingdom but in foreign countries including Turkey, from where they were obtaining massive quantities of heroin.  "Huge quantities of money were generated by this activity and substantial sums were discovered secreted by the criminal group when their homes were searched.  There is also evidence of criminal money being moved around the country by the group as well as being sent abroad by them." The court this morning heard that the 60%-pure heroin would have cost around 300,000 euros to buy wholesale from Turkey but generate almost £7m at street value.

Intelligence from England to the Turkish gendarmerie stopped the deal in its tracks and on  September 26, 2011, five local drug traffickers were rounded up. In the boot of a car officers discovered 114 half kilo packs of heroin wrapped in brown tape. Fitzgibbon and his sidekick Danny Smith were booked to fly from Manchester to Zurich and  then on to Istanbul.    A return by the same route was booked and paid for – but neither man returned on that  flight.    Instead, Fitzgibbon bought a return flight on Turkish Airlines at the airport on  July 10, paying  cash.

The court heard how there were two Western Union money transfers sent from Liverpool to  one of the Turks later caught red handed with the heroin.   The aftermath of the failed drug deal in Turkey was recorded in part by a covert listening  device.   On October 6, Ian Fitzgibbon was recorded remarking: “That’s the story of Jason’s life, that  Turkey thing.  Three hundred quid…three hundred quid they owe us.”  Police say ‘quid’ was a codeword for ‘thousand’, and 300,000 euros was the wholesale cost  of the heroin.


Killer biker charged after raid on Ghost Rider clubhouse

Posted On 22:54 0 comments

A convicted killer and purported member of the Ghost Riders motorcycle gang is facing federal gun charges following a raid on the outlaw club’s Spanaway clubhouse. Karl “King Karl” Twilleager is accused of having six firearms – including a sawed-off shotgun – nearby when agents armed with a search warrant raided the Spanaway home early Thursday. Twilleager, 66, was previously convicted of murder and drug crimes, and is not legally able to have access to guns.

Members of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives taskforce arrived at the 203rd Street Court East home at 6 a.m. and found Twilleager and two others inside. According to a taskforce member affidavit, agents found books, hats and posters associated with the Ghost Riders, as well as Twilleager’s “colors” – a leather vest bearing patches associated with the gang. Inside an outbuilding described as the Ghost Riders clubhouse, agents recovered a small amount of methamphetamine in a bag next to Twilleager’s credit cards and ID, the task force officer said in court papers. Also seized were two handguns, a rifle and a shortened shotgun without a serial number.

Twilleager was arrested at the scene and was charged later Thursday with unlawful gun possession. He remained jailed following an initial appearance at the federal courthouse in Tacoma. According to charging papers, Twilleager was previously convicted of second-degree murder in a 1993 killing in Grant County and was sentenced to 12 years in state prison. Prior to that, Twilleager served time in Oregon for drug possession.


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Dixon Road raids: Guns-and-gangs bail hearings proceeding smoothly

Posted On 20:02 0 comments

Toronto’s latest gang sweep, albeit one with an unprecedented twist, will now move into its next, predictable phase, if history is any guide. On Friday, a team of seven guns-and-gangs prosecutors assigned to Project Traveller were efficiently dealing with a list of about 35 defendants, moving quickly to consent to the release of people facing less serious charges and scheduling bail hearings for those in custody facing gangland, firearm and drug trafficking charges. Those hearings are expected to run until the end of June. While family members are anxious for bail hearings to take place, some lawyers think it is better to wait a few weeks until the glare of publicity dies down. “This is a crisis-type atmosphere which does not serve the interests of the accused in obtaining bail,” defence lawyer Dirk Derstine said Friday in the Finch Ave. W. courtroom where Project Traveller has landed. “My experience is it’s better to wait for the crisis to dissipate to get the fairest hearing.” But Nathan Gorham, the lawyer for Muhammad Khattak, says he’s working toward a quick bail review “because my client is seriously injured and needs medical attention, he has no criminal record, and there are significant questions about the strength of the allegations at this point in time.”


Guns and gangs unit probing 3 shootings in 12 hours

Posted On 19:46 0 comments

The Ottawa police guns and gangs unit is asking for the public's help to solve three shootings in Ottawa in 12 hours. In the most recent case, a woman who was sleeping at her home on Ritchie Street woke up to a loud bang at about 4:30 a.m. Friday. She thought something had fallen and didn't call 911, police said. But later in the morning, as she was taking her children out to school, she found a bullet-sized hole in her window and called police. When officers arrived they traced the possible trajectory of the bullet and found it lodged in an adjacent wall. The guns and gangs unit has no witnesses and is urging anyone with information to come forward. Man shot twice in arm 3 hours earlier About three hours earlier, a man was seriously hurt after being shot in the arm twice during an incident in Lowertown, police say. Police were called to the 200-block of Friel Street, near Rideau Street, at about 1:30 a.m. after reports of shots being fired. The man who was shot was driving a car at the time and managed to drive to the corner of Rideau and Charlotte Street a few blocks away, where he caught up with police. He was taken to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. An "associate" of the man, who was there at the time, wasn't hurt, police said in a news release. No suspect was arrested in connection with the shooting later Friday morning, but the victim and his associate are facing several drug charges related to marijuana possession, police said. Their names are not being released. Bayshore shooting in broad daylight The first shooting happened Thursday in a parking lot at the Bayshore Shopping Centre in broad daylight. Police were called to the parking lot at about 4:40 p.m. after 911 callers reported shots being fired. Witnesses told police that a black car, possibly a Mercedes, was seen fleeing the area at high speed, and that the car then slowed down to let a man out. That man then ran away, police said. No evidence was recovered from the scene and police have few witnesses. Officers are now searching for two possible suspects in connection with the case.


Irishman extradited over Spain killing

Posted On 03:37 0 comments

Brian McConville , from Dublin, was detained on a European Arrest Warrant in Germany. The 29-year-old was named as a suspect in a Spanish police appeal two months after Londoner Paul Feathers was stabbed to death at his flat in Benalmadena on April 21, 2010. Mr Feathers (32) was attacked after getting into an argument with two men he let into his flat in Benalmadena. Mr McConville will appear at a court in Benalmadena after being extradited from Germany. Mr Feathers's killing is understood to have been drug related.


Friday, 1 March 2013

Gang associate Jujhar Singh Khun-Khun arrested

Posted On 22:56 0 comments

 

Gangster charged in Bacon hit wanted dead or alive for years
 

Gang associate Jujhar Singh Khun-Khun (above 2007), was arrested in Abbotsford in connection to a September drive-by shooting on Bradner Road outside of Brian "Shrek" Dhaliwal's family home in Abbotsford, was critically wounded in a targeted shooting in Surrey on Tuesday.

Photograph by: File photo, Jason Payne, PNG , for Abbotsford Times

Jujhur Khun-Khun has been a wanted man on two fronts for years.

Police have nabbed the 25-year-old Surrey man on a number of charges that culminated in a first-degree murder charge announced Monday in connection with the shooting death of Jonathan Bacon.

Rivals have twice attempted to kill Khun-Khun, and his fiancé died under mysterious circumstances.

On Sept. 16, 2011, Khun-Khun and Sukh Dhak, the highest-ranking members of the Dhak-Duhre group, were shot at in Surrey in the 10100-block 144th Avenue as they left a birthday party.

Khun-Khun was shot 10 times — once through the heart — and survived, thanks to a combat-trained surgeon who had just returned from Afghanistan. Dhak escaped on foot uninjured.

On Jan. 15, 2013, Khun-Khun once again survived as he and Dhak associate Manjinder Hairan were shot in Surrey in the 12600-block 112B Avenue

Khun-Khun was shot several times but escaped death a second time. He managed to drive himself to hospital. Hairan died at the scene.

Police have been busy with Khun-Khun as well.

In October 2007 he was handed a 18-month suspended sentence on three counts of fraud and possession/use of a stolen credit card.

An intriguing mystery also occurred in October 2007, when his fiancé, Sukhvir Kaur Grewal, 19, allegedly fell to her death from a truck Khun-Khun was driving.

Khun-Khun is recovering from his latest brush with death January 15, and now faces a first-degree murder charge.





Three men with gang ties have been charged with first-degree murder for the August 2011 shooting death of Jonathon Bacon.

Posted On 22:52 0 comments

Bacon, a Red Scorpion gang member, was gunned down in a Porsche SUV outside of the Delta Okanagan resort alongside three other passengers.

Two of Bacon’s associates, Hells Angel Larry Amero and Independent Soldier James Riach, were wounded in the shootout, as was Leah Hadden-Watts, then 21, who was shot in the neck and left paralyzed.

jonathon bacon

Jonathon Bacon was shot to death outside of the Delta Grand Hotel in Kelowna, B.C., in August 2011.

Police say Bacon, Amaro and Riach were in Kelowna that weekend as part of crime alliance dubbed the “Wolf Pack.”

Jujhar Singh Khun-Khun, 25, Jason Thomas McBride, 37, and Michael Kerry Hunter Jones, 25, are now charged with first-degree murder. Each are also charged with four counts of attempted murder in the incident.

The announcement was made by members of B.C.'s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit at a press conference in Delta, B.C.

Khun-Khun is well known to police, and was the target of a gangland shooting in 2011. He was critically injured in a Surrey shooting as he picked up a gangster from their Surrey home. Khun-Khun was shot again last month, in an incident that saw gangster Manjinder Singh Hairan executed, police added.

The three accused were arrested last week in simultaneous raids across Canada. Khun-Khun was picked up at his home in Surrey, McBride was arrested in Toronto and Jones was arrested in Vancouver.

Sgt. Lindsay Houghton, spokesperson for the CFSEU, said more than 100 police officers contributed to the 18-month investigation, dubbed “E-Nitrogen.”

Houghton said all of the men charged are linked to the late gangster Sukh Dhak, 28, a member of the Duhre crime group who was killed in a targeted attack with his bodyguard Thomas Mantel, 30, in Nov. 2012. Before his death police regularly warned that Dhak, who was on trial for drug trafficking, could be targeted by rivals following the fatal shooting of his brother outside of Metrotown Mall in 2010.

Duhre gang leader Sandip Duhre was gunned down in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Vancouver on Jan. 16, 2012.

Monday’s arrests could usher in another spat of retaliation gun violence, said CFSEY Supt. Dan Malo.

“Whenever we disrupt the regular organized crime activities of these violent individuals there’s always some flow that comes from that, and we need to with our police intelligence community pay particular attention to that,” Malo said.





James 'Whitey' Bulger's associates saying that C4 plastic explosive supplied to the IRA came from a corrupt FBI agent who was supposed to be one of the Irish-American gangster's handlers.

Posted On 22:48 0 comments

new book on the notorious Boston gangster, James 'Whitey' Bulger, details his meetings with the Provisional IRA in setting up the arms smuggling deal which led to the arrest of Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris in 1984.

The book also says that Bulger's involvement with the IRA "took off" after he began working as an FBI informer and quotes one of Bulger's associates saying that C4 plastic explosive supplied to the IRA came from a corrupt FBI agent who was supposed to be one of the Irish-American gangster's handlers.

The book is written by Boston Globe journalists Shelley Murphy and Kevin Cullen. Cullen, former crime correspondent for the newspaper, reported on Bulger and his gang for decades and had his life threatened by both Bulger and the corrupt FBI agent, John Connolly, now serving 40 years for involvement in three of the reputed 19 murders carried out by Bulger and his gang. Bulger, who was arrested in California in June 2011, faces trial in June on 19 murder and other charges.

Bulger is the model for the gangster Frank Costello played by Jack Nicholson in the film The Departed. The Hollywood Reporter last week said that Johnny Depp is now tipped to play Bulger in a new film by director Barry Levinson.

The Boston reporters' book contains previously unpublished material about Bulger including material about how he was approached by the Provisional IRA to supply weapons even though they were aware he was a gangster and heavily involved in the importation of drugs. It states that prior to becoming an FBI "informant", Bulger had no dealings with the IRA.

It says: "The truth was that on the night Whitey signed on as an informant there was very little he could have given (FBI agent John) Connolly on the IRA. Up to that point, he had merely donated relatively small amounts of money to Irish Northern Aid, or Noraid, the IRA's main support group in the United States.

"But now that he had the FBI in his pocket, his involvement quickly intensified. It became more than giving cash, it became a hands-on thing. Whitey first sent a small consignment of weapons to the IRA, then prevailed upon a friendly FBI agent to acquire C4 explosives for the IRA, according to Steve Flemmi (Bulger's associate who testified against him). Finally, in 1984, Whitey sanctioned and helped organise the biggest-ever shipment of weapons from the US to the IRA. He considered the mission his crowning achievement, an interlude of honour in his long criminal career. It was an audacious project, but one that was doomed to failure because of that bane of Irish revolutionaries, the informer."

As the book explains, gardai were tipped off about the shipment by their most senior informant inside the IRA, Sean O'Callaghan from Kerry. The book describes Bulger's meetings with Joe Cahill who held the twin posts of head of finance for the IRA and Sinn Fein, and who died in 2004.

It reads: "Cahill was accustomed to doing business in bar-rooms, but his haunts were usually in his native West Belfast, not South Boston.

"Still, there was a war on, and Joe Cahill would go anywhere to get weapons for the Irish Republican Army. So there he was, in the private room on the second floor of Triple O's, Whitey Bulger's redoubt on West Broadway. Cahill eyed the Irish tricolour strung across the bare brick wall with an approving nod.

"His short stature, thick eyeglasses and retiring, grandfatherly manner belied a certain ruthlessness that fit in with the men grouped around him at Triple O's. There was Whitey, whose reputation preceded him. There was Pat Nee, the Irish-born Mullen gang survivor who had gone from hunting Whitey to hunting others with him. And there was Joe Murray, Whitey's newest associate, the biggest marijuana trafficker in town."

It adds: "The IRA's association with Murray, the marijuana and cocaine importer, was even more astonishing. If Murray had sold drugs in Belfast the way he did in Boston, his friends in the IRA would have felt duty bound to shoot him; they viewed drug dealers, and their customers as more vulnerable to a squeeze by police and thus more likely to become informers.

"Whitey shared the IRA's reservations. The only thing he liked about drug dealers was the large amounts of cash he could extort from them. He had only recently hooked up with Murray. After learning that Murray had used a warehouse in Southie to store a boatload of marijuana."

The book says the IRA was told to send Cahill to Canada during the winter, so that the trips coincided with dates when the Boston Bruins hockey team was playing in Montreal. "IRA sympathisers in Charlestown and Southie then chartered a bus to bring Bruins' fans to the games. Cahill usually travelled with three companions, so four Boston hockey fans were induced to stay a few extra days in Canada."

Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice, by Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy, is published in the United States by WW Norton

 


Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Forbidden Ones, secured themselves with assault rifles, pistols and even grenades to protect themselves from intruders

Posted On 10:26 0 comments


During the secret meetings at their clubhouse in Brooklyn, the members of an outlaw motorcycle gang, the Forbidden Ones, secured themselves with assault rifles, pistols and even grenades to protect themselves from intruders, the authorities said. But their first — and most imposing — line of defense was a cannon, at the ready with .50-caliber rounds, aimed at the door should anyone dare to infiltrate their ranks. Enlarge This Image Department of Justice Among the weapons confiscated were AK-47 assault rifles, homemade bombs, pistols and a cannon. Connect with NYTMetro Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for news and conversation. But what the men did not know was that despite their fortifications, one of their own had turned on them. Their very own “enforcer,” responsible for ensuring that they were all well armed with guns and explosives, was a confidential informer working with New York police officers and federal agents to uncover the sale of a huge cache of weapons. In predawn raids on Tuesday, law enforcement officials arrested seven members of the Forbidden Ones and two other Brooklyn-based motorcycle gangs, the Dirty Ones and the Troublemakers, and charged them with trafficking high-caliber weapons. An eighth man charged was already in prison. Among those discovered, in 15 locations, were AK-47 assault rifles, homemade bombs and a .410-caliber revolver, the police said.  Some of the guns were kept at a gang member’s home, where his wife ran a day care center. The men arrested had nicknames like Spider and Afro, and some literally wore their accomplishments on their sleeves. The “1% patch” they wore declared that they had rejected society and lived outside the law. And the “bangout patch,” showing two handguns crossing each other, signified that the member had assaulted or had another confrontation with the police. Most of the gun sales were made in tattoo parlors, the police said. The defendants, ranging in age from 33 to 61, were scheduled to be arraigned in Federal District Court in Brooklyn on Tuesday afternoon, but only three made court appearances. Four others were taken to the hospital for heroin detoxification and treatment for high blood pressure. The men face up to five years in prison if convicted. Officials said the leader of the trafficking scheme was Scott Brannigan, known as the Spider. Prosecutors said Mr. Brannigan, 61, sold 16 firearms and about 1,400 rounds of ammunition, including armor-piercing rounds, to an undercover officer. The most expensive of the arms, at $2,000, was the cannon, which came with ammunition and the black powder necessary to fire it. The first undercover gun buy was in October 2010. The confidential informer led an undercover officer to a tattoo parlor on Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Queens. At a nearby house, the informer paid $1,000 for a Yugoslavian assault rifle and ammunition, while the undercover officer looked on. It went on like that, the police said, for the next two years.


Friday, 21 September 2012

Reputed gang leader Richard Goodridge could be facing deportation.

Posted On 10:36 0 comments

The 43-year-old was arrested in downtown Montreal Thursday on a warrant issued by the Canada Border Services Agency. Police say they found $9,000 in cash, four cell phones and several pieces of counterfeit ID on Goodridge.

He was arrested for allegedly violating Article 37 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which prohibits permanent residents from having any ties to organized crime.

On Monday, Goodridge appeared before the Canadian Immigration Commission, which has the power to deport him to his native Guyanna.

Police say he was a member of the Montreal North-based "67" gang. Goodridge and fellow 67 member Ducarmed Joseph repotedly had a falling out in 2004, which may have resulted in violence.

Joseph survived a gangland shooting in March 2010. That day two gunmen opened fire on Joseph in an Old Montreal clothing store, killing two of his associates.





man whose daughter had a child with a high-profile gang figure has been sentenced to 3-1/2 years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to import cocaine from Mexico.

Posted On 10:35 0 comments

Wayne Scott, a 56-year-old truck driver from Abbotsford, B.C., was convicted earlier this year along with Jarrod Bacon of conspiracy to traffic cocaine.

The pair were busted in a reverse-sting operation in which a police agent offered to sell 100 kilograms of cocaine for $3 million.

Scott, whose daughter had a child with Bacon, asked for a conditional sentence and claimed he was manipulated by a friend, who was the police agent, and Bacon to do something he wouldn’t otherwise do.

Associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen agrees Scott’s involvement was low and was out of character, but he says Scott still had free will and appeared to be motivated by profit.

Cullen says given the seriousness of the alleged conspiracy, a conditional sentence isn’t appropriate in this case, but noted a 3-1/2 year sentence is far below the usual range of sentences for drug trafficking.


Grandfather of B.C. gangster’s child to be sentenced on cocaine conspiracy

Posted On 10:33 0 comments


Ian Smith / Postmedia News files
Ian Smith / Postmedia News files
A British Columbia man convicted in a drug conspiracy apologized Monday as he asked to be spared jail time, saying he made stupid decisions after he became caught up with the wrong people — including high-profile gang figure Jarrod Bacon (pictured), who had fathered a child with the man's daughter. British Columbia man convicted in a drug conspiracy apologized Monday as he asked to be spared jail time, saying he made stupid decisions after he became caught up with the wrong people — including a high-profile gang figure who had fathered a child with his daughter.

Wayne Scott, a 56-year-old truck driver from Abbotsford, B.C., was convicted earlier this year in a conspiracy to import Mexican cocaine into Canada.

He was convicted along with Jarrod Bacon, one of three brothers who became notorious for their links to a bloody gang war in the Vancouver area several years ago, who once dated Scott’s daughter and was the father of her child.

Scott and Bacon were busted in a reverse-sting operation in which a police agent promised to sell Bacon 100 kilograms of cocaine for $3 million.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Crips Lured High School Girls Into Prostitution

Posted On 23:55 0 comments

violent street gang lured vulnerable Fairfax-area girls into prostitution is a chilling one for any parent, and is another reason why parents need to keep a close eye on their kids’ involvement with social networking websites. During a three-year period ending in March 2012, members of a violent Virginia street gang used some of these websites to recruit vulnerable high-school age girls to work in their prostitution business. The story has been reported locally in bits and pieces as it progressed, and now a recap is being distributed nationwide by the FBI, using the Fairfax episode as a cautionary tale for parents and law enforcement authorities. After a multi-agency state and federal investigation, all five defendants pleaded guilty to various federal charges related to the sex trafficking conspiracy. The leader of the gang—27-year-old Justin Strom—was sentenced on September 14 to 40 years in prison, while the sentences handed down for the other four defendants totaled 53 years. Strom headed up the Underground Gangster Crips (UGC), a Crips “set” based in Fairfax, Virginia. The Crips originated in Los Angeles in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and since then, the gang has splintered into various groups around the country. Law enforcement has seen a number of Crips sets in the U.S. engaging in sex trafficking as a means of making money.


Former Crips gang member Ronald L. Barron spotted a tagger spray painting one February Sunday evening in 2010 on Pico Boulevard near the Cottage Bar

Posted On 23:53 0 comments

 Barron had turned his life around and was working as a gang outreach and intervention worker. Still, going up to the tagger proved fatal; the 16-year-old boy shot Barron dead, in front of witnesses. Now that teenager is an adult, and offered an apology in court today after being sentenced to 29 years in prison for the killing, reports City News Service. Mark Anthony Villasenor addressed the court, his victim's family, and his own family members just before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Laura F. Priver imposed the term: "As you guys all know, the incident occurred when I was 16. That does not make an excuse for my decision ... I'd like to say I'm sorry, first of all ... I'm sorry for the pain ... (The) truth is I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart.'' Barron, 40, had been shot point blank by Villasenor, who witnesses say walked calmly from the scene after firing. At StreetGangs.com, someone who knew Ronnie "Looney" Barron in his early years remembered his trajectory: Ronnie was a part of that early history and could go in depth about all the circumstances that transformed his neighborhood into a gang, but when he was young, he was fully involved. Unfortunately, when he was 17, he was sent to prison for attempted murder. His prison experience did little to change his lifestyle because upon release, he returned back into the same life style. But soon enough, Ronnie began to see the light when the casualty count in Los Angeles continued to grow, which included his friends, loved ones, and even his own brother. He knew it was time for a change, and everyone who knew Looney witnessed a successful transformation. This July, Villasenor pleaded no contest to one felony count each of voluntary manslaughter, possession of a concealed firearm, felony vandalism and being an active participant in a criminal street gang. The victim's son said his father, who worked in youth development for the Amer-I-Can program, would have forgiven Villasenor: "I forgive you because I know if my dad would have made it through, he would have done the same thing," offered Anthony White-Barron.


Gang Associate in West End Targeted Shooting

Posted On 23:51 0 comments

Gang associate escaped injury Tuesday afternoon when his black pick-up was sprayed with bullets in a targeted shooting in Vancouver’s West End. Vancouver Police received 911 calls from several shocked residents just before 3 p.m. about the shooting in the alley behind the 1300 block of Comox near Jervis. The target – whose identity police are not releasing – didn’t wait for the VPD to arrive, but was stopped minutes later i his truck on the Burrard Street bridge. VPD Const. Brian Montague said the truck was seized as evidence in the shooting. But he wouldn’t say whether or not the would-be victim was taken into custody or cooperating with police. “This is a very public shooting. It is fortunate that no one was killed. The level of violence is really concerning to us,: Montague said. “It is unacceptable. Our investigators will be on scene looking for witnesses, canvassing for video and trying to find out who is responsible and bring them to court.” While he described the shooting as both targeted and gang-related, he said it was too early to have a motive nailed down in the attack. “As you can imagine, it is still really early in the investigation so there is going to be a lot of information that I am not going to have and there is going to be a lot of hold-back,” Montague said. “The information we have at this time is that it was targeted. It was not a random attack. I can’t go into what that information is.”


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