Tuesday, 31 January 2012

MURDERED former Comanchero bikie Giovanni Focarelli will be buried within 24 hours of the release of his body, as per Muslim custom,


 a court has heard. Focarelli's friend and associate, Michael Sfyris, appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court this morning. He is jointly charged with Giovanni Focarelli and his father, Vince, with an alleged Melbourne Cup Day affray at the Highway Hotel on Anzac Highway. AdelaideNow understands the men are no longer members of the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang, and have not been for about a month. Last week, Sfyris lodged an application with the court, seeking to vary his bail conditions. Sfyris - manager of the Ink Central tattoo parlour on Hindley St - wanted the court to delete a clause that banned him from speaking with Giovanni Focarelli, who was an employee. Today, Steven Georgiadis, for Sfyris, said his client no longer pursued that application. "Unfortunately, Giovanni Focarelli has passed away," he said. "In that regard, we are wondering if, with all respect, this court will entertain an application to vary Mr Sfyris' bail to allow him to attend the funeral." He said no funeral arrangements had yet been made. "In saying that, we understand that it is traditional in the Muslim culture that the funeral take place within 24 hours (of death)," he said. "We're not sure whether police are releasing the body or not." Magistrate Paul Foley said the request "sounded reasonable". However, Emmanuel Athans, prosecuting, opposed the application. "I cannot agree to a request to attend a funeral while not knowing how long it will be, what date it will take place, where it will be held and who else will be attending," he said. Mr Georgiadis said his client only required permission to attend the mosque, and would continue to abide by the conditions of his bail. "One of the current bail conditions is that he is not allowed to associate with Vince Focarelli," he said. "We want to avoid an interpretation issue as to what might - in the eyes of police - constitute 'assocation' at a funeral." Mr Foley said he would consider the application again once arrangements had been made for the funeral. He gave Sfyris permission to have the matter called on at short notice, agreeing to make himself available to hear it. Sfyris did not comment as he left court.

STREET gang supporters of slain New Boys gang member Giovanni Focarelli have indicated they want to take revenge against his killers,


 posting a message on a Facebook site that "no stone will go left unturned". The New BoyZ Support Crew Facebook site is one that Giovanni often contributed to and friends of the 22-year-old - who was ambushed with his father Vince Focarelli in a suburban Dry Creek street about 9.45pm last night - have started to pay tribute to the shooting victim. The full message, posted about 2pm, reads: "Why do bad things happen to good people? No stone will go left unturned. RIP Giovanni". The first tribute messages to the son of the former head of the Comanchero Motorcycle Club Adelaide chapter were posted on the site early yesterday morning.

THE person who kills Vincenzo Focarelli can be the head of the state's newest bikie gang chapter, underworld figures have been told.


THE person who kills Vincenzo Focarelli can be the head of the state's newest bikie gang chapter, underworld figures have been told. Police sources say their intelligence suggests the leadership of the South Australian chapter of the Comanchero Motorcycle Club is the prize for killing the renegade gang leader. Focarelli survived a fourth attempt on his life on Sunday night, but lost his son Giovanni, 22, to an assassin's bullets in a suburban street ambush in Flame Ave, Dry Creek. The theories on a motive range from a drug deal gone wrong to a trap for the man who has been the target of would-be killers for the past two years. Despite his son's death, Focarelli has refused to tell police if he knew who was responsible for the attack. Sources close to Adelaide's bikie underworld believe that Giovanni, who died on Prospect Rd in the back seat of a car as his father tried to rush him to hospital, is the victim of retribution from within the Comancheros, or of an attack by Hells Angels. Vince Focarelli has dismissed claims of infighting and claims to be SA president of the Comancheros. But lawyer Craig Caldicott and other sources said yesterday that he had been kicked out of the gang. "He may call himself a Comanchero, he may even dress up in a Comanchero outfit; but I have it on a pretty good source that he's not a Comanchero," Mr Caldicott said. "It could be (Comanchero retribution)  that's just speculation." A police source said Vince Focarelli's dumping as president and the spate of shootings had been initiated by interstate Comancheros, who stripped his tattoo parlour, Ink Central, of the club's paraphernalia amid claims he had siphoned off drug profits after his appointment early last year. The interstate rivals of the Hells Angels want to maintain a presence in SA and are looking for a leader. Police investigating previous assassination bids on Focarelli linked the attacks to both the Comancheros and the Hells Angels. Giovanni Focarelli was the closest of his father's rapidly dwindling allies. Members and associates of the New Boys street gang he formed when his ties with the Hells Angels were broken yesterday indicated they would seek retribution. Posting a tribute message on the New BoyZ Support Crew Facebook page yesterday, a supporter warned that "no stone will go left unturned". Focarelli was rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and for the second time in six weeks underwent surgery for gunshot wounds  believed to be to a leg and the shoulder. He is expected to make a full recovery. Police have been on high alert in recent weeks as they waited for the next violent chapter in the Focarelli saga. They have rushed to his home several times in the past month when family members called for help. Focarelli's wife is understood to have been constantly reporting noises around the house. Police who have attended the eastern-suburbs home have not found any trace of intruders. Focarelli has three daughters, who attend an all-girls school, while his surviving son attends a prestigious private school and is a talented sportsman. Police are keeping watch on the Ink Central tattoo parlour on Hindley St and STAR group officers were stationed at Adelaide Airport yesterday. Police Commissioner Mal Hyde yesterday called for new laws and blamed lenient court sentences for the rise in bikie violence. He said the culture of a code of silence and violence within bikie groups had made current laws difficult to enforce. "The reality is violence, a wall of silence and intimidation is all part of a bikie's persona ... it creates a great barrier (for police)," he said. "When you have these offences happening in a way where you intimidate witnesses, it makes it much more difficult to legislate." Mr Hyde said police were particularly concerned with two feuds engulfing bikie groups  between Vince Focarelli and the Comancheros, and between the Finks and the Hells Angels following the shooting of former Finks member Mark Sandery's 11-year-old son. "Their behaviour and resorting to violence to sort out the differences between them is a concern to us," he said. Police were "keeping an open mind" on the motive for the Dry Creek shooting. "At this stage we are exploring all motives, including... tension within the Comancheros... another bikie group (or something else)," he said. "The circuit-breaker would be to apprehend those involved and put them before the courts."

Suspicious package sent to RAH where Vince Focarelli is being treated


BIKIE leader Vince Focarelli has survived a fourth attempt on his life - but his son Giovanni was shot dead in a ''targeted attack'' in Adelaide's north. Read on for the latest updates on this rapidly developing story. The Royal Adelaide Hospital has reopened after a package addressed to shot bikie Vince Focarelli forced the evacuation of the hospital's main foyer. The package was intercepted by police, who had treated it as suspicious. About 100 people were evacuated just before 5pm after the person who delivered the package to the hospital's information counter could not be found. Police bomb squad experts were called to the RAH to examine the package.

Amsterdam Hells Angels leave clubhouse


The Amsterdam chapter of the Hells Angels motor club have left their clubhouse at the H.J.E. Wenckebachweg. The club handed over the keys to the building to city officials at 1030 on Monday morning. A wrecking machine arrived immediately afterward to demolish Angel Place later on Monday. The clubhouse on the H.J.E. Wenckebachweg was home to the Hells Angels for more than 40 years. The city council wanted to redevelop the area and initiated an expropriation procedure. However, the judge ordered the council to pay the Amsterdam Hells Angels 400,000 euros in compensation. It is not yet known if and where they will open a new clubhouse. Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan has said he will do anything in his power to prevent the motor club from finding a new place in the capital. He added that Amsterdam is willing to help nearby municipalities bar the Hells Angels following their expulsion. Many of the neighbouring municipalities are concerned the Hells Angels may move into their area. The motor club is suspected of organised crime including drugs trafficking and blackmailing restaurants and cafés. The town of Diemen has already announced the Hells Angels are not welcome there. Daniël Uneputty Unu will resign as president of the Amsterdam Hells Angels on Monday. He said the name of his successor is already known internally, but that the person in question will himself announce his appointment when he is ready to do so.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Bikie gang member shot dead in Adelaide


The shooting of a bikie gang member and his club president father has been declared a major crime as the South Australian police minister says some outlaw gangs have no regard for the law or the community. Giovanni Focarelli, 22, is dead and his father, Comanchero club president Vince Focarelli, is in Royal Adelaide Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds after the shooting on Sunday night. Police Minister Jennifer Rankine said the state has tough laws to deal with the "scourge" of outlaw motorcycle gangs but some just shun the law."I am sure the police are as frustrated as what I am about what is occurring," she told ABC radio.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

The girlfriend who could finally endure no more


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

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Fury erupts over bikie 'war' claims


A GOLD Coast nightclub owner says it's time to clear the air on "sensationalised" reports of bikie gang violence in Surfers Paradise. But the club owner blasted police for allowing bikies to parade through the Glitter Strip wearing gang patches. "The police at Surfers Paradise should hang their heads in shame as they are the ones unable to control these sorts of incidents," the club owner said. "They don't see trouble walk past the station at 2.30am on a weekend with gang members wearing full colours?

Troy Mercanti To Have Bedside Hearing


Finks motorcycle gang member Troy Mercanti will have a bedside court hearing this afternoon due to his "significantly deteriorating" mental and physical state, a Perth court was told. Mr Mercanti was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning, charged with aggravated assault and trespassing following a home invasion in Duncraig. He has also been charged with assault charges in relation to another incident earlier this month, and police are yet to lay charges over the alleged discovery of drugs and ammunition in his home. Advertisement: Story continues below Mr Mercanti has been under police guard in a Perth hospital since his arrest in the early hours of Sunday, and was suffering from significant physical trauma which may include amphetamine abuse, the court heard on Monday. His lawyer Laurie Levy said today that Mr Mercanti's condition had deteriorated significantly, and he successfully applied for a bedside hearing this afternoon. Mr Mercanti was arrested and taken to hospital after police were called to the home of a Duncraig couple at 4.15am on Sunday, where they allegedly found Mr Mercanti bashing on the door. Police from the organised crime squad then carried out a raid on his home - less than one kilometre away - where it is alleged drugs and ammunition were found. Mr Mercanti was charged with one count of acts intended to cause bodily harm, three aggravated assaults occasioning bodily harm and one aggravated indecent assault. Those charges related to separate incidents which took place earlier this month. He was also charged with trespassing and damage, relating to the incident on Sunday. Mr Mercanti was due to have a bedside hearing on Monday, but the matter was postponed to this morning due to his ailing health. The court was told on Monday that Mr Mercanti had "significant physical trauma" but there was not any issues regarding his mental capacity at the moment. Mr Levy today argued that Mr Mercanti's current custody condition prevented him access from family and friends who could advise over the types of medical treatment that he needed. Police prosecutor Sergeant Andy Elliott did not oppose holding a bedside hearing so the gang crime detectives could be put back on the street and Serco guards put in their place at the hospital. Mr Mercanti's medical records have not yet been presented before the courts. He was not expected to apply for bail, however he will be read the full list of charges in relation to the incident on Sunday. Mr Mercanti was released from prison in August last year after he was jailed for causing grievous bodily harm in 2007. His defection to the Finks in 2008 sparked a feud between the two outlaw motorcycle gangs who have since engaged in violent clashes, including a brawl at the Kwinana Motorplex in 2010 in which a Finks member lost three fingers.

Hell's Lovers gang infiltrated in Denver


Investigators raided a Hell's Lovers motorcycle gang in Denver Friday night. Many of the motorcycle gang suspects are now in jail awaiting a court hearing Monday. The arrests come after a near three-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. ATF agents raided the home and arrested at least 15 gang members for "violent crime." "We are not talking about traditional gang violence with younger youth that are from 17 to 24, which make up the bulk of gang violence. We are talking about...grandfathers even; some of them have different professions," says Terrance Roberts, a gang expert. The gang was formed in Chicago in the late 1960's, and has now spread to Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee and Texas. Agents say the gang has been associated with cocaine trafficking and use of weapons and explosives.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Gang killings review welcomed by barrister


A top Bradford barrister has welcomed proposals to simplify the law on gang-related killings. Stephen Wood, who is based at the Broadway barristers’ chambers, said there were miscarriages of justice due to the complexities of the ‘joint enterprise’ rule, which allows groups or gangs to be charged with murder, even if only one person delivers the fatal blow. MPs on the Commons Justice Select Committee last week said a new, less complex law on such killings was needed to ensure justice for victims and defendants. A change in the law would also cut the number of appeals, the committee said. It claimed the law surrounding gang murder cases was now so complicated juries might find it impossible to understand how to reach the right verdict.

Former Hells Angels leader sues wrong government for seizing home


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

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Mention of Mafia at hearing for Hells Angel murder


References to the Mafia surfaced Tuesday as prosecutors and public defenders argued whether names of some witnesses should be kept secret at the upcoming murder trial for a Vagos motorcycle gang member accused of killing a high-ranking Hells Angel during a shootout at a Nevada casino. Ernesto Gonzalez, a Vagos member from San Francisco, is accused of fatally shooting the president of the rival Hells Angels' San Jose chapter, Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, during the Sept. 23 melee at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks. Lawyers for Gonzalez and two other men charged in connection with the killing asked Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer to order prosecutors to release the name of another Vagos member who testified confidentially before the grand jury that indicted all three men in November. But police testified Tuesday that the unidentified Vagos member fears for his life and is bound for a witness protection program. "The Hells Angels are a well-known, outlaw motorcycle gang, as are the Vagos, and people are scared of them," Deputy District Attorney Karl Hall said. Police Sgt. Eric Bennett, an investigator from San Bernardino, Calif., said yet another Vagos member who was wounded during the casino shootout - Leonard Rameriz of Garden Grove, Calif. - met with a member of the Mafia in the weeks after the killing. "We know a member of the Vagos met with the Mafia and gave him copies of affidavits for search warrants," Bennett said. He said that while the confidential witness is identified only as a number in the grand jury transcripts made public, there may have been clues to his identity in the search warrants. Rameriz, who was shot in the stomach but survived, also visited the residence of the secret witness and attempted to contact one of his friends, Bennett said. "He's afraid for his safety," he said. "Some (Vagos) members do know who he is." Steinheimer said she would consider the arguments and rule in the coming days whether the names of the confidential witnesses should be provided to the defense lawyers. Gonzalez, who police said is the president of a Vagos chapter in Nicaragua, appeared in court under heavy security Tuesday along with co-defendants who face the equivalent of murder charges for their role in the brawl that led to the fatal shooting. Gary Rudnick, the vice president of the Vagos Los Angeles chapter, is accused of instigating the fight by provoking Pettigrew. Cesar Villagrana, a Hells Angel member and friend of Pettigrew's, is accused of shooting Rameriz and another Vagos wounded that night. Gonzalez and Rudnick, whose nickname is "Jabbers," both wore bullet proof vests, shackles and handcuffs in court Tuesday. They're being represented by public defenders and are being held in the Washoe County jail awaiting their trial set to begin Oct. 29. Villagrana, who claims he was acting in self-defense and is free on $300,000 bail, is represented by David Chesnoff, a high-profile defense lawyer from Las Vegas. Chesnoff said Villagrana's rights are being violated because he doesn't have a chance to question the witness whose name remains secret and whose testimony was key to the grand jury indictment. He tried to make his point by asking two police officers testifying Tuesday whether they would want their defense lawyer to be able to question all the witnesses if they were accused of a crime they didn't commit. The officers acknowledged they would. "This isn't done in secret," Chesnoff said. "I want equal protection under the law here." The confidential witness told the grand jury he had been a member of the Vagos for 27 years and been part of its "higher echelon" of leadership "before this event." He said "Jabbers" is known for having a "big mouth" and was responsible for provoking a fight with Pettigrew that turned the casino floor into a shooting gallery. Rudnick had refused to back down even after national Vagos officers were summoned and talks with Hells Angels' leaders had calmed the volatile situation shortly after 10 p.m., the grand jury witness said. But about an hour later, Rudnick again was taunting Pettigrew, who the witness said "in the Hells Angels world is one of the most important guys in the United States." Finally, he said Pettigrew had enough and punched Rudnick in the face, touching off a series of fights that led to the gunfire. "All hell broke loose," the witness testified. "Just bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam." Other witnesses who testified before the grand jury on condition of confidentiality included the director of security and the director of surveillance at the Nugget. Gonzalez was arrested in San Francisco on Sept. 30. He told arresting officers that the Hells Angels were after him and asked them to get him out of the area as fast as possible when he was nabbed sitting in a rental car near campus police headquarters at the University of San Francisco, police said.

Bikie dispute leads to car park shooting


dispute between Comanchero motorcycle gang members led to a shooting in Adelaide's west on Monday night, police believe. Two shots were fired in the car park of the Findon Hotel about 10:00pm (ACDT). Detective Inspector Paul Yeomans says two men were arguing in the car park before one of them fired the shots at a dark-coloured sedan. "We don't think this is a random attack," he said. "We think that the two males are known to each other. We do think, even though it's early in the investigation, we do think it is linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs, in particular the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang." The cars sped-off after the shooting and police have not said why they suspect Comanchero members. The shooting is the latest instance of bikie-related violence in the past two months. But Attorney-General John Rau insists the situation is not out of control. "There are always going to be lunatics who go out there and break the law as these people have done and when they're caught up with the law will deal with them," he said. There is no sign anyone was injured in the incident.

Two reputed Rock Machine biker gang associates were nabbed by police


Two reputed Rock Machine biker gang associates were nabbed by police just prior to a search of a St. Andrews home that netted drugs, ammunition and gang paraphernalia. Police said at about 3 p.m. Friday, Shane Allen Fischer, 31, and Nicole Joy Nykorak, 26, were arrested during a traffic stop at Highway 8 and Grassmere Road. The stop came about two hours prior to police executing two search warrants at the same alleged drug house on Lockport Road as part of a ongoing street crime investigation, police said Sunday. Police seized nearly $10,000 worth of cocaine and hash, along with coke-cutting agent, drug paraphernalia, ammunition, a bullet-proof vest and gang attire, Const. Jason Michalyshen said. The seizure of the armoured vest is significant, as it may prove to become the first test of provincial legislation that came into force Jan. 1 outlawing their use by the general public without a permit. Anyone unauthorized to have body armour and is caught with it faces a fine of up to $10,000, three months in jail or both. Michalyshen said he was unaware of any other pending arrests in the case. Fischer was out on bail at the time and was supposed to be living elsewhere, said police. Nykorak was out on statutory release from prison and is facing parole revocation, Michalyshen said. Police didn’t identify the gang involved, but said it was an outlaw motorcycle group. A police source said both have ties to the Rock Machine gang. Both suspects face “numerous” drug and weapons charges, police said. They are being held at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

Gang stabs man 8 times in Sydney street


Two men have been arrested after a man was stabbed eight times in Sydney's north-west overnight. Police say the 25-year-old man was attacked by a group of up to 10 men after being dropped off at shops in Telopea about 11:00pm (AEDT). His attackers ran off when the victim's two friends returned in their car. Emergency services were called and police arrested two men, aged 23 and 25, nearby. Detective Inspector Ken Hardy says the man was stabbed in the neck and body. "He's currently in Westmead Hospital undergoing surgery," he said. "Police have set up a crime scene. They're also talking to two males at Parramatta Police Station, who are assisting police with their inquiries at this stage." Meanwhile police have charged a man over one of two Sydney stabbings on Sunday night. A 43-year-old man was stabbed several times in the stomach outside a house in the city's west at Merrylands. A 28-year-old Yagoona man was arrested yesterday and charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to murder. He is being held in custody to face Fairfield Local Court today.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Accused bikie killer arrives back in Sydney


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

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Sydney police investigate drive-by shooting


Police say they are yet to determine the exact target of a drive-by shooting in Sydney's south-west, the eighth shooting since last Monday. Officers responded to reports of a shooting on Pelman Avenue in Greenacre about 4.20am today. A search of the area found six spent cartridges on the street but no damage to property. Acting Deputy Commissioner Alan Clarke says it is too early to say whether the incident is linked to recent shootings. "As we've been unable to establish a victim at this point in time, we'll go on the ballistic evidence before us and continue to conduct a canvas in that area and see if we can get to the bottom of this shooting," he said. He says the recent shootings seem to be targeting criminal networks. "Our biggest concern is the threat and the risk there is to innocent members of the public," he said. "As we've indicated continuously, this appears to be an intimidation tactic between criminal networks, and our fear is it is indicative of guns on the street. "We certainly wouldn't want an innocent member of the public to be caught up in one of these situations." Hannin Adra, who lives nearby, says she is worried. "I've got six grandkids - do you like your grandkids to grow up in this atmosphere?" she said. "It is a worry - if it's not a worry, you're not human." Neighbour Mounzer Adra says he heard five shots on the usually quiet street. "I woke up about 4.15, I hear the shooting, I wake up, I say, 'oh my God, what's happening? I thought it was a firecracker," he said. "It's not good feeling unsafe in this area, where the shooting is; something should be done about it." There have now been eight shootings in Sydney's west and south-west since last Monday night, and police have set up Operation Spartan to investigate the spate. There were two shootings in Yennora and Lakemba on Thursday night and one at Yagoona on Friday morning; no-one was injured in either of those incidents. Premier Barry O'Farrell has said he will consider new laws to compel people to speak to police about the shootings, but dismissed a call from the Opposition to recall Parliament to pass new anti-bikie legislation.

A Lone Wolf's golden farewell


A WAILING mother speaks to her dead son. ''Stand up and say hello to your guests,'' she urges him, apparently unwilling to accept he is dead. But he is the man in the coffin - the $42,000 gold-plated coffin, paid for in cash by his bikie mates. This was the funeral yesterday for the Lone Wolf member Neal Todorovski, who was shot in the head on January 4 during a shoot-out in Sans Souci, southern Sydney, the first death from a succession of gun attacks across Sydney. Mr Todorovski, 37, had been armed with a gun that day. And the congregation at St Nikola Macedonian Orthodox Church in Cabramatta, south-western Sydney, yesterday included many men associated with outlaw bike gangs. But police fear innocent bystanders will be the next victims of the spike in shootings. They worry more deaths will follow as disputes spiral into tit-for-tat shootings, some related, some not. A senior Lone Wolf told The Sun-Herald the Todorovski shooting was not a turf war but over ''something petty and silly''. He said: ''I'm not sure what's wrong with the world. To die like this over nothing is just stupid.'' Many bikies at the Todorovski service were visibly distraught, weeping, hugging each other. They included Finks and Comanchero members. A Lone Wolf said an arrest in Perth over the shooting followed the police interception of a telephone conversation. Detective Wayne Hayes, acting commander of the gang squad, said the Lone Wolf gang had eight chapters in NSW with about 96 members. The Todorovski killing ''had nothing indicating expansion'' into new territory, he said. Strike Force Lobbe - one of four strike forces investigating the Sydney shootings - identified a Maroubra man, 25-year-old Tarek Abdallah, as the suspect in the Todorovski shooting. Mr Abdallah faced a Perth court on Friday and is expected to be extradited to NSW this week. Mr Todorovski had been armed with a pistol when he left his flat with two friends, Matthew Edward Lewis, 23, and John Haper Leger, 32, to meet Mr Abdallah in front of his four-wheel-drive. In court police alleged a scuffle broke out and Mr Abdallah managed to pull a handgun from his car and shoot Mr Todorovski in the head. They allege Mr Lewis and Mr Leger refused to co-operate and arrested the pair for concealing an indictable offence and possessing a prohibited weapon.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Sydney's western suburbs came under siege again on Thursday about 12.30am (AEDT) when shots rang out in Bankstown


Police have declared war on the gangs responsible for four Sydney shootings in as many days. And any would-be vigilantes and copycats have also been warned to butt out. Sydney's western suburbs came under siege again on Thursday about 12.30am (AEDT) when shots rang out in Bankstown Witnesses told police they saw a man wielding a rifle in a neighbourhood where a bullet hit a bedroom window in a home. A woman and her four children, aged between two months and 10, were in the room but no one was injured. Acting Commissioner Nick Kaldas labelled as cowards the people responsible for a string of shootings since Monday. "A lot of the conflicts that occur between these criminal groups is drug-related, unfortunately," Mr Kaldas told reporters on Thursday. "It's a combination of many ethnic-based groups as well as criminal types." Police launched Operation Spartan on Thursday and will deploy extra resources to the affected suburbs from the Public Order and Riot Squad, Dog Squad, Gangs Squad and the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad. Gangs Squad head Arthur Katsogiannis said the nature of the crimes was keeping vital information from getting to police. "Our frustration as investigators and police officers on the front line is the lack of assistance we're getting from both the victims and the witnesses," Superintendent Katsogiannis said at the same media conference. Police also warned would-be vigilantes and others to stay away. "One thing I hope that doesn't occur is any sort of copycat attraction," Mr Kaldas said. "Others may feel they want to take the law into their own hands. And my advice to those people is all you'll simply do is turn yourself from a victim into an offender." Mr Kaldas denied suggestions that gun crime was on the increase and said the incidents since Monday were a "spike" in shooting crimes. Around 2am (AEDT) on Wednesday the occupants of two cars were involved in a gun battle in Greenfield Park, in western Sydney. On Monday night, two drive-by attacks occurred in Auburn and Arncliffe, in Sydney's west and south respectively. Around 25 people were inside the two homes when the properties were sprayed with up to 35 bullets. Police are confident they will make arrests over some of the shootings. Asked if the shootings were all related, Mr Kaldas replied, "I have to say the bulk of them are not." NSW opposition emergency spokesman Nathan Rees said tweaking tough anti-bikie laws would be one way to help put an end to "gang warfare". As premier in the former Labor government, Mr Rees gave the Supreme Court powers to outlaw bikie gangs and prevent members from contacting each other. But the Crimes (Criminal Organisation Control) Act was struck out in June 2011 after Sydney Hells Angel Derek Wainohu challenged it in the High Court. The National Coalition for Gun Control has called on NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and the government to strengthen gun control laws. Police seized 6155 guns in the 2010/11 financial year and have seized 3663 guns in the first half of the current financial year. Most guns used in crimes are stolen from legitimate sources.

Turf war feared as Gypsy Joker bikies descend on Brisbane hotel


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

Sunday, 8 January 2012

HE WAS the target of a gunman's midnight ambush and his alleged associates engaged in a gunfight at a North Adelaide cafe.

Vincenzo Focarelli

Alleged member of the New Boys street gang Vincenzo Focarelli outside the Adelaide Magistrates Court.

Yesterday Comanchero chief Vince Focarelli denied his outlaw club was being torn apart from the inside.

Focarelli broke his silence to counter rumours that the Comanchero Motorcycle Club is plagued by infighting.

In a statement signed by him and released yesterday, he called for privacy.

"Mr Focarelli denies there is any disharmony or in-house fighting within the Comancheros Motorcycle Club," it said.

He "has been released from hospital and wishes to express his sincere gratitude to the medical staff who provided specialist treatment and acted with complete professionalism at all times.

"Mr Focarelli confirms that he is expected to make a full recovery.

"Mr Focarelli calls upon the media and community to please respect the privacy of his wife and five children."

Focarelli, 36, was the target of an attack at a Munno Para West home on December 15.

He was showered with bullets, one which hit him in the upper leg, then escaped by smashing a window of a nearby home, crawling through it and fleeing through a back door.

He left a trail of blood and it is believed the lacerations to his arm were serious.

Focarelli underwent surgery at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and was in medical care for at least two weeks.

Days after Focarelli was shot, alleged Comancheros associates opened fire on one another at Caffe Paesano on a busy Sunday evening.

The gunfight started at 9.30pm when a man entered the restaurant, drew a gun and fired at three men sitting at an outside table.

At least one returned fire, hitting their target in the leg before he fled the premises.

On Thursday police arrested a Salisbury North man, 24, in relation to the incident. He was charged him with one aggravated count of endangering life and was remanded in custody.

Meanwhile, an alleged Comanchero will be extradited to South Australia on Monday. He was arrested in Port Melbourne over a stabbing that happened in Adelaide in 2008.

Victoria Police arrested the Para Hills man, 23, on Thursday evening.


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