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Monday, 30 March 2009

Gérald Gallant was a contract killer at the centre of a shifting roster of gangsters accused of carrying out 28 homicides and 13 attempted murders

Gérald Gallant was a contract killer at the centre of a shifting roster of gangsters accused of carrying out 28 homicides and 13 attempted murders over three decades, peaking with Quebec's biker war from 1994 to 2002. Ten suspects were rounded up yesterday, based on evidence Mr. Gallant provided after turning informant. An 11th person facing a murder charge remained at large. In Donnacona, the news was met with stunned mutters that there was always something strange about the man. "I would see him regularly touring around the streets by bike," said Mayor André Marcoux, who lived three streets down from Mr. Gallant. "He really kept a low profile." From his unassuming redoubt near Quebec City, Mr. Gallant was in the middle of a gang war that eventually killed 160 people, police said. He and the 11 suspects targeted bikers, street gangsters and Italian mobsters with little regard for allegiance.
They also had little regard for the innocent. At least one of the dead and several of the wounded were described by police as bystanders or victims of mistaken identity. "I think this may allow me to close the circle," said Hélène Brunet, a former waitress who was shot in 2000 when a Hells Angels associate used her as a human shield. She became an outspoken critic of gangs. "It's a great relief and it restores some of your faith in justice."Hells loan shark Robert "Bob" Savard died in the attack on Ms. Brunet.
Mr. Gallant's stunning conversion from prolific hit man to police witness began in 2001, when he left his DNA at the scene of one of his final murders. But it wasn't until an RCMP tip, followed by a DNA match in 2006, that police started following him. He got wind police were onto him and fled to Europe in 2006. Months later, Swiss police snagged Mr. Gallant for credit card fraud and sent him back to Canada. In 2008, he suddenly and quietly pleaded guilty to the 2001 murder of Yvon Daigneault, a bar owner in the Laurentian town of Ste-Adèle. The plea was unusual for a man facing a tough automatic sentence of life in prison, with no chance at parole for 25 years. Police made it known Mr. Gallant claimed he had killed 26 people, but they added few details. The whiff of possible exaggeration dissipated rapidly yesterday, as police unveiled the list of 11 people charged with murder, including one-time leaders and members of competing Quebec gangs. Lieutenant François Doré, a senior provincial police spokesman, refused to say if a deal was struck with Mr. Gallant, who is not currently charged with any other crimes. Gang expert and author Julian Sher said some deal may be in the works, but hired killers occasionally seek to settle accounts. "I wouldn't call it conscience, but there is an element of wanting to clear the air, or wanting to get back at past masters," he said.Some arrested suspects, such as Frédéric Faucher, a former leader of the Rock Machine, and Raymond Desfossés, an alleged high-ranking member of the West End Gang, are alleged to have ordered hits. One of the more prominent dead was Paul Cotroni, the son of Montreal mob boss Frank Cotroni, who died in 1998.

Peter Zervas, the 32-year-old brother of Anthony, was shot ,Hells Angel was shot multiple times as he came home, a brothel was peppered with bullets

Hells Angel was shot multiple times as he came home, a brothel was peppered with bullets and hundreds of police are spending every night primed for another outbreak of gun violence but don't worry, our state's police minister is feeling confident, declaring today: "Everything's under control."Minister for Police, Tony Kelly, made the optimistic comment during a radio interview .Hells Angels brother of a man bashed to death in a bikie brawl at Sydney Airport has been gunned down outside his Sydney home.Peter Zervas, the 32-year-old brother of Anthony, was shot three times as he tried to park his car in an underground car park at a Punchbowl Road apartment block in the suburb of Lakemba about 11.45 last night.He had got out of his car to open a mesh security gate allowing entrance to the car park when he was shot.He was treated by ambulance officers and taken to St George Hospital in a critical condition.As of 4am he was being operated on but was in a stable condition."A 32-year-old-man stopped his motor vehicle in the driveway of a unit block ... a number of shots were then fired, hitting the man," Campsie local area commander, Superintendent Paul Lennon, said."Another man was seen ... running from the unit block."
That man was described as being about 175 centimetres tall, of large, muscular build, with collar-length dark hair and wearing dark jeans and a dark, long-sleeved jacket.He was seen running across Punchbowl Road after the shooting."A [white] motor vehicle ... had to sound its horn to avoid colliding with the gentleman running across the road."Police want to speak to both the driver of the white car and the man who ran across Punchbowl Road.
It is not yet known whether another motorcycle club is responsible for the shooting.The shooting comes only two days after Peter Zervas, along with family and members of the Hells Angels and Bandidos, buried his brother.It is also the latest in a string of bikie-related shootings that has swept south western and western Sydney.Both Zervas brothers were involved in a brawl with about 10 Comanchero Motorcycle Club members at Terminal 3 of Sydney's domestic airport on March 2, along with Hells Angels Sydney Chapter president, Derek Wainohu, and other club members.Anthony Zervas was killed after being hit with a metal bollard used in the fight.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Juan Pablo Gutierrez was one of 23 people who purchased 339 weapons in a 15-month period.

Juan Pablo Gutierrez was one of 23 people who purchased 339 weapons in a 15-month period. At least 40 of these weapons have been recovered in Mexico and three have been found in Guatemala, according to court documents
."He was arming an infantry squad," prosecutor Mark White told U.S. District Judge Gray Miller. "He wasn't just arming local street thugs. This defendant was doing something a lot more serious."

The 24-year-old pleaded guilty in January to eight counts of making false statements to a federal firearms licensee, claiming he was buying the weapons for himself.White said Gutierrez refused to identify his customers.But prosecutors suspect Gutierrez was purchasing the guns for a cousin, and White said Gutierrez has a cousin whose father-in-law is Osiel Cardenas-Guillen. The drug kingpin was extradited in 2007 from Mexico to Texas and is set to be tried in Houston in September.After the court hearing, White declined to say if he knew whether the guns were purchased for Cardenas-Guillen's son-in-law."He's scared of the people that got him into this. That's why he didn't cooperate. He's worried for his family's safety," defense lawyer David Adler said.Gutierrez, who was also fined $7,500, apologized to his family and friends before being sentenced, saying he didn't know where the firearms he bought would end up."I've hurt people who I've never met," he said.
Gutierrez bought 20 weapons from Carter's Country, a chain of four gun stores based in the Houston suburb of Spring, from October 2006 to December 2006. Five of these weapons have been recovered at crime scenes in Mexico.
Three of those included two Bushmaster assault rifles that were among an arsenal of weapons seized in April 2007 from a group of 20 suspected kidnappers and drug traffickers in Campeche, Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula, and another Bushmaster rifle seized in December 2007 when 11 suspected Zetas — the Gulf cartel's infamous hit men — were arrested in Campeche after assaulting police.

Prosecutors said Gutierrez also bought several FN 5.7 caliber pistols, semiautomatic handguns which can fire armor-piercing bullets and are popular with drug cartels. In all, Gutierrez bought weapons worth more than $17,800. The organization he worked for bought weapons worth more than $366,000.The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began investigating in January 2007 after a routine inspection of Carter's Country's records. A worker at Carter's Country declined to make anyone available to comment on the case. The chain was named Houston's "best place to buy guns" by a newspaper in 2006.Adler said guns dealers share culpability for guns going into Mexico."The problem won't be solved until the government focuses on the conduct of gun dealers," he said.
Authorities say that Gutierrez also used a so-called "straw buyer" to buy eight Beretta 9mm handguns. That person later cooperated with authorities.Gutierrez could have been sentenced up to 10 years for each count he faced and fined up to $250,000.John Phillip Hernandez, another member of this organization, pleaded guilty last year to similar charges in the case and is set to be sentenced next month.Authorities say one of the guns Hernandez bought was recovered from a bloody February 2007 daylight shooting in the resort city of Acapulco, where more than a dozen armed assailants staged simultaneous attacks against two police stations, killing five police investigators and two secretaries.On Thursday, a South Texas man who organized a dozen others to buy guns from licensed dealers so that he could smuggle them to Mexico was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Deputy Marshal Vincent Bustamante Executed in Mexican Town of Executed in Mexican Town of Juarez

US marshal accused of stealing government property has been shot dead execution-style in the lawless Mexican border town of Juarez in the latest murder along the violence-gripped Rio Grande frontier. The body of Deputy Marshal Vincent Bustamante was found with multiple gun wounds to the back of his head, according to Chihuahua state policeThe Mexican government is engaged in an epic war with drug cartels, the unrelenting violence has claimed the lives of thousands of federal troops, police officers, politicians as well as civilians. A favorite pastime of US politicians is to accuse the Mexican government of pervasive and systemic corruption, but we have to give Mexican President Felipe Calderon credit for having the courage to declare war on the drug cartels.The violence has spilled over into American cities along the US-Mexican border, and some Americans blame only Mexico for the drug-inspired violence.
Now that a US Marshal has been killed execution style in the Mexican border town of Juarez some yahoos are demanding that Obama militarize the border. What the "seal the border" crowd fails to mention is that the US Marshall was under investigation by US authorities for theft of US government property. The murder of the crooked US law enforcement official was probably linked to his criminal activity.We can't put all the blame on Mexico for the drug violence, the Mexican drug organization thrive because of the insatiable desire of Americans for illegal drugs. Guns of any kind are very difficult to obtain in Mexico, it's weapons from the US smuggled south across the border that enable the Mexican drug gangs to unleash death and mayhem on the Mexican population. Mexican President Calderon has requested more money from the US to fight the cartels. Obama should immediately send him more aid, considering that the drug gangs would go out of business if it weren't for American guns and American appetite for drugs.

Tasmanian Outlaw bikies had long been linked to criminal behaviour, including violence, drugs and illegal weapon trading

Outlaw bikies had long been linked to criminal behaviour, including violence, drugs and illegal weapon trading.No doubt some Tasmanian gangs were linked to those interstate, and police must act to ensure violent feuds between rival gangs interstate did not leach into this state."I think these are real issues and I believe we need to be very conscious of what's going on interstate," Mr Dean said."Because of what's happening, police should lift it up to another level where they are watching very closely."We do not want (bikies) coming from the mainland to this state and creating the issues that they have on the mainland."A bikie war exploded in public last Sunday when a 29-year-old man was bashed to death after a brawl between two rival gangs - the Hells Angels and the Comancheros - at Sydney Airport.The attack came hours after the Bandidos bikie gang was involved in a series of drive-by shootings at six homes in Sydney suburbs, sparked by a feud with another club, Notorious.The interstate bikie bloodshed continued on Tuesday when two members of the Rebels were gunned down and killed in Canberra.Last year police raised concerns that Tasmania could become a haven for bikie gangs because of a lack of specific legislation targeting organised crime.A federal joint committee inquiry in Hobart questioned whether Tasmania could be a soft target for gangs moving from other states and heard bikie gangs had been linked with organised crime including drug and gun-trafficking, money-laundering and prostitution.The committee heard Tasmania had five active gangs - including Rebels, Outlaws, Satan's Riders and Devil's Henchmen - with 13 chapter houses and about 230 members.

Mr Dean said Tasmania did not experience the same level of bikie violence as other states but that he had seen regular cases of bikie-related crime during his 35 years in the police force.

"There were times when we had immense problems with bikie gangs," he said.

He said drugs were always a problem and recalled a major raid at Latrobe in which police had to use sledgehammers to gain access to a bikie clubhouse.

Mr Dean did not think huge changes to Tasmania's legislation were needed but that there should be better enforcement of existing laws - including enforcement of fortification legislation introduced two years ago to give police power to close fortified bikie clubhouses.

He said there were some very law-abiding motorcycle groups in the community but there were also outlaw groups with a history of violence and crime.

"As far as I'm aware (Tasmanian bikie-gang activity) has been reasonably quiet in recent times," Mr Dean said.

"But that's not to say it's not going to happen. We do have clubs here and with clubs come some problems."

"And while there's nothing to suggest (Tasmanian bikie gangs) are out of control, we certainly need to keep an eye out ... we don't want to go through what's happening on the mainland."

Tasmania Police Assistant Commissioner Phil Wilkinson said police already kept a close eye on bikies.

"The activity of all the clubs is monitored by Tasmania Police," he said.

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Crispin Borunda raiders overpowered guards and made off with Borunda.

Dozen men armed with automatic rifles raided a Chihuahua City hospital where Crispin Borunda, a suspected drug smuggler, had been transferred from a local prison for treatment of a heart ailment, said a spokesman for state prosecutors.The raiders overpowered guards and made off with Borunda.The prison's warden and 16 others, including guards and doctors, have been suspended and are under investigation for helping Borunda escape, the spokesman said.
Gangland killings have become commonplace in Chihuahua despite a crackdown on drug cartels by police and soldiers, and the escape was just the latest embarrassment to Mexican law enforcement.
Mexico's most-wanted man, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, snuck out of a high-security jail in a laundry van in 2001 and now presides over one of the country's most deadly organizations, the Sinaloa cartel.

Keith Ennis 29-year-old drug dealer found dead in a Dutch canal last month, and only identified last week, was tortured before he was stabbed to death

Keith Ennis 29-year-old drug dealer found dead in a Dutch canal last month, and only identified last week, was tortured before he was stabbed to death and his dismembered body parts put into refuse sacks. The torso of Keith Ennis showed signs of stab and slash marks. Ennis, of Oakway, Clondalkin, is believed to have been murdered by a Dublin gangster who has killed at least six men.
Ennis fled the Republic while on bail after being charged with possession of cocaine and a Glock pistol in November 2007. Two days after his arrest gardai raided a warehouse in Ballymount Industrial Estate and seized five pistols and nine kilos of cocaine. Two men were arrested at the scene. Ennis was an associate of a Dublin drugs gang controlled by former members of the republican terror group, the Irish National Liberation Army. The gang has close links with former Irish drug dealers now based in the Netherlands who are believed to have tracked down Ennis.The murder is the 11th killing involving Dublin gangs this year. So far all remain unsolved though gardai in the Kevin Street District have sent files to the Director of Public Prosecutions over the murder of "Champagne" Johnny Carroll shot dead in a pub in The Coombe on February 18. More than 20 people have been arrested in relation to that murder and last week gardai arrested and questioned a 61-year-old man related to the prime suspect.Keith Ennis was identified by fingerprints sent by Dutch police to Garda headquarters last week. The body had been dismembered the first time this has happened in a gangland killing.
A bail hearing at Dublin District Court heard that Ennis sold a business in 2006 and intended buying a trucking company. His partner was three months pregnant at the time he appeared in court.
Ennis was granted bail on a surety of €20,000 and on condition that he sign on twice daily at Clondalkin Garda station and observe a curfew. He fled shortly afterwards. His family was notified of his death on Thursday.The gang responsible for the murder is one of the most violent in Dublin and carried out the double murder of Darren Carey, 20, and Patrick Murray, 19, whose bodies were recovered from the Grand Canal on New Year's Day in 2000. It is believed the pair were killed after they stole cocaine worth €30,000 from the gang.
Ennis was arrested in November 2007 after he was recognized by gardai in Pearse Street station. He was carrying €23,000 in cash. When gardai raided his house they found the pistol and cocaine valued at €2,000.The gardai also found documents relating to the warehouse in Ballymount where they discovered the cocaine and five guns.The other gangland killings this year are: The January 8 murders of Michael "Roly" Cronin, 35, and James Moloney, 26, as they sat in a car in Summerhill in the north inner city; Stephen O'Halloran, 20, in Tallaght on January 19; Graham Nally, 35, in Finglas on January 20; Richard Keogh, 30, from Cabra, on January 24 in Spain; Michael Hendrick, 36, in Clondalkin on February 9; John Carroll, 33, in the south inner city on February 12; Michael Murray, 41, in Finglas on March 4; Seamus O'Byrne, 27, in Tallaght on March 12 and Liam Murray, 41, in Rathfarnham on St Patrick's Day.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Alexis Aguilar fatally shot a man in the back on March 4, 2007, after confronting him in Acosta Plaza.

Alexis Aguilar fatally shot a man in the back on March 4, 2007, after confronting him in Acosta Plaza. Authorities said the man was walking with his 10-year-old son and was shot in the back as he tried to run away.Judge Timothy Roberts, who presided over both of the defendant’s jury trials, sentenced Aguilar to six years for the gang charge with use of a firearm, one life term for first-degree murder and one life term for the use of a firearm causing death.
Aguilar will not be eligible for parole until he has served 56 years.The victim's family was present and the father of the victim addressed the court. On behalf of his family, the father expressed his great sorrow and sadness over the brutal slaying of his son.

Sex Money Murder Sentenced David J. Garmon, 24, of Seminole Trail, to serve 13 years before being eligible for parole.

Sentenced David J. Garmon, 24, of Seminole Trail, to the term that will require him to serve 13 years before being eligible for parole. The sentence was negotiated as part of Garmon's plea deal on charges filed by both the state Attorney General's Office and the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office. Garmon told the judge he would get a new lawyer and appeal. In December, he pleaded guilty to weapon and drug charges stemming from an investigation into the Sex Money Murder set of the Bloods street gang, authorities said. It was part of a broader investigation by the New Jersey State Police Organized Crime Control Bureau - Street Gangs Central Unit and the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau into the criminal activities of the Sex Money Murder set. As a result of the investigation, detectives stopped a vehicle in which Garmon was a passenger on Feb. 27, 2008, and Garmon was arrested on outstanding warrants. He was found to be in possession of a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun.Garmon was convicted of aggravated assault in 2004 in Burlington County and therefore was prohibited as a felon from possessing a gun. On Aug. 8, 2008, members of the Pemberton Township Police Department, the Burlington County Prosecutor's Narcotics Task Force and the State Police Teams "C" Unit executed search warrants in the Browns Mills section of Pemberton Township at homes on Trenton Road and Seminole Trail. Garmon and Rhasaun Conover, 27, of Trenton were arrested in the raids. Officers seized drugs, cash, handguns, a stun gun, ammunition, a digital scale and drug paraphernalia during the raids. At the time, police described both as gang members.
Deputy Attorney General Philip S. Aronow told the judge Garmon continued to rack up charges while out on bail. "On each occasion that he was released, he was able to get a new weapon," he said. "Clearly, he's a danger to the community."
Over the past year, several reported members of Sex Money Murder have been arrested and prosecuted, resulting in convictions with lengthy prison sentence for some ranking members."This case is an excellent example of how we are operating throughout the state, working together across all levels of law enforcement to target street gangs and individuals who bring guns and drugs into our communities," said Attorney General Anne Milgram. "This defendant will be going to prison for a long time."

Kevin Gary was arrested and charged with gang conspiracy,he was a member of a local Bloods gang called Tree Top Piru

Kevin Gary was arrested and charged with gang conspiracy,he was a member of a local Bloods gang called Tree Top Piru, known for his signature red contact lenses and for dealing drugs, according to a statement of facts he signed as part of his January guilty plea agreement.On Friday, during an emotionally charged hearing, he was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.Gary's family and friends asked to be heard, passing a microphone through the courtroom, outlining his acts of kindness. They knew Gary as the young man who took neighborhood children to the swimming pool and volunteered at the Rose Street Community Center. They didn't know the "monster" portrayed in court."They see past the bandanna, past the red contacts … past all of that. They just see me," Gary, 27, said to the judge. "[The prosecutor] spilled everything I did wrong, so my family spilled everything I did right."Gary was once held up as the face of gang life in Maryland, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Weinstein said, referring to a 2007 Baltimore Sun story in which Gary said gangs are unfairly portrayed and that they give youth structure and uplift the community."Nothing could be further from the truth," Weinstein said. "If [kids] follow in those footsteps, those footsteps will lead right here."In his January plea agreement, Gary admitted witness intimidation, ordering gang members to rob drug dealers and unsuccessfully arranging a murder. But that's not the Gary his supporters described.Clayton Guyton, director of the Rose Street Community Center, said Gary was someone who cared deeply about his neighborhood and worked to make it a safer place. He bought school supplies for children and spoke to church youth groups, his mother said. He was "just a kid who made a mistake," his father said.They saw him as a victim of the system, someone who never had a chance."The anger is understandable because this is someone they love, and he's getting ready to go to jail for a long time," said U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles.But Gary has a duty to strike down their belief that "their government is railroading them," the judge added. "Mr. Gary has some responsibility to them to [help] them understand the truth."

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Philip Collopy fresh gangland bloodbath in the wake of the death of one of Limerick's most notorious gangsters.

fresh gangland bloodbath in the wake of the death of one of Limerick's most notorious gangsters.Detectives warned a new wave of violence may be launched by the notorious Dundon-McCarthy gang after Philip Collopy accidentally shot himself in the head last weekend.The removal of Collopy has tilted the balance of power in favour of his deadly rivals in the bitter city feud.The leaders of the Dundon-McCarthy faction feared 29-year-old Collopy, who was one of the main enforcers on the Keane-Collopy side and a ruthless criminal.Attempts had been made in the past to strike a deal with Collopy, who had a reputation for violence as well as unpredictability."They were afraid of Philip Collopy, mainly because he was a loose cannon, and with him out of the way, it leaves his outfit a lot more exposed and could put the Dundon-McCarthys in the driving seat," one senior garda officer last night told the Irish Independent."This is the first time the Collopys have suffered a loss since the feud started and we don't know yet what sort of impact the shooting will have on either side. But it does mean the power balance has shifted to the other side. "With Collopy no longer there to defend his own family or his former associates, they are beginning to look a bit isolated."Gardai are hopeful the unofficial contact that exists between individual members of the two factions could help prevent further bloodshed.
Officers point out that, despite the feud, there has been some crossover of personnel between the two gangs for specific crimes.
"They are doing deals all the time, irrespective of their gangs' position," one said.In recent months, the Dundon-McCarthys have been more concerned with internal disputes within their own ranks than with their cross-city rivals.Two young men were shot in the Ballinacurra-Weston area of Limerick last month after a falling out over the proceeds of drug trafficking. Previously, both men would have been regarded as drug dealers for the notorious outfit. Another well-known member of the gang was jailed yesterday in Limerick's district court for five months for road traffic offences. An associate of the gang who fled the country following the murder of Shane Geoghegan returned to Limerick at the weekend.
All senior members of the Dundon-McCarthy gang are locked up or have left the country.Former crimelord and head of the Keane gang, Christy Keane was released from prison last month and found a vastly changed crime scene. The 48-year-old has discovered that constant garda surveillance and investigations by the Criminal Assets Bureau have greatly hampered the gang's attempts to carry on with their dealings.

Philip Collopy footage of the shooting he had taken on his mobile phone

Philip Collopy, 29, a top member of a feared feuding gang in Limerick, apparently didn’t realise his Glock 9mm pistol was loaded when he pointed it at his head and pulled the trigger. Investigating gardai were able to rule out any foul play in the death almost immediately after one of his associates handed over footage of the shooting he had taken on his mobile phone. Five or six people at the party were all being “unusually fully co-operative” because they didn’t want to be done for the killing, said one Garda source. Detectives believe Collopy, whose gang has been targeted by Ireland's Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), was messing about with associates at his friend’s house in the early hours of Saturday morning when he unwittingly killed himself. It is believed there were drink and drugs taken at the party. One of the men in the house, in troubled Limerick housing estate St Mary’s Park, ran outside for help and alerted two officers on patrol from the Garda’s armed Regional Support Unit, set up last year to tackle gangland violence in the city.
But despite their efforts in taking him to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, he died when his life-support machine was switched off at the weekend. Collopy, who had a partner and several children, was a senior figure in the notorious Keane-Collopy crime gang, which has been locked in a murderous feud with arch-rivals, the Dundon-McCarthy faction. Both sides were in talks last year to secure a ceasefire after an escalation in the eight-year bloody turf war. Collopy was a suspect in the murder in 2000 of criminal Eddie Ryan, whose family then forged strong links with the Dundon-McCarthy faction. Ireland's CAB, which was set up after the gangland killing of journalist Veronica Guerin, last year seized a house, two cars and a substantial amount of cash from Collopy’s gang

Authorities last week arrested Xavier Gonzalez, 24, Edgar Ginez, 19, and Jacob Hoffman, 18, and booked them into the county jail on murder charges.

Authorities last week arrested Xavier Gonzalez, 24, Edgar Ginez, 19, and Jacob Hoffman, 18, and booked them into the county jail on murder charges. Police said the men punched, kicked and stomped on the head of 21-year-old Armando Castro on March 14 at a house near Pecos Road and Washington Avenue. After the beating, Castro was taken to Valley Hospital Medical Center. He died several days later from his head injuries. Police are searching for a fourth man, Dwayne Romero, 24, who is also wanted in connection with the slaying. In gang culture, potential members are "jumped in" to prove their toughness and to show that they can withstand a beating.The four suspects are reputed members of Vicky's Town, a gang with ties to the Surenos, authorities said. The Surenos are a well-established street gang with members spread across the United States and as far as Central America.A relative of Castro declined to comment about the slaying, saying her life could be in danger.
Witnesses told police Castro had gone with the defendants on March 14 to become a full-fledged member of Vicky's Town. While they were outside a house on the 3600 block of Amazon Avenue drinking beer, Gonzalez told another man to turn on the lights of a truck so they could videotape the beating, according to a Las Vegas police report. Gonzalez told Castro that he was going to get jumped in, he counted to three, and then the beating began, the report says. The men beat Castro for 13 seconds. The number 13 is known to be a common symbol for the Surenos. It represents the 13th letter in the alphabet, "M," and signifies the Mexican Mafia, a much larger gang organization that is said to control the Surenos and smaller gang sets.
Castro was knocked out for about 15 minutes after the beating. When he woke, he was woozy and couldn't stand. The other members taunted Castro and told him he "was in," the report said. They then took photos of him. He was dropped off at his house but was so shaky that he needed to be helped to the door. He told a relative that he was attacked "by some black guys," the report states. After police began investigating the slaying, detectives spoke with witnesses who confirmed Castro was beaten.
Police found a video showing the beating posted on YouTube.com under the title "Vicky's Town 13 Court in.""Court in" is another term for "jump in."
The video showed several men beating the victim and stomping on his head. After the beating, Castro is dragged to the back of a truck and the video ends.The video was posted for about seven hours when police found it. It was taken down shortly after authorities watched it. After police arrested Gonzalez, he admitted he recorded the beating and confirmed that Castro was jumped in. Gonzalez told police that jumping in is "a Southside rule" and that after the beating, the recruit is "welcome into the family," the report says. The three defendants in custody are scheduled to appear in Las Vegas Justice Court on Thursday. One witness to the beating, who declined to be identified out of fear for her safety, said the gang members were shocked when they learned that Castro was hospitalized. "When they found out he was in the hospital, everybody felt bad," she said. "They couldn't believe it."

Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi president of one of the nation's strongest outlaw motorcycle gangs the Comanchero

Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi president of one of the nation's strongest outlaw motorcycle gangs the Comanchero.He is married with two children, reportedly owns a number of properties and is, in the words of one friend, "f. . .ing loaded". And, as president of one of the nation's strongest outlaw motorcycle gangs the Comanchero, Hawi is very, very powerful. It is a power he wielded yesterday when he publicly appealed for bikies to stop the violence. His position put him in physical danger at Sydney airport on Sunday when, according to bikie sources, he was caught up in a brawl and stabbed in the arm. Hawi is said to be extremely careful about his personal security, travelling in bulletproof cars. In November 2007, Hawi was inches from death when a car he was travelling in was hit by bullets outside Grappa Ristorante in Norton St, Leichardt. It was about 2pm on the busy Italian restaurant strip when two men pumped up to 10 shots into an Audi and a Mazda as they sped away. The story goes that a bullet lodged itself in Hawi's headrest. Hawi was allegedly the main target, the other being his right-hand man Daux Ngakuru. A court was told neither man gave a statement to police. Silence is the bikie code. Hawi's profile is lower than his contemporaries, including Rebels president Alex Vella and Nomads president Scott Orrock. Both are frequently in the news - almost always in their colours or on a motorcycle. Hawi is slightly glamorous. He takes great care with his grooming and his clothes and jewellery are expensive. "He is very, very smart and people are jealous. He's f. . .ing loaded, he's got properties all over the place," one associate said. Beirut-born Hawi is rumoured to live in Brighton-Le-Sands but keeps his actual address secret. His crew is largely based in the Brighton-Le-Sands area.
He has been a driving force behind the trend of bringing young men of Middle Eastern backgrounds into the bikie fold. Following the Cronulla riots in 2005, he appealed for calm and met with the Bra Boys. Whether this public appeal works will have very real consequences for Hawi himself, his Comanchero crew and for the Sydney public at large.

Hell’s Angels member was beaten to death in a Sydney airport, an action which may have been retaliation for a series of drive-by shootings

A Hell’s Angels member was beaten to death in a Sydney airport, an action which may have been retaliation for a series of drive-by shootings on rival gang members’ houses. In Denmark there are reports the Hell’s Angels are waging a war by proxy utilizing Ak 81 to fight immigrant “youth” gangs who have terrorized and shut down large parts of that country. While it is claimed by some journalists that new pushes by the Angels against rivals old and new is simply an attempt to gain greater control of the drug trade, it should be noted that the rival Biker gangs in Australia at war with the Hell’s Angels now (Banditos and Comancheros) Like The Mongols here, these gangs have been altered by recruitment programs which target populations who produce “foot soldiers” more useful to the gang than the old schoolers.The Daily Telegraph reports that the leader of the Comancheros is Mahmoud Hawi, who has displayed Hamas-like media savvy in using Telegraph reporter Lisa Davis to put out propaganda to the Australian public designed to make the Comancheros look like the reasonable aggrieved party when they worked in tandem with Banditos members to murder Hell’s Angel Anthony Zervas, who the media has painted as deserving of his brutal slaying with stories of his violent recent past.
One of the Bandito members arrested in the slaying was Mahmoud Dib. Australian police have been coy about releasing the names of other assailants in the country due to the tensions between Australians and immigrants that exist.A world away, Denmark is a country besieged by violence and the Angels have suggested the violence will stop on their end when immigrant communities there “clean up their act” and stop the rampages that mar Europe with alarming frequency.

30 chapels devoted to “Saint Death” - a figure that is worshipped by drug traffickers - in the northern city of Nuevo Laredo


Mexican federal authorities used bulldozers to bring down more than 30 chapels devoted to “Saint Death” - a figure that is worshipped by drug traffickers - in the northern city of Nuevo Laredo, the daily Reforma reported Wednesday.The image of the saint is a skeleton dressed and adorned as a woman, and is not based on any particular Roman Catholic saint. Many criminals, but also people without a criminal record and even police officers, have taken it as their patron saint.

Although the figure is venerated by people from many walks of life, the saint has been adopted by drug gangs. In recent years, there has been a proliferation around Mexico in the construction of such chapels - varying in size from small shrines to larger buildings - from materials including brick, marble, iron and tiles.

They use Roman Catholic symbolism and ceremonies, although the formal church rejects worship of “Saint Death” as a pagan tradition and the authorities have long removed the tradition from the list of the country’s religious associations. In Mexico City, there is even a sanctuary and a so-called bishop - a man with no known ties to drug trafficking - for worship of “Saint Death.”According to the report in Reforma, the chapels that were destroyed in Nuevo Laredo were on an access road to the city. One was a two-floor building and featured a 2-metre-tall image of Saint Death.The owner of one of the altars told reporters that he had spent some 13,700 dollars to build it and decorate it.“When you go in or out of Nuevo Laredo you see these chapels, which are most impressive, spectacular, but people constantly complain that they give the impression that this is a place for criminals,” an unidentified official source told the daily, to explain the decision.
More than 6,300 people were killed last year in Mexico in incidents linked to organized crime and drug trafficking. The authorities have massively deployed soldiers and federal police officers to combat crime.

South Florida gang member "When we've got to get violent we get violent," he explained. "Whether with other gang members or with people in general

When a group of masked gunmen burst into a Dunkin' Donuts last year in Delray Beach and began indiscriminately shooting customers, they were doing more than just robbing it they were announcing the arrival of a new Crips gang chapter in South Florida. After being caught for that robbery, as well as a string of similar violent incidents in Broward County, one of the suspects bragged about his gang affiliation.
"These are just cold blooded thugs who enjoyed doing this," Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti said back in December. "In fact one of them, when asked, `Why did you shoot innocent, innocent people?', his response was he just wanted to up his body count."
Those shootings, as well as a recent spate of violence in Miami Dade County, are all vivid examples of the growing reach of South Florida gangs. "We have seen a resurgence in active recruiting by national gangs in South Florida that, combined with a significant increase in violence arising out of small neighborhood drug-based gangs, has led to an explosion of violence in the last few years," said Frank Ledee, head of the Miami Dade State Attorney's Gang Unit. Ledee estimates the number of active gangs in South Florida at between 160 and 200, with a total membership well in excess of 2,000. And violence is often the currency they trade in for respect – or at least what passes for respect in gang life. "You have many situations where gang members will go out and commit certain acts of violence, shooting someone, a random person on the street, just too either earn rank, or to earn respect within a certain criminal street gang," he said. "Respect is akin to fear. If you can impose fear in the hearts of your rivals, you have won, and that was what they [in the Dunkin' Donuts robberies] intended to do."
A longtime South Florida gang member spoke to CBS4 News on condition that we conceal his identity. He described how gang life has long been a part of the culture here in South Florida and that violence is simply part of that life.
"When we've got to get violent we get violent," he explained. "Whether with other gang members or with people in general, that's just how the gangs get down."
Have you ever shot anyone? "I've shot at people," he admitted. "Either do or die. I was getting shot at so my main thing was to shoot back." He said he doesn't know if he has ever hit anyone, but as we have often seen, gang members often miss who or what they are shooting at -- sometimes with tragic consequences. Nine-year-old Sherdavia Jenkins and 5-year-old Rickia Isaac are just two of the young victims who have been caught and killed in the crossfire The gang member I spoke to said the violence recently in the Dunkin' Donuts cases was foolish. "There is no need to do that," he said. "You do your crime; you do it on the low, do what you have to do, make your money." In the last few weeks, Hialeah police arrested a dozen members of a gang called 3OP for allegedly selling drugs near a school. In Homestead, a branch of the violent international gang MS13 was arrested and its members charged with kidnapping and attempted murder. And in recent months, Ledee has seen a growing number of Bloods the famed LA street gang building a presence in Dade County.
"We have identified packs in Hialeah, we have identified packs in South Dade, we have identified packs on the Beach, as well as in Miami," he said. "We estimate that the Blood groups here are over 300 strong." National gangs, like the Bloods, the Crips, the Latin Kings and the Imperial Gangsters, divide up territory and compete with local gangs, such as the YLOS in Hialeah or the Haitian gangs in Miami.
One thing all these gangs share is that they have no trouble recruiting new members, and it often starts in the schools. "If you are being bullied on, that's how a lot of members become gang members, they become bullied or whatever and they seek protection," the gang member told CBS4 News. And the gangs become their families.
"In the beginning when I got in the gang I needed the attention, I needed the love," he said. "I wanted to be part of something I didn't have." But the newest trend in gang recruitment is the Internet. "It's easier to recruit on the Internet like through MySpace and Facebook and things like that," said the gang member. Ledee says some of the national gangs are so internet savvy, they design their websites as recruitment tools and post videos enticing would-be members. Using a computer, Ledee showed how easy it is to find information on various gangs. "He wants to join the Latin Kings, he goes to MySpace, he types in Latin Kings," Ledee says. "All of the things that they believe in, they actually put on the public web sites. So just by going to one site you have an incredible amount of information for recruitment purposes. This is how they communicate." And the price of admission is allegiance to the gang. "You've got to pay your dues," the gang member explains. "You are out there doing crimes, doing whatever you've got to pay your dues. You've got to make sure you pay the person in charge their dues so that we can have money for whatever reason." And for what reason do they need the money? "Party, that's one, that's the main one, we like to party," he said. "Two, in case one of your gang members gets arrested they need to get bonded out of jail. So we've got some money for that. Gas for our cars – cars break down. What happens if we need to do a drive by but we ain't got a car to do a dive by because the brakes are messed up on the car? We need money to fix that." The biggest misnomer about gangs in South Florida is that it's a problem isolated to the poorest neighborhoods. When gang members need money, they rob or commit burglaries in some of the better neighborhoods.

George Torres seemed to fare remarkably well with local gangbangers and taggers.

George Torres seemed to fare remarkably well with local gangbangers and taggers.
His Numero Uno supermarkets, for the most part, remained as pristine on the outside as they were sparkling on the inside. And, after a rough beginning, he had relatively few run-ins with local toughs.Just how Torres, 52, was able to achieve this apparent status promises to be an underlying theme in his racketeering trial, which got underway this week in the downtown Los Angeles courtroom of U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson.Torres' defense attorneys portray him as a self-made entrepreneur who earned the respect of neighborhood mothers -- and, by extension, their sons -- by bringing fresh meat and produce to their neighborhoods at a fair price. He was a man who treated customers with respect and gave at-risk youths jobs to help steer them from gangs and drugs.Federal prosecutors, on the other hand, contend that Torres is a ruthless businessman who cultivated an aura of danger. He ran his highly profitable supermarkets as a criminal enterprise in which he hired illegal workers, bribed a public official and -- when people crossed him -- arranged to have them killed, prosecutors say.
The case relies heavily on the testimony of current and former Torres employees as well as allegedly incriminating statements by Torres caught on wiretapped phone calls. Torres' brother, Manuel, who worked as a manager and "right-hand man" for Torres at the markets, is a co-defendant.

Steven G. Madison, Torres' lead attorney, suggested to jurors in his opening statement Tuesday that the government's case was the result of an overzealous LAPD detective who had a vendetta against George Torres. Madison also said the case was being held together by convicted felons hoping to win early release by cooperating with prosecutors.By far the most sensational allegations revolve around three murders that prosecutors say Torres solicited, beginning in the early 1990s.According to Assistant U.S. Atty. Timothy J. Searight, Torres' campaign of violence began in 1993, shortly after he bought a small store that he then closed and began remodeling to open as his second market.Soon after Torres bought the store, Searight told jurors, some Primera Flats gang members who hung out across the street began hassling his security guards. A few weeks later, one of the guards was shot in the back of the head and killed.Searight said Torres became convinced that one of the gang members was responsible. He turned to a trusted employee and protege, Ignacio "Nacho" Meza, to retaliate, the prosecutor said. Three weeks later, Searight said, Meza leaned out of the window of a car driven by another man and sprayed a group of Primera Flats members with gunfire. Four people were hit and one, Edward Carpel, was killed.Torres turned to Meza again later that year when a gang member called "Shorty," whom he had hired to provide security after the L.A. riots, tried to extort money from Torres as a "tax" for operating one of his stores in gang territory."You need to take care of Shorty," Searight quoted Torres as saying.
A few weeks later, Jose "Shorty" Maldonado was fatally shot after walking out of a barbershop across the street from the main Numero Uno market on Jefferson Boulevard south of downtown L.A. Searight said Meza pulled the trigger.Four years later, the prosecutor said, Meza was himself the victim of Torres' vengeance.
Searight said Meza, who was also a major drug dealer, was in debt after having some drugs and money seized by authorities. He stole $500,000 from Torres and used the money to repay the debt.
Searight said Torres suspected Meza immediately but pretended he did not. Though Meza had stopped working at the stores, Torres lured him back with a job offer. The prosecutor said Meza disappeared his first day back at work, Oct. 5, 1998."Precisely how he died is not known," Searight told jurors. "His body was never found."Madison, a former federal prosecutor, told the jury that the government's case relied almost entirely on the testimony of two convicted drug dealers, both of whom are serving lengthy sentences in federal prison and hope to have the terms reduced by helping convict Torres.One of the convicts, who is caught in dozens of wiretapped phone conversations with Torres in which the two appear to be talking in conspiratorial tones, is expected to testify that Torres asked him to kill Meza but that he refused.Madison said that despite about 125,000 wiretapped telephone conversations and searches of Torres' home, business and even his garbage, "there is not a single piece of evidence that relates in any way to solicitation to do murder.""These two witnesses are all they have," he said.
He said the case against Torres was initiated by a detective from the Los Angeles Police Department's Newton Division who appeared fixated on the supermarket magnate. He said the detective ignored compelling evidence that Carpel and Maldonado were the victims of gang-related shootings, and the possibility that Meza fled the country because he was under indictment in a major drug case.Madison said the detective also appeared to violate protocol for dealing with informants, such as the practice of keeping them apart so they don't have the opportunity to concoct a story together. Madison said the detective in the Torres case actually arranged for two informants to share a cell and is heard on tape asking: "Have you guys talked yet? You got it straight?"The trial, which is expected to last a month to eight weeks, resumes today.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

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Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Manuel Marquez, also known as Morro, was sentenced after pleading guilty in December to a pattern of racketeering activity that included murder

Manuel Marquez, also known as Morro, was sentenced after pleading guilty in December to a pattern of racketeering activity that included murder, attempted murder and witness tampering.Marquez is the last of the defendants to be sentenced on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO.Fourteen gang members were indicted and charged in January 2007 with racketeering conspiracy, murder, attempted murder, assault, weapons charges and obstruction of justice.
Marquez admitted to planning and participating in several 2006 shootings. He also stated that he and other gang members shot and killed two rival gang members sitting inside a car at a traffic light, and that he and another gang member shot a rival gang member several times in the back at Percy Priest Lake outside Nashville.
Ronald Fuentes, the leader of Nashville's MS-13 gang, which is also known as La Mara Salvatrucha, will serve life in prison.The MS-13 is one of the nation's most notorious gangs. They are primarily from El Salvador or of Salvadoran descent.

Mahmoud Dib , 27, had been charged with six firearm offences after a semi-automatic pistol was found in a car connected to him, police said.

Mahmoud Dib , 27, had been charged with six firearm offences after a semi-automatic pistol was found in a car connected to him, police said. He was also being investigated in relation to a string of drive-by shootings.Superintendent Angelo Memmolo said tests were under way to determine if the gun had been used in a spate of shootings at houses and cars in Sydney's western suburbs last week. Police said another incident occurred on Monday night, when four shots were fired at a house. No one was injured and there have been no arrests.The shootings are believed to be part of a dispute between the Bandidos and a gang called Notorious. Police said shots were fired into Dib's house on 16 March and they suspect some of the attacks have been reprisals.A standing state commission into organised crime opened a new investigation into biker violence today following the airport brawl.The men the airport shortly after Anthony Zervas, 29, the brother of a well-known Sydney biker, was struck with metal poles. He died in hospital.Biker gangs have existed in Australia since the late 1960s and turf battles have ebbed and flowed. Gang members are often accused of being involved in drugs, although gang leaders deny involvement in organised crime and say they cannot control individual actions.With the exception of a full-blown gun battle in a Sydney car park in 1984 between Bandidos and Comancheros, most violence had been largely out of the public eye.According to Arthur Veno, the author of the 2004 book The Brotherhoods: Inside the Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs, the emergence in the past few years of Notorious has contributed to an escalation of violence and a worrying trend of indifference to the safety of bystanders. Notorious was a shadowy group that modelled itself structurally on a biker gang but was more involved in crime that motorcycles, Veno said.Rudd and the New South Wales premier, Nathan Rees, said tougher laws against gang violence would be considered in the coming months and the federal home affairs minister, Bob Debus, said airport security would be reviewed.

MS-13.Group of 34 illegals were apprehended by agents near Ajo

Group of 34 illegals were apprehended by agents near Ajo. Two of them were members of a notorious and ruthless gang known as MS-13. How did agents find out? Finger prints and tattoos were a dead-giveaway. "These two individuals, not only did their criminal record prove they were gang members, but also their tattoo affiliations," Agent Scioli says. "They're all under 13 as the 13th letter in the English alphabet which links them to the Mexican Mafia, the largest gang running in the US right now."
Authorities say the gang has at least 850,000 members. Many of them have drug and human smuggling ties, great contacts to have when trying to enter the U.S. under the radar.In response to this, local, state and federal officials have beefed up security significantly. Just last week, we got a look at what's essentially an X-ray machine on wheels, which can detect virtually anything that anybody's trying to hide or bring in illegally. But these people aren't coming in through checkpoints and other ports of entry. Many of them are military trained, organized crime members. Last fiscal year, the Border Patrol apprehended at least 60 hardened gangsters in the Tucson Sector. So far this year, they've already arrested 25 and the number is only growing. Says Agent Scioli, "It just proves again that these aren't people coming over for jobs, these aren't people trying to take care of their families back in Mexico, they're coming over to cause havoc."

Mahmoud Dib, 26, "sergeant-at-arms" Bandidos arrested

Mahmoud Dib, 26, is believed to be the "sergeant-at-arms" of the biker gang Bandidos. Sergeant-At-Arms of the Bandidos' Parramatta chapter, Mahmoud Dib, was refused bail today after he was arrested at his Auburn home in a major police operation. The Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad, with tactical and riot squad officers, raided the 26-year-old's house at Park Road, Auburn, while it was still dark at 6am (8am NZ time) this morning.NSW Police are targeting the city's bikie gangs following a fatal brawl at Sydney Airport on Sunday in which the 29-year-old brother of a senior Hells Angels member was bludgeoned to death.Dib was charged with six firearms offences, including possessing a firearm in a public place and possessing an unregistered firearm, after gang squad detectives found a loaded gun in a car owned by Dib parked in a Guildford Street last Monday.Acting Superintendent Angelo Memmolo, from the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad, said a .45 calibre semi-automatic pistol, loaded with seven bullets, was found in the car.Dib was not in the car at the time, but was in the area, he said.Acting Superintendent Memmolo said no drugs nor weapons were found in the raid.A friend of Dib was arrested outside Burwood Local Court this afternoon after allegedly spitting on a News Ltd photographer.Five of Dib's friends were in the court as Dib appeared, but he did not make an application for bail.Dib appeared in court wearing a red hoodie and did not speak except for a few moments when approached by his lawyer, Mohammed Masri.The matter will return to court on Friday.Outside the court, one of Dib's friends, wearing a white singlet and the words "Bandit" tattooed on his throat, stuck his finger up at the photographer and appeared to make a slashing movement near his throat before spitting at him.Police officers standing nearby pounced on the man and took him into custody. While on the floor, the man screamed: "I can't breath, I'm claustrophobic."Shooting 'related to feud'Dib was arrested in relation to a series of tit-for-tat drive-by shootings in the Auburn area.The shootings are believed to be related to a feud between the Bandidos' Parramatta Chapter and an emerging gang, called Notorious.Dib's home was the target of a drive-by shooting last Monday. Some bullets punched through the front wall and narrowly missed him, his wife and two young children.It is understood that, later on Monday, police pulled Dib over and searched his car.The next day, two houses in Sydney's west - one believed to be the home of senior Notorious member's mother - were peppered with bullets.Since then, there have been several more drive-by shootings in Sydney's south-west.Police also seized two Harley Davidson motorcycles during the raid.A source close to the Bandidos' Parramatta chapter said police had the wrong guy."This is crazy. [Dib] was trying to shut down the violence. What are they doing about Notorious?"
On Sunday morning, two carloads of men associated with Notorious returned to Auburn and drove to a Pine Road residence of a Dib relative, the source said.The source said that this time the Bandidos were ready, having been tipped off to the planned attack.When the Notorious members arrived in Pine Road, members of the Bandidos opened fire and, in the ensuing gun battle, at least four of the men in the car were injured.One of those involved in the planned attack is believed to be a relative of a Notorious office bearer.An automatic weapon was believed to have been used by one of the groups in the attack and four homes were hit by bullets.It is understood that on the same night, the Bandidos also kneecapped a 19-year-old Auburn man whom they believed was passing information to Notorious.In relation to today's arrest, a police spokesman said that detectives were "seeking further evidence in relation to an ongoing firearms investigation"."In the early hours of Monday, March 16, the same [Park Road] house was a target of a drive-by shooting," he said."Later that day [investigators] carried out a vehicle stop at Granville, arresting a 26-year-old man in relation to a firearms investigation."Six days later [on Sunday] there was a shooting attack on six houses in the vicinity of Park Road [on Cumberland Road, North Street and Pine Road]."Two males, the occupants of one of the properties, were injured.An 18-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to his leg and was taken to Westmead Hospital.A 17-year-old boy was treated for cuts at Auburn Hospital before being arrested. He was later released without charge."With this matter there's a tenuous, and I put it at the highest level as a tenuous, link to outlaw motorcycle gangs," a police spokesman said after Sunday's attack.Australian police arrested a senior biker-gang member on Tuesday (March 24) during a dawn raid in Sydney's west. Police confiscated two motorcycles from his home to check if they are licensed. He has also been charged for possession of a loaded gun and will face court. The police raid came after a spate of drive-by shootings, which sparked fears of a war between rival biker gangs in Sydney. A man was bludgeoned to death during a violent brawl at Sydney's domestic airport terminal on Sunday (March 22) allegedly involving tens of
bikers from different gangs --- Comancheros and Bandidos. Australian authorities promised a crackdown on gang violence on Monday (March 23) after the incident.
Four men were charged with affray after the brawl on Sunday. A 2006 Australian Crime Commission report found there were 35 outlaw motorcycle gangs in Australia, with 3,500 members. Police have blamed club defections for escalating violence including
drive-by shootings at Sydney nightclubs, the firebombing of one gang's clubhouse, and shots fired into the tattoo shop of the Nomads national president. In South Australia, police have been empowered to dismantle gang headquarters and force members to account for any unexplained wealth or income.

Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman multiple rewards of up to $2 million for information leading to the capture of the country's drug kingpins

Mexico published a list of more than 30 men the government says are leading the country's five main cartels, including Guzman's powerful Pacific-coast Sinaloa gang and the Gulf cartel in northeastern Mexico, whose feared Zeta hitmen are known for beheading rivals.Mexico on Monday offered multiple rewards of up to $2 million for information leading to the capture of the country's drug kingpins, including Mexico's most-wanted man, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman.Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora said Mexico's security forces would accept tips from rival drug gangs. "We don't rule out that those giving us information are part of (organized crime) groups. The important thing is to capture the wanted person," Medina Mora told a news conference.Mexico's President Felipe Calderon has made controlling rampant drug violence his administration's top priority and has sent 45,000 troops across the country to break up the gangs.Last week, soldiers captured two capos, but despite a string of arrests and historic drug busts, violence surged to a record 6,300 drug-related killings last year. Washington fears the drug war is spilling over into the United States.The conflict is also scaring off tourists and investment along Mexico's border just as the global economic crisis drags the country into recession.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Hybrid youth gangs in the 21st century.“cliques,” “crews,” “posses,”

Law enforcement officers from communities unaffected by gangs until the 1980s or early 1990s often find themselves scrambling to obtain training relevant to what are called hybrid youth gangs in the 21st century. When gang-related training first became widely available in the early 1990s, it often emphasized historical information, such as the formation of the Los Angeles Crips and Bloods in the late 1960s or the legacy of Chicago-based gangs (the Black Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings, and Vice Lords).As law enforcement officers learned about the origins of these influential gangs, they sometimes attempted to apply this outdated information in their efforts to deal with hybrid gangs in their jurisdictions. The assumption that new gangs share the characteristics of older gangs can impede law enforcement’s attempts to identify and effectively counter local street gangs, and actions based on this assumption often elicit inappropriate responses from the community as a whole. Citizens may react negatively to law enforcement efforts when they sense that gang suppression actions are geared to a more serious gang problem than local gangs appear to present.
Because of uncertainty in reporting on problem groups such as “cliques,” “crews,” “posses,” and other nontraditional collectives that may be hybrid gangs, some police department staff spend an inordinate amount of time trying to precisely categorize local groups according to definitions of traditional gangs.
When training law enforcement groups on investigative issues surrounding drug trafficking or street gangs, instructors must resist the tendency to connect gangs in different cities just because the gangs share a common name. If the groups engage in ongoing criminal activity and alarm community members, law enforcement officers should focus on the criminal activity, regardless of the ideological beliefs or identifiers (i.e., name, symbols, and group colors) of the suspects. This practical approach would circumvent the frustration that results from trying to pigeonhole hybrid gangs into narrow categories and would avoid giving undue attention to gangs that want to be recognized as nationwide crime syndicates.
The expanded presence of gangs is often blamed on the relocation of members from one city to another, which is called gang migration. Some gangs are very transient and conduct their activities on a national basis. However, the sudden appearance of Rollin’ 60s Crips graffiti in a public park in rural Iowa, for example, does not necessarily mean that the Los Angeles gang has set up a chapter in the community. Gang names are frequently copied, adopted, or passed on. In most instances, there is little or no real connection between local groups with the same name other than the name itself. Gang migration does occur, however.

According to the National Youth Gang Survey, 18 percent of all youth gang members had migrated from another jurisdiction to the one in which they were residing. Although gang migration is stereotypically attributed to illegal activities such as drug franchising, expansion of criminal enterprises is not the principal driving force behind migration. The most common reasons for migration are social considerations affecting individual gang members, including family relocation to improve the quality of life or to be near relatives and friends. Moreover, in the National Youth Gang Survey, the vast majority (83 percent) of law enforcement respondents agreed that the appearance of gang members outside of large cities in the 1990s was caused by the relocation of young people from central cities.

Thus, the dispersion of the urban population to less populated areas contributed to the proliferation of gangs in suburban areas, small towns, and rural areas.Law enforcement professionals may not be able to differentiate among local gangs that have adopted names of the same well-known gangs from other locales but have no real connection with each other until they begin to interact with gang members through interviews, debriefings, and other contacts. “Hybrid” versions will begin to display variations of the original gang, such as giving different reasons for opposing rival gangs or displaying certain colors. Investigators who take the time to cross-check their local gang intelligence with that of other agencies concerning gangs with identical names are likely to find some subtle and some glaring differences

Gangster Philip Collopy (29) from St Mary's Park, Limerick is in the city's Mid-Western Regional Hospital where he has been since he shot himself

Gangster Philip Collopy (29) from St Mary's Park, Limerick is in the city's Mid-Western Regional Hospital where he has been since he shot himself in the head on Saturday morning.The career criminal shot himself with a glock handgun at close range in a house at St Munchin's Street, St Mary's Park. He had been inspecting the gun and removed the loaded magazine from it while handling it. However, he failed to realise a bullet was still in the chamber before he discharged the weapon while it was pointed at his head.A youth alerted members of the armed Regional Support Unit who were on patrol in the estate and told them that an ambulance was needed for the wounded man.A glock handgun and three magazines were recovered from the scene. Eight bullets were recovered from the magazine which Collopy removed from the gun before he shot himself.Gardai have put the shooting down to misadventure. Officers are investigating the source of the firearm. It will be forensically examined to see if it was used in any of the feud-related shootings in the city.Collopy's younger brother, Damien was in the house at the time and was treated for shock.Brothers, Ray and Kieran travelled back from Spain to be at their brother's bedside.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

battle between the Bandidos and Notorious has escalated six homes in Sydney's west were hit by bullets

6 homes in Sydney's west were hit by bullets just 12 hours before a 29-year-old bikie was bludgeoned to death at Sydney Airport's domestic terminal.In a dramatic escalation of a turf war between rival bikie gangs, one man was shot, another bashed, and another murdered in the airport attack.NSW police are now faced with a crisis of resourcing with the involvement of the already over-stretched Gang Squad, the Middle Eastern Crime Squad and the Homicide Squad in a series of investigations encompassing a family feud, the escalating bikie wars and 12 allegedly linked murders and attempted murders going back a decade.The drive-by shootings at Auburn on Saturday night, which involved six houses in three streets, are believed to be related to Bandidos discovering that two of the club's Blacktown chapter "associates" were passing information to the rival club, Notorious.
"They found out two Auburn boys were being paid by Notorious to provide addresses of Bandidos members," a source told the Herald."That's how Notorious knew where [the serjeant-at-arms of the Bandidos Blacktown chapter] lived; these guys gave them the address," the source said.The tensions began in February with a drive-by shooting at a tattoo parlour - owned by the Hells Angels - and the bombing of the outfit's Petersham clubhouse moments later.Fears that the 2am blast, which blew cars off the road and tore into the side of a nearby building, was an act of retaliation have been well founded. Since then, the battle between the Bandidos and Notorious has escalated.The Auburn shootings at 1am yesterday left two men aged 18 and 17 in hospital. The elder man was treated at Westmead for a gunshot wound to his leg, and the younger man, after being treated for cuts, was taken to Auburn police station for questioning, then released without charge.The attacks have come during a separate deadly street war between rival Lebanese families, the Darwiches and the Razzaks.

Henry Hill,mobster-turned-FBI informant, former North Platte resident, whose life inspired the movie "Goodfellas" is wanted


mobster-turned-FBI informant, former North Platte resident, whose life inspired the movie "Goodfellas" is wanted for failing to appear in court on tickets alleging he was drunk in public in San Bernardino.Henry Hill, 65, made quite a splash in North Platte after he moved here and presented a menu for a local Italian restaurant, Firefly.Hill faces two $25,000 arrest warrants. He says he wasn't aware he needed to be present in court Wednesday and had asked for a new hearing date because he was having hernia surgery."I was hoping the court would understand," Hill told The Press-Enterprise of Riverside from his San Fernando Valley home.The cases stem from two public intoxication arrests in May 2008. Hill said he was in alcohol rehabilitation at the time.Hill was again arrested in Los Angeles earlier this year and released before his arraignment because of jail crowding."I don't remember much of all that, but I've been sober a month now," he told the newspaper. "I don't want to drink anymore."The "Goodfellas" movie ends with Hill, played by Ray Liotta, entering federal witness protection after implicating fellow mobsters in murders and the 1978 heist of $5.8 million in cash from a Lufthansa Airlines vault in New York.Drug arrests led to Hill being removed from the federal program in the early 1990s.
The infamous mobster whose life story resulted in the movie “Goodfellas,” was charged in Lincoln County Court with multiple crimes during the time he lived here.
He was found guilty of possession of methamphetamine and numerous of counts of assault. After an argument with his estranged wife, Kelly, Hill then got into an argument with the former manager of the bar, Dale Norblad, who ordered Hill to leave. Hill repeatedly threatened bar patrons, brandished knives at his wife and others and allegedly cut the tires of his enemies. Drunk most of the time, Hill wore out his welcome in North Platte and spent more than six months in the Lincoln County jail. He fled after he was released for treatment in 2007. Hill has disappointed prosecutors before.By the time his story came out in the movie “GoodFellas” in 1990, Hill had been kicked out of the witness protection program. Since then, he has been convicted of drunken driving in Washington, where he and his second wife, Kelly, formerly lived. But Hill has been able to maintain a life of celebrity based on Scorese’s movie. Hill lived in North Platte several years, published a popular cookbook and helped design an Italian food menu for The Firefly restaurant. He also marketed his Sunday Gravy marinara sauce.'Goodfellas' ranks best in Brit mag's movie list Martin Scorsese's classic mobster movie "Goodfellas" is the greatest film of all time, according to experts at a British film magazine. The 1990 film, which is based on the exploits of real-life gangster Henry Hill and stars Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci - who won an Academy Award for his performance - was No. 1 in a Total Film magazine list published Monday. "'Goodfellas' has it all," the magazine said, "story, dialogue, performances, technique. It is slick, arguably the slickest film ever made. But it is also considered, layered and freighted with meaning."

Sydney's bikie warfare has exploded with a violent brawl between two gangs at Sydney Airport's domestic Qantas terminal

Sydney's bikie warfare has exploded with a violent brawl between two gangs at Sydney Airport's domestic Qantas terminal resulting in one man being bludgeoned to death in front of horrified passengers.The attack happened the same day a drive-by shooting in Sydney's west sent two men to hospital with police investigating if warfare between outlaw motorcycle gangs was to blame.Minutes after a group of men disembarked from a flight that landed about 1.30pm (AEDT) on Sunday, another group confronted them in the arrivals section of the domestic terminal.Witnesses told police an altercation ensued and lasted long enough to make its way upstairs to the departures area.One of the men picked up a portable bollard and repeatedly struck a 29-year-old man over the head, leaving him clinging to life just inside the doors of the terminal.Ambulance officers were called to the scene and treated the man before rushing him to Prince of Wales Hospital, where he later died.Naomi Constantine was waiting to go through security to board a flight to Melbourne when she witnessed the attack."They came running through picking up the big metal barrier poles and swinging them, swinging them like swords at each other," Ms Constantine told ABC Television."I saw one of the men lying on the ground and another man came up with a pole and just started smashing it into his head."Detective Inspector Peter Williams said the brawl involved 15 men from rival bikie gangs and was witnessed by up to 50 horrified passengers."It would appear a group of males have exited a plane and they were met by another group of males who we believe may be other motorcycle gang members," Det Insp Williams told reporters at the airport."A fight ensued, the fight moved through various parts of the terminal to the ultimate location where the man was deceased."Four men were arrested over the incident, while the others fled the airport - some in taxis, witnesses reported.The attack raised questions about the level of security at the Qantas terminal and the reaction time of security officers.
A Sydney Airport Corporation spokesman said: "That terminal is operated and managed by Qantas."A Qantas spokeswoman would not confirm whether the fight began in the departure lounge or outside the security screening area.She was also unable to confirm whether security guards were working within the terminal at the time.
"I'm not at liberty to comment on that," the spokeswoman told AAP.An unnamed passenger told the Nine Network that response from airport security "took a long time to get there".Traffic into the airport was reduced to a crawl for hours at the domestic terminals after roads leading to the T3 departures were cordoned off as a crime scene.The attack followed an incident about 1am (AEDT) on Sunday at Auburn, in Sydney's west, where seven houses in three streets were sprayed with gunfire.An 18-year-old man was shot in the leg and a 17-year-old male was treated for lacerations and then arrested but later released.Police seized two vehicles for forensic examination and said the houses were most likely caught in crossfire and not deliberately targeted.The NSW opposition wants the government to crack down on bikie violence, and introduce tough legislation similar to new South Australian laws.The laws are designed to dismantle criminal bikie gangs by declaring membership or association with outlawed clubs, illegal. The act also includes new charges, which carry up to 10 years jail, for bikie club members and their associates who engage in group violence."This horrific episode must finally force (Premier) Nathan Rees to stop standing by and doing nothing as criminal bikie gang members murder each other in broad daylight in public and put the wider community at risk," Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell told AAP.NSW Police Minister Tony Kelly said the government would consider the South Australia legislation."I will be meeting with the police commissioner and the attorney-general looking at additional laws that we can bring into place to round these people up," Mr Kelly told reporters in Sydney.

28-year-old man has died following a brawl at Sydney Airport on Sunday, in what is believed to be a gang related incident.

28-year-old man has died following a brawl at Sydney Airport on Sunday, in what is believed to be a gang related incident. The brawl started when two men who arrived into Sydney Airport and were met by rival motorcycle gang members. Police have arrested four men in connection with the fight in which eyewitnesses described how airport barrier poles were used as makeshift weapons.

fullscale gunfight between the warring Comancheros and Bandido motorcycle gangs.

Milperra Massacre wars in full public view threatens to return Sydney to one of the darkest periods of its modern history.The battle at Sydney airport and rival gangs taking their blood feuds into suburban streets takes the city back to an infamous Father's Day almost 25 years ago.In a gun battle that has gone down in criminal folklore as the Milperra Massacre, two bikie gangs turned a local pub carpark into a killing ground. They fought with automatic weapons, shotguns, chains, knives, baseball bats, iron bars and knuckledusters.It happened at a bike swap meet attended by many of Sydney's motorcycle fraternity. On sale were bike and car parts - second hand, new and hot.First reports on that sleepy Sunday afternoon said a man had gone berserk with a rifle at the Viking Tavern in Milperra and "a few shots" had been fired. But the "few shots" were the start of a fullscale gunfight between the warring Comancheros and Bandido motorcycle gangs.There was tension in the air as the Comancheros arrived at the tavern about 1pm, all heavily armed. Soon after, 30 Bandidos rumbled into the carpark, rifles and shotguns in scabbards fixed across their handlebars. A back-up van followed carrying more weapons.Both sides lined up at opposite ends of the car park.The bloodshed began with a signal from William George "Jock" Ross who had founded the Comancheros in 1968.Waving a machete in the air, Ross bellowed the order: "Kill 'em all."Shotgun blasts were drowned out by screams of terror and cries of abuse as the two gangs went at each other.Bystanders ran screaming from the scene while others hid behind trees and parked cars or ran into the hotel. More than 200 police were called but the battle continued for another 10 minutes while they tried to stop it.When the smoke cleared four Comancheros and two Bandidos were dead. An innocent victim caught in the crossfire was 14-year-old Leanne Walters, who was attending the swap meet with a friend. She was hit in the face by a .357 magnum bullet.Four bikies died from shotgun blasts and two from .357 magnum rifle shots. Another 20 people were admitted to hospital.
The scene in the Viking Tavern carpark that afternoon was horrific.Fallout from the gun battle over the coming years would be widespread.Inspector Ron Stephenson, called away from a family barbecue when the call came through from the police radio room, was not hit by any bullet but he became one of the casualties.Memories of the massacre would remain with him for the rest of his days. Another, Mark Pennington, one of the first on the scene, was awarded $380,000 for psychological damage.
One of the bikie leaders hanged himself in his prison cell.The Milperra Massacre was precipitated by the last mass defection among the powerful bikie gangs when a breakaway group of Comancheros formed the first Bandidos chapter in Australia. But quite a number of the gang members who took part in the battle that day belied their popular image of unwashed and dirty misfits.Among those at Milperra was a truck driver, a pay clerk, a marine engineer and an optical mechanic. One ran a family plumbing business, another played classical piano.The carnage was followed by the longest joint criminal trial in NSW history. Armed members of the tactical response group were stationed in the courtroom and police involved needed armed guards to get them home safely.On June 12, 1987, nearly three years later, a jury delivered 63 murder convictions, 147 of manslaughter and 31 of affray. Nine bikies, including Jock Ross, received life sentences.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Corey Ray Johnson, 25-year-old Joseph Kevin Dixon and 24-year-old David Lee Jr.have been found guilty of several counts each of first-degree murder

Three reputed gang members have been found guilty of several counts each of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of a young man and pregnant young woman.
Verdicts came out Friday in the trial that lasted about five months. The suspects were also found guilty of many gang-related charges.It took all morning for the verdicts to be read for 22-year-old Corey Ray Johnson, 25-year-old Joseph Kevin Dixon and 24-year-old David Lee Jr.The three were found guilty in the murders of 21-year-old James Wallace and 19-year-old Vanessa Alcala, who was several months pregnant.They were shot on McNew Court in April 2007.Alcala's family said she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and sister Leticia Veleta was pleased with the guilty verdicts."Very happy, very happy," Veleta said. "We got a good outcome of it."
Veleta said she thinks the guilty verdicts on the gang-related charges send an important message."Hopefully people that are in gangs, they don't have to kill innocent people just because of a gang," Veleta said. "It's not worth it, do something else better with their lives than just kill innocent people."Verdicts were read for Johnson first, but as the judge spoke to the jury about their findings, Johnson denied he was involved."Guilty of what?" he blurted out. "(Expletive) that. Get me out of here."Guards hustled Johnson out of the courtroom.More than a dozen officers ringed the courtroom to provide extra security during the verdict reading. Many of the officers were from the Kern County Sheriff's Gang unit. Extra officers were posted in the hallway and even on the first floor of the courthouse.During a break in the session, relatives of the defendants sobbed in the hallway. None wanted to make any comments. Others muffled sobs in the courtroom when the verdicts were read for Lee.Another of Alcala's sisters said there was justice for the victims but thinks the suspects should pay a steeper price."Their families can still write to them and come visit them and stuff," sister Mayra Pulido said. "We can't bring her back. I feel they should honestly get death."Defense Attorney James Faulkner said the defendants will not face the death penalty. Prosecutor Cynthia Zimmer said the gang charges in the case will mean the three can be sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.All three defendants were found guilty on a variety of gang-related charges. That included charges and enhancements like committing murder "for the benefit of" or "in association with" a criminal street gang.Judge Gary Friedman thanked the jury for their work on the long trial. He presented each juror with a special certificate of commendation, and said the court thanked them for their "courageous and dedicated" service.

Johnson, Lee and Dixon are set to be back in court on April 20 for sentencing.

Prosecutor Cynthia Zimmer said this case is important, and a critical part of it were the witnesses who testified at a gang trial.

"We had two witnesses in this case who bravely came forward, who helped us," Zimmer said. "And if we hadn't had them, we wouldn't have had gotten this conviction. So, witnesses that are out there and they know information about gang crimes, you can come forward, (and) we can help you."

Ismael Garcia Jr. of Warden has been shot to death in a fight between two gangs at a park in Othello

young man has been shot to death in a fight between two gangs at a park in Othello.
School officials in the small Eastern Washington town were asked to keep students indoors as a precaution Thursday, a day after the shooting in Taggares (tah-GEH'-ruhs) Park.The dead man was identified as 19-year-old Ismael Garcia Jr. of Warden.
According to a news release from Adams County Sheriff Douglas Barger, two gangs met at the park late Wednesday and a fight developed. Investigators say the shooting was reported at 6:21.Garcia was taken by friends to Othello Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Barger writes that the other group fled on foot.The sheriff says he expects to determine who was responsible and make an arrest.

Dennis Karbovanec has been under constant surveillance by the cops after being targeted for death by a rival gang.

Suspected gangster Dennis Karbovanec has left Port Moody.Port Moody mayor Joe Trasolini says it's a relief Karbovanec is gone and while Jonathan Bacon still lives there, he hopes no other suspected gang members come to town. “We have pride in our safe community, the police department has a motto 'No Call Too Small' and we will focus on these types of individuals, so you know you are not welcome here. If you decide to come here, then we will make life a little too uncomfortable so you might as well think twice before coming here, and if you're here - get out of town.”Police know where Karbovanec has gone but won't say what his new address will be.Karbovanec is known to hang out with the notorious Bacon brothers and he's been under constant surveillance by the cops after being targeted for death by a rival gang.

Warring families and feuding bikie gangs in Sydney's south-west have been fuelled by the discovery of a pistol in a breastfeeding mother's handbag

Warring families and feuding bikie gangs in Sydney's south-west have been fuelled by the discovery of a pistol in a breastfeeding mother's handbag, a gun under a car seat and a list of potential targets.Detectives attached to Strike Force Lieutenant have spent the last week trying to keep a lid on simmering resentment and anger following the murder of Abdul Qadier Darwiche, 37, a father of four, last Saturday.
Darwiche's brother, Moustafa "Michael", was arrested on Thursday night with a hidden loaded gun and the addresses of relatives of the main suspect in the killing, Mohammed "Blackie" Fahda, a court heard.The 40-year-old father of five and a friend, Michael Darwick, 36, were arrested in Bankstown with a loaded Glock pistol allegedly hidden underneath the rear seat. In the car was also a piece of paper with five addresses of people with the name Fahda and an article about Abdul Darwiche's murder, Bankstown Local Court was told.Police allege the men, who said they were going to McDonald's, were "in the proximity" of one of those addresses when they were stopped.But Michael's barrister, Michael Coroneos, told the court his client had no knowledge of the gun and was a passenger in the car.Police appealed yesterday for anyone who saw Fahda not to approach him. They said they believed he was still in Sydney."We urgently need to speak with Mohammed 'Blackie' Fahda in order for the investigation to proceed," said the commander of the Homicide Squad, Detective Superintendent Geoff Beresford.Superintendent Beresford also called on the families not to take the law into their own hands.In a statement tendered during Michael's bail hearing yesterday police also alleged the Darwiches, the Fahdas and members of another family, the Razzaks, "have previously and are currently suspected of being involved in various levels of organised crime … and are believed responsible for a number of incidents of violence"

Howard Anthony Fowler, 43, of 6536 Young St. appeared in Halifax provincial court Friday afternoon and was remanded until a bail hearing can be held

"We have been investigating the possibility of a new motorcycle club establishing itself in (Halifax Regional Municipality)," Ms. Rath said. "But to what extent that club may be affiliated with outlaw motorcycle gangs has yet to be determined."A traffic stop involving a taxi passenger in Halifax on Thursday night led to a middle-aged man being charged with drug and weapons offences, police said Friday.The cab was pulled over near the corner of Chebucto Road and Windsor Street at 11:35 p.m., said Theresa Rath, a spokeswoman for Halifax Regional Police.She said the taxi was pulled over because officers had earlier seen the suspect getting into it. She couldn’t say if other passengers were in the cab.Police later executed a search warrant at a Young Street address and seized drugs, including cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana, and weapons and ammunition.According to a court document, police found a loaded gun, a sawed-off shotgun, a switchblade and brass knuckles.Howard Anthony Fowler, 43, of 6536 Young St. appeared in Halifax provincial court Friday afternoon and was remanded until a bail hearing can be held Tuesday.Sources say Mr. Fowler has Ontario connections and alleged ties to biker gangs.

Bar Watch Member(s) will die. 1 down and 12 to go

A wave of gang violence linked to 16 deaths this year across the Vancouver region, in dozens of shooting incidents, demonstrates that limits on violence have "eroded" to the point that shootings can happen anywhere, Mr. Barry said. That makes the program more valuable, he added.

One of British Columbia's most venerable restaurant chains is standing firmly by a program that targets gang members among its customers, despite one of its establishments in the Fraser Valley being shot up yesterday.The attack, which occurred before the Earls restaurant opened yesterday morning, was clearly a response to Bar Watch operations that have seen bar and restaurant owners share information with police to identify known gang members, who can then be monitored or urged to leave.Someone fired a reported eight shots into the restaurant - in Chilliwack, 100 kilometres east of Vancouver - and spray-painted "Bar Watch Member(s) will die. 1 down and 12 to go" on the building."You've got a building that has been shot up ... with a fairly direct message painted onto that building. I think that's something to take fairly seriously," said RCMP Corporal Peter Thiessen. Earls vice-president Mark Barry said the fact that someone felt strongly enough to take this action speaks to the "effectiveness" of the program, of which the Chilliwack eatery was a member.Roughly half of Earls's 50 restaurants are located across British Columbia, making the chain launched in 1982 a popular dining institution in the province.Ryan MacDonald, chair of the Upper Fraser Valley Bar Watch, declined to comment yesterday on the incident or talk about his group's work, but issued a statement saying the role is to create "safe environments" for the staff and community to eliminate the "threat of violence, abusive language and intimidating behaviours of others."Mr. Barry said that "we think the best way of protecting the safety of our customers and our people is to participate in this program and prevent criminals and gang members from accessing our restaurants and being in our restaurants." He said the restaurant would take a few hours to clean up, then reopen for business.Cpl. Thiessen said an investigation is well under way. "We've got some suspects in mind we're certainly going to try and make contact with," he said.
RCMP, who are effectively the municipal police force in Chilliwack, will step up patrols around the restaurant this weekend.The incident was an unexpected twist yesterday in a continuing gang conflict - what Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu has described as a "brutal" gang war - that has been linked to at least 30 shooting incidents this year. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has used Metro Vancouver as a backdrop to announce new anti-gang legislation.Cpl. Thiessen said the RCMP have a sense of what prompted the incident."We have good reason to believe this is linked to some previous interaction that may have occurred in this particular community, whether it be at this Earls or anyplace else, involving the removal of individuals we feel are associated to gang activity," he said.He said police appear to be making a mark on gang members. "It appears we're having an impact and they are feeling the pressure and [are] uncomfortable and we are disrupting their routines and it would appear, maybe, they are not liking it too much."

killing of underworld figure Abdul Darwiche and a string of bikie-related drive-by shootings has put the police on high alert.

killing of underworld figure Abdul Darwiche and a string of bikie-related drive-by shootings has put the police on high alert. An internal memo, penned by south-west region commander Assistant Commissioner Frank Menelli, has been distributed to officers in trouble-prone areas, urging them to take extra care. The shooting of Mr Darwiche, 37, at a Bass Hill service station has rocked Sydney's Islamic community and sparked fears of imminent reprisal attacks. As detectives work overtime to calm tensions, a parallel feud among outlaw motorcycle gangs has broken out, with fresh attacks around Blacktown. "I thought it was appropriate,'' he said. "I worry about my officers and I tell them to be careful, but I haven't told anyone to back down.''
Mr Menelli said the fresh violence, coupled with events that have seen officers injured in the last week, prompted him to issue the memo. "Bearing in mind the current issues relating to OCMGs (Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs) and other tensions, I told them to make sure they're aware of officer safety when dealing with people,'' he said. Police have praised the Islamic community for being forthcoming with information and working with detectives to further their investigations. Immediately after Mr Darwiche's death, officers met with a wall of silence from family members, who refused to reveal who they thought was responsible. It has emerged that, to ease tensions, a senior officer ushered key family members away from the crime scene to a motel instead of a police station. There, after booking a room, calming tensions and ordering coffee, he gained their trust and asked them to privately explain what was unfolding. Within two hours, the entire story and the gravity of the situation was laid on the table. Detectives believe Mr Darwiche's shooting can be linked to the murder of 25-year-old Ahmad Fadha in 2003. Mr Fadha was an associate of the Razzak family, which at the time was involved in a bitter turf war with the Darwiches over drugs. Late last week, police formally issued a plea for Ahmad Fahda's younger brother, Mohammed "Blackie'' Fahda, 24, to come forward about the shooting. Mohammed Fahda remains in hiding, but is not thought to have fled the country.
A detective close to the investigation said an alert had been circulated through agencies, to ensure police are contacted if Mr Fadha makes an attempt to board a flight out of Australia. Police strike force teams were quickly assembled once investigators established the high likelihood of retaliatory attacks. Detectives are fearful that imminent reprisals are on the cards. Last week Mr Darwiche's elder brother, Michael, 40, and another man, Michael Darwick, 36, were arrested at Punchbowl. When police searched their BMW, they allegedly found a map, a gun and names and addresses of Fahda family members. Later that night, two drive-by shootings, which may be linked to the Notorious bikie gang, occurred near Blacktown.
The gang is believed to be linked to the bombing of a Hells Angels clubhouse at Petersham, as well as a shooting at a new Nomads clubhouse in Chalder Ave, Marrickville last month. Marrickville police have made little progress into the Nomads shooting because of the "code of silence'' strictly adhered to by the bikies.
They have approached Marrickville Council about shutting down the venue, which police allege was set up as a car-repair shop but is being used for late-night parties.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Shane Coates and Stephen Sugg disappeared in January 2004 after leaving their homes in Torrevieja, Alicante.

Shane Coates and Stephen Sugg were two of the most ruthless and violent criminals ever involved in the Irish gangland scene.
Their Westies gang, based in the Dublin suburb of Blanchardstown, controlled a massive drugs empire in west Dublin in the late 1990s and early years of this decade. "These guys could go from being calm to high-order violence like the flick of a switch. They were real psychopaths," said a retired garda who investigated their activities.Drug users who bought from anybody else in their area were often being beaten or tortured. Street dealers who agreed to sell for other gangs were also dealt with in a similar fashion.
In 1999, heroin addict Derek 'Smiley' McGuinness was severely beaten and had his face sliced open with a Stanley knife because he couldn't pay a small debt. A middle-aged addict had her breasts cut with a knife and cigarettes stubbed out on her body. Another addict was thrown off a balcony in the Ballymun flats. Miraculously, he survived.The gang's outrageous violence and drug dealing quickly saw their members becoming priority targets for the gardai.
Coates was ambushed by armed officers at a safe house in Co Cavan in 2003.He received a gunshot injury in the ensuing shootout, but was able to escape across the fields and eventually made it to Spain, where he was later joined by Sugg.
They later disappeared in January 2004 after leaving their homes in Torrevieja, Alicante.Their bodies were found in July 2006 when their skeletal remains were discovered buried in concrete under a warehouse in Catral, near Alicante.

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