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Trial in slaying of 8 motorcycle gang members Bandidos chapter "No Surrender Crew,"

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Discovery of eight bullet-riddled bodies in four vehicles abandoned on a nearby farmer's property on April 8, 2006.It was the largest known massacre of outlaw motorcycle gang members anywhere in the world, and also the worst mass murder in Ontario since 1832.After more than two years of preliminary hearings and motions, jury selection in the trial of the six men accused of the murders begins tomorrow in London, about half an hour's drive east of Shedden.One of the accused, Wayne (Weiner) Kellestine, 59, lived on a farm on the outskirts of Iona Station, about a 15-minute drive from Shedden. All the rest are from outside the county and several are from outside the province.Also facing eight murder charges are Brett (Beau) Gardiner, 24, of Calgary; Wayne (Taz) Sandham, 39, Marcello Aravena, 32, and Dwight (Big D) Mushey, all of Winnipeg; and Frank (Frankie) Mather, 35, of no fixed address.
The eight victims were all connected to the Toronto chapter of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, the second-largest outlaw biker club in the world.
The victims, whose Bandidos chapter was nicknamed the "No Surrender Crew," were George (Pony) Jessome, 52, George (Crash) Kriarakis, 28, Luis Manny (Chopper, Porkchop) Raposo, 41, Frank (Bam Bam, Bammer) Salerno, 43, and Michael (Little Mikey) Trotta, 31, all of the Greater Toronto Area; Paul (Big Paul) Sinopoli, 30, of Sutton; Jamie (Goldberg) Flanz, 37, of Keswick; and John (Boxer) Muscedere, 48, of Chatham.Folks in Shedden reluctantly talk about the upcoming trial, and when they do, they are quick to say it is about outsiders, not local residents."I don't think it's touched anybody too deep here," says one business person, who declined to give her name. "If someone local was involved, it might be different. Life goes on."A local farmer says people are more concerned with other issues now, like layoffs in the auto industry. "It happened so long ago and five miles down the road," says the man, who also declined to give his name.By "five miles down the road," he means the farm of Russell (Rusty) and Mary Steele, respected churchgoing grandparents and long-time residents.The Steeles live on a tidy, prosperous farm, with bird baths and feeders and a children's play area. A sign on the front fence reads, "If you ate today, thank a farmer."The Steeles woke up on a Saturday morning to find four vehicles parked in a forested area of their property.Inside the vehicles – a tow truck, two cars and a sport utility vehicle – were the bodies of the bikers. Soon police had the area cordoned off.Not long after that, news helicopters hovered overhead.Last week the Steeles politely but firmly declined to talk about the grisly event.
"We've seen a lot of the problems that were here before – press problems," Russell says."I don't think that we want to give any interviews," Mary adds.
In the wake of the killings, Slee says, locals were bombarded with questions about cults and gangs in a town so small it doesn't have a restaurant or a grocery store.
"We don't have enough people for a cult," jokes Slee, a first-year drama student at Brock University in St. Catharines.In nearby Iona Station lies what is left of the farm of Wayne (Weiner) Kellestine.
His barn and a shed are still standing, but his dirty white Ontario cottage has burned down since he was arrested almost three years ago. The Ontario Fire Marshal's Office ruled the fire last March was accidental, although its cause remains unclear.After the fire, Kellestine's common-law wife complained in the media that locals didn't do much to raise money for her and her school-age daughter because of Kellestine's reputation as a biker.Now there is a small trailer behind what is left of the burned-out farmhouse. A steel link fence has been erected to keep the curious away.Down the road in London, court officials say the trial will be held in a specially built, high-tech, high-security courtroom. It was constructed in 2003 for a mass trial of local bikers, members of the Outlaws. The site for the Bandidos trial is less than a 10-minute walk from London's original courthouse, a castle-like structure where the trial for alcoholic farmer Henry Sovereign was held in 1832, in the midst of a cholera epidemic.
Sovereign was convicted of murdering his seven children and his wife in Norfolk County, near what is now Highway 24, about a half-hour drive from Shedden. He was hanged outside the old courthouse.Back in the Greater Toronto Area, Glenn (Wrongway, Irish) Atkinson thinks often about his former Bandidos clubmates. He says he left the club before the killings or he might have been a victim tooHe says he hopes people don't lose sight of the fact that real people were killed, and that real people still mourn them."There might have been people that hated them, but a lot more people loved them," Atkinson says. "They had a lot more love in their lives than hate.
"At the end of the day, they still had parents and girlfriends and wives that loved them. A lot had kids too, who now miss their daddies."

John Lindenman, 43, and Bradley Lutzo, 45, suffered fatal gunshot wounds during an 11 p.m. brawl in a QuikTrip parking lot on Tuesday.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Brawl involving rival motorcycle groups led to a shooting that left two men dead at a Sunnyslope convenience store, according to police who released the victims' names Thursday. Investigators described the unidentified groups as gangs, although others suggested they were unlike outlaw groups commonly tied to biker violence.
Some police described the groups as substance-free organizations purportedly geared toward recovering addicts looking to ride with other sober motorcycle enthusiasts. John Lindenman, 43, and Bradley Lutzo, 45, suffered fatal gunshot wounds during an 11 p.m. brawl in a QuikTrip parking lot on Tuesday. No arrests have been made, and the deaths are under investigation, according to police.
Neither Lindenman or Lutzo had criminal records in Arizona.Phoenix Detective Cindy Scott said the department will not release the names of the groups, citing its policy on withholding the identifications of documented criminal street gangs.

Gregory Wooley, 36, a former bodyguard to Hells Angels kingpin Maurice (Mom) Boucher, was arrested on Thursday

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Gregory Wooley, 36, a former bodyguard to Hells Angels kingpin Maurice (Mom) Boucher, was arrested on Thursday in his prison cell in Kingston, Ont. Arrest of a jailed biker in a crackdown on an alleged drug-trafficking ring involving outlaw bikers and street gangs shows the strong ties between the two criminal elements, one expert said today.Police in Quebec and Ontario have described this week's Operation Axe as a major blow against the drug-trafficking operations of the Hells Angels and one of their affiliated street gangs known as the Syndicate.
The arrests serve to remind people that street gangs, which are plaguing several Canadian cities, are established players in the criminal world, said author Julian Sher.

"Street gangs are not about a couple of rough-and-tough kids having a bad night out on the town," said Sher, who has co-authored a book on the Hells Angels.
"This (police operation) shows how tightly connected some of the most powerful street gangs are to organized crime."
The Crown said Wooley, one of 54 people nabbed on Thursday and Friday, is believed to be the first person in Canada to be charged with gangsterism a second time.
If he is convicted on the same charge again, Wooley's sentence would run consecutively to his current one. He has been in prison since 2000.Others arraigned Friday include Jean Lavertue, 34, a former Canadian Olympic weightlifter who operated a Montreal gym. He was charged with drug trafficking and gangsterism.
Police also arrested Fernand Lauzon, 67, a man identified as the father of a Montreal police officer. He was charged with drug trafficking.The Crown handed over an imposing amount of evidence on five compact discs that include hundreds of thousands of wiretapped conversations, said prosecutor Francis Cloutier.The Hells Angels, which led a bloody turf war over drugs in the 1990s, are still very much a player despite the aftermath of Operation Springtime, another mass police sweep in 2001, Sher said.While more than 100 people were put behind bars after 2001, Sher said there are roughly the same number of Hells members on the streets in Quebec and that national membership is stable at about 450.

"But the Hells Angels are a lot less cocky than they were, they're not strutting, they're not as confident, they don't know where the next infiltration is coming from," said Sher.
Eighteen of the accused were granted bail on Friday under very strict conditions including a large cash deposit, strict curfews, and restricted use of pagers and cell phones except for work.But the majority were detained pending future bail hearings, including three men identified as high-ranking members of the Syndicate.Cloutier said at least 17 people face gangsterism charges."Principally, the charges are trafficking for the profit of a criminal organization – trafficking of drugs," Cloutier said.Two people are also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, but only one of them has been arrested.Montreal police said Friday that more people had been nabbed, bringing the total to 54, including six women. But not everyone had been arraigned.About 700 officers from a number of police forces took part in Operation Axe, which Montreal police said was one of the biggest ever carried out by the city forceThe raids netted $675,000 in cash as well as 25 guns and a number of bullet-proof vests. Significant quantities of cocaine, crack, ecstasy, marijuana and hashish were seized along with other drugs including speed, Viagra and steroids.

Copenhagen police have raided two Hells Angels strongholds

Friday, 13 February 2009

Copenhagen police have raided two Hells Angels strongholds in a search for weapons. Four people are reported to have been detained. Police officers have raided two Hells Angels strongholds in Copenhagen in a search for weapons, according to Copenhagen Police Supt. Steffen Steffensen, who adds that his officers are searching for weapons. “We’re seeing what we can find, we have dogs inside looking,” Supt. Steffensen says. The two strongholds being searched are on Svanevej in Copenhagen and Lindgreens Allé in Amager.

$30,000 to a Vancouver Hells Angels member after a large shipment of marijuana went missing.

drug dealer explained Monday how he had to shell out up to $30,000 to a Vancouver Hells Angels member after a large shipment of marijuana went missing."I made three small payments, between $20,000 and $30,000," the man testified at the trial of four members of Vancouver's East End chapter of the Hells Angels: Ronaldo Lising, Randy Potts, John Punko and Jean Joseph Violette.The 28-count indictment alleges the Hells Angels chapter is a criminal organization and that the accused committed such crimes as extortion and uttering death threats "for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal organization, to wit the East End chapter of the Hells Angels."B.C. Supreme Court Justice Selwyn Romilly imposed a ban on the name of the witness, who testified he tried to explain to Lising that the shipment was seized by police, but Lising believed the load had been ripped off.The witness recalled Lising demanded payment of "50 grand" for the missing load, which was shipped to the U.S. through Alberta. The man explained he phoned his lawyer, who made some calls to police and wrote a letter explaining the 140-kilogram shipment of marijuana, contained in nine hockey bags, was seized by the RCMP in Alberta and police in Montana.The witness, who has a minor criminal record for assault and possessing marijuana, recalled he got a friend to give the lawyer's letter to Richard Goldammer, an East End Hells Angels member, "to prove my innocence."
He said he later got a text message from Lising saying, "Good luck. We don't want your money."The jury trial, which began last September, continues in a high-security courtroom at the Vancouver Law Courts.

Infiltrated the Hells Angels.

Jay “Jaybird” Dobyns is the unconventional, full-bore federal agent who achieved worldwide notoriety as one of America’s most daring and talked-about law enforcement officers. After more than twenty years of undercover assignments that targeted the world’s most deadly criminals and their organizations, Jay was infamously “outed” following an unprecedented and successful infiltration of the Hells Angels outlaw biker gang.

Infiltrated the Hells Angels. His work in operation "Black Biscuit" led to the arrests of 55 alleged members of the Angels and the seizure of 650 guns, more than 100 explosives and 30,000 rounds of ammunition.But the most serious charges were dismissed in 2006 and Dobyns, upset over the handling of the case, retired from the ATF. His book, "No Angel", which was released this week, tells of his life as an undercover agent. Twentieth Century Fox already has bought the movie rights.
Dobyns' enemies far outnumber his friends. His life has been threatened and his home was burned last August. The ATF, which now regards Dobyns as an outcast, put forth little effort in investigating the blaze and, according to Dobyns, tried to link him to the blaze.Dobyns said he decided after the fire that there will be no more bouncing from city to city, no more aliases."I'm not going to be intimidated by these threats anymore. I'm gonna make my stand and be happy doing it."

Wooley, a former member of the Rockers, a Hells Angels puppet gang, was serving time for offences that took place during the biker gang war

The operation, touted as "unprecedented" when it comes to street gangs in Montreal, followed a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking, and targeted both dealers and gang leaders. Hundreds of police officers in Quebec and Ontario carried out a massive sweep Thursday to crack down on street gang members. In Quebec, more than 700 police officers, including members of the Laval and Longueuil police, fanned out across the greater Montreal area. Other municipalities in Quebec and in Ottawa were involved.
Operation Axe was a lengthy investigation into drug trafficking in Montreal, Ottawa and Kingston, Ont., and targeted both dealers and gang leaders.
Screen grabBesides nabbing several alleged drug couriers, the Montreal police believe they also rounded up the "businessmen" who make the key decisions for street gangs who are part of a larger group collectively known in Montreal as the Crips or Blues.

Project Axe centered on the city's most influential street gang members and resulted in the arrests of 47 people Thursday, including a former weightlifter who represented Canada in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The Montreal police would not be specific but initially stated they were hoping to arrest more than 50 people.
"The leaders arrested were considered as untouchable citizens in the eyes of emerging street gangs. These arrests show no criminal is on safe ground," said Cmdr. Denis Mainville. "This operation is, without doubt, one of the most important police operations carried out by the Montreal police to date."
Mainville said one of three organized crime groups targeted in Project Axe was selling between five to 10 kilos of cocaine per week in Montreal and bringing in roughly $400,000. The people expected to appear in court Friday via a video conference, face charges of drug trafficking, conspiracy, weapons offences and committing crimes for a criminal organization. At least two people will be charged with conspiring to commit murder. Police executed 63 search warrants, seizing 25 weapons, 2,300 rocks of crack cocaine, 41 kilograms of cocaine, 225 kilograms of marijuana, bulletproof vests, 12 computers and $600,000 in cash.Included among those arrested in the operation is Gregory Wooley, an influential member of the Hells Angels former underling network who was serving time at a penitentiary in Kingston, Ont. Wooley, a former member of the Rockers, a Hells Angels puppet gang, was serving time for offences that took place during the biker gang war in the 1990s. But he is now facing new charges related to the current investigation which targeted major Montreal-based street gangs. Wooley was scheduled to have a parole hearing in the coming weeks.Dany Cadet-Sprinces, 38, an inmate at another federal penitentiary, the Leclerc Institution in Laval, Que., also was placed under arrest. The man at Leclerc is believed to be the head of the Syndicate street gang and was arrested in another large drug bust that struck his gang and the Hells Angels.Jean Lavertue, 34, a former Olympic weightlifter, was arrested at his home. He is alleged to have been part of a well-structured group, uncovered during the Project Axe investigation, that controlled a significant amount of drug trafficking in the southwest part of the city. In 1996, he finished 28th in his weight class while competing at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. "This operation targeted people involved with cocaine trafficking," said Montreal police Sgt. Ian Lafreniere, adding suspects were involved in importing and trafficking in Montreal and in Ottawa. "It's not only the people selling on the street level. It's top people (in the gangs), as well," he said. "This investigation began in January 2006. So this was a long investigation and a huge operation today. We believe we've hit the top of the chain."Ontario police forces meanwhile, conducted search warrants Wednesday night and Thursday morning on residences in Smiths Falls, Ont., and in Ottawa. The investigation by the Smiths Falls Police, Ottawa Police and the Ontario Provincial Police went after street-level drug dealers and involved an undercover police officer who was placed in the drug subculture to make illegal drug buys.Police say the list grew to more than 25 street-level drug dealers and quantities of cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and other prescription-controlled substances were purchased and seized. A number of charges, including trafficking in controlled substances, against several people were laid.

Hells Angel Fontaine Found Guilty

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Hells Angel Paul Fontaine has been on trial for the 1997 murder of Pierre Rondeau and attempted murder of Robert Corriveau. Members of the jury began deliberating last Tuesday, but their deliberations were put on hold while judge Marc David considered motions put for the by Fontaine’s lawyer to have the case ruled a mistrial.Carole Beaucage, lawyer for Fontaine, filed a myriad of motions. The most prominent arguments made were: the crown repeatedly sent incomplete evidence in an untimely fashion; Fontaine’s efforts to get a lawyer of his choice were blocked; and most seriously, the latest incident where two jurors were caught playing detective outside of jury deliberations (the two scrambled onto the bumper and hood of a prison bus trying to recreate the shooting ambush of prison guards Pierre Rondeau and Richard Corriveau). Beaucage says that action risked contaminating the jury.Regardless, judge Marc David ruled that the defense failed to prove there was a real danger of prejudice against Fontaine or a risk of judicial error. He also called some of the defense’s arguments unfounded or speculation, and others coming too late at this point in the trial.

Deliberations resumed on Saturday and by Sunday the jury had come back with a guilty verdict. You will recall that on Sept. 8, 1997, Rondeau and Corriveau’s van was sprayed with bullets as they stopped on their daily route to a Montreal detention centre to collect prisoners. Former Hells Angel leader Mourice “Mom” Boucher as an attempt to destabilize the justice system and intimidate informants supposedly masterminded the attack.

The Crown’s primary witness in the trial was Hells Angels informant Stephane Gagne, who was with Fontaine when the crime was committed.
It’s now up to Quebec Superior Court Judge Marc David to decide Fontaine’s sentence.

Massive explosion has blown the front off the Hells Angels bikie clubhouse

Massive explosion has blown the front off the Hells Angels bikie clubhouse at Petersham this morning, damaging surrounding homes and businesses.Residents say the force of the blast shook them from their beds, with a massive bang around 2am this morning.The front of the Hells Angels bikie clubhouse on Crystal Street is now rubble. Shattered glass from nearby businesses and homes lies across the street.
The force of the blast even blew the awning off the solicitors’ building across the road.Two men in a black four-wheel drive were seen fleeing the scene. The damage to the Hells Angels clubhouse appears contained to the front of the building. A solid brick protects the inside, which remains intact.

The gang war between bikie gangs the Rebels and the Bandidos is being linked to as many as 13 shootings on Sydney streets in the last two weeks.

Monday, 2 February 2009

The gang war between bikie gangs the Rebels and the Bandidos is being linked to as many as 13 shootings on Sydney streets in the last two weeks.A new elite police unit, originally set up to investigate the night-time shooting of a gang member in Seven Hills last month, is widening its net to examine the outbreak of violence among the outlaw gangs.first Sydney arrests in relation to the feud occurred on Wednesday night, when police pulled over four men in a Holden Commodore for a routine check and discovered two semi-automatic rifles, one loaded.Half an hour before the road stop, a house in Sadlier, believed to be linked to the Rebels, had been shot at. The four men, aged 21 to 46, are understood to be Bandidos associates.
Codenamed Highcro and made up of gangs squad officers, the strikeforce will examine the series of shootings in western Sydney.On November 28, a 25-year-old was shot several times in the head and chest while a passenger in a car driving on the Prospect Highway. The car was hit by about 19 bullets fired from at least two high-powered rifles. He was taken to hospital in a critical condition.
The Highcro detectives are using that incident as a springboard to look at 12 other shootings they believe may be linked to the warring bikie gangs, who have a history of enmity that often boils over into street warfare.A prominent Bandido was murdered in Melbourne in October and rumours of a planned "hit" marred the Friday extradition hearing in New Zealand of a Rebel member accused of a vicious bashing in Queensland last year.Only four days after the Seven Hills shooting, a Gypsy Joker was shot and knocked from his bike as he rode on the Great Western Highway before midnight.
In the early hours of the same day, December 2, a tattoo parlour in Belmore and a Bass Hill house were fired at. No one was injured in either shooting. Since then there have been nine shootings across Sydney's west.The NSW violence comes on the back of a flare-up between the two gangs in Victoria. On October 22, a Bandidos enforcer, 51-year-old Ross Brand, was shot dead outside the gang's Geelong clubhouse.
Two brothers, both members of the Rebels, have been charged with his murder.
The continuing gang violence has also led to high security during an extradition hearing for New Zealander and Rebel member Peter Douglas Rauhina, 37.The first Sydney arrests in relation to the feud occurred on Wednesday night, when police pulled over four men in a Holden Commodore for a routine check and discovered two semi-automatic rifles, one loaded.Half an hour before the road stop, a house in Sadlier, believed to be linked to the Rebels, had been shot at. The four men, aged 21 to 46, are understood to be Bandidos associates.

THE CLUBS REBELS MC The Rebels, with 29 chapters, are the largest outlaw motorcycle club in Australia. They are seen as a more traditional club and are run by former light-middleweight boxer and founding member, Alex Vella. GYPSY JOKER MC The Gypsy Joker MC are another Australian-formed club and are most notorious for the 2001 car-bomb murders of West Australian police senior investigator Don Hancock and Lawrence Lewis. BANDIDOS MC The Bandidos, whose motto is: "God forgives, Bandidos don't", are one of the "Big Four" gangs identified by the US FBI, and have 19 chapters across Australia. One of the clubs that has actively recruited from ethnic groups in recent years.

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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