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Friday, 29 April 2011

Tyler Willock, who has been associated to both the Independent Soldiers and the Red Scorpions, entered his pleas in Surrey Provincial Court Monday

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well-known gangster who has been targeted in both a 2009 shooting and a later sledgehammer attack pleaded guilty this week to three firearms charges.

Tyler Willock, who has been associated to both the Independent Soldiers and the Red Scorpions, entered his pleas in Surrey Provincial Court Monday as his trial was scheduled to begin. He will be sentenced in July.

Willock had faced eight counts in all following a July 21, 2008 incident in Langley, after which he was arrested by the Gang Task Force.

He pleaded guilty to just three of the charges — careless use of a firearm, occupying a vehicle in which there was a firearm and possessing a prohibited firearm with ammunition.

Willock was in a vehicle in Surrey that was targeted by gunfire in February 2009.

Three people linked to the rival United Nations gang were later charged. Less than a month later, Willock was severely beaten with a sledgehammer in Langley. A former associate linked to the Red Scorpions was charged. Both cases remain before the courts.

Task force spokesman Sgt. Shinder Kirk, said the guilty pleas are good news for law enforcement and the community.

“This was in fact a Gang Task Force case. We are certainly pleased that there was a guilty plea,” Kirk said. “These investigations are often extremely complex and it is positive that we garnered a guilty plea in this case.”

In many cases where people are charged after being found in a vehicle with a firearm, the charges are stayed because the Crown can’t prove the person had knowledge of the firearm.

Just last month in Prince George, prosecutors stayed seven firearms charges against Prince George gangster Frankie Meerholz and two associates who were charged when police pulled over Meerholz’s vehicle in October 2009 and found a loaded 9-millimetre gun in the pocket immediately behind the front passenger seat.

A Crown spokesman said the charges were stayed because there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove any one of the three had possession of the gun.

In another gun-in-vehicle case, a B.C. Supreme Court judge threw out both firearms and drug charges Monday against a man named Kay Phengchanh, ruling his Charter rights were violated when police searched his vehicle in 2007 and found a .38-calibre Beretta pistol.

Phengchanh was pulled over in New Westminster for a broken mirror, but when police did a computer check, his name came back as being linked to an Asian gang and the vehicle as having been used in an earlier kidnapping in Abbotsford.

John Alite, the chief witness against mob figure John A. (Junior) Gotti at his last trial, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his own criminal activities.

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John Alite, the chief witness against mob figure John A. (Junior) Gotti at his last trial, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his own criminal activities.

Alite, Gotti's former best friend, pleaded guilty to two gangland murders and other crimes, the New York Daily News reported.

Federal prosecutors wrote letters to Federal Judge Susan Bucklew praising Alite's cooperation in their prosecution of Gotti as "extraordinary" and "substantial."

"John Alite provided information that materially contributed to the conviction of numerous members and associates of the Gambino organized crime family," Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Roger Burlingame wrote to the judge.

"People have done a lot more and gotten a lot less," a law enforcement source who worked on the Gotti case told the Daily News.

"It's a very heavy-handed sentence," the source said.

Alite, who has already spent more than six years in prison, could be released in four years because of time served.

Alite began cooperating with federal prosecutors in 2007 after he was extradited from Brazil where he was a fugitive from a gang-related indictment in Florida.

It's a delicate question: What should a gangster give another gangster's son for a wedding gift?

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In the Bonanno crime family, $300 appears to be about right.

The murder trial of former mob boss Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano featured a scrap of paper with gift amounts for the December 2001 wedding of Bonanno soldier Emmanuel (Manny from the Bronx) Guaragna's son.

NYPD Det. William Dwyer testified Wednesday that the list was seized from Guaragna's apartment on Williamsbridge Rd. several days after the nuptials of son Steven and bride Maria.

Then-boss Joseph Massino gave $300; then-capo Basciano and his then-wife Angela also gave $300; future acting boss Salvatore (Sal the Ironworker) Montagna kicked in $500 as did capo Anthony (TG) Graziano. Underboss Salvatore Vitale coughed up a measly $200.

Several capos gave envelopes listing their first names and "friends" - referring to soldiers in the crew - with gifts of $700.

Another list noted that the total gift amount from the Bonannos was $12,100.

The wedding cards, which were seized, appeared to be marked "Dad" if the gifts came from crime family members, not Guaragna's nuclear family.

The wedding at a New Rochelle catering hall was surveilled by investigators hiding inside a limousine with tinted windows.

The limo was also equipped with a screen inside the window that rendered the glass completely opaque, according to retired NYPD Det. William Gillespie.

Video of the surveillance played for the jury in Brooklyn Federal Court showed Basciano was the center of attention in the driveway, surrounded by Bonanno gangsters.

At one point, Basciano approached the limo and the image on the screen darkened because the investigators raised the interior screen.

On the day Basciano was arrested in 2004 on racketeering charges, he expressed gratitude that the feds came for him around 9 a.m. instead of banging on his door at the crack of dawn, FBI agent Michael Breslin testified.

"He said, 'You let me get all dolled up first," Breslin recalled.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Waldemar Lorenzana Lima was captured by Guatemalan police on April 26, while driving on a dirt road

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Waldemar Lorenzana Lima was captured by Guatemalan police on April 26, while driving on a dirt road in the municipality of El Jicaro, located in the eastern state of El Progreso. Although authorities have long accused Lorenzana of being the patriarch of a powerful drug trafficking family, he has proven difficult for them to pin down. 

In December 2008, the 71-year-old was arrested on charges of illegally possessing an AK-47 rifle. However, Lorenzana was released almost immediately after being taken into custody.

Since then, the Lorenzana family has enjoyed relative immunity from law enforcement officials in the country, allowing them to develop into a large-scale criminal enterprise. In just a few years, the group significantly strengthened its control of illicit activities in the eastern Guatemalan states of Izapal and Zacapa, and even extended their sphere of influence to stretches of the Pacific coast, including the western city of La Reforma.

The Lorenzanas have used this influence to become crucial players in the cocaine trade, acting as middlemen between Colombian producers to the south and Mexican distributors to the north. Once shipments of cocaine arrive in Guatemala, the Lorenzanas reportedly work with the Sinaloa Cartel to move the drugs into Mexico and, from there, to the United States.

Lorenzana’s criminal empire became so powerful, in fact, that it developed a kind of grassroots following. According to the Prensa Libre, when U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials raided La Reforma in July 2009 in an effort to locate Lorenzana, hundreds of protesters staged a massive rally in the city to support the family.   The protests succeeded in partially interfering with the operation, allowing the kingpin and his family to escape.

This period of expansion finally came to an end in April 2010, when the U.S. Treasury designated the drug boss and his three sons (Eliu Lorenzana Cordon, Haroldo Lorenzana Cordon, and Waldemar Lorenzana Cordon) as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs). This move allowed officials to freeze the Lorenzana’s assets, and increased the pressure on Guatemalan authorities to arrest him.

Ultimately, pressure from U.S. authorities may have been the sole reason behind Lorenzana’s capture. According to Guatemalan Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz, the charges against Lorenzana by American officials were key motivators in the arrest.

"He could be accused of committing crimes in Guatemala, but he was captured on the basis of a U.S. extradition request," Paz y Paz told the local elPeriodico newspaper. The prosecutor admitted that there was some U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) involvement in the operation, but she was vague about the specifics.

This evasion is likely due to official embarrassment over the country’s weak judicial system.  The fact that Guatemalan police are incapable of effectively addressing corruption and drug trafficking unassisted does not bode well for future anti-drug efforts in the country. 

 Indeed, heel-dragging on the part of Guatemalan authorities seems to be a trend in the country. In late March officials arrested another top drug trafficker in the country, Juan Alberto Ortiz Lopez, alias "Juan Chamale," also with substantial support from U.S. agencies, including the DEA. While Ortiz is facing an extradition order in the U.S., he is not technically wanted on any charges in Guatemala, reflecting the entrenched level of impunity there.

Like Ortiz, Lorenzana now sits in a maximum security prison, waiting for a court ruling on his extradition order. His sons remain at large, although the U.S. Treasury has offered $200,000 for information leading to each of their arrests.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Micah Allen, a reputed top-ranking member of the 'Dog Paw' gang, will be put through a series of interrogations and identification parades.

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The St Andrew Central Police Division yesterday said Micah Allen, a reputed top-ranking member of the 'Dog Paw' gang, will be put through a series of interrogations and identification parades.

Head of the Division, Senior Superintendent Derrick Knight, said Allen, who was captured on Sunday, will be questioned about his alleged involvement in last December's triple murder in Bedward Gardens, St Andrew, and at least two other shootings incidents.

Knight said the reputed 'Dog Paw' enforcer has already secured the services of an attorney-at-law and this should speed up the process.

Allen was captured on a public passenger vehicle in Golden Spring, St Andrew, during a routine cordon-and-search operation by a police team from the Constant Spring Police Station.

Two other alleged members of the Dog Paw gang, Christopher ' Dog Paw' Linton, who is said to be the leader, and Nicholas Nesbeth, better known as 'Fire Key', are in police custody facing major criminal charges, including murder and shooting.

Japanese 'gangster' shot dead in Thailand

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A Japanese alleged yakuza gangster was shot dead in northern Thailand by a local tourist guide in suspicious circumstances, Thai police said Wednesday.

The 44-year-old was shot twice in the head and torso in a mountainous area 30 kilometres (19 miles) from the city of Chiang Rai late Tuesday, Major General Adis Ngamchitsuksri, commander of the Thai Tourist Police, told AFP.

Adis said a Thai tourist guide named as Apichart Inthisak, 41, had surrendered and confessed to shooting the man, saying they had quarrelled during a trip to see hilltribes in the area.

"But police are not fully convinced of the motive given by the suspect. We think that there may be another motive behind this killing," he added.

A second 59-year-old Japanese man sustained serious injuries from gunshot wounds.

Apichart, a native of Chiang Rai, told police that the two Japanese were upset that he was one hour late to pick up them up from their guesthouse.

He said they later argued and a gunfight ensued.

"The suspect said he had to carry a gun to protect tourists," Adis said.

Adis said he was told by the Japanese embassy in Bangkok that the victim was a prominent yakuza gangster in Tokyo linked to the Yamaguchi-gumi organisation.


Friday, 22 April 2011

Mafia murder mystery that has remained unsolved for years.

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But investigators finally believe they might have got to the bottom of what happened to family mobster Nicholas Cirillo, who vanished seven years ago and has not been seen since - his death may have been ordered by his own father.

Mobster: Did Dominick Cirillo 'order the death of his own son'?

Genovese gangster Nicholas disappeared on Mothers' Day 2004, two weeks after an altercation in the Bronx with fellow mob man Vincent Jr. Basciano and Dominick Cicale, part of the infamous Bonanno family.

The 41-year-old's body has never been found and his father, high-ranking Genovese mob boss Dominick Cirillo, known as 'Quiet Dom', is said to have refused to cooperate with police in trying to trace him.

Now it has been suggested that Quiet Dom may ruthlessly have ordered his son's murder, after a tape implicating him was played at the Brooklyn Federal Court trial of Joseph Massino, the Mafia's highest-ranking supergrass.

The court heard a conversation in January 2005 between Massino and Vincent Basciano, or 'Vinny Gorgeous', the father of the gangster Nicholas was said to have rowed with in the Bronx.

Massino secretly recorded the discussion for the police.

When asked who 'whacked' the mobster's son, Nicholas, Basciano can be heard saying: 'That came from Dom, that came from Dom.'

When pressed in court by prosecutor Taryn Merkl to explain the comments, Massino said: 'I understand that he's telling me Quiet Dom killed his son.'

The footage also shows Massino gesturing with his hand like a gun while asking Basciano: 'Do we have anything to do with that [Nicholas Cirillo's murder]?'

Basciano replies: 'Absolutely not. C'mon.'

Basciano is then heard telling Massino that he met with Dominick Cirillo about the altercation with Nicholas. He said the Genovese family 'came back and apologised to me.'

It is thought Nicholas's death would have been ordered because of the fracas in the Bronx two weeks before his disappearance -  assaulting a made member of the Mafia carries the penalty of death.

Quiet Dom was implicated after a court was played the tape of a conversation between mobsters Joseph Massino, left, and Vincent Basciano

While it seems incomprehensible that a father would order the murder of his son because of this rule, the two were estranged and, Massino explained to the court, Mafia codes are taken very seriously.

Massino described how in his days as a mobster, he gave the order to kill Bonanno capo Gerlando Sciascia even though they got on well - because Sciascia had murdered the son of a made man in Canada.

Nicholas's disappearance should have led to ramifications from his family - as the son of a Mafia boss, killing him would carry a death penalty.

Bonanno turncoat James Tartaglione said if you kill a Mafioso's son, 'you're liable to start a war between families.' But after Nicholas Cirillo vanished, there was no war.


Quiet Dom, who earned his nickname because he likes to keep a low-key profile, has refused to cooperate with police investigating the disappearance of his son.

He was also said to have been evasive when questioned by a federal probation officer in 2006 about who was to blame for his troubled son's disappearance, according to court records.

Cirillo, who is on supervised release for a racketeering conviction, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

When the New York Daily News approached his daughter, Ann Marie Caggiano, for comment at her waterfront home near the Throgs Neck Bridge, she said: 'I really don't want to talk about that.'

Massino, 68, was convicted in July 2004 of racketeering, seven murders, arson, extortion, loansharking, illegal gambling, conspiracy and money laundering. To avoid the death penalty for an eighth murder, he has agreed to appear in court to testify against fellow mobsters.

Last week, recordings of taped conversations between Massino and Basciano from inside prison implicated Basciano in the murder of fellow mobster Randy Pizzolo, a crime for which Basciano faces the death penalty.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

TONY Mokbel has struck a deal that may see him serve about 20 years in jail and taste freedom in his early 60s.

Posted On 19:41 0 comments

An extraordinary decade-long legal saga can finally be revealed after Mokbel - once the country's most wanted man - finally admitted to a monster drug empire he boasted netted at least $100 million.

It can also now be revealed the former friend and drug dealing partner of killer Carl Williams has been acquitted of the murder of Lewis Moran.

The case against him over the public shooting of kickboxer and hotdog vendor Michael Marshall was dropped before it reached a court room.

The drug kingpin, arrested in Greece in 2007 after fleeing Australia, wanted to fight a series of drug trafficking charges against him that, if convicted, could have seen him spend life in jail.But, after a saga which has already cost taxpayers an estimated $50 million in legal and investigation expenses, he cracked under overwhelming evidence of brazenly running a drug operation while on the run in Greece.

The deal, brokered between the Office of Public Prosecutions and Mokbel's lawyers over the past month, means prosecutors will recommend a minimum sentence of about 20 years to the underworld tsar, known as Fat Tony.

But Justice Simon Whelan will have final discretion when sentencing.

Mokbel's breakthrough admission to years of drug dealing also means the Herald Sun can reveal:

HIS taxpayer-funded legal aid team used Roy Morgan research to help get his trials held in secret. The poll found 83 per cent knew of him - and the vast majority (more than 80 per cent) believed he was a drug dealer.

THE MURDER charge against him over the Michael Marshall killing was dropped, despite prosecutors having sworn statements claiming he offered a $300,000 contract for the job. A hitman - who has been jailed for the shooting - told police Mokbel ordered the hit at a meeting with Williams, as revenge for the death of his old school chum Willie Thompson.

HE secretly met with Purana detectives at the height of the underworld war, telling them of his dislike for Mick Gatto. The rivalry stemmed from a meeting organised by Gatto where he stood by and watched bikies bash Mokbel.

ANOTHER witness claimed Mokbel was involved in the notorious 1996 St Kilda Rd drug squad break-in.

The deal for Mokbel, 46, could see him released in his early 60s.

A source close to underworld boss said Mokbel wanted to "live a life outside", but while in jail plans to study and take up programs offered.

Mokbel's extraordinary life as a cashed-up drug baron can be revealed after 24 suppression orders were yesterday lifted in the Supreme Court, allowing the Herald Sun to document his full criminal career.

A day earlier Mokbel plead guilty to three serious drug charges.

Mokbel was in a jovial mood before the pleas, talking and joking with a handful of male supporters, and even yawning at one stage.

Standing before Justice Simon Whelan, he admitted trafficking a large commercial quantity of methylamphetamine between July 2006 and June 2007.

He also pleaded guilty to a single count of trafficking a large commercial quantity of MDMA between February and August 2005, and to a Commonwealth charge of urging an undercover operative to import a commercial quantity of MDMA into Australia.

Crown prosecutor Peter Kidd told the court a string of other outstanding criminal charges against Mokbel would be discontinued with.

After the suppression orders were lifted yesterday, Det-Sgt Jim Coghlan - who has spent 10 years of his police career investigating and tracking Mokbel - said he was happy with the drug tsar's guilty pleas.

"It's a great result for the Purana Taskforce," Det-Sgt Coghlan told the Herald Sun.

At the time of Monday's guilty pleas, Mokbel was already serving a minimum nine-year sentence for smuggling cocaine into Australia.

He fled the country before he was sentenced for that crime, sparking a global search involving Victoria Police, the Australian Federal Police and Interpol.

A $1 million reward was put up in an effort to recapture him. Authorities nabbed him in Greece in June 2007 after 15 months on the run.

Defence barrister Peter Faris, QC, will conduct Mokbel's plea hearing for the three outstanding drug charges in June.

Mokbel will still be facing Victoria's longest sentence for drug trafficking.

Only one person in Victoria has received a total sentence of more than 20 years for trafficking since 2004.

The average is just seven years.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Gangster who called himself 'the number one hitman' jailed over gun violence

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A gangster linked to rap star Giggs was sentenced to six years imprisonment today for shooting a man who owed money.

Taurean Taylor, 26, gave himself the street name Kyser or Kyze after the feared Keyser Soza in the Hollywood film The Usual Suspects.

He described himself as "the number one hitman" for Giggs, whose violent lyrics have been criticised by Operation Trident, the Met unit tackling gun crime in the black community.

Taylor shot Marcus Bennett, known as Meano, who was said to have owed an associate Godfrey Jok, known as Rox, £10,000.

He was hit in the arm and shoulder area as a warning on the Peckham Rye estate in January 2009.

Taylor, who later told friends he had "blazed him in his arm" used a self loading 9mm Glock pistol.
He was said to be part of the Peckham Boys - one of London's most powerful and organised street gangs.

Taylor, of Peckham Rye, was convicted of wounding with intent to cause GBH and possession of the Glock. He will be sentenced later by Judge Paul Worsley.

But he was cleared of the murder of Larry Safie, 25, in a tree-lined avenue in East Dulwich on a Sunday morning in February 2009 and Errol Davis, 24 at the SEOne nightclub near London Bridge in October 2008.

The court heard that while awaiting trial in Belmarsh prison Taylor told girlfriend Alesha White: "They're trying to say I'm his (Giggs) number one hit man. The reality of it Alesha is that they're not far wrong. They know what's going on."

In court he said this was merely a reference to his talent for making hit records.

Today Taylor was sentenced at the Old Bailey to six years imprisonment.

Judge Paul Worsely QC said he had deducted four years from the sentence he would have passed because of the time Taylor has been in prison awaiting trial.

Taylor served 688 days behind bars on the two murder charges - the approximate equivalent of a four year sentence.

He also served 68 days on remand for the wounding charge, which will count towards his release date.

Said the judge: "Judges of this court have repeatedly observed, as I now observe, that gun violence with loaded weapons on the streets of this city has got to stop.

"The only weapon in the armoury of the courts is to pass sentences of such length that the message goes out load and clear to those who commit offences of shooting.


Sunday, 17 April 2011

second-generation gangster busted for slicing up a Brooklyn pizzeria owner worked as mob muscle

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second-generation gangster busted for slicing up a Brooklyn pizzeria owner worked as mob muscle for his sibling's suspected loanshark operation, law enforcement sources said Saturday.

The NYPD and the FBI are probing whether mob associate Benny Geritano was doing his half brother's bidding in the bloody street showdown with celebrity pizza maker Mark Iacono.

"Benny has a screw loose and goes off," one source told the Daily News. "But his job was to collect his half brother's loans."

Both combatants, each armed with a knife, blamed the other for the Friday fight, and neither cooperated with police - with Iacono's silence bolstering the theory of a mob loan or extortion, sources said.

"No one is giving up a reason," a second source told The News. "These are a couple of hard guys, neighborhood guys."

Iacono, 43, denied the violence was linked to organized crime.

"A mob hit? No," the Lucali owner told The News from his hospital bed. "Who said that?"

Geritano's half brother Anthony Mascuzzio was indicted in January for his roles in a huge Gambino family marijuana ring and the 2008 theft of more than $1 million in electronics goods.

His alleged loansharking business was reportedly financed by those criminal operations and a multimillion-dollar Brooklyn bank heist several years ago, authorities believe. Mascuzzio's late father was a trusted member of Gambino boss John (Teflon Don) Gotti's inner circle.

Stepson Geritano, 38, was arrested shortly after the Smith St. throwdown in Carroll Gardens. He gave reporters a middle finger and said nothing as he was walked out of the 76th Precinct stationhouse last night after he was charged with assault.

The nationally known Iacono, whose clientele includes Jay-Z and his wife, Beyoncé, was charged with felony assault yesterday in his Lutheran Medical Center bed, authorities said.

The Brooklyn businessman nearly bled to death after suffering wounds to his throat, back and legs.

But authorities charged the pizza maker was carrying his own blade when the violence erupted inside a local supermarket before spilling into the street.

Ex-con Geritano, who beat a 1991 murder rap, was doing construction work in the neighborhood before the brawl, a source said. He and Iacono had known each other for more than 20 years.

A large kitchen knife was found at the blood-soaked stabbing scene, and authorities believe Geritano - who was on probation - fled with his knife.

"Geritano's weapon has been described as a small knife, and Iacono's weapon as a big knife," another law enforcement source indicated.

Iacono, who was planning an expansion into Manhattan, earned his gaudy reputation with pizza hailed by Zagat's as the city's best.

The restaurateur, wearing a smile and a blue hospital gown, made an optimistic prediction Saturday: "Tell everyone I'll be back making pizza soon."

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Reputed gangster convicted of Irvington robbery, but jury deadlocks on four killings

Posted On 02:23 0 comments

One witness testified that Rolando Terrell pressed a 9 mm handgun to Candes McLean’s neck, stepped back and fired a fatal shot into her head. Seconds later, the witness said, Terrell shot and killed her daughter and niece, both 18, and her boyfriend’s 13-year-old daughter, then set fire to the Irvington house.
Authorities called the Sept. 8, 2008 quadruple killing on Columbia Avenue among the most horrific in recent memory.
But despite testimony from Terrell’s admitted accomplice and from the lone surviving victim — both of whom identified him as the killer — a jury in Newark Tuesday deadlocked on the top counts of murder against the reputed Bloods gang member.
The deeply divided panel returned a partial verdict, finding Terrell guilty on five of 16 counts, including two robbery charges, conspiracy to commit arson and two related gun possession offenses. The same jury later convicted him of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon in a separate, 45-minute trial that immediately followed.
Superior Court Judge Joseph Cassini III declared a mistrial only on the unresolved charges, including four counts of murder and four counts of felony murder.
Killed were McLean, 40; her 18-year-old daughter, Talia McLean; her niece, Zakiyyah Jones, also 18; and 13-year-old Latrisha Carruthers-Fields, her boyfriend’s daughter. Candes McLean’s 19-year-old daughter, Anijah, survived by hiding in a closet and late saved her 16-month-old nephew by grabbing him and running from the burning house.
Terrell may still face life in prison because of New Jersey’s "Three Strikes" law, which states that defendants convicted of certain first-degree crimes who have twice previously been convicted serve the maximum term. Terrell, who will be sentenced June 1, has previously been convicted of two robberies, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Known on the street as "Ratman," Terrell also served seven years in prison after a jury in 2002 acquitted him of killing a rival gang member but convicted him of a lesser weapons offense.

Tuesday's early afternoon verdict came after more than 20 hours of deliberations that stretched over five days. Jurors announced they were deadlocked on their second day of deliberations, writing "deadlocked" in capital letters. The judge ordered them to continue deliberating and they did.
Several of the victims’ relatives who attended the month-long trial expressed frustration over the mixed verdict, but said they were grateful the guilty counts might land Terrell in prison for life.
"He killed four ... women," said Michael Hoskins, Candes McLean’s brother. "He did the robbery. They got him on the gun charge. So who shot them? But we’ll take what we can get."
Several aspects of the jury’s verdict made clear their uncertainty. Terrell, 39, was convicted of robbing McLean, a popular Newark cheerleading coach, but not guilty of robbing Talia McLean. They convicted him of conspiring to commit arson, but not the arson itself. And while he possessed the handgun, the jury could not determine whether he fired the shots.
A loving mother and grandmother, McLean had a secret, Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Roger Imhof said during the trial. "Candes McLean sold drugs," he said. Terrell knew that and was searching for cash that morning, believing McLean was an easy mark because her boyfriend — a fellow Bloods member — was in prison.
Terrance McLean, 24, who is Candes’ son, believes Terrell is responsible for the killings and wants a retrial on the murder counts.
"He needs to answer for that," Terrance McLean said.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said her office had not decided whether to retry the case, which it had called a strong one.
The verdict represented a setback for the prosecutor’s office, which just last week won another conviction in the latest Newark schoolyard triple slaying trial. A jury in that case found the defendant, 20-year-old Alexander Alfaro, guilty of murder and felony murder despite — like the case against Terrell — a lack of physical evidence tying him to the crime. But what prosecutors had, which they didn’t have in this trial, was the defendant’s recorded statement to police admitting to his role in the attack.
The case against Terrell was substantial but circumstantial. His admitted accomplice, Lester Hayes, testified in detail to what happened that morning. But like Terrell, Hayes is an ex-convict whose credibility was battered by defense attorney Joseph Krakora. Hayes pleaded guilty to a lesser robbery charge in exchange for his testimony. Anijah McLean also testified how she hid in a bedroom closet that morning to escape the killings. Though she felt certain the voice coming from the other room was Terrell’s, McLean acknowledged she’d only met the defendant twice before.
Krakora would not comment after the verdict, but Terrell’s fiancee said "the evidence didn’t show he did it." Terrell, an imposing 5-foot-11, 250-pounds, "is a tough guy on the street but he’s not cold or cruel," said the woman, Chrystal, who didn’t want her last name published, fearing retaliation.
But that wasn’t swaying Tomeko McLean, Candes’ niece. "He damaged us all," she said. "Sometimes I think I’m dreaming, and I’ll wake up, and the nightmare will be over."


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Joseph Massino took the witness stand at the Brooklyn trial of Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, who served as one of his captains in the Bonanno crime family. Prosecutors say that Massino secretly recorded Basciano admitting he ordered a hit on an associate who ran afoul of the secretive Bonannos.

Posted On 03:55 0 comments

A jailed former Mafia boss who once ordered a payback killing in the infamous "Donnie Brasco" case made gangland history Tuesday by becoming the highest-ranking member of the city's five Italian organized crime families to break their sacred vow of silence and testify against one of their own.
Joseph Massino took the witness stand at the Brooklyn trial of Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano, who served as one of his captains in the Bonanno crime family. Prosecutors say that Massino secretly recorded Basciano admitting he ordered a hit on an associate who ran afoul of the secretive Bonannos.
"You will hear the defendant did not tolerate being disrespected or disobeyed and that the penalty for both was death," Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole Argentieri said in opening statements.
Moments after being sworn in, Massino pointed across the courtroom and identified Basciano — "the guy sitting in the gray suit" — as the crime family's former acting boss. The defendant stared back at the government's star witness, steadily chewing on a piece of gum.
In clipped tones, Massino gave the anonymous jury a colorful tutorial on the Mafia.
By cooperating, he explained, he was violating a sacred oath he took during a 1977 induction ceremony to protect the secret society. It was understood, he said, that "once a bullet leaves that gun, you never talk about it."
He testified that when he took control of the family he gave strict orders to never utter his name — a precaution against FBI surveillance. Instead, his soldiers touched their ears to refer to him, earning him the nickname "The Ear."
Asked about his duties as boss, he replied, "Murder. ... Making captains. Breaking captains" — lingo for promoting and demoting capos. He said he also had to assess talent.
"It takes all kinds of meat to make a good sauce," said Massino, the one-time proprietor of a Queens restaurant called CasaBlanca. "Some people, they kill. Some people, they earn, they can't kill."
Massino, 68, broke ranks and began talking with investigators after his 2004 conviction for orchestrating a quarter-century's worth of murder, racketeering and other crimes as he rose through the ranks of the Bonannos. The bloodshed included the shotgun slayings of three rival captains and the execution of a mobster who vouched for FBI undercover Brasco in the 1980s. Brasco's story became a movie starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino.
While imprisoned together in 2005, the former Bonanno boss agreed to wear a wire and betray Basciano.
The understudy "told me that he killed him," Massino said in recounting a conversation about the 2004 slaying charged in the current case. "He said (the victim) was a scumbag, a rat, a troublemaker, a bad kid."
In his opening statement, defense attorney George Goltzer told jurors that Basciano took credit for the coldblooded murder to protect the real killer — a friend in the Bonannos who acted without proper permission — "from the wrath of Joseph Massino." The lawyer described Massino and other turncoats slated to testify for the government as deceitful opportunists.
"The United States government needs to make deals with the devil. ... You don't have to accept what they say," Goltzer said.
Prosecutors say Basciano, the one-time owner of the Hello Gorgeous beauty salon, rose to his leadership role after a series of Bonanno defections and successful prosecutions in the 2000s decimated its leadership.
The 50-year-old defendant, known for his explosive temper, could face the death penalty if convicted of racketeering, murder and other charges. He already is serving a life term for a conviction in a separate case in 2007.
Massino is serving two consecutive life terms for eight murders. He testified his cooperation spared his wife from prosecution, allowed her to keep their home and gave him a shot at a reduced sentence.
He said he hoped "one day maybe I'll see a little light at the end of the tunnel."

former Bonanno crime family boss Joseph Massino the highest ranking New York mafia figure to turn rat will take the stand and testify against fellow mobster Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano.

Posted On 03:48 0 comments

It has been revealed by the feds that former Bonanno crime family boss Joseph Massino the highest ranking New York mafia figure to turn rat will take the stand and testify against fellow mobster Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano. Basciano took over as boss of the Bonanno family after Massino was indicted by the feds. Massino has not been seen in public since he was in court pleading guilty to eight gangland murders in a Brooklyn Federal Court where he cut a deal with the feds to let his wife keep their Howard Beach mansion. Massino was facing the death penalty when he decided to flip for ordering the murder of a Bonanno family captain.

Basicano is himself now facing the death penalty for ordering the murder of mob associate Randolph Pizzolo if convicted. Massino during a prison conversation recorded Basciano admitting that he ordered the murder. During that conversation the two mobsters also discussed the possible murder of a federal prosecutor. “We was okay until i got pinched … We were on top of the world” Massino said according to court documents to which Basciano replied “We fell apart and i took the bull by the horns”.

Thomas Reppetto author of “American Mafia” said “The old time bosses like Luciano and Genovese are rolling in the graves. The mafia as they knew it no longer exists”. One mafia boss testifying against another mafia boss is a sea of change in the world of the mob. It is still unknown what if any kind of reward Massino will be in line for in exchange for his cooperation and if this will lead to him possibly being released from prison. Massino’s brother-in-law and former underboss Salvatore Vitale turned rat after admitting to 11 gangland murders and was rewarded for snitching with a sentence of time served.

But former Basicano lawyer Barry Levin said that it is possible that Massino could crumble on the stand under cross-examination because he is a pathological liar who has lied even to his mafia associates for his entire life so why would anything change now.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

hunt for the killer of Sydney racing identity Les Samba has turned to Queensland with a raid on the home of a man previously interviewed over the murder.

Posted On 09:33 0 comments

Victorian Homicide Squad officers went to the Gold Coast home of John Nikolic on Tuesday and removed undisclosed items.

Mr Nikolic is the brother of prominent jockey Danny Nikolic who is Mr Samba's former son-in-law.

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Police said in a statement they executed a search warrant at a Robina home and seized a number of items.

Victorian detectives also flew to Sydney on Tuesday to conduct further interviews.

The latest development in the Samba case followed an emotional plea for information on the murder from his daughter on Monday.

Victoria Samba said she was unaware of any enemies her father may have had, describing him a "a strong man and the bravest person I knew".

She said she had no knowledge of any link her father is rumoured to have had to the drug trade.

"It is extremely heartbreaking to know he was terrified in his last moments of life, running from a person with a gun."

She described the killer as "cold-hearted and dangerous" and pleaded for public help to solve his murder.

Mr Samba, 60, a former horse trainer, was shot dead on a busy Melbourne street on February 27.

Police say they are pursuing a number of avenues of inquiry.

Among them has been an earlier visit to Queensland to interview John Nikolic.

Earlier in the investigation Danny Nikolic, who was married to Ms Samba, voluntarily went to police in Melbourne to be interviewed.

Mr Samba raced a number of horses, including some in partnership with Sydney businessman and accused killer Ron Medich.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Ryan Donovan, the seaman accused of shooting and killing a Royal Navy officer was an aspiring rapper named Reggie Moondogg who was friends with artist Tinie Tempah.

Posted On 06:49 0 comments

Ryan Donovan, the seaman accused of shooting and killing a Royal Navy officer and seriously wounding another on board a submarine on Friday (April 8th) in the United Kingdom, was an aspiring rapper named Reggie Moondogg who was friends with artist Tinie Tempah.

Donovan is accused of murdering Lt. Commander Ian Molyneux and seriously wounding Lt. Commander Chris Hodge on the HMS Astute, a submarine that was docked in Southampton.

According to witnesses, Donovan lost his temper when he was refused permission to leave the submarine due to a crew shortage and because dignitaries from the region were on board the nuclear submarine.

Donovan, who rapped under the alias "Reggie Moondogg," had made a variety of demos two years ago, one reportedly titled "Unprovoked Outburst," which reportedly references series killings, violence and "murder sprees."

The UK's Daily Mirror reported that Donovan joined the Royal Navy three years after working as a sound engineer, while trying to launch his career as a rapper.

GANGSTER-turned-actor Dave Courtney has landed a £15million deal to star in three Hollywood movies.

Posted On 06:47 0 comments

But there could be ­fireworks if he bumps into ­Vinnie Jones in LA as he claims the ex-Wimbledon footballer based his breakthrough role as Big Chris in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels on him.

“I’ve seen him around yet not once has he said hello,” claimed Courtney, 52, who was jailed in the 80s for ­attacking five men with a meat ­cleaver.

“He knows I know his character was inspired by me, It’s a joke. He can’t even act anyway.”

Courtney will oversee the launch of his latest film, on DVD tomorrow before ­heading Stateside.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

former New York crime boss and head of the Bonanno crime family is due to testify against his successor Vincent Basciano.

Posted On 00:38 0 comments

Joseph Massino is due to testify against Vincent Basciano

The FBI revealed on Friday that Joseph Massino will go to court to spill the beans on his former crime associate.

The pair were both members of the Five Families which control organised crime in New York.

'A boss testifying against another boss is a sea change in the mob world,' said author of 'American Mafia' Thomas Reppetto.

'The old time bosses like [Charles] Luciano and [Vito] Genovese are rolling in their graves. The Mafia as we knew it now longer exists.'

Massino was convicted of racketeering, seven murders, arson, extortion, loanshacking, illegal gambling, conspiracy and money laundering in July 2004.

But to avoid the death penalty he agreed to turn state witness and now testifies against his former associates.

He became famous throughout America during his time in the mob and was referred to as the 'Last Don' by the media because, at the time, he was the only official head of the Five Families not in prison.

He is now set to turn against Basciano, or Vinny Gorgeous as he is more commonly known.

Basciano, 51, was convicted in a racketeering trial in 2006 for running illegal gambling and attempted murder.

In 2007 he was also convicted of the murder of Frank Santoro who was believed to have kidnapped his son.

He was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment and is now facing trial for the murder of mob associate Randolph Pizzolo.

Massino, 68, helped the FBI by secretly taping Basciano in prison when he allegedly admitted ordering the murder.

The tape also features the pair allegedly discussing a plot to kill a federal prosecutor.

Friday, 8 April 2011

five years since murder charges were laid in the case of Vernon’s notorious Greeks gang, and jury selection is finally underway in a high-security Vancouver courtroom.

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five years since murder charges were laid in the case of Vernon’s notorious Greeks gang, and jury selection is finally underway in a high-security Vancouver courtroom.

Between 2004 and 2005, there were seven drug-related murders in Vernon.

As a result, RCMP set up a special task force to investigate the organized crime group the Greeks.

Seven men were charged with numerous counts of murder.

Two of them have already pleaded guilty and are serving life sentences.

Jury selection started on Wednesday for the trial of the other five alleged gang members.

The jury will begin hearing evidence from almost 200 witnesses in early May in a trial that’s expected to last up to one year.

There has already been almost three years of pre-trial arguments in the case.

The trial itself is expected to run for another full year.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

glamorous wife of a Yorkshire gang boss, who enjoyed a lavish lifestyle paid for by his crimes, has been jailed for 12 months.

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Maxine Valentine “flaunted” her wealth on social websites, enjoying expensive holidays abroad and shopping in designer stores.

She owned a £3,250 mobile phone and was given a pop star’s Bentley Continental for one birthday, which later had her own number plate – 30 MV.

Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday she and her husband Dennis Slade also paid for their children to go to independent schools and, for most of the period concerned, lived in a £1m house in an exclusive area of north Leeds.

Slade was jailed for life at Leeds Crown Court last year for conspiracy to murder and robberies including the theft of £1.4m from a security van. He was described as a “premier league” criminal.

Paul Greaney, QC, prosecuting, told the court Valentine knew her extravagant lifestyle was funded “not through legitimately earned income but through the criminal activities of her husband.” It was clear he did not “go out to work in the conventional sense”.

She also recorded in a diary at one point how boring he was on a night out, saying she might as well have taken a piece of beach driftwood with her because crime was the only conversation that interested him.

The couple had married in April 1998 when she had two children from a previous relationship and they went on to have three children together.

For a time they lived in Spain, but returned in early 2005, initially renting a substantial house in Harrogate for between £1,650 and £2,200 a month. In September 2006 they moved to a property in Sandmoor Drive, Alwoodley, in Leeds. The luxurious house valued that December at £1m “was registered in the name of an associate of Dennis Slade but in truth belonged to Dennis Slade himself”, said Mr Greaney.

All five children were enrolled as day pupils at independent fee-paying schools in North Yorkshire with £110,000 paid in fees and other expenses in the three years to March 2008 when Slade was arrested.

On April 27, 2007, police first saw the £74,500 Bentley, which had previously belonged to Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay, on the driveway. The couple also had a £53,000 Porsche.

Their holidays and other extravagances over three years cost around £360,000 “but that probably only represents a small portion of the sum spent” to fund their lifestyle, said Mr Greaney.

Slade, who described himself as a motor vehicle dealer, declared a profit of only £25,000 to the taxman for 2005-6 and £30,000 the following year, while Valentine, who said she was a self-employed property consultant, recorded a loss of £275 and a £5,500 income for the same two years.

Valentine, 37, admitted acquiring, using or possessing property, the proceeds of criminal conduct, between April 28 2005 and March 5 2008.

Ian Unsworth, QC, representing her, urged the court to suspend any jail term describing her as a mother devoted to her children, dominated by Slade.

She now had a part-time marketing job and had found solace and dignity “in an honest day’s work” rather than her previous “vacuous life”.

But, jailing Valentine, Judge John Walford said while not encouraging her husband’s crimes she had clearly enjoyed living on the proceeds. “It would be an affront not only to the victims of your husband’s criminal activity but to all decent, hard-working, law-abiding people if I was not to impose an immediate prison sentence.”

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Gangster Grant McIntosh was dumped bleeding at a hospital after a failed gangland execution.

Posted On 10:47 0 comments

The notorious hood was discovered with multiple stab wounds in the grounds of the Southern General in Glasgow.
And last night, as he remained seriously ill in hospital, underworld sources claimed McIntosh was driven to the hospital by an associate after being attacked in his home town of Paisley.

It is understood that McIntosh, known as Mr P for the grip he has on Paisley, is refusing to cooperate with cops. Detectives are treating the attack on him as attempted murder.
A police spokeswoman said: "The injured man has been treated for stab wounds and is currently detained in a serious but stable condition.
Police have launched an investigation, and enquiries are ongoing.
"At this time, it is not clear where the attack took place or the motive for this."
McIntosh, 54, was found in the hospital grounds around 11.40am on Tuesday.
The gangster, once a talented junior footballer, has built up a lucrative criminal network founded on drugs and car crime.
He was interviewed by cops after the bodies of drug dealers John Hall, 45, and David McIntosh, 33, were found in a Lanarkshire scrapyard in October 2001.

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