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Monday, 30 April 2012

members and associates affiliated with the South Side Locos and Brown Pride gangs in Albuquerque, southern New Mexico and the Four Corner's region were in federal custody

Posted On 07:58 0 comments

Federal agents and local police have arrested 28 suspected gang members and associates in New Mexico as part of a national roundup of gang members linked to drug and human trafficking. Officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations announced Wednesday that members and associates affiliated with the South Side Locos and Brown Pride gangs in Albuquerque, southern New Mexico and the Four Corner's region were in federal custody following a quick probe of the area. Authorities also seized heroin, cocaine and meth with a street value of close to $300,000. In addition, federal agents and local authorities seized more than a dozen or so illegal firearms and two expensive vehicles. "This was a coordinated effort that resulted in the arrests of a number of high ranking gang members," said Dennis Ulrich, Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge of West Texas and New Mexico. "We believe they were involved in drug trafficking and human smuggling." The roundup was part of a national operation known as "Project Nefarious" which nabbed more than 600 gang members with outstanding warrants across the country. The arrests also come after law enforcement agencies around New Mexico have asked federal officials to assist cash-strapped departments in battling gangs, drug trafficking and weapons violations. But as federal authorities have moved into Advertisement places like Roswell and Las Cruces, violent drug cartels have increased their presence in the remote area of northwest New Mexico that borders Arizona, Utah and Colorado. "Not only do we welcome (the federal presence), we're asking for it," said San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen, who's territory includes the areas in the Four Corners bordering the large Navajo Nation. Because the Navajo Nation is so isolated and large, Christesen said the area is a popular route from Phoenix for drug traffickers and human smugglers who use the reservation's many remote roads to distribute throughout the region. "It shouldn't be left to the local law enforcement agencies to fight a national problem," Christesen said. According to Ulrich, most of those arrested in New Mexico were living near Farmington. Five of the 28 arrested were women linked to the gangs, Ulrich said. Federal authorities said that by getting involved and charging criminals in federal court, they can increase the amount of prison time. In recent months, Homeland Security agents assisted local law enforcement agencies in more than 20 criminal investigations that will be prosecuted by U.S. attorneys, said Ulrich. The federal government can seize criminals' money and possessions when they are convicted. Since 2009, Homeland Security Investigations has added around 60 new agents to New Mexico and helped formed a number of joint task forces and multiagency groups aimed at tackling rural gangs, political corruption, drug and gun trafficking, child pornography, and human smuggling. The beefed-up presence has resulted in a string of recent high-profile arrests, federal officials said. In March, for example, the mayor of the border town of Columbus and its police chief were among those arrested in a drug and weapons raid following a federal investigation into firearms smuggling from the U.S. to Mexico. The mayor and police chief later pleaded guilty to federal charges.


Sunday, 29 April 2012

Death of alleged B.C. gangster stirs retaliation fears

Posted On 23:59 0 comments

Police investigating the fatal shooting of a reputed Canadian gangster in Mexico fear there may be retribution for his death -- at home, and abroad. Thomas Gisby was gunned down on Saturday morning at a Starbucks in Nuevo Vallarta, just north of the western resort city of Puerto Vallarta, police say. RCMP allege the 50-year-old was a "high-ranking organized crime figure" involved in drug trafficking and other illegal activities. In the wake of his death, police fear that someone may try to exact revenge. "It is an organized crime target in British Columbia that was killed. It was not simply a tourist or an individual down there," RCMP Chief Supt. Dan Malo told reporters in Surrey on Saturday. Gisby headed up a criminal organization in B.C., which police referred to as the Gisby Crime Group, said Malo. The group allegedly had ties to other criminal organizations. "Police are going to be paying particular attention to this group here in the foreseeable future to see what impact (Gisby's death) has," said Malo. Gisby has also been linked to the Hells Angels and the B.C.-based Dhak gang. Many members of the latter group have been killed in recent months in a series of tit-for-tat shootings, Vancouver Sun reporter Kim Bolan told CTV News Channel. Police are exploring whether Gisby's death involved a criminal organization, she added. An investigation by Mexican authorities is in its early stages and police in Canada have said it's unclear who is behind Gisby's murder. "Details are a little bit sketchy, there's been no suspect named. No motives given for what happened," said Mexico-based freelance reporter David Agren. Reports indicate two patrons who were sitting in Starbucks jumped up while Gisby was waiting in line and shot him point-blank, Agren told News Channel on Sunday. He noted that one account of the incident says the assailants fled in a Volkswagen Jetta, while another says they got away in a public transport vehicle. In a separate interview with CTVNews.ca, Malo said drug dealing and illegal gun trading were among Gisby's activities. He had a criminal record dating back to the 1990s. State authorities have said Gisby was living in a development known as Green Bay next to a golf course in Nuevo Vallarta, said Agren.


Gangster guilty of sports pitch knife murder

Posted On 12:12 0 comments

A hooded gang member from Bush Hill Park has been found guilty of the murder of a rival in Kilburn last year. Mohammed Hashi, 19, of Agricola Place, and three other gang members knifed Millad Golmakani, 22, to death after ambushing him while he played football on a sports pitch on April 20, 2011. Mr Golmakani was left bleeding to death with 14 separate wounds to the neck and back, and a punctured lung, with his 17-year-old friend lucky to escape with arm injuries after he fled into a grocery store. The victims had been with friends at a basketball court on the Abbey Estate when they were approached by the gang, hooded and wearing balaclavas and armed with knives. At the Old Bailey yesterday, Hashi, Sean Hutton, 19, of Belsize Park, and Sean Ferdinand, 19, of Chalk Farm, were sentenced to life and ordered to serve minimum 22 year sentences. They were also given concurrent 17 year sentences for attempted murder. Lij McSween, 17, of St John's Wood, was convicted of the same charges and given a minimum term of 19 years for murder with a concurrent sentence of 14 years for attempted murder. In a statement, Mr Golmakani’s sister said: “Words cannot describe how much our lives have changed since my dear brother Millad was murdered. Now today and for the rest of our lives we are mourning the loss of my beloved brother. His life was cruelly taken from us.   “We would do anything to have Millad back. No mother should have to bury her 22-year-old son. No brother or sister should feel the deep pain and loss we have felt and continue to feel.”


Prosecution seeks up to 21 years in prison for gangster Bacon

Posted On 12:10 0 comments

Abbotsford gangster Jarrod Bacon and his former father-in-law Wayne Scott could face 15 to 21 years in prison, if a judge accepts the Crown prosecutor's recommendations. They were found guilty last Feb. 3 of conspiring to traffic 100 kilograms of cocaine, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. At a sentencing hearing Friday, prosecutor Peter LaPrairie asked the judge to impose a prison sentence of up to 21 years for Bacon and up to 15 years for Scott. The judge will sentence Bacon on May 4; Scott's sentencing hearing was adjourned to June 8 for medical reasons. The offence took place in February 2009, when an undercover police agent posing as a high-level drug dealer negotiated the sale of 100 kilos of cocaine for $30,000 a kilo. "Bacon and his financial backers had $3 million to invest in cocaine and said his group would be able to dispose of the cocaine quickly," LaPrairie told Justice Austin Cullen during the hearing in B.C. Supreme Court. An aggravating factor, the Crown counsel said, was the fact Bacon was on bail at the time for a number of weapons offences. Bacon, 29, has eight previous criminal convictions. "He is a criminal and an enforcer who regularly wears a bulletproof vest," LaPrairie told the court. He said Scott, 55, who has two grown children and a grandson, played the middleman in the drug deal and used covert means to further negotiations. The Crown contends Bacon was the "operating mind" and played the central role, with Scott facilitating meetings at his residence with the agent. The Crown also pointed out the two men used a chalkboard for clan-destine communications at a dining room table while Bacon's parents were present. Bacon is the father of Scott's grandson. The Crown contends the cocaine was worth $3.5 million at the bulk level, but would have sold for $8 million at the street level. The judge suggested the "notional profit," since no drugs changed hands, would have been $2,500 to $3,000 a kilogram. "Cocaine is a very dangerous drug," said LaPrairie, who pointed out that Bacon lied during the trial, testifying he didn't plan to buy the 100 kilograms but instead planned to rip off the agent. Bacon has been in custody since Nov. 26, 2009, while Scott has been on bail. The Crown suggested Bacon should receive double credit for the two years and five months he has served in custody, which amounts to a deduction of four years and 10 months. At the time of the police reverse-sting operation, there was a flurry of violence across Metro Vancouver resulting from a gang war between the Bacon group and their enemies in the United Nations gang. Jeff Ray, Bacon's lawyer, suggested the judge should impose an eight-year sentence, considering that no drugs were seized in the reverse sting, so there was no potential for any to be distributed. "It was an imaginary offence," Ray told the court, comparing the crime to "a conspiracy to commit a murder of someone who doesn't exist." He added: "I can't find another case where no drugs were seized in a reverse sting." After deducting the double credit for "dead time" served in pre-trial custody, Bacon should serve only another three years and two months in custody, the defence lawyer said. Bacon's longest previous sentence was six months in jail. Ray also urged the court not to accept the Crown's recommendation that Bacon serve half his sentence, or at least 10 years, before he is considered for parole. The lawyer said Bacon was a high school wrestling champion who ranked as one of the best in Canada. Bacon's brother Jonathan was shot to death in Kelowna last August and his brother Jamie is in custody, facing murder charges.


Head of B.C.-based crime syndicate gunned down in Mexico

Posted On 04:40 0 comments

The head of a notorious organized crime syndicate based in B.C. was gunned down in a Mexico coffee shop Friday, police said. Thomas Gibsy, 50, who police allege built and controlled an international criminal empire with links to the Hells Angels, was shot in the head as he walked into a coffee shop in Nuevo Vallarta around 10 p.m. Friday “This individual was highly ranked and probably thought he was at such a high level he was immune from both police prosecution and gang violence and clearly, today that’s not the case,” RCMP Chief Supt. Dan Malo, head of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said Saturday. Earlier this year, police said Gibsy was the target in a motorhome explosion near Whistler earlier this year. “He’s linked to that investigation,” Malo said. Gibsy was well-known in the criminal underworld, Malo said. “For police officers and police agencies in British Columbia, Thomas Gibsy is a high-ranking organized crime target that operates in British Columbia, throughout Canada and internationally,” Malo said. “He is the head of his own criminal organization and over the years has had associations with just about every organized crime group operating in British Columbia. “We’ve had intelligence he’s been involved in several different commodities, drugs obviously being one that drives profits of many of these groups, and he was no different.” Mexican media reported that Gibsy was living in Nuevo Vallarta at the time and was shot twice in the head by two men as he ordered a drink at a Starbucks. One suspect had repportedly been taken into custody nearby. Malo said police in Canada had not been notified of an arrest. “He was not simply just a tourist and we want to get the message to the public, this was not a random individual, this was someone who, every waking minute of the day was involved in organized crime,” he said.


Mafia-linked drug bust in Montreal leads to 11 arrests

Posted On 04:38 0 comments

Montreal police said their anti-gang squad has dismantled a cocaine ring linked to the Mafia, resulting in 11 arrests. Police seized drugs, cash and several weapons in a series of raids in 18 different locations in Montreal, Laval and Longueuil on Thursday. Police said the investigation into the ring, operating in the northern and eastern ends of the island, began last fall. Those arrested are expected to be charged Friday afternoon with counts related to drug trafficking, conspiracy and weapons-related offences.


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Probe into murder of Bacon brother 'ongoing'

Posted On 16:33 0 comments

B.C.'s police gang task force is continuing to investigate the daytime gang shooting at a Kelowna casino hotel in August 2011 in which one of the notorious Bacon brothers was killed and three other people were injured. Larry Amero, a full-patch Hells Angel, and James Riach of the Independent Soldiers gang were both shot and wounded. Leah Hadden-Watts, 21 - whose uncle, Michael James "Spike" Hadden, is a full-patch member of the Haney Hells Angel chapter - was shot in the neck and paralyzed that day. Jonathan Bacon, 30, was killed. Riach fled the scene. T here have been no arrests. "The investigation is ongoing, but I can't offer any other information," Sgt. Bill Whalen of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit's Gang Task Force, the lead police agency on the brazen attack, said Thursday. "Where Mr. Amero is now, I don't know," Whalen said. "He was never in custody. I can tell you he's out of the hospital." Whalen said it's not unusual for murders to take several months to investigate. "On top of that, when you're dealing with gang members, you don't get co-operation with the victims," he said.


Gang member gets life without parole for café murder | kim, hyun, gang

Posted On 16:31 0 comments

Asian gang member sat quietly at a counsel table Friday while he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 255 years to life in prison for his role in an unprovoked gang shooting at a Cypress café that left one woman dead and several others wounded. The sentence means that Stephenson Choi Kim, 31, of San Gabriel, will never be considered for parole, unless his conviction for the special circumstances murder of Venus Hyun, 21, is reversed on appeal. Orange Coutny Senior Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley points to the defendant, Stephenson Choi Kim during opening statements of his trial last year. Kim initially faced a possible death penalty for the March 31, 2004 shooting spree at the Fifth Wave Café in Cypress, but when his penalty phase trial jury deadlocked last year at 7-5 in favor of a life without parole sentence, the District Attorney's Office decided against a re-trial. Superior Court Judge John Conley handed down his sentence Friday after he listened to a poignant victim-impact statement from Hyun's brother, who told Kim that the Hyun family forgives him. "The next chapter in your life is going to be a real difficult time. It's going to be hard," said Giant Hyun. "But it's something that you don't have to go through on your own...Jesus loves you. You can still find joy and hope...But what is more real is the grace and the mercy." Kim was convicted last year of first-degree murder plus several counts of attempted murder for shooting Cerritos resident Venus Hyun in the back and the wounding four others in the unprovoked shooting. Witnesses testified that Kim, who was known to his Asian street gang as "Dragon," was the shooter who calmly walked into the crowded café looking for rival gang members, and then shot Hyun as she huddled with her friends. Three of the friends were wounded before the shooter fled through the back door of the café and disappeared into the night. Kim was arrested and charged with special circumstances murder after a five-month investigation by Cypress police. Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley relied on the testimony of six former gang allies of Kim, who made deals to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for their cooperation. Talley said Kim was "cold-blooded and cowardly" for gunning down Hyun -- who was not affiliated with any gang -- as she cowered in fear. Contact the writer: lwelborn@ocregister.com or 714-834-3784 More from Crime Courts Safety »   COMMENTS | PRINT | EMAIL |   SHARE Reader Comments Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreement. 1. Keep it civil and stay on topic. 2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks. 3. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. View Article | Article Photos


Charges Filed Against Three Fresno Gang Members Involved in Drive-By Shooting

Posted On 16:29 0 comments

Criminal charges have been filed against three known gang members for a drive by shooting that occurred in south west Fresno on Sunday. Police say 21 year old Garrett Street gang member Jahquaivious Anderson, 21 year old Modoc Street gang member Robert Jackson, and 19 year old Modoc Street gang member Devonta Murphy were arrested for shooting at a man in the 1600 block of West Oleander on April 22nd. 26 year old man was not injured in the shooting but the residence was damaged by gunfire. Later in the day, police received reports of a disturbance in the same area involving the same vehicle the suspects were reported as driving at the time of the shooting. The car was found crashed into a light pole and witnesses reported seeing the suspects flee the vehicle after the crash. Officers eventually located all three suspects and Anderson and Murphy confessed to their roles in the drive-by shooting. All three men were booked into the Fresno County Jail for assault with a deadly weapon, shooting into an inhabited dwelling, conspiracy, and gang enhancements.


One person wounded in drive-by shooting in Del Paso Heights

Posted On 16:28 0 comments

A man was wounded this evening is a drive-by shooting in the Del Paso Heights area. Sacramento Police Department spokesman Sgt. Andrew Pettit said the shooting occurred about 6:30 p.m. in the 3700 block of Norwood Avenue. He said the suspect and the victim are believed to be acquainted with one another and may have been involved in a dispute before the shooting occurred. The victim, a man in his late 40s, was shot in the upper body and was taken to a local hospital. Pettit said he was reported in stable condition. The suspect was described only as a white man in his 50s driving a brown sedan.


One person wounded in drive-by shooting in Del Paso Heights

Posted On 16:27 0 comments

A man was wounded this evening is a drive-by shooting in the Del Paso Heights area. Sacramento Police Department spokesman Sgt. Andrew Pettit said the shooting occurred about 6:30 p.m. in the 3700 block of Norwood Avenue. He said the suspect and the victim are believed to be acquainted with one another and may have been involved in a dispute before the shooting occurred. The victim, a man in his late 40s, was shot in the upper body and was taken to a local hospital. Pettit said he was reported in stable condition. The suspect was described only as a white man in his 50s driving a brown sedan.


Family Survives Drive-by Shooting

Posted On 16:25 0 comments

Robert Turner feels blessed to be alive.  He says one bullet missed him about an inch.  "It happened real fast," said Turner, who was watching TV in his living room when he heard gun shots.  "It was a pow-pow-pow-pow!  And I rolled and screamed because I thought I was shot." Luckily, Turner wasn't hit. He says Thursday night, someone pulled up next to his mailbox and shot six bullets at his house on Cleveland Avenue in Des Moines. One went through his white picket fence and four others straight into his home. Police were unable to find the sixth. He says if he had not been getting up to check on food in the kitchen, one bullet would have hit him in the head. Turners' house was one of three shot up.  The others were at 1800 12th street and the 1300 block of 11th. Turner says while he stayed on the floor, his wife crawled out into the living room. The two then hurried to the only other room that faces the street, their eight year old daughter's bedroom. He described how her daughter was laying in bed only a few feet from where one of the bullets came into the house.  But she, along with Turner and his wife, are okay. He says in the past they have heard gun shots in their neighborhood, but have never heard or experienced anything like this. "This is me and the Lord's home," he said.  "And this is where he put me and when he wants me to move he'll tell me.  That's when I'll move.  But no one's gonna run me out of my home." Turner says he's been told he was not the target and that this was a case of mistaken identity. Police have arrested two people in connection to the drive-by shootings: 21-year-old Sergio Gonzales and a 15-year-old. Police say there may be more arrests.


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Twelve reputed members of the Satan Disciples street gang have been arrested following a three-year investigation into the trafficking of drugs and weapons on the Southwest Side.

Posted On 17:44 0 comments

The 12 arrested face federal and state firearms or drug charges, including distribution of powder cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine. The arrests took place Tuesday at locations around the area, all without incident, a release from the FBI said. The investigation, dubbed Operation Devil's Playground, was started in 2009 as a joint effort of the FBI's Joint Task Force on Gangs, with assistance from the Chicago High-Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area Task Force. Five separate federal criminal complaints were unsealed in U.S. District Court following the arrests, and seven separate criminal complaints were filed in state court. The investigation targeted drug and weapons trafficking by members of the Satan Disciples, centered in and around the intersection of 59th and Richmond streets. As of Wednesday, 11 firearms, various types of ammunition and more than $15,000 has been confiscated, the release said. Arrested on federal charges were Ranulfo Valadares, aka "Speedy," 30, of Chicago; Luis Castaneda, 29, of Berwyn; Jaime Reyes, 35, of Chicago; and Refugio Avila, aka "Fugi," 31, of Chicago. A warrant was also issued for the arrest of Juan Castaneda, 27, of Chicago, who has not been found, the release said. Valadares, Luis Castaneda and Reyes appeared in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Tuesday, and were ordered held pending court appearances later this week. Avila is scheduled to appear May 11 to be formally charged, the release said. State charges were filed against Gerardo Gomez, 22; Myra Perez, 25; Sergio Banderas, 29; Steven Buegel, 32; Lawrence Winston, 35; Marcus Gordon, 28; and Jessie Talavera, age 23, all of Chicago. Court information was not immediately available.


MS-13 Gangster Carlos "Silencio" Ortega Indicted For Attempted Murder Of Voice Source, Murder Of Two Others

Posted On 17:42 0 comments

The MS-13 gangster who admitted to shooting one of our sources in the head -- and fatally shooting one of his friends -- was formally indicted today by a federal grand jury. Additionally, Carlos "Silencio" Ortega, 22, was indicted in the machete-to-the-face murder of a fellow MS-13 gangster who refused to "put in work" for the gang by murdering a rival gangster. In all, Ortega was hit with 12 counts (racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and related conspiracy and firearms counts) for the February 17, 2010, murder of David Sandler and attempted murder of our source -- who wished to not be identified. The charges also include the murder of Ortega's fellow gangster Mario Alberto Canton Quijada, about a month later on March 17, 2010. As we mentioned, Ortega admitted to hacking Quijada to death with a machete. See our previous stories on "Silencio" here and here. According to a 14-page federal indictment, provided to the Voice by the U.S. Attorney's Office, "Silencio" and other MS-13 gangsters, including Jimmy Sosa, who has the less-impressive gang name of "Junior," agreed to "put in work" for the gang on February 17, 2010, by murdering a member of a rival gang. The gangsters cruised around Brentwood in a Ford Explorer that night looking for rival gangsters to kill, which is when they found Sandler -- who they believed to be a member of the Latin Kings, a rival street gang -- at a deli near Timberline Drive and Second Avenue (Sandler's friend -- who also was shot in the head that night -- disputes that he and Sandler were gang members. He admits that he and Sandler sold weed, but says MS-13's beef with Sandler was over a girl, not over gang affiliations. Get the full story here). According to the indictment, the MS-13 members knew that Sandler and our source sold weed, so they devised a plan to arrange a drug deal and then kill them when they showed up with the marijuana. Sosa approached Sandler and asked if he could buy some weed. The two men exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet later to make the deal. Shortly after, Sandler told the gangsters that he had the weed, and they could meet him back at the deli to pick it up. "Silencio" and Sosa told him they'd rather meet somewhere more isolated, but Sandler insisted they meet at the deli. "We were already feelin' iffy about it. We didn't want to go. But [Sandler] got them to meet us at the deli," our source says later. When the gangsters showed up, Sandler was there with our source. "Silencio," who previously had agreed to kill Sandler, approached the two men with Sosa. When Sosa handed Sandler the money, "Silencio" started shooting, hitting Sandler in the head and hand. Our source also suffered a gunshot wound to the head, but survived. He credits Sandler with saving his life that night. Sosa and another alleged MS-13 gangster were arrested shortly after the shooting. "Silencio" got away. The indictment also alleges that "Silencio" was involved in the murder of Quijada, an MS-13 member who refused to carry out the murder of a rival gangster. According to the indictment, on March 17, 2010, Quijada was given a final chance by MS-13 leadership to kill the rival gang member. He refused, which, it turns out, is a mistake in the world of violent street gangs. MS-13 leadership held a meeting that night to determine how they should deal with Quijada's refusal to follow orders. Their conclusion: he obviously had to die. Early the next morning, a group of MS-13 gangsters -- including our boy "Silencio" -- lured Quijada to a beach in Far Rockaway, where one of the gangsters attempted to shoot him in the head. However, the gun jammed, so "Silencio" hacked him up with a machete and then took turns stabbing him with the other gangsters. One of the blows from the machete, the complaint notes, "penetrated deep into Quijada's skull, through his eye-socket, which resulted in the machete becoming lodged in the skull." Last month, members of a federal task force located "Silencio" and took him into custody. Following his arrest, "Silencio" admitted to being associated with MS-13 and to murdering Sandler and Quijada. "Silencio" is an illegal immigrant originally from El Salvador.


Gunshot victim claims to be 'gangster' and refuses to cooperate, but asks for ambulance

Posted On 17:39 0 comments

He may not be cooperating with investigators, but he told police what he needed after he was injured in an apparent drive-by shooting over the weekend. Springfield police officers Carla Daniele and Jonathan Torres located a 23-year-old gunshot victim after responding to a report of gunfire in the vicinity of Maple Street and Avon Place at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The officers tried to get information from the man regarding who had shot him, but the victim was very uncooperative, according to Sgt. John Delaney, executive aide to Springfield Police Commissioner William Fitchet. "He stated to the officers, 'I'm from the 'hood, I'm a gangster. ... All I need is an ambulance,' " Delaney said. The victim was taken to Baystate Medical Center for treatment of a single gunshot wound to the lower leg, police said. The victim was on Maple Street near the intersection of Avon Place when a vehicle approached and an occupant yelled something before opening fire. The victim declined to describe the car or its occupants, police said. The case is being handled by Detective Richard Ryder, of the Springfield Police Department Criminal Investigation Bureau. No arrests had been made as of early Tuesday, according to Sgt. Dennis Prior. Meanwhile, in a separate case, police on Friday charged a city man in connection with an alleged assault at his Sixteen Acres home. Details of the incident were unavailable, but Jose E. Ramirez, 38, of 6 Queensbury Drive, was expected to be arraigned Monday in Springfield District Court on charges of attempted murder and assault and battery. The outcome of the court proceeding was not immediately known.


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Gang members arrested in slaying of Marine vet outside Antioch bar

Posted On 09:13 0 comments

Five people have been arrested in the slaying of a Marine veteran and father of four during a March 31 bar brawl in Antioch that didn't involve the victim, police said. Detectives have linked the five suspects, identified by police as gang members or gang affiliates, to the shooting death of Lizandro "Tony" Bertolazzi, 38, at Cruisers Saloon on A Street early in the morning of March 31. Antioch police announced Monday the arrests of 22-year-old Juan Peter Herrera and Giovanni Lopez, 26, both of Antioch; 22-year-old Pittsburg resident Raymond Wehr; and two 17-year-old boys from Antioch and Pittsburg whose names were not released because they are minors. Wehr is the brother of Armando Curtis Wehr, who is serving a murder sentence for the September 2007 killing of a Bay Point man at the same bar, when it was known as Club Q. Bertolazzi, a Marine-trained mechanic, was having a drink with a friend at the bar when a group of men who had been kicked out of the establishment earlier in the night returned armed with baseball bats. They attacked the men who expelled them and at some point during the brawl Bertolazzi got up to see what was happening, at the moment gunfire rang out. Bertolazzi is survived by his wife and four sons. The five suspects were identified by witnesses or implicated in police interrogations, said Capt. Leonard Orman. All of them were arrested and jailed on either probation or parole holds while investigators Advertisement continue assembling a case to present to prosecutors. Police declined to say which of the suspects fired the shot that killed Bertolazzi, citing the sensitivity of their investigation.


Monday, 23 April 2012

SUR13: Convictions put a crimp in gang's operation, but it still exists in South Florida

Posted On 04:23 0 comments

The drive-by shootings have subsided, but SUR-13's signature blue bandanas and "SURX3" tattoos have far from disappeared from South Florida streets. State prosecutors last week ended a four-year racketeering case in Palm Beach County against 14 suspected members of the notorious SUR-13 gang, sending them all to prison for stretches of up to 55 years. Yet local and state gang investigators say the Mexican street gang has swelled in areas where poor, immigrant families live.  Youths in unincorporated Palm Beach County, west of West Palm Beach; in northeast Broward; and in Homestead proudly flash hand signs for the number 13. And unlike homegrown gangs, SUR-13 has managed to organize quickly and attract more youths in the past six or seven years, said Jay McNamara, assistant special agent in charge of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations in Miami. "They are always recruiting," McNamara said. "They are always looking for new blood. They are looking for the [teen] who doesn't seem to fit in." ICE works with local law enforcement agencies to arrest gang members on criminal charges and immigration violations. McNamara declined to comment on the number of suspected SUR-13 gang members flagged in its growing database. While they still engage in shootouts with rival gangs and sling dope from corners, SUR-13 has become more involved in under-the-radar crimes such as identity theft and human trafficking, McNamara said. SUR stands for Southern United Raza, and 13 represents the letter M, the 13th letter of the alphabet and a tribute to the gang members' Mexican heritage. On Tuesday, three suspected member of SUR-13 in Palm Beach County were sentenced to more than 40 years in prison for racketeering and armed robbery convictions. This marks the end of the state's case against 14 members and associates indicted in a December 2007 sweep. Victor Castillo, 29, of Greenacres, got 45 years in prison, according to the Florida Attorney General's Office. Roberto Trejo, 22, of West Palm Beach, was sentenced to 50 years and Jose Sanchez, 30, of Texas, got 55 years. The remaining 11 defendants, including alleged ringleader Ernesto Campos, of Lake Worth, took plea deals in exchange for sentences ranging from five to 15 years. As part of their plea deals, they testified against the others. The youths were known for murders, arson, dope peddling and drive-by shooting in the notorious Westgate neighborhood west of West Palm Beach. Among their crimes: setting a man's house on fire to avenge a fellow "sureños" death; beating a homeless man with a 2-by-4 in the parking lot of a Westgate convenience store; shooting an innocent bystander in a drive-by shooting targeting a rival gang member. During the trials, testimony surfaced about the gang's violent initiations and the members' fierce pride in their Mexican heritage, a strict requirement for all members. Unlike other gangs, SUR-13 members flaunt their affiliation to the gang, which has roots in southern California prisons, said Broward Sheriff's Sgt. George Anthony, head of the agency's gang investigations. Sending 14 members to prison was a blow to SUR-13, but the group keeps a firm hold, he said. "It definitely disorganized the gang," Anthony said. "It put them in a state of disarray for a few years."


The Trotwood bar near where a Dayton man and a Dayton undercover police officer were seriously wounded last weekend has been the scene of nearly 30 reported thefts, assaults, fights

Posted On 04:21 0 comments

The Trotwood bar near where a Dayton man and a Dayton undercover police officer were seriously wounded last weekend has been the scene of nearly 30 reported thefts, assaults, fights and other criminal acts since January 2010. Authorities suspect those events, which led to 16 arrests, are an indication of gang action. “The activity we’ve seen at Leo’s II is consistent with the activities gangs are involved with: weapons, shootings, parking lot fights,” Trotwood police Capt. John Porter said. “The guns and narcotics in and around that bar are consistent with gang activity.” The son of the bar’s owner disagreed with Porter and said Leo’s II is not a particularly dangerous place. Still, a search of state and local records by the Dayton Daily News found Trotwood police have visited the bar 269 times between Jan. 1, 2010, and April 14 of this year, mostly for security checks. Included in those calls were 12 calls on thefts, 11 on assaults, nine on fights, five on shots fired and one on a stabbing. Sixteen people were arrested over the same time period. Of those 269 calls, 119 were bar checks where an officer walks through the establishment to ensure that everything is in order. By comparison, Huber Heights police had 72 calls for service from the Heat Nightclub between Nov. 20, 2010 and Feb. 29. Leo’s II had 117 such calls over the same period. Huber Heights officials have taken action to have that bar’s liquor license revoked. The Trotwood City Council has called a special meeting Tuesday to discuss a resolution objecting to the renewal of Leo’s II liquor license. “You have your places you would call your problem children, hotbeds for violent activities, and Leo’s II is on that list,” FBI Supervisory Agent Tim Ferguson said in explaining the presence of three to four federally deputized local undercover detectives at the bar as part of an anti-gang task force. On nights where officers note a particularly large crowd, the department will station as many as four patrol cars — the entire night shift — outside the bar at the 2:30 a.m. closing time as a deterrent. Last Saturday, the department had a fifth marked car tasked to the Safe Streets Task Force operation, as did Dayton, Porter said. Traffic stops by the marked police vehicles working with the task force last Saturday yielded five handguns and one man detained, according to the FBI’s Ferguson. The bar’s listed owner, Patricia Douglas, 59, of Dayton, said the bar is not a gang hangout as far as she knows. “No, I don’t know anything about any gangs. Some of these young boys consider themselves a gang. There are drug problems in Dayton, Ohio, period. You can’t do a background check on everyone who comes in a club,” she said. She also said the police figures overstate the bar as a problem since many of the police visits were officers checking the bar. Saturday, April 14 Adrion Hawes, 40, of Dayton, Douglas’ son, said he was working the door the night of the shooting along with private security. Aside from a fist fight that preceded the shooting by perhaps 20 minutes, he said there were no problems inside the bar that night. Police didn’t enter the bar during the fight, he added. He said a private party was under way and 130 were in attendance. The occasion was the birthday of a young man who was a homicide victim last year. Hawes said a relative, who he declined to name, reserved and rented the club for the event. “This wasn’t our regular crowd,” Hawes said. “It was supposed to be a ‘Rest in Peace’ party.” The shooting occurred around 1:30 a.m. when Trotwood officers, responding to a reported disturbance, arrived to find the Leo’s II bar parking lot in chaos and a man holding a handgun crouched between two cars near the bar’s entrance. A short foot chase in the dark ensued. The undercover Dayton detective and an uniformed Trotwood sergeant fired shots at the suspect when he confronted the pair, according to Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer. The sheriff’s office is handling the investigation at the request of the Trotwood Police Department. The suspect, Deontay Cochran, 21, was shot in the left bicep, Plummer said last week at a news conference that included the FBI, and Trotwood and Dayton police. Cochran was not the target of the surveillance, according to Ferguson. The Dayton detective, a 20-year veteran, was shot in the upper torso. Officials decline to say whether the detective was shot in the chest or the back. The detective was rushed by police cruiser to Miami Valley Hospital with his son — one of the first Dayton officers on the scene after an “officer down” call was issued — and colleagues doing first aid. Cochran was taken to the same hospital. Both were initially listed in serious condition. The detective has since been taken out of the intensive care unit. Cochran is expected to be released. Police recovered a semiautomatic pistol at the scene with an extended 30-round magazine. Plummer said he was awaiting ballistics evidence to determine whether the suspect fired his weapon, how many shots were fired and who shot whom.


A gang feud over a gambling debt has led to three shootings and a stabbing since Wednesday

Posted On 04:20 0 comments

A gang feud over a gambling debt has led to three shootings and a stabbing since Wednesday, prompting enhanced policing in the city’s southwest. Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano and police officials announced their plan Saturday at the intersection of Elm and Oak streets in response to four days of violence that they said is related to a dispute over a dice game between gangs on Riverdale Avenue and Cottage Place Gardens, a public housing complex off Warburton Avenue. The police response will include enhanced patrols and more anti-narcotics and anti-gang officers on streets into the early morning hours. Deputy Police Chief William Cave said since Wednesday his department has made one arrest and recovered two handguns. The most recent violence was a Saturday morning stabbing at 1:55 a.m. at 77 Park Hill Ave. The male victim did not suffer life-threatening injuries and no one was arrested. Cave said that most of the victims of the past few days’ crimes are not cooperating with police. Cave added that his department’s investigation continues, as does a federal anti-gang investigation in the city that last month led to the arrest of 65 gang members. Spano defended the police department’s work in one of the city’s most crime-ridden areas. “There has been a lot of work and a lot of police activity going on here to help free the people of this community from the gang activity that’s taking place,” said Spano. “We have a lot more work to do as you can see with what has happened over the last couple of days. We are committed to taking these streets back.” On Monday, Spano proposed a 2012-13 budget that would cut 30 police officers and seven police supervisors, yet on Saturday Spano said that enhanced policing is possible even with police-force reductions. “Unfortunately, Yonkers has a $90 million budget problem,” said Spano, whose budget seeks a 5 percent savings in the police department. “That is something that in my opinion can work if we work collectively on all parts.” Magdalena Sierra Vasquez, 54, watched Spano’s press conference from a laundromat across the street and she said that her neighborhood’s streets are unsafe. Sierra Vasquez said that she was hit in the face by a flying can on the morning of Nov. 14 thrown when two men got in a fight inside a deli on Oak Street. Sierra Vasquez said no one was arrested over the fight, which sent her to a hospital emergency room, where she initially did not tell hospital staff what really happened to her. “I was afraid,” she said, referring to fear of reprisals by the delinquents who live in her neighborhood.


Man charged in fatal shooting witnessed by police

Posted On 04:18 0 comments

30-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of a Burnside neighborhood handy man earlier this week, authorities said. Michael Jones was ordered held without bail Friday by Cook County Criminal Court Judge Edward Harmening in the fatal shooting of his neighbor, 58-year-old James Reddick. Chicago police officers assigned to the Gresham District were responding to a call of an unrelated armed robbery when they heard gunshots in the 700 block of East 87th Place just before 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said.


Four shootings may be gang-related

Posted On 04:17 0 comments

Four people have been shot in Framingham since February, but a wall of silence put up by victims and witnesses has hindered the search for those responsible, a police official said. That lack of cooperation is making it difficult to solve the shootings — none of which was fatal — even though investigators have ideas who may be responsible for some of them, Framingham Police Lt. Kevin Slattery, the head of detectives, said yesterday. So far, no one faces charges for shooting anyone in those four shootings. “Even if you know who did it, if you don’t have the victim identify them, it makes it hard,” said Slattery. “Some of these are gang-related. Sometimes they want to take care of things on their own.” The latest shootings occurred on March 31. Police had gone to Morton Street around 2 a.m. for a report of a large group. While there, officers found a gun, and they also discovered that a woman who was sitting in a car had gone to the hospital after being shot in her buttocks. Slattery said police don’t believe she was the intended target. During the investigation, police found out that the shooting may have stemmed from an earlier shootout on Beaver Court. Police went to Beaver Street and found “more than several” shell casings from two different guns. They also determined bullets had hit two cars. Witnesses identified one man who was involved, Christopher Cardona. Cardona, 22, of Medway, was arrested and charged with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, possession of a firearm without a permit and driving without a license. He is being held on $17,000 bail for that case, but he had his bail revoked on a previous drug case. Investigators did not know, initially, that someone had been shot in the leg during that shootout on Beaver Court, Slattery said. “The person who was shot didn’t come forward to us,” said Slattery. “That person, in my opinion, is not excessively cooperative. The person who was shot says they don’t know who shot them and doesn’t remember anything.” It is possible the two March 31 shootings may be connected to the Feb. 2 shooting on Second Street. Slattery would not identify who was shot, but said a man was hit in the ankle. Two sources have confirmed the person shot on Feb. 2 was Cardona. “Some of the people involved in the shootings are the same,” said Slattery. “That victim, he didn’t positively identify who shot him.”


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Marquis Edwards, Bloods Gangster Known as 'Baby Uzi,' Convicted of Murdering Two Innocent Latinos in South L.A.

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The Bishops Bloods gang is known for running the 52nd Street corridor on the Eastside of South L.A. Most of the set's beefs seem to involve other African American gangs that dwell in the LAPD's rough Newton Division, but for some reason a Blood named Baby Uzi opened fire on at least two Latinos who weren't banging, killing them both. The U.S. Attorney's Office this week announced that ... ... Baby Uzi, a.k.a. 22-year-old Marquis Edwards, has pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges stemming from the two murders in 2006 and 2007. (He wasn't even 18 at the time of the attacks). Here's the feds' rundown of Edwards' crimes in and around the Pueblo Del Rio housing projects at 52nd and Alameda streets: Edwards admitted that he and other Pueblo Bishops gang members participated in a September 4, 2006 ambush attack on a group of young people. Edwards jumped out of one of the vehicles involved in the attack, chased the victims and shot 15-year-old Jose Maldonado at close range. Maldonado - a high school honors student who was not affiliated with any gang - bled to death on his own driveway. Two other Latino youths with Maldonado were also shot and injured during the shooting. On the night Maldonado was killed, Edwards and another gang member returned to the site of the murder, where family members had gathered for a vigil and to clean up Maldonado's blood. The other gang member shot into the vigil crowd, injuring one. Edwards also admitted to participating in a March 18, 2007 attack in which a 35-year-old single mother was fatally shot. Edwards and other Pueblo Bishop Bloods gang members in a convoy surrounded a van driven by Laura Sanchez, who yelled at her 18-year-old son to get down, which likely saved his life. Sanchez was struck by multiple bullets and died that night. Her son was able to escape the car and survive. Neither Sanchez nor her son had any known gang ties.


Pueblo Bishops Bloods Gang Member Pleads Guilty in Racketeering Case and Admits Involvement in Previously Unsolved Murders

Posted On 08:44 0 comments

A member of the Pueblo Bishops Bloods, a criminal street gang that had used violence and intimidation to control the Pueblo del Rio housing project in South Los Angeles, pleaded guilty this morning to federal racketeering charges, specifically admitting that he was involved in the murders of two people not affiliated with any gang in attacks that had been unsolved prior to a federal RICO indictment, announced United States Attorney André Birotte, Jr, whose office is handling the prosecution of the case. Marquis Edwards, 22, of Los Angeles, who was known by the moniker “Baby Uzi,” pleaded guilty this morning and acknowledged participating in separate shooting attacks that killed a teenager in 2006 and a woman in 2007. Edwards also acknowledged participating in an attack in which bullets were fired at a group mourning the death of the youth killed by members of the Pueblo Bishops Bloods gang. Appearing this morning before United States District Judge S James Otero, Edwards admitted that he and other Pueblo Bishops gang members participated in a September 4, 2006 morning bush attack on a group of young people. Edwards jumped out of one of the vehicles involved in the attack, chased the victims and shot 15-year-old Jose Maldonado at close range. Maldonado—a high school honors student who was not affiliated with any gang—bled to death on his own driveway. Two other Latino youths with Maldonado were also shot and injured during the shooting. On the night Maldonado was killed, Edwards and another gang member returned to the site of the murder, where family members had gathered for a vigil and to clean up Maldonado’s blood. The other gang member shot into the vigil crowd, injuring one. Edwards also admitted to participating in a March 18, 2007 attack in which a 35-year-old single mother was fatally shot. Edwards and other Pueblo Bishop Bloods gang members in a convoy surrounded a van driven by Laura Sanchez, who yelled at her 18-year-old son to get down, which likely saved his life. Sanchez was struck by multiple bullets and died that night. Her son was able to escape the car and survive. Neither Sanchez nor her son had any known gang ties. All three shooting incidents were unsolved prior to a federal racketeering indictment that was unsealed in August 2010 (see: http://www.justice.gov/usao/cac/Pressroom/pr2010/122.html). After the initial indictment, which did not name Edwards, federal prosecutors, special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and officers from the Los Angles Police Department continued to investigate the gang, specifically looking at unsolved murders and other violence. With additional evidence, a grand jury issued a second indictment in May 25, 2011 that charged Edwards and other gang members and alleged new crimes. Edwards becomes the fourth Pueblo Bishop gang member to plead guilty to racketeering offenses and admit first-degree murder allegations in the Maldonado and Sanchez killings. Prior to the federal RICO indictment, three of these four defendants were uncharged in relation to the murders. Each now faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for their roles in the murders. Edwards is set to be sentenced by Judge Otero on August 20. A total of 45 defendants were charged in the federal indictments. With Edwards guilty plea today, 33 of those defendants have now been convicted; three are in state custody, and two are fugitives. A trial for seven remaining defendants is pending and scheduled to begin on June 5 before Judge Otero.


Man charged in killing at Tacoma motorcycle-gang party

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A gang member has been charged with second degree murder in connection with the shooting death of a man last weekend at a Tacoma warehouse party. Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist says 35-year-old Devennice Gaines was arraigned Thursday and is being held without bail. He also has been charged with one count of unlawful gun possession. Forty-year-old Bruce Price was shot early Sunday morning outside a warehouse in downtown Tacoma. According to witnesses. Gaines got in a physical altercation with a man in a wheelchair during a motorcycle gang party. The prosecutor says witnesses heard Price criticize Gaines for fighting with the man in a wheelchair and that's when Gaines pulled out his gun. Lindquist says Gaines is allegedly affiliated with the Blood street gang from Seattle. He has prior convictions for manslaughter, robbery, assault, drug and firearm offenses. Price was allegedly affiliated with a rival gang, the Hilltop Crips.


Gangster 'tried to shield himself with car manual from hail of bullets'

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COURT heard that today that gangland figure Kevin "Gerbil" Carroll may have tried to to defend himself from a hail of bullets by holding up an Audi car manual. Ronald Withers, 67, a forensic scientist specialising in firearms, said eight bullets were fired into the car Carroll was sitting in at an Asda supermarket car park, hitting his head, chest, arm and hand. Mr Withers was present at the crime scene and the post-mortem examination of Carroll's body, as well as examining firearms found later at a different scene. In a report, he concluded that Carroll, 29 had been shot by two different guns – a revolver and a pistol. The revolver, which could only hold five bullets, was fired five times, he said. Two bullets entered Carroll's abdomen, one entered his groin area and another went into his back. Mr Withers said one other bullet could have caused damage to Carroll's fingers. It was recovered in the acoustic foam of the Audi in which he was killed. Advocate depute Iain McSporran asked: "So, effectively every shot that was fired, hit?" Mr Withers replied: "Yes." He was giving evidence at the trial of Ross Monaghan, 30, who is accused of murdering Carroll in Robroyston, Glasgow, on January 13 2010, by repeatedly shooting him. The High Court in Glasgow was told eight bullets were fired into the car by the pistol, injuring Carroll's head, chest, arm and hand. The court heard that one of the shots had left Mr Carroll's brain "exposed". A bullet was removed from his skull while a fragment of it was removed from his brain. Mr Withers said a bullet was found within the Audi car manual and said it was possible Mr Carroll had tried to defend himself by holding it up. Two other bullets found at the scene were said to have been ejected manually after the shooter had "difficulty" firing them. Mr McSporran said: "So the gunman experienced some difficulty, removed them and continued firing?" Mr Withers answered: "That's what happened, yes." The jury was also told today that a small mount of DNA found on the grip plate of a gun was a "perfect match" to Monaghan. Forensic scientist Pauline McSorley, 55, said she took wet and dry swabs from the right-hand grip plate of a black handgun discovered near a car park in Academy Street, Coatbridge, and found it contained DNA profiles of "at least three people". The Scottish Police Services Authority employee said the majority of it, or the "major source", matched that of Monaghan. He is also alleged to have disposed of a revolver, a pistol and ammunition in undergrowth in Academy Street. Ms McSorley said there was a "one in a billion" probability of the DNA sample matching someone else's. Mr McSporran asked her: "So, in scientific terms, it was a perfect match?" She replied: "Yes." She said that as it was such a small amount, she would be unable to conclude how it got there. Ms McSorley told the court: "A low-level amount of DNA can be transferred directly or indirectly, so I can't give you a whole-hearted explanation of how it got there." Mr McSporran gave her a number of scenarios, including if Monaghan had handled the gun or if he had been in the same place as it without touching it. She said: "I would consider them all equally." The court heard that Monaghan provided police with cells from inside his mouth in July 2010. During cross-examination, the court heard the Scottish Police Services Authority had launched an inquiry after the DNA of a member of staff who was not involved in analysing the gun samples was found on the swab inside a test tube. Ms McSorley said it was likely that the woman had handled the test tube, leaving her DNA on the outside, but the introduction of liquid could have meant that it was "washed inside". The jury was told that the size of the sample matching Monaghan was "one billionth of a gram", or 0.1 of an nanogram. Humans shed on average 400,000 cells, each holding about one nanogram of DNA, every day, the court heard. Ms McSorley agreed with Monaghan's defence QC Derek Ogg that trace elements of DNA could be "highly mobile" and invisible. She also agreed that a person would not even have to be in the same room as an object for their DNA to be found on it, as it could be carried from one place to another on a "moveable item" through secondary transfer. Mr Ogg used an example in court by pulling out a carrier bag, which he said he, his partner and his dog had all come into contact with. He asked Ms McSorley if DNA from all three of them could be in the courtroom, despite his partner and dog never having been there. She said: "Yes, that's possible. But it would be mixed with the DNA of everyone else in the room." Monaghan denies all the charges against him.


Police want everyone to stay clear of Chadwyn Marcus

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That's why Abbotsford Police put out an extraordinary public warning Thursday telling people to steer clear of Chadwyn Marcus (Chad) Weber.

Police went to Weber April 11 to tell him of the risk he is facing.

Const. Ian MacDonald extended that warning to those who may come in contact with Weber, a 35-year-old with an extensive criminal history.

He has been associated with both the United Nations gang and the Duhre brothers.

MacDonald said in a release that police continue to investigate the source of the threat.

"The Abbotsford Police Department is providing this public safety warning to create awareness that will allow for the general public to make conscious decisions about their own safety while considering the specific situation that exists for Weber," MacDonald said.

Weber has an extensive criminal history that includes convictions for offences involving violence, drugs and weapons.

Last fall, Supt. Tom McCluskie, of the Gang Task Force, issued a similar public warning telling people to stay away from anyone connected to a allied group of gangsters known as the Dhak-Duhre group.

Since then, there have been several shootings of people connected to the Dhak-Duhres, including Sandip Singh (Dip) Duhre who was gunned down in the lobby of the Sheraton Wall Centre in downtown Vancouver Jan. 17. The murder remains unsolved.




Friday, 20 April 2012

Arlington battles to keep kids out of MS-13

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Since notorious street gang MS-13 put down roots in the D.C. area, officials in tiny Arlington County have worked to establish one of the most extensive gang prevention programs in the region, focusing on keeping children out of gangs and helping current gang members get out. Arlington documented 10 active street gangs in 2011, and 237 gang members came into contact with police in the same year. But the county has more prevention programs than any of the surrounding jurisdictions. And officials say its efforts are part of the reason Northern Virginia has seen a 34 percent decrease in gang activity since 2003. Prevention programs in Arlington range from the obvious, like hosting after-school programs for vulnerable kids, to the creative -- like a free tattoo-removal program for former gang members. At a panel discussion Tuesday hosted by Leadership Arlington, a local nonprofit aimed at educating and connection community leaders, gang prevention experts and members of the Arlington Police Department's gang unit outlined the importance of reaching out to young people before they're drawn in by gangs like MS-13.


Girls, boys are sold on the streets within 48 hours of running away

Posted On 16:19 0 comments

It's low risk and high yield, picking up girls at the mall or at the bus stop who had words with their parents before storming out of the house. An outreached hand offers to help. "Poor thing," says the friendly girl, "let me buy you something to eat." And within 48 hours, that middle schooler, who is often between the ages of 11 and 14, has been gang-raped, drugged or transported to another state and is being sold on the street or in a car or in a brothel, recruited by a "big sister" friend who has just brought a young girl into her pimp's stable. But never assume that the pimp is necessarily a male. The United Nations reports there are more female traffickers than male. "This isn't just happening in the cities," says Jeanne Allert, a Howard County resident who heads the Maryland Rescue and Restore Coalition, which educates Marylanders on human trafficking. "Girls are coming from the counties. And in our country, we have an embarrassing number of throwaway children. There's an appetite for young victims, and the U.S. is the number one consumer of human beings. The demand for younger and younger sex slaves is forcing this business."


Alleged gang leader will go on trial

Posted On 16:17 0 comments

Alleged gang leader Richard Goodridge covers his face as he exits a hearing at the Montreal courthouse on Wednesday, April 18, 2012.
 

Alleged gang leader Richard Goodridge covers his face as he exits a hearing at the Montreal courthouse on Wednesday, April 18, 2012.

Photograph by: Allen McInnis, THE GAZETTE

 An alleged street gang leader who was at the centre of an investigation that shut the doors of a downtown strip club has been ordered to go on trial on charges he used a firearm to threaten a former employee.

After hearing evidence during a preliminary inquiry at the Montreal courthouse Wednesday morning, Quebec Court Judge Manon Ouimet determined there was enough evidence to have Richard Goodridge, 43, tried on three counts. The charges stem from an incident where Konstantinos Gantias, a man who used to work as a deejay at Club Temptation, the former strip club on Ste. Catherine St. W., alleges Goodridge assaulted him and threatened to kill him on Oct. 6, 2010.

The strip club was closed by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux in April 2010 on a request from the Montreal police. Investigators who probe the city’s street gangs had evidence that suggested people loyal to Ducarme Joseph, a reputed street gang leader, were preparing an “imminent reply” to an attempt to murder Joseph on March 18, 2010. Gunmen fired several shots inside Joseph’s Flawnego clothing boutique in Old Montreal. Joseph survived the shooting but two of his associates died in a hail of gunfire.

Two men, including one believed to have ties to Goodridge, have since been arrested and charged with the double murder and a third is still being sought. Goodridge was never charged with the two murders but, during hearings before the Régie des alcools, investigators testified that a rivalry between Goodridge and Joseph, which dated back to 2004, was heating up. Part of the investigation included the seizure of a machine gun and grenade launcher.

Goodridge and Joseph were part of a street gang based in northern Montreal called the 67s but had a falling out in 2004. Police investigators feared Goodridge would be shot inside Club Temptation because it appeared to them that he controlled it and was frequently seen there hosting street gang members. One investigator testified that sources told police Goodridge was believed to be a silent partner in the club with members of the Mafia in Montreal.

The club’s liquor permit was temporarily revoked in 2010 and the Régie decided to permanently revoke the permit in 2011.

Weeks after Club Temptation’s door were shut in 2010, someone broke in and stole a variety of items.

During the preliminary inquiry, Gantias testified that Goodridge suspected he had stolen the items from him. He said Goodridge summoned him to a gym on Ste. Catherine St. W. under the pretence that he had a new job for him. But, Gantias said during the hearing, when he arrived he was forced inside the gym’s office and Goodridge confronted him.

“He said that apparently a lot of people were saying that it was me who stole from his club and he wasn’t happy about that,” Gantias said.

“After that I said ‘I’m sorry but I’m going to leave.’ These things usually don’t end well.”

Gantias also said that at some point Goodridge told him “You’re not leaving here alive. You’re leaving in a body bag.” He also alleged that at one point Goodridge pulled out a firearm and struck him on the jaw and took an expensive cellphone from him.

During cross-examination, Goodridge’s lawyer, Stéphane Beaudin, brought up a few contradictions between statements Gantias gave to police and his testimony. The most glaring is that Gantias initially alleged that Goodridge chased him, with a gun in hand, after he bolted from the gym while Goodridge made a phone call. Gantias admitted on Wednesday that he wasn’t sure if Goodridge actually pursued him outside the gym.

Goodridge entered a not-guilty plea to all three of the charges he faces and decided to be tried before a judge alone. The next date in the case, a formality hearing, has been set for May 15.




Thursday, 19 April 2012

Drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman purportedly has come gunning for the vicious Zetas gang on the South Texas border

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Drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman purportedly has come gunning for the vicious Zetas gang on the South Texas border, leaving 14 of their butchered bodies and a message vowing to rid Nuevo Laredo of its criminal scourge as a calling card. “We have begun to clear Nuevo Laredo of Zetas because we want a free city and so you can live in peace,” proclaims a banner, under which were posed the bodies, as well as the gunmen presumably in Guzman's employ. “We are narcotics traffickers and we don't mess with honest working or business people.” Guzman's first attempt to seize Nuevo Laredo, bordering Laredo, in 2005 sparked a gangland war with the Zetas and their then-paymasters in the Gulf Cartel. The battles, complete with rocket attacks and massacres, killed more than 300 that year and gave birth to the hyper-violence still tormenting the borderlands and Mexico's interior. The Zetas and the Gulf Cartel won that earlier contest. Now Guzman, one of the most wanted men in the hemisphere, looks to be back. This time he's presenting himself as a White Knight, succeeding where Mexico's military and federal police so far have failed in defeating the Zetas and restoring order. “I'm going to teach these scum to work Sinaloa style,” the banner purportedly signed by Guzman sneers, “without kidnapping, without payoffs, without extortion.” “As for you, 40,” the banner says, addressing Zetas boss Miguel Treviño by his code name Z-40. “I tell you that you don't scare me.” The message also warns Nuevo Laredo's citizens that anyone who continues paying extortion money to the Zetas would be considered “a traitor.” “Don't forget that I'm your true father,” the banner advises in its sign off. Photos of the mangled corpses first appeared Wednesday on Blog del Narco, a website that often posts up to date crime news in Mexico, and came a day after the 14 bodies were discovered stuffed into a minivan parked near Nuevo Laredo's city hall. A note left with the bodies declared the victims “traitors.” “Chapo is going to step up to the plate and become the protector of the poor people against the Zetas,” predicted Mike Vigil, retired chief of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Obviously it is a vested interest because it behooves him and the other cartels to get rid of the Zetas that are causing a lot of problems for them.” Vigil is a consultant in Mexico and in regular contact with senior government officials there. While the banner and the threat it contains appear genuine, its authenticity couldn't be verified. But officials in Laredo are watching closely. “There is continued concern but we have dedicated all the resources necessary to ensure we don't have a spillover on the Laredo side,” said Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas, a retired FBI agent. “Obviously any time we have a situation like this — and other cities on the border would react the same way — we monitor very carefully what happens on the other side of the river.” Listed by Forbes magazine as one of the world's wealthiest men, Guzman also is arguably Mexico's most powerful crime boss. Though widely considered an old-school narcotics trafficker who generally has left civilians in peace, Guzman has been blamed for a number of atrocities in recent years. The Sinaloan's four-year struggle for Ciudad Juarez, bordering El Paso, has been blamed for the nearly 10,000 murders tallied there since. Some have credited Juarez's nearly 40 percent decline in murders in recent months to Guzman's reported victory in that battle. Mexico's other gangs, including Guzman's have pushed back with the same brutality, dramatically escalating the bloodshed. “The Zetas are trying to take over the country and they are a tremendous force to be reckoned with,” Vigil said. “It is a situation of fighting fire with fire and I think that you are going to see much more of that as the cartels engage them.”


Prince George gangster turns himself in on kidnapping charge

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A Prince George gangster who was first ordered deported to South Africa more than four years ago has turned himself in to police on charges of kidnapping and assault. Prince George RCMP say Francois (Frankie) Meerholz, 24, who police say is linked to the Game Tight Soldiers and Renegades biker gangs, as well as his brother Dillan Meerholz, 22, turned themselves in to police late Tuesday. Responding to a report of a kidnapping, Mounties went to a rural area east of Prince George on Sunday and found a man suffering from serious but non-life-threatening injuries. It is believed the victim was held for several days in a house in the rural area. A 32-year-old suspect was arrested at the house, and a small marijuana-growing operation was found inside. A second suspect, a 35-year-old man, was arrested Monday. On Tuesday, police announced the Meerholz brothers were suspects and both were at large. Police are recommending several charges to Crown counsel, including kidnapping, forcible confinement, and assault causing bodily harm. "Investigators believe these serious offences are drug related and targeted," Cpl. Craig Douglass said in a statement. [Note] "All four suspects are known to police; however investigators do not believe the public are at risk." A native of South Africa who moved to Prince George with his brother in 1999 to live with relatives, Frankie Meerholz was first ordered deported in November 2007 after convictions for theft and possession of stolen property. Last September, he was charged in Prince George with driving a vehicle when his licence was suspended. In March 2011, Frankie Meerholz was picked up by Prince George RCMP after allegedly getting caught breaking into a car with a screwdriver. Following the March 2011 incident, he was handed over to the Canada Border Services Agency for breaching the conditions of his release imposed by an immigration board adjudicator a few months earlier, in January 2011. At that time, Frankie Meerholz was out on bail on two sets of criminal charges from 2009 and 2010, including seven firearms counts


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Matthew Charles Johnson, the man who killed Carl Williams

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FOR a bloke a judge once described as intelligent and articulate, Matthew Charles Johnson squandered any potential he may have had.   Watch Ended 0:00 / 0:51Scrubber mute Share Fullscreen Carl's killer sentenced Matthew Johnson is handed a 32-year jail sentence for bashing imprisoned gangland boss Carl Williams to death Johnson was serving his third stretch in Pentridge Prison. While the Dickensian jail and its tough-nut population no doubt proved daunting to most young inmates, this budding career criminal used his time there wisely. It was good grounding for his eventual position as self-declared "General'' of Barwon Prison. The man is disciplined in the ways of personal fitness and prison regimes, yet unbridled when it comes to matters of violence. A granite-like figure at 188cm tall, he walks with the strut of an institutionalised criminal. His eyes peer from dark recesses hollowed into his gaunt, bald head. In a black-hooded cloak with sickle in hand, Johnson would make a formidable Grim Reaper. A man with a shocking list of crimes against his name, he has amassed 162 convictions. But of all those crimes, Johnson will best be remembered as the man who bashed unlikely gangland boss Carl Williams to death with an iron bike pole inside their secure jail unit. Tough start After a jury convicted him last year of the Carl Williams murder, defence barrister Bill Stuart told Justice Lex Lasry: "My client does not wish his personal nor his family background to be publicly aired in this court." But his many previous court hearings were told Johnson got a tough start in life. His father died when he was four. His mother, Carol Hogg, remarried and had another son, a boy named Brett born with cerebral palsy. The pregnancy was a difficult one. "I spent that whole pregnancy in hospital ... and Matt was put into a type of foster care because (his step father) Wayne had to work," Carol Hogg told the County Court in 1994. She described Johnson's step father as a harsh taskmaster who ended up leaving the family.


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Arlington gangster gets 50 years for murder over $40 Facebook bet

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On Feb. 6, 2011, the Steelers lost Super Bowl XLV to the Packers 31-25. Five weeks later, Jarami Thomas paid for it with his life. The 20-year-old placed a $40 bet on the game over Facebook, according to the Tarrant County District Attorney's, and lost it to a member of an Arlington street gang called Lynch Mob. Another member of that gang, 19-year-old Clevin Earl Brown Jr., was sentenced today to 50 years in prison for shooting Thomas to death in front of an Arlington convenience store, the DA's office said in a release. Brown was one of several Lynch Mob members who ambushed Thomas and his friends in the 3200 block of Green Oaks Boulevard in the early hours of March 14, 2011, the release states. He had been lured there with the promise that he could settle his debt by fighting the man he lost the bet to. Instead, the gangsters blocked Thomas' car in, dragged him from it, and stood by as Brown shot him in the arm and chest. He died shortly after his friends drove him to a hospital. The man who actually made the bet with Thomas, 18-year-old Edward Washington, is still in jail -- awaiting trial on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity and murder. A jury found Brown guilty of those same charges last week, and deliberated less than five hours on Monday before sentencing him. Allowed to address Brown afterwards, Thomas' mother reportedly waved two $20 bills at him and screamed: "Is this all my son was worth to you?"


Monday, 16 April 2012

Man killed in execution-style murder in Berkeley

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Darko Janceski, 32, was shot several times early last night when a gunman arrived at his father's Berkeley house in New South Wales on a motorbike. Superintendent Wayne Starling says the father heard the shots and ran outside to confront the man responsible. "The father has also raced out when he's heard the gunshots fired and engaged in a fight with the person who fired the shots," he said. "A number of superficial wounds were sustained by Mr Janceski's father and he's been treated by ambulance [authorities] and is in a satisfactory condition. "It's remarkable that the father went out and confronted a bloke with a firearm to try and save his son.'' The man who fired the shots escaped on the motorbike. Supt Starling says no-one has been arrested yet, but Darko Janceski was known to police. Police say  Mr Janceski was shot in the leg during another attack two months ago and his home was firebombed. Paramedics worked to revive Mr Janceski, and rushed him to Wollongong Hospital, but he is understood to have been deceased on arrival. Police said they are confident Mr Janceski’s killing was targeted, and are now looking at links between his murder, and an attempt on his life in November. Supt Starling said his father was too distressed to give police a statement yet. "The family is devastated over the incident,'' Supt Starling said. Police have established Strike Force Eve to investigate the incident and are yet to identify any suspects. Mr Janceski was also seriously injured when he was shot in the upper thigh in November. He spent weeks in hospital recovering, during what police said was an attempted murder. He had not long been kicked out of the local chapter of a bikie hang, when the first shooting took place.


Third Fort Carson soldier arrested in Sin City homicide

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Police arrested a third Fort Carson soldier Saturday in the March 3 killing at the Sin City Disciples motorcycle club. Pvt. Eric Bartholomew, 22, of Colorado Springs, was held without bail on investigation of first degree murder, El Paso County jail records show. He is assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson said Saturday. Sgt. Christopher Mountjoy and Sgt. John Burrell, also Fort Carson soldiers, were already in custody on charges tied to the death of 31-year-old Virgil Means. Means and a friend were escaping from an early morning brawl March 3 outside the clubhouse at 628 Vermijo St. Shooters fired at Means and his friend as they drove away, police said. Means was hit and died just before 6 a.m. at Penrose Hospital, police said. On March 16 Mountjoy, of the post’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, was arrested on suspicion of first degree murder. Burrell, was cuffed on March 21. Burrell is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, of the 4th Brigade Combat Team. The 4th Brigade Combat Team began deploying to eastern Afghanistan in mid-February. It is not known if Burrell was scheduled for deployment. Burrell, who worked as a bouncer at the club, was also arrested in October on suspicion of robbery, kidnapping, sexual assault and menacing, according to court documents. The October case remains open. The arrest warrants for both Mountjoy and Burrell have been sealed, and further details of the March 3 brawl have not been disclosed. Police say they are looking for others tied to the crime. Police were banned from discussing the case by a 4th Judicial District gag order. Little is known about the mysterious motorcycle club, which historically counts itself among the “one percent” — a classification of outlaw motorcycle gangs that includes the infamous Hells Angels and the Sons of Silence, a gang that was started in Colorado in the 1960s. Krista Strowd, who previously served in the Army under Sgt. Mountjoy, was shocked to hear of his arrest. She remembered him as a professional, dedicated leader. “He had great work ethics and was always such a big help if we, the junior enlisted, needed him,” she wrote in a Facebook message to The Gazette late last month. She remembered that Mountjoy liked to go on rides with some buddies after work, but she had never heard of the Sin City Disciples club. “I think anyone would be surprised when someone that was in your vicinity would be charged with murder,” she wrote.  “He seemed normal!”


Slain woman suffered more than 20 gunshot wounds

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A woman wounded in a shooting that killed her boyfriend last year was slain over the weekend, and officials say she suffered more than 20 gunshot wounds. Kimberly Harris, 25, was shot around 7 p.m. Sunday in the backyard of a house in the 2900 block of West Arthington Street in the Lawndale neighborhood, according to Harrison District Police Lt. John Andrews. Shell casings were recovered from the scene, the lieutenant said. Harris, 25, of the 1100 block of South Laflin Street in the University Village neighborhood, suffered more than 20 gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead an hour later at Mount Sinai Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. An autopsy is scheduled for today. Last summer, Harris was wounded in a shooting that killed her boyfriend, Keith Slugg, a reputed gang leader, according to Andrews. The man was shot in the 1000 block of West Maxwell Street. Slugg and Harris were sitting in a parked car in the 1000 block of West Maxwell Street around 4 a.m. on Aug. 28 when a gunman approached and opened fire, police said.


NY man charged in shooting; his son killed in 2010

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A Syracuse man whose toddler was killed in a drive-by shooting has been charged with what police are calling another gang-related street shooting. Rashaad Walker Sr. was charged Saturday with felony assault and weapons possession. Police say he was riding in the passenger seat of a car when he allegedly shot a 22-year-old man in the neck on March 20. The man survived. The shooting came a week after reputed gang member Saquan Evans was convicted of murder in the November 2010 killing of 20-month-old Rashaad Walker Jr. Prosecutors said the toddler's father was the intended target in a gang-related retaliatory shooting. The child was in a minivan. Walker was arraigned Sunday and sent to the county jail on $100,000 bail. Police didn't know if he has a lawyer.


Portland police plead with gang members to give up 'code of silence' and help solve killings

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Portland police investigators are frustrated by a "code of silence" among gang members that has kept officers from solving two gang-related homicides from last year and one this year where a host of witnesses likely saw something, Assistant Chief Eric Hendricks says. He cited the killings of Shalamar Edmond, 18, in New Columbia's McCoy Park last May 16; Leonard Irving Jr., 34, across the street from a nightclub on Northeast 82nd Avenue last June 26; and the fatal shooting of bouncer Robert Greene, 30, on Feb. 19 outside the Grand Central Restaurant and Bowling Lounge. "All three of these are examples of cases where there's folks in the community who could help us get these killers off the street," Hendricks said Friday at a meeting of the city's Gang Violence Task Force, made up of police, city and county leaders, outreach workers and community members. "My plea is to the community: If you know – even if you think you may know what happened -- please call homicide detectives," Hendricks said. So far this year, Portland's Gang Violence Response Team has fielded 37 call-outs for shootings, fights or stabbings compared with 26 by the end of April last year. The team was called out 103 times to gang-related violence in 2011, the most in 10 years. "We are on pace to exceed that easily," Chief Mike Reese told city commissioners last week. "They're shooting up our community." Irving's mother, Lucy Mashia, was among community members who attended the gang task force meeting. Directing his remarks to her, Hendricks said detectives believe Irving was the "unintended victim" of a gang shooting. Irving had been celebrating his nephew's 21st birthday the night he was killed, shot four times in the back. His nephew was wounded. "We believe there are folks out there who saw who shot Mr. Irving," Hendricks said. "Without the community coming together and providing the information we need, these won't be solved." Hendricks added: "Mrs. Macia, we're not going to forget the death of your son." Deputy District Attorney Pat Callahan, who prosecutes offenders tied to gang violence in Multnomah County, said the so-called "G-code" or code of silence extends beyond gang members. "There's a glorification of the thug lifestyle, which includes 'don't be a snitch,' " Callahan said. "It's far-reaching beyond gangs. It's a huge problem. I have no idea how to address it. I always think it starts at home." City leaders are working with relatives of victims of gang violence to draw attention to the problem, and encourage them to speak out against the "silence" of witnesses.


Boise Police investigate gang related shooting

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The Boise Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred early Sunday morning in downtown Boise. Investigators believe the shooting is gang related. It happened on the southeast corner of Capitol Boulevard and Main Street at 1:15 a.m. No one was seriously injured, but now Boise Police are looking for who fired. Doug Winter works in downtown Boise, just feet away from where the reported gang shooting took place. “I was here for most of the night, and yeah, I ended up going out as well,” said Winter. “None of us really knew what was going on, so to find out that it was a shooting is pretty interesting for sure.” Winter witnessed police investigating the aftermath of the shooting. “They definitely had quite a bit of the block roped off and people were definitely kind of concerned and curious,” said Winter. Boise Police Officers reportedly arrived to the scene fast, but the two suspects and one victim had already run away. Investigators said the 37-year-old victim is from Twin Falls and checked into a Boise hospital after the incident. The victim suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, but was treated and released. “It’s terrible, it’s shocking,” said Candice Blanker. Blanker was one of several people KTVB spoke with Sunday afternoon who were shocked to hear a gang shooting could happen in downtown Boise at a time when bar goers were out and about. “It's concerning a little bit, but yeah, terrible,” said Blanker. Still, Blanker believes Boise is a safe place. “I have no concerns," she said. "We were around all day walking around and we love being here. I mean, it’s unfortunate that that stuff happens and it kind of taints people's view maybe of Boise. That’s too bad, but it’s a great place to be and we do feel safe." At this time, officers from the Boise Police Violent Crimes Unit and the Boise Police Gang Unit are investigating. One suspect is described as 5’5 to 5’8 tall, with a slender build and a shaved head. They were also said to be wearing a red plaid jacket.


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Authorities Capture 3 Members Of Gangster Disciples, Including "The Big Homie," After Carjacking, Robbery

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Stephone Reed Authorities said they have captured three members of the local Gangster Disciples, including the gang's leader, after a carjacking and robbery. Police said Stephone Lee Reed, 21, of 3301 Through St., is the gang's "Big Homie." Also arrested were Anston Baker and Demarquis Dillard. After the March 31 incident in Brainerd, a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper spotted the stolen car in Bradley County. It was stopped after a pursuit. Baker and Dillard were captured in the car, but Reed fled and was later caught. Amanda West told police she was arriving home at 312 McBrien Road when three black males approached her and demanded her vehicle. She said one of the trio, who had dreadlocks in his hair, pointed a gun at her and demanded items she had in her hand as well as the vehicle.


Custody officer who got 'police informant' shot after putting his mugshot on Facebook is jailed for seven years

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A crooked custody officer stole a police mugshot to create a Facebook page falsely accusing a heroin dealer of being an informant to help a rival pusher. Within hours of the picture appearing on the social network, the man shown in the picture - 31-year-old Domenico Masciopinto - had been shot by a gunman. Jonpaul Pasqualone, 28, was jailed for seven years after stealing Masciopinto's mugshot which he posted online with the caption: 'A Police informant since 2009'.


Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Federal prosecutors build case against leaders of Yonkers' Cliff Street Gangsters

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 Nine reputed members of the Cliff Street Gangsters have admitted to conspiring to sell drugs and to violently keeping rivals at bay in the Nodine Hill section of Yonkers, as prosecutors continue to build their case against a chief enforcer of the group. An indictment detailing some of the men’s activity was unsealed last August during a sweep of dozens of city gangsters. Since then guilty pleas for many of the reputed Cliff Street Gangsters members have trickled in. Prosecutors have now turned their focus to the gang’s leaders like 21-year-old Preston “Peanut” Hardy, who, as top gang enforcer, is accused of committing multiple shootings against rival gangs, authorities said. Few, if any, of the men connected to the Cliff Street Gangsters graduated from high school, but now seven — the youngest of whom is 18 — face up to life in prison when they are sentenced in U.S. District Court in White Plains later this year. The latest guilty plea was Monday, when 26-year-old Gene “J-Biz” Thomas, pleaded guilty to two counts of drug charges. He faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced July 9. At their plea hearings, some of the men spoke plainly of gang life. “During the conspiracy, there was a time that I carried guns to protect the money I made,” Miguel “Corleone” Marquez, 26, said in January. Another reputed gangster, Brandon “Big Boy” Williams, implied in his plea hearing that guns were a necessary part of the trade. “At times, they would be threatening me so I one time had a gun and displayed it to one of these guys,” Williams said March 26, referring to rival gang members. Neither Williams nor Marquez completed high school. Both pleaded guilty pleaded guilty to drug and firearms charges, including conspiring to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana. They face up to life in prison at sentencing. Prosecutors have said that Cliff Street Gangsters, known commonly as the CSG, operated for at least six years selling crack, marijuana, and other drugs and threatening rivals who encroached on their turf with guns that were stashed in secret locations known only to the gang’s members. Page


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Bikie boss jailed but may not have struck murdered man

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BIKIE boss Mahmoud ''Mick'' Hawi has been sentenced to at least 21 years jail for murdering a rival gang member in the 2009 Sydney Airport brawl, despite the sentencing judge finding he may not have actually inflicted a single blow on the victim. Hawi, until recently the powerful national president of the Comanchero motorcycle clubs, sat expressionless in the dock as NSW Supreme Court Justice Robert Allan Hulme ordered that he not be released until at least November 2030 for the murder of Hells Angels associate Anthony Zervas during the brawl. The 31-year-old was found guilty of the crime in November last year following a marathon nine-month trial in which six Comanchero were charged with murder but only he was convicted. Justice Hulme described the fight, during which 29-year-old Zervas was bludgeoned with metal bollards, stabbed and stomped on in the Qantas domestic terminal, as a ''shocking and vicious'' crime which would ''live long'' in the memories of those who witnessed it.  ''The deceased was killed in an act of retribution because he had the temerity to attack the president of the Comanchero - nobody was going to get away with doing that, least of all someone of the deceased's stature,'' he said. Despite this, Justice Hulme said he was not satisfied that Hawi had inflicted the fatal blow on the 29-year-old or, in fact, ''inflicted any blows at all''. Rather his guilt lay in being part of a broader assault or ''simply being there when it was occurring''. Justice Hulme said that, as national president of the hierarchical Comanchero, Hawi had absolute power and that his presence ''would undoubtedly have had the effect of authorising and approving the actions of the man who bludgeoned Anthony Zervas to death''. More below Skip to top | bottom He also said that Hawi had had a prominent role in the events leading up to the brawl, particularly the mid-flight confrontation with the Hells Angels boss, Derek Wainohu, which preceded it. Upon discovering that his rival was onboard, Hawi walked up and down the plane glaring at him before instructing two of his subordinates to ''get the guys to meet us at the other end''. The violence began almost immediately after the plane landed, and flared into a full-blown brawl when 12 Comanchero confronted five Hells Angels in the middle of the busy terminal. Hawi was sentenced to a maximum of 28 years in prison with a non-parole period of 21 years and six months backdated to May 2009 when he was first jailed. Mr Zervas's mother, Frederica Bromwich, broke down in court after the sentence was read and nearly fainted outside court as - flanked by her daughters - she addressed the media. ''No punishment is enough for the loss of my son,'' she said.


Monday, 9 April 2012

Man beaten by masked gang

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The incident happened at around 2.30pm on Saturday in the Hannahglen Heights area.
Four masked men got out of a black Mercedes van and attacked the man.
One of the gang was armed with a suspected gun while another had a knife.
The victim sustained wounds to his hands.
The men made off in the van towards the Glen Road.
:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder
The PSNI has appealed for anyone with information to come forward


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Three alleged gang members arrested

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Three alleged gang members arrested Tuesday night after gunfire was exchanged between two vehicles near Kennedy Park were in Yuma Justice Court Wednesday. Marlee Cahoe, 19, Adrian Covarrubias, 18, and Gabriel Lugo, 19, appeared before Judge Gregory S. Stewart to learn what charges they may be facing if the prosecution files a formal complaint in the next two days. Cahoe is facing one felony for allegedly organizing and or managing a street gang. She attempted to hide her face from media cameras with her hair and her hand as she was addressed by Judge Stewart, and answered meekly when questioned. Covarrubias is facing three felonies for allegedly organizing and/or managing a street gang, threatening or intimidating with a gang and possession and/or use of drug paraphernalia. Lugo is facing one felony for allegedly organizing and or managing a street gang. Each received a bond for $50,000 and, if able to post bail, was ordered by Stewart not to possess any dangerous weapons, contact the alleged victims or be involved in gang activity. In addition, each must observe a mandatory curfew of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. The amount of their bond, in addition to the charges they face, may change as pretrial proceedings continue and charges are either added or dismissed. The three will appear again in court at 1 p.m. Friday. Julio Rodriguez-Diaz, 15, was also arrested in connection to the incident and was booked into Yuma County Juvenile Justice Center. He faces one felony for allegedly participating in a criminal street gang. According to the Yuma Police Department, two vehicles occupied by alleged gang members had an altercation in the 1100 block of East 23rd Street Tuesday evening. The vehicles then continued to Kennedy Park, 2251 S. Kennedy Lane, where the altercation concluded when one or more occupants in one or both vehicles exchanged gunfire just before 9 p.m. No injuries or damage to the surrounding area were reported. Police later found one of the vehicles they believed to have been involved in the shooting traveling in the 2800 block of Pacific Avenue and conducted a traffic stop. Cahoe, Covarrubias, Lugo and Rodriguez-Diaz were detained during the traffic stop and later arrested, but one person exited the vehicle and ran from police. YPD, with aid from the Border Patrol and Arizona Department of Public Safety officers, cordoned off the area behind the Walmart on Pacific Avenue, including the Yuma Bark Park, several blocks in the adjacent neighborhood and the park at Winsor Avenue and 32nd Street. Many of the law enforcement officers were equipped with assault rifles. The law enforcement agencies used working dogs to sniff for the person who had escaped, as well as thermal imaging and night vision equipment. However, the person managed to elude the dragnet and remained on the loose as of Wednesday afternoon. The person's identity was not disclosed by police Wednesday. The occupant or occupants in the other vehicle involved in the shooting, which is described as a white Jeep SUV, had not been located as of Wednesday afternoon.


Reputed gang member's second trial in killing of Jersey City father of four

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Closing arguments will be heard this morning in the second murder trial of a man charged with gunning down a Jersey City father of four on Clinton Street in December 2008. The first trial of Darnell Reeves, 26, of Jersey City, on charges of killing Henry Molesky, 41, near West Side Avenue, ended in a hung jury in September. The jury was also deadlocked on a gun charge he faced. Reeves, a reputed high-ranking Bloods street gang member, is facing 30 years to life in prison if convicted. After closing arguments, the jury will be instructed on the law pertinent to the charges and will then begin deliberating. On the witness stand yesterday morning, Timothy Williams testified for the state that after the murder, Reeves told him Molesky had gotten out of his car and came at him with something in his hand and Reeves shot him. "He said he (Molesky) fell on the ground and he could still hear his head hitting the ground," said Williams of the conversation with Reeves. Williams was the first person charged with killing Molesky, but he was later cleared by detectives and the charges against him were dropped. Under cross-examination by Reeves' attorney, Adrienne Edward, Williams admitted he had been drinking that night. Reeves' stepbrother, Nicquan Scott, was charged in Molesky's murder, but he was acquitted on the murder charge but convicted on a weapons charges. A third man had been considered a "person of interest" in the killing but was never charged. After the state rested its case yesterday afternoon, Edward told Hudson County Superior Court Judge Lisa Rose that she would not be calling witnesses. Reeves told the judge he had chosen not to take the stand. The jury was dismissed at about 2:45 p.m. and told to return today at 9 a.m. in Rose's courtroom inside in the Hudson County Administration Building in Jersey City.


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