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Comanchero outlaw bikie gang leader Vincenzo Focarelli remains in hospital under police watch after an attack that claimed his son's life.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Vincenzo Focarelli suffered four gunshot wounds in the fourth attempt on his life on Sunday, but his son Giovanni Focarelli, 22, died after both men were shot in Adelaide.
His lawyer Stacey Carter has told The Advertiser newspaper that Focarelli would be undergoing more surgery to remove a bullet fragment from his head.
He is at Royal Adelaide Hospital under police guard. But police expect he will refuse protection when he leaves.
Focarelli has refused to help police find the murderer of his son.
It's not the first time he has refused to cooperate with police, despite being shot in December and being the target of a failed bomb attack.
Focarelli tried to drive Giovanni to hospital after the shooting but his son was dead by the time he flagged down a police car for help.
Tributes to Giovanni were posted on the New Boyz Support Crew Facebook site on Tuesday, including one that described him as a top bloke: "The man was down to earth, kind and wasn't afraid of going up to any woman to have a go."
"I'm going to miss him and I think he deserved better.
"Gio, you were a true man, good friend and top bloke."
Attorney-General John Rau has insisted crime rates are falling and the state has the lowest reoffending rate in the nation, at 19.1 per cent of offenders, according to a report from the Productivity Commission.
"The South Australian government's effort to reduce crime is working well," Mr Rau said.DISCLAIMER:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder.

Three Strikes: Why the feds won't release mug shots

Monday, 30 January 2012

 

Earlier this week, a bunch of members of the Hell’s Lovers motorcycle gang in Denver got cuffed. Felisa Cardona had the details on their federal charges. 9News intrepid investigative reporter/social media junkie Jace Larson was on scene during the bust. There was an ATF “tactical” dog with a video camera on its back. It was a whole cops-and-robbers to-do. The only thing it was missing were the mugshots of the 19 busted gang members. This, to us crime-news lovers, was not a small thing, given that biker gang mugshots typically arrive with awesome results. So what gives? It’s the feds; they don’t give. While local law enforcement agencies routinely hand out mugshots of suspects — this doozy, for instance, arrived with a press release yesterday announcing the arrest — federal law enforcement agencies almost never do, even when the suspect looks like this. (Though the suspect in that picture was charged in federal court, we have credited his mugshot to Glendale police.)

Faithful members of the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club may be a little surprised to find themselves on a list of “security threat groups”

 

 offered by the Department of Corrections to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Whether the aging vets at the local watering hole constitute a gang comes down to a definition from the Department of Justice. According to information offered to the Senate Judiciary Committee, a gang designation is appropriate for a group three or more people with a common identifying sign, symbol or name who individually or collectively engage in criminal activity which creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Sen. Alice Nitka wasn’t so sure that the retirees of the motorcycle club in Windsor are a menace to society. Why shouldn’t the club be lumped in with the home-grown Chittenden County White Boys or “Anybody Can Get It” (commonly-known as ACG-137 according to the department), or maybe even the Bloods and the Crips? If all it takes for a “gang” to make the list is for a few members of a group to commit a crime, Sen. Jeanette White asked, will the Boys and Girls Club be next?

Wheels of Soul Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.Thomas Bailey, Maurice Thomas and Rasheed Brandon plead guilty to racketeering

 

A federal grand jury indicted 41-year-old Thomas Bailey, 32-year-old Maurice Thomas and 33-year-old Rasheed Brandon in June 2011. According to court documents, the three men confirmed their association with the Wheels of Soul Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. Bailey and Thomas also admitted to trafficking crack cocaine within the gang. Bailey also acknowledged that he agreed to the killing of an insubordinate member of the Chicago Westside Chapter of the Wheels of Soul and confessed his involvement in a conspiracy to murder rival motorcycle club members in East St. Louis in January 2011. The motorcycle gang claims chapters in more than 20 states, including Illinois. Investigations into the gang began in 2009 following an armed robbery and murder in St. Louis by members of the gang's St. Louis chapter. Past charges to members of the gang across chapters include multiple murders, attempted murders, conspiracies to commit murder, kidnapping and trafficking in firearms. Sentencing for Bailey and Thomas is set for April 11, while Brandon's sentencing date is slated for April 24. All three men face up to 20 years in prison.

Traffic offences trouble for Sydney bikie duo

 

Two men allegedly linked to the Comancheros bikie gang are to face court over driving offences, after a Gang Squad operation in Sydney's south-west on Friday. Officers from Strike Force Raptor stopped a motorcycle they say was being driven by a Comancheros member at Milperra about 10:15pm (AEDT). Police say the 51-year-old rider returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.106, more than twice the legal limit. The Marrickville man's license was suspended and he was issued a court attendance notice for mid-range drink driving. About 25 minutes later police stopped a car at Milperra they say was being driven by a Comancheros associate. Police say a check revealed the 20-year-old Fairfield man's licence had been suspended. He was issued a court attendance notice for driving whilst suspended. Both men are due to face Bankstown Local Court in March. The Comancheros have a clubhouse in Milperra.

Police swarm dealership after tension rises between biker gangs

 

Police officers from across Berks County swarmed to Classic Harley-Davidson in Bern Township on Sunday to stop an argument between two motorcycle gangs from escalating into a 100-person brawl, investigators said. Initial reports indicated that a fight was starting inside the dealership at 983 James Drive, possibly involving baseball bats. But the two groups backed off before the argument turned physical, police said. Officers were called about 12:15 p.m., and the bikers cleared out by 1 p.m., authorities said. No one was charged or injured. The area around the dealership was teeming with state troopers and police from all over the county. The bikers stood in groups as officers walked around, some with shotguns drawn. A manager at Classic Harley-Davidson declined to comment.

Giovanni Focarelli's lawyer Steve Georgiadis has told Channel Ten news that police are more likely to receive the family's co-operation in investigating the shooting if they showed more compassion.

 

 "If officers show a lot more empathy, this is a grieving family, and if they show that they have some compassion towards that it certainly will go a long way in bringing the parties closer and possibly cooperating," he said. "Like any family that has lost a loved one (Giovanni's family are) completely distraught. The life of young man has been taken away." BIKIE LAWS Do police need tougher bikie laws? Yes No VOTE NOW BIKIE WARS Are you worried about being caught in the crossfire? Yes No VOTE NOW I'm like a rock star, says bikie T is for trouble with the law The man the bikies just can't kill Bikie shot dead, father wounded in SA The Focarelli shooting Mr Georgiadis told Channel Ten that Giovanni was a "a respectful, kind, caring and compassionate soul. "He was an absolutely beautiful person and unfairly tarnished by the bikie reference," he said of Giovanni's connection to the Comanchero Motorcycle Club. Mr Georgiadis had been acting for Giovanni in an alleged assault case. But lawyer Stacey Carter has contacted Adelaidenow and said she represented the Focarelli family and Mr Georgiadis's comments were not authorised by Vince Focarelli. ''Mr Focarelli is currently mourning the death of his son, and if he is capable, he will make his own personal statement in due course,'' she said. 3.15PM UPDATE STREET gang supporters of slain New Boys gang member Giovanni Focarelli have indicated they want to take revenge against his killers, posting a message on a Facebook site that "no stone will go left unturned". The New BoyZ Support Crew Facebook site is one that Giovanni often contributed to and friends of the 22-year-old - who was ambushed with his father Vince Focarelli in a suburban Dry Creek street about 9.45pm last night - have started to pay tribute to the shooting victim. The full message, posted about 2pm, reads: "Why do bad things happen to good people? No stone will go left unturned. RIP Giovanni". The first tribute messages to the son of the former head of the Comanchero Motorcycle Club Adelaide chapter were posted on the site early yesterday morning. 3PM UPDATE POLICE Commissioner Mal Hyde has called for new legislation and harsher court sentences to halt the rise in bikie violence. Mr Hyde said the culture of violence and code of silence within bikie groups had made current legislation difficult to enforce. "We are looking for new legislation to help us in the future," he said. "We need legislation that can help us put them (bikies) before the courts and we need courts that can help us put them away. "The reality is violence, a wall of silence and intimidation is all part of a bikie's persona ... it creates a great barrier (for police). "When you have these offences happening in a way where you intimidate witnesses, it makes it much more difficult to legislate." Mr Hyde said police needed more help from the courts to lock bikies away once they had been arrested. "The courts are very patchy in terms of the significance of the sentences for firearms offences," he said. "The use of firearms is a key part of the culture and personality of bikie groups. That's part of what we need to deal with. "Every now and then you will see a reasonable sentence but more often you will see suspended sentences and good behaviour bonds. That doesn't take us very far at all to protecting the community." Mr Hyde said police were particularly concerned with two streams of violence engulfing bikie groups in South Australia - the feud between Vince Focarelli and the Comancheros, and the feud between the Finks and Hells Angels following the shooting of Finks member Mark Sandery's 11-year-old son. Mr Hyde said police were "keeping an open mind" on the motive for last night's shooting. "At this stage we are exploring all motives, including whether or not it's ongoing tension within the Comancheros, whether it involves another bikie group (or something else)," he said. "The circuit breaker (to end the violence) would be to apprehend those involved and put them before the courts."

Labor's hapless tough talking on bikies has made it the best recruitment agent the gangs have ever had

 

COMANCHERO bikie gang member has been shot dead while his father and club president survived a fourth attempt on his life. Witnesses said they heard up to five gunshots in quick succession at 9pm last night in an Adelaide suburb. Peter Frost, a resident of Dry Creek for 13 years, said he heard a popping noise but thought it might have been fireworks. "I wasn't sure if it was gunshots or what it was," he said. "It was like pop, pop, pop, pop... I just though it was fireworks or something. "From what I gathered later on, it (happened) down the end of the street, near the intersection (of Flame Ave and Churchill Rd North)." Mr Frost said police were at the scene until about 4am and they spoke to him several times. "They said there had been a shooting, a murder," he said. Focarelli silent on SA bikie shooting Bikie shot dead, father wounded in SA "It's not good in our neighbourhood." Police at the scene confirmed that Comanchero Giovanni Focarelli's body was in the back seat of a car on Prospect Rd, just outside Adelaide's Prospect Village Shopping Centre. He was aged in his early 20s. Minutes earlier, paramedics had gathered around the rear of the blue sedan, checking the body for signs of life. The cars headlights and hazard lights remained on. A man with multiple gunshot wounds, later confirmed to be gang leader and Giovanni's father Vince Focarelli, was rushed to Royal Adelaide Hospital. An SA Ambulance spokesperson said he was in stable condition and walking when ambulance crews arrived at the scene. It is the fourth time he has been the target of an assassination attempt. Ten police vehicles sealed off Prospect Rd within minutes of the first reports of gunshots about 9pm. A group of people who arrived at 9.35pm had to be restrained by police from entering the crime scene. One distraught woman was tackled by three officers. Sandra Basilico said she heard four shots out the front of her house before hearing a car speed off. Her son, Steven, 15, said the ordeal was "frightening". "It sounded like four gunshots, then I heard someone scream," he said. "It was pretty scary. We just went inside and sat tight. It was pretty frightening...I didn't come outside." Resident Steve Muller vented his frustrations over the bikie crime taking over his suburb. "These bikies, let them do what they want to do but do it anywhere else but our streets, it's rubbish," he said. "They are making themselves out to be gangsters and heroes ... it's not on. "Go out in the middle of nowhere and knock each other off but don't do it in our streets, it's silly, there are kids in the street." The State Opposition has slammed escalating violence among outlaw crime gangs, saying anti-bikie moves have failed. The State Government is working on the second phase of its anti-association laws after the High Court ruled elements of its initial push unlawful. The first phase of anti-bikie laws, penned by former attorney-general Michael Atkinson, was found to undermine the independence of the courts in a split decision. Attorney-General John Rau is now working on a new package to be presented in Parliament this year. Changes include giving the court power to "declare" a gang a criminal organisation, based on evidence supplied by police. Control orders could then be issued against members, banning them from associating. Opposition justice spokesman Stephen Wade today said the Government had talked tough but failed to deliver effective measures for eradicating outlaw gangs. "Labor's hapless tough talking on bikies has made it the best recruitment agent the gangs have ever had," Mr Wade said. "Labor's fruitless tough talking has elevated outlaw leaders like Vincenzo Focarelli to rock star status. "New laws will only ever reinforce well-established laws and policing practice. We need aggressive, targeted law enforcement against known criminals."

Firebug’s spree rattles, angers neighbourhood

 

A firebug left a smouldering trail of destruction as four vehicles were torched in four east London driveways, dangerously close to homes as their owners slept. The separate blazes in the Whitney St. and Edgeworth Ave. area broke out about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, rattling area residents. Police had no suspects, but said the string of fires doesn’t appear connected to a rash of fires three weeks ago that damaged two massage parlours and a strip club connected to the Hells Angels. “It’s crazy,” said the owner of one torched vehicle on Whitney St., who declined to give her name. Whoever set the fires tried to start her van on fire, but succeeded in only burning a hole in a seat. “It didn’t go up in flames like the rest,” she said. A car next door was gutted. The owner said he didn’t want the fire publicized. “It was vandalism,” he said. Around the corner on Edgeworth Ave., a pickup truck was burned out in a driveway, the door left open and headlights still on. Several doors down, on the opposite side of the street, a destroyed car sat in a driveway. “They were all in close proximity,” said London police Const. Ken Steeves. Steeves said there doesn’t appear to be a link between Sunday’s mayhem and January’s fires. Those broke out during a week of dramatics that also brought shootings. “There doesn’t seem to be (a connection) at this point,” Steeves said. The department’s criminal investigation division is heading the probe now and police are searching for an arsonist.

Top bikie's son dead after double shooting

 

Twenty-two-year-old Giovanni Focarelli died in the shooting in Flame Avenue at Dry Creek on Sunday night. His father Vince Focarelli is in a stable condition after being shot up to four times. Police say Mr Focarelli, the self-appointed head of the South Australian chapter of the Comancheros bikie gang, is refusing to help with investigations into his son's death. Detective Superintendent Grant Moyle says the two men were shot in a street at Dry Creek and the father then drove his dying son as far as Prospect in Adelaide's inner north. "We have a scene in a street at Dry Creek where we believe that the shooting did initially take place and that Focarelli has driven from there and down Prospect Road, where he's come across a patrol and he's stopped in front of that and sought their assistance," he said. "Detectives have spoken to Mr Focarelli at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. "He has declined to provide us any information that might assist us in identifying the offender. PHOTO: Shot dead: Giovanni Focarelli, 22. (facebook.com) "That is a difficulty we face in these particular cases. The people that do know information are often reluctant to assist the investigation." Detective Superintendant Moyle says police fear there could be reprisals. "We'll try to do what we can to talk some sense into these people and prevent anyone else from getting injured," he said. Vince Focarelli was shot in the leg last month and was the target of a failed bomb attack earlier by two Hells Angels associates. That bomb exploded prematurely, killing both of the would-be attackers. Adelaide lawyer Craig Caldicott says Vince Focarelli has alienated many other bikies. He says differences began when there was a falling out with a member of the Hells Angels. PHOTO: Lawyer Craig Caldicott warns of open warfare (Loukas Founten: ABC News) "It was on a personal level. They had been friends and then suddenly there was a huge falling out and I think out of the genesis of that Focarelli, with a view to try to protect himself, formed the New Boyz and then tried to brand himself as a Comanchero," he said. Mr Caldicott, who has legally represented many bikie gang members, says there is now more volatility due to Government changes to laws, to target bikies. He says some older gang members have quit because of the legal crackdown but it has left the situation chaotic. "At least they could keep control. You're [now] talking about open warfare. It would never have happened in the good old days," he said. "The wiser, older persons in the bike groups have moved out of them and it's romanticised ... the outlaw image and it's attracted a whole raft of new persons into the bike groups and there's no control being exercised at the moment."

New outbreak of bikie gang violence

 

South Australian Police are this morning investigating another bikie-related shooting that's left the son of one gang leader dead. Comancheros boss, Vince Focarelli was wounded several times but survived. His son however died from his wounds. Gang shootings have plagued police in more than one state in recent weeks. So is the long running crackdown on bikie gang violence actually working? Hayden Cooper reports. HAYDEN COOPER: When a police patrol car was flagged down in Adelaide's north late last night, the latest bloody chapter in a bikie gang war was unfolding. Vince Focarelli, a notorious gang leader, had stumbled out of the car with several gunshot wounds to his body. His son, 22 year old Giovanni Focarelli was in the back seat - dead. GRANT MOYLE: He is deceased and his father, Vince Focarelli has suffered a number of gunshot wounds. He has been taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital. This crime has been declared a major crime and it is being investigated by the major crime investigation branch with the assistance of a number of other crime branch areas as well. HAYDEN COOPER: Detective superintendent Grant Moyle wasn't surprised by the attempt on the Focarelli's life. GRANT MOYLE: You would all be aware that he has been the target of a number of attacks in the past so I would suggest it was a very planned, targeted attempt on his life. HAYDEN COOPER: Vince Focarelli is one of the most well known bikie gang leaders in South Australia as the head of the Comanchero's club. He's not shy of public attention. (Music) Only last month in a bizarre YouTube video he was seen dancing to music promoting the bikie lifestyle to would be members. This is the fourth attempt on his life - after a long history of conflict with rival clubs and even enemies within his own. As police in several states struggle to control bikie gang violence, this episode is a setback to the law enforcement efforts. Detective superintendent Moyle says the job is made even harder because in this case, Focarelli won't cooperate. GRANT MOYLE: Detectives have spoken to Mr Focarelli at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He has declined to provide us any information that might assist us in identifying the offender. That is a difficulty we face in these particular cases. The people that do know information are often reluctant to come forward or assist the investigation.

Focarelli has told police he won't help them find the killer.

DISCLAIMER:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder.The self-proclaimed leader of the Comanchero outlaw bikie gang in Adelaide is refusing to help authorities find his stepson's murderer as police call for tougher laws to break the gangland code of silence.

Vincenzo Focarelli suffered a number of gunshot wounds in the fourth attempt on his life, but his stepson Giovanni Focarelli, 22, died after both men were shot on Sunday in Adelaide.

COMANCHERO bikie Vince Focarelli has refused to tell police who shot and killed his son Giovanni in a ''targeted attack'' in Adelaide's north last night.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Vince Focarelli had boasted only weeks ago that he was "the only man on the planet with nine lives".COMANCHERO bikie Vince Focarelli has refused to tell police who shot and killed his son Giovanni in a ''targeted attack'' in Adelaide's north last night.

Ten police vehicles sealed off Prospect Rd within minutes of the first call for an ambulance around 9pm.
A witness said an ambulance officer had told them that whoever was responsible for the shooting was still on the loose.
Prospect Rd, Prospect
Family and friends of Vince and Giovanni Focarelli arrive at the Prospect Rd scene last night.
Source: AdelaideNow
A blue sedan with West Australian registration plates was parked on Prospect Rd with its headlights and hazard lights on.
A group of people who arrived at the scene at 9.35pm had to be restrained by police from entering the crime scene. One woman had to be tackled by three officers.
Minutes earlier, paramedics had gathered around the rear of the vehicle and were believed to be checking a body for signs of life.
A nearby Prospect Rd resident said: "I heard a loud noise.
"It was a strange sound. I came down and there were police already here.
"As I got here, they rushed someone from the car to the ambulance."
Police were searching the immediate area around the car for evidence.
Focarelli shooting
Police search the vehicle in which Giovanni Focarelli's body was found in. Picture: Bianca De Marchi
Source: AdelaideNow
Det Supt Moyle stopped short of calling the latest shooting a bikie war but said police are concerned that the situation could escalate.
After a court appearance earlier this month, Vince bragged on Facebook that he "feels like a rock star" from all the media attention generated by his narrow escapes.
It was posted on December 16, the day after surviving his third assassination attempt after being shot in the leg at Munno Para West.
Vince and Giovanni Focarelli
Giovanni Focarelli, right, with father Vince outside the Adelaide Magistrates Court on January 12 this year.
Source: The Advertiser
Giovanni, in his early 20s, was stabbed in the stomach and chest outside his father's Hindley Street tattoo parlour Ink Central on May 22, 2010.
Vince, whose alleged associates engaged in a gunfight at a North Adelaide cafe, broke his silence to counter rumours that the Comanchero Motorcycle Club is plagued by infighting.
In a statement signed by him and released by him earlier this month, he called for privacy.
"Mr Focarelli denies there is any disharmony or in-house fighting within the Comancheros Motorcycle Club," the statement said.DISCLAIMER:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder.

Comanchero bikie is dead and his father is fighting for life after a shooting in Adelaide's north last night.

Twenty-two-year-old Giovanni Focarelli died in the shooting at Dry Creek. His father Vince Focarelli is in a stable condition after being wounded by up to four bullets. Police say Mr Focarelli, the self-appointed head of the South Australian chapter of the Comancheros bikie gang, is refusing to help with investigations into his son's death. Detective Superintendent Grant Moyle says the two men were shot at Dry Creek and then went to Prospect in Adelaide's inner north. "We have a scene in a street at Dry Creek where we believe that the shooting did initially take place and that Focarelli has driven from there and down Prospect Road, where he's come across a patrol and he's stopped in front of that and sought their assistance," he said. "Detectives have spoken to Mr Focarelli at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. "He has declined to provide us any information that might assist us in identifying the offender. AUDIO: Comanchero bikie's son killed after Adelaide shooting (AM) "That is a difficulty we face in these particular cases. The people that do know information are often reluctant to assist the investigation." Detective Superintendant Moyle says police fear there could be reprisals. "We'll try to do what we can to talk some sense into these people and prevent anyone else from getting injured," he said. Vince Focarelli was shot in the leg last month and was the target of a failed bomb attack earlier by two Hells Angels associates. That bomb exploded prematurely, killing both of the would-be attackers. Adelaide lawyer Craig Caldicott says Vince Focarelli has alienated many other bikies. He says differences began when there was a falling out with a member of the Hells Angels. "It was on a personal level. They had been friends and then suddenly there was a huge falling out and I think out of the genesis of that Focarelli, with a view to try to protect himself, formed the New Boys and then tried to brand himself as a Comanchero," he said. PHOTO: Shot dead: Giovanni Focarelli, 22. (facebook.com) Urgent briefing South Australian Police Minister Jennifer Rankine will get a briefing from the Police Commissioner Mal Hyde this morning about the shootings. She says police are doing their best to deal with bikie gang members. "Hundreds of them have been arrested and charged. Hundreds of their associates have been arrested and charged," she said. "We've barred hundreds of them from licensed premises. The police have charged them over drug dealing and seized firearms from them." SA Opposition police spokesman Duncan McFetridge says Government efforts against gangs are not working. "Getting these charges to stick, getting these arrests is part of it, but following through [is needed], making consequences for their actions and at the moment it looks like in Adelaide it's 'Dodge City', you're able to dodge the consequences," he said. Ms Rankine says she has already been assured by police they have the resources in their crime gangs taskforce to deal with bikie gangs. "They have 44 sworn officers in that taskforce. They have a range of other specialists in there, forensic accountants, criminal intelligence experts, a whole range of experts and they bring-in other people as they need from other areas," she said.DISCLAIMER:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder

Motorcycle-Riding Muggers Terrorizing Queens Driven Out of Town

Saturday, 28 January 2012

 

A pair of motorcycle-riding muggers who went on a Queens-wide crime spree late last year appear to have been driven out of town in 2012, police said. The two bike-riding robbers responsible for a string of muggings in western Queens seem to have ended their spree with an attack in Glendale last month, said Captain Michael Cody, commanding officer of the 104th Precinct. "We didn't get any more hits on that pattern," Cody said Wednesday night at the 104th Precinct Community Council meeting. "It kind of went stale." Cody said the muggers also struck in Richmond Hill and Elmhurst, noting their last reported crime occurred in December at 79th Place and 78th Avenue, police said. "Hopefully it won't come over this way again," said Cody, who did not comment on the manner in which the muggers attacked their victims, or whether or not they were armed. 104th Precinct Captain Michael Cody said a string of robberies led by a pair of men on motorcycles affected three Queens precincts. (DNAinfo/Nick Hirshon) Otherwise, Glendale did not see a single robbery in the 28-day period between Dec. 26 and Jan. 22, Cody said. There were 20 robberies in that period elsewhere in the precinct, which also covers Ridgewood, Middle Village and Maspeth, he noted.

Tammy Kingdon's folly was to return to Troy Mercanti on more than a dozen occasions during their tumultuous 16-year relationship.

 

There is an old proverb which says: "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." Tammy Kingdon's folly was to return to Troy Mercanti on more than a dozen occasions during their tumultuous 16-year relationship. The final result was that she became, at least as far as the underworld is concerned, a dog - the derogatory term reserved for anyone who gives information to police. It was the prolonged brutality of Mr Mercanti's alleged attack on January 6 which turned the unerringly loyal Ms Kingdon against him. Her lawyers told the Perth District Court last year, after Ms Kingdon was convicted of stealing, that she was a victim of regular physical abuse and had once had her teeth knocked out and an eye socket broken. But she stayed with him anyway. This time it was different. She wasn't beaten because of a drunken quip or because of an argument. Police sources say Mr Mercanti believed Ms Kingdon had been cheating on him with another man. She was allegedly beaten mercilessly and degraded. Mr Mercanti went to Queensland to meet fellow Finks bikies after the incident, while Ms Kingdon stewed about it. Last Friday, she took the two boys she bore to Mr Mercanti and disappeared into police protection. When Mr Mercanti discovered Ms Kingdon and the children were missing, he went on a massive bender which ended when he was arrested on Sunday morning while trying to smash through the sliding glass door of a Duncraig home. He is in custody at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, under armed guard, and requires dialysis after his kidneys shut down. In the long-term, he needs a kidney transplant. But the next move is Ms Kingdon's. She has given police a statement in which she alleges Mr Mercanti bashed her three times in five years, including the attack on January 6. Will she continue with the claim or will she return to him as she has so many times before? The ramifications of her decision are dire. Bikies don't appreciate those who testify against them. And they rarely forgive and forget. Making matters worse for Ms Kingdon is that she has no visible means of support. Her assets consist of two properties - in Jurien Bay and Balga. Both are heavily mortgaged and the Balga property is the headquarters of the Finks. It's difficult to see them paying the rent while she is having their WA leader prosecuted. Just why Ms Kingdon continually returned to an allegedly abusive partner is something that a psychiatrist examined last year as part of the sentencing process after she was convicted of stealing. Dr Sam Febbo's report has been kept private, but the details of Ms Kingdon's life were revealed by her lawyer Stephen Shirrefs in court. Born on July 16, 1976, Tammy Cherie Kingdon grew up in Denmark, but her parents Norman and Faye separated when she was five. Ms Kingdon went to live with her father on a farm about 20km out of town and the District Court was told she was beaten and tormented by her stepmother. She had panic attacks at school because she feared going home. Ms Kingdon finished her schooling to Year 10 in Denmark before completing Year 11 at Albany. She then left to live on the Abrolhos Islands, near Geraldton, where she had a two-year relationship with a crayfisherman. When the relationship ended, Ms Kingdon, aged 18, moved to Perth and worked at the Wanneroo Tavern before moving to Kalgoorlie. There she met Mr Mercanti, then a nominee of the Coffin Cheaters bikie gang. They have been on-and-off ever since she was 19 and now have two children, aged 11 and 10. For a time, Ms Kingdon worked as a stripper, but these days she rarely works. Though she had said during last year's court case that she was leaving him and moving down south to be with family, she did not leave and has since travelled to the Gold Coast and Adelaide to be with Mr Mercanti. Few believe she could now return to Mr Mercanti after making the complaint to police. One said: "He's not the type to let sleeping dogs lie."

Gun victims won't talk to cops

 

A recent spate of shootings across Perth may reflect a deeper problem with organised crime in WA, Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan says. There have been at least seven high-profile shootings in Perth this month, including three this week. And two murders in the past five months have involved firearms: the repeated shooting of Hamersley father and convicted drug dealer Mite Naumovski in late September and the driveway shooting death of 21-year-old student Jeremiah Iskander in Wanneroo last month. Victims and witnesses in most of the cases have refused to help police. "All these incidents are a concern and not just because there are individual people getting hurt but because it indicates there are broader organised crime issues and the reason we know that is because victims and witnesses are unco-operative," Mr O'Callaghan said. "Typically in the bikie world and other parts of the organised crime world, witnesses and victims will not co-operate." In one incident this month, a 31-year-old man arrived at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital with a gunshot wound to the face. He told detectives he would not co-operate. This week, two men were charged over unrelated shootings at Belmont and Singleton. The Singleton incident, which left a 31-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the hand, led detectives to uncover a cache of guns, silencers, explosives, ammunition and other weapons. Police figures show 641 guns were stolen from January 2010 to mid-November 2011 in 198 separate thefts. More than half the thefts involved multiple firearms being stolen, including the theft of 79 paintball guns from a Carabooda skirmish centre in June 2010. From January 2010 to mid-November, 78 unsecured firearms were stolen. Mr O'Callaghan said he believed most of the guns used in recent shootings were unlicensed. "There is movement of things like drugs and firearms across Australia by organised crime gangs," Mr O'Callaghan said. "A lot of bikies are behind these movements. "Our job is to make sure we keep disruptive pressure on these people so they can't keep on doing these things." Mr O'Callaghan said there was always a possibility, however remote, that an innocent bystander could be shot.

Hells Angels likely to attend huge motorcycle and music festival near Vernon

 

The Hells Angels will again be attending the Sturgis North motorcycle and music festival, held this year near Vernon. Ray Sasseville, the White Rock-based promoter of the event, which has been moved to a site about 20 kilometres outside of Vernon, confirmed the Angels will be at the Motoplex Speedway in Spallumcheen between July 18-22. Last year the event was held in Salmon Arm “I believe they’re going to have a few booths there,” Sasseville said Thursday. The notorious biker gang also sold merchandise at the Salmon Arm event last year amid a significant police presence. The large crowd alone will require some extra police surveillance of this year’s Sturgis festival. But because the event hasn’t been officially confirmed, spokesman Gord Molendyk of the Vernon-North Okangan RCMP couldn’t give a police perspective. “We’re monitoring it like everyone else,” said Molendyk. “There will be planning, of course.” Sasseville said he had a written agreement to hold the festival but it was still being finalized. He said there were no problems with the Hell’s Angels at the last Sturgis event, which he said attracted about 35,000 to 40,000 people, and he’s not anticipating any concerns this year. “I spent over $300,000 on security last year,” he said. “Everybody behaved themselves.” A bigger concern for Sasseville is paying off more than $200,000 in debts left from last year’s event. His planned move to a facility with power and infrastructure — like fencing and stands that seat about 7,500 — will improve his bottom line and pay off the debts from Salmon Arm. “That for me is going to be difference between profit and loss,” he said. Sasseville revealed that the bands playing the festival include Edgar Winter, Nick Gilder and Sweeney Todd, The Stampders and The Guess Who.

Hell's Angel refused bail in Dain Phillips death

 

The BC Court Of Appeal has rejected a bail application from a full patch Hell's Angels member while he waits to be tried for second degree murder in the death of a Kelowna man. 31 year old Norman Cocks is charged, along with six other men, in the baseball bat beating death of Dain Phillips in the Rutland area last June. RCMP say the street battle was a dispute between two families. Also accused are Hell's Angel Robert Thomas, Cock's father Robert - who is president of the Throttle Lockers gang - and four other associates. Only the younger Cocks and Thomas are in custody. In his decision, Chief Justice Lance Finch says the Crown's case is strong and Cocks allegedly played a larger role in the death than five of his co-accused. The case is believed to be the first in BC where a Hell's Angels member has been charged with murder.

Hells Angel kills himself in jail

 

A member of the Hells Angels on trial for the murder of two South Shore men in 2010 has been found dead inside his cell at the Rivière des Prairies detention centre in an apparent suicide. A police source told the Gazette Jeffrey Albert Lynds, 42, a member of the Hells Angels Nomads chapter in Ontario killed himself around noon Friday. Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Ann Mathieu would not identify the deceased, as his family may not have been notified as yet. But she confirmed that a 42-year-old man was found dead and that the current hypothesis is suicide. There were no signs of violence on the body, Mathieu said. An autopsy will be performed Monday. Lynds was accused of ordering the murder of Kirk Murray, 47 and Antonio Onesi, 51 in January 2010 in the parking lot of a McDonald's in Notre Dame de Grace. They were shot to death as they sat inside a car. Both were South Shore residents. He was also on soon to be brought to trial for the murder of a third South Shore man, Mark Stewart, 41. His preliminary inquest was scheduled to resume in May. More details to come.

Former Hells Angels leader sues wrong government for seizing home

Monday, 23 January 2012

 

The former leader of the Manitoba Hells Angels says he's been the victim of a crime — the government allegedly stole his house. Ernie Dew has filed a unique civil lawsuit, claiming his property in St. Andrews, Man., was illegally seized and sold following his arrest on drug charges. Dew, 53, seeks unspecified financial damages. "The government has misused and/or exceeded the power of its public office," says a statement of claim filed in Court of Queen's Bench. "This was a reckless, wanton and egregious disregard of his rights." There's just one small problem with Dew's lawsuit, which was specifically filed against the provincial government. "It wasn't us that seized his house," a provincial spokesperson told the Winnipeg Free Press Tuesday afternoon. It was the federal government who took action, meaning Dew's lawsuit will likely fall quickly. He would have the option of re-filing it and naming Ottawa in the lawsuit. The provincial government did seize the Hells Angels clubhouse two years ago, which the spokesman said may have left Dew confused. But they had absolutely no role in the seizing of his property. Dew, 52, was convicted at trial last year of cocaine trafficking and possession of goods obtained by crime stemming from a 2006 arrest. He is to be sentenced on Jan. 18. However, Dew was acquitted of another drug-related offence that specifically involved selling his home. Dew claims — wrongly, as it turns out — the provincial government's criminal forfeiture unit jumped the gun by taking possession of his property under proceeds of crime legislation. "This was misfeasance of public office," Dew claims. He says the government is guilty of "conversion, trespass to chattels, unjust enrichment, misfeasance of public office and negligence," Dew never denied getting involved in several illegal transactions, but offered a unique explanation for his actions at trial. He claimed he only agreed to sell drugs to his friend, Franco Atanasovic, because the man said he was deep in debt and desperate for money to pay back several people who were after him. Atanasovic was working at the time as a police agent and helped capture the deals on audio and video. Dew insists he never made a cent from the transactions and was simply acting as a middle man between Atanasovic and the drug supplier — and a peacemaker between those looking to collect from Atanasovic. Dew said Atanasovic was in trouble and began pestering him at work, eventually convincing him to set up three different drug deals. The deals were done at Dew's workplace, while a fourth one allegedly happened at his home just north of Winnipeg. Dew always insisted he had nothing to do with that one, which he was ultimately found not guilty of and which is now the subject of his lawsuit. The judge found Dew was away hunting at the time a kilogram of cocaine was exchanged between Hells associate Jerome Labossiere and Dew's wife, Vera. Both Labossiere and Dew's wife ultimately pleaded guilty for their roles in that transaction. "My house would be the last place I'd do a drug deal. That would be grounds to have my home seized. I've seen it happen before," Dew told court.

Dutch towns to crack down on Hells Angels

 

The mayors of twenty Dutch municipalities have agreed measures to curb the power of criminal motorcycle clubs in the catering industry. Clubs such as the Hells Angels and Satudarah are blackmailing a growing number of cafés and restaurants, according to the police. Details of the plan the mayors agreed on Friday in the city of Utrecht have not been disclosed. In some municipalities the catering industry is controlled by a small number of people, investigations carried out by the Public Prosecutor's Office suggest. Admittance is being determined by criminal organisations. It’s thought that the motorcycle clubs are also trying to take control of a number of security companies. The municipalities involved in the joint plan include Rotterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Tilburg, Breda, Arnhem and Vlaardingen. Officials from Amsterdam, The Hague and Apeldoorn also attended the meeting. The move has been welcomed by the catering branch. A special telephone number for café and restaurant owners to report blackmail was set up a year ago.

After 10 days on the lam, the fourth suspect wanted in the shooting of a Hells Angels member and a woman in London, Ont., is in custody.

 

Peel police arrested Nikota Martin, 26, Friday in Brampton, Ont. Martin faces multiple charges, including accessory to attempt murder, failing to stop for police, dangerous operation of a vehicle, driving while suspended, improper storage of a firearm, occupying a vehicle with a firearm and possession of a firearm. London police issued a warrant for Martin’s arrest after a Jan. 11 shooting outside a suspected Hells Angels clubhouse on Grey St. in London. Diamond Ialenti, a full-patch Hells Angel, was shot along with a woman. Ialenti was in serious condition in hospital following the shooting. The woman was treated at hospital and released. Three men, including a London man and two Brampton men, were arrested shortly after the shooting following a high-speed chase. The shooting came after several arsons at London adult businesses, including a tattoo shop, two massage parlours and a strip club. A massage parlour in St. Thomas, Ont., was also torched. At least three of the businesses had ties to biker gangs. The string of arsons, along with the shooting, sparked fears of a biker war in London between longtime rivals the Hells Angels and the Outlaws. But police dismissed the rumours saying the crimes were the result of a feud between a London street gang and the Hells Angels over the lucrative drug trade.

Accused bikie killer arrives back in Sydney

Monday, 16 January 2012

 

The man accused of shooting a bikie dead in Sydney's south earlier this month was flown back to the city last night from Western Australia. Tarek Abdallah was escorted on a flight from Perth after his arrest in the city's north last week. The 25-year-old spent last night in a police cell and is due to face Central Local Court today charged with murder and shooting with intent to murder. Lone Wolf bikie Neal Todorovski was fatally shot in the head outside his Sans Souci apartment on January 4. Police say the 37-year-old and two of his friends had confronted and bashed Abdallah. Abdallah allegedly broke free and fired at his attackers before escaping in a black four-wheel drive. Mr Todorovski's friends, 32-year-old John Leger and 23-year-old Matthew Lewis have each been charged with affray and concealing an indictable offence over their refusal to cooperate with police. Leger is also charged with possessing a prohibited weapon.

The head of the Hell’s Angels in Iceland was arrested yesterday and remand in custody for a week

Saturday, 14 January 2012

The head of the Hell’s Angels in Iceland was arrested yesterday and remand in custody for a week, accused of having ordered attacks on a woman. A total of five people connected to the Hell’s Angels are in custody over the case. 

In the early hours of the 22nd December a physical assault in a residential building in Hafnarfjörður, near Reykjavík, was reported to police. Initial stories about the attack stated that a couple in their 30s had burst into the woman’s flat and attacked her violently. She was later transported, unconscious, to hospital. The police arrested the couple and put them in custody.

As the investigation progressed, the spotlight started to pan wider and according to RÚV sources putting the couple behind bars clearly did not work, because the woman was violently attacked again. Extra resources were quickly applied to the investigation and two more people were arrested and put behind bars.

Yesterday the case’s fifth arrested suspect, the head of the Hell’s Angels Iceland organisation, was also remand in custody for one week. According to sources, he is accused of ordering the attacks on the woman – reportedly as revenge for something.

All five in custody while the police continue their investigation are in isolation for the good of the case, so they cannot consult each other on their alibis.

 




Street gangs with outside muscle, targeting the Hells Angels

Friday, 13 January 2012

- Street gangs with outside muscle, targeting the Hells Angels, have sparked the outburst of violence that's left five adult businesses in flames and two people shot, London police said Wednesday.

Police vowed to end the violence, even as organized-crime analysts and criminal sources disputed if the Hells had the clout in London to battle back.

Late Wednesday, three of the men police arrested -- two from London, one from Brampton -- appeared in court by video to answer early charges related to the shooting. All three men are black, giving credence to the police theory biker gangs -- which don't usually allow black members -- aren't responsible for the recent violence.

Whoever is responsible for the fires and shootings, they'll have to answer for it, Chief Brad Duncan vowed at a news conference.

"You are priority No. 1," Duncan warned. "We will not tolerate this open display of violence. This shooting has taken place in a residential area, in close proximity to a public school, and notwithstanding the time of day that it occurred, it has put our citizens at grave risk."

The weapon involved in the shooting hasn't been found, police said.

Police held the news conference partly to quell rumours the violence was a result of a battle between the Hells Angels and their traditional rivals, the Outlaws, another biker gang.

"There is not information at this time to support such an assumption," Duncan said.

But street gangs "can be every bit as dangerous as the more traditional outlaw motorcycle clubs," he warned. "They are associated with the drug trade. Guns and firearms are involved. They are every bit as organized."

Street gangs have no fear of the Hells Angels or any outlaw motorcycle club, biker analyst Yves Lavigne told QMI Agency.

In London, the street gangs have taken over the drug-trafficking market because traditional biker clubs lost their power, said Lavigne, author and co-author of several books about outlaw bikers and drug trafficking.

 

In December, the revived Hells Angels chapter in London began leaning on the street-gang members to start working for them, he said.

"What you've seen the past five days is the street gangs telling the Hells Angels, 'Screw you.' "

Full of new members with little hardcore experience, the London Hells Angels don't have the backbone to retaliate, Lavigne said.

"They don't have what it takes."

But another organized crime analyst and author, James Dubro, disagreed.

"The Hells Angels have to hit back. It's a total lack of respect," he said. "There has to be retaliation and serious retaliation."

Dubro said the news that a street gang, not the Outlaws, is targeting the Hells Angels could spell even more trouble in London.

"In the end, it leads to more violence and more chaos in the underworld," he said. "Hells Angels has it all. You couldn't possibly take them on."

Two sources with knowledge of London's criminal world said they're expecting the London Hells Angels will bring in supporters from out of town to deal with the matter.

"You've got all the boys coming in. It's going to go on until someone gets killed," said one long-time associate of bikers.

The outburst of violence began Saturday morning, when a tattoo parlour on Hamilton Road owned by a member of the Outlaws, was set ablaze. That was followed by fires at a strip club owned by a Hells Angels leader, and two massage parlours, Sunday morning.

The sequence of fires suggested the Outlaws and Hells Angels were in the early stages of a war.

The violence escalated Wednesday morning, just after midnight, when two people were shot outside a purported clubhouse of the Hells Angels on Grey Street.

A female victim was treated for gunshot wounds and released. A male victim remains in hospital in serious condition, police said.

Police wouldn't release the names of the victims, but said the man was a known member of the Hells Angels and the woman an associate of his.

Sources told QMI Agency the male victim is Diamond Ialenti, a full-patch member of the Hells Angels.

The victim "has had ongoing issues with street gangs," Duncan said.

Asked if it's unusual for London street gangs to hire outside muscle, Duncan noted many other shootings in the city have involved drug dealers and gang members from the Greater Toronto Area and other areas.

"In many of our previous investigations, shooting investigations and homicide investigations, that fact has come out fairly clear."

Duncan said police were still trying to figure how an Outlaws-associated business got mixed up with a battle between street gangs and the Hells Angels.

Man to front court over bikie murder

 

Sydney police say their investigation into the shooting death of a bikie is not over, despite the arrest of a man on a warrant for murder yesterday. The 25-year-old man allegedly fled to Western Australia after shooting Lone Wolf bikie gang member Neal Todorovski in the head in Sydney's south at Sans Souci on Wednesday last week. He was arrested by Perth detectives in the city's north at Sorrento yesterday and is being held in custody to face court today. Police from Strike Force Lobbe will apply for his extradition to Sydney. Detectives say Todorovski and two fellow Lone Wolf bikies had bashed the man, from Maroubra in Sydney's south-east. They say the man broke free and fired at his attackers before escaping in a black Land Rover four-wheel drive. Todorovski's funeral is planned for tomorrow, but the men who were with him will not be able to make it. Police charged John Leger, 32, and Matthew Lewis, 23, when they refused to cooperate with investigators last week. They are in custody charged with concealing an indictable offence and affray. Leger was also charged with possessing a prohibited weapon.

Free booze for alcoholics makes perfect logic, but no sense

 

As the old adage has it, if you live long enough, you see everything. In the world of substance abuse and addiction, “everything” was in the news today. A group from Vancouver’s notorious hub of drug addiction and policy experimentation, the Downtown East Side, is proposing that a publicly funded, peer-run drinker’s lounge dispensing free legal alcohol to alcoholics be instituted as a means of harm reduction. The Eastside Illicit Drinkers Group for Education, whose spokesman, Rob Morgan, an alcoholic from a First Nations reserve near Terrace, B.C, sees the idea as the natural next step in Vancouver’s famous harm reduction movement. The lounge would be modeled on Insite, the safe injection site whose mandate is not to rehabilitate addicts, but to reduce the rates of disease and death caused by unhygienic consumption and unsupervised overdoes. Mr. Morgan’s logic is impeccable. Desperate alcoholics will drink anything with alcohol in it; they will drink hand sanitizer acquired from “dealers” who steal them from hospitals, as Mr Morgan has; they will share disease-ridden bottles; they sometimes freeze to death in an alcoholic stupor; and for only $3, and some water dilution, will consume 30 standard drinks from a 250 ml bottle of 95% rubbing alcohol. The ravages produced on the body by such a regime certainly rival any depredations short of AIDS suffered by drug addicts.

Goodwin Sentenced to 25 Years for Child's Rape

Thursday, 12 January 2012

 

A member of the Bandidos biker gang is headed to prison for 25 years following his conviction on multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Wednesday jurors started considering the punishment for Ira Goodwin, 67, who was wheelchair bound and hooked up to an oxygen tank in court. Goodwin faced up to 99 years in prison for raping a runaway 12-year-old girl who was staying at his home. The jury heard testimony from the victim and Goodwin's wife about the girl being given methamphetamine and alcohol before the assaults. Marcia Goodwin is serving a 10-year sentence for her role in the sexual assaults Ira Goodwin is no stranger to prison with multiple convictions in his past, including a 30-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter back in 1984.

Turf war feared as Gypsy Joker bikies descend on Brisbane hotel

 

ONE of Australia's most notorious bikie gangs is poised to expand its presence in Queensland, prompting fears of a turf war. But Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson says the public will be warned first if there's real danger of conflict. The Gypsy Jokers are this week expected to gather at an inner-city Brisbane hotel, catching the attention of police. The fears follow a spate of bikie violence and a subsequent police crackdown resulting in more arrests and almost 40 people being banned from Surfers Paradise's party precinct.

Gypsy Jokers in force for recruitment drive as police go mobile to track them

 

The Gypsy Jokers, with chapters in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, have already started arriving in Brisbane for a poker run, where bikies ride together and converge on hotels and casinos. State Crime Operations Chief Superintendent Gayle Hogan said police had set up shop near the gang's Everton Park clubhouse and door-knocked nearby residents. "We have no particular intelligence to indicate that any offences are going to occur or that there is any risk to the public at this stage," she said. "What we are doing is making sure we are in position to manage this run and make sure that traffic is adhered to . . . and that the public remain safe." Chief Supt Hogan said there was no indication that a turf war was imminent. "There may be some tensions between criminal organisations in respect to the different kind of activity they are in, but we have no intelligence to indicate that this group or any other group are likely to be involved in a turf war," she said. "At this stage the poker run is not an unlawful activity. "All outlaw motorcycle gang members recruit as any organisation would do. Whether they're trying to make a huge recruitment drive, I'm not in a position to say that." The Courier-Mail yesterday revealed the Gypsy Jokers, members of which notoriously killed a former West Australian police officer with a car bomb in Perth in 2001, would stage its national gathering in Brisbane. State Traffic Command acting Chief Supt Andy Morrow said police anticipated a large number turning up. "They (Gypsy Jokers) should be warned, if the laws are broken, if traffic regulations and rules are broken, we will act," he said. "We're not providing any escort to this group, but we are providing an intense observation, so we'll be travelling with them, we'll be observing, but in terms of providing an escort, absolutely not, no."

Shooting Near Hells Angels Biker Clubhouse

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

 

While London police investigate four weekend fires that may be connected to a biker war, it looks like the feud has boiled over into gunfire. Police say two people were shot near Grey and William streets just after midnight this morning. A male and female were transported to London Health Sciences Centre with non life threatening injuries. The male is in stable condition and the female has been released from the hospital.  The names of the victims will not be released. Witnesses tell us that it appears to have been a drive by shooting at a biker clubhouse but police have not confirmed that. Police have said they believe the victims were targeted and this was not a random act. Police followed a vehicle and arrested three people inside while one got away.  He's described as a man with tanned skin, bald, approximately 260 pounds wearing a light coloured jacket and black vest. Grey Street is closed between Adelaide and William because of police activity and will remain closed for some time.

Bikies jailed over Sydney Airport brawl

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

 

Two Commanchero bikies involved in the "shockingly vicious" fight with members of the rival Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang at Sydney Airport in 2009 have each been sentenced to three years' jail. With time already served, Ishmail Eken, 29, will be eligible for parole on April 18, while Usama Potrus, 29, will be eligible on July 13. In the NSW Supreme Court today, Justice Robert Allan Hulme said the two men were involved in the brutal brawl in which Hells Angel associate Anthony Zervas was bludgeoned and stabbed to death in front of dozens of witnesses in the departure hall. Both men had offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, but Justice Hulme said the Crown "surprisingly" rejected the pleas and they were put on trial for murder. A jury found Commenchero boss Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi guilty of murder but found Eken and Potrus not guilty of murder and manslaughter. They were convicted of riot. The court heard members of both motorcycle clubs were called to the airport after Hawi and Hells Angels boss Derek Wainohu boarded the same Sydney-bound flight in Melbourne. Justice Hulme said Eken and Potrus would have been aware of the likelihood of violence, given the two clubs were "at war" with each other. He said the Commencheros, who outnumbered the Hells Angels, were the aggressors and nine members or associates have been found guilty or pleaded guilty to offences, while just two of seven Hells Angels have been held criminally responsible. Eken and Potrus were both given a maximum sentence of five years.

Hells Angel member sentenced to prison in motorcycle theft

judge today sentenced a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club to 10 years in prison for stealing the motorcycle of a former club member. A jury in October convicted Aaron McIntosh, 39, of stealing the motorcycle from former Hells Angel James Ivans. McIntosh stole the vehicle from the backyard of Ivans' home in October 2010, according to court testimony. Prosecutor Tate McCallister told the judge that McIntosh, of Ventura, committed the theft on behalf of the Hells Angels, which wanted to punish Ivans because he had left the club under "bad terms." McCallister described McIntosh as a "bold and proud" member of the Hells Angels who has several felony convictions and has been in prison before. He urged the judge to sentence McIntosh to a long prison sentence to protect the community. "Our goal here is to protect the people of Ventura County from the Hells Angels and this defendant," said McCallister, adding that McIntosh is unremorseful for what he did. Ventura County Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell denied a motion for a new trial filed by McIntosh's newly hired lawyer Anthony Zinnanti, who is handling McIntosh's appeal. Zinnanti asked the judge to put his client in a rehabilitation program, saying that sending him to prison will accomplish nothing in terms of his rehabilitation. "We are setting him up for failure," Zinnanti said. In an interview, Zinnanti denied that the Hells Angels is a criminal organization. He said that McIntosh could be out of prison in 30 to 36 months if authorities determine the crime wasn't egregious. The judge gave McIntosh credit for nearly two years for time served behind bars since his arrest. McCallister said in an interview that McIntosh has anot

Customs inspector associated with variety of known criminals

 

If she were to be judged based solely on the company she kept, Marilyn Béliveau would be in deep trouble. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of her ongoing trial is the fact that while she was under investigation, the Canada Border Services Agency inspector associated with a variety of known criminals. While testifying during her trial in December, Béliveau, 32, explained that a few of those men were people she has known since high school. As part of her defence, she also claims most of them manipulated and used her. Much of the evidence presented during the trial has involved wiretapped conversations between the men Béliveau knew. By listening to the hundreds of conversations, she has learned what some of them really thought of her. They referred to her in degrading terms like "booze," a Haitian term for a prostitute, or "that broad." "It was very painful, especially on the part of those I considered my friends," she said. Here is a short list of some of the people Béliveau associated with before her arrest in 2006: Fitzgerald (Fritz) Dorsainvil, 34, of Montreal: He is currently serving a two-year prison term for his role in a theft ring that stole nearly $1 million worth of computer equipment from 27 businesses in and around Montreal. Dorsainvil helped carry out some of the breakins weeks after he and Béliveau shared an apartment. But even before they moved in together, Dorsainvil had a criminal record. Béliveau said she was introduced to Dorsainvil during the spring of 2005 at a club. She testified she made a very hasty decision to move in with him so she could get away from what she described as her overly protective parents. "(I did this) even though I knew he was a bad person, not the best person." she testified. "I knew he sold drugs, that he sold pot." Béliveau said she thought she was in love with Dorsainvil and that she could change him. They moved in together in October 2005 and she left the apartment three months later. She said it took a while for her to realize Dorsainvil had no interest in a relationship and was using her to pay his rent. Béliveau said she refused to accept the truth, even when her best friend pulled her aside one day and told her it was obvious. Jean Philippe Guerette, 31, of Montreal: A cousin of Dorsainvil, he received a sentence of nearly five years for being part of the same computer theft ring. Béliveau said that one day while eating at a Rockaberry's in 2005, when she was still with Dorsainvil, Guerette told her he wanted to make "a big score" by bringing drugs in through a shipping container. She said Guerette expected her to turn a blind eye when the container arrived. "It was out of the question," Béliveau said of her reaction to what Guerette proposed. As part of her defence, Béliveau testified she did not have the power to get a container through customs with a guarantee it wouldn't be searched. Béliveau said she panicked and that, in an effort to get out of the situation, she "invented" a story and told Guerette and Dorsainvil she was already involved in another smuggling project. She said she also made up the story "to seduce" Dorsainvil. During one wiretapped conversation, Dorsainvil was recorded telling Béliveau she should demand $100,000 from the people she was helping. She insisted, during her trial, that this was a reference to the scenario she had fabricated. She testified that she feels the only thing she did wrong while being investigated in Project Colisée was to fabricate a false report that a container had been seized to back up her lies to Guerette and Dorsainvil. "It has always been in my personality. Whenever I feel cornered, I make things up," she said while testifying. The statement could seriously damage the credibility of her entire testimony, and her lawyer Charles Montpetit appeared to realize this immediately. His next question was whether she thought of herself differently today. "It's certain if I were in the same situation today, I would do things differently. I wouldn't make the same mistakes," Béliveau said. Eric Semino, 32, of Montreal: Currently serving a four-year prison term for possessing three loaded firearms seized in his Aylwin St. apartment, including a shotgun he kept under his mattress. Semino was once part of a gang, called the K-Crew, that was involved in a dispute with the Hells Angels over heroin trafficking in Montreal. On April 12, 2007, he fired a shot into the window of a bar on St. Laurent Blvd. while Normand Marvin (Casper) Ouimet, a member of the Hells Angels, was inside. Semino already had several convictions, for assault and weapons offences, long before Béliveau was investigated in Colisée. When they were both in their early teens, Semino's family lived in a house directly behind Béliveau's. Béliveau said Semino and his brother were often left on their own for days while their mother travelled. She said her mother took pity on the boys and fed them whenever they were on their own. "For me, Eric was like my big brother - the big brother I never had, because I was an only child," she said. "Even if he took another path in life, me and my friends at the time did not abandon him. We did not judge him." She said that while she worked for CBSA, she sent Semino letters whenever he was in prison - which was often - and didn't hide the friendship from her colleagues. Ray Kanho, 35, of Laval: One of the principal organizers of the smuggling effort Béliveau is charged with, as well as several others uncovered by Project Colisée. He is currently serving a 14-year sentence for a series of crimes he pleaded guilty to in 2009, including drug trafficking and corrupting Béliveau as well as Nancy Cedeno, another CBSA employee. Béliveau testified she knew Kanho from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry high school in St. Léonard. She knew him through Rony Bardales, 34, a close friend who attended the same school and a co-accused in the current trial. She testified she remained friends with Bardales until their arrests in 2006. She said she was impressed by how Kanho and Bardales flaunted their wealth, and that she assumed it was generated through legitimate businesses they claimed to own. Béliveau said Kanho and Bardales would spoil her and her friends whenever they went out for drinks or dinner. "They were an example of people who had accomplished things. They were people who drove around in luxury cars, who had money. To me, they were successful," Béliveau said. She described Kanho as someone she considered to be a "big teddy bear" before her arrest.

Comancheros jailed over Sydney Airport brawl


Two Comanchero bikie gang members have each been jailed for at least three years for their involvement in a fatal brawl at Sydney Airport. Usama Potrus and Ishmail Eken, who is also known as Canan Eken, were 26 at the time of the brawl in March 2009. Hells Angels associate Anthony Zervas was murdered during the melee involving the rival gangs. Potrus and Eken, now both 29, were found guilty of riot in November and faced sentencing in the New South Wales Supreme Court this morning. Justice Robert Hulmes said the brawl was "brazen and arrogant" and that it left many witnesses deeply distraught. He said a woman with a baby who witnessed the fight - which lasted less than one minute - described being frozen with fear. He sentenced each of the men to five years in prison, with a non-parole period of three years. But Potrus and Eken could both both be released within months as they have been held in custody since being arrested. Eken will be eligible for release in April, while Potrus could be freed in July.

Bikies jailed over Sydney Airport brawl

 

Two Commanchero bikies involved in the "shockingly vicious" fight with members of the rival Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang at Sydney Airport in 2009 have each been sentenced to three years' jail. With time already served, Ishmail Eken, 29, will be eligible for parole on April 18, while Usama Potrus, 29, will be eligible on July 13. In the NSW Supreme Court today, Justice Robert Allan Hulme said the two men were involved in the brutal brawl in which Hells Angel associate Anthony Zervas was bludgeoned and stabbed to death in front of dozens of witnesses in the departure hall. Both men had offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, but Justice Hulme said the Crown "surprisingly" rejected the pleas and they were put on trial for murder. A jury found Commenchero boss Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi guilty of murder but found Eken and Potrus not guilty of murder and manslaughter. They were convicted of riot. The court heard members of both motorcycle clubs were called to the airport after Hawi and Hells Angels boss Derek Wainohu boarded the same Sydney-bound flight in Melbourne. Justice Hulme said Eken and Potrus would have been aware of the likelihood of violence, given the two clubs were "at war" with each other. He said the Commencheros, who outnumbered the Hells Angels, were the aggressors and nine members or associates have been found guilty or pleaded guilty to offences, while just two of seven Hells Angels have been held criminally responsible. Eken and Potrus were both given a maximum sentence of five 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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