Costa del Gangster

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GANGSTER INFLUENCE

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Gangland was started ten years ago as a methods of tracking and reporting the social growth of gangs worldwide.It is based on factual reporting from journalists worldwide.Research gleaned from Gangland is used to better understand the problems surrounding the unprecedented growth during this period and societies response threw the courts and social inititives. Gangland is owner and run by qualified sociologists and takes no sides within the debate of the rights and wrongs of GANG CULTURE but is purely an observer.GANGLAND has over a million viewers worldwide.Please note by clicking on "Post Comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite.
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Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Appeal by Trong Minh Nguyen, 26, whose lawyer was seeking to have the sentence reduced to four years

Posted On 17:28 0 comments

Appeal by Trong Minh Nguyen, 26, whose lawyer was seeking to have the sentence reduced to four years. Nguyen was convicted in 2008 of discharging a weapon with intent and possessing a loaded, unregistered handgun in connection with the July 6, 2006, shootout at the Pacific Place Mall on 36th Street N.E.Nguyen was in his parked BMW at the rear of the mall when gunmen in another vehicle opened fire on him and he returned several shots. The appeal panel concluded the trial judge's sentence was fair because of several aggravating factors surrounding the shooting.


17 year old girl was shot and killed on the front lawn of a Muldoon home

Posted On 17:12 0 comments

17 year old girl was shot and killed on the front lawn of a Muldoon home. Neighbors tell the Anchorage Daily News that this residence has been a persistent problem for loud noise, underage drinking and other problems in the area. Even that night, multiple calls by multiple neighbors were made to Anchorage Police complaining about the noise, traffic and drunken juveniles wandering around the neighborhood. News reports now tell us that the shooting was gang related. An early morning dispute between rival gangs led to the death of a 17 year old girl who was caught in the cross-fire. This tragic event leaves many of us in disbelief. We need to understand how this was able to happen, so we can prevent it from occurring in the future. It is certainly justifiable to question the actions, or inactions, of a few different groups. First of all the house in question is reportedly owned by AHFC; it is a low income rental unit with what are supposed to be strict rules regarding loud noise and illegal activity complaints. Neighbors say that they have made complaints to AHFC about chronic problems with the household, but feel that they have fallen on deaf ears. Equally questionable are the actions of the parents. Presumably these parents allowed their teenage children to leave the house dressed – frankly – like prostitutes at all hours of the morning. When did this become acceptable parenting behavior?However, the larger issue is that of the gang problem in Anchorage and how we, as a community, are going to combat that problem. In recent years our city has come out of our state of denial; however we clearly have not done enough to address the issue.Gangs are an interesting dilemma. They are well organized and enforce their rules mercilessly within their organizations. They understand the laws and consequences and plan their activities accordingly. Dan Fagan recently mentioned on his radio show that when he reported on gangs he learned that they would recruit the younger members for certain crimes because when caught, their sentences would be lighter. This strategy is a cleverly devised plan to minimize the cost of the crimes for these organizations. Gangs recruit at risk adolescents who feel a need to belong to something greater than themselves. These kids generally do not have a strong parental presence and often lack the self esteem necessary to make the right decisions. The sense of belonging given to them by the gang is the self-esteem boost that they have been looking for.
The History Channel series “Gangland” recently featured Anchorage and brought to light, for many, how serious our gang problem is. Masked men within well organized gangs – armed to the teeth – running ruthlessly throughout our city. We learned from the show that Anchorage gangs are mostly subsets of the “Crips”. They point out that gangs in Anchorage are not territorial, which is a nearly universal characteristic amongst gangs elsewhere. However they are certainly as capable of being ruthless and bloodthirsty as one East Anchorage family learned in the most difficult of ways.


victim reports that he was assaulted by 5-6 Hispanic males that he believes are 18th St gang members.

Posted On 17:09 0 comments

officers on patrol found a man bleeding from his head and face at 294 Meridian St. around 10:10 p.m. on Friday:The victim reports that he was assaulted by 5-6 Hispanic males that he believes are 18th St gang members.Nestor Rodriguez of Condor Street was arrested for the attack, police say. The 18th Street Gang is a large gang based in Los Angeles.


An 18-year-old man is behind bars and a 17-year-old male is wanted in connection with the deadly stabbing of a teenage girl in West Chester.

Posted On 17:08 0 comments

An 18-year-old man is behind bars and a 17-year-old male is wanted in connection with the deadly stabbing of a teenage girl in West Chester.Police arrested Khrendon Gray of Springfield Township early Friday morning and charged him with one count of murder. He appeared in court on Friday where a judge set his bond at $1 million.
Gray is accused of fatally stabbing 15-year-old Amber Robinson Thursday evening.
On Friday afternoon, West Chester police issued an arrest warrant for 17-year-old Rashon Martin of Forest Park. The warrant is for complicity to commit murder in connection to the death of Robinson.


knife bloodbath led to a brutal murder in Dublin was organised.

Posted On 17:03 0 comments

Gardai fear an England v Ireland fight was arranged after Bernard Dunne's world title defence on Saturday night, but it got completely out of control. British criminal Jason Lee Martin (41) died when weapons were produced in the mass brawl.
A second man remains in hospital this evening after being hacked with a hatchet in the Parkwest bloodbath. "It appears to have been an arranged boxing match. But it got out of control when one guy pulled a knife and then everyone else reached for weapons," said a source. Hockey sticks, a hatchet, knives and broken glasses and bottles were all used in the melee. Many of the participants had earlier been at the Dunne fight in the O2. Martin (41) was on the run in Dublin while being hunted by British police for a killing in Lancashire last year. Gardai believe he was hiding out with criminals in Ballyfermot who he previously dealt drugs to -- and was socialising with them before being stabbed in the 20-man brawl outside Hannigen's bar on Park West Road. British police are awaiting forensic results before formally identifying Martin. But a full identification is expected in the next 48 hours, and the UK Foreign Office was making contact with his family overnight. The Manchester man, Jason Lee Martin, from Grove Lane, Hale, is understood to have associated with a Ballyfermot-based crime gang since his arrival in the country. He is also suspected of using other names, both in Ireland and the UK, and this factor has delayed the official identification process. Officers were also investigating whether at least one other major Lancashire criminal was present when the violence erupted at Park West Road. Martin was heavily involved in the melee outside Hannigen's bar on Sunday morning when his local pals confronted the other mob, involving 20 men. Detectives fear the sides agreed to meet later back in Ballyfermot, and that two men -- one of whom may have been Martin -- would confront each other in an organised fight in the car park outside Hannigen's bar. Further arrests are now expected in the investigation, after the detention and release of four men for public order offences last Sunday. The men were arrested before Mr Martin passed away, as he battled for life in a Dublin hospital. They were detained for attacking gardai after officers arrived at the scene. CCTV is understood to be 'highly significant', sources said. The violence outside Hannigen's unfolded at 1.30am last Sunday when two men began fighting outside the bar. Shortly after the fight started a number of other men ran from the pub to the car park and a melee ensued. Other men at the scene are then believed to have called for back-up using mobile phones, and at least one car-load of men arrived at the scene. Gardai believe that this car also brought weapons to the scene, including a hockey stick and a hatchet. Men involved in the brawl had also equipped themselves with broken bottles taken from the bar, and knives. The fighting is believed to have last for around ten minutes, during which time Jason Martin was stabbed in the chest, sustaining a single fatal wound. A second man, in his 20s and from the Kylemore Road area of Tallaght, was also slashed in the stomach, possibly with a hatchet. His pals had pulled him into the back of a parked Toyota van at the scene, where gardai found him, seriously injured.


Pedro Gil III, 37, a member of the Los Hermanos de Pistoleros ( HPL ) prison and street gang, was among 21 defendants sentenced

Posted On 16:53 0 comments

Pedro Gil III, 37, a member of the Los Hermanos de Pistoleros ( HPL ) prison and street gang, was among 21 defendants sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake over the past seven days, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Gil pleaded guilty April 30, 2009, to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than 150 kilograms of cocaine and to laundering millions of dollars in drug proceeds together with 23 other HPL members or associates. Today, Gil was sentenced to 300 months for the conspiracy conviction and 240 months on the money laundering conviction to be served concurrently, without parole. The sentence is to be followed by five years supervised release and will forfeit all interest in eight real estate properties, multiple high-end vehicles and a laundry list of expensive jewelry seized upon his arrest in May 2008 as well as $4.5 million dollars in cash. The sentence reflects the court’s finding that Gil was a leader/manager of the conspiracy. The court denied Gil’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea filed on Friday, Sept. 25, 2009.On May 28, 2008, Gil, along with 23 members or associates of the HPL were charged in a 12-count indictment returned by a Houston grand jury for their alleged involvement in receiving kilogram quantities of cocaine smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico, storing the contraband in Laredo and Houston area stash houses and transporting and distributing the cocaine to HPL members and associates in the State of Texas and elsewhere beginning in 2001. Gil and 12 HPL members and associates were also charged with collecting and laundering millions of dollars generated by the sale of the cocaine beginning in July 2007. The proceeds were used to promote the illegal activity through the rental or purchase of apartments, hotel rooms and residences to stash, store or package cocaine, vehicles and cellular telephones or to conceal the source of the proceeds through the deposit of cash into personal bank accounts in Laredo and in amounts designed to avoid currency transaction reports. Millions of dollars were deposited and withdrawn from personal bank accounts in Laredo. “This prosecution sends an important message to those gangs who continue to harm our communities not only through violence but through trafficking in narcotics,” Johnson said. “We have taken an important step toward accomplishing our mission to use the collective resources of the federal government to disrupt and dismantle violent prison and street gangs.” Gil’s arrest and subsequent conviction came after the conclusion of a four-year long joint investigation conducted by special agents of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and officers of the Houston, Pasadena, Beeville and Laredo Police Departments, sheriff’s departments in Harris, Fort Bend and Victoria counties, and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The HPL gang was formed in the mid 1980s in the Texas prison system by Latino inmates. Membership in the gang is displayed by tattoos including a .45 caliber handgun along the waistline, the letters HPL or objects in the shape of HPL. The gang allegedly makes its money through the sale and distribution of illegal drugs through Texas including Houston, Victoria and Laredo. A highly organized group with specific rules and regulations mandating lifetime membership, loyalty and participation in the criminal activities of the organization and a decision making hierarchy, the HPL structure also provides for each city and prison to have its own leadership structure and some autonomy from the statewide organization.
Others sentenced for their alleged involvement in this case include Daniel Avila; Mark Barrera; Christopher Castaneda, aka PJ; Marino Duran, Raul Garcia, aka Flaco; Manuel Bernard Harris, aka Black; Juan Manuel Hernandez - aka Meme, Benjamin Leal - aka Benny or Primo, Albert Lerma - aka Gas, Joe Brian Martinez, aka Turtle; Robert Luis Narvaez, aka Tato; Roberto Navarrete Jr.; Marvyn Ramdeen, aka Black or Marv; Terrance Robinson , aka Monster; Pacino Sanmiguel, aka P or Pedro; Roberto Sanchez Jr., aka Camaron; Brian Michael Washington; Alma Gil, aka Alma Ancira; Maria D. Padilla Ancira; and Lorena Garcia Hernandez. Those sentences ranged from a three-year-term of probation for Padilla Ancira, Gil’s mother-in-law, who was minimally involved, to a 235-month term for Avila, Gil’s right-hand man, who pleaded guilty to the drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy.The remaining three defendants—Mark Urdialez, Eric Lee Rodriguez, Juan Jose Ramirez—are scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow by Judge Lake.


Thursday, 24 September 2009

Royale LeBlanc,"Crazy Teno," now 23, was convicted on June 12 of first-degree murder for the Nov. 25, 2006, killing of Carlos Urzua

Posted On 22:50 0 comments

Royale LeBlanc, now 23, was convicted on June 12 of first-degree murder for the Nov. 25, 2006, killing of Carlos Urzua, of San Francisco. He was also found guilty of second-degree robbery and participation in a criminal street gang.Urzua, 29, was robbed and attacked by a handful of men at about 3 a.m. after being dropped off outside his home in the 900 block of Alabama Street. He was stabbed three times in the neck, abdomen and chest, suffering 18 wounds total. He died later at the hospital.Some of Urzua's friends witnessed the attack and called police as Urzua bled to death in his father's arms.LeBlanc and Jonathan Johnston, reputed Norteno gang members, were arrested a short time later after they were spotted driving nearby. Their white Chevrolet Caprice matched the description of the suspect vehicle and bloody clothes were found inside the car.LeBlanc, nicknamed "Crazy Teno," also had Urzua's cell phone.The main witness in the trial was a young man who testified he was in the car with LeBlanc, Johnston and others that had been following the car in which Urzua had been riding.The witness, who was 16 years old at the time and a prospective gang member, said Johnston, the reputed shot-caller in the gang whose nickname was "Savage," mistook Urzua for a member of the rival Sureno gang.
Johnston told LeBlanc, "There's a scrap, go get him," according to the witness.
The witness said LeBlanc followed Urzua up the front stairs, and then robbed and stabbed him.Urzua, a single father of a 10-year-old girl, who lived with his father and younger brother at the home, had no gang affiliation.Urzua's father read a statement in Spanish in court today, thanking the judge, police and prosecutors for bringing "justice" for his son's death.Urzua's sister, Karla Urzua, said she was "grateful ... that justice has been served for my brother Carlos."LeBlanc's attorney, Mark Goldrosen, argued for leniency, saying his client came from a "very disadvantaged and very difficult background."Goldrosen said LeBlanc's mother abandoned him as an infant and that his father died of a drug overdose when he was young.LeBlanc then lived in the care of his grandparents, but a lack of emotional support "left him vulnerable to fall into the gang lifestyle," Goldrosen said.
Judge Jerome Benson, however, sentenced LeBlanc to the full term of 28 years to life in prison.Benson called the murder "depressing and anger-provoking" and "an example of the mindless gangland violence that plagues many urban areas in this country."
Benson said the evidence presented at trial showed "that this was a wanton, senseless, monstrous and brutal murder."Johnston, now 30, was convicted in June of second-degree murder and participation in a criminal street gang for Urzua's killing. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 9.


Jose L Rodriguez, 19, of 117 N.E. 11th Ave., was booked into Walla Walla County Jail Sunday following several reports of shots fired

Posted On 22:07 0 comments

Jose L Rodriguez, 19, of 117 N.E. 11th Ave., was booked into Walla Walla County Jail Sunday following several reports of shots fired in the area of Second Avenue and Eagan Street shortly after midnight.Rodriguez was detained by members of the Special Teams Unit as he was apparently leaving the area in a vehicle immediately after the shots were fired, according to a Walla Walla Police Department news release.
Rodriguez is being held on suspicion of first-degree assault and possession of methamphetamine. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia. No bail had been set as of this morning pending a preliminary appearance before a judge.Near the scene, police recovered a semiautomatic SKS rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun that were apparently used in the shooting. No one is believed to have been injured.Events leading up to the shooting apparently originated at the National Guard Armory, 113 S. Colville St., where a fight was reported during a dance about 11:45 p.m. on Saturday.Officer Tim Bennett, spokesman for the city's police, said an attendee called dispatch to report suspicious people at the dance. The suspicious people had left the dance by the time officers arrived. But police learned at the scene that a fight had apparently broken out between two rival gang members.The fight moved to Eagan Street between Second and Third avenues, where some gang members apparently live, Bennett said. Within just a few minutes, the fight had grown to include at least 20 people, representing both gangs, Bennett added.
About 12:10 a.m. Sunday, many area residents called 911 with reports of gunfire near that area.The shots are believed to have been fired while the suspects stood outside. No one was reported injured, and Bennett said the opposing groups weren't standing very close to each other.On investigation, officers learned that at least one of the involved people may have fired shots into the air, although police believe shots were fired directly at someone or something."They were aiming at something," Bennett said. "It wasn't just trying to scare them."Along with the guns, officers also recovered a spent shell casing from the assault rifle. It was unclear how many shots may have been fired, although between one and two dozen appears likely."I don't think anybody really knows for sure," Bennett said.College Place Police officers and Walla Walla County Sheriff's deputies assisted local police. The city's Special Teams Unit is investigating.Meanwhile, the sheriff's office may have recovered a vehicle used in the shootout.The vehicle was discovered abandoned in the 1000 block of Electric Avenue Sunday. One of the vehicle's tires was shredded, the ignition was punched out, and the dash was damaged as if struck by someone's head, according to the report.Bennett said the best action the public can take to help curb gang activity is to report anything suspicious. Callers reserve the right to make anonymous tips."Things get the way they are right now because people haven't been calling in with their hunches," he said.


Major assault on the Avenues gang, hoping to deal a blow to an elusive group they say is responsible for some of Los Angeles' most notorious street cr

Posted On 22:04 0 comments

Major assault on the Avenues gang, hoping to deal a blow to an elusive group they say is responsible for some of Los Angeles' most notorious street crime.
Under the cover of darkness around 3 a.m., roughly 1,200 heavily armed officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and several other agencies dispersed from a command post near the LAPD’s training academy in Elysian Park. Warrants in hand, they descended on dozens of homes in search of 53 alleged members or associates of the Avenues gang wanted on an array of federal charges related to extensive drug dealing, unsolved murders and other crimes.
Forty-three suspects already are in custody on unrelated charges. The operation was aimed to bring new charges against 88 Avenues members or associates, a significant share of a gang that is believed to have about 400 members. Some suspects were sought elsewhere in the city, but the sweep focused on Glassell Park and other neighborhoods in the northeastern reaches of Los Angeles -- the center of Avenues territory since the gang first surfaced in the 1950s. There were no reports of officers encountering armed resistance. San Bernardino sheriff's officers say they shot two aggressive dogs they encountered at one location.It was not immediately clear how many of the suspects had been found at their homes and taken into custody. The names of the suspects and the crimes they were accused of also were not immediately known, pending the unsealing of the indictments.The arrests culminated a yearlong investigation of the gang run by a unit of LAPD detectives that specializes in gang-related homicides and a DEA task force. The Avenues came under scrutiny in the wake of the August 2008 slaying of Juan Abel Escalante, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. Escalante, 27, was gunned down outside of his parents’ Cypress Park home early in the morning as he headed to work as a guard at the Men’s Central Jail. LAPD detectives led the murder investigation into the killing because it occurred within city boundaries. Within days of the shooting, agents from the DEA task force, which had previously investigated the Avenues, came to the LAPD with information they had gathered that indicated members from the gang may have been responsible.That tip led to the arrest in December of two Avenues members in connection with the murder. Months later, a third member was taken into custody, and charges were brought against a fourth, who remains a fugitive. In the course of investigating the Escalante killing, however, the LAPD detectives and DEA agents delved into the inner workings of the Avenues and began compiling evidence related to a host of other alleged crimes. Some of the information was collected during interrogations of Avenues members and others from the neighborhood who had been arrested by a special team of 54 uniformed gang officers deployed in the area. Much of the incriminating information, however, came from the suspects themselves as DEA agents secured approval from federal judges for an array of wire taps that allowed them to listen in on gang members’ phone conversations. Rocky Delgadillo called the house the gang’s “mother ship.” In February of last year, the gang re-erupted into the city’s public consciousness when policy say Drew Street members gunned down a man as he stood on a curb holding his 2-year-old granddaughter’s hand. They brazenly took on police in a running gun battle, firing at officers with an AK-47 assault rifle in broad daylight. Most recently, in June 2008, the DEA task force that came to LAPD detectives with information on the Escalante killing conducted a similar, but smaller, operation to the one carried out today. That investigation named 70 defendants.At the time, LAPD officials assured residents of the area that they would work to keep the gang from reclaiming control of the neighborhoods. Drug activity in the area has slowed considerably in recent months, the detective said, but considering the size of today’s operation, the gang clearly has maintained a commanding presence in the area."They’ve owned that community for a long, long time," the detective said. "Only time will tell for sure, but I think this will be a blow that will finally make a lasting impact."


Monday, 21 September 2009

Rickey Rice, 24, of Newport News, and 10 co-defendants were named in a 39-count indictment in March for their role in the “Dump Squad,”

Posted On 19:47 0 comments

Rickey Rice, 24, of Newport News, and 10 co-defendants were named in a 39-count indictment in March for their role in the “Dump Squad,” which grew from a national gang known as the “Bloods.” The gang operated in Newport News. The charges against the 11 co-defendants included murder, attempted murders, robberies, assaults, arson, witness intimidation, narcotics distribution and weapons violations. Rice pleaded guilty in April to his participation, specifically that he knowingly engaged in drug trafficking and crimes of violence, the news release said. He also pleaded guilty to maiming Tony Vaughan, who was beaten by gang members before being shot and killed, in the aid of racketeering activity. Three other defendants were sentenced earlier this month after pleading guilty to their roles in the gang. Ty Davis, 25, was sentenced Sept. 1 to serve 30 years in prison, and on Sept. 2, Twan Bugg, 23, was sentenced to 30 years and Samuel Bates, 27, was sentenced to 25 years. All three are from Newport News.Davis pleaded to additional charges of brandishing a firearm during a drug robbery and conspiracy to burn the Newport News Police High Impact Patrol Station, the news release said. Bugg pleaded guilty to an additional charge of discharging a firearm in connection with a crime of violence. And Bates pleaded guilty to an additional Hobbs Act robbery charge stemming from the homicide of Terrell Williams.


Terrek K. Parker, 23,high-ranking member of the Burlington County-based street gang

Posted On 19:40 0 comments


high-ranking member of the Burlington County-based street gang was sentenced Tuesday to 32 months imprisonment for smuggling guns into New Jersey.Terrek K. Parker, 23, of Babcock Lane was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and serve three years of federal supervision after he completes his prison term. He was also to have no contact with any members of the street gang MOE, also known as Muslims Over Everything.The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman this morning. Parker plead guilty in April to charges of conspiracy and five counts of aiding and abetting the making of false statements in the acquisition of firearms.
During his guilty plea, Parker admitted that he conspired with Tonya D. Williams of Georgia, in a scheme where Williams purchased a total of eight firearms from pawn shops and sporting goods stores in Augusta, Ga., and then gave them to Parker, who transported them to New Jersey.The guns included a Glock .45 caliber pistol, a Glock .40 caliber pistol, a Sig Arms .40 caliber pistol, a Smith and Sesson .500 caliber revolver and a Springfield Armory .357 pistol.Parker admitted that Williams, who was the girlfriend of his father at the time, completed an ATF form, attesting that the firearms she was purchasing were for her.Williams was sentenced to 24 months in prison earlier this summer in connection with the scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.During Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Richardson specified that two of the guns purchased in Georgia were recovered from Parker’s residence in Willingboro during a raid on April 7, 2007.A fourth gun was recovered from the Willingboro residence of Terrell Matthews, 19, after officers responded to a report of shots fired there on Oct. 11, 2007.Four additional guns were found at the home of Parker’s grandmother. Two of those guns were traced to the purchases in Georgia. The other two firearms have not been traced, and three guns bought in Georgia are still missing, authorities said. ”There are still three guns missing and two that we don’t know where they came from,”Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson said during Tuesday’s court hearing.Parker’s MOE gang ties were also discussed in court with Richardson arguing that they should be included in background to be sent to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons so that Parker is isolated from rival gang members.Law enforcement officials have said that the MOE gang is involved in a violent street war with members of a Trenton set of Bloods gang members.
Parker’s attorney, Robin Lord, argued that her client has no known gang ties.
“Mr. Parker maintains he had nothing to do with (MOE),” Lord said. “They’re not Bloods or Crips. Frankly, I’ve never heard of them.”Lord also argued that Parker’s prior criminal record should bear little weight because they occurred long ago and were made up predominantly of juvenile offenses. She also pointed out that Parker had succeeded in graduating from high school and a two-year vocational institute and that he had also obtained a commercial truck driver’s license despite both his background as coming from a broken home where his father deserted him and his mother was convicted of drug offenses.“I’m uniquely impressed how much this young man has accomplished despite his background,” Lord said.Parker also testified prior to sentencing, telling the judge he was “remorseful” and sorry for his crimes.
“I’m just here to ask you fro some leniency and to look at the whole picture,” Parker said. “I’ve had a rough life and I’ve overcome a lot of adversity. I ask you to be lenient.”Hillman agreed that Parker has demonstrated remarkable intelligence and work ethic, but he said a lengthy incarceration was needed “to protect the public and deliver a message to you.”He specified that Parker’s alleged gang connections did not factor into the sentence, but he sided with government’s request that it be included as part of background information sent to the federal Bureau of Prisons.During the hearing, Richardson and Hillman also specified that Parker was known to be an associate of Terik Mackins, 29, of Trenton, who was charged earlier this summer with the Sept. 22, 2008 murder of 28-year-old Willingboro resident Deion Madison as well as three armed bank robberies in South Jersey last year.
Madison was shot several times at close range while sitting inside a car parked outside Fisher’s Seafood market on Charleston Road. Burlington County Prosecutors have said the motive for the murder retaliation after Madison, whom authorities identified as a member of a Willingboro-based Bloods gang, had threatened an unidentified associate of Mackins.Parker has also previously been identified by law enforcement officials as an associate of Eric Williams, 25, of Willingboro. Williams, who has also been identified as a leader of MOE, is also in federal custody awaiting sentencing for distribution and possession of crack cocaine.
Parker was also indicted this past July with unlawful possession of a handgun in Burlington County, according to court records. He is scheduled to appear before Superior Court Judge John Almeida on Sept. 29 for a status hearing.Members of Parker’s family, including his fiancé and 2-month-old child, attended the hearing but declined to comment on the judge’s sentence.


Police found Tory Lamont Smith, 27, of Fenwick Street on the second floor stairway suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest

Posted On 19:27 0 comments

Police found Tory Lamont Smith, 27, of Fenwick Street on the second floor stairway suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to Sgt. John M. Delaney, aide to Police Commissioner William J. Fitchet. Police officers performed CPR on Smith who was taken to Baystate Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Uniformed officers John Taylor and James Jackson spotted a suspect leaving the area on foot down Dawes Street and stopped him. Charged with murder and carrying a firearm in connection with the shooting was Shadeed Jameel Mahdi, 24, of 75 Elmwood Ave., Holyoke, Delaney said. Mahdi was arrested at 6 p.m. Delaney said the killing is gang-related as was the Aug. 22 slaying that took the life of Jerry A. Hughes III. Hughes, 21, was gunned down in the parking lot of the McDonald's at the Mid-Town Plaza on State Street as bullets were sprayed around the crowded parking lot. A 13-year-old boy was grazed in the foot as he walked by the nearby Rebecca Johnson School. Two teenage boys who police say have gang ties were charged by police in connection with that slaying. Smith was the 14th homicide victim of the year in Springfield. There were 14 killings in the city in 2008. Several days after the Aug. 22 shooting, about 25 people gathered, including clergy and elected officials, to call for an end to neighborhood violence and for young people to avoid involvement in gangs. DeJuan Brown, chief executive officer of AWAKE, a community-based anti-violence group, said Tuesday night that young people need to halt the violence.
"This happened in broad daylight. The fighting between gangs is out of hand," he said. He said violence affects all members of the community. Members of one street gang have relatives in another gang, he said. He added that the young people need encouragement from the older members of the community to take a path other than gangs and violence as well as opportunities for additional education and jobs. Following the August slaying Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Fitchet announced an immediate expansion of police patrols, including walking patrols, in the Mason Square area.


Saturday, 19 September 2009

Jaquan Bell, 16,an alleged Bloods gang member on charges of gunning down another teenager in the parking lot of Skate 22

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grand jury has indicted an alleged Bloods gang member on charges of gunning down another teenager in the parking lot of Skate 22, a Union Township roller rink. Jaquan Bell, 16, was indicted late Wednesday and will be charged as an adult. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the murder of Jean D'haiti, also 16, at the rink's Christmas night skating party last year, according to the Union County Prosecutor's Office. Bell is charged with murder and weapons possession.Police pulled him out of his school class and arrested him on March 4. Authorities would not identify the school, but Bell's attorney, Michael Robbins, said his client and D'haiti were former classmates at Elizabeth High School. Bail was set at $400,000, and Bell continues to be held at the Juvenile Detention Center in Union County.
Several fist-fights broke out inside Skate 22 leading up to the shooting, which occurred around 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 26, authorities said. Nearly 700 people were attending a heavily-promoted Christmas party there, which ended early when organizers escorted out some unruly party-goers. Outside the rink, authorities say a group of Haitian youths chased a group of alleged Bloods gang members to the parking lot. The prosecutor's office has not said whether D'haiti was one of the youths who did the chasing. Among those fleeing was Bell, who authorities identified as a Bloods gang member. As he ran, Bell whirled around and fired several shots, one of which struck D'haiti, prosecutors said. He died at the scene. D'haiti's family and friends have described him as a diligent student who enjoyed dancing, aspired to be a model and had no gang associations. His aunt, Yvelouse Tannis, has said she is pleased Bell will be tried as an adult. "It's not going to bring anybody back, but at least justice will be served," she said.Bell's attorney disputes authorities' account of the shooting, contending the larger group of Haitian youths was armed with weapons -- including a baseball bat, machete and semi-automatic handgun -- and entered the skating rink intent on "causing trouble" for his client's smaller group.
He said D'haiti was likely shot in the "crossfire" between the two groups, adding it would have been impossible for Bell to have shot D'haiti in the back of the head while fleeing from the Haitian youths."He got shot by his own friend, is what happened," Robbins said yesterday, adding that shell casings were found at the scene from the semi-automatic handgun carried by one of the Haitian youths. While Robbins has denied his client's group, called the "Dipset," is affiliated with the Bloods, authorities maintained Bell's group was known as the "Dipset" but was still part of the Bloods gang.Robbins, who is also defending one of the suspects charged in the Newark school yard slayings, said he is confident Bell will be acquitted. In response, Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said yesterday, "the indictment speaks for itself. The case will be tried in court, not in the press."


27-year-old Latoya Cunningham was killed by gunmen yesterday.

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Cunningham's body was found along the thoroughfare, near the Church of God Faith Temple, at around 2:30 pm by the police who were summoned by residents who reported hearing loud explosions.The police could not give a motive for the murder, but alleged that Cunningham was "no saint". "At the time of her death she was not wanted," one cop told the Observer. "But let's put it this way, at the time she died, she was no saint."Cunningham had previously been charged, but acquitted of the offences of murder, arson, shooting with intent and illegal possession of a firearm. Yesterday, residents speculated that the 27-year-old may have been killed because of her alleged involvement with street gangs.


Arron Young, a reputed member of the Crips street gang, is scheduled to go to trial the week of Nov. 2 on three counts of attempted murder

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Twenty-three-year-old Arron Young, a reputed member of the Crips street gang, is scheduled to go to trial the week of Nov. 2 on three counts of attempted murder in connection with the incident.On the afternoon of Aug. 15, 2008, Fairbanks police responded to several reports that the occupants of two speeding vehicles were firing at each other on College Road between Aurora Drive and Danby Street.Three people in a green Buick said they were shot at by people inside a silver Isuzu SUV. The Buick had been struck by multiple bullets fired from a handgun.Several moving vehicles also were hit by bullets, and a bicyclist on the sidewalk took cover as the bullets flew. No injuries were reported.Young was arrested several weeks later after being identified as the driver of the Isuzu.At a hearing Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Crail said that at trial she will call a gang expert from the Fairbanks Police Department, who will testify the College Road shooting was in retaliation for an incident five days earlier at the Eagles Hall.In that incident, about a half dozen people were involved in a verbal altercation that resulted in gunfire. Sixteen spent shell casings were found at the scene, though no injuries were reported. Witnesses gave police little information about who was involved.
Fairbanks police Lt. Tara Tippett said the case still is open, and military officials also are investigating. Soldiers from Fort Wainwright are believed to have been involved in both the College Road and Eagles Hall incidents.There is no indication Young was involved in the Eagles Hall incident, but Crail said the incident will provide a motive for the College Road shooting.“The expert testimony will be that in gang culture, he only needed to know about it to have a motive,” she said.The Eagles Hall shooting might have been connected to two other gang incidents in Fairbanks and a rash of smaller shootings and fires, Crail said.
Among the incidents was a July 27, 2008, brawl at Wal-Mart involving about a dozen people. A handgun reportedly was brandished by one of the combatants, though no shots were fired.That melee was followed a week later by a fight at the Tanana Valley State Fair involving about 20 juveniles and adults. A security guard sustained a minor injury breaking up that fight. No arrests were made in either case.
Young’s public defender, Jennifer Hite, said there are several other possible suspects in the College Road shooting and this might be a case of mistaken identity.
The case has continued for more than a year, as attorneys have conducted more investigation into the people involved in the shooting.In April, Hite said there were serious discussions about a plea deal, but no such deal was mentioned at Thursday’s hearing.


Friday, 18 September 2009

Sentenced five members of the Puro Lil Mafia (PLM) street gang

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Sentenced five members of the Puro Lil Mafia (PLM) street gang following their guilty pleas to various firearms offenses, according to a a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. In April 2008, three of the five, Andrew Cecil Harris, 36; Hugo Lopez, 22; and Betty Bustillos, 25; were arrested by members of the Wichita Falls Police Department and FBI agents on federal weapons charges in an early morning round-up. The other two, Jessie James Greek; 27, and Jason Grantham, 20, were already in state/local custody on related charges.According to the release, Andrew Cecil Harris pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition. He was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison.Hugo Lopez pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by an illegal alien and was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison.Betty Bustillos pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm and was sentenced to 36 months probation with six months of that to be served in home confinement.Jessie James Greek pleaded guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison.Jason Grantham pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 41 months in the bureau of prisons.Earlier this month, the known leader of the PLM gang, Mauricio Diaz, 33, was convicted at trial on one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm, the release said. He faces up to life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 15, 2009, by O’Connor.

Diaz’s conviction brings the total to 14 PLM gang members who were charged federally and have been convicted. Other sentencings are scheduled for later this fall.


Thursday, 17 September 2009

Lawrence Ballard was charged on April 29 with first-degree murder for the shooting death of Colby Harris

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Lawrence Ballard was charged on April 29 with first-degree murder for the shooting death of Colby Harris. Harris was shot at the Brightwater Apartments, 2202 S. Phoenix Ave., on April 28. Police believe that Ballard, who uses the street name “Man Man,” had fought with Harris about money shortly before the shooting.
Ballard was later charged on Aug. 11th with second-degree robbery based on allegations that he and several associates assaulted and robbed three University of Tulsa students. Ballard is a documented gang member, belonging to the 107 Hoover Crips and has many associates in the states of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas and has been known to travel to these states frequently, according to the Marshals service. To aid in the task force in the investigation, Ballard has been elevated to the Department of Justice’s national Gang Targeting, Enforcement & Coordination Center’s (GangTECC) Most Wanted List. This most wanted list was developed by in conjunction with the Marshals Service and in partnership with the Fox Television show “America’s Most Wanted.” By profiling Ballard on a much larger scale, the Northern Oklahoma Violent Crimes Task Force intends to reach citizens in other areas that may have seen Ballard or have information to his whereabouts. GangTECC began operations in summer 2006 as the national anti-gang task force created by the Attorney General. It a multi-agency center designed to disrupt and dismantle the most significant and violent gangs in the United States.


Joe Richard Poston, 24, and Robert Benjamin Seats, 28, died of gunshot wounds after a shoot-out in the parking lot of J-Mumbly's

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Joe Richard Poston, 24, and Robert Benjamin Seats, 28, died of gunshot wounds after a shoot-out in the parking lot of J-Mumbly's, at 903 Hollywood Drive in the Hollywood Shopping Center. Police believe the men shot each other during an argument that began inside the club.Seven others - three women and four men - were injured in the incident. All of them were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Some have been treated and released, while others remain hospitalized.Jackson police also are investigating a second shooting that happened about 2:20 a.m. Sunday in the area of the Sesame Street Lounge, at 411 Railroad St. Tallis Croom, 22, was treated for a gunshot wound to his chest and released from the hospital.
Lt. Tyreece Miller said Monday afternoon that Seats' and Poston's bodies had been sent to Nashville for autopsies. He said investigators would send bullets collected from the autopsies and bullets and casings from the parking lot to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for ballistics testing.The testing could help determine how many guns were used in the shooting and could take up to 17 weeks, Miller said.Police did not recover any guns from the crime scene. They believe other people may have fired weapons in addition to Seats and Poston, but they have not determined how many were involved in the shooting.
Capt. Mike Holt confirmed Monday that Poston was affiliated with the Gangster Disciples or GDs, and Seats had ties to a rival gang, the Vice Lords."This determination is made based on prior intelligence, tattoos and their associates," Holt said. "However, we don't know if (gang association) caused the altercation the night of the shooting, or if there was some independent reason they were arguing."J-Mumbly's owner, Evans Chatman, reiterated Monday that he believes the shootings were gang-related.
"We are being penalized with all the media attention and people saying the shooting happened inside the nightclub," Chatman said, as he stood outside his club about noon Monday. "It was in the parking lot, in a gang-related fight that started somewhere else and happened to end in the shopping center."Police have asked the Special Operations Unit, which includes the Metro Narcotics Unit, the Gang Unit and the Street Crimes Unit, to assist in the investigation.Jackson saw an explosion of gang-related crime in the 1990s, but gangs in Jackson have kept a lower profile in the last few years, according to police.In January, Ledarren Hawkins, 20, of Memphis, told police he was a member of the Bloods gang after he shot and killed Jerome Ellington outside the Jackson Bowling & Skating Family Fun Center. Hawkins was seen flashing gang signs before the shooting, police have said.Holt said Monday that the level of gang activity in Jackson has stayed at about the same level for the last six months.He also noted that gang affiliation is not as clearly defined as it was in the past. Even though someone may be a gang member, that person also may have strong loyalty to family members or neighborhood groups, Holt said.Both Poston and Seats have extensive criminal histories and served time in state prisons.Poston was on parole for a 2006 robbery charge, according the Tennessee Department of Correction Web site. It was not known when he was released from prison.He was previously arrested or had warrants on charges of robbery, weapons offenses, aggravated assault and motor vehicle theft, according to Jackson police records. He also had numerous driving charges and a lengthy juvenile record.Seats' official prison sentence ended in January 2009, according to the Department of Correction Web site, but it was not known when he was released from prison.His prior record includes arrests and warrants on charges of burglary, motor vehicle theft, drug offenses, rape, aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder. He also had driving charges and a juvenile record.


Tuesday, 15 September 2009

William Key, 21,accused of killing a 16-year-old as part of a Black Guerrilla Family gang rite has been sentenced

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Baltimore man accused of killing a 16-year-old as part of a Black Guerrilla Family gang rite has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and related charges, prosecutors said. On Thursday, a jury was unable to reach a verdict against William Key, 21, who was accused in the Oct. 13, 2007, slaying of Deron Hope. Prosecutors say Hope was killed by Key and co-defendant Kenneth Robbins because Robbins wanted to be initiated into the gang. But after the hung jury, Key suddenly pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, the same charge Robbins pleaded to in May. Robbins is to be sentenced in November.


Three members of the notorious MS-13 gang pleaded guilty yesterday to stabbing a man and leaving him for dead

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Three members of the notorious MS-13 gang pleaded guilty yesterday to stabbing a man and leaving him for dead inside a Hispanic nightclub in Chesterfield County last fall.One of the victim's five stab wounds to the chest punctured his heart in the Oct. 18 attack inside a restroom at Valentino's restaurant on Jefferson Davis Highway. The victim, who they mistakenly believed was their bitter rival, nearly died."The intent was to kill," said Matthew C. Ackley, special prosecutor of the Richmond-metropolitan multijurisdictional grand jury.Authorities described the attack, investigated by Chesterfield police and the Richmond Division of the FBI, as the most significant case of gang violence here involving known members of MS-13. The gang has local contacts but isn't believed to have gained a foothold in the region."The ones that we have identified have been from cliques in Northern Virginia," said Chesterfield Detective Keith Applewhite, a gang expert.The three gang members, natives of El Salvador who had spent time in Northern Virginia and New York, ambushed the victim after they believed the man flashed signs at them denoting he was a member of a rival Hispanic gang known as 18th Street."They are archrivals," Applewhite said of the two gangs. "If they see one another, they'll attack."
Saul Joab "Penguino" Miranda, 27, who was living in Mechanicsville at the time of the attack, was sentenced to serve nine years and four months in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated malicious wounding and criminal street-gang participation. A charge of abduction was withdrawn as part of his plea agreement.
Gilberto Ernesto "Diablo" Gutierrez, 30, living in Chesterfield in October, was sentenced to serve five years in prison after pleading guilty to similar charges. An abduction charge was withdrawn.Antonio "Little Duende" Urrutia-Barrera, 20, living in Reston last fall, pleaded guilty to a single count of aggravated malicious wounding. Abduction and criminal gang-participation charges were withdrawn. He is to be sentenced next week.Urrutia-Barrera recently pleaded guilty in Loudoun County to criminal gang participation, and Ackley said MS-13 commanders sent him to the Richmond area last fall after a shooting in Northern Virginia.In a summary of evidence, Ackley gave this account of the assault:The three defendants were at Valentino's the evening of Oct. 18 when they saw the victim -- identified only as "R.H." in court yesterday -- flash gang signs. Mistakenly believing he was a member of 18th Street, the trio then challenged the victim to come outside. He refused.The defendants then followed him into the restroom, where Miranda and Urrutia-Barrera stabbed the victim repeatedly in the chest, shoulder and hand while Gutierrez held him and blocked the door.The victim was hospitalized for several weeks and still has significant scarring from his wounds and limited use of his right hand, which he no longer can close into a fist. The 26-year-old victim, who lives in South Richmond, denied being a gang member, Ackley said.During a break in yesterday's hearing, Ackley said the defendants may have been pumped up by the Salvadoran rap music playing that evening in the club. They also flashed their gang signs that night, he said.Chesterfield Detective Michael P. Morgott investigated the assault and was assisted by the FBI in linking the defendants to MS-13, a violent gang that originated in Los Angeles in the 1980s by immigrants fleeing El Salvador's civil war.Ackley said an FBI informant infiltrated the gang and provided key information that aided in the defendants' arrest and prosecution. The FBI obtained recorded statements that implicated the trio, Ackley said.At the time of the offense, Miranda and Gutierrez were residing in the U.S. legally as protected refugees from El Salvador, according to their attorneys. Urrutia-Barrera's attorney declined to talk about her client. Miranda and Gutierrez originally lived in Bay Shore, N.Y., and Salisbury, Md., respectively, Ackley said.Through an interpreter, Urrutia-Barrera told Chesterfield Circuit Judge Frederick G. Rockwell III that he has been in the U.S. four or five years and attended high school in Fairfax County.
"This is for the Mara Salvatrucha," a nonfiction narrative about the gang, gives this explanation of the MS-13 name: The initials MS stand for Mara, or "clique," and Salvatrucha, commonly known to mean "street smart." When the Mara Salvatrucha allied themselves with the Mexican Mafia, they adopted "13" as part of their name out of respect, because "M" is the thirteenth letter of the alphabet.


Highland's Finest street gang fired a warning shot in the air as he told a group of up to 20 to "back the (expletive) up,"

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Teenager, who was being questioned by police Monday, fired a warning shot in the air as he told a group of up to 20 to "back the (expletive) up," according to students who witnessed the melee."They was about to fight and he pulled the gun out of his pants and shot," said one student, who didn't want to be identified."Everybody took off running. Some jumped on buses, ran across the street, all over."Grand Rapids police and Grand Rapids Public Schools Safety Director Larry Johnson said they were trying to determine what preceded the 3:10 p.m. shooting at the 1720 Plainfield Ave. NE school.No one was hurt and police recovered the weapon, Grand Rapids police Capt. Pam Carrier said.Authorities were unsure if the gun was ever in the school, but plan to increase security before, during and after classes Tuesday.Johnson was to convene his staff and discuss options that could include using metal detectors.
"We'll meet and determine how to go forward," he said.
"One gun near the school is too many."
Johnson said security officers did not sense trouble brewing during the day."I don't know if there's anything we could have done differently," he said.Police did not identify the student, pending possible criminal charges.Students said the teen was a member of the Highland's Finest street gang and that his attackers were part of the North Avenue gang.Police would not confirm gang ties played a role in the incident, which played out near a main exit from the school.A woman who lives across Plainfield Avenue said she heard girls yelling and screaming before the shot was fired. She's lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and says the violence and arguing is becoming more common."There's always people going back and forth," she said, declining to be identified.Johnson said the district has not had a complaint of a gunshot on school grounds since an Ottawa Hills student fired a gun in a bathroom three years ago."We can't change perception," he said. "It's not our job to change perception. We try to keep the kids as safe as possible."One 14-year-old freshman stood at a bus stop across from the school as police investigated. He saw the fighting and then heard a "big boom."He said he didn't know the people involved and that students were surprised a dispute escalated to the gunfire. Like security staff, he said there was not heightened tension at school Monday."But people are always talking trash, so you don't know," he said.


Female suspect was injured during a shootout with SQ officers in the Laurentians

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Female suspect was injured during a shootout with SQ officers in the Laurentians on Sunday evening. Two people had tried to steal gas from a gas station in Mont-Tremblant around 11 p.m. and were intercepted by police when they tried to flee.
There was an exchange of gunfire and a woman was injured and then arrested. A man fled into the forest and was arrested later in the morning.An SQ helicopter and search dogs joined the search for him. An apparent confrontation between street-gang members in Laval ended when a 20-year-old man was stabbed in the back. It happened just before 1 a.m. Monday inside a restaurant on Cure-Labelle boulevard in Chomedey.
The victim and three or four friends had been arguing with another group when he was stabbed. Everyone else, including the victim's buddies, fled the scene. The back-stabbed man is expected to live and is not co-operating with investigators from his hospital bed.


Amos Brown believes that he has been targeted by the Money Green Gang, a group of youths from the Meadow Gardens housing complex

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Amos Brown believes that he has been targeted by the Money Green Gang, a group of youths from the Meadow Gardens housing complex who have alleged ties to the notorious Bloods street gang. The Money Green Gang is known for drug dealing and suspected in multiple shootings in the city, according to an affidavit for Troy Davis, who was arrested by Norwalk police Tuesday on drug charges.Hunt was allegedly associated with the gang and his friend, alleged Money Green Gang member Corey Young, was convicted of stabbing Johnson, according to court documents.Brown said the gang violence has made AJ's life intolerable and prevented him from furthering his education in public schools. AJ has been confined to his room inside of Brown's Orchard Street home since his acquittal."I keep thinking they will come here, and it's a nasty feeling," said Robertson, who lives in Bridgeport but visits Norwalk often to see her son. "I'm shocked by a lot of this. I used to change the Pampers on some of these kids."Leaving their lives in Norwalk behind has been rough on AJ and his father as they separate from strong bonds in the community, but it's the right decision, Brown said.AJ simply commented that he didn't want to move, but his girlfriend, Shanteria Cosby, said she understands the reasons behind his need to relocate."They really need to move," she said. "There's too much drama here."Robertson still has grown children and grandchildren in the area, preventing her from moving with Brown and her son. She said parting with AJ will be difficult for her, but she realizes a change is necessary."When Amos and AJ go, I won't like it, but there's nothing I can do at this point. AJ hasn't even finished high school yet," she said. "He can't go out to school, and no one will come here to educate him. He has another chance at life."Amos spent late August and early September tying up loose ends, paying bills and handing over his property management and home improvement business to a friend. "The customers didn't like that I was leaving," he said. "They were very unhappy with what's happening with crime in this town."
While hoisting a go-kart into a U-Haul truck Thursday night, Brown said AJ will have an open field to ride the recreational vehicle on, but he remained cryptic about his future residence."Everybody knows where I'm from," he said, "but they don't know where I'm going."


Sunday, 13 September 2009

Lima Street gang uniform of green shirts and dark pants

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19-year-old alleged Carson City gang member was arrested at 4:27 p.m. Saturday on the corner of Lompa Lane and Highway 50 on suspicion of causing a fight. Bail was set at $1,132. According to the arrest report witnesses saw the man, along with several others all dressed in the known Lima Street gang uniform of green shirts and dark pants, beat the alleged victim.A witness reportedly told police the man jumped in the truck as the alleged victim drove away.“It is common practice for gang members to ‘jump in' new members of the gang or to ‘check them' when they have done something wrong,” the arresting officer wrote in the report. “Both instances involve beating of the members.”


Carlos Lopez, alleged Westside gang member was ordered held Wednesday to face charges

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alleged Westside gang member was ordered held Wednesday to face charges in a bus stop shooting last year that left one man dead and the man's cousin wounded.
Carlos Lopez, 32, targeted what appeared to be rival gang members - two men dressed in red clothing - at a downtown bus stop last year, say San Bernardino police. One of the men, 23-year-old Bobby Brookins, died. However, a witness at the same bus stop did not identify Lopez as the shooter in photo lineup and told a detective he thought the shooter may have been black because his voice lacked an accent. After listening to testimony from several witnesses, Judge Douglas Gericke ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold over Lopez to face charges at trial. The ruling came during a preliminary hearing in San Bernardino Superior Court. Lopez returns to court Sept. 18 to enter a formal plea on charges of murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors have also alleged the crimes benefit and promote a street gang. The surviving victim testified Wednesday that a tan SUV pulled up near a bus stop on Arrowhead Avenue, at Fifth Street, and stopped. The driver and passenger got out, but only the driver walked toward the victims. "What's up fool?" the victim recalled the driver saying, before he produced a handgun and fired several times. The victims turned to run, but Brookins was fatally shot. The county medical examiner later found that Brookins was shot in the chest and abdomen. The surviving victim was grazed on the head and shot in the arm and back, he said. Police said they found that one of the victims associated with a Los Angeles-based street gang. Officers crossed paths with Lopez during a traffic stop about two hours after the shooting. However, Lopez was dressed differently and had a different color vehicle than the accounts witnesses had given. Lopez surrendered to police with his lawyer the following week. Gang officer Francisco Hernandez testified that Lopez has self-admitted gang membership to police and has tattoos of "I.E." on his arms, "Mt. Vernon," on his stomach and "Verdugo" on his back. Hernandez said members typically commit violent crimes to gain respect and promote their gang, and it also shows Lopez's willingness to commit crimes for the gang. "It would intimidate and strike fear into the hearts of other gang members as well as members of the community," Hernandez said. A man who was also standing at the bus stop just before the shooting also noticed the victims' clothing. "They looked like they was from a gang," said Billy George. He described the shooter to police as possibly being black because he didn't hear an accent in the shooter's speech.


Steven Magana, 25, and Timothy Coronado, 22, are charged with attempted murder

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Steven Magana, 25, and Timothy Coronado, 22, are charged with attempted murder and several enhancements tied to allegedly discharging a firearm and being members of a criminal street gang. Merced County sheriff's investigators believe the defendants and a third suspect, a 16-year-old juvenile who is being tried separately, went to the victim's Westside Boulevard residence on March 9 at 10:20 p.m. and shot him four times.The victim, who admits to being a former gang member himself, survived the incident. The identity of the victim has been withheld by the Sun-Star because of concerns about his safety.Merced County District Attorney David Sandhaus said the victim didn't identify the suspects at first because Coronado and the 16-year-old juvenile are his nephews -- and he wanted to protect them. Sandhaus said the defendants . A bullet also grazed his face. "There's no doubt in my mind it was them," he said.The victim admitted he purposefully withheld information from detectives, but later stepped forward after his son and a 4-year-old girl were shot two months later at a residence in Livingston. The man suspected that Coronado, Magana and the juvenile were responsible for that shooting, although they were never charged."I just decided to step up and say what really happened," he said.When asked about his criminal background, the victim acknowledged that he'd been in prison several times, primarily for several DUI convictions and violation of parole. The man also said he'd been a gang member in and out of prison, but has since "given his heart to God" and changed his ways.Tenenbaum told jurors during his opening statement that Magana, his client, wasn't at the scene when the 54-year-old victim was shot. He said the victim had decided to "throw in" Magana's name when he talked to detectives.Smith said there's no physical evidence linking Coronado, his client, to the crime. Smith also said it was "pitch black" outside when the shooting happened, making it impossible for the victim to see the shooters. "He didn't see who did it -- that's the bottom line," Smith said.Coronado and Magana face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted. Both men remain in custody, in lieu of $1.4 million bail.


"transnational street gangs" such as MS-13, one of the largest Hispanic street gangs in the United States, and Sureno-13, one of the most significant

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four-day operation targeting street gangs in north and central Alabama ended with 23 people arrested and facing possible deportation. U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents arrested 20 men, two women and one juvenile they said have ties to violent street gangs during a sweep of Jefferson, Shelby and Morgan counties.
The effort targeted members of several "transnational street gangs" such as MS-13, one of the largest Hispanic street gangs in the United States, and Sureno-13, one of the most significant gangs operating in the Southeast, according to the National Gang Intelligence Center, a group supported and staffed by various government agencies. Such gangs have high numbers of foreign-born members and are frequently involved in human trafficking, drug smuggling and immigration violations, according to ICE. Other gangs mentioned in the announcement of the arrests were Lejion Negra, Judas 13, Southside Locotes and La Quemada. "Street gangs account for a significant amount of crime nationally and locally," Jesse Blakeman, resident agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Birmingham, said in a prepared statement. "ICE works closely with our local law enforcement partners to identify, locate and arrest these gang members to thwart criminal activity in our communities. Ultimately, ICE deports these gang members." Most of those apprehended were taken to the DeKalb County Jail; three were released pending immigration hearings. As of Friday, only two faced criminal charges, according to ICE. Misael Godoy-Torres was arrested Thursday at Cedar Brook Apartments in Hoover and has been charged with being an illegal alien in possession of a gun, according to federal court records. An affidavit filed Friday stated ICE agents received a tip that Godoy-Torres, a Mexican citizen, was a member of street gang Brown Pride 13. When his girlfriend let the agents into the apartment, Godoy-Torres threw a rifle from a third-story bathroom window and was attempting to jump from the window when he was arrested, the affidavit said. Agents found a cell phone with pictures of Godoy-Torres with the gun and "what appears to be a gang bandanna," the affidavit stated. Another man, Margarito Carbajal-Nava, was in custody in Decatur City Jail on three state charges - probation violations on three charges of criminal trespassing - a jail official said Friday. Officer Sharon Latham said Carbajal-Nava, a 38-year-old Decatur resident, was being held for ICE and was arrested Aug. 30. A statement issued by ICE Friday stated that agents conducted the operation working with local law enforcement including police officers in Alabaster, Decatur, Hoover and Pelham, and Shelby County sheriff's deputies. Alabaster Police Deputy Chief Curtis Rigney said ICE agents asked his officers for backup as they "went to a few residences." Rigney said he did not know if anyone was apprehended in that city. Rigney said his department has not noticed an increased gang presence in Alabaster, but is eager to work with immigration officials because "you never know where these gangs are."


Shawn A. Goldfinch is an alleged member of the Nortenos street gang.

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Shawn A. Goldfinch, 27, made a preliminary appearance on the charges in U.S. District Court on Friday. According to a criminal complaint, he sold cocaine to an informant working with police on Feb. 4, March 16 and March 24. The alleged deals were captured via audio recordings. The case was investigated by the Safe Streets Task Force, which includes the FBI, Vancouver police, sheriff’s deputies and Department of Corrections agents.The government also alleges Goldfinch is a member of the Nortenos street gang.man whom federal agents characterized as a "member of a violent Vancouver street gang" faces charges of dealing in cocaine and crack cocaine.


Dennis "Dog" Rios, 40, suffered from AIDS for the last 10 years was arrested

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Apple Valley gang member has been knowingly transmitting HIV/AIDS to women for the last decade, authorities said today.
Dennis "Dog" Rios, 40, was arrested last week while sheriff's detectives were investigating an alleged drug house in the 12000 block of Navajo Road.
While interviewing people at the home, detectives said they happened upon Rios. They discovered he has suffered from AIDS for the last 10 years but has continued to have sex with women without telling them. Officials have tracked down one victim and expects several more to come forward.He is being held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of knowingly transmitting the disases.


Westside gang member was ordered held Wednesday to face charges in a bus stop shooting

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alleged Westside gang member was ordered held Wednesday to face charges in a bus stop shooting last year that left one man dead and the man's cousin wounded.
Carlos Lopez, 32, targeted what appeared to be rival gang members - two men dressed in red clothing - at a downtown bus stop last year, say San Bernardino police. One of the men, 23-year-old Bobby Brookins, died. However, a witness at the same bus stop did not identify Lopez as the shooter in photo lineup and told a detective he thought the shooter may have been black because his voice lacked an accent.
After listening to testimony from several witnesses, Judge Douglas Gericke ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold over Lopez to face charges at trial. The ruling came during a preliminary hearing in San Bernardino Superior Court. Lopez returns to court Sept. 18 to enter a formal plea on charges of murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors have also alleged the crimes benefit and promote a street gang. The surviving victim testified Wednesday that a tan SUV pulled up near a bus stop on Arrowhead Avenue, at Fifth Street, and stopped. The driver and passenger got out, but only the driver walked toward the victims. "What's up fool?" the victim recalled the driver saying, before he produced a handgun and fired several times. The victims turned to run, but Brookins was fatally shot. The county medical examiner later found that Brookins was shot in the chest and abdomen. The surviving victim was grazed on the head and shot in the arm and back, he said.
Police said they found that one of the victims associated with a Los Angeles-based street gang. Officers crossed paths with Lopez during a traffic stop about two hours after the shooting. However, Lopez was dressed differently and had a different color vehicle than the accounts witnesses had given. Lopez surrendered to police with his lawyer the following week. Gang officer Francisco Hernandez testified that Lopez has self-admitted gang membership to police and has tattoos of "I.E." on his arms, "Mt. Vernon," on his stomach and "Verdugo" on his back. Hernandez said members typically commit violent crimes to gain respect and promote their gang, and it also shows Lopez's willingness to commit crimes for the gang. "It would intimidate and strike fear into the hearts of other gang members as well as members of the community," Hernandez said. A man who was also standing at the bus stop just before the shooting also noticed the victims' clothing. "They looked like they was from a gang," said Billy George. He described the shooter to police as possibly being black because he didn't hear an accent in the shooter's speech.


Plattekill man beaten half to death and left on the street

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Plattekill man beaten half to death and left on the street, police said.Officers arrived about 1 a.m. Sunday to Hasbrouck Street and found the 23-year-old man bludgeoned, stabbed and sliced. He had multiple punctures in his torso and a deep gash on the top of his head, police said.He went to the Newburgh campus of St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital where staff discovered his arm and leg were broken. His condition was serious.Three witnesses helped officers track the attackers, police said. A 20-year-old woman told police she watched four of the assailants drive away in a Jeep Cherokee. She followed in another vehicle and called police. When officers stopped a Jeep on Johnes Street, she and a 22-year-old man came and identified suspects.Police arrested the four occupants: 30-year-old Lucio Ramirez, 16-year-old Edgardo Perez and two 15-year-old boys.The 22-year-old witness told officers the four were part of 10 or so who beat the man with a bat and hacked at him with a machete. A third witness said the man had been sitting with him on some steps when the men attacked. That witness said he ran when one of the attackers pointed a gun at him. He heard one shot as he fled but wasn't hit.Police said they found a bloody baseball bat in the Jeep after arresting the four.The suspects face felony gang assault charges — a charge that relates to the number of attackers rather than any affiliation to a street gang.Ramirez and Perez were being held at Orange County Jail; Ramirez in lieu of $25,000 bail and Perez in lieu of $20,000. The two juveniles were released to their parents pending a Sept. 18 appearance in Family Court.


200 alleged Bulldog gang members arrested

Posted On 10:50 0 comments

600 people had been arrested in the month-long sweep. More than 200 of them were alleged Bulldog gang members.Dyer told reporters at a news conference that the Bulldog street gang was attempting to make a comback, but that officers would continue targeting gang members.He said part of the growing gang problem is that parolees are getting out of prison and joining gangs.


Pacific Paper Products and an employee, were taken into custody for allegedly selling illegal weapons to Santa Barbara gang members.

Posted On 10:48 0 comments

Narcotics division of the Santa Barbara Police Department, shut down operations of a paper products business on Tuesday, after finding evidence of employees selling illegal street weapons.According to Lt. Paul McCaffrey, the owner of Pacific Paper Products and an employee, were taken into custody for allegedly selling illegal weapons to Santa Barbara gang members.Police confiscated weapons such as brass knuckles, throwing stars and even a blow gun.Lt. McCaffrey says, there was substantial evidence that these items were being sold for profit to members of local street gangs.


Nelson Boys gang, based on East 116th Street feuded last fall with the Benham Miles Family gang

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Jeffrey Grant faced up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder, improper discharge of a firearm, criminal gang activity and using a gun in a drive-by shooting. He testified against another gang member who was convicted last week. 18-year-old Cleveland man was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison for his role in gang-related shootings that injured four people, including a man in a wheelchair. "I am sorry," Grant said as he stood before Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Janet Burnside. "I made a mistake. I would like another chance to become a better man. I will spend the time to educate myself to be a better man." Grant was a member of the Nelson Boys gang, based on East 116th Street. The gang feuded last fall with the Benham Miles Family gang, from nearby Benham and Miles avenues. The territorial battle erupted Nov. 14 in gunfire after BMF members shot at a Nelson Boy's van, putting two holes in it on Miles Avenue. Grant and Dasean Jenkins, 19, joined the van's owner, AlMichael Woods, 21, in seeking revenge. The Nelson Boys armed themselves with an SKS semi-automatic rifle, TEC-9 semi-automatic pistol and Glock 9-mm semi-automatic pistol and opened fire on a group of men in a field on Miles Avenue, shooting a man in the neck. Then they fired at another group of people near Benham Avenue. A man in a wheelchair unaffiliated with the gangs was shot in the forearm. Cleveland police officers and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents already investigating local gangs responded immediately, interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence that resulted in more than a dozen felony charges against each shooter. Investigators found an assault rifle and the SKS and Tec- 9, but weren't able to find the Glock. Agents learned that the weapons were first purchased in the early 1990s, but couldn't track them further. Assistant County Prosecutor Mahmoud Awadallah lauded the investigators and said the defendants were lucky no one was killed. Jenkins pleaded guilty to the same charges as Grant and is awaiting sentencing. They testified against Woods, who was convicted last week of attempted murder, felonious assault, shooting into a habitation, criminal gang activity, carrying a concealed weapon and using a gun in a drive-by shooting. He will be sentenced Wednesday to 11 to 51 years in prison.trio opened fire on a group of men in a field on Miles Avenue, hitting a man in the neck. Then they shot at another group of men near Benham Avenue. A man in a wheelchair unaffiliated with the gangs was shot in the forearm. Cleveland police officers and ATF agents investigating local gangs responded immediately, interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence that resulted in more than a dozen felony charges against each shooter. Assistant County Prosecutor Mahmoud Awadallah said the defendants were lucky no one was killed. Jenkins pleaded guilty to the same charges as Grant and is awaiting sentencing. He also testified against Woods, who was convicted last week of attempted murder, felonious assaults, discharge into a habitation, criminal gang activity and carrying a concealed weapon. He will be sentenced Sept. 16 to 11 to 51 years in prison.


Saturday, 12 September 2009

North Vancouver Persian Pride gang David Tajali,murdered was once involved in a feud between rival gangs of Iranian origin in B. C.'s Lower Mainland.

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Sources confirmed to the Calgary Herald the man who died was David Tajali, who was once involved in a feud between rival gangs of Iranian origin in B. C.'s Lower Mainland.Two brothers with ties to a gang war in B. C. were caught in a spray of gunfire in southwest Calgary early Sunday, leaving one dead and the other recovering in a city hospital.The second man, now in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, is Tajali's younger brother, Niki, who is a known B. C. gangster.
The elder Tajali was once aligned with the North Vancouver Persian Pride gang and later the United Nations, and the younger brother has some of the same affiliations.
David Tajali was also the victim of an attempted murder in November 2006 when he was shot at his Richmond apartment.But it was the shooting that unfolded around 2:30 a. m. Sunday that took his life, sparking a police investigation that had officers poring over evidence at a crime scene that stretched for several blocks.Residents reported hearing numerous shots fired on 4th Street at 18th Avenue S. W., sending officers flooding into the neighbourhood.When police arrived, they found an injured Tajali in the driver's seat of a black BMW convertible with B. C. plates. He was rushed to hospital by paramedics but died of his injuries, said Duty Insp. Keith Pollock.The driver's side window of the BMW was smashed and what appeared to be two bullet holes marked the door. A piece of clothing lay on the ground next to the car.
Homicide unit Staff Sgt. Doug Andrus said the second victim was not in the vehicle when he was shot.Niki showed up at a local hospital after the shooting, where he remains -- not under police guard--and is co-operating with investigators, Andrus said."The hospital is aware of the investigation," Andrus added.A female passenger inside the BMW was not injured in the shooting. She is also cooperating with police.
Officers cordoned off several blocks of the neighbourhood as part of the investigation.Evidence markers denoting blood droplets and other items wove a pathway along the sidewalk on 4th Street, down the alley between 18th and 19th avenues and into a small parking lot. There, they also marked a pile of shattered auto glass.Forensic investigators dusted for fingerprints along a low wall at the edge of the small lot.Curt Heitmann, who lives in the apartment block overlooking the crime scene, said he was sleeping at the time."I woke up because I heard what sounded like fireworks," he said.The shots, more than 10, he said, came in two sets and were followed by someone on the street yelling, "I'm just trying to help you."
With the bars emptying at the time, many called police to report the gunfire, said Pollock."We're talking to a lot of people right now and trying to sort out what was related(to the shooting)and what wasn't. That could take awhile," he said.
But police are most interested in speaking with two women spotted talking to a lone man behind a building on the east side of the 1800 block of 4th Street S. W. just before the shooting."We believe the lone male will have information in regards to this incident. It's very important we talk to those two women. . . ." said Andrus. "We want to know what they saw, what they heard, who they talked to."
He would not say if the man is a witness or suspect, but said the woman are believed to be strictly bystanders in the crime.Besides talking to witnesses, investigators also canvassed the neighbourhood Sunday to see if there is any surveillance video that may assist them.It is unclear whether Tajali's death is a sign the gang war in B. C. has crossed into Alberta or if he somehow became entangled in the feud between the FOB and the UN-linked FOB Killers.Andrus said investigators have been in touch with B. C. police and Calgary's own gang unit is assisting.Sgt. Shinder Kirk of the B. C. Integrated Gang Task Force said over the past few years many gangs in that province have set up shop in Alberta and Ontario or have developed business relationships with gangs in other cities."We know that individuals well-known in Metro Vancouver organized crime and gang circles have been known to travel to other provinces where they are just as susceptible to violence," he said.Tajali moved to Calgary about a year ago. He had been no stranger to the law in B. C.His involvement in the ongoing gang war there had seen both him and his brother injured by bullets.
Investigators have speculated he was the target of another shooting in January 2007 --just two months after he was shot--that claimed the life of a man who happened to drive a truck of the same make, model and colour as Tajali.Kirk Holifield was driving his Dodge Ram truck near Tajali's residence in Richmond, B. C., when the vehicle was sprayed with bullets and he was hit several times.The father of a baby girl died a few hours later in hospital.At the time, sources said the shooting may have been a case of mistaken identity and police confirmed earlier this year Holifield was an innocent victim. The case remains unsolved.Tajali was busted in a complex dial-a-dope scheme in 2004, but those charges were stayed. Some of his co-accused pleaded guilty in 2006 and one of the gang was sentenced to seven years in jail in November that year--the same day Tajali was shot at his apartment.
A few years earlier, he was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm after he was found swimming in Vancouver's False Creek with a handgun in a fanny pack around his neck. That same night in October 2003, police had responded to reports of shots fired at a nightclub. In his July 20, 2005, ruling acquitting Tajali, Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Raymond Low said it was clear, considering the time of year, that Tajali was "not swimming as a part of recreation."Tajali's younger brother, Niki, was also involved in the ongoing feud. He was injured in a gunfight in a quiet residential neighbourhood around the same time Holifield was killed. Police said that shootout saw more than 150 shots exchanged between at least six gunmen using automatic weapons in a park frequented by families and dog-walkers.


Jose Rodolfo Escajeda, is considered one of the bloodiest hitmen in the crime-ridden state of Chihuahua and a leader of the powerful Juarez Cartel

Posted On 01:16 0 comments

Troops captured the suspected killer of 17 patients at a rehabilitation clinic in northern Mexico, one of the deadliest attacks in President Felipe Calderon's three-year war against drug cartels, local media said on Saturday. The suspect, Jose Rodolfo Escajeda, is considered one of the bloodiest hitmen in the crime-ridden state of Chihuahua and a leader of the powerful Juarez Cartel. He is on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's most-wanted list for marijuana and cocaine smuggling into the United States. About a dozen hooded men burst into a clinic in the violence-plagued industrial city of Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday, lined up patients and killed 17 of them. Turf wars and targeted attacks by drug trafficking gangs have killed more than 13,000 people across Mexico since Calderon took power in late 2006 and launched his drug war, a level of violence that has alarmed Washington and unnerved both tourists and investors.
Drug gangs have targeted rehab centers in the past, accusing them of protecting dealers from rival groups. Escajeda is also believed to be behind the killing earlier this year of two American members of a Mormon community in northern Mexico who were brutally murdered for denouncing cartel kidnappings, Mexico City's Daily Excelsior newspaper reported on its website. Benjamin LeBaron, a breakaway Mormon leader and anti-crime activist, was abducted from his house and killed by around 20 gunmen in revenge for helping track and arrest a group of drug gang members. His brother-in-law was also killed in the July attack. Calderon has deployed thousands of troops and federal police against drug cartels across the country but drug killings are at record levels. Some 10,000 soldiers patrol Ciudad Juarez alone, but crime remains out of control.


Mara 18 and the Mara Salvatrucha.

Posted On 01:09 0 comments

They have exported their gang culture — learned by expatriates returned from undocumented existence in the big cities of the United States — to other countries in Central and South America, re-exporting their influence back to the U.S., moving beyond petty thievery, flashy tattoos and thuggish violence, to drug-trafficking and large-scale extortion.For the last three decades, successive Salvadoran governments have tried to curtail the two Maras. In the 1990s the Salvadoran government instituted a policy that became known as the Mano Duro (Strong Hand), that saw thousands of gang members jailed. But Mano Duro has not stopped the gangs. Corruption at the highest levels of government has allowed many leaders to go free or conduct business from behind bars. Saul Turcios Angel, also known as the "Pitbull," ran a kidnapping and extortion ring as part of Mara Salvatrucha. He escaped from a Salvadoran prison last year and was apprehended in Nicaragua earlier this week. Turcios faces possible extradition to the U.S. to face charges that, while behind bars, he phoned fellow gang members in a Maryland suburb, ordering them to commit murders and other crimes. Earlier this week as well, gang members are suspected of killing the photographer and documentary filmmaker Christian Poveda, who spent years chronicling their activity and evolution. Poveda was shot in the head, killed, say police, by the very gang members he had been filming earlier in the day. Gang related deaths average about 10 a day throughout the country, according to local newspaper accounts, which splash news of the mayhem across their front pages daily.While some gang members say they are virtual prisoners of their poor neighborhoods, unable to leave the slums because of police crackdowns and threats from rival gangs, gang culture continues to spread. It has moved well beyond its original bases in the impoverished suburbs of the capital like Apopa and Soyapango. It has now taken root in San Miguel, the country's second-largest city, and the port of La Union, which they now utilize for trafficking drugs abroad. Nowadays, gangs threaten businesses large and small, demanding kickbacks for not shutting them down. They are even said to force the country's public transportation system to pay millions of dollars annually in protection money. Many observers believe that newly elected Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes will ease the Mano Duro policy and, instead, implement social programs aimed at dissuading the country's youth into joining gangs. But, says Samuel Logan, an expert on Latin American gang culture, "The current administration still has not made an effort to to adopt a less punitive position in dealing with the gangs." Ironically, one of the loudest advocates for rolling back Mano Duro ways Poveda, who photographed the El Salvaor civil war for TIME in the 1980s. Poveda said in a recent interview that El Salvador's political corruption and abject poverty made most gang members "victims of society."


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