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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Lawyer for Boston mobster James 'Whitey' Bulger seeks delay in trial

Posted On 15:55 0 comments

The lead attorney for James "Whitey" Bulger pleaded Tuesday to delay the start of his trial, saying the stress of trying to prepare in time to defend the former Boston mobster in November has taken a toll on his health. J.W. Carney Jr. told U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler that it will be "impossible" for him to read hundreds of thousands of documents turned over by prosecutors by Nov. 5, the scheduled trial date. Bulger, the former leader of Boston's notorious Winter Hill Gang, is accused of participating in 19 murders, including one in Tulsa. Among the homicides Bulger is implicated in is the 1981 killing of Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler, 55, at Tulsa's Southern Hills Country Club. Wheeler, chairman of Telex Corp., had just finished a round of golf and was in the parking lot when a gunman shot him. Charges were filed in Tulsa County against Bulger, former FBI agent H. Paul Rico and mobsters John Martorano and Stephen Flemmi in connection with the Wheeler homicide. Rico died in 2004; Martorano pleaded guilty in 2001 to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison; Flemmi is serving a life term for his role in 10 murders, including Wheeler's. On Tuesday, Carney said he has been working six or seven days a week trying to get ready for trial and his doctor recently noticed the effects of the stress on him. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly said many of the documents Carney is referring to have only marginal importance to the case and suggested the complaints are a delay tactic. "The defendant, Mr. Bulger, is of course trying to avoid trial," Kelly said, adding that Bulger, now 82, fled Boston in 1995 and was apprehended last year, after 16 years on the run. Carney said he plans to submit a formal motion within the next two weeks "that will contain all the reasons why the Nov. 5 trial date is so unrealistic."

‘Gangster’ arrested over death of princess’s friend in Russia

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Police in Russia have detained an alleged gangster on suspicion of organising the contract killing of Princess Michael of Kent’s close friend Mikhail Kravchenko. The furniture tycoon, with whom she shared a four day break in Venice in 2006, was gunned down near his home nine days ago. Alexei Pronin, 36, who is being held in Moscow over the shooting, has previously served time in jail and is said to have been a security consultant for Kravchenko, though this has not been confirmed. Some reports say Pronin has confessed to organising the hit. A police source said: “Alexei Pronin is known in the Ryazan region as a “member of Slony (Elephants) criminal grouping”. Sources said a Lada car bought by Pronin in Ryazan was used by two assassins to drive to Moscow. The names of the gunmen are said to be known by police. The princess and her husband Prince Michael were described as “very distressed” over her friend’s murder. Kravchenko was at the centre of a royal scandal in 2006 after being photographed hand in hand with Princess Michael in Venice, raising questions about her marriage. Both denied an affair. The Moscow arrest follows claims that Kravchenko had been threatened by business enemies over his furniture empire.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Toronto police arrest alleged Albanian gangster featured on America’s Most Wanted

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Police arrested a 47-year-old man wanted by the FBI and featured on the television show America’s Most Wanted Thursday afternoon. The man was arrested in a joint operation by border services and the Toronto police’s fugitive squad near Mt. Pleasant and Eglinton Ave. Kujtim “Jimmy” Lika is facing charges related to organized crime and drug offences. He is being held in Toronto and extradition proceedings are set to begin.

Gangster Freddie Foreman Talks About His Friendship With Notorious Kray Twins

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Retired gangster Freddie Foreman speaks about his close friendship with the notorious Kray twins as he visits Newcastle and the North East. The 80-year-old, whose life was the inspiration for hit gangster film Long Good Friday, told how Ronnie and Reggie Kray did numerous “favours” for him. Foreman, who was jailed for 10 years for his part in the killing of Jack “the Hat” McVitie in 1967, is featured in this month's Prohibition true crime magazine. Steve Wraith, from Players Inc Events, interviewed Foreman for Sky Tyne and Wear.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

China's most wanted man, a billionaire gangster who was pursued by the country's senior leaders for more than a decade, was jailed for life Friday.

Posted On 13:48 0 comments

Lai Changxing is said to have paid off almost every Communist official in Xiamen.

Photograph by: Soe Than Win, AFP, Getty Images Files , Daily Telegraph

China's most wanted man, a billionaire gangster who was pursued by the country's senior leaders for more than a decade, was jailed for life Friday.


Lai Changxing, a 53-year-old farmer turned master smuggler described by some as a Robin Hood figure and others as an enemy of the state, was sentenced by a court in Xiamen, the southern Chinese city he effectively ruled over in the boom years of the mid-1990s.


Lai was found guilty of smuggling container ships full of luxury cars, cigarettes and petrol worth a total of nearly pounds 3?billion into Xiamen, while bribing 64 of the city's leaders with at least pounds 3.9?million to look the other way, according to Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency.


At one point, he ran a private seven-floor bordello, named the Red Mansion, to which he would invite friendly government officials. At the time the People's Daily newspaper said the club was where dozens of high-ranking officials "resigned themselves to degeneracy and became tools of Lai's group".


His most prized possession was a bullet-proof Mercedes once owned by Jiang Zemin, China's then president. He bought and played for Xiamen's local football team, and he tried to build an 88-floor tower that would have been the country's tallest building.


Lai was "a visionary who arguably did more than any other individual to open China up to trade," according to Oliver August, the author of a book on his downfall. "But at the same time he was one of China's greatest crooks, a man who invented ingenious new forms of bribery and corruption."


As well as a life sentence for smuggling, the court also gave Lai another 15 years for bribery. "The sums involved are unusually large, and the details are extraordinarily serious, meriting the double sentence," the court was quoted as saying by Xinhua.


The punishment was the maximum available to the court.


In 2000, Zhu Rongji, China's former premier, said: "If Lai was executed three times over, it would not be too much." In order to extradite Lai from Canada, where he had sheltered since fleeing from justice in 1999, China agreed it would not execute him.


However, at least 14 death sentences were given out to less important figures in the case and roughly 1,000 people came under investigation. At one point, an entire hotel in Xiamen was taken over by police, who locked up as many as eight suspects in each room.


Lai maintained throughout that the case against him was politically motivated, and that while he had taken advantage of loopholes and avoided customs duties, he had not bought off officials with cash and prostitutes. He was popular in Xiamen, where he helped to fund the construction of the local airport and several schools.


His web of influence spread as far as Ji Shengde, a major general of military intelligence for the People's Liberation Army, and Li Jizhou, a deputy government minister for Public Security.


Xi Jinping, who is likely to become China's next president, was summoned to Beijing shortly after the Lai scandal in order to explain what had happened. Mr Xi was the deputy governor of Fujian province, where Xiamen lies, in 1999, the year that Lai fled to Canada.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Could Whitey shed light on Gardner heist

Posted On 10:53 0 comments

federal grand jury investigation into the notorious heist of $500 million in masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum two decades ago has law enforcement and organized crime sources split over whether James “Whitey” Bulger should be called to testify about what he may know. They are calling it akin to a deal with the devil. One close associate of the accused gangland serial killer said they’re “sure” the 82-year-old South Boston mobster knows something about what fate befell 13 masterpieces ripped from the Fenway gallery’s walls in 1990, and whose vanishing act has outlasted the 16 years he was one of the FBI’s Most Wanted fugitives. “It may have been the one thing he held back as an ace in the hole. He loved art. He’s probably even seen the (expletive),” the associate told the Herald. Bulger is scheduled to go on trial in November for the murders of 19 men and women. Christina DiIorio-Sterling, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, told the Herald yesterday, “As we have said in the past, the government has no reason to believe that James Bulger was involved in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum theft.” Out of respect for the families of the victims, a former Bulger investigator predicted prosecutors will never negotiate with the cunning crime lord no matter what mystery they think he can help solve. “He’d have to know the names of the guys who nailed Christ to the Cross,” he said. Recalling his client’s high-security lift last June from the Plymouth House of Correction to U.S. District Court in Boston, Bulger’s attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., said, “Would they give him a ride again in a helicopter? He’d enjoy that.” Ulrich Boser, author of “The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft,” does not believe Bulger knows where the paintings are but would want to talk to him anyway. “I do think that when he walked out of his apartment the morning after the theft and saw the headlines he made some phone calls,” Boser said.

Gioeli blogs from prison that divine intervention got him acquitted of six mob murders

Posted On 10:47 0 comments

 	Colombo family boss Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli in 2008.


Colombo family boss Thomas (Tommy Shots) Gioeli wrote Thursday that "when, through God's grace, my jury said not guilty ... I was humbled, as well as reminded, just how much our God, our Heavenly Father, loves me and all of us."

HE SAYS he’s going to hell for whacking a former nun, but Colombo crime boss Thomas Gioeli is still on speaking terms with God.

In his first public statement since a Brooklyn jury acquitted him of six gangland murders last week, Tommy Shots blogged from prison that he owes the stunning verdict to divine intervention. He gave no credit to his defense team.

Of course, the jury knew Gioeli was a religious wiseguy — mob rat Dino Calabro testified that Gioeli passed the order to kill former underboss William (Wild Bill) Cutolo in the rosary garden of a Long Island church.

“I am so loved and blessed by our Heavenly Father that if I was to pass in the night it would be as the richest man,” Gioeli stated in an email from the Metropolitan Detention Center, where he is still being held without bail because the jury convicted him of racketeering.

“So when, through God’s grace, my jury said not guilty five times and not proven 28 times at the conclusion of my recent federal trial for RICO and multiple murders, I was humbled, as well as reminded, just how much our God, our Heavenly Father, loves me and all of us,” he said, referring to his wife and four daughters.

Federal prosecutors were poised to present evidence to the jury that Gioeli had confessed to Calabro he was “going to hell” for the death of ex- nun Veronica Zuraw, fatally wounded by a stray bullet during a gangland rubout in Brooklyn.

William Cutolo Jr. said he is still outraged by the jury’s failure to convict on the substantial evidence that Gioeli and co-defendant Dino Saracino killed his father in 1997.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Mark Peretz re-arrested a month after being released for Toronto restaurant shooting

Posted On 05:01 0 comments

One of the gangsters responsible for spraying a crowded Toronto restaurant with bullets in a bungled mob hit — paralyzing an innocent mother of three — has been re-arrested, just a month after leaving prison for his role in one of the city’s most notorious bystander shootings. The arrest on Friday of Mark Peretz — who drove the van from which a military-grade assault rifle rattled bullets into California Sandwiches in north Toronto, missing mob rivals but severing the spine of Louise Russo — adds to the alarm that he was already free so soon after his 2006 conviction for nine counts of attempted murder. Mrs. Russo was permanently paralyzed from the waist down and has since become a spokeswoman for victims’ rights. Related Some may plead guilty in Russo case An aggravating twist to Peretz’s arrest for an alleged breach of his parole conditions was that he and his co-conspirators had made an unusual $2-million payment as restitution to Mrs. Russo as part of their plea bargain, a deal that earned him special consideration. The breach allegations, if proven true, show a longer sentence was warranted, said Bob Runciman, a former Ontario solicitor general and current federal senator who was a strong critic of the plea deal. ‘The odds were this was going to happen, when you are dealing with people who are the coldest of the cold’ “The odds were this was going to happen, when you are dealing with people who are the coldest of the cold, who fired indiscriminately into a crowd and showed no real remorse,” Mr. Runciman said in an interview. “The money gave a sweetheart deal to get a lighter sentence. They should have been penalized much heavier than they were,” he said. The arrest also suggests police and parole officials are closely monitoring the men responsible for the April 21, 2004 shooting as they are released from prison, including purported Mafia boss Peter Scarcella. Police fear a continuation of the feud that led to the shooting, a dispute involving a large cast of gangsters from the Mafia and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. And in an apparent coincidence, one of the intended targets of the hit, who dodged the bullets the night of the attack, was also arrested on the same day as Peretz. Michael Marrese was picked up on fraud charges. Mrs. Russo was reluctant to discuss the developments. “It’s a struggle everyday. I’m the one who has been dealt a life sentence, and so has my family, but we’re moving on. I’m focusing on more positive things,” said Mrs. Russo. Peretz, 44, was given a nine-year sentence and held in prison until his statutory release date on April 11. (The law stipulates that most federal offenders are released after serving two-thirds of their sentence.) The Parole Board of Canada exercised its power to impose special conditions on Peretz — including not to contact his victims, not to gamble or enter any place where gambling takes place, not to associate with any suspected criminals and to provide regular updates on his finances. ‘Your criminal activities … are directly linked to your criminal associates and organized crime’ “Your criminal activities … are directly linked to your criminal associates and organized crime,” the board told Peretz shortly before his release. His condition to regularly provide financial data to his parole officer is meant to ensure he is “deriving [his] income from legitimate, legal sources,” according to parole documents. On May 11, the Correctional Service of Canada told York Regional Police that Peretz’s parole was suspended, said Const. Blair McQuillan. At 7:45 p.m. that day, Peretz was arrested without incident at a plaza north of Toronto by the high-risk offender unit. The condition at issue is not known. Scarcella, 62, is widely seen as a wily and influential Sicilian Mafia chieftain. He was also released in April, spent some weeks in a downtown half-way house and has now returned to his wife in their large suburban home north of Toronto. At their sentencing, Ontario Superior Court Justice David Watt called the shooting a “sinister” plot to kill Michele Modica, a Sicilian mobster and drug trafficker who was in Canada illegally. Modica was originally under Scarcella’s wing in Toronto, but after Modica refused to pay a $240,000 gambling debt to Peretz, Scarcella withdrew his protection, opening the door for the hit. Peretz and two colleagues, Antonio Borrelli and Paris Christoforou, drove to the sandwich shop knowing Modica was there with Marrese and other associates and opened fire. A bullet severed the spine of Mrs. Russo, who was waiting in line for a late snack for one of her daughters, who was waiting in the car watching in horror. Other patrons dived for cover. At trial, prosecutor Donna Armstrong said the shooting “could have been a massacre,” adding: “It’s amazing with all the bullets flying around that only one person was hit.”

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Gangster Thomas Gisby's funeral draws heavy police presence

Posted On 15:25 0 comments

A large contingent of police officers kept a close eye on the south Surrey funeral of longtime gangster Thomas Gisby on Friday. About 75 mourners attended the service at Victory Memorial Park near 148th Street and 28th Avenue. Gisby, 47, was gunned down in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico on April 28 after ordering his coffee at a local Starbucks. Police believe the slaying of the crime kingpin could be linked to the tit-for-tat violence that has plagued B.C. since the Kelowna murder last August of Red Scorpion Jon Bacon and wounding of Hells Angel Larry Amero and Independent Soldier James Riach. Supt. Tom McCluskie, head of the Gang Task Force, said at the time that tensions over the Kelowna shooting had led to retaliation against the so-called Dhak-Duhre group. For more than a decade, Gisby had a close relationship with senior Hells Angels in B.C. But he more recently had been aligned with people in the Dhak group. Sukh Dhak, out on bail on a number of drug charges, attended the funeral Friday with his associate Thomas Mantle. Dhak tried to shield his face from media cameras as he entered the chapel. Also in attendance was Michael Taff, linked to Langley's Empire Gang, and Gisby associate Glen Sheck, currently out on bail on gun charges. Surrey RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger said police were there to ensure the safety of the public and of those attending the service. "First and foremost we are here to ensure the safety of the people who are coming to pay their respects to Mr. Gisby," Grainger said. "Because of Mr. Gisby's background and associations in the criminal element, there of course is the potential for rival competitors in the criminal world to maybe attend here and maybe settle some scores." More than a dozen cops from Surrey's Gang Enforcement Unit and the regional Gang Task Force checked identification and chatted up guests as they entered the service. Other officers drove marked cars around the memorial park's perimeter and blocked some entrances to the compound. And some police could be seen searching the adjacent bushes where area residents were out enjoying the Semiahmoo Trail. Grainger said police were in dialogue with Gisby's family in advance of the event to let them know they would be present. "Whenever we have figures such as Mr. Gisby who have passed away, we have a robust police presence at their funerals, not only in Surrey, but throughout the region," Grainger said. He said police were also gathering intelligence about who attended and with whom they arrived. "That's no secret. It's an opportunity for the police to gather intelligence, and the latest photographs of some of the people we believe are involved in the criminal world. That is certainly a strategy that is employed here as well," Grainger said. Victory Memorial Park funeral director Kari Landreville said no one minded the heavy police presence. "They are here to protect our community," she said. "They are here to protect us. They are here to protect the people arriving for a service." Gisby's family did not respond to a media request for an interview after the service. But they remembered him in an obituary published in The Vancouver Sun as "a kind & generous spirit & will be remembered by many." It said his murder "leaves a hole in our hearts that can never be filled." "His infectious smile & beautiful twinkling brown eyes will be missed every day," it said. "Rest in peace Grumpy, our hearts are absolutely broken & we will miss you every day."

Friday, 11 May 2012

Gangster stabbed near Langley gas station

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37-year-old gangster was stabbed early Thursday near a Langley gas station, RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen said. Thiessen said Langley RCMP and the BC Ambulance Service were called to the crime scene in the 7200 block of 200 Street about 5:50 a.m. The victim, who lives in both Langley and Abbostford, was found in his pickup truck with multiple stab wounds, Thiessen said. He was air lifted to a local area hospital where his injures were deemed non-life threatening. "This is believed to be directly linked to gang activity and not a random act of violence. There appears to be no immediate threat to public safety," Thiessen said. Langley Serious Crime Section is continuing to investigate.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

L.A. gangster sentenced to 40 years to life

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One of two men involved in the shooting of a cab driver last year was sentenced to 40 years to life Wednesday morning. Jeffrey Allen Rector, 28, was convicted in April of charges including attempted murder, aggravated mayhem and participating in a criminal street gang, according to Kern County Superior Court records. Police have reported that Rector and 24-year-old Adrian Lyons, both of Los Angeles, assaulted a 54-year-old cab driver who had picked them up from Golden West Casino in April 2011. The cab driver had taken them to the 200 block of U Street when the men tried to rob him and shot him when he resisted. Both men were spotted later that day at the Greyhound bus station, police said. One was detained there, and the other left in a cab but was detained a short distance away. Further investigation revealed both were responsible for the attack, and a jury convicted Rector of six and Lyons of four felonies. Lyons is scheduled to be sentenced June 5.

Bangura -- also known as "Ziggy" -- was a member of All About Money, a street gang arrested for 2011 Lincoln hotel slaying

Posted On 15:19 0 comments

Police have arrested a man for the October 2011 shooting death of a 28-year-old man outside the Lincoln Motor Hotel. Mohamed Ali Omar died Oct. 30 after he was shot in the hotel parking lot at McPhillips Street and Mountain Avenue. Omar was a hospital cleaner and a father of four who police say had links to the African Mafia street gang -- though his family told the Free Press they didn't consider him gang-affiliated. Sgt. Ross Read of the homicide unit said police arrested Abdul Bangura, 26, near Louelda Avenue and Antrim Street Tuesday afternoon. Bangura is charged with second-degree murder in Omar's death and attempted murder for injuries a 17-year-old youth suffered in the shooting. "I think we can say at this time... without getting into the motives of the homicide, we can confirm that gang members or associates are involved on both sides of this," Read said. Last year, police said the shooting happened after a man in an SUV pulled up and fired a gun at a group of men who had left the hotel and were preparing to drive off. Officers said then they were seeking a black man with a stocky build who may have worn a hoodie. According to an internal report by the Winnipeg Police Service on the African Mafia street gang, Bangura -- also known as "Ziggy" -- was a member of All About Money, a street gang. He also was associated at one time with the African Mafia street gang, the report said. Bangura was born in Sierra Leone, it also said. Court records obtained by the Free Press show Bangura has been convicted of a drug-related offence and violent offences. Read didn't say what the motive for the homicide was, or if it was gang-related. Police did say interviews with several witnesses were still being done. "There's so many different factions to the African Mafia gang, there's so many splinter groups," Read said. "Is (the accused) associated with those groups? Yes, he is." Read did not say if police have seized a gun related to the shooting. A relative of Omar told the Free Press they didn't want to comment on the arrest Wednesday. Omar came to Canada from Somalia when he was a child, his family said.

John Manning, a Bloods gang member, told police outside City Hall he wanted to fight Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Posted On 15:15 0 comments

A violent New Jersey Bloods gangster with a long rap sheet has been arrested for threatening Mayor Bloomberg during a City Hall press conference. John Manning, 27, of Newark, a gang member with 12 arrests in the Garden State, showed up at the security entrance of the government building while the mayor held an outdoor press conference on the city’s new bike share program on Monday. “I want to take on the mayor in a fight. Man vs. man, and knock him out,” he told cops at the Broadway and Murray St. entrance around 11:30 and to attend the event. When he was asked to leave, Manning refused, saying, “I'll wait as long as it takes.” He was arrested and charged with trespassing and obstruction of government administration. Prosecutors asked that he be held on $1,000 bond, but the judge released him of his own recognizance on Tuesday.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Police suspected gangster moved cash for organized crime

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Vancouver gangster Tom Gisby lied to a customs officer at Vancouver International Airport in 2006 about how much cash he was carrying to Mexico. Gisby, who was gunned down in Mexico April 28, claimed to have between $10,000 and $11,000 on him for the 10-day trip in March 2006. But the Canadian official searched Gisby's carry-on bag and found $36,000 U.S., as well as $1,725 CDN. Most of the money was seized, as the customs official believed there were reasonable grounds to suspect the currency was proceeds of crime, according to a Federal Court of Canada document obtained by The Vancouver Sun. Gisby tried to get the money back by launching a Federal Court challenge, but he abandoned it in June 2007, the documents show. Gisby, who was 47 when he died, was known to police as an international cocaine smuggler based in B.C. who brokered deals with cartels in both Mexico and Colombia for two decades. He had connections to many organized crime groups, from the Hells Angels to mid-level gangs. His criminal record in B.C. was relatively minor — a 1991 cocaine-trafficking conviction and lesser convictions for inflicting fear of injury and driving while prohibited. But government submissions in the Federal Court show police in Canada suspected Gisby was moving cash obtained from organized crime. The minister decided the forfeiture of the seized money should be maintained because it was reasonable to suspect it was proceeds of crime, a government lawyer argued. Less than two years before Gisby was caught at the airport, he declared bankruptcy in B.C. Supreme Court, claiming he was penniless. During the bankruptcy proceedings, he was grilled by a Canada Revenue Agency lawyer about his frequent trips to Mexico. Who paid? Where did he stay? Did he own property there? He claimed others paid and that he owned nothing. He said he wasn't even sure if his common-law spouse owned a condo there. When Gisby was caught with the undeclared cash, he said he intended to purchase property in Mexico and had been told cash was the preferable way to ensure an expeditious transaction there, his Federal Court claim said. He also claimed he didn't know he had to disclose the money to Canadian authorities. "The enforcement officer was candidly told by Gisby he is now a businessman with a criminal and financial history who derives income from a number of sources, including gambling, all of which were known to his financial and legal advisers," his statement of claim said.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Gangster Receives Life Sentence

Posted On 06:04 0 comments

A Germantown man was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the kidnapping and killing of a teen boy and another man’s shooting death, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Monday. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Joel “Clon” Ventura Quintanilla, 25, to life plus five years of supervised release for conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise in connection with his membership in the 18th Street gang. According to his plea agreement: On Jan. 18, 2009, Dennys Alfredo Guzman-Saenz, 15, was forced into a car in Langley Park, Md., and driven to a park in Gaithersburg, where he was stabbed and beaten to death; his body found in a park creek the next morning. On Feb. 8, 2009, two men were shot outside a CiCi’s Pizza in Washington; one of the victims, Manuel Garcia-Fuentes, died from his wounds. Quintanilla was reportedly an active member of the 18th Street gang from 2007 to 2009.  The 18th Street gang originated in the Los Angeles area and operates in Central America and across the United States, including Maryland, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Quintanilla “mistakenly" thought the murder victims "belonged to rival gangs,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Vancouver drive-by shooting victim is high-profile gangster Ranjit Cheema

Posted On 23:21 0 comments

High-profile Vancouver gangster Ranjit Singh Cheema was gunned down outside his parents' southeast Vancouver home Tuesday morning. Cheema was just getting into an SUV in the 1100-block of East 61st Avenue about 9 a.m. when a vehicle pulled up along side him and fired several times. Hours later, his body was still lying under a white tarp as Vancouver Police investigators searched the scene for evidence. VPD was not confirming the name, but The Vancouvere Sun has learned it was Cheema, who returned from serving a five-year drug smuggling sentence in California three months ago. Police sources and Cheema associates told The Sun it was the 43-year-old who died in the shooting. His father Malkiat Singh Cheema owns the house at 1175 East 61st where the drive-by occurred. Cheema, his wife and daughter had been staying there since he returned to Canada earlier this year. Some said it was lucky his little girl was not with him when he was shot. His distraught nephew arrived at the scene, but police would not let him go to the body. He made calls from behind the police tape saying Cheema's wife was on her way there. Then he entered the house from the alley, where several people were gathering in the garage. When a Sun reporter approached, they lowered the door and entered the house. There were security cameras on the three-car garage, though the front of the house wasn't visible from behind the police tape. Police have been warning of escalating gang tensions after a series of high-profile shootings, including that of Cheema associate Thomas Gisby in Mexico last weekend. While Cheema has been a major figure in the Lower Mainland drug trafficking scene for two decades, he was trying to re-establish himself after his prison stint. One witness said he saw the victim slumped in his SUV. He said he heard six or seven shots. "I don't know if it was an automatic weapon. There was lots of blood." Const. Jana McGuinness said an intensive search is underway for a suspect vehicle. The street has been cordoned off and VPD Major Crime investigators were on the scene. The shooting took place about half a block from an elementary school in a quiet residential neighbourhood. Area resident Rashpal Gill said she heard what she thought were firecrackers while out for a walk Tuesday morning. She said her father-in-law called her with news of a shooting and she realized what she had heard. "It is shocking," said Gill, who has lived in the area for 10 years. "This is a very nice neighbourhood."

36-year-old Crip gang member was convicted Monday of shooting at a female deputy through her windshield that nearly killed her.

Posted On 07:07 0 comments

 After about a day and half of deliberations, a jury found Dameyion Tyshon Kennedy guilty of the attempted murder of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy Maria Gascon and all other charges and allegations. He is expected to face roughly 70 years to life in prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Shannon Faherty. “This guy is an incredibly dangerous person,” Faherty said. “I’m glad he’s off the street for the rest of his life.” Kennedy’s sentencing will take place after the court discusses on May 11 about his prior strike from the 1998 assault with a gun conviction in Rancho Cucamonga, Faherty said. On Dec. 10, 2009, Gascon pulled over a Mercury Cougar on Placid Road in Victorville, but Kennedy took off. Kennedy drove through the streets of Victorville but made a sudden stop, according to Gascon. She said she saw the driver open his door and stick out a gun. She heard gunshots as she ducked. She sat back up and noticed a bullet hole on the windshield right in front of where her face would have been. But Gascon kept chasing him before Kennedy made an abrupt U-turn to face off with the patrol car, the deputy said. They exchanged gunshots as they passed each other.

Vancouver gangster caught with loaded gun sentenced to 7.5 years

Posted On 07:05 0 comments

A Vancouver gangster caught in Kensington Park in October 2010 with a loaded, semi-cocked Ruger handgun has been sentenced to more than seven years in jail. Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Harbans Dhillon handed Christopher Iser a five and a half year term last Friday after she found him guilty in March in connection with the Kensington Park incident. Iser also received a consecutive two-year jail term in March after pleading guilty to separate gun charges in Richmond Provincial Court. Supt. Tom McCluskie, of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit's Gang Task Force, said the total seven and a half year term for Iser sends a message to other gangsters who are arming themselves in public venues. "Gang members carrying guns and engaging in violent encounters particularly in public areas are at the top of our priority list. It's just a matter of time before CFSEU-BC is knocking on your door," McCluskie said. "I'm very pleased with the recent sentencing of Christopher Iser. But make no mistake about it, we still have a lot of work to do." Judge Dhillon said in conviction Iser that there was compelling circumstantial evidence showing Iser had hidden the Ruger handgun under the announcer's booth of a baseball diamond because an undercover police vehicle approached him and several associates gathered in the park. CSFEU agents were watching Iser and the others Oct. 27, 2010 because of concern there would be retaliation following the gang-related slaying of their friend Gurmit Dhak 11 days earlier. Police set up surveillance at a Surrey memorial service for Dhak that morning and then covertly followed four mourners - Billy Tran, Jason McBride, Anton Ali-Moffat and Thanh Nguyen - to Kensington Park, where they met Iser, Mike Shirazi and Jodh Manj. Crown Michel Huot had argued during the trial that the meeting was to work out details of a contracted hit of another gangster suspected in the Dhak slaying. Iser's co-accused Mike Shirazi, who drove a Jeep to the meeting with a secret compartment containing guns, earlier pleaded guilty to possessing two AR assault rifles and got a five-year sentence.

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