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Hells Angel arrested in killing of fellow gang member

Monday, 27 February 2012

 

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

Rebels gang member arrested in connection with drug lab

Saturday, 25 February 2012

An alleged senior member of the Rebels Outlaw Motorcycle Gang was arrested yesterday in connection with a drug lab found in Castle Hill last year. Strike Force Raptor has been investigating a drug manufacturing syndicate in Sydney's west since discovering a dismantled clandestine laboratory, used for the manufacture of methylamphetamine (‘Ice’), at Castle Hill on September 22. A large quantity of precursor chemicals and drug manufacturing equipment was seized from the property and one man remains before the court. Following ongoing inquiries, Strike Force Raptor officers and Gangs Squad detectives, assisted by the Drug Squad’s Chemical Operations Team, executed search warrants at one home in Lalor Park and two homes in St Clair yesterday afternoon (Thursday, February 23). At Heffron Road, Lalor Park, they located precursor chemicals, drug manufacturing equipment, more than $50,000 cash and small amounts of drugs. An alleged senior member of the Rebels, aged 42, was arrested and charged with possess precursors for the manufacture of prohibited drugs, recklessly deal with the proceeds of crime and supply prohibited drug. He was refused bail to face Blacktown Local Court today. A 26-year-old woman will be issued a court attendance notice for possess prohibited drug and possess restricted substance, to appear at court at a later date. At Auber Street, St Clair, police found a dismantled clandestine laboratory with precursor chemicals and drug manufacturing equipment still on site. A cannabis plant, a slingshot and a small amount of ‘Ice’ were also located. A 37-year-old woman located at the home will be issued with a court attendance notice for possess prohibited drug and possess prohibited weapon, to appear at court at a later date. At Explorers Way, St Clair, police seized a dismantled ‘box’ lab containing drug manufacturing equipment, precursor chemicals and a guide to manufacturing prohibited drugs. Inquiries into the alleged drug manufacturing syndicate are continuing and Strike Force Raptor officers anticipate further arrests. Strike Force Raptor was established by the State Crime Command’s Gangs Squad two years ago and is a proactive and high-impact operation targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs and any associated criminal enterprises.

Christopher Ablett Convicted For Murder Of Mark Guardado, San Francisco Hells Angels Leader


Christopher Ablett, a 39-year-old member of the Mongols motorcycle club, was convicted of murdering Mark "Papa" Guardado, the late head of the San Francisco Hells Angels chapter, at a bar in the Mission in 2008. The two gangs are reportedly rivals. A jury convicted Ablett of four charges: murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a deadly weapon, using a gun in a violent crime and using a gun in murder. Guardado was killed in a September 2008 fight outside of a bar in the Mission. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Ablett traveled to San Francisco to visit a friend, and stopped by the bar wearing his Mongols gear. Reportedly, he was carrying a foot-long military knife and a revolver with him at the time. Guardado heard about Ablett's presence and visited to bar to investigate. A fight broke out, and Guardado was shot twice and stabbed four times. Ablett turned himself over to police in Oklahoma one month later. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Ablett argued that he acted in self-defense during the trial, but the jury rejected his claim. Prosecutors alleged that Ablett killed Guardado to better his ranking with the Mongols. The Mongols Motorcycle Club reacted to the news on the group's blog: If the federal case agasint Mongol Christopher Bryan "Stoney" Ablett proves anything, it proves that American federal "justice" is a crooked shell game played in a back alley at midnight. Guardado was the president of the San Francisco chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, and was an advisor for the television show "Sons of Anarchy," a popular series about outlaw motorcycle gangs. More than 1,000 people attended his funeral. Ablett will be sentenced on May 15 and faces a minimum sentence of life in prison. FOLLOW HUFFPOST SAN FRANCISCO ON Facebook: Like 4k Twitter:   Get Alerts

France reporter Edith Bouvier asks for Syria evacuation

Thursday, 23 February 2012

 

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

Indonesia moves foreigners out of riot-hit prison

 

Indonesia started moving foreign inmates, women and children out of an overcrowded prison on Bali island Thursday after two days of rioting, officials said, as troops backed by water canons and armored vehicles surrounded the tense facility. Schapelle Corby and several other Australians serving time for drug trafficking balked at the transfer because of the difficulty adjusting to a new place, said Bambang Krisbanu, a security official at the justice ministry. He said evacuations would be voluntary, but other officials later said the evacuations would apply to all those selected — about 60 foreigners, 120 women and 13 children. The violence that erupted late Tuesday at the Kerobokan jail — which houses more than 1,000 drug traffickers, sex offenders and other violent criminals — was triggered by the stabbing of an inmate during a brawl a week ago. The prisoners blamed lax security for allowing a knife into the prison. By Wednesday night, the inmates had chased away all 13 guards and seized full control of the compound, said Beny Arjanto, the local police chief. Some climbed to the top of the watch tower and started throwing rocks and a Molotov cocktail at more than 500 soldiers and police stationed outside. Others tried to break down the front gates. Troops responded by firing tear gas and shots in the air. Others stormed the facility, but they were forced back out 10 minutes later, said Arjanto. A few inmates have been injured, he said, but none of them seriously. The decision to relocate foreigners, women and children to another prison was made as it became clear Thursday that tensions were not going to ease anytime soon. "We want to evacuate them immediately for their own safety," said Col. Wing Handoko, a military spokesman. "We need to make sure they aren't used by other prisoners to get international attention or as bargaining chips for their demands. "We don't want them to be taken hostage." Though he would not say exactly where they would go, another police officer told The Associated Press they were heading for Klungkung, a jail about 40 miles (70 kilometers) away. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak to the media. The Kerobokan prison about 20 minutes from Bali's international airport was built for around 300 prisoners but houses more than three times that. Of the 60 or so foreigners, 12 are Australians and one is American, said Anang Khuzairi, a prison official. The most famous is Corby, a former beauty school student serving a 20-year sentence for smuggling 9 pounds (4.2 kilograms) of marijuana into Bali. Her case garnered intense interest in Australia, where many people believe she was innocent. Krisbanu said she and the other Australian inmates insisted they did not want to be moved. However, minister justice Amir Syamsuddin who is in Bali overseeing the operation, has requested evacuation of all foreigners, women and children, Handoko said. He added that so far 31 inmates, 14 of them foreigners have been moved by Thursday evening. "Most of the foreigners rejected, but we forced them due to the minister's request," Handoko said. No further information was available on the 13 inmates who are younger than 18.

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

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


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

Gunmen Kill 5 Taxi Drivers in Northern Mexico

 

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

13 Zetas Members Arrested in Western Mexico

 

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

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


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

Hells Angels member has sentencing moved

 

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

Dartmouth shooting victim connected to Hells Angels

 

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

COMANCHERO bikie who kept his membership a secret from his father has become the eleventh man to be sentenced over Sydney's fatal airport brawl.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


 Zoran Kisacanin, 25, was found not guilty of murder or manslaughter last November, but guilty of riot and affray in relation to the March 2009 brawl. Anthony Zervas, the brother of Hells Angel member Peter Zervas, was killed during the violence involving the rival motorcycle gangs. Justice Robert Allan Hulme jailed Kisacanin in the NSW Supreme Court for at least three years two months and a maximum of five years and three months. "The Comancheros and Hells Angels motorcycle gangs were, in effect, at war with each other," the judge said. "The offender was a nominee member of the Comancheros. "He was subject to its strict rules requiring loyalty and prohibiting cowardice." The judge said Kisacanin played a role in the fighting - which generally involved wrestling, punching and kicking - and also picked up a bollard. But there was no evidence as to what he did with it. The judge said the participants in the riot were prepared to "engage in wanton and significant violence regardless of the presence of many airline and airport staff and members of the public". In an affidavit, Kisacanin said he became involved with the Comancheros after meeting members at a local gym. He said that the gang "sounded like good fun hanging out with the guys and being part of a brotherhood". As his mother and brother were in Serbia, his only family in Australia was his father and he kept his involvement secret from him. The judge noted Kisacanin has been housed with his Comanchero colleagues in jail, saying he "had no idea what to do if (he) was alone in prison". After promising to cease association with the club on his release, his father has agreed to let him live and work with him in a painting business. Comanchero national president Mick Hawi is yet to be sentenced after being found guilty of murder, while another club member is to be sentenced for manslaughter in March. Eight other Comancheros and two Hells Angels members have already been sentenced for their roles in the brawl.

DNA link alleged to child shooting scene

Police allege they have DNA evidence linking a prospective member of the Hells Angels to a home invasion during which an 11-year-old boy was shot at Semaphore in Adelaide. The man has been refused bail in the Magistrates Court. Former Fink Mark Sandery was enraged when his son was shot in their Military Road home last September. The boy was sleeping with his brother in a bedroom when the shots were fired, wounding him twice in the left leg. Five months later, Arron Cluse, 21, has been charged and faced court over the home invasion. Police have told the court they found Cluse's DNA on a hammer used to smash windows at the scene. Arron Cluse has been refused bail They also claim to have found two balaclavas at Cluse's house and glass fragments from the windows. The prosecutor has also revealed Cluse's now-former home was riddled by 14 gunshots last December, then set alight a month later. Fearing for his safety, Cluse fled interstate to stay with family. Defence lawyer Aaron Almeida has told the court Cluse will plead not guilty and there is no motive or evidence to link him to the shooting. Magistrate Robert Harrup refused bail, ruling the charges were too serious and the accused was a flight risk, a judgment that distressed his family and friends.

Rebels gang member on run

 

A gang member released on electronic bail has ripped the monitoring device from his leg and gone on the run. Bernard Simon Monk, 32, is wanted for breaching electronic bail while facing a charge of possession of methamphetamine for supply. Northland police spokeswoman Sarah Kennett said officers had been searching for Monk since he fled from a Whangarei house on February 12, after an electronic device was removed. Monk, a Rebels motorcycle gang member, is described as Caucasian, 1.8m tall and of medium to solid build. When the gang moved into a building in Porowini Ave in April last year, Monk acted as the gang spokesman. Preferring to be called "Guru", he told the Northern Advocate the club "wanted to cement itself in the community and have a positive impact". He said police claims the gang had Australian links and were known for manufacturing and dealing methamphetamine was propaganda and their club had a "no-drugs policy". At the time, Monk said: "Police have gone overboard, talking about drugs and crime when they have nothing to substantiate it. "We are here to make friends with the community and that won't happen by dealing drugs. It's not a gang. "We are motorcycle enthusiasts and we don't have any involvement in meth." The gang have since moved out of the Porowini Ave building. Police believe Monk has contacts in Whangarei and Auckland. Mrs Kennett said members of the public should not approach Monk. If anyone spotted him they should call police immediately.

.PROSPECTIVE Hells Angels member fired shots into the bedroom of a former Finks member's children

Monday, 20 February 2012

DISCLAIMER:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder.PROSPECTIVE Hells Angels member fired shots into the bedroom of a former Finks member's children, hitting his son twice in the leg, a court has heard.

Aaron Cluse, 21, of no fixed address, appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court yesterday charged with offences including aggravated acts to endanger life.
Police allege Cluse was one of up to four people who stormed the Semaphore home of former Fink Mark Sandery in September last year, when Sandery's 11-year-old son was shot.
Magistrate Bob Harrap refused to grant Cluse bail in any form, saying the allegations were "serious", he was considered a flight risk and protection of the community was paramount.
The court heard Cluse was a prospective member of the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang and that his father was a full member interstate.
Police allege that at 10.20pm on September 30, Cluse and three or four others broke into Sandery's home at Military Rd, Semaphore, by smashing several windows and bashing down the front door.
"At least two persons gained access inside ... then a number of shots were fired from a handgun into a bedroom occupied by two children," the police prosecutor said. "There was an 11-year-old and a nine-year-old boy sleeping in separate single beds at the time.
"The 11-year-old was struck (by bullets) in the upper left leg and lower left leg near his ankle," he said.
"The victim himself stated he was asleep, then awoken by the noise of people running through the house."
Police recovered a hammer from the Semaphore home that allegedly had Cluse's DNA on it.
Glass fragments were also found inside Cluse's car, that police said were from the crime scene.
Cluse was first questioned by police about the shooting in mid-December.
Several days later, Cluse's former residence at Burton was shot at more than 14 times, the court heard.
"Then in January this year the same premises was the subject of a deliberate arson attack that caused $150,000 damage," the prosecutor said.
Aaron Almeida, for Cluse, said his client had been in contact with police since December and was not a flight risk. Mr Harrap remanded Cluse in custody to appear again in May.
Police prosecutors said the investigation into the shooting was continuing.

THE Hells Angels has set up a chapter at Bondi Beach.

DISCLAIMER:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder.

A deal has been done with rival bikie gang the Comanchero to "'divvy" up the lucrative eastern suburbs drug trade, police sources said.
The Hells Angels announced the Bondi chapter on their website yesterday.
Police intelligence indicates the Hells Angels recently established a clubhouse close to Bondi but not on the beach.
"We know both gangs have been looking to set themselves up there," a senior NSW police officer said.
"The two groups would have come up with some sort of boundary line between Maroubra and Bondi."
The Comanchero have traditionally had strong footholds in Maroubra and Coogee.
"It's pretty obvious the two have spoken to each other and decided on who has what territory," the officer said.
Two years ago a series of incidents, including a car bombing in the eastern suburbs, were attributed to a turf war between the Comanchero and Notorious.
Police suspect the recent peace deal may have come about with many of the Notorious members now "patching over" to the Hells Angels.
The officer said both gangs were on recruitment drives and constantly looking for new areas to expand.

Hells Angel Dayle Fredette turns informer, pleads guilty to murder

Saturday, 18 February 2012

 

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

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

 

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

India wants Italian ship captain to surrender

 

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

Sinaloa cartel carving drug routes in Caribbean

 

Dominican Republic — The Sinaloa cartel, Mexico’s largest drug-smuggling organization, is working with Dominican criminal groups to establish a Caribbean trafficking route, Dominican and US officials said. In recent months, Dominican officials have blamed the Mexican group for a handful of murders and stealing a corporate jet under the cloak of early-morning darkness from an airport here. The jet, which was later recovered in Venezuela, was going to be used to transport cocaine from South America, officials said. The Sinaloa presence was confirmed when authorities, working with the US Drug Enforcement Agency, the DEA, arrested a Mexican national and confessed Sinaloa member. During interrogation, Luis Fernando Bertolucci Castillo admitted to having a direct line to reputed cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. He was later extradited to the US to face drug charges late last year. “The Sinaloa cartel is seeking to create a route to Europe using the Dominican Republic,” Dominican Ambassador to the US Anibal de Castro said this month, citing Bertolucci’s statement. That marked the government’s first public acknowledgement of the group’s presence. Read more: Mexico's drug war by the numbers The cartel members are also seeking logistical support from Dominicans, according to a member of the Dominican National Direcorate for Drug Control, a branch of the military that combats trafficking, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. That includes relying on Dominicans to provide them with small planes for drug flights from the southern Venezuelan state of Apure, as well as obtaining precursors to synthetic drugs such as amphetamines used for crystal meth, the source said. So far, the group’s presence appears limited to small cells. However, Sinaloa’s mere existence adds a level of complexity to a country already struggling with a handful of international criminal groups. It also suggests cartels are examining the Caribbean as a supplement to the preferred Central America-Mexico route — a shift US officials have feared. The Obama administration has warned that the drug war in Mexico would push cartels to increasingly run drugs through the Caribbean. The islands were the preferred routes for notorious kingpins like Pablo Escobar in the 1980s until a US crackdown pushed the trade toward Mexico.

Loaded pistol found at bikie's house Loaded pistol found at bikie's house


Crime Gangs Task Force detectives raided the man's house and an adjoining property yesterday and allegedly found a loaded .357 revolver, ammunition, a crossbow, nunchucks, self-protecting spray and instructions for the manufacture of a controlled drug. The arrested man, 48, has bikie links and was charged with numerous firearms offences including possessing an unregistered firearm, possessing a firearm without a licence, possession of a prohibited weapon and dangerous article and possessing instructions for the manufacture of a controlled drug. Crime Gangs Task Force Detective Superintendent John De Candia said: "Any opportunity to remove firearms and dangerous articles contributes to enhancing community safety".

Bikie's girlfriend still missing

 

POLICE remain in the dark as to what has happened to missing woman Tina Greer. The girlfriend of a Fink motorcycle gang member disappeared almost a month ago from near Aratula. Police have expanded their search area to Lake Moogerah, south of Kalbar, using sonar and divers to search for her body. Mounted police are also being used to search the creeks surrounding the lake. Ipswich Detective Inspector Lew Strohfeldt said while the case officially remained a missing person investigation, police were searching the lake for a body. "We're looking to see if we can find any human remains in this lake," he said. "We can't say whether Tina will be found alive and well, whether she may have had some sort of an accident or if she has been the victim of some sort of foul play, we just don't know." Divers have been scanning the lake with sonar for the past two days and will continue today. They are yet to find any objects of interest. Insp Strohfeldt confirmed Ms Greer's boyfriend was a member of the Finks motorcycle gang. While police had talked to him, they were not in regular contact and were uncertain of his present location. "We have spoken to him, but as I said we have got no information that would assist us in locating Tina," Insp Strohfeldt said. Police divers have been scanning the lake using the same sonar technology used to find shipwrecks. Information received from the device will be used to identify non-natural objects hidden underwater. Divers will then investigate any objects of interests they identify. Ms Greer was last seen on Wednesday, January 18 leaving her home in Beechmont on the Gold Coast hinterland. Her car, a maroon Holden Commodore was found on Governor's Lookout containing her belongings including phone and handbag

New laws to break bikies' silience

 

Bikies who refuse to answer questions at Australian Crime Commission coercive hearings face immediate imprisonment. Legislative amendments introduced in Parliament on Wednesday will see those who refuse to cooperate detained and dealt with in the Supreme Court for contempt - rather than facing a charge that can take up to two years to be dealt with in the lower courts . SA police use the ACC's coercive hearings as part of investigations into high risk crime groups - including bikie gangs - with the most recent gang member summonsed to appear one of the suspects involved in the internal war between Comancheros members. One senior gang figure is currently before Adelaide Magistrates Court on a charge of failing to answer questions at an ACC hearing. The amendment to the Australian Crime Commission (SA) Act 2004 is one of a raft of new legislative initiatives unveiled by Attorney-General John Rau as part of the fight against bikie gangs. Others include new laws preventing gang members from associating, protection for witnesses, harsher bail provisions and amendments to repair anti-bikie legislation that was inoperable following two recent High Court decisions.  Mr Rau yesterday said the ACC amendment was one of several new measures aimed at cracking the bikie code of silence that often hampered police investigations. "It is one of a dozen or more recalibrations that tighten the noose around them a little bit more," he said. Mr Rau said he was hoping the legislative package would proceed through parliament rapidly because his briefings with police indicated there was a danger the current volatile situation with gang violence in Adelaide could escalate. "There is a credible risk that if this legislation is not passed things might deteriorate. I am not prepared to be any more explicit than that," he said. After a meeting with Mr Rau on Friday, Shadow Attorney-General Stephen Wade said the legislation would be discussed at a Liberal party room meeting on February 27. "This Bill is without doubt an improvement on the 2008 Act," he said. "Just as we gave the 2008 Bill thorough scrutiny.......we will also be giving this thorough scrutiny." Opposition leader Isobel Redmond, police spokesman Duncan McFetridge and Mr Wade will meet with senior police tommorrow to be briefed on the extent of the gang and organised crime problems confronting the community. Several senior defence lawyers told the Sunday Mail they thought it unlikely new contempt sanctions would see gang members comply with a coercive hearing. "History has shown us that many take no notice of the threat of jail if they do not comply," one said. "Look at just who has gone to prison for failing to answer questions and who is before court now on the same charges. If they do not want to talk, they won't." In Western Australia last year a Finks bikie was given a two-year jail sentence for failing to answer questions before Western Australia's corruption commission, which has the contempt provision planned for SA. The man was one of five bikies charged with contempt after refusing to give evidence into a wild brawl involving the Finks and the Coffin Cheaters.

Hells Angel charged over Sydney ice labs

 

Police say they have charged a senior member of the Hells Angels bikie gang over the discovery of two illegal drug laboratories earlier this week. The 33-year-old man was arrested with an alleged Hells Angels associate on Wednesday afternoon at an apartment block at North Ryde, in Sydney's north-west. Police say they found drugs and a loaded handgun at the unit. The apartment was raided by officers investigating the discovery of two methylamphetamine labs on Tuesday in the city's south-west at Catherine Field and Narellan. Specialists from the Drug Squad's Chemical Operations Team are still working to dismantle the equipment and chemicals used in the manufacture of ice. Both men arrested yesterday have been charged with drug manufacture and other drug offences, while one has been charged over the pistol. Two other men who were arrested at the lab sites on Tuesday, aged 36 and 41, remain before the courts.

Hells Angel turns informer for SharQc cases

 

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

Hells Angel linked to BPS station construction

 

The new police station isn’t open yet but it appears it has already been paid a visit by a gang member. Despite reports that a full-patch Hells Angels member was among those working at the construction site, the city’s police chief says the station’s security hasn’t been put at risk.

An accused biker hit man is on trial for the murders of two rivals during Quebec's bloody biker war more than a decade ago.

Thursday, 16 February 2012


Forensic evidence led to the arrest of Louis Cartier, 45. He's accused of killing Hells Angels rivals in 1999 and 2000.
The shootings took place during a battle over drug and prostitution rackets that pitted the Hells against the Rock Machine.
More than 150 people, including innocent bystanders, were killed during the war, which ended a decade ago following a series of mass arrests.
Rock Machine associates Serge Hervieux and Francois Gagnon were among the casualties in the war, but their murders went unsolved for years until advanced forensics led to an arrest.
Cartier sat in the prisoner's dock on Tuesday, his buzz cut a sharp contrast to the long hair he used to sport. He listened attentively as Crown attorney Eric Poudrier said he intends to prove Cartier planned and carried out the murders.
The Crown said the murders were part of a conflict between the Hells and the Alliance, a group that included members of the Rock Machine and another gang called Dark Circle.
Two people wearing hoods entered a garage in east-end Montreal on Aug. 26, 1999, and shot Hervieux, 38, several times.
The gunmen fled in a stolen vehicle, which was later found torched. But the fire had failed to destroy several photos, including one that identified the owner of the garage, who was a retired Dark Circle member.
Francis Gagnon, 41, was shot dead in his apartment in Montreal North on June 6, 2000.
The Crown says the killers scaled a back porch and opened fire on Gagnon through a patio door. The suspects then fled in a stolen Dodge Caravan.
Police found the minivan and confiscated two revolvers, two pairs of shoes, a full can of gasoline and a sports bag. DNA testing on the bag led to Cartier's arrest.
The Crown says a pair of gloves found in a trash can also point to Cartier as the killer.
The Crown says it will call police officers as well as expert witnesses, including specialists in forensics, ballistics, biology and chemistry.DISCLAIMER:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder.

alleged senior member of the Hells Angels bikie gang and an associate have been charged over a drug manufacturing operation in Sydney.

Police investigating the commercial manufacture of methylamphetamine, also known as ice, say they found sophisticated drug labs in raids on two homes at Catherine Field and Narellan in the city's southwest on Tuesday.
Two men were arrested, one at each of the homes, and charged.
Further investigations into the bosses of the drug manufacturing operation resulted in the arrests of another two men, both aged 33, at an apartment block in North Ryde on Wednesday afternoon.
One of the men is an alleged senior member of the Hells Angels outlaw bikie gang while the other is an associate of the group.
During the search, police allegedly found drugs and a loaded pistol.
Both men will face Parramatta Local Court on Thursday charged with knowingly taking part in the manufacture of prohibited drugs and other drug offences.
One of the men was also charged with firearms offences.

DISCLAIMER:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder.

Notorious longtime member of Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club Thomas Heath, 64, was sentenced on February 8th to a term of 35 years to life in state prison

Notorious longtime member of Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club Thomas Heath, 64, was sentenced on February 8th to a term of 35 years to life in state prison pursuant to his conviction on multiple charges that include dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, threatening a witness, street terrorism, and promoting the felonious criminal conduct of the Hell’s Angels.

The severity of the sentence imposed by Ventura County Superior Court Judge David Hirsch is, according to statements made by Ventura County District Attorney Gregory Totten to the media following the imposition of the prison term, “a product of four prior violent felony convictions, including murder.”
This sentence will mark Heath’s second trip to state prison, the first of which came after a series of violent 1977 encounters with the Mongols, a rival motorcycle gang, which resulted in the bombing death of two people, including a 15-year-old boy.  Heath, one of the two original charter members of the Ventura Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club, was convicted of two counts of second degree murder at his 1994 trial and sentenced to seven years.  He was, at the time of that sentencing, already in prison on an additional conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence charges, and threats against a witness.

County DA Gregory Totten
The current charges and conviction also had a serious episode of domestic violence as their source.  Following a dispute with his female housemate, pursuant to which she summoned police to report Heath had threatened her life and that of her son, responding officers, according to Totten, “quoted Heath as saying that he doesn’t threaten people, he simply kills them.”
Immediately prior to Judge Hirsch’s imposition of sentencing, attorney Adam Pearlman, acting as Heath’s Public Defender, suggested that the court consider his client’s age when determining a prison term.  That argument was countered, Totten reported, by Assistant District Attorney Tate McCallister’s response that the court “should not engage in arithmetic to gauge life expectancy” as a sentencing protocol, a suggestion that the court apparently followed.DISCLAIMER:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder.

Snitch paid $500K in Project Deplete

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

 

Using a paid police informant was one tactic employed in a recent RCMP-Winnipeg police sweep of the drug underworld — continuing a scheme used by police in similar high-level crime probes in the recent past. An undercover agent is to be paid in the range of $500,000 for his or her role in Project Deplete, a justice source confirmed Monday. The organized crime investigation, details of which were revealed last Friday, remains ongoing with two suspects remaining at large. The latest sweep saw charges laid against people police accuse of being major players in the city’s drug trade. Some have gang associations, others are more “independent,” police said. Among those arrested were former Hells Angel William ‘Billy’ Bowden and Joshua Lyons, who was convicted in Project Defence, a separate organized crime sting conducted in 2006. As well, justice officials have authorized the use of direct criminal indictments against suspects in the latest case. The bulk of those arrested so far made an initial appearance in the Court of Queen’s Bench Monday. The use of direct indictments means preliminary hearings meant to test the Crown’s evidence are bypassed. Direct indictments were also used in a 2009 crackdown into the Hells Angels-associated Zig Zag Crew gang code-named Project Divide. In that case, police paid former Zig-Zag member Michael Satsatin hundreds of thousands of dollars to inform on the criminal activities of other members. Lawyers appearing for suspects in Project Deplete Monday were given some preliminary disclosure and portable computer hard drives containing police evidence. No evidence was put forward by prosecutors on the record in court. The lawyer for Christopher Murrell, 36, said he plans to make a bail application prior to Mar. 14 — the date Justice Brenda Keyser remanded the cases to. Jay Prober refused comment on the specifics or details of the investigation or allegations against Murrell, who is accused of cocaine-trafficking. He did state he felt the use of direct indictments was unfair to accused people. If a paid informant was used, Prober speculated, it wouldn’t be uncommon for the Crown to use the legal tactic to ensure witness safety. “If there’s an agent involved, they inevitably use direct indictments because they don’t want to bring the agent out more often than necessary,” Prober said. Nearly seven kilograms of cocaine, almost half a kilo of crack, more than 9,800 ecstasy tablets, a kilo of MDMA and large quantities of methamphetamine, oxycodone and marijuana were seized during Project Deplete, which started in August 2011. Police estimate the total street value of the drugs seized at about $1 million. FOUR MORE ARRESTS Four more arrests were made as part of project deplete. Kareem Martin, 31, Dane Sawatzky, 27, Mark Beitz, 31, Dalton Miller, 21 were all taken into custody since the first arrests were made on Friday. Warrants for the arrest of two individuals are still out. Elmer John Deato, 26 is wanted for trafficking cocaine while David Thomas, 29 is wanted for weapons trafficking, among other charges.

More arrests made in million dollar drug bust

 

Police have made four more arrests in the major drug operation called Project Deplete, a long-term investigation by the Manitoba Integrated Organized Crime Task Force. More than 80 officers made arrests and seized more than a million dollars worth of drugs on Friday. A total of 13 people were charged and seven people were arrested at that time, said police. On Monday, they announced four more arrests: Kareem Martin, 31, Dane Sawatzky, 27, Mark Beitz, 31, and Dalton Miller, 21. On Tuesday, RCMP said Elmer John Deato, 26, had also been taken into custody.  A warrant for arrest remains in effect for David Thomas, 29, of Winnipeg, Manitoba for weapons trafficking and other offences.  Those taken into custody Friday include: William Lauren Bowden, Joshua James Lyons, Chi Hong Do, Christopher Lea Murrell, Pardeep Kapoor, Joshua Robert Charney, all of Winnipeg and Ramsey Yaggey of Edmonton. "We've had a lot of success in the last while with the Hell's Angels, taking them off the street, the Zig Zag Crew and others," said Winnipeg Police Chief Keith McCaskill on Friday. "When that happens quite often there is a void left open and there is people jockeying for position." On Friday officers seized: 6,912 grams of cocaine, 465 grams of crack cocaine, 272 grams of methamphetamine, 9,811 ecstasy tablets, 1,063 grams of MDMA, 501 oxycodone tablets and 891 grams of marihuana. A number of the accused made an appearance in court Monday, including Hell's Angel member Billy Bowden, who was charged with three counts of trafficking cocaine and two counts of possessing the proceeds of a crime. Many of the accused have been remanded to March 14. Some of their lawyers expressed their intention to seek bail in the meantime. Project Deplete began in August and focuses on high level independent drug traffickers in Winnipeg and around the province. Officers from the Winnipeg Police Service, RCMP and Brandon Police Service participated in Friday's bust.

Accused wants to play soccer with witness

 

A MAN accused of orchestrating a $3.7 million fraud ring that allegedly involved a Hells Angels bikie boss wants his bail conditions varied so he can play soccer. Adam Eli Meyer, a husband and father, defrauded or attempted to defraud legitimate businesses of property, luxury cars, a yacht and excavation equipment, police allege. Meyer, 37, appeared today in Sydney's Central Local Court charged with 12 fraud offences and one count of dealing with the proceeds of crime. A number of the offences allegedly involved Felix Lyle, the president of the Sydney chapter of the Hells Angels, who has also been charged over the alleged fraud ring. Meyer is on bail with a $250,000 surety bond from his father. Counsel for Meyer applied today to have his bail conditions varied so he could play soccer for a Balmain team. The court heard that Meyer plays on the right wing and a prosecution witness plays left wing for the same team. His bail conditions prohibit him from approaching any witnesses in the case but Meyer's counsel assured the court he would not discuss the matter if he and the witness did engage in random conversation. The witness has provided a statement to police that a tax statement in his name is fraudulent, the court heard. Thomas Spohr, from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, opposed the bail variance, saying it could result in "contamination of evidence". The matter was adjourned before determination because Meyer's father was not present to consent to the bail variation. Meyer, Lyle and four co-accused will appear in the same court on April 10, when Meyer will have an opportunity again to have his bail conditions varied. Court documents allege a string of alleged fraud offences spanning from September 2010 to early this year. Police say Meyer provided false business and tax documents from a dummy company, BRZ Investments Pty Ltd, in attempts to obtain financing to purchase high-value items. Four Caterpillar excavators worth $940,000, a Regal Commodore yacht worth $325,000 and a $1.2 million Alexandria property were on the wish list. Other items included four Harley Davidson motorcycles, three Lexus cars, two Mercedes, two Toyotas and a number of computers.

Gangs are overrunning some Chattanooga neighborhoods.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Gangs are in Chattanooga. Gangs are killing people in Chattanooga. Gangs are overrunning some Chattanooga neighborhoods.

Ministers have organized prayer circles with heads bowed. The Chattanooga Police Department has created and dismantled gang units. Social-work programs have been launched to give new opportunities to reformed gang members or to keep young kids from becoming gang members in the first place.
But the only quantifiable change is glaring: The number of gang members is now more than double the number of sworn police officers.
"The negligence of political bodies over the years has led us to this violent moment in time," Hugh Reece, former president of the Southeast Council of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, said in a recent email to the Times Free Press.
"No one wanted to take it serious a couple of years ago when the U.S. surgeon general classified the level of youth/gang violence as a public health crisis. Elected officials were extremely slow to admit the gang problem even existed, although citizens were being terrorized by angry youth. Prevention measures were never put into play."
Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd said the issue of gangs has been cyclical.
"We had it in the 1980s. We've had in the '90s. We had it in the early 2000s," he said.
"It's all about money and all about selling drugs. Period. When the leader gets taken off the streets and goes away for life, that's a big deterrent. We've had several like that. ... The only thing that's new is the age of some of the people doing the shootings -- 14-, 15-, 16-year-olds are shooting up neighborhoods and shooting at each other."
Though police have been dealing with gangs, there's been too little conversation elsewhere in the community, some say.
Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Suzanne Bailey has worked in the justice system targeting youth for about 30 years. She attended a steering committee meeting last week focusing on gangs.
"I think most of us agree, we've not done, as a community, what we could have done. And that's blame for all of us. There's no one group to blame."
Now the city's trying again. But skepticism remains.
The city has hired two anti-gang coordinators, an assistant district attorney and a retired minister, and vowed to use a federal program that has tackled gang issues successfully in other cities.
Some in the community think it's pretty much a new verse of the same old tune. Others, though, are hopeful the new plans will be more than words that linger on the lips of politicians and community leaders, but later die.
Politicians such as Mayor Ron Littlefield and Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Beck tout programs they've implemented to address the gang problem. Some programs succeeded at first, but died when community involvement and funding dried up.
And the problem is worse than ever.
Last year, two-thirds of the 25 killings in Chattanooga were blamed on gangs. That's up from 30 percent, or six of 20 homicides, reported in 2008.
City Councilman Russell Gilbert, who represents an area that includes Bonny Oaks Drive, Kings Point and part of Brainerd, recognizes a failure to adequately address the gang presence.
"If it were addressed years ago, we wouldn't have this problem now. But it's here now, so you have to address it," he said.
Reece said that outside of programs for jobs or education, increased police presence or stronger sentences for gang crimes, change must begin with residents.
"A lot of people want to dog the police department and judges, but they don't want to look in the mirror," he said. "Nothing is going to change in the city unless they step up to the plate. They all know who the drug dealers are. They all know who the gang members are."
PAST EFFORTS
In 2006, Littlefield's office endorsed Stop the Madness, a Christian nonprofit focusing on youth, after two shootings in one week. The city gave Stop the Madness $100,000 in each of two years, but then stopped the funding.
Program coordinator Ternae Jordan, who is also the pastor at Mount Canaan Baptist Church, said the organization does not promote itself as focusing on gangs.
"But we're still touching the lives of kids through enrichment programs and outreach. We don't have a gang program. We have a youth program. I struggle with giving kids credit for being in a gang. I think we have a youth problem. It criminalizes kids."
Littlefield touted Stop the Madness after a high-profile gang shooting.
Adrian Patton, 26, was shot and killed as he drove through the Emma Wheeler public housing complex. A couple of days later Jermaine Southers, 24, was shot and killed at East Lake Courts in retaliation for Patton's death.DISCLAIMER:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder.

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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