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Sunday, 30 November 2008

Sicilian mafia’s hitmen firing range ,10 meters long and sound-proofed.

Posted On 01:53 0 comments

The Sicilian mafia’s hitmen are skilled and practiced, their murders are rarely botched, even when carried out from the back of a motorcycle traveling at speed.
But one of the many mysteries that surrounds the Cosa Nostra is where its killers acquire their lethal dexterity. It is known they have practiced in the Sicilian countryside. But the flat crack of a pistol, which sounds quite unlike the report of a shotgun, can swiftly attract unwelcome attention.Part of the answer to the puzzle has emerged in Palermo’s notorious Zona Espansione Nord (Zen) - a complex of housing estates on the edge of the city which was the fiefdom of the city’s top mobster, Salvatore Lo Piccolo, known as the Baron, until his arrest last year.There, 10 meters below ground in a warren of passages, police have found a firing range littered with 9 x 21 caliber ammunition - the Italian mobster’s favorite.Sara Fascina, the police commander whose officers discovered the complex, said it also seemed to have been used for hiding fugitives and providing them with an escape route in the event of a raid. “The housing blocks that make up the Zen are strongholds that are impossible to enter unobserved,” she said.The officers came across the shooting range by chance. While searching the flat of a suspected drug dealer, one officer noticed a large bunch of keys and asked what they were all for.
They found what appeared to be a shed in the courtyard, with an entrance opened by remote control. From there, they descended to an armored door beyond which was a refuge for fugitives, complete with TV, air conditioning and €7,000 (£6,000) in cash.
When another security door was forced open the police found themselves navigating some 100 meters of passageways circling the foundations of the block. At the end of the last passageway was the firing range - 10 meters long and sound-proofed.


Saturday, 29 November 2008

Fausto Gonzalez, 37, branded a "killing machine"an "unrepentant" and "merciless" thug who sometimes killed "for no reason at all."

Posted On 21:07 0 comments




Fausto Gonzalez, 37, who was branded a "killing machine" by prosecutors, will have to serve the new terms consecutively, virtually ensuring he will never be freed.Remorseless biker-gang assassin who murdered six people was hit with two life sentences Friday by a Manhattan judge who called the crimes "immorality in such epic proportions.""I saw not a twinge of regret or any decent human emotion during the trial," said Supreme Court Justice Daniel FitzGerald.The judge imposed two life sentences with no possibility of parole for two of the murders and four sentences of 25 years to life for the others.He imposed separate sentences for each victim's death to recognize the value of their lives, "something that never crossed your mind," the judge told Gonzalez.Gonzalez is already serving life in prison for another gang murder in Connecticut.Assistant District Attorney Robert Walker said before sentencing that Gonzalez was an "unrepentant" and "merciless" thug who sometimes killed "for no reason at all."A defense lawyer asked for the sentences to be served concurrently. He had argued that fellow gang members were the only witnesses to the slayings and may have lied to obtain reduced prison sentences.Gonzalez started killing to punish or rob gang rivals, then moved on to thrill killings like the murder of Richard Fedor, who was shot in a robbery as he walked to the bank from his East Harlem drugstore.Gonzalez also gunned down East Village restaurateur Halil Korkmaz, also known as Alexander Pierce, because he wanted to steal his motorcycle.Not satisfied with the bloodshed, Gonzalez even ran over the body of Korkmaz, who had been waiting at a red light on E. Houston St., authorities said.John Akdikmen, a friend of Korkmaz, called Gonzalez "a coward and a lowlife" who killed "a good and decent man who never hurt anyone."Carolyn Recchio, one of the jurors who convicted Gonzalez, said justice has been served.
"I feel very happy to have been a part of this," she said.


Dante Ferrazza, who was sentenced to life in prison without a chance for parole in 1967, is scheduled to be released from prison in January

Posted On 21:00 1 comments

Dante Ferrazza, who was sentenced to life in prison without a chance for parole in 1967, is scheduled to be released from prison in January after the governor in October endorsed a recommendation from the Parole Board.Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith on Monday filed an application to appeal the decision in Macomb County.
Ferrazza was convicted of first-degree, premeditated murder along with Harry Whitney, who has since died, for the April 1966 strangling death of Gary Grayvold, 28, of Detroit. The slaying was a gangland-style execution among small-time criminals in which Ferrazza and Whitney abducted Grayvold at gunpoint at Pampa Lanes in Warren, strangled him in a garrote-style execution and dumped his body in a lake at Stony Creek Park (now Metropark) in Washington Township, according to published reports at the time. His body, which had been weighted with two cement blocks, was found May 6 by two Warren High School students at a dam in the park, reports say.
Brad Grayvold, 42, one of Gary Grayvold's three sons, and Max Grayvold, 29, Gary Grayvold's brother, told The Macomb Daily this week they are angry and dismayed the governor OK'd Ferrazza's release.Brad Grayvold, an elementary school principal in Norway, Mich., in the Upper Peninsula, said he "nearly fell off my chair" when he saw the e-mail informing him of the decision."It was like a dagger," he said. "He took away something from me that can never be given back. He knew it exactly what he was doing. He deserves to die in prison."The Gravolds said they believe Granholm did not read the case or a letter submitted to her by Brad Grayvold because she would have rejected it if she did. Ferrazza had two prior armed robbery convictions and was on parole at the time of the slaying.Max Grayvold of Royal Oak, a business owner in Birmingham, said Ferrazza remains a danger to the community as well as he and Brad, since Ferrazza saw them speak at the Parole Board hearing."We don't believe the governor was given the right information," Max Grayvold said. "He is a danger to the community. I feel in danger myself. He is 71 years old; that's middle age nowadays. ... Show me one way he will be a contributing member of society."Assistant Macomb prosecutor Robert Berlin argues in the brief seeking the appeal: "The decision constitutes an abuse of discretion based upon the very serious nature of the instant offense and the expectations of society and the victim's family as to the serving of the life sentence."A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 8 in front of circuit Chief Judge Richard Caretti.The Attorney General's Office also opposed the release at the parole hearing, the Grayvolds said.Attorney General spokespersons could not be reached for comment Wednesday.Granholm spokeswoman Megan Brown said Wednesday the governor approved Ferrazza's release because he no longer poses a danger to the community."He's 71 years old. He's served 42 years," she said.
Granholm's commutation of the sentence is part of her effort to reduce the cost of and reform the state Department Corrections, which in recent years has increasingly strained the state budget due to a rising prison population.Granholm this year has approved 40 early releases after approving 18 in her prior five years in office, according to Brown.Candidates must fall into one of three categories — elderly, frail or nonviolent.Ferrazza does have some medical conditions but was considered to be too old to be a threat. He has an exemplary prison record.Brown pointed out the governor only grants a tiny percentage of the "hundreds" of requests for early release each year. The number of applications may have hit 1,000 this year, she said.
"We are very meticulous" and consider the clemency requests "very, very seriously," Brown said.John Lasko, the assistant prosecutor who handled the case, submitted a letter to the governor supporting Ferrazza's release, Brown said.Brown said the governor's office invited Brad Grayvold to meet with the governor's legal team but he has not responded.Max Grayvold, who attended much of Ferrazza's trial in 1967 in front of Judge Frank Jeannette, called Ferrazza a "manipulator" and "sociopath" who remains capable of returning to the bad habits of his past.Ferrazza and Whitney fled the state and were arrested in Evanston, Ill, a Chicago suburb, after being suspected of robbing a supermarket there and committing other robberies, according to a published report in 1966.Among other evidence, Ferrazza and Whitney were tied to Grayvold by a similar tattoo all of them had on their ankles — a stick figure of a man that Max Grayvold said appears to be the logo from the TV series "The Saint."
Ferrazza's sister argued for her brother's release at the parole hearing in January 2008 in Jackson, the Grayvolds said.Max Grayvold admitted his brother was involved in criminal activity and had two armed robbery convictions but said he was killed because he agreed to cooperate with police in an investigation of a check forgery scheme conducted by the three men.Max Grayvold said he saw his brother the day he went missing."He told me he was going to meet these guys," he said. "He didn't suspect anything. That day he confided in me he did something wrong."He said he, his brother and a third brother grew up "very poor," and Gary Grayvold probably liked the fast money that can come with criminal activity. But he said his brother was talented and, with his cooperation with police, may have been wishing to become a law abider."He loved his wife, he liked being a father," Max Grayvold said. "It was tough losing a brother that way. He was physically fit. He was very bright, very witty. He was somebody everybody would like. He wouldn't let anyone bully anyone else."His wife, Gloria Jean, last saw him that day, too, when he left their home on Stout Street in a 1958 Chevy.His wife, now Gloria Jean Holmes, lives in the Upper Peninsula, was pregnant at the time with Brad, and they had two other small boys — Tony, now 46, and John, now 44 — both of whom now also reside in the U.P. Holmes, a U.P. native, moved the family there shortly after the murder. She later married William Holmes, and they had a child, David Holmes.Brad Grayvold, a high school football coach and president of the Michigan Football Coaches Association, vowed he will fight Ferrazza's release like a linebacker pursing a running back.
"I will not let this die," he said.Ferrazza had been serving at a prison in the Thumb area but was recently moved to Macomb Correctional Facility in Lenox Township.


15-year-old gang associate was in critical condition Friday after he was wounded twice by his own gun

Posted On 01:26 0 comments

15-year-old gang associate was in critical condition Friday after he was wounded twice by his own gun during a struggle with a 32-year-old he pointed the weapon at, police said.The man, who police said was a former paratrooper in the Honduras army, was not hurt and waited for police to respond to where the confrontation happened. He gave a statement to investigators before he was arrested on suspicion of assault while the district attorney's office determines whether he acted in self-defense.
Police would not release the name of the teen or the adult pending the district attorney's review.The shooting happened just before 2 a.m. Friday in the 3700 block of Foothill Boulevard in the Fruitvale district. The area is a known hangout of certain gang members and police said the 15-year-old is associated with the gang.
The man was on his cell phone when he was confronted by the teen, and possibly some other youths, said Officer Robert Trevino, who is investigating the case with Sgt. Drennon Lindsey.The teen pointed a pistol at the man, who had never seen him before, and used a street term to see if he was in another gang, police said. Police said the man is not a gang member and has only been in Oakland eight months, seeking work.
When the teen was momentarily distracted by a passing car, the man grabbed the gun and the two began struggling over it, Trevino said. During the struggle the gun went off twice, hitting the teen in the neck and shoulder, police said.He was taken to a local hospital by friends where he underwent surgery. The man waited for police to come to the scene and gave them the pistol.


Friday, 28 November 2008

Los Palillos Convictions in San Diego

Posted On 20:45 0 comments


Jorge Rojas and Juan Gonzalez, two gunmen from the Tijuana drug cartel, have been convicted in a San Diego court in connection with last year's kidnapping of businessman Eduardo Gonzalez:The pair led a group known as Los Palillos (the Toothpicks) that focused its attacks on alleged associates of the Arellano-Felix drug-smuggling organization, which has controlled the flow of narcotics from Tijuana into Southern California for more than 15 years. Law enforcement officials say Rojas organized the gang of disgruntled ex-gunmen believed responsible for as many as 20 kidnappings and a dozen murders in San Diego County beginning in about 2004.
Rojas and Gonzalez face life in prison, and four other defendants allegedly involved with the kidnapping of Gonzalez are scheduled for trial in January.


Highland Park gang shooting two men dead and a third critically wounded early this morning as they left Club Bleu on Woodward .

Posted On 20:17 0 comments

Two men were killed and a third critically wounded early this morning as they left a popular downtown Detroit nightclub.The three men were leaving Club Bleu on Woodward at John R shortly after 2 a.m. today when they flashed hand signals associated with a metro Detroit gang and exchanged words with three men in a black Dodge Charger.
A passenger in the front seat of the car threw a liquor bottle at the group, striking one of the men in the head and the rear seat passenger in the car pulled out a gun and shot all three men.Two of the men — ages 19 and 21 — were shot in the chest and died. The third, an 18-year-old who also was the man hit in the head with the bottle, was shot in the shoulder and was listed in critical condition at a Detroit hospital.Police are investigating whether gang rivalries caused a shooting this morning outside a downtown nightclub that killed two men and critically injured a third. The 2:13 a.m. incident near the Bleu Room Experience -- commonly called Club Bleu -- began after one of the victims stood outside making gang signs with his hands, said Detroit Police Second Deputy Chief James Tate said.
A black Dodge Charger with three men inside pulled up and a front passenger lobbed a liquor bottle, striking an 18-year-old man in the face. A passenger in back fired shots into a crowd and killed two men, ages 19 and 21. They were both shot in the chest at least once, Tate said. The man who was struck in the face with the bottle also was struck in the right shoulder by at least one bullet. He was listed in critical condition at a hospital, Tate said. About 40 people were outside the club at the time, according to broadcast media reports. Police did not release the names of the victims. He did not know if the victims were friends or just happened to be standing next to each other.
The gang signs were ones known to be used by a Highland Park gang, Tate said. Investigators still are probing the attack and had made no arrests, he said.


10 Sicilian businessmen who had allegedly been paying Mafia 'protection money' for over 40 years

Posted On 20:09 0 comments

Anti-Mafia police on Friday arrested 10 Sicilian businessmen who had allegedly been paying Mafia 'protection money' for over 40 years. Giuseppe De Riggi, who spearheaded the operation, described the arrests as "a winning move" that could encourage more businesses to go to the police. "Today's arrests are a surprising result that will be of future help and encouragement to business people paying 'protection money' who want to report their extortionists to police," he said."Police and magistrates need to give support to businesses and anti-Mafia associations that oppose paying protection money," De Riggi added.In July this year, 18 businessmen who became victims of the Mafia's protection racket or 'pizzo' chose to identify their suspected extortionists in court. The suspected extortionists were separated in the courtroom from their victims by a two-way mirror. The Addiopizzo (Goodbye Pizzo) anti-racket youth movement hailed the victims' court testimonies as "historic". Over 255 entrepreneurs, shopkeepers and other small business people have publicly refused to pay Mafia protection money, as well as over 9,000 consumers, according to Addiopizzo.

The Italian private employers organisation, Confindustria, last year decided to expel members found to be paying Mafia protection money.


Thursday, 27 November 2008

Clan leader Giuseppe Nirta, of the ‘ndrangheta in the Calabria region, was arrested in Amsterdam,

Posted On 14:05 0 comments

Netherlands has again been used as a hiding place for top Mafiosi. Clan leader Giuseppe Nirta, of the ‘ndrangheta in the Calabria region, was arrested in Amsterdam, together with his family and private driver. Nicola Gratteri, of the Italian ministry of justice, says that Nirta could be arrested only due to Italian intelligence. Italian crime fighters have regularly complained about the negligence of Dutch police and justice department regarding Italian criminals.


Sean Cloherty known to gardai as a drug dealer shot up to six times in the head, neck and chest.

Posted On 12:54 0 comments

Sean Cloherty (27), known to gardai as a drug dealer, was targeted in his home on Ashcroft Grove, off the Blakestown Road in Mulhuddart. There was no sign of a struggle or forced entry. The victim, originally from Champions Avenue in the city centre, had been shot up to six times in the head, neck and chest. Cloherty was known to city centre detectives for dealing cocaine, particularly in the Temple Bar area. He was targeted by officers in the South Central Division and was arrested and taken to Pearse Street station during the summer. He had convictions for drugs, abusive behaviour and traffic offences. “Gardai have come across this man before and know his track record. He was associated with some of the big heads on the Blanchardstown scene,” said a source. A neighbour noted that Mr Cloherty, his partner and two children had only been living in the area for a short period.
The body was found slumped on a couch in the living room, and it is believed the killer calmly walked out of the house, closing the door behind him. It is likely that the gunman was either known to his victim or that he arrived at the house under false pretences and was invited inside. The weapon was probably fitted with a silencer. The grim discovery was made shortly after 8pm when a man who had a prearranged appointment to view a car for sale, looked through the living room window. He immediately contacted a doctor who arrived at the scene and the man was pronounced dead immediately. Gardai arrived on the scene shortly afterwards and the area was sealed off as top level investigators moved in. The Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis was expected to arrive in Mulhuddart this afternoon and will carry out a post-mortem. The body will remain at the scene until a crime scene unit have completed a detailed examination of the home. The house was the subject of garda attention and had been raided by detectives exactly a week ago today. In recent months the man was said by sources to have been picked up by gardai near a heroin seizure in Louth. The victim's next door neighbour said that she was at home all yesterday evening but heard nothing. “It wasn't until all the gardai started arriving that people realised something had happened,” she said. The victim previously had an address at Champions Avenue in the north inner centre.
This year ten people have died in gangland murders in Dublin alone. Another known drug dealer from Dublin, Paddy Doyle, was shot dead near Estepona in Spain in February.


Gionta clan crime family ,mobile phone pistol was capable of holding four bullets and was fully-loaded and ready to be used.

Posted On 12:43 0 comments


The mobile phone pistol was capable of holding four bullets and was fully-loaded and ready to be used.The antenna works as the barrel of the pistol.By sliding the key part, the phone turned into a gun and could be fired using one of the buttons on the pad.The phones first emerged in Eastern Europe in 2000 and their use by the Mafia is seen as a worrying development..22 calibre pistol, was seized by Italian police during an early morning blitz.Besides the mobile phone gun, officers also found two traditional handguns, bullet proof vests, drugs, ammunition and 8500 euros (£7,242)The operation against the Camorra, the version of the Mafia in the crime-ridden southern port city of Naples, took place in the Torre Annunziata suburb.
This is the first time that such a weapon has been seized and shows the sophistication that the crime syndicates are turning to.Officers from the paramilitary Carabinieri police were involved in the raid against the Gionta clan crime family who control the area.A police spokesman in Naples said: "Tests are being carried out on (the gun) to see if it has been used recently and involved in any shootings."A 28-year-old man, identified as Luigi Gaito, was arrested by police during the operation but several others escaped.He is facing charges of receiving stolen goods, drugs trafficking and illegal possession of firearms.
Earlier this month, 47 people including the wife of jailed Godfather Valentino Gionta - the leader of the crime family syndicate - were arrested.Police say the Gionta clan is involved in murder, extortion and drug trafficking.Investigators believe that Gemma Donnarumma allegedly ran the clan after her husband was convicted and sentenced to life for murder.As part of the raid bank accounts and assets worth about 80 million euros (£68m) were also seized.


Arrest,Active member of the “Sureno” gang He admitted to being a former member of “Sureno” as he revealed his gang tattoos with the distinctive “13.”

Posted On 12:38 0 comments

Border Patrol agents from the Tucson, Arizona sector arrested a man found to have a criminal record for armed robbery and with known ties to the “Sureno” gang.
Yesterday at 3 a.m. agents from the Casa Grande Station arrested the 20-year-old male illegal alien on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. Criminal record checks revealed information detailing a previous conviction in 2005 for armed robbery in Atlanta. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for this crime and ordered to serve three. He was then deported in 2007.Records also revealed that the subject was an active member of the “Sureno” gang. He admitted to being a former member of “Sureno” as he revealed his gang tattoos with the distinctive “13.” The “Sureno” gang, better known as a part of the “Mexican Mafia” started in California state prisons. The Mexican Mafia is a highly organized criminal entity thought to have more than 100,000 members and be involved in extortion, drug and human trafficking, and murder.The subject will be criminally charged with re-entry of an aggravated felon, as well as processed for removal.


Piero Emanuel Fuentes-Hernandez of Capitol Heights, Maryland was arrested and charged with felony murder. They say Hernandez is a MC gang member

Posted On 12:28 0 comments

According to investigators, 27-year-old Piero Emanuel Fuentes-Hernandez of Capitol Heights, Maryland was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony murder. They say Hernandez is a known gang member, and he has confessed to the murders. Police stress that tips from the public were crucial in his apprehension.
Detectives believe the Spevaks were attacked on Thursday night or early Friday morning by a man who used a telephone cord to tie the couple up, stole three computers, credit cards, and the couple's car. According to court documents, police first saw the suspect on Ingraham Street, where they found the couples' burned out car. It's still unclear just how police connected Hernandez to the crime, but according to a court affidavit, he was first spotted by police on Sunday morning as he was going into the front door of 622 Ingraham Street. That's the same house where police found evidence connected to the crime in the backyard. When investigators took him in for questioning, they say Hernandez at first said he had nothing to do with the crime. But when they searched his home in Capitol Heights, the affidavit says they found a number of items related to the murders.
The document reads: "The evidence seized included an 8 X 10 color photograph of (Virginia Spevak) between the mattress and box springs of (defendants) bed, (Michael Spevaks drivers license and credit cards were recovered from the closet, Chuck Taylor tennis shoes with red stains consistent with blood were recovered from the floor next to the bed, a key which fit the (Spevaks) front door, a sharp curved blade with a wooden handle was recovered in a utility sink in the basement."
When Hernandez agreed to cooperate, police say he admitted to buying a gallon of gas and setting the couple's Toyota on fire. He told police he wanted to destroy his fingerprints.
The court documents also say: "(The defendant) also identified himself as a member of the MC Gang. The MC Gang is known as "Master Criminals". (this detective) knows that the MC Gang is an affiliate of the STC Gang (Street Thug Criminals Gang)."
The Spevaks were well known in their Chevy Chase community. Michael Spevak, 68, was a psychiatrist who worked with troubled youth, and Virginia Spevak, 67, was a retired school teacher who was involved in foster car


The Latin Kings, Surenos and MS-13 gangs, all with ties to the Mexican Mafia are operating criminal enterprises in Kentucky

Posted On 12:28 0 comments

The Latin Kings, Surenos and MS-13 gangs, all with ties to the Mexican Mafia are operating criminal enterprises in Kentucky. Cells have been identified in Shelbyville, Louisville and Lexington. A narcotics officer told us some illegals have wired 15000 dollars a week for months to cartels in Mexico.Shane Sutter said, “We don’t have a swat team. We don’t have a gang task force. We’re just a small town.”Suttor says it’s a small town preparing for a siege.FBI agents tell us they have investigated reports of gang initiations involving murder.The MS-13’s weapon of choice? The machete.The FBI has compared MS-13 to the old “Cosa nostra” or Italian Mafia. MS-13 is active in 42 states, including Indiana and Kentucky. MS-13 is highly organized, with trained business people in its top ranks. They operate counterfeit check rings; steal identities, strip cars, run guns and traffic drugs.
U.S. Attorney David J. Huber said, “This is not surprising, because Mexico supplies approximately 80 percent of our meth and another amount of cocaine and marijuana.”
Since 2004, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Louisville has prosecuted nearly 100 felony cases involving illegal aliens; many suspects were in organized crime rings.
Huber said, “they bring us heroin, they bring us everything; (the gangs are) operating in Kentucky. These drug busts are an indication of that.”In Shelby county, illegal immigrants make up nearly 20 percent of the jail’s population on any given day; most felony suspects are deported weekly by immigration and customs enforcement. Illegal aliens cost Shelby county taxpayers more than a thousand dollars a day to keep in jail.One arrival at the jail this day is a landscaper named “Gerardo.”“Gerardo” was caught driving a company truck without a license. “Gerardo” says he paid a smuggler $1500 dollars to get across the border three years ago. “Gerardo” will likely be deported.At the jail, repeat offenders sometimes aren’t immediately recognized. And officers often don’t know if inmates are low-risk like “Gerardo”, or murderers, drug dealers and gang leaders. A few months back, an MS-13 leader was captured, but authorities didn’t know it at the time.Sutter said, “Now is the time to get on this. It isn’t something we want to wait for. We need to be very proactive with this.”Shelbyville’s quality of life may depend on it.The latest report by the National Drug Intelligence Center reports drug cartel activity involving the Federation Cartel in Louisville and the rival Gulf Coast Cartel in Lexington.Authorities fear violence in the future as these two groups begin to fight over territory here in Kentucky.


Armed gangs stormed several tourist sites and hotels and killed at least 78 people in a series of attacks.

Posted On 12:26 0 comments

Armed gangs stormed several tourist sites and hotels and killed at least 78 people in a series of attacks. Chaos and fear gripped the streets of Mumbai on Wednesday as gunmen started targeting American and British nationals. According to Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, no Canadians have been injured or killed in the attacks. But that doesn't mean Calgarians with family members in the area aren't fearful for their loved one's safety. The Garrisons have a daughter and grandchildren in Mumbai. In fact, they live two streets from where Wednesday's attacks began. At around 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, the Garrisons received a phone call from their daughter Averil. "She was saying there was shooting and some bombs had gone off nearby in the Taj Hotel and that she was at home with the children and they were safe and not to worry," says Derrick Harrison. The upper floors of the five-star Taj Mahal hotel burst into flames and thick smoke poured out of balconies. Screams and gunfire could be heard into the night. Alex Chamberlain, who was dining at the Oberoi, told Sky News TV that a gunman in his early 20s stormed into the dining area looking for people with U.S. or British passports. "They were talking about British and Americans specifically. There was an Italian guy, who, you know, they said: 'Where are you from?" and he said he's from Italy and they said 'fine' and they left him alone. And I thought: 'Fine, they're going to shoot me if they ask me anything -- and thank God they didn't," he said. Chamberlain said he snuck away as the gunmen forced the restaurant's patrons to walk up a flight of stairs. It appeared that the group was being taken hostage, he added. Indian police officials said that four of the alleged gunmen were killed as they fled in a car. Home Minister R.R. Patil added that nine more suspects were taken into custody. An obscure group called the Deccan Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attacks Wednesday


long-running feud between the notorious Avenues Gang and the rival Cypress Park gang, whose territory includes the northeast Los Angeles neighborhood

Posted On 12:22 0 comments

Los Angeles Police Department and sheriff's investigators had initially focused their investigation on Escalante's work at the Men's Central Jail, where he guarded the most dangerous inmates, including members of the Mexican Mafia. Investigators have combed Escalante's personal life for clues. But they are now zeroing in on the possibility that Escalante was slain by local gang members -- perhaps by assailants who were not even aware that he was a lawman.Authorities are especially interested in the long-running feud between the notorious Avenues Gang and the rival Cypress Park gang, whose territory includes the northeast Los Angeles neighborhood where Escalante was killed.Investigators know that finding new witnesses four months after the killing is difficult, especially when there's a risk of reprisals from gang members. Standing in a neighborhood where gang roots run deep and allegiance carries over from generation to generation, Escalante's wife told reporters that detectives had assured her that anyone with information could contact the LAPD anonymously.
"Don't be afraid not to say something because you are scared of retaliation," she said.By calling, she said, tipsters will allow her three children to know that "our justice system works.""Abel lived and breathed for his kids. It is hard," she said, with Alexander Abel, 10, Marissa, 8, and Julian, 3. She said they ask, "When is Dad coming from the cemetery?""How do I explain to you Dad is not coming home," Escalante said.The holidays are the most difficult, she said. It was tough to smile without her husband as her children went trick-or-treating on Halloween. Thanksgiving will be another test. "This family is suffering greatly at this time," said LAPD Deputy Chief Charlie Beck, standing with Escalante and her children to announce a $95,000 reward for information leading to a prosecution in the case.
The deputy was preparing to leave for work from his parents' Thorpe Avenue home Aug. 2 when someone came up from behind and shot him in the head as he was adjusting a child's car seat in the family's car. Sheriff Lee Baca said the crime will only be solved with the public's help. "We are looking for people to do the right thing," he said. Councilman Ed Reyes, who helped arrange the reward, said there was no greater gift to this family this holiday season than to come forward and bring the killer of a loving husband and father of three to justice. "We can make a difference," he said.


Stone Crusher Gang members charged

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Charged are Andrew 'Blacka Shines' Cox, 19, Adrian 'Banga' Lofters, 23, Lenford 'Bungie' Brown, 21, and 22-year-old Jerome Millwood. When the case was mentioned yesterday, the prosecution outlined that the investigating officer was in a car accident and unable to make arrangements to have the main witness in the matter taken to court. The men were charged with five counts of murder for the July 2006 massacre in the volatile Norwood community where five family members were killed and their homes set on fire. In light of the circumstances a new date of February 4, 2009 was set. Allegations are that gunmen shot and killed 43-year-old Patrick Anderson, 29-year-old Natalie Ferguson, 57-year-old Linda Malcolm, her common-law husband, 62-year-old Michael The attackers also torched the houses of Anderson and the Montaques.


Joshua Daly, 20, and Tavon Pauley,are accused of shooting and killing Dawan Floyd, 23, in the middle of the street

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Two gang-bangers from Virginia, have been dealing drugs out of a Dania Beach motel, according to authorities.That is, they had been until Tuesday night, when Broward sheriff's deputies knocked on the door of the men on the lam since July.Joshua Daly, 20, and Tavon Pauley, 21, are now in county lock-up, held there until Virginia authorities come pick them up on outstanding second-degree murder warrants. Daly and Pauley, both of Norfolk, Va., are accused of shooting and killing Dawan Floyd, 23, in the middle of the street on July 25 over some sort of gang-related skirmish, according to America's Most Wanted's website.On Daly's right arm is the tattooed initials ''GD'' -- for Gangster Disciples. Pauley is a member of the Bloods, AMW reports.The pair disappeared shortly after the killing, only to resurface hundreds of miles south.Four months to the day after Floyd's death, BSO detectives received a tip that two men were selling drugs out of the Roadway Inn, 2440 State Road 84.
Little did they know the men inside the room were wanted for far worse.Norfolk police have been alerted to the arrest, BSO said, and will travel to Broward to interview the men.


Anthony Stillitano,has been charged with being an accessary after the fact to the murder of Ross "Rosco" Brand

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Anthony Stillitano, 72, has been charged with being an accessary after the fact to the murder of Ross "Rosco" Brand outside the Bandidos' bikie clubhouse on October 22.
He also has been charged with a range of weapons and drug offences.A brief hearing at the Geelong Magistrates Court was told a search warrant was executed at Stillitano's house on Wednesday where police allegedly seized the canopy of a vehicle allegedly used in the fatal shooting.Magistrate Stephen Myall granted Stillitano bail on a number of conditions, including that he report weekly to police and surrender any valid passport.Stillitano was ordered to reappear at the same court on February 13 next year for a committal mention.
Mr Myall suppressed Stillitano's address.Earlier on Thursday, Stillitano's two step-grandsons were remanded in custody for the murder of Brand.John Bedson, 25, of Ocean Grove, and Derrick Bedson, 21, of Highton have both been charged with murder and intentionally causing serious injury.They were both remanded in custody to reappear before the same court on February 13 next year.


The Victim was parked metres from the door of the Sun Hang Do Martial Arts Studio

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Homicide investigators are still trying to determine why a man shot to death at a busy Surrey strip mall late Tuesday was in the area just before his murder.Cpl. Dale Carr o f the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said the man was known to police, but no motive has yet been determined for the shooting, in which a second man was seriously wounded.The man had been eating at the To Chau Restaurant in the strip mall at 10028 King George prior to the fatal shooting, but Carr said investigators have not confirmed what the man was doing at the time.RCMP went to the scene after receiving a number of shots-fired calls about 10:15 p.m.No one was answering at the restaurant Wednesday, which remained behind police tape for much of the day as police continued to scour the area for evidence in the murder.
Carr said the second victim is so seriously wounded that police have not been able to talk to him.Until well into the morning Wednesday, the victim's body could be seen slumped in a sitting position half in and half out of an idling black car. He appeared to have been shot while sitting in the driver's seat of his vehicle.
Carr said that when police arrived at the scene, they found the second man "in severe medical distress in the direct vicinity of the vehicle.""He was transported to a Metro Vancouver trauma hospital where he has undergone surgery," Carr said,
Although the dead man was parked metres from the door of the Sun Hang Do Martial Arts Studio, there is no evidence of a link between the murder and the gym, Carr said.The master instructor at the studio, Eric Mowat, said he heard the victim had been in the restaurant next to his business."This happened after we were closed," he said. "We close at 9 p.m."He said he had been forced to keep his studio closed all day while investigators continued to work."We are just waiting to reopen. They can't give me an exact time," Mowat said.He was more worried about his students, who range from children to older adults.The mall houses several businesses, including a Fruiticana produce store, restaurants, a women's fitness centre, an HSBC branch and a wireless company right next door to Mowat's martial arts centre.Carr said investigators would be screening any available surveillance video from the busy complex or neighbouring businesses."The crime scene has been examined by the Integrated Forensic Identification Section, the Police Dog Service has conducted a search of the area," he said. "Neighbourhood inquiries will be conducted in hopes that a nearby resident saw something that can advance the investigation."Carr said "investigators are not able to link this incident to drugs or organized crime, and are not yet able to say whether this was a targeted incident."But he also said there was no indication that a random killer was on the loose in Surrey.Late Tuesday and early Wednesday, plainclothes homicide detectives and uniformed RCMP members combed the area behind the yellow police tape that stretched for half a block.
The strip mall is across the street from Surrey Central mall, kitty-corner from Holland Park and just a block from a SkyTrain station. Just two blocks south of the murder scene and a little east is the Balmoral Tower, where six people were slaughtered on Oct. 19, 2007.


Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Zambada Garcia's and Arturo "El Barbas" Beltran Leyva's cells.

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Federal police say Garcia Luna's bodyguards witnessed the head of Mexico's Public Security Ministry discuss an "agreement" with a drug cartel gangster
The Secretary of Public Security, Genaro Garcia Luna, who is considered untouchable and Felipe Calderon's "spoiled official," has maintained numerous public officials accused of having links to drug traffickers--El Mayo Zamabada in particular--in his inner circle. An investigation carried out by agents who are opposed to the proposed police integration[1] assure in a letter sent to Congress, which Proceso has a copy of, that this past October numerous armed men intercepted Garcia Luna on a highway and disarmed members of his escort while a gangster warned him, "This is the first and last warning so that you know that, yes, we can get to you if you don't follow through on the pact..." The document adds that then Garcia Luna withdrew from the spot for four hours in order to negotiate with the gangster
With his powerful tentacles and his ability to corrupt police and infiltrate the institutions responsible for combatting drug trafficking--including the National Defense Department--, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada Garcia has extensive control within the Public Security Ministry (SSP in its Spanish initials), which is led by Genaro Garcia Luna, whose main collaborators--some of them currently held under administrative detention--are accused of being at the service of the man who today is considered to be the top boss of the Sinaloa cartel.
The owner of estates and ranches, untouchable in Sinaloa--his stronghold--, Zambada Garcia has broad networks of complicity at his disposal in the most important departments in the PGR [Federal Attorney General's Office], such as the SIEDO [the Assistant Attorney General’s Office for Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime], and in the SSP, where various top-level officials are being investigated for serving the gangster who, following the example of Amado Carrillo[2]--who for many years was his business partner--, transformed his appearance with plastic surgery.
Also untouchable and considered to be President Felipe Calderon's "spoiled official," Garcia Luna doesn't appear to escape the networks that Zambada Garcia and the Beltran Leyva brothers created in the SSP. The Beltran Leyva brothers left the Sinaloa cartel following a division sparked by the aprehension of Alfredo "El Mochomo" Beltran this past January.Police who are opposed to the federal police unification project carried out an investigation regarding the alleged ties between Garcia Luna and Zambada Garcia's and Arturo "El Barbas" Beltran Leyva's cells.
In a field investigation, backed up by records and revelations that were supposedly made by Garcia Luna's own body guards, the police agents reconstructed an episode that occurred this past October 19 in Morelos state, which they recount in a letter sent to the Chamber of Deputies [Mexico's lower house of Congress] and the Senate with the goal of demonstrating, according to the agents, the danger that granting more power to the SSP would entail. They assert that a significant number of SSP police commanders are working for drug traffickers.


Brothel robber gang is targeting brothels across Redbridge and east London.

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The manager said a string of girls have quit their jobs amid fears for their safety as police hunt the culprits - and believes the gang is targeting brothels across Redbridge and east London.Gang of men threatened prostitutes with guns and knives while robbing a brothel three times in a week.She said security had been stepped up since the incidents - at 7.40pm on Thursday, October 30, 5.30pm on Tuesday, November 4, and 6.30pm on November 5.The boss, who asked to remain anonymous through fear of reprisals, said: "It was the same bunch of guys every time. They kick the doors down and say they will use weapons. Even though we couldn't see any, who wants to take that risk?"Each time they took money, the girls' mobile phones and laptops. Luckily I don't keep large amounts of cash on-site."During the first raid the robbers screamed "armed police" as they burst in.The manager, who has run the business for the past four months and been in the trade for four years, said: "The police have been really good with us, but they are worried these men will burst into people's homes by mistake."They have helped us improve locks and we have also fitted CCTV and employed security guards."The gang - unmasked black men aged between 18 and 25 - are rumoured to have carried out similar raids across Barking and Dagenham, as well as Romford.The boss said: "They are really quite aggressive and scary. I have been left very shocked by all of this and people are terrified of it happening again."
A Redbridge Police spokesman said: "With regards to the robberies taking place in brothels, I first have to state that these businesses are advertised as massage parlours, which means they are legal premises."When a crime is reported it is dealt with in exactly the same way as any other crime."There has been an increase in massage parlour robberies and we are asking the businesses to ensure they report any crimes, such as robberies, to the police."The crime prevention team visits such businesses and replaces locks to reinforce the security of the premises.


Malcolm Bull, 53, from Milton Keynes, was convicted by an 11-1 majority verdict of killing Gerry Tobin, who was shot dead on the M40 in Warwickshire i

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Malcolm Bull, 53, from Milton Keynes, was convicted by an 11-1 majority verdict of killing Gerry Tobin, who was shot dead on the M40 in Warwickshire in August last year.A jury at Birmingham Crown Court, which is still considering the case against three other men accused of murder, also found Bull guilty of possessing a shotgun.
Jurors convicted two other members of the Outlaws biker gang of the murder of Mr Tobin on Monday.Simon Turner, 41, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, and Dane Garside, a 42-year-old from Coventry, were also found guilty by the jury of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.Garside, a father of seven, was also convicted by a 10-2 majority verdict of possessing a shotgun.The jury is still considering its verdicts on three other men who deny murdering Mr Tobin, a 35-year-old from Mottingham, south east London.The remaining defendants, who all deny murder and possessing a shotgun, are Karl Garside, 45, Dean Taylor, 47, and 46-year-old Ian Cameron, all from Coventry.Mr Tobin, a mechanic, died almost instantly when he was shot as he rode along the M40 at about 90mph on August 12 last year.The trial has been told he was targeted simply because he was a "fully-patched" Hell's Angel by members of the Outlaws' South Warwickshire chapter.


Monday, 24 November 2008

Canadien mafia don Xie Jing Feng caught red handed on Vadodara-Mumbai highway

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Xie Jing Feng alias Richard, 50, the drug mafia don from Canada caught red handed on Vadodara-Mumbai highway on Friday.According to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials, the arrest of the leader got them to bust the first-ever methamphetamine producing unit near Vadodara on Friday. The officials have also arrested two Malay citizens in the case.Ayush Mani Tiwari, zonal director of NCB, Ahmedabad, told TOI that methamphetamine is a very popular drug in South-East Asian countries, Japan and United States. "The drug comes under amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) that contains methamphetamine, amphetamine and Ecstacy. In early 70s, the drug was banned but it resurfaced in a big way in late 90s and since then, the drug is very popular in party circuits," he said.Though there were no reported incidents of methamphetamine usage in India, NCB sleuths have time and again got tip-off of its production and despatch to consumer countries. NCB has conducted raids in the past in Hyderabad, Kolkata and Gurgaon in the last five years."In this case, Richard used to come frequently to India where he visited Mumbai and Vadodara. In special meetings, Malaysians were also present. In the initial questioning, we have come to know that they made drug substances from freely-available chemicals with an alternate formula. They then used human carriers to send it outside the Indian boundaries," said Tiwari.NCB officials said that as drugs have an international market and very less investment, many youths were lured in the business. "If one is given up to Rs 40,000 just to deliver a packet from one country to another, who would not be tempted? We had recently nabbed a Taiwan citizen from Delhi airport who was found in possession of contraband. We are working on the leads in this case," said an NCB official.


Dubai “Chinese mafia” Chinese man was snatched from outside his home in International City

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Chinese man kidnapped by a gang of Chinese “mafia”, who tortured and threatened him with execution unless a Dh100 million ransom was paid.Police said yesterday the 24-year-old Chinese man was snatched from outside his home in International City on Nov 16.He was tortured with a stun gun by the gang, who told his girlfriend he would be killed if she did not pay. However, police two days later stormed a flat in Ajman, rescued the hostage and arrested eight men and a woman.A spokesman for Dubai Police CID described the gang as part of a “Chinese mafia”, whose leader was wanted in China for crimes including torture, kidnap and murder.The victim’s ordeal began when he was attacked and dragged from the entrance to the building where he shared a flat with his girlfriend. The gang had been watching and following the man since earlier that day when he had paid a large amount of money into a bank.Col Khalil Ibrahim al Mansouri, the deputy chief of Dubai CID, said the man was interested in moving his money to the country and was in Dubai. “He came here with the interest to start a business in Dragon Mart and to invest his money in the country,” he said. The man, who had left the toy shop at the mall where he works, was on his way home to prepare supper for himself and his girlfriend while she stayed behind in the store.
An hour later, the woman identified as LH received a call from the kidnappers who demanded that she deliver Dh100 million (US$27m) from his wealthy family or they would kill her boyfriend.“She was threatened and told that if she didn’t come up with the money, which she negotiated down to Dh20 million, they would kill him,” Col Mansouri said. “They also made her hear his voice so that they could make sure she knew they got him.”A team of 100 police officers was assembled to find the missing man. Investigations quickly led the police to a flat in Ajman, which was placed under surveillance. Another spot, an Arab-style home in Fujairah, was also suspected to be involved.“An investigation was carried out which led us to a suspicious flat in Ajman. The building was an area which had a big Chinese population,” Col Mansouri said.Police raided the two locations at the same time at 4am on Nov 18.
The man was found in a weak condition in the flat in Ajman with bruises on the left and right side of his abdomen where he had been tortured with the stun gun. He later told police his captors fed him only one meal a day.“His arms and legs were tied up to a bed and he was blindfolded,” Col Mansouri said.
The gang members “put up a fight using instruments including the electric gun” but were overpowered by police officers, he added. The eight people were detained in Ajman while a 36-year-old man, purported to be the gang leader, was arrested in Fujairah.Some members of the gang are residents, while others are on visit visas.
Police believe the ringleader entered the country using a fake passport. They were all charged with kidnapping, resisting and attacking police and possession of an illegal weapon. The case has been referred to the public prosecution. The Chinese Embassy in Dubai said it was aware of the case but police had not provided further details.Luo Ze Jun, China’s political attaché to the UAE, said: “This kind of case is very rare. We haven’t seen anything like this in the last two years.”


Cheshunt Drug baron and three of his cronies caught with chemicals and cash in a plot to supply cocaine have been jailed for more than 23 years

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Cheshunt Drug baron and three of his cronies caught with chemicals and cash in a plot to supply cocaine have been jailed for more than 23 years altogether.Daniel Davis, 25, of Nutwood Gardens, Cheshunt, was convicted of conspiracy to supply a Class A drug, money laundering and acquiring, using or having possession of criminal property.He was jailed for 11 years.Officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) swooped on various East London locations last year, seizing £54,200 in forged £20 notes, tens of thousands in cash and Euros and 13.8kg of boric acid, used to dilute pure cocaine.Mastermind Davis, a failed entrepreneur, turned to supplying cocaine as his next 'get rich quick' plan after his courier business went bust. Also convicted after a six-week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court were Kevin Downes, 49, Paul Leaper, 29, and Thomas Smith, 23.SOCA officers captured Davis and Leaper in West Lane, Bermondsey on June 30 last year with 13.8kg of boric acid and a quantity of bank notes. Three months later, Davis and Downes were discovered inside a Nissan Almera parked in Royal Docks, East London.Inside the hatchback's boot, officers found £40,000 in cash.The gang's stash of counterfeit £20 notes and tens of thousands in Euros were discovered at an address in South Woodford, the trial heard.The gang was arrested before they bought any drugs.Jailing Davis for 11 years, Judge Georges Khayat QC said: "You always thought big. You clearly thought that almost overnight you were going to make a lot of money."Instead of settling down with a family you then decided you would involve yourself in a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs."Downes was jailed for five years, Smith was sentenced to six and Leaper was given 18-months.Downes, of Llewellyn Street, Bermondsey, was found guilty of acquiring, using or having possession of criminal property and money laundering.He had already admitted a separate count of acquiring, using or having possession of criminal property.Leaper, of The Street, Stourmouth, Kent, denied acquiring, using or having possession of criminal property and money laundering.
Smith, of Chesterfield Gardens, Greenwich, denied conspiracy to supply a controlled drug of Class A to another and acquiring, using or having possession of criminal property.


Sunday, 23 November 2008

Mark Anthony Escobedo, 28, was arrested in connection to a fight with a 37-year-old Watsonville man

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Mark Anthony Escobedo, 28, was arrested in connection to a fight with a 37-year-old Watsonville man at a bar on Nov. 16.The victim was involved in an altercation at the bar on East Lake Avenue, and received severe injuries when he was slashed multiple times on his chest and back with a sharp cutting instrument, according to police. The police department's gang unit was able to identify Escobedo as the suspect.During Friday's arrest, police said they found evidence connected to the incident, a loaded sawed-off shotgun and crystal methamphetamine.Escobedo was charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon, possession of an illegal sawed-off shotgun, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a loaded firearm while in possession of a controlled substance and the illegal possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He was booked in County Jail.The condition of the victim was not available Saturday.


Gangland execution in a back alley

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man found shot dead in an alley may have been the victim of a gangland execution, police believe. The 24-year-old, who has not been named, was discovered at 9pm on Friday in West Ealing, London. The Met's Operation Trident team, which investigates black-on-black killings, is looking into possible gang links. No arrests had been made by last night. Police appealed for witnesses.


Project Croisière, Bruno Diquinzio, is being sought on drug trafficking charges filed in Vancouver.

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Bruno Diquinzio, 42, was named yesterday as remaining at large following arrests in Project Croisière, a joint police investigation into a cocaine trafficking ring that stretched from Vancouver to Montreal.Diquinzio, a Montrealer, played an enforcer for a mafioso in Omertà, a popular fictional account of the Montreal Mafia that aired on Radio Canada during the late 1990s. The series title was borrowed from the Sicilian expression for the Mafia's code of silence.Besides charges filed against him in Montreal court yesterday, Diquinzio is being sought since June 1 on drug trafficking charges filed in Vancouver.In 2000, he was sentenced to a 3-year prison term after police in Montreal linked him to a large stash of drugs, cash and weapons uncovered in the St. Michel district. Police initially linked him to the Montreal Mafia, but during a Dec. 2000 parole hearing, his classification was modified to a "large-scale drug trafficker" with extensive contacts in the drug milieu.At least one of the people arrested yesterday is known to have links to the Montreal Mafia through the Rizzuto clan. Antonino Milioto, 62, was arrested in 1999 in connection with another cocaine smuggling ring along with people connected to the Montreal Mafia. In 2003, he was sentenced to 31/2 years for playing a limited role in the plot to smuggle hundreds of kilos of cocaine from Miami to Montreal.Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Martine Isabelle described Project Croisière as a joint investigation by the SQ, the RCMP and Revenue Quebec."A part of the investigation leads us to believe it can be tied to (the Hells Angels)," she said.None of those arrested yesterday appears to be full-patch members of the biker gang.Nine people were arrested in Montreal. Another five were arrested in Ottawa and two others were apprehended in Vancouver. Arrests were also made in the Laurentians, Eastern Townships and western Quebec."The investigation began in September 2006, and it showed that the drugs were imported from Mexico to Canada," Isabelle said. "On an annual basis this organization was importing several hundred kilos of cocaine."The drugs were smuggled via the western U.S. into British Columbia in vehicles. From Vancouver, the cocaine was driven to Montreal, then distributed to various part of Quebec.Included among the people identified by police as leaders of the network were Lionel Gauthier, 67, of Val Morin; Robert Brunet, 62, of Rosemere; Mario Cariello, 46, of Montreal; Richard Paré, 42, of Rosemere; and 46-year-old Michel Lecompte of Gatineau. Revenue Quebec announced yesterday it was placing seizure orders on assets owned by Gauthier, Cariello and Lecompte.Isabelle said two large seizures were already made in Montreal and in western Quebec in April and May during the investigation. Police seized cocaine, ecstacy and cars at the time


Saturday, 22 November 2008

Noe Ramirez Mandujano, a veteran federal prosecutor who resigned in July as head of an elite unit known as SIEDO, is charged with passing tips to the

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Noe Ramirez Mandujano, a veteran federal prosecutor who resigned in July as head of an elite unit known as SIEDO, is charged with passing tips to the Beltran Leyva gang in the western state of Sinaloa, Mexican Atty. Gen. Eduardo Medina Mora said.
Ramirez, 47, becomes the highest-ranking law enforcement official to be arrested amid a government investigation of infiltration of police agencies by drug traffickers.Five other officials from SIEDO, a division of the attorney general's office that spearheads drug investigations, already face charges of leaking intelligence to the Sinaloa group.Medina Mora said a member of the gang told authorities he paid a total of $450,000 to Ramirez as part of a monthly payoff scheme "in exchange for providing information about investigations and ongoing actions" against the Sinaloa drug smugglers.The attorney general said Ramirez had voluntarily appeared before prosecutors to answer the accusations but there was sufficient cause to detain the former official.If true, the accusation represents another serious setback to President Felipe Calderon's war on Mexican drug cartels, a centerpiece of his 2-year-old administration. Mexico is awash in drug violence, with more than 4,000 people dead this year, according to unofficial media counts.
This latest arrest, amid a government inquiry called Operation Cleanup, may demonstrate Calderon's commitment to rooting out official corruption but it also will likely further undermine public confidence in the war on drugs.


Friday, 21 November 2008

Claims he has the bullet-riddled body of Omid Tahvili an escaped gangster stored in his fridge.

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Coquitlam RCMP and a local newspaper say they have been contacted by an anonymous tipster who claims he has the bullet-riddled body of an escaped gangster stored in his fridge.The caller told the North Shore News that Omid Tahvili, the convicted drug dealer who escaped from the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in November with the aid of a guard, was killed last week after he was shot five times in the head, chest, arm and legs.The tipster said he is storing the body in a fridge and that he would hold onto it until the RCMP offer him a suitable reward. "I can't keep the body around no more longer, because the body stinks right now," the caller told the North Shore News.If they don't make that deal with me, I'm just going to burn the body and get rid of it."He would not reveal how he came to be in possession of the corpse, or any information about who shot Tahvili.Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Scott Baker confirmed that the tipster had called him twice and offered to return the body in return for a large payment.Police are taking the call seriously, but Baker said there isn't any proof that Tahvili is either dead or alive. He said the caller refused to send RCMP pictures of the body, nor would he give his name or contact information.Although caller ID showed a Toronto number, Baker said that police have not been able to trace it, and they can't be sure that the tipster is actually in Ontario. The caller told the North Shore News that he was "somewhere back east."
The caller accurately described Tahvili's tattoos, but police said those descriptions have been widely circulated in the public."He could very well know Tahvili, and Tahvili could be in on the whole thing," Baker said. "It sounds pretty hokey.... It sure is possible, but is it likely? I don't know."In August, Crown prosecutor Wendy Dawson revealed in court during the sentencing hearing of former jail guard Edwin Ticne, who helped Tahvili escape in return for $50,000, that the gangster had called Coquitlam RCMP to say he was in Toronto and wanted to make a deal for his return to B.C.Before being sentenced in absentia in January, Tahvili phoned his lawyer and promised to turn himself in if the judge let him off with time served. But that deal was refused, and Tahvili was ordered to serve six more years in jail for the kidnapping and torture of a Surrey man in 2005.The judge ruled that Tahvili was the mastermind behind the abduction plot, in which the victim was kidnapped at gunpoint, blindfolded, assaulted and taken to a secret location, which police believed was Tahvili's business, Platinum Touch in Vancouver. During that sentencing, the court heard that Tahvili and his business shipped at least $654,000 in drug money during a one-month period when they were under police surveillance


Thursday, 20 November 2008

Daniel "Max" Davenport who is said to be a member of the Long Island Boys, was arrested

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Daniel "Max" Davenport, 24, of West Hempstead, N.Y., who is said to be a member of the Long Island Boys, was arrested just before 9 p.m. when troopers found him hiding inside 246 Hazle Ave., Wilkes-Barre, according to the newspaper. An alleged member of the Jersey City Boys was charged Tuesday and another alleged member is sought by police, the newspaper reported.Pennsylvania State Police have arrested a man they say is associated with two drug-dealing gangs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., one that has ties to Jersey City, according to a report in the Times-Leader of northeastern Pennsylania.


Sentenced Logan Atkins to three years in prison and one year in jail for the gang-related shooting of Lamar Anthony Waddy

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Sentenced Logan Atkins to three years in prison and one year in jail for the gang-related shooting of Lamar Anthony Waddy, then 18, in Staunton in March 2007. Atkins pleaded guilty in February to participating in gang activity, unlawful shooting while committing a felony and reckless handling of a firearm. One gunshot struck Waddy in the buttocks. Atkins is already serving a four-year sentence on two felony firearm possession convictions in Waynesboro in August 2007. He will serve the new sentence in addition to the previous and will undergo 10 years of supervised probation upon release, as outlined in a plea agreement by attorneys. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeffrey Gaines said Atkins was uncooperative with police, but was “visibly shaken,” after the shot unintentionally struck the victim. He said he hopes the sentence will give Atkins time to mature and send a message to “self-styled gangbangers” that gang participation will bring felony charges.
The defendant’s sister spoke on his behalf, describing a troubled home life during their youth. “All we had was each other,” said Devin Hite, 30, of Staunton.
Hite added that Atkins wants only the best for his 2-year-old daughter. For more than a year, Atkins has spoken and corresponded with gang prevention coordinator Diane Kellogg of the Central Shenandoah Office on Youth, lending valuable insight into the lure of gangs, Kellogg testified. “He does not want his daughter to grow up in a community with gangs,” Kellogg told Judge Thomas H. Wood. Wood ordered Atkins have no contact with gang members upon release. Judge Humes J. Franklin, who recused himself from the case, previously rejected the same plea agreement accepted Tuesday.


Ruben "Niteowl" Castro, 48, a kingpin of the 18th Street gang controlled Latino street-gang activity around MacArthur Park

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Ruben "Niteowl" Castro, 48, a kingpin of the 18th Street gang, admitted to running criminal operations at the park in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder. He had been indicted in 2006 on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and murder, along with 17 others.Gangs under his control allegedly taxed drug dealers in the area, as well as MacArthur Park fruit and ice cream vendors. Police also reported gang members taxing people who play chess on park tables.Revenue was divided among Castro and his associates on the street.Because of the extent of his criminal reach from federal prison in Florence, Colo., Los Angeles Magazine picked Castro as one of the city's most powerful people in December 2006.Castro was already serving three life sentences for a 1997 conviction on racketeering and conspiracy.
Deputy U.S. Atty. Brian Michael said Castro's conviction sets the stage for the trials of others in the 2006 indictment.


Sunset gang Luckey Street home raided by sheriff's gang task force

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Ian Gemell Bonner and Cornelius Moore, both 16, were charged with murder and armed robbery in connection with the crime. Kenneth R. Gaines, 26, was charged with armed robbery, firearm and drug charges.
Members of the sheriff's gang task force descended upon the Luckey Street home, which sits within the territory claimed by the Sunset gang, on a tip they received while working that investigation, sheriff's Lt. Scott Peebles said. They think the gang was using the home as a "trap house," or a storage facility, for their weapons and drugs, according to Lt. Peebles. "We've got ideas about who this stuff is going to be linked to and we're going to verify that through forensics," he said.
By late morning, deputies could be seen carrying suitcases and paper bags filled with cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and ammunition from the home. Two assault rifles, a shotgun and three handguns also were seized. Lt. Peebles said his office had received information while working Mr. Hammond's slaying case that members of the gang were hiding their guns and drugs on Luckey Street, which is off 15th Street near the now-closed Castleberry plant. It wasn't until recently, however, that police were able to connect it to the home that was raided Wednesday, Lt. Peebles said. "We weren't able to pinpoint it until we got the information today," he said.
Mr. Hammond was fatally shot last month when three men burst into his Royal Street home. A man and two teenagers, who were arrested shortly after, are accused of shooting him a number of times as his grandmother slept in another part of the home.


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Giuseppe Grigoli has had assets worth euro 700 million siezed

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Giuseppe Grigoli was arrested last year and is in jail while the investigation continues. Anti-Mafia authorities say assets including supermarket outlets, land and cars, were seized Tuesday in Sicily.Italian authorities have seized assets worth euro700 million ($885 million) from a supermarket chain owner suspected of letting the Mafia use his businesses to launder money.Prosecutors told reporters in Palermo that Grigoli's name was found on notes discovered after the 2006 arrest of the Mafia's reputed top boss, Bernardo Provenzano. Provenzano allegedly used the notes to communicate with his lieutenants, which were found in his hideout.Media reports did not identify a lawyer for Grigoli. Nobody at his company was available for comment.700 million euros in assets they believe can be traced to the most important fugitive Cosa Nostra boss, Matteo Messina Denaro, in an operation described as ''historic'' by anti-mafia police. The assets were in the name of 60-year-old businessman Giuseppe Grigoli, who is known as the 'Supermarket King' and has the exclusive franchise for western Sicily of the Despar supermarket chain.
Grigoli was arrested last December for allegedly being Messina Denaro's bagman after his name surfaced in some of the 'pizzini', or hand written messages used to avoid wire tapping and electronic surveillance, found in the hideout of Cosa Nostra superboss Bernardo Provenzano when he was arrested in April 2006.
The assets seized from Grigoli included 12 businesses, 220 real estate holdings - including villas and apartment blocks - and 133 pieces of land for a total of some 60 hectares.''This is one of the most important operations in recent years,'' said Palermo prosecutor Roberto Scarpinato. Investigators believe that through his supermarkets Grigoli was able to launder illicit Cosa Nostra profits and give a legal cover to organized crime operatives. ''Having conquered the food distribution market, Grigoli was able to give jobs to hundreds of people close to Cosa Nostra or recommended by the Mafia,'' Scarpinato said. ''This is one of the examples of Cosa Nostra benefiting in a disproportionate manner from the need for employment in certain social areas,'' he added.President of the Senate Constitutional Affairs Committee Carlo Vizzini congratulated police on sending a ''huge signal'' to mobsters.''The mafiosi must understand that there is no way out for their assets, which sooner or later will be seized and confiscated. For all Mafia men, there will be nothing but prison and poverty,'' he said.
Justice Minister Angelino Alfano also praised the investigation, stressing that ''the key to demolishing the entire criminal system of Cosa Nostra lies in the systematic confiscation of their illegal assets''.
Messina Denaro and Palermo boss Salvatore Lo Piccolo took over the reins of Cosa Nostra after Provenzano's arrest and a power struggle appeared to be brewing between them until Lo Piccolo was captured in November 2007.
Since then, 46-year-old Messina Denaro, who has been on the run since 1993, is believed to have effectively taken on the role of Cosa Nostra boss of bosses. A former Porsche-driving playboy from Trapani, Messina Denaro enjoys a semi-mythical status among the younger generations of Cosa Nostra.
The gangster sealed a reputation for brutality by murdering a rival Trapani boss and strangling his three-months-pregnant girlfriend.


Chinatown:Daniel Landry, 23, Marcel Landry, 25, Chantha Kim, 31, all been charged with four counts each of attempted murder and causing bodily harm.

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Four known gang members allegedly involved in a bitter war between two rival groups have been charged after an early morning shooting in Chinatown on Sunday.With weapons and attempted murder charges already laid in this incident, and more expected against others this week, police are saying this investigation could put a "significant dent" in the fight."This is the latest chapter in an ongoing dispute," said Calgary police acting Insp. Grant Miller of Sunday's shooting.
We think we're going to make a significant dent in it with this particular investigation."The "brazen, targeted" attack of one gang against another unfolded around 1:30 a.m. in the 200 block of Centre Street S. when an SUV pulled up alongside a car and people inside began firing.At least 17 bullets hit the car, wounding four inside, said Miller.Other stray bullets struck nearby businesses on the street.Officers arriving on the scene found two victims inside the car, including one who was wearing a bulletproof vest, Miller said. Later, two other victims, believed to be from the same car, showed up at Foothills Hospital.
Police across the city were given a description of the SUV involved in the shooting, which was later located in the northwest community of Citadel.Inside were four males, one of whom was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, said Miller.
The three were arrested, while the fourth was taken to Foothills Hospital for treatment. Of all those wounded, only one has been treated and released. All, however, are expected to recover from their injuries.Miller said investigators recovered a couple of handguns and several shell casings, but it could still take some time to sort out all the details and finish laying charges, considering "the number of gunshots, the number of vehicles, the number of people."
Investigators are still pursuing leads, he added. "We're continuing to put more pieces of this complicated puzzle together."Still, the weapons used, the fact that one of the victims was wearing body armour and the location of the shooting is cause for concern."They come armed now. Automatic weapons have been used in the past," Miller said. "These are very serious groups involved in a longstanding, very serious situation. It obviously puts members of the public not related to this at a huge risk."So far, only members of one gang have been charged. Daniel Landry, 23, Marcel Landry, 25, Chantha Kim, 31, and a 17-year-old male who can't be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act have all been charged with four counts each of attempted murder and causing bodily harm.


Christopher Ablett, a reputed member of the Mongols motorcycle gang, denies committing murder.

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Christopher Ablett, a reputed member of the rival Mongols motorcycle gang, appeared in San Francisco Superior Court for the second time this morning since his extradition from Oklahoma last week and was appointed an attorney from the public defender's office.attorney for a man accused of fatally shooting the leader of the San Francisco chapter of the Hells Angels in September said today his client denies committing murder.The 35-year-old Modesto resident is suspected by San Francisco police of fatally shooting 46-year-old Mark "Papa" Guardado outside a bar in San Francisco's Mission District on Sept. 2.He has not yet entered a plea to charges of murder and firearm possession and remains in custody in the jail's high-security unit in lieu of $5 million bail.Ablett's new attorney Stephen Olmo said today he has not yet received the evidence against his client."My client's absolutely denying that he committed murder," Olmo said.Olmo declined comment on Ablett's alleged status as a Mongols member, or whether he has admitted to being at the scene of Guardado's shooting.Olmo also refused to discuss what Ablett had been doing in Oklahoma.In early September Ablett was declared a fugitive, and a $5 million warrant was issued for his arrest after police searched his Modesto home and seized a motorcycle and other items.On Oct. 5, Ablett turned himself in to police in Bartlesville, Okla.Ablett is due back in court Dec. 4 for plea entry.


Northside Taliband largest criminal gang prosecution in the history of the city

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In what Cincinnati cops say is the largest criminal gang prosecution in the history of the city, a number of local, state and federal agencies have cracked down on a gang in Northside that calls itself the “Northside Taliband."A six-month investigation led to a 90-count indictment against 50 members and associates. The gang is believed to have as many as 90 members.Charges include murder, burglary, robbery, assault, drugs. A number of those charged are cited for “participating in a criminal gang,” a second-degree felony.


Daniel Bonilla $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of an alleged gang member wanted for overseeing the distribution of crack cocaine

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$5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of an alleged gang member wanted for overseeing the distribution of crack cocaine at various locations throughout Chicago. Daniel Bonilla was charged with violation of federal drug law and has been the subject of a nationwide manhunt coordinated by Chicago FBI Joint Task Force on Gangs since October. Bonilla is allegedly a member of the Spanish Cobras street gang and was among 30 gang members and their associates charged as a result of the "Operation Snake Charmer" investigation, according to an FBI release. Bonilla is one of only three defendants who remain at large. The suspect is described as a 25-year-old Hispanic male with a heavy build, weighing about 300 pounds. He is about 5-foot-8 with black hair, brown eyes and slight facial hair. He is also known on the street as "Heavy," the release said. A reward up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to Bonilla's arrest.


Monday, 17 November 2008

Member of the Latin Kings gang has been arrested on cocaine charges

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member of the Latin Kings gang has been arrested on cocaine charges following a three-month investigation by the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Gangs and Guns Task Force, the North Plainfield Police Department and the Manville Police Department K-9 Unit. Roland Melendez, 23, of Lincoln Place, was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of cocaine.
At approximately 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, officers executed a search warrant at Melendez's residence, said Somerset County Prosecutor Wayne Forrest.Members of the Task Force seized approximately ten grams of cocaine from Melendez, Forrest said. Also seized was one bag of cocaine hidden in Chavez's jacket, according to the prosecutor.Task Force members also disvovered several items indicating Melendez's membership with the Latin Kings Gang and photographs of Melendez displaying gang signs known to the Task Force members, Forrest said.Street value of the cocaine seized is valued at approximately $1,200. Melendez was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending bail to be set. Chavez was released on his own recognizance.


Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Wimborne Gang kicked a pensioner’s door down in the latest in a series of attacks on residents of a Merseyside community

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The Wimborne Gang kicked a pensioner’s door down in the latest in a series of attacks on residents of a Merseyside community.The masked intruders forced their way into the home of the 80-year-old woman and made off with money and documents, leaving her fearing for her life.Neighbours said the burglary is just the latest in a string of violent and anti-social crimes in the Wimborne Road area of Huyton that they blame on 12-16 year-old yobs called “The Wimborne Gang”.Police and housing chiefs admitted today there was a problem in the area and they were taking steps to tackle it.The elderly woman, who has lived in the same house in Wimborne Road for 73 years, was at home when her home was attacked.The masked men pretended that they were from the fire service and had come to put out a blaze, shouting at her to let them into the house.When she refused, they broke down her door and ordered their terrified victim to “stay” while they tore through her house. They stole £200 cash, money the pensioner kept to pay her electricity and water bills, and insurance policy documents worthless to anyone but her.A neighbour, who was too scared to be named, said: “She has nothing worth stealing, she doesn’t even own a TV.
“I think they knew she was the only person living on that row of houses and targeted her.“She’s such a proud and independent lady and she’s just frightened to leave the house now – it’s really sad.”Neighbours, too terrified to be identified for fear of reprisals, said she had been mugged at least twice in recent months and, in one incident, a gang of girls had stolen her bag and keys.And they went on to describe other terrifying incidents including.
An attack on an ice cream man.A window cleaner beaten with an iron bar.Damage to cars; homes vandalised while families are in.Empty houses set on fire up to four times a night.Another resident said: “People are too scared to go out, it used to be a nice area and there was no trouble.“I’ve already been called a grass for phoning the police and I’m scared of what they’ll do if they know it’s me.”Another added: “They make our lives a misery and if anyone complains or confronts them they beat them up, slit their tyres and damage their cars.“Neighbours of mine have had every window of their house put through.“They strip empty houses of lead and copper and set them on fire, they throw eggs and stones and mud at homes.”Many of the houses are owned by Knowsley Housing Trust and are gradually being bought up to be demolished as part of the regeneration of the area.Police said that the youths are attracted to the empty houses, despite the fact that the council clears them and cuts off the electricity and gas as soon as someone moves out.


Charged Hector Portillo, a member of the international MS-13 street gang and seven others with multiple crimes, including 29 counts of murder

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Charged Hector Portillo, a member of the international MS-13 street gang and seven others with multiple crimes, including 29 counts of murder, attempted murder, assault, racketeering, and illegal use of firearms. The charges were announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Peter J. Smith, special agent in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office of investigations in New York City; Richard A. Brown, Queens Country District Attorney, and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department. The indictment alleges that on December 24, 2006 three of the defendants, Hector Portillo, Javier Irheta and Luis Bonilla, murdered 15 year-old Pashad Gray in Flushing.Beginning in 1998, the defendants served as members and associates of MS-13, also known as "La Mara Salvatrucha," and engaged in a series of violent crimes in Jamaica and Flushing, New York, including conspiracy to murder and assault members of rival gangs, such as the Crips, the Bloods, and the Latin Kings. During one particularly violent 13 month period, the defendants allegedly assaulted or attempted to murder seven victims by stabbing and shooting.Portillo, who was previously charged with racketeering and murder conspiracy, is now charged with a pattern of violent attacks, including, in addition to the Pashad Gray murder, the non-fatal shooting of a teenager on February 17, 2006, and the stabbing and beating of two teenagers in August 2006."The indictment of this dangerous MS-13 gang member is a positive step toward ridding our communities of the violent transnational street gangs that have instilled fear in our citizens and taken our communities hostage for far too long," stated ICE Special Agent-in-Charge Smith. "Through Operation Community Shield, ICE and its law enforcement partners will continue to conduct aggressive enforcement actions against members and associates of violent street gangs like MS-13.""The defendants have spread fear in our community through wanton violence, including shooting, stabbing, and beating their victims," stated United States Attorney Campbell. "Today's charges reflect our unwavering commitment to bring members and associates of violent street gangs to justice." Mr. Campbell thanked the New York City Department of Probation for its assistance.
Queens County District Attorney Brown stated, "Rivalries among criminal street gangs all too often turn neighborhoods into urban battlefields with innocent victims being caught in the crossfire. Only through the joint and committed efforts of law enforcement on all levels of government can we reduce gang-related violence and reclaim our streets for law-abiding residents."NYPD Commissioner Kelly stated, "New York City has not experienced the explosion in gang violence experienced elsewhere, in part, because of continued, successful crime suppression and arrests by the NYPD with support from our federal partners."If convicted, the defendants face maximum sentences of life imprisonment.The MS-13 is comprised primarily of immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, many of whom are in the United States illegally. With hundreds of members locally, it is the largest street gang on Long Island and has a major presence in Queens, New York. Over the past four years, the coordinated efforts of United States Attorney's Office, ICE, the NYPD, and the Queens District Attorney's Office have resulted in felony convictions of nearly two dozen New York City members of the MS-13.


Wayne Dundon, the Dundon gang leader, was seeking 'retribution' over his own conviction.

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Wayne Dundon, the Dundon gang leader, was seeking 'retribution' over his own conviction. Gardai are also aware that a €50,000 'contract' is in existence for the murder of one witness. Garda sources said this weekend that there is no end in sight for the gangland war between the Dundon gang, their allies and their rivals, known as the Keane-Collopy faction. The head of the latter gang is due to be released next year after serving seven years of a ten-year sentence for possessing drugs in 2001.
Yesterday a man was shot and seriously injured in north Dublin. The shooting happened at 11.55am outside a bookmaker's on Cardiffsbridge Road in Finglas. The victim, 41, was last night in a stable condition in hospital. It is believed he was shot up to three times by a gunman who escaped on foot.


Vancouver police detectives are investigating a drive-by shooting that may be gang-related.

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Three bullet casings were found at the scene of the shooting, which happened just before 4 a.m. on Northeast 29th Circle. Residents at a home in the area said they saw someone fire a handgun out the window of the car as it drove by the home.Vancouver police detectives are investigating a drive-by shooting that may be gang-related.After the shooting, the car's information was relayed to Portland police, who stopped the car within an hour.Three people were detained. As of early Saturday morning, there had been no arrests made. The names of the people involved have not been released. Police said the shooting was possibly gang-related.


Danny Bonilla Spanish Cobras Gang Leader is One of Chicago's Most Wanted

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Spanish Cobras Gang Leader is One of Chicago's Most Wanted
A heavy-hitter in one of the city's biggest street gangs is on the run from the law.


There's going to be violence between the Hells Angels and the Outlaws regardless of the trial

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"We're just here to support our guys," Charles "Pee Wee" Goldsmith, a Hells Angel from Nevada, said last week. Many of the Hells Angels present for the trial declined to give interviews.
The Hells Angels and Outlaws will continue their nationwide fight for territory after they leave South Dakota, said Steve Cook, president of the Midwest Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association. "There's going to be violence between the Hells Angels and the Outlaws regardless of the trial," Cook said.The bloody, nationwide war includes one battle in Indiana where hammers and motorcycle parts were used as weapons, a lawyer for the two bikers on trial told jurors this week.
As many as two dozen Hells Angels have been in court at various times during the trial of John Midmore, 35, of Valparaiso, Ind., and Chad Wilson, 33, of Lynnwood, Wash. Jurors this week are expected to begin deliberating the fate of the men. They are accused of opening fire on a group of Outlaws, creating panic among bystanders who ran into a nearby lake to escape the gun battle.At least a half-dozen Hells Angels began arriving at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel as early as Nov. 9, where they spent time visiting in the lobby and relaxing in the deep end of the Splash-Tacular Indoor WaterPark. Thursday evening, several members of the group dined at Carnaval Brazilian Grill on South Carolyn Avenue.
Five rows on the defense half of the courtroom were filled with Hells Angels last week. Their jackets, which they were not allowed to wear inside the courtroom, indicated that they came from California, British Columbia and Luxembourg.Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said local, state and federal law enforcement agencies agreed on a security plan while the trial is ongoing and looked to other communities with experience with motorcycle gangs for guidance."We did look at other places where trials have been held with Hells Angels and other outlaw motorcycle gangs as defendants in the U.S. and Canada. ... The consensus we came to as a group is we have the appropriate security in place," Milstead said.He said security is focused in several directions. "Some of that has to do with the actual courtroom. Some has to do with the courthouse. Some has to do with our community."So far, there have been no incidents with gang members, the sheriff said. "They understand there is a significant presence of law enforcement officials here for the trial."
While having Hells Angels in Sioux Falls might be unusual, Milstead said local law enforcement has some experience with motorcycle gangs."We don't normally have Hells Angels in Sioux Falls, but we have had other members of motorcycle gangs that live here," Milstead said.Security has been heavy throughout the trial. Officers have been posted throughout the courthouse, in the neighboring administration building and on the streets. And spectators must pass through two security checks: one on the first floor and another on the sixth, where the trial is being held.Waged over the turf on which to conduct criminal enterprises such as money laundering and drug trafficking, the ongoing war between the Hells Angels and the Outlaws is a key part of the defense in the Sioux Falls trial.
Defense lawyer David Kenner mentioned it in previous court filings and again Friday as he opened his case.In July 2006, law officers met with Hells Angels leaders attending a bike rally in Cody, Wyo., and warned them of possible attacks by the Outlaws, Kenner claimed in court documents filed in a related case.Federal court documents from Michigan and Massachusetts also chronicle the ongoing feud between the rival motorcycle clubs.At least two of the Outlaws who were at the shooting scene in Custer State Park, Danny Neace and Leroy Frasier, are under a federal indictment in Michigan. They are accused of conspiring to attack various Hells Angels in Indiana. That matter is scheduled for a pretrial conference Monday in Detroit.Kenner spoke about that case as he began his defense Friday. At a fair in Indiana, he said, a group of Outlaws — including Neace — attacked Hells Angels with a cane, hammer and motorcycle parts despite the presence of law enforcement and the general public.He said that earlier violence contributed to Wilson's feelings of fear and his desire to use his gun to protect himself and Midmore.
"They, like federal prosecutors ... knew about the rivalry and escalating violence and attacks on Hells Angels," Kenner said.Nationally, the Hells Angels have 2,000 to 2,500 members in more than 230 chapters worldwide, according to an April 2008 U.S. attorney general's report to Congress. There are Hells Angels chapters in 27 states, the report says.The Outlaws have more than 1,700 members in 176 chapters worldwide, including 12 foreign countries, the attorney general's report states. The Outlaws have chapters in 21 states, according to the report.Both groups have gone high-tech. In court Friday, the defense used a computer animation video to show the crime scene. Both groups also maintain Web sites. The Hells Angels' official site uses Google News to display current news articles about the group.Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin agreed that there will be continued violence. "They're like oil and water somewhat," Merwin said. "They're always going to be at odds."Much of the violence is spontaneous, and it can happen anywhere Hells Angels and Outlaws gather."It can happen wherever," Sturgis Police Chief Jim Bush said. "It's a very unstable situation with those folks."Law officers in Arkansas have been planning security measures for an upcoming trial of six Hells Angels accused of using a bat and knives to attack members of the Bandidos in the Ozarks tourist town of Eureka Springs.The trial is expected to take place next year, and officials have been discussing plans for extra officers at the courthouse, Eureka Springs Police Chief Earl Hyatt said.


Saturday, 15 November 2008

Drug Gang wars that has left nearly 4,000 people dead this year in Mexico is spreading deep into the United States, leaving a trail of murders.

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Drug Gang wars that has left nearly 4,000 people dead this year in Mexico is spreading deep into the United States, leaving a trail of murders, kidnappings and other crimes in at least 195 cities as far afield as Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Honolulu, according to federal authorities.The involvement of the top four Mexican drug-trafficking organizations in distribution and money-laundering on U.S. soil has brought a war once dismissed as a foreign affair to the doorstep of local communities.Mexican gangs move north Mexico Under Siege: A Times Special...Residents of the quiet Beaver Hills subdivision in Lilburn, Ga., an Atlanta suburb, awoke to the trans-border crime wave in July, when a brigade of well-armored federal and state police officers surrounded a two-story colonial home at 755 East Fork Shady Drive, ordered neighbors to lock their doors and flushed out three men described as members of a Mexican drug cartel. One was captured after he tried to slip down a storm drain. Another was caught in the ivy in Pete Bogerd's backyard. He lives two doors up and is president of the neighborhood association."It blew us away," Bogerd said. "I didn't know we had that many cops."A short while later, police hauled out a 31-year-old from the Dominican Republic who for nearly a week had been chained and tortured inside the basement, allegedly for not paying a $300,000 drug debt.
In the months after, several dozen suspects have been charged with moving drugs and money for Mexican traffickers through Atlanta, which has emerged as an important hub for thriving narcotics markets in the eastern United States.Few regions of the nation have been immune -- even Anchorage reported activity by the Tijuana drug cartel led by the Arellano Felix family, according to federal law enforcement agencies.In suburban San Diego, six men believed to be part of a rogue faction of the Arellano Felix organization have been accused in connection with as many as a dozen murders and 20 kidnappings over a three-year span.Last month, three armed men disguised as police officers broke into a Las Vegas home, tied up a woman and her boyfriend and abducted the woman's 6-year-old boy. Authorities said the men were tied to a Mexican drug smuggling operation and were trying to recoup proceeds allegedly stolen by the child's grandfather. The boy, Cole Puffinburger, was found unharmed three days later. Federal authorities have charged his grandfather, Clemons Fred Tinnemeyer, with racketeering, after he allegedly mailed $60,000, believed to be drug proceeds, from Mississippi to Nevada. Police continue to search for the kidnappers.In September, authorities announced that 175 alleged members of Mexico's Gulf cartel had been rounded up across the country and abroad. Of those, 43 had been active in the Atlanta area, they said.The arrests were part of Project Reckoning, an 18-month investigation that tracked criminal activity in the U.S. by the Mexican cartels. All told, Project Reckoning authorities have arrested 507 people and seized more than $60 million in cash, 16,000 kilograms of cocaine, half a ton of methamphetamine, 19 pounds of heroin and 51 pounds of marijuana.Last month federal authorities in Atlanta announced indictments against 41 people they said were trafficking drugs and laundering money for Mexican cartels. Among those netted in Operation Pay Cut were a former deputy sheriff from Texas who was stopped on a Georgia highway with nearly $1 million in cash in his pickup.The footprints of Mexican smuggling operations are on all but two states, Vermont and West Virginia, according to federal reports. Mexican organizations affiliated with the so-called Federation were identified in 82 cities, mostly in the Southwest, according to an April report by the National Drug Intelligence Center, an arm of the Department of Justice.Elements of the Juarez cartel were identified in at least 44 cities, from West Texas to Minneapolis. Gulf cartel affiliates were operating in at least 43 cities from South Texas to Buffalo, N.Y. And the Tijuana cartel, active in at least 20 U.S. cities, is extending its network from San Diego to Seattle and Anchorage.
Many cities showed evidence of multiple cartels, according to the report, which was based on federal, state and local law enforcement reporting.The extent and depth of cartel activity was not specified, but the Drug Enforcement Administration told Congress two years ago that it believed Mexican-based trafficking organizations "now have command and control over the drug trade and are starting to show the hallmarks of organized crime, such as organizing into distinct cells with subordinate cells that operate throughout the United States."The Congressional Research Service last year reported that in the U.S. the cartels "maintain some level of coordination and cooperation among their various operating areas, moving labor and materials to the various sites, even across the country as needed."


Dojinkai has long been one of Japan’s top organized crime syndicates

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Dojinkai has long been one of Japan’s top organized crime syndicates, or yakuza, brethren of the American mafia. When it came to the all-important social rules governing Japanese neighborhoods, the Dojinkai was neighborly enough that a young hairstylist did not hesitate to open a fashionable salon, complete with music by Enya, a stone’s throw away from the headquarters.But residents began worrying two years ago after factional fighting spilled out onto the streets, one time with machine gun fire and explosions.More than 600 residents recently went to court to oust the Dojinkai from its six-story headquarters, located in a prominent commercial area near the main train station in this medium-sized city in western Japan.The lawsuit was the first of its kind in Japan, where the yakuza’s offices tend to be out in the open. It shined a spotlight on how the yakuza — long considered a necessary evil, tolerated by, and sometimes politically allied with, the authorities — occupy a place much closer to society’s mainstream than its American counterparts do. But it has also challenged that seemingly secure position.
“Our headquarters is our castle,” said Nobuyuki Shinozuka, 54, the Dojinkai’s acting chairman. “It’s the one thing that we find most precious, that we’re most concerned about.”So much so that Mr. Shinozuka and the other two leaders of the Dojinkai, 1,000 members strong, sat down the other day for a rare, 90-minute interview. They said they had lived peacefully with their neighbors since moving to their current location in 1986. They believed that outsiders were exploiting their running factional conflict — which has led to seven killings in the past two years — to try to expel them.The Dojinkai is one of the country’s 22 crime syndicates, employing some 85,000 members and recognized by the government. Traditionally, the yakuza have run protection rackets, as well as gambling, sex and other businesses that the authorities believed were a necessary part of any society. By letting the yakuza operate relatively freely, the authorities were able to keep an extremely close watch on them.As the syndicates have moved into drug trafficking and other more serious activities in recent years, however, laws against organized crime have gotten tougher. But they are nowhere near as sweeping as America’s 1970 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which the government has used to take down the mafia.With their current chairman in prison, the three Dojinkai leaders spoke inside their lawyer’s office in the nearby city of Kumamoto. Asked about their business activities, they demurred. But the three men — Mr. Shinozuka, whose neatly trimmed beard and mustache emphasized his movie star looks; Hideki Fukui, 59, an avuncular type who was a fan of the “Godfather” movies; and Shuhei Tsutsumi, 54, an intense-looking man who rarely spoke — insisted they never broke neighborhood rules.“Not once have we had any trouble with any of our neighbors,” Mr. Fukui said. “That’s because our second chairman was very strict in that respect.”So as not to inconvenience their neighbors, the Dojinkai eschewed the telltale flashier trappings of their counterparts in bigger cities. They were forbidden to wear double-breasted suits. They were told to be circumspect while getting in and out of their cars by not lingering outside, and not to park their cars ostentatiously on the streets.“We’ve seen how the yakuza in Osaka or Tokyo occupy the streets with their cars, but we were explicitly taught not to do that,” Mr. Fukui said, adding that Dojinkai members are also taught to exchange greetings with the neighbors. “We are stricter on this point than most ordinary companies.”two years ago, a fight over succession led one faction to break off and form its own syndicate, called the Seidokai.The ensuing and continuing war led to the killings of members on both sides, as well as the murder inside a hospital of a man mistaken for a rival by a Dojinkai member. (The Dojinkai leaders visited the victim’s widow, burned incense at the family’s home and later gave financial compensation.)Many residents now say they fear getting caught in the cross-fire.According to city hall, 603 plaintiffs living or working within 547 yards of the headquarters joined the lawsuit against the Dojinkai. Some 5,508 people signed a petition endorsing the lawsuit. Private donations to assist the suit totaled $90,000, on top of a $300,000 contribution from the city.“Before there was never any problem, but one night around 11 p.m. I heard machine gun fire, and I thought that’s strange, I don’t remember any construction going on,” said Kimiyo Morita, 62, who lives several blocks away from the headquarters. “We can’t live in peace.”But opinion was split among those living closest to the Dojinkai, including an older couple whose house had a view of the headquarters. The husband favored evicting the Dojinkai, but his wife did not.
“They have to earn a living, too, so it’s not good to keep pushing them, ‘get out, get out,’ ” said the wife, who, like other residents in area, did not want to be identified for fear of drawing the Dojinkai’s attention. “As long as they don’t hurt ordinary citizens, it’s O.K. They may come on strong when they are together, but individually they are no problem. They always greet you, ‘Hello!’ ”
At the Enya-playing salon, the owner said he moved here four years ago, not overly concerned about the yakuza nearby. Like many Japanese, he believed the yakuza had the authorities’ tacit approval to operate, so making them move carried little meaning.“They’ll just move somewhere else,” he said.Indeed, girding for battle in court, Dojinkai members have left their headquarters and moved into a separate building they own next door. A sign on the building claims, however, that the group has relocated its headquarters to a branch office it owns about two miles away.At that branch office, the Dojinkai’s next-door neighbor was an equally fearsome fixture of neighborhood life in Japan: the residential association leader who knows everybody’s business and makes sure that all residents abide by Japan’s Byzantine garbage disposal and sorting rules. The association leader, Akemi Shigematsu, 66, requested that the Dojinkai sign a memorandum of understanding when it opened the branch office 11 years ago. The Dojinkai’s chairman at the time, Yoshihisa Matsuo, quickly complied, promising in the memorandum that members would not threaten passers-by, park illegally, mill around, throw away cigarette butts, litter or be a bad influence on schoolchildren.“They don’t bother the neighborhood,” she said, adding: “If I go speak to them about something — for example, about throwing away the trash — they’ll say, ‘Sorry!’ ”Mrs. Shigematsu, however, still checked the contents of the Dojinkai’s garbage bins just to make sure.The Dojinkai leaders said they and their subordinates, almost all locals, were also members of the community and simply followed neighborhood rules. They said they wanted to coexist with their neighbors, though they acknowledged that their activities sometimes “disturbed” society.“If a friend is killed, an ordinary person will become emotional and probably dream of revenge,” Mr. Shinozuka said.“But we go through with it,” he added. “That’s how we’ve been taught. And because of that difference, we disturb society.”Partly as atonement, the Dojinkai leaders said they gave large gifts to earthquake-relief efforts.


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