Costa del Gangster

Costa del Gangster



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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Friday, 25 November 2011

Eight purported Cape Verde gang members were among those arrested in a sweep by federal immigration officials

Posted On 15:57 0 comments

Eight purported Cape Verde gang members were among those arrested in a sweep by federal immigration officials and local authorities, including one man who tried to escape through a window, a Plymouth County sheriff official said on Wednesday.

Authorities arrested 78 of a possible 80 targets in a sweep of what U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials deemed “criminal aliens,” said John Birtwell, a spokesman for the Plymouth County sheriff.

Federal officials had initially cited 53 arrests, but Birtwell said those included illegal immigrants. The remaining 25, he said, were either arrested on outstanding warrants or had their immigration status put in jeopardy by a past conviction.

Birtwell said authorities arrested 18 in Brockton, including one man who tried to flee through a window only to be met by a K-9 officer.

“The dog convinced him otherwise,” Birtwell said.

Of the 78 arrested, 44 were detained at the Plymouth County facility, the primary ICE detention center in the Northeast, Birtwell said.

All of those arrested are being held pending immigration removal proceedings, federal officials said on Tuesday.

Plymouth County sheriffs and Brockton police both assisted in the sweep.

21-year-old local man gunned down as he walked down a North Long Beach Street may be the victim of gang violence

Posted On 15:07 0 comments

21-year-old local man gunned down as he walked down a North Long Beach Street may be the victim of gang violence, police said Thursday.

Police were called to the 5600 block of Elm Avenue after shots were heard at about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday and found the body of the victim laying on the sidewalk, said Nancy Pratt, a Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman.

He was identified as Wilson Edwards of Long Beach, she said.

The preliminary investigation revealed Edwards was walking down the street when the shots were fired.

The victim was hit by a round in the upper body and he was pronounced dead at the scene by Long Beach Fire Department paramedics, Pratt said.

"There is no suspect information available at this time and a motive for the shooting is unknown," Pratt said, "however, it is being investigated as possibly gang-related."

“Asian Boyz” street gang.1,400 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of $3 million were seized

Posted On 15:06 0 comments

1,400 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of $3 million were seized from a home in Rosemead Wednesday, according to police.

The marijuana was discovered when deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department entered the home of 18-year-old Fernando Lam, who was suspect in an October 18 assault with a deadly weapon.

During that incident, nine male Chinese-American suspects assaulted three victims using what the victims described as a machete, police said. One adult and two juvenile victims suffered lacerations but none of the injuries were life threatening. The suspects were alleged members of the “Asian Boyz” street gang.

Wednesday morning, police served search warrants at the homes of four of the suspects. When deputies entered Lam's home, located in the 9300 block of Pitkin Street, they discovered an indoor marijuana grow, police said.

During the search, numerous Ecstasy pills and methamphetamine were discovered, police said.

Lam's brother, Antonio, 21, was arrested for suspicion of possession of the Ecstasy. Lam's 20-year-old sister Karina Lam was arrested for suspicion of possession of Ecstasy and methamphetamine. All three suspects were booked at the sheriff's Temple Station.

Three juvenile suspects were also arrested.

A warrant was also served for the arrest of Leon Quoc Phang, 18, in connection with the assault, but he could not be found.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

11 people have been arrested following a series of searches as part of an investigation into organised criminality and drug trafficking

Posted On 11:30 0 comments

11 people have been arrested following a series of searches as part of an investigation into organised criminality and drug trafficking in Dublin's north inner city.

18 residential and two business premises, along with cars and prison cells in Mountjoy Prison have been searched.

Eight men and three women, ranging in ages from 20s to 50s, have been arrested so far.

This operation, which is being led by gardaí in Store Street, began early this morning.

A quantity of ammunition, drugs, cash, drug distribution paraphernalia, documents, mobile phones, computers and documents associated with financial transactions were all seized.

33-year-old Williamson was affiliated with the Marina Village Bloods gang in Bridgeport and sold cocaine during the course of their investigation

Posted On 10:23 0 comments

Jonathan Williamson, also known as "Rue," was arrested during a joint law enforcement investigation of traffickers who operated out of Bridgeport, Springfield, Mass., and Puerto Rico.

Federal prosecutors say Williamson was also sentenced Wednesday in New Haven to four years of supervised release after serving his prison sentence.

Authorities said the 33-year-old Williamson was affiliated with the Marina Village Bloods gang in Bridgeport and sold cocaine during the course of their investigation. He pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Mara Salvatrucha closely translates to “watch out for boys from El Salvador.”

Posted On 11:47 0 comments

Mara Salvatrucha closely translates to “watch out for boys from El Salvador.” MS-13 originated in Los Angeles in early 1980s by youths from El Salvador who banded together in order to protect themselves from other gangs.

-Many from gang members who come from El Salvador also have military experience. The gang which is known for extreme violence and merciless revenge has become a serious problem in Plainfield.

-MS-13 identifies with the colors blue and white, tattoos and hand signs resembling devil horns, and tattoos that become abundant on the neck and near the face.

Bloods are the largest criminal street gang in New Jersey

Posted On 11:46 0 comments

Sworn enemies of the Crips, the Bloods are the largest criminal street gang in New Jersey and are prevalent throughout Union County, especially in Elizabeth, Linden and Plainfield.

-The Bloods began in Los Angeles and emerged on the east coast in 1993 through inmate connections on Rikers Island.

-Red is the gang’s signature color, but they are also known to wear pink, green, and brown.

-Sullivan noted that each gang has a structure and a hierarchy. The Bloods are organized into individual subgroups called sets. The Bloods often use military rankings such as soldier, Lieutenant, and Five Star General to identify themselves.

-Identifiers include graffiti, clothing (such as red laces or red stitching in denim), tattoos (notably pit bulls, red hearts, “money over bitches” or MOB), hand signs, and language.

-All gangs have their own dialect that translates to their graffiti. This graffiti can often be found on sides of houses, warehouses, railroad overpasses, bridges, and sides of buildings. Like other gangs, the Bloods utilize graffiti to mark their territory; to signify which gangs “own” what neighborhood.

The Crips are outnumbered in New Jersey by the Bloods

Posted On 11:45 0 comments

The Crips are outnumbered in New Jersey by the Bloods, but are rapidly growing, especially in Elizabeth and Roselle. The gang originated in Los Angeles in the late 1960s. There primary colors are blue and purple. The Crips are also known for violent crimes within the gang itself

-The Crips are also organized by sets. The rank structure from bottom to top is as follows: LOC (foot soldier), B.G. (baby gangsta), Y.G. (young gangsta), G (gangsta now you’ve arrived), DEUCE G (second gangsta), FIRST G (first gangsta), 6-3 (Baby O.G.), 6-4 (O.G.), 00 (Double OG), 000 (Top Rank)

-Sullivan continued to stress that members of the community, especially parents and teachers listen to the language kids use, including the use of the rankings listed above. Crips will often use the signifier “C Up, B down” meaning Crips up, Bloods down (Bloods will use the reverse). This is present in graffiti as well.

-Identifiers include tattoos, clothing, and even grotesque burn marks in the shape of a C as displayed in a photo of a New Jersey prisoner presented during Sullivan’s presentation.

“If you hear this language being spoken, it can’t mean anything else,” Sullivan stated. “If you see a kid and he has a blue doo-rag, and a blue jersey and he’s throwing up hand signs that look like c’s and he’s talking about killing slobs, what do you think that means? It really can’t mean anything else,” he said.

The Latin Kings started in Chicago and came to the east coast via the NY state prison system and are active throughout New Jersey

Posted On 11:44 0 comments

-The Latin Kings started in Chicago and came to the east coast via the NY state prison system and are active throughout New Jersey with large populations in Elizabeth and Plainfield.

-Sullivan, who spent months wiretapping the gang and communicating with informants stated that “these guys are everywhere.” Sullivan warns that in order to strike fear and intimidation in their neighborhoods, gang members will often try to portray themselves as a religious or community organization that will strive to protect citizens when the police cannot.

-The structure of the Latin Kings is incredibly elaborate. Members are organized by chapter or “tribes” and adhere to a regional, state, and a national system. Officers are supported by a crown council of seven members which set rules and regulations and holds disciplinary hearings. The hierarchy leads to a Supreme Inca ruler based in Chicago.

-New recruits have to go through a long initiation process. Recruits must study Latin King History and are given “lessons” on the gangs manifesto by current members and are even given a CD Rom copy of the Latin King constitution.

-Identifiers include hand signs in the shape of the crown, yellow and black colors, crown tattoos. Latin King members will often greet each other with the phrase “amore de rey” (love of kings) and refer to each other as “mani” or “manito” meaning brother or little brother.

MS-13 member She's a one-woman crime spree.

Posted On 06:21 0 comments

She's a one-woman crime spree. Fairfax County Police say 26 year old Stephanie Schwab robbed another bank: The B B and T at 8432 Old Keene Mill today, November 22, at 12:55. Prince William County Police say she also robbed the Virginia Commerce Bank on Balls Ford Road in Manassas on Friday morning, and committed an armed carjacking Saturday afternoon.

In both bank robberies, police say Schwab implied she had a handgun or weapon.

Police say Stephanie Lynn Schwab is from Manassas but has no fixed address. She has long blond hair, green eyes and a tattoo on her neck. In Tuesday's robbery, the suspect wore a plaid coat, dark pants and boots.

In the Manassas bank robbery, surveillance pictures show her wearing a dark hoodie. The next day, on Saturday afternoon in the parking lot of the Niemen Marcus at Tyson's Corner II, police say Schwab pretended to be out of gas, and convinced a 59 year old woman to give her a ride.

As the woman drove down the road, police say Schwab pulled out a knife and told the woman to get out. Schwab drove off in the woman's 2003 silver Acura with Virginia tags XEK 8095.

Schwab's name, age and hometown match that of a former member of the violent gang MS-13. She testified against four gang members charged with the 2003 murder of Brenda Paz. Schwab, who was then 19, said she joined the gang after running away from her Manassas home at 12. She gave birth to a child fathered by an MS-13 member at 15. Schwab told the court she loved being in a gang because it was her family. She told prosecutors she decided to leave the gang in 2004.

Four men have been arrested in the gang-related shooting deaths of two men earlier this year in Earlimart

Posted On 06:18 0 comments

Four men have been arrested in the gang-related shooting deaths of two men earlier this year in Earlimart, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department said.

The suspects face murder charges in shooting of Ignacio Gonzalez and Victor Almaguer in the 500 block of East Washington Avenue on Jan. 14.

Angel Gutierrez, 20, was arrested Wednesday. Julio Macias, 18, Anthony Alcaraz, 18, and Juan Perez, 19, were taken into custody Monday.

Sheriff's are also looking for Antonio Valdez, 23, in connection with the murder.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Devastating report into the failures of police and care agencies to protect teenage girls who have been groomed, raped and sold by male gangs, most of whom are Asian.

Posted On 13:53 0 comments

The mother of one teenager from Leeds, who attempted suicide after a gang rape, said her daughter was the victim of a 'broken system.'

'Everyone failed her,' she told The Times. 'There was no sharing of information. 

'They (police) had the names and knew where they (abusers) worked yet the men who did this have never once been arrested or spoken to by the police.'

West Yorkshire Police vowed to look again at the case to see if 'there is evidence that can help bring evil men to book'.

Growing worry: CCTV footage shows now jailed gang members Mohammed Romaan Liaqat and Abid Mohammed Saddique meeting girls as they cruise the streets of Derby in a BMW

Growing worry: CCTV footage shows now jailed gang members Mohammed Romaan Liaqat and Abid Mohammed Saddique meeting girls as they cruise the streets of Derby in a BMW

Jailed: Saddique, left, and Liaqat, right, were leaders of the paedophile ring in Derby and committed a catalogue of offences against vulnerable young girls
Jailed: Saddique, left, and Liaqat, right, were leaders of the paedophile ring in Derby and committed a catalogue of offences against vulnerable young girls

Jailed: Saddique, left, and Liaqat, right, were leaders of the paedophile ring in Derby and committed a catalogue of offences against vulnerable young girls

Children's charity Barnardos has been calling on the Government to take action on child exploitation since January with its Cut Them Free campaign.




Other caregivers have also suggested that political sensitivities are to blame for a near paralysis of the systems designed to keep children safe.


A silhouette of a teenage girl on white background with a mobile phone

Like most little girls, Josie lived for horses. She had an exemplary school record with 100 per cent attendance rate.

But at 13, the teen from Keighley, West Yorkshire, was given a laptop and quickly became addicted to Facebook.

Her father was then warned his daughter was spending a lot of time with older Asian men.

One even told the father he would 'slit his throat' when he answered the phone to him.

From there it got worse. Josie started disappearing overnight and began drinking. 

Yet, when her father locked his daughter in her room to protect her, it was he who got into trouble with the police for false imprisonment.

He told The Times he has since collected every scrap of evidence to prove his daughter is being sexually exploited by gangs.

'The police kept saying that they're waiting until Josie realises it's wrong,' he said.

'Is that really the best they can do?


Rear view of a woman silhouetted against window light.

When the father of 14-year-old Charlotte looked at his daughter's Facebook profile, he discovered 'loads of male, Asian friends.'

Concerned, he started to restrict his daughter's activities. The teen from Keighley, West Yorkshire, then went to live with her mother.

He tracked down all the names and addresses of her friends he believed were involved and passed them on to police.

Meanwhile her school was reporting Charlotte had begun arriving looking 'dirty and extremely thin'. 

She was going missing for days at a time, according to agency notes.

By October last year she 'admitted she has slept with different Asian males.'

The police told Charlotte's father they hoped to take action against the men.

That was 17 months ago and he is still waiting.

'There's no will to deal with this issue in Keighley' he said.

'What chance have these kids got if that's the attitude of the police?'

There is a culture 'which assumes that once a girl gets to 14 she's beyond hope of intervention - it's too late,' a source told The Times.

Police and care agencies often say that they cannot take action against suspects without the victim's co-operation. 

However, a 2008 protocol established by the force and West Yorkshire's five local authorities states: 'Adults involved in child sexual exploitation... should be treated as child sex abusers and subjected to the full rigour of the criminal law.'


A pregnant woman silhouetted against a set of blinds.

Nicola is the only case in six who was groomed by a gang of white men. 

The abuse began when she was 12 after a visit to Leeds from her family home in Bradford.

Nicola had thought they were 'really nice people' but by 13 she was doing drugs - 'everything but heroin'.

She was raped twice. The first time she was 'drugged up to the eyeballs' and remembers being dragged into a bedroom and gang raped.

Afterwards her mother took Nicola to the police station, only to be told that 'we don't deal with that here'.

In desperation Nicola's mother took her daughter to New Zealand and away from the gang.

She let her return four months later. 

Nicola did return to her old haunts but discovered it wasn't really what she wanted.

'I used to think it was so exciting,' she told The Times. 'But after New Zealand, it was like seeing them with another pair of eyes.'

She hasn't been back since.

Children's minister, Tim Loughton, suggested two weeks ago that the plan will call on councils to act with a 'much greater urgency' to identify victims of sexual exploitation while taking 'robust action against those who commit these appalling crimes.'

As well as the gang rape case of the girl in Leeds, five new cases have been highlighted by The Times' investigation.

No one has been prosecuted for sex exploitation in any of them. Only one of the girls in the six cases had been in care. 

One was groomed by white students, but in all the other cases, the perpetrators were Asian, mostly of Pakistani origin.

This pattern of abuse at the hands of male Asian gangs in the West Yorkshire area has been highlighted before, but never formally acknowledged.  

In January the Asian ringleaders of a gang in Derby, who brought a ‘reign of terror’ to a city’s streets, targeting and grooming young girls for horrific sexual abuse, were jailed.

Abid Saddique and Mohammed Liaqat were told they would serve a minimum of 11 years and eight years respectively before they could be considered for release.

A DfE spokesman refused to reveal the contents of the National Action Plan but said: 'We are publishing an action plan this week and that will draw on work around the country to prevent sexual exploitation, identify those at risk and support victims.

'It will address the challenge of securing prosecutions and the need for robust action against perpetrators.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Man beaten unconscious by gang in Riverside

Posted On 15:02 0 comments


A 23-year-old Buffalo man was hospitalized in critical condition after he was beaten by a gang early Sunday in a Riverside neighborhood, Buffalo police reported. Roderick J. Geiger, of Leroy Avenue, was found unconscious at the scene on South Lane shortly before 2:30 a. m., Northwest District officers reported. Geiger, who suffered serious head injuries, had been stabilized by Sunday night in Erie County Medical Center. According to police reports, nine men were involved in the assault and were seen leaving the area in a car. Geiger was found to be carrying a BB gun and a small amount of marijuana, police said. Six years ago, Geiger was stabbed during a brawl across from Riverside Park in which a 16-year-old youth was killed.

Dispatcher: Is this about the shooting?

Posted On 10:43 0 comments

Dispatcher: 911. Do you need fire or medical?

Victim's girlfriend: Yeah, can I get an ambulance?

Dispatcher: Is this about the shooting?

Victim's girlfriend: Somebody shot my boyfriend!

Transcripts of a 911 call between an emergency dispatcher and Alaijo Shaune Johnson's girlfriend recall the night 17-year-old Johnson was murdered in northeast Portland.

Portland police cold case investigators said it was Aug. 31, 1996 about 11:30 p.m.

Johnson and his girlfriend were talking while they sat on the porch of a home in the 3900 block of northeast Garfield Street.

As they were talking, police say a subject approached Johnson and his girlfriend from behind.

"They're sitting on the porch, they hear a noise in the bushes," said retired homicide detective Terry Wagner. "And he gets shot multiple times. She runs to try and hide to get away."

Witnesses told police that a group of people had been sitting on the porch of a vacant duplex directly across the street from the shooting scene. Those witnesses scattered after the shooting and investigators were unable to locate anyone who admitted they had been at the location and saw the shooting.

Police said a neighbor also reported seeing a black male with a light complexion, age 14 or 15, wearing dark clothing get on a black bicycle and leave the area.

"My son was a good boy," said J'Nevelyn Jackson, Johnson's mother. "I think about my son every day. It had a great effect not just on me, but several members of my nieces, my nephews, my Mom."

J'Nevelyn Jackson said at the time of her son was about to start his senior year at Jefferson High School at the time of his death. He volunteered with at-risk kids, played drums for his church and was extremely close to his family.

Police said Johnson had no criminal record and was not affiliated with a gang. But detectives said there were a number of gang-related shootings that summer and the killer may have been a gang member.

"I would say that every shot that was fired, hit the intended target," Wagner said. "Whether they knew him or because there are gang initiation things where they just had to find somebody."

long-time and self-admitted member of the Bloods gang in Plainfield was found guilty of first degree robbery and second degree aggravated assault

Posted On 10:41 0 comments

long-time and self-admitted member of the Bloods gang in Plainfield was found guilty of first degree robbery and second degree aggravated assault by a jury in Superior Court in Union County, Thursday, the Union County Prosecutor's Office said.

Garret Mattox, 46, was accused of assaulting and robbing a victim outside of the Richmond Beer Garden in Plainfield on January 13, 2010, prosecutors said.

Two hours after the incident, Plainfield officer Lawanna Burks arrested Mattox, who fit the circulating description of the suspect and had blood on his boots.

Mattox faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced next year.

Police arrested three gang members for allegedly carrying out an armed robbery of a Route 1 gas station.

Posted On 10:38 0 comments

Kyle J. White, 19, of Newark; Clyde J. Cox, 21, of New Brunswick; and Daquan C. Wallace, 20, of East Strousberg, Penn., were all charged with robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, and possession of a defaced firearm.

At 3:30 a.m. Friday morning, the suspects pulled into the Valero gas station, located at 3817 Route 1. The suspects allegedly pulled their Nissan Murano up to a gas pump, before asking the pump attendant to fill it up.

As the attendant began pumping gas into the car, a passenger in the back seat of the vehicle pulled out a handgun and told the attendant to look away, according to police. Two suspects then donned masks and exited the vehicle, before entering a booth where a second attendant was working.

The attendant in the booth turned over money to the suspects from a cash register after they held him at gunpoint, according to police.

South Brunswick Police responded to the scene of the robbey and sent out a description of the vehicle and license plate number to other area police departments.

At about 4 a.m. North Brunswick Police Officer Dimitrious Katsoulis located the suspect vehicle on Route 27 and conducted a motor vehicle stop.

In the vehicle, police found a handgun, ski masks, and the cash taken from the robbery. According to police, the suspects changed the license plates that were on the vehicle when the robbery took place.

All three suspects are being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in lieu of $100,000 bail each.

The three suspects were also identified as known gang members, according to police. Both Wallace and Cox were currently out on bail awaiting trial on a separate gas station robbery case, police said.

Authorities are conducting an investigation to ascertain if the group is responsible for other similar robberies in the area.

POLICE are investigating whether a gang was behind a bloody attack with baseball bats and metal poles that left six men in hospital.

Posted On 10:22 0 comments

It is believed the victims were leaving the Alibaba Karaoke bar, in Railway Pde, Glen Waverley, about 3am yesterday when they were approached by up to 10 armed men, their faces covered.

Acting Sergeant Alex Goodman said a brawl erupted in front of patrons and security staff.

Six men were taken to hospital with head injuries, ranging from minor to serious.

A Scoresby man, 23, was treated for cuts to the head at The Alfred hospital; a Wheelers Hill man, 26, was taken to the Dandenong Hospital with an elbow injury. An Endeavour Hills man, 26, a Glen Waverley man, 19, a Wheelers Hill man, 18, and a Scoresby man, 20, were taken to the Monash Medical Centre.

Sgt Goodman said several witnesses had been spoken to and police were reviewing CCTV footage.

Friday, 18 November 2011

20-year-old alleged member of a Western Addition gang in San Francisco has been sentenced in federal court

Posted On 14:21 0 comments

20-year-old alleged member of a Western Addition gang in San Francisco has been sentenced in federal court to nine years in prison for being a felon in possession of ammunition during a gunfire exchange in the city last year.

Gregory Walker, an alleged member of the Central Divis Playas gang, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti on Monday.

He was found guilty by a jury in Conti's court in June of one count of being a felon in possession of five rounds of ammunition on June 3, 2010.

Walker was a felon at the time of the shooting incident because he was convicted in San Francisco Superior Court three weeks earlier of carrying a concealed weapon in 2009, and was placed on probation.

The shooting took place in front of the Laurel Gardens apartment complex at Turk and Steiner streets in the early evening of June 3, 2010.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said evidence at Walker's trial showed that surveillance cameras recorded him shooting across Turk Street, which was crowded during rush hour, at an unidentified person who was also shooting.

The incident closed down a section of Turk Street for several hours, Haag said.

No one was hurt in the gunfire, according to defense attorney George Boisseau. Five shell casings cited in Walker's trial were found on sidewalks in front of and inside the Laurel Gardens complex, Boisseau said in a sentencing brief.

Boisseau, who asked for a sentence of one year and nine months, argued in the brief that Walker fired in self-defense at several unknown assailants.

Boisseau also said in the brief there was no evidence at the trial of Walker's alleged gang membership and that he was never proved to be a gang member.

Prosecutors, who sought the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, argued in their brief that Walker was attempting to kill the person firing at him and that his action was "incredibly dangerous" because Walker "was shooting indiscriminately across a street when it was crowded with cars and pedestrians."

They alleged Walker's membership in the gang was shown by tattoos and a statement to an Alameda County sheriff's deputy when he was jailed after being arrested in Oakland in Sept. 6, 2010. That arrest followed an incident in which Walker and his girlfriend were shot several times.

known Norteño gang member, was targeting members of the Sureños gang when he opened fire

Posted On 14:19 0 comments

21-year-old man suspected of shooting at two rival gang members and allegedly attempting to shoot a third in Half Moon Bay's Arleta Park neighborhood in August pleaded not guilty to all charges during his arraignment in San Mateo County Superior Court on Tuesday.

According to county District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, DeLeon faces three counts of attempted murder with a criminal street gang enhancement, three counts of felony assault with a firearm, and possession of marijuana for sale in connection with the incident that took place on Aug. 14.

DeLeon, a Half Moon Bay resident and known Norteño gang member, was targeting members of the Sureños gang when he opened fire, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

One man was shot in the chest and the hand, and another was shot in the foot. Both survived. A third was determined to be close enough to the other two victims, which relegated his location to be within the shooting zone, according to Wagstaffe.

While one victim was uncooperative with the Sheriff's Office, another referred to the shooting suspect as "Spooky," the nickname identified by authorities as DeLeon's street name.

DeLeon waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing and was subsequently scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 31 in county court.

The suspect is currently in custody on no bail status.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Hells Angel rearrested on murder indictment

Posted On 15:48 0 comments


This is the latest development for the Gilroy Hells Angel since he was booked Sept. 24 into the Washoe County Sheriff's Office in Nevada on three felony counts, which included assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a stolen firearm. Villagrana's offenses also included charges of carrying a concealed weapon and aiming a firearm at another person. Both of these charges are gross misdemeanors. Police say Villagrana was videotaped shooting into the crowd during the disruption between rival motorcycle gangs - the Hells Angels and the Vagos - on Sept. 23 inside John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks that left San Jose Hells Angel chapter president Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew dead. On Oct. 3, Villagrana's original $500,000 cash-only bail was reduced to a $150,000 bondable bail, according to Washoe County Sheriff's Deputy Armando Avina. Shortly after, Villagrana posted the reduced bail and walked free from county jail at 8:56 p.m. Oct. 3, Avina said. On Monday, San Jose resident Ernesto Gonzalez, 52, - who belongs to rival motorcycle gang Vagos - was extradited from San Francisco to Reno and booked on charges of murder related to Pettigrew's death, according to a Sparks Police Department press release. "Due to the high profile nature of the incident at the Nugget and the security risks involved in moving Mr. Gonzalez, our agency worked in conjunction with the San Francisco Police Department Fugitive Unit and the Washoe County Sheriff's Office to transport Mr. Gonzalez while minimizing the risks to everyone involved," said Sparks police Detective Rocky Triplett in the release. Triplett told the Associated Press that Villagrana was charged with murder because he can be seen on casino security video drawing a gun and shooting at others. Calls placed to Triplett and the San Jose Police Department were not returned as of press time.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, 53, arrived at Washoe County jail for proceedings related to the Sept. 23 shooting of Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew of the Hells Angels inside a hotel-casino

Posted On 05:48 1 comments


Vagos motorcycle gang member arrested in the slaying of a rival at a Sparks casino was transferred Monday to Reno from California to await a court appearance on a murder charge, authorities said. Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, 53, arrived at Washoe County jail for proceedings related to the Sept. 23 shooting of Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew of the Hells Angels inside a hotel-casino, Sparks police said. Pettigrew was president of the Hells Angels chapter in San Jose, Calif. The extradition of Gonzalez came after Hells Angels member Cesar Villagrana, 36, was rearrested Thursday in San Jose on an indictment charging him with murder in the case, Sparks police Detective Rocky Triplett said. Gonzalez's lawyer, David Chesnoff, wasn't immediately available for comment. Gonzalez was arrested Sept. 30 in San Francisco. Villagrana, of Gilroy, Calif., was with Pettigrew when he was shot. Two Vagos members were wounded in the casino shootout, and another was shot in the stomach the next morning by a gunman in a passing car. Triplett said Villagrana was charged with murder because he can be seen on casino security video drawing a gun and shooting at others. Villagrana was arrested the night of the shooting with a 9mm Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun that had been reported stolen in Arizona in 1998, police said. He was previously freed on $150,000 bail after being charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon illegally and discharging a firearm in a structure. Villagrana has not entered a plea on any of the charges. Richard Schonfeld, defense co-counsel, told Sparks Justice Court Judge Susan Deriso during a court appearance that Villagrana came from a stable family and had no prior felony convictions.

Four-year sentence for fatal Maple Ridge stabbing

Posted On 05:43 0 comments


A drunken argument between two men on their way to an after-hours bash at a Hells Angels clubhouse led to the fatal stabbing of one and a four-year sentence for the other. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ronald McKinnon handed Coquitlam's Andrew Leach the jail term Monday after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing James William Ball on Sept. 25, 2009. Leach has already been in jail for more than two years, so McKinnon credited him with double-time and said the sentence equalled an eight-year term. McKinnon addressed Ball's family in the New Westminster courtroom before pronouncing the sentence. "I can only express the court's sympathy for their very grave loss. Nothing done today is going to lessen their burden or make things easier. I read the very poignant victim impact statements which underscore the loss and pain this offence has occasioned to these innocent victims," McKinnon said. "I doubt that I am the first person to observe that this death was completely avoidable which makes it all the more tragic." Crown prosecutor Andrew Blunt read an agreed statement of facts and played a grainy, dark video of the fatal stabbing behind a Safeway on Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge. Leach, Ball and a third man had been drinking at Club Climax in Maple Ridge until it closed at 2 a.m. They all decided to head to a nearby HA clubhouse for an after-hours party in a truck driven by the third man, Blunt explained. During the ride, Ball, 43, and Leach, now 28, began to argue. The driver pulled over behind the Safeway to relieve himself, as the conflict between the two men escalated and they got out of the truck. The Safeway video shows Leach repeatedly stabbing Ball, who is left slumped over a railing on the loading dock. The driver panicked and took off, though later returned for Leach, Blunt said. Ball was not discovered for more than three hours and later died from massive blood loss. McKinnon noted that the injuries to his neck, chest and abdomen wouldn't have been fatal if Ball had received help right away. "It seems apparent that immediate aid for Mr. Ball following his stab wounds would have saved his life," McKinnon said. Instead, Leach was dropped at his Coquitlam condo and learned the next day that Ball had died. The friend present at the crime scene ended up cooperating with police and wore a wire when he later met with Leach to get details of the stabbing. During the recorded meeting, Leach said "because he used a small knife, the wounds should not have been fatal." He explained that he had got rid of the murder weapon and burned his clothes. Leach was originally charged with second-degree murder. He pleaded guilty two months ago to manslaughter. The young father had no criminal history until the stabbing, McKinnon noted. "While one can evoke alcohol as a contributing factor, it does not excuse the crime nor does anyone suggest that it should," the judge said. "Perhaps it stands as a wake-up call to those whose consumption of alcohol tends to deprive them of reason and sense." He said he didn't know what the argument was about, "but it had to be something quite frivolous but made into a big deal because of alcohol consumption."

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Police wrest control of Rio's largest slum

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Crack police forces were Sunday in full control of Rio's largest favela after launching a dawn assault to eject narco-traffickers who had been ruling the area for 30 years. "I have the pleasure to inform you that Rocinha and Vidigal (a neighbouring favela) are under our control. There were no incidents and no shots were fired. We don't have any information on arrests or weapons seized," Alberto Pinheiro Neto, chief of the military police, told a news conference. "The communities have been our control since (1900 AEDT) and we are withdrawing our armour and, in 45 minutes, we will reopen the streets," which had been closed since 0400 GMT ahead of the operation. Advertisement: Story continues below Built on a steep hillside overlooking the city and located between two wealthy neighbourhoods, Rocinha is home to 120,000 people. The long-anticipated operation in a city that has one of the highest murder rates in the country is part of an official campaign since 2008 to restore security in Rio before the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which Brazil will host. Backed by navy armour and commandos and with two helicopters flying low overhead, hundreds of special forces police and 200 navy commandos punched their way into Rocinha and Vidigal at dawn. "The arrival of the UPP (a police unit set up to pacify the favelas) will be positive for the new generations to put an end to narco-trafficking. I want my sons to stay away from trafficking," said 51-year-old Carlos Alberto, who was one of the few Rocinha residents willing to speak to the press. But not everyone supported the police operation. A few women were seen crying. All access to the two favelas has been blocked since 2.30am (1102 AEDT). Earlier three vehicles blocked one of the avenues in the upper part of Rocinha. Dozens of policemen in the perimeter asked journalists present in the area to remain behind as they fanned out in the narrow alleys. Streets were deserted, with only a few residents watching from their windows as the troops made their advance. "We hope the pacification will not be just about ejecting the drug traffickers but also to bring sanitation, education, health," said community leader Raimundo Benicio de Souda, 4known as Lima. "There are people living (here) among cockroaches, urinating and defecating in a can," Lima told AFP, adding that for this reason "the pacification must have these people as a priority". William de Oliveira, president of the Favelas People's Movement, wearing a shirt with the inscription "I love Rocinha, said: "We want the people to be treated with dignity, respect, that those who have been involved in crimes be jailed but not assassinated" by police." Authorities estimate that about 200 criminals remained inside Rocinha following last week's capture of local drug kingpin Antonio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, also known as Nem. Nem was caught hidden in the trunk of a car, along with several accomplices and a few corrupt policemen who were protecting them. Nem was a model employee of a telecom company who "stumbled" into organised crime after getting a loan from a former Rocinha drug baron to pay for medical care for one of his daughters. To pay back his debts, he reportedly began dealing drugs and later took over as chief of the gang which controls Rocinha. The capture of Rocinha, the 19th favela to be pacified by police, recalled the huge operation launched by joint police and military forces to seize control of Rio's Alemao favela, home to 400,000 people in November 2010. Alemao was retaken after three days of clashes that left 37 people dead. Since Friday, heavily armed police had been besieging Rocinha, checking all cars going or leaving the area. Endemic and chronic urban violence has long tarnished the image of Rio, where more than 1.5 million people live in 1,000 slums spread throughout the city.

Gang member gets 21 years in prison

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Gang banger was sentenced Wednesday in Norfolk federal court to 21 years in prison for participating in a pattern of racketeering activity, including a home invasion and conspiring to distribute controlled substances, and possession of a firearm in a crime of violence. According to court documents, in the summer of 2006, Darren Antoine Pollard, 35, and other members of the Bounty Hunter Bloods/Nine Tech Gangsters executed a home invasion in Portsmouth. Pollard was familiar with some of the individuals who lived at the home, because he worked with them in the past. Pollard and other gang members had attended a party at the home the night of the home invasion, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Wild gang fight in US emergency room

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A WILD gang fight involving at least a dozen thugs in a Bronx hospital emergency room ended in bloodshed when one gang member pulled a gun and began firing - wounding two hospital employees, police sources told the New York Post. Bullets ricocheted in the packed ER waiting room - with many children nearby - at Bronx Lebanon Hospital about 7:00pm local time. A 42-year-old security guard took a bullet in the groin and a 37-year-old male nurse was hit in the shoulder. "I heard the shots, three of them, pop, pop, pop," said nurse's aide Joi Cummings. "It was just chaos, total chaos. Everyone was running. I saw a security guard on the stretcher. "It's so sad. You go to a hospital to get help, you don't think you're going to get shot." The incident stemmed from a long-standing beef between members of the Riverpark Towers Crew (RPT) and their Burnside Money Getters rivals, police sources said. Related Coverage Two wounded in emergency room shooting Herald Sun, 2 days ago UK looks to US after riots Foundation, 10 days ago Judge 'to be in a coma for days' The Daily Telegraph, 1 Sep 2011 Authorities 'in denial' on gangs Herald Sun, 22 Aug 2011 Casualty a gang battleground Herald Sun, 20 Aug 2011 A member of RPT was being treated for a gash below his eye from a fight earlier in the day when he was alerted that guys from both gangs were in the waiting room, sources said. Police were questioning several people last night, but the shooter had escaped, sources said. No one had been charged by early today and the gun was not recovered. A hospital spokesman said employees "were able to stop the situation from progressing" because of their quick intervention.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

New Orleans homicide rate is 10 times the national average. But gangs and drugs don't explain it.

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New Orleans

At half-past midnight, as Halloween stretched into All Saints Day, a thick crowd of revelers was milling around the corner of Bourbon and St. Louis streets in New Orleans' famed French Quarter when a series of gun shots erupted. On security footage later released by police, the crowd scattered as suddenly as a school of bait fish at the approach of a barracuda.

But for eight in the crowd it wasn't quick enough. Seven were wounded and one, 25-year-old Albert Glover, the target of the attacker, died on the scene.

Just over an hour later and six blocks away, gunfire rang out again. This time Joshua Lewis, 19, and three other teenagers were cut down in a fusillade of 32 bullets fired by a single assailant following a brief altercation. Lewis later died at a local hospital. In all 16 people were shot in New Orleans on Halloween night, a butcher's bill that shook even the jaded citizens of America's deadliest city.

The violence left New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas strapped to the hot seat. Appointed by Mayor Mitch Landrieu in May of 2010, Mr. Serpas—the former police chief of Nashville, Tenn.—came into office vowing to stem a tide of violent crime and reform what he called "one of the most dysfunctional police departments in American history." In Mr. Serpas's first 18 months more than 60 officers have been fired or have resigned under investigation, including members of the department's top brass. Overall, nearly 200 officers have left for a variety of reasons.

Over the same period, the city's murder rate has risen. As of this week, 164 homicides have been committed in New Orleans in 2011, on pace to eclipse last year's total of 172. To put that number in perspective, New York City, with more than 20 times the population of New Orleans, had 536 murders last year. If New York had New Orleans's homicide rate, more than 4,000 people would have been murdered there last year, about 11 every day.

In response to public outcry over the bloodshed, Mr. Serpas has offered a plethora of reform ideas. His public statements are peppered with references to his 65-point plan to remake the department, the adoption of crime-interdiction strategies such as Project Safe Neighborhoods, and enhanced community policing efforts to help repair the police department's tattered image.

Associated Press

The French Quarter in New Orleans

With his outlines, flow charts and ready recitation of reams of statistics, Mr. Serpas sounds every inch the embodiment of a modern police commander. Early in his tenure such proficiency was a welcome change from the questionable competence of his predecessors. But as the murders have persisted and department morale has sagged, his penchant for data-speak has worn thin on the citizenry.

To be fair, from the outset Mr. Serpas has been somewhat circumspect about his department's ability to reduce homicides. When pressed he is apt to say things like there is no "silver bullet" and he comes close at times to suggesting that the murder epidemic is beyond his power to stem—a point which, whatever its accuracy, does not instill confidence in a traumatized populace.

At a city council hearing following the Halloween shootings, Mr. Serpas was pressed to identify the source of the murder problem. Were more police the solution? Not really, he responded. He's brought in nationally recognized researchers to advise the department on the root of the murder problem, but they didn't have any easy answers: "People who've studied homicide their whole life say 'Why is that number that way?'" he told the council.

In March, the Justice Department (which is negotiating a consent decree regarding court supervision of the New Orleans Police Department) released an analysis of the city's crime problem that did contain some insights. Contrary to popular perception, it found that New Orleans' overall crime rate—including its rate of violent crime—is lower than that of other cities of comparable size. It's even lower than the crime rate in such family-friendly destinations as Orlando, Fla.

But that news comes with a giant caveat: The Big Easy's homicide rate (52 homicides per 100,000 residents) is 10 times higher than the national average and almost five times that of other cities of its size.

Why is the city such a murder outlier? In many jurisdictions, the Justice Department notes, gangs and drugs are principal drivers of the murder rate. Not so in New Orleans, which has comparatively little gang activity or organized violence related to the drug trade. Nor do the killings tend to happen in back alleys or vacant buildings as they often do in other places. More often they occur in residential neighborhoods in close proximity to witnesses. And more often the motivation is not random robbery, but revenge or argument.

In short, the killing in New Orleans is personal. "What appear to be different about homicides in New Orleans are the circumstances of the events," Justice Department investigators noted. "In reading the narratives of the offenses, one is struck by their ordinariness—arguments and disputes that escalate into homicide."

This presents Mr. Serpas and his troops with a different sort of policing challenge. Law enforcement can disrupt gangs and target drug kingpins. But what does it do about a culture in which Glocks have become the preferred tool for settling petty disputes?

The word Mr. Serpas and other officials frequently invoke to describe their approach is "holistic," a term more commonly associated with ashrams and yoga gurus than big city cops. But at bottom, the superintendent insists, the bloodshed in New Orleans isn't going to be solved just by putting more cops on the beat or cracking down on minor violators. After all, Mr. Serpas noted, the Halloween night shooting of eight people on Bourbon Street happened with policemen standing a few feet away from the gunman. "It did not make a difference in this young man's mind."

Changing the mindset of young men who settle beefs with bullets is a tall order for any community. To make an enduring dent in the murder rate, the cops will need to get into the neighborhoods, at a granular level, using street intelligence, diversion programs and targeted sweeps on a sustained level. And even then, breaking the city's crippling culture of violence will take more than a reformed police force can provide.

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Thursday, 10 November 2011

Police raid Perth bikie properties

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42-year-old Rebels motorcycle gang member is one of three people being questioned by police after a search of his home in Calista, south of Perth. Police say they found a 22 calibre, self-loading handgun, cash, cannabis and a trafficable quantity of what they believe to be methamphetamine during this morning's search of the Edmund Road house. No charges have been laid at this stage. Gang Crime Squad detectives have also raided a home linked to a bikie gang in Morley this afternoon. They say they were searching for stolen motorcycles, firearms and drugs. The raids are part of a continued effort by police to disrupt the activities of motorcycle gangs.

Joseph Patrick John Lagrue handed himself in at Solihull police station in September after the brawl between members of the Hell’s Angels and Outlaws biker gangs

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Joseph Lagrue

One of Birmingham’s ‘Most Wanted’ crooks is facing justice over a battle between rival bikers at the airport in which one man nearly died.

Joseph Patrick John Lagrue handed himself in at Solihull police station in September after the brawl between members of the Hell’s Angels and Outlaws biker gangs in January 2008.

Up to 30 people, some armed with hammers, machetes, knuckledusters, knives and a meat cleaver, were involved in the fight following a trip to Spain.

Families of holidaymakers were forced to dive for cover as the violence swept through the terminal.

A police source said Lagrue, 43, understood to be a member of the Outlaws, had played a “key role" in the violence.

But he was not tracked down following the incident and, in January last year, detectives named him as ‘wanted’ and added his face to their website.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said that following his arrest on September 27 he appeared before magistrates in Solihull charged with rioting.

He has pleaded guilty to the offence and will be sentenced later this month.

“Joseph Lagrue was wanted by police in connection since the investigation commenced and our efforts to track him down never ceased,” the spokesman said.

“This was a significant disturbance played out in the full glare of a busy international airport terminal.

"Families returning to Birmingham from their holidays were forced to take cover as two groups attacked each other with gratuitous violence.

“Weapons were produced and used and there were a number of injuries.

“The arrest of Joseph Lagrue brings this significant investigation to a close.”

The mob violence exploded near the arrivals hall of the airport after rival members discovered they were on the same flight from Alicante, in Spain.

Members of both gangs were met by associates, who provided them with weapons, as they arrived at the airport and began brawling in front of terrified families.

Several men were injured and one almost lost his life after suffering a serious head injury.

In July 2009, Neil Harrison, then aged 46, of Bell Green Road, Coventry; Paul Arlett, then 35, of Cradley Road, Dudley; Mark Price, then 50, of Westbury Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire; Sean Timmins, then 38, of Brewood Road in Coven, Staffordshire; Leonard Hawthorne, then 52, of Penn Road, Wolverhampton; Mark Moseley, then 46, of Orchard Rise, in Birmingham, and Jeremy Ball, then 46, of Plant Street, Cheadle, Staffordshire, were each jailed for six years after being convicted of rioting.

Another man, Mark Larner, then aged 47, of Tudor Road, Upper Gornal in the Black Country, fled to South Africa “with a substantial amount of money” before being sentenced. He later handed himself in to police in Bristol and was jailed in November 2009 for six years.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said Lagrue had pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody until later this month when he is due to be sentenced at Warwick Crown Court.

A member of the Hells Angels biker gang, Mazdak Fabricius, is accused of the murder, which was the starting point for a bloody gang war in Copenhagen

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62 people were arrested near Copenhagen on Tuesday following a clash between two rival gangs outside a courthouse where a gang member was on trial for the 2008 murder of a young Turk, police said. The people arrested in the Copenhagen suburb of Glostrup had "ties to gangs and bikers," a police statement said. Rival gangs have been battling for years over control of Copenhagen's illegal drug market. According to various media, close to 100 people clashed outside the Glostrup courthouse where the man suspected of gunning down a young Turk in Copenhagen in 2008 was on trial. A member of the Hells Angels biker gang, Mazdak Fabricius, is accused of the murder, which was the starting point for a bloody gang war in Copenhagen. Journalists at Tuesday's scene said members of the Hells Angels and its support group AK81 faced off against the Tingbjerg group, described as the "immigrants."

62 arrested after rival gangs clash

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62 people were arrested near Copenhagen on Tuesday following a clash between two rival gangs outside a courthouse where a gang member was on trial for the 2008 murder of a young Turk, police said. The people arrested in the Copenhagen suburb of Glostrup had "ties to gangs and bikers," a police statement said. Rival gangs have been battling for years over control of Copenhagen's illegal drug market. According to various media, close to 100 people clashed outside the Glostrup courthouse where the man suspected of gunning down a young Turk in Copenhagen in 2008 was on trial. A member of the Hells Angels biker gang, Mazdak Fabricius, is accused of the murder, which was the starting point for a bloody gang war in Copenhagen. Journalists at Tuesday's scene said members of the Hells Angels and its support group AK81 faced off against the Tingbjerg group, described as the "immigrants."

racketeering indictment unsealed Monday charges the men with being members of the Almighty Imperial Gangsters and carrying out murder, attempted murder and drug trafficking in East Chicago.

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federal grand jury has indicted 12 suspected gang members with being involved with the killings of nine people over five years in northwestern Indiana. The racketeering indictment unsealed Monday charges the men with being members of the Almighty Imperial Gangsters and carrying out murder, attempted murder and drug trafficking in East Chicago. Topics Murder Gang Activity Crimes Investigators believe the gang members used "kill on sight" and "shoot on sight" orders to promote violence and intimidation. The indictment says the indicted men believed at least six of the victims were members of rival gangs. The indictment also lists several attempted murders and the possession of 700 rounds of ammunition by the gang members. Investigators say the gang used "kill on sight" and "shoot on sight" orders to promote violence and intimidation in the community.

15,000 Colombians active in illegal armed groups, criminal gangs

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Colombian authorities estimate that approximately 15,000 men are currently members of the illegal armed groups that are active throughout the country. In an interview with Caracol Radio, Army General Sergio Mantilla confirmed that these 15,000 were active in the major illegal armed groups of the FARC, ELN and BACRIM. According to the military officials, the FARC is made up of about 9,000 men while the ELN has about 2,000 active men. Mantilla said in regards to the new statistics, "The ELN is much diminished, for this reason there are not so many operations against them or so many leaders killed, like there are with the FARC." Criminal gangs make up the rest of the numbers, and Police Chief Oscar Naranjo confirms that criminal gangs throughout Colombia have about 4,000 members in their ranks. The police chief  stressed the point that it is very difficult to be sure of the numbers of people engaged in criminal activity throughout the country. Naranjo argued that "this is only an approximate number, enough of an estimate that it cannot be seen as a reality in criminology." Naranjo warned that it is dangerous to assess crime in the country according to these estimates as it can create false expectations regarding the results of security forces.

Three brothers from hell

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These are the three brothers from hell -- two killers and one a suspected hitman. Two of the men, Eric and Keith Wilson from Ballyfermot in Dublin, are now suspected of being involved in over ten gun murders between them. Keith Wilson (23) was today beginning a life term in jail for the gangland execution of hitman-for-hire Daniel Gaynor in August, 2010. His brother Eric 'Lucky' Wilson (27) is serving 23 years in a Spanish prison for the murder of British criminal Daniel Smith in a packed bar on the Costa del Sol. Their older brother John (34) was released from garda custody in September after being arrested by officers probing a shooting at the Players Lounge pub in July, 2010, which left three innocent men with serious injuries. John -- who has survived three assassination attempts -- showed up every day at Keith's dramatic murder trial. Yesterday's conviction is being hailed as a major breakthrough in the fight against organised criminal activity in Dublin.

Funeral, fundraisers scheduled for Tara Romero

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Memorial services for Tara Romero, the 14-year-old who died in a drive-by shooting in Morgan Hill last week, are set for Sunday and Monday, and her friends and family are trying to raise money for related expenses. A vigil Sunday is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Johnson Funeral Home, 17720 Monterey Road. A Mass and funeral service for Romero will take place at 10 a.m. at St. Catherine Church, 17400 Peak Ave. Following the mass, a reception and "celebration of her life" will take place at the Gilroy National Guard Armory, 8490 Wren Ave., according to messages posted to the Facebook page "RIP Tara Romero." Romero was a freshman at Sobrato High School. She was killed Friday when a car full of suspected street gang members opened fire on Romero and a group of teens at Del Monte and Cosmo avenues, just outside the Village Avante apartment complex. Three other teens standing on the sidewalk with Romero were also shot, police said. Those victims are a 14-year-old girl from San Jose with a bullet wound to her right leg, a 15-year-old boy from Morgan Hill who was shot in the leg, and a 14-year-old San Jose girl who was shot in the stomach, Morgan Hill police Capt. Jerry Neumayer said. As of Monday, the other 14-year-old female victim, whose name has not been released, remained in the hospital in critical condition, Neumayer said. Five suspected Sureno street gang members were arrested for the crime shortly after the shooting, police said. They are Esmeling Bahena, 18 of Morgan Hill; Ricardo Diaz, 19 of Morgan Hill; Fernando Mateo, 20 of Gilroy; Primitovo Hernandez, 23 of San Jose; and a 17-year-old male from Morgan Hill. All were arrested on suspicion of homicide and attempted homicide, police said. Police do not think the victims were affiliated with a gang or involved in any gang activity. The shooters might have mistakenly identified them as members of a rival gang, Neumayer said. A spaghetti dinner fundraiser will take place 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. tonight at United Methodist Church, 17175 Monterey Road in Morgan Hill. The cost is $10 per plate of spaghetti and French bread, and a soda. On Saturday, a car wash fundraiser is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Napa Auto Parts, 17650 Monterey Road in Morgan Hill. The cost is $5 per car. All proceeds from the spaghetti and car wash fundraisers will go to Romero's family.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Your right to die in a bikie war shootout

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AT A guess you could probably assume that none of the High Court judges live in Merrylands, where the Nomads and Hells Angels are engaged in what the police reassuringly describe not as a bikie gang war but merely "tit for tat violence". It is also unlikely that any of these eminent jurists live in Northmead, where an innocent woman had her house strafed with bullets while she was sleeping last week in a zany address mix-up by a bikie who was having trouble reading his UBD. Presumably, none of the judges live in Adelaide's north-western suburb of Semaphore where an 11-year-old boy, the son of a former member of the Finks, was shot in the leg while he slept during a home invasion last month. When the ambulance arrived and the media turned up, bricks were hurled from the home. None of the witnesses to the shooting of the 11-year-old boy would initially co-operate with the police. It was reported however that the Finks had offered their own reward of $500,000 for information on the identity of the shooter. This shooting and its unco-operative aftermath reinforced the fact that members of bikie gangs do not look to the police and the courts for assistance. That's what civilised and law-abiding people do. To this end the police, and particularly the courts, are letting civilised and law-abiding people down. None of the High Court judges could find Merrylands or Semaphore with a packed lunch, a GPS and a team of indigenous trackers. And even the cops seem depressingly ambivalent about what is going on in middle Australian suburbs such as these. Perhaps it was just an unfortunate choice of words but NSW Gangs Squad commander Arthur Katsogiannis seemed too laid-back by half on Sunday in discussing the bikie shootings in Sydney's west, a staggering eight of which have taken place since last Thursday. "If this was a full-scale war between the Nomads and the Hells Angels you would not have the shootings isolated at one particular area, they would be right around the metropolitan area and around the state," he said. No dramas then. But it is the courts which really take the cake on this issue. Just over a year ago the High Court had a chance to seriously disrupt the freedom of bikie gang members to behave in an anti-social and criminal manner. Bombarded by civil libertarian tripe, the court opted to throw in its lot not with the civilised and law-abiding majority but the one per cent "who don't fit and don't care" - to borrow from the Hells Angels' own mission statement. The NSW and SA governments had both passed legislation which would have declared bikie gangs criminal organisations and enabled police to seek orders from magistrates preventing bikies from associating with each other and visiting certain addresses. But this invited the tediously predictable criticisms from academics and defence lawyers along Basil Fawlty lines that this is exactly how Nazi Germany started. One academic warned there was nothing stopping the authorities from using the same laws against the local lawn bowls club or Apex or Rotary. Andreas Schloenhardt, from the University of Queensland law school, fired up at the time: "This legislation is dangerous ... There is little in the legislation that can stop the Attorney-General from banning a bowling club." Certainly that could have been a handy application, in the event that the ladies' four stopped making scones and started manufacturing methamphetamine. But none of this is funny if you live in Ermington or Merrylands or Northmead or Semaphore and are busily keeping your head down, literally, as the "tit for tat violence" continues. The High Court had its chance to make the community safer and it blew it. The NSW and SA laws would have disrupted the lawlessness which has continued and reached a new crisis point since last Thursday and opted instead, on the basis of some legally arcane pedantry about usurping the authority of the Supreme Court, to strike down those laws. Meanwhile the cops are doing a cracking job standing behind police cameras and raiding pubs to make sure no one has had more than four standard drinks, and the High Court judges are happily ensconced in those suburbs where the Nomads and Finks and Hells Angels tend not to tread. People in normal suburbs must deal with that on their own.

Legal community rattled by attack on Hells Angels lawyer

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legal community is raising questions after a criminal lawyer known for defending members of biker gangs was assaulted outside his home. The victim has been identified as Gilles Doré, who was involved in the criminal proceedings linked to arrests in the wake of Operation SharQc. He is also known as a prominent defence lawyer in the first Hells Angels' mega-trial in 2002, which ended in the murder conviction of Hells leader Maurice "Mom" Boucher. Montreal police say the 58-year-old man was assaulted outside his Outremont home on Friday night. Police say the victim was beaten by one or more individuals. No one has been arrested and the police do not have a description of a possible suspect. Colleagues said Monday he was in stable condition. Colleagues concerned Lawyers say they regularly get threats from all types of clients, which don't always lead to an attack. One defence lawyer, Eric Sutton, said he questioned whether the police will investigate the case with the same veracity with which they investigate other crimes. He said there is a perception that defence lawyers are closely connected with those they represent, which is not always the case. "The defence lawyers get associated with their clientele, and I'm not sure the police will prioritize this case the way it perhaps should have been," he said. "But I don't want to presume that." Richard Prihoda, president of the Defence Attorneys Association of Montreal, calls the attack completely unacceptable under any circumstances. Prihoda said in an interview that if the attack is found to be related to Dore's work, then it is more than just an assault. "It's not just an attack on one lawyer, it's an attack on the whole judicial system," Prihoda said. "As with the Crown prosecutors and the judges, we're a part of the system." Prihoda said the association will discuss the recent attack, at a previously scheduled meeting on Wednesday. "I went to the courthouse today (Monday) and everybody is asking questions," Prihoda said. Prihoda said he hopes that police can resolve the case, as well as other outstanding attacks on Quebec lawyers. Similar attacks on attorneys Montreal defence lawyer Joseph La Leggia was attacked in similar fashion last December near his home. He has since resumed practising law. Another Montreal lawyer, Thomas Kiriazis, who is not a defence lawyer, has also been targeted. The business lawyer says he has been the victim of death threats and a firebombing in front of his home, located in the same neighbourhood where Dore was attacked. Dore battling 2002 Bar suspension In addition to the 2002 megatrial, Dore is currently involved in the massive Hells Angels megatrial being held in Montreal. Dore is due before the Supreme Court of Canada soon, where he is attempting to overturn a lower-court decision that upheld a 21-day suspension he was given by the Quebec Bar Association during the 2002 megatrial. The suspension was over a critical letter Dore sent to a Quebec judge over comments that judge made at the bail hearing of one of his clients.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

ONE TWENTY-NINE” or “GOODFELLAS/THE NEW DONS.” The gang members are accused of collectively acquiring and possessing a cache of illegal firearms

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long-term investigation lead to arrest of 19 gang members in central Harlem on weapons possession, conspiracy, attempted murder, and firearms trafficking charges.  Arrests follow recent conviction of nearby 137th Street Crew Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, and Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) Janice K. Fedarcyk, say the street gang terrorized the neighborhood surrounding West 129th Street between Lenox and Fifth avenues. Between 2007 and 2011, the defendants are accused of importing, possessing, and using semiautomatic pistols, revolvers, rifles and assault weapons, including a TEC-9 machine pistol and a Chinese SKS military semiautomatic rifle, as well as ammunition, which was used in shootings in Central Harlem.  All of the defendants are charged with felony conspiracy. Several defendants are additionally charged with attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal sale of a firearm, and other charges occurring over the course of the conspiracy.   “At least 162 people have been shot so far this year in Manhattan, 22 of them fatally” said District Attorney Cyrus Vance. New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “Through persistent police enforcement and programs like the gun buyback initiative we have successfully removed thousands of illegal firearms from our neighborhood streets. But any illegal gun in the wrong hands can be lead to loss of life and that is why we must continue to build on our past accomplishments with aggressive efforts to combat gun violence.” According to documents filed in court, members of the District Attorney’s Office’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit, detectives from the NYPD’s Narcotics Division, and FBI special agents engaged in long-term operations aimed at dismantling one of Central Harlem’s most violent and destructive criminal street gangs, referred to as “ONE TWENTY-NINE” or “GOODFELLAS/THE NEW DONS.”  The gang members are accused of collectively acquiring and possessing a cache of illegal firearms in order to engage in armed conflict with rival Harlem gangs.

United Nations gangmember killed in a hail of bullets in Vancouver

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29-year-old man linked to the United Nations gang was gunned down in a brazen morning shooting in a busy Vancouver residential neighbourhood Sunday. The Vancouver Sun has learned the shooting victim is Axel Curtis, who has several convictions for drug trafficking, fraud and possession of a firearm. Curtis is considered a low-level member of the UN gang. He was shot dead at about 9:30 a.m. while walking his French bulldog at the corner of Ash Street and Seventh Avenue, near his eight-storey apartment building. The shooting took place as people were walking and cycling nearby, and was witnessed by residents in the building where Curtis lived. Vancouver police spokeswoman Const. Jana McGuinness said Curtis was shot multiple times. “We are comfortable in saying this was a targeted shooting,” McGuinness said at a news conference at the cordoned-off scene Sunday afternoon. The shooting is the 13th homicide of the year in Vancouver. Police were interviewing multiple witnesses and expect to release a description of the shooter as soon as they have enough information. The interview process could take some time, said McGuinness, as some witnesses were being offered support because of the traumatic effect of the shooting. At least one witness was in tears Sunday morning at the scene. “As you can appreciate, people who saw this happening — which typically you would only see happening in the movies — it would be just so shocking and quite distressing,” said McGuinness. Neighbours described hearing six to 10 gun shots in rapid succession. Some people came to the assistance of the gunned-down man, performing CPR, but he was dead at the scene, said McGuinness. Shocked neighbours described the incident as concerning because of the possibility that bystanders could be caught in the gunfire. Police said there were bullet holes in the business Optical Factory at the northeast corner of Ash and Seventh where the shooting took place. Police also cordoned off a coffee shop on the south side of Seventh, just across from the shooting. Most neighbourhood residents declined to give their names in interviews as they were frightened by the nature of the incident — rapid gunfire in broad daylight in an otherwise quiet neighbourhood. Some already suspected it was a gang shooting. “It’s too close to home,” said Suzanne, a nearby resident who would not give her last name. Katy Erwin, who has lived in the area for five years, didn’t see the shooting but saw the police cars converge on the scene. She said the area is normally quiet. However, she added there have been some incidents in the past, including three years ago when 10 or so police vehicles converged on a nearby area. McGuinness said the neighbourhood’s shock is understandable, but noted people with gang ties live in all communities in the region — in high-priced homes and in apartments. Police were combing the crime scene for forensic evidence, and were going to follow up with businesses in the area to see if they had surveillance footage. The shooter was described by neighbourhood witnesses as wearing a dark hoodie. The dead man, Curtis, had a criminal record. He was sentenced to two years in jail in August 2007 after being arrested in Vancouver for trafficking and possession of a firearm. He was also given a 10-year firearms prohibition. He was convicted of a West Vancouver fraud in 2006 and got 18 months probation. And he faced trafficking charges in Surrey after being arrested in December 2004. He was also charged with trafficking in Abbotsford in June 2009, but the case was later dismissed. At the time of his death Sunday, he had one outstanding charge of driving while prohibited in Port Moody in the summer of 2010. He was due to go to trial for that in March, 2012. Curtis used several aliases, including Anthony Bartoli, Colin Richardson, Albert Curry, Gabriel Pellegrino and Michael Ross.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Gangster dead in Vancouver daytime shooting

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