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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Jurors convict two men of first-degree murder in shooting death near Delray Beach


A jury convicted two men of first-degree murder Tuesday in connection with the 2007 shooting death of John Blazevige, whose body was found outside his still idling pick-up truck near Delray Beach. It took three days for jurors to return the verdicts against Michael Marquardt and Louis Baccari at the end of the week-long trial. At times they seemed entrenched into two separate camps, but in the end they made the unanimous decision to return the convictions on murder and armed robbery for each man. "We were surprised, and disappointed," Baccari's defense attorney Andrew Strecker said. "We thought for sure it would have been a hung jury." More puzzling, Strecker said, were the jury's findings in their verdict. For example, they found that Baccari, the alleged triggerman, had not used a firearm during the robbery of Blazevige, but they convicted him of armed robbery anyhow. Prosecutors Sherri Collins and Aaron Papero built their case largely on the testimony of Antonio Bussey, who deputies originally said was responsible for the killing. His DNA was found on the murder weapon, but he told deputies that Marquardt had made him touch the gun after Baccari shot Blazevige during a bad drug deal, telling him that they were "all in it together." Bussey made a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a 21-year sentence. Hours before they returned the verdicts Tuesday, jurors asked to hear Bussey's testimony again. Baccari's and Marquardt's attorneys Strecker and Scott Skier asked Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath to also allow jurors to hear their entire cross examinations of Bussey, but the judge ruled that jurors only needed to hear a small portion of it. Colbath also denied defense attorneys' subsequent requests for a mistrial. Baccari's relatives outside the courtroom described him as a warm-hearted person and said they were convinced there was no way he would ever harm Blazevige, who had been his longtime friend and formerly lived in West Palm Beach. Prosecutors had said that Blazevige was addicted to prescription drugs and had met Baccari, Marquardt and Bussey to buy pills when he was killed. But defense attorneys, along with Baccari's family, say Bussey made a deal with prosecutors even though he knew he was the one who killed Blazevige in order to avoid the life sentences both Baccari and Marquardt will now inevitably receive as result of their convictions. Colbath set sentencing for Marquart, a landscape company owner who lived in Boynton Beach, and Baccari for April 2.

Drug gangs report blasting UK cities as dangerous


 Comment By Professor Alan Stevens Drug gangs report blasting UK cities as dangerous is too confusing The problems are nowhere near as deep in Manchester or Liverpool as they are in Rio de Janeiro – or even San Francisco A masked municipal policeman stands outside a shopping mall in MexicoAP On one hand it is right to state that there are communities in British cities suffering from social exclusion and marginalisation and that this contributes to their drug and crime problems. But on the other, these ­problems are nowhere near as deep in Manchester or Liverpool as they are in Rio de Janeiro or Ciudad Juarez – or even San Francisco or Los Angeles. The problem with the INCB report is that the wording is unclear. It gives the impression that its comments on no-go areas could apply equally to all of these cities. But it should have been more careful in specifying which ones it was referring to. The cities in Central and South America have more extreme ­problems which come from bigger social inequalities. They are dramatically more affected by crime and health problems. For example, in the past few years in Rio there have been repeated attempts to crack down on the areas controlled by violent drug markets. For a while these places were no-go zones. But authorities have acted in a militaristic fashion in the past year as they prepare for the World Cup.

British cities are becoming no-go areas where drugs gangs are effectively in control

British cities are becoming no-go areas where drugs gangs are effectively in control, a United Nations drugs chief said yesterday. Professor Hamid Ghodse, president of the UN’s International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), said there was “a vicious cycle of social exclusion and drugs problems and fractured communities” in cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. The development of “no-go areas” was being fuelled by threats such as social inequality, migration and celebrities normalising drug abuse, he warned. Helping marginalised communities with drugs problems “must be a priority”, he said. “We are looking at social cohesion, the social disintegration and illegal drugs. “In many societies around the world, whether developed or developing, there are communities within the societies which develop which become no-go areas. “Drug traffickers, organised crime, drug users, they take over. They will get the sort of governance of those areas.” Prof Ghodse called for such communities to be offered drug abuse prevention programmes, treatment and rehabilitation services, and the same levels of educational, employment and recreational opportunities as in the wider society. The INCB’s annual report for 2011 found persistent social inequality, migration, emerging cultures of excess and a shift in traditional values were some of the key threats to social cohesion. As the gap between rich and poor widens, and “faced with a future with limited opportunities, individuals within these communities may increasingly become disengaged from the wider society and become involved in a range of personally and socially harmful behaviours, including drug abuse and drug dealing,” it said.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Hells Angel arrested in killing of fellow gang member


 Ending a four-month-long manhunt, San Jose police arrested -- without incident -- a Hells Angel wanted for the murder of a fellow Angel in the middle of a funeral. The 38-year-old suspect, Steve Ruiz, is suspected of shooting fellow Angel Steve Tausan to death Oct. 15 at San Jose's Oak Hill Cemetery. Ruiz, who had been on the run for months, was caught Saturday evening at a motel in Fremont. "We're relieved to have him off the streets," said Sgt. Jason Dwyer during a Sunday news conference at police headquarters. "This was a difficult case for investigators to solve." Ruiz's arrest is the latest chapter in a series of bizarre and violent chain-reaction episodes involving the Hells Angels, a legendary outlaw motorcycle gang originally formed in 1948 in Fontana. In September, San Jose Hells Angels President Jeff "Jethro" Pettigrew was shot and killed in a Nevada casino, allegedly by a member of the rival Vagos motorcycle gang. Pettigrew and Tausan were close friends. More than 3,000 members of various motorcycle clubs gathered in October at Oak Hill to pay their respects to Pettigrew. Sources have said a fistfight erupted between Tausan and Ruiz, and during the fight, Ruiz drew a handgun, shot Tausan and fled during the melee that ensued. Tausan was a Hells Angels legend, an ex-boxer who beat a man to death at the Pink Poodle strip club in 1997, only to have a jury acquit him after he claimed self-defense. His funeral Advertisement also was held at Oak Hill. For months, San Jose police have been trying to find Ruiz. Dwyer said that Ruiz had been moving around from place to place and was known by authorities to have stayed briefly in the Stockton and Sacramento areas. A fresh tip to detectives indicated that Ruiz was in Fremont, and more than a dozen officers moved quickly Saturday to surround the Days Inn motel at 46101 Warm Springs Blvd. Ruiz, who was believed to be armed and dangerous, apparently was alone and surrendered to police about 7:30 p.m. without incident. He spoke to detectives and was booked at the Santa Clara County main jail. "We don't believe that he'd been there for very long," said Dwyer of the Fremont motel. "We had a small window of opportunity to capture him. The fact that he surrendered peacefully was fortunate." San Jose police stressed that the Hells Angel murder, which has received national publicity, was one of 39 homicides in San Jose last year and that detectives worked the case like any other, putting in long hours as they juggled a heavy caseload. They also said that Ruiz had a lot of help eluding law enforcement in the four months since the funeral. "If someone helped him evade capture, we're going to come after them," Dwyer said.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Gang Member Pleads Not Guilty In Stabbing Death


documented gang member accused of stabbing a transient 19 times after the defendant issued a gang challenge to the victim pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge. Josue Hernandez Gutierrez, 20, was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail in connection with the slaying of 48-year-old Emiliano Cortez of San Diego. Gutierrez was arrested Monday outside a friend's College area home. Deputy District Attorney Kristian Trocha told Judge David Szumowski that Gutierrez and a 14-year-old boy attacked Cortez about 4:45 a.m. Saturday as he was walking in the 3700 block of T Street, about a half-mile from the home where the victim lived with relatives. Gutierrez issued a gang challenge, and for some reason, the victim responded that he was from a rival gang, the prosecutor said. The defendant then stabbed the victim 19 times, including 10 to the back, Trocha said. Cortez died Saturday night, according to the prosecutor. The 14-year-old was arrested Tuesday at a Chula Vista residence. His case is being handled in Juvenile Court. Police disclosed no suspected motive for the slaying, except that it was believed to be gang-related. There was no evidence that a robbery or other crime was involved, San Diego police Lt. Kevin Rooney said. Residents of the area where the killing happened told investigators a loud argument and a man's screams prompted them to look outside, at which point they saw someone lying on a sidewalk and two people running off to the east. It was unclear why Cortez was walking through the inner-city neighborhood just east of downtown San Diego, though he apparently was not on his way home. Gutierrez was charged with murder, a gang allegation and the use of a knife. He faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted. A status conference was set for March 1 and a preliminary hearing for March 7.

Mongols Motorcycle Gang Member Convicted of Murdering President of San Francisco Hells Angels


federal jury found Christopher Bryan Ablett, a/k/a “Stoney,” a member of the Modesto Chapter of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang, guilty of all four felonies with which he was charged including murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering, using a firearm during a crime of violence, and using a firearm causing murder during a crime of violence, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. The charges stemmed from the defendant’s gang-related murder of Mark “Papa” Guardado, the president of the San Francisco Chapter of the Hells Angels, on September 2, 2008, at 24th Street and Treat Avenue in the Mission District of San Francisco. Evidence at trial showed that Ablett traveled to San Francisco to visit a friend. He was armed with a foot-long military knife and a .357 magnum revolver. Ablett brought with him a Mongols full-patch vest and t-shirt that only a full member of the Mongols is allowed to wear. According to testimony from Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gang expert Special Agent John Ciccone, and former Mongols undercover ATF Special Agent Darrin Kozlowski who infiltrated the gang, the Mongols are an organized criminal motorcycle gang whose primary rival is the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. When word traveled to Guardado that the defendant was wearing a Mongols patch shirt in a bar in the Mission, Guardado went to the street outside the bar and approached Ablett. A fight broke out during which Ablett stabbed Guardado four times and shot him twice, killing him. According to the testimony of FBI Special Agent Jacob Millspaugh, the case agent, the defendant’s phone records showed that he spent the next several hours calling people who were identified as members of the Mongols—showing that he was reaching out as part of the Mongols communication network. The jury rejected the defendant’s defenses of self-defense, defense of his friends, and heat of passion after the defendant took the stand and testified. The jury also found that the defendant murdered Guardado to maintain or increase his position in the Mongols gang, and that the Mongols engaged in racketeering activity. Ablett is scheduled to be sentenced on May 15, 2012. He faces a possible sentence of three terms of life in prison plus 10 mandatory consecutive years, a $1 million fine, and five years of supervised release. Specifically, for the charge of murder in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 United StatesC. § 1959, Ablett faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life without parole. For the charge of assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 United StatesC. § 1959, Ablett faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. For the charge of using a firearm during a crime of violence, in violation of 18 United StatesC. § 924(c), Ablett faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. And for the charge of using a firearm causing murder during a crime of violence, in violation of 18 United StatesC. § 924(j), Ablett faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 United StatesC. § 3553. The case was prosecuted by former Assistant United States Attorney Christine Wong, Assistant United States Attorneys Kathryn Haun, Wilson Leung and William Frentzen, paralegal specialist Lili ArauzHaase, legal techs Marina Ponomarchuk, Daniel Charlier-Smith, and Ponly Tu, all of the Organized Crime Strike Force and Violent Crime Section of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, and the San Francisco Police Department.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

France reporter Edith Bouvier asks for Syria evacuation


The French journalist who was wounded in an attack on the Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday has asked to be evacuated from Syria quickly, saying she needs urgent medical attention. Edith Bouvier was injured in the attack that killed journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik in the Baba Amr suburb. In a video posted online by opposition activists, Ms Bouvier says she has a broken femur and urgently needs an operation. She asks to be evacuated to Lebanon. There is growing pressure on Damascus to give access to civilians trapped by the onslaught. 'Very difficult' In the video, Ms Bouvier praises the doctors who have been treating her and says they are doing what they can. Photojournalist William Daniels, who is also French, appears alongside her and says she has not lost her smile. He was also caught up in the attack but says he was not injured. William Daniels says he was fortunate not to be injured Mr Daniels appeals to the French authorities to help them as soon as possible, as conditions "are very difficult". There is no electricity and not much to eat, he says, adding that they need to get out as quickly as possible using medically equipped transportation. The US, Europe and Arab countries plan to challenge President Bashar al-Assad to provide humanitarian access within days to the worst affected areas. They plan to present their ultimatum at Friday's international conference on Syria in Tunisia. Russia and China have said they will not attend the conference. The two countries have faced Western and Arab criticism for blocking a UN Security Council resolution that would have backed an Arab League peace plan for Syria. Meanwhile, a United Nations panel has drawn up a confidential list of Syrian military officials - believed to include President Assad - who could face investigation for crimes against humanity. It says these include shooting unarmed women and children, shelling civilian areas and torturing the wounded.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Forces open fire on Kerobokan jail, which houses Schapelle Corby and the Bali Nine


INMATES at an Indonesian prison in Bali, which holds 12 Australians, have taken over the jail again after a second night of riots. Some 400 heavily armed police and military forces were gathered outside the overcrowded Kerobokan prison, which holds 1,000 inmates, including 12 Australians convicted of drug smuggling. "The prisoners took over the prison again, which forced security personnel to fire warning shots into the air," provincial military command spokesman Wing Handoko told AFP. "The rioters wanted their friends being treated in the hospital to be taken back because they were afraid they would be mistreated by security forces," he added. An AFP reporter heard three minutes of continuous gunfire, but it was not clear if there were any casualties. A flaming torch made of rags wrapped around a pole was flung from inside the prison and landed near a television vehicle, but was extinguished before the fire could spread.  Riots continue in Kerobokan prison The prison was without light because electricity, cut off during Tuesday's rioting, still had not been restored by authorities. "There are 51 foreign prisoners from 17 countries at the prison. We will give them special security if the situation warrants," Handoko said before the shooting. It was not clear whether the most recent riot was close to the wing where Australian or other foreign prisoners are housed. Shouting and the rattling of the prison's inner gates were heard before police opened fire, but after the shooting silence and darkness descended upon the jail with inmates and security forces in a tense stand-off. Heavily armed forces had stormed the prison early Wednesday to regain control after inmates took over the prison during a night of arson and stone-throwing. All 12 Australian prisoners at Kerobokan, including two on death row and six serving life sentences, were safe after that trouble, Australia's foreign ministry said after Indonesian police had regained control of the facility. Some 100 heavily armed police and military had stormed the jail on the holiday island at around dawn on Wednesday, firing volleys of rubber bullets. Officials said they intervened after attempts to negotiate with the rioting prisoners had failed, and after some inmates managed to get hold of firearms. Three inmates had been injured in the legs, and a police officer was lightly hurt, police said. Among the Australians at the jail are convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby and a group known as the "Bali Nine", who were caught attempting to smuggle drugs from Bali. Up to 1,000 armed security forces backed by armoured vehicles and water cannon were stationed Wednesday morning outside the jail, which is in a suburban area of Bali seven kilometres from the tourism hub of Kuta beach. But police said the situation had returned to normal by late afternoon, and that only about 30 armed personnel had remained outside. Police and local reports said Tuesday's trouble began when one inmate stabbed another prisoner on Sunday, touching off reprisals that erupted into a full-blown riot. Prisoners began trashing cells and throwing stones at the guards who were forced to abandon the jail - built for just 300 inmates but now housing more than three times that many prisoners, both male and female. Police said the inmates were in charge for more than seven hours - from around 11pm Tuesday until 6.45am the following morning. Prison staff said the jail's registration office, including the files of prisoners, was destroyed in a blaze. After the rioting Tuesday, Michael Chan whose brother Andrew Chan is one of the Bali Nine, said he was worried about his brother given that during a previous riot "things got pretty bad, and they were in lockdown for a couple of days". Corby's family said she was well, with the women's wing of the prison untouched by the violence. There have been a number of riots at the jail in recent years, including one triggered by a police drug raid in June. It is one of Indonesia's most notorious prisons, with a combustible mix of inmates including convicted murderers, sex offenders and others guilty of violent crimes.

Sweden's Chicago grapples with deadly wave of shootings

A wave of execution-style shootings and a police station bombing in Sweden's third largest city have sparked fears that gangster violence is taking hold in a Nordic country widely seen as one of the world's safest places. Only minutes into the new year, a 15-year-old was found with gunshots to his chest and one to his head outside an apartment block in one of Malmo's poorest and most troubled districts, where firefighters have occasionally sought police protection. Eight killings have occurred across the city since a 36-year-old with links to organised crime was gunned down in a parking lot in May last year. The latest victim, a 48-year-old man, was found shot in a car at the end of January. None of the murders have been solved, and now some newspapers are calling Malmo "Sweden's Chicago". "Why don't police have better control?" national daily Svenska Dagbladet asked in an opinion piece, suggesting Malmo look to New York which slashed its crime rates in recent decades. For their part, police refuse to reach the conclusion that the bomb at the police station and the killings were definitely linked, which would gangland violence is out of control. "We believe it's linked to the prevalence of weapons. It is big. But I can't say why we have a larger share here than in Stockholm," Hans Nordin, Deputy Chief Commissioner of Police in the Skane region of southern Sweden, told Reuters. With a population of just 300,000, Malmo is one of Sweden's roughest cities, long a base for smugglers because of its proximity to Denmark, with which it has been connected by a bridge since July 2000. Roughly 40 percent of Malmo's population are first- or second-generation immigrants and one in three is unemployed, compared with a national rate under nine percent. Among young immigrants, the rate is nearly 40 percent. Formerly a prosperous industrial town, much of the old industry has declined and jobs have vanished. Gangs took root here decades ago, starting with motorcycle groups and increasingly dominated by immigrants, at first thanks to an influx in the 1990s of refugees of Balkan wars and then, over the past 20 years, immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and eastern Europe. SHAKING SWEDEN Along with the July 2011 killings of 77 people in Norway by right-wing fanatic Anders Breivik, the city's problems have helped to shatter the cherished image of Sweden as a refuge of safety and peace, sparking a national media debate, soul-searching throughout Sweden and street protests. Dozens of police reinforcements sent in this year are still in the city. "I'm thinking of leaving Malmo because it is getting more and more dangerous," said Henrik Hammar, 28, who stocks shelves at a grocery store and was awakened when a small bomb exploded at the police station in his neighbourhood at the end of January, close to where the latest victim was found. "When it comes to shooting, we are used to that in Malmo. But not bombs," Hammar said outside the police station with a shattered window and a hole torn in its brick wall. The bombing happened in Fosie district, a centre of the violence. The wave of killings since May is not the first to shake Malmo. Peter Mangs was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of three murders and 13 attempted murders over a seven-year period, a string of shootings on Malmo's streets targeting immigrants. Luciano Astudillo, a Chilean-born former MP who was moved by the New Year's Day shooting to launch a campaign to say "Enough is enough," compared the crime wave to the violence that plagues Mexican border towns. "We have the same problem here as in the north of Mexico though on a smaller scale," he said, pointing to the drug and weapons smuggling that pass through Malmo from Denmark on their way to the rest of Scandinavia. "So it is logical for the gangs to gather here and fight each other," he said. Astudillo said he hopes the protests he has helped lead, including a street demonstration by more than 6,000 people on January 6, will make politicians notice what is happening. "I don't think murders will become more and more frequent in the near future, but there is nothing that indicates things will improve a bit longer-term," said Tobias Barkman, a crime reporter at regional daily Sydsvenska Dagbladet. "Society has fallen behind - with regards to the police and to the social situation. It's hard to see any rays of hope."

Members of Los Zeta cartel are among the 30 convicts who escaped from a prison in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon

Members of Los Zeta cartel are among the 30 convicts who escaped from a prison in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, it was reported on Tuesday.   Among the fugitives are former officials, ex corrupt police officers and drug distributors from that dangerous criminal gang, whose captures were considered important achievements by federal forces at the time. Bosses Oscar Manuel Bernal Soriano, known as La Araña, and Rogelio Chacha Quintanilla, aka El Yeyo, are included in that group, the newspaper Milenio reported. Also on the list are Hector Rousvel Huerta, known as El Chester, accused of collecting prohibited weapons and drug trafficking, and Francisco Javier Puente, known as El Choco, former chief of Los Zetas hired assassin group. The mass escape from the prison of Apodaca, near the city of Monterrey, took place after a fight in which 44 inmates were killed. The fight was caused to cover the prison break. Prison security agents are involved in those events, which occurred at daybreak on Sunday, according to the investigations.

Gunmen Kill 5 Taxi Drivers in Northern Mexico


Gunmen killed five taxi drivers Tuesday in the streets of the northern Mexican industrial city of Monterrey, the Nuevo Leon state Security Council said. “The attack happened at around 10:00 a.m. in the Solidaridad neighborhood” in the northern part of Monterrey, a council spokesman told Efe. Several men aboard an SUV opened fire on a taxi stand at a busy shopping center located at the intersection of Cabezada and Luis Donaldo Colosio avenues. The gunmen managed to get away, leaving the streets covered with bodies. The security forces cordoned off the area, with soldiers guarding the crime scene investigators sent to gather evidence. The shootings occurred just hours after three suspected Gulf cartel members – two men and a woman – were murdered at Monterrey’s Topo Chico prison by two killers from the rival Zetas drug cartel. On Sunday, Zetas gunmen massacred 44 Gulf cartel members imprisoned at the penitentiary in Apodaca, a city in the Monterrey metropolitan area, while 30 Zetas members escaped with the assistance of several guards. Monterrey and its suburbs have been battered by a wave of drug-related violence that has left about 2,500 people dead since March 2010. Los Zetas has been battling an alliance of the Gulf, Sinaloa and La Familia drug cartels, known as the Nueva Federacion, for control of the Monterrey metropolitan area and smuggling routes into the United States. Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, known as “El Lazca,” deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel. After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories. Mexico’s drug war death toll stood at 47,515 from December 2006 to Sept. 30. The murder total has grown every year of President Felipe Calderon’s military offensive against the well-funded, heavily armed drug cartels. Unofficial tallies published in December by independent daily La Jornada put the death toll from Mexico’s drug war at more than 50,000

13 Zetas Members Arrested in Western Mexico


A total of 13 suspected members of the Los Zetas drug cartel were arrested in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, officials said. The suspects, two of whom are women, were detained Monday morning in Tlajomulco, a city located about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, after several business owners complained about an extortion racket, the Public Safety Secretariat said. The group was recruited by a “Zetas boss,” known only as “Don Jose,” who took them to the city a few months ago to “execute some criminal activities,” Alfredo Vazquez, identified as the cell’s leader, told investigators. The cartel provided between 100,000 pesos and 150,000 pesos ($7,000 and $11,000) every two weeks to cover the payroll, Vazquez said. Seven of the suspects are from the central state of Guanajuato, four are from the northern state of Durango and two are from Jalisco, the secretariat said, adding that some of them have prior criminal records. State police seized an AR-15 assault rifle, five handguns and two SUVs with Durango tags in the raid, the secretariat said. Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, known as “El Lazca,” deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf drug cartel. After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories. Los Zetas has been blamed for several massacres in recent years. The cartel was accused of being behind the Aug. 23, 2010, massacre of 72 migrants, the majority of them from Latin America, at a ranch outside San Fernando, a city in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas. Los Zetas has also been blamed for the massacre of 27 peasants in May at a ranch in Guatemala’s Peten province, which borders Mexico and Belize. Zetas gunmen set fire to the Casino Royale in Monterrey, the capital of Nuevo Leon, on Aug. 25, killing 52 gamblers and employees trapped inside, most of whom died of smoke inhalation.

A Hells Angels member and a man said to be a gang associate were arrested and charged with knowingly taking part in the manufacture of a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.

CAMDEN police and special units have seized 7.5 kilograms of the drug ice estimated to be worth $1 million from a Narellan property. Officers executed search warrants on Tuesday, February 14. A Hells Angels member and a man said to be a gang associate were arrested and charged with knowingly taking part in the manufacture of a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug. The two, a Narellan man, 36, and a Catherine Field man, 41, faced Campbelltown Court last week. A Narellan woman, 30, was charged with two counts of possessing a prohibited drug in relation to cannabis and amphetamines found at the Narellan property. She will appear in Camden Court on March 12. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Richmond said two sophisticated laboratories had been found. "The two clandestine laboratories shut down by police this week were sophisticated and capable of making large quantities of prohibited drugs [methylamphetamine]," Chief Inspector Richmond said. "Those drugs will no longer be making their way to local streets and causing harm to members of the community." Large quantities of chemicals were also found and members of the Drug Squad's chemical operation team dismantled the laboratories.

Hells Angels member has sentencing moved


Mark Duclos, 48, of Fairbanks, Ala., had his sentencing moved to coincide with fellow Hells Angels club member George Caruso, 58, of Shirley, Mass. Duclos and Caruso were involved in a stabbing that took place during last year's Sturgis motorcycle rally. Duclos, who was found guilty of aggravated assault, was scheduled to be sentenced today, Feb. 21, though his sentencing was moved to March 5 at 10:45 a.m. along with Caruso. The pair were involved in a fight between the Hells Angels and the Mongols motorcycle club on Aug. 10, which resulted in a stabbing, sending a Mongols member and a Hells Angels member to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Aggravated assault is a class three felony and carries a maximum punishment of up to 15 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine. Simple assault is a class one misdemeanor and carries a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

Dartmouth shooting victim connected to Hells Angels


A man found dead on a Halifax-area road Sunday night had a Hells Angels connection and was shot in the back of the head, has learned. Halifax RCMP identified James Alexander (Sandy) Lyle, 55, as the victim and have declared his death a homicide. It’s Halifax's second homicide this year. “He died of a gunshot wound and a weapon has been recovered,” Halifax RCMP spokeswoman Const. Tammy Lobb said Tuesday afternoon. “I’m not revealing where it was recovered because that’s part of the investigation." Lobb said police will analyze and trace the gun. Two separate sources told that Lyle was shot in the back of the head. Lobb would not talk about any possible motive or suspects in the killing. She said no arrests had been made by late Tuesday afternoon. Lyle had a long history of drug dealing and was arrested in a major operation against the now-defunct Halifax chapter of the Hells Angels. That Dec. 4, 2001 sweep, called Operation Hammer, took in half of the membership of the Halifax chapter, which ended up closing as a result. About 200 police officers took part in the raid, in which police stormed the gang’s Dutch Village Road clubhouse, plus other sites in Halifax, Kings County, Bible Hill and Sherbrooke, Que. They arrested a trio of Hells Angels – Clay Gordon MacRae, Jeffrey Albert Lynds and Arthur Daine Harrie – along with Lyle, well-known criminal James Melvin Sr., and 15 others. Lyle was charged with trafficking marijuana. Harrie was arrested in Quebec on the day of that raid. Lynds was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Montreal jail cell last month. He was awaiting trial for two murders in that province in 2010. In March 1991, Lyle received a five-year sentence – his only federal stint - for running a cocaine operation from his Maple Street home with his younger brother Martin Ellsworth Lyle. Lyle was also found guilty of possessing a loaded .45 calibre handgun. Martin Lyle was given three years. Around 10:45 p.m. on Sunday, a passing motorist saw a body on the side of Montague Road in Montague Gold Mines and called police. Emergency Health Services were called to the scene and tried unsuccessfully to revive the victim, Lobb said. On Monday morning, a number of police investigators went to a home on Dartmouth’s Cannon Terrace and confirmed it was connected to the suspicious death. Police were still at the home Tuesday. Provincial records name James Lyle and Carla Balsor as the home’s owners. Officers were seen working inside a garage at 14 Cannon Terrace and later removed a Honda SUV from the scene. Lobb said there were no drugs in the home, which has been searched since the killing. Neighbours said the home has a surprising amount of security, which includes surveillance cameras, frosted windows and an intercom at the front door. Lyle and Balsor used to live on nearby Sea King Drive, but sold that house in 2007. Balsor is the owner of the Rodeo Lounge and Restaurant in Burnside. The Mounties are asking anyone who may have seen suspicious activity in Montague Gold Mines or around the house on Cannon Terrace on Sunday to contact them. Lobb would not say if Lyle was at his home before he was found on Montague Road.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Murdered man found in Abbotsford farm field


The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) has confirmed it's investigating a murder after a man was found dead in a muddy Abbotsford field on Sunday morning. "It is too early to say whether this is gang-related or a targeted killing," said IHIT spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Pound in a press statement on Monday morning. Investigators' first priority is to identify the victim and confirm the cause of death, said Pound. The man, believed to be between 20 and 30 years old, was found in a field in the 33600 block of Farmer Road. Investigators are hopeful an autopsy Monday will shed some light on the victim's identity and the cause of death, said Pound. A man out on a Sunday morning drive discovered the dead man lying 10 metres off Farmer Road. He called police around 9:20 a.m. and then waited until officers arrived, said Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald on Sunday. IHIT was called out to the scene later in the day to investigate the strange circumstances. "Certainly it's suspicious for a person to be 10 metres off a roadway in the middle of a farm field and be dead," MacDonald said. However, at the time, police officers didn't see obvious signs as to whether they were dealing with a heart attack or a homicide, he said. Residents of the rural area said officers and a police dog spent Sunday scouring a raspberry field on the north side of Farmer Road close to the intersection with McCallum Road. Mark Vaandrager, the owner of a nearby nursery, said he and his family noticed the police combing the field for evidence when they went to church at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. Although officers provided residents with few details, Vaandrager doesn't feel people living in the area are in danger. "It doesn't seem like it's somebody local, so I'm not scared it's some random thing," Vaandrager said, adding the victim is likely someone with ties to gangs or the drug trade. "It's an unfortunate thing that happens in the Fraser Valley," he said. "It seems to be tied to the drug mess." IHIT members will continue to canvass the area and conduct neighborhood inquiries, said Pound. The dead man is Abbotsford's second murder victim of 2012. Ryan Saint-Ange, 21, was found dead in a home on 56th Avenue near the Aldergrove border on Jan. 14. No arrests have been made in the case but investigators do not believe it was gang-related.

2 Dead, 5 Wounded In Chicago Drive-by Shooting

Police in Chicago are investigating a drive-by shooting that killed two people and left five others wounded. Police officials say the shooting happened just before 7 p.m. Sunday outside a liquor store on the city's South Side. Police say a vehicle pulled up outside the store and someone inside the vehicle opened fire on a crowd of people outside. Authorities say 19-year-old Jamal Harris died inside the store, while 61-year-old Gregory Glinsey was found dead outside. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford says both men suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Police officials say the five surviving victims were all teen-age boys. Four were treated for their wounds and released, while a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the stomach remains hospitalized.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Two arrests after five men shot in Homerton


Two men have been arrested after five people were injured during a shooting in Homerton High Street early yesterday morning (Sunday). One of the suspects arrested was also shot in the incident, which happened at about 5.40am. Police and ambulances rushed to the scene following reports of gunfire, but no one was there. Homerton High Street was closed both ways between Ponsford Street and Digby Road for several hours while officers from Trident investigated. Later that day, four men – two aged 25, a 45-year-old and a 27-year-old – turned up at an east London hospital, while a 21-year-old man arrived at another hospital seeking treatment. The four men remain in hospital where their injuries are still being assessed. “For at least three of them, the injuries are not thought to be serious,” a police spokesman said. Detectives are keeping “an open mind” regarding the motive, he added. The 21-year-old was later discharged from hospital, and was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and possession of a firearm. Another man, aged 20, was also arrested on suspicion of the same offences. Both were bailed to return to an east London police station on April 3, pending further inquiries.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sixteen arrested in San Antonio-Del Rio firearms smuggling ring for Mexico gang


The San Antonio FBI Field Office has confirmed more people have been detained without bond after their arrest in a series of firearm and weapon smuggling operations for the Los Zetas Drug Trafficking Organization in Mexico. Investigation by various law enforcement teams resulted in the arrest of 16 people earlier this month who were charged in a series of indictments returned by a federal grand jury in Del Rio. Special Agent in Charge Crisanto Perez announced that two San Antonians, 32-year old Salvador Martinez, and Abigail Sabrina Trevino, 22, were charged with smuggling of firearms, including assault-type rifles, and illegal possession. Charges against Cesar Antonio Cardona-Garcia, 22, of Ciudad Acuna, included the smuggling of six assault rifles. Others charged with making false statements while purchasing the guns were Angel Charles Garcia, age 19 of Shawnee, OK, and Elisa Hernandez Ramirez, age 24, of Devine, Texas, along with San Antonio residents Frank Hernandez, age 23, Wayne Russell Dixon, age 53, Rey David de la O-Rodriguez, age 21, Jasmine Leeann Gordo, age 22, Amanda Lopez, age 24, Denise Ordaz, age 19, Jessica Marie Cortes, age 22, Louis Christopher Martinez, age 24, Margil Cortes, Jr., age 19, and, Patricio Nova, age 32.

Bloodstained Saturday in Mexico leaves 14 dead


Fourteen people were killed in gun violence in northern and central Mexico on Saturday, authorities said. In the metropolitan area of prosperous and industrial Monterrey, two police were among those slain in the early morning hours in a clash with unidentified assailants. “There was a chase situation. A car with four men in it went up alongside the police patrol car and opened fire,” a source with the state investigating unit told AFP. After a car chase the two police and another victim were slain in Apodaca, officials said. In troubled Ciudad Juarez, in the northern state of Chihuahua on the US border, prosecutors said two men were shot in the head and had signs of torture. In the south of the state, in the town of Parral, three bodies were found along a highway with a sign authorities said appeared to refer to ongoing clashes among rival drug gangs. In the state capital Chihuahua, two people were shot dead by gunmen in a vehicle as the victims stood watch near a hospital. And in the town of Ecapatec, in Mexico state, four men were gunned down in the early morning hours by a group of unidentified gunmen. Some 50,000 people have died in suspected drug violence since President Felipe Calderon began a military crackdown on organized crime in December 2006, according to media counts and official figures.

Turf War in Central Mexico Leaves 8 Dead

Eight homicides earlier this week in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato stem from a turf battle between rival drug cartels, officials said, noting that one of the gangs claimed responsibility for the slayings by leaving threatening messages next to five of the bodies. All of the victims were killed with firearms under very similar circumstances, state Attorney General Carlos Zamarripa Aguirre said. The most recent slaying occurred Thursday in the city of Acambaro, where a message was discovered that is “practically identical to the others that were found,” Zamarripa said. According to the state Attorney General’s Office, three people were killed in the municipality of Apaseo el Alto and one each in the cities of Celaya, Cortazar, Villagran, Acambaro and Salvatierra. Investigators found signs apparently signed by the Los Caballeros Templarios drug cartel at the crime scenes in Apaseo el Alto, Celaya and Villagran, officials said. The murders come approximately a month before Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to visit Guanajuato and a week after the discovery of 18 “drug messages” signed by Los Caballeros Templarios that ordered a rival gang to leave the state and avoid “generating violence” during the pontiff’s stay. Los Caballeros Templarios warned the Nueva Generacion cartel that “confrontations will be inevitable” and told its rivals to leave Guanajuato in peace. Neither gang, however, is based in that state, which has largely been spared the drug-related violence that has ravaged other parts of Mexico. The pope is scheduled to stay at the Colegio Miraflores in the Guanajuato city of Leon during his visit to Mexico. Benedict XVI will celebrate an open-air Mass in the morning on March 25 at the city of Silao’s Guanajuato Bicentenario Park, an outdoor venue that it is expected will accommodate about 750,000 people, who will need a ticket to enter, officials said. The pontiff is scheduled to visit three cities in Guanajuato state during his time in Mexico and will continue on to Santiago, Cuba.

Detectives investigating McNally's cold-blooded shooting in the first gang murder of the year now believe the chief suspect also killed his brother in February, 2009

. And, that the gun-for-hire carried out the pub murder of Paul ‘Farmer' Martin over three years ago. Our CCTV footage shows him entering the Jolly Toper bar in Finglas to carry out the hit on 39-year-old Martin in August, 2008. Five months later, Graham McNally's body was found in a ditch on the former Dublin to Derry road -- he had been shot at least five times in the head. "There are links to suggest that all three murders were carried out by the same man," said a source. "Alan McNally's fatal mistake was when he swore to avenge his brother's death." SHOT He was shot six times in the Cappagh Nua pub in Finglas on February 2 in a killing that was dubbed the Love/Hate murder because of its similarly to a scene from the RTE drama. As the garda probe intensified they questioned a sister and niece of the chief suspect but they were later released without charge. Detectives made a major breakthrough in the case when they obtained CCTV linking relatives of the chief suspect to the crime scene. However, they have still not recovered the handgun used to shoot Alan McNally six times. The Herald previously revealed that McNally was murdered on the order of a violent thug who himself survived an assassination attempt in December 2010. McNally (36), from Cappagh Avenue, Finglas, had been warned by gardai that his life was under threat after rowing with criminal elements in Finglas and Coolock. He had been warned by gardai to be inconspicuous as they feared there was an imminent danger to his life. However, sources say that he ignored gardai and publicly boasted about getting revenge for his brother's death. This is thought to have led his killers to adopt a "let's get him first" approach. Graham was 34 when he was shot dead by slain crimelord Eamon 'The Don' Dunne's gang in January 2009. Alan was in jail at the time after he had a falling out with his former close associate Dunne who had suspected that he was trying to murder him. He was only released last October having served five and a half years for having €200,000 worth of heroin. Sources say that despite the warnings he made himself an easy target for a gunman by drinking in the same pub for 14 hours. Gardai are anxious to apprehend the hitman who could also be responsible for other gangland assaults in the city. 'Farmer' Martin was a known criminal believed to have been involved in over a dozen bank robberies in the late 1980s and 1990s. Speaking at his funeral, Paul Martin's local priest branded his killers as "sick people not fit to be called men".

'IRA' drug-gang linked to double British murder

The "IRA" gang referred to in a British murder trial last week as running the drugs trade in Liverpool is almost certainly a mixture of local gangsters and their Dublin and Limerick-based associates, gardai believe. The mention of the gang came in the murder trial of Thomas Haigh, 26, who was convicted last week of the double murder of two men referred to as gangland "enforcers", David Griffiths, 35, and Brett Flournoy, 31. Both men were shot dead, their bodies burned in a car and then buried on a remote Cornwall farm in June of last year. The court heard that Haigh was a low-level member of a Liverpool drugs gang. He said he had been forced to carry out a drugs run to South America and to oversee the cultivation of cannabis plants at the farm in Cornwall to pay off a €40,000 debt to the gang which he insisted, in statements to police, was run by the IRA. When the two enforcers came to the farm there was a confrontation and Haigh shot the two dead and buried their bodies. He was convicted by a jury at Truro Crown Court last Tuesday and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 35 years. In the UK a minimum term is the set time a prisoner must serve before he or she is eligible for parole. Garda sources last week said there has never been any evidence of an organisational link between the IRA and drugs criminals in the UK, but they are aware that former IRA members, including members of one well known family with both IRA and criminal links in south inner Dublin, has links to organised crime and drug dealers in Liverpool and the Midlands of Britain. These links, gardai say, go back for at least two decades and one of Liverpool's biggest drug dealers also was a close associate and bought drugs off John Gilligan and his gang. After Gilligan's gang was broken up during the investigation into the murder of Veronica Guerin in 1996 these links continued. Gardai know there were strong links developed by the major Dublin and Liverpool gangs as they rubbed shoulders in Costa del Sol holiday resorts where they owned villas. Liverpool, Dublin, Limerick and even Belfast-based ex-loyalists all became interlinked as they shared drug trafficking operations. Over the past two decades there have been persistent disputes and dozens of murders in the UK, Spain and Holland -- the centre of drug trafficking in Europe. Gardai said the most likely figures that Thomas Haigh was referring to as the "IRA" in Liverpool are members and associates of a south Dublin family-centred gang with close links to the criminal "Fat" Freddie Thompson. This family and their close associates are central to the drugs supply in Dublin and have well-established links with UK criminals. Ironically, gardai point out, the same IRA and Sinn Fein figures were closely involved in the anti-drugs movement known as "Concerned Parents Against Drugs" which was active in Dublin in the Eighties, picketing the homes of heroin dealers and carrying out vigilante attacks. During the Nineties this IRA group eventually became involved in extorting money from certain drug traffickers and then became centrally involved in drug trafficking. One of their associated former IRA families from Ballyfermot in Dublin became one of the biggest suppliers of heroin in the State, at one stage using private jets to import large quantities of pure heroin supplied by Dutch-based Eastern European traffickers. The major Irish drugs cartel in Spain, broken up by joint Spanish and European police action in the summer of 2010 also had strong links to Liverpool and London gangs. Gardai believe that the "IRA" associates of the Liverpool gang, referred to in the Haigh trial, are almost certainly the "ordinary" Dublin traffickers and their associates who were formerly in the IRA but who have continued "trading" on the IRA name in order to scare opponents. On Friday convicted drug dealer John Gilligan was given a further six-month sentence by the Special Criminal Court after he pleaded guilty to possession of a mobile phone at Portlaoise District Court in 2010.

Pair Of Late Night Shootings In Coachella Valley


Two shootings happened within minutes of each other in the Coachella Valley Saturday night. The first, a drive-by in a Cathedral City neighborhood, according to police. It happened around 8:30 P.M. near the intersection of Shifting Sands and Ortega. A vehicle pulled up along side a car and someone inside the first vehicle opened fire, hitting a man inside the car, said officers on scene. The suspect vehicle then took off before officers arrived on scene. Emergency crews took the victim to the hospital, but there is no word yet on his condition. Investigators have not provided a suspect description, nor have they provided any information on the suspect's vehicle. The second shooting also happened around 8:30 P.M., this one in Coachella. Two men shot at a home on the 1600 block of 6th Street, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. Deputies arrested the suspects, but are not releasing their names. No one was hurt in this incident. If you know anything about either of these shootings, call Valley Crimestoppers at 760 341-STOP. You can remain anonymous and could receive up to a $1,000 reward. PrintEmail

Newark man killed in drive-by shooting Friday night


A man sitting in a car was killed in a drive-by shooting in the South Ward Friday night, authorities said. Ahmad Rabb, 36, was sitting in the car with another man at 6:30 when an approaching car began shooting at them. After the gunfire stopped, the pair were able to drive the quarter-mile south to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office. Rabb was pronounced dead at the hospital about three hours later, at 9:30 p.m. The other victim in the car is likely to survive, said Tom Fennelly, the chief assistant prosecutor in charge of the homicide and viper units. Fennelly said he didn't know why the two victims were in the car. The investigation was ongoing Saturday afternoon, he added.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Hells Angel Dayle Fredette turns informer, pleads guilty to murder


longtime member of the Hells Angels has decided to turn his back on the biker gang and is expected to testify against the men he used to call brothers in upcoming trials. Dayle Fredette was rushed into a courtroom on the fourth floor of a Montreal courthouse Thursday morning where he confirmed, before Superior Court Justice André Vincent, that he signed a contract to testify against Hells Angels in trials that emerged out of Operation SharQc, a police investigation that ended in April 2009 with the arrests of almost all of the gang's Quebec-based members. The prosecution believes almost all Hells Angels in the province agreed to take part in a conflict over drug trafficking turf, between 1994 and 2002, which resulted in the deaths of more than 160 people. The first of many trials expected to come out of Operation SharQc is to begin hearing evidence in September. Fredette was accompanied by at least four police bodyguards as he was rushed into room 4.01 of the courthouse for an unscheduled hearing where he entered a guilty plea to two charges. News that Fredette had decided to turn witness surfaced in September. Documents filed in court Thursday reveal he began speaking to police on July 2, 2011, and continued giving statements until Oct. 11. He underwent a lie-detector test on Oct. 12 and signed to be a witness for the prosecution on Feb. 8. As part of the contract, Fredette, a member of the gang's Quebec City chapter, will be paid $50 a month while he serves a life sentence, plus another $300 annually during his time in prison and $500 a week for the first two years after he is granted parole. His two young children will each receive monthly payments of $150 till they are adults, plus a maximum of $3,500 toward their post-secondary education. The contract also calls on the Sûreté du Québec to protect Fredette, his loved ones and dependents. There is no mention in the contract of how much that security is expected to cost taxpayers. On Thursday, Fredette pleaded guilty to a first-degree murder charge as well as one count of conspiracy to commit murder. This apparently gives Fredette the chance at the so-called faint-hope clause, where a person convicted of first-degree murder can appear before a jury after having served 15 years of his sentence and argue he is ready to be released into society. People convicted of more than one murder charge are not eligible and must serve at least 25 years. In exchange for his guilty plea and his future testimony, Fredette is immune from prosecution in five other murders in which he played a role. That includes the killing of Robert (Tout Tout) Léger in Ste. Catherine de Hatley on Aug. 12, 2001. Léger was a leading members of the Bandidos in Quebec when he was killed, and his death would have been regarded as a major score for the rival Hells Angels. Fredette also cannot be pursued in civil court for the deaths. The murder to which Fredette pleaded guilty involved a case of mistaken identity where Dany Beaudin was shot on April 17, 2000, outside a drug rehab centre in St. Frédéric, in the Beauce region. Prosecutor Sabin Ouellet told Vincent that Fredette controlled a drug trafficking network in the region and paid 10 per cent of the profits to the Hell's Angels. Fredette was part of a puppet gang called the Mercenaries before becoming a fullpatch member of the Hell's Angels on May 5, 1998. To get that status, Ouellet said, Fredette worked almost exclusively on gathering intelligence and plotting the murders of rival gang members. After he decided to become a witness, he told police the gang's "10 per cent fund" was used to cover his expenses while plotting the killings. Ouellet said Beaudin was killed by Fredette and two accomplices based on an error made by Fredette. The Hells Angels wanted to kill another man attending the drug rehab centre that day, the prosecutor said. Fredette was supposed to spot the intended target through binoculars while an accomplice waited with a long-range rifle. The man with the rifle shot Beaudin, based on Fredette's mistaken identification. Then both men moved in closer and shot Beaudin several times with hand guns. As part of his witness contract, Fredette cannot profit from his criminal past - for example, with a book or movie.

Nguyen, 44, also known as "The Godfather" "The Boss" and "The Old Man" was the leader of the violent street gang, “The Young Seattle Boyz”


Nguyen, 44, also known as "The Godfather" "The Boss" and "The Old Man" was the leader of the violent street gang, “The Young Seattle Boyz” according to a release from the office of U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. Nguyen pleaded guilty in November to drug conspiracy charges, in conjunction with murder charges and organized crime charges in King County Superior Court. In January, King County Superior Court Judge Julie Specter sentenced Nguyen last month for second-degree murder in connection with a Tukwila killing. U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez sentenced Nguyen to more than 25 years in prison to run concurrently. Working together, federal and local law enforcement have taken a very dangerous criminal off the street,” Durkan said.  “This case shows how the strong  cooperation between our office and the King County Prosecutor’s Office improves public safety,” For more than a decade Nguyen had been operating as leader of the crime organization and was involved in laundering millions of dollars from numerous marijuana grow operations, drug trafficking and gambling operations. Nguyen and his associates were linked to murder, assaults and shootings. Among his many criminal activities, Nguyen laundered illegal money by buying home in Tukwila and Seattle and turning the homes into marijuana grow operations. “Criminals and criminal organizations use money laundering as a means to infuse their illicit proceeds into our local economy,” said Kenneth J. Hines, IRS Special Agent in charge of the Seattle field office.  “Dirty money was used to purchase homes in Seattle and Tukwila and those homes were turned into illegal factories manufacturing a controlled substance. Law  enforcement will not stand by while our neighborhoods are put at risk.” In 2009, Nguyen was finally arrested as the leader of a criminal enterprise, and specifically in connection with the 2007 murder of his “right hand man” in the gang, Hoang Van Nguyen. Quy Dinh Nguyen, the hit man he hired, Jerry Thomas, and the go-between, Le Nhu Le, all pleaded guilty in King County Superior Court just  as the trial was getting underway. The murder was prompted by a feud within the gang.  The violence was a way of life for Quy Dinh Nguyen.  As prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo, “Quy Nguyen himself has admitted to engaging in a long-term pattern of violence that was designed to maintain the profitability of his marijuana and gambling enterprises.” Le Nhu Le was also sentenced today for his role in the murder and drug enterprise.  He  was sentenced to five years in prison and three years of supervised release.  The sentence will  run concurrent with LE’s five year sentence in King County Superior Court.  A third defendant  Kristine Nguyen was previously convicted and sentenced for conspiracy to engage in money laundering. The case was investigated by a state and federal task force of law enforcement officers including agents and officers of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI), Seattle Police Department, and Tukwila  Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg, and  Senior Deputy King County Prosecutor Roger Davidheiser.

India wants Italian ship captain to surrender


New Delhi wants the captain of Italian ship Enrica Lexia and two marksmen who shot dead two Indian fishermen to surrender to Kerala Police on Sunday after several rounds of diplomatic confabulations on Saturday culminated in a telephonic conversation between External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna and his Italian counterpart. Rome wanted the three to be permitted to go in return for a joint investigation into the incident. But in the conversation late in the evening, Mr. Krishna turned down the offer an hour after Kerala Chief Minister Ooomen Chandy sought the Central assistance to persuade the captain and the two security personnel to give themselves up. Mr. Chandy said his government was left with no option but to arrest the Italians after receiving advice on the issue from the State's Attorney- General, said government sources here. Mr. Krishna and the Indian Ambassador in Rome told the Italians that this was not a diplomatic row that could end with discussions. The question was that those responsible for killing two Indians must submit to the law of the land. The call from the Italian Foreign Minister capped a hectic day of activity in Rome, where the Indian Ambassador was offered options such as the despatch of a multi-Ministerial team to Kochi and a high-level investigation of the incident.

Monday, 13 February 2012

The battle against gangs and guns is a never ending one for police and the FBI, and they are asking for your help in tracking down fugitive Marcus Jefferson.

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Jefferson was one of 15 people charged with federal and state crimes for illegally transporting guns into Illinois to supply gangs on Chicago's South and West sides. The investigation began in 2010 and resulted in 13 arrests in December, but Jefferson and another defendant evaded capture.
FBI Special Agent Ricardo Pagan says investigators were able to recover a total of 48 weapons, including handguns, shotguns and assault rifles which were sold to undercover operatives for anywhere from 250 to 16-hundred dollars.
Pagan says Jefferson's role was in the illegal sale of a firearm. Jefferson is a convicted felon who has eight felony arrests and five convictions. He is considered armed and dangerous due to his involvement in firearms sales, home invasions andthe possession of firearms.
Jefferson's last known address was 13028 South Martin Luther King Drive in Chicago, and he has significant ties to the area so we believe there's a good chance that me may still be in the area.
Here now is what the FBI says Marcus Jefferson looks like:
  • He is described as a black male.
  • 31 years old.
  • He's five feet four inches tall and and weighs about 185 pounds.
  • He has brown eyes and may have either black dreadlocks or short hair, and he has a goatee.
  • He has a tattoo of a cross on his lower left arm and a panther on his lower right arm.
He is considered armed and dangerous, if you see him call police.


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