Wednesday, 31 December 2008

G-Mobb and gang members from Blood-affiliated subsets had been "co-existing."

G-Mobb and gang members from Blood-affiliated subsets had been "co-existing." After the G-Mobb members relocated out of Franklin Villa, "what we saw was a group of the younger Sacramento kids wanted to become part of this G-Mobb," he said. "So they began to integrate and form subsets off the G-Mobb with some of the younger G-Mobb members and families."A number of local subsets that identified with the G-Mobb, with names such as the Stickup Stars and the Guttah Boys, then fought with Blood affiliates such as the Fourth Avenue group in Oak Park, Maclafferty testified.
Sacramento State criminal justice professor and gang expert Jim Hernandez said the G-Mobb spinoffs and the splintering of the area's Blood network provide more evidence of a breakdown in the traditional red versus blue, color-coded gang structure.
"This idea of unified gang stuff, with the younger generation, is falling apart," Hernandez said. "You've got smaller groups, local groups, that are fighting everybody."It's a violence that endangers innocent bystanders and took the life of a young woman on a pathway to success.Kebret Tekle, 20, a student at California State University, Sacramento, was out with friends near the campus at the Library Eat & Drinks nightclub on Folsom Boulevard when a fight on the dance floor moved outside. The fight resulted in gunfire while she was getting in her car to leave.
A bullet from the May 2, 2007, shooting struck Tekle in the head. She slumped sideways in her vehicle and died later that day."She was a very good student, very disciplined, a very hard-working person," Tekle Sebhatu said about his daughter, who grew up in Union City. "She was very kind, very friendly, very active with her sorority group. It was her goal to complete her studies at Sac State and pursue her further education as well."Sebhatu sat through most of the preliminary hearing for David Allen Falls, 25, the man suspected of firing the deadly stray bullet. Sebhatu said he was amazed at the police testimony that provided the gang backdrop.
"I had no knowledge, no clue, as to how these gangs operate," said Sebhatu, an immigrant from the East African nation of Eritrea and an international business instructor for UC Berkeley Extension. "You hear it in the news or you might read about it in the paper. I was surprised to see the depth of their network, how they operate, that they are clueless in a way about other people's activities and the value that other people give to life."

B.C. gangs are taking over the streets. A violent gang war is taking place over the control of drug trade.

B.C. gangs are taking over the streets. A violent gang war is taking place over the control of drug trade. Prince George seems to be one of the key battle grounds. The forestry community has had to deal with shootings and brawls as gangs fight amongst themselves.As police deal with one gang another pops up. There are a reported 129 gangs in B.C.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Griselda Blanco, The Godmother

Griselda Blanco, aka the Black Widow. Griselda was the grande dame of the Miami cocaine business, a Colombian mother of three, of impoverished origins, who slaughtered and intimidated her way to the top of a billion-dollar industry.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Hector Portillo, a member of the international MS-13 street gang, and seven others were charged in New York City with multiple crimes

Hector Portillo, a member of the international MS-13 street gang, and seven others were charged in New York City with multiple crimes, including 29 counts of murder, attempted murder, assault, racketeering, and illegal use of firearms. The charges were announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Peter J. Smith, special agent in charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office of investigations in New York City; Richard A. Brown, Queens Country District Attorney, and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.The indictment alleges that on December 24, 2006 three of the defendants, Hector Portillo, Javier Irheta and Luis Bonilla, murdered 15 year-old Pashad Gray in the Flushing section of Queens County.Beginning in 1998, the defendants served as members and associates of MS-13, also known as “La Mara Salvatrucha,” and engaged in a series of violent crimes in Jamaica and Flushing, New York, including conspiracy to murder and assault members of rival gangs, such as the Crips, the Bloods, and the Latin Kings. During one particularly violent 13 month period, the defendants allegedly assaulted or attempted to murder seven victims by stabbing and shooting.Portillo, who was previously charged with racketeering and murder conspiracy, is now charged with a pattern of violent attacks, including, in addition to the Pashad Gray murder, the non-fatal shooting of a teenager on February 17, 2006, and the stabbing and beating of two teenagers in August 2006.“The indictment of this dangerous MS-13 gang member is a positive step toward ridding our communities of the violent transnational street gangs that have instilled fear in our citizens and taken our communities hostage for far too long,” stated ICE Special Agent-in-Charge Smith. “Through Operation Community Shield, ICE and its law enforcement partners will continue to conduct aggressive enforcement actions against members and associates of violent street gangs like MS-13.”“The defendants have spread fear in our community through wanton violence, including shooting, stabbing, and beating their victims,” stated United States Attorney Campbell. “Today’s charges reflect our unwavering commitment to bring members and associates of violent street gangs to justice.” Mr. Campbell thanked the New York City Department of Probation for its assistance.Queens County District Attorney Brown stated, “Rivalries among criminal street gangs all too often turn neighborhoods into urban battlefields with innocent victims being caught in the crossfire. Only through the joint and committed efforts of law enforcement on all levels of government can we reduce gang-related violence and reclaim our streets for law-abiding residents.”NYPD Commissioner Kelly stated, “New York City has not experienced the explosion in gang violence experienced elsewhere, in part, because of continued, successful crime suppression and arrests by the NYPD with support from our federal partners.”If convicted, the defendants face maximum sentences of life imprisonment.The MS-13 is comprised primarily of immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, many of whom are in the United States illegally. With hundreds of members locally, it is the largest street gang on Long Island and has a major presence in Queens, New York. Over the past four years, the coordinated efforts of United States Attorney’s Office, ICE, the NYPD, and the Queens District Attorney’s Office have resulted in felony convictions of nearly two dozen New York City members of the MS-13.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Gang violence appears to be on the rise in B.C. as gangs war over control of the lucrative drug trade

Gang violence appears to be on the rise in B.C. as gangs war over control of the lucrative drug trade, but there are few places where the increase has been more severe than in Prince George. The northern forestry community has been plagued by a year of brawls, shootings, reports of torture and several murders as rival groups brazenly fight among themselves. In late summer, a 19-year-old man was seriously injured in drive-by shooting in Prince George, 500 kilometres northeast of Vancouver. A few weeks later, a young couple believed to be connected to the drug trade -- including a 19-year-old woman -- were found shot to death.
Although the victims were gang members, Mayor Dan Rogers says every violent act ripples into the wider community.
"There are innocent victims all the time," says Rogers, recently elected as mayor after 12 years on city council. "There are parents, there are relatives. It's just tragic." While things have quieted since the grisly October slayings, the head of the RCMP's local gang unit says 2008 was the worst year he has ever seen.
"We never used to have this kind of violence in Prince George," says Sgt. Raj Sidhu, who's been with the Mounties there for 13 years. "It's pretty brutal what's happening."

The violence in the city follows a pattern established elsewhere in B.C.
A new gang crops up, a turf war breaks out, and eventually the violence ends when one group is either beaten down by rivals or rounded up by police. The cycle has been a source of constant frustration for police forces combating violence among B.C.'s 129 identified gangs. "There's always peaks and valleys, and that seems to just repeat itself," says Supt. Dan Malo, head of the B.C. Integrated Gang Task Force. "We've certainly had an increase in gang-related murders (in 2008), but while it keeps moving around, it really becomes the same."
For example, the RCMP homicide team for the Lower Mainland -- excluding Vancouver and Delta -- says there were about 20 homicides connected to drugs and organized crime this year, compared with about 14 in 2007, and 20 in 2006. Gang-related killings tend to rise and fall with the overall homicide rate, the Mounties say.
Violence increases when gangs try to expand their influence into new areas, which is what appears to be happening in Prince George. The latest spate of attacks in that city is related to a turf war between the Independent Soldiers, who appeared two years ago and have ties to a gang in Vancouver, and a smaller, unnamed group that arrived about a year ago. While things have been quiet in the past couple of months, the head of the Prince George gang unit predicts the calm will be short-lived.
"I don't know for how long -- it's always revenge and the greed to take over the drug trade," says Sidhu. "There's always that vacuum. You take out one group and someone else wants to come in. Malo, while seeming resigned to the fact that gangs will be a perpetual problem in the province, says there remains reason to be hopeful. He says the force has dramatically changed its tactics in recent years, starting with the formation of the integrated task force in 2005, followed by a so-called violence suppression team two years later. The suppression team consists of several dozen uniformed officers who track gang members and try to intervene when violence erupts, or prevent it from happening in the first place. The task force is also reaching out to future gang members with a provincewide initiative targeting at-risk youth through community involvement and education.
And there have been successes in actual enforcement. A few weeks ago, the RCMP arrested nine people in Surrey and laid 26 charges related to drugs and weapons. It was part of a year-long investigation that the force held up as evidence its efforts were working. "We've seen a tremendous amount of violence in the past couple of years, and hopefully we're going to be able to suppress that for a period of time," Malo says.

Cannabis Wars,one man lay dead in his car with another sprawled wounded in the passenger seat.

The A73 south of Nijmegan was littered with bullet casings, and one man lay dead in his car with another sprawled wounded in the passenger seat.The survivor refused to talk to police, even though a hired assassin had pursued his vehicle shooting at it without hitting for several miles before finally catching up and riddling it with automatic fire.
Commuters were horrified, but the murder in September was wearily familiar to detectives who have dealt with 25 gangland-style killings in suburban southern Holland over the past three years.

As usual, there was a cannabis connection. The assassin was a hired Bulgarian and his two victims, men in their twenties, had been involved with one of the thousands of cannabis “nurseries” which flourish out of sight in the attics, sheds and spare rooms of small towns – using Dutch horticultural expertise honed from years of growing tomatoes and tulips.Billions of euros worth of cannabis is grown for export – much of it to Britain – in Holland’s modern cannabis industry, which has come a long way since the days of penniless hippies growing pot on Amsterdam houseboats and opening “coffee shops” where stoners could happily puff away in an atmosphere of dope haze, peace and love.Now there is so much money and violence involved that Holland’s police commissioner responsible for cannabis calls it a danger to Dutch society.Since he started his job a year ago Max Daniel has made it his mission to change Holland’s laid-back view of the drug, and as calls mount from politicians and citizens to shut “nuisance” coffee shops he believes that his message is getting through.Mr Daniel said: “For years this was seen as an innocent business and the tolerant Dutch approach was undoubtedly a successful form of harm reduction – it kept users away from hard drugs.

“But now there is so much money to be made that cannabis is sucking in organised crime gangs from abroad and corrupting legitimate businesspeople – especially lawyers, estate agents and bankers. Money laundering is a massive enterprise, and it is bringing together white-collar professionals and the kind of criminals who deal with heroin, prostitutes and people-smuggling.

“Cannabis is a threat to our democracy.”Mr Daniel said police noticed that the business was starting to change about 15 years ago when criminals realised there were bigger profits from growing cannabis in Holland than smuggling it from Morocco, but the violence has become much worse in the past few years.Dutch police believe that the underground cannabis growing cottage industry has now become one of their nation’s biggest earners of foreign currency, worth an estimated 2.7 billion euros (£2.3 billion) in total – about half as much as Holland’s legitimate horticultural business.The public perception has not kept up with the worsening criminality; most Dutch still regard cannabis as harmless, if not quite respectable. A nationwide poll in November found that 80 per cent of Dutch people opposed the closure of marijuana coffee shops.The nation’s 730 coffee shops, where customers can buy herbal cannabis or hashish without fear of arrest, attract tourists and pay more than 300 million euros in tax annually.An estimated 40 per cent of the cannabis grown in Holland is sold in them. Police believe some are fronts for organised crime, but the worst of the violence takes place in the cannabis-growing industry where strong-arm gangs prey on novices who think they can make easy money by setting up cannabis farms.Everything needed can be bought in a “grow shop” – seeds, nutrients, powerful lights and hydration systems. Police say some grow shops sell the addresses of novices to criminal gangs, who months later smash their way in and steal crops or cash.Cannabis growers can’t go to the law for protection, so they arm themselves, electrify doors to shock or electrocute, or buy large dogs for protection. In one case police discovered a trap for intruders, in the form of a pit filled with sharpened stakes dug beneath a doormat. Suburban Holland has never seen anything like it.
Public anger about tolerant drugs laws is mounting along the French and Belgian borders, where rows of coffee shops sell to thousands of drugs tourists every week. They are accused of making a nuisance in the placid and law-abiding small towns.

This month Amsterdam’s civic fathers decided to shut 43 of the city’s 228 coffee shops as they were close to schools, another sign of growing anxiety about the city’s laid-back drugs laws.So far coffee shop owners have been remarkably relaxed in the face of the growing campaign against them.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Kyle Parvez shot a member of a rival gang from close range in the neck

Kyle Parvez shot a member of a rival gang from close range in the neck will serve a minimum of 10 years behind bars. And the judge who sentenced Kyle Parvez to an open ended jail sentence said his response to almost killing his victim Dilbag Singh was "chilling." Judge Stuart Baker told Parvez: "You seem to be unconcerned for your victim. "Your response to what you have done is in my view chilling, you are a dangerous offender." The judge told Parvez, convicted by a jury last month of attempting to murder Mr Singh in April and possessing a firearm with intent to commit the crime, that he was passing an indeterminate sentence for the protection of the public. He will only be released when assessed by the Parole Board as no longer a danger and will serve 10 years minus time spent on remand before becoming eligible. Parvaz, 21, of Arnhem Road, Callon, showed no emotion as he was led to the cells. He had denied both offences but was convicted by a jury following a trial at Preston Crown Court. Judge Baker warned that evidence from the trial suggested that at the time groups of young men involved in gangs from Deepdale and Fishwick were "prepared to use firearms to settle differences." And he said the courts would pass heavy deterrent sentences. Parvez had armed himself with a sawn-off shotgun which was a weapon used by criminals for one purpose - to kill or maim, said the judge. The jury had found he had intended to kill Dilbag Singh and he shot him at close range, from between nine and 12 feet away on St Paul's Road, Deepdale. Mr Singh, 26, was hit by 56 pellets in the neck and body but survived following emergency surgery. He gave evidence to the trial but it was revealed in court he had subsequently been arrested and has been interviewed on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice. The trial heard that the shooting came in the wake of an earlier abduction of a man during growing tensions between groups from Deepdale and Fishwick with drug dealing backgrounds. Zainul James, 18, of no fixed abode, was cleared on the judge's direction of charges of attempted murder and possession of the firearm with intent but convicted on a charge of aggravated arson in relation to a car in which they travelled to the scene. He set it alight on Manor House Lane and the judge said innocent members of the public could have been injured by this reckless action. Judge Baker sentenced James to five years in a young offenders' institution.

Green Valley drive by shooting in Sydney’s south-west

Police are appealing for witnesses to an overnight shooting attack on a house at Green Valley, in Sydney’s south-west.Around 11pm yesterday (Sunday 21 December), a series of shots were fired at a home in Hewison Avenue.Five people inside the house heard the volley of gunfire and ventured outside to find a number of spent cartridges and damage to the exterior of the home.The family contacted relatives, who in turn telephoned police.Officers from the Green Valley Local Area Command attended the address and secured the crime scene.Forensic Services Group experts and the Police Rescue Squad also responded.The spent casings were retrieved and will be subjected to a series of ballistics tests.Police are conducting a canvass of the neighbourhood in the hope someone witnessed the attack.

Nine men's heads were found in plastic bags in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero early Sunday. Eight of them were eventually identified

Nine men's heads were found in plastic bags in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero early Sunday. Eight of them were eventually identified as belonging to soldiers, and the ninth was a lawyer. "grave mistake" for criminals in the illegal drug trade to have decapitated eight soldiers over the weekend, a top Mexican military officer said Monday.Residents of Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero, found the heads on a busy city street before dawn, and hours later located the bodies several kilometers (miles) away, local police said."For each member that you kill, we are going to kill ten of yours," read a sign that was found next to the heads. It was signed "You know who," a state security official told AFP.Prosecutors announced late Monday that soldiers had detained seven suspects in the decapitations, all in Guerrero state."The criminals made a grave mistake with this audacious crime," said the local regional commander, Enrique Jorge Alonso, speaking at a ceremony here Monday honoring the slain soldiers.The beheading was "an offense against the (government) institutions and especially to those who wear a military uniform," said Alonso, speaking for Defense Secretary Guillermo Galvan.
The attack was a "sick and despicable act of revenge," Alonso said."There will not be the least concession ... and we will not rest until we have put these criminals where they belong," he added.
The soldiers were apparently kidnapped late Saturday as they left their base in Chilpancingo, located 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of the resort town of Acapulco.
The beheadings were the drug cartel's answer to the Friday slaying of three drug cartel members in a clash with soldiers in the town of Teloloapan, also in Guerrero state, the daily La Jornada reported, citing security sources.President Felipe Calderon, speaking in Mexico City, said that the death of the soldiers "had not been in vain."Mexico "will spare no effort to bring to justice those responsible for these cowardly acts," Calderon said.Feuding drug cartels have engaged in a fierce battle to dominate Guerrero state. In the past two years, decapitated victims were recovered there at least three times. Two of those killed were federal police.Separately, 19 people were killed overnight Sunday to Monday in the northern state of Chihuahua in drug related violence, state officials said.
They include 14 people found dead in different parts of Ciudad Juarez, the most violent city in Mexico, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.
Those include a couple, both 25, who were killed in a hail of 49 gunshots, said Alejandro Pariente with the Chihuahua state prosecutor's office.Authorities blame most of the violence there to an ongoing war between the Ciudad Juarez drug cartel -- led by Vicente Carrillo Fuentes -- and the rival Sinaloa drug cartel led by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman for control of the city, one of the most lucrative points to smuggle drugs into the United States.More than 5,300 people have been killed this year across the country in a wave of drug-related attacks, despite a government clampdown on cartels .

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Three major street gangs in Brockton, the Green Street Gang, Bloods and North Side Stars, control certain areas of the city

Three major street gangs in Brockton, the Green Street Gang, Bloods and North Side Stars, control certain areas of the city and are reaching out to recruit new members. That means neighborhood kids seduced by the “glamour” and cash that drug dealers flash. They even reach into schools, seeking teenagers as young as 15 to join their illicit enterprises.The threats against Brockton police came from the Bloods and Green Street Gang, who are mostly involved in drug dealing and intimidation of entire neighborhoods, police say.There have been gangs in one form or another for many years in Brockton. Drugs have also been a part of the fabric of the city, as they are in most urban areas. But daily life takes on a darker cast when credible threats linger against police officers, who are doing all they can to protect the vast majority of local citizens who are not part of this crime wave.Federal authorities and state and local police need all the help they can get against these gangs. That means the testimony of witnesses, neighborhood watch groups not allowing gangs to take over their streets, and parents drilling it into their children that the profit in a life of crime is very short term.

Mongols organization is led by a mother chapter, which operates out of Southern California

Members of the Mongols biker gang implicated in the shooting of a suspected Hells Angel in early November have all accepted plea agreements offered by the Humboldt County district attorney. In the agreement offered on the third day of the preliminary hearing, three of four men admitted to participating in a criminal street gang -- an outcome that sets new precedent for prosecutors in Humboldt County, potentially easing legal efforts against gang members in the future.
Eric Gunner Lundin, the 28-year-old who shot Robert Thompson outside The Shanty in Old Town Eureka, pleaded no contest to felony charges of assault with a firearm and participating in a criminal street gang. Lundin now faces between two and three years in prison at his sentencing Jan. 15. Dustin Liebes, 36, and Eric Garcia, 28, both pleaded no contest to the felony charge of participation in a criminal street gang, and 26-year-old Brad Miller -- whom investigators believe was attempting to become a member of the gang -- pleaded no contest to being an accessory after the fact. Those three men face up to one year in jail or one year probation at the Jan. 15 sentencing. Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin, who prosecuted the case, said he intends to request the sentencing judge prohibit the men from associating with other gang members, which would legally bar the men from each other's company.
McLaughlin called the outcome “appropriate,” after facts in the Nov. 7 shooting incident surfaced late in the investigation showing 43-year-old Thompson may have fired the first shot. Eureka Police Detective Todd Wilcox said when authorities arrived at the scene of the shooting they found a .22-caliber handgun with one spent shell lying next to Thompson. McLaughlin said Thompson, a convicted sex offender and kidnapper, refused to provide testimony at the men's trial, and declined ownership of the gun. Chris Cervantes, a Montebello police detective and ATF investigator working the outlaw biker gang unit, said no matter who fired first, the shooting was a gang-related act, and it was appropriate for the men to be prosecuted.
”A gun is a tool of a gang. It's a sign of power -- it's a sign of respect,” Cervantes said. “There's no self-defense there.”

Cervantes was flown to Humboldt County to provide expert testimony about the Mongols street gang, which the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has labeled the most “violent and dangerous” in the nation. The gang has between 500 and 600 members in chapters throughout the United States, as well as Canada and Italy.
Cervantes said following a Tuesday night intelligence briefing that he believes there are Mongols chapters in Eureka and elsewhere in Humboldt County. But for the most part, he said, the entire Eureka chapter is now in jail, and there appears to be only a small Mongol presence in the region. The Mongols organization is led by a mother chapter, which operates out of Southern California. The long-standing rivalry between the Hells Angels and the Mongols began decades ago over disputes about similarities between patches worn by the two gangs. But the violence has escalated over the years into a bloody gang war.
McLaughlin said jail recordings have shown Lundin has requested attorney fees from the mother chapter, and Wilcox said recordings show others have attempted to communicate with Mongols members outside of jail. Ultimately, Cervantes said the men's admission has bolstered law enforcement's battle against the outlaw biker gang. Leaders of the organization call the group the Mongols Motorcycle Club. The group organizes rides that distribute toys to children, operates in accordance to a constitution and requires new prospective members fill out an application. The seemingly legitimate exterior made it difficult in the past for authorities to legally establish the Mongols are, in fact, a gang, Cervantes said.
With Wednesday's conviction, authorities will have greater power prosecuting members of biker gangs in Humboldt County, Cervantes said.
”We went into some uncharted grounds here in Eureka,” he said. “It's far more successful that the gang allegations were sustained rather than these guys getting more time.”

violent feud between East Side-Merrell Avenue Crips and the West Side's Bloods

Police plan to charge an imprisoned 22-year-old Stamford man today in the 2006 murder of Flanegaine Joseph, a 19-year-old Haitian immigrant whose death sparked a violent feud between East Side and West Side gangs. Renel Domond, formerly of 55 Stillwater Ave., will be charged with murder and first-degree assault in the Jan. 21, 2006, shooting that killed Joseph and injured a 15-year-old boy in the leg.
Domond was arrested on drug charges in March 2006 and is serving four years in a state prison. He will be charged in the homicide today at Stamford police headquarters. Joseph was walking at night with his friend near Colahan Street and Stillwater Avenue when he was shot in the torso. He died at Stamford Hospital the
next morning. For the six months that followed, two gangs - the East Side-Merrell Avenue Crips and the West Side's Bloods - attacked each other in stabbings, gunfights and a near-riot outside a funeral home after Joseph's wake. Police have said it was unlikely the groups were connected to the more organized national gangs of the same names. Sgt. Paul Guzda headed the homicide investigation and said today's arrest was the result of statements from people who initially were reluctant to speak with police. "After a while, we basically were able to find people that were willing to talk to us," Guzda said. "Time was on our side. We wore these people down. A little time went by and, little by little, they felt more comfortable talking." Guzda said Joseph had no apparent ties to gangs, but the shooting exacerbated a turf war between youths from the Merrell Avenue housing complex and the East Side, and those from the Southwood Square and Fairfield Court housing complexes on the West Side. "There was never any indication that this kid was a gang member," Guzda said. It was unknown whether Joseph or the 15-year-old were targets in the shooting, Guzda said. The investigation is still open, but Domond is the "main person," he said. Police said they will release more details at a news conference today after Domond is brought to Stamford. The pending arrest in the Joseph murder is the second big break for homicide investigators in a week. On Wednesday, police charged a Stamford teenager in the December 2007 fatal shooting of 22-year-old Gregory Rowell, whose body was found in his car in a West Side parking lot. Hyshon Smith, 18, of 72 Spruce St., confessed to the murder in a police interview.

The murders that have most increased are those by hitmen, the group killings of five ... or more people, the work of organized crime

"The murders that have most increased are those by hitmen, the group killings of five ... or more people, the work of organized crime," Julieta Castellanos, UN consultant on the report, told Reuters.
Mexican drug gang violence is spilling over into neighbouring Honduras, driving up murder rates as cartels fight over routes used to smuggle cocaine to the United States, a UN-backed study said on Monday.The number of homicides in Honduras jumped by one-fourth to 3,262 between January and September of 2008, including execution-style group killings committed by cartels, according to a report by the National Autonomous University of Honduras sponsored by the United Nations Development Program.Castellanos said Mexican cartels had likely moved into Central American territory long controlled by Colombia drug traffickers who have been weakened by a decades-long U.S. anti-drug offensive.
In Mexico, more than 5,300 people have died this year, more than twice as many as in 2007, as powerful Mexican traffickers fight each other and state security forces for control over lucrative smuggling routes.Mexican gangs used to move narcotics up from South America with relative ease, but stricter control of sea and air routes has increased the importance of land paths through Central America, U.S. and Mexico anti-drug experts say.

MS 13 Worlds most Dangerous

Jeffrey "Dahmer" Gray,sentenced to 40 years in prison

Jeffrey "Dahmer" Gray, 30, was convicted by a jury following a six-day trial in May.
At trail and sentencing before District Judge Joseph J. Farnan Jr., Gray maintained his innocence.Assistant U.S. Attorney Ilana Eisenstein said Gray was a key cocaine distributor in the Wilmington area and was responsible for the sale of more than 50 kilograms of the drug in Delaware.She said trial testimony showed Gray lived a lavish lifestyle with luxury cars, high-stakes gambling and a pricey Rodney Square-area apartment with no legitimate source of income.According to attorneys, Gray was arrested following a fake drug sale set-up by an agent at the Airport Courtyard Marriott hotel in Pennsylvania on Oct.
30, 2006.Robert W. Shepherd III, a co-defendant, arrived to confirm he was making the buy of three kilos of cocaine but then said he had to leave to go get the money, according to Eisenstein.She said Shepherd then met Gray on South Street in Philadelphia and provided him with a wooden box filled with $60,000 in cash before driving him back to the hotel in a rented Scion.Gray then remained in the car while Shepherd went in to complete the sale, she said.When police moved in, after the fake sale was completed, Gray attempted to escape through the narrow parking lot, driving over landscaping, ramming his vehicle into a chain-link fence and leaping out of the car while it was still moving, to try to flee the scene on foot before being apprehended, according to prosecutors.When police searched the crashed car, they found a gun with a round in the chamber inside and DNA tests connected the gun to Gray and not the co-defendant, Eisenstein said.Gray’s attorney, Joseph A. Gabay, said his client denies being a part of a drug distribution conspiracy.He said Gray told the court that he had simply agreed to give Shepherd, a longtime friend, a ride to the hotel and had no idea a drug buy was going down. Gabay said the government’s case was largely circumstantial in that prosecutors did not tie him directly to the Shepherd’s drug operation, which shipped money to Texas and received drugs in return via Federal Express. “Mr. Gray wasn’t any part of that. He was never at a drop off,” Gabay said, adding only the words of Shepherd and another co-defendant tied him to the scheme.Gabay said Grey had a gun and fled from the scene because “he’d been shot at before” and didn’t know what was going on when he saw men with guns appear.Shepherd, who was the original focus of the government sting, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and testified against Gray.Prosecutors said Farnan cited Gray’s extensive criminal history and the large volume of drugs involved in ordering Gray to serve 35 years on the drug charges and five additional years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.U.S. Attorney Colm F. Connolly said the sentence "should send a message to those involved in the drug trade that they will face serious jail time when convicted in federal court."

Arrested reputed Mafia member Mose Esposito

Police in Naples, Italy, Monday arrested reputed Mafia member Mose Esposito and said they were closing in on his boss, Giuseppe Setola.Esposito, 29, was arrested at a small villa near Casal di Principe, the base of an alleged murder squad run by the Camorra clan, reported ANSA, the Italian news agency.Esposito's step-brother, now in prison, is suspected in the September slaying of six West Africa immigrants in the town of Castel Volturno, ANSA said Monday. The slayings allegedly were organized by Setola, whose murder squad has killed an estimated 20 people since May, police allege."We are working to flush him out. The circle is closing around him," said Franco Roberti, who heads an anti-Mafia program in Naples.Setola inadvertently was released from prison last Spring on house arrest but immediately went underground and reformed his alleged murder squad, Roberti said.

Three people are dead following a quadruple shooting at a Kingsland apartment complex

Three people are dead and another wounded following a quadruple shooting Sunday night at a Kingsland apartment complex, police said.The shootings occurred about 6:45 p.m. at the Sea Parc apartment complex, one mile west of Interstate 95 off Georgia 40.Lt. Todd Tetterton, a Kingsland Police spokesman, said roll call was being taken at administrative offices at the Kingsland Welcome Center when officers there heard between 20 and 25 gunshots. The shots were at Sea Parc, which is a just a few blocks from the welcome center.As officers drove to the scene, Tetterton said neighbors began calling 911 emergency dispatchers to report hearing multiple gunshots. Officers arrived to discover two people in the parking lot with gunshot wounds, he said.One of the shooting victims in the parking lot, Jamie Riddle, 33, of Kingsland, died aboard an emergency medical helicopter bound for Shands Jacksonville. The other victim remains hospitalized in serious condition. Tetterton declined to identify the survivor for his protection.When officers went inside an apartment located on Sea Parc Circle, they found two people dead from multiple gunshot wounds. Tetterton identified them as Michael Key, 25, of Brunswick, and Phyllis Frazier, 28, of Kingsland.Tetterton said both Key and Frasher lived in the apartment. Riddle and the other shooting victim in the parking lot were planning to visit Key and Frasher and had apparently just driven into the parking lot when the gunman emerged from the apartment, Tetterton said.“We know there were several people involved but only one active shooter,” Tetterton said.Witnesses reporting seeing a medium to large dark-colored SUV, investigators said.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Jefferson Park Gangster member drive by shooting was reported at a Mesa home on Sunday night.

Police are searching for a suspect or suspects after a drive by shooting was reported at a Mesa home on Sunday night.According to police, the resident reported that an unknown suspect/s shot at his house around 8:20 p.m. No shells were discovered, but round fragments were recovered from the victim’s vehicle which was parked in the driveway.Rounds, appearing to be from a shotgun, also penetrated the residence nearly missing the victim’s father. According to police the victim is on house arrest for a shooting involving a Jefferson Park Gangster member. According to officials the area is well known for an on-going dispute between the victim and JPG.
The suspect vehicle was last seen traveling southbound on Jefferson from East Arbor and is described as a white Honda passenger car. No one was injured during the incident.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Infamous Shower Posse founder Vivian Blake is set to be released from prison in the United States and deported to Jamaica early next year.

Infamous Shower Posse founder Vivian Blake is set to be released from prison in the United States and deported to Jamaica early next year.Blake's pending release was announced on the BET programme, American Gangster, which aired on Thursday night.The programme looked at the rise and fall of the Shower Posse - a criminal organisation which has its roots in Tivoli Gardens and which established bases in several cities in the US, Canada and Britain.Blake was sentenced to 28 years in 2000 after he pleaded guilty to racketeering and criminal conspiracy. He never faced a jury after inking a plea bargain deal which resulted in the time he served while in Jamaica being used as part of his sentence.Blake spent five years fighting extradition to the US after the American Government accused him of ordering dozens of murders, drug trafficking and other serious crimes.The Shower Posse reigned terror on the streets of the US and its members are reported to have murdered over 1,400 persons in the United States.The group has been accused of funnelling huge amounts of cocaine into the United States and was said to use its profits to smuggle guns and ammunition back to Jamaica.Blake is quoted on the programme as saying "I ran it like a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The only difference is that instead of litigating in a court of law, we held court in the streets."The gang was said to have major drug operations in New York, Miami, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Alaska, Washington D C, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Montreal, Toronto and London.In October 1988, Blake managed to elude a nationwide dragnet which saw more than 100 posse members being held during Operation Dragnet, which was set up to nab members of the notorious gang.He left the shores of the United States on December 3, 1988 on a cruise ship and entered Jamaica at Ocho Rios in St Ann. He remained free for 10 years and was the owner of a car, motorcycle and jet ski rental company and a once popular night club in St Catherine.But while Blake was enjoying his freedom, some of his cronies who were slapped with long sentences, began to turn against him. Chief among them was Charles 'Little Nut' Miller, a native of St Kitts who said many of the murders were committed on Blake's orders.Miller was eventually sentenced to life without parole after slipping out of witness protection and leading a ruthless drug-running operation in his home country.Also turning on Blake was Shower Posse enforcer, Kirk Bruce, who admitted to committing more than 100 murders on US soil and is now serving a life sentence.

Istanbul : Gang Shootout Caught On CCTV.

According to the source,bitter rivalry between 2 gangs came to ahead over a gun and alcohol deal.A meeting between the gang members turned violent after the deal went sour.3 People were killed in the shootout but police were quickly on the scene to bring it to an end and arrested most of the gang.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Malindi Airport ,Two suspected armed robbers were gunned down in a fierce gun battle

Two suspected armed robbers were gunned down in a fierce gun battle between them and police officers near the Malindi Airport on Friday night.An AK 47 rifle and a toy pistol were recovered from the slain suspects while one of their accomplices who was armed with a pistol escaped.Malindi Police Chief Ayub Gitonga Ali and the District Criminal Investigation Officer Mr. John Kariuki who visited the scene said the robbers were preparing to rob a house near the airport were gunned down by flying squad police officers who had trailed tem from Malindi town.Ali said the officers had received a tip off from members of the public and started tailing the suspects and eventually caught up with them at about 8.00pm local time. "Police officers ordered the three to surrender, but the one armed with the pistol opened fire on the officers, who responded and gunned down the two," he said.
Ali said the three were among a group of criminals that the police had been looking for."It was not our wish to kill the suspects because had we arrested them they would have led us to the others but since one of them started shooting at our officers the officers had to defend themselves," he said.Mr. Ali said security had been beefed up in Malindi town especially during this festive season and warned armed gangs to keep off the town."We are in the festive season, and I warn those criminals who may be planning to carry out their activities in Malindi that we are alert and we shall catch up with them," he told reporters.Mr. Ali assured residents and tourists that Malindi was a safe place and asked them to enjoy their holidays in the area without fear.

Bulldog gang member was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole for his role in the killing of 16-year-old Courtney Rice

Bulldog gang member was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole for his role in the killing of 16-year-old Courtney Rice in June 2006.Wearing leg and wrist shackles, Joseph Enrique Lopez, 26, told Rice's family in the Fresno County courtroom that he was sorry for Rice's death."I am not the enemy," he said. "I didn't have anything to do with this." But the victim's mother, Stephanie Rice, and the girl's grandmother, Joan Robledo, told Judge Gary Orozco that Lopez should spend the rest of his life in prison."We want justice for Courtney," Robledo said. "She was only 16 years old. There was no regard for her life."The judge agreed, saying Lopez played a key role in her death.Rice, the mother of a 1-year-old, was lured to an apartment complex in northwest Fresno and suffocated by Bulldog gang members, prosecutor Chris Gularte said. Her half-naked and bruised body was found wrapped in a sleeping bag in the back of an abandoned pickup a few days later.In February, a jury convicted Lopez of first-degree murder, attempted rape and false imprisonment. The panel also found that Lopez directed the killing to enhance the image of a gang.
Lopez received 11 years and eight months for his convictions of attempted rape and false imprisonment, as well as for the gang enhancement and his prior criminal activity. He received life in prison without parole for the murder conviction.
Though Lopez was not in the apartment when Rice died, the prosecutor said Lopez directed other gang members to kill her because he feared she might snitch to police about his criminal background. His prior crimes include drunken driving causing injury, selling drugs, auto theft and evading police, the judge said.
The girl "is gonna have to die," Lopez reportedly said while holding a shotgun.
Gularte said Lopez also left fingerprints on the black tape that was used to bind the girl and stole his brother's work truck to haul the body away.
Rice died of asphyxiation, Gularte said during the trial. Pathologist Venu Gopal backed up the prosecutor's allegations, but he was challenged by defense pathologists who said Rice may have died from a heart attack because she was on drugs.Originally, seven people were charged in connection to Rice's killing. They have either accepted plea deals with the District Attorney's Office or have been convicted by a jury.On Friday, Lopez's lawyer, Phillip Cherney, said his client was remorseful. "This may sound ironic, but I know he cared about Courtney Rice," Cherney said.The defense lawyer said Lopez's sentence was unfair because the other defendants, including the ones who actually killed Rice, have received lesser prison sentences

Friday, 19 December 2008

slain gangster Joe Krantz funds raised for the murdered Independent Soldier's memorial plot

Friends of slain gangster Joe Krantz now say they will not be getting any government money for his burial expenses.Nicole Cooper, who has opened a bank account to fundraise for the murdered Independent Soldier's memorial plot, said in a series of text messages that "social services" is not paying anything.She said only Krantz's friends and family members are chipping in to cover the costs of the stone, plot and engraving for the memorial at Valley View Memorial Garden in Surrey.Last week, Cooper posted to a Krantz Facebook tribute page that she was getting $1,050 from the government to help with the costs and that another $5,000 would be raised from Krantz supporters.Cooper did not return several phone calls earlier this week, but sent a brief text message to counter her earlier comments about the government contribution.Officials in the Ministry of Housing and Social Development refused to comment about any specific application for burial assistance when contacted by The Vancouver Sun.Officials did, however, say that applicants must supply detailed financial information about the dead person's assets, which are independently verified.Krantz was gunned down Oct. 20 at the World Extreme Fighting Club he had operated in Abbotsford for two years. The murder remains unsolved. At the time he owned a 2007 Cadillac Escalade, according to property records.Krantz was arrested last April and charged with nine gun and drug-trafficking charges after a one-month Abbotsford police investigation into an alleged dial-a-dope ring. Police found guns, drugs and cash in his apartment along with clothing bearing the logos of the Independent Soldiers gang, as well as the Hells Angels' Nomad chapter.The 28-year-old, who trained mixed martial arts fighters, was intensely popular, despite his criminal links. At least four online tribute sites were started.A tribute mural was painted at a Langley high school, though it was later taken down by school board officials.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Even real live gangsters and the Mafia respect the church -- they may shoot you when you come out of it but won't shoot you when you come in it

Church leaders work to patch up the bullet holes left in the lobby's burgundy carpet, the church's pastor and neighbors Monday called on the city to make gun violence a higher priority. The family of Darshawn L. Cross, 31, who was shot at least three times inside the church, said prayers at his bedside Monday, moments before he was declared brain-dead. He was surrounded by eight to 10 relatives and friends at Legacy Emanuel Hospital & Health Center. Investigators say they have leads in the suspected gang-related shooting, which turned into a homicide Monday. No arrests have been made.
"Even real live gangsters and the Mafia respect the church -- they may shoot you when you come out of it but won't shoot you when you come in it," said Robert Richardson, a church elder from another North Portland church active in gang outreach ministry. "But when we get to a place where a young man has gotten so ripped with anger, misunderstanding and the malice of a thug-life, he has no conscience for the serenity of a church, it's a real sad commentary." Richardson knew Cross and helped lead prayers at his bedside Monday. "I prayed this would be a wake-up call, not to advance the violence, but to reduce the violence," he said.
On Friday, Cross was attending the funeral service for his friends' mother, Sharon Lynn Kemp, 51, when he was shot. About 150 people were in the main sanctuary for the funeral. The service was nearing the end when gunfire erupted.
Church leaders said they'd seen Cross fighting with a man at the back of the church. People separated the two, taking Cross to a small receiving room beside the sanctuary, and the other man to the lobby. But a door connects the two areas, and they began fighting again. The Rev. Robert C. Jointer, New Hope's pastor, did not lead the funeral service and was in his study on the same floor.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Gang member Sean Mercer, 18, was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of blasting three bullets across a pub car park in Croxteth, Liverpool,

Gang member Sean Mercer, 18, was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of blasting three bullets across a pub car park in Croxteth, Liverpool, after targeting rivals who had strayed on to his turf.Innocent schoolboy Rhys was caught in the line of fire and shot in the neck.He died in his mother’s arms a short time later.
After almost four days of deliberations, the jury of seven women and five men convicted Mercer of murder unanimously.The verdict was reached yesterday but could not be reported until now.What the jurors did not know was that just two months before he shot Rhys, Mercer was involved in a chilling rehearsal of the killing.
Waving a gun, he rode a motorcycle past members of the public on rival gang territory.The incident was not reported to police at the time.The jurors were also unaware that just weeks after shooting Rhys, Mercer was given a three-year Asbo for terrorising security guards at a sports centre.Fellow gang members James Yates, 20, of Dodman Road, and Nathan Quinn, 18, of Wickett Close, both Croxteth, and Gary Kays, 26, of Mallard Close, and Melvin Coy, 25, of Abbeyfield Drive, both West Derby, Liverpool, and Boy M, 16, were convicted unanimously yesterday of assisting Mercer after they helped Mercer evade the police for months.Dean Kelly, 17, of Sword Walk, Croxteth, who was referred to as Boy K during the trial but can also now be named, was convicted today by a majority of four related charges.Trial judge Mr Justice Irwin lifted reporting restrictions on Kelly at the end of the trial.
The judge also lifted an order banning reporting the fact that Quinn is already serving five years for gun-related offences.When the main verdicts were delivered, only two people in the packed courtroom could not hold back their emotions – Rhys’s mother, Melanie Jones, and the killer’s father, burly Joseph McCormick, who was dressed entirely in black.As Mercer’s "guilty" verdict was announced to the silent courtroom, Mrs Jones, 42, who was sitting opposite her son’s killer, burst into tears and buried her head in her husband’s shoulder to stifle her sobs.
Rhys’s father Stephen, 45, choked back tears as Mercer blinked, looked down and visibly paled, repeatedly puffing his cheeks out.For the first time in the trial the teenage killer looked close to showing emotion as he stared towards the public gallery where his father sat, tears rolling down his cheeks.Mr McCormick mouthed "I love you" to his son – and left the court.But Quinn cracked a joke, inaudible behind the reinforced glass of the dock, and he and other defendants smiled and laughed.
As they were all led away, Mercer shook Quinn’s hand and the pair hugged before they were led down to the cells.During the seven-week trial, the jury heard that Mercer, of Good Shepherd Close, Croxteth, was a leading member of the Croxteth Crew gang, which terrorised the local community and was involved in a long-running and bloody feud with the Strand Gang, based on the neighbouring Norris Green estate.Mercer had an "intense hatred" of Strand Gang member Wayne Brady.When told by Coy and Kays that Brady, 19, and two rivals had been seen cycling near the Fir Tree Pub on Croxteth Crew territory, Mercer set about the murder.Dressed in a black hoodie and tracksuit, Mercer got hold of Yates’s Smith & Wesson .455 revolver and cycled to the pub where he took up position on a grass verge alongside the car park.Standing astride the bicycle with his arms outstretched in front of him, he clasped the gun with both hands and fired three shots at Brady’s friends, moving his arms in an arc to follow their movements on their bicycles.Rhys, distracted by the sound of the first bullet, which struck a shipping container in the car park, turned toward the gunman and was struck in the neck by the second bullet.Mercer then adjusted his position to aim one final shot at his two rivals.The third bullet struck a disused well as the gunman and his targets fled the scene.After the shooting, Mercer cycled to the home of McCormick, where he called on his fellow gang members to help him avoid the law.With Yates, Quinn and Kays, he was driven by Coy to a lock-up garage on an industrial estate where his clothes were burned and his body washed down with petrol.
Mercer gave the murder weapon to 17-year-old Boy X, who was frightened of him and who hid it in a dog kennel.It was later moved, along with a second gun and ammunition, by Kelly to the loft of his house where police found it later.A crucial breakthrough in the police investigation came 16 months later when Boy X, who cannot be named, accepted immunity from prosecution in exchange for giving evidence against the gang.Together with information gained from bugging devices in the homes of Yates and McCormick, much of which cannot be reported, and mobile phone logs, detectives were able to piece together the movements of the killer and his cohorts as they sought to evade justice.

Corpse of Welsh career criminal Courtney Davies, 53, was mutilated, set on fire and left at a popular dog walking spot in Staunton, Gloucestershire

killers of a notorious gangster stabbed 70 times in a "frenzied and sustained attack", burned and dumped in Gloucestershire woodlands have not been caught despite a four-year manhunt, an inquest has heard.
The corpse of Welsh career criminal Courtney Davies, 53, was mutilated, set on fire and left at a popular dog walking spot in Staunton, Gloucestershire, in December 2004.Despite a number of arrests and a collapsed trial, no-one from the criminal underworld has been convicted of the murder, leading a coroner to record an open verdict.Malcolm Martin, 33, who is deaf, was due to stand trial for killing Davies, of Rumney, Cardiff, and hiding his body in the Forest of Dean scrubland. But the case was dropped due to an "unrealistic prospect of success", the inquest in Gloucester heard.Mr Martin, from Cardiff, always denied murdering Davies and leaving the charred body beside the A4136 road leading towards Monmouth.David Scaysbrook, of the Forensic Science Service, found blood on leaves but no signs of a "battering type" injury. The body had probably been superficially burned where it lay, he told the Shire Hall, Gloucester.Dr Stephen Leadbeatter, Home Office pathologist, said: "There were approximately 70 such injuries. Twelve of those were to the right side of the head and neck, 12 were to the right side of the chest and groin and some 40 were to the back. The majority were stab wounds."Acting Detective Superintendent Neil Kelly of Gloucestershire Police told the hearing: "Mr Davies lived alone in Rumney, had previous convictions for offences of dishonesty, drugs, violence and firearms. He was well-known among the criminal fraternity in South Wales and had served long custodial sentences for two armed robberies and supplying Class A drugs.Recording the open verdict, Gloucestershire Coroner Alan Crickmore said: "I'm not able to determine who in fact inflicted the injuries that caused Mr Davies' death. This was clearly a frenzied and sustained attack resulting as it did in the 70 stab wounds discovered by Dr Leadbeatter."But although it was more likely than not that Davies was murdered by underworld criminals of sound mind, without a suspect to bring to court there was always the chance that his killer could be insane, enough to rule out a verdict of unlawful killing.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Hells Angel who was secretly working as a police agent was bent on murdering a rival biker, Whitby Court heard

Hells Angel who was secretly working as a police agent was bent on murdering a rival biker, Whitby Court heard ."He'll be nothing," Steven Gault told Remond (Ray) Akleh of the Hells Angels elite Nomads chapter on Sept. 27, 2006, in a secretly recorded conversation. "He'll become a nothing ... He'll be fertilizer."The conversation was picked up by a police recording device carried by Gault.Akleh, 46, and Oshawa Hells Angels president Mark Cephes Stephenson, 45, each face charges of conspiracy to commit murder and counselling to commit murder for allegedly recruiting Gault to murder Frank (Cisco) Lenti of the Bandidos club in the summer of 2006.However, Akleh told court it was police agent Gault who was pushing hard to murder Lenti.The alleged murder plot against Lenti was never carried out.Akleh was on his fourth day on the witness stand yesterday."Did the club want Mr. Lenti killed?" Akleh's lawyer, Glenn Orr, asked."No sir," Akleh replied. "From what I understood, no. And I did not want Frank Lenti killed."Akleh told court that he feared for his own life when Gault appeared at his home on Sept. 27, 2006, and pushed him to provide a photo to help him track down Lenti and kill him."I'm scared of the man (Gault), sir," Akleh told court. "What am I going to do? Hit (punch) him? And then he comes back in the middle of the night."Akleh said he tried to trick Gault out of carrying out the murder by saying that he feared police had caught wind of the plot.Orr asked Akleh why he would suggest such a thing."You talk about a man and then he disappears," Akleh said. "There's a problem there."Akleh said he could have easily directed Gault to the Club Pro strip club in Vaughan, where Lenti worked in security. However, Akleh said he deliberately avoided telling Gault anything that would help him kill Lenti, who he described as a friend from the late 1990s, when the two men were members of the Satan's Choice club together.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Alberta Court of Appeal panel rejected a call by the prosecution to increase Hui (Philip) Xu's punishment to five years.

Alberta Court of Appeal panel rejected a call by the prosecution to increase Hui (Philip) Xu's punishment to five years. Crown lawyer Bob Sigurdson argued provincial court Judge John Bascom erred in not taking into account the cache of weapons police found in Xu's home when they busted him with the drugs. But the appeal court, in a unanimous decision handed down by Justice Rosemary Nation, said Bascom noted the weapons in his ruling. "The sentencing judge was alive to the presence of the weapons and there was no evidence the weapons formed any part in the commission of the offence," Nation said. Defence lawyer Hersh Wolch said the Ruger semi-automatic rifle, ammunition, Panther stun gun, Taser and Kevlar vest found in Xu's home were remnants of his former gang lifestyle -- he also said his client feared some of his former associates might not appreciate him going straight. "It is a fact that a close friend of the accused was murdered not long before this event," the lawyer said. "That friend was speaking to the police and counselling people not to get involved in the drug trade when he was killed." Xu said he was out of the drug life when he agreed to help a former associate complete a drug transaction. Police surveillance captured him picking up three boxes in southwest Calgary and taking them to his Coverton Heights N.E. home on June 15, 2005. Xu had arranged for the transportation of the drugs, worth up to $4.2 million on the street, and stored them in his garage before his arrest.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Gangster John Gizzi,activated the 2,712 extra days which Gizzi must serve on top of his original sentence for failing to abide by the confiscation

John Damon Gizzi failed to sell his luxury pad, meaning he could not meet a £2.6m confiscation order and automatically triggering an extension to his jail term.Gizzi, who lived a millionaire lifestyle, was jailed for five-and-a-half years in January 2007.He was also ordered to pay back £2.6m under the Proceeds of Crime Act. But yesterday – 11 days before he was due to be released – a court heard the house had not sold and he would remain behind bars. He still owed £2.2m including £132,000 interest, Llandudno Magistrates’ Court heard.He is currently in prison for grievous bodily harm.Originally Gizzi’s mansion, Bronwylfa Hall in St Asaph, Denbighshire, had been valued at £1.8m but the asking price had then been reduced to £1.3m and an offer of less than £900,000 made by a potential buyer.The country house lies in 4.7 acres in the Vale of Clwyd, near St Asap, Denbighshire. It boasts four reception rooms and a leisure complex with swimming pool, gymnasium and tennis courts.At the time the original confiscation order was made, police said it meant Gizzi would be penniless and homeless when released.The 37-year-old was a millionaire who portrayed himself as a legitimate builder and property tycoon.But at the time of his jailing last year, police said he was a bully preying on the weak who beat up homeless people and believed himself to be untouchable. John Gizzi was yesterday told he would stay behind bars for another seven years for failing to pay back £2.2m profit from his crimes.Gizzi was just 11 days away from being released from a five-and-a-half-year jail sentence imposed in January 2006 for mortgage fraud, conspiracy to supply counterfeit cigarettes, and wounding.But Gizzi, 37, still owes £2.2m, including £132,000 interest, acquired from his criminal activities and which he has been ordered to repay.A court at Llandudno heard yesterday that his £1.8m mansion, Bronwylfa Hall at Asaph, had still not sold and he could therefore not repay the money.Yesterday District Judge Andrew Shaw activated the 2,712 extra days which Gizzi must serve on top of his original sentence for failing to abide by the £2.6m confiscation order.He had been due to be released from prison on December 19.Gizzi’s solicitor Huw Edwards told Llandudno Magistrates Court: “He’s made every effort to ensure the assets subject to confiscation have been sold at the best possible price.”The price for Bronwylfa Hall had been reduced to £1.3m and an offer of less than £900,000 had been made.Estate agents had invited offers over £900,000 for the five-bedroom house which has a pool and gym. Mr Edwards said a sale was now imminent.Earlier hearings had been told Gizzi’s other assets included a Bentley Continental, Range Rover and Mercedes cars and four valuable personalised number plates – JDG 1 to 4.Kathleen Greenwood, prosecuting, told the court two occupied semi-detached houses and land in Gors Road, Towyn, which a Crown Court judge last month ruled had been a “tainted gift” to Gizzi’s parents, were worth at least £430,000.They had been ordered to hand over the development to receivers and their company, J and T Gizzi Builders, must also pay £154,000, the prisoner’s share in another building in Rhyl.At a previous hearing it was stressed there was no suggestion Gizzi’s parents were involved in criminality.
Miss Greenwood said the £154,000 had not been received by the receiver.J and T Gizzi Builders had made an offer for the Gors Road property.“I would be extremely surprised if the receiver accepted the lower offer that has been made,” said Miss Greenwood.Removing the current occupants of the semis would delay the realisation of the asset “considerably”.She added: “There have been over 20 months of default here. There are assets which may well be difficult to sell. You are asked to impose the default. Any reduction in the amount of the order will be reflected in a reduction of any term of imprisonment.”An application will be made in the Crown Court by Gizzi on December 17 to reduce the confiscation amount.A court in January 2006 was told Gizzi had built up a portfolio of 21 investment properties worth £2.8m in the Rhyl area but had lied about his income in each mortgage application.

Bosnian Muslim gangster war

Three individuals have been wounded in a gangster related drive-by shooting in the suburb of Tuzla and one of the wounded, Damir Mehic, is a close capo of the recently released alleged war criminal Naser Oric.Naser Oric was a Bosnian Muslim commander who exterminated all Serbs around Srebrenica and then had his army devastated by the Serbian General Ratko MladicThe attack in Tuzla came after the two individuals entered their car, Audi Q7, which was then immediately sprayed with bullets. Besides Mehic, known as Bibi, Jasenko Hajdarhodzic was hit in the head and is in a hospital where doctors are battling to save his life.Another individual, Faik C., a worker at the near by Gaz Auto firm, was shot in a knee.“It is a matter of many rounds from two types of weapons,” said Ivo Iveljic.The police is reluctant to describe the shooting as gangster related.Sources, however, say that the hit was ordered by the Bosnian gangster clan chief, Muhamed Ali Gasi, an ethnic Albanian that was once on a Bosnian TV bragging about his criminal heists.The sources say that a rival gang sought to kill Gasi’s capo, Fatmir Mujaj, in the Bosnian night club Icognito.
No arrests have been made.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Firing-squad style execution of seven men whose bodies were found outside a high school, and the slaying of a man and his son in front of hundreds o

20 people, mostly men, were reported murdered in Ciudad Juarez. The incidents included the apparent firing-squad style execution of seven men whose bodies were found outside a high school, and the slaying of a man and his son in front of hundreds of middle school students. Local press accounts report the murders of more than 1,400 people in Ciudad Juarez so far this year.Even as activists prepared to launch the Chihuahua-Chiapas caravan, the number of female homicide victims kept mounting in Ciudad Juarez and other parts of the state of Chihuahua. For instance, in a period of less than 24 hours Nov. 20-21, five women were killed in Ciudad Juarez in gangland-style slayings

Gangland characters in Melbourne are most likely to be gunned down in winter between 9pm and midnight.

Most dangerous time for a marked member of Melbourne's underworld is a Monday night in the month of May. Gangland characters in Melbourne are most likely to be gunned down in winter between 9pm and midnight.They will probably be ambushed while sitting in the driver's seat of their car. The hitmen - most likely armed with a handgun or shotgun - will probably shoot from close range. But potential victims can relax a little on Fridays and Sundays - they are the least likely days for underworld killings. As details of seven new murders emerge, a statistical study of our city's previous 27 gangland executions reveals a killing pattern with a distinct Melbourne flavour. At least some of the underworld victims whose stories have been told in the Underbelly TV series may have prolonged their lives by studying the stats. Victorian hitmen have unintentionally left behind some tell-tale signs of where, when and how they are likely to strike. At least 90 per cent of the Melbourne killings were selective murders. It goes without saying that most, if not all, of these people knew their lives were in grave danger. Despite that, most of the victims failed to recognise the kill pattern that could have helped them avoid death or, at the very least, delay it. The fact most of the murders and killings were unrelated meant no one thought to check for an emerging pattern. And, having done the statistics, it turns out Victorian hitmen were unintentionally leaving some telltale signs of where, when and how they were likely to strike - important information for someone under threat. The kill pattern is in contrast, for example, to the pattern left by other assassins around the world. The business of drug trafficking, intimidation, standing over nightclubs and other after-dark activity often accelerates late in the week. This kind of weekend work requires subtle threats and not-so-subtle violence - hence Melbourne criminals often carry guns late in the week and over weekends as a tool of the trade.
The dog-eat-dog world of Melbourne crime also means these criminals are hyper-vigilant about their own safety during business hours. Therefore, hitmen have figured the best time to strike is early in the week. When grouped together these statistics identify the deadliest times in Melbourne's gangland war - a time to kill, if you like. After reading this article, it is inevitable that some will now say: "One easy way of not being shot at close range with a handgun, in May, between 9pm and midnight, on a Monday night and while seated in a car is to avoid being a crook in the first place." But Australia isn't a free-for-all killing field and victims are victims, no matter who they are or what they've done.

Escalating shoot-outs between The Family,ethnic gangsters in the northern suburbs

Escalating shoot-outs between ethnic gangsters in the northern suburbs Most of the seven suburban slayings, which occurred between February and last month, have been discovered in or near metropolitan parks and reserves. Two were parkland "slash and burns" - suspected of being related to drug deals. A third victim is believed to have had his throat cut in a Noble Park reserve before being rolled into a nearby creek. Three others were shot dead and the seventh was bashed to death and dumped in a field. All except two of the victims were aged under 35, all the killings had drug or criminal links and no one has been charged over three of the cases. It is a comparative kill rate to the height of the Carlton crew-Williams crew gangland war where in 2003 when eight underworld-linked figures were executed.
In other years of that war, four or less people were killed. THE seven suburban slayings have been probed in separate homicide inquiries, but are not believed to have a devoted taskforce even though drugs are suspected to be a common factor.
As the bodies have stacked up, police have been spooked by an escalation in non-fatal shootings by ethnic gangsters in Melbourne's north. A Lebanese organised crime syndicate and its rivals are believed to be behind about 20 non-fatal shootings around Broadmeadows, Gladstone Park, Preston, Reservoir and Coburg since November last year. The main gang, dubbed The Family, allegedly centres on a patriarch and three sons running a speed, ice and ecstasy racket backed by threats against police and residents and violent attacks, sometimes allegedly with chainsaws and machineguns. They cannot be named because of court hearings. Victoria Police has responded with the new 20-officer Taskforce Santiago, taking over from Operation Lased, which was probing the northern gangs. Det Acting Insp Steve White said the taskforce would deploy roadblocks in the north and bring in the heavily armed Special Operations Group for risky arrests. "Even when (Operation Lased) had made some arrests at the end of September, shootings still occurred," he said.
"That's why we've been established - bottom line to stop the shooting. "I'm concerned about the amount of guns that are in the community and where they're sourcing them from," Det White, Santiago's operational head, said. "It seems to me as soon as we take a gun off the street it's replaced. "Long arms, short arms, all different types. "Nothing surprises me in policing, but the fact that they can get access to guns so readily is a concern." The squad devoted to combating the drug and gun menace has drawn officers from homicide, armed crime and crime-tasked operations. But police believe further shootings may be imminent "because you can't control everything that's going on in the suburbs". "We haven't had a shooting in the past five weeks (since the taskforce began). In that respect we've done our job," Det White said. "We've had some good results, but it's the tip of the iceberg." Det White said the code of silence, which was cultural and born of fear, meant criminals would not identify their tormentors. "But Purana has shown it can work. Criminals will make statements and give evidence against each other for a variety of reasons," he said. "We will be more than happy to go and chat to anyone who wants to come forward." "We're still putting the jigsaw together as to who's who . . . but certainly it's significant enough for us to start a taskforce to look at it." The existence of Operation Santiago was revealed in the days after the shooting of Bandidos bikie Ross Brand, but it is focused mostly on the northern gangs' shooting sprees. POLICE believe the northern crime gangs may have resulted from jockeying for dominance in the wake of Purana's successes. Senior crime investigators said the current major crime players were loosely based on ethnic grounds, including Italian and Lebanese. But the gangland groups were increasingly making multi-racial alliances, forming a "criminal melting pot" when special skills or expertise were needed. High-ranking sources also said the ceasefire in the gangland war was not permanent and it was likely there would be at least another hit.They said detected drug flows - including big ecstasy busts worth hundreds of millions of dollars and alleged linked to the Calabrian mafia - were "just the tip of the iceberg".

Peter Limone, 74, of Medford, was charged with 12 counts of attempted extortion, loan-sharking and illegal gaming.

Peter Limone, 74, of Medford, was charged with 12 counts of attempted extortion, loan-sharking and illegal gaming. He’s accused of running a ring of bookmakers who took bets on sporting events and charging other bookmakers to work on his turf in the Boston area and Middlesex County.Limone spent more than three decades in prison for a 1965 gangland murder that he didn’t commit. He won part of a $101.7 million civil judgment last year after a federal judge found that Boston FBI agents withheld evidence they knew could prove that he and three other men weren’t involved in the killing.Attorney Juliane Balliro argued Limone should be released on bail, citing his wrongful conviction and decades behind bars.“No defendant in the Commonwealth is as deserving of the presumption of innocence as Mr. Limone,” Balliro said.
After spending the night in jail, Limone smiled and waved at his wife as he was arraigned on the new charges Friday. He stayed in a small room off the courtroom while the charges against him were read.“I’m feeling good,” he said as he left Middlesex Superior Court after posting $5,000 bail. He declined to comment on the charges, which carry sentences from two to 15 years and $35,000 in fines.
Three other men who also arrested in the gaming scheme pleaded innocent: Joseph DiPrizio, who allegedly ran the organization’s central booking office; Thomas Palladino, who allegedly handled payments and collections; and Anthony Squillante, who authorities said served as an intermediary between Palladino and Limone.
Limone charged tens of thousands of dollars in rent to four bookmakers who wanted to operate within Limone’s territory, and took in hundreds of thousands of dollars in gambling funds, prosecutors said.

Eugene “South Side Gene” Flores said he had to help shoot Jesse “Pelon” Guevara in August 2004 or he would have been killed himself.

member of the Mexican Mafia pleaded guilty to racketeering-conspiracy charges Friday and admitted killing a fellow gang member he said he didn’t even know. In a plea deal, he got 25 years in prison. Under questioning by U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, Eugene “South Side Gene” Flores said he had to help shoot Jesse “Pelon” Guevara in August 2004 or he would have been killed himself. Guevara’s body was dumped on Senior Road in rural southwestern Bexar County. “It was the position I was put in at the time,” Flores said, referring to orders from gang leaders.
Flores’ plea agreement says the leadership ordered Jesse “Low” Ozuna, Michael “VL” Badillo and Flores to carry out the killing because Guevara had disrespected the gang. Badillo has pleaded guilty for his role and is awaiting sentencing. Ozuna is awaiting trial in an FBI racketeering case that targeted 34 members of the prison-based gang.

Reputed Gambino crime family soldier Joseph Chirico won't serve a single day in prison: He was sentenced to six months' house arrest

Brooklyn restaurateur got a slap on the wrist for laundering Mafia money Friday - with a little help from friends like Borough President Marty Markowitz.Reputed Gambino crime family soldier Joseph Chirico won't serve a single day in prison: He was sentenced to six months' house arrest - and can spend 10 hours a day at his Marco Polo restaurant in Carroll Gardens - without even wearing an ankle bracelet.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Brownell said Chirico passed $1,500 in tribute money from a mob associate to another Gambino soldier. "Organized crime has been a curse, especially in counties like Brooklyn and Queens," Brownell argued. Federal Judge Jack Weinstein gave Chirico a tongue-lashing for swearing an oath to the Mafia - but let him off after Chirico's lawyer read glowing letters from Markowitz and former Brooklyn beep Howard Golden. Weinstein, who has sentenced scores of Gambinos in the past year, said he always slammed inducted members with more severe sentences.
He said he was swayed because of Chirico's character and defense lawyer Joseph Benfante's argument that jailing him would mean closing the restaurant and putting 25 people out of work. "Being connected with this gang has been useful in his business, he's looked up to, unfortunately, with respect," Weinstein said. A spokesman for Markowitz declined to comment on Chirico's mob ties. Chirico, who declined to speak at his sentencing, had faced six to 12 months in prison under federal guidelines. Meanwhile, Weinstein also sentenced the late Gambino boss John Gotti's brother Vincent and nephew Richard to 97 months in prison for conspiring to murder a Howard Beach bagel store owner suspected of having an affair with Vincent's wife

Friday, 5 December 2008

Former FBI agent John Connolly, whose fall from celebrated mob-buster to paid gangland flunky

Former FBI agent John Connolly, whose fall from celebrated mob-buster to paid gangland flunky captivated a South Florida courtroom for weeks, broke his long silence Thursday at his sentencing hearing. Retired FBI agent John Connolly was convicted last month of second degree murder for his role in a mob hit. Connolly, 68, denied having any role in a 1982 mob hit, telling the family of slain businessman John Callahan: "It's heart breaking to hear what happened to your father, and to your husband ... My heart is broken when I hear what you say." Later, under a spirited cross-examination, Connolly explained that rubbing elbows with killers and gangsters and winning their confidence was part of the job. His attorney argued, "He did what the FBI wanted him to do and now all of a sudden, he's responsible for all these heinous acts." Connolly did not testify at his trial. The prosecutor, Michael Van Zamft, asked for a life sentence, saying the 30-year minimum sentence is too little because "Mr. Connolly abused his badge." Judge Stanford Blake postponed the sentencing until January 15. He said he needed time to consider a defense motion challenging the second-degree murder conviction.Connolly was convicted last month in the 1982 slaying of Callahan, an executive with World Jai-Alai. Callahan's bullet-pocked body was found in the trunk of a Cadillac parked at Miami International Airport.Connolly's testimony followed that of several other witnesses, including Callahan's son and a former FBI agent. Callahan's son, Patrick, read letters that he, his sister, and his mother wrote. He said that his mother considered his father "the love of my life" for 23 years. Former FBI agent Billy Reagan told the judge: "John had nothing to do with these murders, your honor."During the two-month trial, jurors heard that Connolly had told his mob connections that Callahan, 45, was a potential witness against them, setting him up for the gangland-style execution. Connolly previewed his denials in a jailhouse interview published Thursday in The Boston Globe. He faces 30 years to life at his sentencing.
"I did not commit these crimes I was charged with," Connolly told the newspaper. "I never sold my badge. I never took anybody's money. I never caused anybody to be hurt, at least not knowingly, and I never would."According to testimony at his trial, Connolly was co-opted by the very gangsters he was supposed to be pursuing -- members of South Boston's notorious Winter Hill gang. His story is said to be the inspiration for the character played by Matt Damon in the 2006 Martin Scorsese movie, "The Departed."Connolly's sordid tale has been closely followed in New England, where he grew up in Boston's "Southie" neighborhood, the same area long dominated by the Winter Hill gang and its notorious leader, James" Whitey" Bulger. Sought in 19 slayings, Bulger is the FBI's second most-wanted fugitive.During the first two decades of his FBI career, Connolly won kudos in the bureau's Boston office, cultivating informants against New England mobsters. Prosecutors said Connolly was corrupted by his two highest-ranking snitches: Bulger and Stephen ''The Rifleman'' Flemmi.Connolly retired from the FBI in 1990 and later was indicted on federal racketeering and other charges stemming from his long relationship with Bulger and Flemmi. He was convicted of racketeering in 2002 and was serving a 10-year federal prison sentence when he was indicted in 2005 in the Callahan slaying.
During testimony, jurors heard that Connolly was on the mob payroll, collecting $235,000 from Bulger and Flemmi while shielding his mob pals from prosecution and leaking the identities of informants.The prosecution's star witnesses at the Miami trial were Flemmi, who is now in prison, and mob hit man John Martorano, who has admitted to 20 murders, served 12 years in prison and is now free.Callahan, who often socialized with gangsters, had asked the gang to execute Oklahoma businessman Roger Wheeler over a business dispute, according to testimony. Martorano killed Wheeler in 1981 on a golf course, shooting him once between the eyes, prosecutors said.After Connolly told Bulger and Flemmi that Callahan was going to implicate them in the slaying, Martorano was sent to do away with Callahan, prosecutors said.But one star witness did not testify -- the former FBI agent who inspired the 1997 film "Donnie Brasco." He refused to take the stand after the judge denied his request to testify anonymously.

Busted an international drug-smuggling operation , seizing $500,000 worth of Mexican heroin and $100,000 cash

sheriff’s deputies busted an international drug-smuggling operation Thursday, seizing $500,000 worth of Mexican heroin and $100,000 cash, Sheriff John Whetsel said. Deputies made five arrests, but they have not positively identified the people in custody, Whetsel said. The arrests were the culmination of an eight-month investigation, he said. Undercover deputies had been making buys from the dealers, but their unconventional delivery methods meant no arrests could me made until a breakthrough last week. The dealers would drive around Oklahoma City neighborhoods and sell heroin from their cars, but could not be traced to any residence or fixed base of operations, Whetsel said. But a traffic stop a week ago, thought at first to be unrelated to the investigation, yielded a utility bill with an address that deputies connected to the dealers. Deputies searched the residence Thursday in the 3200 block of SW 86, Whetsel said. Inside the home were five people who were arrested, 10 to 12 pounds of black tar, brown and white heroin and the cash. A search of two cars at the residence revealed the technique used to smuggle the drugs from Mexico, Whetsel said. The smugglers filled the hollow portion of the cars’ drive shafts with the drugs. Whetsel said investigators have not yet determined if the arrested people are legal U.S. residents.

Mafia cell phone which houses 4 .22 caliber bullets and fires them at the press of a button.

Italian police raided an Italian mafia gang and uncovered a clever mobile device in so doing. It’s a cell phone which houses 4 .22 caliber bullets and fires them at the press of a button. The “phone” was fully loaded and ready to make mobile mischief when the Italian police found it in the raid. Also confiscated were two normal, non-cell phone hand guns, a whole mess of drugs, and a big pile of cash. One man was arrested during the raid, most of the suspected gang members escaped

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Baltimore police identified yesterday four victims from a recent spate of homicides

Baltimore police identified yesterday four victims from a recent spate of homicides, including a 14-year-old boy killed in Sunday's quadruple shooting. Police said the boy, Perrish Parker, was killed along with 26-year-old Darren Davis and 45-year-old Troy Brown when gunfire erupted in the 4000 block of Oakford Ave. in Northwest Baltimore on Sunday night. He was the 24th juvenile homicide victim this year, and the second 14-year-old killed in November, the city's deadliest month of 2008.
Court records show Brown had been sought since April on a warrant for violating his probation. He pleaded guilty in March to one count of drug possession with intent to distribute and received an eight-year prison sentence, nearly all of which was suspended and followed by three years of supervised probation. Davis had several prior convictions for drug possession.It was not clear what the relationship the three had, if any. Police said they did not know Parker's age, but a family friend and a relative confirmed the age in e-mails to TheBaltimore Sun. An unidentified woman was also wounded in the shooting. Police also identified Alton Alston, 19, as the victim of a shooting early Monday in the 200 block of S. Clinton St. in East Baltimore. Alston was on probation following a guilty plea to a drug charge in October 2007. He received a five-year prison sentence, though four years and six months of that sentence was suspended. In July, he was charged with attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery and assault, but the charges were dropped less than a month later. Prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to proceed with an indictment after witnesses gave conflicting information.

Three shooting incidents in Sydney in 24 hours.

Three shooting incidents in Sydney in 24 hours.A man is in police custody this afternoon after a man was shot in Sydney's west.Ambulance crews were called to a house in Denver Road, St Clair, about 1.30pm, where they found a man, aged about 30, with gunshot wounds to the arm and chest, an ambulance spokesman said.He was taken to Nepean Hospital in a stable condition, he said.The call to ambulance crews had said the shooting was an accident."Whether he's accidentally shot himself or someone else accidentally shot him [is not known],'' he said.A police spokesman said another man had been taken into custody over the shootings and was being questioned.In the early hours today, two shots were fired into a house at Beatrice Street, Bass Hill, about 1.10am, police say.A number of people were at home at the time, but no one was injured."I can confirm it was a domestic incident, but unfortunately the details are pretty scarce," acting Inspector Alan Spence from Bankstown police said.The occupants of the house are understood to have provided few details about the attack. No description of the gunmen was given.The shooting comes after similar incidents in the same suburb and in the neighbouring suburb of Chester Hill a month ago."I wouldn't say that we are having any more than we normally encounter in this area," acting Inspector Spence said.Soon after that shooting, 10 shots were fired into a tattoo parlour at Burwood Road, Belmore, about 1.45am.Inspector Mark Pluss from Campsie police said a male worker was in the parlour at the time but was not injured.Less than two months ago, a series of shootings and an arson attack at a tattoo parlour in Brighton-Le-Sands was described by police as "a battle over turf between rival [bikie] gangs"."At this stage, I don't think we can put [the Belmore shooting] down to that," Inspector Pluss said.He said there had been no other reported incidents at the parlour in the past.

Leon Wiley former member of the notorious "Nut Case Gang"

Leon Wiley laughed as an Alameda County Superior Court Judge today ordered the 30-year old to spend the rest of his life in prison.The former member of the notorious "Nut Case Gang" chuckled some more when family members of one of the three people he either killed or ordered to be killed talked about their loved ones.
And, as Wiley was led out of the courtroom after a stern talking-to by Judge Joseph Hurley, he made sure to look both the judge and then family members in the eyes as he shouted his allegiance to the gang that terrorized Oakland in 2003."I don't give a f---," Wiley shouted as he was surrounded by court bailiffs. "I'm not scared of none of that s---. I don't care, I got no where to go. I'm Gotti, I'm Tweezy. Nut Cases."Wiley was one of eight members of the gang who were arrested in early 2003 after a six-week crime spree in Oakland that included five killings of strangers and a host of robberies.Oakland law enforcement officials considered the group, which members called the Nut Case Gang, "one of the most notorious little killing groups the city has ever seen."Originally, the Alameda County district attorney's office sought the death penalty against Wiley and other Nut Case members; however, the office changed its mind after a jury refused to give the first Nut Case member the death penaltyNevertheless, at least three of the gang members have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the numerous crimes they committed in 2003. Others were sentenced to lesser terms after they took plea deals or were found not to have committed the most serious felonies.Wiley, who led the group for a time, was accused of some of the most heinous acts of the group. He was found guilty in September on seven felony counts including three counts of first degree murder, one count of attempted murder and several other felonies.
Most of the killings were committed against complete strangers.A jury found that Wiley killed Tracy Easterling, 21 and directed other members to kill Keith Maki Harris, 14 and Jerry Duckworth, 24. "He is to be incarcerated until he dies," Hurley said as he sentenced Wiley. "It is clear he is someone who treated firearms like people treat forks and knives."Tiffany Evans, Easterling's cousin, told the court that her cousin's death left a void in the family that could never be filled.
"My family suffers every day," she said as Wiley chuckled. "When we want to see her, we need to go to a grave."Easterling's aunt, Kathleen Miller, said she is horrified everyday by the last image of her niece."The last time I saw Tracy, is seeing her lying there in the hospital on life support," Miller said.Michael Nieto, a deputy district attorney who tried the case, said Wiley deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison and chalked up the gang member's courtroom outbursts to someone who is afraid of prison."Behind all that bragging, I believe Mr. Wiley is very scared to go to prison," Nieto said. "I've heard jail calls in which he is crying about going to prison."Nieto said he was relieved Wiley received the maximum sentence allowed under law and hopes the case proves to city residents that if they cooperate with police groups like the Nut Cases will end up in prison.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Mexican and Guatemalan drug traffickers arguing about a horse race in a rural border town began a series of gunbattles in which 17 people died

Mexican and Guatemalan drug traffickers arguing about a horse race in a rural border town began a series of gunbattles in which 17 people died, police said Monday.
National police spokesman Donald Gonzalez said the traffickers were drinking in the town of Santa Ana Huista on Sunday afternoon when an argument broke out over bets on a horse race, leading to a pursuit in which the gunmen shot at each other with automatic weapons from trucks racing down roads near a remote part of the Mexican border.Gonzalez said police even found grenade-launchers at the scene of the final shootout, along with hundreds of bullet cartridges and a truck with license plates from the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.The increasing violence of Mexican drug gangs has sometimes spilled across the border into Guatemala, which is often used as part of the corridor to smuggle drugs toward the United States.Guatemalan police say 11 people died in a clash between drug gangs in March and authorities say the shooting and burning of 15 people on a bus in November also appears to be linked to drug trafficking.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Jorge Rojas and Juan Gonzalez, two gunmen from the Tijuana drug cartel, have been convicted in a San Diego court

Jorge Rojas and Juan Gonzalez, two gunmen from the Tijuana drug cartel, have been convicted in a San Diego court in connection with last year's kidnapping of businessman Eduardo Gonzalez:The pair led a group known as Los Palillos (the Toothpicks) that focused its attacks on alleged associates of the Arellano-Felix drug-smuggling organization, which has controlled the flow of narcotics from Tijuana into Southern California for more than 15 years. * * * Law enforcement officials say Rojas organized the gang of disgruntled ex-gunmen believed responsible for as many as 20 kidnappings and a dozen murders in San Diego County beginning in about 2004.
Rojas and Gonzalez face life in prison, and four other defendants allegedly involved with the kidnapping of Gonzalez are scheduled for trial in January.

Two teenage boys face attempted murder charges following a shooting in which two La Salle teenagers were shot and wounded Wednesday night in La Salle.

Two teenage boys face attempted murder charges following a shooting in which two La Salle teenagers were shot and wounded Wednesday night in La Salle.At 8:48 p.m. Wednesday, La Salle police received several 911 calls reporting shots fired in the 400 block of Central Street.At the scene officers found two male victims who were shot outside of 430 Central St. One victim, age 17, was shot in the abdomen, and the other victim, age 19, was shot in the chest.The victims were taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru and later airlifted to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. La Salle police report the victims were in stable condition. Police did not release the victims' names in a press release and The Times was told no one was available at the police department for further comment by press time this morning.Witnesses at the scene provided descriptions of suspects and a vehicle, which fled the scene. Officers were later notified several of the suspects were at a Tonica residence on East Fourth Road. With the assistance of State Police, at 9:44 p.m., four suspects were taken into custody. A fifth suspect was taken into custody at the La Salle Police Department at 11:57 p.m.During the course of the investigation, two .22-caliber rifles were recovered.Attempted murder charges were referred to the La Salle County State's Attorney's Office on two La Salle boys, ages 13 and 14. Both boys were taken to the La Salle County Detention Home.The state's attorney's office authorized a felony obstructing justice charge on Dawn C. Pratt, 31, 1246 Crosat St., La Salle. Further charges may be pending, and Pratt was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

John Gizzi's parents were yesterday ordered to hand over a four-house development and a large sum of money to receivers.

John Gizzi's parents were yesterday ordered to hand over a four-house development and a large sum of money to receivers.At a hearing at Mold yesterday, Judge John Rogers QC ruled Gizzi had made two “tainted gifts” to his parents in a bid to reduce the amount of money he would have to hand over from his criminal lifestyle.
The building firm J and T Gizzi Builders Ltd, run by his parents John and Ruth Gizzi, must immediately hand over a building site at Gors Road in Towyn near Rhyl. On it are four new houses, valued at £333,000.The company was also ordered to pay the receiver £154,260, the defendant’s half share in a building on the West Parade at Rhyl where he planned to run a nightclub, but which was later sold on.
Gizzi, who is due to be released from prison on December 19, owned half that building, formerly known as The Corner Cafe, but his share from the sale was given to his parents, the judge ruled.
Prosecutor Andrew Thomas QC said it was not suggested for one moment that the parents were involved in their son’s criminality and it was accepted they had run their businesses in a legitimate and successful way for many years.But between 2001 and 2005 they had become involved in financial dealings with their son at a time, it was now known, that he was involved in crime.Simon Killeen, for the parents, argued the defendant simply held legal title of the property in West Parade, holding his share in trust for his father.But the judge said he was satisfied the defendant had paid his share in cash from his various enterprises at the time and it was a “tainted gift”.The Gors Road development was transferred to Gizzi’s parents’ company for £45,000 following his arrest in 2005. It represented a much under-valued, tainted gift, the prosecution alleged.Mr Killeen argued it was his clients’ building company which had done all the construction work to the tune of £270,000 to the date of transfer from the son’s name, and a further £200,000 was spent to get the properties ready afterwards.
But the judge said that he was satisfied that it had been the defendant’s project which he had financed himself until his arrest and it had then been transferred to his parents’ firm as another “tainted gift.”THE receiver appointed to handle Gizzi’s financial affairs is selling his remaining un-sold property, including his former luxury home at Bronwylfa Hall, St Asaph, three of his four cherished number plates, his Rolex watch and other items.His barrister Duncan Bould told the court yesterday the hall was due to be sold this week.In March last year, Judge Rogers formally found Gizzi had a criminal lifestyle and that the benefit from his criminal conduct was £6.89m.
The judge ruled that if he did not pay then he would have to serve an additional eight years.
The court heard Gizzi had agreed at an early stage that he would have to surrender all his assets, and included in the original figures were £1.75m for his home at Bronwylfa Hall at St Asaph, the proceeds from his other mortgaged properties, his £16,500 Rolex watch, and £45,000 for his four cherished number plates JDG one to four.His Bentley Continental was valued at £116,000, his Range Rover at £50,000 and his Mercedes at £5,000.Now Gizzi will return to Mold Crown Court before his release date so Mr Bould can argue that the original order against him made under The Proceeds of Crime should be substantially reduced in view of the down turn in the economy.

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