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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

An Oakland-affiliated gang member had performed a "turf dance" on the Library dance floor that enraged members of the Fourth Avenue Bloods, or FABS.

An Oakland-affiliated gang member had performed a "turf dance" on the Library dance floor that enraged members of the Fourth Avenue Bloods, or FABS.Some of the FABs attacked him, according to court testimony. Bouncers hustled the combatants outside. In the parking lot, the Oakland man who had been pummeled on the dance floor tried to run over the Sacramento gang members, including Falls, with his car, witnesses said.Police say Falls then fired at the car, with one of his bullets killing Kebret Tekle.At Falls' preliminary hearing, Maclafferty testified that over the past year there have been "numerous shootings going back and forth" between Blood and G-Mobb-linked groups, including one identified as the Guttah Boys.One of those shootings, he said, resulted in a homicide "where a Fourth Avenue Blood was allegedly shot and killed by a Guttah Boy."The detective was referring to the Aug. 22 shooting death of Robert Haynes, 16, the Sacramento High football player who had past ties to the Oak Park gang. Marvel Montreal Barksdale, now 16, has been charged with murder in the case .Police say Barksdale belongs to the family from which founders of the G-Mobb emerged, and who were targets of a 2004 civil injunction aimed at running the clan out of Franklin Villa."It was our belief that the Barksdales (from Oakland) are the original members of the G-Mobb, having brought the gang element from Oakland," Sacramento police Officer Jonathan Wycinsky said in a July 28, 2004, sworn declaration filed as part of the civil injunction the city obtained.The complaint in Barksdale's murder case identified him as "an active participant in a criminal street gang, to wit, (the) Guttah Boys."Haynes' mother said in an interview that she knew nothing about the conflict."All I know is I lost my son, and it was over something stupid," Renita Haynes said. "Every day I walk around, there's a hole in my heart. A part of me is missing, and it's senseless."Haynes said her son had been trying to pull back from a bad past. Sacramento High officials said Haynes was earning good grades and was performing well on the football field before he was killed.Marvel Barksdale's lawyer, David Klemer, declined to comment on the case.
The teenage defendant's grandmother, Ollie Barksdale, confirmed he is a member of the same family targeted in the Franklin Villa injunction. She also said she thinks her grandson is innocent.The third homicide attributed to the G-Mobb-Fourth Avenue faceoff was the June 11, 2006, downtown killing of Eric Anthony Young, 19. He was gunned down on Sixth and L streets, outside the Macy's entrance to Downtown Plaza, a very public slaying that shook bystanders.A Sacramento jury in April convicted a Fourth Avenue Blood named Miguel Soto Enriquez, who was 16 at the time of the shooting. Judge Michael P. Kenny sentenced Enriquez to life with no parole.Witnesses told police investigators that Enriquez's friends had confronted Young's group, which included at least two G-Mobb members. The two sides had prepared for a fistfight when Enriquez pulled a gun and shot Anthony and another youth, witnesses said. The second youth suffered critical injuries but survived.Eric Young's mother, Sarah, prepared a statement read on her behalf at the sentencing."Innocent people are getting murdered all around this city because of gang members like Miguel Soto Enriquez," she said. "The next time, it may be your family, loved ones or friends."

La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) ,Twenty-two individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area were indicted on federal racketeering charges

Twenty-two individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area were indicted on federal racketeering and other charges arising from their participation in La Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today. Seven additional individuals were also charged with non-racketeering offenses ranging from narcotics trafficking to firearms trafficking, and attempted exportation of stolen vehicles.
At a news conference in San Francisco, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Joseph P. Russoniello and ICE’s Director of Investigations Marcy M. Forman outlined details of the undercover investigation, dubbed “Operation Devil Horns,” in reference to MS-13’s gang sign. The investigation culminated today with the unsealing of the 52-count indictment following the arrest yesterday of 26 of the indicted suspects. In addition, two other individuals linked to the case were arrested yesterday based upon charges contained in a criminal complaint. Finally, agents involved in the take down also took custody of two suspects wanted on outstanding murder warrants by the San Francisco Police Department
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The indictment alleges that 22 of the defendants are members of MS-13 based in San Francisco’s Mission District and Richmond, Calif., who agreed to conduct the affairs of the gang by engaging in a variety of criminal offenses, including murder, attempted murder, assault, robbery, extortion, witness tampering, narcotics trafficking and the interstate transportation of stolen vehicles. According to the indictment, the investigation linked the defendants to various acts of violence committed in San Francisco and elsewhere, including murder and attempted murder. In addition to filing charges under the RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations), seven of the defendants in the case are also accused of committing seventeen specific violent crimes in aid of racketeering (VICAR), including one count involving murder.

“There can be no doubt that the greatest threat to the peace and well-being of so many of our communities in this district and throughout the country, for that matter, is the lethal cocktail of drugs, gangs and guns. And among the gangs we in law enforcement are determined to bring to heel, none is more vicious, dangerous and indifferent to the rule of law than MS-13. They may see themselves as heroes, may try to recruit members by emphasizing their ‘machismo’ and terrorize the community by engaging in acts of wanton violence, but they are neither invisible nor invincible,” said U.S. Attorney Russoniello. “This coordinated effort by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies is but one more steady step in the process of taking back our communities and giving young people the chance to make meaningful good long-life choices…alternatives to the often short-term gratification that membership in a gang at best, offers.
“While we are committed, we are not naive. Some may try to fill the vacuum this take-down creates. For them, I suspect they will face the same fate as these defendants do, though they may not have to wait as long to be brought to justice. To any who still view these gangsters as heroes, I suggest they acquaint themselves with the location of and visitor schedules for federal prisons. They’ll likely be spending a lot of their time there in the next several years.”This investigation and the ensuing arrests have dealt a serious blow to what is arguably one of the most ruthless gang cliques currently operating in the Bay Area,” said Marcy M. Forman, director of the ICE office of investigations. “As this case shows, transnational gangs like MS-13 thrive on violence, violence that is often fueled by profits from their illegal activities. Left unchecked, these activities threaten the welfare and safety of our communities. Our goal in targeting these dangerous street gangs is to disrupt their criminal activities and ultimately to dismantle the entire organization.”

As part of the investigation, ICE set up an undercover storefront in Richmond disguised as an export warehouse. From that location, an undercover officer, posing as a corrupt car exporter, purchased 16 vehicles which had been allegedly stolen by MS-13 members and their associates from California residents. In addition, an undercover officer also purchased several firearms from one of the defendants between 2006 and 2007.
During the course of three years, the investigation led to the seizure of more than 20 weapons, including three high-powered assault rifles, two machine pistols and three shotguns. One of those shotguns was equipped with a high capacity “magazine drum,” allowing the weapon to be loaded with more than 20 rounds of ammunition at a time. In addition, agents involved in the case made nine separate narcotics seizures involving cocaine and methamphetamine.
In a large-scale, targeted enforcement action carried out yesterday in San Francisco and in the Reno, Nev., area, federal, state and local agents and officers executed nearly two dozen search warrants and 20 arrest warrants related to the case. In addition, agents served search and arrest warrants at eight correctional facilities in California where 15 of the defendants named in the indictment were already incarcerated on other charges.Officers and agents from numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies provided substantial support during yesterday’s enforcement action, including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the California Highway Patrol; the California Department of Justice; the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement; the San Mateo County Gang Task Force; and the Richmond, San Francisco and South San Francisco police departments. ICE received assistance with the investigation itself from the DEA; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the FBI; the California Highway Patrol; the San Francisco Police Department; and other local law enforcement agencies. In addition, the El Salvadoran National Police and ICE’s Attaché Office in El Salvador aided with the case by conducting searches and interviews of MS-13 associates in El Salvador.In addition to yesterday’s criminal arrests, ICE agents also took 11 gang members and gang associates into custody on administrative immigration violations. Those individuals will be held by ICE pending a deportation hearing before an immigration judge.The arrests announced today are not the first stemming from the ongoing investigation. During the course of the probe, 17 gang members have been taken into custody on criminal charges, including firearms violations and re-entry after deportation. Some of those individuals are among those named in the new RICO indictment.The investigation leading to yesterday’s arrests is part of Operation Community Shield, a comprehensive initiative launched by ICE in 2005 to disrupt and dismantle transnational street gangs. Under Operation Community Shield, ICE partners with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to target these violent organizations and their members for arrest, prosecution, and, where applicable, deportation. Since 2005, ICE has arrested more than 11,100 gang members and associates from 890 different gangs as part of Operation Community Shield. Of those arrested, 145 were gang leaders. To date, 3,997 have been charged criminally, and 7,109 have been charged with immigration violations and processed for removal.The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Wai Shun Wilson Leung of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California and Trial Attorney Laura Gwinn of the Criminal Division’s Gang Squad.An indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, these defendants must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Joseph Allen Garcia added to the 15 Most Wanted Fugitive List


Joseph Allen Garcia added to the 15 Most Wanted Fugitive List, according to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police. Garcia is wanted in Texas on charges of murder, manslaughter, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and failure to appear. He is also wanted on a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. In December 2003, Garcia and two associates allegedly traveled to a residence in Laredo, Texas, with the intent of provoking a fight with another group of young men. Upon arriving at the residence, Garcia reportedly pulled out an AK-47 assault rifle and opened fire into the group, killing 18-year-old Mario Gonzalez and wounding three others. Authorities arrested Garcia the day after the murder, but he was out on bond within weeks. Garcia was into trouble again by August 2004, when he allegedly shot and wounded a young man after an argument over stereo speakers. Garcia was arrested for attempted murder and again posted bond. He was later indicted for murder when the young man died from his wounds. Four months later in December 2004, authorities arrested Garcia for possession of drugs. He posted bond and apparently decided to try life on the run. Garcia was scheduled to appear in court in March 2005, but he was a no-show and authorities have been looking for him ever since. In January 2006, the Laredo Police Department and the Webb County Sheriff’s Department contacted the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force – Laredo Division for assistance in locating and apprehending Garcia. He was classified as a U.S. Marshals Major Case until being upgraded today to the 15 Most Wanted. “Garcia has displayed a propensity for violence and continues to live a life of crime. Capturing him is one of our highest priorities,” said Director John F. Clark of the U.S. Marshals Service. “We will use all available resources to bring this violent criminal to justice.”Authorities suspect Garcia is a member of the Zetas, the enforcers for the Mexican Gulf Cartel. Garcia also is known to be associated with the Mexican mafia and is believed to be involved in the drug trade. He is likely living in Mexico and making frequent crossings into California and Texas. Garcia is a 21-year-old Hispanic male, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds. He has brown eyes and black hair. He has scars on his left eye, chest and right ankle.

Steven Andrew Jordal,former Soldier was supposedly making improvised explosive devices to sell to gang members

Steven Andrew Jordal, 24, was an infantry tank specialist in the U.S. Army from 2002 to 2007. He received the Army's Good Conduct medal, along with several other medals, badges and ribbons, the military confirmed. The investigation and arrest was prompted by a tip that the former Soldier was supposedly making improvised explosive devices to sell to gang members, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Oklahoma City police took interest in Jordal when they received a tip he was selling IEDs to criminals. IEDs have emerged in Iraq as the weapon of choice for insurgents against U.S. forces.For as little as $100, Jordal was making the same kinds of weapons he saw used against his fellow soldiers in Iraqi and selling them on the streets of Okalahoma City to gang members and known criminals, according to the document.
The police informant had seen Jordal testing explosives in an area near N. Western and 122 Street and said Jordal had custom- made a device for someone who wanted to damage the vehicle of someone who owed money on a drug deal.

With that information, police located Jordal on Monday evening and found him in possession of a device he allegedly intended to sell, and also found several concealed weapons including a loaded .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun, the affidavit said. It is unclear if Jordal will be facing federal or state charges.
Police said Jordal admitted to making multiple IEDs and that he had tried to sell them. He said he was selling the device police caught him with for $100, and that he knew it would be used in the very least to cause property damage. It was during the same interview that Jordal gave consent to search his house and vehicle, where police said they expected to find more IEDs and explosive components. Police are not disclosing what if anything they found in the search of his house. Jordal was arrested Monday on complaints of manufacturing explosives with the intent to sell them. It is unclear if he will be facing federal or state charges.

Monday, 29 December 2008

“Lady Red” has been charged with two homicides


15-year-old Bronx girl who goes by the street name “Lady Red” has been charged with two homicides, including the death of a man whose body was found stuffed in a garbage bag.Sharell Butler was arraigned late Saturday and charged with murder in the deaths of 24-year-old Christopher Umpierre on Dec. 19 and 22-year-old John Hopkins-Drago on Dec. 21.A Bronx building superintendent found Hopkins-Drago’s dismembered body on Barnes Avenue. Police believer Butler killed him as part of some kind of retaliation. The teenager was charged with manslaughter and assault in addition to homicide in the case of Hopkins-Drago. The medical examiner’s office said the cause of death was stab wounds to his head, torso and extremities.
Prosecutors said Umpierre was shot in the chest during a home invasion robbery involving Butler and a second suspect. She was charged with second-degree murder, burglary, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon in Umpierre’s homicide.
Butler was arraigned in Bronx criminal court and was being held without bail, said Steven Reed, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office. Police said Buttler is a member of a street gang – “The Bloods,” which is one of the street gangs originally founded in Los Angeles. The gang has more than 15,000 members nationwide, according to the Department of Justice.

Gang-related murder charges were approved against Jose Rodriguez in the shooting death of Gino Kuelbs

Murder charges were approved against Jose Rodriguez in the shooting death of Gino Kuelbs, according to police. Rodriguez, of the 2800 block of South Quinn Street, is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing in Violence Court (Br. 66) at noon Monday.
Kuelbs, 20, of 3209 S. Carpenter St., died of a gunshot wound to the neck, according to a Saturday autopsy. He was pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center at 5:34 a.m. Saturday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office, which ruled his death a homicide.

Kuelbs and another person were shot in the 2800 block of Quinn Street about 4:50 a.m., according to police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli, who said officers responding to a call of an arson at the address found the shooting scene. Police said Rodriguez allegedly shot Kuelbs and another man after the two allegedly tried to set Rodriguez's car on fire outside Rodriguez's home. After 4 or 5 failed attempts because of a torrential downpour at the time, they began leaving but Rodriguez, a member of a rival gang, shot them both. Rodriguez initially told police he was defending himself and protecting his property, but police viewed pictures from an elaborate security system Rodriguez had set up. The footage showed him allegedly shooting and killing Kuelbs and wounding the other man, according to police. The other man, 30, was reported to be in good condition, police said.
Mirabelli confirmed the incident appeared to have been gang-related.

Two-year international operation has ended with the arrest in Australia of a man alleged to be the head of a drug trafficking syndicate

Federal police say a two-year international operation has ended with the arrest in Australia of a man alleged to be the head of a drug trafficking syndicate spanning three continents.The man was formally charged on December 26 and is due to face a Melbourne court today following his extradition from the Netherlands.Australian Federal Police (AFP) allege he headed a drug syndicate operating out of Australia, Canada and the Netherlands by conspiring to import cocaine using a large network of couriers carrying the drug internally.AFP’s national manager border international Tim Morris said the effort and persistence of his organisation and its international law-enforcement partners in Canada, Thailand and the Netherlands had disrupted a global drug trafficking syndicate.“The commitment by these AFP investigators and their international counterparts led to the arrest of a key player in this global drug syndicate,” Assistant Commissioner Morris said in a statement.“The syndicate targets people who are vulnerable, either financially or because of their own drug dependency, to participate in the extremely risky and dangerous method of swallowing drug parcels for concealment from authorities.”Police said 12 people connected to the syndicate had been arrested in Australia and overseas so far.

supergrass, who has provided evidence against accused murderer Tony Mokbel and corrupt Victorian drug squad detectives, was extradited to Victoria

The supergrass,has provided evidence against accused murderer Tony Mokbel and corrupt Victorian drug squad detectives, was extradited to Victoria from the Netherlands on Boxing Day.gangland supergrass alleged to be the head of a drug trafficking syndicate spanning three continents has told a court that he fears for his safety.Australian Federal Police (AFP) allege the man, 41, headed a drug syndicate operating out of Australia, Canada and the Netherlands by conspiring to import cocaine using a large network of couriers who would swallow parcels of the drug.Police say the extradition brings to an end a two-year international operation, spanning three continents.

The supergrass appeared amid high security at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday behind a protective shield and flanked by security personnel.

He told the court he feared for his safety and successfully argued that his name and image should be suppressed from media publication."The biased reporting that has occurred in the past has endangered my safety and that of my family," the supergrass said.He then complained to Victoria's chief magistrate Ian Gray that a court sketch artist was continuing to draw his picture despite the order.At one point, the supergrass took his shirt off and put it over his head to prevent the artist from drawing his picture.After some brief argument over the suppression order, the case was adjourned until January 8 when the supergrass' lawyer will be available to attend court.Tim Morris, AFP's national manager, border international, said on Monday that the effort and persistence of his organisation and its international law enforcement partners in Canada, Thailand and the Netherlands had disrupted a global drug trafficking syndicate."The commitment by these AFP investigators and their international counterparts led to the arrest of a key player in this global drug syndicate," Assistant Commissioner Morris said in a statement."The syndicate targets people who are vulnerable, either financially or because of their own drug dependency, to participate in the extremely risky and dangerous method of swallowing drug parcels for concealment from authorities."Police said that, so far, 12 people connected to the syndicate had been arrested in Australia and overseas.The supergrass has been in custody in the Netherlands since his arrest in December last year.He was tracked to the Netherlands with the help of Dutch police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.The man was escorted back to Australia by AFP and Victoria police.It has been reported the supergrass was instrumental in bringing down Victoria's corrupt police drug squad in 2001.The supergrass also reportedly taped a conversation with Tony Mokbel for police.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Joshua Judd was found shot dead Thursday night in a car outside his home in Riviera Beach.

A flier featuring Joshua Judd solicits people for the making of the Gangstas & Thugs DVDs. Police said the fliers were an invitation for people to fight for the cameras.



Joshua Judd whose face once adorned the cover of the locally popular Gangstas & Thugs DVDs was found shot dead Thursday night in a car outside his home in Riviera Beach.Judd, 21, had been a suspect in at least one homicide and a long list of shootings and robberies, police said. He had been shot at least twice before, including a week before his death. He shrugged off tips from detectives to hide from retaliatory attacks. His aunt routinely called police pleading for them to save him before it was too late.Detectives who dealt with him for years saw a grim irony in the ambush-style death of a man who adorned the cover of a series of DVDs criticized for promoting violence."He knew he was going to get killed, and so did everyone else," West Palm Beach police Lt. Chuck Reed said. "It's fair to say he was one of the most violent guys in the city."You might not know it from his demeanor. In an interview with The Palm Beach Post last year he was soft-spoken and bashful, avoiding eye contact as he hid behind a curtain of moppy dreadlocks. He talked then of being an aspiring rapper and a father to his young daughter. He referred to a reporter as "Miss." He said he feared dying.But on the street his notoriety loomed larger than his lanky frame. Police called him a drug dealer and member of the violent Ace Click street gang.Investigators believe he was involved in the murder of Michael Jefferson, 26, on a West Palm Beach corner in 2004, and they suspect he had a role in several other shootings over the years.Detectives say they sometimes warned Judd after an attack that his enemies may come looking for him. But they were met with indifference."Many times I've gone out on the street to give him a heads-up," West Palm Beach police Detective Brian Arlotta said. "And he didn't care."
Judd's involvement in the Gangstas & Thugs DVDs raised his profile and drew the ire of police. In a parody recorded on one of the DVDs, he beats a masked "police officer" before going through his pockets and encouraging friends to steal the patrol car.He later complained that during subsequent arrests he was beaten by officers. In September 2007, West Palm Beach filed a civil injunction ordering him and other alleged members of the Ace Click gang not to hang out or congregate together.Since then, records show, he was arrested three times in Florida. All told, he was arrested 26 times as an adult.Authorities have made no arrests in his death.

Reuel Dishon Hulbert,Long Beach gang member killed three people during a months-long shooting spree sentenced

A Superior Court jury returned the verdict Tuesday in the penalty phase of trial for Reuel Dishon Hulbert, a black member of one of the city's oldest Asian gangs. Jurors could have recommended the death penalty.Long Beach gang member who killed three people during a months-long shooting spree will be spending the rest of his life in prison without possibility of parole.The same jury convicted Hulbert on Dec. 10 for the first-degree murders of Daniel Chantha, Woodtee Bunthong and Sakorn Phan in 2003 and 2004. He was also convicted of attempted murder for wounding a fourth man.Hulbert will be formally sentenced Jan. 29.

Feud between rival gangs results in shooting

Alexander Hollins, 18; Christopher Lawson, 21; and Alex J. Smith, 18, and Terrance Sligh, 20, were charged with assault and battery with the intent to kill and with pointing and presenting a handgun. Lott said the four suspects were armed and waited for the victim outside the Barrington Drive home. The suspects allegedly fired shots into the victim’s vehicle as he drove by, Lott said.Police said the shooting stemmed from a continuing feud between rival gangs.

15-year-old youth arrested overnight while driving a recently stolen vehicle says he's a member of SUR 13

15-year-old youth arrested overnight while driving a recently stolen vehicle says he's a member of SUR 13.The male teen was arrested about 4:25 a.m. in the 5400 block of Northside Road, off West Sugar Creek Road near the Derita community.Police say he was driving a car that had been reported stolen several hours earlier, a few blocks away on Tallu Road. After being taken into custody, the 15-year-old said he is a member of SUR 13, one of Charlotte's largest gangs.Police called in their Auto Theft and Gang Unit detectives to talk with the teen.

Fourteen suspected members of the Beltran Leyva drug gang were arrested at the cockfight in Zihuatanejo

Fourteen suspected members of the Beltran Leyva drug gang were arrested at the cockfight in Zihuatanejo, a Pacific beach town popular with foreign tourists, the Defense Department said in a statement.Soldiers also seized 59 packets of cocaine, 40 bags of marijuana and 20 assault rifles.Seven heavily armed police officers had been guarding the suspected drug traffickers, the department said. They included Zihuatanejo's deputy police chief, Timoteo Mata Cruz.Soldiers arrested the deputy police chief of a Mexican resort town and six other officers who were accused of protecting drug cartel members at a cockfight, the Defense Department said yesterday.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Mongol Hells Angels Wedding

Metro investigates a Saturday night knife fight between two rival biker gangs at a downtown wedding chapel, one of the victims is speaking out about the attack.
The man, whose identity we are keeping anonymous, is a Mongol.He says he was at A Special Memory Wedding Chapel to get married, when he came face to face with members of the Hells Angels. "We were friggen attacked, and we defended ourselves the best we could. It's real hard to do when you're outnumbered that bad, but that's alright. Mongol on," he said Sunday afternoon, after being released from surgery.
He tells us he was stabbed in the stomach three times, and his best man was also stabbed during the ordeal.According to him, the Hells Angels were just wrapping up a ceremony, as he was walking into the lobby with his fiance."I'd like to say the police and certain people are putting it out there that we did something wrong. That's not what it is. I came here to get married. I didn't even know that other people were here," he said.Meantime, the chapel's owner says it was just bad luck that both rival gangs had weddings scheduled within the same hour."There's 100,000 weddings a year in Las Vegas and how many across the world? To have two groups that close together, I think that's very odd," said Joshua Gust.
Metro continues to look for suspects. They have not released any information regarding any arrests.

Monday, 22 December 2008

four gangland-style killings in October

Ivana Hodak, 26, beautiful celebrity daughter of a socialite lawyer defending powerful clients with lots of enemies, was slain in broad daylight in central Zagreb on October 6.
four gangland-style killings in October, Croatia's powerful - and previously largely negated - underworld flexed its muscle and sent the authorities scurrying for emergency measures.
A professional hitman coolly walked off after delivering the fatal shots to her head and neck
- all this in broad daylight and not even 100 metres from the main police precinct. On October 23, a bomb killed Ivo Pukanic, an influential journalist and publisher with friends in the elite as much as the underworld - though nowadays the two worlds are not necessarily separated. A close friend died alongside him like collateral damage. Ahead of these killings, Prime Minister Ivo Sanader would have responded angrily when asked about organized crime, insisting there was no such thing in his country. After Hodak's murder, however, Sanader made his first-ever public reference to 'mafia,' though somewhat clumsily: 'We are no longer going to put up with organized crime and the mafia.' He then fired interior and justice ministers and and the head of police. Following the Pukanic killings, Sanader promised: 'Zagreb will not become Beirut ... I want to state clearly - nobody from the criminal milieu will be able to sleep calmly. 'It is us or them. This is terrorism,' President Stjepan Mesic said after Pukanic was killed, who was his personal friend. But that very day, another mafia murder - that time of a less-known member of the Zagreb jet-set and a shadowy businessman, was found parked in his jeep and with a bullet in his head. Why Croatian leaders appeared so surprised and suddenly outraged, remains unclear as roughly 80 other killings in the capital have remained unresolved from the previous 10 years. Although the motive of the Pukanic and other killings has not yet been determined clearly, police has uncovered am extended business of 'Murder-on demand'. Pukanic's killing was carried out by two Serbs working on a contract by an unidentified party in Croatia. 'We could describe that as 'Murders Incorporated,' an unidentified high-ranking state security official told the Jutarnji List daily. 'You order a murder and they do it, regardless of who the target is. The scheme is believed to involve the entire Balkans region including Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo and beyond, and involve other criminal activities such as the heroin trade, according to police. And Croats finally had to accept that the tentacles of organized crime penetrated their own society just as well as other countries in the region.
Those tentacles date from Croatia's 1991-95 independence war with Yugoslavia and Serb insurgents. The state - then under an arms embargo - turned to black marketeers and criminals to help it smuggle weapons for the fledgling army, in a multi-billion dollar business.
Many of the newly rich, their fortune expanded through trafficking of drugs, cigarettes, people and anything else on top of weapons, were also given a badge of social acceptance for their services.

A decade-and-a-half later, criminals have emerged as businessmen with millions laundered through construction, sports and even fine art collections. With a foe that rich, ruthless and legally clean, the state is virtually helpless, even state prosecutor Mladen Bajic admitted in confidential report to Sanader and Mesic that was leaked on October 19. Following its initial accumulation of wealth, organized crime 'permeated all pores of Croatian society,' Bajic warned. 'Mobsters became respectable businessmen. The assessment was a hard blow to Croatia's carefully nurtured image of a country which righteously fought a righteous war and remained clean in the process.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Nine members of the Crips street gang have been indicted on charges they burned down the Holly Shopping Center

Nine members of the Crips street gang have been indicted on charges they burned down the Holly Shopping Center in retaliation for the murder of local Crips founder Michael Asberry, possibly by someone from a rival street gang. The area around the center, also known as Holly Square, at 3365 Holly St., was a hangout for Bloods gang members. Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said at a news conference Friday morning that he had no doubt the indictment of the nine — eight of whom were arrested Thursday — will impact the Crips. "Anytime we do an indictment of this number of people, it is going to have an impact on any kind of street gang," he said. According to the indictment, a confrontation between the Crips and Bloods occurred at the Bash Night Club, 1902 Blake St., when it closed in the early hours of May 18. Asberry had been killed early on May 17 outside an Aurora apartment building by a still-unknown assailant. After the confrontation at Bash, a number of the Crips went to a 7-Eleven store and talked about burning down the Holly Shopping Center because of the killing of Asberry and because the Holly was "known as Bloods' turf," said the indictment. At the 7-Eleven, the group bought drinks in bottles, which they filled with gasoline to make Molotov cocktails. They drove to the shopping center, stuffed rags in the bottles, lit the rags and threw the bottles onto the roof, Morrissey said. The fire burned six businesses and leveled the shopping center. The damage was more than $2 million, the district attorney said.
Morrissey and Denver Police Chief Gerald Whitman said the arson was captured by a camera at a nearby library. Morrissey said the video showed that one of the Molotov cocktails rolled off the roof and hit the head of the person who threw it, causing his head to catch fire. Although that individual can't be identified, Morrissey said other surveillance cameras and photographs are "very helpful." Investigators said the case was broken on May 20 when Denver police Cpl. Dan Andrews pulled over a GMC conversion van in the 1400 block of East 37th Avenue for a tail-light violation and smelled gasoline coming from the van. The driver was identified as Katsina Roybal, one of the Crips suspected in the Holly fire. Two other Crips — Mitchell Walker and James Burleson — were passengers. The people accused of throwing the Molotov cocktails are Burleson, 20; Deangelo Calaway, 19; Mario Jennings, 19; Walker, 18; and Jimmy Hopkins, 22. Roybal, 19; David Tinsley, 22; Corsia Crosby, 20; and Marquis Jones, 22, acted as lookouts, according to the grand jury indictment.

reputed gangster Shaun Roberts was granted bail with strict conditions, including 24-hour house arrest pending four court appearances to face charges

On Friday, reputed gangster Shaun Roberts was granted bail with strict conditions, including 24-hour house arrest pending four court appearances to face charges -- including four counts of attempted murder -- in connection with the Nov. 16 gunplay.
Earlier in the week, a 17-year-old associate of Roberts, facing charges in the same shootout, was granted bail with a $20,000 bond and house arrest. Deputy Chief Murray Stooke concedes gang crimes have put Calgary in an unenviable place among the nation's major cities. "In 2008, we had the second-highest number of homicides in 30 years and about 35% involved gang activity," he said. "What we're mostly concerned about is we have a running battle between two gangs that has cost lives."
Statistics Canada findings show this city, along with Edmonton and Winnipeg, topped the nation for the number of gang homicides in 2007. That year, cops reported 117 homicides nationwide as gang-related, which includes killings of gang members as well as innocent bystanders. Gang killings accounted for about one in every five homicides in 2007. While the number of homicides in Canada dropped slightly from the year before, an increasing number of slayings are related to gang warfare. "There needs to be a dialogue on what can be done to increase public safety," Stooke said. "It's a national trend." And as such, he said it requires players on all levels of government, coast to coast, to look for more tools to offer solutions and safeguard the public from being caught in the crossfire.

Gang shooting in L.A. Two people were killed Saturday night

Two people were killed Saturday night in what police say was a gang shooting in South Los Angeles. The shooting started at about 9:30 p.m. on 50th Street near Central Avenue, Los Angeles police Sgt. Peter Gamino said. A man was shot while driving and crashed into a parked car, Los Angeles police spokesman Officer Jason Lee said. He died at the scene. Nearby, a woman walking home was struck and killed by a stray bullet. "It appears she was shot with a bullet intended for the initial victim," Lee said.

Russian neo-Nazis Gang filmed themselves beheading the men with a butcher knife while still alive.Video Report

two migrant workers were kidnapped and murdered by a gang of Russian neo-Nazis. The group filmed themselves beheading one of the men with a butcher knife while he was still alive. The other is forced to kneel in a freshly dug grave and is shot in the head. Both killings were posted on the internet and the footage ends with balaclava-clad men giving Nazi salutes. According to Sova, there have been more than 80 racist murders in Russia this year alone.Violence towards migrants is becoming worse as ethnic minorities flee the poverty of their homelands and flock to Russia. Sky News quoted Sova director Alexander Verkhovsky as saying: ‘Too many people in the 1990s had to look for some universal explanation instead of Communist ideology, and ethnic nationalism was a good universal explanation.

Syndicate boss "Mum" Cuong Thi Le, 50, received a maximum term of 12 1/2 years' jail with a minimum of 10 for trafficking

Syndicate boss "Mum" Cuong Thi Le, 50, received a maximum term of 12 1/2 years' jail with a minimum of 10 for trafficking almost 2.08kg of heroin between March and June, 2005. Hao Van Nguyen, 81, received a maximum eight-year sentence with a 4 1/2-year minimum for trafficking a large commercial quantity. Three other female traffickers -- My Cao, 40, Thi Truong, 55, and Nhung Ta, 33 - received sentences ranging from 3 1/2 to two years. All except Ta had pleaded not guilty. Le's son, Dung Le, had previously received a suspended sentence after pleading guilty. In the County Court last week Judge Geoff Chettle described Cuong Le as the principal of a "sophisticated drug empire". After Le's arrest in July 2005 police told an out-of-sessions court hearing she had turned over about $2 million through transactions at Crown that year. Le was subsequently added to a list of 32 Victorians banned for life from the casino. During raids on Le's gang, detectives found about $1 million worth of street-grade heroin and $50,000 in cash and casino chips. As part of her plea before being sentenced, Le claimed a gambling addiction led to her drug-trafficking exploits. Police had listened in on phone calls between gang members, who used codes during conversations to try to hide their activities.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Latin Kings members were aggravated because he had cooperated with police on a murder investigation and because he had disparaged the gang leader.

convicted Ruben Hernandez, 25, and Max Aguilar, 18, of murder for their roles in the death of Jorge Caro, 21, also of Aurora.When Caro showed up at a Latin Kings party on Sept. 3, 2005, gang members were aggravated because he had cooperated with police on a murder investigation and because he had disparaged the gang leader. But, according to testimony, what sent gang members over the edge was that Caro used the Latin Kings handshake, even though he wasn't officially a member. The gang's leader ordered Caro beaten for the affront.Prosecutors said Hernandez was one of several gang members who punched and kicked Caro as he lay on the ground. Caro was knocked unconscious during the beating, so the gang leader ordered it stopped.Someone suggested taking Caro to a hospital. Instead, prosecutors said, Quinton Moore hit Caro on the head with a bat. Charges are pending against Moore and another man. The gang leader, Roman Lucio, 26, of Aurora, has already pleaded guilty. No one testified that Hernandez or Aguilar struck the fatal blows. In fact, Aguilar was never accused of touching Caro -- just of being the lookout. But under the law, he could be held accountable because he participated in a felony -- the fight -- which led to a murder.Hernandez and Aguilar face 20 to 60 years in prison.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Two members of the Taliban street gang were arrested this week

Two members of the Taliban street gang were arrested this week by a newly formed street crimes unit composed of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park officers, according to East Palo Alto Detective Ed Soares.Danny Darnell Coleman of East Palo Alto was arrested after a short foot pursuit in Menlo Park. He was charged with having a concealed weapon, being a member of a street gang with a firearm, a gang enhancement charge and resisting arrest.Jason Reese, another Taliban gang member, was arrested with Coleman and charged with a parole violation, Soares said.The police team also arrested two Pacific-Islander men, whose names were not available, for having two guns, including a loaded Uzi machine gun with 300 rounds of ammunition. The two also had scales for weighing drugs and night-vision goggles. Packaged narcotics for sale were also seized in the arrest, which occurred in the 1100 block of Saratoga Avenue in East Palo Alto.The strike team, which began work Dec. 16, includes a sergeant and three detectives from the two police departments.

Mongrel Mob member entered Black Power-dominated Munro St, in Elgin.

Mongrel Mob member entered Black Power-dominated Munro St, in Elgin.More gang members arrived and many were armed with home-made weapons, including garden implements, Senior Sergeant Rodger Gray.At least 30 police responded to emergency calls from worried members of the public.Twelve people were arrested and charged with disorderly behaviour and possession of offensive weapons.A police search of properties in the street resulted in the discovery of two cannabis growing operations and the further arrest of two people on drugs charges.
Most of those charged appeared in Gisborne District Court on Thursday, with a small number yet to appear on Friday."The disappointing thing for me is that it occurred at 10.30am on the first or second day of the school holidays," Gray says."There was a large number of people, including children, who were caught up in this."The message is that any incidents such as this won't be tolerated."

Jaime Benavidez was shot in the hip Elkhart police say Benavidez is a documented gang member. ,

possible gang-related shooting is under investigation in Elkhart.The shooting happened on Stevens Avenue.Elkhart police say Jaime Benavidez was shot in the hip around 4:00 a.m. Thursday morning.He was taken to the hospital by family members.
Police say the bullet hit a major artery and that Benavidez is in serious condition.
Investigators have interviewed several people that claim to have information about the shooting, but they say most of them have been uncooperative.Elkhart police say Benavidez is a documented gang member.

Arous J. Phillips identified by police as a leader of a Bounty Hunters Bloods gang was found guilty


20-year-old man identified by police as a leader of a Bounty Hunters Bloods gang was found guilty Thursday of recruiting youths and participating in criminal activity to benefit the gang.Arous J. Phillips was arrested Aug. 4 after police raided five Cradock-area homes looking for evidence of gangs, criminal activity, weapons and stolen items.Several police officers testified during the bench trial that they had observed Phillips and others wearing the red and black beads, bandannas or clothes that denote Bloods gang members.A witness, Anthony Graham, testified that Phillips was a "superior" in the gang. Graham said he had discussed the gang with Phillips for about a week before he was initiated in the summer of 2006. Graham was 15 at the time.Prosecutor Amy Miller asked Grahamwhat gang members do, and he answered: "Try to get rank." He said that was done by committing "missions" such as burglaries and robberies.Graham said Phillips sent him on two of those missions and went with him when he robbed four people in the Camelot neighborhood of Chesapeake. He said Phillips handed him and another gang member a sawed-off shotgun and a rifle to use.Graham and at least one other juvenile were also arrested on charges that included burglary and grand larceny after the August raid. He said he agreed to testify against Phillips as part of a plea agreement.On the stand, Graham explained gang signs that Phillips was flashing in photos that police confiscated.In one photo, introduced into evidence, Phillips was wearing a red bandanna, outlaw-style on his face.Detective K.L. Gavin, who heads the city's gang task force, testified that police are monitoring 36 gangs in the city. Gavin said that he and others in the Police Department have been aware of Phillips' involvement since 2005.He will be sentenced on Feb. 18 and faces a maximum of 15 years.

Carlos Silva Bernal reputed Chula Vista street gang member was ordered held over for trial in last year's shooting death

Reputed Chula Vista street gang member was ordered held over for trial in last year's shooting death of a 22-year-old woman in front of a Rialto home.
Carlos Silva Bernal was driven to a West Cornell Drive residence on Jan. 31, 2007, got out of a truck and waited as the victim walked toward him, Rialto police officers testified Thursday at a hearing in Fontana Superior Court. Witnesses say Stephanie Ann Lenczyk, who associated with a Rialto street gang, walked from the home toward Bernal, a man she may have had a prior relationship with, according to court testimony. Bernal pulled out a black gun, shot Lenczyk twice, got back into the truck and left. Another man who was at the home pulled the woman to the grass.
Police officers tried to get information from the woman about who shot her. "Bugsy shot me. He shot me twice," Officer Rory Scalf testified he heard Lenczyk say.
She was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, where she died. After hearing the testimony and reviewing exhibits, Judge Jon D. Ferguson ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold over Bernal for trial on one count of murder and related special enhancements. Prosecutors withdrew a second charge, being a felon in possession of a firearm, before the judge made his ruling. Bernal is scheduled to return to court Dec. 29 to be formally arraigned on the charges.
Deputy District Attorney Simon Umscheid said the court hearing went according to his expectations. "We're happy with the results," he said. Police say Lenczyk was an associate of a Rialto street gang. Detective Carl Jones testified he learned during the investigation that the two gangs were in a "pretty heated battle" with each other at the time of the shooting. The weapon used in the shooting was never recovered. Bernal's girlfriend, 24-year-old Crystal Moraga, who was with the defendant in the truck, told police Bernal had been in a prior relationship with Lenczyk, according to Jones. Bernal told police he knew the victim for about seven months but denied having had any relationship with her. He fired two rounds, he told the detective, because Lenczyk had a gun. However, police said their investigation did not reveal that the woman had a weapon. Defense lawyer Ann Cunningham questioned Jones about why police didn't have gunshot residue tests conducted on the victim.
"It never crossed my mind," Jones said. Cunningham declined to comment about the case after the hearing.

Police say as many as 150 people were inside church at the funeral when a fight broke out between Cross and a rival gang member

Police say as many as 150 people were inside the main sanctuary of the church at the funeral when a fight broke out between Cross and a rival gang member named Latwan Brown. As of Thursday afternoon, police were still searching for Brown, whom they described as armed and dangerous. But detectives say that precious few of the scores of people who witnessed the fight and, moments later, the shooting, have come forward to tell police what they saw. Police believe that Brown borrowed the gun he allegedly used to shoot Cross from someone else at the church. A lot of people who were there must know who brought that gun to the funeral of a middle-aged Portland woman. Of course, the reluctance to get involved is partly about fear. Cross and Brown, authorities said, are members of two rival sets within the Crips gang. Cross was shot before, on Aug. 3, taking a bullet in his stomach on the 4700 block of North Mississippi Avenue. Yet it won't stop, it won't get safer, in North Portland and other places troubled by gangs, until the people who live there, supported by police, gang outreach counselors, schools and all the rest of us, wherever we live in this city, take a strong, courageous stand against gang violence. Rob Ingram, director of Portland's Office of Youth Violence Prevention, told The Oregonian's Maxine Bernstein: "We need the common folk to stand up and say, 'We don't want this in our community.' How do you go to church on Sundays and feel like it's a sacred place when someone was killed there?" You don't. You can't. The Albina Ministerial Alliance, a group of pastors, will hold a news conference today to denounce the shooting, urge cooperation with police and call for renewed efforts to reduce gang violence. The pastors' leadership is vital. Portland must never become the kind of place that closes its eyes to a gang shooting, a city that hears no evil in the sound of four gunshots echoing in a church sanctuary.

Members of the Green Street and Bloods gangs allegedly pledged to retaliate against the police officer who shot and killed John Earl Parks

Members of the Green Street and Bloods gangs allegedly pledged to retaliate against the police officer who shot and killed John Earl Parks of Brockton on Nov. 5, US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan said in a written statement.After Brockton officers stopped Parks in an alleged drug deal near Warren Avenue and Green Street, Parks fled on foot and fired a gun at officers, Police Chief William K. Conlon said. Officers returned fire, killing the 25-year-old.After learning of the alleged plot to target the officer, Brockton police arrested 12 suspected gang members on gun and drug-related charges yesterday.Eight Brockton residents - John Goncalves, 22; Placido Pereira, 22; Dennis Afonso, 25; Emmanuel Teixeira, 18; Rodney Gallaway, 29; Embassi Dosanjos, 24; Johnny Richmond, 21; and Daquawn Jones, 18 - were charged with federal offenses ranging from conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine to distribution of crack cocaine within a school zone, Sullivan said. If convicted, the men face up to 20 years' imprisonment, Sullivan said.Four other Brockton men - William Hart, 36, Angel Otero, 19, David Stuart, 18, and Edson Miranda, 29 - were charged on the state level with distributing crack cocaine or possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, Sullivan said. The men could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted, the US Attorney said.Conlon said an investigation monitoring violent and drug-related gang activity in the city began earlier this year and would have continued were it not for "imminent danger" against police."It's a relief for our residents," Conlon said. Gangs "have been a plague on the neighborhoods, and the good people of city deserve better."Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said the arrests send a strong message that the community stands with its police officers."We will not tolerate a threat to their safety or to the law-abiding people who they serve," Cruz said.The State Police Gang Unit and Federal Bureau of Investigation, in addition to Brockton police, investigated the cases.FBI Special Agent Warren Bamford emphasized the severity of the charges against the gang members. "The FBI, along with its law enforcement partners, will not rest until we root out the gangs that terrorize our communities," Bamford said.

Dorsey-Colbert, who's married to Gregory Colbert Jr., the reputed leader of the "Nut Cases" gang, was charged with murder

The "Nut Cases" gang terrorized Oakland residents in late 2002 and early 2003 by committing numerous murders and robberies, declined to say why he allowed Dorsey-Colbert to plead to the lesser charge.
Oakland woman who reluctantly lured her illicit lover to his execution-style shooting death at the request of her jealous gang-leader husband was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison for her second-degree murder conviction.
Aminah "Nay-Nay" Dorsey-Colbert, 30, who was arrested in January 2003, pleaded no contest on June 5 and was sentenced today by Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay.Dorsey-Colbert, who's married to Gregory Colbert Jr., the reputed leader of the "Nut Cases" gang, was charged with murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait in connection with the slaying of youth basketball coach Joseph Mabrey, 36, at the hands of her brother-in-law, Demarcus Ralls, in the 3200 block of Storer Avenue in the Oakland hills on Oct. 24, 2002.According to prosecutor Michael Nieto, Gregory Colbert Jr., 29, ordered the hit after he learned Mabrey was having an affair with his wife while he was in prison.Nieto said Gregory Colbert Jr. hatched an elaborate plot in which Demarcus Ralls posed as Dorsey-Colbert's brother and she pretended that she was having an argument with her husband.Nieto said Dorsey-Colbert made a "damsel in distress" call to Mabrey in which she said she was in trouble and
needed his help at a secluded spot in the Oakland hills.The prosecutor said when Mabrey arrived at the secluded area, Ralls asked him for a light for a cigarette and then shot Mabrey when he wasn't looking.Nieto said Gregory Colbert Jr. watched the shooting incident from a nearby van because he wanted to make sure the murder was carried out.Nieto said Gregory Colbert Jr. ordered his wife to lure Mabrey to his death as a way for her "to redeem herself" for having an affair with Mabrey.
Dorsey-Colbert's lawyer, Gene Peretti, said after the sentencing today that the incident was "a situation she didn't want to get involved in."Peretti said Colbert told his wife that if she didn't call Mabrey to set up the killing then he would kill her."It was either him (Mabrey) or her," Peretti said.He said Dorsey-Colbert was "emotionally upset" about Mabrey's death and described the shooting as "a tragedy all the way around."Ralls, 24, was convicted in 2006 of three counts of first-degree murder, including the murder of Mabrey, one count of second-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, 17 counts of robbery, one count of kidnapping and one count of shooting into an inhabited dwelling.In the penalty phase of Ralls' trial, prosecutors introduced evidence, including a taped confession by Ralls, that he was responsible for a fifth murder that was committed while he was a juvenile.Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Ralls, but jurors recommended life in prison without parole instead. Ralls was sentenced to four life terms plus 141 years.On March 23, 2007, Colbert was sentenced to 75 years to life in state prison for murdering another member of the gang, 20-year-old Glen Phason, in June 2004.

Nine members of the Crips street gang have been indicted on charges they burned down the Holly Shopping Center

From top left, clockwise, the nine Crips members indicted in the Holly Shopping Center fire: Mario Jennings, Marquise Jones, Antwan McCoy, Deangelo Calaway, Corsia Crosby, David Tinsley, Katsina Roybal, Jimmy Hopkins and Mitchell Walker. Walker has not been arrested yet.
Nine members of the Crips street gang have been indicted on charges they burned down the Holly Shopping Center in retaliation for the murder of local Crips founder Michael Asberry, possibly by someone from a rival street gang. The area around the center, also known as Holly Square, at 3365 Holly Street, was a hangout for Bloods gang members. Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said at a news conference this morning that he had no doubt the indictment of the nine — eight of whom were arrested Thursday — will impact the Crips. "Obviously this is a large number of individuals who are associated with the Crips gang," Morrissey said. "Any time we do an indictment of this number of people it is going to have an impact on any kind of street gang." According to the indictment, a confrontation between the Crips and Bloods occurred at the Bash Night Club, 1902 Blake St., when it closed in the early hours of May 18. Asberry had been killed in the early hours of May 17 outside an Aurora apartment building by a still-unknown assailant. After the confrontation at Bash, a number of the Crips went to a 7-Eleven store and talked about burning down the Holly Shopping Center because of the killing of Asberry and because the Holly was "known as Bloods' turf," said the indictment. At the 7-Eleven, the group bought bottled drinks, which they filled with gasoline to make Molotov cocktails. They drove to the shopping center, stuffed rags in the bottles, lit the rags and threw the bottles onto the roof of the Holly shopping center, Morrissey said. The fire burned six businesses and leveled the shopping center. The damage was well over $2 million, said the district attorney. Morrissey and Denver Police Chief Gerald Whitman said that the arson was captured by a camera on a nearby library. "As you know, this occurred on May 18 about 3:40 a.m., and within four hours we had a videotape to the fire department from a video camera Whitman said.
Morrissey said the video showed that one of the Molotov cocktails rolled off the roof and hit the head of the person who threw it, causing his head to catch fire.
Although that individual can't be identified, Morrissey said other surveillance cameras and photographs are "very helpful" in identifying some of the arsonists.
Investigators from both the Denver Fire Department and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation brought in an accelerant-detection dog who pointed out six areas. Four of the six tested positive for gasoline. Investigators said the case was broken on May 20, when Denver police Cpl. Dan Andrews pulled over a GMC conversion van in the 1400 block of East 37th Avenue for a tail light violation and smelled gasoline coming from the van. The driver was eventually identified as Katsina Roybal, one of the Crips suspected in the Holly fire. Two other members of the Crips gang — Mitchell Walker and James Burleson — were passengers in the van. Inside the van, investigators found the components of Molotov cocktails, including bottles and rags. The district attorney said the investigation had been before the Denver grand jury for several months. The nine are charged with use of explosives or incendiary devices, criminal mischief, first-degree arson, conspiracy and possession of explosives. The people accused of throwing the Molotov cocktails are Burleson, 20; Deangelo Calaway, 19; Mario Jennings, 19; Walker, 18; and Jimmy Hopkins, 22. Roybal, 19; David Tinsley, 22; Corsia Crosby, 20; and Marquis Jones, 22, acted as lookout, according to the grand jury indictment. Morrissey said that what occurred was an attack on the Holly community. "That is one of the older shopping centers. It is kind of the heart there with the police station down the street, the library across the street," said Morrissey. "The Holly is really the place that is the center for the community there. "It is our theory that they were targeting the shopping center," Morrissey said. "I don't think they really cared much about the businesses that were in there. The statement that were trying to make was the Holly itself. I think it was an attack on the community. Hopefully today we are sending a message to them (the Crips)."

leader of a Tacoma street gang was spoiling for a fight

leader of a Tacoma street gang was spoiling for a fight the night of Nov. 15, Pierce County prosecutors contended Thursday. As many as 100 people, many of them associated with a rival gang, were on his turf, celebrating the 16th birthday of a Lincoln High School student at the South End Community Center.Authorities allege Pitra Bay Oeung, 18, wanted to incite a rumble, so he brought some of his subordinates to the center and urged them to attack their rivals.Henry Nhem, 17, reportedly heeded his leader’s call.Prosecutors contend in newly filed charging documents that Nhem pulled out a silver pistol and fired four shots into a crowd that had come outside the community center to confront Oeung’s gang. One bullet hit Phillip G. Oquendo, 18. Oquendo, who also went by the last name Johnson, stumbled back into the community center and later died. Another partygoer was hit in the hand.Prosecutors on Thursday charged Oeung and Nhem with first-degree murder and first-degree assault in the shooting. They pleaded not guilty.Superior Court Judge Rosanne Buckner ordered each jailed in lieu of $2 million bail at the request of deputy prosecutor Jerry Costello, who said both teenagers are “deeply involved in a violent street gang.”Prosecutors also charged four other reported members of Oeung’s gang – Young Hwan Cho, 16; Antara Pok, 17; and two boys, 14 and 15 – with second-degree murder in the case. Prosecutors say in charging documents that the four threw bottles and rocks at their rivals, helping to provoke a situation that later lead to Oquendo’s death.Nhem, Cho and Pok are being prosecuted as adults.The other boys were charged in juvenile court, though their cases could be transferred to adult court after a hearing Dec. 31, deputy prosecutor Fred Wist said.Buckner ordered Cho and Pok, who pleaded not guilty, jailed in lieu of $1 million bail. The other boys won’t be arraigned until after prosecutors decide whether to try them as adults.
Also, a woman who reportedly drove Nhem and others from the scene was charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance. Buckner ordered Alicia Ngo jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.Witnesses described a frightening scene at the community, with scores of young people screaming insults and gang taunts at each other before the shooting, according to court documents.At one point, Oeung spat on one of the people attending the party, infuriating him.Nhem has a history of illegally possessing guns. According to court documents, he’s been convicted three times of unlawfully possessing firearms since 2003.The latest case was last year after he engaged in a gunfight with two soldiers near South 90th and M streets in Tacoma, court records state. Nhem got 45 weeks in juvenile detention for that conviction.Authorities believe the shooting of Oquendo sparked a retaliatory homicide a few hours later. Victor Schwenke was shot to death outside another party in the 5600 block of South Yakima Avenue.Prosecutors have charged Marsele Kenith Henderson, a good friend of Oquendo, with first-degree murder in Schwenke’s death.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Gangster Disciples, connections

officials charges against the men were possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. Police said several have connections to the Gangster Disciples, a notorious Chicago street gang. "These people face very severe criminal charges. This criminal behavior is not just limited to Chicago and middle-class America," Monroe said.
The men arrested were:
* Trevail "Tre" Banks, 26, of 1096 Stonehedge Drive, Schaumburg.
* Shannon "Shine" Bennet, 29, of 1040 E. 80th St., Chicago.
* Kenton Bradley, 33, of 5512 Montibello, Hanover Park.
* Robert Green, 41, of 808 Holyoke Court, Schaumburg.
* Randy Hamlette, 39, of 808 Holyoke Court, Schaumburg.
* Curly Mixon, 24, of 17 S. Porter, Elgin.
* Yuliet Nava, 24, of 334 Dundee Road, Elgin.
* Robert "Big Boy" Wasp, 37, of 1930 Oxford Court, Schaumburg.
* Frederick Woodson, 41, of 36 Grant Circle, Streamwood.
Named as fugitives were Trotter; Corey "Sug" Stewart, 34. of 371 Silva, and Curly Mixon, 24, of 17 S. Porter, both of Elgin. The Cook County State's Attorney also arrested Damien Beamon, of Elgin, with violating state drug laws. FBI arrested 10 northwest suburban residents Tuesday for allegedly operating a large-scale cocaine and crack ring, often doing business at Schaumburg's Woodfield Mall and Streets of Woodfield.
A national manhunt continues for three men also charged in the drug sweep.
Other police departments participating in the case were Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Elgin, Hanover Park, Roselle and Streamwood. Authorities said one drug transaction was recorded by law enforcement officials while a dealer's child practiced football at Veterans Park on Holmes Way and Knollwood Drive on Sept. 6, 2006. Another recorded drug deal was at Wise Hand Care Wash, 1811 W. Wise Road, Schaumburg, on July 5, 2007. On June 15, 2007, drug money was originally to be exchanged at Rainforest Cafe at Woodfield Mall, but then changed to a Mobile gas station at Algonquin and Meacham roads. FBI agent William Monroe said Robert Atkins, of 2229 Mayfair Ave., Westchester, was the lead buyer in the conspiracy. Atkins was the recent owner of Wise Hand Care Wash, and he still owns a Chicago recording studio named Krunch Tyme Entertainment. The three-year investigation resulted in several recorded phone conversations between the men talking about selling automatic weapons, beatings for owed drug money and drug deals going for $22,500 per kilogram.
On July 20, 2007, Vernial Trotter, 35, of 628 Hayward, Streamwood, was recorded talking to Atkins about a someone owing him money. "I'm gonna kill this boy, hell yeah," said Trotter, according to a transcript, to which Atkins allegedly replied, "No, don't kill him, just whoop his (expletive)." "Man, nah, hell no dude, I'm gonna try to choke this boy out," said Trotter, according to the transcript.
The investigation -- called Operation Sitt'n Ducks -- netted 8 kilograms of cocaine, valued at $200,000, said Monroe. He also said more than $100,000 in vehicles were seized. In the Veterans Park buy, the federal complaint stated Trotter told an informant to meet him at Nathan Hale School, 1300 W. Wise Road, Schaumburg, for the football practice, but it was changed to the park. The complaint also said Trotter's wife drove up and parked next to his vehicle and handed him a white plastic bag. Trotter gave the bag to the informant, and the contents later tested positive for 30.8 grams of cocaine and 29.6 grams of crack cocaine. The $1,300 drug buy was audio and video recorded, stated the federal complaint. Monroe said those arrested faced a prison sentence of 10 mandatory years to possible life. "This was a large arrest and another example of a cooperative efforts among law enforcement," said Richard Casler, chief of operations for Schaumburg police.

Signs point to gang violence in Tuesday's shooting outside the Garfield Community Center that left a young man in critical condition.

Signs point to gang violence in Tuesday's shooting outside the Garfield Community Center that left a young man in critical condition. A 21-year-old man was shot in the face after he and his friends exchanged words with another group of young men outside the center in the 2300 block of East Cherry.The seeds of the shooting may have actually been sown nearly a year ago in another shooting at another locations. The shooting on Jan. 4, sources said, may have been the springboard for a lot of this violence.Nearly a year ago, 17-year-old Allen Joplin was shot and killed when a group of uninvited guests crashed a back-to-school party held for about 100 teens at a rented space at 116 Elliott Avenue West. Witnesses said the fatal shooting was the result of rival gangs from South Seattle and the Central District staking out their turf. "I thought something would happen. So I decided not to go, to stay clear of it," said one teen who wished to remain anonymous. There have been at least four more shootings since Halloween. On Oct. 31, 16-year-old Quincey Coleman was shot and killed outside Garfield High School. His friend was also shot, but survived. It is not known what triggered the Halloween shooting; however, detectives believe it may have been gang or drug-related. On Nov. 22, 16-year-old Daiquan Jones was shot and killed inside Southcenter Mall. Another teen was seriously injured. Barry L. Saunders Jr., 21, has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree assault in the mall shooting. The attorney for Saunders, who pleaded not guilty, said he was merely coming to the aid of his brother, who was being beaten.
You shoot one, you kill another one. It's crazy," said Jones' grandmother. On the night after the mall shooting, two teens were shot and injured outside an apartment complex near the intersection of Rainier Avenue South and South Cloverdale Street.
It was not clear exactly what prompted the shooting. Investigators said after the gunman opened fire, he ran off and most likely jumped into a waiting car. No description of the gunman was available.Police have not said whether the shootings are connected, and they have not confirmed they're gang-related. The one definite connection -- no one close to these cases is talking. That hamstrings police.
"They are crucial, a crucial piece to the puzzle," said police spokesperson Renee Witt. In Tuesday's shooting police are looking for up to four men, but a description was not available. The Seattle Gang Unit is investigating. Last month a police officer was assigned to Garfield High School in response to the crime surge, making it the only school in the city to have a police officer dedicated to the campus.
"We've been increasing our patrols around this area. We've been working real closely with King County's Metro Transit Police because we've been getting reports of problems on the Metro buses following school departure," Asst. Police Chief Nick Metz said.

Michael Ricketts was stabbed, battered and shot dead by at least three men who chased him into the Shahjahan Indian restaurant

Michael Rungen starts his life sentence, the detective whose team brought him to justice, Det Supt Steve Payne vowed to maintain the hunt for those who pulled the trigger and finally ended the life of Yardie gangster Rohan Ricketts after two previous assassination attempts."We will not give up pursuing the other two gunmen. We will not tolerate gun crime," Det Supt Payne said today.
When Ricketts was stabbed, battered and shot dead by at least three men who chased him into the Shahjahan Indian restaurant on Roundhay Road, the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team faced an uphill battle to identify those responsible.There was little to go on. Everybody including witnesses and the gunmen had fled. There began a painstaking enquiry to piece together the events of the evening of April 20 2007.
Ricketts had spent the previous four hours with Carol Harvey just yards from the take-away restaurant in Bayswater Terrace off Roundhay Road, Harehills. He left, it is believed to deal drugs, but returned each time.About 11pm he got out of bed, donned a duffle coat over his bare chest and Carol's flip-flops to make his regular trip to the Shahjahan to get a chicken and chips supper. As he left the restaurant he was confronted by three masked men armed with a knife and two semi-automatic pistols – a 9mm converted Russian-made Bailkal gas gun and a .32 calibre CBC.
The gunmen fired two shots at Ricketts outside the restaurant, some hitting the wall. Ricketts ran inside the take-away pursued by at least two of his attackers.
Cornered, he vaulted the counter in a bid to escape, while the restaurant's owner and a kitchen worker took refuge in a store room.One gunman leapt to the counter top while an accomplice kicked open a counter connecting door and attacked from the side. Ricketts was stabbed in the neck, hit over the head with a frying pan and shot in the chest – the killer bullet exiting his back. Four shots were fired inside the restaurant.Footage from local CCTV cameras was seized and this brought the first breakthrough. Film from a local shop – Bobby's Sweets – showed three men getting out of a dark coloured car in Bayswater Row, a short distance down Roundhay Road. Two were putting weapons in their pockets.This crucial film now drove the inquiry. Officers began detailed research to establish the make, colour and year of the car, while others scrutinised the images of the three men to formulate descriptions.
The car looked like an Astra and Vauxhall.It was a Mark Five produced after 2004 and its wheel trims suggest it was either an 'Expression' or 'Life' trim version and almost new.Several hundred were registered in this area and dealers were contacted including the hire firm 1 Car 1 of Kirkstall, Leeds.Michael Patrick Rungen had rented such a vehicle on March 24 and returned it on April 24.Forensic examination of the Astra's interior found – despite the detailed valeting it had undergone – significant firearms residue and also milk protein. During the shooting small pots of yoghurt used as condiments at the Shahjahan had been spilled and this transferred to the Astra.When he hired the car, Rungen gave his family's home address in Markham Avenue – not his in Weston Drive, Otley, and a mobile phone number. A search of the Markham Avenue house recovered a latex glove containing three rare unfired .32 calibre home-loaded bullets identical to some used at the Shahjahan attack. This was crucial evidence.Less conventional, but equally compelling evidence, came from detailed examination of the CCTV footage of the suspected killers. The car driver was considerably shorter than the others and was bow legged.Film of Rungen caught earlier was shown to top Harley Street podiatrist Haydn Kelly. The ankle and foot expert confirmed the person in both footages was quite short and had a "peculiar stance and gate". Rungen is 5ft 7in tall and had been given 10 years for robbery at Leeds Crown Court in March 1998.Checks on Rungen's mobile showed that it had been operating in the area near to the shooting on the night of the killing.These items were among evidence which finally led to Rungen being charged with Ricketts' murder on April 17 this year.The motive for the killing is suspected to be territorial infighting between Yardies from Jamaica and local gangs

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Guillermo Hernandez, 20, and Carlos Velasquez, 24, of Los Angeles, were arrested Friday night, the Los Angeles Police Department announced.

Two possible gang members were arrested in the fatal shooting of asheriff's deputy who was murdered as he was getting ready to go to work, officials announced
Saturday.Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Juan Escalante, 27, was shot dead outside his parents' home August 2 as he was getting ready to drive to his job at the Men's Central Jail.
Guillermo Hernandez, 20, and Carlos Velasquez, 24, of Los Angeles, were arrested Friday night, the Los Angeles Police Department announced. The suspects were booked and arrested for murder and were being held without bail.Paul M. Weber, the president of police union the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said both men were gang members. A police spokesman would not confirm if the men had gang ties.
It was not immediately known if the men had been appointed attorneys.
Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton said Escalante was loading a car seat into the family's car when he was shot. He died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Escalante's Cypress Park neighborhood about three miles north of downtown is home to
several gangs.Drive-by attacks where the victim and the shooter don't know each other are not unheard of, but investigators were considering the possibility that Escalante was deliberately targeted because of his work.

Vincent Artuso was a "made member" of the Gambino family and directed a Palm Beach-based Mafia crew that included his own son

U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks imposed the sentence on Vincent Artuso, 64, following his conviction in October on 41 fraud and racketeering charges involving a lengthy scam against ADT Security Services Inc. The scheme involved several crooked real estate deals that cost ADT, which is part of Tyco International Ltd., at least $11 million and possibly much more, prosecutors said."It was a large-scale, complex, multimillion-dollar scheme," said Assistant U.S. Attorney William T. Shockley. "They were getting a big payday every year. It was like an annuity."Captain of the Gambino crime family's South Florida operations, who prosecutors say has been linked to an infamous hit that led to John Gotti's rise to power, was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in federal prison in a major real estate fraud case.
Artuso was a "made member" of the Gambino family and directed a Palm Beach-based Mafia crew that included his own son, Shockley said. The prosecutor cited FBI affidavits and other evidence indicating that Artuso was present on Dec. 16, 1985 when former Gambino boss Paul Castellano was gunned down in front of a Manhattan steakhouse — allegedly on Gotti's orders.Shockley said Artuso was never prosecuted for the killing but had used a known penchant for violence as a form of intimidation to keep subordinates in line."That's just the way the mob works," the prosecutor said. "He's behind the scenes, calling the shots."The dapper Gotti, known as the "Teflon Don" for his ability to avoid criminal convictions, was finally convicted in 1992 of racketeering and murder charges and died in prison a decade later.At the Miami sentencing hearing, defense attorneys sought to minimize the Mafia references, arguing there was little direct testimony during a three-week trial linking Artuso and the others to the Gambinos. They claimed prosecutors used rumors and legends against the men."This wasn't an organized crime family as the government would have you believe," said Allen Kaiser, attorney for co-defendant Philip Forgione, who was awaiting sentencing.The four men and a former ADT employee were convicted of defrauding the security company through real-estate deals in which the Gambino crew bought ADT office buildings far below market value, then leased them back to the company at inflated prices. ADT paid the men millions of dollars in excess lease payments over a five-year period, trial testimony showed.Prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of more than $20 million from the defendants, while defense attorneys say the amount should be about $9.5 million. Middlebrooks said he would decide the exact amount later.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Arrested members of the Latin Kings, Bloods, MS-13 and Neta gangs


13 arrests were made Friday at residences in Denville, Dover, Randolph, Rockaway, Victory Gardens and Wharton, as part of Gov. Jon S. Corzine's Strategy for Safe Streets and Neighborhoods, a statewide initiative targeting criminal street gangs.
More than 100 officers from 18 agencies participated in the 6 a.m. bust, which was the third phase of an "aggressive mission to cripple street gangs' command structure by taking down leaders and high-ranking associates," county Prosecutor Robert A. Bianchi said during a news conference Monday afternoon.Since August, Morris authorities have arrested 32 individuals from Morris and Essex counties on 286 charges, and seized $1.35 million in cocaine and heroin and 33 firearms, including assault rifles and high-powered weapons."It's a hit-them-when-they-are-down philosophy. We used a variety of undercover infiltration methods, changing things up like a boxer so they did not become accustomed to our methods of operation," Bianchi said. "They tried to resurrect their business after we already hobbled them, and now we hit them again, coming in like an aftershock. Now they are done, out, dismantled."
Authorities said Carlos M. Madera, 29, of Newark, was the leader of one drug operation. He was charged with 23 offenses that include possession and distribution of cocaine and is being held at Morris County jail on $350,000 bail.
Also arrested was his father, Carlos Madera Sr., 48, also of Newark, another Newark individual, six individuals from Dover, one from Landing, one from Morris Plains, one from Victory Gardens and another who was in Morris County jail.Those arrested include members of the Latin Kings, Bloods, MS-13 and Neta gangs, Bianchi said.
The arrests also included 23-year-old Luis Vasquez of Victory Gardens and his mother, Lilybette Garcia, 42, of Dover.The three-month investigation stems from an Oct. 30, 2007, Rockaway shooting that involved a man flashing a semi-automatic handgun during an argument that led authorities to Carlos G. Gonzalez Jr. During the investigation, police learned Gonzalez was operating a competing drug dealing operation against his father, Carlos G. Gonzalez Sr,. "using fear, intimidation and violence with guns as everyday business tactics."On Aug. 14, there was a drive-by shooting on Prospect Street in Dover with five shots fired from a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun that missed their intended target, Luis Vazquez, 23, of Victory Gardens. Bianchi said the junior Gonzalez was responsible for the shooting.On Aug. 18, authorities completed their first raid, making arrests in Dover, Randolph and Wharton, seizing numerous firearms and $250,000 in drugs packaged for distribution and dismantling two major drug enterprises operating throughout the county.
That operation was followed by another on Oct. 17, where authorities executed search warrants in Denville, Dover, Victory Gardens and Wharton. Investigators uncovered a substantial amount of illegal weapons -- assault rifles, weapons with silencers and high powered scopes along with a significant amount of high capacity ammunition magazines.Bianchi credited the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Morris County Sheriff's Office, New Jersey State Police and police from Denville, Dover, Randolph and Wharton in the arrests."The citizens of Morris County are safer today as a result of the efforts of these fine law enforcement personnel," Bianchi said. "As it is the position of the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, my administration will not stop here in terms of gaining additional investigative intelligence to attack other criminal enterprises. And we will aggressively prosecute those who were arrested in these street gang, guns and drug dealing networks."

Gang leader Sean Mercer gunned down innocent schoolboy Rhys Jones was convicted of murder today.


Sean Mercer was just 16 when he fired the fatal shot but was already a hardened criminal steeped in the drug-dealing violence of Liverpool. Rhys was 11 and obsessed with football. He died in his mother's arms.Teenage gang leader who gunned down innocent schoolboy Rhys Jones was convicted of murder today.Mercer, now 18, stood trial after police finally cracked the wall of silence in the city that had protected him. As Rhys's parents Stephen and Melanie Jones looked on, six other thugs were also convicted of helping Mercer cover up after the shooting.They are James Yates, 20, Nathan Quinn, 18, Melvin Coy, 24, Gary Kays, 25, Dean Kelly, 17, and a youth aged 16 known as M who cannot be named because of his age. Mercer faces the juvenile equivalent of a life sentence when all the defendants are sentenced later at Liverpool Crown Court by Mr Justice Irwin.Rhys's father welcomed the conviction of Mercer, saying: "Finally justice has been done for Rhys."
The murder in August last year shocked a nation already weary of inner-city gun crime. He had been walking home from under-12 football practice when he was hit by the second of three shots fired across the car park of the Fire Tree pub in Croxteth.
Mercer, a leader of the Crocky of Croxteth Crew, was aiming at members of the rival Nogga Dogz gang from Norris Green. Hooded and standing astride his silver Hardrock bike, he took aim and fired again at his target even when Rhys lay dying, a bullet in his neck.Mercer cycled off and ordered his gang to hide the weapon, a First World War .455 Smith & Wesson, and drive him to a disused factory in Kirby where he washed down in petrol to destroy evidence. Such was the horrified reaction in Liverpool that dozens anonymously named Mercer as the killer and his name was posted on the internet, YouTube and in graffitti all over Liverpool. But nobody was prepared to stand up with real evidence.Mercer enjoyed a cloak of protection - partly because of fears of gangland reprisal and partly because of Merseyside's reluctance to be branded a "grass". The breakthrough came when a tip-off led to the murder weapon being found and a key witness known as X was offered immunity from prosecution in return for giving evidence against Mercer and the gang.In a conversation bugged by police, Yates talked about the shooting of Rhys and who supplied the gun. He said: "I bought that gun three years ago. End of story. What? What can they prove? Nothing."The murder of Rhys was the culmination of three years of violence between the two gangs in a turf war over drug dealing.The war started with the shooting of a 17-year-old "Crocky" and within hours shots were fired at homes in Norris Green. : "It was like waking up in the middle of th Alamo."Liam "Snigger" Smith, leader of the Nogga Dogz, was then shot as he left prison and Rhys was killed hours before the first anniversary of this attack.

Board of Licenses acted Monday to close Club Passion and Level II

Board of Licenses acted Monday to close Club Passion and Level II pending an emergency hearing on Wednesday. A Boston man, 24-year-old Anthony Parrish, was fatally shot early Sunday near Club Passion. A second man was wounded in the incident. Twenty-two-year-old Jeremy Olearnick, of Norwich, Conn., was stabbed to death in a parking lot near the Level II dance club on Dec. 6. Two men were arrested in connection with that attack. Both killings occurred at or shortly after closing time for the clubs.

Members of the Bloods street gang arrested in connection with a shooting that sent a member of a rival gang to the Hospital




Elizabeth City police have arrested three street gang members in connection with a shooting Saturday that sent a member of a rival gang to the hospital with a leg wound. Maurice Bowser, 19, of the 200 block of Queen Street, was charged Monday with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, Sgt. Gary Bray of the Elizabeth City Police Department said. Also arrested in the incident were Joey Lamar White, 20, of Trinkaloe Road, and Snody Slade Jr., 19, of the 600 block of Cedar Street. Both were charged with felony solicitation to commit a felony. All three men are believed to be members of the Bloods street gang and all are charged in connection with the shooting of Antione Williams, a member of the rival gang, the Crips. According to Bray, the men were standing in the vicinity of B Street’s intersection with Herrington Road about 3 p.m. Saturday when a vehicle in which Williams was a passenger pulled up nearby.
After an argument ensued, Bowser allegedly fired several rounds in the direction of the vehicle. Two of the bullets hit the car; one passed through the car and struck Williams in the leg, Bray said. Police say between six and eight shots were fired in the incident. Williams, who is in his late teens or early 20s, was treated for a leg wound at Albemarle Hospital and then released, Bray said. Police expect to arrest four others in the incident on charges of solicitation to commit a felony, Bray said. The charge is similar to a conspiracy charge in that those charged are not those who pull the trigger but are still held responsible for the crime, he said.
“In my opinion, it fits what happens in this investigation,” Bray said of the charge. He hopes the charges send a message to gang members that participating in crimes have consequences. “We’re going to charge people with every charge we can charge them with under the law,” Bray said. “...We’re pretty much just sick of this shooting and all this violence.” Bowser is being held at Albemarle District Jail in lieu of a $1 million secured bond. White and Slade are each being held in lieu of $50,000 bonds.
According to Bray, Bowser has an extensive criminal record. Police are also seeking to charge him in connection with a shooting last year on Elizabeth Street in which a child was injured. He hopes that Bowser’s combined charges will result in a federal indictment.
“He’s pretty much showed that he really doesn’t care who he’s shooting at,” Bray said.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Sicily's Mafia was still heavily involved in the drugs trade.

Italian police on Monday made a major narcotics bust they said showed that Sicily's Mafia was still heavily involved in the drugs trade.In recent years there has been a slew of reports claiming the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta has largely taken over the European cocaine trade from its elder sister in Sicily.But the results of Monday's operation contradicted this, said the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's transnational crime envoy, Carlo Vizzini.''This operation shows that Cosa Nostra is still a major player in drugs,'' said Vizzini, who is also a member of Italy's parliamentary anti-Mafia commission.''Police have caught old and new Mafiosi in this together. Leopards can't change their spots''.''Sicily is becoming, once again, a key cross-roads for the international drugs trade''.Vizzini said the Mafia had ''once again'' shown its transnational nature.He called for ''new norms'' to combat money laundering.Palermo Anti-Mafia investigator Antonio Ingrao said the operation showed that ''the activities of Sicilian crime organisations are increasingly projected towards international horizons''.He said the drugs business, ''today, more than ever, has a strategic role because it allows criminals from different countries to work together''.At least one major boss was implicated in the bust, in which 25 people were arrested, police said.The gang allegedly flew in the drugs in from Argentina via airports in Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam and London, where it was gathered, flown on to Milan and sent down to Palermo by train.The traffickers used airports where they thought controls were easier to trick, police said.French police were involved in Monday's operation, which also netted thousands of euros in counterfeit bills.

Ruben "Nite Owl"Castro, 46, is a leader, or carnal, of the Mexican Mafia, also known as the "La Eme" prison gang.

Ruben "Nite Owl"Castro, 46, is a leader, or carnal, of the Mexican Mafia, also known as the "La Eme" prison gang. Authorities say Castro controls two cliques of the 18th Street gang -- the Shatto Park Locos and the Hoover Locos. Castro is alleged to have run those gang cliques from a federal maximum-security prison in Colorado, where he is serving multiple life terms and was recently sentenced to an additional 27 years and three months for racketeering. Prosecutors say that from behind bars, Martinez, another La Eme carnal, allegedly made as much as $40,000 a month from criminal activity.Enriquez's childhood does not fit the Dickensian template one would expect from a sociopathic hit man. He grew up in a predominantly white suburban Cerritos neighborhood, in a home with two parents who had immigrated here from Mexico. His father, an ambitious, hard-working man who eventually owned a custom furniture factory and dabbled in commercial real estate, had his faults, but he clearly cared for his son and despaired deeply when he went astray. Enriquez quit school in the ninth grade and, along with his older brother, joined a street gang in nearby Artesia. After briefly working for his father, he quit, began slamming heroin and pulling holdups to pay for his habit. He was arrested after one bungled job and was soon tied to a host of others, because of their similar MOs as well as Enriquez's distinctive tattoos. He pleaded guilty to 21 counts of robbery and was sentenced to seven years in state prison. Legs chained, hands cuffed and wearing a red jumpsuit, he was loaded on the "Gray Goose" -- the prison bus -- and locked up at what was then known as Soledad State Prison. He was 18 years old.Shortly after arriving at Soledad, Enriquez and his cellmate spotted a member of Nuestra Familia (Spanish for "Our Family"), a prison gang from Northern California and a deadly La Eme rival. They beat him on the head with a shaving cream can and robbed him. A member of the Mexican Mafia sent him a few cigarettes and a note, welcoming him. He liked Enriquez's style. When Enriquez was transferred to another prison, two men approached him on the yard. They told him they wanted him and a young convict named "Puppet" to "do a hit" on "Angel," a Santa Monica gangbanger. They didn't tell him why and he didn't ask."Puppet grabbed Angel and Boxer just started stabbing him over and over until the untaped plastic handle slid up to cover the point of the shank and made it no longer effective," Blatchford writes. "That's the only thing that saved Angel's life . . . It was Boxer's first hit. 'It was then I knew I was on the path. I was being looked at [by Eme]. I was honored that I was picked for the mission and exhilarated by the immediate recognition I received on the yard as a 'big homeboy.' " He continued "putting in work," and was soon made a carnal, or leader. Eventually, he was released from prison but within a few years was sent back for life. He killed a rival carnal who was on a Mexican Mafia hit list and ordered the shooting of a female drug dealer. Enriquez was a shot-caller during many significant events in La Eme's history, such as when leaders in the early 1990s ordered a halt in drive-by shootings against other Latinos, and when they expanded the gang's reach and financial base by "taxing" drug dealers. One gangster Blatchford describes was sentenced to life for -- in a phrase that sums up the senselessness and inanity of the violence -- "murdering a murderer who had offended another murderer."The Mexican Mafia -- like its Italian counterpart -- is better at promulgating the myth of the brotherhood than generating actual loyalty. Enriquez's story reveals that, ultimately, La Eme members have four destinations. The lucky ones die in their cells. The others either get capped on the street, shanked in the yard, or they become snitches. Enriquez was no different. After a decade at Pelican Bay State Prison's secure housing unit, he is now in a witness protection program for cooperating inmates. Enriquez is hidden away at an unnamed prison, somewhere in the United States, to keep him away from the many carnales he testified against.

Five of those in custody have leadership roles with MS-13

Arrests of 14 men and one woman were made between 3 and 7 p.m. on the North Side. Tamarack Circle, and areas around I-71 and Rt. 161 were targeted, officials said.
All 15 are in custody at the Franklin County jail and elsewhere, said Cmdr. Jeffrey Blackwell of the Columbus Police Strategic Response Bureau. Their names weren't available late last night.Everyone arrested yesterday was an illegal immigrant and affiliated with the MS-13 gang, which originated in El Salvador, he said. The FBI and Franklin County sheriff's office also contributed to the arrests, Blackwell said.
"MS-13 is a Hispanic gang notorious for violence," he said. "With the growing Hispanic population here, this gang has moved in and done its thing. … Over the last several months, there's been a proliferation of felonious-type crimes."Blackwell said gang members are suspected in two slayings, though he wouldn't give details. None of the people arrested had been charged with murder last night. The specific charges weren't available, but Blackwell said the gang members have been responsible for an escalation of the drug trade, robbery and burglary, among other crimes.
"People are so afraid, so fearful of retaliation from MS-13," he said.Blackwell estimated Columbus' Latino population at between 70,000 and 100,000."This gang has followed and set up shop," he said. Blackwell estimated the gang has more than 100 members in the Columbus area.Scott Best, resident agent in charge for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations, said the probe began after an arrest by Columbus police in 2004. A 2005 operation netted nine "international" gang members, meaning they'd traveled to and from the country, he said."This is part of a nationwide crackdown, Operation Community Shield," Best said. "Columbus is one of the key areas."Five of those in custody have leadership roles with MS-13, he said, and more arrests are expected."We want to prosecute (gang members) on state, local and federal charges," he said.Blackwell said the arrests would have a positive effect on the level of violence and drug dealing.
"We're trying to make people feel safe, so they can come forward," Blackwell said.
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