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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Gang Shooting In Union Gap

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Union Gap has felt shielded from some of the gang violence seen in Yakima. That could be changing after a shooting over the weekend was the second in recent months. Action News found police are keeping tabs on the gang activity there. People in Union Gap are worried their quiet neighborhoods are starting to change. "I've noticed more groups of young boys walking around,” said neighbor Melissa John. “Not necessarily any certain colors." John doesn't know if the young boys she sees are gang members, or not, but she has seen more activity she blames on gangs. "There have been quite a few more tags on fences and side-streets and the building up here have been vandalized a couple of times with tags," said John. Union Gap Police are concerned that gang activity is escalating from taggings to shootings. Over the weekend, a man was shot not far from John’s home. These police photos show the evidence taken from the scene. It's the second shooting of this kind in Union Gap in just the last couple of months. The city used to see just one or two a year. Acting Police Chief Greg Cobb told Action News he's concerned the additional gang members moving in mean more violence for his city. Right now there are about 15-20 known gang members living in the city. The Chief said that in the past, troublemakers just lived in Union Gap, but caused most of their problems in Yakima. "Its only a matter of time before those drive-by's occur down here and those innocent victims are hit by stray bullets," said Cobb. For now people here, are not living in fear. "This area is pretty fine,” said John. “I feel safe here all the time." That's how police want it. So they'll keep a close eye on your new neighbors. Police identified where gang members live so officers can move quickly when there's trouble. Detectives say the biggest problem they face is that people aren't coming forward to report the activity.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Bikie gang member shot dead in Adelaide

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The shooting of a bikie gang member and his club president father has been declared a major crime as the South Australian police minister says some outlaw gangs have no regard for the law or the community. Giovanni Focarelli, 22, is dead and his father, Comanchero club president Vince Focarelli, is in Royal Adelaide Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds after the shooting on Sunday night. Police Minister Jennifer Rankine said the state has tough laws to deal with the "scourge" of outlaw motorcycle gangs but some just shun the law."I am sure the police are as frustrated as what I am about what is occurring," she told ABC radio.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Hell's Lovers gang infiltrated in Denver

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Investigators raided a Hell's Lovers motorcycle gang in Denver Friday night. Many of the motorcycle gang suspects are now in jail awaiting a court hearing Monday. The arrests come after a near three-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. ATF agents raided the home and arrested at least 15 gang members for "violent crime." "We are not talking about traditional gang violence with younger youth that are from 17 to 24, which make up the bulk of gang violence. We are talking about...grandfathers even; some of them have different professions," says Terrance Roberts, a gang expert. The gang was formed in Chicago in the late 1960's, and has now spread to Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee and Texas. Agents say the gang has been associated with cocaine trafficking and use of weapons and explosives.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Murder trial of alleged SF gang member finally begins in deaths of father, sons

Posted On 13:17 0 comments


The triple-murder trial of an accused MS-13 gang member, whose case brought the country’s immigration debate to the steps of San Francisco City Hall three years ago, is set to officially begin today. Edwin Ramos, 25, is accused in the June 2008 fatal shootings of Anthony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16. Attorneys will present opening arguments this morning. The case was overshadowed by accusations that The City’s sanctuary policy contributed to the slayings. Media reports had suggested Ramos had been in the country illegally, but had not been deported when he was previously arrested as a juvenile. A lawsuit filed by the Bologna family against The City was later thrown out of court. Ramos’ attorneys have said Ramos entered the country legally from his native El Salvador on a tourist visa, but overstayed it. They also claim he left the gang prior to the killings. In July 2008 — as Ramos’ case entered the national debate and prompted fiery demonstrations in front of City Hall by both immigrant rights groups and conservative Minutemen — then-Mayor Gavin Newsom clarified city policy to begin referring undocumented juvenile felony suspects to federal immigration authorities. But Ramos’ immigration status will likely be a sidelight during the trial. Prosecutors are focused on trying to prove that when Ramos came upon the Bologna’s vehicle, he was an active gang member who was driving through the Excelsior district looking to retaliate for the earlier shooting of an MS-13 member. Police said Ramos may have mistaken the family for rival gang members. Ramos told police after his arrest he was the driver, but another man in the car fired the shots. His attorneys say Ramos “had no idea” the other man was going to shoot. A surviving Bologna son, however, testified at a 2009 hearing that Ramos was the gunman. The trial, which is expected to last for months, could feature testimony by gang informants who cooperated with federal agents. Authorities have successfully targeted the gang’s 20th Street clique in the Mission district in recent years.

Former top cop sees alarming trends in gang murders

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Chicago police are celebrating the lowest murder rate since 1965. But a former police superintendent said he sees some alarming trends in both murders and the gang members who frequently commit them. "The residents of Chicago need to know - they deserve to know, that crime is headed in the right direction," said former superintendent Jody Weis. "We're nowhere where we need to be." For three years Jody Weis received briefings twice a day on who was being killed, where and why in the city of Chicago. He still keeps an eye on the stats - and trends - in his relatively new job as president of the Chicago Crime Commission. The year 2011 ended with five fewer murders than the previous year. But Weis said he sees cause for concern in what happened in the final few months of 2011. "If you look at it like a football team it might be like having a 12 and 4 season," Weis said. "The problem is if those four losses are at the end of the season, are you really satisfied with how the team is playing and I liken that to the last four months of the year. Murders were up 25-percent." The surge in killings last fall coincided with a decision to disband the department's Targeted Response and other units that flood hot spots with officers for a few weeks, then move on. New Superintendent Garry McCarthy sees that as a band-aid approach. Instead he hopes permanently re-assigning those officers to high-crime districts will knock down the number of shootings - and therefore murders - long-term. Last year Chicago police say gang members were involved in 66 percent of the city's murders. And gangs are a huge focus of Weis' work at the crime commission. Later this week he'll unveil the newest edition of the "Gang Book." Researchers found the Chicago-area has between 68,000 and 150,000 gang members. That's more than the entire population of many suburbs. More murders can be attributed to gangs. In 2005, fewer than 50 percent of all murders had gang ties. Now two-thirds do. And more people have multiple gang memberships. Experts think that's been inspired by the demolition of the large housing projects and scattering of residents across traditional gang boundaries. "Younger guys, not as mature, not as disciplined," Weis said. "They can't exercise a sphere of control any wider than maybe a block or two but they're every bit as dangerous and every bit as violent." Last week Weis' successor in the superintendent spot marked the first murder-free day in Chicago in nearly a year. If trends hold true, having "another" day without death will be many months away. On Friday the Chicago Crime Commission is hosting a seminar at Loyola University downtown called "Gangs: What do we know, What's being done and What's left to learn."

A young member of the Native Syndicate street gang will spend the next eight months behind bars after beating a stranger unconscious with a fence post

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A young member of the Native Syndicate street gang will spend the next eight months behind bars after beating a stranger unconscious with a fence post in an apparently unmotivated attack. The youth, 14, was handed a sentence of 18 months of secure custody and supervision under the Youth Criminal Justice Act last week after admitting responsibility for an unprovoked summertime attack at a children’s park near Spence Street and Cumberland Avenue. Judge Heather Pullan credited the teen with six months of time already served, meaning he has eight months of jail left to be followed by a period of community supervision and probation. Details of the July 8, 2011 attack were described in court by the Crown as “gratuitous violence against complete strangers.” Prosecutor Sheila Seesahai said the boy approached a group of youths drinking in the park and started attacking them after striking up a short conversation over a “gang scarf.” While two youths managed to escape relatively uninjured, the teen pounced on a 15-year-old boy, knocked him down and repeatedly hit him in the head with the fence picket. “He hit the victim so hard that it shattered … the police just find pieces of it,” Seesahai said. Someone called 911 to report a “bludgeoning,” and officers arrived to find the victim passed out and bleeding from the face, court heard. His attacker was arrested not far from the scene. The youth was granted two shots at bail after his arrest but breached each time, Seesahai said. Since being in custody, he’s had to be transferred to a maximum-security youth lockup twice because of his behaviour, Pullan was told. The teen suffers from impulse issues and has had negative family influences, his lawyer told court. The youth said he “kind of felt bad for the people that I hurt.” “I’m sick and tired of the cockamamie in and out of this place,” he said. Pullan said she recognized the teen came from difficult circumstances, but it didn’t excuse his actions. “It’s not all about you,” said Pullan. “In the end, it’s about protection of the public.”

A young member of the Native Syndicate street gang will spend the next eight months behind bars after beating a stranger unconscious with a fence post

Posted On 12:39 0 comments


A young member of the Native Syndicate street gang will spend the next eight months behind bars after beating a stranger unconscious with a fence post in an apparently unmotivated attack. The youth, 14, was handed a sentence of 18 months of secure custody and supervision under the Youth Criminal Justice Act last week after admitting responsibility for an unprovoked summertime attack at a children’s park near Spence Street and Cumberland Avenue. Judge Heather Pullan credited the teen with six months of time already served, meaning he has eight months of jail left to be followed by a period of community supervision and probation. Details of the July 8, 2011 attack were described in court by the Crown as “gratuitous violence against complete strangers.” Prosecutor Sheila Seesahai said the boy approached a group of youths drinking in the park and started attacking them after striking up a short conversation over a “gang scarf.” While two youths managed to escape relatively uninjured, the teen pounced on a 15-year-old boy, knocked him down and repeatedly hit him in the head with the fence picket. “He hit the victim so hard that it shattered … the police just find pieces of it,” Seesahai said. Someone called 911 to report a “bludgeoning,” and officers arrived to find the victim passed out and bleeding from the face, court heard. His attacker was arrested not far from the scene. The youth was granted two shots at bail after his arrest but breached each time, Seesahai said. Since being in custody, he’s had to be transferred to a maximum-security youth lockup twice because of his behaviour, Pullan was told. The teen suffers from impulse issues and has had negative family influences, his lawyer told court. The youth said he “kind of felt bad for the people that I hurt.” “I’m sick and tired of the cockamamie in and out of this place,” he said. Pullan said she recognized the teen came from difficult circumstances, but it didn’t excuse his actions. “It’s not all about you,” said Pullan. “In the end, it’s about protection of the public.”

Police investigating three murders arrested 43 feuding New York gang members

Posted On 12:30 0 comments


Police investigating three murders arrested 43 feuding New York gang members on Thursday based on evidence collected from monitoring what the gang members were saying about the cases on Twitter and Facebook, authorities said. The 25 accused members of the Wave Gang and 18 accused members of rival Hoodstarz have been terrorizing streets in Brooklyn with shootouts that led to the killing of three people and wounding of several others, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. The gang members, ages 15 to 21, bragged about the shootings on the social media sites Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, he said. "By linking their postings and boastings to active cases and other crimes, these officers were able to build their case," Kelly said. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said authorities will next be going after gangs in other Brooklyn neighborhoods. "We know who you are. We know how you operate," he said. "Make no mistake about it. We're coming after you next." Hynes said the feud that started in August between Wave Gang and Hoodstarz resulted in the death of an innocent bystander, and the wounded included a 9-year-old boy and his father. Wave Gang members often robbed 13- and 14-year-olds by threatening to steal their bikes and electronics to intimidate them into joining their gangs, Hynes said. The 43 gang members were indicted on Thursday on charges including murder, assault, reckless endangerment, robbery and weapon possession, with potential sentences ranging from a year to life in prison.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Nigerian sect kills over 100 in deadliest strike yet

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100 people were killed in bomb attacks and gunbattles in the Nigerian city Kano late on Friday, a local government security source said, in the deadliest strike claimed by Islamist sect Boko Haram to date. "Definitely more than 100 have been killed," the senior source, who could not be named, told Reuters. "There were bombs and then gunmen were attacking police and police came back with attacks." Hospital staff said there were still bodies arriving at morgues in Kano. Boko Haram claimed responsibility on Saturday for the wave of strikes. The sect has killed hundreds in the north of Africa's most populous nation in the last year. The attacks late on Friday prompted the government to announce a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the city of more than 10 million people, the country's second biggest. President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been criticized for failing to act quickly and decisively enough against Boko Haram, said the killers would face "the full wrath of the law." Kano and other northern cities have been plagued by an insurgency led by Boko Haram, which is blamed for scores of bombings and shootings. These have taken place mostly in the Muslim-dominated north of Africa's top oil producer, whose main oil-producing facilities are located to the south. Aimed mainly at government targets, the Boko Haram attacks have been growing in scale and sophistication. A spokesman for Boko Haram contacted reporters in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, where the sect is based, to claim responsibility for Friday's bombings. Copies of a letter apparently from the group were also dropped around Kano.

super-powerful street gangs to surpass Los Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel

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The main groups of drugs now in Mexico, Los Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel, will be displaced by super-powerful street gangs, and could be as early as 2014, warned a report by Southern analysis group Press. According to the document Beyond 2012, which addresses a number of hemispheric security, in three years from now the big fish are no longer the main drivers of violence in Mexico. Instead, they will be local groups split off from larger organizations with an interest in drug dealing and consumer markets in Mexico, found the document. The report’s authors are specialists Sam Bosworth and James Logan, for whom the end of 2014 the followers of Joaquin El Chapo Guzman and his main rival, Heriberto Lazcano, are no longer the main protagonists. Image via Wikipedia  The role will be local, street gangs armed superpowers with Twitter, YouTube (which he defined as “the weapon of fear”) and an enviable arsenal manipulated local politicians and municipal police. They felt that they will be more likely to intimidate or murder journalists, kidnappings and displacement of local government. The situation would represent a major change, since Guzman and Lazcano are considered together as responsible for some of the worst fighting in the country. El Chapo, leader of the Sinaloa cartel, is seen as guilty of starting the battle with Vicente Carrillo Fuentes for control of Ciudad Juarez in 2008, in a fight that led to thousands of murders and for a while “catapulted” into Juarez to be the most dangerous city in the hemisphere. Image via Wikipedia The enmity of his former allies Guzmán, the Beltrán Leyva, shook the underworld in the country, and contributed to increased violence in Morelos, Guerrero and his native Sinaloa. Lazcano, the Z-3, top leader of Los Zetas, who became famous for his pattern of movements into new regions and the alteration of the status quo . Initially a group of assassins, Los Zetas operated mainly in Tamaulipas. But the group broke away from its founders in the Gulf cartel, and settled in states as distant as Quintana Roo and Jalisco. Also the band has perhaps been more aggressive in expanding their operations beyond the drug trade and marketing of extortion, kidnapping and piracy, among other unlawful activities. The cartel led by Lazcano has the reputation of the most violent group in Mexico. According to the report, there is evidence suggesting that decentralization of violence is already underway. While Guzman and Lazcano are still big names, the relative power of the lords of his stature has been reduced during the administration of Calderon, by increasing smaller groups and regionally isolated. Some of these organizations were formed from the remains of larger groups, such as the Hand with Eye (a branch of the Beltran Leyva) and the Knights Templar (from La Familia Michoacana ). Others, such as Los Zetas , began as mere executor groups but evolved into something quite different: perhaps the best example of this phenomenon is La Linea , a gang of Chihuahua has essentially replaced the Juárez cartel, its prime mover. There are also many local street gangs, although they have existed in some form for decades, have become more violent and are more connected than ever with transnational groups, it said. While the main reason for the violence in Juarez appears to be the struggle between the forces of Guzman and Carrillo, local bands are an important factor in sustaining the bloodshed: Mexican officials say there are at least a thousand 500 gangs operating in Ciudad Juarez. Expected that with the emergence of several groups of medium and small size in Mexico, seek more lucrative black market. Drugs continue to play an important role in that market forces, but local consumption is sure to rise.

US official linked to Mexico gun scandal refuses to testify

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A US Justice Department employee considered a key figure in a botched US program to track guns into Mexico has refused to testify to Congress, claiming a constitutional right. Patrick Cunningham, head of the criminal division of the Arizona state Attorney General's office, said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, according to a letter to Congress from his lawyer, revealed Friday. "I am writing to advise you that my client is going to assert his constitutional privilege not to be compelled to be a witness against himself," lawyer Tobin Romero wrote to Republican congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. On Wednesday, Issa subpoenaed Cunningham to testify no later than next Tuesday after several failed attempts to question him. According to Republican lawmakers, Cunningham played a key role in approving the tactics of the 'Fast and Furious' program, which allowed people linked to drug gangs to buy automatic weapons in the United States in order to track their trafficking routes. Cunningham's lawyer said they had "blamed him unfairly" and underlined that his client took his post in Arizona in 2010, when the operation already was under way. Issa said in a statement it was the first time a government official had refused to testify in the probe. "The assertion of the Fifth Amendment by a senior justice official is a significant indictment of the (Justice) Department's integrity in Operation Fast and Furious," he wrote. He said it "raises questions" about whether President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder knew about the operation, a charge they have denied. The sting, which ran between November 2009 and the end of 2010, observed some 2,000 weapons pass into Mexico, losing trace of many of them. It has caused an uproar in Mexico, where rising drug-related violence has left some 50,000 dead in the past five years.

'Kings of Dust' Gang Suspected of Murders and Shootings, Police Say

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Members of the "Kings of Dust" drug gang that terrorized a Harlem public housing complex are suspected of carrying out several murders and half-a-dozen shootings while controlling their $1 million-a-year PCP and narcotics empire, police sources said. Prosecutors on Wednesday released a 268-count indictment against the 35-member drug gang, which investigators said put an 8-year-old boy to work keeping watch for cops as older members peddled massive quantities of PCP and other drugs. The indictment charged gang members with conspiracy and drug sales, but police sources said Thursday the gang resorted to murder on several occasions. Tenants at the New York City Housing Authority's Milbank Frawley Houses at 1780 Madison Avenue said Thursday they lived in fear for months as the alleged drug dealers ran rampant, intimidating locals. The alleged drug gang members urinated in the elevator and in hallways, fought at night, and fired a gun at the housing complex at least once, residents told DNAinfo. Tenants said they watched helplessly from their windows as the gang took over the complex, gathering nightly in a courtyard that served as a hub for their drug trade. Prosecutors said the gang hid 2.5 gallons of PCP, which is sold both in liquid form and crystallized as Angel Dust, in Hawaiian Punch bottles. The gang was made up of men, women, and some "very small" children, residents said. "Every day I'd see them out the window," said Luis Pena, 43, whose apartment overlooks the courtyard. "Every hour there'd be more people." Maxine, a 65-year-old resident, said she was afraid to go out late at night, when the gang seemed most active. "We were scared of getting robbed," she said. Some said the drug activity seemed to increase about a year and a half ago, then intensified in the past five months. Residents said they wondered why it seemed to take police so long to stop the gang's criminal activity. "There were mad dustheads in the building and on the corner," said Marcella, a 56-year-old resident. "I don't know how the cops took so long." Investigators tracked the drug gang's activity for 15 months, prosectors said Wednesday. The probe was sparked by residents' complaints, but some said Thursday that officials seemed to brush off their concerns. "I was scared," said a 60-year-old resident named Yolanda. "We went to (the New York City Housing Authority) to say it was very dangerous and there were people outside. They didn’t do anything. They just fixed the door. They said call the police." A NYCHA spokesperson said the agency worked closely with the NYPD and was aware of the drug activity at the Milbank Frawley Houses. NYCHA was working to evict the residents who were involved, a NYCHA spokesperson said. "We will continue to assist residents in working with the NYPD in any way that we can, and periodic meetings have taken place with...police officers regarding criminal activity," the spokeswoman said.

Gang members are caught after boasting about murders on Facebook

Posted On 21:57 0 comments


GANG MEMBERS were caught by police after boasting about murders on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, according to US authorities. According to Reuters, 43 feuding New York gang members were arrested on Thursday by police investigating three murders. The evidence to arrest the gang was based on monitoring what they were saying on the social networks, authorities said. New York police commissioner Raymond Kelly said that the 18 accused members of Hoodstarz and the 25 from its rival the Wave Gang had been involved in shootouts that led to three people being killed and several others injured. The 15 to 21 year old gang members then boasted about the incidents on social networking web sites. Officers were able to link the boastful web postings to active cases and other crimes to build their cases, Kelly said. The 43 gang members were indicted on Thursday on charges including murder, assault, reckless endangerment, robbery and weapon possession. They are facing sentences that range from a year to life in prison. Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes said that authorities will be going after gangs in other Brooklyn neighborhoods.

The G-Shyne Bloods are a Richmond-area subset of the Bloods national street gang.

Posted On 21:54 0 comments


Henrico County jury found a gang enforcer guilty on all counts for ordering a robbery that resulted in a murder, and recommended a sentence of life in prison plus 23 years. After deliberating about four hours Friday, the jury of six men and six women found Merwin Raheem Herbert "Poncho" White, 21, guilty of first-degree murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and two related firearm charges. Authorities say White ordered two other members of the G-Shyne Bloods to rob drug dealer Quondell Pringle because Pringle had been holding himself up falsely as a member of the gang. Authorities say that during the robbery, James B. Pryor shot and killed Pringle, 22. The G-Shyne Bloods are a Richmond-area subset of the Bloods national street gang. White stared impassively at the jury's forewoman as she announced the panel's recommended sentence, ending a three-day trial in Henrico Circuit Court. Formal sentencing was set for March 7. After a deputy placed White in handcuffs, he nodded solemnly to supporters in the courtroom gallery. One woman could be heard crying softly. Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney Shannon Taylor, who was elected in November, said the sentence shows that her office won't put up with gang violence and noted that the case was unusual because it involved a murder prosecution of a man who set the events in motion by giving an order but didn't pull the trigger. "This gang culture is something that's real," Taylor said. "Gangs in Henrico County are not tolerated, and law enforcement is committed 100 percent to the public and going after gang activity." Taylor praised Henrico investigators and prosecutors Toni M. Randall and Thomas L. Johnson Jr. for their handling of the case. After Taylor was elected, she removed several veteran Henrico prosecutors and hired Randall and Johnson from Richmond to serve as deputies in her new administration. After Friday's verdict, White's attorney declined to comment. Supporters of the defendant said it was unfair he was convicted of murder when he didn't carry out the shooting himself. "He's not a menace to society as everyone is trying to make him out to be," said White's sister, Roderica White, 20, adding that her brother is the father of four daughters and one son. Prosecutors said White ordered two fellow affiliates of the G-Shyne Bloods, Pryor and William D. Hargrove, to set Quondell Pringle up to be robbed last April. In his closing arguments Friday, Johnson described a meeting White had with Pryor and Hargrove to plan the robbery of Pringle by setting up a drug deal to buy marijuana from him. Johnson said White told Pryor and Hargrove, "If he bucks, then you know what to do." "Those were the last words given to James Pryor before he and William Hargrove left the apartment in Newbridge to complete their mission," Johnson said. Johnson said the gang's message to Pringle would be this: "You're going to be robbed. You're going to stop reppin' for G-Shyne." Pryor, a G-Shyne initiate, told associates that he shot Pringle after Pringle grabbed for a gun White had provided. White's attorney, William Linka, had urged the jury to disregard the testimony of prosecution witnesses who were deeply involved with the gang. One of the witnesses was granted immunity for her testimony, and two others admitted they expected some form of leniency on criminal charges they face. One of the men, Deshon Randolph, is facing a gang-participation charge for his role in a shooting of two other gang members in Powhatan County shortly after Pringle died. One of the victims was killed and the other critically wounded. Richmonder Joe Lewis Harris III, known as Savage and who drove the getaway car in the Pringle case, has pleaded guilty to murder and other charges in the Powhatan double shooting.

Man shot in Surrey was the half-brother of previously slain gang-associate

Posted On 21:41 0 comments


One of two men gunned down in Surrey late Thursday was the half-brother of a Dhak associate shot to death there in October, The Vancouver Sun has learned. And police are bracing for more violence as the death toll rises in a bloody ongoing conflict between two rival groups of gangsters. Sgt. Bill Whelan, of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said heads of organized crime and homicide teams met Friday to strategize about what to do in the aftermath of a string of gang murders, including the execution at the Sheraton Wall Centre Tuesday of high-profile gangster Sandip (Dip) Duhre. “They are obviously concerned about the public shootings,” Whalen said. “Certainly in the last 24 hours, enforcement has been stepped up. There will be a significant increase in covert units tasked with working on this.” And he said the Uniformed Gang Task Force will be out in greater numbers throughout the weekend. The latest casualty, Sean Beaver, is from Montreal and was not well-known to police in B.C. before he was targeted in the driveway of a house in the 13900-block of 56 Ave. about 11 p.m. Thursday. A second man shot Thursday is fighting for his life in hospital. A second man shot Thursday and critically wounded is the sibling of Stephen Leone, a member of the Dhak-Duhre group who was fatally shot by a masked gunman as he sat in his black Acura sedan in a strip mall at 100th Avenue and King George Highway last Oct. 22. Another associate was wounded in the shooting. The Dhak-Duhre gang has been marked for months by a loose criminal alliance made up of Red Scorpions, Independent Soldiers and some Hells Angels. The conflict between the two sides bubbled into public view in October 2010, when Gurmit Dhak was gunned down at Metrotown mall by hit men suspected of being linked to the other side. Several retaliatory shootings followed in late 2010 and early 2011. And things spun out of control after Red Scorpion Jon Bacon was executed by masked gunmen outside of the Delta Grand hotel in Kelowna last August. A Hells Angel and an Independent Soldier were also wounded in that attack. The fallout led Gang Task Force leader Supt. Tom McCluskie to issue an extraordinary public warning telling people to stay away from anyone connected to the Dhak-Duhre group. And on Friday, McCluskie reiterated that plea. “If you are near or around any of these guys, then you are putting yourself or whoever you are with in serious, serious danger,” McCluskie said. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is in charge of Beaver’s murder. “Although it is in the very early stages, at this point this shooting appears to be targeted and gang related,” Sgt. Jennifer Pound said Friday. IHIT investigators canvassed the area around the palatial Panorama Ridge home where the shooting took place Friday, looking for evidence and speaking with potential witnesses. The oceanview house with an indoor pool sits on more than four acres and was purchased last August for $3.5 million by a person named Hua Deng. The new owner then rented the property out to a Dhak associate. Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts said politicians and police throughout the region are concerned about the escalation in violence. “I think with the shooting in Vancouver the other day, we thought there would be some retaliation,” Watts said. “I think it is something we are very, very concerned about.” Watts said if necessary Surrey RCMP could bring in resources from out of province to help as they did in 2009 when gang murders escalated. “We have that capability. If it escalates again, we are prepared to do that,” she said. “I would hope that things calm down."

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Mention of Mafia at hearing for Hells Angel murder

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References to the Mafia surfaced Tuesday as prosecutors and public defenders argued whether names of some witnesses should be kept secret at the upcoming murder trial for a Vagos motorcycle gang member accused of killing a high-ranking Hells Angel during a shootout at a Nevada casino. Ernesto Gonzalez, a Vagos member from San Francisco, is accused of fatally shooting the president of the rival Hells Angels' San Jose chapter, Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, during the Sept. 23 melee at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks. Lawyers for Gonzalez and two other men charged in connection with the killing asked Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer to order prosecutors to release the name of another Vagos member who testified confidentially before the grand jury that indicted all three men in November. But police testified Tuesday that the unidentified Vagos member fears for his life and is bound for a witness protection program. "The Hells Angels are a well-known, outlaw motorcycle gang, as are the Vagos, and people are scared of them," Deputy District Attorney Karl Hall said. Police Sgt. Eric Bennett, an investigator from San Bernardino, Calif., said yet another Vagos member who was wounded during the casino shootout - Leonard Rameriz of Garden Grove, Calif. - met with a member of the Mafia in the weeks after the killing. "We know a member of the Vagos met with the Mafia and gave him copies of affidavits for search warrants," Bennett said. He said that while the confidential witness is identified only as a number in the grand jury transcripts made public, there may have been clues to his identity in the search warrants. Rameriz, who was shot in the stomach but survived, also visited the residence of the secret witness and attempted to contact one of his friends, Bennett said. "He's afraid for his safety," he said. "Some (Vagos) members do know who he is." Steinheimer said she would consider the arguments and rule in the coming days whether the names of the confidential witnesses should be provided to the defense lawyers. Gonzalez, who police said is the president of a Vagos chapter in Nicaragua, appeared in court under heavy security Tuesday along with co-defendants who face the equivalent of murder charges for their role in the brawl that led to the fatal shooting. Gary Rudnick, the vice president of the Vagos Los Angeles chapter, is accused of instigating the fight by provoking Pettigrew. Cesar Villagrana, a Hells Angel member and friend of Pettigrew's, is accused of shooting Rameriz and another Vagos wounded that night. Gonzalez and Rudnick, whose nickname is "Jabbers," both wore bullet proof vests, shackles and handcuffs in court Tuesday. They're being represented by public defenders and are being held in the Washoe County jail awaiting their trial set to begin Oct. 29. Villagrana, who claims he was acting in self-defense and is free on $300,000 bail, is represented by David Chesnoff, a high-profile defense lawyer from Las Vegas. Chesnoff said Villagrana's rights are being violated because he doesn't have a chance to question the witness whose name remains secret and whose testimony was key to the grand jury indictment. He tried to make his point by asking two police officers testifying Tuesday whether they would want their defense lawyer to be able to question all the witnesses if they were accused of a crime they didn't commit. The officers acknowledged they would. "This isn't done in secret," Chesnoff said. "I want equal protection under the law here." The confidential witness told the grand jury he had been a member of the Vagos for 27 years and been part of its "higher echelon" of leadership "before this event." He said "Jabbers" is known for having a "big mouth" and was responsible for provoking a fight with Pettigrew that turned the casino floor into a shooting gallery. Rudnick had refused to back down even after national Vagos officers were summoned and talks with Hells Angels' leaders had calmed the volatile situation shortly after 10 p.m., the grand jury witness said. But about an hour later, Rudnick again was taunting Pettigrew, who the witness said "in the Hells Angels world is one of the most important guys in the United States." Finally, he said Pettigrew had enough and punched Rudnick in the face, touching off a series of fights that led to the gunfire. "All hell broke loose," the witness testified. "Just bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam." Other witnesses who testified before the grand jury on condition of confidentiality included the director of security and the director of surveillance at the Nugget. Gonzalez was arrested in San Francisco on Sept. 30. He told arresting officers that the Hells Angels were after him and asked them to get him out of the area as fast as possible when he was nabbed sitting in a rental car near campus police headquarters at the University of San Francisco, police said.

Bikie dispute leads to car park shooting

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dispute between Comanchero motorcycle gang members led to a shooting in Adelaide's west on Monday night, police believe. Two shots were fired in the car park of the Findon Hotel about 10:00pm (ACDT). Detective Inspector Paul Yeomans says two men were arguing in the car park before one of them fired the shots at a dark-coloured sedan. "We don't think this is a random attack," he said. "We think that the two males are known to each other. We do think, even though it's early in the investigation, we do think it is linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs, in particular the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang." The cars sped-off after the shooting and police have not said why they suspect Comanchero members. The shooting is the latest instance of bikie-related violence in the past two months. But Attorney-General John Rau insists the situation is not out of control. "There are always going to be lunatics who go out there and break the law as these people have done and when they're caught up with the law will deal with them," he said. There is no sign anyone was injured in the incident.

Two reputed Rock Machine biker gang associates were nabbed by police

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Two reputed Rock Machine biker gang associates were nabbed by police just prior to a search of a St. Andrews home that netted drugs, ammunition and gang paraphernalia. Police said at about 3 p.m. Friday, Shane Allen Fischer, 31, and Nicole Joy Nykorak, 26, were arrested during a traffic stop at Highway 8 and Grassmere Road. The stop came about two hours prior to police executing two search warrants at the same alleged drug house on Lockport Road as part of a ongoing street crime investigation, police said Sunday. Police seized nearly $10,000 worth of cocaine and hash, along with coke-cutting agent, drug paraphernalia, ammunition, a bullet-proof vest and gang attire, Const. Jason Michalyshen said. The seizure of the armoured vest is significant, as it may prove to become the first test of provincial legislation that came into force Jan. 1 outlawing their use by the general public without a permit. Anyone unauthorized to have body armour and is caught with it faces a fine of up to $10,000, three months in jail or both. Michalyshen said he was unaware of any other pending arrests in the case. Fischer was out on bail at the time and was supposed to be living elsewhere, said police. Nykorak was out on statutory release from prison and is facing parole revocation, Michalyshen said. Police didn’t identify the gang involved, but said it was an outlaw motorcycle group. A police source said both have ties to the Rock Machine gang. Both suspects face “numerous” drug and weapons charges, police said. They are being held at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

Movie fans must boycott Paul Ferris film..

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SENIOR policeman has urged film fans to shun a new drama about Scottish gangster Paul Ferris. Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan spoke out after a promotional trailer for the film was leaked online. And he said he believed few people in Scotland would have any sympathy for the production, made by a London-based company and shot down south. The sympathetic trailer shows Ferris, known as “the enforcer”, as a victim who was bullied as a child and whose road into vicious career criminality came as a reaction against the “monsters” of his youth. It also contains scenes similar to the 1980s classic childhood friendship film Stand By Me. One shows Ferris as a young boy sitting around a fire with his childhood pals saying: “When we’re old, we’ll always be together. “We’ll live in huge castles and be kings. We’ll fight monsters and demons.” DCS Carnochan, head of Strathclyde Police’s Violence Reduction Unit, said last night it was wrong that people should seek to profit from Ferris’s criminal career. He added: “There comes a point in our understanding of the importance of the effect of early years has on later life when you’re beyond the point of saying, ‘You’re worthy of our empathy.’ “I’ve seen nothing of the film, so it’s hard to comment completely, but I understand why people will have a problem with this. “I don’t think that anyone should profit from criminality. Whoever they are and at whatever stage, I think it’s wholly inappropriate.” The film stars Greenock-born Sweet Sixteen actor Martin Compston in the lead role, with support from Hollywood Scots John Hannah and Denis Lawson. Hannah plays Ferris’s former enemy Tam “The Licensee” McGraw, while Lawson plays his father. Opening scenes see the young child Ferris climbing walls around his home in Blackhill in Glasgow’s east end, walking his dog and making “forever friends” pacts. Compston then emerges as the snarling adult Ferris, hell-bent on retribution against his childhood oppressors, growling: “Every single day of my life those b******s have bullied me. They sucked the life out of me. No f*****g more.” The scenes are played out against a sentimental score of plaintive folk guitar. No one from producers Carnaby Films was available last night.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Mexico drug gangs targeting gov’t choppers, at least 28 hit in 5 years

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The Mexican armed forces and prosecutors have suffered at least 28 gunfire attacks on helicopters in the five years since the government launched an offensive against drug cartels, according to official documents made public Monday. The attacks show the increasing ferocity of Mexico’s drug gangs, and also suggest support for what the Mexican government has said in the past: that 2010 may have been the worst year for the upward spiral in violence. 0 Comments Weigh InCorrections? inShare In the first two years of the drug war, reporting government agencies such as the air force, navy and Attorney General’s Office reported no chopper attacks. But in 2008, four helicopters were hit by gunfire, wounding at least one officer aboard. In 2009, bullets struck six government helicopters in the rotors, side doors or motor compartments. All the craft were apparently able to land safely. 2010 was the worst year for helicopter attacks, with 14 hit and one crew member wounded. Some craft had as many as seven bullet holes in them when they landed, with rounds going through windshields, fuselages, rotors and even landing gear. In 2011, only three helicopters were hit by gunfire, but the number is almost certainly higher. The federal police refused to release data on attacks on its craft, but publicly acknowledged that on May 24, suspected cartel gunmen opened fire on a federal police chopper, hitting two officers and forcing the craft to land, though officials insisted it had not been shot down. Federal police said the pilot in that incident landed “to avoid any accident.” The Russian-made Mi-17 touched down about 3.5 miles (6 kilometers) from the shooting scene in the western state of Michoacan. Two officers aboard suffered non-life-threatening wounds. Mexico has long used helicopters in anti-drug operations. While security forces have updated their helicopter fleet in recent years, they has also retired some older craft, so the total number of choppers would not account for the variation in attacks. The newspaper Milenio originally requested the attack reports through a freedom of information request, and the reports were independently accessed by The Associated Press. Mexican drug gangs have long strung steel cables around opium and marijuana plantations to try to bring down police and military helicopters. In 2003, in what prosecutors said was the first fatal attack of its kind by drug traffickers in Mexico, gunmen guarding an opium-poppy plantation shot down two police helicopters, killing all five agents aboard. But those attacks were infrequent compared to what’s occurred since 2008. Overall Drug-related killings rose 11 percent in the first nine months of 2011, when 12,903 people were killed, compared to 11,583 in the same period of 2010, the office said. But the Attorney General’s Office found one small consolation: “It’s the first year (since 2006) that the homicide rate increase has been lower compared to the previous years.” Drug-related killings jumped by 70 percent for the same nine-month period of 2010 compared to January to September 2009, when 6,815 deaths were recorded. The carnage continued Monday, when seven gunmen were killed in a pre-dawn shootout with police on a highway in the city of Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City. A federal police officer was recovering from a gunshot wound to the foot following the confrontation. The prosecutors office in the central Mexican state of Morelos says the gunmen belonged to an organized crime gang, but did not say which one. “Organized crime” in Mexico generally refers to drug cartels, and remnants of the Beltran Leyva cartel have been fighting for control of Cuernavaca. Prosecutors said the gunmen were traveling in three stolen vehicles when police confronted them early Monday.

Accused bikie killer arrives back in Sydney

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The man accused of shooting a bikie dead in Sydney's south earlier this month was flown back to the city last night from Western Australia. Tarek Abdallah was escorted on a flight from Perth after his arrest in the city's north last week. The 25-year-old spent last night in a police cell and is due to face Central Local Court today charged with murder and shooting with intent to murder. Lone Wolf bikie Neal Todorovski was fatally shot in the head outside his Sans Souci apartment on January 4. Police say the 37-year-old and two of his friends had confronted and bashed Abdallah. Abdallah allegedly broke free and fired at his attackers before escaping in a black four-wheel drive. Mr Todorovski's friends, 32-year-old John Leger and 23-year-old Matthew Lewis have each been charged with affray and concealing an indictable offence over their refusal to cooperate with police. Leger is also charged with possessing a prohibited weapon.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

volunteered to be "jumped in," or beaten, by other gang members as an initiation into the Deuce Boyz/Soldiers

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When Jonathan Rivera testified in his own defense in his murder trial Thursday, he was a soft-spoken former honor student who had found himself, through no fault of his own, living in a tough Salem neighborhood. Rivera, 23, addressed the prosecutor as "ma'am" and even told jurors his first thought after stabbing Shaundell Turner, 30, outside a Salem park nearly two years ago was "Oh, my goodness" as the reputed gang member with the street name "Tyson" kept coming at him on April 7, 2010. Yesterday, jurors got to learn about another side of Rivera, after he was confronted with evidence that he too was a member of a violent street gang — that he even volunteered to be "jumped in," or beaten, by other gang members as an initiation into the Deuce Boyz/Soldiers — and that he also sold drugs. Prosecutor Kristen Buxton was hoping to undercut Rivera's claims that he acted solely in self-defense and that he was simply a frightened young man struggling to survive in The Point neighborhood. The information about Rivera's ties to the Deuce Boyz, a gang affiliated with the nationwide Bloods street gang, and rivals to Turner's Gangster Disciples, emerged only as the trial got under way this week. But the questioning of Rivera about gang activities was limited, after a strategic decision by the defense, during a hearing that was done outside of the jury's presence. Rivera's lawyer, Ed Hayden, sought to introduce evidence about Turner's involvement in a meeting of the Gangster Disciples in which the members discussed killing an informant in an unrelated case. Buxton, the prosecutor, opposed the introduction of that evidence, saying that it did not show how, exactly, Turner was involved in the decision or whether he played any role in carrying out the retaliation. Judge David Lowy decided that Hayden could introduce the evidence — but only if Buxton were then also allowed to introduce evidence of Rivera's gang activities, including punching a cooperating witness who was also in custody at the Middleton Jail while Rivera was awaiting trial, a phone call in which he laughed about stabbing someone else months before Turner's stabbing, and a "mission" he had been asked to do by a more senior "Deuce Boy" named "Mundy" the night before Turner's stabbing. And while Hayden told the judge he was willing to "roll the dice," Rivera was not, and most of the gang information never made it to jurors. The jury did hear Rivera being forced to acknowledge that despite his claims that he always carried his knife, out of fear, he left it back at his girlfriend's apartment before fleeing to Quincy after the stabbing. "After the stabbing, you're in fear of retaliation," Buxton suggested, "and you have said you never go out without your knife." Yet this time, he did. "Because you knew it was the murder weapon," Buxton suggested. "That's not true," Rivera answered. Buxton suggested that Rivera deliberately took steps to conceal his involvement, including leaving a key to his girlfriend Valerie Moraitis' apartment, then leaving his clothing and the knife there before getting a ride to the Wonderland MBTA station. Rivera continued to insist that he changed his clothing only to avoid detection by the Gangster Disciples. And when he got to the hotel, Rivera initially claimed, he had a few hundred dollars that his parents had given him. Buxton pointed out that when he was arrested, police found him with thousands of dollars, something that might enable him to easily leave the state. Rivera told jurors, "The truth is, I've sold drugs." Closing arguments in the case are scheduled for Thursday.

Sydney police investigate drive-by shooting

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Police say they are yet to determine the exact target of a drive-by shooting in Sydney's south-west, the eighth shooting since last Monday. Officers responded to reports of a shooting on Pelman Avenue in Greenacre about 4.20am today. A search of the area found six spent cartridges on the street but no damage to property. Acting Deputy Commissioner Alan Clarke says it is too early to say whether the incident is linked to recent shootings. "As we've been unable to establish a victim at this point in time, we'll go on the ballistic evidence before us and continue to conduct a canvas in that area and see if we can get to the bottom of this shooting," he said. He says the recent shootings seem to be targeting criminal networks. "Our biggest concern is the threat and the risk there is to innocent members of the public," he said. "As we've indicated continuously, this appears to be an intimidation tactic between criminal networks, and our fear is it is indicative of guns on the street. "We certainly wouldn't want an innocent member of the public to be caught up in one of these situations." Hannin Adra, who lives nearby, says she is worried. "I've got six grandkids - do you like your grandkids to grow up in this atmosphere?" she said. "It is a worry - if it's not a worry, you're not human." Neighbour Mounzer Adra says he heard five shots on the usually quiet street. "I woke up about 4.15, I hear the shooting, I wake up, I say, 'oh my God, what's happening? I thought it was a firecracker," he said. "It's not good feeling unsafe in this area, where the shooting is; something should be done about it." There have now been eight shootings in Sydney's west and south-west since last Monday night, and police have set up Operation Spartan to investigate the spate. There were two shootings in Yennora and Lakemba on Thursday night and one at Yagoona on Friday morning; no-one was injured in either of those incidents. Premier Barry O'Farrell has said he will consider new laws to compel people to speak to police about the shootings, but dismissed a call from the Opposition to recall Parliament to pass new anti-bikie legislation.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Cornwall shooting death men 'worked for IRA drug gang'

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Two men killed and buried on a remote farm in Cornwall were working for an IRA gang involved in Liverpool's drugs trade, a court has heard. Boxer Brett Flournoy, from Merseyside, and David Griffiths, of Berkshire, were found dead buried in a van at Ross Stone's farm near St Austell in 2011. Murder accused Thomas Haigh, 26, told Truro Crown Court the pair worked for Irish republicans who "ran Liverpool". Mr Haigh and Mr Stone deny murder. The trial continues. 'Self-interest took over' Mr Stone, 28, who admits burying the bodies on his Sunny Corner farm at Trenance Downs, told police he had arrived back at the farm on 16 June to find the bodies of the two men lying on the ground, the jury heard. A badly beaten Mr Haigh was nearby, he said in an interview, and although Mr Haigh did not admit killing them, he told Mr Stone "Dave [Griffiths] wouldn't die". Jurors also heard that both defendants blamed the other for killing the two men, to whom the alleged killers both owed money, in Stone's case £40,000. The dead men were buried with their van on the farm near St Austell Mr Haigh - who went to hide in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, after the killings - told police that Mr Griffiths had beaten him up over a girl he had taken back to the farm. He said he had run off and that the men had still been alive when he did. Prosecuting, Paul Dunkels QC told the jury on the second day of the trial that both men's claims were lies. He said: "When arrested by the police, the alliance between these two men broke down and self-interest took over. "The murders were the result of the joint efforts of these two defendants." The burned bodies of Mr Griffiths, a father-of-three originally from Plymouth, Devon, but living in Bracknell, Berkshire; and Mr Flournoy, a father-of-two from Bebington, in Wirral, Merseyside, were found dumped in the back of a van buried on the farm in July 2011. Mr Haigh, 26, formerly of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, and Mr Stone, both deny two counts of murder.

Thug law rules in gang war across NSW

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THE dark-coloured car slows as it drives along the street and a gunman pumps bullets indiscriminately into the door, windows and fibro and weatherboard walls of an ordinary suburban home. The home is nothing special. Nothing makes it stand out. Except perhaps the surname of the people who live there. Perhaps the bullets slam into the car belonging to the occupants of the house. The gunshots shatter the quiet. The gunman's vehicle, probably stolen, roars off, wheels screeching, job done. This isn't Chicago in the 1920s. It is the harsh reality of Sydney - right now. The scenario has been repeated at least 48 times since March last year - and that's only the ones reported to police. "If people only knew how many shootings occurred in Sydney - there's a shooting on a daily basis, sometimes four or five a night," a law enforcement source said.  Explosives, steroids seized in police raids Perth Now, 16 Sep 2011 As the police launch Operation Spartan to put a stop to the gun madness, they admit their two biggest problems are the wall of silence they invariably run up against and the fact that there is no single group involved. Police reticence about singling out particular gangs for blame for the shooting spree isn't just political correctness. While bikies and Middle Eastern crime gangs are heavily involved, sorting out a dispute at the end of a gun has become terrifyingly common. Shots fired between cars at Greenfield Park Drive-bys sending a message at Arncliffe and Auburn Time to end gang wars It can be a blue about drugs, money, territory, a woman, a wrong look, a snub, a petty grievance. The answer is a bullet. Inevitably it is testosterone loaded. "You get two or three shootings that might be related to one conflict but then most are not linked to each other at all," a source said. The Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad focuses its attention on southwestern Sydney - areas around Lak- emba, Bankstown, Rosehill, Punchbowl and Flemington. These southwestern Sydney suburbs are the territories of the Punchbowl Boys, the Telopea Street Boys, the Assyrian Kings and the homes of notorious families who are gangs in their own rights. Like the Darwiches and the Razaks, whose fight over the cannabis trade in southwest Sydney claimed victims on both sides for almost a decade until Abdul Darwiche was executed in front of his family after leaving a restaurant in Bass Hill in March 2009. But this time, police can't bring peace to the streets by locking up a couple of families. Over the past five years there have been times when more than 50 per cent of each of the police squads, including homicide and drugs, have been actively investigating the Middle Eastern crime groups who live there. Among the disputes has been one over the ownership of a money-lending business after its boss was killed. These same suburbs are also home to many bikies. "Pretty much every bikie group you can think of has had a member arrested," Acting Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas said. "You can do teddy bear runs once a year but on the other 364 days of the year, you are committing crimes." Name the drug - heroin, ecstasy, cocaine, cannabis - it's available on these streets. Some shootings are drug related, fights over local turf. With the willingness to shoot dozens of bullets into a home comes the danger innocent people can get hurt. Now bullets are being aimed not at the main targets, but their families. It is wives and children waking up in horror.

Free booze for alcoholics makes perfect logic, but no sense

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As the old adage has it, if you live long enough, you see everything. In the world of substance abuse and addiction, “everything” was in the news today. A group from Vancouver’s notorious hub of drug addiction and policy experimentation, the Downtown East Side, is proposing that a publicly funded, peer-run drinker’s lounge dispensing free legal alcohol to alcoholics be instituted as a means of harm reduction. The Eastside Illicit Drinkers Group for Education, whose spokesman, Rob Morgan, an alcoholic from a First Nations reserve near Terrace, B.C, sees the idea as the natural next step in Vancouver’s famous harm reduction movement. The lounge would be modeled on Insite, the safe injection site whose mandate is not to rehabilitate addicts, but to reduce the rates of disease and death caused by unhygienic consumption and unsupervised overdoes. Mr. Morgan’s logic is impeccable. Desperate alcoholics will drink anything with alcohol in it; they will drink hand sanitizer acquired from “dealers” who steal them from hospitals, as Mr Morgan has; they will share disease-ridden bottles; they sometimes freeze to death in an alcoholic stupor; and for only $3, and some water dilution, will consume 30 standard drinks from a 250 ml bottle of 95% rubbing alcohol. The ravages produced on the body by such a regime certainly rival any depredations short of AIDS suffered by drug addicts.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Goodwin Sentenced to 25 Years for Child's Rape

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A member of the Bandidos biker gang is headed to prison for 25 years following his conviction on multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Wednesday jurors started considering the punishment for Ira Goodwin, 67, who was wheelchair bound and hooked up to an oxygen tank in court. Goodwin faced up to 99 years in prison for raping a runaway 12-year-old girl who was staying at his home. The jury heard testimony from the victim and Goodwin's wife about the girl being given methamphetamine and alcohol before the assaults. Marcia Goodwin is serving a 10-year sentence for her role in the sexual assaults Ira Goodwin is no stranger to prison with multiple convictions in his past, including a 30-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter back in 1984.

Sydney's western suburbs came under siege again on Thursday about 12.30am (AEDT) when shots rang out in Bankstown

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Police have declared war on the gangs responsible for four Sydney shootings in as many days. And any would-be vigilantes and copycats have also been warned to butt out. Sydney's western suburbs came under siege again on Thursday about 12.30am (AEDT) when shots rang out in Bankstown Witnesses told police they saw a man wielding a rifle in a neighbourhood where a bullet hit a bedroom window in a home. A woman and her four children, aged between two months and 10, were in the room but no one was injured. Acting Commissioner Nick Kaldas labelled as cowards the people responsible for a string of shootings since Monday. "A lot of the conflicts that occur between these criminal groups is drug-related, unfortunately," Mr Kaldas told reporters on Thursday. "It's a combination of many ethnic-based groups as well as criminal types." Police launched Operation Spartan on Thursday and will deploy extra resources to the affected suburbs from the Public Order and Riot Squad, Dog Squad, Gangs Squad and the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad. Gangs Squad head Arthur Katsogiannis said the nature of the crimes was keeping vital information from getting to police. "Our frustration as investigators and police officers on the front line is the lack of assistance we're getting from both the victims and the witnesses," Superintendent Katsogiannis said at the same media conference. Police also warned would-be vigilantes and others to stay away. "One thing I hope that doesn't occur is any sort of copycat attraction," Mr Kaldas said. "Others may feel they want to take the law into their own hands. And my advice to those people is all you'll simply do is turn yourself from a victim into an offender." Mr Kaldas denied suggestions that gun crime was on the increase and said the incidents since Monday were a "spike" in shooting crimes. Around 2am (AEDT) on Wednesday the occupants of two cars were involved in a gun battle in Greenfield Park, in western Sydney. On Monday night, two drive-by attacks occurred in Auburn and Arncliffe, in Sydney's west and south respectively. Around 25 people were inside the two homes when the properties were sprayed with up to 35 bullets. Police are confident they will make arrests over some of the shootings. Asked if the shootings were all related, Mr Kaldas replied, "I have to say the bulk of them are not." NSW opposition emergency spokesman Nathan Rees said tweaking tough anti-bikie laws would be one way to help put an end to "gang warfare". As premier in the former Labor government, Mr Rees gave the Supreme Court powers to outlaw bikie gangs and prevent members from contacting each other. But the Crimes (Criminal Organisation Control) Act was struck out in June 2011 after Sydney Hells Angel Derek Wainohu challenged it in the High Court. The National Coalition for Gun Control has called on NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and the government to strengthen gun control laws. Police seized 6155 guns in the 2010/11 financial year and have seized 3663 guns in the first half of the current financial year. Most guns used in crimes are stolen from legitimate sources.

Turf war feared as Gypsy Joker bikies descend on Brisbane hotel

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ONE of Australia's most notorious bikie gangs is poised to expand its presence in Queensland, prompting fears of a turf war. But Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson says the public will be warned first if there's real danger of conflict. The Gypsy Jokers are this week expected to gather at an inner-city Brisbane hotel, catching the attention of police. The fears follow a spate of bikie violence and a subsequent police crackdown resulting in more arrests and almost 40 people being banned from Surfers Paradise's party precinct.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Prosecutors: James ‘Whitey’ Bulger is trying to avoid trial; defense says they need time to prepare

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Federal prosecutors said today they suspect James “Whitey” Bulger is trying to avoid a trial on 19 murders and urged a magistrate judge to speed up the case against the 82-year-old gangster. “We think the defendant ... will try to slow this down so he is not brought to trial,” said Assistant US Attorney Brian T. Kelly while updating the Boston judge on the status of the case against Bulger. He said the families of Bulger’s 19 victims want to see the aging gangster held accountable. But Bulger’s lawyer, J. W. Carney Jr., insisted that his client expects the case to go to trial and is not trying to delay it. “I expect this matter to go to trial. ... I am preparing for a trial, my client is preparing for a trial,” Carney said in US District Court. Prosecutors said they had turned all the evidence in the case over to Carney four months ago. But Carney said the evidence he received from prosecutors in the case was so voluminous that he’d never seen anything like it before. He said he was working with a team of four lawyers to review it. He said single murder cases can take 18 to 30 months to go to trial, while in this case there were many more murders alleged. “It’s not my intent to delay the proceedings. We are going full speed ahead,” he said. US Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler set another hearing for Feb. 13. Bulger, a long-time FBI informant, was captured by the FBI in June in Santa Monica, Calif., after more than 16 years on the run. Bulger is charged in a federal indictment that includes allegations that he was involved in 19 murders from 1973 to 1985 and oversaw a criminal enterprise that extorted bookmakers, drug dealers, and businessmen. Bulger, who has been held at the Plymouth County House of Correction since his return from California in late June, was not brought into court for today’s hearing. Bulger was quietly examined at a Boston hospital on Dec. 22, then returned to the Plymouth jail later that day, according to two people familiar with Bulger’s treatment. The Plymouth jail has an infirmary, but does not have a medical ward, so inmates who need round-the-clock medical care are not assigned there. Bulger had complained of chest pains. While he has always been a physical fitness buff, Bulger has for decades suffered from a common ailment that prompts him to take Atenolol, a beta blocker used to treat high blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart. After today’s hearing, Carney said, “I will have no comment on my client’s health.”

Court hears Jarrod Bacon a natural gangster who put family first

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Jarrod Bacon denied Wednesday a suggestion by the Crown that his family trip to the PNE on the day a cocaine deal was expected to go down was a cover for the drug transaction. Bacon told a judge that on Aug. 27, 2009, the day that he and his co-accused Wayne Scott were allegedly expecting to pick up a shipment of cocaine, he went to the PNE with his parents and his now-deceased older brother Jonathan. Federal prosecutor Peter LaPrairie suggested that it was a good cover for him to be at the Vancouver fair prior to the deal going down. “It wasn’t a cover,” said Bacon. “My family comes first. There was nothing going on ... I went there with my family. It wasn’t a sinister thing.” Bacon, 28, and Scott, 55, have each pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. Court has heard that a police agent, who can only be identified as G.L. due to a publication ban, implicated the two men in a conspiracy to smuggle up to 100 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico to Canada. Bacon, an admitted criminal and drug addict, testified Wednesday that neither he nor his brother Jonathan, who was shot to death in a gangland slaying last year, met any criminal contacts at the PNE. After the trip to the fair, Bacon said his parents dropped him off at Scott’s house. The Crown played a video of Bacon’s father later returning to Scott’s house to pick up Bacon, who was on bail conditions that prevented him from driving. Bacon said his dad wanted to speak to Scott, a truck driver, about becoming employed as a truck driver. But LaPrairie suggested that Bacon’s father and mother were in fact involved in the drug deal, a suggestion vehemently denied by the accused. “That is completely false,” said Bacon. “They were shocked and in tears when I got arrested on this. They had no knowledge of my criminal lifestyle whatsoever.” Bacon admitted earlier that his parents, however, were aware that he wore body armour whenever he left his house. “They were aware that my older brother got shot outside the house in 2005. They didn’t mind that I wore it.” Bacon testified about how he got kicked out of school in Grade 12 because he had gotten into too many fights. “I took to being a gangster real well,” he said, adding that he was more of a “professional fighter.” Under questioning from LaPrairie, Bacon admitted to lying to a justice of the peace when he signed his bail release, since he expected to breach some of the conditions of bail, including a condition that he not use drugs. He admitted to lying to G.L. about the fact he wanted to rob him of the drugs and that he had lied to his parents. But Bacon denied a suggestion by LaPrairie that he had been lying on the witness stand to the judge. “When I was addicted to drugs, I’d lie frequently, but here I am clean for 25 months and I have no reason to lie ... I’m being completely truthful here.” Following his cross-examination, Bacon’s lawyer, Jeffrey Ray, said he planned to call no more witnesses. Scott’s lawyer, Jeremy Guild said he did not plan to call a defence for his client. Ray then told the judge that he planned to begin his final submissions on Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Alleged Imperial Gangster pleads not guilty to gun charge

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reputed member of the Imperial Gangsters pleaded not guilty Monday to a gun charge linked to a shooting last month. Armando Jose Velasquez, 24, of East Chicago, is charged in federal court with being a felon in possession of a firearm. At Velasquez's detention hearing, U.S. Attorney David Nozick said the government plans to include Velasquez in the racketeering indictment that swept a dozen alleged Imperial Gangsters off the streets last fall. The 20-count federal indictment in the fall included five charges for murder in the aid of racketeering. During the alleged incident Dec. 3, witnesses said Velasquez approached the victim, Terrance Rios, who was driving a green 1998 Nissan, after Rios stopped at the intersection of 150th Street and Baring Avenue in East Chicago. Rios' two passengers said Velasquez pulled a chrome gun from his waistband and fired nine rounds. According to court records, Velasquez shot Rios twice in the head and once in the back. Rios survived, but Velasquez had a prior conviction for voluntary manslaughter. A teenager at the time in 2005, Velasquez was sentenced to 12 years for the crime, and he was on parole at the time of the December shooting. Velasquez, who has a tattoo on the right side of his neck and said he dropped out of school after sixth grade, waved hello to his family with shackled hands before the hearing. After entering his not guilty plea, he was taken back into custody, where he will remain pending a March trial before Chief Judge Philip P. Simon. His attorney, Sheldon Nagelberg, declined to comment.

A one-time member of the Portsmouth Bounty Hunter Bloods street gang was sentenced Monday to life in prison

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A one-time member of the Portsmouth Bounty Hunter Bloods street gang was sentenced Monday to life in prison for gunning down two brothers in a Cradock home invasion robbery. Jamyia Rashad Brothers, 24, and his lawyers pleaded for a sentence of 35 years in prison, but U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson, calling the killings "one of the most heinous crimes a man can commit in American society," gave him life. Brothers and another Blood went to the home of Ronnie Trollinger on Gillis Road one night in December 2007 with the intention of robbing him. Upon entering, Brothers almost immediately began shooting. Trollinger, 51, was shot in the chest and died. His brother, John Trollinger, 49, was shot in the chest and head and died. A third man was shot in the abdomen and survived. Brothers read a rambling letter to the court stating that the crimes have led him to find Christ. He apologized to the Trollinger family, the court and to Jesus. He said he wished he "could have listened to the voice of my dear grandmother." Brothers was raised by his grandparents but was expelled from high school and had numerous arrests before this case. John Trollinger's widow testified that she continues to suffer physically and emotionally. "I live with fear, loneliness and emptiness," she said. The high school sweethearts were married for 31 years and had two children and two grandchildren. Assistant U.S. Attorney William Muhr said Brothers fired his gun for no good reason. "It was just cold-blooded murder," he said. "They did nothing to him." He said the Bloods gang terrorized Cradock and other neighborhoods in Portsmouth, Suffolk and Chesapeake. "They are a scourge on society," he said. In calling for a life prison term, Muhr cited Brothers' arrest record, which includes convictions for assault, drug dealing near a school, escape, firearm possession and drunken driving. Portsmouth Commonwealth's Attorney Earle C. Mobley, who sat through the sentencing, said the case never could have been prosecuted without the joint federal-state effort. The initial case in state court fell apart because of witness problems. James Theuer, one of Brothers' attorneys, argued for a 35-year prison term, telling the judge his client "is a different man today." "Where was that individual," Judge Jackson wondered aloud, "when you walked in that house?" Jackson also denied a request that Brothers be housed in a prison close to his family. "It's unfortunate," the judge said. "It's a tragedy on all sides."

Goon squad gang tied to several shootings in past four years

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The Goon Squad — a gang that Waterford Township police say is connected with the Dec. 23 Rolladium shootings — has been associated with shootings around the Pontiac area in recent years. The Rolladium roller rink situation involves three armed men spraying gunfire inside the rink, striking five patrons at 1:44 a.m. Waterford police found that the shooting stemmed from issues involving rivalry between two Pontiac gangs, the “Goon Squad” and “1st Enfantry.” On Saturday, police released the name of a second suspect, Pontiac resident Cheyenne Benjamin Ingram, 17. The first suspect is Robert Lee German, 18, from Pontiac. A third man, whose name has not been released, has been shown only in a surveillance photo. The three suspects, all in their late teens to early 20s, are considered armed and dangerous. According to police, one of the five victims shot was an intended target and considered a rival. The victim was previously shot by members of the gang in a similar incident at a Pontiac night club in December 2010. Willis and Roberson James Cecil Willis III, 18 — accused of being among members of the Goon Squad — was charged in 2008 with shooting 14-year-old Alabama resident Dawan Allan France Roberson in the face after a June 14, 2008, party at the Life Worship and Training Center on Auburn Avenue in Pontiac. The Goon Squad gang, police said, crashed a party at the center and were involved in physical altercations with party attendees. People were thrown out of the party but came back in, and the party was eventually shut down. Roberson was believed to be a bystander and not involved in the fight. The teen was in Pontiac visiting family, police said

Apache Junction man arrested in I-10 road rage incident

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Tempe police have arrested a man involved in Saturday's road rage incident in which a driver was shot, but they are still investigating who is responsible for shooting the victim. The investigation revealed that a group of motorcycles and a champagne/tan-colored SUV were traveling westbound on Interstate 10 from Wild Horse Pass Boulevard. Witnesses reported that a gray Jeep was attempting to collide with the motorcycles. The motorcycles began to chase the Jeep. As they reached the area of I-10 and Elliot Road, the SUV rammed the Jeep, causing the driver to lose control and crash. One of the motorcycle riders, Andre Jordan, 35, of Apache Junction, was seen pointing a handgun at the victim according to Sgt. Steve Carbajal. Witnesses reported that several of the individuals involved had guns. After a physical altercation, shots were fired and the driver of the Jeep received a gunshot wound to the cheek.  Investigation into the person responsible for shooting the victim is ongoing. Tempe police detectives have identified two of the individuals involved as members of two separate criminal street gangs. Jordan was booked into Tempe City Jail on one count of aggravated assault, threat by gang member assisting a criminal street gang and endangerment.

Members of the Mad Cowz and Manitoba Warriors have been at odds for several weeks as they battle for turf and the lucrative profits

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Members of the Mad Cowz and Manitoba Warriors have been at odds for several weeks as they battle for turf and the lucrative profits that come from selling drugs, sources told the Free Press. Enlarge Image Police investigate after a Victor Street house was shot up and set afire Wednesday.  Mohamed Ali Omar The two groups are believed responsible for several shootings this week that have residents of the West End and North End on edge. Police have beefed up their resources in the neighbourhoods as they struggle to predict and prevent the next attack. Between Sunday morning and Thursday morning, there were five reported shootings and/or firebombings of homes on Aberdeen Avenue, Victor Street and Simcoe Street. Sources say the residences all have ties to gang activity and were deliberately targeted. There have been no reported injuries and no arrests. "This is strictly to do with impeding each other's crack sales," a justice source said Friday. Police are still probing whether there is a connection between those incidents and a New Year's Eve shooting on Selkirk Avenue that left a 46-year-old man dead. A 30-year-old woman also suffered serious injuries after being shot in the eye inside the home, which sources say was a known drug house with connections to gang activity. No arrests have been made. "As of late, we've had several violent instances where firearms have been involved. Any time we have these types of incidents occurring -- whether it's days apart, weeks apart or months apart -- of course we're concerned," Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen said this week. "There's a concern for public safety and there's a concern that these incidents may repeat themselves, but we're making every effort to investigate these matters thoroughly." Sources told the Free Press tensions between the Mad Cowz -- a predominantly African gang -- and the Manitoba Warriors -- a predominantly native gang -- began to rise following an unsolved shooting death late last October in the parking lot of a McPhillips Street hotel. Mohamed Ali Omar, 28, was gunned down as he stood outside the Lincoln Motor Inn. Police say a man in an SUV pulled up and opened fire on a group of people, killing Omar and injuring a 17-year-old. Omar's family have described him as a loving father of four who worked as a hospital cleaner. But police have confirmed he had ties to gang activities, and sources say that gang was the Mad Cowz. No arrests have been made, but there is speculation on the streets that the Manitoba Warriors may have been involved. "That's always a tricky area for police when we're describing gang associations. I don't think we're prepared to go any further than stating that they do have associations to a local street gang," police Const. Natalie Aitken said at the time. Winnipeg has seen its share of gang battles play out in public, most recently with associates of the Hells Angels and Rock Machine trading bullets and firebombs. There were more than a dozen incidents last summer and fall, including several where people narrowly avoided serious injury or death. Police and justice officials publicly declared a biker war was brewing and warned citizens to be vigilant. Officers took the unusual step of going door to door in some neighbourhoods, warning people of the potential for violence. Relations between the two gangs have calmed in recent months, but a source warned there might be more violence to come. "There are a lot of scores to be settled," the source told the Free Press last month. Now, it appears, the Manitoba Warriors and Mad Cowz have decided to stir things up.

Among the funeral attendees were members of several Northwest Washington gangs

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Marcellus E. Jackson, 23, and Kier M. Johnson, 21, were arrested Monday in connection with the 2010 slaying of Jamal Coates, D.C. police announced. Investigators count Coates’s killing as among crimes by rival gang members in the U Street NW neighborhood. Coates was shot to death on Sept. 28, 2010, after he attended a funeral for a young woman who was killed earlier that month and whose boyfriend was charged in her death, police said. Among the funeral attendees were members of several Northwest Washington gangs, authorities said.

Man sentenced to 12 years for gang-related shootings

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21-year-old Winnipeg man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for two gang-related shootings in the city's West End, including one that unintentionally injured a 10-year-old girl. Paramedics take the girl, who was 10 years old at the time, to hospital following the May 26, 2010, shooting on Victor Street. (CBC) The man pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of discharging a firearm in connection with the May 2010 incidents, including the May 26 shooting of a house on Victor Street. Court heard that the man, who was then a 19-year-old member of the Indian Posse street gang, fired three shots at the home as an act of retaliation for a drive-by shooting that killed a fellow gang member the day before. Inside the house was the girl, who was hit in the knee by a bullet that went through the front window. Her sister, who was eight at the time, was superficially injured by flying glass and debris. Neighbours and the man's own younger brother told police they saw him with a rifle at the time of the incident. The man was arrested two days later at The Forks, with a machete hidden in his pants. A teenage co-accused pleaded guilty in September 2010 to aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in connection to the attack.

Customs inspector associated with variety of known criminals

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If she were to be judged based solely on the company she kept, Marilyn Béliveau would be in deep trouble. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of her ongoing trial is the fact that while she was under investigation, the Canada Border Services Agency inspector associated with a variety of known criminals. While testifying during her trial in December, Béliveau, 32, explained that a few of those men were people she has known since high school. As part of her defence, she also claims most of them manipulated and used her. Much of the evidence presented during the trial has involved wiretapped conversations between the men Béliveau knew. By listening to the hundreds of conversations, she has learned what some of them really thought of her. They referred to her in degrading terms like "booze," a Haitian term for a prostitute, or "that broad." "It was very painful, especially on the part of those I considered my friends," she said. Here is a short list of some of the people Béliveau associated with before her arrest in 2006: Fitzgerald (Fritz) Dorsainvil, 34, of Montreal: He is currently serving a two-year prison term for his role in a theft ring that stole nearly $1 million worth of computer equipment from 27 businesses in and around Montreal. Dorsainvil helped carry out some of the breakins weeks after he and Béliveau shared an apartment. But even before they moved in together, Dorsainvil had a criminal record. Béliveau said she was introduced to Dorsainvil during the spring of 2005 at a club. She testified she made a very hasty decision to move in with him so she could get away from what she described as her overly protective parents. "(I did this) even though I knew he was a bad person, not the best person." she testified. "I knew he sold drugs, that he sold pot." Béliveau said she thought she was in love with Dorsainvil and that she could change him. They moved in together in October 2005 and she left the apartment three months later. She said it took a while for her to realize Dorsainvil had no interest in a relationship and was using her to pay his rent. Béliveau said she refused to accept the truth, even when her best friend pulled her aside one day and told her it was obvious. Jean Philippe Guerette, 31, of Montreal: A cousin of Dorsainvil, he received a sentence of nearly five years for being part of the same computer theft ring. Béliveau said that one day while eating at a Rockaberry's in 2005, when she was still with Dorsainvil, Guerette told her he wanted to make "a big score" by bringing drugs in through a shipping container. She said Guerette expected her to turn a blind eye when the container arrived. "It was out of the question," Béliveau said of her reaction to what Guerette proposed. As part of her defence, Béliveau testified she did not have the power to get a container through customs with a guarantee it wouldn't be searched. Béliveau said she panicked and that, in an effort to get out of the situation, she "invented" a story and told Guerette and Dorsainvil she was already involved in another smuggling project. She said she also made up the story "to seduce" Dorsainvil. During one wiretapped conversation, Dorsainvil was recorded telling Béliveau she should demand $100,000 from the people she was helping. She insisted, during her trial, that this was a reference to the scenario she had fabricated. She testified that she feels the only thing she did wrong while being investigated in Project Colisée was to fabricate a false report that a container had been seized to back up her lies to Guerette and Dorsainvil. "It has always been in my personality. Whenever I feel cornered, I make things up," she said while testifying. The statement could seriously damage the credibility of her entire testimony, and her lawyer Charles Montpetit appeared to realize this immediately. His next question was whether she thought of herself differently today. "It's certain if I were in the same situation today, I would do things differently. I wouldn't make the same mistakes," Béliveau said. Eric Semino, 32, of Montreal: Currently serving a four-year prison term for possessing three loaded firearms seized in his Aylwin St. apartment, including a shotgun he kept under his mattress. Semino was once part of a gang, called the K-Crew, that was involved in a dispute with the Hells Angels over heroin trafficking in Montreal. On April 12, 2007, he fired a shot into the window of a bar on St. Laurent Blvd. while Normand Marvin (Casper) Ouimet, a member of the Hells Angels, was inside. Semino already had several convictions, for assault and weapons offences, long before Béliveau was investigated in Colisée. When they were both in their early teens, Semino's family lived in a house directly behind Béliveau's. Béliveau said Semino and his brother were often left on their own for days while their mother travelled. She said her mother took pity on the boys and fed them whenever they were on their own. "For me, Eric was like my big brother - the big brother I never had, because I was an only child," she said. "Even if he took another path in life, me and my friends at the time did not abandon him. We did not judge him." She said that while she worked for CBSA, she sent Semino letters whenever he was in prison - which was often - and didn't hide the friendship from her colleagues. Ray Kanho, 35, of Laval: One of the principal organizers of the smuggling effort Béliveau is charged with, as well as several others uncovered by Project Colisée. He is currently serving a 14-year sentence for a series of crimes he pleaded guilty to in 2009, including drug trafficking and corrupting Béliveau as well as Nancy Cedeno, another CBSA employee. Béliveau testified she knew Kanho from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry high school in St. Léonard. She knew him through Rony Bardales, 34, a close friend who attended the same school and a co-accused in the current trial. She testified she remained friends with Bardales until their arrests in 2006. She said she was impressed by how Kanho and Bardales flaunted their wealth, and that she assumed it was generated through legitimate businesses they claimed to own. Béliveau said Kanho and Bardales would spoil her and her friends whenever they went out for drinks or dinner. "They were an example of people who had accomplished things. They were people who drove around in luxury cars, who had money. To me, they were successful," Béliveau said. She described Kanho as someone she considered to be a "big teddy bear" before her arrest.

Comancheros jailed over Sydney Airport brawl

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Two Comanchero bikie gang members have each been jailed for at least three years for their involvement in a fatal brawl at Sydney Airport. Usama Potrus and Ishmail Eken, who is also known as Canan Eken, were 26 at the time of the brawl in March 2009. Hells Angels associate Anthony Zervas was murdered during the melee involving the rival gangs. Potrus and Eken, now both 29, were found guilty of riot in November and faced sentencing in the New South Wales Supreme Court this morning. Justice Robert Hulmes said the brawl was "brazen and arrogant" and that it left many witnesses deeply distraught. He said a woman with a baby who witnessed the fight - which lasted less than one minute - described being frozen with fear. He sentenced each of the men to five years in prison, with a non-parole period of three years. But Potrus and Eken could both both be released within months as they have been held in custody since being arrested. Eken will be eligible for release in April, while Potrus could be freed in July.

Bikies jailed over Sydney Airport brawl

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Two Commanchero bikies involved in the "shockingly vicious" fight with members of the rival Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang at Sydney Airport in 2009 have each been sentenced to three years' jail. With time already served, Ishmail Eken, 29, will be eligible for parole on April 18, while Usama Potrus, 29, will be eligible on July 13. In the NSW Supreme Court today, Justice Robert Allan Hulme said the two men were involved in the brutal brawl in which Hells Angel associate Anthony Zervas was bludgeoned and stabbed to death in front of dozens of witnesses in the departure hall. Both men had offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, but Justice Hulme said the Crown "surprisingly" rejected the pleas and they were put on trial for murder. A jury found Commenchero boss Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi guilty of murder but found Eken and Potrus not guilty of murder and manslaughter. They were convicted of riot. The court heard members of both motorcycle clubs were called to the airport after Hawi and Hells Angels boss Derek Wainohu boarded the same Sydney-bound flight in Melbourne. Justice Hulme said Eken and Potrus would have been aware of the likelihood of violence, given the two clubs were "at war" with each other. He said the Commencheros, who outnumbered the Hells Angels, were the aggressors and nine members or associates have been found guilty or pleaded guilty to offences, while just two of seven Hells Angels have been held criminally responsible. Eken and Potrus were both given a maximum sentence of five years.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Mexican footballer arrested on kidnappings

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Mexican goalkeeper Omar 'The Cat' Ortiz has been arrested for his alleged role in a group of kidnappers whose victims included the husband of singer Gloria Trevi. The 35-year-old - capped once by Mexico in 2002 - is alleged to have singled out potential targets for the gang, who are apparently linked to the Gulf drugs cartel. "He (Ortiz) was an accomplice to the gang and his role was to target future victims," a spokesperson for Nuevo Leon security department said on Sunday. "He was paid for that. He has confessed to being implicated in at least two kidnappings and receiving for that more than 100,000 pesos (about $A7000)." The spokesperson refused to say whether Ortiz - whose chequered playing career included a two-year doping ban back in 2010 - was involved in the kidnapping of Trevi's husband in October last year.

Arrested Omar Ortiz "El Gato" Striped former goalkeeper for kidnapping

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Omar Ortiz, former goalkeeper Rayados of Monterrey was presented by the PGJNL to the media along with three others accused of the crime of kidnapping was linked to the kidnapping of the husband of Gloria Trevi.

Omar Ortiz El GatoFormer Mexican goalkeeper Moterrey club, Omar 'El Gato' Ortiz, suspended in 2010 for doping, was arrested by members of a gang of kidnappers whose victims are the husband of singer Gloria Trevi, said Saturday the government of Nuevo León .

"It became an accomplice of the band to bring to the victims (kidnapping) and received payments for their active participation in these cases, has confessed to at least two, which received more than 100 thousand dollars," he said at a press conference the spokesman Security of Nuevo Leon, Jorge Domene.

The band he belonged to "The Cat", which was presented to the press Saturday after being arrested in recent days, kidnapped the husband of singer Gloria Trevi in ​​October 2011, said Domenico, but did not say whether the former goalkeeper took on plagiarism.

Three other alleged hijackers were presented to the press and authorities say confessed to have participated in at least 20 kidnappings, each of which demanded a million dollars. The band is connected to the Gulf cartel, Domene said.

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