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Sunday, 30 March 2008

Jose Macias at the hospital after he and his friend were sprayed with bullets

Jose Macias, 17, died at the hospital after he and his friend were sprayed with bullets while walking near 13th and Ridge Avenue.More than 100 people attended a prayer vigil held for Macias and his friend on Saturday night at the site of the shooting. At the vigil, Macias' mother read a statement from the family."He will continue to live in my heart, my family's hearts. And all of those who were blessed to have known him, may Jose continue to live in your heart," Josie Garcia, Macias' mother, said.Investigators will not say if the shooting was gang-related, but relatives said if it is, they want the violence to end.
"Revenge is not ours, and revenge is not going to solve anything," Marie Hernandez, Macias' aunt, said. "We need to let the Lord take care of it, and let the police do their job."Hernandez said Macias loved football and was making strides in school.
Detectives at the KCK Police Department need the public's help to solve the case. Police are looking for a red or maroon late 90s four-door sedan in connection with the shooting. It could be a Dodge with gray primer on the driver's-side front fender.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Individuals found guilty of possessing weapons rose by 43 per cent from 2001 to 2005.

Between 1997 and 2006,m, the number of authorised firearms officers in England and Wales fell from 6,738 to 6,584, even though there have been increases in overall police numbers. Yet statistics released by the Home Office show the number of individuals found guilty of possessing weapons rose by 43 per cent from 2001 to 2005. Over the same period, the number of crimes involving firearms recorded by police rose by 11 per cent, from 10,023 in 2001 to 11,084 in 2005. The overall drop conceals far greater falls in key areas of cities with some of the country’s worst records on gun crime. On Merseyside, where Liverpool has been ravaged by violence, the number of firearms officers has fallen by 15 per cent, from 147 in 1997 to 129 in 2006. Yet the same area has recorded a 183 per cent rise in the number of persons found guilty of possessing or distributing prohibited weapons or ammunition between 1997 and 2005. And Merseyside has seen the number of crimes where firearms were used soar by 62 per cent, from 299 in 2002 to 485 in 2006. A similar picture emerges in Avon and Somerset, where the number of firearms officers has fallen by 29 per cent, from 165 in 1997 to 117 in 2006, while the firearms crimes soared by 62 per cent, from 131 in 2002 to 167. And in Northamptonshire, another gun crime ‘hotspot’, the number of firearms officers has fallen by 39 per cent, from 92 in 1997 to 56 in 2006. There is a good reason to consider the idea that the reason firearm related crimes are on the rise in those areas is directly related to the decrease in armed police. When gun control advocates preach the dogma of gun grabbers, they never seem to understand the idea of self defense. It seems that if the good guys give up their guns, the bad guys will follow suit. You can see, and hopefully learn from, Britain’s mistake in inhibiting its citizens ability to defend themselves.
I don’t have a reason to own a gun other than hunting, collecting and self-defense. There are millions like me. There is no good reason to increase the likelihood of a criminal attack and decrease my ability to defend myself at the same time. It simply doesn’t make sense.

Friday, 28 March 2008

‘Gangsta Fah Life' is behind bars

Dance hall artiste 'Movado', the self proclaimed ‘Gangsta Fah Life' is behind bars following his arrest Wednesday night on gun related charges.
The entertainer has been charged with two counts of shooting with intent and illegal possession of a firearm.Movado, 27, whose real name is David Brooks, was held when he showed up for questioning in connection with a shooting incident on July 27th last year on Mannings Hill Road in St. Andrew.Head of the Major Investigation Task Force Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Greene said Movado will remain in custody for at least another 24 hours.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

T.I. has been under house arrest the past few months under $3 million bond.

T.I. preached at Easter services in Atlanta, now he's coming clean.
The latest rumor spreading is T.I. may plead to guilty to various gun charges today (March 27) as part of a plea agreement.
T.I. was arrested back on October 13th for allegedly trying to purchase a machine gun and two silencers from his bodyguard.
He would be indicted on charges of possessing unregistered machine guns and silencers; unlawfully possessing machine guns; and of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting T.I.'s defense team and prosecutors have been in intense negotiations over a plea agreement in the past several weeks. The plea deal would have to be approved by a federal judge.
T.I. has been under house arrest the past few months under $3 million bond.

Milton Pacheco,Abraham Ojeda were charged with possession of a fully loaded machine gun

An anonymous witness to an apparent gun transaction on Chestnut Street last night led to the arrest of two suspects and the confiscation of a fully loaded machine gun.
One of the suspects was an illegal alien from Guatemala, Police Chief Anthony R. Scott said.A caller informed police of the transaction shortly after 10 p.m. and gave descriptions of the suspects and vehicles involved, Scott said.When police arrived at the scene, however, the suspects and vehicles were gone. The caller then called police a second time and gave the dispatcher the 93 Elm Street address of one of the suspects.There police found two suspects and one of the reported vehicles.
After frisking the suspects and obtaining permission from them to search the vehicle, police discovered and confiscated a Cobray M-11 9 mm machine gun with a fully loaded magazine.Also 97 rounds of Luger Winchester ammunition, 24 live rounds of Winchester 12 gauge buckshot, 4 live rounds of Remmington 12 gauge Magnum buckshot, two sections of galvanized pipe and a Kodak Fun Saver camera.
Milton Pacheco, 32, and Abraham Ojeda, 47, both of 93 Elm St., 3rd floor, were charged with possession of a large capacity weapon, possession of large capacity feeding device and possession of ammunition without an firearms identification card.
Police determined that Pacheco was not legally in the United States and informed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.Innocent pleas on the two suspects’ behalf were entered today in Holyoke District Court.Both were held in lieu of $30,000 cash bail, or $300,000 surety, and a pre-trial hearing was set for April 25, court officials said.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Hilton Adorno-Rosario,Marilyn Quinones-Burgos, Largest gun-trafficking case in decades.

Investigators predicted "Operation Tropical Firepower," as the investigation is known, will expand and link up to 800 weapons to more than a dozen suspects arrested this week and others still at large. Already, it is the region's largest gun-trafficking case in decades.
"Today's arrests of multiple firearms traffickers in Florida and Puerto Rico is the culmination of two and half years of dedication and hard work," said Virginia O'Brien, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' top agent in Tampa. "We will continue to work closely with our law-enforcement partners to prosecute anyone who provides firearms to violent criminals."
Court records describe the gun-smuggling ring in almost the same phrases used in more than a dozen previous gun-running cases involving Puerto Rico since the early 1990s. One of the most notorious cases, last year, involved Orlando International Airport workers who routinely foiled Homeland Security measures by placing guns and drugs on passenger flights to San Juan.The trade exists largely because Puerto Rico has some of the strictest gun laws in the United States. On the island, for instance, gun owners must be able to account for every bullet they buy if questioned by police. At the same time, Florida laws are some of the nation's least restrictive.
Semiautomatic versions of the AK-47 assault rifle, which sell for as little as $350 in Orlando, command $2,000 on the black market in Puerto Rico, according to police and federal court records.Investigators say the black-market buyers are typically drug gangs, whose members are responsible for some of the worst violent crimes per capita in the United States. The island commonwealth is a major port of entry for cocaine and heroin shipped from Colombia to the U.S. mainland.The indictment issued in Tampa states that at least 15 suspects from Puerto Rico flew to Florida from 2004 through March 2007 to obtain state identification cards. Once they had drivers licenses, sometimes with false information, they fanned out across the state from Miami to Jacksonville to buy AK-47s, AR-15s and handguns.In the Orlando area, the gun shops they frequented included Shoot Straight in Apopka, Shoot Straight II in Casselberry, and two Orlando stores, Central Florida Firearms and Reig's Gun Shop.
Characterized by law-enforcement officers as "Smurfs" -- for displaying hardworking habits similar to those of the TV cartoon characters -- the suspects bought multiple weapons from several gun shops on a single day."They were going from gun show to gun show, federal firearm licensee to federal firearm licensee, buying whatever they can," said U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill in Tampa. "They were buying small amounts [in each deal], but at the end of the day, you have a lot of guns."O'Neill described the 15 arrested so far -- including six picked up early Tuesday in Puerto Rico and two more already held there on other charges -- as low-level players. He said investigators are building a case to determine who was behind the operation.
Florida gun stores impose no waiting period or limit on the number of assault weapons people can buy in a single day. Handgun buyers who have a state concealed weapon permit can take home a gun purchase immediately. Those without a permit must wait three days.There are no limits on private sales at gun shows.
On Aug. 18, 2005, the indictment states, Hilton Adorno-Rosario, 26, flew to Orlando on a Delta flight from San Juan. Before the day ended he bought 12 pistols from three Orlando-area shops and then left on a shopping trip through North Florida. While waiting for the Orlando pistols' three-day waiting period to expire, records show Adorno-Rosario bought 11 AK-47s in Jacksonville before heading back to Orlando.
That same summer, records show another suspect bought 27 assault rifles from Take Aim Guns in Palm Harbor. Then 21 years old, Jonathan Robles-Cruz bought as many as 10 at a time, records state."In return, the co-conspirators would receive money and illegal drugs as payment for the firearms," according to a written statement by the U.S. Attorney's Office. "The weapons of choice were AK-47 type assault rifles, semiautomatic handguns and AR-15-type firearms. Many of the firearms have been recovered from criminal investigations in Puerto Rico while other firearms were recovered in Orlando, Tampa and Winter Haven."The indictment states the suspects routinely rented apartments or rooms, including one in a Motel 8 on Americana Way in Orlando, to store, wrap and ship the weapons to Puerto Rico.
Marilyn Quinones-Burgos, one of two women arrested so far, is accused on March 6, 2007, of wrapping aluminum foil around five guns and hiding them in a cosmetic case, then taking the package to a U.S. Post Office and mailing it to ring members on the island.
Quinones-Burgos and the others arrested are being held in jails in Puerto Rico and Florida. They are charged with gun trafficking and face up to 25 years in federal prison.
Besides ATF, the U.S. Postal Service and the Puerto Rico Police Department took part in the investigation.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Anaheim police shot and killed a man

Anaheim police shot and killed a man this morning when he confronted two officers in an alleyway, said Anaheim Police Sgt. Tim Schmidt.
The shooting occurred about 9:30 a.m. as the officers were on routine patrol in the 800 block of South Citron Street. They spotted a man in a white car. The unidentified man, described only as Latino and in his mid-30s, got out of the car and the shooting occurred, Schmidt said. Both officers fired, he said.
Schmidt did not release details on what led to the shooting or the names of the officers. They will be interviewed by the Orange County district attorney's office, which investigates all officer-related shootings. Anaheim detectives are also looking for witnesses.Schmidt described the alley as "high in gang activity and graffiti.""It's obviously an area of concern for the city. The cops were where they should be," he said.The man was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was declared dead.

Longmont man was arrested possession of a firearm while under the influence

A 19-year-old Longmont man was arrested at 1:15 a.m. March 17 on the 1400 block of Northwestern Road on suspicion of tampering, second-degree assault, possession of a firearm while under the influence and underage possession of alcohol. Officers responded to a call of someone being shot. When they arrived, the man told them that him and three friends had been drinking and someone got shot. The victim of the shooting identified the man who allegedly shot him and told officers that it was an accident. The victim explained to police that they had been drinking and were in the man's bedroom. The victim took his gun and put it on the nightstand when the man picked up the gun and cocked it, forcing it to go off and hitting the man in the leg. The man was held at the Boulder County Jail.

Marco V. Mendez,Andre Piazza were arrested and two assault rifles seized

The suspects were identified by police as Marco V. Mendez, 32, of Hayward, and Andre Piazza, 26, of Oakland. It was not clear if they knew each other. Police said Mendez had gang tattoos and told officers he was a member of an Oakland street gang.
Two men _ one an admitted gang member _ were arrested and two assault rifles seized by police early Sunday near a street shrine for a 15-year-old boy killed last week by officers who said he pointed a sawed-off rifle at them.
The arrests and gun seizures happened about 3:10 a.m. Sunday in the area of 78th Avenue and Rudsdale Street, near a street memorial for Jose Luis Buenrostro-Gonzalez.
The 15-year-old Buenrostro-Gonzalez, who police said was associated with the same gang as Mendez, was fatally shot last Wednesday by gang unit officers who said he pointed a sawed-off rifle at them. The boy's family has said he had his hands up and was not a gang member.Two officers on patrol in the area Sunday morning said they saw Mendez on a corner. As he started walking away the officers shined a spotlight on him and said they could see he was concealing a gun, which he discarded by a parked van before fleeing into backyards. The gun turned out to be a loaded AR-15 assault rifle and Mendez was arrested a short time later in the area, Officer Roland Holmgren said.Piazza was arrested after he approached officers at 78th and Rudsdale saying he needed to move his car, which was parked a short distance away
with the passenger door open and the engine running. An officer saw what turned out to be a loaded AK-47 assault rifle on the front seat, partially covered by a jacket, and Piazza was arrested.Both men refused to talk to investigators. They were arrested on suspicion of different weapons violations.
Mendez was also arrested on suspicion of participating in a criminal street gang. Both men have prior felony convictions and could be prosecuted by federal authorities.Holmgren said the assault rifles ``have been manufactured for destruction of human life,'' and that police would continue to ``aggressively patrol...to get them off the street.''

Derek Zepeda,Ray Daughters arrested on suspicion of being gang members in possession of a loaded firearm

Two suspected Oakley gang members were arrested after a short low-speed car chase in which the passenger threw out a loaded handgun, police said.
A Brentwood police officer attempted to stop the suspects' car at Fairview and San Jose avenues for erratic driving, around 10:30 p.m. Friday, Sgt. Mark Misquez said.
After failing to yield, the pair of suspects led officers on a brief pursuit, throwing a loaded semi-automatic Smith & Wesson handgun out the passenger side window at Fairview Avenue and Central Boulevard. The pair eventually stopped at a Brentwood Safeway store, Balfour Road and Fairview Avenue, Misquez said.
Police arrested Derek Zepeda, 18, and Ray Daughters, 19, on suspicion of being gang members in possession of a loaded firearm. Daughters, the driver, was also arrested on suspicion of evading arrest.Both men were booked into Contra Costa County jail.

Drive-by shooting Greensboro

Greensboro police are investigating a drive-by shooting that sent one teen to the hospital. Police were called to the intersection of Vanstory Street and Holden Road at 12:30 a.m. Saturday in reference to an abandoned vehicle in the road, according to a police report. They found a gold Cadillac Escalade with multiple bullet holes and no passengers.Several minutes later police responded to Moses Cone Hospital in reference to a shooting victim, the report states. A 19-year-old man told them he was sitting in his friend’s Escalade when a black vehicle occupied by two men pulled alongside and started shooting. Police did not release the victim’s name but said his injuries are not life-threatening.

Gun battle broke out in Telbal

Four policemen and an alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba commander were today killed in an encounter — the first in Srinagar in eight months. The gun battle broke out in Telbal around 10am after police received a tip-off that Lashkar commander Abu Faisal was hiding in a house in the area. “As the police and the CRPF entered the house, the militants came out, lobbed grenades and started firing at us. We have lost four of our men,” said Srinagar police chief Ahfad-ul Mujtaba, who led the operation that went on for nearly three hours. Among the dead police personnel, three were members of the Special Operations Group — Bashir Ahmed, Irshad Ahmed and Mohammed Kabir. The fourth, Sham Singh, was from the CRPF’s 122 Battalion. The police and the CRPF conducted the operation together. A police sub-inspector and a constable were injured. Faisal was believed to have been hiding with another militant. They tried to break the security cordon but were chased and Faisal was killed. The police said the other militant was injured, but escaped. A hunt was launched in the adjoining Chattergam village to nab him. Militant violence in the state has seen a decline, with 770 deaths being reported in 2007 compared with the 1,000-plus casualties the year before. Srinagar has stayed largely peaceful with just nine deaths.
Police sources said the militants were making desperate attempts to recreate their base in the city. Faisal, the sources said, used to operate in Ganderbal district, neighbouring Srinagar, and was tasked to revive militant operations in the Jammu and Kashmir capital. A fortnight ago, the police had busted a Lashkar hideout in Harwan, on the city’s outskirts, from where the militants were allegedly planning to launch suicide attacks in Srinagar. The police claimed to have found police uniforms, sewing machines used for stitching them and pouches to be used by the attackers, besides ammunition

Larry P. Brashears was arrested

Larry P. Brashears, 21, was arrested without incident about four hours after the assault, said Debbie Morton of Highway Patrol Troop G in Willow Springs.
Brashears is being held without bond at the Texas County Jail on several outstanding warrants, Morton said today.Charges related to the assault are expected, she said.
The patrol declined to identify the trooper, but the Houston Herald newspaper reported that he is Cpl. Curtis Haden.The incident began about 9 p.m. Friday when the trooper was sent to U.S. 63 and Highway H, about six miles north of Cabool, to check on a 1988 Chevrolet pickup on the side of the road.Brashears was in the vehicle, and the trooper determined that he was wanted on a number of felony and misdemeanor warrants from several counties, Morton said.As the trooper was placing him under arrest, Brashears allegedly assaulted the officer and took his duty weapon, she said. Brashears then fled with the weapon.After several hours of searching, a negotiator was able to send Brashears a text message on his cell phone, which led to the arrest at 1:19 a.m. at the Gardner Ford Bridge north of where the assault occurred, Morton said. The weapon was recovered.The trooper, an 18-year veteran of the patrol, was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries. He was released but has not returned to active duty, she said.

Gunmen who mowed down shoppers in south Baghdad

Gunmen travelling in three cars have opened fire in a Baghdad market, killing at least six pedestrians. At least 16 people were wounded when the drive-by shooting happened in the southern area of the city. Earlier, a barrage of fire had hit the city's heavily fortified Green Zone. In further violence, at least 10 Iraqi soldiers were killed in a suicide bomb attack on an army base in the northern city of Mosul.
The gunmen who mowed down shoppers in south Baghdad are reported to have fled the scene

Oakley drive-by shooting

Two men were shot in Oakley this evening in a drive-by shooting, police said.
Reported at about 8:15 p.m., the incident occurred at O'Hara and Las Dunas avenues, said Oakley Police Chief Chris Thorsen.One of the men was airlifted to a hospital; Thorsen didn't have information about the status of the other victim. The condition of both victims was unknown.

Alexander Grunden arrested on suspicion of biasmotivated crimes

Alexander Grunden, 20, was arrested on suspicion of biasmotivated crimes, menacing, harassment and unlawful use of a stun gun, police said. Police said they may arrest one or two more people involved in the incident but declined to release their names Sunday evening, saying doing so could jeopardize their investigation.Police said the two black men were walking in the parking lot of the Cinemark theater at Powers Boulevard and North Carefree Circle at 10:24 p.m. Friday when a red Suzuki with three white men inside stopped near them. Two men got out and displayed a stun gun while making "racial insults," police said.One of the men activated the stun gun, and the victims ran inside the theater, police said.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Jonathan Ortiz charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon

Jonathan Ortiz, 17, of Houston was detained by a Fort Bend County sheriff's deputy and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, deadly conduct and criminal mischief, said Lynn Munford, Rosenberg Police Department public information officer.The victims told the officer they were standing outside around 6 p.m. when someone in a Toyota Camry pointed a handgun out of the window and began shooting.
Multiple shots hit several nearby apartments, Munford said.

Dat Thanh Nguyen sentenced to 100 years to life in prison

Dat Thanh Nguyen, who was sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Janice C. Croft to 100 years to life in prison for the murder and two consecutive life terms with the possibility of parole for the attempted premeditated murder of two other people. The murder sentence included enhancements for use of a firearm by a principal and for committing the crimes on behalf of a criminal street gang. Prosecutors said Nguyen shot and killed Jasmine Ling, an innocent bystander, as she was entering the Tapioca Express on Nov. 5, 2004. Police said Nguyen was a member of the Van Nuys Asian Boyz gang, and was apparently shooting at two other people, one of whom may have been a member of the rival Chinatown Boys.
A witness testified that she was stopped at a red light when she heard several shots and saw the vehicle from which they were apparently fired, a white Honda whose license number she gave to police. The vehicle belonged to Nguyen’s then-girlfriend, who testified that she loaned him the car, but initially lied to police at the defendant’s request and told them the car had been stolen. The defendant told her he had been involved in the shooting, she said. She pled guilty to being an accessory and filing a false police report, about a month before Nguyen’s trial.
Prosecutors also presented evidence that calls had been made from the defendant’s cell phone at about the time of, and from the vicinity of, the shooting, and that numerous calls had been made from that phone in the ensuing hours. An Alhambra detective told the jury that when arrested, the defendant said “You got me.”
Nguyen testified that he was at home at the time of the murders. He admitted having driven his girlfriend’s car earlier in the day but had loaned it to a fellow gang member and had left his phone inside it. He said he asked his girlfriend to report the car stolen because he thought it had been involved in a hit-and-run accident and he was afraid of being held liable. A police officer, Santh Yin, testified on rebuttal that he had befriended Nguyen while working undercover at the high school Nguyen attended before being expelled for trying to sell him marijuana. Yin said Nguyen told him about gang activities, including an attempted shooting for hire; tried to recruit him to join; and explained the gang’s initiation process, which included assaulting an initiate and then choking him to the point of passing out.
On appeal, the defense argued that the prosecution should not have been allowed to cross-examine Nguyen regarding his conversations with Yin. But Justice Patti Kitching, in an unpublished opinion for Div. Three, said that by offering an alibi defense that minimized his involvement in the gang, Nguyen opened himself up to cross-examination with regard to the extent of his gang membership.
Nor was Yin’s testimony about Nguyen’s gang membership and related prior bad acts unduly prejudicial, the justice concluded, since it was relevant to show that his alibi; his explanation for why the car was stripped, abandoned, and reported stolen; and his denial of knowledge as to who was using his cell phone that night were fabricated. Kitching went on to say that there was sufficient evidence to support the sentence enhancement for acting on behalf of a criminal street gang.
The defense contended that prosecutors failed to show that the “primary activities” of the Van Nuys Asian Boyz included crimes involving violence, guns or drugs, or that the shooting was committed with the specific intent to aid the gang. Kitching, however, said the direct evidence regarding the shooting, as well as the testimony of the prosecution’s expert on Asian gangs, satisfied the evidentiary requirements.

Daniel G. Triviz and Arnulfo Vasquez were arrested Monday and charged

Daniel G. Triviz and Arnulfo Vasquez, both 27 and with addresses at 2200 Holiday Ave. in Las Cruces, were arrested Monday and charged for their part in the incident, according to a police news release. Triviz is charged with two counts of shooting at or from a motor vehicle, intentional child abuse and tampering with evidence. Vasquez is charged with aggravated assault.Shortly after 1 p.m. Monday, Las Cruces Police were alerted to a drive-by shooting that occurred on west Amador Avenue. Police learned that Vasquez was driving a blue truck and chasing a Cadillac on Amador Avenue. Vasquez eventually got in front of the Cadillac and forced it to come to a stop. Triviz then drove by in a gray Monte Carlo and fired at least four shots from a small-caliber handgun toward the Cadillac, police said.The Cadillac's driver, his girlfriend and their 10-month-old daughter all escaped without injury.Las Cruces Police located the truck and Monte Carlo at 2200 Holiday where Triviz and Vasquez were arrested, police said.Triviz is being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center on a $25,000 bond. Bond for Vasquez was set at $5,000.Las Cruces Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

China is the biggest supplier of small arms to Sudan. It provided 90 percent of all the African nation's small arms acquisitions between 2004 and 2006

A U.S.-based human rights group said China dramatically boosted small-arms sales to Sudan as violence escalated in Darfur. Beijing denied the group's report on Friday.
The report released Thursday by Human Rights First said China is the biggest supplier of small arms to Sudan. It provided 90 percent of all the African nation's small arms acquisitions between 2004 and 2006, totaling more than $50 million.
China ramped up its small-arms supply to Sudan almost fivefold in 2004 as others cut back to comply with a U.N. arms embargo, according to data Sudan provided to the United Nations. Small arms such as assault rifles are the most common weapon used in Darfur, where more than 200,000 people have been killed and about 2.5 million people displaced in five years of fighting between African rebels and government troops allied with Arab militia known as janjaweed. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement the report was "groundless" and "with ulterior motives."
He also denied that China had broken the U.N. arms embargo and said it never exported arms to a country or region under embargo. The arms sold to Sudan were limited in number and accounted for a small proportion of the country's arms imports, Qin said.

Keon Fyfield was found with a .38 revolver on his person

Keon Fyfield of Taylor’s Village was found with a .38 revolver on his person; an offence for which he was taken into police custody, officially arrested and charged.
“On Sunday, March 16, 2008 Police conducted search operations in the Basseterre area for controlled drugs, arms and ammunitions. A number of vehicles were stopped and searched as well as abandoned houses at Fort Thomas Road and Ponds Pasture.
A group of young men, who were in the abandoned house at Ponds Pasture, was also searched. Keon Fyfield of Taylor’s Village, who was at the house, was searched and one .38 Revolver and five rounds of ammunition were found in his pocket. The weapon and ammunition were taken into police custody and Fyfield was arrested and charged for “possession of firearm and ammunition”.
Police, during another operation conducted on Sunday, were able to prevent a number of marijuana plants from hitting the streets of the Federation. They have informed however that no one has been made accountable for the find.
“Operations were also conducted in the Lower Monkey Hill area…for controlled drugs, arms and ammunition and a total of 161 marijuana plants were found growing on a parcel of land. The plants, which range in height from seedlings to two feet in height, were uprooted and taken into police custody. No one was made answerable for the find.”
The other three operations were conducted on Friday last and, as a result, two men were arrested and charged and quantities of marijuana were taken into custody.
“The Security Forces executed search warrants on a number of premises on Friday…for controlled drugs, arms and ammunition in the Basseterre and Molyneaux area and discovered a quantity of cannabis at the home of Rueben Govia of Molyneaux and 90 marijuana plants growing on the premises of Sylvester Lee of Upper Fiennes Avenue.
The drugs were taken into police custody and charges will be laid against Govia and Lee respectively.” Some 64 marijuana plants which were “found growing in an abandoned house at Long Alley” were uprooted and taken into custody, but no one has been made accountable.Also, “Several young men were stopped and searched when Police conducted routine stop and search operations on Friday, March 14, 2008 in the Old Road area. Although nothing illegal was found in the possession of these men, a quantity of marijuana was found in a container nearby and taken into police custody. No one was held accountable for the find.”

Mehrdad Salashoor jailed for 18 months for illegally exporting 'gyrocompass' navigation devices to Iran.

UK businessman Mehrdad Salashoor was today jailed for 18 months for illegally exporting 'gyrocompass' navigation devices to Iran. In a hearing at Croydon Crown Court last December, Salashoor (56) admitted shipping hi-tech navigation equipment, adaptable for missile guidance systems, to the Iranian Ministry of Defence. The gyrocompasses, designed as standalone shipping navigation systems, contain accelerometers and gyros, which are classified as 'Dual-Use items' as they can be used for both civil and military applications. Salashoor was also ordered to handover £432,970 after being made subject to a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Salashoor must pay the sum within six months or face a three year prison sentence in default. In addition to pleading guilty to four offences of 'Being knowingly concerned in the exportation of goods Contrary to s68 (2) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979,' Salashoor also pleaded guilty to one count of perverting the course of public justice, and three further counts relating to other illegal exports were ordered to lie on file. Kevin Davis, Assistant Director of HMRC's Criminal Investigation Directorate, said: "This case demonstrates the commitment of HMRC in investigating and tracking down individuals trading in technology with a weapons application. The motivation for such crimes is profit with a complete disregard for law or international security. This is an excellent result for HMRC and our partners in Government and agencies overseas." The case was prosecuted on behalf of HMRC by The Revenue & Customs Prosecution Office (RCPO) which was created by Royal Assent on 07 April 2005 and is an independent prosecuting authority reporting directly to the Attorney General.
Matthew Wagstaff, Head of RCPO's Commercial Casework Division, said: "The international trade in technology with military applications gives rise to serious offences and the successful outcome in this case demonstrates that RCPO will not hesitate to prosecute such cases where they are referred to us."

Drive-by shooting in Coachella

An investigation is underway in an apparent drive-by shooting in Coachella that has left one man dead.Riverside County deputies reported the shooting in the 84000 block of Via Zahidi between Avenues 50 and 51 at around 8 Monday night.Deputies say Jesus Servin, Jr., 44, was sitting in his car in a driveway when he was approached by several people riding in a black Nissan vehicle. The man and the people inside the car got into an argument. That was when the one of the people in the Nissan opened gun shots on the victim and drove off.One of the gun shots struck the victim in the head. He died at the scene soon after.Authorities describe one of the suspects wearing a plaid shirt, a baseball cap, and a bandana.

businessman from Durban's Chatsworth area had been arrested on Monday Donovan Pillay died after he was critically injured during a drive-by shooting

A Durban man who was shot six times in a drive-by shooting in Hillary, Durban, last month, died in hospital last night.Police confirmed that Donovan Pillay, 26, the cousin of a prominent Hillary taxi boss, died after he was critically injured during a drive-by shooting on February 19. He was in the intensive care unit after undergoing surgery.Taxi boss Duncan Arumugam's wife, Leanne, had also been shot three times.Police are now investigating a case of murder as well as a case of attempted murder. Although they have remained tight-lipped about a motive for the shooting, many are speculating that February's incident was gang-or-taxi-related.
Four people have been arrested in Durban in connection with a taxi-related drive-by shooting that claimed the life of a 26-year-old man,Police spokesperson Superintendent Danelia Veldhuizen confirmed that a businessman from Durban's Chatsworth area had been arrested on Monday on a charge of murdering Donovan Pillay, and for the attempted murder of Pillay's cousin, Leanne Arumugam.
Another three men were arrested last week after being found in possession of the guns that believed to have been used in the shooting.
The three men have so far only been charged with the possession of unlicenced weapons while forensics experts carry out investigations to determine whether the guns were used in the February 19 shooting in Durban's Hillary suburb.
Bellair police told Sapa the weapons have so far been linked to two armed robberies - one in Pinetown and another in Chatsworth.Pillay was taking Arumugam - who is the wife of taxi boss Duncan Arumugam - to work when the incident took place last month.
They were blockaded by two cars on Fourth Street, Hillary, as they were attempting to turn into Stella Road.Occupants of two cars opened fire with AK47s and a 9mm pistol.Pillay sustained five gunshot wounds and was airlifted to Albert Luthuli Hospital while Arumugam was wounded in her arm.Pillay died on Monday.Police said the three suspects appeared in court last week and were due to re-appear in the Durban magistrate's court for a bail application on Thursday.A court date for the appearance of the Chatsworth businessman was yet to be released.
At least 17 drive-by shootings have been reported in the Chatsworth area over the past three years. The arrest on Monday was the first arrest ever made in any of the drive-by shooting cases.Family spokesman Gerald Arumugam said Pillay would be buried at the Mobeni Heights cemetery on Wednesday. - Sapa
Pillay, who was the driver of the vehicle, was shot in the chest, back, stomach and throat and passenger Leanne was shot in the arm. They were driving through the intersection of Fourth Road and Stella Road when they were shot at by the occupants of two vehicles, one in the front and the other behind them.
A police source said rounds from R5-rifles and 9mm pistols were found at the scene. The shooters apparently fled in the direction of Malvern. It is believed the Arumugams had moved from Chatsworth to Hillary last October and that February's attack was the second attempt to kill Duncan Arumugam. The last time Leanne was a victim of a drive-by shooting in 2005, she lost her 5-year-old son, Dredin Lee. At the time, police said they believed the attack was a gang-related hit on Dredin's father Duncan.Duncan was the owner of several taxis and at the time it was thought the shooting was a revenge attack for a 2003 incident for which Duncan and his brother were charged with murder. Both brothers were acquitted in 2006 of two charges of murder in a tavern shooting in Chatsworth where two people were killed.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Police shootout with crew of narco-plane

While there have always been rumors and reports of drug-running planes landing in half-forgotten jungles of our northern districts, Friday’s surprise landing on the Northern Highway confirmed without a doubt Belize’s status in the transnational drug transshipment routes from South America to the United States.
The drama began to unfold at about 2:00 a.m. on Friday, when motorists driving between Miles 39 and 44 on the Northern Highway made a number of reports to police and the BDF, that masked men dressed in full black, in the style of the paramilitary, refused to let them pass through the area. They were reportedly armed with AK47 machine guns, but did not directly threaten the motorists, only diverting them away from the scene.
The army was first on the scene, and reportedly exchanged gunfire with a number of gunmen standing around a container truck containing a Rotoplas tank and containers of jet fuel for refueling the plane, possibly injuring the driver of a vehicle seen in the area at the time, registered to one Zacharias Copo of Orange Walk, though it was not known if he was among the group fired on.
The plane, which had landed between Miles 40 and 41, was facing south on the road, pointing toward Belize City.There were no drugs of any kind found aboard the plane, leading investigators to believe that the traffickers may have escaped with the drugs, or it may have been dropped beforehand, as police “strongly believe” there was a large quantity, possibly a ton or more, of drugs on the confiscated plane.
The police did find equipment for refueling and a substantial amount of aircraft fuel - nine 15-gallon containers, according to reports.
Six suspects were initially detained, all Belizeans. The plane, a twin-engine King Air Beechcraft with possibly false Venezuela markings, was damaged in the incident and had to be transported to the BDF base at Ladyville.
The Police Anti-Drug Unit, Orange Walk Police Formation under Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano, and the BDF are all participating in the investigation, and we are told that the prisoners were cooperating.

As of Tuesday, March 11, eight persons have been charged in connection with the incident. They are all of Orange Walk: Anthony Thurton, 44; Ricardo Rivera, 50; Luis Novelo, 22; Irvin Cantun, 18; Victor Torres, 19; Roy Lanza, 22; Arnoldo Rivas, 44; and Caesar Canche, 39. They were denied bail by Magistrate Headley Stewart and remanded to Hattieville Prison on non-drug-related charges of conspiracy to land an aircraft, control of aviation fuel, illegally landing an aircraft and causing obstruction to the free flow of traffic.
Still at large are the individual injured in the original shootout by the BDF, as well as Zacharias Copo, who owns the container truck identified at the scene, and the pilot and co-pilot of the plane. Police are also looking for the drugs they are sure was on the plane and likely moved to another location during the shootout.
Speaking with local media Tuesday, Orange Walk’s Sr. Supt. Robert Mariano said whatever information that was gotten from the prisoners was not taken by force, and was gathered in the presence of a Justice of the Peace, and confirmed that some Mexicans may have been involved.

Miguel Diaz-Elrod pleaded guilty in the May 2004 shooting death of Saron Tith on Tacoma's East Side

Miguel Diaz-Elrod.
The 22-year-old gang member has pleaded guilty in the May 2004 shooting death of Saron Tith on Tacoma's East Side. On March 4, Diaz-Elrod (seen here) entered a guilty plea to one count of second-degree murder in the case. Diaz-Elrod did not admit guilt in his plea deal."I did not commit this crime," he wrote in plea paperwork. "However, after reviewing the evidence with my attorney I believe there is a substantial likelihood I would be convicted by a jury. I am pleading guilty to accept the state's reduction in the charge and sentencing recommendation."
Diaz-Elrod, who originally was charged with first-degree murder in the case, is to be sentenced April 25. Prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 22 years in prison.
It appears cooperating witnesses have just come forward to help Tacoma police detectives solve two gang-related homicides on the East Side.Saron Tith, 19, was fatally shot while riding in the back seat of a friend's car May 23, 2004. The shooting occurred in the 3900 block of East Roosevelt Avenue.Donald George-Oya, 18, was fatally shot while riding a bicycle along East 40th Street near East I Street early on Jan. 5, 2006.According to court documents, Miguel Diaz-Elrod, 21, has been charged with first-degree murder in both homicides. Diaz-Elrod pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm in October and was sentenced to prison. He's expected back in court Thursday to answer the murder charges.Also charged with first-degree murder in the Tith homicide is Bunann Orn, 29, and Danney Cherm, 22. Orn was arrested Monday and is expected to be arraigned today. There is a warrant out for Cherm's arrest.According to court documents, Diaz-Elrod, Orn and Cherm decided to go after rival gang members the night of May 23, 2004, because those gang members had flashed their hand signs at Diaz-Elrod, Orn and Cherm. In the gang culture, the behavior is perceived as highly inflammatory and challenging.The three hopped in Cherm's car. Diaz-Elrod and Orn had guns, according to court documents. Four hours after the Tith shooting, Diaz-Elrod told an unnamed witness that he killed somebody during a shooting, according to court documents. He said they waited in some bushes and that when the cars containing rival gang members passed, he emptied the clip of his gun. "He (Diaz-Elrod) said that they did the shooting to avenge the fat that the rivals had shot at Defendant Orn a couple of days earlier," court documents state.
Cherm was charged in Tith's death last year but the charges were dismissed. A fourth person, Adrian Jerrell Smith, pleaded last year to second-degree manslaughter in Tith's death and was sentenced to five years, seven months in prison.
In the George-Oya homicide, Diaz-Elrod and Adam Benoit, 28, have been charged with first-degree murder. These two have long been suspected in the homicide, which was another retaliatory shooting.
George-Oya, a known gang member, was believed to have shot and injured Daquan Stallworth last December. Stallworth is an associate of Diaz-Elrod and Benoit, according to court documents.Witnesses say after Stallworth was injured, his associates talked about killing George-Oya in retaliation. Diaz-Elrod told an unnamed witness that he shot George-Oya a couple of days after the homicide, court documents state.Diaz-Elrod said he saw George-Oya riding a bicycle and got out of a van to confront him. He said he shot George-Oya, who tried to pedal away. George-Oya fell to the ground and Diaz-Elrod then shot George-Oya several more times while he was on the ground, according to court documents.
Other witnesses have told investigators that Benoit was seen in the van with Diaz-Elrod shortly before the shooting.
Detectives found 29 shell casings at the crime scene. George-Oya was shot 12 times.
The charges filed in George-Oya's slaying leaves two unsolved homicides for the year in Tacoma - the shooting death of Velma Tirado in August and last night's fatal shooting on the East Side.

Eric Stanley admitted firing a .22-caliber rifle from the window of a car

Eric T. Stanley, 19, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder in the shooting of 16-year-old Shamar Patterson. He faces a prison term ranging from 19 years to 25 years when state Supreme Court Justice David D. Egan sentences him March 28.He was to go to trial Monday.His brother, Terrance L. Stanley, 17, refused to plead guilty to the same charge and will go to trial March 24. Terrance Stanley had been promised a prison term of 10 years, to be served after a 7 ½-year prison term he received for an unrelated robbery.Eric Stanley admitted firing a .22-caliber rifle from the window of a car, allegedly driven by his brother, at a group of people standing near Genesee and Earl Streets. Patterson was hit in the back of the head.Both brothers are charged with second-degree murder. The prosecution offered the plea to both, with the understanding that they would waive their right to appeal, to guarantee a conviction, said Assistant District Attorney Joanne M. Winslow.After a review of evidence in the case, the prosecution said it was concerned that jurors could return a compromise verdict and convict the brothers of the lesser offense of second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of five to 15 years in prison, Winslow said.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Armed robbery at First National Bank

Armed gang stormed into a Durban bank on Friday, holding staff and customers at gunpoint, KwaZulu-Natal police said."Five armed suspects entered, took cash and a customer's vehicle and fled," said Superintendent Willie Olivier of Durban's Organised Crime Unit.The incident took place at the First National Bank (FNB) in the Kloof Village Mall at 10:30am.Police found the vehicle a short distance away.A customer, Shaun Ridley said that the gang also attempted to break into the cash vault."They ordered us to lie on the floor and then they began searching us for wallets," he said.Ridley said the men then went to the vault and demanded the keys from FNB employees"But, they were having difficulty opening the vault and then came back to the cashiers and began taking money from the tills," he said.
Ridley said the gang also took video equipment and cameras from the bank before fleeing.

James Park,Orin Moses each face 17 gun-related charges

Toronto police seized four illegal guns yesterday during two operations in the city’s northeast end. Two sawed-off rifles and a sawed-off shotgun were found when the Emergency Task Force raided a home on Ranstone Gardens, in the Kennedy Ave. and Lawrence Ave. E. area, late last night. James Park, 18, of Ajax, and Orin Moses, 27, of Toronto, each face 17 gun-related charges. Park also faces an additional charge of failing to comply with his recognizance. Earlier in the day, officers pulled over a vehicle on Tuxedo Ct., in the Markham and Ellesmere Rds. area, around 2:20 p.m. A loaded gun was found, and the two men inside were arrested. The driver then "pushed the officer to avoid being arrested," police said in a release Friday.

Mujiburahman Safi, 26, and Hakim Yousofi, 27, each face six charges in relation to the gun found in the car. Safi, the driver, was also charged with resisting arrest and failing to comply with his recognizance. The four men were scheduled to appear in court today. Police confiscated four other guns in similar incidents earlier this week. The guns and gangs Unit arrested a man on Monday, seizing a semi-automatic gun and some ammunition. Early Saturday morning, a Cadillac was pulled over in the entertainment district. Police found and seized three loaded guns, and charged the three men inside with a total of 56 gun- and drug-related offences.

The Judge could be the next big, bad thing in Toronto's gangland arsenal.

A shotgun-shell firing revolver called The Judge could be the next big, bad thing in Toronto's gangland arsenal. Canadian cops say they know about the gun but they haven't seen it on the streets yet. "Any firearm in the city of Toronto is a bad firearm," Staff-Insp. Brian Raybould said yesterday. "But anything big and new that would appeal to those individuals in Toronto who want to show their big guns, is something police would be concerned about and vigilant watching out for." The city's homicide unit commander said he's heard of it in police briefings about firearms. Manufactured by Taurus, the revolver holds five .45-calibre Colt slugs or .410 shotgun shells and retails for just over $500 in the U.S. All the models are available with either 16-cm or seven-cm barrels.

Taurus has introduced a handgun that may just be the ideal trail gun/home defense weapon/car gun – its very versatile for short distance targets. This new Taurus is chambered for the .45 colt cartridge and .410 shotgun rounds. It can also fire very flare pistol rounds, in case you prefer to “light up” your target. A number four shot load followed by four hollow points might be just about ideal for social work. There is a huge market among city dwellers who are not firearms enthusiasts yet want a self-defense handgun for the apartment or to keep in the car. The Judge should fare well in this market as it is reasonably priced, simple and safe to use, and provides the quick option of shot loads or potent projectiles.
"Taurus Judge is the must-have, long-term answer for short-range problems," touts a company press release. "Appropriately called the 'Taurus Judge' because of the number of judges who carry the new Taurus model .45/.410 into the courtroom, this powerful revolver is the final word in close quarters combat." A video on the company's web site shows a man firing the gun from the driver's seat of an SUV at a target in his passenger window, blasting two wide holes in the cardboard. The Judge's rifling spreads the shot pattern at close quarters or guides a .45-calibre bullet to the target. Taurus stresses the revolver is for personal defence or pest control. But John Thomson, president of Mackenzie Institute, a Toronto-based security think-thank, said the weapon is the new "prestige gun" that every Toronto thug wants to carry on the streets. And given the love of many punks for the biggest, baddest and potentially deadliest handguns for show and for use, the shiny new multi-shot cannon poses a special threat. Because The Judge is a revolver, U.S. law enforcement sources said it's not something they would typically see in violent crime recoveries. Revolvers haven't been the gun of choice for drug dealers and gangs in the past, they said. Canadian police weren't keen on drawing attention to the weapon. The gun and gang task force said they have seen videos for the gun online but haven't seen one on the streets of Toronto.
When asked if they were concerned about a concealable shotgun shell-shooting revolver being on the market, the task force said they are "concerned about any gun," stressing any bad guy with a weapon is a problem.
Det.-Sgt. Dave Godfrey, of the Gun and Gang Task Force, said .410-gauge "is the smallest shotgun gauge."
If someone got The Judge into Canada, it would be "a restricted weapon, just like any other handgun," Godfrey said. "But whether it would be a restricted weapon or a prohibited weapon depends on the barrel length.
"I haven't seen any here," he said. "It's too new.
"We certainly don't like to see them with this type of fire power, that's for sure," said Det. Steve Horwood of the Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit.
Horwood said he hadn't come across The Judge yet either. The closest thing the unit has seen would be a hand-held double-barrel weapon police seized a few years ago.
"This was almost like a mini-double barrelled shotgun ... with a top break."
Most criminals aren't choosy when it comes to guns -- using the ones that are available, police said.
"If they get to pick, my guess would be that they would be picking semi-automatic type pistols," Horwood said. "But we still get revolvers, we still get sawed-off shotguns, we still get sawed-off rifles."

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Ramon Darnell Stewart, 20, was arrested shooting death of Juan Antonio Loera.

Ramon Darnell Stewart, 20, was arrested Saturday in the July 21, 2006, shooting death of Juan Antonio Loera. Loera, 32, was shot to death as he stood next to a car at about 8:20 p.m. near Main Street and Power Road.
Witnesses said Loera and Stewart were next to the car, and said they heard two gunshots and saw a flash from a gun, police records show. Stewart fled, they told police. Stewart was arrested on an unrelated charge in August 2006, and told police he knew Loera but wasn't involved in the shooting. Investigators found shell casings at the scene that were later linked to a gun that a witness said belonged to Stewart, Mesa Detective Chris Arvayo said. The gun was recovered by Phoenix police in September 2006 during an unrelated incident, and the link between the gun and shell casings was discovered last May. Police also received an anonymous phone call that provided them with a description of a suspect and identified him by his first name, records show. The caller said the assailant lived in the Jefferson Park neighborhood south of where the shooting took place. After talking with neighbors, investigators identified Stewart as the suspect.Another witness later put Stewart in the area of the shooting about 10 minutes after gunshots were heard, records show. Police also said Stewart talked about the murder to another person.Stewart was booked on one count of second degree murder.

Sanquan Davis was re-arrested for carrying a concealed gun

Sanquan Davis (Shown R) was arrested for the armed robbery of a Waffle House on May 10, 2007.After being released on bond, Davis was re-arrested for carrying a concealed gun and possession with intent to sell and distribute cocaine. Davis was court ordered into CMPD's Electronic Monitoring program on December 14, 2007.On March 4, 2008, Sanquan Davis cut off his electronic monitor and hasn't been seen since. Davis currently has several outstanding warrants for his arrest as a result of his failure to comply with the court order.Sanquan Davis should be considered armed and dangerous. Davis is known to frequent South Boulevard, Sharon Lakes and Nations Ford Road area in south Charlotte.

William "Billy" Rodriguez shoved her into a bedroom and pointed a gun at her head.

William "Billy" Rodriguez, 30, was arrested early Monday morning after police executed a search warrant at his house at 255 Second St., according to arrest records. According to a complaint filed by Rodriguez's girlfriend, on Sunday Rodriguez punched her in the stomach, then shoved her into a bedroom and pointed a gun at her head."I'm gonna shoot you in your (expletive) head and your brains are gonna scatter," Rodriguez allegedly said as his girlfriend held their 17-month-old daughter. The girlfriend and the child's names are being withheld by the Times Union.
The girlfriend filed a complaint, and police obtained a warrant. They raided the house at 2:31 a.m. Monday and arrested Rodriguez. Authorities said they found a .25-caliber Colt semiautomatic pistol, loaded with six rounds, in the crib where the baby was asleep."The defendant's actions were likely to be injurious to the physical, mental and moral welfare of the victim, who was asleep in the crib at the time of said weapon being recovered," arresting officer Christopher Cornell wrote in his report.Rodriguez was charged with second-degree menacing, unlawful imprisonment, two counts of acting in a manner injurious to a child and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was arraigned in City Court and remains in Albany County jail with no bail.

Recognized the gun when the Times-Union published a police evidence photo of the weapon in a story about the gas station robbery. It was unique becaus

five-shot revolver was meant to give an elderly Jacksonville woman peace of mind as she slept with it under her pillow,But more than a decade after her daughter bought it from a stranger in a parking lot, the weapon might have been one of two guns that police said four teens used to rob a Hendricks Avenue Gate station.One of the teenagers died in a police shooting as they fled the scene of that Feb. 21 crime.Now authorities are focusing part of their probe on whether someone stole that .38-caliber revolver during an attack on another senior citizen last November, Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda confirmed Tuesday.The 69-year-old victim of that attack in a park on Spring Park Road is the longtime boyfriend of the woman who bought the revolver for her mother. Both the victim and his 66-year-old girlfriend said in Times-Union interviews that he temporarily was keeping the Smith & Wesson in his truck because her grandchildren were visiting for Thanksgiving.The robbery happened after the man warned a group of teenagers who were playing basketball not to park their cars on the grass, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report.
The man said he lost consciousness after a knock to his head. When he woke up, his 2002 Chevrolet Silverado was gone along with the wallet, cell phone and gun he had in it.The Times-Union isn't identifying the victim or his girlfriend because police haven't made arrests in the November 2007 robbery case.Both said they recognized the gun when the Times-Union published a police evidence photo of the weapon in a story about the gas station robbery. It was unique because of repairs to the filed-down hammer, they said.The man said police told him when he went downtown to speak to a detective last week that someone reported the gun stolen about 20 years ago.That may be, his girlfriend told the Times-Union.At the time she bought it, she didn't know anything about the seller except that he identified himself as a gun collector who needed some fast cash. After answering his Times-Union classified ad, she met him in a grocery store parking lot and gave him $150 for the weapon.Then for years, it sat under a pillow on her mother's king-size bed.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

T. Malebese ,P. Mokhele , M. Tsenoli remain in custody after being charged with the murder

Mr. T. Malebese (22), Mr. P. Mokhele (26) and Mr. M. Tsenoli (20) appeared in court this week and will remain in custody after being charged with the murder of a 33-year old busdriver of Big Sky near Ficksburg last month.On February 5th the driver was on its way from Qwaqwa to Bloemfontein. Near Fouriesburg the three men got on the bus and pretended to be passengers. According to Mosupa, one man pulled a gun on the driver once the bus had left Ficksburg.
"The busdriver was told to stop on the R25, near zone 8 of Meqheleng. The men wanted money of him. The driver refused to hand over money and was shot in the chest. He died on the scene". The suspects fled without any money.The crime intelligence unit in Ficksburg and Ladybrand used their dog unit to gather information about the three men and take them into custody at their home in Meqheleng. They appeared in the Ficksburg court on murder charges.
The interrogation has been postponed to April 8th, due to a possible request for bail.

El Paso drive-by shooting

El Paso Police are investigating a drive-by shooting that took place early this morning. Initial police reports said that a woman in a Mitsubishi sedan was traveling westbound on I-10 when a gold or white Hummer pulled up alongside her and fired shots. The woman was hit in the upper torso and taken by the car's driver to Providence Memorial Hospital

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Viktor Bout aka Lord of War, world's most notorious arms dealer

Thai police arrested perhaps the world's most notorious arms dealer, Viktor Bout, on Thursday after a sting operation in which US agents posed as Colombian rebels seeking an arsenal of modern weapons.
The former Russian air force pilot now faces extradition to the United States, where New York prosecutors have formally charged him and an associate with conspiring to sell millions of dollars in arms to terrorists.
The 40-year-old suspect -- who famously served as a model for actor Nicholas Cage's arms smuggling anti-hero in the Hollywood movie "Lord of War" -- was arrested at a luxury hotel in the Thai capital Bangkok, police said.Reports have linked him to civil wars in Africa and he is said to have helped arm Afghanistan's Taliban militia, Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network, Marxist rebels in South America and Liberian warlord Charles Taylor.One British minister dubbed the Russian the "Merchant of Death" and the pressure group Amnesty International has alleged that at one time he operated a fleet of more than 50 planes ferrying weapons shipments around Africa.In Washington, officials said Bout had been arrested after sources working for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) mounted a sting operation by posing as Colombian guerrillas seeking to buy weapons.According to a previously sealed complaint released by New York prosecutors, the DEA sources set up several meetings with Bout's associate Andrew Smulian in Romania, Denmark and the Dutch West Indies to discuss a deal.During the meetings, agents recorded telephone calls to Bout in which he discussed shipping an arsenal of deadly weapons, including helicopters, armour-piercing rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles.
"We were able to infiltrate his criminal organisation, to gain access to some of his key associates," said a DEA official who asked not to be named."These undercover sources were acting as high level representatives of the FARC, attempting to obtain arms," he explained, referring to the rebels of the illegal Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).Major General Pongpat Chayaphan of the Thai police told AFP in Bangkok that Bout was arrested after a Thai court issued a warrant against him for attempted mass murder."He is now in the custody of the Crime Suppression Division. We will take legal action against him here, before deporting him to face trial in another country, likely the US," he said."We have followed him for several months. He just came back to Thailand today," Pongpat said, adding that more details would be given on Friday.Police brought Bout, an overweight figure with cropped dark hair, a moustache and a bright orange polo shirt, into their headquarters in handcuffs.Following the arrest, US prosecutors from the Southern District of New York said they would seek Bout's extradition to face charges "for conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization".Bout's native Russia will also seek Bout's extradition, according to an official cited by the Ria-Novosti news agency, while Belgium has asked the international police agency Interpol to issue a global alert for him.In Liberia, a former officer with ousted dictator Taylor's intelligence service on Thursday described Bout as a "timber trader who paid his bills with weapons" destined for the warlord's notoriously brutal army.
Between 1998 and 2001, when Liberia was in the grip of civil war and subject to a United Nations arms embargo, Bout's boats arrived at the Liberian port of Buchanan loaded with weapons and left carrying wood, he said.A former Soviet air force officer who was born in 1967, Bout was dubbed the "Merchant of Death" by former British government minister Peter Hain due to his involvement in supplying arms to Liberia and Angola.
In March last year, US Treasury Department imposed sanctions against seven companies accused of fueling the war in Democratic Republic of Congo at the start of the decade. Three of the companies were linked to Bout.

Cancun police chief of staff Wilfredo Flores Saucedo and his bodyguard, Alejandro Xicotencalt, were shot dead

Cancun police chief of staff Wilfredo Flores Saucedo, 56, and his bodyguard, Alejandro Xicotencalt, were shot dead in a department vehicle Monday night, Police Commissioner Adrian Samos Medina said. They were driving home on a busy avenue in the Caribbean resort, one of Mexico's biggest tourist areas. Flores was a former army colonel. Police had made no arrests and were still investigating, Samos said Tuesday."We don't know how many (gunmen) or who they were," said police spokesman Oscar Meza. "(Flores) had 15 bullet wounds, mainly in his head and neck," Meza said. "We can't see a motive. He works in an office planning public security. He's not on operations and has nothing to do with investigating drug cartels."
Prosecutor Bello Melchor Rodriguez said the assassination "has the markings of a narco-killing." Last weekend alone, kidnappers killed four policemen in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero; three were gagged and shot and another was beheaded. Police in Tijuana last week found the severed heads of three police officers and a fourth man. And at least 11 police officials have been gunned down this year in Nuevo Laredo, in the north. Police killings are rarer in Cancun, although the resort has seen a few civilian murders in recent months. Drug-related violence has claimed the lives of more than 600 people this year in Mexico. In 2005, more than 1,500 people died in gang-related drug violence. Killings and attacks on the Mexican side of the border prompted the U.S. State Department to issue a travel alert in January 2005 warning Americans about the spike in violent crime, including murder and kidnapping.
Although the alert expired a year ago, the State Department still cautions travelers about continued high crime levels, especially in Mexico City, Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, and the state of Sinaloa. Earlier this year, President Vicente Fox — under pressure from the U.S. Congress and border state governors — decided not to sign a bill that would have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and heroin. The bill also would have allowed local police to join federal authorities in investigating drug traffickers.Drug violence and attacks on police have risen in the run-up to Sunday's presidential election; former Mexico City mayor Andrés Manuel Lpez Obrador and conservative Felipe Caldern of the ruling National Action Party (PAN) are in a close race for the presidency.

Shooting deaths of five young people whose bodies were found Tuesday off a dirt road in a rural section of Tijuana

The shooting deaths of five young people whose bodies were found Tuesday off a dirt road in a rural section of Tijuana are being linked to their suspected gang involvement, authorities said.
“It makes us very sad, because of their youth, but the initial information that we've received indicates they weren't exactly white doves,” said Alberto Capella Ibarra, Tijuana's secretary of public safety. A passer-by spotted their bodies about 8 a.m. near Bulevar 2000, a new thoroughfare linking eastern Tijuana with the coast, authorities said. The youngest victim was a girl, between 16 and 18, according to the Baja California Attorney General's Office. Three of the four male victims ranged in age from 18 to 22, while the fourth appeared to be between 25 and 30, according to a statement the office released Tuesday. The Attorney General's Office had not identified the victims by Tuesday evening. They had been dead between three and six hours when they were found, according to the statement. The discovery comes a day after soldiers and federal police took on members of a kidnapping ring in a seven-hour gunbattle in a well-to-do hillside neighborhood in the central La Mesa district. The operation claimed one suspect's life, but resulted in the release of a kidnapping victim, the son of a prominent businessman, who was being held at the residence, Capella said. “In the business sector, there is much satisfaction” over the victim's rescue, Capella said.
Violence has increased in the region in recent months even as federal, state and municipal authorities have pledged a united front against organized crime and the Mexican military has taken on a unprecedented role in fighting criminal groups.
“We're in a new era, there's no doubt,” said Victor Clark, a Tijuana human rights activist who has followed crime trends in the city for years.
The stepped-up effort comes as the grip of the Arellano Felix cartel has weakened, and smaller criminal cells have been operating with less control, Clark said.
The complexity of the battle was evident Tuesday, as Gov. Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan called on federal prosecutors to present better cases, lamenting that a judge released a group of suspects who had been detained by the military, citing lack of evidence. Ricardo Gonzalez Saba, national president of the influential business group COPARMEX, urged continued efforts against crime when he spoke in Tijuana Tuesday to business leaders and government officials. The issue of crime “is not ending, it is increasing in strength and virulence,” he said. One way or another, the crime issue has touched all sectors of society, and the image of violence has badly harmed tourist areas such as Avenida Revolucion and Rosarito Beach. State and municipal officials have taken measures to decrease police corruption, and say such reports have dropped drastically. This week's violence in Tijuana occurred far from tourist areas, and the incidents “have nothing to do” with foreign visitors to the city, Capella said. “Why not ask about all the gang-related shootings that take place in San Diego and Los Angeles,” he said, “and how this affects Mexicans who travel as tourists to California.”

204th Street and East Side Torrance members can no longer associate with one another. That includes "standing, sitting, walking, driving, gathering or

A judge Tuesday approved a court order meant to cripple two Harbor Gateway gangs, severely limiting the members from walking, driving or even standing with one another.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe's approval of a preliminary injunction, which occurred the same day a young boy was shot in an apparently gang-related attack, creates a so-called safety zone and gives police officers the authority to enforce a variety of tough restrictions on the members of the 204th Street and East Side Torrance gangs. Although police could not say that East Side Torrance was involved in Tuesday's shooting, they are investigating the possibility because the victim and his family strayed into the gang's turf. Police and prosecutors have been waiting for the ruling since December, when they filed the gang injunction and served papers on more than 40gang members.
Members of 204th Street hired an attorney to fight the order, but East Side Torrance members did not. "(The judge) said there was enough for the preliminary injunction. It's an ongoing threat and it needs to be stopped," said Deputy City Attorney Anne Tremblay, assistant supervisor of her office's gang division. The "safety zone" established by the injunction is bounded by Del Amo Boulevard to the north, Western Avenue on the west, Lomita Boulevard on the south and Normandie Avenue on the east. It extends 100 yards to the outside of each
boundary and takes in the locations where 14-year-old Cheryl Green was killed in December 2006, and a 6-year-old boy was wounded Tuesday.
According to the order, 204th Street and East Side Torrance members can no longer associate with one another. That includes "standing, sitting, walking, driving, gathering or appearing anywhere in public view, in a public place or in any place accessible to the public." The only exemptions are in a school or church.
In addition, police can arrest gang members who confront, intimidate, annoy, harass, threaten, challenge, provoke, assault or batter anyone who lives, works or passes through the safety zone.
Gang members also cannot: Possess any firearm, ammunition or other dangerous weapon.
Sell, traffic or possess any controlled substance or marijuana, and any drug paraphernalia, including pipes and rolling papers.
Act as lookouts by "whistling, yelling or otherwise signalling" with hand signals, walkie talkies or cellular telephones to warn others that police are nearby.
Obstruct traffic, drink in public, carry graffiti tools, loiter, trespass or violate curfew. The injunction specifically identifies more than 40 East Side Torrance and 204th Street gang members by name, but is not limited to them.
LAPD Harbor Division officers must again serve gang members with the order before they can begin enforcing it, Tremblay said. Capt. William Hayes, the Harbor Division's commander, said he had not been informed about the judge's decision and was awaiting word from the City Attorney's Office on what action to take next.
Police and prosecutors pushed for the injunction following Green's killing. Her suspected killers are 204th Street gang members who allegedly shot her because she is black. Officers took a year to gather evidence against gang members to support the injunction and write a document before submitting it to a judge.

Attorney Ronald Mintz, who represents 204th Street in its opposition, said the police evidence against his clients is based on hearsay, rumor and innuendo.

"The judge didn't really care what I had to say," Mintz said.

A court hearing will be scheduled for prosecutors to seek a permanent injunction similar to those imposed in recent years in Harbor City, Redondo Beach and Lennox.
Mintz said his clients believe the injunction against the gang members violates their individual rights. Prosecutors, Mintz said, sued a "fictitious entity" that does not drink beer in public or smoke marijuana. Its members, he said, cannot be treated as a unit, and are legally no different than the Boy Scouts of America.
"A Boy Scout may go out and shoot somebody," Mintz said. "That doesn't make all the members guilty."
East Side Torrance formed in the 1970s, getting its name from its location. Although the area it calls home has a Torrance mailing address, it is east of the city's boundary in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles.
Its territory is bounded by Western, Sepulveda Boulevard, Normandie and Carson Street, according to an affidavit filed by Los Angeles police Detective Dan Robbins in support of the gang injunction. East Side Torrance feuded with Torrance's La Rana gang, which helped create the 204thStreet gang in the 1980s. East Side Torrance's rivals include 204th Street to the north, Harbor City Boys and Harbor City Crips to the south, and Tortilla Flats in the unincorporated area to the east. "When one gang tries to move into another's turf, deadly gang wars are often the result," Robbins wrote

Two Latino males flashed gang signs before opening fire on the red GMC Yukon

6-year-old black boy was critically wounded Tuesday when he was shot in the head by suspected Latino gang members as the victim's family drove through the Harbor Gateway neighborhood on their way to an auto auction, Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton said.
Two Latino males flashed gang signs before opening fire on the red GMC Yukon with six people inside, including a woman who is eight months pregnant, Bratton said. The rear window of the SUV was shattered by the gunfire, and one of the rounds hit the boy in the head, he said.The victim was rushed by paramedics to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center after the shooting, which occurred about 12:40 p.m. on 227th Street between Halldale and Denker avenues, police said. The boy was listed in critical condition.
The shooting caps several weeks of violent incidents believed to involve gangs around Los Angeles County that have sparked both fear and anger in some neighborhoods. Earlier this week, a Los Angeles High School football player was gunned down in what authorities described as an unprovoked attack by gang members. Last week, a gang member opened fire at a bus stop in South Los Angeles, wounding eight people, including five children. Before that, a gun battle between LAPD officers and gang members outside a Glassell Park school caused much of the community to be locked down for hours.Some -- but not all -- of the incidents involved violence between blacks and Latinos.As of Saturday night there had been 67 homicides reported in the city since Jan. 1, compared with 54 for the same period last year, an increase of 24%, according to the LAPD. But violent crime in general continues a downward trend, with 5.1% fewer incidents reported so far this year.
Police said the family of the victim in Tuesday's shooting was not from the Harbor Gateway neighborhood, which is known for racial tensions between Latino gangs and black residents. Other passengers inside the vehicle were a man and a woman and two other children, ages 3 and 1 1/2 .There were no other reported injuries, police said.Police cordoned off two blocks Tuesday afternoon as they launched a massive search for the two suspects, one described as between the ages of 28 and 30, heavyset, wearing a white T-shirt and black pants; the other, between ages 16 and 20, with a shaved head and possibly a mustache, wearing blue jeans and riding a racing bicycle.Bratton did not say whether the suspects had ties to a specific gang, but he noted that the neighborhood is home to the East Side Torrance gang. "This is an area that is under the influence of a Latino gang," Bratton said. "You may recall that about a year or so ago, the mayor and I were engaged in a major initiative up the street at 204th Street, where there had been the shooting death of a young black woman."Bratton was referring to the killing of 14-year-old Cheryl Green in December 2006. Two members of the 204th Street gang allegedly shot Green as she stood talking with friends.The suspects were later caught and charged with murder, along with a special hate crime allegation. They are still awaiting trial.Both shootings occurred in the narrow strip of land known as Harbor Gateway, which connects the bulk of Los Angeles and the harbor communities.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined Bratton at an afternoon news conference to discuss the latest shooting. He noted that there had been several apparently unprovoked gang attacks in recent weeks."What's been particularly disturbing is the sensational nature of some of these incidents," Villaraigosa said. "It was people minding their own business. . . . That's what causes even more concern. This wasn't a gang battle."Josefina Salazar, 40, who lives in the neighborhood with her two children, said residents live in constant fear of gang violence."We worry about our security here," she said. "But rent is so high there's no option to go anywhere else."
Salazar, who stood outside a house where several TV trucks were parked, said the mayor and police chief "say they're cleaning the city up, but then things like this happen again."Another resident, who has lived in the neighborhood for three years and did not want to be identified, described the area as "gang infested" and pointed to the graffiti on a nearby driveway. He said his garage door also has been painted with graffiti.
"This place has no laws," he said. The police "never come to protect. They come to collect the dead."
The East Side Torrance and 204th Street gangs are longtime rivals. But they also are known for preying on black residents.
The shooting came a week after Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo obtained a preliminary gang injunction against 26 members of East Side Torrance and 204th Street.The injunction bars the members from associating with one another in public within a designated Harbor Gateway "safety zone." Violators would face up to a year in jail, said Jeff Isaacs, head of the city attorney's criminal prosecutions.
In a declaration supporting Delgadillo's request against East Side Torrance, LAPD Sgt. Dan Robbins said the gang frequently targeted black residents with violence, harassment and racist graffiti."Every black person, but in particular black males, is a potential victim of EST violence and intimidation," wrote Robbins, the LAPD's expert on the two gangs.

Tithebarn Street venue scene of a horrific late-night shooting

The Preston nightclub which was the scene of a horrific late-night shooting has been shut down.Preston Council's licensing sub-committee decided to revoke the premises licence of Club Arena after hearing that gangs were at the venue and serious breaches of health and safety laws had taken place.Coun David Hammond, chairman of the committee, said at the conclusion of the hearing at 6.30pm on Wednesday: "We have taken this decision after hearing and considering all the evidence.
"The only option for us is to revoke the licence."
The two-day hearing at Preston Town Hall was told how police believed gangs were using the Tithebarn Street venue.Environmental health officers had also described how they had serious concerns for the safety of staff and customers after electric cabling was found exposed and bottles of carbon dioxide were not kept secure.
Club owners Andrew Manville and his fiancée Helen McDonald, who both live in Blackpool, admitted the building was not safe, but insisted it was in an unsafe state when they took over the lease.

Armed officer is faced with having to shoot a child pointing a gun at them

Police in Merseyside have a plan aimed at key criminals, based on a successful US operation to cut gun crime in Boston. They have drawn up a hitlist of the main suspects and have promised they will get “very special attention”. Detective Chief Superintendent Stephen Moore said: “If you use a gun you will be seeing us sooner rather than later.”
It is only a matter of time before an armed officer is faced with having to shoot a child pointing a gun at them, a senior Home Office official has said.
Children as young as 8 are growing up with guns in their lives and think nothing of storing or transporting firearms for gang leaders, said Jon Murphy, head of the gun crime task force. “It’s a classic no-win situation,” he added. “The volatility of these kids may make them pull the trigger. If they are challenged by an armed officer it is their inability to rationalise what is happening that will put the officer in a difficult position.
“I cannot see a way, with the way that things are going, that this awful scenario is not going to happen. As soon as they point the gun at the officer the officer will have no choice but to shoot. Fifteen years ago a gang feud may have been settled with a fist fight, ten years ago with a knife fight but now it will be guns.”
In the past five years the number of young people prosecuted for firearms offences has risen by 20 per cent. Speaking at the first European Serious Organised Crime Conference, in Liverpool, Mr Murphy told that for many youngsters gangs took the place of a family. Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, told the conference about a Lithuanian gang that had “steadily been increasing the flow of illegal firearms”. The guns ended up “in the hands of those too young, too bad or too foolish to do other than shoot each other with them”, he added.

Gun used to shoot Miami-Dade Officer Roberto Gonzalez had been stolen

The gun believed to have been used by an ex-felon to shoot Miami-Dade Officer Roberto Gonzalez had been stolen last year in a burglary in South Miami-Dade, according to an arrest report released Monday.Police found the Heckler & Koch .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol soon after Gonzalez, 31, was wounded in South Miami Heights late Sunday.Detectives arrested Jhonnell Harris, 20, of 11611 SW 180th St., Sunday night and charged him with attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and theft.He was booked Monday morning into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
Tracing the gun's serial number, Miami-Dade homicide detectives found the gun had been reported stolen on July 21, 2007. The bureau declined to release the burglary report because of the ongoing investigation.Gonzalez, a rookie with 10 months on the force, was rushed by helicopter to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center in Miami. He underwent surgery Monday.
''He is recovering now with his family,'' said Miami-Dade Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman.Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez plans to visit Gonzalez on Tuesday. The mayor's chief of staff, Denis Morales, visited Gonzalez on Sunday night.
''He was in good spirits. He was more concerned with the apprehension of the subject,'' Morales said. 'He told me, `I did my best to stay with [Harris] as long as I could.' ''
The shooting prompted renewed calls by the police union to add officers, increase pay and prosecute criminals with more vigor.
''It really truly is a war zone out there. In my 31 years, I've never seen it this bad,'' said Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera.
The shooting comes less than two months after Miami Detective James Walker was shot and killed in North Miami Beach, a shooting investigators believe was a case of mistaken identity.In September, Officer Jose Somohano -- like Gonzalez, of the Cutler Ridge police district -- was shot and killed by a man wielding an assault rifle in a firefight. Three other officers were wounded.In the arrest report released Monday, investigators said Gonzalez was investigating a burglary at a South Miami Heights warehouse, 10440 SW 186th Ter., about 8:15 p.m. Sunday.
Gonzalez then saw Harris sprint west on Southwest 186th Lane. The rookie gave chase, radioing the man's description over the radio.Harris turned around, wielding the pistol, and fired several rounds. Gonzalez was hit twice, never returning fire, according to the report.A witness saw Harris, who was wearing dark clothes, running from the warehouse district.Fellow Miami-Dade officers from the Cutler Ridge district collared Harris in a U-Gas parking lot.Officers found the H&K handgun in a trash bin and several casings on the roadway nearby.Harris has been in trouble with the law before.
In 2005, he was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon. In December 2005, Harris was arrested on charges of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, grand theft and criminal mischief. He received probation, which was later revoked.
The next year, he was convicted of third-degree grand theft and marijuana possession.
Last year, he was arrested in an armed robbery case, but the charge was later dropped when detectives realized the actual culprit was his younger brother

Meloney Jackson borrowed a gun from a neighbor under arrest for the shooting death of her husband

Meloney Jackson of Florida is under arrest for the shooting death of her husband, Kevin Jackson. Mrs. Jackson borrowed a gun from a neighbor allegedly to shoot Mr. Jackson.How do you borrow a gun from a neighbor at 5am. I realize it’s Florida and all but how the hell would you even approach that with a neighbor. I wonder what reason she gave to the neighbor to borrow the gun. “I’m gonna go shoot me some rats?”
Mrs. Jackson denies the shooting but a gun dealer claims she was in his shop trying to buy a gun for self defense from her husband.Not surprisingly the Jacksons were in the middle of a divorce.

Three men are under arrest after leading Suffolk police on a three-minute chase in North Amityville this morning, authorities said.

At 11:22 a.m., plainclothes officers from the First Precinct noticed a 2008 Nissan Altima drive through Glenmalure Street in North Amityville a number of times before parking illegally -- with the driver's side to the curb -- in front of a home. The officers called a marked car to the scene, and as the responding vehicle turned into the street, the Altima took off.First Squad Det. Sgt. Gerard Pelkofsky said that the vehicles were not traveling at a high rate of speed, and that the pursuit ended about three minutes later when the Altima crashed into a telephone pole on Dererka Street. The pole collapsed, severely damaging the Altima.The driver, later identified as Kesley Nosy, 18, of North Amityville, fled from the scene. Two passengers, Robert Billinger, 17, also of North Amityville, and Jereme Miller, 34, of Brentwood, were arrested. A loaded nine millimeter handgun was recovered from the car, police said. Nosy was apprehended ten to 15 minutes later in a nearby garage.
All three men were charged with criminal possession of a weapon. In addition, Nosy was charged with unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, criminal trespass, and for an outstanding warrant issued in Suffolk County for possession of marijuana, Pelkofsky said. Billinger suffered a slight abrasion to the forehead, but declined medical attention. None of the officers were injured in the pursuit.
Pelkofsky said investigators don't know why the men were originally on Glenmalure Street. The handgun will be examined at the crime laboratory and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The bullets will be compared to see if they match any unsolved shootings. Nosy, Billinger and Miller will be arraigned tomorrow in First District Court in Central Islip.

Challenging the seizure of guns, ammunition, firearms accessories, and survival literature

The United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit decided a case on Tuesday in favor of police on all elements of a civil rights claim involving the preventive detention of a suicidal man with a large cache of arms and ammunition. The facts drive the case and I repeat them at length from the opinion, up until the proceedural issues of the police department not returning the guns and ammunition because the individual from whom they were seized is willing to fill out a state, but not a local form are addressed:
At 1:02 P.M. on July 23, 2002, Maryland police received a call from a healthcare hotline operator. The operator said that she had just spoken to Anthony Mora, a local firefighter, who told her he was suicidal, had weapons in his apartment, could understand shooting people at work, and said, "I might as well die at work." By 1:03, multiple units were en route to Mora’s apartment. By 1:04, police had called one of Mora’s co-workers, who confirmed that Mora’s threats should be taken seriously; at some point, police also learned that Mora’s girlfriend had recently ended her relationship with him. Police arrived to find Mora in the parking lot loading suitcases and gym bags into a van, and they approached with guns drawn. By 1:13, Mora was handcuffed and on the ground. No warrant had been sought.At that point, police and Mora began talking, and police began searching — whether with consent or without is disputed. Police first searched Mora’s luggage and van, finding one .32-caliber handgun round in a suitcase. Next, taking Mora’s keys, they entered his apartment, where they found a large gun safe in the kitchen and every interior door (including bathroom and closets) locked. Mora relinquished the combination under pressure, and inside police discovered twelve handguns, eight rifles, one shotgun, and keys to a second safe. Opening the interior doors, the second safe, and a locked file cabinet, police found guns, ammunition, gun accessories, and what police called "survival literature" in every room but the bathroom.At that point, two officers drove Mora to a hospital to see a psychiatrist. See Md. Code Ann., Health-General § 10-622(a) (LexisNexis 2005) (authorizing involuntary emergency psychiatric evaluation if an individual has a mental disorder and presents a threat to his own safety or that of others). The other officers re-entered the apartment to seize Mora’s weapons. All told, they removed forty-one firearms — some apparently automatic, semi-automatic, or assault-style, and some loaded — as well as five-thousand rounds of ammunition, various accessories, and survivalist publications. The Gaithersburg police department took that property into custody. Again, no warrant had been sought.
We do not precisely know what the psychiatrist who saw Mora that day concluded, but Mora was not involuntarily committed, though he voluntarily admitted himself and stayed at the hospital for several days. There were also no criminal charges brought against him based on the day’s events, then or at any other time. After his stay in the hospital, Mora returned home, where he discovered that his firearms and associated property were missing. Over the next few months, he moved to Pennsylvania. Meantime, the Gaithersburg police completed their investigation (which showed that Mora was a licensed gun collector and did not have a disqualifying criminal conviction) and closed the case administratively, storing the seized property in their evidence room. In 2003, through counsel, Mora inquired about getting his property returned, and Gaithersburg police did eventually return the accessories and survival literature — but not the guns and ammunition.
The 4th Circuit notes that most of the law on search and seizure involves post-crime, rather than preventative cases, although the citation to Hamdi for the proposition that preventative detention is valid in the case of enemy combatants isn't terribly apt and is, indeed, chilling as it implies that the President's claim to have a right to detain U.S. citizens on U.S. soil for fear that a person would commit a future crime without major judicial review might have merit (which is why Jose Padilla was transferred to the 4th Circuit to be detained).
Still, this is clearly a case where there was probable cause to believe that Mora was attempting to commit a grievous crime and taking an affirmative step towards that plan. Likewise, there was clearly probable cause to believe that he was a threat to others and himself and hence that he was properly taken for a mental evalution. At 1:13 a.m., there was no violation of the United States Constitution.
The searches that follow are a closer call. The 4th Circuit reasoned that:
The authority to defuse a threat in an emergency necessarily includes the authority to conduct searches aimed at uncovering the threat’s scope. When police arrived at Mora’s apartment and handcuffed him, they did not and could not fully know the dimensions of the threat they faced. They knew only that they faced an emergency of the kind that has traditionally justified warrantless searches, even into a home. See Mincey, 437 U.S. at 392-94 (recognizing that warrantless entry into a home is permitted in exigent circumstances). As the district court emphasized, Mora might have had a bomb — not an unprecedented thing for men in his state of mind. Or as the commanding officer at the scene pointed out in his report, Mora might have taken hostage the girlfriend who, police knew, had recently broken up with him. Or Mora might have had a confederate. Even in the context of an ordinary criminal arrest, handcuffing a suspect outside his car does not eliminate officers’ authority to search the passenger compartment for weapons or evidence.
While I'm not sure that I would be as willing to make the findings of fact upon which the district court's ruling on this point was based, that there was a bona fide fear of a bomb or a kidnapped girlfriend, the facts were muddy enough that the district court's ruling on this point was probably not an abuse of discretion. The concern about a possible kidnap victim or confederate in the apartment with the weapons was meaningful.I definitely part company with the 4th Circuit on the next question it addresses:Mora next challenges the seizure of his guns, ammunition, firearms accessories, and survival literature. First, he questions whether there was any basis under the Fourth Amendment for taking property that was not contraband or evidence of a crime and that presented no immediate danger to the officers. Second, he argues that the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement had surely taken hold by the time police took his property, for at that point he was already in a police cruiser en route to the hospital.
With regard to the first subpoint, the 4th Circuit states based upon some rather dubious precedent for a case like this one that: "There are no shortage of precedents approving preventive seizures for the sake of public safety." But, this is the strong of the issues for the police.
The bigger issue is the lack of a warrant. The 4th Circuit reasoned that:
[The police] had no way of knowing whether confederates might possess access to Mora’s considerable store of firearms, or whether Mora himself might return to the apartment more quickly than expected and carry out some desperate plan. Further, it was unclear whether the weapons themselves might become evidence in a forthcoming prosecution, making the need to guard against their disappearance great.


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