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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

L.A. gang members found guilty in major racketeering case

Posted On 13:17 by Reporters 0 comments

In 2005, among the ranks of a shadowy organization reigning the streets near MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, a business decision was made. Building on an already highly profitable drug-dealing operation specializing in crack cocaine, they would tap a new revenue source -- extorting the vendors that crowd the streets each evening, selling everything from clothes to pirated DVDs to electronics, supplementing a hardscrabble existence. That was the enterprise described by federal prosecutors in a racketeering trial against the Columbia Lil Cycos, a group they depicted as one of the most ruthless and lucrative cliques of the 18th Street gang. To refuse payment -- at first $10 or $20, later climbing to $50 -- meant to invite the ire of the clique’s enforcers, they alleged. The business decision led to bloodshed in September 2007 when an 18-year-old tasked with gunning down a defiant vendor accidentally shot to death a 3-week-old infant. The baby’s death triggered a large-scale crackdown on the clique that culminated with a two-month trial that began this March. On Friday, a Los Angeles jury convicted four of the clique’s members of federal racketeering charges for participating in the gang’s operations. One defendants, Javier Perez, also was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to kidnap for luring the baby’s shooter down to Mexico and attempting to strangle him, to avoid the heat on the clique after the baby’s killing. The three others, Eduardo Hernandez and twins Vladimir and Leonidas Iraheta, accused of being the gang’s muscle, were also convicted of drug-trafficking charges. Among the witnesses at the trial were the vendor, who lived despite four gunshot wounds, and the gunman, who survived the gang’s attempt on his life. “It was a group that rose to power through the willingness of its members to act ruthlessly for the gang,” Assistant U.S. Atty. Kevin Lally told jurors in closing arguments. “This is a case about a criminal enterprise, the CLCS, and those that did its bidding.” The jury deadlocked, however, on charges involving an older murder that prosecutors attributed to the gang: the 2001 slaying of college student Jose Barajas Jr., whom gang members allegedly mistook for a rival gangster. The defendants face up to life in prison when they are sentenced in September, according to prosecutors.


Four alleged members of the Donna Street Crips, a criminal street gang in Las Vegas, have been charged with the theft, sale and illegal possession of firearms i

Posted On 13:14 by Reporters 0 comments

Four alleged members of the Donna Street Crips, a criminal street gang in Las Vegas, have been charged with the theft, sale and illegal possession of firearms in connection with their burglary of a Henderson gun store on Aug. 13, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Nevada. Victor “V-Locc” Williams, 19, Demario “Lil-C” Edwards, 22, Frank “Frank-C” Freeman, 26, and Daryl “Nsane” Galtney, 24, all of North Las Vegas, were charged Wednesday with one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States; one count of dealing in firearms without a license; one count of possession of a stolen firearm; and one count of theft from a federal firearms licensee. According to the criminal complaint, approximately 3:30 a.m. Aug. 13, five individuals drove a stolen Crown Victoria through the front entrance of a Henderson gun store, broke a glass display case and stole 21 handguns. The individuals then left the store in a separate vehicle and left the Crown Victoria inside the store. Evidence suggested that members of the Donna Street Crips were responsible for the burglary, and investigators identified five individuals, including the four defendants and another uncharged co-conspirator, as the culprits. Beginning in September, investigators started recovering some of the firearms that were stolen in the burglary. Ultimately, a total of seven of the stolen firearms were recovered in the Las Vegas area during searches of various residences and after a robbery and a homicide. Freeman and Galtney were arrested Wednesday in the Las Vegas area, and will appear before U.S. Federal Magistrate Judge Carl Hoffman at 3 p.m. today. Williams and Edwards are in state custody on unrelated charges, and their initial appearance in federal court will be scheduled in the near future. If convicted, the men face up to 30 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines.


Daniel Andre Landry, who was involved in a shootout between FOB and FOB Killers members on a Chinatown street in 2008, is scheduled to be freed

Posted On 12:35 by Reporters 0 comments

A Calgary gangster is about to get out of prison, and says he's headed out of the province and away from the city's gang scene. Daniel Andre Landry, who was involved in a shootout between FOB and FOB Killers members on a Chinatown street in 2008, is scheduled to be freed from a federal prison in Alberta next month and will be moved to a halfway house in another province. Landry, 27, was freed on statutory release, which is mandated by law for offenders when they reach the two-thirds mark of their sentence. Although there are few exceptions to deny statutory release, the Parole Board of Canada imposed conditions on Landry forcing him to live under supervision at a halfway house because of his violent past. "Although you verbalize the intent to change and have indicated a change of province to reside in upon release, there will still need to be demonstrated change," the board wrote in a review of Landry's case this week. The document did not reveal where Landry will be living. A violent war between FOB and a breakaway faction that became known as the FOB Killers has been responsible for at least 25 homicides since 2002. Landry was one of five men linked to the FOB Killers in an SUV that pulled alongside a car carrying four men associated with the FOB gang on Centre Street S. on Nov. 16, 2008. The group opened fire, wounding FOB gang member Nathan Zuccherato, who was later convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the triple homicide at the Bolsa Restaurant. Landry received a six-year sentence for unlawfully discharging a firearm with intent to danger life.


Members Netas Street Gang Indicted

Posted On 12:34 by Reporters 0 comments

A two-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Central Islip, New York, charging three alleged members of the Ñetas street gang—Luis Benitez, also known as “Lae”; Alvaro Cabral, also known as “Boobie”; and Jason Cabral, also known as “J-Live”—with the 2004 murders of Anthony Marcano and Fabian Mestres. All three defendants are in custody. Benitez will be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge E. Thomas Boyle at the U.S. Courthouse at 100 Federal Plaza in Central Islip, New York. Alvaro and Jason Cabral were arrested today in Tampa, Florida and will be arraigned in the Middle District of Florida. The case is assigned to United States District Court Judge Joanna Seybert. The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Janice K. Fedarcyk, Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office; and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department. According to the indictment and a detention letter filed today, the defendants were all members of the Ñetas and targeted one of the victims, Anthony Marcano, because of his affiliation with a rival gang, the Latin Kings. On August 10, 2004, at the direction of Jason Cabral, the leader of gang, the defendants devised a plan to rob and kill 17-year-old Marcano. As part of the plan, the defendants lured Marcano to a house in Brentwood. Marcano arrived at that house with 17-year-old Fabian Mestres, a fellow “Pee Wee” member of the Latin Kings street gang. Once inside the house, Marcano and Mestres were restrained with duct tape and their drugs, money. and jewelry were stolen. The victims were stuffed into the trunk of a car and taken to another location where Benitez, with the assistance of Alvaro Cabral, shot them with a shotgun. Mestres was shot once in the head, and Marcano was shot once in the head and once in the back of the neck. Marcano’s and Mestres’ bodies were found behind a warehouse in Queens the following day. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, or possibly the death penalty, on each of the two counts. “These charges are particularly heinous because they involve the senseless murder of two adolescents,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “The passage of time in no way will lessen our commitment to ensuring that justice is served.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to the Suffolk County Police Department, the Tampa Division of the FBI, and United States Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida, for their cooperation and assistance in the investigation. Ms. Lynch added that the government’s investigation is continuing. FBI Assistant Director in -Charge Fedarcyk stated, “The murders of two teenagers are another example of the ruthless and senseless violence wrought by gangs. While we continue to work with community leaders, educators, and others to break this cycle of violence, we will also continue to identify, arrest, and prosecute gang members who commit crimes.” The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole Boeckmann and Christopher Caffarone. The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


allegations about two murders, six attempted murders and a robbery were filed against members and associates of the Seventh Street Gang, also known as Cheko's Crew

Posted On 12:32 by Reporters 0 comments

Federal prosecutors on Friday filed racketeering charges against 17 people allegedly tied to a notoriously violent street gang as police agencies continued their crackdown against gangster crimes on Buffalo's West Side. The charges -- including allegations about two murders, six attempted murders and a robbery -- were filed against members and associates of the Seventh Street Gang, also known as Cheko's Crew, U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said. "The days of Cheko's Crew and the Seventh Street Gang committing shootings, murders and drug deals in the City of Buffalo are over," Hochul said. While police try to deal with a rapid increase in gun-related violence in the city, the Safe Streets Task Force and other agencies have made significant progress against gangs that have terrorized the West Side, Hochul said. The FBI, State Police and other agencies worked closely with Buffalo Police on the case, which resulted in felony charges of racketeering and conspiracy, he said. The federal indictments accuse seven people -- alleged gang leader Efrain "Cheko" Hidalgo, Kasiem Williams, Esteben Ramos-Cruz, Juan Torres, Jordan Hidalgo, Uda Hidalgo and Ritchie Juarbe -- of participating in the Aug. 11, 2009, murder of Eric Morrow, 21, of Kamper Street. Morrow was shot in the chest as he stood near a home on Auburn Avenue. Police identified him as a member of the Tenth Street gang, a rival of Hidalgo's gang. The indictment also charges Efrain Hidalgo with taking part in the shooting death of Virgil Page, 32, on June 5, 2010. Page, a Town of Tonawanda resident, was gunned down on 19th Street, police said. Williams, then 21, was sentenced to up to 25 years in state court last year after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Page slaying. More than 30 alleged associates of the Tenth Street gang have been locked up in the past year, federal authorities said. Bob Kuebler, the leader of a West Side youth group, was asked by The Buffalo News if the crackdown has had an appreciable effect on violent crime. "They've made a lot of arrests, and I do think it's quieter out there, but there is still a lot of violence on the West Side," said Kuebler, director of the Youth With A Purpose program, headquartered at Holy Cross Church on Seventh Street. "We just had two people shot on 18th Street this week. ... Arresting people is not the whole answer. What we really need is more opportunities for young people on the West Side." The two people shot on 18th Street late Tuesday afternoon were identified by police as Vernon Hardy Jr., 24, who was killed, and Eullanda Reed, 17, who was treated for a gunshot wound to her arm. As of Wednesday, Buffalo police said 105 people have been shot in the city this year, including 13 who were killed. The number of shootings was up 70 percent from the same period last year. Federal prosecutor Joseph M. Tripi on Friday also filed felony charges against: Sammy Ortiz, Jason Dryzmala, Joseph Whitely, Brittany Ground, Cecilio Medina, Carmen Geter, Alejandro Navarro Gonzalez, Luis Medina, Leslie Cunningham and David Tirado. Gangsters from the Seventh Street and Tenth Street groups have waged a bloody war over drug trafficking for years, police said. Investigators said the Seventh Street gang has been linked to West Side violence since at least July 2006, when a stray bullet fired by one gang member struck and killed Edith Torres, 46. Torres, of Seventh Street, was a mother of four. Torres was an innocent bystander who was hit by gunfire that was being sprayed at a group of people during an argument, police said. Axel E. Pizarro, 16, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to at least 7 1/2 years.


Saturday, 26 May 2012

Gangs blamed in killing driver caught in crossfire

Posted On 08:53 by Reporters 0 comments

David Wilson Jr. drove a tan Nissan down Spatz Avenue one night this month, never expecting the sounds of gunfire that would soon erupt throughout the neighborhood. Caught in the middle of what turned out to be a gunbattle – witnesses said more than 50 shots rang out that night – Wilson was hit at least once and died at the scene, becoming one of Allen County’s homicide victims. Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York said this week that Wilson’s death was probably the result of gang violence, but unusual this time because the 50-year-old city man was not a part of any gang. He wasn’t a target and neither was the 53-year-old man sitting in the passenger seat who escaped unscathed and the 30-year-old woman riding in the back seat who was also shot but survived. They were innocent bystanders in the wrong place at the wrong time. “That’s what it seems right now,” York said. There have been 14 homicides in Allen County this year compared to eight at this time a year ago, most of them shootings. York attributes many of the shootings to gang activity. And while they’re not necessarily organized on a national level here, such as the Outlaws or the Hell’s Angels, these gangs are still involved in illicit crime, including drug dealings and killings, he said. “These are violent people,” York said. “They’re involved in a lot of violence, typically against each other.” In the Fort Wayne Police Department’s annual report, the names of 25 gangs or cliques are listed as being active in the city. The report also notes a rise in Latin or Hispanic gangs. “We are seeing a rivalry for territory for the first time with an increase in Latin/Hispanic gangs,” the report said. Most other gang activity is not “territorial based or neighborhood controlled,” according to the report, but is instead based on drug dealing, drug distribution and other crimes. The department’s gang unit is working with limited resources, the report said. Goals for the unit are to increase the number of illegally possessed firearms it confiscates, the number of indictments handed out due to its investigations and get grant money for various projects. “The problem of gangs and criminal cliques will never be completely eliminated due to the underlying illicit crimes that they commit, and the high profitability these crimes can create,” the report said. There have been no arrests in Wilson’s death.


Friday, 25 May 2012

A member of a transnational street gang wanted in his native country of El Salvador for aggravated homicide was deported

Posted On 17:40 by Reporters 0 comments

A member of a transnational street gang wanted in his native country of El Salvador for aggravated homicide was deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) this week and turned over to authorities in that nation's capital. Tarsis Dodamin Quintero–Sanchez, 40, was repatriated to El Salvador Wednesday aboard a removal flight chartered by ICE's Air Operations Unit. Quintero, a documented member of the 18th Street Gang, is named in a warrant issued by Salvadoran authorities in September 2007 charging him with murder and belonging to an illicit group, specifically the 18th Street Gang. According to the warrant, the slaying occurred Sept. 16, 2007, in the Ciudad Delgado section of San Salvador. Authorities allege Quintero and two others fired nine shots at the victim, Oscar Oswaldo Reyes Alvarado, resulting in his death. The motive for the shooting is unknown. Quintero's deportation caps a five–month effort by ICE's Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor to secure his removal. Quintero came into ICE custody in December 2011, following his conviction in Los Angeles County for vandalism. Since Quintero had been previously deported from the United States in 2000, ICE sought to reinstate his prior removal order. Quintero appealed the agency's action to the Board of Immigration Appeals, which dismissed the appeal in late April, paving the way for Quintero's deportation. While Quintero was in ICE custody awaiting a decision on his immigration case, Salvadoran consular representatives alerted the agency about the outstanding murder warrant. "Five years after the crime occurred, this suspect undoubtedly believed he'd succeeded in eluding justice, but given our international cooperation, the reach of the law today is longer than ever before," said Timothy S. Robbins, field office director for ERO Los Angeles. "ICE will continue to use its unique immigration enforcement authorities and work closely with foreign governments to protect residents here and abroad from those who pose a threat to public safety." "One of our top U.S. priorities in Central America right now is to help to improve the security situation in this region," said U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Sean Murphy. "El Salvador is one of our strongest partners in that fight, and this case shows why. Congratulations to both ICE and to the Salvadoran Police on a job well done." In addition to his most recent conviction for vandalism, database checks indicate Quintero's criminal record in the United States includes two prior robbery convictions in 1993 and 1995. Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 335 foreign fugitives from the United States who were being sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with ICE's Office of International Affairs, foreign consular offices in the United States and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the country.


Thursday, 24 May 2012

3 NCCo gang members sentenced

Posted On 13:01 by Reporters 0 comments

Three members of a Wilmington gang have been given lengthy prison sentences after a street war with a rival gang ended in at least 5 gun battles that left 2 dead in the spring of 2010.  The 3 were charged with the crime of Gang Participation which allows prosecutors to present evidence demonstrating the overall scope of criminal activity that the gang is committing.  Kevin Rasin was also charged with first degree murder and other offenses and sentenced to life without parole.  Marc Taylor was sentenced to 15 ½  years in prison and Terrence Mills, who was also charged with manslaughter was sentenced to 16 years in prison.


The convict in one of L.A.'s highest-profile gang murders was handed the death penalty today by a Superior Court jury after only two-and-a-half hours of deliberation.

Posted On 12:57 by Reporters 0 comments

Pedro Espinoza, now 23 years old, was declared guilty on May 9 of first-degree murder for killing 17-year-old football star Jamiel Shaw in 2008. The convict came with a gang enhancement, for the killer's affiliation with the 18th Street Gang of West Adams. And today, the jury recommended he be sentenced to death for the crime. Espinoza's status as an illegal immigrant... ... made the shooting especially controversial. Shaw's parents even pushed for L.A. politicians to pass Jamiel's Law, an ordinance that would require local police to circumvent federal law by "investigating possible violations of federal immigration laws by gang members." Jamiel Shaw was a popular high-school footballer with a slew of college scholarship offers. But the investigation took a controversial turn in the other direction when evidence of Shaw's own gang affiliation surfaced on the Internet. In LA Weekly's summer 2008 story "Fury Over Jamiel's Law," reporter Annette Stark examined Shaw and his friends' MySpace activity, which showed them throwing up gang signs and otherwise identifying with the Rollin' 20s, a longtime 18th Street rival. However, there was no mention of Shaw's possible gang ties during Espinoza's 2012 trial. Based on information we received from the D.A., that was the result of a successful pre-trial motion filed by Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace. We've contacted the killer's lawyer to see if Espinoza will appeal. Updates to come. For more on the four-year history of this complex homicide case, see: "Jamiel Shaw, L.A. Football Star, Murdered Over His Spider-Man Backpack, Says D.A.; Shaw's Gang Affiliation Won't Factor Into Trial." Update: Deputy District Attorney Allyson Ostrowski called Espinoza's crime a "cold-blooded, calculated execution," reports City News Service. Strangely, Ostrowski also told the jury that Espinoza "literally aspired to sit in this chair as a capital murder defendant," based on comments he allegedly made to his probation officer that he was "down for death row." But the defendant's attorney replied that his client, although not the most upstanding citizen, is not among the "the worst in our society" -- a designation that should be required for death row. He pleaded with the jury not to let the emotional severity of this case get in the way of a rational sentence.


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Police arrest Jamaica deejay Busy Signal

Posted On 09:55 by Reporters 0 comments

Police have arrested a popular Jamaican dancehall deejay on a U.S. extradition warrant. Authorities say that Busy Signal is a fugitive wanted on decade-old drug conspiracy charges in the U.S. state of Minnesota. Agents with Jamaica's organized crime division arrested him at the international airport in the capital of Kingston. He had just arrived on a flight from London, where authorities first detained Busy Signal for allegedly traveling with false documents. Police said Tuesday his real name is Glendale Goshia Gordon, but he was reportedly traveling with a passport that listed his name as Reanno Devon Gordon. His first court hearing is Thursday. It was not immediately known if he has a lawyer. Busy Signal is best known for the dancehall tracks "Step Out" and "These Are the Days."


Jailed gangster testifies against Jamaican drug kingpin Coke at NYC sentencing hearing

Posted On 03:15 by Reporters 0 comments

Jermaine Cohen was a young slum-dweller in Jamaica when he says Christopher “Dudas” Coke drafted him into his drug gang by giving him a gun. The weapon came with strict instructions from the notorious kingpin: “Don’t lose this gun or you’ll lose your life.” Also: “Don’t shoot someone you’re not supposed to shoot.” 0 Comments Weigh InCorrections? Personal Post From that point on, Cohen says, “I belonged to the system.” Cohen, 37, detailed the system on Tuesday at a sentencing hearing for Coke, who pleaded guilty last year to racketeering conspiracy and assault charges. Federal prosecutors called Cohen — an admitted killer who became a government cooperator as part of a plea deal — to the witness stand to try to persuade a judge to give Coke the maximum 23-year term. No sentencing date has been set. Before his arrest in 2010, Coke was a divisive figure in Jamaica, where he followed in the footsteps of his father, Lester Lloyd Coke, better known as Jim Brown, a leader of the notorious Shower Posse during the 1980s cocaine wars. Authorities say he took over the organization when his father, also sought in the United States, died in a mysterious fire in a Jamaican prison cell in 1992. Once in power, the 43-year-old Coke became a folk hero to some followers in the West Kingston slum of Tivoli Gardens. He has listed his good deeds in a letter to the judge — throwing Easter parties for seniors, passing out school supplies and Christmas gifts to children and starting a school to teach computer skills to the disadvantaged. “I implemented a lot of social programs for the residents of my community — programs that teach them about self-empowerment,” he wrote in a plea for mercy. Charity earned Coke loyalty and political clout in Jamaica. But authorities allege his hold on power came at a severe cost that had repercussions in the U.S. Prosecutors have described Tivoli Gardens as “a garrison community” patrolled by Coke’s young henchmen armed with illegal weapons bought on the black market in the U.S. and smuggled into Jamaica. Wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, Cohen testified on Tuesday that he was among the enforcers — known as “shotters” — under the command of Coke. The men were expected to “protect and serve” Tivoli Gardens in return for no-show jobs and other illegal benefits, he said. Anyone who committed crimes without Coke’s permission were taken to a jail and subjected to harsh punishment, Cohen said in response to questions from a prosecutor. “Some people get beaten, sir,” he said. “Some people get shot and killed.” Under Coke’s system, elections were controlled by posting armed men at polling places, Cohen said. Only voters for the Jamaican Labour Party were allowed. Anyone for the People’s National Party was scared off. The gang forced vendors to pay Coke a tax, at least one woman to be a drug mule and the elderly to stash drugs in their homes, the witness said. Asked why he agreed to testify for the government, Cohen said that he wanted “to tell the truth, nothing but the truth, about my life in Jamaica.” Cohen, who hasn’t been sentenced, faces a possible life term. But prosecutors can recommend a lighter sentence based on his cooperation. Outside court, Coke’s attorney, Stephen Rosen, told reporters that Cohen lacks credibility. He said the witness has used as least six different names during his criminal career. “I still don’t believe his real name is Jermaine Cohen,” the lawyer said.


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Hooded, black-clad gang attacks Illinois restaurant patrons with hammers

Posted On 18:31 by Reporters 0 comments

Police said about 10 people were hurt Saturday when an armed mob clad in black hoods stormed an Illinois restaurant and attacked patrons with hammers and clubs. The frightening assault occurred about 12:45pm at the Ashford House restaurant in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park, the Orland Park Patch reported. Between 15 and 18 people wearing black clothing and hoods burst into the restaurant and started attacking diners, according to police. They were targeting a specific group of diners, cops said. One restaurant employee also claimed to have been assaulted, and said the hooded gang painted an unclear message on a wall. Three people were hospitalized for their injuries, while the other victims refused treatment, according to the Patch. Another Ashford House employee said a woman with tattoos on both of her arms made reservations Friday for a party of 10 for 12:00pm Saturday. She said the group tours Irish festivals throughout the US. About 12:00pm, the unidentified employee said, a group of people who apparently did not know each other gathered outside the restaurant. "It all seemed strange to me from the beginning," the worker said. "They were doing introductions and pacing around the parking lot before coming in." Five people sat down to eat, followed by another 10. The assailants then entered and began assaulting diners and damaging the restaurant, according to the employee, who added that they had people waiting for them outside. Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki said five people who were believed to have been involved in the attack had been taken into custody, the Chicago Tribune reported.


Monday, 21 May 2012

Gang started prison riot in Mississippi

Posted On 23:26 by Reporters 0 comments

A gang fight in a prison for illegal immigrants quickly escalated into a riot involving as many as 300 inmates, some lashing out with sticks or homemade knives as the uprising spread through the sprawling prison, a sheriff said. A guard was beaten to death and at least 20 other people were injured. The riot began Sunday afternoon and lasted into the night, with inmates dragging mattresses and wood to an outdoor recreation yard to set ablaze, Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said. While law enforcement agencies from several counties waited outside the Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez, authorities inside responded with tear gas and tactical units. They slowly corralled the inmates into a yard and searched them. By 2:45 a.m. Monday, all prisoners were back in their cells and the prison was locked down. Mayfield said it's not clear if the violence began within a gang or it was a dispute between rival groups, but "once it got started, it spread like wildfire." "They had makeshift weapons, broom handles, mop handles, anything they could pull apart, trashcan lids for shields, anything they could grab," Mayfield said. The prison holds nearly 2,500 low-security inmates, with most serving time for coming back to the United States after being deported, said Emilee Beach, a prison spokeswoman. Some of the inmates have also been convicted of other crimes, but their offenses were not immediately clear. The facility is owned by Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corporation of America, one of the nation's largest private prison companies. Catlin Carithers, who joined CCA in 2009 and was a senior correctional officer, was beaten during the mayhem, Mayfield said. "He liked protecting people," Carithers' cousin, Jason Clark, told The Associated Press. Carithers was engaged to be married and excited about a recent promotion that took him off the weekend shifts. He had been trained in recent years as part of the prison's special response team and was called into work Sunday to help with the uprising, Clark said. More than two dozen officers were held hostage or were trapped at some point, the sheriff said. At least 17 prison employees were treated for various injuries and three inmates were hurt. The sheriff said the inmates hurt each other, with one getting stabbed and another had broken ribs. Bill Chandler, executive director of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, said his group has gotten complaints about the facility in the past year, mostly from people saying they weren't getting adequate health care. Frank Smith, who runs the online prison watchdog group Private Corrections Working Group, said those kinds of conditions that usually trigger a riot. "The big problem is CCA tries to cut corners in every possible way. They short-staff, they don't fix equipment, and things just get more and more out of control, and that's what leads to these riots. It's just about maximizing short-term profits," Smith said. The sheriff said the conditions at the prison had nothing to do with this riot, and he said there was probably little CCA could have done to stop the disturbance. "I think this kind of thing can happen anywhere at any time," he said. CCA said in a statement it would work with authorities to investigate what happened. "Unfortunately, no system is immune to disturbances," the statement said. "Though this is only the second time in our company's nearly 30-year history that one of our own has lost his life to inmate assault, it doesn't make it any less tragic or difficult. This is a sad reminder of the challenges that come with providing this vital public service." CCA houses about 75,000 offenders and detainees in more than 60 facilities around the country, according to its website. In 2004, inmates at a different CCA prison in Mississippi set fire to mattresses, clothing and a portable toilet. No injuries were reported. The company announced after that disturbance that it would add about 25 guards at the Tallahatchie County facility. In Idaho, violence at a CCA-run prison has prompted federal lawsuits, public scrutiny and increased state oversight. In 2010, Vermont inmates being held at a CCA prison in Tennessee were subdued with chemical grenades after refusing to return to their cells.


reputed member of the Crips street gang pleaded not guilty Monday to second-degree murder

Posted On 23:25 by Reporters 0 comments

reputed member of the Crips street gang pleaded not guilty Monday to second-degree murder in the stabbing of a woman who was embroiled in an argument with his girlfriend that began at the Salvation Army soup kitchen. Perry Miller, 34, faces six additional charges in the Jan. 30 death of 43-year-old Tammi Washington. The charges are outlined in an indictment handed up to Schenectady County Judge Karen Drago. Earlier this month, Miller's ex-girlfriend, Sonya Hall, admitted having the hunting knife that Miller allegedly used to kill Washington. Hall, 44, pleaded guilty in a plea agreement to felony criminal possession of a weapon in exchange for her testimony against Miller. Her sworn statement remains sealed under court order. She is to be sentenced Oct. 9 to 1½ to 4½ years in prison. Washington and Hall, who knew each other, allegedly got into an argument over a man while they and Miller were eating breakfast at the Salvation Army soup kitchen. The argument reportedly continued outside, with Washington pursuing Hall and Miller. Washington allegedly threw a piece of metal pipe at the pair, which missed them. Miller told Hall to give him the knife she carried. He is accused of using that weapon to stab Washington twice. Part of the argument was captured on street surveillance cameras. Police found Washington bleeding profusely in the Bank of America parking lot on State Street. She died at Ellis Hospital Miller, who appeared with his attorney, Kent Gebert, was returned to the county jail without bail. He is scheduled to be back in court on Wednesday. Chief Assistant District Attorney Philip Mueller, who is handling the case, has said Miller is a member of the Crips. In 2009, Miller was convicted of stabbing a 19-year-old man on a city street. He served a year in jail.


2 shot in Boyle Heights gang attack

Posted On 23:23 by Reporters 0 comments

Two men sitting in a car in Boyle Heights were shot today in a gang attack, police said. The shooting at First and Clarence streets was reported at 12:25 a.m., and police found the victims at Rosalind Avenue and Eighth Street shortly afterward, a Los Angeles police sergeant at the Hollenbeck Station said. One victim was shot in the upper body, the other in the an arm and a leg, he said. Their names were withheld, but the sergeant said both were in their 20s and hospitalized with stable vital signs. No immediate arrests were made. No descriptions of the suspects were made available, but the sergeant said they were gang members.


Two shot in Dorchester drive by

Posted On 10:54 by Reporters 0 comments

Two people were shot outside of a barbecue on the front steps of a Dorchester apartment building after an apparent driveby shooting tonight, and one person was found stabbed in a separate incident in Roxbury, Boston police said. Officers responded to Monsignor Lydon Way shortly before 8 p.m. on a report of two people shot. Two bullet holes were seen in two of the apartment building’s front windows after police had cleared the scene about an hour later, as well as blood on the front steps and a knocked-over grill with chicken strewn about the sidewalk next to a children’s “Dora the Explorer” table. BPD spokeswoman Officer Nicole Grant said the victims’ injuries were not considered life-threatening. The gunman remained at large. Tony Tran, a neighbor, said he rushed out of his home after hearing between five and seven gunshots and heard a car rushing from the scene. “The police said the car stopped and someone shot the people,” said Tran. Meanwhile, at about 9:15 p.m., police responded to Wabon Street in Roxbury for a report of a person stabbed in the chest. The victim’s condition was not immediately available.


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Man dead after apparent gang-related shooting

Posted On 06:35 by Reporters 0 comments

One person is dead and his alleged killer is on the loose after a shooting at a Murray party Saturday morning. Officers arrived at a home near 593 West and 6640 South in Murray at around 4 a.m. on reports that shots had been fired. They found 21-year-old Alvert Mike dead at the scene from apparent gunshot wounds. Investigators say two rival gangs had reportedly gotten into a fight at the party. A shot was fired inside the house or the garage, causing people to attempt to flee the scene. Mike ran from the house and the shooter chased him down the street, shooting and killing him. “We believe there was a shot or two fired inside the house, that started to get people scattered and as I said, the victim is around the corner. We’re not really sure how two rival gangs wound up getting invited to the same party but with technology these days, a lot of these parties happen through text messaging,” said Murray Police Officer Jeff Maglish. Neighbors in the area say they heard two or three shots. The shooter was last seen leaving the scene in a dark-colored sports car, but police have no suspects.


Saturday, 19 May 2012

A gang member was found guilty yesterday of stabbing a young man to death outside a Halloween party in La Habra

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Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

A gang member was found guilty yesterday of stabbing a young man to death outside a Halloween party in La Habra in 2009.

Steven Salvador Hernandez stabbed 18-year-old Joshua Mora-Rodriguez in the neck with a knife while two co-defendants beat him during an argument outside the La Habra house party on Halloween night. Mora-Rodriguez, the son of two police detectives, bled to death in the street.

A Santa Ana jury found 19-year-old Steven Salvador Hernandez guilty of second-degree murder and “street terrorism” on Thursday, according to Orange County prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Mora-Rodriguez had no gang affiliation, had just graduated from high school, and was preparing to join the Army.

Hernandez faces 15 years to life in state prison.

The two co-defendants have been charged in the crime and are scheduled for trial later this month. The L.A. Times says they are accused of hitting the victim with fists and bats.


Mafia suspected as bomb attack at Italian school kills teenage girl and wounds seven

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The blast went off around 7:45 am (0545 GMT) on Saturday as students were arriving at the Francesca Morvillo Falcone vocational school. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the school is named after the wife of a famous anti-Mafia judge, Giovanni Falcone, who was blown up by the mob almost exactly 20 years ago. The prosecutor, his wife and their three bodyguards were killed on May 23 1992, when the Sicilian Mafia planted half a tonne of explosives on the road between Palermo's airport and the city centre. As one of the most audacious challenges by the Sicilian mob to the power of the Italian state, it ultimately backfired, prompting a massive crackdown against their activities that eventually cost them their dominance against the rival Neapolitan and Calabrian gangs. Saturday morning's bombing took place as students were entering the school in the Adriatic port. Two students are reported to be in a critical condition. Unconfirmed reports said a second schoolgirl also later died.


Thursday, 17 May 2012

A high-ranking member of the Independent Soldiers gang was warned in prison by police earlier this year that he might be targeted for violence.

Posted On 23:50 by Reporters 0 comments

As a result, Donald Bryce Lyons was transferred from minimum-security Ferndale Institution to medium-security Mission prison. Lyons, 39, challenged the move to administrative segregation in the more secure facility, but a B.C. Supreme Court judge this week sided with prison officials, saying public safety was paramount and that the move was done lawfully. "Given the serious nature of the threat, the perimeter security concerns and the risk to other inmates, corrections officials and members of the public at a minimum-security facility, I am satisfied the transfer recommendation falls within the range of acceptable outcomes," Justice Bruce Butler said in written reasons released on Tuesday. The RCMP and Gang Task Force provided the Correctional Service of Canada with information about "an imminent threat to the safety of Mr. Lyons" on Jan. 12, 2012, Butler said. "According to the RCMP, the threat was serious and extended to those in Mr. Lyons' company, were he to be released. The RCMP considered the threat to be credible and advised the CSC to take immediate action," Butler said. Police visited Lyons at Mission Institution Jan. 26 "to explain the nature of the threat." Lyons told his case management team that he didn't believe he was in danger, but the team still upgraded his security classification to medium, saying the "current extreme threat to his safety presents significant barriers to his risk management within a mini-mum security facility." Butler quoted the warden's written decision to move Lyons based on his position in the Independent Soldiers, which the judge described as "a criminal organization." "Although he has vocalized his disaffiliation with this security threat group (STG), the extent of his involvement cannot be underestimated," the warden said. At the time of the Jan. 12 warning, police were on heightened alert because of a conflict between the Independent Soldiers, some Hells Angels and the Red Scorpions and rivals in the Dhak-Duhre group. Just five days later, Sandip Duhre was gunned down in the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver. Correctional Service of Canada spokesman Jean-Paul Lorieau said Wednesday he couldn't talk about Lyons' case. Lyons is serving a total sentence of six years for convictions in both B.C. and Manitoba. He was arrested for cocaine trafficking in a 2007 under-cover sting out of Winnipeg that was targeting Hells Angels and their associates across Western Canada. He pleaded guilty and got six years. Police later searched Lyons' rental home and found 19 guns, two Tasers, several silencers and a grenade. Officers seized six handguns from hidden compartments inside his Escalade. He pleaded guilty to some of the gun charges and got handed a three-year concurrent term in a B.C. court.


A high-ranking member of the Independent Soldiers gang was warned in prison by police earlier this year that he might be targeted for violence.

Posted On 23:50 by Reporters 0 comments

As a result, Donald Bryce Lyons was transferred from minimum-security Ferndale Institution to medium-security Mission prison. Lyons, 39, challenged the move to administrative segregation in the more secure facility, but a B.C. Supreme Court judge this week sided with prison officials, saying public safety was paramount and that the move was done lawfully. "Given the serious nature of the threat, the perimeter security concerns and the risk to other inmates, corrections officials and members of the public at a minimum-security facility, I am satisfied the transfer recommendation falls within the range of acceptable outcomes," Justice Bruce Butler said in written reasons released on Tuesday. The RCMP and Gang Task Force provided the Correctional Service of Canada with information about "an imminent threat to the safety of Mr. Lyons" on Jan. 12, 2012, Butler said. "According to the RCMP, the threat was serious and extended to those in Mr. Lyons' company, were he to be released. The RCMP considered the threat to be credible and advised the CSC to take immediate action," Butler said. Police visited Lyons at Mission Institution Jan. 26 "to explain the nature of the threat." Lyons told his case management team that he didn't believe he was in danger, but the team still upgraded his security classification to medium, saying the "current extreme threat to his safety presents significant barriers to his risk management within a mini-mum security facility." Butler quoted the warden's written decision to move Lyons based on his position in the Independent Soldiers, which the judge described as "a criminal organization." "Although he has vocalized his disaffiliation with this security threat group (STG), the extent of his involvement cannot be underestimated," the warden said. At the time of the Jan. 12 warning, police were on heightened alert because of a conflict between the Independent Soldiers, some Hells Angels and the Red Scorpions and rivals in the Dhak-Duhre group. Just five days later, Sandip Duhre was gunned down in the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver. Correctional Service of Canada spokesman Jean-Paul Lorieau said Wednesday he couldn't talk about Lyons' case. Lyons is serving a total sentence of six years for convictions in both B.C. and Manitoba. He was arrested for cocaine trafficking in a 2007 under-cover sting out of Winnipeg that was targeting Hells Angels and their associates across Western Canada. He pleaded guilty and got six years. Police later searched Lyons' rental home and found 19 guns, two Tasers, several silencers and a grenade. Officers seized six handguns from hidden compartments inside his Escalade. He pleaded guilty to some of the gun charges and got handed a three-year concurrent term in a B.C. court.


Life term for murderer of Hells Angel

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A Mongols motorcycle club member was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for the murder of the president of the San Francisco chapter of the Hells Angels, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Christopher Bryan Ablett, 39, killed 46-year-old Mark “Papa” Guardado on Sept. 2, 2008, outside a Mission district bar near 24th and Treat streets, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said. Ablett had reportedly traveled to San Francisco to see a friend that day, Haag said. At the time, he was armed with a footlong military knife and a .357 Magnum revolver, and he was wearing a Mongols jacket and T-shirt. When Guardado heard Ablett was wearing his colors in a bar that was five minutes away from the Hells Angels’ headquarters, he went there to confront him. They spoke outside the bar about 10:30 p.m. and a fight broke out. During the melee, Ablett stabbed Guardado four times and shot him twice, Haag said.   Ablett received two concurrent life sentences and one consecutive due to various enhancements. Jurors did not believe Ablett’s claim that he was defending himself and his friends. The jury also found that Ablett murdered Guardado to increase his gang status. The Mongols and Hells Angels have been battling for decades, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In a bloody clash in 2002 at the Laughlin River Run motorcycle event in Las Vegas, three people were killed and 10 others were hospitalized. Last year, a member of each club suffered stab wounds during a brawl at a motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D.


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Source of gang weapons surprises police

Posted On 14:55 by Reporters 0 comments

Police task force investigations reveal that many illegal weapons come from otherwise upstanding citizens Police indicated that a significant number of illegal weapons come from gun enthusiasts  Investigations from the police unit Task Force East have discovered that many of the illegal weapons that end up in the hands of gangs stem from older, upstanding citizens without a criminal record. The task force is currently involved in three larger cases. One involves 40 weapons being stolen from the Antvorskov military barracks in 2009, for which four men have been arrested. Another involves a 69-year-old man from Odsherred who was convicted earlier this month for being part of ten weapons exchanges. Another man in that case, a 64-year-old from Grenaa, is suspected in engaging in a similar number of weapons transactions. The third large case involves a 53-year-old man from Greve, who is charged with selling three 9mm pistols to members of the Bandidos gang, which they used in their conflict against the Black Cobra gang. That case goes to court tomorrow. Police have indicated that a common thread amongst many of the cases is that those involved are gun enthusiasts or have been members of the Danish National Guard or various shooting clubs, although police said that the weapons seized have not come directly from the clubs. ”The situation revolves around a number of men who have access to weapons, can obtain them and then sell them on to the gangs,” Magnus Andresen, an inspector for Task Force East, told Politiken newspaper. “We devoted our attention on the supply routes and that has uncovered the Danish market. It has been a surprise for us because we initially believed that the weapons mostly came from the foreign markets.” The justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), was pleased with the increase in weapons seizures and admits that illegal weapons in Denmark have become a serious problem. He said illegal weapons units would be expanded. “We are stepping up efforts against organised crime by establishing Task Force West in Jutland. This method has proven to be right tool to get to grips with the often complicated criminal networks,” Bødskov told Politiken. “It’s a very serious crime and I am pleased with the efforts of Task Force East.” The number of illegal pistols and machine guns seized by Task Force East has increased dramatically in the last two years. After seizing 50 weapons in 2010, that number shot up to 337 in 2011. Some 350 weapons have already been recovered by the unit so far in 2012


U.S. troops illegally sold rifles, night-vision goggles worth $2M to street gangs

Posted On 14:52 by Reporters 0 comments

Dozens of U.S. Marines and sailors swiped nearly $2 million worth of government goods, according to reports, allegedly selling them to street gangs, foreigners and other big bidders. The stash has included assault rifles, night-vision goggles and $800 flashlights, investigators found as part of a two-year probe. “This is some damn fine police work,” Ed Buice, spokesman for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, told The Associated Press on Tuesday, adding that “this is not the first time such crimes have occurred with military members selling government-issued combat gear.” But this latest scheme, which is concentrated at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, highlights a pervasive problem: There were reportedly 66 investigations involving 47 active-duty Marines and sailors and 21 civilians, according to reports. The shady side business came to light after NCIS officials received a tip. “This is guys stealing stuff and selling it at garage sales and out of the back of their cars,” Buice said. And there were also transactions made through popular websites, including eBay and craigslist, according to The Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C., which first reported the story. Among the buyers were reportedly people in China and street gangs in North Carolina. About half of the cases have already been settled in court, with some of the suspects pleading guilty, Buice said. Exactly how many of them admitted to the thefts and for how long they’ve been occuring wasn’t immediately clear. Last week, Capt. Donald Pump Jr., was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and was dismissed from the Marines Corps, The Daily News in North Carolina reported. The newspaper said other military branches are now conducting similar investigations. Given the widespread allegations, observers questioned how the military could allow its equipment to go unaccounted for. “Who’s minding the store?” Philip Cave, a Washington military attorney, told MSNBC. “Somehow these people figured out how to beat the system,” he continued.


Police swoop to arrest thugs as young as 13 after brutal gang battle involving knives & baseball bats

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TEENS linked to a savage gang battle were rounded up by police in early morning raids yesterday. A 13-year-old boy was among those arrested over the face-off which saw dozens of teens slashed, stabbed and beaten with clubs. Onlookers were shocked at the ferocity of the violence, which put three youths in hospital with knife wounds. Police confessed they were surprised no one was killed. Chief Inspector Craig Ritchie said: “In terms of the injuries, this was one of the worst gang incidents we have seen. “There is no doubt that when people get involved in this type of serious activity there are potentially fatal consequences.” Yesterday, officers swooped to arrest four key suspects. The 13-year-old will appear in court today along with three other boys – two aged 17 and a 16-year-old. The police raids were the culmination of an intelligence gathering operation that swung into action following the bloody battle in Cambuslang, near Glasgow, two weeks ago. In a scene similar to the brutal movie Neds, rival gang members fought it out on a disused railway bridge that spans the dividing line between their supposed “territories”. They set about each other with knives, baseball bats and golf clubs. The fight was between 30 members of the Carmyle Tahiti and the Westburn Toi. When it was over, dozens retreated with cuts and bruises while three boys – aged 15, 16 and 17 – had to be taken to hospital with stab wounds. The battle left the boys’ neighbourhoods reeling. It was not caught on CCTV but tip-offs from the weary and disgusted locals led to the arrests. The Record yesterday joined Strathclyde Police on one of the four co-ordinated swoops. Our day began at Rutherglen Police Office with a 7am briefing led by Detective Sergeant Alan Bankier. He told local officers and cops from the force’s Gangs Taskforce they would be split into four teams, one for each suspect. They were also told the swoops were “phase one of the operation”. We made the three-mile trip to Inzievar Terrace, Carmyle, in a police minibus. Shortly before 7.30am, we watched Bankier knock a suspect’s door, while two officers stood guard at the rear of the ground-floor flat in case the teenager tried to escape. The door was answered within seconds by a male relative of the suspect and officers went inside. Four minutes later, they emerged with the handcuffed 16-year-old suspect. As the teenager was led away, he attempted to cover his face with a T-shirt. A female then appeared at the door, with her face concealed by a dressing gown hood, and watched as he was led to an unmarked car. A police search team remained at the house in a bid to recover any weapons. At the same time, cops made arrests at addresses in Park Road, Cross Street and Hillcress Road, all Carmyle. Back at the police office, we were told a 13-year-old-boy and two 17-year-olds had also been arrested. The 13-year-old was released on an undertaking but the three youths were remanded in custody. All four are expected to appear before Glasgow Sheriff Court today. It will be up to the procurator fiscal to decide what charges they face. Ritchie said the delay of more than two weeks between the incident and the arrests meant the culprits possibly thought they had got away with it. And officers expect to make further arrests in the coming weeks. Ritchie added: “This incident was part of wider, ongoing territorial issues. “It is vital the public in Westburn and Carmyle are reassured that we will not tolerate it. “This level of violence and disorder is not acceptable and it will be dealt with robustly. “I am hopeful that the arrests we made today will send out a very strong message. “If you are involved in this type of activity then we are coming after you.” Police patrols have been increased in the area, especially at weekends when gang fights traditionally kickoff. Top cop Ritchie said: “Law-abiding, decent members of the community should not be expected to live amongst violence and disorder of this nature. “They have been upset by it. We gave them plenty of reassurance at the time and they have been reassured by the number of police officers down there since then.There have been no further issues.” He also said the force are working with partners, including council officials, in a bid to change offender behaviour. Bankier described the original incident as “nasty”. He said: “The severity of the injuries make it one of the most serious gang-related incidents I have ever dealt with. “We have got to thank members of the public who offered their assistance. This is a case of the local community saying, ‘We are not putting up with this’.” Many of the gang clashes which plague communities are organised via social networking sites, such as Facebook and MSN. But cops believe the violence that erupted outside Lalli’s Food Market on Westburn Road around 8pm on Friday, April 27, was spontaneous. Ritchie said: “Nothing happened to spark it and we had no information it was going to happen. This is historical and has been going on for many years, “In this incident youths from Carmyle came over to fight with youths from Westburn.” Police said the three stab victims, who were taken to Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, were aged 15, 16 and 17. The 16-year-old was treated and kept in overnight. The others were released a few days later. Two of the injured gang members were from Carmyle and one was from Westburn. Two sustained multiple stab wounds while the third was knifed once. In 2008, the Centre for Social Justice warned there were 170 gangs in Glasgow – the same as London, which has six times the population. Police do not know how many individuals are linked to each gang. Gangs have been a problem in Glasgow for decades and are largely responsible for what Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has described as Scotland’s “booze and blades culture”. And by choosing to run with a gang many teenagers are following in the footsteps of their fathers and grandfathers. Breaking that cycle against a backdrop of deprivation and high unemployment remains a massive challenge for law enforcement. Last year, Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit said an operation targeting gangs in the city had brought about a significant drop in violence. They claimed the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence had resulted in a 50 per cent reduction in violent offending by the 400 gang members who signed up. And even among gang members who refused to participate, data indicated a 25 per cent fall in the number of offences committed. The project is based on Boston’s Operation Ceasefire. In Carmyle, one landmark has become a major flashpoint. Ritchie said: “This happens in other areas, however, it is particularly bad in Westburn and Carmyle because there is a railway bridge which gives youths from Westburn and Carmyle access to each other “They are determined, determined to fight each other.”


28-year-old Carlos Jose Moreno of Santa Clara, who officials suspect headed a transnational criminal drug trafficking organization affiliated with the Norteno gang.

Posted On 14:40 by Reporters 0 comments

California Attorney General Kamala Harris says state and federal officials have arrested 12 people tied to a drug trafficking ring that was smuggling heroin from Mexico into the San Francisco Bay area. Harris says the arrests were made in East Palo Alto, Hayward and Oakland on Tuesday. Undercover agents had been tracking the targets for nearly three years, during which time they purchased more than three pounds of heroin. Among those arrested was 28-year-old Carlos Jose Moreno of Santa Clara, who officials suspect headed a transnational criminal drug trafficking organization affiliated with the Norteno gang. The California Department of Justice and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement led "Operation Middle Man," with help from the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office and San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force.


THE mother of slain gangster Kevin “Gerbil” Carroll yesterday broke her silence to condemn the trial of the man accused of killing him.

Posted On 05:06 by Reporters 0 comments

Elizabeth Carroll, 49, said the court case that ended with the acquittal of Ross Monaghan was a joke and her murdered son had been put on trial after the jury was repeatedly told of his underworld reputation. She said: “Because he was a criminal doesn’t mean he deserves what he got and doesn’t mean people can trash him and make up lies and blame him for everything. “Some people seem to think what happened to him was a joke, something to laugh about. It’s disgusting.” Daniel gang enforcer Carroll, 29, was shot dead outside the Asda store in Robroyston, Glasgow, two years ago after a long-running feud with the Lyons crime clan. Lyons associate Monaghan, 30, walked free due to lack of evidence after the case collapsed amid severe criticism of Crown Office prosecutors and Strathclyde Police. The court heard evidence from police officers saying Carroll was a violent loose cannon and many people wanted him dead. Monaghan’s defence lawyers read out a police list of 99 people who may have been responsible for killing her son. The list was supplied to murder detectives from police intelligence – and did not include Monaghan. But Mrs Carroll, from Milton, Glasgow, said: “That list was a load of rubbish. My niece was there and the people who were on it were people Kevin knew and was friends with. “They’re trying to make out the 99 people were people who wanted to kill him but that wasn’t true. “The obvious question was why the person accused of it was not on that list.” She also questioned why prosecutor Iain McSporran did not call Carroll’s partner and mother of his two children Kelly Green, 31, whose dad is crime boss Jamie Daniel, as a witness. She said: “There was nobody to speak for Kevin. They never brought anybody in to speak for Kevin. They only wanted people with bad things to say about him.” Mrs Carroll is also upset that Monaghan’s lawyer Derek Ogg QC called Carroll “The Gerbil” as he cross-examined some witnesses at the High Court in Glasgow. After the trial, Ogg was also quoted describing the 13 shots fired in the busy Asda carpark as a “slick, cool hit”.


Nephew of TV gangster Domenyk Noonan jailed for vicious kidnapping

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The nephew of gangster and TV star Domenyk Noonan has been jailed for beating and kidnapping a man and threatening to blow off his kneecaps. Damien Noonan, 26, and two other thugs caught their victim in the street as children played nearby, then bundled him into a car and bound him with tape. Then the masked brutes threatened to shoot him in the knees and burn his fingers off with a blowtorch, a court heard. When armed police stopped the kidnappers’ vehicle in a pub car park and drew their guns Noonan fainted, it was said. A cosh and meat cleaver were found in the thugs’ car. Noonan and his co-defendants Dwayne Devaney and Forbes Edward, both 23, were all locked up for the violent daylight kidnapping. Dad-of-two Noonan who is already serving a 20-month prison sentence for drug offences and was jailed for a further six years and nine months at Preston Crown Court. The judge was told he carried out the kidnap for another unnamed offender to repay a gambling debt. Edward was also caged for six years and nine months and Devaney jailed for six years. The ‘well planned and organised’ abduction took place in Chorley, Lancashire in October last year. The defendants pulled up in a Nissan Qashqai near the victim and grabbed him. Witnesses said the masked men punched, kicked and stamped on their target until he passed out before dragging him into the car. Jacob Dyer, prosecuting, told the court: “One voice said they would blow his kneecaps off another said don’t forget the blowtorch we’ll burn his fingers off.” They drove the car from Chorley to the Hollins Bush pub in Bury where armed police acting on a tip off stopped them soon after. The officers were forced to smash the car windows and throw CS gas canisters inside to detain the men and rescue their victim who had been almost stripped naked during the struggle. The three defendants refused to speak when quizzed by detectives but later each admitted kidnapping and inflicting grievous bodily harm. The court heard that Noonan formerly of Ribble Lane, Preston, had previous convictions for violence including affray and common assault and was currently serving a sentence for a conspiracy to supply Class B drugs. Edward, of no fixed abode, also had a previous assault on his record while Devaney of Cotter Street, Manchester had no previous convictions. Their defence teams told the judge the men were remorseful and they should not be given indefinite jail sentences. Judge Stuart Baker told the defendants: “This was committed in a residential area in broad daylight and the victim was gratuitously degraded not only by your beating but by the harsh treatment he received during his detention in your car.” The court also heard the car had been stolen by another man who was not found.


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Convictions in Colombia Lil' Cycos gang case

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A jury found four “high-ranking” members of the Columbia Lil' Cycos clique of the 18th Street Gang guilty on racketeering and murder charges. “The results in this case are proof that the members and the leaders of the 18th Street Gang will be held accountable for the violence and intimidation they use in their efforts to terrorize the law-abiding residents of the city of Los Angeles,” United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. said. The four defendants found guilty are Eduardo Hernandez, 35; Vladimir Iraheta, 31; Leonidas Iraheta, 31; and Javier Perez, 35. All face potential sentences of life without parole in federal prison. Prosecutors said they are leaders in Colombia Lil’ Cycos or CLCS. For years, the gang has operated in the bustling immigrant neighborhoods around MacArthur Park, just west of downtown L.A. In a press release, prosecutors said the CLCS organization used violence and intimidation to control narcotics distribution. Under the orders of gang leadership, narcotics suppliers and street dealers paid “rent” — typically a percentage of proceeds from the sale of narcotics — in exchange for permission from the CLCS organization to sell narcotics in the organization’s territory, prosecutors said. In 2007, members of CLCS killed a 3-week-old girl as they shot at a street vendor who’d refused to pay them $50. The infant was sitting in a stroller next to the vendor’s cart. The incident helped spark the current case. For more than a decade, prosecutors have been using federal racketeering laws to go after L.A. street gangs on murder, drug and money laundering charges. Thirty-seven people have been convicted in the case against the Colombia Lil’ Cycos. The defendants included an attorney who laundered more than a million dollars in drug and extortion proceeds on behalf of the gang. “The members of the 18th Street Gang, including those convicted today, thought that they controlled neighborhoods and territory within this city,” Birotte said. “Today’s verdicts prove otherwise, and law enforcement at every level will work together to continue to make our streets safe.”


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Federal indictment alleges racketeering, murder by Norteno gang members

Posted On 15:47 by Reporters 0 comments

federal indictment unsealed today alleges Norteno gang members in Dodge City, Kan., were involved in racketeering and murder, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today. The indictment names 23 defendants, including four who are charged with the June 8, 2009, murder of Israel Peralta and the attempted murder of three other men. Peralta was shot to death as he and his friends were sitting outside in a trailer park on the south side of Dodge City. One of the men with Peralta was wounded by gunfire during the attack. "This indictment alleges the Nortenos operated a criminal enterprise in Dodge City,” said U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom. “They engaged in drug trafficking, robbery and even murder for the purpose of expanding their power, wealth and influence.” The indictment alleges members of the Nortenos built the gang’s reputation in Dodge City, defended its territory, and promoted its drug trafficking activities by creating a climate of fear through acts of violence and threats of violence. The defendants are charged under a federal law called the RICO Act (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act). The indictment marks only the second time federal prosecutors in Kansas have filed charges under RICO and VICAR, violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity. The indictment is based on a two-year investigation in which the Dodge City Police Department teamed up with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other local, state and federal agencies to build the case. “This indictment sends a message, “ Grissom said. “Dodge City residents shall not live in fear. Our streets are not a war zone. Gangs of armed men will not be permitted to prey on the weak or to exchange fire while the rest of us scramble for cover.” “This investigation was initiated due to the ongoing violent criminal street gang problems occurring in Dodge City,” said Craig Mellecker, Dodge City Police Chief. “The Dodge City Police Department is committed to taking enforcement action to rid our community of these violent street gangs. The citizens of Dodge City deserve to live in a safe community.”                                                            The 38-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Wichita includes counts alleging conspiracy to engage in racketeering, violent crimes in furtherance of racketeering, unlawful possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and other counts.


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Gang member convicted in killing of football star Jamiel Shaw Jr.

Posted On 14:29 by Reporters 0 comments

A gang member has been convicted in the 2008 shooting death of a high school football star who was mistaken for a rival gang member because of a red Spider-Man backpack. Pedro Espinoza, 23, was charged with first-degree murder  in the slaying of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr., who was shot on the street three doors from his Arlington Heights home. Espinoza allegedly asked Shaw for his gang affiliation -- "Where are you from?" -- then shot him before he could respond, in what a prosecutor said was an "execution"-manner. Jurors found true additional allegations that Espinoza acted in association with a criminal gang -- the 18th Street gang -- and that he used a firearm. He was not charged with a hate crime. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty; jurors will decide at the end of a separate phase of the trial whether he should receive capital punishment. Espinoza, who had a shaved head at the time of the shooting, sat in the trial with his hair slicked back and wearing dark-rimmed glasses and a suit. Prosecutors noted that he had tattooed on the side of his neck the letters "BK" -- which they contended stood for "Blood Killer." When he spotted the teenager walking home, Espinoza believed Shaw to be a Bloods gang member because he was black and carrying the red bag, prosecutors argued at trial. Driving away from the scene, he boasted "I'm a killer," they said. An attorney for Espinoza called the prosecution's case "weak," citing inconsistent descriptions between witnesses about what the shooter wore, and an eyewitness' failure to identify his client.


Edwin Ramos guilty of killing SF man and his sons

Posted On 14:28 by Reporters 0 comments

Gangbanger with a long gang history was convicted Wednesday of the mistaken-identity murders of a San Francisco father and his two sons, the culmination of one of the most notorious crimes in the city in recent years. Edwin Ramos, 25, at first was still as the San Francisco Superior Court jury returned guilty verdicts on three first-degree murder counts in the killings of Tony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16. Soon, however, he began to cry. Tony Bologna's widow, Danielle, who was in court for most of the trial, wept throughout the session and sobbed hardest when the court clerk read the names of her husband and sons. "Yes, yes, God," she cried as she heard the verdicts. Her son, Andrew Bologna, now 21, was the only survivor of the shootings in the Excelsior neighborhood on a bright Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2008. Tony Bologna was driving his sons home from a family gathering in Fairfield when, prosecutors said, Ramos mistook at least one of the young men for a Mission District gang rival and fired from another car. "He didn't get me," Andrew Bologna whispered to his mother in consolation Wednesday. 'Justice' shirts Several members of the Bologna family, including Danielle and Andrew, wore white T-shirts with "Finally justice is served" on the front and the victims' names on the back. Outside court, Tony Bologna's mother, Lena Bologna, cried as she said, "All I kiss at night are the pictures of my son and my two grandsons." The jury heard three months of testimony before beginning deliberations May 2. Ramos faces a maximum term of life in state prison without parole when he is sentenced June 4. The case first drew widespread attention for its random brutality. It became a national story when The Chronicle reported that city juvenile-justice officials relying on San Francisco's sanctuary-city policy had twice shielded Ramos, a suspected illegal immigrant from El Salvador, from possible deportation after he committed gang-related crimes as a minor. Gunning for a rival Assistant District Attorney Harry Dorfman, the lead prosecutor on the case, portrayed Ramos as a seemingly charming but cold-blooded killer who shot the Bolognas in a misguided attempt to avenge a compatriot in the MS-13 gang. The friend had been shot and wounded earlier that day. With no murder weapon or ballistics tests to link Ramos to the shootings, the prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of Andrew Bologna. He said the family had almost gotten home from the Fairfield gathering when Ramos blocked their car at Congdon and Maynard streets with his Chrysler 300, then rolled alongside and opened fire. Ramos' legal team, headed by Marla Zamora, said he had left gang life and associated with MS-13 members only to sell them drugs. Zamora said Ramos was the fall guy for the real killer, Wilfredo "Flaco" Reyesruano, the now-vanished leader of a faction of the MS-13 gang. Ramos, who took the stand in his own defense, testified that he had been driving Reyesruano to the hospital to visit their wounded gang friend but had gotten lost in the Excelsior trying to find the freeway. When they encountered the Bolognas, he said, Reyesruano yelled gang epithets and, without warning, opened fire. Jury hung on 2 counts Besides the murder counts, the jury convicted Ramos of the attempted murder of Andrew Bologna, along with various firearms and gang enhancements. However, the panel hung on a murder conspiracy count, as well as a charge accusing Ramos of firing into an occupied vehicle. That indicates "there was a question in the mind of at least one juror" on those counts, Dorfman noted. "But because Andrew Bologna told the police right away what he saw, told this jury what he saw, I was comfortable absolutely presenting his testimony that he saw Mr. Ramos fire the gun." Jurors left the Hall of Justice without commenting.


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Members of Alleged Howard Boys Street Gang Indicted

Posted On 23:56 by Reporters 0 comments

Charges have been filed against nearly two-dozen men who are reported to be a part of the Howard Boys street gang. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton announced the 34-count indictment. According to the Detroit News, charges include racketeering, murder, conspiracy to commit murder and assault with intent to murder. The indictments follow an investigation by local and federal agencies. Authorities allege the Howard Boys have operated for almost ten years on Flint’s south side in and around the Howard Estates housing project.


Gang members arrested in shooting death

Posted On 23:55 by Reporters 0 comments

Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with a Tuesday homicide that took place on a crowded downtown Stockton street. Stockton residents Angel Baca and Steven Baca, both 18, were arrested near Sierra Nevada Street and Harding Way on Thursday on suspicion of fatally shooting Randal Arthur Valdivia, 48, according to the Stockton Police Department. Valdivia was attacked at about 9:30 a.m. at Washington and Sutter streets. Police say the incident is gang-related, as both Bacas and Valdivia are gang-affiliated. Ads by Google Investigators did not disclose which gangs the men are suspected of being connected to. The police's Gang Street Enforcement Team and the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Apprehension Team worked together to make the arrest, officials said. Authorities would not say if the men in custody are related. Both are being held without bail at San Joaquin County Jail on suspicion of homicide, street terrorism and conspiracy.


18th Street Gang member takes deal in organized crime case

Posted On 23:53 by Reporters 0 comments

Jeremiah Guajardo, 24, pleaded guilty to attempted violation of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, the same as three of his co-defendants after a three-year investigation into the 18th Street Gang in Greeley. One other co-defendant was found guilty at trial of a host of criminal charges. He and four others -- Ramon Acevedo, 37; Rosendo Santa-Cruz, 34; Christopher Cox, 29; and Joseph Perez, 21 -- were indicted in March 2011 by the Weld County Grand Jury. Ads by Google The indictment states that between Sept. 12, 1994 and March 17, 2011, the suspects participated in the enterprise, whose purpose was "financial gain through illegal activities; to establish and maintain respect, power, control and influence over the entire gang subculture in prison and in the community through criminal activity, intimidation, fear and violence." Guajardo will be sentenced in July and faces up to 12 years in prison. The agreement calls for open sentencing, with no guidelines or concessions for the judge to consider. Acevedo was sentenced to 10 years in prison in March; Santa-Cruz, pleaded guilty in February to one count of attempted COCCA and will be sentenced May 22; Perez was sentenced to eight years in prison for his plea to attempted COCCA; and Cox was sentenced to 42 years after taking his case and being convicted on all counts at trial.


Saturday, 5 May 2012

Yakima gang member known as "Little Maniac" will serve up to three years for shooting a grandmother and her grandson

Posted On 13:39 by Reporters 0 comments

Yakima gang member known as "Little Maniac" will serve up to three years for shooting a grandmother and her grandson, and for a separate shooting incident involving a 6-year-old girl. The 54-year-old woman and her grandson were walking home from a grocery store on Sept. 27, 2011, when they were confronted on East F Street in Yakima by a group of four youths, police said. The pair told detectives one of the youths began shooting at them. The woman was struck three times, once each in the arm, hand and leg. Her grandson was shot once in the abdomen. Both survived. Court records show Preston Benjamin Meza, who is 15 now but was 14 when the attacks occurred, entered Alford pleas Friday in juvenile court to two counts of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon. For his plea, Yakima County Superior Court Judge Susan Hahn sentenced the teenager to between two and 2 1/2 years in a juvenile facility. He also will serve an additional six months because the crime involved a firearm. The sentences are near the top of the range for a juvenile convicted of the charges. He was given credit for 219 days time served. An Alford plea means he did not admit guilt, but agreed he'd likely be found guilty in a trial. It has the same effect as a guilty plea. Early on, prosecutors had sought to try Meza as an adult at the recommendation of juvenile probation officials. It was not immediately clear Friday what factors resulted in the decision to resolve the case in juvenile court. As a juvenile, Meza faced a range of up to three years. As an adult, he faced a minimum sentence of 13 1/2 years in prison. Quinten Bowman, the deputy prosecutor who handled the case, did not return several messages Friday afternoon from the Yakima Herald-Republic seeking comment. Neither did Meza's attorney, Marty Dixon. Meza had a criminal record that included a residential burglary conviction when he was arrested for the September shooting. After his arrest in that case, ballistics linked Meza to a shooting that occurred a month earlier. In that shooting, which wounded the 6-year-old girl for which Meza also was sentenced, someone opened fire at the back of a house in the 200 block of North Ninth Street on Aug. 25. Several shots penetrated the building, including one that grazed the neck of the girl inside. Prosecutors announced at the time that they would seek to have Meza remanded as an adult after juvenile probation officials said the suspect had an escalating history as a La Raza Norteo gang member and appeared to be beyond rehabilitation, according to an eight-page report prepared by a probation intake officer. The report said Meza had gone from a grade-schooler who was eager to learn to a thug by middle school who actively recruited classmates into gangs. The report said that in October 2009, while a student at Washington Middle School, Meza beat a younger student so badly the child was taken to the hospital.


South San Francisco street gangs, the 500 Block Gang and the C-Street Gang whose members have been operating together as a single racketeering enterprise

Posted On 08:51 by Reporters 0 comments

Four accused gang members could face the death penalty, more than a dozen others could spend decades in prison after a series of indictments targeting two South San Francisco Street gangs. Three federal agents suffered non-life threatening injuries after they were shot while trying to serve an arrest warrant in Petaluma in connection with the case, authorities say. "This indictment stems from an 18 month investigation into two South San Francisco street gangs, the 500 Block Gang and the C-Street Gang whose members have been operating together as a single racketeering enterprise," United States Attorney Melinda Haag said during a South San Francisco news conference Thursday afternoon.  "The 500 Block/C-Street gang members identify as Nortenos and are at war with Sureno gangs as well as with rival Nortenos.  Among the violence the gang members inflicted on their communities were four attempted murders in Daly City on December 18, 2010, and three murders and four attempted murders in South San Francisco on December 22nd, 2010." After those shootings during the 2010 holiday season, police in South San Francisco and Daly City along with sheriff's deputies in San Mateo County and the federal Department of Homeland Security put together a task for aimed at ending gang violence in the northern part of the county. "Three young men were shot and killed and three young men wounded not far from here on December 22nd, 2010 during a senseless shooting," Haag added.  "The violence must stop.    The indictment unsealed today is a clear message to gang members that they will be brought to justice for the pain and sorrow they inflict on their community.  For the victims and their families there is nothing we can do to bring their loved ones back but I hope that these charges will start to bring them some closure." Four defendants, Joseph Ortiz, Victor Flores, Justin Whipple, and Benjamin Campos-Gonzalez face the death penalty if convicted in federal court.  Michael Ortiz Jr., Michael Ortiz Sr., Armando Acosta, Giovanni Rimando Ascencio, Raymond Hembry, James Hembry, Richard Martinez, Rodrigo Aguayo, Gregorio Guzman, Mario Bergren, Andrew Bryant, and Peter Davis could receive life prison sentences while Louis Rodriguez is eligible for a 60 year prison term and Tanya Rodriguez and Betty Ortiz could get 40 years in prison each. Haag says authorities managed to arrest everyone on their target list Thursday. Many of the defendants are due in court as early as Friday to enter pleas. South San Francisco police say in the 18 months since the shooting they've deployed more anti-gang units on the streets of their community and that instances of gang violence have reduced dramatically.


South San Francisco street gangs, the 500 Block Gang and the C-Street Gang whose members have been operating together as a single racketeering enterprise

Posted On 08:51 by Reporters 0 comments

Four accused gang members could face the death penalty, more than a dozen others could spend decades in prison after a series of indictments targeting two South San Francisco Street gangs. Three federal agents suffered non-life threatening injuries after they were shot while trying to serve an arrest warrant in Petaluma in connection with the case, authorities say. "This indictment stems from an 18 month investigation into two South San Francisco street gangs, the 500 Block Gang and the C-Street Gang whose members have been operating together as a single racketeering enterprise," United States Attorney Melinda Haag said during a South San Francisco news conference Thursday afternoon.  "The 500 Block/C-Street gang members identify as Nortenos and are at war with Sureno gangs as well as with rival Nortenos.  Among the violence the gang members inflicted on their communities were four attempted murders in Daly City on December 18, 2010, and three murders and four attempted murders in South San Francisco on December 22nd, 2010." After those shootings during the 2010 holiday season, police in South San Francisco and Daly City along with sheriff's deputies in San Mateo County and the federal Department of Homeland Security put together a task for aimed at ending gang violence in the northern part of the county. "Three young men were shot and killed and three young men wounded not far from here on December 22nd, 2010 during a senseless shooting," Haag added.  "The violence must stop.    The indictment unsealed today is a clear message to gang members that they will be brought to justice for the pain and sorrow they inflict on their community.  For the victims and their families there is nothing we can do to bring their loved ones back but I hope that these charges will start to bring them some closure." Four defendants, Joseph Ortiz, Victor Flores, Justin Whipple, and Benjamin Campos-Gonzalez face the death penalty if convicted in federal court.  Michael Ortiz Jr., Michael Ortiz Sr., Armando Acosta, Giovanni Rimando Ascencio, Raymond Hembry, James Hembry, Richard Martinez, Rodrigo Aguayo, Gregorio Guzman, Mario Bergren, Andrew Bryant, and Peter Davis could receive life prison sentences while Louis Rodriguez is eligible for a 60 year prison term and Tanya Rodriguez and Betty Ortiz could get 40 years in prison each. Haag says authorities managed to arrest everyone on their target list Thursday. Many of the defendants are due in court as early as Friday to enter pleas. South San Francisco police say in the 18 months since the shooting they've deployed more anti-gang units on the streets of their community and that instances of gang violence have reduced dramatically.


Friday, 4 May 2012

San Rafael gangster and girlfriend arrested in meth investigation

Posted On 16:42 by Reporters 0 comments

San Rafael gang member and his girlfriend were arrested on allegations of dealing methamphetamine with their two young children in tow, a sheriff's investigator said. Oscar Josue Arroyo, 22, and Deanna Izquierdo, 19, were charged Thursday with possession of methamphetamine for sale, said Deputy District Attorney Sean Kensinger. The case remains under review for more potential charges, he said. Arroyo and Izquierdo were arrested Tuesday evening after an investigation by the county drug squad, the Marin County Major Crimes Task Force. Sheriff's Sgt. Pierre Ahuncain said the couple was selling methamphetamine around the Wendy's restaurant on Andersen Drive in San Rafael. Detectives contacted the couple in the restaurant, where they were sitting with their children, one 2 years old and the other 6 months old. Investigators discovered that Arroyo was carrying $1,900 in cash and Izquierdo had nearly an ounce of meth stashed in her bra, Ahuncain said. "She was holding dope for him," he said. Detectives then searched their residence on B Street and seized more suspected methamphetamine, packaging materials and scales. Two men who showed up at the apartment, possibly for drug deals, were arrested on outstanding warrants. Izquierdo is free on bail pending an arraignment on May 21. Arroyo remained in county jail Thursday in lieu of $10,000 bail. Child Protective Services was investigating whether to take custody of the couple's


28-year-old member of the West Coast Crips gang was sentenced in San Diego on Thursday to 19 years and eight months in federal prison

Posted On 16:41 by Reporters 0 comments

28-year-old member of the West Coast Crips gang was sentenced in San Diego on Thursday to 19 years and eight months in federal prison after being convicted of forcing a 15-year-old girl into prostitution through violence. Jonathan Jamar Sanders, known as "Sincere," posted pictures of the girl on the Internet, along with the price list for various sexual acts. Sanders kept all the proceeds, according to court documents. He was previously convicted in San Diego in 2006 of forcing an adult woman into prostitution. U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw said Sanders' conduct is "a form of modern-day slavery" and said sex-trafficking of women "should not be tolerated or accepted."


Members of the 18th Street gang attend a mass at the prison of Izalco, about 65 km (40 miles) from San Salvador April 13, 2012.

Posted On 16:38 by Reporters 0 comments

Rival gangs operating in El Salvador have called for a truce as the Central American country confronts a plague of violent crime, according to a statement issued by the gangs. The document, signed by representatives of the country's two most powerful gangs, Mara Salvatrucha and the 18th Street gang (Mara 18), was delivered to the local media and has been endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador, according to local church leaders.


3 agents shot, injured in SF Bay area incident

Posted On 06:01 by Reporters 0 comments

Three Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were shot and injured Thursday while serving "high-risk" warrants during an early morning sweep of San Francisco Bay area gang members, authorities said. The agents suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being shot with an assault rifle and were hospitalized in stable condition following the incident in Petaluma that was in connection with the investigation of a 2010 gang-related triple homicide in South San Francisco. "We owe them a debt of gratitude," U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said at a Thursday news conference in nearby South San Francisco. "My office is proud to be associated with professionals who put their lives on the line to protect others." Thirteen men were arrested — many members of the 500 Block/C Street gang — during Thursday's sweep that also included two other cities. They are among 19 who were indicted last week on charges including racketeering and murder.


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Ranjit Singh Cheema, a prominent Vancouver gangster, gunned down in drive-by

Posted On 23:18 by Reporters 0 comments

Well-known Vancouver gangster Ranjit Singh Cheema has been confirmed as the victim of a targeted hit Wednesday morning at his parents’ home in East Vancouver. Neighbour Jimmy Sanghara said he heard six or seven shots just before 10 a.m. “There was blood everywhere. When I got there he was dead, slumped in the seat of the vehicle.”  gang hit leaves one dead, another in critical condition Sanghara, who didn’t know the victim, said it appeared Cheema was attempting to get out of the SUV when he was shot. Family and friends of Cheema began arriving at the home shortly after, and were talking to homicide investigators near the garage. Dozens of curious neighbours lined the street as police investigators began combing the area with metal detectors. Another neighbour, Manjit Bhangal, said the well-kept street is normally quiet. “This is obviously very shocking to everybody,” she said. She said she saw the victim’s parents going for daily walks around the area. She was not aware that their son was involved in gang activity. Cheema was released from a prison in California in January after serving five years for his role in a major drug-smuggling operation, just a week before Sandip “Dip” Singh Duhre was slain in a hail of bullets in January. Cheema was a one-time associate of gangster Bindy Johal, who was killed in December 1998. Cheema fought extradition to the U.S. for nearly 10 years after he was charged in 1998 with planning to bring 200 kilograms of heroin from Pakistan in a trade for 800 kg of cocaine with California-based Colombian drug traffickers — a deal that would have earned him between $12 and $14 million.


Charged 11 members of V-NOT gang on Syracuse's South Side

Posted On 15:01 by Reporters 0 comments

Thirty-six days in the fall of 2010 show how quickly street gang violence can sweep innocent victims into its path, federal prosecutors in Syracuse said Tuesday. A member of the Bricktown gang stabbed a member of the V-NOT gang Oct. 23 of that year at a North Geddes Street bar. That night, a V-NOT member retaliated by firing 21 shots from an AK-47 assault rifle into the home of the Bricktown member. Back and forth they went until Nov. 26, when V-NOT member Kahari Smith, 26, fired shots from a car on Interstate 81 into a car carrying Bricktown members and their friend, former Henninger High School athlete Kihary Blue, prosecutors said. Blue was killed. He was not a member of a gang, police said. Two days later, Bricktown member Saquan Evans targeted the wrong gang for retaliation, firing into the parked van of 110 gang member Rashaad Walker Sr., prosecutors said. The shot killed his toddler son, Rashaad Walker Jr., who was in a car seat. “What started as a barroom brawl ended with the death of a high school basketball star and a 20-month-old child,” U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said Tuesday. On Tuesday, police charged 11 members of V-NOT, including Kahari Smith, with violating the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act by using violence to control their drug trade and territory on the far South Side of Syracuse over eight years. “The city of Syracuse is a much safer place right now than it was yesterday,” Syracuse police Chief Frank Fowler said. He called V-NOT a “very dangerous street gang.” Bricktown gang members, including Evans, were arrested in a street gang roundup last year. View full sizeEllen M. Blalock / The Post-Standard Supervisor U.S.Marshall Joe Ciciareeli stands beside a display board showing the timeline of alleged criminal activities by the V-NOT and Bricktown gangs. A federal indictment accused the V-NOT members of murder, robbery, drug-trafficking and witness tampering. V-NOT was the sixth gang in nine years that the Syracuse Gang Violence Task Force has targeted for federal prosecution, arresting a total of 90 suspected gang members. As in the other cases, V-NOT members were charged with federal crimes because they often carry longer sentences than state crimes. Prosecutors must show only that a defendant committed two overt acts to prove his or her participation in the criminal enterprise. V-NOT often used 15- and 16-year-old children to sell its drugs to crack cocaine junkies they referred to as “licks,” the indictment said. The arrests, made by more than 100 law enforcement officers, included the first female gang member in the Syracuse federal cases, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney John Katko. That defendant, Riadda Travet, 22, was accused of threatening a witness who was going to testify against another V-NOT member, the indictment said. Besides Smith and Travet, the others charged as V-NOT gang members were: Habakkuk Nickens, 26; Jeffrey Powell, 27; Kenneth Jackson, 27; Titus Nickens, 28; Christopher Mike, 27; Jermeere McKinnon, 23; Nathan King, 21; Dwayne Hester, 27; and Donald R. Johnson Jr., 24. The Nickenses are brothers, as are Powell and Jackson, Katko said. Along with Smith, the indictment identified two other V-NOT gang members who were in the vehicle when Blue was shot: Nickens and Powell. An Onondaga County Court jury convicted Evans in March of murdering Walker Jr. V-NOT, which stands for Valley (N-words) On Top, controlled a territory on the South Side, with West Newell Street as the northern border, police said. The defendants all pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon when they were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate David Peebles. As a clerk read the 16-page indictment aloud, two or three women in the spectator area gasped frequently and slammed their hands in disgust. Federal crackdowns Since 2003, the Syracuse Gang Violence Task Force has arrested 90 suspected members of six street gangs, including the 11 charged Tuesday with violating the federal Racketeer-Influenced Corrupt Organizations law: 2003: Boot Camp, 24 members charged. 2005: Elk Block, 16 members. 2006: Brighton Brigade, 14 members. 2009: 110, 12 members. 2011: Bricktown, 13 members. 2012: V-NOT, 11 members. The gang task force, consisting of seven Syracuse police officers, two state troopers, an Onondaga County sheriff’s deputy, two deputy U.S. marshals and two Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents, will be on the lookout for its next gang, Fowler said. “Their hands are free,” he said as a warning to other gang members. “You have an opportunity today to get it, and if you don’t, then guess what? We’re coming after you.” The indictment lists 12 shootings that V-NOT members carried out either to protect their drug trade and territory or to retaliate against rival gangs. Among the acts listed in the indictment: • Titus Nickens shot a rival gang member in the stomach in May 2007 with a 9mm handgun that was involved in five previous shootings in the V-NOT gang area. • In 2009, Powell shot an Elk Block gang member in the head. • On Dec. 24 of last year, Mike and V-NOT gang member Sherman Jackson tried to rob rival gang members in the area of South Alvord and Highland streets. Mike hit one of the gang members with a .22-caliber gun and then was shot in return. Jackson was stabbed to death. The indictment identified 321 Shirley Drive as a place where V-NOT gang members routinely congregated. In November 2010, four people were playing cards in the garage of that house were wounded when a man let himself into the garage and opened fire.


Two arrested in Simi Valley shooting thought to be gang members

Posted On 14:59 by Reporters 0 comments

Two suspects arrested Monday night after shots were fired into a car in Simi Valley are gang members, officials said. The shooting and a stabbing Friday in Simi Valley stemmed from a conflict between local gang members and a former member of the gang, police said. The shooting occurred about 7:40 p.m. Monday in the 1200 block of Cochran Street. Three young men were driving in the area when another car pulled up beside them and someone fired rounds from a 9mm semi-automatic handgun at their vehicle, Simi Valley police said. The bullets hit the car, but the occupants — Simi Valley residents age 17, 20 and 22 — were uninjured, police said. Police saw the shooter's vehicle near Second and Ayhens streets. When officers tried to pull it over, the suspects drove away, and a chase took place, police said. During the pursuit, a handgun was thrown out of the vehicle, police said. The chase ended after police put a spike strip on Madera Road south of Cochran Street, officials said. The suspects — Anthony Romero, 29, and a 17-year-old boy, both of Simi Valley — were arrested without incident. Both are gang members who were known to investigators, officials said. Romero was booked into Ventura County jail on suspicion of shooting at an occupied vehicle, street terrorism, conspiracy, evading and a firearms charge. He is ineligible for bail because of a parole violation, jail records show. The teen was booked into juvenile hall. Investigators found the handgun they think was used in the shooting, police said. The stabbing occurred about 10:20 p.m. Friday near Erringer Road and Heywood Street, police said. Police responded to a reported fight and found a 23-year-old man with a stab wound to his neck, officials said. The man had surgery, but the wound was not life-threatening. At least one suspect in the stabbing left in the victim's car, police said. Officers arrested a suspect, Bryan Hernandez, 20, of Simi Valley, after a search that included a helicopter and K-9 unit. Hernandez remained in custody this week on suspicion of charges including attempted homicide and street terrorism, jail records show. He was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. The stabbing and shooting stemmed from a confrontation between gang members and someone who left the gang about three years ago, police said.


18th Street gang member gets second life sentence in connection to Gaithersburg murder

Posted On 14:58 by Reporters 0 comments

federal judge sentenced a convicted 18th Street gang member to a second term of life in prison Monday related to two homicides in 2009. Joel Yonathan Ventura-Quintanilla, 25, of Germantown was charged in 2009 with 10 other 18th Street gang members linked to the 2009 murder of Dennys Alfredo Guzman-Saenz, 15, of Langley Park. Ventura-Quintanilla and another co-defendant, Ysaud Flores, 33, of Gaithersburg, were also charged in the 2009 shooting death of Manuel Garcia-Fuentes in Washington, D.C., according to Flores’ indictment. Ventura-Quintanilla pleaded guilty to Guzman-Saenz’ murder on Sept. 17, 2010, in Montgomery County Circuit Court, receiving a sentence of life in prison, according to court records. Federal prosecutors then used Ventura-Quintanilla’s gang affiliation and the February 2009 murder to bring him up on racketeering charges in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, said Laura Kelsey Rhodes, Ventura-Quintanilla’s attorney. Ventura-Quintanilla pleaded guilty to the racketeering charges, receiving a life sentence on those charges before U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus on Monday. Ventura-Quintanilla forfeited most of his rights to appeal the federal sentence in his plea agreement, Rhodes said, adding that she does not believe her client will appeal the sentence. “He spoke for a while at his sentencing,” Rhodes said. “He is deeply remorseful for his actions and accepts the lengthy imprisonment he’s received.” Due to his prior life sentence for murder and the nature of federal sentences, Ventura-Quintanilla will likely never be granted parole, said U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Marcia Murphy. “The chances are quite slim that he will ever be released,” Murphy said. Flores pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in July 2010 and is scheduled to be sentenced May 9, according to Montgomery County Circuit Court records. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the federal racketeering charges due to his involvement with Ventura-Quintanilla in the death of Garcia-Fuentes. Guzman-Saenz, a High Point High School student, was found stabbed in a Gaithersburg park Jan. 19, 2009, by Montgomery County police. Ventura-Quintanilla and others kidnapped Guzman-Saenz from a bus stop in Langley Park on Jan. 18, 2009, while searching the community for members of another violent street gang, MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, to harm, police said. Guzman-Saenz was not a member of MS-13 but was friends with gang members, police said. The 18th Street gang members took Guzman-Saenz to a residence in Germantown, then to Malcolm King Park in Gaithersburg. Guzman-Saenz was taken to a stream in the park and stabbed 72 times, according to police.


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