Sunday, 13 December 2009

Metro Gang Strike Force

members of the Metro Gang Strike Force attended a six-day conference in Hawaii, using nearly $17,000 in forfeited money that had been seized by the Strike Force in the course of its work.That turned out to be the first of many exclusive stories that Furst reported this year examining questionable practices within the Gang Strike Force. His reporting ultimately contributed to the decision to shut the organization down.Furst reported, along with Lora Pabst, how officers seized $4,500 in cash from Dagoberto Rodriquez Cardona in 2008 when Cardona went to claim a car from an impound lot, without ever documenting that the money had been seized. Cardona later filed suit, illustrating that the cash was money he and three others had earned through work, not drugs.We learned, through Furst's reporting, that seizing cash, cars, TVs and other property without proper documentation had become common practice on the force, first to help fund the work during tough days, and occasionally to enhance the lifestyles of some police officers.Furst also broke the story, ahead of everyone else, that Strike Force commander Chris Omodt had closed the unit in late May after discovering that officers had been shredding documents prior to an investigation into Strike Force activities.Today, Furst and Paul McEnroe take you behind the scenes to explain the meltdown of this organization, one of the biggest failures of crime enforcement in recent Twin Cities history. Their exhaustive reporting shows how something that began as a successful, upstanding crime-fighting organization eventually went rogue.

“M62 Gang” - 4 females in their mid 30s to early 50s

criminal gang who stole over £300,000 of designer clothes, including £9,000 from Wigan stores are now behind bars, thanks to officers from the Wigan Business Crime Partnership. The “M62 Gang” - 4 females in their mid 30s to early 50s - have been operating across the North West shoplifting from high end designer womenswear stores, taking up to £5000 worth of clothes on each visit. A specialist officer, working with Wigan Council on behalf of Wigan’s Business Crime Partnership, was instrumental in securing the gang members’ arrests after undertaking surveillance in the town centre. That officer shared information about the gang’s activities in Wigan with colleagues across the region, which was crucial to the police arresting the four women in York last month. Cllr Kevin Anderson, the cabinet champion for safer communities, says: “This is an excellent result for the close teamwork of the Crime Partnership. Their work must remain confidential, but we can all be grateful that this gang has been stopped in its tracks, stealing from local shops who are working hard in the grip of a recession.” The specialist officer had been gathering evidence that the women had been coming to Wigan since August. Carol Ramsey, Lorraine Matthews and Collette and Debbie Ryan had been in town for six days a week, systematically targeting some of the top retail names in the town centre.
The four women were sentenced at Manchester Crown Court last week, with Carol Ramsey and Lorraine Matthews each receiving 14 months. Collette Ryan was jailed for 10 months and Debbie Ryan for 6 months. The Crime Partnership was set up in 2001 in Wigan. It works to co-ordinate intelligence about criminal activities between Wigan’s day time and evening economies, Robin Retail Park and Ashton town centre, linking in with the council’s CCTV network. Images of known offenders are circulated amongst members as part of the group’s intelligence gathering operations. Violent crime in Wigan town centre reduced by 31 per cent last year and the team have won a number of industry awards.Cllr Anderson adds that the partnership wasn’t created because of any increase in crime. “Wigan remains to be one of the safest places to live, work and visit in Greater Manchester,” he says. “By maintaining and improving the standards of crime reduction, we can ensure even better and safer environment for businesses, residents and visitors.”

Martin Hamilton attempt was made to gouge a man's eye out with a spoon and Hamilton also tried to cut a man's finger off with a knife.

Martin Hamilton is preparing for early release after nine years of a life sentence.

And a source told the Sunday Mail: "There will be a few people dreading the day he walks out of prison a free man."

Hamilton was flanked by two guards as he called on his mother for tea and biscuits on a home visit from Shotts Prison.

He watched l ive coverage of the UK Snooker Championship at the old lady's Glasgow flat on Thursday before emerging at 3.15pm.

He was then driven back to Kerr House, a low-supervision wing at Shotts.

Ultra-violent Hamilton was jailed for life in 2000 for a catalogue of offences , including abduction, torture and drug-dealing.

He was ordered to serve at least nine years before he could apply for parole.

But the 49-year-old heroin baron and bank robber is now confident he'll be out soon after he was granted the right to enjoy two-hour home visits.Our source told us: "Hammy can't wait to get out of prison."He's been inside for a long time now and knows each day is a day closer to freedom."All he has to do is keep his nose clean and stay out of trouble."The home visits are the start of the process for Hammy and he chooses to go and visit his mum."She's getting on, and Hammy going to visit her is easier than her having to make the journey to Shotts."Hamilton was the most notorious gangland figure in Scotland during a reign of terror which lasted almost 20 years.Before justice finally caught up with him, he walked free from TWELVE High Court indictments for crimes, including possession of firearms, a shooting, serious assault and robbery.Cases against him fell apart after witnesses were too afraid to give evidence against him, and preferred to be jailed for contempt of court instead.
But Hamilton was finally sent down at the High Court in Inverness - as armed police guarded every exit in the court building.Terrified witnesses were put in pol ice protection schemes and a news blackout on the trial was imposed.
Hamilton, of Anderston, Glasgow, was convicted of ordering the kidnap and torture of victims from the Edinburgh drug scene.Detectives say he was trying to take control of the capital's drug trade. Local dealers d ived for cover when he based himself in the capital 's Broomhouse area.Hamilton was found guilty of 14 charges, including several torture offences. Victims were set on fire, scalded with boiling water or stabbed in the face.In one horrific incident, a young couple were ordered to be stabbed in a bath so they wouldn't bleed all over the carpet of the flat where they were being held hostage.An attempt was made to gouge a man's eye out with a spoon and Hamilton also tried to cut a man's finger offwith a knife.Hamilton was also convicted of being concerned in the supply of heroin and diazepam, threatening a man with violence and holding a knife to another man's throat and threatening to kill him.He was acquitted over the abduction of two men and offering them money for sex.Passing sentence, Lord Kingarth said: "You showed yourself capable of taking sadistic pleasure in the infliction of pain and the inspiration of real terror over long periods.
"You pose a substantial danger to the public."Hamilton's co-accused, David Henderson, was jailed for six years.A third accused, Martin Byrne, 28, who gave evidence against Hamilton, admitted stabbing the teenage girl and boy in the face and was jailed for just three years.Hamilton had already served a nine -year sentence for trying to rob the Dunferml ine Bui lding Society in Anniesland, Glasgow in 1992.And in 1990, he abducted notorious gangster Paul Ferris off the street.
He bundled Ferris into a car on the orders of crime lord Arthur Thompson Snr, but released him when Thompson had a change of heart.Our source said: "Police were popping champagne when Hammy was sent down. They'd waited years to see him put away.
"Now they'll be wondering if they'll have to do it all over again when he gets out."

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Nearly 10,000 gang members fight for control of these streets. The result: A war zone with a murder every three days

“Oakland, California,” intoned the narrator as the images flickered across the screen. “Nearly 10,000 gang members fight for control of these streets. The result: A war zone with a murder every three days.”The program was the second installment of a two-part documentary that aired in September. The first part had focused on African-American gangs in Oakland; this one explored Latino gangs and their territories by following the Oakland Police Department’s gang unit and the 9400 Boys, a small group in East Oakland. The conclusion of the show was the revelation that one of the 9400 Boys had been murdered; their leader, Javier, made a decision to kill whoever was responsible.“The cycle of violence continues,” the narrator said. “In Oakland, revenge is a promise all the time.” The credits rolled.
Park turned off the TV and looked up at the 15 guests seated in a cozy circle of chairs and couches: There was the man who lived downstairs, the older woman who moved from Atlanta last year, the baby-faced ex-gang member who grew up in Oakland, and the middle-aged mom who had raised her family here. Earlier, during the introductions, this mom had told the group, “Sometimes I love and hate Oakland at the same time,” and in the silence that came over the room after the TV went off, this contradiction seem to hang in the air.“As I drive around, I don’t feel the sense that I get from this documentary,” said Damond Moodie, who owns the preschool Park’s daughter attends. “I just feel that it has to be said that Oakland is not the seedy underbelly with 10,000 gang members that they make it out to be.”
“That’s true, but it’s getting worse,” said a young man named Ambrose. “Kids are getting crazier.”“I think it’s the United States is going though a recession and there’s all kinds of intangibles,” Moodie replied.Gangs are a complicated reality in Oakland, a city haunted by violence and the negative reputation that comes with it. But this fall, the nationwide broadcast of “Gang Wars: Oakland” added a new layer of complexity to many viewers’ already complicated feelings about what that violence means and how outsiders perceive it.The shows have prompted discussion on message boards and analysis by Chip Johnson in the Chronicle. There is even an after-school group of East Oakland high school students called the Raza History Through Film Club who watched the programs together and are working on their own student documentary to set the record straight.Back in Andrew Park’s living room, no one debated the seriousness of gang violence in Oakland, but the tone of the programs—particularly narration that called Oakland a “war zone” and compared the city to Iraq—struck many as sensational. Some felt the program made it look like violence was everywhere and could strike any part of the city at any time. Others questioned the assertion that the city had “10,000 gang members,” a number the Oakland police department estimates at closer to a few thousand. The Discovery Channel has since changed its figures, re-broadcasting the program with an updated number of 2,000.The small group of people who were interviewed for this article all watched “Gang Wars: Oakland” with the kind of curiosity one would expect them to have about a show that purports to hold up a mirror to their city. But these viewers—all of whom had some personal or professional connection to the show—felt different layers of emotion: disappointment, cynicism, sadness or recognition. If “Gang Wars: Oakland” held up a mirror, then it was a mirror with cracks and missing pieces. But looking in to it, they could still see fragments of their own experiences reflecting back at them.

17 percent increase in total gun crimes this year, and a doubling of punishment or "respect" shootings where the intent is not to kill.

17 percent increase in total gun crimes this year, and a doubling of punishment or "respect" shootings where the intent is not to kill. Nationally, 87 percent of people here believe gun crime is on the rise, with an even greater margin - 93 percent - who believe knife crime is increasing, perhaps fueled by a spate of youth stabbings last year that had parents purchasing body armor for their children.
Officials have pushed back, noting that this year's bump in crime still represents the second-lowest figure in the past five years. Though "respect" shootings doubled, that was from an original total of just 33. Total homicides are down for the year, following a 20-year low last year."We have a very, very low murder rate for a reason," said London Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse, who along with his boss, Mayor Boris Johnson, has angled to seize unprecedented control over the Metropolitan Police Department. "And the reason is that we take it very, very seriously."
In Britain, obtaining guns remains a challenge for criminals, and just 20 percent of firearms seized by police are working guns. Instead, criminals reconfigure starter pistols and replica guns, or smuggle weapons from Eastern European and Asian countries. If guns are hard to come by, officers say, ammunition is even more rare. Many shootings avoid a fatal result because the bullets are of such poor quality - spent shell casings repacked and recycled.

"At the end of the day, it's not the gun that's going to kill you - it's the ammunition. But they struggle knowing where to get the ammunition from," said Police Constable Matthew Broome. "So they have to get creative, and refilling a shell of a bullet means a bullet isn't as potent when it's fired from the gun."

But those who get their hands on guns and ammunition adhere to the same shoot-first mentality that afflicts many of America's urban streets, and the crimes that hit the news are often just as shocking and senseless.
In March, a shopkeeper was locking up his grocery store when a shooter on a motorbike zipped by and killed him in a case of mistaken identity. In October, a prominent gang member was shot while sitting in his Range Rover at a traffic light with his 5-year-old stepson beside him. In a killing that police believe was retaliatory, a 21-year-old man was fatally shot three days later as he played snooker at a social hall. With residents pleading for help, police initiated an armed patrol in North London - the kind that later would be condemned.
Police said they are concerned about the gun violence, but do not see a situation that begs breaking with the country's centuries-old tradition of unarmed police. An announcement in October by Scotland Yard that armed patrol units would "take to the streets of London" set off a flurry of anxiety among police advisers, politicians and commentators. One critic expressed "deep shock and horror," while others denounced the move as "totally unacceptable."Within days, police said the announcement had been made in error and reasserted their commitment to an unarmed agency that polices through consent rather than force.
"We just don't like the idea of carrying firearms on the streets of the United Kingdom," Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson said in a rare one-on-one interview. "We don't like it, the public don't like it, I don't like it, and actually the vast majority of cops don't want it."
That attitude toward guns is what fueled national fear about Manchester, an area of 2.5 million that is about 200 miles north. Neighborhood gangs' turf wars and retaliatory violence led the national press to dub it "Gunchester," and prompted formation of a task force called X-Calibre that targets efforts on intelligence-gathering and intervention in gang activity.X-Calibre's second-floor office sits in Manchester's traditionally highest crime area, the Moss Side, in a police station that has otherwise been closed for renovations. On the walls are mugshots of gang members, labeled with their nicknames. Red and blue bandanas hang over each group's section signaling their affiliation.Two of the major gangs have begun calling themselves Bloods and Crips, a nod of admiration for American gang culture; another is made up predominantly of Somalian immigrants. All are racially diverse.The beefs here are entrenched, passed down through generations, said Detective Sgt. Rob Cousen."Many of these gangs are family members - it's almost as if you're born into that family, you're under that umbrella," Cousen said. "It's difficult for lads to get out of that."Jerome Braithwaite, 20, is among those who know that violence is still a problem on Moss Side. His younger brother, Louis, was killed in January outside a betting hall in a drive-by shooting. Police say the incident elevated Jerome in the Fallowfield gang, with many wearing T-shirts memorializing Louis and urging retribution. The officers say Jerome, however, is conflicted.
"All this gun stuff, it's just rubbish, really. I want to get out of it," Jerome told a reporter while standing outside his home. Of the violence and retribution, he said, "It's just one big circle that keeps going round."
Police are trying to change those attitudes, and there are signs that X-Calibre's intervention is working. Until earlier this year, the city had a 16-month stretch without a killing and went the entire month of August without a "discharging," one of the ways police track crime here. Officials believed that was a first, at least in recent memory.

‘apprentice’ for the Hells Angels gang.

Police have arrested a third suspect in connection with the brutal attack on Alan Vestergaard, IT Factory chief executive Stein Bagger’s former business partner.
Bagger and another unnamed man have already been charged in relation to the attack on Vestergaard, who was severely beaten with a hammer in November 2008 at his home in the northern Zealand town of Farum. The third person charged is according to public broadcaster DR, an ‘apprentice’ for the Hells Angels gang.Police say DNA evidence from cigarette butts found at the scene led to the arrest earlier today.
The case of Bagger and IT Factory’s bankruptcy is one of the most spectacular corporate scandals in Denmark in modern times. Bagger admitted to fraud and forgery of 831 million dollars and in June he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for the crime.But Bagger has denied any involvement in the assault on Vestergaard. The incident took place just two days before Bagger left the country for Dubai, where he caught a flight to the US. He finally turned himself into police in Los Angeles after an extensive manhunt.Bagger was known to have connections to the Hells Angels, as leading member Brian Sandberg was once employed as his bodyguard.

Barrio Van Nuys street gang has been claiming a version of the New York Yankees’ interlocked NY logo

Barrio Van Nuys street gang has been claiming a version of the New York Yankees’ interlocked NY logo as its own.By trimming the tail off the ‘Y,’ the famous Major League Baseball trademark is turned into an interwoven VN, standing for Van Nuys. The gang is touting its Yankee-esque symbol on social networking Web sites and YouTube.It’s just one example of what law enforcement say is an increasing trend among gangs to use cyberspace to broaden their appeal, boast of illegal exploits, pose threats and recruit new members.And more than ever, prosecutors are scouring sites like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter for potential evidence in gang-related criminal cases.“Five years ago we would find evidence in a gang case on the Internet and say, ‘Wow.’ Well, there’s no more ‘Wow’ any more. Sadly, it’s much more routine,” said Bruce Riordan, director of anti-gang operations for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office.Cyberbanging, as authorities call it, can provide prosecutors with the proof they need in criminal cases to demonstrate affiliation in a street gang – something typically denied by defendants at trial.“When the gang member has basically put his or her admission of gang membership up on the Internet, it can not only help prosecutors prove a case, it can also help us disprove a false defense,” said Riordan.George W. Knox, director of the National Gang Crime Research Center, said, however, that proving gang affiliation through cyberspace can be an arduous task. That is one reason he trains law enforcement officials how to cull intelligence on gang membership, rivalries, territory and lingo from their Internet posts.“Gangs are going to use any form of communication they can, including Twitter, including Facebook,” Knox said.“We don’t have any laws that prohibit them from doing this, and I don’t think we’re ready to bar them from the Internet.”
Attempts to contact numerous San Fernando Valley gang members for comment via e-mails through networking sites they use were unsuccessful.Los Angeles gang expert Alex Alonso said gang members are using networking sites more than before, but not necessarily to further criminal enterprises.“From my extensive experience, they use the Internet like any other person does – they’re just representing their neighborhoods and not trying to recruit,” said Alonso.

But law enforcement officials and youth counselors insist that young people who visit social networking sites to download music and pictures glorifying criminal street gangs can unwittingly set themselves up to be recruited by gangs.

Impressionable young people, say authorities, can sometimes be influenced by the secret handshakes, clothing and slang of gang cultures that are commonly found on Web sites created by or heavily used by gangs.

And it’s not just MySpace, Facebook and Twitter that parents should be concerned about, warned Douglas Semark, executive director of the Gang Alternatives Program, in San Pedro.“You can go into special areas of AOL, special areas of Yahoo or special areas of some of the other large Internet presences where (gang members) will go in and they’ll target specific topics and specific groups,” said Semark. “And kids may be in those areas with their parents’ blessing because the parents think they’re safe.
“And someone who is looking to victimize a specific individual will track them to those places and create false identities and false accounts.”
Two of the Valley’s fiercest gangs – Barrio Van Nuys and Canoga Park Alabama – have also used social networking sites to get around court injunctions secured by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office that forbid members from meeting in public, law enforcement officials say.
For many Valley gangs, MySpace – though passe in the era of Twitter and Facebook – appears to be the Internet social network of choice to glorify their lifestyle. Alonso said he believes gangs prefer MySpace because it is easier to search for and find other gang members on the site than others.
Representatives for MySpace and other popular networking Internet sites, which have come under criticism for their availability to gangs, did not return calls.
On MySpace, the 818 Gangland Musik Page offers free-streaming MP3s and song downloads that authorities say attract young Web surfers.
Among photographs posted by gang members are pictures of assault weapons and bullet-proof vests over a white T-shirt with the impression “Pacoima 818″ and of San Fernando gangbangers wearing San Francisco Giants garb with the famous interlocked SF logo of that team, which they have adopted as their own.Spokespersons for both the Giants and the Yankees said logos and trademark issues are handled by Major League Baseball, Inc., and that they have alerted officials at the league.A Yankee spokeswoman said that organization is especially concerned about seeing gang Web sites showing the lookalike NY trademark with guns sticking out of the logo.
Given the anonymous nature of the Internet, though, authorities say it is almost impossible to determine whether a posting has come from actual gang members or wannabes.Law enforcement officials say gangs’ use of the Internet has forced authorities to become skilled at reading between the lines of gang postings, looking for clues and hidden meanings of words and symbols.“To understand any subculture – Al-Qaida, cults, devil worshippers or gangs – you have to be able to know their own language and what they are saying,” said Knox of the National Gang Crime Research Center. “It takes time to study gang (Web) sites and blogs and pick up on subtle word choices, but that’s important.
“These are holy words to these gangs.”

sentenced Jamal Shakir of the Rollin' 90s Crips for his role in arranging drug deals and killings

sentenced Jamal Shakir of the Rollin' 90s Crips for his role in arranging drug deals and killings, and executing power over a gang enterprise authorities say stretched from Los Angeles to Nashville.On Monday, the 34-year-old Shakir wore a yellow prison jump suit and was shackled at the wrists and ankles. Several U.S. Marshals guarded him in the courtroom.Assistant U.S. Attorney Sunny A.M. Koshy told the judge that officials found a handwritten note in Shakir's cell Monday morning with instructions on how to get out of handcuffs. Koshy said authorities have found letters Shakir wrote in the past few months calling for people to be killed and urging fire bombings.Several family members of the victims testified Monday about losing their loved ones. Thea Gibson said her daughter, Shannon, who was killed in 1996, will never know the joy of raising her two children — now 17 and 21.
"You left my grandchildren without a mother," Gibson said. "You are the punk that you are. I want the maximum for what my family has gone through and others because of his manipulative enterprise."Shakir then interrupted the witness to tell the judge he didn't want to be there."Excuse me your honor, but I shouldn't have to hear this again," Shakir said of the testimony, which was also given at his trial earlier this year. "I've heard it hundreds of times."When Nixon told Shakir he needed to listen, Shakir threatened to keep interrupting, but made only one more comment, saying, "You don't know me."Loretta Johnson spoke somberly of losing her youngest daughter, Regina, also in 1996. According to trial testimony, Regina was shot to death in her bed and her decomposed body was discovered about 10 days later. Her 3-year-old daughter was shot in both elbows and survived by drinking toilet water, prosecutors said.Johnson said that little girl, now 16, still has occasional nightmares but has managed to get on with her life."She's the miracle in our family," Johnson said.James Pilcher, the father of a Crip gang member whose killing was ordered in 1997, said he's become an ordained minister since the death of his son, Woody. Pilcher said he's asked God to forgive Shakir's sins, but he often reflects on the life his son could have had.
"Woody got the death penalty, and I got the possibility of life without parole," Pilcher said. "I have to go through this every day of my life."
Before the sentencing, Nixon gave Shakir an opportunity to speak, and he painted himself as the victim of "political aspirations" by Koshy, the lead prosecutor.
"If everybody say they're looking for justice, I say they're looking in the wrong place," Shakir said.Koshy responded that Shakir was once again being manipulative and that "nothing the defendant says can take ... away from what he did."

"This defendant is evil," Koshy said.

Koshy said the Federal Bureau of Prisons will decide where Shakir will be housed.
In October, a federal grand jury indicted two people on charges they plotted to steal a helicopter to help Shakir escape.Prosecutors claim the two conspired between June and September to find a helicopter, direct street gang members to restrain the aircraft's owner and then take it

Bloods street gang accused of a gang-hit slaying

One of three alleged members of the Bloods street gang accused of a gang-hit slaying was brought to Lackawanna County Court on Monday under heavy security to enter a guilty plea to first-degree murder.The deal fell apart after Jeffery Future asked for more time to review hundreds of pages of documents investigators had compiled against him.Though Mr. Future had agreed to plead guilty, he told Judge Carmen Minora, through his attorney, he first wants to review the 600 to 700 pages of documents police have assembled in their investigation into the death of Allen Fernandez, another Bloods member, whose body was found July 30, shot 12 times with several different weapons on Snake Road in Ransom Twp.First Assistant District Attorney Gene Talerico said after the aborted court hearing that Mr. Future "indicated he wanted additional time to contemplate his decision to enter a plea to first-degree murder, to honor the agreement he made with the commonwealth."
Beside asking for more time, Mr. Future's attorney, James Elliott, said he wants investigators to stop reading Mr. Future's mail. Mr. Talerico said the court has already ruled on the issue."We filed a motion with the court and the motion was granted," Mr. Talerico said.Judge Carmen Minora said he would allow Mr. Future and Mr. Elliott "six or seven weeks" to review the documents.Outside the courtroom, Mr. Elliott said he only received the documents last week through a process called "discovery." He also said Judge Minora said he would rule on the request about the mail after Mr. Elliott files a motion.Mr. Future, 25, was arrested along with Christian Kenyon, 17, and Tonie Future, 18, who were students at West Scranton High School. According to court documents, the Future brothers said they were ordered to kill Mr. Fernandez because he was disloyal within subsets of the Bloods street gang. Police say all three suspects allegedly shot Mr. Fernandez. The gang member who allegedly ordered the execution-style murder has not been identified.Before sending Mr. Future back to prison, Judge Minora gave him a warning about any possible future delays in courtroom proceedings.
"I won't let you run the show here," Judge Minora said. "I will be reasonable, to a point."If Mr. Future still has not decided whether he wants to enter a guilty plea, Judge Minora said, "Then I will set a trial date."By pleading guilty to first-degree murder and not going to trial, Mr. Future would escape a possible death sentence, which a jury could impose if it found him guilty of first-degree murder, Mr. Talerico said.

Anh-Tuan Dao Pham, 19,has been sentenced to prison for 39 years to the rest of his life for shooting and killing a 17-year-old youth

Sacramento gang member has been sentenced to prison for 39 years to the rest of his life for shooting and killing a 17-year-old youth who was walking along the street near the Wildhawk Golf Club almost three years ago.Anh-Tuan Dao Pham, 19, received the term Thursday from Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy W. Frawley for the Feb. 22, 2007, shooting murder of Dominique Hickman, 17.Pham's term also includes time on an additional attempted murder conviction for shooting and wounding two people in the unincorporated south area less than an hour after he killed Hickman.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Notorious French serial killer Charles Sobhraj, serving time in a Kathmandu prison for the murder of two western holidaymakers, could be out of jail

Notorious French serial killer Charles Sobhraj, serving time in a Kathmandu prison for the murder of two western holidaymakers, could be out of jail in February, his lawyer said.Sobhraj was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of two backpackers — Canadian Laurent Ormond Carriere, 26, and Connie Bronzich, 29, of California, United States — in the Himalayan state in 1975.“Prosecutors don’t have a single (piece of) evidence against Charles to show that he entered Nepal to kill. For the past 30 years, they are trying to establish evidence. Now his only charge is about false passport.“We have a very strong case and, sure, he will be freed by February next year,” Shakuntala Thapa, one of Sobhraj’s lawyers, told Bernama in a telephone interview from Kathmandu.

Nicknamed the “bikini killer”, the flamboyant globe-trotting Frenchman, who often preyed on young western tourists touring Southeast Asian capitals, allegedly committed at least 12 murders between 1972 and 1976.
But investigators across the world believe numerous other murders have gone unreported.
After a string of arrests and escapes from high-security prisons from Bangkok to Kabul for alleged crimes — from possessing fake passports, drug dealings, gemstones smuggling to murders — Sobhraj was finally arrested in New Delhi in July 1976 for drugging French tourists and robbing jewellery from a hotel.In 1986, he escaped from India’s Tihar prison by drugging the prison guards but was rearrested by Indian police months later, and he stayed behind bars until 1997.
After his release, Sobhraj returned to France and suddenly emerged in Kathmandu in 2004, where he was arrested while holidaying.The 65-year-old Sobhraj was born Gurmukh Sobhraj to an Indian father and a Vietnamese mother and became a French citizen after his mother remarried, to a French national.Last year, while in prison, he married 20-year-old Nihita Biswas, his interpreter and the daughter of his lawyer Shakuntala, in a simple Nepali ceremony.Sobhraj has also earned another nickname, “the serpent”, for his tact in deceiving authorities and staging daring prison breakouts.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Copenhagen scene of a full-blown gang war that the government admits it is powerless to end.

Copenhagen, renowned for its fairytale palaces and Little Mermaid, has for more than a year been the scene of a full-blown gang war that the government admits it is powerless to end.Daily police patrols, raids and harsher sentences for gang-related crimes have failed to quell the wave of drive-by shootings, execution-style killings, and grenade attacks that have rocked the Danish capital and its suburbs since August 2008.Although Denmark is no stranger to gang wars after dealing with clashes between rival biker gangs Hells Angels and Bandidos in the 1990s, this upsurge of violence - pitting biker gangs against youths of immigrant origin - has spiralled out of the authorities' control."I am asking everyone for help and good advice," Justice Minister Brian Mikkelsen implored, talking directly to citizens his plea for ideas to bring a halt to the bloody conflict.Copenhagen's spiral of violence started in August 2008 when an armed man of Turkish origin was executed on the street, his body riddled with 25 bullets by a member of Hells Angels spin-off AK81.At times played out in broad daylight, the conflict has claimed seven lives and wounded 60 people since then, some of the dead and wounded being innocent bystanders.
In October alone, nine attacks shook the ordinarily calm, seaside capital, including its posh and residential areas.Authorities say the conflict originally stemmed from the desire to control territory for the sale of both hard and soft drugs but that it is increasingly fuelled by vengeance, with each clan avenging its own losses.
This war is much deadlier than the 1990s biker feuds, and Mikkelsen said it "could only be stopped by society."More than 300 Danes have sent tips on how to stop the conflict to Mikkelsen by email, the minister said, while even the United States has offered help."We have some expertise in the area of gangs ... And if we can offer some assistance or training that would be beneficial, we would be happy to do that," US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano told reporters after talks with Mikkelsen in Copenhagen.The minister announced a series of meetings where his country, a normally peaceful country of 5,5 million inhabitants, hopes to learn from the United States how to deal with urban violence.So far, Mikkelsen's hardline anti-gang plan seems nowhere near putting an end to the bloodshed."We cannot control this absurd and infernal cycle of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," chief police inspector Per Larsen admitted.He says it is a "miracle" that the conflict has not claimed more victims, but insists that police have not surrendered and that Copenhagen still "isn't Chicago in the 1930s."But a Gallup poll has suggested more than eight of 10 people in Denmark do not believe police will be able to stop the conflict, with many Danes, consistently ranked among the happiest people on earth, fearing for their own safety.
"Those gangs should face-off and kill each other once and for all so we can finally live in peace," says Inger, a woman in her 70s.A founding Hells Angels member was injured by two youths of immigrant origin in an attack in broad daylight in the suburb where she lives.
"The Hells will avenge the attack, and the spiral of violence will continue," said Yavuz Ilmaz, a 28-year-old Dane of Turkish descent, of the incident.
Despite the authorities' best intentions and promises, Ilmaz judged "insane" how easy it was to obtain illegal weapons in Copenhagen, and suggested stronger measures to stop the gang war."Putting cameras up everywhere like in London and legalising hash like in the Netherlands" could halt the drug trade and the violence, giving Copenhagen a chance to return to calm, Ilmaz proposed. - AFP

Mike Tyson allegedly hit a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport

Mike Tyson allegedly hit a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport and was detained on suspicion of battery Wednesday, police said.The paparazzo told police that the former heavyweight boxing champion struck him once, airport police spokesman Sgt. Jim Holcomb said. The photographer fell to the ground and was treated for a cut to his forehead at a hospital.Tyson's spokeswoman Tammy Brook said the boxer was traveling with his wife and 10-month-old child Wednesday afternoon when he was attacked by an overly aggressive paparazzo. He acted in self-defense to protect his child, she said.Tyson and the unnamed photographer both want to press charges for misdemeanor battery, police said."There's a lot of different versions to this story and that's all going to come out later," Holcomb said. "Some witness statements support Tyson's version, others support the photographer's."Paparazzi often camp out at Los Angeles' largest airport to get shots of celebrities in transit.Tyson was cooperative as he waited in a holding cell at the airport police station, Holcomb said. He will be booked and released later. The photographer will also be booked once he is released from the hospital, police said.Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion ever in 1986 when he won his title as a 20-year-old. But his life since then has been marred by accusations of domestic violence, rape and cocaine use.Tyson was convicted of rape in Indiana in 1992, serving three years in prison. He was disqualified from a 1997 heavyweight title fight when he bit off part of Evander Holyfield's right ear, and in 1999 he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault charges in Maryland.In 2003, Tyson filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. He served 24 hours in an Arizona jail in 2007 after pleading guilty to cocaine possession and driving under the influence.

Staten Island gang war that has claimed the lives of four men

Staten Island gang war that has claimed the lives of four men so far this month has gotten so intense that members of the Bloods are apparently skipping town to stay safe. According to the Daily News, the internal squabble between Bloods members from New Brighton and those from Port Richmond and Mariners Harbor turned deadly on Nov. 7, when an argument over a girl lead to the shooting of Jermaine "Big Den" Dickerson in an Arlington housing development. The next week, Earl Mangin — who allegedly drove the getaway car in Dickerson's shooting — was gunned down in front of his home. Those murders might be linked to the Nov. 16 drive-by shooting of Kameek Sears, who was found dead in a white Lexus in Arlington. Two days later, 18-year-old Kyre Henderson — who is suspected of being a passenger in the car during the Sears drive-by — was found dead in South Beach.The Daily News reports that at least two Bloods have fled the city in fear that they would be the next targets. Police are trying to round up parolees and make more "quality-of-life" arrests to gain information about the gangs. "Right now we're dealing with bad guys, but we still don't want bad guys to get shot," said NYPD Asst. Chief Stephen Paragallo, Staten Island's borough commander. "And the last thing we want is good people, innocent people, to get shot — especially children." Let's hope the cops are checking Twitter regularly.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Sonny Barger

Hells Angels - Interview

MOB or Money over Bitches / Members of Bloods Gang in Netherlands is explored by PrimTime - A documentary series in the Netherlands. Los Angeles

MOB or Money over Bitches / Members of Bloods Gang in Netherlands is explored by PrimTime - A documentary series in the Netherlands. Los Angeles

How to do the bloods gang sign.

Bloods ( Pueblo Bishops Gang ) HQ

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

notorious Malvern Crew street gang.Alton Reid, vicious war between the Malvern Crew and the Galloway Boys.

Toronto's 54th homicide victim has been identified as someone who had belonged to the notorious Malvern Crew street gang.Alton Reid, 35, had been attending a birthday party at the Atlanta banquet hall on 1240 Ellesmere Rd. in Scarborough on the weekend when someone walked in and started shooting sometime after 3 a.m. on Sunday.
Four people were found wounded at the scene, and Reid showed up later at hospital. He died of his injuries on Monday.Reid's autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
He had been arrested in 2004 as part of Project Impact, a police crackdown on the gang following a vicious war between the Malvern Crew and the Galloway Boys.
Police charged Reid with a number of offences:
•aggravated assault
•discharging a firearm
•participating in a criminal organization
•related conspiracy charges
Project Pathfinder targeted the Galloway Boys.
Three Galloway Boys were found guilty in the March 3, 2004 murder of one men in Malvern. The court heard the trio were allegedly looking for Reid.
Instead, they shot and killed Brenton Charlton and gravely wounded Leonard Bell as the two men sat stopped in their car at a light.Tyshan Riley, Philip Atkins and Jason Wisdom got life sentences for the attempted murder of Bell and a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years after being convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Charlton.

Philippine National Police detained a provincial chief and three officers on suspicion they may have been involved in abduction and killings

Philippine National Police detained a provincial chief and three officers on suspicion they may have been involved in the abduction and killing of dozens of supporters of a politician and the reporters covering him. The Maguindanao province police chief, Abusana Maguid, and the officers were relieved of their duties pending an investigation, National Police spokesman Leonardo Espina said in a mobile phone text message late yesterday. Maguid may bear “command responsibility” for his officers’ actions, Espina said. The officers were seen by witnesses at the location of the Nov. 23 violence on Mindanao island, he said.“This is just the beginning,” Espina said. “We will not stop. All who are responsible will be made accountable. There will be no sacred cows.” President Gloria Arroyo yesterday put Maguindanao and neighboring Sultan Kudarat province under a state of emergency as the excavation of newly dug mass graves revealed more bodies. The killings represent the worst single incident of election- related violence in the nation’s history, according to the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.

The military said about 100 gunmen stopped a convoy of people on their way to file Buluan City Vice Mayor Esmael Mangudadatu’s application to run for provincial governor. Mangudadatu, who wasn’t in the convoy, told local media his wife was among those whose bodies were identified and that some of the women in the group were raped before they were killed.

Rival Families

Jesus Dureza, Arroyo’s adviser on Mindanao affairs, said he has met with the Mangudadatu family and relatives of Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan. The two families, who were once allies, are now political rivals, the Philippine Daily Inquirer said. The Mangudadatus pleaded for justice, Dureza said in a phone interview late yesterday before he was cut off. The adviser, whom Arroyo tasked to form a crisis committee, didn’t reply to calls or text messages seeking more information. The Ampatuans pledged to cooperate with any investigation, he said in a GMA News TV interview. “No effort will be spared to bring justice to the victims and hold the perpetrators accountable,” Arroyo said yesterday. She deployed extra troops and ordered Director General Jesus Versoza, the national police chief, to lead the investigation into the killings. He’s already on Mindanao, Espina said.
Twenty-four bodies were exhumed yesterday, bringing the death toll to 46, Chief Superintendent Josefino Cataluna, central Mindanao police director, said in a phone interview. Police will continue to dig at the site where the bodies were found, he said. Some 1,000 soldiers have been deployed to search for the suspects and secure Maguindanao’s “exit points,” Romeo Brawner, the armed forces spokesman, told reporters in Manila. Arroyo declared a state of emergency to prevent further violence in the region, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said at a briefing in Manila. The last time an area in Mindanao was placed under a state of emergency was March 31, when militants from the Islamist Abu Sayyaf group threatened to behead one of three Red Cross workers who were taken hostage. Declaring a state of emergency gives the president the authority to use the military to quell violence, Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in the same briefing. It may also give the president the legal basis to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, he said. The writ allows courts to require the military or police to present persons they are holding and justify their detention. At least 12 journalists were among those killed, Reporters Without Borders said.
“Never in the history of journalism have the news media suffered such a heavy loss of life in one day,” the Paris-based organization said in a statement, alleging there is a “culture of impunity and violence in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao.” Elections in the Philippines are often marred by bloodshed, with provincial politicians maintaining private militias. About 126 candidates and supporters were killed in the months leading to the 2007 elections and 186 in 2004, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The Southeast Asian nation will choose a new president and thousands of national and local officials in May. The nation’s Commission on Elections will accept filings for candidacies until Dec. 1.
Maguindanao is a “hotspot” for political unrest, Brawner, the armed forces spokesman, told ANC television after the first bodies were discovered on Nov. 23.
Mindanao is home to most of the nation’s Muslim minority some of whom have been fighting a separatist war for decades. It’s also home to the al-Qaeda-linked militant group Abu Sayyaf and other groups engaged in kidnapping and other forms of terrorism.

Bergrin, a former AUSA with the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey, is charged with leading a criminal enterprise that used violence, intimidation,

Bergrin, a former AUSA with the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey, is charged with leading a criminal enterprise that used violence, intimidation, and deceit to generate millions of dollars, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Among the most eye-catching allegations against him:
- That he used a Newark restaurant as a front for a cocaine-distribution network.
- That he oversaw a $1,000-an-hour call-girl ring in New York City.
- That he had a witness killed in one drug case, and hired a hitman to kill another.

You can read a key portion of the indictment here.
Bergrin was first arrested in May. His lawyers have argued in court papers that prosecutors have tied together baseless cases. And they have argued successfully to have Bergrin removed from solitary confinement, where he had been held after his arrest in May. But since a more detailed indictment was filed earlier this month, they have said little publicly.According to an affidavit from an FBI agent, Bergrin came to serve as "house counsel for a number of criminal organizations, including . . . the Latin Kings, the Bloods, and a number of high-level drug-trafficking organizations." And Bergrin had "essentially become one of the criminals he represents," according to Ralph Marra, the acting U.S. attorney for New Jersey.His client list has also included Queen Latifah, Lil' Kim, and mobster Angelo Prisco, as well as a U.S. soldier accused of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib, who Bergrin represented pro bono. Bergrin also repped the "King of All Pimps," Jason Itzler, who ran the high-end New York escort service, New York Confidential, that proved to be Eliot Spitzer's undoing. (Itzler called Ashley Dupre, "one of the best hookers ever.") Indeed, prosecutors allege that Bergrin took over the management of the company after Itzler was jailed in 2005.A retired Army Reserve major and the son of a New York City police officer, Bergrin, 53, was an Essex County prosecutor who later worked in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark, before starting a criminal defense practice in 1991.But he may have offered his clients more than just legal representation. The Inquirer reports:
Though the indictment includes one murder and one murder conspiracy, investigators contend that witnesses have linked Bergrin to at least three other homicides.
They also say Bergrin routinely bribed witnesses to win cases. And, they contend, when bribery wasn't an option, he resorted to violence."No witness, no case" was the phrase he used repeatedly in his criminal-defense work, authorities say.In addition to the charges related to bribery, witness intimidation, and running the escort service, Bergrin also allegedly used a Newark restaurant, Isabella's, as a front for drug dealing; and formed a real estate company that conducted phony mortgage deals. Bergrin's undoing may have come when he allegedly smuggled a cellphone into a jail so a client could call a Chicago hitman to set up the murder of a witness. Bergrin himself then traveled to Chicago to meet with the hitman, say the Feds.
But the hitman was a cooperating witness. According to prosecutors, he recorded Bergrin saying things like: "Put on a ski mask and make it look like a robbery. . . . It cannot under any circumstances look like a hit . . . make it look like a home-invasion robbery."The hitman also recorded a conversation in which he told another lawyer, working with Bergrin, that Bergrin wanted to personally take part in the hit.
"He said he wants to do it with me," the hitman said "I said, 'No, Paul. For what you went to law school to become . . . stick with that s-.' Let me do what I have to do.' "Replied the other lawyer: "Paul's a stone killer, bro. . . . That's what he is. . . . He's done work [meaning, committed murder], bro." One underworld source, a former Bergrin client, told the Inquirer that Bergrin "enjoyed life on the edge." Sounds like he may have enjoyed it just a little too much.

Two suspects are being sought in a roundup of gang members suspected of videotaping robberies and assaults, then selling the tapes as entertainment.

Two suspects are being sought in a roundup of gang members suspected of videotaping robberies and assaults, then selling the tapes as entertainment.A third suspect police were looking for was located and arrested late Sunday.Denver police Friday announced 32 arrests of suspects who said they belonged to either the Rollin' 60s Crips gang or the Black Gangster Disciples gang. They are accused of robbing white or Latino men of wallets, iPods, and cash.Two suspects had not been arrested as of Sunday.A task force of Denver police, the FBI and District Attorney Mitch Morrissey's office identified 26 incidents since July.The assaults and robberies happened across Denver, including in the Lower Downtown, or LoDo, entertainment district which includes the 16th Street Mall near Coors Field and the Pepsi Center.

Robert Dempster son of a feared gangland figure has been banned from working on security sites over "public safety fears".

Robert Dempster son of a feared gangland figure has been banned from working on security sites over "public safety fears". Robert Dempster is not allowed to act as a guard after tough industry watchdogs swiped his licence. The 32-year-old - son of notorious Bobby 'The Devil' Dempster - is linked to Glasgow-based Ruchill Security.
One underworld source last night said: "Dempster's son will have a fight on his hands to get his licence back. "Everyone knows that you don't get it suspended on a whim - and everyone knows Ruchill is far from squeaky clean. "But we are laughing up our sleeves. Ruchill is always slinging mud at everyone else - and for once it's stuck to one of them." Dempster Snr survived a feud with Arthur 'The Godfather' Thompson and was blamed for ordering a hit on security rival Lewis 'Scooby' Rodden.
His son's licence was suspended by the Security Industry Authority. Licences are withdrawn when the SIA believes there is "a clear threat to public safety". This can include allegations that the holder has committed a crime or has failed to meet industry work or training standards. The agency refused to reveal why Dempster's licence was suspended. Ruchill is one of the most notorious firms in Scotland's crime-ravaged security industry. Dempster Snr, 50, was in the frame when arch-rival Rodden was gunned down by a hitman in an Amsterdam bar in 2001. Dempster denied responsibility and Rodden says he will never spill the beans, despite knowing who ordered the hit. Last night Ruchill refused to comment.

VIDEO: Club bouncer attacked with machete

VIDEO: Club bouncer attacked with macheteTen thugs brandishing machetes almost severed a bouncer's foot outside the Bubble nightclub in Francis St at the weekend.Mr Warren likened the attack to the infamous 1995 assault on King St nightclubbers by murdered gangsters Alphonse Gangitano and Jason Moran."These guys (at the weekend) were never going to get into Bubble because they had ID scanning and metal detectors. One could only consider they were there to cause harm," he said.
"They were quite aware they were on video," he said.Security industry figure David Hedgecock said the injured man's achilles tendon had been severed in the attack.
Mr Hedgecock said colleagues should be hailed as heroes for saving his life."They were going to finish him off. If they (other bouncers) hadn't rushed out and forced them back, he'd be dead. They (the gang) swarmed like wasps," Mr Hedgecock said.Mr Hedgecock, the former operator of the company for which the injured man works, said Bubble should not be blamed because the gang did not intend entering the venue.
"This is a well-organised military-style group. It's happening all over the place. They use this as a message that they're not to be mucked around with," he said.
Mr Warren said Asian gangs had thrived since police disbanded its Asian crime squad three years ago."There is no intelligence-gathering agency assisting the working policemen to get information," he said."At the very least they need to have the ability to gather intelligence on these gangs and have someone who is analysing and disseminating the intelligence gained for the tactical police to control what's going on and have a look at some of these gangs."Sen-Det. Adrian Smith said the investigation was not simple."Because of the nature of the assault and the amount of people involved and that it looks targetted at the crowd controllers, it is a complex investigation," Sen-Det. Smith said.

police consider Jason Brown to be a Red Scorpion, he was arrested in 2005 as a Hells Angel associate targeting the E

Jason William Brown, 35, made an appearance in Surrey provincial court Monday and was remanded in custody until Dec. 2.His co-accused, Terra Lyn George, 24,was ordered released on $10,000 bail by Judge Jean Lytwyn, who is also presiding over the gun trial of Red Scorpion brothers Jamie and Jarrod Bacon.Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said Monday that Brown was picked up at a Langley residence Saturday night after a four-day search by authorities.The one-time Hells Angel associate was charged Nov. 17 with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, as well as possession of a restricted weapon and possession of a firearm while prohibited.When Abbotsford’s drug section raided Brown’s Aldergrove rental house five days earlier, they said they found two kilograms of cocaine with a value of $80,000, about a kilo of methamphetamine with a value of $25,000, a 9-mm handgun, a loaded magazine, boxes of ammunition, two bullet-proof vests, Red Scorpion paraphernalia and about $12,000 cash.While police now consider Brown to be a Red Scorpion, he was arrested in 2005 as a Hells Angel associate in the massive undercover operation targeting the East End Chapter of the notorious biker club.
He was convicted of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence in 2007 and got a four-year sentence. He was on parole when the new charges were laidGeorge, ordered to make another appearance in Surrey provincial court Dec. 4, is facing almost identical charges to those of Brown. Brown has a lengthy history with police, according to the provincial court database. He has several convictions for driving while prohibited and impersonation, as well as being found guilty in the Hells Angels case.Meanwhile, the Bacon gun trial has adjourned until Dec. 3 when defence lawyers and Crown will argue in Surrey provincial court over the admissibility of four loaded guns found in a secret compartment of a vehicle the brothers drove prior to an April 13, 2007, shooting that brought police to their Surrey rental house

Quebec bars and restaurants are being continuously attacked as a biker gang turf war escalated

Two more cafes were firebombed Monday in the French-speaking Canadian city of Montreal, bringing the total of similar incidents to eight in the last month but the motives remain unclear, the Canadian Television reported. Cafe Nouba, the first non-Italian restaurant to be bombed, was hit for the second time Monday morning around 6:30 a.m. local time(1130 GMT). It was first attacked on Nov. 15.
A second one, Cafe Vegas, was targeted about half an hour later. The two received very little damage and no one was injured. The string of Molotov cocktail attacks began in October. All the restaurants are located within a 15 minute drive of each other. Police say mob turf wars, street gangs or copycat arsonists could be involved, but they are not sure because the business owners are keeping quiet.
In the 1990s, Quebec bars and restaurants were being continuously attacked as a biker gang turf war escalated.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Tropical Harmony nightclub shootings

man has died and another man has been injured in a double shooting at a nightclub in the West Midlands.Police were called to Tropical Harmony nightclub in Bilston High Street, Wolverhampton, at about 0430 GMT. Two men were found with gunshot wounds and taken to hospital. One of the men later died. The second man's injuries are not believed to be life threatening. About 50 people were thought to have been in the club at the time. They have been asked to contact police.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Paul Joseph Derry, now lives in an undisclosed location somewhere in North America under a new identity after he agreed to testify about a Hells Angel

Paul Joseph Derry, now lives in an undisclosed location somewhere in North America under a new identity after he agreed to testify about a Hells Angels contract killing in 2000. His testimony secured four murder convictions against three Hells Angels associates and one full-patch member, all now serving terms in prison.
An RCMP document obtained by the Citizen shows that the commissioner of the force now wants to kick their once-coveted agent out of the witness protection program because he “made no attempt to disguise or alter” his voice. “By failing to disguise your voice ... you irrevocably permitted a (potential) voice comparison analysis link of your former identity to your new identity.”The RCMP commissioner’s decision to abandon the agent comes at a time when the national police force continues to afford protection and new identities for others in the federal witness program who have gone on to commit crimes — including murder — under new, government-expensed, aliases.The RCMP’s witness protection program termination notice is dated Oct. 22, and says the agent has until Nov. 11 to appeal. The agent has met with the Citizen twice and agreed to an interview Saturday.
“The Hells Angels are the most notorious and dangerous outlaw motorcycle club in the world. Putting a full-patch member and three of his associates in prison for the rest of their lives is unforgiveable to the Hells (Angels),” he said in the interview.

“I think getting kicked out of the program puts me one step closer to getting a bullet in the back of the head.” He believes his tumultuous relationship with the Mounties may be related to the fact that he warned the force about a murder plot two weeks before it happened. The RCMP didn’t take his claims seriously, and the contract killing of Sean Simmons, a steamship checker on the Halifax waterfront, went ahead. To be fair to his RCMP handlers — including Mike Cabana, a lead investigator in the Maher Arar affair — they weren’t given specifics on the Hells Angels contract killing. Still, as their informant learned more details about the plot, the RCMP officers never returned his calls in the hours leading up to the killing.It is clear, however, that Cabana, promoted to assistant RCMP commissioner after the Arar probe, was worried about the public’s take on what went wrong with the 2000 Hells Angels contract killing. “Should this matter proceed to court, this information will likely be disclosed, thereby tarnishing the Force’s reputation, not to mention any potential civil liability that might flow from this situation,” Cabana wrote in an internal RCMP memo obtained by the Citizen. The agent told the Citizen that others should think twice before they agree to testify against gangsters in exchange for a life in the witness protection program.“The program has great potential and is needed; however, the public would be much better served if the RCMP had both accountability and were forced to hear constructive input from those they are protecting. “The way it is now, I do not believe there is enough support upon entrance to be worth risking one’s life.”
When he was working as an RCMP agent, he recalled:“I told them that there was a hit going down ...“At that point in time, I wasn’t sure of the name. I wasn’t sure who it was; I just knew that there was a hit going down … They (the RCMP) said they’d get back to me.
“They were still deciding whether they’d work with me. So … the Friday before the murder, I called back … This time I … knew who was gonna be killed. “I tried to get a hold of them and they said they’d call me back on Monday. Sean (Simmons) was killed on Tuesday … they still hadn't got back to me,” Derry told police.“But they never got back to me and it was too late. I thought they were going to stop the murder but they didn’t.”

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Juan Crispin, 38, claimed the 20-year minimum term he must serve under a life sentence for the murder of Eleni Pachou was excessive.

Juan Crispin, 38, claimed the 20-year minimum term he must serve under a life sentence for the murder of Eleni Pachou was excessive.But judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh said the sentence was "entirely appropriate" even for a first offender. Lady Paton, hearing the appeal with Lord Carloway, said: "It was a truly appalling and despicable crime with many aggravating features, not least that an accomplished young woman lost her life in a nightmare attack."She said Crispin had tricked his former colleague into a late-night meeting at Di Maggio's in Glasgow's Byres Road area in May last year "when there was no one nearby to help or protect her".Greek national Ms Pachou, 25, died after suffering 17 stab wounds. More than £1300 had been taken from the safe.Crispin's former lover, Marion Hinshelwood, 44, said he had planned the robbery as he was desperate for money.Cleaner Hinshelwood, of Dowanhill, Glasgow, pled guilty to the culpable homicide of the victim on the basis that she had provided the knife. She was jailed for four and a half years.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Extradition request for Christopher "Dudus" Coke is stockpiling weapons in his Kingston stronghold to prevent arrest.

Extradition request for Christopher "Dudus" Coke in August, has so far only responded with requests for more information about the gun and drug trafficking charges against the reputed gang leader.Coke, identified by the U.S. Justice Department as one of the world's most dangerous drug kingpins, allegedly controls a band of gunmen inside Tivoli Gardens, a barricaded neighborhood of Kingston, the capital of Jamaica and a city with one of the highest homicide rates in the Western Hemisphere.U.S. authorities are voicing frustration that Jamaica is not moving more quickly to honor a mutual extradition treaty."The U.S. government is looking forward to the Jamaican government respecting their obligations under the treaty," Patricia Attkisson, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, said Thursday.The political opposition has also criticized the government for putting Jamaica into what it calls a standoff over Coke, who is known for his loyalty to the Jamaica Labor Party. Island gangs have loose affiliations with both major parties — a legacy of the 1970s, when political factions provided the guns to intimidate rivals.
"The cascading effect of international reaction to the administration's inaction could lead ultimately to Jamaica being labeled and declared a 'rogue state,' with lasting adverse implications for our people," said Peter Bunting, a lawmaker with the opposition People's National Party.

Mongrel Mob is one of the older gangs in New Zealand

Mongrel Mob is one of the older gangs in New Zealand and actually predates the first formation of Bloods and Crips in the country. Since the have worn red, that have become associated as Bloods. The original Mongrel Mob look more like American motorcycle gangs and that’s where their early influence came from. The younger generation of Mongel Mob have picked up the black gang culture emulating Blood and Crip appearances. This newer trend has been influenced by popular culture, the Los Angeles influence on local Samoans, as well as the success of the Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., a hip-hop group affiliated with gang during the 1980s based in Carson, California, adjacent to South Los Angeles.

Billy Joe Johnson is a white supremacist gangster

Billy Joe Johnson is a white supremacist gangster who was convicted to 45 years in prison for murdering a man, but then later confessed to two more murders and asked for the death penalty. Was Johnson seeking redemption for his crimes? Apparently not, but rather to do his time on death row which he believes will offer him amenities he is currently without.Also, as his attorney says, Johnson figures by the time the appeal process runs out he'll be 65 or older and will not want to live anyway.

John "Boxer" Muscedere told his killers: "Do me. Do me first. I want to go out like a man."

Realising he and his friends had been betrayed and faced death, John "Boxer" Muscedere told his killers: "Do me. Do me first. I want to go out like a man."
Muscedere, who was betrayed by his best friend Wayne Kellestine, was one of eight men shot dead in a barn in Ontario. Their bodies were found on 8 April 2006 in three cars and a tow truck which had been dumped in a field near the town of Shedden, 14km (10 miles) from where they had been killed. Ironically several of the men – suspects in another murder case – had been under surveillance by the Ontario Provincial Police only hours earlier. All eight were associated with the Bandidos, one of North America’s most notorious biker gangs and second only in power to the Hells Angels worldwide. The motive for the bloodshed lay in a deep schism that had developed within the Bandidos’ Canadian chapters.
John ‘Boxer’ Muscedere, 48
Luis ‘Porkchop’ Raposo, 41
George ‘Pony’ Jessome, 52
George ‘Crash’ Kriarakis, 28
Frank ‘Bam Bam’ Salerno, 43
Paul ‘Big Paulie’ Sinopoli, 30
Jamie ‘Goldberg’ Flanz, 37
Michael ‘Little Mikey’ Trotta, 31
Bikers guilty of massacre
The victims were members of the Toronto chapter, who were sponsored by the gang’s Scandinavian wing but were not recognised by the Bandidos’ head office in Texas.
Peter Edwards, a journalist with the Toronto Star and the author of a book on the case that is due out later this year, explained: "There was a chapter based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, who came under the auspices of Toronto.
"But Winnipeg were not granted full patches by Toronto. They effectively had no job security and they grew really frustrated." The killers were led by Michael Sandham, a former soldier and police officer who became president of the Winnipeg chapter.
He tried to claim that he had actually been working undercover for the police, but was unable to explain why he had initially denied being at the scene. Sandham was helped by Kellestine, an Ontario native who was allied with the Winnipeg chapter.
The victims were lured to their deaths in his barn, after being told they would meet to settle their grievances. When police arrived, they found blood smears and pieces of flesh amid the detritus of a biker party – beer bottles on a table and Confederate and Nazi flags hanging on a wall. Kellestine and five of his buddies were arrested. Three years later they finally went on trial. The star prosecution witness was another Bandido, known only as MH, who testified about the events leading up to the killings. MH, who hailed from Winnipeg, told the court the original plan was to "pull the patches" of the Toronto members, effectively throwing them out of the Bandidos. But Kellestine then decided they would have to kill all eight. MH described a messy and farcical situation in which Kellestine frequently changed his mind about whether or not to let his rivals live and at one point allowed Muscedere to call his wife as long as he "didn’t say anything stupid".
He broke down as he described the stoic reaction of one of the men, Frank "Bammer" Salerno.
"Bammer went to shake my hand. I didn’t do it," said MH.
MH said Kellestine had been promised that in return for carrying out the killings he would be named Canadian president of the Bandidos and could start up his own chapter based in nearby London, Ontario. But Mr Edwards, who has covered the trial, said the killers were disorganised and bungling. "They were at the very bottom rung of biker gangs. Some were in their 40s but still lived with their parents. They were not making any money, many of them had been rejected by the Hells Angels and half of them didn’t even own a motorbike," he said. Mr Edwards says they were forced to dump the cars with the bodies in because they were "too cheap to buy enough gasoline".
"They didn’t even set fire to the bodies or the cars," he says. The massacre, and Thursday’s convictions, have left the Bandidos effectively defunct in Canada.
According to Mr Edwards, there is very little public sympathy for the victims because they were bikers, and Canada has seen a lot of biker wars in the past.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

West Drive Locos, Daniel Villa, 20, was arrested Thursday at a home in Hollywood

Daniel Villa, 20, was arrested Thursday at a home in Hollywood, said Michael Jeandron, a spokesman with the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.
Villa is accused of being a “high- level” Desert Hot Springs gang member who is named in a gang injunction against the West Drive Locos, Jeandron said.
Villa is accused of evading law enforcement and intimidating a witness while he was freed in lieu of bail on another case.That witness is believed to have provided evidence to prosecutors that helped them get the gang injunction.District Attorney Rod Pacheco said gang activity will not be tolerated in Riverside County.“Gang members can't expect to commit a crime and run away to avoid justice,” Pacheco said. “We will seek them and we will find them.”In March, Villa was targeted during Operation Falling Sun, an eight-month investigation that led to a massive citywide raid that targeted gangs in Desert Hot Springs.Villa was arrested during a search at his home during the operation on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and being in the presence of other gang members, Jeandron said.
Villa posted $30,000 bail and was released April 2.Villa pleaded guilty to a robbery charge in a home invasion robbery in 2005 and was sentenced to four years in state prison. Prosecutors allege that after he was released from prison, Villa returned to Desert Hot Springs to resume his gang lifestyle.Villa, who is being held in lieu of $1.3 million, is set to appear in court on Nov. 3 for a felony settlement conference.

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Crips and the Mexican Mafia were the gangs involved

Detectives said Garland Taylor’s killing was gang-related.Officers found Taylor shot in the head in the 900 block of Anderson Street. He died Monday at University Hospital.None of those arrested is facing a homicide charge, and a warrant hasn’t been issued for any suspected triggerman, Police Chief Kevin Kelso said.But warrants were issued for engaging in organized criminal activity with the intent to commit aggravated assault, a first-degree felony.Two of those named, Jordan Sheffield, 19, and Justin Gonzales, 21, are still being sought.In custody at the Guadalupe County Jail are Darrell Sheffield, 23; Timothy Dailey, 18; Gregory Popham, 19; David Buitron Jr., 37; Christopher Buitron, 23; and Mark Buitron, 22.Police also arrested a juvenile male whose name was not released.In a news release, Kelso said the Crips and the Mexican Mafia were the gangs involved and said police have not identified gang affiliations for all those charged. He said fears of retaliation among witnesses is making the investigation difficult but that more arrests are expected.

Bloods have 305 members in 33 “sets,” or subgroups, followed by the Crips, with 235 members in 33 sets.

Gaston County has 678 validated gang members, according to Gastonia Police statistics. The Bloods have 305 members in 33 “sets,” or subgroups, followed by the Crips, with 235 members in 33 sets. The Juggalos, a gang that takes its name from a term popularized by the hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse, claims 37 members, while the Hispanic gang MS-13 has 21.While those numbers are large enough for local law enforcement agencies, they don’t include the dozens to hundreds of teens affiliated with gangs who aren’t actual members. Many of the youths referred to Gang of One fall into this category.
“We work a lot with the kids who are affiliated,” said Capistran. “Nine times out of 10, the kid isn’t actually a member, but they are what we would consider at-risk.”
The Bloods and the Crips are rival gangs with common roots in inner-city Los Angeles. The Bloods, who wear red bandanas and clothing, were founded by a group of former Crips. The Crips favor blue clothing and bandanas, and both gangs have distinctive written symbols and hand signs.MS-13, whose formal name is Mara Salvatrucha, was begun in the 1980s by Central American immigrants in Los Angeles. Popular MS-13 symbols are devil horns, dice, daggers and crossbones.Police data shows 91 validated gang members belonging to street gangs other than the popular East Coast and West Coast crews. Those gangs include hate groups such as the Aryan Brotherhood and neo-Nazis, motorcycle gangs like the Hell’s Angels, Southern Gentlemen and Pegans and homegrown gangs like 704 and the Queen City G’z.
Nearly all street gangs are involved in drug trafficking, according to the Governor’s Crime Commission. Many are linked to violent crime, including homicides, shootings, armed robberies and assaults.

Vallucos gang member wanted on suspicion of running over a motorcyclist

Vallucos gang member wanted on suspicion of running over a motorcyclist in July and then abandoning the injured man.With the help of the U.S. Marshals Service and an anonymous tip, officers arrested Daniel Cuellar about 9 p.m. Friday at the Wells Fargo Bank at the intersection of Trenton and North McColl roads in McAllen, said San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez.Cuellar, who has an extensive arrest history with the San Juan Police Department, was arraigned Saturday on charges of resisting arrest and accident involving injury.Resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor punishable up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Accident involving injury is punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for up to five years or confinement in a county jail for up to year, plus a possible fine of up to $5,000.Cuellar may have tried to drag the wounded motorcyclist into his vehicle, Gonzalez said. The victim, who suffered multiple leg fractures in the collision, told police he could smell alcohol on the man’s breath.
“He was all intoxicated, but we can’t prove that,” the chief said.Investigators had previously searched for Cuellar at several locations in Alamo, Donna, Harlingen and San Juan. The man reportedly had been hiding in various spots, possibly staying with fellow gang members.Police also arrested Cuellar’s brother Friday at the bank on a charge of public intoxication.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

La Familia Michoacána,$207 million were found piled in mountains of notes

La Familia Michoacána, named for its base in the western Mexican state of Michoacán, not only revived the meth market, "they elevated it," says Rodney Benson, special agent in charge in Atlanta for the Drug Enforcement Administration. This week the DEA led a campaign that saw the arrests of more than 300 alleged meth traffickers in the U.S., all allegedly tied to La Familia. It is considered the largest roundup ever of Mexican cartel operatives. One of the busts, at a suburban house in Lawrencevllle, Ga., yielded almost 180 lbs of "the clearest [meth] crystals I have ever seen," says Benson. La Familia is estimated to export as much as half of the 200 tons of crystal meth into the U.S. each year. It was thus a clear target for Project Coronado, the four-year operation by U.S. and Mexico anti-drug officials, which has collared 900 others, mostly La Familia associates, in both countries. Aside from meth trafficking, La Familia has also brought Mexico's gangland violence across the border, into communities as far flung as Atlanta and Seattle. The group, like Mexico's two largest drug gangs, the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels, is also famous for beheading rival traffickers. U.S. Attorney General Holder suggested Thursday that La Familia's "depravity" exceeds that of the Gulf and Sinaloa groups. Whether or not La Familia is Mexico's most violent drug cartel, it is certainly the weirdest. Arguably, it is the world's first "narco-evangelical" gang. During this week's raids, U.S. officials found numerous religious images, "on fireplaces, in closets, everywhere," says one. La Familia members purport to be devout Christians who abstain from drugs themselves. In fact, they insist that while they sell meth and cocaine to the U.S., they keep it away from Mexicans. They also study a special Bible authored by their leader, Nazario Moreno, a.k.a. El Más Loco, or "The Craziest One." The cartel's profits have helped it build a large network of support among the poor in Michoacán, which is also the home state of Mexican President Felipe Calderón.
When the U.S. Congress enacted the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act four years ago, it created a lucrative trafficking niche for La Familia. Michoacán has long been a meth-producing region, much like the northern state of Durango is known for making most of Mexico's heroin (called "brown mud"). La Familia and other Mexican gangs manufacture meth at industrial superlabs that dwarf small-town U.S. shops like those depicted on the AMC cable drama Breaking Bad, churning out tons of the white, flaky crystal each day. And while U.S. law blocks the export of pseudoephedrine to Mexico, La Familia can easily access that key chemical by way of sources in Asia, shipping it in via Michoacán's major Pacific port, Lázaro Cárdenas. In 2006, Mexican police seized 19 tons of it there and linked it to the owner of a Mexico City mansion where $207 million were found piled in mountains of notes — believed to be the biggest drug-cash bust ever.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Gary Oxley, 48, from Bexhill, blasted Joseph Oliffe, 35, twice in the back of the head with a .455 calibre Webley Mk I revolver

Gary Oxley, 48, from Bexhill, blasted Joseph Oliffe, 35, twice in the back of the head with a .455 calibre Webley Mk I revolver as he sat drinking coffee.
Oxley then calmly dialled 999, and told an operator: "I have just shot someone. I fear for my life and my family."The Old Bailey heard Oxley owed Mr Oliffe, a father-of-two from Bromley, Kent, and his associates £6,000 in drugs money. Oxley claimed the "gangsters" had threatened the lives of his wife and parents.Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow told the court Mr Oliffe and friend Perry Hunt had arrived at the DA Sandwich Cafe in Court Road, Mottingham, Kent, on March 4 this year.
"They ordered two coffees and a chocolate bar before taking a seat at the window."Cafe owner Ali Gezer sent his employee Mahmut Akin out to get coffee from the shop next door.Shortly after he served the men Oxley walked in.
"He greeted them and they were seen to say hello back to him," the prosecutor said.
"Oxley walked up to the counter as if he was about to place an order, but rather than doing so, he stepped through the gate that separated the cafe and the kitchen.
"To the horror of Mr Gezer, he removed a gun from the waistband of his trousers and initially pointed it at the cafe owner."Fearing he would be shot or robbed, Mr Gezer asked Oxley if he was alright.Oxley ran towards the two men and aimed the weapon at Mr Oliffe's head.Mr Hunt was facing the gunman and ran out of the cafe, but the victim had his back to Oxley and 'was completely unaware of the danger he was in'.
Mr Glasgow said: "Oxley approached him and fired three shots.
"Two struck him in the head and Mr Oliffe collapsed on the table."Oxley then aimed the gun at the retreating figure of Mr Hunt.Following him out of the cafe, Oxley bumped into shocked cafe worker Mahmut Akin. "He was still holding the revolver and appeared to be in shock."He shouted: 'Call the police, I have killed a man', and then ran back into the cafe."Mr Gezer stood paralysed with fear behind the counter, but ran out the back of the cafe when the gunman returned.Mr Glasgow told the court: "The police received a number of calls about the incident, one from Oxley himself."He said he had shot someone, said he was scared for his life, and that the people involved were gangsters.
"He said he had no choice because they had threatened his wife, his mum and his dad. He said he had no choice because the problem concerned drugs and he owed them £6,000."Oxley told the emergency operator the situation was "quite heavy". He also said he had put the gun on the floor and did not want the police to shoot him.
Following his arrest, Oxley refused to tell officers why he had killed Mr Oliffe.
But in his fifth interview he claimed the pair – Mr Oliffe and Mr Perry – had threatened his wife and family and had been round to his home.Whilst in custody he was allowed to make a call to his parents and was overheard saying: "I won't have threats to the family. I have tried to go on the straight and narrow but I won't have that."Oxley, of Hornbeam Avenue, admitted murder. A charge of attempted murder, which he denied, was ordered to lie on the court file.Locking him up for life, Judge Peter Thornton said: "This was a deliberate, calculated and planned act."You killed in cold blood. Whatever the background to this case, whatever the past of the deceased you have taken a life, deprived a family of a loved one and deprived a mother of her only child.
"Friends and family now mourn their loss."The judge said it was accepted Oxley was being blackmailed over a drugs debt.
"The aggravating features of this case are the cold and calculated killing, shooting your victim in the head from behind, clearly intending to kill him.
"Secondly, however bad the background of the case you abandoned the help of the police, took the law into your own hands and killed with a firearm which you acquired and took to the scene.
"There was clearly substantial premeditation in your actions."

Gangster Manny Buttar was found guilty of assault with a weapon Thursday for smashing a beer glass against a stranger's head

Gangster Manny Buttar was found guilty of assault with a weapon Thursday for smashing a beer glass against a stranger's head as he confessed to killing a rival gang leader.B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Ker said she accepted the evidence of victim Pardeep (Sunny)Dhillon that an intoxicated Buttar assaulted him viciously in 2006 at a Surrey restaurant after learning Dhillon was a cousin of slain gangster Bindy Johal.And Ker said she believed Dhillon that Buttar claimed he "killed for a living" and admitted to executing Johal, his one-time ally turned rival.
She said the Buttar statement may well have been false drunken rhetoric, but that Dhillon would have no reason to make such a claim unless it happened."It is entirely believable that Mr. Buttar made those comments....I accept without reservation Mr. Dhillon's evidence," Ker said. "I do not believe the denials of Mr. Buttar."Buttar was visibly upset by the verdict which came after a three-day trial last month at the New Westminster Law Courts. He will be sentenced

Homicide rate is now statistically worse in Lambeth, where there have been 12 homicides so far this year, than it is in the Bronx

Homicide rate is now statistically worse in Lambeth, where there have been 12 homicides so far this year, than it is in the Bronx's notorious 52nd precinct, where there have been 6. And gun crime continues to rise sharply in the capital. Although last year saw a drop (see graph below), figures published on Thursday prove that gun enabled crime in London rose by 17% between April and September this year.

Police have seized more than 1,000 guns in London so far this year.

Young criminals are increasingly ready to use firearms after a perceived slight to their reputation. One aspect of the "chaotic" new trend is that they shoot to injure rather than kill, aiming at the victim's legs and leaving their rivals with "war wounds".The number of these shootings now stands at 72, more than double the total for last year. Commander Martin Hewitt said the propensity to use "extreme levels of violence for seemingly very little reason" was a new phenomenon. He said that when Operation Trident began investigating gun crime in the black community most shootings were an "offshoot" of criminal activity.Police have seized more than 1,000 guns in London so far this year. While overall youth violence is falling, police say there is a rise in gun crime and, in particular, the number of non-fatal shootings involving turf wars.Many criminals are inflicting "war wounds" on rivals by shooting them in the legs. The number of these shootings now stands at 72, more than double the total for last year.

Gunmen opened fire into a bar in northern Puerto Rico and killed at least seven people

Gunmen opened fire into a bar in northern Puerto Rico and killed at least seven people, injuring 20 others, police said Sunday. A prosecutor said a battle over drug traffic might have prompted the attack. A 9-year-old girl and a pregnant woman who lost her eight-month-old fetus after being shot were among those seriously wounded, said police Col. Jose Morales. The justice department plans to file a murder charge for the death of the fetus, said prosecutor Wanda Vazquez, who is investigating the case.

Bloody drug gang shootouts left 14 people dead.

2,000 Brazilian police officers patrolled this coastal city as officials pledged to hold a violence-free 2016 Olympics despite bloody drug gang shootouts that left 14 people dead.An hours-long gun battle Saturday between rival gangs in one of the city's slums killed at least 12 people and injured six. A police helicopter was shot down and eight buses set on fire during the incident.Police said Sunday that they had killed two suspected drug traffickers in overnight clashes near the Morro dos Macacos ("Monkey Hill") slum where the gangs fought for territory. But the area was largely peaceful.Two officers died and four were injured Saturday when bullets from the gang battle ripped into their helicopter hovering overhead, forcing it into a fiery crash landing on a soccer field. Officials said they did not know whether the gangs targeted the helicopter or it was hit by stray bullets.Gunfire on the ground killed 10 suspected gunmen and wounded two bystanders.Authorities said the violence had only toughened their resolve to improve security ahead of the Olympics and before 2014, when Brazil will host the World Cup soccer tournament with key games in Rio, the second-biggest city.Rio state Public Safety Director Jose Beltrame told reporters that the violence was limited to a specific area of the city of 6 million and "is not a problem throughout all of Rio de Janeiro."He said authorities would follow through with promised efforts to reduce crime."We proved to the Olympic Committee that we have plans and proposals for Rio de Janeiro," he said. "We proved that our current policy not only consists of going into battle, it also consists of keeping the peace."

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Matthew Carpenter, 29, formerly of Albermarle Way, Cambridge and Marlon Robinson, 21, formerly of Ramsden Square, Cambridge were found guilty

Matthew Carpenter, 29, formerly of Albermarle Way, Cambridge and Marlon Robinson, 21, formerly of Ramsden Square, Cambridge were found guilty of conspiracy to supply cocaine. Carpenter, Robinson, Duncan Berry, 24, of Ramsden Square, Cambridge, and Aymon Popo, 25 of Tideslea Path, London were found guilty of conspiracy to possess firearms.Carpenter received 11 years for drugs offences and four years for firearms offences to run consecutively, totalling 15 years.Robinson received seven years for drugs offences and three years for firearms offences, totalling 10 years.Berry received three and a half years for firearms offences, with a 12 month sentence to run concurrently for possession of ammunition. Popo received three and a half years for firearms offences.Carpenter, Robinson and Popo are now subject to Serious Crime Prevention Orders meaning they will be monitored in prison and out of prison once their sentences have ended and will have conditions placed upon them.Three others were found not guilty of any charges.Detective Inspector Craig Harrison said: "This investigation was long, complex and challenging for all involved."The jury heard almost 10 weeks of evidence complicated by the fact that not all defendants were alleged to be involved in all conspiracies

Gang Warfare between the Hells Angels motorcycle club and ethnic minority gangs in Denmark and Sweden

Gang Warfare between the Hells Angels motorcycle club and ethnic minority gangs in Denmark and Sweden is prompting renewed concern that long-simmering gang tensions are intensifying amid economic woes and resentment over immigration.The Danish capital of Copenhagen saw almost 60 gang-related shooting incidents in the past year, many of them in Nørrebro, just north of the city center. In March, a series of drive-by shootings and assassinations resulted in the deaths of three bystanders and sent shock waves through the city.

Brenice Lee Smith was arrested at the San Francisco International Airport

Brenice Lee Smith was arrested at the San Francisco International Airport as he arrived there on a flight from Kathmandu.The 64-year-old is suspected of being part of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a Hippie gang of drug dealers and users that was founded in the 1960s. Smith had been living in Nepal posing as a Buddhist monk.
The deteriorating law and order system due to continuous political instability for nearly 13 years, corruption in the bureaucracy that enables criminals on the run to procure passports and other legal documents easily and the open border with India have contributed to a growing number of criminals from other countries heading for Nepal where they can lie low in safety.There are also allegations that some politicians are involved in providing a safe haven to criminals on the run.
Indian don Babloo Srivastava wrote in his fictionalised memoirs that Nepali lawmaker Mirza Dilshad Beg provided safe houses for terrorists from Pakistan and their safe passage from Nepal to Thailand.Beg was murdered near his own residence in Kathmandu in 1998 in what was believed to be gang warfare.Besides terrorists, arms and drug smugglers and counterfeit Indian currency dealers, Nepal is also increasingly becoming a haven for western paedophiles.In 1999, Nepal police arrested French citizen Jean Jacques Haye and British national Christopher R. Fraser for paedophilia and running a child pornography racket internationally. Both ran child care centres in Kathmandu and abused the inmates.Though Haye was deported, he returned to Nepal and lived there quietly till his arrest once again this March when a childcare organisation tipped off police.

Nathan Harris was told he must serve at least 16 years for ordering the execution of young father Craig Brown

Nathan Harris was told he must serve at least 16 years for ordering the execution of young father Craig Brown on Christmas Eve last year. Mr Brown was shot five times outside the home of his girlfriend Denica Date and their four-year-old son as he unloaded presents. Harris, aged 15 at the time, was spotted at the scene by Miss Date, who later identified him after seeing his picture on the social networking site Facebook. He had set in place the "lethal train of events" that led to the killing after seeing Mr Brown - who he believed to have "dissed" a friend - in the area. The youth, now 16, of Shepherd's Bush, west London, was found guilty of murder by an Old Bailey jury. Judge Richard Hawkins told Harris: "Your part in bringing these men to the scene to bring an end to Craig Brown's life was an important part.
"The loss to Denica Date and her young son cannot be measured." Jeremy Carter-Manning, QC, defending, said Harris's natural father had been in prison for most of the boy's life. He said Harris was "not a leader of men" adding: "He got caught up in the activities of older and more mature people." There was an outburst in the public gallery as Harris was led out of court. A woman shouted: "He didn't do it."
Detective Inspector Kenny McDonald, who led the investigation, said Harris had a "violent tendency" and it was "exceptional" for such a young person to be involved in such serious crime. Video footage posted on YouTube and hand-written rap lyrics found in his bedroom showed the teenager's obsession with guns and violence. Text messages on his mobile phone appeared to show other youths asking him to procure firearms for them. Harris had first come to the attention of police when he was 13-years-old following the murder of 16-year-old Kodjo Yenga in March 2007. He was one of a number of teenagers rounded up by detectives for questioning, although he was never charged with the crime. In December 2007 when he was 14, Harris was alleged to have taken part, with another youth, in the rape of a teenage girl, but was formally cleared following a trial at Inner London Crown Court. A second defendant, 22-year-old Khalid Elsheikh, was cleared of murder but jailed for 10 years for possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Camden man who was shot and witnessed his brother being killed outside the Marriott hotel in Mount Laurel

Camden man who was shot and witnessed his brother being killed outside the Marriott hotel in Mount Laurel last year will serve five years of probation and must cooperate with authorities in the case against those charged in the murder.
Superior Court Judge John Almeida sentenced Luis Pedroza, 27, to the probationary term Friday for violating his previous probation. Pedroza originally was sentenced to three years of probation for unlawful possession of a weapon stemming from a car stop in Delran in 2006, in which he was with one of the men who is now charged with attempting to kill him and with murdering his brother. Antonio K. Streater, 26, and Daniel Cruz, 24, both of Camden, and Richard Martinez, 34, of Atco, are charged with the murder of Gabriel Figueroa, 20, and the attempted murder of Pedroza. They are in custody and have pleaded not guilty. Since their arrest Cruz and Martinez have been identified as associates of the Latin Kings street gang and Streater is a member of the Bloods street gang. On Friday, Pedroza admitted that he violated his earlier probation by fleeing to Puerto Rico within weeks of entering the program. He has served about 300 days in custody, including jail time in Puerto Rico and New Jersey, waiting for the probation violation to be resolved. Assistant Prosecutor Michael Mormando said that time was equivalent to the time he would likely serve as part of a five-year prison sentence with no mandatory minimum. Mormando said Pedroza has indicated he will cooperate with police in the prosecution of the men charged in the shooting. Pedroza was shot along with his brother in an ambush outside the hotel at Route 73 and Fellowship Road on Aug. 16, 2008. On Friday, Almeida told Pedroza he must testify truthfully about the shooting if the case goes to trial as a condition of his probation. He said prosecutors could seek a material witness warrant that would keep him in custody if he did not cooperate.

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