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Saturday, 30 August 2008

expat Gangsters:Seamus Ward,Mick `The Corporal' Weldon ,Tommy Savage,George `The Penguin' Mitchell ,John `The Coach' Traynor,Peter Mitchell

John `The Coach' Traynor (52)
Traynor strenuously denies allegations that he set up crime reporter Veronica Guerin for her murder.Garda and criminal sources allege that Traynor travels regularly between southern Spain, Amsterdam and Brussels to organise large-scale cannabis deals. Traynor, a former fraudster and associate of `The General', Martin Cahill, is believed to have made and spent a fortune from his involvement in the hash trade between 1994 and October 1996. In a phone interview with this reporter he denied that he had any part in Guerin's death.

Peter Mitchell (33)
Mitchell, from Dublin's north inner city, was alleged during two trials to be a member of the biggest cannabis gang that operated in Ireland in the mid-1990s.
Now based in Fuengirola, Spain, Mitchell is wanted by Gardai in connection with his alleged role in the gang. Mitchell and Traynor are believed to be in regular contact.

George `The Penguin' Mitchell (51)
Ballyfermot-born armed robber-turned-cannabis and ecstasy dealer Mitchell is unlikely ever to return home, as the Gardaí, the British police and the IRA are all keen to speak to him if he returns from Amsterdam, where he allegedly continues to run his hash business.Mitchell, a suspected member of the £30 million Beit art robbery gang led by Martin Cahill in the 1980s, served 18 months in jail since he left Ireland in 1996 after being caught during a robbery of computers in Holland. He is reportedly worth €15.3 million. Mitchell was accused in his absence in a court in London of being the organiser of a botched gangland hit on gangster Tony Brindle, a rival of the infamous Daly crime clan. Sources close to Mitchell have denied he was involved.

Tommy Savage (51)
Savage phoned Garda detectives from Amsterdam four years ago and said he had no part in the shooting dead of ex-INLA man Paddy `Teasy Weasy' McDonald in 1992.
However, because of newspaper reports about his alleged cannabis dealing, he has not returned because he says he would not get a fair trial.Savage, a former member of the Official IRA -- the old paramilitary wing of the Workers' Party -- was sentenced to nine years in Portlaoise for armed robbery in the 1970s. A number of his former colleagues have suffered violent deaths. In 1983 Danny McKeown was shot dead outside a Dublin dole office. Later that year Gerry Hourigan was killed in Ballymun. Michael Crinnion was murdered in Cork in 1995. Savage is believed to be close to George Mitchell.

Mick `The Corporal' Weldon (48)
Gardai have sought Weldon since 1993, when he fled the country as detectives prepared to bring him before the Special Criminal Court. He was found by Gardai with a gun allegedly in his possession.Weldon reportedly has his own plane and pilot's licence, and frequently flies to Colombia and Surinam. It is claimed by Garda sources that the former Irish Army corporal from Swords is one of the biggest cannabis barons in Europe.One criminal who knows Weldon insisted: "Mick is just like one of the lads who does a bit of this and that -- he's not an international gangster."Weldon's whereabouts are uncertain. He was last sighted in the Costa del Sol.

Seamus Ward
Ward was named during a trial two years ago as being a member of the same cannabis gang as Peter Mitchell. Ward, from Walkinstown, Dublin, has been missing since October 1996. Gardai believe he may be in the Costa del Sol, but criminal sources claim he is living in southern England.

Jim McCann
Jim "Just call me the Shamrock Pimpernel" McCann is wanted all over the world for a variety of crimes, and is regarded as a colourful figure in the underworld.
The reformed cannabis smuggler Howard Marks wrote in his autobiography that McCann mixed with unsuspecting IRA men and Hollywood actors like James Coburn during his heyday in the 1980s.McCann, originally from Belfast, in 1971 became the first man in decades to escape from Crumlin Road jail, where he was on remand for petrol-bombing Queen's University.
In the intervening period he linked up with international cannabis dealer Marks, while still trading on his reputation as a revolutionary. In 1977 he was arrested in France for extradition to Germany for allegedly bombing a British Army base in Moenchengladbach. A subsequent case failed, thanks largely to protests by French political radicals. Next he turned up in Naas, when Gardai caught him with nearly £100,000 worth of cannabis. When arrested, he would only say: "My name is Mr Nobody. My address is The World."McCann was later freed by the Garda on a technicality. He was last seen in Argentina.

Gary Nelson, Commissioner of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda has been fired.

Gary Nelson, Commissioner of the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, had overseen the hunt for the killers of Benjamin and Catherine Mullany last month. A Canadian, he was appointed in February on a two-year commission to reform the police after a crimewave in which there was a tripling of the number of murders. head of police on a Caribbean island where a British honeymooning couple were murdered has been fired.Mr Nelson's probationary period ended this week and the island's Police Service Commission unanimously decided to end his contract, the Antigua Sun reported. The sacking will raise concerns about attempts to tackle crime on an island visited by an estimated 100,000 British holidaymakers each year. Last year the number of people killed rose to nineteen, compared with an average of six to seven for previous years. So far this year there have been twelve killings and the homicide rate in the former British colony is now ten times that of London. Dr Mullany and her husband, both 31, from Pontardawe, South Wales, were shot last month in a robbery at their hotel on the last day of their honeymoon.
Officers from Scotland Yard and South Wales were asked by Baldwin Spencer, the Prime Minister, to help the investigation. Two men have been charged with murder and robbery and three women with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
The commissioner is the third of four senior Canadian officers to leave in the past two months. Assistant Commissioner Ronald Scott, the head of the Criminal Investigation Department, and Deputy Commissioner Michael O'Neil resigned, citing personal reasons. The only remaining Canadian officer is Deputy Commissioner Thomas Bennett, who holds responsibility for operations in the hard-up force.

Ernesto Valle will spend nearly 50 years in prison for shooting a man to death two years ago as part of a gang initiation.

Ernesto Valle will spend nearly 50 years in prison for shooting a man to death two years ago as part of a gang initiation.Valle, 21, of the 500 block of Columbia Street in Aurora was sentenced by Circuit Judge Grant Wegner on Friday to 45 years in prison for the gang-initiation shooting death of 19-year-old Jesse Lozano of Aurora, according the Kane County State's Attorney's office. Valle was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder on March 6.Just before 3 a.m. on Aug. 12, 2006, Valle and two other men, including co-defendant Hector D. Delgado, 19, were driving near Grove and Kendall streets in Aurora when Valle spotted Lozano driving a Chevrolet pickup.Valle walked to the truck and fired five shots -- two struck Lozano in the head and one struck him in the back. Lozano was pronounced dead a short time later. After the shooting, Valle returned to a gang party and was inducted into the gang, the release said.Valle’s sentence breaks down as 20 years for the murder, plus an additional mandatory 25 years because a firearm was used during commission of a crime. By law, he must serve 100 percent of the sentence. Valle had been held in Kane County Jail on $3 million bond, which was revoked upon conviction.
“This is a tragic case for two families. The Lozano family and the Valle family are grieving their respective loss of a son. Perhaps this case will make other young men think twice before trying to become a gang member,” said Asst. State’s Attorney Greg Sams, who prosecuted the case.

Mackenzie Phillips, was released on $10,000 bail following her arrest at the Los Angeles airport on Wednesday

Mackenzie Phillips, was released on $10,000 bail following her arrest at the Los Angeles airport on Wednesday. Phillips was headed to New York when she failed to pass a security screening. The secondary screening then revealed that the former actress was carrying on her a small amount of heroin and cocaine.The photos show three balloons and three small Ziplock bags which cops say contained heroin and cocaine. There is also a pic of 34 syringes, her mugshot and her driver’s license. Apparently when Mackenzie went through the metal detector, the alarm went off because of a metal object. The TSA initially did not suspect drugs. TSA employees then began to pat her down — which is routine — and she became uncooperative. They asked her to sit, and that’s when we’re told the balloons and baggies fell from her waistband through her pant leg and onto the floor. At that point, MacKenzie knew she was caught and said so to folks at TSA.

DNA evidence has linked Michael Gargiulo repairman to the stabbing deaths of three women, including a former girlfriend of actor Ashton Kutcher

DNA evidence has linked an air conditioning repairman to the stabbing deaths of three women, including a former girlfriend of actor Ashton Kutcher, police said Friday. Michael Gargiulo, 32, of Santa Monica has been in custody since July for a separate knife attack and could face murder charges as soon as next week, police said. Santa Monica police Lt. Darrell Lowe said DNA collected from a crime scene last spring helped link Gargiulo to the stabbing deaths of women from Los Angeles, suburban Chicago and Monterey Park. One of the cases involves 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin, Kutcher's former girlfriend, who was found dead in February 2001 in her Hollywood Hills home. Kutcher, who is married to actress Demi Moore and who starred in the television series "That '70s Show," told police he went to pick up the fashion student-model for a post-Grammy Awards party, but she did not answer the door. He checked a back window and spotted what he thought were red wine stains on the carpet and then left. Her body was discovered the next day by a friend.
Kutcher's agent, Stephanie Simon, said the actor had no comment. Attempts to reach Ellerin's parents were unsuccessful Friday night. Police said they have a DNA match that links Gargiulo to another fatal stabbing of a Monterey Park woman in 2005. They also suspect Gargiulo in the 1993 killing of a high school girl in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, where Gargiulo lived at the time.
Tricia Pacaccio, a senior at Glenbrook South High School, was found stabbed to death on her front doorstep, clutching her door key.
Gargiulo was being held in lieu of $1.1 million bail on attempted murder and burglary charges stemming from the April 28 stabbing of a Santa Monica woman in her home, Lowe said. Detectives matched a DNA sample taken from blood at the crime scene to Gargiulo. Lowe said further database cross-referencing found that Gargiulio's DNA matched genetic evidence in the three killings. Gargiulo's attorney, Anthony Salerno, said his client denies involvement in any of the attacks and "thinks the police are out to get him." Salerno acknowledged Gargiulo will possibly be charged with murder for the three slayings. He said that Gargiulo lived near the four victims at the time of the attacks and a garment of his was found in one of the victims' homes. But, he said, that does not make Gargiulo guilty. Salerno said he was not aware of any DNA matches in the three killings and questioned why police have taken so long to charge Gargiulo. "If there is any DNA evidence, that would be a surprise to me," he said. He said Gargiulo has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder and burglary charges from April and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Sept. 4. When asked about the Pacaccio case, John Gorman, a spokesman for the Cook County (Ill.) state's attorney's office, said he could not talk about an open investigation. "I can't comment on any evidence that may be out there," he said.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles police are using DNA evidence to track down another suspected serial killer in Southern California. A special police task force has linked the fatal shootings of 10 black women prostitutes and one black man in South Los Angeles to one assailant who has been killing since 1985. Police said they have no known suspect because the DNA does not match any sample in national crime databases.
One victim survived an attack in 1988, giving police the only description they have of the suspect: a black man in his 30s driving an orange Ford Pinto. The last killing in the series occurred in January 2007 with the discovery of 25-year-old Janecia Peters' body. DNA tests showed she was killed by the same assailant as the others

Ralph Thurston O'Neal III, 33, of Roane County's Midtown area is identified by authorities as the drug network's kingpin

Ralph Thurston O'Neal III, 33, of Roane County's Midtown area is identified by authorities as the drug network's kingpin and is named in all 10 counts of the indictment.Also charged are Michael Currier, 32, of Clinton, Brandon Cooper, 26, and Randy Spears, 43, both of Harriman, and Demond Reed, 37, of Rockwood.
According to a Roane County Sheriff's Department news release, O'Neal and others are accused of bringing in cocaine from Texas, California and Georgia.The drugs were then distributed to others for resale in Roane, Anderson and Knox counties, the news release alleges.Vehicles, cash and weapons were seized during the investigation.Other arrests are expected, Mynatt said."Most of the cocaine investigations pointed to Ralph O'Neal," Mynatt said.

Jose Jaime Arroyos-Carrillo, 51, a convicted drug dealer, and two of his associates are believed to have worked for Guzman, Mexico's top drug kingpin

Jose Jaime Arroyos-Carrillo, 51, a convicted drug dealer, and two of his associates are believed to have worked for Guzman, Mexico's top drug kingpin and head of the Sinaloa Cartel. They are named in a 29-count indictment that an El Paso federal grand jury handed up in November 2006.All three were indicted on the following charges: conspiracy to import a controlled substance, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, importing a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to laundermonetary instruments and bulk cash smuggling.Arroyos-Carrillo may currently be in hiding in Chihuahua, Mexico. His associates, Isidro Gomez-Arpero and Juan Samaniego were arrested in 2006 in Mexico, and extradited to the United States last year. On Aug. 14, 2008, U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone sentenced one of the masterminds of the organization, Gomez-Arpero, to 230 months (more than 19 years) in federal prison, and Juan Samaniego to 210 months (17½ years). The ICE investigation revealed that the Gomez organization, which was based in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, at one time was a large cell of the Guzman international drug-trafficking organization, judging by the large narcotics shipments it smuggled every week through El Paso.The nearly five-year OCDETF investigation was a joint effort by ICE and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Other law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation included: the El Paso County Sheriff's Office High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (HIDTA), the Texas Department of Public Safety, the El Paso Police Department, and ICE Offices in New York, Seattle, Birmingham, Houston. The El Paso FBI Office and DEA Strike Force New York also played an active role in this case.The investigation resulted in more than 20 seizures totaling more than 1,000 lbs. of cocaine, more than 2,820 lbs. of marijuana, and two separate cash seizures totaling more than $1.2 million.
More than 30 individuals were identified as active participants of the Gomez organizations' drug trafficking activities. Among the organization's members identified, were two members of the Barrio Azteca Street Gang who coordinated smuggling cocaine shipments into the United States.
"ICE and its law enforcement partners worked relentlessly for nearly five years on this case, which ultimately disrupted the flow of narcotics coming into the country by dismantling a major drug organization based here on the border," said Roberto G. Medina, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in El Paso."
To date, 25 of the organization's members, who have been prosecuted by federal authorities in this case, have been sentenced. Their combined sentences total 1,507 months. Fifteen individuals have been prosecuted by Texas law enforcement agencies and sentenced to a total of 80 years.Arroyos-Carrillo, originally from Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, is among several members of the organization still at large. Arroyos-Carrillo, whose aliases include Jaime-Lopez-Carrillo, Jaime Carrillo-Fuentes and Jaime Apachuco-Romero, is believed to be in Chihuahua, Mexico.
In 1987, he was convicted of smuggling more than 700 lbs. of cocaine into Arizona. In 2000, he was deported as an aggravated felon through Laredo, Texas. As early as last year, he was known to own property and businesses in Ciudad Juarez.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Terrance Clark, 19, was arrested Dec. 11 after he pulled a .40-caliber handgun from his waistband and pointed it at four members

Terrance Clark, 19, was arrested Dec. 11 after he pulled a .40-caliber handgun from his waistband and pointed it at four members of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Violent Crime Impact Task Force on a North Side street.
Clark, who was wanted on three outstanding warrants, fled and was arrested in a nearby duplex. Senior U.S. District Judge Alan N. Bloch sentenced Clark, who pleaded guilty in June to a charge of using a firearm during a violent crime.

Grant Wilkinson was told he would serve a minimum of 11 years for converting replica Mac-10 sub-machine guns into real weapons

Grant Wilkinson was told he would serve a minimum of 11 years for converting replica Mac-10 sub-machine guns into real weapons and selling them to the criminal underworld.The judge who jailed the 33-year-old suggested that the Government might consider reviewing legislation to counter "endemic" gun crime.The sub-machine guns were made in shabby sheds converted into a workshop and test firing range at The Briars in Three Mile Cross.They were later used in at least 51 shootings and eight murders, including that of Michael Dosonmu, an innocent 15-year-old who was shot in his bedroom in Peckham, South London.Another of the guns was recovered from a vehicle in Birmingham and was later proved to have been fired at the robbery which led to the fatal shooting of Wpc Sharon Beshinevsky in Bradford.Prosecuter John Price said it was estimated that between 30 and 40 of the guns were still on the streets of Britain and that fatal shootings and injuries involving them would continue for several years.Sentencing Wilkinson today at Reading Crown Court, Judge Zoe Smith said the factory had led to an increase in the use of Mac-10s in gun crime since it was started in 2004, and added: "The continued increase in the roll call of death and injuries is inevitable."Defending, Abdullah Al-Yunusi, said his client could not be considered a serious risk of committing similar offences again.
Judge Smith said after his release Wilkinson would remain on licence for the rest of his life and could be recalled to prison at any time."This court knows from its own experience that gun crime has become endemic and it may be that the Government would wish to review this part of the legislation as a matter of urgency."

Bermuda,Gun shots were reportedly fired in the St. Monica's Road area of Pembroke yesterday morning, in the second such incident this month.

Gun shots were reportedly fired in the St. Monica's Road area of Pembroke yesterday morning, in the second such incident this month. Police responded to a report of shots in the St. Monica's / Glebe Road vicinity around 11 a.m. "Details about the incident are unclear at this time. However, Police are appealing for any passengers of the Number Five Pond Hill bus that got on or off in the Glebe Road area, that may have seen two males on a motorcycle acting suspiciously, to contact the Serious Crime Unit," said a spokesman. He confirmed that no one was hurt, but would not comment on radio news reports that a car was hit by a bullet. Reports of gun and gang activity in the St. Monica's Road area of Pembroke – known colloquially as "42nd Street" – first put the Police on a heightened state of alert at the start of the month. A press release on August 8 reported: "The Bermuda Police Service has recently received reports of suspected firearm activity in the St. Monica's Road, Pembroke area and increased violence involving young men associated with the gang culture. In light of these reports, we wish to reassure the public that the Police are aware of these activities and that we will be responding appropriately."
Ten days after that, 22-year-old Prince Barrington Edness, from Pembroke, was shot in the leg on Princess Street, Hamilton, in a drive-by shooting. Detectives were understood to be investigating claims that he was injured in a revenge attack for the St. Monica's Road incident. locals told the Police the violence stemmed from tensions between the so-called 42nd Street and Parkside gangs and that further attacks could be on the cards. In response to that, and other violence this month including the stabbing death of teenager Kellon Hill at Elbow Beach, Premier Ewart Brown announced a new "get-tough" approach that could see a US-style SWAT team hit the streets.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Rondell Rawlins, 33, and Jermaine Charles, 23, were gunned down by police and soldiers near the country's international airport, in Timehri

Rondell Rawlins, 33, and Jermaine Charles, 23, were gunned down by police and soldiers near the country's international airport, in Timehri, about 32 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of Georgetown.An accomplice of the two fugitives was also killed in the shootout, but the police have no record of him being involved in any previous offense. One soldier was also wounded in the incident, Trotz said.The security forces are looking for a woman believed to have been harboring the fugitives.
Rawlins and Charles were blamed for the April 2006 murder of Sawh, his brother and sister, shortly after they had returned home from a family-function.Rawlins was never captured but Charles escaped from detention two months ago, while awaiting his return to a Georgetown maximum security prison pending trial for the Sawhs murders.
Charles was also charged with several other multiple murders including five printing press operators in August 2006.Rawlins was also implicated in several massacres, including the death of 11 women and children at their homes in January that intensified a man-hunt for him. A 250,000 dollar reward was placed on his head.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Armed police shot dead boss Mark Nunes, 35, after lying in wait outside a bank in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire.

Gang carried out detailed reconnaissance trips and used stolen cars to target cash in transit vans outside banks in at least 18 robberies across the south of England, Kingston Crown Court heard. Its 18-month crime spree was brought to an end in September last year when armed police shot dead two of its number, including boss Mark Nunes, 35, after lying in wait outside a bank in Chandler's Ford, Hampshire.
The getaway driver, Terrence Wallace, 26, was arrested later that day after fleeing the scene, the court heard. Wallace and three other alleged members of the gang, Victor Iniodu, 34, Leroy Wilkinson, 29, and Adrian Johnson, 28, from London, all deny conspiracy to rob. Brendan Kelly, opening the case for the prosecution, said: "This case concerns robberies, sometimes armed, sometimes not, that targeted the carriers of cash in transit, that is guards employed to move money to and from banks and all other retail outlets. "Over an 18-month period of time, this gang netted in excess of £500,000." The court was told Nunes recruited gang members and selected the targets but also joined in on the robberies.
Mr Kelly said: "Despite their skills, their planning and to a degree, their patience, their luck ran out." The Metropolitan Police managed to identify at least some of the culprits and they were followed.
Nunes and accomplice Andrew Markland, 36, were under surveillance as they drove to Chandler's Ford, a small town in Hampshire on September 13.
"Again their victim was a Group 4 Security guard but this time there was a difference," Mr Kelly said. "Armed police officers both undercover and secluded in various buildings in the vicinity of the HSBC bank were watching.
"They saw Nunes point a loaded firearm at the head of the guard and as he did so, he was shot dead to protect the life of the guard.
"As Markland went to pick up the gun, he too was shot dead."
Wallace, of Raynes Park, Wilkinson, of 3 Presentation Mews, 42 Palace Road, Streatham, Johnson, of 79 Abbotts Place, Streatham Hill, and Iniodu, of 297 Derinton Road, Tooting, all deny conspiracy to rob cash in transit between April 27 2006 and September 14 2007.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Joseph Yelko surrendered to Internal Affairs detectives Monday morning and was taken to Cleveland City Jail.

Cleveland police officer accused of using cocaine was charged with drug abuse Monday. Police say an investigation ordered by Police Chief Michael McGrath uncovered evidence of cocaine abuse by Joseph Yelko, a 10-year veteran. "We will not tolerate drug use and abuse among our officers," McGrath said. "This officer will be suspended from work without pay and we will move towards terminating him from employment with the Division of Police." Yelko surrendered to Internal Affairs detectives Monday morning and was taken to Cleveland City Jail. He was released on bond and is scheduled to make his initial appearance at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Peter ‘Fatso’ Mitchell was being treated in a hospital on the Costa del Sol for two gunshot wounds to his shoulder

Peter ‘Fatso’ Mitchell was being treated in a hospital on the Costa del Sol for two gunshot wounds to his shoulder, which were not serious, after a hitman tried to whack him in a bar outside Puerto Banus on Thursday night.A year ago it was all so different as he settled down with his street dealer wife Sonia and their two children in a luxury villa worth around €1.5 million.Last August he and Walsh, who had been his girlfriend since the early 1990s, were about to open the Paparazzi bar and restaurant in Nueva Andalucia.
The bar, which was a front for money laundering, is situated in the hills a few miles from Puerto Banus and Marbella which was once a playground for the rich and famous.These days, however, the once trendy ‘port’ is a sleazy centre of prostitution and drug dealing thanks to the likes of Mitchell and his international cronies.Some of the biggest names in organized crime from Ireland, the UK, Holland and Spain received printed invites to the gala opening from “Peter and Sonia” last September.And for a number of months the Paparazzi bar became a popular meeting point for drug traffickers, hitmen and money launderers including the likes of Fat Freddie Thompson and his pal Paddy Doyle.Then Doyle was shot dead by gunmen last February as he was travelling in a jeep in the company of Thompson and Gary Hutch, a nephew of armed robber Gerry the Monk Hutch, near San Pedro on the Costa.It has since emerged, however, that Doyle, a dangerous hitman and bully boy, was shot by a local gang from whom he had ripped off a shipment of cocaine.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, who had been imprisoned for money laundering in Brazil, was handed over to U.S. agents in the Amazonian city of Manaus

Ramirez Abadia, known as "El Chupeta" (Lollipop) and long considered one of the world's major traffickers, is under U.S. indictment on racketeering, money laundering and murder charges. In one case, he is accused of ordering a hit team to kill a trafficker employed by his organization in Queens, N.Y.
Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia, who had been imprisoned for money laundering in Brazil, was handed over to U.S. agents in the Amazonian city of Manaus and flown to New York, the Brazilian Justice Ministry said.Acting Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele M. Leonhart, in a statement issued Friday in Washington, labeled Ramirez Abadia "one of the most violent and prolific narcotics traffickers in the hemisphere."The Justice Ministry here said that U.S. officials agreed to limit Ramirez Abadia's maximum prison time, if he is convicted, to 30 years, the most he would have faced in Brazil.Ramirez Abadia is a rare Latin American reputed drug lord who willingly sought extradition to the United States. Once in Brazilian custody, he even offered to hand over tens of millions of dollars in hidden proceeds to Brazil in exchange for speedy extradition.Ramirez Abadia allegedly was among the ringleaders of Colombia's Norte del Valle cartel, which became the country's most powerful drug gang during the 1990s.The sophisticated cartel is accused of organizing the transport of more than 500 tons of cocaine worth more than $10 billion from Colombia to the United States, the U.S. Justice Department said.Ramirez Abadia "controlled a large percentage of those drug exports" and employed "hundreds" in his enterprise, including dozens of killers, the Justice Department said.
The gang killed rivals, bribed police and laundered profits, the Justice Department charged. Ramirez Abadia fled to Brazil after serving a prison term in Colombia. He was arrested again in August 2007 at a luxurious condominium outside Sao Paulo, South America's most populous city.Because of Ramirez Abadia's plastic surgery, authorities reportedly used voice-recognition technology to confirm his identity from wire-tapped phone calls. At the time, U.S. officials were offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his capture.His enthusiasm for extradition prompted speculation that Ramirez Abadia was keen to provide information to U.S. authorities in exchange for a reduced sentence. But he denied in a television interview here that he would testify against former confederates.
"I'm not going to make any deals," he told TV Globo in a jailhouse interview last year. "I'll assume responsibility for my problems alone."
The drug-trafficking trade would continue to thrive, he predicted, despite his latest arrest and the jailing of other bosses. "I'm in prison, but there are people replacing me, then there will be others," Ramirez Abadia told TV Globo. "It will never end."Since Ramirez Abadia's arrest a year ago, Brazilian authorities have auctioned off many of his holdings, including at least four homes. Assets and cash totaling more than $700 million have been seized from his organization, according to the Justice Department.

Inspector Jaco Botha, 37, a senior Pretoria police officer, was gunned down in an ambush as he responded to an ATM bombing by a gang

Inspector Jaco Botha, 37, a senior Pretoria police officer, was gunned down in an ambush as he responded to an ATM bombing by a gang of AK47-wielding gunmen during the early hours of on Wednesday morning.Describing Lunet Botha's smile as the police vehicle with its flashing lights arrived at the couple's Pyramid's home, Villieria police station commissioner, Superintendent Kushie Nair, said her (Botha's) face had lit up."She thought it was her husband who had come to say goodbye, but when I told her who I was she broke down. "She just knew that something had happened to him," said Nair, fighting back tears.His son, Ulrich, who celebrated his birthday three weeks ago, and his wife were due to fly to Cape Town ahead of him. Botha was supposed to have gone on leave on Thursday and the plan was that he would have joined them on their holiday.The family, according to colleagues, had been planning the holiday for months.The 10-man gang blew open an Absa ATM at the Engen garage on the corner of CR Swart and Lynette streets in Kilner Park. The Pretoria News has learnt that the gunmen may have earlier spotted Botha and his partner, Inspector Pieter Otto, as they searched an open veld several hundred metres away, together with Inspector Guy Weilbach and Constable Kallie Schlichting of the Pretoria Dog Unit, after they received reports of a group of housebreakers fleeing through it.
The gang, two of whose members were apparently white, launched their ambush as the police officers raced to the garage after receiving reports of people tampering with the ATM."They were blocked in, cornered, trapped and then shot at," police spokesperson Inspector Klaas van der Kooi
The dog unit members managed to drive through the ambush as the gunmen opened fire, but Botha stopped in the midst of the attackers when he saw what was happening.
Several gunmen blocked his retreat with a getaway vehicle while a lone gunman strategically positioned near the petrol station opened fire on his vehicle, with a single shot hitting Botha in the head as he tried to reverse.
None of the gunmen has been caught.Van der Kooi confirmed the gunmen had breached the ATM, but declined to say how much money was taken.
It is, however, believed that of the more than R200 000 that was in the ATM, less than R13 000 was stolen.A police officer who arrived at the "war zone" within minutes of the killing said: " These guys were experts. They knew exactly what to do and how to carry out their mission." An eyewitness, a former police crime scene investigator, said he was asleep in his house nearby, when he heard loud banging noises.Investigating, he saw men fleeing from the ATM before a "massive" explosion erupted followed by a "firestorm" as gunmen opened fire on police."I saw a guy aiming at a police vehicle from beside a tree next to our house. He then opened, fire shooting the driver."There were two white guys who were in charge. Everyone was cool, calm and in control.
"There was nothing that I could do. It was a slaughter," he said.Elsa van der Merwe, whose garden wall was knocked down by Botha's car, said she had been terrified. "We heard a massive explosion, gunfire and then a policeman screaming for help. When we ran outside we saw him lying on the ground with blood everywhere."Seeing his wedding ring and knowing that he had a family was horrifying," she said. Asked about their holiday, a devastated Lunet said she did not want to talk about it.Describing her husband, she said Ulrich and his work were his life."From the day he finished school when he became a policeman to his death, police work was his life."He only ever wanted to be a policeman," she said of her husband of seven years.
Asked how Ulrich was coping, Lunet said her son kept on saying that his dad was safe in heaven with their pit-bull Mufasa.
Nair said being a policeman's wife herself, what Lunet had experienced was something she (Nair) would never want to experience.
"When the call came through that Botha was dead I prayed to God that this was something that I would never have to go through," she said.
"He did not deserve to be slaughtered," said a colleague, while explaining how Botha had often talked about the romantic surprises he had organised for his wife on the holiday.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

George Buchanan - Edinburgh's No.1 drugs baron.

George Buchanan - Edinburgh's No.1 drugs baron.The pug-faced body-builder keeps his sinister occupation secret from his middle-class neighbours in the upmarket estate of Gilbertstoun.But the father of two is to blame for most of the heroin, Ecstasy, hash and speed sold in city housing schemes such as Craigmillar, where he was brought up.Police sources yesterday confirmed Buchanan - known as Dode - commands the city's drugs underworld.But repeated attempts by drug squad officers to end cunning Buchanan's criminal career have ended in failure.More than £90,000 in cash was found in his home during Lothian andBorders Police's Operation Foil purges four years ago. Tests found traces of drugs on the notes.But furious detectives were forced to return the cash when a businessman claimed the money was his savings which Buchanan had been keeping for him.An earlier raid at Buchanan's previous home in Lochend, Edinburgh, uncovered another £30,000 in cash.But again, slippery Buchanan got the money returned when a relative claimed it was the proceeds from selling her home.Buchanan, 46, first came to the police's attention when he was a young thug growing up in Niddrie and Craigmillar.Hewas jailed for eight years in 1974 for the attempted murder of a gang rival when he was a member of the infamous Niddrie Terror street gang.In jail, Buchanan developed a passion for bodybuilding and by the time he was released the once-skinny thug had been transformed in to a muscle-bound heavyweight. One former detective said: "He was a wee nyaff before he went inside."But that all changed when he was released and he tapped in to the growing drugs market. He soon became a name to be reckoned with."In June 1987, Buchanan was jailed for 12 years after a jury found him guilty of being involved in the second biggest ever heroin haul found in Edinburgh.Officers who burst in to a house in Stockbridge found him in bed with the wife of his lieutenant, Raymond Smith.While officers detained Buchanan, Smith was being pursued in a high-speed car chase in which he almost killed young children in his desperate bid to escape.When arrested, Smith refused to co-operate - until it was pointed out by detectives that his boss had been caught in bed with hiswife.His evidence sent Buchanan away for 12 years - but not before Smith was repeatedly stabbed and almost died in an attack the night before the trial was due to start.In the same court, Buchanan was convicted of supplying heroin while he was a prisoner in Barlinnie Prison's special unit.But he was cleared of firearms offences and of a plot to rob Edinburgh jewellers of pounds 30,000.Ever the gentleman, on his way down to the cells Buchanan spat at the jury, for which he received a further sentence.Buchanan has never put in a proper day's work in his life but lives with wife Marie in a smart, £250,000 detached villa at Gilbertstoun, near Portobello.Naturally, the house is in his wife's name because Buchanan is careful not to have any identifiable assets that could be seized by the authorities.The cunning criminal is ultra-cautious in guarding his movements and even uses different vehicles depending on his purpose.When he visits his old stamping ground of Craigmillar and the other housing estates, Buchanan prefers to drive an old L- reg Volvo 440, swapping itfor a top-of-the-range Range Rover with private registration DDD 74 when he visits the gym.Known to have links to west of Scotland drug barons, Buchanan is a regular visitor to Glasgow to arrange consignments.When he is not visiting his mistress, who lives just yards from St Leonard's police station in Edinburgh, Buchanan can be spotted visiting a sauna in York Place and it is thought that he is planning to invest his ill-gotten gains in prostitution.A senior detective said: "George Bell Cowan Buchanan is one of the most active drug dealers in Edinburgh."He spreads misery in the housing estates which are in walking distance from the cosy existence that he lives out in Gilbertstoun.
"He is a nasty piece of work and it is only a matter of time before he reaps what he has sown."He has had a few lucky escapes but his luck will run out one of these days."

Neils Jorgen Tobiasen, 65, from Denmark, pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to making corrupt payments.

Neils Jorgen Tobiasen, 65, from Denmark, pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to making corrupt payments.Tobiasen, financial director of CBRN Team Ltd, will be sentenced at a later date.Anti-Corruption Minister John Hutton said:
“I wholeheartedly congratulate the Overseas Anti-Corruption Unit for their landmark success in this case.
“Extra government funding is helping the unit make a real impact by bringing to book the corrupt companies who pay bribes and foreign officials who take them.
“Corruption hurts honest companies and raises the cost of doing business. This is the first of what I hope will be many victories for the unit in the fight against corruption and bribery.” Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander said:“Bribery and corruption not only hurts the poor but hurts business too. This is why the Department for International Development has funded this program. I am delighted to see this result.”

Sgt. Tom Lovejoy claims MCSO officials illegally prevented him from gathering evidence for his own defense.

Since Sgt. Tom Lovejoy’s acquittal last week on misdemeanor animal-cruelty charges, in which a judge concluded “it was simply an accident”, the embattled sergeant has retained attorney Michael Manning who has won previous high-profile cases against the sheriff. Lovejoy claims MCSO officials illegally prevented him from gathering evidence for his own defense. “I have no problem accepting the fact we did go to court and had a trial,” Sgt. Lovejoy said. “That’s not the issue that I have. The issue is what I learned throughout this ordeal of the level of corruption inside the sheriff’s department.”
The most specific allegation involves transcripts of a phone conversation last September between Sgt. Lovejoy’s wife Carolynn and MCSO Deputy Chief Dave Trombi.
Carolynn Lovejoy claims Trombi changed the text of their telephone conversation that was later submitted as evidence. “He took little things of what I said and put them into a different meaning or context and then it looked really bad. He was just trying to discredit us,” Carolynn Lovejoy said. According to Lovejoy, court records prove Trombi kept an audio tape recording of the conversation. But she says the sheriff’s office will not release the audio tape, despite a public records request by Lovejoy’s attorney dating back to last year. The sheriff’s office did not respond to questions by 12 News about the allegation. Another allegation by Lovejoy involves the conduct by the sheriff’s public relations office. Lovejoy describes a series of back-and-forth legal battles to obtain public records pertinent to him receiving a fair trial. “I think their strategy was to bankrupt me with attorney’s fees and hope I would go away,” Lovejoy said. They say some of the records sought would help establish whether Arpaio administered “selective enforcement.” Arpaio arrested Lovejoy on a charge involving “wreckless neglect” but chose not to investigate K-9 deaths within the sheriff’s own office in past years, according to Tom Lovejoy.
Lovejoy says anonymous sources notified him of three specific cases where deputy K-9’s died under suspicious circumstances. But when Lovejoy’s previous attorney filed a public records request for information involving any and all K-9 deaths, “mysteriously their information on (the three MSCO K-9 incidents) was not included,” Lovejoy said. Lovejoy claims MCSO only released K-9 documents after his previous attorney proved he had prior specific knowledge of the 3 deaths. Under public records law, government agencies are required to release all requested documents in a timely manner, with few exceptions. According to Lovejoy, the records showed that MCSO did not investigate the incidents on even a basic level.
Deputy Chief Trombi responded to the allegation in a letter to the editor of Thursday’s Arizona Republic. Trombi writes, “Ludicrous allegations of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office canine deaths ‘not being investigated’ are just that. Sheriff’s investigative reports containing detailed information of these deaths were turned over to Lovejoy’s attorney.” Tom Lovejoy insists no such records of an investigation exist.
“The lies that are told out of the public information office are just appalling,” Lovejoy said

corruption trial of Bayswater panel beater, Pasquale Minniti.

Several senior West Australian MPs and the Police Commissioner are expected to be called as witnesses at the corruption trial of Bayswater panel beater, Pasquale Minniti.Summonses have been served on the Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan, the former Deputy Commissioner Murray Lampard, and former Labor ministers Bob Kucera and John D'Orazio.the Attorney General Jim McGinty and the former Police Minister, now Housing Minister, Michelle Roberts will also be summonsed to appear at the trial.
Mr Kucera announced his decision to retire from politics 12 days ago, about the time he received the notice to appear.He says his decision not to contest a seat at next month's poll had nothing to do with the case, and he is surprised he has been summonsed."I have no idea why I've been summonsed other than a phone call from, that I made to Mr Minniti's solicitor to say that I may be, may be, required to give character evidence as he was one of my constituents," he said.
The trial arose out of a Corruption and Crime Commission investigation into Mr Minniti's alleged invovement in a traffic infringement scam.

Hells Angels remain the most powerful Drug-gang violence that has ripped through Metro Vancouver in recent months has been linked to gangwarfare

B.C.-based organized crime groups are controlling the sale of methamphetamine across Canada and abroad, according to Criminal Intelligence Service Canada's annual report.
Meth production in the province was up in 2007 "primarily to meet expanding international market consumption," said the report, which marks trends in organized crime across the country."The number of super-labs in Canada indicates the capacity to produce significant quantities for foreign distribution," the report said.In 2007, seizures of Canadian-produced methamphetamine were interdicted in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and to a lesser extent, China, Taiwan, India and Iran. The majority of the groups involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine are based in B.C."B.C. is also still a major producer of marijuana for cross-border smuggling, with cocaine being brought back into Canada by crime groups, the report said.
The resulting drug-gang violence that has ripped through Metro Vancouver in recent months is a hallmark of the crime groups, the report said."Violence and intimidation are used to solidify or further a crime group's involvement within a criminal market. It is usually directed either externally against criminal rivals or internally within their own organization to maintain discipline," it said.
"In some instances, lower-level criminal groups will pose a more immediate and direct public safety threat through acts of violence that are often carried out in public places. These violent, lower-level criminal groups are largely but not entirely composed of street gangs, some of which have committed assaults or shootings in public places."
Police say the Hells Angels remain the most powerful organized crime group in B.C.
More than 900 crime groups were identified as operating in Canada in 2007, about the same number as the year before.Their major centres of criminal operation are Metro Vancouver, southern Ontario and Montreal, the report said. Some of the B.C. crime groups are also involved in human trafficking, it said."A small number of organized crime groups, mostly based in B.C. and Quebec, are involved in the facilitation of international trafficking in persons (TIP), it said."Conversely, several street gangs are active within the domestic TIP market for the purposes of sexual exploitation. These groups facilitate the recruitment, control, movement and exploitation of Canadian-born females in the domestic sex trade, primarily in strip bars in several cities across the country."
RCMP E Division media liaison Sgt. Tim Shields said police in B.C. are fighting back against crime groups in the province."Today there are more than 17 police units and government agencies actively working together to combat organized crime," Shields said Friday. "But this is not just a problem for the police to solve in isolation. It is a problem for the entire community to take a stand against."
Shields said the marijuana trade in B.C. is estimated to be worth $6 billion per year."This figure does not include revenue from the sale of crystal meth, cocaine and heroin, and from identity theft, credit card fraud, prostitution, gun smuggling, human trafficking, and money laundering," he said. "But even more alarming is the violent crime associated to organized crime such as shootings in public places, kidnappings and the murders of innocent people."Not only are the gangs involved in drug trafficking, but they are also increasingly committing fraud and identity theft as technology makes it easier."Technology changes very fast and our reliance on technology is growing at a phenomenal rate," RCMP Commissioner William Elliott told a news conference in Montreal. "It is a challenge for us to keep up, which is all the more reason why we need to collaborate more and I think this report is an example of us doing it."The report said wireless technology allows fraud artists to steal payment card information without entering a store. They can gather the information from a point-of-sale terminal inside while sitting in a car nearby. The information is then transferred to illegal debit card factories worldwide within seconds.
The potential for profits is huge, making it very attractive to well-established organized crime groups traditionally involved in activities like drug trafficking.
"As we move more and more to the Internet and the technology being used, the risks are increasing. A lot of the public are not very careful about their identity," said Elliott, who is also the chairman of Criminal Intelligence Service Canada (CISC), a grouping of 380 law enforcement agencies across Canada.
"One of the reasons why organized crime has been as successful as it [is], is because they are very adaptable. It's not as if they have given up any of their traditional markets but, as new technology and as changes occur in society, they are also changing and taking advantage of the areas they can exploit

Friday, 22 August 2008

Kevin McLean based at Heathrow Airport has been charged with a series of sex attacks on teenage girls, Scotland Yard has said.

special constable based at Heathrow Airport has been charged with a series of sex attacks on teenage girls, Scotland Yard has said.Kevin McLean, 29, who worked on the front desk of Ealing police station and as a volunteer officer at the airport, was charged with 22 offences following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police's Directorate of Professional Standards Anti Corruption Team.He faces 10 offences of indecent assault of girls under 16 and 11 charges of making indecent images of children, including two relating to girls under 13. He is also accused of misconduct in a public office. He will appear at City of Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

TWO female police reservists were arrested for corruption for allegedly trying to extort money from a grandmother in Jabulani

TWO female police reservists were arrested for corruption for allegedly trying to extort money from a grandmother in Jabulani, police said .Police spokesperson Inspector Kay Makhubela said the two wome n, aged 29 and 39, respectively, first went to the 58-year-old grandmother in Jabulani three weeks ago.The women told the grandmother that her daughter had been arrested and the case had been thrown out but was now being reopened.They demanded R750000 from the grandmother, but she said she could only pay R20000.The women later organised to meet her on Saturday at the Jabulani Mall.The 58-year-old went to the police.The police went and hid at the mall. They photocopied all the money to be given to the women.The grandmother went with the women into a bathroom at the mall and gave them the money.The women were arrested.Police found out that the two women were reservists at the Moroka police station.They are being detained at Jabulani police station and have been charged with corruption.Makhubela said 108 suspects were arrested over the weekend in Jabulani for crimes ranging from rape to house robbery and theft .They will appear in the Protea M agistrate’s C ourt today

A sergeant with Abu Dhabi Traffic Department has been arrested after police uncovered a Dh13 million luxury car scam.

A sergeant with Abu Dhabi Traffic Department has been arrested after police uncovered a Dh13 million luxury car scam.The officer is facing corruption charges after he fraudulently altered the ownership certificates for 17 BMWs. Police said the man intended to sell the cars abroad.
The UAE Government is committed to fighting corruption, enhancing performance and ensuring accountability for the benefit of its citizens, top officials said on Monday."The government is committed to combating corruption however large or sensitive in keeping with instructions from the political leadership," Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior, told Gulf News.
Shaikh Saif added the Ministry of Interior monitors the performance of its departments and holds them accountable to meet its established standards and offer the best services.Shaikh Saif reiterated the ministry's policy to promote transparency and reveal cases of corruption and mistrust among staff members despite the rank of the official and the sensitivity of the situation.
The statement came after the Dubai Government announced a crackdown on corruption.
The media office of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Sunday issued a strongly-worded statement, promising to deal harshly with any officials accused of taking payoffs in deals or those who exploit their positions for financial gain.
"This will be an example to those who break the law and proves that no one is above the law, neither the police nor the public," Shaikh Saif said.

10-second FBI video clip of two top Ramsey County sheriff's aides stashing $6,000 in purported drug money is either evidence of corruption

10-second FBI video clip of two top Ramsey County sheriff's aides stashing $6,000 in purported drug money is either evidence of corruption or a stupid practical joke, according to opening statements in their federal trial Tuesday. "Our criminal justice system fails when those who are charged with enforcing our laws act corruptly," Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Dixon said in his 30-minute opening statement to 16 jurors. St. Paul Police Inspector Timothy Rehak and Mark Naylon, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher's public information officer, face identical eight-count federal indictments for two "integrity" tests in November 2004 and July 2005. Both have been on paid leave since last summer. They are accused of six counts each of "honest services" wire fraud, depriving state citizens of their honest services. Each is also accused of stealing government money and conspiring to violate the civil rights of a person. U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz said he will push to wrap up the case by next Friday. Defense lawyer Kevin Short, who is representing Rehak, told jurors the case has nothing to do with police corruption. He admitted that it was "stupid" for the two men to play "a practical joke with search warrant procedure." However, Short maintained that the two men's act was nothing more than a joke and that they never intended to steal the money. Rehak, a police officer since 1986, was assigned in 2004 to work for Fletcher's special investigations unit. Dixon said Rehak's friend and one-time neighbor Naylon also worked in that capacity even though he was a public information officer and not a licensed peace officer.
In October 2004, the FBI received information on Rehak, Dixon said. Working with an informant who faced a long prison sentence for drug charges, the FBI designed a test in which officers can either "act corruptly or lawfully," Dixon said. The informant called Rehak and told him that a drug dealer named Vincent (Vinny) Pellagatti from Chicago was in custody in Wisconsin, but wanted to get at drugs and money stashed in room 503 at the Kelly Inn, near the State Capitol. Both sides say Rehak responded to the informant by saying, "Let me see if I can't scarf that out of here." Dixon said the comment was a sign that Rehak was going after the money. Short said it was evidence of an "honest cop" working with a long-time informant to try to make a bust. In November 2004, federal authorities planted $13,500 in marked bills in a room at the Kelly Inn. They then videotaped Rehak and Naylon pulling the money bag out of a dresser. Naylon motioned to Rehak, who flipped him a fistful of bills. Naylon put them in a pocket. A third deputy was in the bathroom and out of view. When he came out, Rehak and Naylon both helped count and inventory the remaining $7,500. Later, however, Rehak and Naylon conducted database searches and determined that the alleged drug dealer was fictional. They called the third deputy and told him they had found $6,000 more in a mattress at the hotel, Dixon said. At no point did they tell the man it was a joke, he emphasized.
But Short said the two wanted to mess with the third officer, whom they said had a bloated ego and a penchant for going home early. They wanted to wait until the officer was "home in his footie pajamas" before calling him back to inventory the rest of the money, Short said. In another integrity check in July 2005, FBI agents placed a large amount of money in a car they recorded as stolen and had the same informant tell Rehak that drugs and money were in the car. Dixon showed FBI video of Naylon and Rehak entering the vehicle and finding a stash of cash. Rehak is heard on the tape repeating an expletive and saying, "another [expletive] setup." Naylon says, "Is that what it is? ... So we just [expletive] walk away?" Rehak says, "They're probably [expletive] watching us." Dixon and Short both said that Rehak knew a drug dealer wouldn't leave a bag of money and no drugs. They did not take any of the money. Short said Rehak's behavior was that of a cop looking for a bad guy and that's why he and Naylon conducted surveillance on the vehicle overnight and again the next day. Paul Rogosheske, who is representing Naylon, did not make an opening statement Tuesday. He said he might wait until today or later in the case. Either way, testimony is expected to begin today. Schiltz read a list of potential witnesses, including Fletcher, Police Chief John Harrington,

Ricky Sam Sisneros the shot-caller for a Torrance street gang

Convicted Ricky Sam Sisneros of being an ex-felon in possession of seven firearms as well as ammunition and drug counts. The jury also found true allegations the crimes were gang-related.
The 45-year-old Sisneros was described during trial as the shot-caller for a Torrance street gang, but defense lawyer Caree Harper told jurors he was only a "junkie, bike-riding older man."

Gangster Kalid Dib, shot dead during a failed armoured van robbery on Tuesday.

Hundreds of mourners have gathered at Lakemba Mosque for the funeral of Kalid Dib, shot dead during a failed armoured van robbery on Tuesday.About 200 friends and relatives marched in a procession from a funeral parlour next door and into the mosque just before midday.A group of young men carried Dib's white casket, draped in a green religious sheet, up the steps and inside.The mourners included the clearly distraught immediately family of Dib, as well as controversial Sydney cleric Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly.After a half-hour service the crowd re-emerged and watched as the coffin was placed in a hearse and driven to Rookwood Cemetery, where he is to be buried.A small contingent of police and Sydney media stood by as the crowd walked up Wangee Road and then dispersed to drive to Rookwood.Dib and another man were fired at when they tried to rob three Armaguard guards of cash at the National Australia Bank on George Street, Parramatta, on Tuesday.The hunt for the two other men involved in the shooting continues today with police saying the security guards who fired are expected not to be charged.A prominent youth worker in the south-west, Fadi Rahman, also attended the funeral.Afterwards he told the Herald that Dib, whom he had known through the local Lebanese muslim community, had become sucked in a life of crime."These young kids have nothing. They emulate their older brothers, relatives, start acting up, and eventually they get recruited by real crims."
He said a lack of resources for local youth - Mr Rahman's Lidcombe youth centre and gym was forced to move last year after a stoush with Auburn Council - means there is limited help for troubled youth."There's no PCYC [police citizens youth club], no youth centre. What do you expect the result to be? Of course somebody is going to die. This time it was the young bloke, next time it could be the security guard.
"We've been speaking to the Premier, we've been speaking to MPs, but it comes to nothing. What will it take? Look at our streets, they're like ghettos."
Mr Rahman, who was involved in crime before he turned to youth work, said he understood how kids were sucked into criminal activity."They come from poor families, they have nothing and they get depressed. I know what it's like. You come to a state where your life is a dead end and you're willing to do anything to get out, even commit armed robberies."

Gangster John Gizzi yesterday blamed the credit crunch for stopping him paying back his ill gotten gains to the state.

John Gizzi yesterday blamed the credit crunch for stopping him paying back his ill gotten gains to the state.Lawyers for Gizzi, 36, also blamed bad headlines in the media on him being unable to sell his house in St Asaph to raise the full amount of cash he owes.The 36-year-old faces a default sentence of eight years unless he finds £2.6m under a proceeds of crime order made against him in March last year for every asset he owned.At a Proceeds of Crime Hearing to discuss why the money had not yet been paid back yesterday, Prestatyn court heard that so far £300,000 had been realised.But several offers had been made and withdrawn for his principal asset, Bronwylfa Hall at St Asaph. Originally it was offered at £1.75m, but was now “a bargain,” the court heard.District Judge Andrew Shaw agreed to adjourn the case until the end of September.He said the reason why he was allowing the adjournment of the default hearing was that Gizzi had not been shown to have wilfully obstructed the sale of any of his assets.Gizzi was locked up for five and a half years in January 2006 for wounding, assault and conspiracy to supply counterfeit cigarettes.
At the time police described him as a bully who preyed on the vulnerable and who was regarded locally as an untouchable millionaire crook. They had vowed publicly to relieve him of his ill-gotten gains.Kathleen Greenwood, seeking recovery of the assets, told the judge it was correct no criticism of Gizzi could be made for the withdrawal of offers for the mansion.Ian Till, for Gizzi, said lurid headlines had appeared about the property and it had been close to sale as recently as last week, but fell through. Market forces and headlines had worked against him. But it was now the subject of a new offer.“Mr Gizzi shares the frustration of the assets recovery team,” declared Mr Till.Six houses had been sold, offers had been made for some other properties, and a watch was being sold at a specialist auction. “Mr Gizzi is wanting desperately to realise these assets,” said Mr Till.
There was a large police presence at the court. Several members of the Gizzi family were in the public seats and John Gizzi smiled frequently to them through the glass screen of the dock.At the end of the hearing he was handcuffed and led away to return to prison.The hearing was adjourned until the end of September, but the case will also come before a judge at Mold Crown Court earlier in the month.

Philbert Truong was gunned down outside the Red Jacket nightclub

The two young men charged in last month's shooting death of Victoria student Philbert Truong were among the 11 suspected associates of the violent Red Scorpion gang identified by Victoria police during a recent drug sting, sources close to the investigation said yesterday.Dubbed Operation Mongoose, the initiative kicked into gear on July 22, three days after Mr. Truong was gunned down outside a View Street nightclub.On Tuesday, police said they had seven of the 11 alleged Red Scorpion affiliates in custody. They later acknowledged that only five of the people arrested in the sting have been linked to the gang.On condition of anonymity, sources close to the investigation acknowledged that the other two who are "believed to have some affiliation with the Red Scorpion gang" are the suspects in Mr. Truong's death. They were taken into custody minutes after the shooting. Victoria police Constable Colin Brown refused comment Tuesday when asked about possible links between Mr. Truong's murder and the wave of drug arrests.Yesterday, Victoria police Sergeant Grant Hamilton called the murder investigation "completely separate" from Operation Mongoose."It's before the courts, and it would be inappropriate to speculate on any association between these arrests and the incident on View Street," Sgt. Hamilton said.He declined to specify which suspects are believed to be Red Scorpion affiliates, noting that police departments can be sued for incorrectly identifying someone as a gang member.Mr. Truong was gunned down in the early morning hours of July 19 as he and a group of friends were leaving the Red Jacket nightclub.
Two other young men believed to be friends of Mr. Truong were wounded in the attack.
Somphavanh Chanthabouala, 22, of Surrey and a 16-year-old who can't be named are facing charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder in connection with the shooting.The seven people facing drug possession or trafficking charges, or both, as a result of Operation Mongoose are: Mark Hubahib, Kurtis Schmidt, John Supena, Ashley Appolinario, Raphael Jose Blanco, Hisham Bennink and Justin Houchen. The suspects range in age from 18 to 23. Mr. Houchen was convicted of selling crack cocaine outside Victoria City Hall in July and sent back to the Lower Mainland. He is a under court order to stay away from Victoria.Victoria police said on Tuesday that Red Scorpion affiliates began aggressively targeting the local drug trade this spring.
Red Scorpion district "managers" had equipped junior drug runners with vehicles and cell phones as part of a dial-a-dope drug-dealing business, similar to Red Scorpion operations on the Lower Mainland, police said.
The Red Scorpion gang formed in 2000 inside a youth detention centre. Upon their release, the group of Asian males began a "dial-a-dope" operation in the Coquitlam area. In 2006, RCMP officers arrested several Red Scorpions and charged them with drug trafficking.
The investigation, titled Project E-Poison, produced 10 guilty pleas.
"That was the project that was thought to have really brought about the demise of the early manifestation of the Red Scorpions," said Sergeant Shinder Kirk of the Lower Mainland's Integrated Gang Task Force. "But again, given the drug situation not only within the Lower Mainland but the province and certainly nationally, we had a coalescing of people under that name and off they went again. That speaks to the draw of the drug trade."
Police don't know how many members the Red Scorpion gang has, or how far the gang's reach is.Sgt. Kirk said the "franchising" model used by the Red Scorpions to bully their way onto the Victoria drug scene is nothing new to the B.C. drug trade.
"We've seen it in organized crime," Sgt. Kirk said. "They may have an individual who has ties there that's already part of the group, or there's somebody already in the community who's engaged in the drug trade who sees an opportunity to now connect with someone who has the capacity to import or move larger shipments. We have a two-way street."

Seven members of the Vancouver-based Red Scorpions gang are facing multiple drug trafficking charges in Victoria.

The Red Scorpions are a multi-ethnic gang known for its lack of mercy. The gang has been mentioned in connection with the death of six men in a Surrey apartment last October. Two of the people killed were uninvolved with crime (Ed Schellenberg and Chris Mohan).
Seven members of the Vancouver-based Red Scorpions gang are facing multiple drug trafficking charges in Victoria. Victoria Police say the bust of a dial-a-dope scheme was designed to keep the notorious Vancouver gang from moving into the provincial capital. Victoria Police Sergeant Grant Hamilton says they started an undercover operation focused on the Red Scorpions when they heard local drug dealers were being threatened by a gang from Vancouver. "We felt we had to do that, because we believe there was a significant risk to public safety due to their willingness to use violence and intimidation to further their criminal behaviour."Sergeant Hamilton says several of those arrested had loaded weapons nearby. Police say five of the suspects are under arrest and warrants have been issued for the other two, who have yet to be found. Some of the suspects were arrested after a raid carried out on a home in Saanich. The names of the suspects have not been released.

Glock handgun seized by gardai during a raid on a house in Dublin's north inner city is being linked to a series of underworld hits.

Glock handgun seized by gardai during a raid on a house in Dublin's north inner city is being linked to a series of underworld hits.
And one of the men arrested during the raids has been described as a 'serious player' in Dublin's inner city underworld by informed gardai.
The gun which was fitted with a silencer was uncovered by gardai from Pearse Street Drugs Unit when they raided a house on Sean McDermott Street. Drugs with a potential street value of nearly €500,000 were also seized in separate searches in Dublin. In addition to the weapon, detectives also seized 10 rounds of ammunition at the house, €100,000 worth of heroin, €40,000 worth of valium and up to €45,000 in cash. The majority of the cash was found in a fridge. Two men, one in his late 20's and one in his mid teens were arrested at the house and are currently being detained in Pearse Street garda station under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act. The haul is seen as significant by top investigators. They have netted not only a large amount of heroin, but also a gun they believe has been used in a number of underworld assassinations and most importantly the arrest of one of their most wanted men.
After their success, a follow-up search was carried out at a house in Balbriggan shortly after 3pm. In the course of the search heroin valued at €300,000 and approximately €20,000 worth of valium tablets, some drug paraphernalia and €3,000 in cash were also seized. A third man in his late 20's was arrested and is in custody in Pearse Street garda station, detained under Section 2 of the Drug Trafficking Act. The recovered gun will now be put through a series of ballistic tests to see if it can be positively linked to any murders or criminal activity.
The find is seen as significant by gardai. The three people arrested during the raids are still being quizzed by gardai today at Pearse Street garda station. They can be held for up to seven days.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Arthur Thompson, organised the hit. Thompson, was a notorious Glasgow-born gangster who took charge of organised crime in the city

John McGranaghan said that a city businessman, who now lives in Spain, went to Glasgow crime baron, Arthur Thompson, to organise the hit. Thompson, was a notorious Glasgow-born gangster who took charge of organised crime in the city for more than 30 years.Thompson began his career as a money lender and became infamous for nailing those who failed to pay debts to him to the floor by their hands and feet.Linked to the notorious Kray twins, protection rackets soon followed and Thompson invested his money into legitimate businesses, making him very wealthy.
One of the most feared criminals in Scotland, it was rumoured that, by the 1990s, he was earning £100,000 a week as a loan shark.His former protege, Paul Ferris, was acquitted of shooting his son, Arthur junior, and Thompson later denied he was behind the murders of two other men, Bobby Glover and Joe "Bananas" Hanlon, who were to have appeared alongside Ferris in connection with the murder.A gunshot victim himself in 1988, he died in Glasgow on March 13, 1993 from a heart attack aged 61.
The hired killers, who were also from Glasgow and paid £12,000, went after the wrong man and stabbed and beat Mr McCann to death on February 20, 1974.The four men alleged to be responsible are now dead.Mr McGranaghan said today: "I looked quite like Neil, dark hair, same build, and they must've thought I was him. The next day I got a call from a pal in the know who said, 'You were lucky', and told me the hit had been for me. He said guys from a Glasgow crew were through and whacked the wrong person."He added: "I felt bad for Neil and his family. I didn't know him, but I'm told he was a decent guy. But I'm still glad it was him rather than me, I won't apologise for that."Mr McGranaghan told police, who recently flew to his London home to interview him after he wrote a letter detailing the circumstances to Chief Constable David Strang, that the businessman behind the hit suspected him of setting a fire at one of his premises in the city's West End.The 66-year-old said that the man, whom the Evening News has not named for legal reasons, asked to meet him for a drink at the International Bar in Tollcross on the night of the murder. But he had "smelled a rat" and decided to return to London, where he had stayed on and off for two years.Instead, his brother, Charlie McGranaghan, went to the bar to "feel him out", but the businessmen failed to turn up. But Charlie did meet his old school friend, Neil McCann, in the pub and the pair stayed out to drink together.The two men later caught a bus back to the Craigmillar area and Neil, 37, was attacked in Craigmillar Castle Loan just minutes after getting off at his stop.Detectives had always suspected that the murder was a professional hit which went wrong, and one police theory was that Charlie McGranaghan was the intended victim.But John McGranaghan, who was cleared of rape on appeal in 1991 after serving 11 years in jail, revealed that some of the killers knew his brother as they had served time together in Peterhead jail and would not have mistaken him.The pensioner said that he was told by friends at the time that four men had been hired for the hit, which police always believed involved just two. The businessman behind it was well-known figure on the criminal scene in the Capital in the 1960s and 1970s. Mr McGranaghan said: "I used to have the odd drink with (the businessman] if I saw him in Edinburgh when I was back in town. I was up on the Friday before the murder and bumped into him in the Warrender baths."He had gotten it into his head that I set fire to (his premises), which is totally wrong, although he didn't mention it. I had been told he suspected me by a detective I knew a few months before. "He asked me out for a drink at the International the next week, which I thought was strange because he hadn't asked me out for one before."I later learned that (the businessman) had put out a contract on me with Arthur Thompson. That night I phoned the International and asked Charlie if he had turned up and he said no. "The Glasgow team who were in on the hit were in Peterhead with Charlie and knew him well. But they didn't know me."Mr McGranaghan, who moved to London in 1972, said another underworld friend contacted him later. "He told me that (the businessman) complained to Arthur Thompson about the mix-up with Neil, and didn't want to pay the £12,000. But he paid up after Thompson said he would send the team round to get it themselves."I didn't hold anything against Arthur Thompson, or the guys who did it. It wasn't a personal thing as they didn't even know me. It was just business."
Mr McGranaghan was jailed for life in 1981 after being found guilty at the Old Bailey of a rape and indecent assaults against three women between 1978 and 1980. But following a campaign by Rough Justice, he was freed after forensic evidence showed there had been a "miscarriage of justice", according to appeal judges.
He said: "I was in Frankland Prison in Durham just before I was released. I met a guy there and we got pally – we were both Scottish. We were talking about the Edinburgh (criminal) scene and he asked if I knew (the businessman]. I laughed and said 'yes'."He couldn't believe it when I told him about Neil. He knew the Glasgow team that was sent through for a 'bit of work' and screwed it up."
McGranaghan said he wrote to the Chief Constable after suggestions that his brother Charlie was a drug dealer and perhaps the true target for Neil McCann's killers.
He said: "I was angry that Charlie had been accused of being a dealer and I didn't want them putting this on him too."Charlie hated drugs and had nothing to do with them. He considered someone who smoked cannabis a no-good junkie. He only came to London to help me fight to be released from prison."Charlie McGranaghan was murdered in 1981 by Ronnie Turnbull, who was having an affair with his brother John's now ex-wife, Janet, while her husband was in prison on the rape charges. He confronted Turnbull, who stabbed him to death and was later jailed for murder.Retired detective Bert Swanson, head of the "cold case" unit at Lothian and Borders Police, interviewed Mr McGranaghan at his home two months ago. He also led the re-investigation into missing schoolgirl Vicky Hamilton.The McGranaghans' sister also told her story to CID detectives on Wednesday night at her home after being unable to keep the family secret any longer. She was unaware that her brother had already been interviewed by police as they have not spoken for more than a decade after a falling out.Margaret Hamilton, 64, who lives in Bingham Drive, near The Jewel, went to police following the death of her grandson, James Fraser, 24, last month. She decided to come forward so the McCann family would not "suffer anymore". Mrs Hamilton told police that her brother revealed that Neil McCann was killed by mistake.She said: "John told me that (the businessman) thought he started the fire and put the contract out on him. Neil did look quite like him and he was killed instead. Charlie was a decent man but John only cared about himself and was always getting in fights and bother."A police spokeswoman said today: "We can confirm that we are looking again into the death of Neil McCann after new information came to light."

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Lil Wayne and Yung Berg have reportedly failed to appear in a New York court for hearings relating to gun charges.

Lil Wayne and Yung Berg have reportedly failed to appear in a New York court for hearings relating to gun charges.According to TMZ, Wayne's camp claims that the New Orleans bred rapper failed to show because of a dental condition that restricts him from driving. A reason for Berg's no-show was not given.Wayne's gun charges are from a 2007 arrest. A .40 caliber handgun was found by authorities in his tour bus last July following a performance with Ja Rule at Manhattan's Beacon Theater.Wayne, who has pleaded not guilty to the weapons possession charges, faces up to three and a half years in prison if convicted.Berg's gun charges stem from an arrest this past weekend. He also faces charges of marijuana possession and menacing.

Handgun was recovered in the car park of a south London pub after the gunman was tackled to the ground.

Handgun was recovered in the car park of a south London pub after the gunman was tackled to the ground.The drama began in Tulse Hill when three uniformed officers, including a woman special officer, attempted to pull over a car.
The green Ford Focus sped off and following a short pursuit stopped in Abbess Close where the driver was arrested.The passenger ran down an alleyway and a 27-year-old officer and the special gave chase on foot as they radioed for back-up.As they closed in on the man he stopped, pulled a gun from his waistband and shot at the officers.Neither officer was injured and they continued to give chase, eventually tackling the man outside the Tulse Hill Tavern.Acting Lambeth borough commander Alistair Sutherland said: "The incident highlights the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the work officers do everyday."Thankfully the officers involved were not injured and after being shot at they have shown great bravery and dedication to continue to not only chase the suspect but also arrest him.
"Although we would rather it did not happen in these circumstances we have also of course managed to take another gun off the streets of London."The shooting is the latest in a string of gun-related incidents to take place in the capital over the past few days.Two men, one a passer-by, were injured in a shooting just a few miles away in Camberwell.

Christopher Nakia Johnson Police believe Mr. Johnson was the masked gunman who entered a Sam's Club

Christopher Nakia Johnson, 27,arrested Friday at an undisclosed location on unrelated misdemeanor warrants, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. Mr. Johnson was charged with aggravated robbery and possession of marijuana and cocaine; officers found the drugs during the arrest. He was being held Saturday morning at the Dallas County Jail on $115,000 bail.
Police believe Mr. Johnson was the masked gunman who entered a Sam's Club in the 2900 block of West Wheatland Road on June 27, grabbed off-duty Dallas police Officer Alph Coleman and pointed a gun at him. Mr. Coleman was working as the store's security guard. The attempted robbery failed after store employees locked themselves in the room with the store's vault. Mr. Coleman, 29, was arrested last week and charged with aggravated robbery. He was released on bail from the Dallas County Jail on Wednesday. Another man, who police say drove Officer Coleman's vehicle as the getaway car, faces one count of conspiracy to commit robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. He is out on bail, and police have requested that he not be identified. Police say they also have phone records indicating that Officer Coleman and the driver were in contact shortly before the robbery.

Executed a federal search warrant on the Gun Barn and seized all of the store’s guns while arresting two Highland residents

More details have been released concerning last week’s raid on a Highland Township gun store. On Friday WHMI reported that the Gun Barn on M-59 had been raided by federal agents and closed down, but authorities did not release any further information. Over the weekend, it was learned that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives executed a federal search warrant on the Gun Barn and seized all of the store’s guns while arresting two Highland residents, Gabriel Kish and Debbie Summers. They were charged with selling firearms without a license. ATF agent Robin Shoemaker says a yearlong investigation found the pair allegedly sold firearms even though the store's federal license was revoked in 2004 for rule violations. Both were released on $10,000 unsecured bonds, pending a September 3rd pretrial exam. A second store in Genesee County’s Otisville was also raidedThe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Flint Field Office, executed federal search warrants Thursday, Aug. 14, at the Highland Gun Barn, located at 2525 M-59, Highland, Mich., and the Otisville Gun Barn, at 12163 M-15, in Otisville, and arrested Gabriel Kish III and Deborah J. Summers for dealing firearms without a license. The Otisville Gun Barn is licensed by ATF. However, the Highland store is not licensed due to their license being revoked by ATF in 2004 for violating the Gun Control Act. Undercover operations led to the search and seizure of more than 600 firearms from the revoked gun dealer, yesterday, by agents from the ATF Flint Field Office, the Michigan State Police, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, along with ATF regulatory investigators.
"Those who knowingly violate the federal firearms laws should be held responsible for their actions," said Special Agent in Charge Thomas Brandon of the ATF Detroit Field Division. "The unlawful sale of firearms, especially dealing firearms without a license, can put guns into the hands of criminals, and put our communities at risk." Kish and Summers were transported for their initial appearance before a federal magistrate and released on bond, they cannot possess firearms. A court date is set for Sept. 3, 2008.

Benson Keganne pulled the trigger of a pistol to kill Gloria Mahowe

Benson Keganne pulled the trigger of a pistol to kill Gloria Mahowe in the morning of Saturday March 10, 2001 - eight years ago - in a bush near Molapowabojang, little did he know that he was calling for an appointment with the hangman. The High Court has ruled that he killed the woman in cold-blood and he deserved to be hanged by the neck until he dies. He stood still with a blank facial expression as Justice David Newman delivered his ruling that he killed a "Good Samaritan" execution-style, shooting her in the rear of her neck leaving her in the bush to die.
Keganne, from Pitsane, and two South Africans from Madutle Village in the North West Province - Kagiso Sebi and Amos Moloi - were also facing charges of armed robbery with aggravating circumstances and the sentences will be read tomorrow. The men had pleaded guilty to all the charges. According to their testimony, the three spent the previous night drinking beer and smoking dagga at a bar in Madutle. In the early hours of Saturday morning, they decided to walk to Pitsane five kilometres away from where Keganne changed his clothes before they went to the bus stop. Their mission to Botswana was to come and rob people of their money, and they were armed with a pistol and a toy gun.They got a lift from Mahowe at around 7am and on the way they took her car over. Keganne then took to the steering wheel and they drove towards Molapowabojang where they drove into a bush. They told the court that on the way the deceased tried to escape, but they prevented her from doing so. When they arrived at a bush they looked for a rope to tie Mahowe to a tree so that they could go and rob more people. They found no rope and decided that they should kill her. Keganne took the woman and shot her in the neck from behind, "execution-style", Justice Newman repeated.He said that the two boys pulled the screaming woman under a tree and left her to die. They claimed that they wanted to shield her from the sun. After the murder, the three went to Mmathethe village where they robbed a couple of their money and jewellery at gunpoint before fleeing to South Africa with their loot. They dumped the stolen vehicle at the South African border with Botswana.The three, based their defence on the claim that they were drunk, which Justice Newman dismissed as 'hogwash'. He said that the three walked a long distance to Pitsane and they were aware of what was happening. He said Keganne drove carefully from the spot where they hijacked the car to the point where they killed Mahowe without causing any damage to the vehicle. He pointed out that the two South Africans were lying when they claimed that they pulled the dying woman under a tree for protection saying they did that to avoid her being seen by people. Justice Newman said the three committed the offence motivated by greed.He identified as extenuating circumstance the ages of Sebi and Moloi. They were 19-years-old, while Keganne was 26 at the time of the offence. He also found that the roles the two played were not as extreme as Keganne's although, there was no evidence that they were pressured into playing a role. Justice Newman said that there were other means the men could have used to disable the woman from disturbing them instead of taking her life. Apparently, the deceased knew Keganne very well.He reserved sentence for the two counts of armed robbery against Keganne. The judge said he would deliver the sentence together with those for the two men for murder, and two counts of armed robbery.
Meanwhile, outside court, Gloria's widower, Peter Mahowe, welcomed the sentence, but felt that the three should be forgiven and be slapped with a life sentence. He lamented that his in-laws accused him of having a role in the crime.

Carlos Gonzales Sr., 51, of Wharton, and Carlos Gonzalez Jr., 20, of Randolph, a father and son who had set up competing drug businesses

Attorney General Anne Milgram and the state director of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration came to Morristown to make the announcement this afternoon with Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi.

Photos of nine of the 11 individuals were made available by authorities.Bianchi said the five-month, gang, gun and drug investigation was one of the most successful launched in Morris County as it targeted individuals based in Dover, Rockaway, Wharton and Randolph.
He said it racked up the first major success of a newly formed intelligence crime task force, which seeks to foster more information sharing between county and local police agencies.In addition to 2,000 packages of heroin and 130 packages of cocaine, authorities said they seized $12,000 in cash and a cache of weapons that included three semi-automatic handguns and a sawed-off shotgun.
Those arrested included Carlos Gonzales Sr., 51, of Wharton, and Carlos Gonzalez Jr., 20, of Randolph, a father and son who had set up competing drug businesses that authorities said "utilized fear, intimidation and violence" to carry out their operations.The son, who is also charged with attempted murder, is begin held on $1.15 million bail while the father is being held on $250,000 bail.
The attempted murder charge stems from a drive-by shooting last Thursday on Prospect Street in Dover.

Kelly Gibbs, 39, of 1320 Elizabeth Ave., New Bern, was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.

Kelly Gibbs, 39, of 1320 Elizabeth Ave., New Bern, was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.Police said shots were fired during a disturbance involving a crowd at 609 Highway 55 West.The police said they went toward the sound of the shots and found Gibbs.No one was injured from gunfire and no other arrests were reported.
Gibbs was put in jail with his bail set at $5,000.Police say Gibbs is a convicted felon and could face additional federal charges under the Project Safe Neighborhoods program. The program is aimed at career criminals who commit crimes with guns.

Three people have been arrested for the shooting death of a Queen Creek teenager over the weekend.

Three people have been arrested for the shooting death of a Queen Creek teenager over the weekend.Pinal County sheriff's officials say they received several 911 calls around 2:30 a.m. reporting that multiple shots were fired and someone was face down in the street.The victim, 17-year-old Anibel Mendoza was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials say the teen was involved in an altercation with several people, and a gun fight ensued.Sunday afternoon police arrested 20 year-old Thais "Lamar" Cooper of Queen Creek and 21 year-old Johnny Lee Cooks, also of Queen Creek, in relation to that shooting. Another 17 year-old juvenile was also arrested.
They are also investigating whether alcohol played a factor.Cooper faces charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy and child abuse. Cooks faces felony charges of endangerment and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and the 17 year old juvenile faces aggravated assault charges.

Bermudan Police officers descended on Princess Street, including officers armed with submachine guns.

young man was shot in an apparent drive-by shooting on Princess Street in Hamilton last night. Police had few details at presstime but neighbours reported that the man was shot by another man who fled as the pillion passenger on a cycle.
A source said the gunman fired several shots over his shoulder as he was being driven away at high speed. Dozens of Police officers descended on Princess Street, including officers armed with submachine guns. The victim was taken to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital for treatment. In a statement, a Police spokesman said Police were called at 9.26 p.m. with reports of gunshots.
"Details are sketchy, but a man is in King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and being treated for non-life threatening injuries," the spokesman concluded. The violence comes just over a week since the stabbing death of promising student Kellon Hill. Five youths have been charged with his murder.
In April, 31 year old Matthew Clarke was stabbed to death in his Pembroke home. One man has been charged in connection with his death. Just over eight months have passed since the shooting death of Aquil Richardson and wounding of another man on Boxing Day. The day before, a man was injured in a shooting in Mr. Richardson's Southampton neighbourhood. Two men have been charged with Mr. Richardson's murder.

Shawn Walker, also called Coach, was taken into custody after he was injured during a shootout with the police on Wednesday.

Shawn Walker, also called Coach, was taken into custody after he was injured during a shootout with the police on Wednesday. He is still in hospital under police guard.
Walker has since been charged for shooting with intent and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. The police say Walker is the leader of a gang, which operates out of a section of the Phase Two Housing Scheme in Seaview Gardens known as Marley. According to the police he was also a suspect in the murder of bus driver, Roy McFarlene about three weeks ago. The police say he will be facing an identification parade in connection with that case as soon as he is released from hospital. Further charges are also expected to be laid against Walker in the case of a murder, which is reportedly being probed by the Major Investigative Task Force.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Nate Craft the former hit man testified against a Detroit drug gang in return for prosecutors reducing a first-degree murder charge

Nate Craft the former hit man testified against a Detroit drug gang in return for prosecutors reducing a first-degree murder charge for the killing of a drug dealer.
Released from prison in April, Craft thought he would enter the Witness Protection Program. Not only was he rejected, but his probation requires him to live in Michigan for the next two years. By forcing him to live in the same place as the people he testified against, many of whom were paid killers and already have been released from prison, Craft said his probation amounts to a virtual death sentence.
"You might as well pull the trigger and shoot me now," said Craft, who doesn't want to say where he lives in Michigan because he doesn't want to be found.
The handling of his case raises questions about just how far prosecutors should go to protect criminals, even murderers, who help convict other crooks, legal experts said. Craft, 51, admits he was no angel.
He was one of the most ruthless members of the vicious Best Friends, a hired hit man who killed 30 people in the mid 1980s. He was never charged with the other deaths. Now the tables have been turned. The hunter thinks he is hunted. Craft's federal and state probation officers also believe he's in danger.
"He's in a situation where he's vulnerable," said George Murphy, a Michigan probation officer. "It's not surprising reprisals would be sought by others."
For Craft's safety, both probation officers visit him at home rather than make him travel to their offices. Still, it didn't take long for Craft's old running mates to learn he was out of prison. On his second day of freedom, he was walking out of a grocery store when a man called out his name. He turned around to spy a former accomplice. The man said he would tell Craft's old cohorts that he was back on the street. During his 17 years in federal prison, Craft was in the Witness Protection Program, kept separate from the general population. Upon his release, he applied for the next phase of the program, which would give him a new name and new life somewhere in the United States. But his request was rejected by the Justice Department, which didn't give a reason. A department spokeswoman declined comment. Bill Soisson, an assistant U.S. attorney who supported Craft's request, said a Justice Department official told him the reason Craft was rejected was that he had told a prison psychologist he was going to blow up a federal building. Soisson didn't know which building or why Craft made the threat.
Craft said he never made such a remark. "Why would I say something that ignorant?" he asked. "Do I look like a fool? I ain't no fool." If anyone thought Craft was a fool in the mid-1980s, they kept it to themselves. He was an imposing figure: 6-foot-1, 300 pounds, bald and bearded, with a permanent scowl. By age 10, he committed his first robbery, records show. By 21, he was a twice-convicted felon. By 35, he had spent nearly half his life in prison. In 1984, Craft caught the eye of brothers Reggie and Terry Brown after winning a Toughman boxing contest at Cobo Center.
The Browns were the leaders of a burgeoning drug gang, Best Friends, which was about to ignite a ferocious drug war in Detroit, prosecutors said.
They wanted to know whether Craft could help prepare them for the battle that would follow. Best Friends began as enforcers for drug gangs, later ripped them off and finally killed some of them, Soisson said. Its 25 members didn't know each others' names, only their nicknames: Boogaloo, Ghost, KO, Lunchmeat. Craft was known as Boone because, like Daniel Boone, he was good with a knife. Flush with cash from the sale of crack cocaine, they drove around in Volvos, BMWs and Corvettes. They drank $100 bottles of Dom Perignon. Craft said he tried to instill some discipline in the gang, who often got high before attempted murders, and then go on wild shooting sprees that left holes in each other's clothes.
"They would fire 15 shots and only hit the person with one," he said. "They would be throwing their gun around and shooting innocent bystanders."
Craft taught the gang how to set up a hit by learning the target's daily travel patterns. That way, they could ambush the victim as he left or arrived at home or at work. Dressed in bulletproof vests and body armor suits, they packed M-16 and AK47 rifles and Uzi submachine guns. The gang killed 80 people, which included snitches, competitors, customers who owed money and sometimes family members, prosecutors said.
Members received $10,000 to $30,000 per murder, depending on how much the Brown brothers wanted a target dead. If the price was right, Craft said, he would kill anyone.
But then he turned on the gang after it killed his brother over a drug debt.
During his 1994 testimony against Best Friends, Craft said the gang kept a running list of the people it wanted to kill.
"There was a whole big list of them," he said. "Half the time I wasn't paying too much attention to it. We would just go out and start popping people."
Craft's testimony helped end the decade-long dominance of the gang, Soisson said. Dozens of gang members and associates were convicted of offenses ranging from peddling drugs to murder. When he was trying to get parole in 2002, an assistant Wayne County prosecutor wrote a note on his behalf to the state Department of Corrections.
"He provided invaluable assistance, at great risk to himself, in achieving convictions of a number of individuals in a notorious murder for hire case in federal and state courts," wrote Bob Donaldson. After his rejection for Witness Protection, however, law enforcement officials said there's little they could do for him. Contacted by a reporter, Donaldson said he wasn't involved in Craft's negotiations for the Witness Protection Program and that there was little he could do for him.
Soisson, who supported Craft's bid, inquired about a possible appeal but was told by the Justice Department that the chances were remote.
As for Craft, he now knows what it's like to live scared, to live like a snitch, the type of person he would have killed in the 1980s.
Stuck indoors, he said he feels like he's still in prison. For money, he relies on help from struggling relatives. With the curtains drawn, he sits inside his darkened living room, watching a lot of TV. He occasionally peeks out the window, watching people as they walk by.


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