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Monday, 17 August 2009

Members of two gangs, a Bloods faction and a Crips faction, passed each other in a hallway and exchanged words.

Members of two gangs, a Bloods faction and a Crips faction, passed each other in a hallway and exchanged words.Then, "one coward sucker-punched a kid in the other group," he said.As a scuffle broke out, someone told police that a person in the pavilion had a gun, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman.Before officers could arrive, a member of the Crips had fired a semi-automatic handgun, according to police.One victim lay bleeding on the ground. Another left and was found by police at a nearby amphitheater. Neither shooting victim was willing to give police information about the incident, Bealefeld said, noting that it took hours before the second victim admitted that he had been shot at the Inner Harbor.Law enforcement officials have struggled for decades over how best to monitor and combat gang activity in Baltimore and elsewhere in Maryland. State lawmakers have passed measures aimed at gang leaders in recent years, but prosecutors say the new laws are cumbersome and should be strengthened.Margaret Burns, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office, said it is critical that Maryland define "gang member" in state law and devise enhanced penalties for gang members who are convicted of shootings and other violence. She said prosecutors also want to see a new statute that would allow them to go after anyone who furthers a gang enterprise, such as through drug dealing."It's not a crime to be a gang member," Burns said. "That's the challenge we face."She said police and prosecutors across the state will lobby for new gang legislation next year, but they'll likely face stiff resistance from the House Judiciary Committee, which has questioned the constitutional ramifications of gang-specific legislation."I would hope you don't embark on a crusade to put people in jail because of the color that they wear," Del. Luiz R.S. Simmons, a Montgomery County Democrat, told prosecutors during the 2007 session. Burns also said local law enforcement agencies, including police and prosecutors, are trying to create better information-sharing systems about gangs. But gang members, she said, seem to

"Sureño Villains 13" street gang Nortes had been marking out the Sureños' graffiti "tags."

Four defendants are members of the "Sureño Villains 13" street gang. Just before midnight Saturday they had argued with several members of the rival "Norte" gang at a South Park gas station. Apparently, the Sureños were angry that the Nortes had been marking out the Sureños' graffiti "tags."When the Sureños warned them to leave their tags alone, the Nortes just laughed, the documents say. The Sureños talked about shooting the Nortes right then and there but decided against it because a gas-station surveillance camera might record them.Meanwhile, the Nortes ran away, down an alley. But about 20 minutes later, the Sureños found their foes behind a house in the 1000 block of South Sullivan Street, the documents say.Gomez-Pablo parked the SUV, and Rapisura, Gomez-Cervantes and Santos got out and ran toward the Nortes. Several shots rang out, and Joshua S. Vanhalteren was hit once in the back, the documents say.Vanhalteren ended up at Harborview Medical Center, but his wound was not life-threatening, police said.After the shooting, the Sureños ran back to the SUV, and Gomez Pablo drove out of South Park, intending to go to his house in West Seattle. But two Seattle police detectives driving toward the scene of the shooting spotted the SUV, and the foursome was stopped on Interstate 5.A police report says detectives found two semi-automatic pistols — both empty — in the SUV, along with some gang paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana.Of the four men charged in the crime, only Rapisura has a criminal record. Prosecutors say he has twice been convicted of assault.

Los Palillos ,The Toothpicks Crew impersonated police and used handguns and Tasers to assault, rob, kidnap and often times kill their victims

Suspected drug lord and 16 alleged members of his kidnapping and murder crew believed responsible for nine murders and the attempted slaying of a policeman, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office."This rogue group of individuals is responsible for a string of brutal murders and kidnappings that demonstrate the ugly reality of cross-border violence," said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis."Thanks to extraordinary cooperation from several law enforcement agencies and the dedication of District Attorney investigators and prosecutors, we have essentially dismantled this dangerous organization," she said. The district attorney's office was assisted in its investigation by the FBI, California Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, San Diego Police Department, San Diego County Sheriff's Department and Chula Vista Police Department.The SDPD performed its largest DNA analysis during the investigation due to the number of items seized and individuals processed during the operation.FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Keith Slotter called the circumstances surrounding the murders "absolutely shocking" and "almost beyond human comprehension."More than 120 witnesses testified to a grand jury about violent incidents in which members of Los Palillos -- or "Toothpicks" -- often impersonated police and used handguns and Tasers to assault, rob, kidnap and often times kill their victims, according to the indictment.The nine murder victims were lured to houses rented by members of Los Palillos, or abducted and held at those houses before eventually being murdered, authorities said.The bodies of seven of the victims were found by residents after being dumped in neighborhoods in Chula Vista, San Diego and Bonita.The bodies of the other two were dissolved in acid in May 2007 at a rented house in San Diego, according to the indictment returned Aug. 6 after a two-year investigation.Some members of the ring were arrested in June 2007, when investigators located a kidnapping victim being held at a home on Point Dume Court in Chula Vista.FBI SWAT officers rescued the 32-year-old businessman and apprehended five kidnappers. Two leaders of Los Palillos were convicted of kidnapping for ransom last December and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Two other abductors pleaded guilty, and two defendants are still awaiting trial.
In the new indictment, the alleged ringleader of Los Palillos, Jorge Rojas Lopez, is charged with nine murders and numerous special circumstance allegations, making him eligible for the death penalty if convicted.Fourteen other defendants face similar charges and could also be eligible for the death penalty.Deputy District Attorney Mark Amador alleged that Rojas Lopez formed the Los Palillos marijuana and methamphetamine distribution ring after the Arellano Felix Organization killed his brother."Jorge Rojas Lopez has a deep animosity for the AFO," the prosecutor said.
Rojas Lopez and Juan Laureano Arvizu are also charged with attempted murder of a peace officer for a Sept. 28, 2005, attack in which 19 shots were fired at a Chula Vista police officer.Rojas Lopez, 30, Jesus Lopez-Becerra, 30, Juan Francisco Estrada-Gonzalez, 36, Edgar Frausto Lopez, 35, Jorge Salvador Moreno, 38, Jose Leonel Olivera Beritan, 35, and David Valencia, 39, all pleaded not guilty Thursday and were ordered held without bail. A status conference was set for Sept. 2.

Derick Johnson member of the Black Gangsters Disciples street gang arrested

Agents arrested 31-year-old Derick Johnson on two charges, the sale of cocaine and trafficking cocaine. Berry says Johnson is a member of the Black Gangsters Disciples street gang. Berry would not disclose the specific location where Johnson allegedly sold the drugs, but the arrest was made at the corner of East Broad and North Central late Wednesday afternoon.“The transaction took place with us monitoring the undercover agent meeting Derick Demetrius Johnson, in making the buy and then setting up another buy, and then we got warrants and arrested him last night over on the east side,” said Major Berry.Agents say they seized just over 50 grams of cocaine. The drugs have a street value of about $5,000.

WANTED Bloods ringleader Luqman Abdullah

Union County authorities are hunting for a Bloods ringleader who they say keeps giving them the slip but operated an aggressive drug ring out of Elizabeth that netted about $700,000 a week. The elusive Luqman Abdullah, 27, has an extensive criminal history that includes 15 arrests and seven felony convictions for burglary, resisting arrest, manufacturing and distributing drugs, possession of an assault firearm and aggravated assault, authorities said.He is believed to be armed and extremely dangerous.Abdullah rose to prominence on the streets of Elizabeth after he helped kidnap a rival drug dealer in 2003, stuffed the man into the trunk of his car and shot him, according to Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow. He and three other Bloods members sprayed bullets into the trunk, shut it and left the Dodge Intrepid parked on the street, authorities said.The victim survived and was discovered the next day by a truck driver who heard cries from the trunk.
Abdullah served jail time in connection with that shooting, but when he was released he allegedly further tightened his control of the cocaine trade in Elizabeth, then expanded into Newark neighborhood. Anyone selling cocaine on his turf had to purchase it from him, or face violent retaliation, authorities said.Last November, authorities raided several of Abdullah's alleged stash houses, arresting 15 people and recovering more than three kilos of cocaine, more than $80,000 in cash and a collection of guns that included a stolen AK-47 assault rifle, according to Romankow. Authorities said Abdullah was not found during the raids. The drug ring allegedly had been operating in Essex and Union counties and distributed at least two kilos of cocaine every week, with a street value of $350,000 per kilo.
The night of April 23, 2009, law enforcement officers attempted to arrest Abdullah in the parking lot of a mall in Edison. But Abdullah, a former Elizabeth high school track star and college football player, led police on a swift foot-chase through the mall parking lot, dashing across six lanes of traffic and into a large apartment complex, where officers said he disappeared in the dark amid dozens of buildings.
Authorities could not say why Abdullah allegedly went from athlete to drug ring operator. Nor could they say how Abdullah has managed to keep hiding from them.
But since the parking lot incident, he may have surfaced one other time. Authorities said Abdullah was spotted by several witnesses and informants at a Hot 97 Summer Jam concert in June. He apparently was sitting in the third row of at the concert, which was attended by 50,000 people.Abdullah has been charged with racketeering, maintaining a narcotics production facility and numerous drug and weapons offenses. Once arrested, authorities said he will be held on $5 million bail.

27-year-old Marcello Jones was found shot to death

Police Capt. Jody Suit says 27-year-old Marcello Jones was found shot to death about 5 a.m. Saturday inside a unit at the Oak Ridge Apartments.Del City police are investigating an apparent gang-related killing on the city's southwest side.Suit says investigators are questioning two men who were detained at the complex with a gun in their vehicle, but he says its not known if the men are connected to the shooting.He says officers were called to the complex several times late Friday and early Saturday to reports of fighting and shots fired.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Raul Lopez, 19, and Jorge Luis Meza Ruiz, 22, pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder.

The men are accused in the fatal shooting of Andres Chavarin on Tuesday night outside his house in the 700 block of Yucatan Way.Defendants usually enter a not-guilty plea during arraignment hearings.This is the second time this year that the District Attorney's Office has charged a teenager as an adult.In April, 17-year-old Ezekiel Lopez-Figueroa was charged as an adult in the death of 11-year-old King City resident Esther Rubio.Lopez-Figueroa pleaded not guilty in June to murder, attempted murder, gang enhancements and conspiracy charges.Esther and her older brother were shot after a soccer match Dec. 2 at King City High School.

Carlos "Flaco" Espinoza was arrested Friday, along with Juan Nunez, Antonio Gayosso, both 19; and Julio Montoya, 21.

Carlos "Flaco" Espinoza was arrested Friday, along with Juan Nunez, Antonio Gayosso, both 19; and Julio Montoya, 21. They are accused of obtaining a gun, driving around in separate cars in search of rival gang members and shooting at them, according to court papers filed by the Monterey County District Attorney's Office.Prosecutors say Espinoza pulled the trigger in the shooting death of Jose Manuel Perez, 15.
All four defendants are charged with murder and related crimes, and prosecutors said they were acting on behalf of the Sureno street gang.Perez played football for Salinas High and was described Monday by Salinas Police Chief Louis Fetherolf as "an innocent bystander." Perez was fatally wounded at 2:15 p.m. Thursday on the 500 block of Terrance Street. He was walking to football practice at the time.
Nunez, Montoya and Gayosso appeared before Superior Court Judge Adrienne Grover on Monday, but their arraignment was delayed until 1:30 p.m. today because Espinoza had not been transported from Juvenile Hall to the courtroom.

18th Street Gang linked to three handguns found in a car

Alex Estudyo-Herrera, 30, and Carlos Alberto Reyes, 23, both described as suspected gang members, face weapons charges after they were linked to three handguns found in a car and in Reyes' home, police said. The arrests come as police have stepped up pressure on residents to report weapons and drug dealing after a string of shootings in recent weeks.Police approached the men at 6:30 p.m. Saturday outside a home on Commercial Avenue and Redmond Street after learning they might be at that location, police Sgt. David Martella said. They allegedly tried to flee and got into a Ford Explorer, but were cornered by police.Inside the car, police found a defaced .32-caliber revolver that Estudyo-Herrera is suspected of dropping to the floor of the passenger's side, Martella said. Police also found a chrome .380-caliber handgun in Reyes' front pocket, he said.Both were arrested at the scene with the loaded semiautomatic weapons. A later search of Reyes' home at 823 Nassau St. in North Brunswick netted a third gun — a .22-caliber revolver — and a bag of hollow-point bullets, Martella said.The men are believed to be members of the 18th Street Gang, he said.Reyes was charged with two counts each of possession of a handgun and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose, along with possession of hollow point bullets. Information about his bail was not immediately available.Estudyo-Herrera, charged with possession of a handgun and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose, was being held Monday at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick in lieu of $48,000 bail.The effort, bolstered by information developed over more than a week, was carried out by investigators from the department's Street Crimes Unit and uniformed patrol officers, Martella said

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Jorge Luis Meza Ruiz, 22, and Raul Lopez, 19, both of Salinas, made their first appearance in court following their arrests

Jorge Luis Meza Ruiz, 22, and Raul Lopez, 19, both of Salinas, made their first appearance in court following their arrests in the fatal shooting Tuesday night of Andres Chavarin outside his home in the 700 block of Yucatan Way.Chavarin's death marked the 20th homicide in the city this year and the sixth gang-related killing in a string of street violence that began July 27. The city saw its 21st homicide of 2009 on Thursday afternoon.Monterey County Superior Court Judge Adrienne Grover continued the arraignment to 1:30 p.m. Monday. Defendants typically plead not guilty during these initial court hearings.Ruiz and Lopez are charged with first-degree murder and acting for the benefit of a criminal street gang. Ruiz is additionally charged with the personal use of a firearm.At 8 p.m. Tuesday, officers found Chavarin lying in the front yard of his home. The teen, who had suffered several gunshot wounds, was taken to Natividad Medical Center and pronounced dead.Witnesses told police they saw two people drive away from the shooting in a white Ford F-250 pickup, and witnesses immediately pointed police to a mobile home park in the 1200 block of Rider Avenue.Near the location, patrol officers encountered the pickup, pulled it over and arrested its occupants, Ruiz and Lopez.Monterey-based attorney Lawrence E. Biegel, who made a special appearance on behalf of Lopez on Thursday afternoon, said in court that he wanted a chance to review the police reports in the homicide arrests before deciding whether to take the case.Grover extended the hearing to give the attorneys time to informally discuss the reports that police forwarded to prosecutors."I just want to know what the allegations are," Biegel said after the hearing.David Rabow, a deputy district attorney, initially declined to allow Biegel access to the reports, saying he was unwilling to show them to someone who was not committing to represent Lopez.During Thursday's hearing, Ruiz listened to the judge's explanation of the charges against him through a Spanish interpreter. Represented by the Public Defender's Office, he agreed to continue his arraignment to Monday. Ruiz remains in custody on $1.1 million bail. Lopez is being held on just over $1 million bail.Biegel said he was contacted by Lopez's family members who are interested in retaining him for the case. He said Lopez's three brothers, a sister and sister-in-law showed up in court on Thursday. Lopez's parents were not present, Biegel said."They're very concerned, obviously [Lopez] is somebody without a record," he said, adding that Lopez is the youngest son in a large family. "His parents are having a very tough time."

The “Dream Team.” organized criminal enterprise that committed bank robberies and armed robberies around Genesee County

charged 21 individuals who were part of an organized criminal enterprise that committed bank robberies and armed robberies around Genesee County over the past few years. The names and birthdates of those charged are:
Dwayne Dejuan Alexander, 5/02/90
Raymond Louis Brown III, 4/28/90
Jequillian Tyran Chandler, 5/18/89
Sharron Frederick Criss, 9/07/90
Demetrius Damon Earl, 6/15/88
Denell Dequan Jenkins, 6/28/88
Quavone Corandas Jenkins, 5/29/91
Troy Mackner Jiles, 4/15/89
Robert Lee Lewis, 9/17/90
Shukariya Loetrian Mason, 10/27/91
Javonte Tyreece McMillian, 1/04/90
Isaac Ryan Moore, 4/04/85
Datwain Lee Perkins, 5/16/90
Darrius Jequan Robinson, 1/23/1989
Devonta Montez Smith, 4/24/90
Kalien Kenard Stubbs, 3/21/90
Michael Courtney Wilbon, 12/05/91
Rashulae Alola Wilbon-Streeter, 12/27/90
Eric Darnell Williams, 8/31/89
Tashuan Cortez Woodley, 11/25/89
Prosecutor Leyton said that his office began receiving reports around 3-4 years ago involving a group of young criminals who called themselves the “Dream Team.” They were involved with drug activity, robberies, various other crimes, and conflicts with other local gangs. Over time, they began to associate with members of a local rap group called the “Block Boyz” and, eventually, they combined together and took on the street name of “Dynasty.” Additionally, some of the members of this gang associated themselves with yet another group who called themselves “FOE” which stood for Family Over Everything.Over time, local law enforcement agencies and the Prosecutor’s Office began to piece together a pattern of criminal activity that involved bank robberies and armed robberies in the City of Flint, Flint Township, Grand Blanc Township, and the City of Burton.The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were brought into the investigation and last month, July 2009, 21 arrest warrants were authorized and around 20 search warrants were executed by the ATF and Grand Blanc Township police with the aid of local agencies. During the execution of those search warrants, numerous guns were found along with other incriminating evidence pointing to gang activity. Arrest warrants have been issued against 21 individuals and 20 of the 21 have either been arrested or have turned themselves in and are awaiting preliminary examinations in 67th District Court. In all, More than 260 counts have been charged.Charges against these individuals include:armed robbery and bank robbery which carry a penalty of life in prison or any term of years;conducting a criminal enterprise and conspiracy to conduct a criminal enterprise, both 20-year felonies with possible fines of One Hundred Thousand Dollars along with forfeiture of all proceeds from the criminal activities; and various gun charges.The robberies took place at various gas stations, banks, and stores in Grand Blanc Township, Burton, Flint Township, and the City of Flint.

Salvatore and Manuel Alas from El Salvador arrested in Saratoga Springs are members of the violent international gang MS13

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Monday arrested three men living above the Big Apple Restaurant & Lounge on Route 9 on charges of illegal immigration, and two of them were found to be "associated with the MS13 gang," ICE spokesman Harold Ort said. The criminal gang is known formally as Mara Salvatrucha, and its members have been involved with contract killings, human trafficking, home invasions, assaults and other crimes. It typically has operated in the Southwest and on the West Coast.Two El Salvador nationals arrested in Saratoga Springs are members of the violent international gang MS13, and police are investigating whether a Salvadoran from Corinth who is charged in the kidnapping of a 24-year-old woman is part of the group, authorities said Wednesday.Two of the men who were arrested worked at the restaurant. Noting that most of the gang's members are Salvadorans, Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III said they ''have a reputation of being extremely violent, in fact one of the most violent gangs."He said members have typically sported tattoos, but have recently started using tattoos that are visible only under ultraviolet light. Ort would not identify the three men arrested Monday as part of what he described as a targeted enforcement action. He confirmed that one of the suspects had been released.Guy Benacquista, co-owner of Big Apple, identified two of the men as cousins Salvatore and Manuel Alas from El Salvador. He said they had worked as lunch cooks at the restaurant since it opened almost two years ago. An Albany County jail spokeswoman on Wednesday confirmed the two men were there. The third man had been living with the Alas cousins and was freed after making $10,000 bail, Benacquista said."All three aliens were arrested for violations of the immigration law and are awaiting a hearing before a federal judge," Ort said.
The arrests came a week after State Police apprehended Victor V. Hernandez-Perez of Corinth and charged him with felony kidnapping and robbery in a crime that shocked the community. Police say the 23-year-old Salvadoran attacked and abducted a woman in downtown Saratoga Springs and threatened her with sexual assault and death.
The woman escaped naked and bloody from the man's van more than 10 miles away, police said.Authorities say Hernandez-Perez is an illegal immigrant who got his job at Bentley's Restaurant on Route 9 with forged residency and Social Security documents. He is being held in Saratoga County jail without bail; police are investigating if he is a member of MS13, Murphy said. Ort would say only that ICE could seek the removal of Hernandez-Perez from the U.S. A county grand jury is considering Hernandez-Perez's case this week. Police are investigating if his DNA matches that of suspects in open criminal cases, including a report of a Hispanic man who knocked out and sexually abused a woman in the Lake George area on June 30. Warren County investigators could not be reached for an update on that case on Wednesday.The arrests of the Alas cousins shocked Benacquista, a first-generation American who came from Italy in 1955 and is sensitive to helping immigrants. The workers were about 30, and had presented proof of their residency and Social Security numbers, Benacquista said. He had thought the pair were "clean- cut, dependable, hard working."

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

William Rodriguez, a 29-year-old Modesto resident and known gang member, was arrested and several other known gang members were detained

Modesto Police Department
William Rodriguez, a 29-year-old Modesto resident and known gang member, was arrested and several other known gang members were detained during the investigation and warrant service.The search warrant was a result of an investigation into the sale of illegal narcotics and gang activity at the home. An assault rifle, a sawed-off shotgun, and other firearms were found in the home. In addition to the seizure of eight firearms, investigators discovered over half an ounce of methamphetamine, approximately an ounce of marijuana, and over $2,000 in cash at the home.Rodriguez was arrested for his involvement in the March 29 assault on a Modesto police officer. During that incident the officer was surrounded by a group of gang members after attempting to break up a street fight.Rodriguez was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, lynching, and false imprisonment of a police officer for his involvement in the March incident.Rodriguez, out on bail from the previous incident, was arrested Monday for possession of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of marijuana for sale, being a gang member in possession of a firearm, committing a felony while out on bail, possession of a prohibited weapon, and participation in a criminal street gang.He will be booked at the Stanislaus County jail.

Gulfton area is the headquarters for a gang known as the Southwest Cholos.

war zone as rival gangs fight for territory and power. Gulfton area is the headquarters for a gang known as the Southwest Cholos. Three weeks ago, outside of a nightclub on Clarewood, Houston police say a Southwest Cholo gang member was shot several times in the parking lot. Carlos Rogue, 17, died at the hospital. Witnesses said the shooter was Eric Hernandez, an MS-13 gang member. Police found him three days later, and now he’s sitting in jail, charged with murder. 11 News has learned that in recent months, MS-13 gang members have been coming into the Gulfton area, looking to take control. Just last Friday, paramedics and police were called to another scene where an alleged Southwest Cholo was severely beaten by a group of MS-13 affiliates. The victim went into seizures, but survived. Reverend Alejandro Montes of the San Mateo Iglesia Episcopal has witnessed the gang wars firsthand in Gulfton. He’s a member of P.A.C.T., a police and clergy team fighting the violence.
“When I see kids 15-16 years old, it is very hard. I think it could be one of my church kids, you know,” Montes said. Montes said stopping the violence starts with the entire family, because for the youth in Gulfton, gangs and violence have become a way of life. “We just kind of learn to live with it, because it happens so often. It’s kind of like breathing. We don’t talk about breathing, it just happens,” Wendy Pineda, the youth coordinator at San Mateo, said. “I had like 10-year-olds, elementary school children talking to me about it,” she said. The mayor’s anti-gang office said it’s currently working with 10 gang members in the Gulfton area who are looking for a way out, and 300 kids from Gulfton participated in the mayor’s summer camp program. The young singles who moved to Gulfton in the late 70s and early 80s eventually lost their jobs during the oil bust and moved away. Rents plummeted, and Gulfton changed. Now it’s home to gangs fighting for control and innocent residents ducking for cover.

Mith Phakdy, 30, of Newark, and John Seuasoukeng, 23, of Weed, arrested

Mith Phakdy, 30, of Newark, and John Seuasoukeng, 23, of Weed, were arrested just after midnight on Ninth Street and Newville Road in Orland, the Glenn County Sheriff's Department reported.The men were stopped in a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee by a Glenn County Sheriff's deputy who believed the driver, Phakdy, may have been intoxicated, according to a statement from Sheriff Larry Jones.Phakdy, a registered gang member on probation in Alameda County, was not intoxicated. Seuasoukeng is a registered gang member on probation in Siskiyou County, Jones said.Deputies found two concealed handguns – a loaded Taurus .45-caliber semi-automatic and an unloaded .40-caliber Glock – in the back seat during a subsequent vehicle search. The serial numbers on both weapons were partially removed. Both guns were sent to the state Justice Department for analysis, the sheriff reported.Jones said it was not clear why they were in the area, but added there was evidence the two were gambling at Rolling Hills Casino in Corning."We did find $4,000 they won from gambling in the center console," Jones said. Investigators were able to verify the money as gambling proceeds, he said.Phakdy and Seuasoukeng were booked into Glenn County Jail on suspicion of being felons in possession of firearms, being criminal street gang members carrying loaded firearms in public and tampering with identification marks on firearms, all felonies.Each posted a $35,000 bail bond and were released the same day. They are set to appear Sept. 9 in Glenn County Superior Court.

Westside gang drug agents raided five homes and businesses, confiscating cars, guns and cash. Sixteen people were arrested.

Cars came and went at all hours at the homes of Daniel Perez, 27, accused of leading the Westside gang, and his brother David Perez, 25. The brothers disappeared for days at a time. Nobody seemed to work.drug agents raided five homes and businesses, confiscating cars, guns and cash. Sixteen people were arrested. Most remain jailed. Two more are on the run.Most are charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine. Daniel Perez could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of directing the activities of a criminal gang.Like many other gangs, Westside used fronts to wash cash, investigators said.Members operated the hot-dog shop and a secretarial service elsewhere in Winter Garden, arrest papers show. Although they didn’t do much business, a steady flow of money was deposited into corporate accounts. Investigators said it came from drug profits.“It gives it the appearance of legitimacy,” said the lead case agent, Brent Harrison of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.The arrests stemmed from a painstaking 11-month investigation that involved intercepted cell-phone conversations among gang members, surveillance, bank records and the use of informants.The scope of the group’s enterprises was large for a neighborhood gang, said Chuck Broadway, the FDLE supervisor on the case. But gangs of all sizes are a growing problem in Florida and throughout the U.S., experts said.
Once confined largely to South Florida, gangs have spread to Central Florida, Tampa and beyond. Orlando has about 2,500 gang members, according to the National Gang Intelligence Center.In this cyber age, MySpace and Facebook have become strong recruiting tools for young people. In 2007, 15.5 percent of Florida middle- and high-schoolers surveyed said at least one of their closest friends had belonged to a gang in the past year.Last year, Attorney General Bill McCollum unveiled a gang-reduction strategy, citing an “alarming” problem in the state. The Westside arrests were a result of that strategy, which targets kingpins.Most of Westside’s members grew up together in the Winter Garden area and were documented as a gang in 1997. They started with small-time shenanigans such as graffiti, fights and hanging out, rising to trafficking in large quantities of cocaine and marijuana, Harrison said.The gang isn’t nearly as widespread as the notorious Crips or Bloods. But there are about 80 members and associates in Central Florida, Texas and Mexico, including the Perez brothers; their mother, Olga Perez, 47; and a cousin, Adam Medina, 22, who was a drug runner, court papers show.A traffic stop in Louisiana yielded 40 kilos of cocaine. The man transporting the drug from Texas told them it was to be delivered to a man named “Fierro” in Clermont. Investigators say Daniel Perez is Fierro, which if spelled with one “r” means “fierce” in Spanish.Undercover agents delivered the cocaine and arrested a longtime Westside member, Nicolas Heller, 26, a runner for Daniel Perez, documentation shows. He is serving a six-year federal prison term for conspiracy to traffic cocaine and is a witness for the prosecution in the current case.Heller named the No. 2 man at Westside, Hector Escalante, 26, as a cocaine supplier. The two have known each other since they were 14. Escalante, arrested in July 2006 on cocaine charges, told a DEA agent that he distributed nearly 200 kilos of cocaine supplied by Daniel Perez.Escalante also told the DEA that Perez obtained his cocaine in a community in Mexico where Perez’s father owns a home. Investigators think Perez’s stepmother brought the cocaine to Texas, where she owns a clothing store and where Perez’s grandmother and father live, arrest papers state. The stepmother has not been charged.Though the drug trade is risky, gang members earned far more than the average working person, court papers show. Ten vehicles, including Hummers, a BMW, a Chevrolet Tahoe, a Chrysler 300 and a Dodge Magnum, were seized in Clermont and Winter Garden during the May raid.Five guns, $30,000, cocaine and computers also were confiscated. In the past four years, 125 pounds of cocaine and 100 pounds of marijuana tied to the group were seized, Harrison said.Escalante admitted delivering $810,000 in drug payments, hidden in a concealed compartment in a Suzuki Forenza, in three trips to Texas in 2006. He earned $5,000 for the first trip and $24,000 each for the others. On each of the last two occasions, he brought 20 kilograms of cocaine back to Central Florida with him, he told authorities.

Cnange from Cobras street gang to Young Latin Organization Disciples,Change Gangs get Shot

The Northwest Side man who goes by the name "TK," or "True Killer" was involved in last summer's murder of Alfonso Cintron, 33, and Mario Arteaga, 36 but is not believed to be the shooter, police sources said.Edwin Figueroa was so intent on proving he left the Cobras, he helped kill two of its alleged members to prove his allegiance to his new gang, Cook County prosecutors said.Figueroa, 22, was ordered held without bail Thursday for the July 28, 2008, murders.Figueroa and an uncharged man nicknamed "Smurf" wanted to switch from the Cobras street gang to the Young Latin Organization Disciples, Assistant State's Attorney George Canellis said. So, to show devotion to their new gang, the pair allegedly announced they would go out looking for Cobras to shoot.The two, along with some other Disciples, were around the 4300 block of West Wrightwood when they noticed the two victims sitting in a Lincoln Continental, authorities said. That's when Cintron and Arteaga thought to be Cobras were shot.Figueroa was charged after telling someone else he was involved, police said. He gave a videotaped statement this week saying he was present at the murders, authorities said.Police said they have other suspects in the slaying but that they have not been charged.

“Down West Boys” street gang, based in Bennettsville, and affiliate themselves with Folk/Crip gangs

Patrick “Big Pat” Broughton; David “Demont” Ward, also known as “Black David”; Demario “Mazo” Baker; Demario “dee” Hasty; Marlon “Fish” Hasty; Lokheim Campbell; and James Luther “Nitty” McLean, also known as “Little Nitty.” Deputies, along with police, SLED agents, U.S. Marshals and S.C. Department of Probation, Pardon and Parole Services agents made the arrests in Bennettsville, Florence and Lumberton, N.C.Investigators said they believe the suspects are members of the “Down West Boys” street gang, based in Bennettsville, and affiliate themselves with Folk/Crip gangs, according to a sheriff’s office press release. It’s thought the suspects have acted together since 2004 to commit several violent crimes, robberies and drug conspiracies.“We feel that we have made a huge impact of violent crime today in Marlboro County and anticipate the development of new information and more arrests related to this case and other cases in the near future,” sheriff’s Lt. Jamie Seales said in the release.The suspects will be arraigned in federal court in Florence on Friday morning, where they will be notified of the counts and specifics of the indictment.“It is my hope that these arrests will wake up some of the younger gang members in Marlboro County and help them realize what a life of crime does to their future,” Sheriff Fred Knight said in the release. “I would also like to say that once again, teamwork and cooperation between agencies has resulted in more successful arrests and a case we feel will impact gang crime in our county.“

Leroy Frasier, and 14 Indiana and Michigan-based members and associates of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club have plead guilty

Leroy Frasier, who oversaw the Michigan and Indiana Outlaws, will be sentenced Oct. 27 by U.S. District Judge Julian Cook.The original indictment alleged that the Outlaws Motorcycle Club is an enterprise whose members allegedly committed, attempted to, and threatened to commit acts of violence to protect and expand the gang’s criminal operations. Several of the defendants were charged with allegedly assaulting various members of the rival Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, in some cases with dangerous weapons including a hammer, motorcycle parts and a cane. Several defendants allegedly dealt narcotics, including methamphetamine, marijuana, hashish and cocaine, while others were charged with various firearms offenses.The gang as chapters in Indiana, Detroit, the Downriver area and Bay City, officials said. The 13 other defendants began pleading guilty last year. "The guilty pleas by a large number of leaders and members of this illegal motorcycle gang are a good example of the success that comes from effective federal, state and local law enforcement cooperation,” said U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg. “This case has managed to put a damper on the heightened dangers of violence and other criminal acts posed by organized gangs such as the Outlaws." The guilty pleas included leaders, members and gang associates of Outlaws’ chapters in Fort Wayne, Ind., Indianapolis, and areas of Detroit including Eastside, Detroit Westside, Downriver and Bay City.
The defendants were charged with various crimes including violent crimes in aid of racketeering; conspiracy to commit violent crimes in aid of racketeering; distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and hashish; possessing a firearm after conviction for a felony; and sale of a firearm to a known felon. 14 Indiana and Michigan-based members and associates of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club have pleaded guilty to federal assault, drug and other charges.U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg and other law-enforcement officials announced Thursday the pleas were entered in federal court in Detroit as far back as August 2008.The government says leaders, members and associates of Outlaws chapters in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Ind., Bay City, Mich., and the Detroit area pleaded guilty to crimes including assault with a dangerous weapon, cocaine and marijuana distribution and possession of hashish.Prosecutors describe the Outlaws as an international criminal organization.

Shooting in connection with an ongoing dispute between members of the "Folk" gang, and the Trinitarios

Confrontations between rival gang members led to one teen being shot and two others jailed on charges that they both fired handguns at him and another youth, according to police reports.The victim, identified in court records as "Raul H.," 17, of Nashua, was shot in the pelvis and right forearm, and remains in stable condition at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, Detective Lt. Jeff Bukunt said Wednesday.The victim knew one of the suspects, Jeffrey Ramos, 17, of 75 Lock St., and detectives found and questioned Ramos Tuesday evening, according to police reports filed Wednesday in Nashua District Court.Ramos admitted to shooting in the direction of Raul H. and another youth with him, Cesar Walteros, 18, of 2 Friar Tuck Lane, but said he meant only to scare them, police reported. Ramos is accused of firing four rounds toward the youths. Ramos and another witness also implicated Silvio "Carlos" Torres, 20, of 43 Chestnut St., who is accused of firing a single round. Police found five, .40 caliber shell casings in the street at the scene.Both Ramos and Torres were jailed after arraignment Wednesday in Nashua District Court, with probable cause hearings scheduled next week. Ramos' bail was set at $160,000 cash, and Torres at $100,000 cash. Each faces felony assault and reckless conduct charges.The incident was the first gang-related shooting of a person in recent history in Nashua, Bukunt and Police Chief Donald Conley said, and Conley stressed that gang violence would remain a top priority for police."I want to make sure the community knows that this kind of act, people that involve themselves in this kind of behavior, it's going to end up being on our top priority list," Conley said. "We're going to go after them with everything we have. People are going to be held accountable, and it's zero tolerance for this kind of behavior."
Conley said he expects the two youths will receive significant prison sentences if convicted of the shooting, despite the fact that neither has any prior criminal record as an adult.Until police find the firearms, it may be impossible to determine which of the suspects actually shot Raul H. One of the bullets passed entirely through the teen's forearm, while the other lodged near his lower spine, and was surgically removed and seized as evidence, Bukunt said."The investigation is still very active and ongoing, and we are working toward recovering the weapons," Bukunt said, adding later, "Detectives in the YSD have been working around the clock on this investigation."Witnesses, the victim and suspects all indicated that the shooting was gang-related, as Raul H. and his friends are associated or members of the "Folk" gang, and the suspects are associates or members of the local Trinitarios. The two groups don't get along, for no particular reason, Bukunt said.
"The shooting was in connection with an ongoing dispute between two groups of suspected gang members," Bukunt said. Walteros and Raul H. had been hanging about outside 68 Ash St. with a group of other youths Monday night, and had just left in Walteros' car shortly before 11 p.m. when Raul H. spotted Ramos, Torres and Torres' 16-year-old brother Michael, witnesses told police.Raul H. and Walteros both got out of the car, and yelled back to his friends nearby, to warn them, he later told police. Michael Torres said both Walteros and Raul H. were yelling at them, police report.Handguns were drawn and police charge that Ramos fired four rounds, while Silvio Torres fired one. Michael Torres was already running down Buck Street when he heard the shots, and the other two youths followed hard on his heels, police reported.Several of Raul H.'s friends drove him to the hospital, police report.Police later got video footage from the home security camera of a residence on Buck Street, which shows the three suspects fleeing, although they were not immediately identifiable on the tape, according to court records.In addition to attempted assault charges, for allegedly firing at Raul H., Ramos and Torres each face reckless conduct charges alleging that they endangered Walteros, who was not hit, and a woman who was sleeping in a nearby home at 87 Ash St. Police recovered a round from the wall of her bedroom, which likely would have penetrated the wall had it not hit a stud, Bukunt said.Ramos is unemployed, and lives with his mother and brothers, he told Judge Brackett Scheffy. Torres works at a local laboratory equipment manufacturer, and also lives with his mother and younger brothers, whom he said he helps support.Police caught up with Torres at his home at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, but he declined to speak about the shooting, police report.

Armando Quintero Guerra La Familia Michoacana targeted arrest

La Familia Michoacana targeted arrests the cartel operates in its namesake state of Michoacan in southwest Mexico.Armando Quintero Guerra, who federal police said was in charge of the cartel's expenses, was among six people arrested Tuesday, said Ramon Eduardo Pequeno, head of the anti-drug unit of the public security ministry.
Also arrested was Lourdes Medina Hernandez, who is in a relationship with La Familia's top boss, Servando Gomez, Pequeno said at a news conference.The string of arrests followed the killing of 12 off-duty federal police officers whose bodies were found with signs of torture off a remote highway on July 14. Hit men for La Familia Michoacana linked to the killings were arrested last week, authorities said.
Authorities more than tripled the number of federal police officers patrolling Michoacan in response to the killings. The killings were among a series of reprisals by La Familia after federal police captured one of the group's top leaders, authorities said.An unprecedented wave of violence has washed over Mexico since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels shortly after coming into office in 2006. More than 10,000 people have died in that time span, about 1,000 of them police.

MS-13 street gang targeted victims based on race and suspected rivalries

Alexander Aguilar, 18, of Deer Park, pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the July 20 slaying of Edgar Villalobos. The case has sparked criticism of Suffolk police cutbacks because Villalobos' body remained on a Brentwood street for at least nine hours.Jose Gomez Amaya, 20, of Central Islip, and Edwin Ortiz, 19, of Brentwood, also pleaded not guilty to killing Villalobos, 28, of Bay Shore.
Assistant District Attorney Denise Merrifield said Gomez Amaya was the one who stabbed Villalobos, while Ortiz was the driver and later went back to the scene "and made sure he was dead by kicking him."Aguilar held Villalobos down during the attack, Merrifield said. All three are members of the MS-13 street gang and targeted victims based on race and suspected rivalries, Merrifield said. Aguilar is also charged with felony assault for shooting Wilson Batista in the face on June 15. Batista, 13, is still hospitalized, said his father, Wilson Batista Sr. "He's up and down," the boy's father said. "He's not talking."Also in court were relatives of Dexter Acheampong, who was shot to death in Central Islip on May 26. Ortiz is charged with second-degree murder for acting in concert by being the driver in that case, Merrifield said, while the shooter remains at large.Merrifield said Acheampong, 24, of Medford, was targeted because he was black and mistaken for a rival gang member.

Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang member arrested

Leichhardt man presented himself at Glebe Police Station this morning and was taken to Newtown Police Station where he was charged with riot and affray. 37-year-old man has become the latest alleged bikie charged in connection with a fatal brawl between rival gangs at Sydney airport. Police allege he is a member of the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang and that he was among those fighting with Hells Angels gang members at the airport's domestic terminal on March 22. Anthony Zervas, 29, was bashed and stabbed with scissors during the fight and died as a result. On Monday, the 37-year-old suspect was refused bail to appear in Newtown Local Court.
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