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Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Andrew Pritchard the ‘fixer’ behind Britain’s largest ever drugs smuggling operation

Customs and Excise in London had labelled Andrew Pritchard the ‘fixer’ behind Britain’s largest ever drugs smuggling operation - half a ton of cocaine, “enough to keep London’s clubland snorting for months”.Held behind bars for 18 months, doing time for a crime he insisted he did not commit, Pritchard was subsequently exonerated. He was allowed to walk away from Her Majesty’s prison with all charges formally dropped against him. And that, he says, was the start of his transformation.

Andrew Pritchard signing a copy of his book. (Photos: Joseph Wellington)
Pritchard chronicles his experience in the no-holds-barred novel, Urban Smuggler, a book which will be made into a film, with some of the scenes shot on location here in Jamaica.“Oh yes, I was a smuggler,” Pritchard admits without reservation, in an interview the day after the local launch held recently in the gardens of the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.His smuggling escapades, however, were limited to Cuban cigars and those of the counterfeit variety - never cocaine or any such drug, he emphasises, his British accent sounding thick.Born in Britain to a Jamaican mother who migrated to that country in the 50s, in the book, Pritchard says that his introduction to smuggling came as a child on his return trip from Jamaica to England. He recalls wondering why the suitcases he and his sister were taking home were so heavy.
“When our suitcases were opened, they revealed dozens of bottles of white rum. I remember being amused, if not shocked. This, then was to be my first experience in smuggling.”And, if smuggling is to be defined as taking steps to import a legal substance without paying the customs and excise duties, then Pritchard here has quite casually opened a can of worms. Which traveller can honestly say they have never tried to ‘hide’ an item from the prying eyes of Customs officials in order to avoid paying duties? So, does that make us all smugglers? (Those of you without sin cast the first stone.)The author guilelessly recounts his chequered past - starting out in 1988 as a promoter for ‘warehouse parties’ - illegal, all-night events - through to 2004 when he became intimately involved with the Cuban cigar smuggling ring. The Foreword says it all. “Andrew was known to the police and the underworld from early 1980s when he was at the centre of the rave scene which transformed youth culture and drug use in the UK.”So, making strides in his career, Pritchard finds more lucrative ways to earn a living. “We brought top-end Cuban cigars and found a way to circumvent the excise and duties, which were ridiculously high at the time,” he told the Observer. “We later started smuggling counterfeit cigars through Cayman into England as well,” he added
And, crucial to the success of this smuggling enterprise was the Fast Team of Customs officials on Pritchard’s payroll, whose job it was to send through his containers of cigars without them being searched.It was while on his way to pick up one such sealed container that Pritchard’s neatly stacked deck of smuggling cards came tumbling down. He was arrested and charged with smuggling half a ton of premium grade cocaine with a street value of $100m, as that was what was allegedly found in the container, not cigars.The nightmare which followed saw a court case which cost nine million pounds, two hung juries and a final acquittal.
Surely the stuff of which books and films are made. And also the stuff from which the smuggler-turned-author made tons of cash. (”Oh, yes, smuggling was quite a lucrative enterprise,” he told us.)Casting is now being done for the international feature film

Friday, 26 September 2008

Tuan Ky Quach, 38, was allegedly bound with duct tape in a Windsor motel room in February by three armed men who stole about $200,000 in marijuana.

Tuan Ky Quach, 38, was allegedly bound with duct tape in a Windsor motel room in February by three armed men who stole about $200,000 in marijuana. Another man was pistol-whipped with a 357 Magnum in a case that resulted in seven arrests after police were alerted to people in ski masks lurking outside.Quach was charged with possession of 24 kilograms of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.
Details of that incident came out yesterday when Quach — a small, clean-cut man with glasses — was denied bail on charges related to a Kitchener home-grow operation.
Quach was among five suspects arrested at gunpoint Sept. 11 during an alleged drug deal in the parking lot of a Chinese restaurant in suburban Toronto. Police fired five shots in the afternoon takedown when the driver of a car allegedly tried to speed away and hit one of the officers in the knee.
Waterloo Regional Police doing surveillance based on a public tip had followed a blue van from a home in the Doon South area of Kitchener. The blue van allegedly met up in the restaurant parking lot with a car and a white van.According to allegations outlined in court, $24,000 was transferred from the car to the white van, and 11 kilograms of marijuana worth $100,000 were moved from the blue van to the car.
Quach, the alleged car driver, is charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking, assault with a weapon and dangerous driving.The day after the arrests, police searched 366 Pine Valley Dr. and found more than 1,000 marijuana plants worth an estimated $1 million.It was one of four major marijuana seizures in the same suburban neighbourhood in a month.Court heard Quach was released on $30,000 bail in the Windsor case and went to live with his parents in Markham. Two months later, he was charged in Toronto with possession of marijuana and breaching the terms of his bail. He was then freed again.Defence lawyer Nana Kato applied to have him released for the third time yesterday, proposing his father and his sister as sureties. They said they were willing to put up $150,000 each and would watch Quach around-the-clock."We admit he was deceiving us," his sister, Ngoc Quach, said of his two prior releases. "We did not supervise him close enough."Trung Quach said through a Cantonese interpreter that his son likes gambling and began getting in trouble after he lost his girlfriend and his job in a machine shop a few years ago.
Kato suggested Quach might have thought it was another drug rip-off and panicked when confronted by armed undercover officers in the parking lot.Federal prosecutor Kathleen Nolan opposed his release, stressing Quach's track record of alleged breaches since his first arrest."Why should we have any confidence he is going to follow the terms if he is released?" she asked.Justice of the peace Andrew Marquette agreed, denying bail on even strict terms of house arrest.Two of five suspects in the Pine Valley Drive case were granted bail of $140,000 and $100,000. Two other suspects have not had bail hearings yet.

Bosses of the Sumiyoshi-kai crime syndicate formally acknowledged their "employers' liability" for the death of one of three bystanders killed

Bosses of the Sumiyoshi-kai crime syndicate formally acknowledged their "employers' liability" for the death of one of three bystanders killed when members of an affiliate gang shot up a bar in Maebashi in 2003. The admission was part of a settlement reached Friday in a lawsuit filed by the family of one of the victims.
According to an attorney for the plaintiffs, Shigeo Nishiguchi and Hareaki Fukuda--Sumiyoshi-kai's top two leaders--agreed to pay 97.5 million yen in compensation to the plaintiffs, promised to prevent similar incidents and expressed regret to the victims' relatives. It is believed to be the first time that gang bosses have formally acknowledged their liability as employers for a crime committed by subordinates. On Jan. 25, 2003, two members of a gang affiliated with Sumiyoshi-kai fired a number of shots inside and outside a bar in Maebashi, killing four people and severely wounding two. A man formerly linked to a gang affiliated with the rival Inagawa-kai crime syndicate was killed along with three customers of the bar. One of the two people wounded was a former leader of the gang affiliated with Inagawa-kai.
The two attackers and their boss, who ordered the shooting, were arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. They have lodged an appeal with higher courts. In November 2006, three family members of one of the murdered bystanders filed a 197.6 million yen lawsuit against the two attackers, the senior member of the affiliate gang who ordered the attack, Nishiguchi and Fukuda. One of the two attackers agreed to pay his portion. The other attacker and the senior gang member were ordered by the high court to pay 88 million yen. The decision was finalized. The suit against Nishiguchi and Fukuda was separated as it involved employer liability. Earlier in the trial, Nishiguchi and Fukuda denied their employers' liability and sought to have the case dismissed. The court proposed a settlement in respect of the case in April.
The plaintiffs said they would accept the court-mediated settlement if the defendants would acknowledge their liability as employers. The defendants presented a settlement proposal earlier this month. Speaking at a press conference after the settlement was finalized, the eldest daughter of the victim said: "Since we sued gangsters, we've been fearful that we may lose more family members. We'll continue to be terrified, but now I'll tell my [late] father at the home altar that the Sumiyoshi-kai bosses acknowledged their responsibility." She was accompanied by her husband, who held a portrait of the victim. The plaintiffs' lawyers said in a statement, "The ruling will bring significant results in terms of relief from gang crimes and prevention of such crimes."


• Scope: National
• Criminal Activity: Narcotics, weapons, extortion, assaults, intimidation, beatings, stabbing, shootings, murder and graffiti.
• Propensity for Violence: The Latin Kings’ reputation continues today as evidenced by the violence in correctional facilities in various communities.
The Latin Kings are known to beat, stab or shoot members who have not conformed to the gang’s rules of obedience, resulting in serious physical injury up to and including death.
Individuals and rival gangs who possess a threat to the Latin Kings have also been targeted for violence.
• Finances: The main source of income for the Latin Kings is funds derived from drug trade. Though members are not to use drugs, they may sell and distribute drugs to make money for themselves and the organization.
Recently, this group has been seen developing legitimate business enterprises as fronts to their criminal activities; this will include medical offices, law offices and more.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Harry Christopher, 28, was shot five times in the back as he walked to his Buenos Aires hotel on Friday

Harry Christopher, 28, was shot five times in the back as he walked to his Buenos Aires hotel on Friday.Officers are now investigating whether his murder was the result of a bungled robbery or if he was killed as part of a drugs gangland hit.
Mr Christopher, who said he was from Belfast but is from Luton, had been in the South American country for a month and had an Argentine girlfriend.He was carrying a backpack containing his laptop computer and a mobile phone when he was shot near his hotel in the Moron area.But these items were left at the scene leading police to believe robbery was less of a motive.
One witness told police the killers drove up to Mr Christopher on a Gilera 125 moped and tried to grab his backpack but he fought back and began to run off with it.
Detectives found 'elements for cutting up drugs and various knives' in his hotel room and his girlfriend told police he was 'involved in drugs' and had recently been scared by some people from the drugs scene.A police source said: 'We are checking the veracity of many of the facts obtained as everything is very confusing.'Police are treating the crime as an 'attempted robbery and homicide'.The Argentine authorities have previously been accusing of using the drugs trade to cover up the murder of a British backpacker in Buenos Aires.Laura Hill, a 25-year-old dental nurse, was found dead outside her apartment in the city last October.Argentina's Justice and Security Minister Anibal Fernandez claimed she was part of a drugs trafficking gang and died from a overdose.But her parents, Kevin and Alison Hill, from Eastbourne, believe she was sexually assaulted and then murdered.A Foreign Office spokeswoman said Mr Christopher's had been informed and consular assistance was being provided.

Police say Lloyd Best tried running from officers, and his car then hit a tree. The man then got out of the vehicle with a pistol in his hand

Police say Lloyd Best tried running from officers, and his car then hit a tree. The man then got out of the vehicle with a pistol in his hand, and police say he began running on foot. Officers caught the suspect on New River Drive.
Police also say he had drugs in his vehicle, and had altered the serial numbers on the firearm he was carrying. Best's bond is set at $175,000.

Finnish police have confirmed that 10 people and the gunman died in Tuesday's shooting at the Seinajoki vocational centre in western Finland.

Finnish police have confirmed that 10 people and the gunman died in Tuesday's shooting at the Seinajoki vocational centre in western Finland. The college, in the small town of Kauhajoki, about 300km (205 miles) north-west of the capital, Helsinki, has around 150 students. The gunman, Matti Juhani Saari, entered the building at around 1100 local time carrying a Walther P22 pistol and wearing a ski mask. After randomly shooting students writing an exam, Saari was cornered by armed police. He died later in hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Police said the 22-year-old had left a handwritten note explaining his hatred forthe human race and that he had been planning the shooting since 2002.
It is unclear how many people were injured in the incident. Last November, a student shot eight people dead at a school in the town of Jokela, north of the capital, Helsinki. This incident in Kauhajoki is eerily reminiscent of those killings, with a similar weapon being used and a similar video being posted on the internet by the suspect prior to the killings. Police admit they interviewed Saari on Monday in connection with three videos that were posted on the YouTube website last week.
One of the videos shows a young man firing a pistol before pointing the weapon at the camera and declaring in English "you will die next". But no action was taken by the authorities to confiscate Saari's legally held pistol or to hold him into custody.

O. J. Simpson faces a dozen charges, including kidnapping, which carries a life sentence, armed robbery, coercion, assault with a deadly weapon

O.J. Simpson told one of his companions to "put the guns away," when Simpson and his entourage had a run-in with two collectibles dealers on Sept. 13, 2007, at a Las Vegas hotel, a witness in Simpson's robbery/kidnapping trial testified Monday afternoon.Also, another prosecution witness — a collectibles dealer who was on the witness stand for three days — revealed he had personally made $210,000 as a result of his involvement with the case.

O. J. Simpson faces a dozen charges, including kidnapping, which carries a life sentence, armed robbery, coercion, assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy, to name just a few, for the September incident in a Las Vegas hotel room in which he allegedly sought to retrieve items that belonged to him, including photographs of his children and late parents.Co-defendant Clarence “C. J.” Stewart, who was in Simpson’s group, faces the same charges. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
Charles B. Ehrlich, another of the men who joined O. J. Simpson on Sept. 13 to the Las Vegas Palace Station Hotel & Casino to retrieve the items from two sports memorabilia dealers, testified Monday that the former NFL star well knew that one of his associates was armed.Simpson has been adamant that he did not know anyone in his posse was carrying a gun.Ehrlich however told the judge and jury that he heard Simpson tell one of the associates, “Put the gun away,” during the confrontation, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. Ehrlich has pleaded guilty to lesser charges, agreeing to testify for the prosecution against Simpson and Stewart.
Bruce Fromong, one of the two alleged victims, also testified last week that he remembered how at one point Simpson was waving his arm up and down as someone asked for the gun to be put away.There is no consensus among witnesses though, as Thomas Riccio, the collectibles broker who arranged the meeting and who was inventive enough to hide a recorder in the hotel room (which recorded everything that was said there, including what police investigators called to the scene commented), has testified that he never heard any of the men present during the confrontation mention anything about a gun.Riccio also revealed during questioning that he made more than $210,000 from media deals he arranged, with the secret recordings as object of desire. He received $150,000 from celebrity gossip site TMZ.com, another $15,000 from ABC News and $25,000 more from “Entertainment Tonight.” Howard Stern’s radio show provided him with an additional $20,000 through a sponsor, he testified, as quoted by the Times.
Riccio’s piggy bank was further filled up when in April of this year he published “Busted: The Inside Story of the World of Sports Memorabilia, O.J. Simpson and the Vegas Arrests,” about last year’s incident. This reportedly earned him $20,000.

Jordan Eske and Nicolas Foster are in Lancaster County Jail

Jordan Eske and Nicolas Foster, both 21, are in Lancaster County Jail pending an October 1st arraignment. They're each charged with four counts of theft by deception, and one count of computer fraud, for allegedly pulling cash from privately owned ATMs at four stores in the area. The pair allegedly reprogrammed the machines to believe they were loaded with one-dollar bills instead of tens and twenties. A withdrawal of $20 would thus net $380. Cash machine reprogramming scams first became public in 2006 when a cyber thief strolled into a gas station in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and, with no special equipment, persuaded the Tranax ATM that it had $5.00 bills in its dispensing tray, instead of $20.00 bills. Threat Level later confirmed that default administrative passcodes for ATMs manufactured by industry leaders Tranax and Triton were printed in owner's manuals easily found online. Both companies said they were surprised by the scam, but an industry association of which they are members privately spotted the capers and warned members over a year earlier. Since then, the scam has also surfaced in Derry, Pennsylvania. But the Nebraska case marks the first reported arrests for the keypad capers. Lincoln Police DepartmentEske and Foster were busted on their fourth visit to Lobo's City Mex in August. Manager Raul Omar Lobo, the owner's son, was waiting for them -- he'd been tipped off by the company that services the restaurant's Tranax ATM that someone had swiped $1,400 from the machine in three earlier midday visits. When the two men entered, Lobo recognized them from the surveillance tapes. "So I locked the doors and told them not to move while I had one of the employees call the cops," says Lobo.
According to police, Lobo pulled a gun on the men, who nonetheless managed to wrench the door open and bolt. Lobo grabbed one of them in a headlock, and a wild shot was fired in the scuffle before the men broke free and sped away in their rented Pontiac Grand Prix. An administrative passcode opens hidden functions on common models of retail ATMs, like this screen on the Tranax Mini Bank that sets the denomination of bills the machine thinks it's dispensing. Lobo says he jumped in his car and gave chase, eventually getting the attention of the police, who took over the pursuit. The suspects pulled over and "ran into a building and tried going out the other side to lose the police, but we were waiting for them," says Lincoln Police Department spokeswoman Katie Flood. Police found $10,000 in cash in the car. The defendants are suspected of stealing $13,600 in the Lincoln area, and pulling an unknown amount from ATMs in New Orleans, where they're from. Asked by police how they did it, "They said it's well-known on the internet," says Flood.
In 2006, both Tranax and Triton issued software patches for new ATMs that force operators to change the default passcodes on first use.

Officer Patrick McDonald, 30, was shot in the chest, rushed to Temple University Hospital in critical condition and later died

Officer Patrick McDonald, 30, was shot in the chest, rushed to Temple University Hospital in critical condition and later died, authorities said. He was single and an eight-year veteran of the department.Philadelphia Highway Patrol officer was shot dead and a second officer was wounded Tuesday afternoon when a chase and gun battle resulted from a car stop in North Philadelphia.Police said the alleged gunman was also shot and killed during the incident that occurred around 1:45 p.m. near the 2200 block of North Colorado Street.Officer Richard Bowes, 35, was struck in the hip and reported to be in stable condition. He has 12 years on the force and is a married father of three. Daniel Giddings, was wanted in connection with an August assault on four Philadelphia police officers.Police are still looking for Giddings' girlfriend, who police said was also in the car stopped by McDonald.
Officer Called For Backup During Car StopDeputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Tuesday afternoon that McDonald called dispatch for assistance on the 2100 block of Bouvier Street. McDonald apparently stopped a late-model, burgundy Buick occupied by a man and a woman, whom the officer was questioning. When the man took off running, McDonald gave chase and got into an altercation with the man.
Sources say Giddings stood over McDonald's body and fired at least seven and perhaps as many as nine shots into his body. The bullets from went through the officer's vest.Police questioned one woman who witnessed the shooting, but officers are also on the lookout for Giddings' girlfriend, who drove off in the Buick.Ross said officers responding to back-up McDonald spotted a man running toward them on the 2200 block of North Colorado Street and gave chase. Bose exchanged gunfire with the man at Colorado and Dauphin streets and was shot.The suspect then ran to the 2300 block of North 17th Street, where he fell and died of his wounds, Ross said.
The first officers at the scene could not see McDonald and did not initially know what had happened to him, Ross said.Investigators said the slide lock was pulled back on the .45-caliber, semi-automatic weapon recovered at the scene. The entire clip had been fired.McDonald was pronounced dead at the hospital at 2:08 p.m.

Troy Davis have called for a new trial as seven of the nine witnesses who helped put him on death row recanted their testimony.

Troy Davis have called for a new trial as seven of the nine witnesses who helped put him on death row recanted their testimony. Protesters had arrived by the busload to protest the execution, carrying signs with slogans like "Justice for Troy Davis" and wearing blue T-shirts emblazoned with "I am Troy Davis." A crowd of about 50 erupted in cheers when the stay, granted around 5:20 p.m., was announced.The Rev. Al Sharpton had accompanied members of Davis' family to the protest, including Davis' mother, Virginia.Prosecutors have labeled the witness statements "suspect," and courts had previously refused requests for a new trial.The execution had been scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT.The stay will remain in effect while the court considers Davis' appeal. Davis wants the high court to order a judge to hear from the witnesses who recanted their testimony and others who say another man confessed to the crime.Influential advocates, including former President Jimmy Carter and South Africa Archbishop Desmond Tutu, insist that there's enough doubt about his guilt to merit a new trial.A divided Georgia Supreme Court has twice rejected his request for a new trial, and had rejected his appeal to delay the execution Monday afternoon. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles also turned down his bid for clemency.
Davis was convicted of the murder of 27-year-old officer Mark MacPhail, who was working off-duty as a security guard at a bus station.MacPhail had rushed to help a homeless man who had been pistol-whipped at a nearby parking lot, and was shot twice when he approached Davis and two other men.Witnesses identified Davis as the shooter, and at the 1991 trial, prosecutors said he wore a "smirk on his face" as he fired the gun.But Davis' lawyers say new evidence proves their client was a victim of mistaken identity. Besides those who have recanted their testimony, three others who did not testify have said Sylvester "Red" Coles — who testified against Davis at his trial — confessed to the killing.Coles refused to talk about the case when contacted by The Associated Press during a 2007 Chatham County court appearance and has no listed phone number.Prosecutors have contended in court hearings the case is closed. They also say some of the witness affidavits simply repeat what a trial jury has already heard, while others are irrelevant because they come from witnesses who never testified.Meanwhile, a man was set to be executed Tuesday in Florida barring a last-minute intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court. Richard "Ric Ric" Henyard, 34, was convicted of the 1993 shooting deaths of two sisters — 7-year-old Jamilya Lewis and Jasmine Lewis, 3.Their mother, Dorothy Lewis, survived after she was raped and shot several times during a carjacking. Both girls, with their mother when they were seized by Henyard and an accomplice, were shot in the head when they cried out for her.

Michael Barrett charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of hollow point bullets

Jamar Richardson of Wilingboro, and the passenger, Michael Barrett of Mount Holly, were lodged in Burlington County Jail on $100,000 bail, police said. Richardson was operating the vehicle with a suspended driver’s license, according to police.
Richardson was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession and with the intent to distribute CDS in a school zone. Barrett was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of hollow point bullets, police said.At this time there is no connection between this incident and the incident which occurred on Monday involving Deion Madison, police said.

Omhari Sengstackewas apparently intoxicated but not armed when he was arrested about 6:30 a.m. as he neared the barriers a block from the Obama home

Omhari Sengstacke, 31, of Chicago, member of a prominent Chicago family faces a felony gun charge after being arrested Tuesday when he approached security barriers outside Barack Obama's home. The U.S. Secret Service said he never posed a threat to the Democratic presidential candidate.He was apparently intoxicated but not armed when he was arrested about 6:30 a.m. as he neared the barriers a block from the Obama home, police spokesman Daniel O'Brien said.Police found a gun and a bulletproof vest in his car nearby.Sengstacke did not utter any threats against Obama or make any threatening gestures, U.S. Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley said.Sengstacke also is charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing for approaching security barriers near Obama's home. The more serious charge accuses him of possessing a firearm while being a felon.Omhari Sengstacke is the grandson of John Sengstacke, publisher of the black-owned Chicago Defender for decades until his death in 1997.Obama was believed to be home at the time of the incident

Barack Obama has had another security scare after a gun was found in the car of a man arrested outside the Presidential hopeful's home yesterday.The man, who was apparently intoxicated, was arrested after approaching security barriers in a no-access area outside Obama's Chicago home.Police say they then found a gun when they searched the suspect's car.Both Chicago police and Secret Service agents continued to question the man, who has not been named, last night.Obama was believed to be home at the time although officials would not confirm it.U.S. Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley said the man did not utter any threats against Obama or make any threatening gestures before his arrest.He did not detail what the man did to prompt his arrest in the first place.Obama left the house later in the day to take a flight to Florida, where he will be preparing for Friday's presidential debate.
Obama recently had a separate scare when three men were arrested with weapons allegedly intended for an assassination plot.

police have seized guns, and more than $500,000 worth of drugs in raids that resulted in more than 70 arrests

Detective Senior Sergeant Darrin Thomson, who headed Operation Viper, said 73 arrests were made over the past eight days and followed three months of intelligence gathering.More than half of those arrested have been charged with drug dealing offences involving cannabis, ecstasy, LSD .Wellington police have seized guns, and more than $500,000 worth of drugs in raids that resulted in more than 70 arrests

Stephen Flemmi was a feared gangster and former paratrooper they called ''The Rifleman''

Stephen Flemmi was a feared gangster and former paratrooper they called ''The Rifleman'' around South Boston. The same Stevie who murdered Hussey's daughter.
Hussey once knew him well he spit in Flemmi's face when he found out the gangster was sleeping with his wife.
Flemmi cold-cocked him but let him live. Decades later, Thomas Hussey's daughter, Deborah Hussey, met a different -- and final -- fate.On Monday, Flemmi was not on trial. His 2004 conviction for strangling Deborah is just one of 10 murder charges that put him in prison for life.Instead, Flemmi was there to testify against former Boston FBI agent John Connolly, 68, who stands accused of being corrupted by Flemmi's gang and leaking vital information that led to the 1982 murder of a gambling executive in South Florida.''He's really aged,'' Hussey, 74, whispered as the diminutive Flemmi, also 74, walked in, sporting glasses, thinning gray hair parted to the side and an olive prison suit.And with that, Flemmi began his day recounting his decades-long criminal career in Boston. Hussey watched calmly, nodding at points, remembering names and places as though he were watching a familiar movie.Hussey has been a court regular since the Connolly trial began last week. A plumber, he moved to South Florida in 1973 to escape the danger around South Boston.His then-wife, Marion Hussey, had taken up with Flemmi, who along with Winter Hill gang leader James ''Whitey'' Bulger ran an unchecked criminal enterprise in Boston.The last time Hussey saw Flemmi was during a party for Deborah's high school graduation in 1976. Deborah's life spiraled into drugs and booze. Eight years later, Deborah accused Flemmi of sexual molestation. She went missing soon after.Flemmi took Deborah shopping for clothes, then strangled her and yanked out her teeth to make identifying her body difficult. Her corpse was not unearthed from a Boston marsh until January 2000.''I'm glad he didn't get the death penalty,'' Hussey said of Flemmi. ``I want him to suffer. Death penalty is too quick.''Minutes before Flemmi arrived Monday and outside the jury's presence, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stanford Blake expressed his condolences to Hussey. Then he politely asked Hussey to step outside if emotions took over. ''I can handle it,'' Hussey assured the judge. Flemmi never looked his way.He did face the jury, however, telling them how he and Bulger gave Connolly more than $200,000 in gifts over the years.''Hey, I'm one of the gang,'' Flemmi recalled Connolly saying after receiving $25,000 in drug money.
He recalled Connolly telling them of a bookmaker named Richard Castucci, who had informed the feds about the hiding place of a fugitive pal. The gang murdered him.
They also killed fellow gangster Brian Halloran, who ratted to the FBI that Bulger's gang killed Oklahoma millionaire Roger Wheeler in 1981 over a business dispute involving Miami's World Jai-Alai.Hussey watched, getting up only to get a closer look at blow-up photos of South Boston and its players. ''Most of those guys are from South Boston, where I lived. Tough neighborhood,'' he whispered.In the years since his daughter disappeared, Hussey has battled alcohol addiction but little anger. He hopes Connolly gets convicted but wants to see him receive a light sentence.Flemmi is scheduled to testify about the disgraced FBI agent on Tuesday.
As for Flemmi, Hussey watched with the detached eye of a Red Sox analyst.
''I hope they put him in the jail's general population,'' Hussey said, affably. ``He'll have a heinous death. He's a pedophile and a snitch -- they'll kill him, very brutally.''

Gangster Killer Bloods leader Victor "Little Vic" Lopez, 26, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the shooting death of Edwin "Dino"Andino

Gangster Killer Bloods leader Victor "Little Vic" Lopez, 26, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the March 25, 2005, shooting death of Edwin "Dino" Andino. Andino, 19, was gunned down at Walnut and Houghton avenues in Trenton. Lopez, a captain in the Gangster Killer Bloods, said he told two co-defendants who were soldiers in the gang to open fire on the corner while he waited in a van. But Lopez, answering questions posed by his lawyer, Bruce Throckmorton, the judge and assistant prosecutor, said he had a personal dispute with people hanging around on that corner, rather than a gang-related vendetta. Asked by Assistant Prosecutor Skylar Weissman what his rank was in the gang, Lopez said that he was a "five star."
Lopez will be sentenced in February to 15 years in prison and must serve at least 12 3/4 years before he can be released, Superior Court Judge Thomas Kelly said. The sentence will run concurrently with a 71-month federal sentence Lopez incurred in 2005 for carrying an Uzi semi-automatic weapon and wearing a bulletproof vest.
"He could have gotten 30 to life (in prison) or he could have been found guilty of aggravated manslaughter as well," said Weissman. "In a situation like this there are no winning sides. A 19-year-old young man was killed. You see the fact all the young players who played a part in this have their lives ruined and there's no winners on either side. And he'll be spending 15 long, hard years in jail. Hopefully, he'll think every day of the pain and suffering he brought to the victim's family."
After a hearing Friday, Kelly had ruled that damaging audiotapes of phone calls made by another inmate on Lopez' behest to tamper with witnesses could be played to the jury at the trial. Weissman argued the tapes showed evidence Lopez realized his guilt. Meanwhile, murder charges remain pending against alleged shooters Bruce "Black Magic" Duette, 27, and Anthony "Ace" Coleman, 21, both of Trenton. Their trial date is set for Dec. 1. While Lopez will not be required to testify against Duette or Coleman, he told Kelly he ordered them to open fire on the street corner knowing that someone might be killed. Under the terms of his plea agreement, he will also not testify for the defense.

Rayful Edmond III is now part of the United States Federal Witness Protection Program and his place of incarceration is confidential.

Rayful Edmond III is largely credited with introducing crack cocaine into the Washington, D.C. area. Columbians was alleged to have moved In an indictment involving two of Edmond's associates, it said that they bought between 1000 and 2,000 kilos over a 1 week period at a time. In 1992 from the Trujillo-Blanco brothers, who were associated with the Medellin cartel, and sold the drugs to Washington area wholesalers. He was known to have spent some $457,619 in an exclusive Georgetown store (Linea Pitti, specializing in Italian men's clothing) owned by Charles Wynn who was later convicted on 34 counts of money laundering.Edmond was arrested in 1989 at the age of 24. His arrest and subsequent trial were widely covered by local and national media. Judicial officials, fearful of reprisals from members of Edmond's gang, imposed unprecedented security during the trial. Jurors' identities were kept secret before, during, and after trial, and their seating area was enclosed in bulletproof glass. Edmond was jailed at the maximum security facility at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia and flown to the Federal Court House in Washington, D.C. by helicopter each day for his trial. Authorities took this unusual step due to heightened fears of an armed escape attempt. This gang was believed to have committed over 40 murders including the attempted murder of a local pastor, the Reverend Mr. Bynum, who was shot 12 times during an anti-drug march in his Orleans Place neighborhood.[citation needed]Rayful continued to deal after being incarcerated in Lewisburg, PA federal prison. In 1996, Edmond and another drug dealer from Atlanta, named Lowe, were convicted after conducting drug business from a federal prison phone. Edmond received an additional 30-year sentence. Edmond's case is one of the most notorious abuses of such phone privileges and an embarrassment for the Bureau of Prisons. In an interview with the Bureau of Prisons, Edmond said he had spent several hours every day on the telephone, occasionally using two lines simultaneously to conduct his drug business.Following this conviction, Edmond became a government informant in order to secure his mother's release from prison and a reduced sentence. Edmond is still incarcerated but is now part of the United States Federal Witness Protection Program and his place of incarceration is confidential.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Gaetano J. Milano was sentenced in 1991 for executing William "Wild Guy" Grasso

Gaetano J. Milano was sentenced in 1991 for executing William "Wild Guy" Grasso as they sped down Interstate 91 in a van two years earlier. A volatile mobster even by mob standards, Grasso was a fellow soldier in the Providence-based Patriarca crime family and Milano told the judge he believed it was Grasso or him.
"It was kill or be killed," Milano said at his sentencing before U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas, the same jurist who will reconsider Milano's sentence next month.
Fueling that argument, defense lawyers have argued, was the late Boston mobster Angelo "Sonny" Mercurio, revealed in the 1990s to be a "top echelon" FBI informant who the agency shielded from prosecution in the murders of Grasso and others. The FBI's mishandling of mob moles like Mercurio, James "Whitey" Bulger and others has prompted widespread litigation of old sentences and early release of several gangsters who have successfully argued they were framed by or took the fall for informants. Mercurio died in 2006 in the federal Witness Protection Program, 17 years after recording a prized Mafia induction ceremony in Medford for the FBI. A former federal prosecutor with a Boston organized crime strike force, Diane Kottmyer, now a Superior Court judge, ultimately testified in a separate trial that Mercurio had been complicit in the Grasso murder and others, but was never charged.
Defense lawyers believe Mercurio also pitted Boston and Connecticut mob factions against each other with bogus reports that members on each side were plotting to "clip" or "take out" the other, according to court filings.
In a surprise move in 2006, Nevas released Milano's codefendant, 82-year-old Louis Pugliano, of West Springfield, after Pugliano served just 15 years of a life sentence. Lawyers for Pugliano ultimately won his early release through an agreement with prosecutors who agreed to a resentencing based on flawed jury selection and ineffective counsel arguments.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Christopher Hudson was proud to be a Hells Angel."Don't you know who I am? I'm a Hells Angel."

Christopher Hudson was proud to be a Hells Angel. When he left for Melbourne, he made his bikie connection known at the King Street strip club Spearmint Rhino he used to frequent.They knew him as "Huddo" at the club at which he was a VIP member where a minimum spend of $250 was the deal.The night before the CBD shooting, Hudson had been drinking there before moving on to nearby club Barcode.
It was there Hudson took objection to stripper Autumn-Daly Holt giving a man a lap dance.He saw it his duty to intervene, lifting Holt from her chair by her hair and assaulting her.When a bystander objected, Hudson lifted his shirt to reveal his Hells Angels tattoo, saying: "Don't you know who I am? I'm a Hells Angel."Hudson battered Holt and she was left unconscious on the steps of the club.
His history of aggression toward women was no different with his on-again off-again lover, model Kaera Douglas.In their two-and-a-half-month relationship, he managed to beat her around the head, give her black eyes and twice break her nose.
On the morning of the CBD shootings, a petrified Douglas had been trying to break free from Hudson by getting into a taxi.Two onlookers, lawyer Brendan Keilar and Dutch backpacker Paul de Waard, saw Hudson assaulting her and went to her aid.
Fuelled by a toxic blend of grog, ice and steroids, Hudson fired his gun at all three at point blank range, killing Keilar.The three slumped to the ground but that didn't stop him continuing to fire as onlookers on their way to work watched horrified.Witnesses reported Hudson was calm as he executed the shots - "cool as a cucumber", said one.Another described him fleeing the scene like he was late for an appointment.As Hudson fled, tram commuters saw what they believed was his attempt to take his own life.The witnesses told police he had held a gun to his head then said, "no".Even if Hudson had tried, his bullets had been spent on his victims.
In the end he chose life and made a run for it.Although proud of his Angels membership, Hudson had done his bikie mates no favours by thrusting them into the public spotlight. The talk was that the Angels would disown him.Wracked by either remorse, fear of his Angels mates or the inevitability the law would catch up with him, Hudson handed himself in to police after a two-day nationwide manhunt.He gave a "no comment" interview, except to say he was sorry for what happened.
During his pre-sentence hearing this month, the crown spoke of how the shooting rocked Melbourne.This was a crime which deserved no parole, they argued.
His defence said while there was little to explain the motive behind the shooting, his behaviour was linked to the drug ice, the nightclub scene and the associates he kept.Hudson showed little emotion today, except that his eyes continually darted around the court room, perhaps a sign of anxiety over his fate.Hudson was sentenced to life behind bars, with a non-parole period of 35 years.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Vito Rizzuto arrest warrant

The Rizzuto organization has formed a "Sixth Family," a Mafia clan based in Montreal that has overshadowed the Mafia's notorious Five Families of New York. Recent allegations of their presence abroad place them as one of the world's most robust criminal cartels. controlling mind behind it all was Vito Rizzuto of Mont-real, Italian authorities allege.Police in Italy issued an arrest warrant for Rizzuto, who is currently in prison in the United States for three gangland slayings. Also wanted are four men in Canada -- including Rizzuto's father, Nicolo, who is similarly in jail in Montreal awaiting trial."We believe that even from jail they are able to control the organization," said Silvia Franze, an investigator with the Direzione Investigativa Antimafia in Rome."We blocked a lot of bank accounts and money," Ms. Franze told the National Post. "We have seized many companies and hundreds of millions of Euros all around the world because we believe that behind these companies is Vito Rizzuto."
Also arrested was Mariano Turrisi, 53, the president and founder of Made in Italy Inc., an export marketing group. He is heard on wiretaps speaking with Rizzuto, police allege.Mr. Turrisi's arrest and connection to Rizzuto is particularly noteworthy --he was the senior deputy of a political movement founded by Prince Emanuele Filiberto, a last heir to the Italian throne when the monarchy ended in 1946, according to Claudio Gatti, an investigative journalist with Il Sole 24 Ore, a leading Italian business newspaper."This becomes a political story. The prince was planning to make it into a political party and he picked as his only vice-chairman Mr. Turrisi," said Mr. Gatti, who has been investigating the links.The political movement, called "Values and Future" in English, was started after Mr. Filiberto returned from exile in 2002 after the royal family, commonly called the Royal House of Savoy, was allowed to re-enter Italy.
Links to such people show the level of influence and power the Rizzuto name carries around the world, police said.Italian legal documents in the case dramatically portray Vito Rizzuto as being a global superboss.From their origins in Italy, the Rizzutos moved to Canada, where they "gave birth to a transnational society" that worked to unite the Italian mafias and create "overseas cells," a document from the Rome anti-Mafia prosecutor's office alleges.The organization sought to "manage and control the economic activities connected to the acquisition of contracts in public works" and to "commit a series of crimes -- killings, internatonal drug trafficking, extortion, frauds, smuggling, stock-market manipulation, insider trading and criminal transfer of securities," it alleges.The group used several companies listed on European and North American stock markets, including one registered in Vancouver, to develop business projects linked to gold mines in Canada and Chile, authorities allege.The Italian investigation was aided by Swiss police, who probed bank accounts and other investments. Two of those arrested were bank employees.The masses of money come from rampant international drug trafficking, authorities say, including a company that used leather clothing to mask the smell of narcotics from drug-sniffing dogs.Among those charged yesterday in Italy were Roberto Papalia, 62, a controversial Vancouver businessman who has run afoul of security regulators in Canada and the United States, who was arrested in Milan; and Felice Italiano, 61, a LaSalle, Que., businessman who had charges dropped against him more than a decade ago after one of Canada's largest drug seizures.Mr. Italiano was arrested in his Rome hotel room two hours before his return flight to Canada was scheduled to leave."I think he will remember this holiday in Italy," Ms. Franze said. His wife continued on to Canada.All are charged in Italy for Mafia association.Also facing charges are Paolo Renda, 68, Francesco Arcadi, 54, and Rocco Sollecito, 59. All three Montral men are awaiting trial, along with Nicolo Rizzuto, on charges in Canada. Other arrest warrants are pending against Canadians, the National Post has learned.Despite the allegations of high-finance and political connections, the charges stem from a small-time mob-linked swindle north of Toronto in 2001. That allowed police in Ontario to install wiretaps in Montreal.While no charges in Quebec came from that probe, evidence from it was used by the RCMP in Montreal to install more wiretaps in 2002, in what became known as Project Colisee.It was shortly after those wiretaps were turned on that police tracked regular contact between gangsters in Montreal and men in Italy. That information was forwarded to Italian authorities, who, in turn, placed several suspects under surveillance.The Italian probe brought two startling sets of allegations.The first were announced in 2005 and accused Rizzuto and former Montreal construction engineer Giuseppe Zappia (known for building the Olympic Village for the 1976 games) of conspiring to use illicit money to build a bridge connecting the island of Sicily to mainland Italy.The bridge was one of the largest public works projects in Italy and the consortium was allegedly prepared to invest $6-billion to complete it.
The second series of charges are those announced yesterday in Rome."We found there were cells here in Italy controlled by Vito Rizzuto. We found out the links between the chiefs of those cells and the companies allegedly involved in financial crimes and in acquiring land for development," Ms. Franze said.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Andrew Joseph Fitzgerald was picked up in Bassano on Wednesday by police after a Canada-wide search warrant was issued for his arrest.

Andrew Joseph Fitzgerald was picked up in Bassano on Wednesday by police after a Canada-wide search warrant was issued for his arrest.He is accused of manslaughter and aggravated assault in the death of Sharmarke Mohamed Warsame, 39, and of assaulting another man, Abdirahaman Kerow, 31. the two victims allegedly met a number of men outside Brooks on the pretext of buying drugs.Warsame managed to call 911 at some point, but wasn't able to tell police his location.
His body was found five days later, on Sept. 5.One of the suspects in the killing, Carl Haywood, 42, has been charged with first-degree murder and with attempting to murder Kerow, who managed to escape.During the past two weeks, police arrested three other men. Darryl Gaffney, 27, is charged with manslaughter, accessory to murder after the fact and party to manslaughter.Jason Carr, 33, is accused of manslaughter and aggravated assault. He was arrested on another matter two weeks ago in Medicine Hat.Also arrested recently in Medicine Hat was Tyler Lorimer, 26. He is charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Alleged by police that Steven McIntyre entered the bank carrying a gun, handed a teller a backpack and demanded she put money in it

Arrested Paul Page Jr. and Jessica Page, both 20, as well as Tanya Finley. They are accused of assisting Steven McIntyre, 21. McIntyre is charged with robbery, a class-B felony; theft, a class-D felony; intimidation, a class-C felony; and pointing a firearm, a class-D felony.According to police, the arrests of the three additional suspects occurred as part of the follow-up investigation into the robbery. All three are acquaintances of McIntyre.The Pages, husband and wife, face charges of receiving stolen property and assisting a criminal, class-D felonies.Finley faces a charge of assisting a criminal, a class-D felony.McIntyre was arrested around 10 p.m. the same day of the robbery.
He remains in the Greene County Jail with bail set at $50,000.It is alleged by police that McIntyre entered the bank carrying a gun, handed a teller a backpack and demanded she put money in it. The bank employee complied and the suspect then left through the same door he entered.According to police, around $2,700 was stolen.
All three of the new suspects have been released on bail. Paul Page Jr. is expected in Greene County Court on Friday, while both Finley and Jessica Page are due in court Monday.

Alex Windel Bailey, Evaton Adam Bailey each charged with carrying a concealed firearm

Alex Windel Bailey, 18, of 109 Anderson St., and Evaton Adam Bailey, 18, of 110 Anderson St., in Lake Placid, were each charged with carrying a concealed firearm, a third-degree felony.Evaton Bailey's bond was set at $10,000.Alex Bailey was additionally charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. Alex Bailey's bond was set at $20,000.It was about 11 p.m. Sunday, when deputies approached the brothers who were seated at the table.Sheriff's deputies noted the table is a common hang-out spot for people, open to the general public, but is also a "well known area where illegal drug sales occur."
"Alex consented to a search of his person," the report stated, "and during which he was found to be in possession of a Bryce Arms 9 mm automatic handgun."Deputy Michael Ahrens reported that as he touched the right pocket on Alex Bailey's outer pair of shorts, Bailey began to resist and tried to grab the firearm, Ahrens stated."While attempting to restrain Alex, he was actively attempting to pull my hand away from his shorts and pull away from my grasp, wherein he scratched my left arm," Ahrens wrote.Ahrens noted that he received numerous scratches to his inner arm while struggling with Alex Bailey. After being pushed to the ground, he was handcuffed with assistance from other deputies.During this time, Deputy James Brimlow told Evaton Bailey to place both of his hands on the picnic table. As he leaned forward, Brimlow reported, "I heard what I thought to be a gun," Brimlow wrote, as it hit the table top.Brimlow pushed Evaton Bailey forward and grabbed the right side of his waistband. He reported finding a concealed revolver under a top layer of shorts inside another pair of shorts, and Evaton Bailey was placed under arrest.The brothers were both previously arrested on Aug. 20, on charges of loitering or prowling and resisting arrest without violence. Their bond was revoked.
Alex Bailey pled no contest Monday and was adjudicated on the loitering and resisting arrest charges, according to the Highlands County Clerk of the Court's Office. Evaton Bailey's next court date on the loitering and resisting charges is scheduled for Oct. 20.

Daniel L. Nighswonger,fired a gun in front of and behind vehicles as they passed by him

Daniel L. Nighswonger, 31, of Moses Lake fired a gun in front of and behind vehicles as they passed by him, the sheriff's office said. Sheriff's deputies, with the help of Moses Lake police and the Washington State Patrol, stopped Nighswonger's Ford F-150 as he was leaving the area.With guns aimed, authorities ordered Nighswonger and two passengers out of the truck. They arrested Nighswonger without incident.He was booked into the Grant County jail on suspicion of three counts of reckless endangerment, a gross misdemeanor, and unlawful use of a loaded gun, a misdemeanor.The other two people, a 52-year-old man and a 19-year-old, were released. The teen was cited for suspicion of being a minor consuming alcohol.
Authorities searched the truck and found three handguns -- a .357 magnum, a .22 caliber and a 9 mm semiautomatic -- along with boxes of ammunition, the sheriff's office reported

Jeffrey Wayne McKay was arrested by Rocklin police

Jeffrey Wayne McKay is a motorcycle officer with the traffic division, said Sacramento Police Sgt. Matt Young. He was placed on paid leave while an internal probe and the criminal investigation proceed.Jeffrey Wayne McKay, 34, of Rocklin, was arrested by Rocklin police Saturday after officers were called to Heron Court and Darby Road about a disturbance at about 10 p.m.McKay's neighbors told police that McKay made threats against them while loading a firearm in front of his home, said Rocklin Police Lt. Lon Milka. The neighbors said McKay exposed himself by urinating on his front lawn, Milka said. Officers found a handgun at the scene, he said. McKay was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication and making threats of physical harm.McKay was booked into the Auburn jail and bail set at $15,000. No arraignment date was available Monday.

No charges will be filed against Joseph Calanchini he had the weapons because he was going on a hunting safari in South Africa.

No charges will be filed against a man who carried guns into a Denver hotel where U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stayed during the Democratic National Convention.
A criminal case against Joseph Calanchini, 28, of Pinedale, Wyo., is "closed," said Robin Finnegan of the Denver district attorney's office. Calanchini was arrested Aug. 23 when police found him carrying two rifles and two handguns in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt Hotel. He was held in the Denver jail on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon. The day of his arrest, Pelosi was briefly evacuated from the hotel. Calanchini told authorities he had the weapons because he was going on a hunting safari in South Africa.

Ronald F. Zito, is scheduled to be arraigned in Westborough District Court on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon

Ronald F. Zito, 31, of Cranston, R.I., is scheduled to be arraigned this morning in Westborough District Court on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon. Police said he posted $300 bail after his arrest.
“It was kind of a road-rage type situation,” said Sgt. Steven Reale.
The alleged victim called police Saturday at 12:38 p.m., reporting he had sped through a red light on East Main Street after Zito pulled beside him and held up a gun.
Zito had been following extremely closely and appeared agitated when the other driver stopped for traffic, police said.
Then, in the area of Bay State Commons, Zito pointed the gun directly at the man, which Reale said prompted the call to police.
The alleged victim had his 4-year-old son in his backseat, police said.
Zito parked the Dunbar Armored Car he’d been driving in front of Roche Bros. in the Bay State Commons shopping plaza.
Patrolman Jeffrey Johnson stopped Zito as he left the plaza.
As an armored car driver, Zito’s possession of the handgun was lawful. The assault charge, police said, is because Zito used the gun to scare the other driver.
“Threatening someone with it is actually assault, putting someone in fear,” Reale said.

Gun battle between rival gang members in the heart of Adelaide that had footpath diners diving to escape a volley of 15 shots

Man charged over a brazen gun battle between rival gang members in the heart of Adelaide that had footpath diners diving to escape a volley of 15 shots.The shootout involved about a dozen men, with some gunshots narrowly missing cafe and restaurant patrons in the early hours of May 6. Security footage of the scene showed at least one man brandishing a pistol as gang members traded shots. A car, believed to be used by one of the gangs, was found burning in Adelaide's northern suburbs the next day, and the investigation has resulted in the seizure of weapons and ammunition in a raid on one house. At the time, South Australian Police Assistant Commissioner Tony Harrison said officers believed the shootout was linked to the distribution of illicit drugs but would not name the gangs involved. At least one was believed to be a bikie gang. Police have now charged a 38-year-old man with acts to endanger life and firearms offences in relation to the incident. A police spokesman said the man had also been charged with two counts of threatening to kill and with causing an affray in relation to a second incident in August when a man was shot in the leg on an Adelaide street. The charged man was refused police bail and the spokesman said prosecutors would seek a court ban on publication or broadcast of his image.
"The man's identity is a crucial part of the ongoing investigation," he said.
The Crime Gangs Task Force expected to make further arrests in relation to the shootout which sparked renewed debate on State Government moves to crack down on the activities of illegal gangs, especially bikies. SA Attorney-General Michael Atkinson said the shootout vindicated the Government's decision to draft tough new laws to rid South Australia of gangs.
Those measures have since passed State Parliament, allowing police to ask that specific groups or gangs be declared, essentially banning their members from meeting.

Wayne Arlington Cornell, Jr.search turned up a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol under the car seat

Wayne Arlington Cornell, Jr., reportedly told Necaise he had marijuana and methamphetamine in his possession, and that he had a weapon and precursors to manufacture methamphetamine in the vehicle. A search turned up a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol under the car seat, along with Coleman fuel and lithium batteries. The later two are commonly used as ingredients in methamphetamine.A background check also showed that Cornell had an extensive criminal history, Police Chief James Varnell said. His background included numerous arrests for battery on a police officer, theft, resisting arrest, shoplifting, and simple battery, Varnell said.
Cornell, 40, of Bay St. Louis, has also used numerous aliases and goes by the street name of "Redbone," Varnell said.Cornell was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of precursors and possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. Municipal Court Judge Gerald Gex ordered him held under $150,500 bond.

Shooting death of Hugo Salinas brought the number of killings in the city to 20

"One homicide is one too many," Mayor Dennis Donohue said following the death of 17-year-old Hugo Salinas. shooting death of a teenage boy Tuesday brought the number of killings in the city to 20, just shy of 1994's high of 24. Police said Salinas was shot several times just before 9:30 a.m. in the 1300 block of Nogal Drive. He died there on the sidewalk and investigators searched for clues in the neighborhood, which sits atop a slight bluff overlooking Natividad Creek Park. Cmdr. Kelly McMillin said people in the area reported hearing one or two gunshots and then a car driving away. But investigators don't know if a vehicle was involved and they have no suspects. They did, however, say the shooting appears to be gang-related. It's a common thread with many of the other slayings and the scores of shootings in the city this year. "People that are not associated with gangs have much less to fear," McMillin said. "Gang members target gang members and associates. In the majority of our homicides, there is a clear gang connection." He said some of the slayings may be cases where the victim was mistaken for a gang member. But gangs have been ruled out in only one homicide, the stabbing death of a 46-year-old woman in February that police say was carried out by her boyfriend. Longtime anti-gang violence activist Deborah Aguilar, whose son was gunned down in 2002, sat on a sidewalk at the scene where Salinas was killed Tuesday and quietly sobbed.
Aguilar, an advisory member of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention Program, vowed to fight the recent spate of gang violence in Salinas and the ongoing devastation it propagates.
"Regardless (if it was gang-related), it's another loss and another family devastated," said Aguilar, the founder of a support group for parents who have lost a child to violence. "We've got to unite and become strong. We can't let this evil win. We will beat this." After a relatively low number homicides in recent years — seven in 2005, seven in 2006 and 14 in 2007 — police say the number of homicides has increased this year because gangs are attacking rivals and their own members.
Donohue said he recognizes the concern the shootings raise in the community and that the level of violence in the city is unacceptable. He stressed however, as he has in the past, that the issue is being addressed. "We have a game plan and we are not going to deviate from one event to another," he said. Donohue said he anticipates that the California Highway Patrol and the Monterey County Sheriff's Office will soon join the city police department in its efforts to quell the recent wave of violence. Including the shooting death of Salinas on Tuesday, there have been nine suspected gang shootings that have left three people dead and nine others wounded in the last four weeks. Police Chief Daniel Ortega, Donohue, other city officials and representatives of the Sheriff's Office and CHP met Tuesday for the first time since the police department said it would ask for outside help last week. McMillin said increased police enforcement is effective in decreasing violence, but it does not get to the root of the issue. "The police department will never stop the fundamental problem of gang membership," he said. "The question is what does society at large have to do."

Thierry Dominique Nshimayezu arrest led to a safe in the home which contained an unloaded handgun with ammunition stored separately.

Thierry Dominique Nshimayezu, 24, faced mandatory minimum one-year sentences on each of two counts he pleaded guilty to, but Superior Court Justice Renee Pomerance, after studying previous court rulings, agreed with the defence that each of the two sentences could be served concurrently. She sentenced Nshimayezu to 380 days in custody but gave him the standard two-for-one credit for the time he had served in pre-sentence custody.Acting on information that crack cocaine was being sold out of a home at 953 Wellington Ave., police obtained a search warrant and then made a forced entry into the residence at 3:15 a.m. on Oct. 14, 2006. All five black males found in a bedroom in the rear of the home were arrested and charged with possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.
There were no drugs found on Nshimayezu, but a key found on his possession following his arrest led to a safe in the home which contained an unloaded handgun with ammunition stored separately."I'm really sorry about how I acted," Nshimayezu told the judge in a barely audible statement before sentencing.Pomerance called the defence and Crown's joint submission on sentencing "lenient" but within the acceptable range. She said the charges were "very serious" and that prohibited weapons in drug situations represent a "grave danger" to the community which requires a court sentence that serves as deterrence and denunciation.Nshimayezu, who had no prior criminal convictions, was also placed on two years probation during which he is not to own a cellphone or associate with the four co-accused, and he was handed a lifetime ban on possessing or handling firearms and other restricted weapons and ordered to submit a blood sample of a police DNA databank.Defence lawyer Frank Miller described his client as a refugee from Rwanda whose family was "decimated" by the genocide that occurred there when he was a youngster. Miller said one could "only speculate on the long-term impact" of that traumatic experience.
Following Nshimayezu's sentencing, the Crown withdrew all charges against co-defendant Abdirizak Farah Abdullahi.Co-accused Akeen Abdul Newby had also been expected to enter a plea, but his case is continuing with a pre-trial set for Sept. 30. A trial is still pending for a youth involved, and the fifth accused had already pled guilty and was sentenced for his role.

Jason and Rebecca Matteau are both charged with risk of injury to a minor

Jason Matteau, 27, and Rebecca Matteau, 24, of Jewett City, turned themselves in at the state police barracks in Montville after being told authorities had arrest warrants for them. They were freed on $50,000 bonds and ordered to appear in Norwich Superior Court on Oct. 1.Wyatt Matteau died Aug. 28 about two hours after being shot in the head when the gun accidentally fired, state police said. The Matteaus were at their Green Avenue apartment with their son and infant daughter at the time, but Wyatt was alone in a room when the gun went off, troopers said.Connecticut law makes it a crime to store loaded firearms in an area where the owner reasonably should know that someone under 16 could find them.
Jason and Rebecca Matteau are both charged with risk of injury to a minor. Jason Matteau is also charged with criminally negligent storage of a firearm.The Matteaus could not be reached Wednesday. There was no listing for their home phone number, and it was not immediately clear whether they had hired lawyers.A few days after the boy died, the Matteaus wrote a letter to the public calling the incident "a parent's worst nightmare" and thanking the community for its support."There is no way to even begin to express our feelings," Jason Matteau wrote in the letter.

Russell Stewart, became irate, throwing items from his trunk, and finally tried to get the police officer’s gun.

Russell Stewart, became irate, throwing items from his trunk, and finally tried to get the police officer’s gun.Captain Fox subdued the suspect with the aid of a hefty flashlight, and gained the assistance of a bystander who happened to be a volunteer firefighter. The firefighter was instrumental in getting Captain Fox’s handcuffs accessible while the suspect was being constrained.The situation went from bad to worse, to safe in a short period, and the suspect was transported to the hospital and later arrested for attempting to disarm a police officer, aggravated assault on an officer, possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving and driving under the influence of narcotics. Additional charges are pending.

Max Mermelstein took orders directly from cartel bosses Pablo Escobar and Jorge Ochoa.

Mermelstein did more than any other American citizen to help bring the Colombian cocaine trade into this country. Then he turned into a federal witness and did more than any other American to try to bring it down.1978 to 1985, Max Mermelstein helped move 56 tons of cocaine into Florida and sent $300 million in cash back to Medellin, Colombia. He was instrumental in creating the "Cocaine Cowboy" era of South Florida depicted in the Al Pacino film Scarface and in innumerable episodes of Miami Vice.
Mermelstein died Friday at age 65 in Lexington, Ky., felled by cancer of the bone, liver and lung. The Post's Jeff Leen, who crossed paths with Mermelstein when he was investigating the cocaine cartel for the Miami Herald in the 1980s, reports on the startling life and death of this drug-importer-turned-informant:
Mermelstein had been living under an assumed name after years spent in the Federal Witness Protection Program, known to all its denizens as "WITSEC." Max hated WITSEC and complained about it constantly, eventually leaving the program. He hated the rules, the government bureaucracy, the slow response to his needs and concerns.
That was not a bit surprising considering that he had lived a good portion of his life beyond society's rules as one of the most brazen and effective outlaws of his time. Mermelstein was the only gringo allowed into the inner circle of the Medellin Cartel, the Colombian criminal organization that spawned America's cocaine epidemic in the 1970s and 1980s. He sat in on the cartel's high councils, taking orders directly from cartel bosses Pablo Escobar and Jorge Ochoa.
The man who sat at the right hand of Pablo Escobar in the most murderous criminal enterprise of the 20th Century started out as a mechanical engineer in Brooklyn. He was born Nov. 1, 1942. At 13, he began working in his father's small business, saving money to pay his way through community college and then to study engineering at the New York Institute of Technology.He married a Puerto Rican woman, learned 'barrio Spanish," moved to San Juan, separated from his wife and met a gorgeous Colombian woman who introduced him to the cocaine trade. He started by helping to smuggle his wife's Colombian relatives and friends into the United States through the Bahamas, where he had worked as chief engineer at the Princess Hotel in Freeport. One of his wife's friends was a slick, 20-something Colombian man named Rafael "Rafa" Cardona Salazar. Rafa was a cocaine dealer who wore ostrich-skin shoes on his tiny feet and paid Max $1,500 for each $45,000 kilogram (2.2. pounds) of cocaine Mermelstein delivered to his clients. By now Max was working as the chief engineer at the Aventura Country Club in Miami. He delivered a few kilos, rationalizing what he was doing. "I didn't really consider this an excursion into the murky realm of the drug dealers," Max later wrote in a book about his life. "I hadn't personally touched a single gram of coke."Things changed for Max on Christmas Day, 1978, when he witnessed Rafa kill another drug dealer the three men were driving around the suburbs of Miami at 2 a.m. The dead man worked for Rafa and made the mistake of criticizing his boss for shooting at a party. Rafa was coked up and offended; he emptied his .38-caliber revolver into the man's face and they dumped the body on a side street. Rafa told Max he suspected the man was stealing from him.
The killing bound Max's fate to Rafa's."He owned me, if you want to put it that way," Max told me nine years later in the first interview he gave to a journalist. "I saw him commit murder and he let me live. I think it was a well thought-out plan."Max went to work for Rafa full time in 1981, overseeing 38 smuggling flights by small aircraft that each brought in 1,000 pounds of cocaine directly into Florida. As Rafa's employee, Max earned $500,000 a year, living in a $350,000 house in Miami Lakes with a yacht, $30,000 in jewelry and $275,000 in cash stashed under his bed.In 1985, Mermelstein was arrested in California on federal cocaine charges. He became a government witness against the Medellin Cartel, filling in the blanks and gaps and finally allowing the feds to see the monster whole. "Max Mermelstein's position with the Medellin cartel was akin to Joe Valachi's with the Maifa," Guy Gugliotta and I wrote in our book on the cartel, Kings of Cocaine. "Like Valachi, whose dramatic testimony before the United States Senate in 1963 served as the first public unveiling of the Cosa Nostra, Mermelstein took the feds deeper than ever before into an uncharted areas of organized crime."
Max later told the feds about one trip he made to the Ochoas' 350,000-acre ranch in Colombia, which featured a landing strip long enough to accommodate commercial jets, a full-sized bull ring and a thirty-acre lake with a five-acre island for "lions and tigers." His importance to the war on drugs was still largely secret, and the government was slowly and carefully unveiling him as the chief witness against the cartel. He was still in the witness protection program when I interviewed him, so we never met face to face. He requested two things for the interview: a speaker phone, so he wouldn't have to hold a telephone to his ear for hours, and a Mont Blanc pen, a luxury item favored by drug kingpins. We got him the phone but not the pen.On the back of The Man Who Made It Snow, the book Max eventually wrote with help from Robin Moore and Richard Smitten, are the usual blurbs extolling the book's virtues. Most authors get blurbs from other authors. Max got blurbs from five prosecutors."In the United States, there is not a brighter or a better witness against the major drug traffickers than Max Mermelstein" wrote Richard Gregorie, the federal prosecutor in South Florida who indicted both Gen. Manuel Noriega and the Medellin Cartel. "There is also no witness so intricately and overwhelmingly involved in their story."

Paris DiMarco Moffett,San Francisco gangster and Eddy Rock member arrested in Novato last year has pleaded guilty to federal drug and weapons charges

San Francisco gangster and drug trafficker arrested in Novato last year has pleaded guilty to federal drug and weapons charges, authorities said Tuesday.
Paris DiMarco Moffett, 30, admitted possessing 183 grams of crack cocaine, or about 6.5 ounces, at the Hamilton-area apartment he shared with his girlfriend, Delicia Virginia Mitchell, prosecutors said. Moffett also pleaded guilty to possessing a loaded Colt .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol used in his drug trafficking.
Mitchell, 36, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute Ecstasy.
Authorities said Moffett is a member of the Eddy Rock gang, one of several street gangs accused of terrorizing the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco. Last year, the city attorney issued an injunction barring the gangs from "safety zones" in the neighborhood.In November, police raided an apartment on Hathaway Drive in Novato where Moffett and Mitchell lived. Police found a large stash of narcotics and a .45-caliber Colt handgun at the apartment. Four children in the home - two boys, 15 and 11, and a pair of twin 5-month-old boys - were turned over to Child Protective Services.Marin County prosecutors initially charged Moffett with criminal street gang activity, possession of cocaine base for sale, possession of Ecstasy for sale, child endangerment, unlawful drug possession while armed with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon, and similar charges were filed against Mitchell. But the case was eventually turned over to the federal courts.
Moffett faces a minimum of 10 years in prison, and a maximum life term, when he is sentenced Dec. 10 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. He also could be fined up to $4 million.Mitchell is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 14. Under her plea agreement, she will receive probation, according to court documents

Monday, 15 September 2008

U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement team aboard the USS McInerney seized a semi-submersible vessel Saturday that was hauling 7 tons of cocaine

U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement team aboard the USS McInerney seized a semi-submersible vessel Saturday that was hauling 7 tons of cocaine about 350 miles west of Guatemala in the eastern Pacific Ocean, the Coast Guard said yesterday.The Coast Guard arrested four suspected smugglers before they managed to scuttle the vessel."This was the most dangerous operation of my career," said Lt. j.g. Todd Bagetis, officer in charge of the Coast Guard law enforcement team.Navy aircraft spotted the 59-foot steel and fiberglass self-propelled semi-submersible craft. The USS McInerney launched two small boats after being guided to a position near the suspect vessel.Coast Guard personnel, under the cover of darkness, boarded the vessel from the McInerney's small boats, surprising the smugglers.When the smugglers realized they had been boarded, they reversed the engines at a high speed in an attempt to throw the boarding party overboard.The smugglers also tried to scuttle the vessel but complied with orders from the boarding party to close the valves that were flooding the vessel.Boardings of such semi-submersible vessels are hazardous because when loaded, the surface of the deck is almost flush with the water and they sink quickly if smugglers open scuttling valves to flood the craft.
The craft seized Saturday is capable of traveling from South America to San Diego without stopping for fuel or other supplies.The Coast Guard said the vessel was equipped with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment.

Guillermo Zarabozo, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery and several violations of maritime law.

case of murder on the high seas is about to be played out in a Miami Dade courtroom as jury selection got underway Monday for the trial of one of two men accused of killing the captain and crew of the Miami charter boat Joe Cool.
Guillermo Zarabozo, 20, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery and several violations of maritime law. He and co-defendant Kirby Archer, 36, are accused of the murders of charter boat captain Jake Branam, his wife Kelly, and crew members Scott Gamble and Samuel Kairy. The two men originally hired the Joe Cool to go to the Bahamas, and then tried to divert it to Cuba. When the crew refused, they were shot, killed and dumped overboard. The bodies were never recovered. Zarabozo and Archer were found floating in a life raft. They originally told investigators that they were attacked by pirates. In July Archer, a robbery fugitive from Strawberry, Arkansas, accepted a plea deal from prosecutors and admitted to participating in the murders of the Joe Cool crew. He said he shot and killed the Branams, but it was Zarabozo who killed Gamble and Kairy. In exchange for his guilty plea, he will not face the death penalty. Archer will be sentenced October, 2nd. During his trial Zarabozo is expected to testify that Archer committed all the murders and that he wasn't aware of the Cuba hijacking plot. At a hearing in August, Zarabozo said he also went along with the story about an attack by pirates because he feared Archer would kill him as well. Last month, U.S. District Judge Paul Huck ruled that lie detector test results for Zarabozo would not be admissible at trial. The ruling was a blow to Zarabozo's defense attorneys who said the results would back up their client's claim that he did not kill anyone. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Giuseppe Baldinucci, 64, was arrested in New York City after Italian authorities informed Homeland Security that he was wanted in Italy

Citizen of Italy was returned to his homeland and turned over to Italian authorities on Wednesday by officers from the Philadelphia office of detention and removal after completing a 46-month federal prison sentence.
The case developed in April of 2005 when Giuseppe Baldinucci, 64, was arrested in New York City after Italian authorities informed Homeland Security that he was wanted in Italy and may have fled to the United States. Fingerprint comparisons confirmed that Baldinucci was the person identified in the Italian warrant and also confirmed he had previously been deported from the U.S.In October of 2005, Baldinucci was convicted in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, for the offense of Re-Entry of a Previously Deported Alien in violation of Title 8, United States Code, Sections 1326(a) and 1326(b)(2). He was sentenced to 46 months in prison. Baldinucci was previously removed in September 1989 after having served a prison sentence for Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics.Baldinucci has an outstanding arrest warrant issued in July of 1996 by the Italian Judicial Authorities in Palermo, Italy for the offense of criminal conspiracy. His outstanding Italian arrest warrant stems from the assistance he rendered to the then fugitive Giovanni Brusca, a well-known member of the Corleone Mafia Family. Some of the crimes the Italians attributed to BRUSCA include the 1993 bombing of the Uffizi gallery in Florence, the strangling of an 11-year old boy, and the murder of the Italian Anti-Mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone."Apprehending dangerous foreign fugitives hiding in the United States is a top priority of ICE and our international law enforcement partners, including the Italian authorities," said Thomas Decker, field office director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Florida. "ICE is committed to ensuring the integrity of the nation's immigration system and it is in the interest of national security and justice around the world to capture and return wanted fugitives to their native countries to face justice."
Last year the Philadelphia field office, which includes the states of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia, deported 5,599 illegal aliens, including 2,437 criminal aliens and so far this year, the Philadelphia field office has deported 4,030 illegal aliens including 1,973 criminal aliens.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Shootout suspect may be serial rapist

Shootout suspect may be serial rapist Just after noon on Sept. 11, Bartlett was taken into custody in the Chisel Run town house complex in James City County after a prolonged police chase in vehicles and on foot that included at least two separate shoot outs with officers attempting to apprehend him near the Prime Outlets shopping center.The incident started about 11:30 a.m. when two women reported an attempted car jacking/abduction at a Richmond Road Shell station in Norge. One of the women was pistol whipped several times during the incident.As of this morning, Bartlett faced 17 felony charges and four misdemeanor charges in James City County and Williamsburg. They include several charges of attempted murder of police officers related to Thursday's events. Bartlett has also been charged in connection with an Aug. 30 abduction, rape and robbery in the Williamsburg area. Those charge include abduction, use of a firearm in the course of an abduction and by a convicted felon and robbery.In York, Bartlett is charged with 15 felonies. They include car jacking, robbery and rape-related charges connected to the Sept. 5 abduction of a woman at gunpoint from the parking lot of the Merrimac Trail Farm Fresh grocery store.Bartlett also faces York County felonies related to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, using a firearm in the commission of felonies and using a mask in public to conceal the identity of the wearer, according to arrest warrants filed in York General District Court.A press conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today at the James City County Law Enforcement Center. Bartlett, 44, of Shacklefords, was arraigned by video teleconference in York and James City County District Courts Friday morning. He is currently being held without bond in the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail.Bartlett's Thursday arrest came just days after a Sept. 9 conviction in James City Circuit Court for failing to register, or re-register, as a sex offender. Judge Samuel Taylor Powell III sentenced Bartlett to three years in prison for the offense but suspended two years, 11 months and 26 days of the sentence, according to Circuit Court records.It was unclear Friday morning the amount of jail time Bartlett may have served related to the Sept. 9 conviction prior to his arrest Thursday.

Scott Alan Lanner,was booked into the county jail on suspicion of felony menacing and misdemeanor false imprisonment

Scott Alan Lanner, 46, was booked into the county jail on suspicion of felony menacing and misdemeanor false imprisonment, according to jail records.He is being held on $2,000 bond on each count and is due in court Monday, jail records show.
The Aug. 8 encounter occurred near Lanner's home in the 1800 block of Couch Place. According to an arrest affidavit, Lanner had just finished mowing his lawn when he decided to check on two men who were walking from house to house in brightly colored vests.He approached a parked car and told one of them, Patrick J. Wilson, that he must leave because he did not have a permit to inspect roofs. No permit is required in unincorporated El Paso County, authorities said.Wilson, of Claim Specialists International of Colorado Springs, wore a laminated identification card and said he presented Lanner with documents about his company and tried to explain that he was in the neighborhood legally when Lanner drew his weapon and ordered him to get out of the car. Wilson was handcuffed and searched.Lanner later said the documents appeared to be false and that Wilson ignored orders to put his hands up, which Wilson denied, the affidavit said.The marshal also said he was concerned about elderly neighbors because of recent home invasions, though sheriff's officials said none had been reported.Something about the men triggered his "policeman spidey sense," Lanner said, according to the affidavit."Lanner was not able to articulate any suspicious activity, reasonable suspicion or probable cause for a stop or drawing his weapon during that stop," Detective Cliff Porter with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office wrote in the affidavit.Porter noted that Wilson is black and that the second employee, who is white, was not searched or questioned."It just smacks of racism," said Glen Jessen, a co-owner of Claim Specialists International. "Patrick's a really good kid, and I don't see how something like this could happen to him."
El Paso County Sheriff's Office Bureau Chief Joe Breister said the stop did not appear to be a "black-white issue."Lanner told authorities he made a snap decision after Wilson turned away from him and dropped his hands out of view.The marshal approached the car because it was nearest to him, Breister said. The other man was down the street, walking toward the car.A prosecutor with the 4th Judicial District Attorneys Office opted to file charges after reviewing the sheriff's office investigation, Breister said.City marshals are employed by the Colorado Springs Police Department and serve warrants, provide security and perform other duties on behalf of Municipal Court.The marshals undergo the same training as patrol officers and may wear their service pistols while off-duty, said police Lt. Scott Whittington, who oversees the eight-person unit.Lanner, a police employee since 1995, was temporarily moved to a graffiti-removal unit after the department learned of the criminal investigation, Whittington said.
The marshal will be placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal case.

Dustin Allen Gaskill for carrying weapons, which is an aggravated misdemeanor, going armed with intent, a Class D felony, and public intoxication

Dustin Allen Gaskill, 24, 922 E. College St., No. D5, was arrested about 12:40 a.m. Friday for carrying weapons, which is an aggravated misdemeanor, going armed with intent, a Class D felony, and public intoxication.Police said officers responded to a report at 922 E. College St. No. D2 that a man armed with a shotgun was knocking on their door. Officers were given a description of the suspect and were told that he had just left. As they arrived, they were notified the man had returned, police said.When officers entered the building, they found Gaskill, unarmed, near the complainant's door. After questioning Gaskill and obtaining permission to search his apartment, officers found an unloaded 12-gauge shotgun outside of its case on the bedroom floor, according to the arrest report. Police said none of the complainants or Gaskill knew each other.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Obviously, any witness you can eliminate is a good thing. says a veteran defense attorney who once represented mobsters

Robert Simels, 61, was arrested Tuesday on charges of witness tampering and obstruction of justice. He was released on $3.5 million bond.Robert Simels has represented the mobster immortalized in “Goodfellas,” a drug kingpin with ties to hip hop and other notorious clients in his long career.Investigators say a veteran defense attorney who once represented the mobster immortalized in "Goodfellas" has plotted to murder witnesses in another case.Now a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn puts Simels in their company: It accuses him of plotting to silence prosecution witnesses against an alleged drug trafficker by, in his words, “eliminating” them.Simels, 61, was arrested Tuesday on charges of witness tampering and obstruction of justice and was released on $3.5 million bond. There was no immediate response to phone messages left for him on Thursday.
His attorney, Gerald Shargel, has called the allegations false.“Bob Simels is well-known as a tenacious, effective and highly capable defense lawyer and he was doing his work,” Shargel said.Simels represented Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, once the head of a murderous Queens drug gang, against allegations in 2005 that he funneled $1 million in drug proceeds into Murder Inc., then a chart-topping rap music label. McGriff eventually switched lawyers and was jailed for life last year after being convicted of paying $50,000 for the 2001 killings of an aspiring rapper and another man.According to his Web site, Simels has also represented former football star Marc Gastineau and Henry Hill, whose exploits were the basis of the 1990 Martin Scorsese mob film “Goodfellas.” The site also names Shaheed “Roger” Khan, the Guyanese businessman whose case has landed the lawyer in trouble.Khan was arrested and brought to the United States in 2006 on charges he ran a cocaine smuggling operation that was protected by a paramilitary organization in Guyana known as the Phantom Squad.Drug Enforcement Administration investigators allege that this May, with Khan awaiting trial in Brooklyn, a Phantom Squad member who was cooperating with them learned that Simels wanted to talk to him.The DEA says that during conversations over the summer, some secretly recorded, Simels asked the cooperator to help him locate potential government witnesses and pondered what to do when they were found. The attorney “discussed a range of options, from offering them money to murdering their family members,” the criminal complaint says.In one conversation recorded in May about bribing an unnamed witness, the cooperator suggested the witness “might suddenly get amnesia” if paid enough money.“That’s a terrible thing, but if it happens, it happens,” Simels responded, according to the complaint. Later in the same meeting, the lawyer remarked, “Obviously, any witness you can eliminate is a good thing.”In June, the complaint says, Simels gave the cooperator $1,000 for expenses in pursuing the same witness, but cautioned that Khan didn’t want the witness’s mother harmed.“He’d like as much pressure being put on as possible,” Simels allegedly said. “But he thinks if (the witness’s) mother gets killed … the government will go crazy.”

A criminal complaint accuses Simels of plotting to "eliminate" prosecution witnesses against an alleged drug trafficker.

His attorney, Gerald Shargel, called the allegations false.

"Bob Simels is well-known as a tenacious, effective and highly capable defense lawyer and he was doing his work," Shargel said Wednesday.

Drug Enforcement Administration investigators allege that in May, a cooperating member of a paramilitary organization in Guyana known as the Phantom Squad learned that Simels wanted to talk to him. Simels was representing a Guyanese businessman, Shaheed "Roger" Khan, who was charged with running a cocaine smuggling operation that was protected by the Phantom Squad.

The DEA says that during conversations over the summer, some secretly recorded, Simels asked the cooperator to help him locate potential government witnesses and pondered what to do when they were found. The attorney "discussed a range of options, from offering them money to murdering their family members," the criminal complaint says.

In one conversation recorded in May about bribing an unnamed witness, the cooperator suggested the witness "might suddenly get amnesia" if paid enough money.

"That's a terrible thing, but if it happens, it happens," Simels responded, according to the complaint. Later in the same meeting, the lawyer remarked, "Obviously, any witness you can eliminate is a good thing."

Simels is known for representing Henry Hill, whose exploits were the basis of the 1990 Martin Scorsese mob film "Goodfellas," and Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, a gang leader accused of funneling drug money into Murder Inc., then a chart-topping rap music label.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Gotti Jr. misappropriated millions of dollars of the late John Gotti’s illicit stash

Mafia boss John Gotti went to his grave hating his oldest son, Junior, a mob snitch claims in secretly recorded conversations with close confidants of the Dapper Don.Lewis Kasman- known as Gotti’s “adopted son” - trashes John A. (Junior) Gotti on the tapes and says the mob prince was despised by his infamous dad.
“He died hating that kid, you know that,” Kasman told reputed Gambino consigliere Joseph (JoJo) Corozzo in an October 2005 conversation.Kasman, 51, is expected to be a key turncoat witness against Junior at his upcoming racketeering and murder trial in Tampa.He taped several conversations with high-ranking Gambino gangsters, transcripts of which were reviewed by the Daily News.The intimate glimpse into Gambino gossip and schemes is made all the more shocking by Kasman’s unique access to the crime family’s inner circle.Although not a made man, Kasman was so protected that “captains were barred from interfering with his activities without the permisson of the…boss, underboss or consigliere,” Assistant Florida U.S. Attorney Brian McCormick stated in court papers.Sources said Kasman was never close to Junior - and his venom flows throughout the transcripts.“Ya know he’s nothing like his father,” Kasman rants to reputed Gambino capo Daniel Marino in April 2006.“And ya know what I say it all the time, he hadda hate his father.“Because for him to act and behave the way he act … You robbed all the money … You disrespected your father. Spinning, he’s doing spins [in his grave].”Even Corozzo’s son, Joseph Jr., was more of a son to Gotti than his own, Kasman complains.He praises the younger Corozzo for feeding and massaging the cancer-stricken Mafia boss on his prison deathbed, while berating Gotti Jr. for stealing “every nickel that the father had” after his death in 2002.He says that John sr. “created a lot of this jealousy between me and John [Jr.].”The real reason for the anger, sources said, is that Kasman thought he was cheated out of money from his close “adopted” dad.Kasman believes Gotti Jr. misappropriated millions of dollars of the late John Gotti’s illicit stash that should have gone to the entire Gotti family and Kasman himself, sources said.The vitriol may shed more light on the complicated Gotti father-son relationship, but it’s not the most damaging part of the tapes for Junior.
A talk that occurred a month after the second of Gotti’s three mistrials in Manhattan Federal Court suggests Junior is lying when he claims he left the mob behind, the government believes.In one part, Marino says that Junior’s lawyer, Charles Carnesi, sent word “to us … that the kid was annoyed that nobody helped him.”
Three juries have believed Junior’s claim that he broke from the Gambinos many years ago to become a regular family man. But federal prosecutors are trying again, indicting him Aug. 5 on murder and drug charges traced to mob-related crimes in the 1980s and 1990s.The government is likely to use Marino and Kasman’s words to counter Junior’s story. “The conversation could be interpreted as showing his continued association with the Gambino Crime Family,” said a knowledgeable source.

Rogue FBI agent was responsible for the 1982 slaying of a Boston businessman, the victim's wife testified at the ex-agent's trial

rogue FBI agent was responsible for the 1982 slaying of a Boston businessman, the victim's wife testified at the ex-agent's trial Monday in Miami.Former agent John Connolly, already jailed in Florida on racketeering charges, faced the first day of a murder trial in which he is accused of tipping off gangsters that businessman John Callahan was going to expose a slaying they had committed, The Boston Globe reported. Callahan's widow, Mary Callahan, called Connolly a "Judas" because he allegedly warned the mobsters Callahan was about to go to the FBI to finger them in the slaying of a Tulsa man. John Callahan's bullet-riddled body was found in a parking lot at Miami International Airport, stuffed in the trunk of a Cadillac, the newspaper said. Also to testify against Connolly, 68, is Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, 74, a former Boston Mafia member and FBI informant serving a life sentence for 10 murders. Flemmi says he and James "Whitey" Bulger killed Callahan after receiving a tip from Connolly. Bulger, 79, is at large and the FBI is offering a $2 million reward for his capture, the Globe


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