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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Griselda Blanco, gunned down in Medellin, Colombia Two armed riders pulled up to Blanco as she was leaving a butcher shop in her hometown

Florida Department of Corrections

Griselda Blanco in 2004.

The convicted Colombian drug smuggler known as the “Godmother of Cocaine,” Griselda Blanco, 69, was gunned down by a motorcycle-riding assassin in Medellin, Colombian national police confirmed late Monday, according to the Miami Herald.

Blanco spent nearly 20 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking and three murders before being deported to Colombia in 2004, the Herald reported.

Two armed riders pulled up to Blanco as she was leaving a butcher shop in her hometown, and one shot her twice in the head, the Herald reported, citing a report in El Colombiano newspaper.

Family members said Blanco had cut her ties to organized crime after returning to her country, the BBC reported. Police said they were investigating the motive.

Blanco was one of the first to engage in large-scale smuggling of cocaine into the United States from Colombia and set up many of the routes used by the Medellin cartel after she was sentenced in the United States in 1985, the BBC reported.

Investigators told the Herald that they estimate conservatively that Blanco was behind about 40 slayings. She was convicted in connection with three murders: Arranging the killing of two South Miami drug dealers who had not paid for a delivery, and ordering the assassination of a former enforcer for her organization, an operation that resulted in the death of the target’s 2-year-old son, the Herald reported.

Three of Blanco’s husbands were killed in violence related to drugs, the Herald reported, and one of her sons was named Michael Corleone, a reference to “The Godfather” movies.

Blanco is credited with originating motorcycle assassinations, the Herald reported.

“This is classic live-by-the-sword, die-by-the-sword,” filmmaker Billy Corben, who with Alfred Spellman made two “Cocaine Cowboys” documentaries, told the Herald. “Or in this case, live-by-the-motorcycle-assassin, die-by-the-motorcycle assassin.”

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Amber Gold affair is one of the biggest financial scandals to hit Poland since the fall of communism in 1989.

It was pretty much all the money Bozena Oracz had after a working life as an accountant: the equivalent of $15,000. She placed it in a fund investing in gold, with the hope of paying for her daughter's studies and getting treatment for a bad knee.

Those dreams were dashed when she discovered she had fallen victim to an elaborate fraud scheme that has left thousands of Poles, many of them elderly, facing financial ruin.

The so-called Amber Gold affair is one of the biggest financial scandals to hit Poland since the fall of communism in 1989. The extent of wrongdoing is still murky, but it seems to have some elements of a pyramid scheme, meaning the financial institutionused funds from new clients to pay off older clients rather than investing them.

Consumed with anger and desperation, 58-year-old Oracz traveled last week from a small town near Warsaw to a law firm in the capital to consider whether, after losing 50,000 zlotys, she should risk another 3,000 zlotys ($920; €730) on the fee to join a class-action lawsuit seeking to recover some of the losses.

"This was a lot of money to me — it was my savings," Oracz said, fighting back tears. Now retired and living on a small pension, she sees no way of building another nest egg. "My pension barely covers my needs," she said.

The affair has raised questions about the effectiveness of Poland's justice system and government because authorities failed to act against the scheme despite red flags from regulators and the criminal record of its young owner. Scrutiny has also focused on the prime minister due to business dealings his son had with those running the scheme. The scandal has even touched democracy icon Lech Walesa, who fears it could tarnish his good name.

Prosecutors say investors lost about 163 million zlotys ($50 million; €40 million), a number that has been mounting as more and more victims come forward. Any law suits could take care years to go through the courts, with no guarantee of their outcome.

"People are desperate," said Pawel Borowski, a lawyer preparing the class-action suit that Oracz is considering joining. "In most cases the clients lost life savings or sold family properties to make investments."

The financial institution, Amber Gold, promised guaranteed returns of 10 to 14 percent a year for what it claimed were investments in gold. Many of its clients were older Poles who grew up under communism and lacked the savvy to question how a financial firm could guarantee such a high return on a commodity whose value fluctuates on the international market. The promised returns compared well to the 3 to 5 percent interest offered by banks on savings accounts — earnings essentially wiped out by the country's 4 percent inflation rate.

"These were people with a low level of financial education," said Piotr Bujak, the chief economist for Poland at Nordea Markets. "They think it's still like in the old times, where everything was guaranteed by the state. They underestimated the risk."

Amber Gold launched in 2009, opening branches in city centers alongside respected banks, with white leather sofas and other sleek touches that conveyed sophistication and respectability. It bombarded Poles with convincing advertisements. Some early investors got out with their expected gains, adding to the fund's credibility.

The company, based in Gdansk, capitalized on gold's allure while playing on people's anxieties in unpredictable financial times. "We are dealing with a loss of confidence in the entire financial system and an urgent need for safe investments," one ad said. "The environment for gold is perfect."

Amber Gold drew in 50,000 investors over its three years of operation, though the company's founder, Marcin Plichta, said there were only about 7,000 at the time of liquidation.

Soon after Amber Gold began operations, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority put it on a "black list" of institutions that operate like banks without authorization. There are 17 other such black-listed institutions in operation, but the regulators lack the authority to shut them down. This has sparked a debate in the government and news media about whether courts should be more aggressive in intervening.

According to prosecutors, the company did use some of its money to invest in at least one legitimate business: It was the main investor in budget airline OLT Express. It was this investment that brought Amber Gold down — when the airline filed for bankruptcy, Amber Gold entered liquidation and its scheme of investments unraveled. Its bank accounts were blocked and it was unable to return the money of thousands of its customers.

Plichta was charged this month with six counts of criminal misconduct.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk's center-right government went into damage-control mode when it emerged that the leader's son, Michal Tusk, had done PR work for the airline. Tusk said he had warned his son against doing business with Plichta but that ultimately he son makes his own decisions.

Leszek Miller, the head of the opposition Democratic Left Alliance, asked how Tusk could warn his son against involvement in the airline but not warn the thousands of Poles who invested in the fund. Miller has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal.

Public discontent is also centering on the justice system because Plichta, 28, has past convictions for fraud, and many Poles are asking why authorities — aware of his criminal record — didn't stop him sooner. Born Marcin Stefanski, he took his wife's last name to distance himself from his past crimes.

The country's top prosecutor, Andrzej Seremet, admitted Monday that prosecutors were negligent in failing to heed multiple warnings since 2009 about Amber Gold from the financial supervisory body. He announced personnel changes in the office he blamed for mistakes.

The affair also has an unlikely connection to the Solidarity leader and former president, Lech Walesa, because an Oscar-winning director, Andrzej Wajda, was relying on money from Amber Gold to produce a film about Walesa's struggle in the 1980s.

Walesa came out publicly to make clear he is not involved in any way, saying he doesn't want his name "dirtied."

Many of the unlucky investors are not only furious but wracked by shame and guilt.

Engineer Andrzej Malinowski, 61, put three months of salary — 25,000 zlotys ($7,660; €6,100) — into Amber Gold. He made the investment without consulting with his wife, sensing that there was some risk and that she would not have agreed.

Now he is so shaken and embarrassed that he doesn't want to talk about it, leaving his wife, Danuta Malinowska, to help unravel the mess.

"He saw that gold was going higher and higher so he believed that maybe it would be a good deal," Malinowska said. "Now he has so much guilt that I am trying to help — contacting the lawyer, filling in the forms, writing to the prosecutors. But the justice system is very ineffective. I don't believe we will be getting any of this money back."

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Monday, 27 August 2012

Miguel Angel Trevino Morales new leader is emerging at the head of one of Mexico's most feared drug cartels.

  • Mexico Drug War Zetas_Plan.jpg

    This undated image taken from the Mexican Attorney General's Office rewards program website on Aug. 23, 2012, shows the alleged leader of Zetas drug cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, alias âZ-40.â (AP Photo/Mexican Attorney General's Office website)

Mexico's Violent Zetas Cartel Sees New Leader Miguel Angel Trevino Morales A split in the leadership of Mexico's violent Zetas cartel has led to the rise of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, a man so feared that one rival has called for a grand alliance to confront a gang chief blamed for a new round of bloodshed in the country's once relatively tranquil central states.

Trevino, a former cartel enforcer who apparently has seized leadership of the gang from Zetas founder Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, is described by lawmen and competing drug capos as a brutal assassin who favors getting rid of foes by stuffing them into oil drums, dousing them with gasoline and setting them on fire, a practice known as a "guiso," or "cook-out".

Law enforcement officials confirm that Trevino appears to have taken effective control of the Zetas, the hemisphere's most violent criminal organization, which has been blamed for a large share of the tens of thousands of deaths in Mexico's war on drugs, though other gangs too have repeatedly committed mass slayings.

"There was a lot of talk that he was pushing really hard on Lazcano Lazcano and was basically taking over the Zetas, because he had the personality, he was the guy who was out there basically fighting in the streets with the troops," said Jere Miles, a Zetas expert and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent who was posted in Mexico until last year.

"Lazcano Lazcano, at the beginning he was kind of happy just to sit back and let Trevino do this, but I don't think he understood how that works in the criminal underworld," Miles said. "When you allow someone to take that much power, and get out in front like that, pretty soon the people start paying loyalty to him and they quit paying to Lazcano."

The rise has so alarmed at least one gang chieftain that he has called for gangs, drug cartels, civic groups and even the government to form a united front to fight Trevino Morales, known as "Z-40," whom he blamed for most of Mexico's violence.

"Let's unite and form a common front against the Zetas, and particularly against Z-40, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, because this person with his unbridled ambition has caused so much terror and confusion in our country," said a man identified as Servando Gomez, leader of the Knights Templar cartel, in a viedo posted Tuesday on the internet.

A Mexican law enforcement official who wasn't authorized to speak on the record said the video appeared to be genuine,

"He is the main cause of everything that is happening in Mexico, the robberies, kidnappings, extortion," Gomez is heard saying on the tape. "We are inviting all the groups ... everyone to form a common front to attack Z-40 and put an end to him."

Trevino Morales has a fearsome reputation. "If you get called to a meeting with him, you're not going to come out of that meeting," said a U.S. law-enforcement official in Mexico City, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.

In two years since Zetas split with their former allies in the Gulf cartel — a split in which Trevino reported played a central role — the gang has become one of Mexico's two main cartels, and is battling the rival Sinaloa cartel.

Now the Zetas' internal disputes have added to the violence of the conflict between gangs. Internal feuds spilled out into pitched battles in the normally quiet north-central state of San Luis Potosi in mid-August, when police found a van stuffed with 14 executed bodies.

San Luis Potosi state Attorney General Miguel Angel Garcia Covarrubias told local media that a 15th man who apparently survived the massacre told investigators that both the killers and the victims were Zetas. "It was a rivalry with the same organized crime group," Garcia Covarrubias said.

The leadership dispute also may have opened the door to lesser regional figures in the Zetas gang to step forward and rebel, analysts and officials said.

Analysts say that a local Zetas leader in the neighboring state of Zacatecas, Ivan Velazquez Caballero, "The Taliban," was apparently trying to challenge Trevino Morales' leadership grab, and that the 14 bullet-ridden bodies left in the van were The Taliban's men, left there as a visible warning by Trevino Morales' underlings.

The Taliban's territory, Zacatecas, appears to have been a hot spot in Trevino's dispute with Lazcano. It was in Zacatecas that a professionally printed banner was hung in a city park, accusing Lazcano of betraying fellow Zetas and turning them in to the police.

Trevino began his career as a teenage gofer for the Los Tejas gang, which controlled most crime in his hometown of Nuevo Laredo, across the border from the city of Laredo, Texas, officials say.

Around 2005, Trevino Morales was promoted to boss of the Nuevo Laredo territory, or "plaza" and given responsibility for fighting off the Sinaloa cartel's attempt to seize control of its drug-smuggling routes. He orchestrated a series of killings on the U.S. side of the border, several by a group of young U.S. citizens who gunned down their victims on the streets of the American city. American officials believe the hit men also carried out an unknown number of killings on the Mexican side of the border, the U.S. official said.

Trevino Morales is on Mexico's most-wanted list, with a reward of 30 million pesos ($2.28 million) offered for information leading to his capture.

Raul Benitez, a security expert at Mexico's National Autonomous University, said that the Zetas are inherently an unstable cartel with an already huge capacity for violence, and the possibility of more if they begin fighting internal disputes. "I think the Zetas are having problems, and there is no central command," he said.

The Zetas have been steadily expanding their influence and reaching into Central America in recent years, constructing a route for trafficking drugs that offloads Colombian cocaine in Honduras, ships it overland along Mexico's Gulf Coast and runs into over the border through Trevino Morales' old stomping grounds.

Samuel Logan, managing director of the security analysis firm Southern Pulse, notes that "personality-wise they (Trevino Morales and Lazcano) couldn't be more different," and believes the two may want to take the cartel in different directions. The stakes in who wins the dispute could be large for Mexico; Lazcano is believed to be more steady, more of a survivor who might have an interest in preserving the cartel as a stable organization.

"Lazcano may be someone who would take the Zetas in a direction where they'd become less of a thorn in the side for the new political administration," Logan said in reference to Enrique Pena Nieto, who is expected to take office as president on Dec. 1. "In contrast, Trevino is someone who wants to fight the fight."

Referring to Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, a member of the rival Sinaloa Cartel who died in a shootout with soldiers in July 2010, Logan noted, "Trevino is someone who is going to want to go out, like Nacho Coronel went out, with his guns blazing."




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Laurence Kilby, 40, of Cheltenham, who built and raced cars, was arrested after police seized cocaine with a street value of £1m.

 

Laurence Kilby, 40, of Cheltenham, who built and raced cars, was arrested after police seized cocaine with a street value of £1m.

A "privileged" racing driver has been jailed with 11 other drug smugglers. Crown Court heard he was head of a gang moving drugs from Eastern Europe along the M4 corridor to London, western England and south Wales.

Kilby was heavily in debt and turned to crime to maintain his lifestyle of fast cars and high living.

Raids on properties

Kilby was jailed in June but his conviction, and those of the rest of the gang, can now be reported following the conclusion of another trial.

In an undercover operation between Gloucestershire and Avon and Somerset Police, officers seized 3kg of cocaine as it was being ferried between London and Cheltenham in October 2010.

Another 1kg of the drug was intercepted in Cheltenham in February 2011 and 2.5kg was discovered in raids on properties in Cheltenham, Staverton, Bristol and London in July 2011.

The gang of 12 drug dealers from Gloucestershire, Bristol and London received sentences of between 18 years and four years seven months.

It can now be reported Kilby, who was jailed in June, and Vladan Vujovic, 43, of Grange Road, London were found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Both were jailed for 18 years.

Laurence Kilby racing in the 2009 Castle Combe Saloon Car ChampionshipKilby built and raced cars with the company he owned, Ajec Racing

Richard Jones, 42, of Bradley Stoke, Bristol, was sentenced to 15 years for the same offence, and Mark Poole, 47, from Portishead, was sentenced to nine years seven months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Police said Kilby sourced the drug in London from an East European criminal gang, which included Vujovic.

Vujovic ran a baggage handling company at Heathrow Airport and was said to receive the cocaine before it was distributed around the South West and Wales.

Kilby is the former husband of Flora Vestey, daughter of Lord Vestey, and was owner of motor racing firm Ajec Racing which was based in Staverton.

He was heavily in debt and turned to crime to maintain his lifestyle of fast cars and high living.

'Well-connected socialite'

In a separate charge, Kilby also pleaded guilty to stealing money from the charity Help for Heroes and was sentenced to 10 months, to run concurrently with his 18-year sentence.

He organised a charity race day at Gloucestershire Airport in July 2010, but failed to pass on between £3,500 and £4,000 in proceeds to the charity Help for Heroes.

Det Insp Steve Bean, from Gloucestershire Police, said Kilby was the main man.

"He portrayed himself as a well-connected socialite and businessman, whilst indulging his ambition as a minor league racing driver.

Drugs wrapped in plastic packagesPolice seized 6.5kg of drugs during the operation

"Despite a privileged background, the reality was that his lifestyle was funded by the ill-gotten gains of drug dealing.

"He continually lied and blamed others in an attempt to distance himself from the conspiracy.

"He displayed an air of arrogance and thought he could get away with it because he didn't get his hands dirty."

The majority of the gang were jailed in June, but reporting restrictions meant it could not be reported until now, after the sentencing of the remaining gang members.

Others members of the gang to be sentenced were:

  • David Chapman, 29, from Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply and was sentenced to nine years.
  • William Garnier, 31, from Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to supplying Class A drugs and was sentenced six years and eight months.
  • Garry Burrell, 46, from Easton, Bristol, and John Tomlin, 28, from Newtown, Gloucestershire both pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and were sentenced to six years and six months and four years and six months respectively.
  • Timothy Taylor, 40, from Bristol was found guilty of supplying Class A drugs and was sentenced to four years and seven months.
  • Brian Barrett, 48, from Keynsham was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and was sentenced to 10 years.
  • Scott Everest, 39, from Clevedon was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and was jailed for seven years.

Jonathan Tanner, 45, from Warminster was sentenced to 18 months for possession with intent to supply of cannabis, but was cleared of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Darren Weetch, 38, from Bristol, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply. He was sentenced to 16 months.

Officers also worked with Thames Valley Police and the Metropolitan Police during the operation.

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Bikie gang suspects in brawl arrests at Penrith shopping centre

FOUR men with alleged links to outlaw motorcycle gangs were arrested last week after a brawl at a Penrith shopping centre. Police officers from the gangs squad and Penrith local area command had been investigating the brawl, which forced shoppers to flee for their safety about 2.45pm last Monday. Police will allege a man was leaving the shopping centre when he was confronted by a group of nine men and fighting began. A number of people tried to intervene, including an unknown male who was assaulted. All involved in the brawl then left the scene. At 7am last Thursday, police simultaneously raided four homes at St Marys, Emu Plains, South Windsor and Freemans Reach. Three men with alleged links to the Rebels were arrested at St Marys and Emu Plains, while an alleged senior Nomads member was arrested at Freemans Reach. During the search warrants, police seized distinctive gang clothing, quantities of anabolic steroids and prescription drugs and a set of knuckledusters. A man, 29, of Emu Plains, was charged with affray, participate in a criminal group and two counts of possess prescribed restricted substance. A man, 44, of Freemans Reach, was charged with affray, possess prohibited weapon, and two counts of possess prescribed restricted substance. A man, 25, of St Marys, and a 23-year-old New Zealand man were each charged with affray and participate in a criminal group. Penrith crime manager Detective Inspector Grant Healey said further arrests were anticipated.

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27 charged in California-Mexico methamphetamine ring

 Local and federal authorities moved Thursday to break up an alleged drug trafficking ring connecting a major Mexican cartel and San Gabriel Valley street gangs, arresting 17 people in a pre-dawn sweep. A federal indictment unsealed Thursday charges 27 defendants with making, possessing and dealing methamphetamine imported by La Familia Michoacana, one of Mexico’s most violent cartels, to two Pomona gangs: Los Amables and Westside Pomona Malditos. Seven law enforcement agencies, including the Pasadena and Pomona police, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, were involved in the sweep. Thursday’s crackdown is the culmination of a probe called Operation Crystal Light, a 16-month investigation by the San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Gang Task Force. The investigation was launched after a 2011 kidnapping among suspected gang members in Southern California. Officers said they seized nine weapons, an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine, other drugs, and paraphernalia in Thursday morning raids in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The probe involved about 200 law enforcement officers and several undercover purchases. “The goal of the federal task force is to disrupt the network so it’s disrupted permanently,” Timothy Delaney, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Criminal Division in Los Angeles, said. “Today’s arrests took some very serious players in the methamphetamine world off the streets.” The methamphetamine came into the country in liquid form via airplane, boats and cars, officials said. The drug was recrystallized at an Ontario home before local gangs would sell it and funnel money to the Mexican cartel. Most of the drugs were being sold in Pomona and Ontario, according to Assistant U.S. Atty. Shawn Nelson. Dealers were selling multiple pounds a day and making up to $9,000 per pound, Nelson said. He described the arrests as “a good dent” in the Mexican cartel’s local drug network. Three suspects were in custody before the raid and seven remain at large, federal authorities said. The indictment alleges that a La Familia Michoacana associate named Jose Juan Garcia Barron oversaw the transport of the meth between Mexico and Los Angeles County. Delaney said Garcia Barron is among the suspects who have not been apprehended. The 17 arrested Thursday were expected to make their first court appearance Thursday afternoon at U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

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Police think Ogden drive-bys are tied to gang's power struggle

Police believe drive-by shootings at an Ogden home Tuesday night and Wednesday morning may be related to a violent power struggle within a street gang over control of leadership, drugs and money. Ogden Police Lt. Scott Conley declined to identify the gang, but said members are not affiliated with the Ogden Trece. On Monday, 2nd District Judge Ernie Jones issued a permanent injunction against Trece members, banning them from associating with each other in public and being in the presence of guns, drugs and alcohol. The injunction also places Treces under an 11 p.m. curfew. The drive-by shootings at a home in the 500 block of 28th Street are signs of in-fighting among members of a local gang who are attempting to resolve their differences through escalating violence, Conley said. “They are in the same gang and are arguing back and forth,” he said, noting police have gathered intelligence on the dispute. “We are taking enforcement action to eradicate the problem or get the individuals involved incarcerated.” Six to eight gang members are believed to be involved in the dispute.

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Saturday, 25 August 2012

The nine people believed injured by stray police gunfire outside the Empire State Building were not the first to learn how dangerous a crowded street can be in a gunfight.

 Civilians occasionally find themselves in harm's way when officers use deadly force, though usually only a handful of times annually. When that happens, a rigid process of investigation is set in motion — and the police department can reasonably expect a lawsuit. The latest episode came when police say a man disgruntled over losing his job a year ago shot a former colleague to death and pointed his weapon at two police officers in the shadow of a major tourist attraction. He apparently wasn't able to fire before police killed him, one firing off seven rounds and the other nine. Bystanders suffered graze wounds, and some were struck by concrete gouged from buildings by the bullets, authorities said. At least one person said he was actually hit by a bullet. Robert Asika, a 23-year-old tour guide who was hit in the right arm, said he was "100 percent positive" he was shot by a police officer. A witness told police that laid-off clothing designer Jeffrey Johnson fired at officers, but ballistics evidence so far contradicts that, authorities said.

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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Tracking a Rare Tattoo-Related Infection

A Trail of Ink: Tracking a Rare Tattoo-Related Infection

PHOTO: Tattoo ink skin infection
An uncommon skin infection led to a doctor's investigation into tainted tattoo ink. (Monroe County Health Department)
The reddish-purple rash, seemingly woven into the tattoo on a 20-year-old New Yorker's forearm, was strange enough to have doctors scratching their heads.

This trail began when the man received a tattoo in Rochester, N.Y. in October 2011. A short while later, he noticed the raised, bumpy rash. He called his primary care physician.

Doctors initially treated the man's arm with topical steroids, thinking that the rash was allergic-contact dermatitis. But that only made the problem worse.

By the time dermatologist Dr. Mark Goldgeier saw the patient, it was clear that this was no simple allergy.

He performed a skin biopsy so he could take a closer look at the rash under a microscope. What he saw was startling: the sample was riddled with a wormlike bacterium related to tuberculosis.

"I explained [to the patient] that he had TB, and he had a look of horror on his face," Goldgeier said.

For the patient, the finding meant a trip to an infectious disease specialist to start up to a full year of treatment.

Goldgeier, meanwhile, called the Monroe County Health Department.

"As soon as biopsy came back," he said, "I knew something in the process of tattooing was involved -- the ink, the water used for dilution, the syringes, the dressings."

And so began a nationwide medical mystery.

An article published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine describes how this one dermatologist helped connect the dots in an outbreak of tattoo-related atypical skin infections.

Dr. Byron Kennedy, public health specialist at Monroe County Department of Public Health, took over the case from Goldgeier. Kennedy first confirmed the results by repeating a skin biopsy on the patient. Once again, tendrils of mycobacterium chelonae, a type of tuberculosis-related skin bacteria, showed up in the sample.

Mycobacterium chelonae is a rapidly growing bug found in soil, dust, water, animals, hospitals, and contaminated pharmaceuticals. This family of bacteria does not commonly affect healthy individuals, but in patients with suppressed immune systems -- like those with HIV or on chemotherapy -- these bacteria can cause serious disease, often resulting in death.

The finding sent Kennedy and his associates to the tattoo parlor where the patient had been inked. Everything in the clinic was sterile, which made it unlikely that the infection had arisen there. But the tattoo artist, they learned, had been using a new gray premixed ink purchased in Arizona in April 2011; he used the ink between May and December 2011.

The ingredients of the ink -- pigment, witch hazel, glycerin, and distilled water -- seemed innocuous enough. But further examination revealed that the distilled water in the pigment was the likely culprit of the contamination.

The finding raised a number of questions -- not the least of which was how the bottles of premixed ink passed U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged this gap in regulations Wednesday in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report.

"Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, tattoo inks are considered to be cosmetics, and the pigments used in the inks are color additives requiring premarket approval," the report says.

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Armed gang fight breaks out in Venezuelan prison

Twenty-five people were killed and 43 others hurt in a prison battle in Venezuela as two armed gangs vied for control of a penitentiary near Caracas, authorities said on Monday.

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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Jamie “Iceman” Stevenson is back on the streets

Jamie “Iceman” Stevenson is back on the streets – less than halfway through his prison sentence for laundering £1million of drugs cash. Scotland’s most powerful mobster has been enjoying meals at expensive restaurants and socialising with pals after being allowed home for a week each month. Stevenson – who was also accused of shooting dead his best friend in an underworld hit – was put behind bars in September 2006 when he was arrested after a four-year surveillance operation by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. He was later sentenced to 12 years and nine months for money laundering. But, we can reveal, he is now allowed out of Castle Huntly open prison near Dundee – just five years and 10 months later. A source said: “He seems determined to show his face all around town to deliver the message that he’s back and, as far as he’s concerned, nothing has changed. “A lot of people are surprised that he’s being allowed out so early. Some are not too pleased about it for a number of reasons.” Stevenson, 47, has been spotted at Bothwell Bar & Brasserie, which is run by his friend Stewart Gilmore. He and his cronies have also dined at upmarket Italian restaurant Il Pavone in Glasgow’s Princes Square shopping centre. And Stevenson has joined friends at various other restaurants and hotels, including Glasgow’s Hilton Garden Inn. A Sunday Mail investigation can today reveal that the Parole Board for Scotland could recommend Stevenson’s total freedom as early as February next year. However, the final decision on his release will rest with Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. Yesterday, Labour justice spokesman Lewis Macdonald said: “I’m surprised to hear this and that anyone in these circumstances should get out of jail before the halfway point of their sentence – far less so when the conviction is of someone involved in organised crime. “The only circumstances where that would be conceivable would be if someone completely changed their lifestyle. But even then that should not be before they’ve served half their sentence. “I’m sure the victims of these crimes – and with drugs there are direct and indirect victims – will also be surprised at this.” To prepare Stevenson for his release, prison bosses have allowed him to stay a full week each month at his modest flat in Burnside, near Glasgow. On Friday, we watched him leaving the property with his wife Caroline and driving off in a silver Audi. A prison service insider said: “The Parole Board expect the prison authorities to have allowed home visits to test suitability for release ahead of the first eligible parole date. In Stevenson’s case, that’s next February. “There are conditions attached which vary but usually include the obvious ones like not mixing with other criminals and staying only at the designated address. “For prisoners sentenced to more than 10 years, the Parole Board make their recommendations to the Justice Secretary, who then decides whether to release on licence. “Stevenson is trying to keep his nose clean to convince the Parole Board that he poses no threat to society. “But, given his high profile and significance, it’s inevitable that the authorities will be careful before making any final decision.” Stevenson headed a global smuggling gang with a multi-million-pound turnover when he was brought down by the SCDEA’s Operation Folklore, which seized £61million of drugs. He faced drug and money laundering charges along with eight other suspects, including his 53-year-old wife. But his lawyers struck a deal with the Crown Office to admit money laundering in exchange for his wife’s freedom and the drugs charges being dropped. Stevenson’s stepson Gerry Carbin Jr, 32, was also jailed – for five years and six months – but was freed in 2010. Stevenson was previously arrested for the murder of Tony McGovern, 35, who was gunned down in Glasgow’s Springburn in 2000. But prosecutors dropped the case through lack of evidence. A gangland source said: “He does not fear any kind of reprisal from Tony’s brothers, nor does he regard any other criminals in Scotland as a threat or even as rivals. He did not fear any other operation in Scotland before he was jailed. Why would he now?” Two years ago, the Sunday Mail exposed a backdoor deal when the Crown handed back Stevenson’s £300,000 watch collection, which had been seized under proceeds of crime of legislation. Last June, he was sent back to high-security Shotts jail in Lanarkshire from an open prison after a major SCDEA drugs probe, Operation Chilon. Detectives believed that the gang they investigated was controlled by Stevenson. Haulage firm boss Charles McAughey’s home was one of 11 targeted in raids. In 2009, we revealed that French police had found 684kg of pure cocaine worth £31million in a lorry owned by McAughey. Chilon resulted in the SCDEA seizing 242kg of cannabis worth £1.21million and the jailing of three men for a combined 15 years.

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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Tulisa's Friend, 21, Shot Dead In Gangland Hit

Reece James, 21, a close friend of Tulisa Contostavlos has been shot dead in a reported gangland attack. The 21-year-old, who appeared with Tulisa in a video for rapper Nines, was shot in the head in a "pre-planned and targeted" hit, 100 miles from his home in London, reports the UK's Sun newspaper. Police found James' body in Boscombe, Bournemouth, at around 2.30am near where Somali drug gangs are said operate. A 22-year-old man was arrested. Reece was said to have been in the area with some friends for "a couple of months", though had filmed the video earlier this month with Tulisa and rapper Nines on the Church End Estate in Harlesden, North West London. The former N Dubz star caused controversy at the time, making a "C" symbol to the camera - the same sign that is used by Harlesden's notorious Church Road Soldiers gang. Tulisa claimed it was a reference to Camden, where she was born. Twitter tributes began flooding in last night, with one user writing, "RIP Reece James. Thoughts are with him and his family and friends". Local MP Tobias Ellwood described the killing as "a spill over from the drugs turf war in the capital", adding, "This was one London gang chasing down another, carrying out a professional hit and then going back".

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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Jailed street gang member Quintana waits to be fitted with a prosthetic leg at the clinic of the Salvadoran Handicapped Organization in San Salvador

Jailed member of the street gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS) Marlon Alexander Quintana, 33, who lost his left leg during a fight against a rival gang, waits to be fitted with a prosthetic leg at the clinic of the Salvadoran Handicapped Organization in San Salvador May 29, 2012. Four members of the street gang MS received prosthetic legs on Tuesday. Around 160 jailed Maras, or gang, members require prostheses for their handicaps, according to the Salvadoran Handicapped Organization.

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Gangs fight armed battle in Mile End street

 Two rival gangs armed with knives,machetes and a pick axe fought a pitched battle in a Mile End street yesterday evening, according to eyewitnesses. The disturbances, in Eric Street, E3,  near Mile End Park were described by the local residents association as ‘’violent chaos’ and came the evening before Tower Hamlets council and local police launch a campaign for safer local neighbourhoods . The first meeting is tonight in Bromley-By-Bow. According to eyewitness reports by local residents, reported on the blog of the Mile End Residents Association, the youths  discarded  their weapons in gardens and open spaces in the surrounding area as they fled.  The fighting took place at about 10pm last night. According to the blog, the incident started when a group of young men arrived on the estate in a dark car and chased some local men off Eric Street, cornering them by the entrance to Windermere House. The blog says: ”They were attacked with knives but managed to make their get away. Blood was found in the area but the extent of their injuries is unknown. The assailants returned to their car and sped off.” A further attack was witnessed near the grass area on Eric Street. The weapon used was said to have been a pick axe. At least one person was seen with blood coming from what appeared to be a head injury. Mark Twain, of Mile End Residents Association, said: “It was shocking to see the amount of weaponry they had.” Three knives, a monkey wrench and a machette have been since been found. Twain also said: “I saw the machette myself, the blade was about eighteen inches long.” Although scared residents reported the fight to police, once officers  reached the scene the gangs had dispersed. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “Locals rang up to say they’d seen a fight but by the time we got down there, there was no one there – they’d all run off.” The gangs were reportedly not from Mile End as they left in a car shouting: “F**k you Mile End p*****s!” Eyewitnesses say that the heavily armed gangs, that amounted to about 40 people, were all Asian men. They began fighting after tensions rose during the night. Twain says: “It is a bit disturbing, it appears there is some history [between the groups] but I don’t know the background.” The series of Safer Neighbourhood Public Meeting’s in the area start tonight in Bromley-by-Bow. Local residents have been invited by the police to discuss their experiences of crime and anti-social behaviour in the borough. Tower Hamlets council says it is an opportunity to find out how the council and the police are working in partnership to make the area safer, also giving residents a chance to raise any concerns and help set future goals. These meetings are likely to be used by police to attempt to regain trust from skeptical Mile End residents concerned that police were unable to make any arrests. The meeting will take place from 6.45pm to 9pm in the following places: Bromley-by-Bow – Tuesday May 29: Kingsley Hall Community Centre, Powis Road, E3 3HJ St Dunstan’s & Stepney Green – Thursday May 31: The Harford MultiCentre, 115 Harford Street, Stepney, E1 4FG Mile End East – Thursday June 7: Bow Road Methodist Church, 1 Merchant Street, Bow, E3 4LY Weavers – Tuesday June 12: St Hilda’s East Community Centre, 18 Club Row, E2 7EY Spitalfields & Banglatown – Thursday June 14: Kobi Nazrul Centre, 30 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR

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A notorious leader of the Bloods street gang has been sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison.

Vincent Young admitted moving from Los Angeles in the 1990s and starting the Fruit Town Brims set of the Bloods gang in New Jersey while in prison for manslaughter. Prosecutors say Young directed an enterprise that committed murders, kidnappings and carjackings and sold drugs in cities throughout New Jersey. Young pleaded guilty last year to racketeering conspiracy. In federal court in Newark today, he said he had turned over a new leaf. But the judge was unmoved and sentenced him to 188 months in prison, the high end of a range recommended under Young's plea agreement.

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Seven more defendants appeared in court Friday to answer charges in the federal firearms trafficking case


Seven more defendants appeared in court Friday to answer charges in the federal firearms trafficking case. So far, all defendants in the case have pleaded "not guilty."

Mugshot Slideshow

Check out the mug shots of those arrested and those still wanted in connection with an illegal weapons investigation in South Mississippi.

Much of the afternoon Friday was spent on a detention hearing for defendant John Buster Jones. Defense attorney, Peter Barrett, called Jones a National Guard veteran who served a tour of duty in Iraq and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The prosecutor described a young man who's a self-confessed gang member, who faces lengthy prison time if convicted of serious firearms charges. Jones faces up to 30 years in prison for his alleged role in the gun trafficking case.

An ATF agent testified they have recorded surveillance of Jones making illegal gun sales to an undercover agent. The agent also said Jones admitted to being a member of the Latin Kings street gang. This case involves the sale of weapons to another street gang, the Simon City Royals.

Defense attorney Peter Barrett described Jones as an Iraqi war veteran who suffers from PTSD, with no criminal history other than a DUI.

The owner of a plumbing business, James Woodward, who's also an Iraqi vet, told the court Jones was a hard working employee. Woodward was willing to act as a third party custodian if Jones was granted bond.

But federal Judge John Roper denied bond, citing the nature and circumstances of the firearms charges against him and the weight of the evidence, including the alleged gang affiliation.

The employer who said Jones was "like a brother to him" was shocked by the court's decision.

"He'd been a long term employee of mine and very valuable. And this has just floored me.  I don't know what to make of it. I'm not one to judge anybody.  He's just a very valuable person and he's got a big heart.,  Never really done anything wrong. I mean for me. What he does on his personal time is his business," Woodward told WLOX News.

The trial for the gun trafficking defendants is set for August 6, 2012 before federal Judge Walter Gex.

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Suspected gang member charged in St. Paul shooting incident

suspected St. Paul gang member faces second-degree assault charges after allegedly firing shots last month that grazed an 8-year-old boy in the left arm. Charges say that the boy, a bystander, was hit when Gregory James Cook Jr., 19, fired at three teenagers who were walking along Edmund Avenue in the Frogtown area on May 15. As the teens walked past a car, one of the three men inside stepped out and harassed a 16-year-old girl in the group, the charges say. Cook, who also was inside the vehicle, then allegedly fired at the group. One of the other teens walking with the girl, N.K. Trice, 19, told police that two men who were with Cook made a reference to the E-block street gang before Cook started shooting. Cook and the other two men are E-block gang members, the 16-year-old girl said. The next day, Trice was being interviewed by police at his home when he received a phone call threatening him for "snitching on E-block," the complaint against Cook states. Cook then allegedly fired at Trice again on June 5, the charges say. He was charged Friday in Ramsey County District Court with four counts of second-degree assault in the May 15 shooting. Bail has been set at $100,000.

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Forty-six alleged members and associates of the Latin King street gang today were charged with federal and state drug offenses

Forty-six alleged members and associates of the Latin King street gang today were charged with federal and state drug offenses, police said. Forty people were picked up this morning in a sweep by federal, state, county and city law enforcement officials. Six remain at large. The 18-month investigation is the second in the past six years of the Latin Kings in New Bedford. A 2006 sweep resulted in the arrests of 37 Latin King members and associates. The investigation involved surveillance, including wiretap, and controlled drug buys, police said. Law enforcement officials, speaking today at a press conference in police headquarters on Rockdale Avenue, said that in 2010 they began to see an increase in street-level sales of cocaine, along with violence in areas of the city known to be occupied by the Latin Kings. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said today's sweeps, which were largely conducted in the North End, will improve the safety of many of the city's neighborhoods. "The goal of today's raids was to remove dangerous gang members from the street and disrupt their violent activities. Our collaborative efforts do not end with the arrests today," Ortiz said. "Our goal is to keep the streets safe so people can live their lives without fear."

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Emmanuel Jones, a set leader in the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang, was sentenced today to 360 months in prison for murdering an innocent teenager

Emmanuel Jones, a set leader in the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang, was sentenced today to 360 months in prison for murdering an innocent teenager in a case of mistaken identity in July 2004 and conspiring to murder a rival gang member in October 2006 as part of a racketeering conspiracy, United States Attorney Paul J Fishman announced. Jones, 28, a/k/a “Killer E,” a/k/a “Killer,” a/k/a “Emo,” of Jersey City, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Stanley R Chesler to one count of a second superseding indictment filed against him in January 2011, which charged him with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Judge Chesler imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court. According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: Jones admitted that he was responsible for a July 19, 2004 murder that occurred in Jersey City. Jones stated that along with co-defendant Torien Brooks, 31, of Paterson, New Jersey, a/k/a “B.G .,” a/k/a “T-Bird,” a/k/a “Reek Boy,” he shot and killed a person they believed was responsible for an earlier shooting of a fellow gang member but was actually an innocent teenager identified in court documents as “M.T.” Three other bystanders were hit by stray bullets during the incident. Jones was previously indicted by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office for the murder. Jones also admitted that he was responsible for conspiring to murder a rival gang member in October 2006 while they were both incarcerated in the Hudson County Jail. As part of that dispute, Jones ordered other members of the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims to kill the rival gang member, identified in court documents as “C.C..” As a result of Jones’ order, CC. was struck with a broom handle, causing him to fall down a flight of stairs in the jail. In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced Jones to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $11,815 in restitution. On June 5, 2012, Brooks was sentenced to 362 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $11, 815 in restitution. United States Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B Ward; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew W Horace; law enforcement officers from the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Frank X Schillari; the Paterson Police Department, under the direction of Chief James F Wittig; and the Jersey City Police Department, under the direction of Director Samuel Jefferson; and Chief Thomas J Comey with the investigation leading to today’s sentence. He also thanked the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Edward J De Fazio; the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Acting Police Director Samuel DeMaio; the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A Murray; the Special Operations Division’s National Gang Targeting, Enforcement, and Coordination Center, under the direction of Director John Sieder; the New Jersey Department of Corrections, under the direction of Commissioner Gary M Lanigan; and the New Jersey State Police, under the direction of Col. Rick Fuentes, Superintendent, for their important roles. The government is represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Melissa Jampol, Lisa Colone, and Robert Frazer of the United States Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.

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Russian alleges gang rape, then backtracks

A major drama took place in north Delhi when a Russian woman alleged being gang-raped by five men and then retracted her statement after being asked by the police to undergo a medical test. Civil Lines police said that the woman, a native of Moscow, said that she was going to her rented accommodation in Majnu Ka Tilla on Saturday night with her partner when the five men raped her at a secluded place. However, by Sunday afternoon, after a five-hour long counseling session, she decided not to pursue the case. The woman approached the cops on Sunday morning and even alleged that when her partner tried to save her, he was thrashed by the accused. As the case involved a foreign national, the joint commissioner of police and DCP of the area reached there. When cops asked her to undergo a medical examination to determine rape, she refused. In fact, she tried to flee from the police station and had to be stopped by women constables. Police officers said that they were having difficulty in communicating with her as she spoke no English. Russian language experts, Shiv Kumar of Delhi University and Shubhra Mehndiratta of Delhi Commission for Women, were then roped in to talk to her. After a five-hour session, the woman decided not to file a complaint, after which she was let go. "We have informed the Russian embassy regarding the complaint and even her refusal to undergo a medical test. We have taken her contact details and ever given her numbers to call us whenever she wants. The woman had come to Delhi on a tourist visa on February 28, while her partner landed in Delhi 15 days later," said a senior police officer.

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Gang crime on rise in small Tenn. cities

Gang-related crimes rose nearly 25 percent across Tennessee in 2011, but much of the illegal activity is happening away from big cities. Citing statistics from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/NQRSYU ) reports that the state's small towns are becoming incubators of gang violence Since 2005, cities with fewer than 50,000 residents saw gang crime more than triple. Gangs are becoming problems in places like Springfield, a town of about 16,000 people 30 miles north of Nashville. In the past two months in Springfield, three suspected gang members were arrested in the armed holdup of a bank and a 20-year-old man was found dead with a bullet wound to the back of his head near a youth center. "By and large, the average citizen, I don't think, sees or knows what's really going on," said Springfield police Chief David Thompson. "There's a lot of people that are just in denial or unaware. If it doesn't impact them directly, they wouldn't know about it. We've reached a space now where you can't ignore what's happening." But rural towns often have small and sometimes ill-equipped police departments, which can make the communities vulnerable and attractive to young criminals trying to dodge larger cities with more sophisticated gang units. Also, gangs find rural areas to be full of eager, new drug customers and devoid of competition from other gangs. For a while, at least. The FBI's annual National Gang Threat Assessment in 2011 was blunt in its appraisal of gangs' interest in these untapped areas. "Gang members are migrating from urban areas to suburban and rural communities to recruit new members, expand their drug distribution territories, form new alliances, and collaborate with rival gangs and criminal organizations for profit and influence," the report said In Tennessee, gang incidents across the state rose about 110 percent from 2005 through 2011, according to the TBI. But remove larger cities like Nashville and Memphis — areas often far more associated with gang violence — and the picture is far more troubling. From 2005 to 2011, cities with fewer than 50,000 residents saw gang crimes rise 232 percent. "Gangs gravitate to where business is good, typically illegal drugs, illegal weapons and prostitution," said Kristin Helm, spokeswoman for the TBI. "Being in more rural areas, sometimes their criminal activity is less detectable from law enforcement and they aren't competing with a different illegal gang across the street for business." Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen, whose department has grappled with gangs in recent years, said that big-city successes can become small-town problems. "When Nashville cracks down on them, you know where they end up? They end up in Lebanon," he said. "They were pushing people out of their public housing and into our public housing. We know that as a fact." When Thompson came on as chief earlier this year, he said people in the community told him Springfield didn't have a gang problem. "But the more I looked around, the more I was seeing things," the chief said. A week after being told gangs weren't an issue there, his department responded to five shootings. At one crime scene, investigators found a burning bandana in the road — a not-too-subtle warning left by one gang to its rivals. One of Thompson's officers, charged with doing a survey of gang graffiti in the neighborhood, returned to the department with 300 photos in a single day. "How can you ignore or how can you not recognize the gang activity here?" he asked.

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Military arms get out on San Bernardino County streets

A former Marine from Twentynine Palms was convicted early this month in federal court in Riverside of possession of an automatic weapon he said he brought back from the war in Iraq. In May, a man and a 13-year-old boy from Colton were arrested on suspicion of possessing a military-grade AT-4 anti-tank weapon believed to have been stolen from the military, according to Colton police. These are just two of several incidents involving military arms being discovered on the streets of San Bernardino County, authorities say. "Any weapon on the street in the wrong hands makes a dangerous situation," said sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman. "But in the hands of criminals and gang members with no military training, the result is likely to become extremely deadly." In July 2011, 26 AK-47 assault weapons and a Dragunov sniper rifle were stolen from an armory at Fort Irwin outside Barstow. Agents from the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the FBI and the state Attorney General's Office have made significant strides in the investigation of the Fort Irwin arms theft, according to an email from Army spokesman William Layer. "Three soldiers from Fort Irwin were arrested and charged in connection with the arms theft," Layer added. "Half of the weapons have been recovered and we are optimistic about the recovery of the rest of the weapons." The army secures its weapons systems Advertisement under rigorous accountability procedures, Layer said. Military grade weapons are not the only arms found on the street. Munitions are being discovered as well.

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Underground Gangster Crips gang was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday for his role in a sex trafficking ring that forced high school-age girls into prostitution.

Michael Tavon Jeffries, also known as Loc, 21, pleaded guilty in April to a sex trafficking charge for his involvement in a conspiracy to prostitute high school girls between Nov. 2011 and Jan. 2012, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Peter Carr. Jeffries, acting as a bodyguard for the gang, collected some proceeds from the prostitution business, Carr said.  He also paid for a Backpage.com prostitution advertisements and hotel rooms which were used for one of the underage prostitutes, court documents stated.  Jeffries and Christopher Sylvia, 23, of Springfield were part of a group of UGC members and associates who met at least ten high school-age girls at Metro stations or on social media, asking them in either case to join their prostitution business, according to an affidavit on file in federal court. The girls were threatened with violence if they wanted to quit, the affidavit said. Three other men, Justin Storm, 26, of Lorton, Donyel Dove, 27, of Alexandria and Henock Ghile, 23, of Springfield were charged in connection with the sex trafficking ring, authorities said. Sylvia faces ten years to life in prison if convicted on July 20.  He and Jeffries pled guilty on April 12. The Fairfax County police department and the FBI’s Washington Field Office investigated the case with help from the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.

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Special Task Force nabs gangster

The UP Special Task Force nabbed a gangster carrying a cash reward of Rs 50,000 Dehradun on Sunday. His three aides were also detained. The four were being brought to Panchsheel Nagar for further investigation. SSP STF Satyendra Veer Singh, who supervised the entire operation, said, "The STF has launched a drive to nab all absconding gangsters wanted by UP Police. Sarwar alias Pahelwan alias Munne of Panchsheel Nagar, who has 19 criminal cases pending against him, was also one of the targets and sustained surveillance revealed that he was presently based at Uttarakhand."

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Monday, 2 July 2012

Drug link to gangland-style killings

Three young men were tied up and executed gangland-style over what police believe is a drug conflict in Kabin Buri district. The bodies of Ekkarak Khongkaeo, 20, Chaichaloem Muangnoicharoen, 22, and his brother Naruephon, 18, were found face down with their arms tied behind their backs about 200m from Ban Nong Kho-Ko Daeng road. All had been shot in the head. Police found cartridges from an 11mm gun near the corpses and traces of a tyre. The three victims, who were unemployed, are residents of tambon Nong Ki in Kabin Buri district, police said. Investigators believe the three were murdered after they met a group of at least eight other people late on Friday night to try to settle their differences. At about midnight, villagers heard gun shots from a forest close to a corn field. Police believe some form of betrayal was behind the murders. They are investigating a link to the drugs trade in the region. A senior officer, who asked not to be identified, said there had been reports of an ongoing conflict between a major drugs supplier and his sellers in Sa Kaeo and Prachin Buri provinces. The supplier, identified only as Mong, has reportedly hired gunmen to kill sellers, especially in Prachin Buri's Kabin Buri and Si Maha Phot districts, if they had not paid for methamphetamine supplies, the officer said. He said Mong is a resident in Sa Kaeo's Ta Phraya district and is reportedly a son-in-law of a Cambodian general.

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Bikies face jail over Ibrahim home meeting

Two senior bikies could be jailed for meeting at the home of the matriarch of Sydney's Ibrahim family. Last month Jamie Zammit, the Sydney president of the Nomads bikie gang, was one of the first four men to be charged with the new consorting offence. Also charged were two alleged associates and senior Nomads gang member Sleiman Tajjour, a cousin of Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim. The men could each be jailed for up to three years for communicating with convicted criminals. Amongst the allegations are that Zammit met with Tajjour and co-accused David Brannan at Mr Ibrahim's mother's house at Merrylands in Sydney's west, and again two weeks later at the cafe in the Downing Centre court complex. Their alleged associate Justin Hawthorne, 21, is also charged with consorting with Tajjour at Pemulwuy in Sydney's west last month. Zammit had already pleaded not guilty and today lawyers for his co-accused entered the same plea. Zammit and two supporters made obscene gestures to waiting photographers as they left court this morning.

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Gangs Squad investigators have raided four homes linked to the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) following investigations into an assault at a hotel

Gangs Squad investigators have raided four homes linked to the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) following investigations into an assault at a hotel in Sydney’s south-west earlier this month. On 2 June 2012, an unidentified man was allegedly attacked by five men wearing Rebels OMCG colours at a hotel in Spitfire Drive, Raby. The man, who was punched and kicked during the assault, left the premises before police attended. Following extensive inquiries, officers from the Gang Squad’s Strike Force Raptor raided two homes in Escholl Park, one home at Springfarm and another at Kirkham about 6.45am today (Wednesday 27 June 2012). At one of the Escholl Park homes, police seized a quantity of steroids and arrested a 26-year-old man alleged to be a member of the Rebels. He was charged with affray; threatening violence; and possess steroids and granted conditional bail to appear at Campbelltown Local Court on 18 July 2012. At the second Escholl Park home, an amount of amphetamine, a stun gun and a protected lizard were seized by police. The occupant, a 26-year-old alleged member of the Rebels, was arrested later in the day but has been released pending further inquiries. At Springfarm, police seized an unknown powder and a prescription tablet, and arrested a 26-year-old alleged associate of the Rebels. He was charged with affray; and possess prescribed restricted substance, and granted conditional bail to face Camden Local Court on 16 August 2012. Inquiries by Strike Force Raptor investigators are continuing and further arrests are anticipated.

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Preliminary hearing scheduled for alleged head of Long Beach gang

preliminary hearing will be held in mid-July for the alleged leader of one of the city's oldest and most notorious street gangs, authorities said Friday. Sabrille Acklin, 29, stands accused of running a criminal empire from his home in Rialto, calling the shots on everything from burglaries to murder in and around Long Beach, according to police and prosecutors. It was the 2009 slaying of Frank Castro, 19, of Long Beach that helped police uncover a pattern of criminal activity and the gang's hierarchy. The investigation eventually led to Acklin, who is charged as an accessory to murder in Castro's death, Police Chief Jim McDonnell said earlier this month. Acklin's family vehemently denies the charges. Castro was gunned down about 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2009, while walking near a liquor store in the 3600 block of Santa Fe Avenue. Two other men - an 18-year-old and a 40-year-old, both of Long Beach - were also shot while walking with Castro, but survived. LBPD Crime Lab experts were able to link ballistics from three separate shootings to the same weapons. Those results led police to a series of suspects, all members of the Baby Insane gang, tied to 32 different crimes (both property and violent) carried out throughout Southern California. That includes 13 shootings in Long Beach between Nov. 19, 2009, and Dec. 2, 2011, police said. The investigation culminated earlier this month with 27 search warrants served

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Desert Hot Springs gang member sentenced in drive-by shooting

Desert Hot Springs gang member convicted of trying to kill another gang member was sentenced today to 18 years and six months in prison. William Benjamin Washington, a reputed member of the 12th Street Mafia gang, was convicted in April of attempted voluntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon and participating in a criminal street gang in the Feb. 14, 2011, drive-by shooting of Palm Springs resident Devian Clayton in Desert Hot Springs. Washington shot at Clayton while the victim was with two other men in front of a Desert Hot Springs apartment complex in the 13600 block of Ocotillo Road. Clayton, a member of the Gateway Posse Crip gang in Palm Springs, was shot in the buttocks and in one hand, according to the prosecution. At today's sentencing hearing, Washington and his attorney, Jose Rojo, said Washington was defending his young daughter, who was with Washington when he was confronted by Gateway members earlier that day. "He felt like he was defending his daughter," Rojo argued before Riverside County Superior Court Judge David B. Downing handed down the sentence. Washington, who asked to address the court, said that "there's things in the gang world you just don't do." "Any man in this room would do what I did ... yes, sir, I'm guilty, but if I could turn back the hands of time I'd do it again," Washington said. Downing told Washington he agreed that the Gateway members took a "cheap shot" before the shooting. "The problem is you didn't defend your daughter at that time, you went back later ... if you called 911 it wouldn't have happened, but it did -- you were angry," Downing said. Deputy District Attorney Kristi Kirk argued that Washington had sent text messages containing phrases such as "(expletive) Gateway" and that the alleged confrontation that happened when Washington's daughter was present happened earlier in the day. "It wasn't just a sporadic instance ... he did plan to go down there and shoot," Kirk argued. Downing also denied Rojo's request to strike the gang allegation. "The court thinks this was a gang shooting in every sense of the word," Downing said. One of the men with Clayton when he was shot told authorities that Clayton and Washington had an altercation at a Palm Springs street fair earlier that week, according to the prosecution's trial brief. "He informed officers that the defendant was specifically aiming at Clayton," the document stated. Detectives found bullet holes in the Ocotillo Road residence and gunshot residue in Washington's handgun, according to the trial brief.

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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

High Court Judges to lose Their bodyguards

"This can not be right. They can not just do this from one day to the next," said one judge High Court on Monday after learning the bodyguards That Were Being Assigned To him taken away. The Interior Ministry HAS BEGUN ITS plan to massively reduce the number of bodyguards Assigned to Judges, Prosecutors and other Officials, High Court sources said. The Reductions, Including the elimination of Government vehicles for Some Officials, are to start in September Taking effect from today. Among Those Who will be left without protection are three anti-corruption Prosecutors who are Investigating the Russian Mafia Currently the Gürtel and Contracts-for-kickbacks case. It was the High Court's chief criminal judge, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, who Informed His colleagues of the Government's decision. The Reasons? The Government no longer feels pressured by ETA, Which Announced an end to attacks last fall, and the move is part of overall cost-cutting Measures ordered by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. INITIALLY, Grande Marlaska, High Court Chief Judge Angel Juanes, chief prosecutor Javier Zaragoza and Judge Jose Luis de Castro, who covers penitentiary issues, will keep Their bodyguards and official vehicles. The rest of the Judges and Prosecutors will now Have to go to work unprotected and by Their Own means. Interior's decision will Radically change the Manner in Which protection is afforded to Courtrooms Interior's decision, if it is finally Implemented across the High Court, will Radically change the Manner in Which protection is afforded to Courtrooms. Until now, judge and prosecutor Each four police officers HAD Assigned to Them, as well as a vehicle. Some Judges Say That They Will the only protection is now Have Regular surveillance of Their homes. The High Court Judges and Its Prosecutors intendant to file a note of protest With The Interior Ministry, the sources said. Their colds are among a complaint That Neither Justice nor the Interior Ministry Officials to Assess Whether made evaluations at Risk Before They Were Deciding to Eliminate bodyguards. The decision to Affect también said the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) legal watchdog and the Supreme Court. In a statement released on Monday, Prosecutors Say That state has not yet ETA disbanded and the Danger Posed by That terrorists still exists. According To Interior Ministry estimates, police officers who 1.010 Some Were serving as bodyguards will be reassigned to other Duties.

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Six Britons arrested on Mallorca for making threats, extortion and drug trafficking

The Guardia Civil in Palmanova, Mallorca, has arrested six Britons in connection with the crimes of making threats, extortion and drug trafficking. After passing through the court, the judge on Monday ordered the imprisonment of two of the men. In the early hours of June 22 several Guardia went to Calle Punta Ballena after hearing of threats made against several workers in the leisure industry in the nightlife area of Magaluf by a group of English individuals. After being identified by their victims several were detained. Their intention had to be that youngsters who went to find clients for the clubs also offered drug and made threats with knives and physical violence. The Guardia Civil impounded two knives during the arrests, 34 ecstasy pills in several bags, 1.5 grams of cocaine and 340 € in small notes. A search of the hotel where the Brits were saying found 1,000 € in cash, three baseball bats, two knives, a machete and a mask. The Guardia Civil say the investigation continues and more arrests have not been ruled out.

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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Bloods gang member from Paterson gets 89 months in prison

federal judge Wednesday sentenced Michael McCloud, of Paterson, to 89 months in prison for his role with the Fruit Town Brims, a set of the Bloods that authorities said terrorized a section of Paterson for years through violent activities connected to dealing drugs. McCloud, 26, also known as “Ike Brim,” was the second Bloods member to be sentenced this week by U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler for their part in a broad racketeering conspiracy to sell narcotics in Paterson and Newark. Chesler Tuesday sentenced Ricky Coleman, also known as “Pool Stick” and “Sticks,” 39, of Newark, to 151 months for a range of violent crimes and racketeering. McCloud was among 15 alleged members and associates of the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims charged in a 20-count federal indictment with racketeering, murder and other crimes. He was arrested by federal agents in Passaic in January 2011 and pleaded guilty to the RICO conspiracy charge in August. In his guilty plea, McCloud admitted to selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer on August 30, 2006, together with two other members of the gang. McCloud also admitted to participating in two robberies in Paterson in 2006. In the first robbery, McCloud and another gang member who was armed with an AK-47 broke up a dice game and took drugs, cell phones and money. In the second, McCloud worked with other gang members to commit a robbery in retaliation for the shooting of an associate by a member of a rival gang. In the sentencing hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa L. Jampol said the Fruit Town Brims had asserted a powerful control of a section of Paterson, centered at the intersection of 12th and 22nd streets. The gang members transformed this section into an area “that was completely uninhabitable,” to the point that residents were too afraid to leave their homes and attend church services, Jampol said. McCloud’s attorney, James Patton, said his client had worked hard to turn his life around, and was working full-time at Domino’s Pizza when he was arrested last January in the RICO sweep. McCloud told Chesler that he couldn’t change the past, but was trying to become a better person for the future. “I’m tired of going in and out of jail,” McCloud said. “I’m tired of letting my family down. And I’m tired of being a failure.” But Chesler was unmoved by this testimony. McCloud’s criminal history is a long one that begins at age 15, and there is nothing to indicate that his repeated contact with law enforcement had done anything to deter the young man from a life of drugs and violence, Chesler said. The sentence – the maximum under federal guidelines, with 36 months subtracted due to time already spent in a state prison – was meant to serve as a deterrent to other gang members engaged in the same activities, Chesler said. “His offenses are horrendous,” the judge said. “He was part of a gang that terrorized citizens of this state.”

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Leaders of El Salvador’s Mara street gangs said they are ready to start negotiations with the government toward a permanent peace pact

Leaders of El Salvador’s Mara street gangs said they are ready to start negotiations with the government toward a permanent peace pact following the success of a three-month-old temporary truce that has lowered the Central American country’s murder rate dramatically. The gang leaders said during a ceremony at the Izalco prison to celebrate the first 100 days of the truce that they want the government to offer job programs or some other sort of aid to gang members in exchange. “We want to reach a definitive ceasefire, to end all the criminal acts of the gangs,” said Mara 18 leader Oscar Armando Reyes. “But we have to reach agreements, because we have to survive. There was talk of job plans, but we haven’t gotten any answers, and it is time for the government to listen to us.” Mr. Reyes said the gangs weren’t thinking of ending the temporary truce. “We are issuing a call for us all to sit down and have a dialogue, to reach a definitive accord,” he said. There was no immediate response from the government. Former leftist guerrilla commander Raul Mijango and Roman Catholic Bishop Fabio Colindres mediated a truce between the Mara Salvatrucha and the Mara 18 gangs in March that has helped lower homicide rates. Mr. Mijango said the country’s homicide rate has dropped from about 14 murders a day in March to about five a day in early June. “This effort has saved the lives of more than 850 innocent Salvadorans,” Mr. Mijango said. An estimated 50,000 Salvadorans belong to street gangs that deal drugs, extort businesses and kill rivals. Gang leaders say they want to stop the violence that has given El Salvador one of the highest murder rates in the world, behind neighbouring Honduras. In April, authorities rejected a proposal that El Salvador’s gangs receive the subsidies the government currently spends on public transportation in exchange for gang members stopping extortion of bus drivers.

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Indicted gang member arrested

last of 27 alleged gang members indicted in April was arrested Tuesday afternoon by the U.S. Marshals Service. Darius Smith was taken into custody around 3 p.m. after authorities found him on James Street, officials of the service said. The indictment, handed up April 3, alleges that Smith, 29, conspired to sell more than 280 grams of cocaine and heroin. He was to appear Wednesday in U.S. District Court. Smith was allegedly a member of the Uptown, or Gunners, gang. In an April news conference, U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said the gang used guns to terrorize the neighborhood and its members marked buildings in the Central State Street neighborhood with graffiti to mark their territory. The investigation led to the arrests of 27 alleged gang members listed on the indictment; 23 were arrested

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Malvern Crew gang member ordered deported

An accused member of the notorious Malvern Crew street gang has lost a last-ditch bid to stay in Canada and is being deported to his native Jamaica for criminality. Raoul Andre Burton, 28, of Toronto, was one of 65 suspected members of the east-end gang rounded up in May 2004 by Toronto Police in Project Impact. Members of the gang were involved in a rivalry with the Galloway Boyz over turf in 2003 and 2004 that left four people dead. Burton was charged with nine offences and sentenced to eight-months in jail along with a 165-day stint of pre-sentence custody. He pled guilty to participating in a criminal organization, known as the Malvern Crew, and two counts of drug possession and trafficking that made him inadmissable to Canada Officers of the Canada Border Services Agency have been trying for years to deport Burton, who arrived here from Jamaica at age 10 and never obtained citizenship. Lawyers for Burton sought to appeal the deportation order to the Federal Court of Canada, but Judge David Near dismissed the application which means Burton will be sent packing. “Mr. Burton was right in the thick of things, an active member of the Malvern Crew, actively participating in the activities of the organization,” Near said in his June 11 decision. “He may have occupied a rather influential or responsible place in the organization.” Near said Burton’s involvement with the Malvern Crew was “significant.” “He was obviously fully integrated and well-invested into the organization,” Near wrote. “He was also prepared to engage in criminal activities on a significant scale for the benefit of the organization.” Police gang experts said Burton was a loyal Malvern foot-soldier who was a “good money-earner” for the gang. Officers said the gang was involved in the trafficking, importation and distribution of drugs as well as other crimes, including murder.

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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Fatal shooting possibly to bolster San Bernardino gang

Anthony Phillips, 26, of San Bernardino, is accused of fatally shooting Maurice Major, 29, of Riverside, at an apartment complex in the 1200 block of North Sierra Way. Phillips was arrested the next day. He is charged with one count of murder, and prosecutors have added a gang enhancement for Phillips' alleged involvement in a San Bernardino gang. Phillips, who was in San Bernardino Superior Court on Thursday, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. During the hearing in front of Judge James Dorr, a detective and an officer from the San Bernardino Police Department were called as witnesses. They testified about the shooting and gangs in the area. Phillips, also known as Ant, is affiliated with the Delmann Heights Bloods, said Officer Jonathan Plummer, a gang investigator with the San Bernardino Police Department. "(The shooting) enhances the gang by sending a message to rival gang members and to the community - that Delmann Heights is very violent," Plummer said. The officer testified about Phillips' reported noteworthy tattoos, including "DH" under his eyes, "Bloods" on his body, "San Murderdino" on his abs and "Delmann Heights" on both arms. Witnesses told police that Major was also a gang member, Detective Albert Tello testified. Advertisement His street name was West and he was affiliated with the West Covina Neighbor Hood Crips out of Los Angeles County. Recently, Los Angeles County gangs have come into the Inland Empire to sell drugs, Plummer said. Delmann Heights, which has more than 150 documented members, claims the boundaries of California Street to the west, Medical Center Drive to the east, Cajon Boulevard to the north and Highland Avenue to the south, according to police. Following a recent gang injunction in Delmann Heights, several DH members have migrated over to the 1200 block of Sierra to sell narcotics, Plummer said. Major's girlfriend told police that on the night of the shooting they were at a party outside a San Bernardino apartment complex, Tello testified. She told police that 20 to 30 people were there, including Phillips. The two men were familiar with each other, she told police, and at one point Phillips approached Major and asked to speak with him, Tello testified. The two walked away, Tello said, and while they were talking they got into an argument. Phillips then allegedly shot the victim several times in the chest, the girlfriend told police. "After he shot the victim, the suspect ran from the complex, put the gun away and ran toward Fame Liquor," on Base Line, Tello relayed on the witness stand. Major was taken to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Deputy District Attorney David Tulcan said prosecutors are still investigating whether Major had a gun on him that night. Authorities did find a clear, plastic bag with several pieces of suspected rock cocaine on the victim, police said. Testimony in the preliminary hearing will continue on Monday, where a judge is expected to set trial dates. May was a deadly month for the city. There were 12 reported homicides - five in one week. The spate of May violence prompted memories of the 1990s, when gang violence peaked in the area. The number of people killed in the city this year is up to 23

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ranking member of the Fruit Town Brims set of the Bloods street gang was sentenced to 63 months in prison Wednesday

A Jersey City man who is a ranking member of the Fruit Town Brims set of the Bloods street gang was sentenced to 63 months in prison Wednesday for his role in the gang’s criminal enterprises, officials said. Tequan Ryals, 34, had pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy before U.S. District Court Judge Stanley R. Chesler, who imposed the sentence in Newark federal court Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said. Ryals, with fellow gang members, conspired to distribute quantities of heroin in Jersey City between December 2008 and February 2009, according to court documents and statements. Ryals also made two drug sales monitored by law enforcement in December 2008, officials said. Ryals, who was involved in the daily activities of the Fruit Town Brims from 2004 until his arrest, acted as a middleman drug distributor, officials said. Ryals was supplied “bricks” of heroin by an associate of the set and he resold them to gang members, officials said. The indictment unsealed in January 2011 charged Ryals and 14 other defendants with racketeering conspiracy and other offenses including acts pertaining to murder, murder conspiracy, aggravated assaults, a kidnapping, firearms offenses and various drug distribution conspiracies, officials said. The gang members charged in the indictment ran the gang’s activities in Jersey City, Newark, Paterson and other locations, officials said. In November, Ryals completed a state prison term for drug crimes, corrections records say. Last week, 30-year federal prison terms were meted out to Emmanuel Jones, 28, of Jersey City, and Torien Brooks, 31, of Paterson, both members of the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims set of the Bloods, officials said. Jones and Brooks were charged in the July 2004 murder of 17-year-old Michael Taylor of Jersey City, who was gunned down in a case of mistaken identity during gang retaliation, officials said. Fishman credited a number of law enforcement agencies for the investigation leading to Ryals’ conviction, including the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, and Jersey City Police Department.

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Mob snitch who botched three hits ratted out Colombo gangster in murder trial

A mob snitch who couldn’t shoot straight easily pointed the finger at a reputed Colombo gangster on trial for murder. Dino Basciano took the witness stand in Brooklyn Federal Court to testify that he heard Frank (BF) Guerra was part of a hit team that successfully whacked Joseph Scopo in 1993. Basciano, 56, wasn’t much of a hit man himself, botching at least three rubout attempts. In one case, he shot Patricia Capozzalo, the sister of Peter (Fat Pete) Chiodo, telling defense lawyer Gerald McMahon, “I knew I didn’t kill her. She was still screaming when we left.”

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Slain teen Ramarly Graham's twin brothers convicted of heading gang

The twin half brothers of Ramarley Graham, the Bronx teen fatally shot by a police officer in February, were convicted Tuesday for gun possenion and being part of a Harlem street gang. Hodean and Kadean Graham were sentenced to eight years in jail for heading a crew known as "One-Twenty-Nine" and "Goodfellas/The New Dons" between 2007 and 2011 in the area around W. 129th Street, between Lenox and Fifth Avenues. The 20-year-old brothers were cleared of attempted murder. "This violent street gang was as young as it was dangerous, its members having been involved in multiple shootings over a four-year period," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in a statement. Fifteen members of the gang were convicted on charges of drug dealing and weapons possession. Last week, police officer Richard Haste, 31, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter for shooting Ramarley Graham in the Bronx while officers were investigating a drug deal. As officers made the bust, they were radioed that Graham was armed, when he in fact was not. Graham was shot was trying to flush a bag of marijuana down a toilet. Haste's attorney said in court that the officer was conviced the teen was carrying a weapon.

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

shooting a cop dead is now legal in the state of Indiana.

Governor Mitch Daniels, a Republican, has authorized changes to a 2006 legislation that legalizes the use of deadly force on a public servant — including an officer of the law — in cases of “unlawful intrusion.” Proponents of both the Second and Fourth Amendments — those that allow for the ownership of firearms and the security against unlawful searches, respectively — are celebrating the update by saying it ensures that residents are protected from authorities that abuse the powers of the badge. Others, however, fear that the alleged threat of a police state emergence will be replaced by an all-out warzone in Indiana. Under the latest changes of the so-called Castle Doctrine, state lawmakers agree “people have a right to defend themselves and third parties from physical harm and crime.” Rather than excluding officers of the law, however, any public servant is now subject to be met with deadly force if they unlawfully enter private property without clear justification. “In enacting this section, the general assembly finds and declares that it is the policy of this state to recognize the unique character of a citizen's home and to ensure that a citizen feels secure in his or her own home against unlawful intrusion by another individual or a public servant,” reads the legislation. Although critics have been quick to condemn the law for opening the door for assaults on police officers, supporters say that it is necessary to implement the ideals brought by America’s forefathers. Especially, argue some, since the Indiana Supreme Court almost eliminated the Fourth Amendment entirely last year. During the 2011 case of Barnes v. State of Indiana, the court ruled that a man who assaulted an officer dispatched to his house had broken the law before there was “no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.” In turn, the National Rifle Association lobbied for an amendment to the Castle Doctrine to ensure that residents were protected from officers that abuse the law to grant themselves entry into private space. “There are bad legislators,” the law’s author, State Senator R. Michael Young (R) tells Bloomberg News. “There are bad clergy, bad doctors, bad teachers, and it’s these officers that we’re concerned about that when they act outside their scope and duty that the individual ought to have a right to protect themselves.” Governor Daniels agrees with the senator in a statement offered through his office, and notes that the law is only being established to cover rare incidents of police abuse that can escape the system without reprimand for officers or other persons that break the law to gain entry. “In the real world, there will almost never be a situation in which these extremely narrow conditions are met,” Daniels says. “This law is not an invitation to use violence or force against law enforcement officers.” Officers in Indiana aren’t necessarily on the same page, though. “If I pull over a car and I walk up to it and the guy shoots me, he’s going to say, ‘Well, he was trying to illegally enter my property,’” Sergeant Joseph Hubbard tells Bloomberg. “Somebody is going get away with killing a cop because of this law.” “It’s just a recipe for disaster,” Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police President Tim Downs adds. “It just puts a bounty on our heads.”

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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Dead Indo-Canadian Gangster Wanted To Get Out Of Gangs But Predicted He Would Pay With His Life

A dead Indo-Canadian gangster chillingly predicted his own demise while recounting he wanted to get out of gangs but that the door may have already been shut on his attempts to get out. Gurmit Singh Dhak predicted his own death in a chilling video, shot four months before he was gunned down outside of a Burnaby mall in October 2010. In the video, the former kingpin of the Dhak group warned against a gang life he couldn’t escape, reported the Province newspaper. “Every day I’ve got to look over my shoulder, I’ve got to worry about my family,” Dhak told officers of Vancouver’s Odd Squad, a non-profit educational group. “I want to get out, it’s too late to get out now, I have too many enemies.” “If I jump out of my car am I going to get shot? Or I could be walking in the mall and walking out and get shot,” Dhak said with his face turned from the camera. It was filmed four months before the 32-year-old was killed in a hail of bullets walking out of Metrotown mall with his family. The Odd Squad will continue to deliver his message to kids in B.C. classrooms long after his death. “If I could turn back time I would never do it again,” Dhak told Odd Squad officers. “My kids, I don’t want them to be involved in gangs.” His video is one of many the Odd Squad has produced. Volunteers from the Vancouver Police Department formed the group aimed at warning kids against drug and criminal behaviour through documentaries 15 years ago. In Dhak’s interview, he said schools should give better education on gangs, and said some schools turn a blind eye unless gang activity happens on school grounds. He also gave a glimpse into the fears of a gangster. “You might not be scared because you want to act all tough and stuff but at the end of the day, deep down inside you’re scared too,” Dhak said. “Every day you wake up in the morning, is this going to be the last day that I’m going to be living?”

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A gangster made a rap video vowing to avenge his brother's murder hours before an innocent man was gunned down outside a takeaway

A gangster made a rap video vowing to avenge his brother's murder hours before an innocent man was gunned down outside a takeaway after being mistaken for a rival linked to the bloody feud, a court heard.

Members of the South Kilburn Gang also known as ‘Family About Cash’ recorded the rap in which Kervin Kavuala pointed to a tattoo of his dead brother Tyno Kavuala while another member sang ‘This all started when my brother died...it won’t end till I see another homicide’, a jury was told.

Later that same day, a rival from the Kensal Green Gang - blamed for Tyno Kavuala’s murder - was spotted in a KFC on the Harrow Road in west London and Kervin Kavuala was tipped off, it is alleged.

Pose: Kervin Kavuala vowed to avenge his brother's murder in a rap video posted on YouTube just hours before he is accused of shooting electrician Daniel Smith

Pose: Kervin Kavuala vowed to avenge his brother's murder in a rap video posted on YouTube just hours before he is accused of shooting electrician Daniel Smith, the court heard

 

'Revenge': A court heard that just hours after this video of Kevin Kavuala was uploaded he and two others were told a rival gang member linked to his brother's murder had been spotted in a nearby KFC

'Revenge': A court heard that just hours after this video of Kevin Kavuala was uploaded he and two others were told a rival gang member linked to his brother's murder had been spotted in a nearby KFC

 

Vow: Jury shown video of Kevin Kavuala pointing to a tattoo of his dead brother Tyno while another member sang 'This all started when my brother died...it won't end till I see another homicide'.

Vow: Jury shown video of Kevin Kavuala pointing to a tattoo of his dead brother Tyno while another member sang 'This all started when my brother died...it won't end till I see another homicide'.

 

But the killers mistook electrician Daniel Smith, 22, for their intended target, the court was told.

He was shot dead as he left the restaurant after returning home from a first date. 

 

 

 

He staggered back inside, but collapsed and died despite efforts by air ambulance doctors to save his life.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told the jury: ‘This case involves the murder of an innocent man committed against a background of gangs.

Daniel, 22, was shot dead at just after midnight on Saturday 22 May, 2010 outside the KFC on Harrow Road, Paddington

Murdered: Daniel, 22, was shot dead at just after midnight on Saturday 22 May, 2010 outside the KFC on Harrow Road, Paddington

 

‘He was no part of that. What had been and should have remained a pleasant evening for Daniel Smith and those who knew him ended in tragedy.

‘After taking a young woman out for the first time, and resisting the temptation to stay with her a little while longer because he had to work the following day, he decided to go home.

‘On the way home he decided to go to the KFC to get some chicken. 

'He spoke to his sister on the phone both before and whilst he was at the KFC. That was the last time she spoke to him.

‘He was murdered because he was a victim of mistaken identity. 

'The murder was intended to be a revenge killing for a previous murder - the murder of Tyno Kavuala, Kervin Kavuala’s brother in 2007.

‘His life was taken all too easily. He was shot barely a quarter of an hour after a phone call was made from the area of the KFC and the man for whom he was mistaken had entered the shop.

‘In that short time a loaded forearm was obtained and taken to outside the KFC where it was used to kill him.’

The Old Bailey jury was told in 2007 crack and heroin dealer Tyno Kavuala, known as Tank, was shot dead as he sat in his car allegedly by rivals from the Mozart/Kensal Green gang.

No-one has been charged with the murder.

In May 2010 his brother Kavuala, 27, Zeleke Forde, 30, and Jonathan Yeboah, 25, - who had recorded the rap video entitled ‘Cowboy Freestyle’ uploaded onto YouTube – were tipped off that rival Stacey Theophane, who was linked to the murder, was inside the KFC, it was claimed.

Investigation: Police probing the murder of electrician Daniel Smith issued CCTV images showing three men seen in the area just before the killing
Police issued this CCTV image showing a man walking near the area the shooting took place just one minute later

Investigation: Police probing the murder of electrician Daniel Smith issued these CCTV images showing three men seen in the area just moments before the killing

 

Tears: The weeping mother of Daniel Smith, Winnie broke down as she appealed for help to catch her son's killers

Tears: The weeping mother of Daniel Smith, Winnie broke down as she appealed for help to catch her son's killers

Kavaula is said to have told Yeboah to get him a gun.

Police do not know who pulled the trigger but all three men are charged because they are said to be connected by phone calls.

Kavuala’s fingerprint was also found on the outside of Mr Smith’s car.

Kavuala, Forde and Lewis deny murder.

Yeboah denies trying to get a gun to use in a murder or to endanger life.

Whittam QC told the jury the prosecution could not say who shot Mr Smith but said all three were guilty of murder because they had acted together by tipping each other off.

He said: ‘Kervin Kavuala would not have know of the presence of Stacey Theophane in the KFC had it not been for the action of Shane Lewis and Zeleke Forde.

‘They made the calls in the clear knowledge that there was a real risk that, in the context of this case, Kervin Kavuala would then try and kill Stacey Theophane.’

The trial continues.




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