Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Drive-by targets site of Melbourne killing

 

A drive-by shooting has targeted a Melbourne home where a man was shot dead only three days earlier. The peppering of gunfire struck a parked car and a fence of a Preston home in the city's north about 5am (AEDT) on Tuesday. The shots narrowly missed striking four people who were sleeping in the home. The street was blocked off while worried neighbours stayed indoors and were later interviewed by officers door-knocking the area. Armed crime detectives are now investigating any links between the drive-by shooting and the death of 35-year-old Mathew Schmidt, who was gunned down on Saturday in the driveway of the home while visiting his family. Neighbours had heard shouting in the driveway that day, moments before a single shot rang out. Mr Schmidt later died in hospital and detectives soon laid a murder charge against a 64-year-old man, who faces a committal mention in May. Police say the getaway car used in Tuesday's drive-by was spotted speeding out of Ambon Street and heading west, but a detailed description has not been released. Neighbours have described the street as the scene of drug dealing and ongoing disturbances.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Gang Member Pleads Not Guilty In Stabbing Death

 

documented gang member accused of stabbing a transient 19 times after the defendant issued a gang challenge to the victim pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge. Josue Hernandez Gutierrez, 20, was ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail in connection with the slaying of 48-year-old Emiliano Cortez of San Diego. Gutierrez was arrested Monday outside a friend's College area home. Deputy District Attorney Kristian Trocha told Judge David Szumowski that Gutierrez and a 14-year-old boy attacked Cortez about 4:45 a.m. Saturday as he was walking in the 3700 block of T Street, about a half-mile from the home where the victim lived with relatives. Gutierrez issued a gang challenge, and for some reason, the victim responded that he was from a rival gang, the prosecutor said. The defendant then stabbed the victim 19 times, including 10 to the back, Trocha said. Cortez died Saturday night, according to the prosecutor. The 14-year-old was arrested Tuesday at a Chula Vista residence. His case is being handled in Juvenile Court. Police disclosed no suspected motive for the slaying, except that it was believed to be gang-related. There was no evidence that a robbery or other crime was involved, San Diego police Lt. Kevin Rooney said. Residents of the area where the killing happened told investigators a loud argument and a man's screams prompted them to look outside, at which point they saw someone lying on a sidewalk and two people running off to the east. It was unclear why Cortez was walking through the inner-city neighborhood just east of downtown San Diego, though he apparently was not on his way home. Gutierrez was charged with murder, a gang allegation and the use of a knife. He faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted. A status conference was set for March 1 and a preliminary hearing for March 7.

Mongols Motorcycle Gang Member Convicted of Murdering President of San Francisco Hells Angels

 

federal jury found Christopher Bryan Ablett, a/k/a “Stoney,” a member of the Modesto Chapter of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang, guilty of all four felonies with which he was charged including murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering, using a firearm during a crime of violence, and using a firearm causing murder during a crime of violence, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. The charges stemmed from the defendant’s gang-related murder of Mark “Papa” Guardado, the president of the San Francisco Chapter of the Hells Angels, on September 2, 2008, at 24th Street and Treat Avenue in the Mission District of San Francisco. Evidence at trial showed that Ablett traveled to San Francisco to visit a friend. He was armed with a foot-long military knife and a .357 magnum revolver. Ablett brought with him a Mongols full-patch vest and t-shirt that only a full member of the Mongols is allowed to wear. According to testimony from Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gang expert Special Agent John Ciccone, and former Mongols undercover ATF Special Agent Darrin Kozlowski who infiltrated the gang, the Mongols are an organized criminal motorcycle gang whose primary rival is the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. When word traveled to Guardado that the defendant was wearing a Mongols patch shirt in a bar in the Mission, Guardado went to the street outside the bar and approached Ablett. A fight broke out during which Ablett stabbed Guardado four times and shot him twice, killing him. According to the testimony of FBI Special Agent Jacob Millspaugh, the case agent, the defendant’s phone records showed that he spent the next several hours calling people who were identified as members of the Mongols—showing that he was reaching out as part of the Mongols communication network. The jury rejected the defendant’s defenses of self-defense, defense of his friends, and heat of passion after the defendant took the stand and testified. The jury also found that the defendant murdered Guardado to maintain or increase his position in the Mongols gang, and that the Mongols engaged in racketeering activity. Ablett is scheduled to be sentenced on May 15, 2012. He faces a possible sentence of three terms of life in prison plus 10 mandatory consecutive years, a $1 million fine, and five years of supervised release. Specifically, for the charge of murder in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 United StatesC. § 1959, Ablett faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life without parole. For the charge of assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 United StatesC. § 1959, Ablett faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. For the charge of using a firearm during a crime of violence, in violation of 18 United StatesC. § 924(c), Ablett faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. And for the charge of using a firearm causing murder during a crime of violence, in violation of 18 United StatesC. § 924(j), Ablett faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 United StatesC. § 3553. The case was prosecuted by former Assistant United States Attorney Christine Wong, Assistant United States Attorneys Kathryn Haun, Wilson Leung and William Frentzen, paralegal specialist Lili ArauzHaase, legal techs Marina Ponomarchuk, Daniel Charlier-Smith, and Ponly Tu, all of the Organized Crime Strike Force and Violent Crime Section of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, and the San Francisco Police Department.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Forces open fire on Kerobokan jail, which houses Schapelle Corby and the Bali Nine

 

INMATES at an Indonesian prison in Bali, which holds 12 Australians, have taken over the jail again after a second night of riots. Some 400 heavily armed police and military forces were gathered outside the overcrowded Kerobokan prison, which holds 1,000 inmates, including 12 Australians convicted of drug smuggling. "The prisoners took over the prison again, which forced security personnel to fire warning shots into the air," provincial military command spokesman Wing Handoko told AFP. "The rioters wanted their friends being treated in the hospital to be taken back because they were afraid they would be mistreated by security forces," he added. An AFP reporter heard three minutes of continuous gunfire, but it was not clear if there were any casualties. A flaming torch made of rags wrapped around a pole was flung from inside the prison and landed near a television vehicle, but was extinguished before the fire could spread.  Riots continue in Kerobokan prison The prison was without light because electricity, cut off during Tuesday's rioting, still had not been restored by authorities. "There are 51 foreign prisoners from 17 countries at the prison. We will give them special security if the situation warrants," Handoko said before the shooting. It was not clear whether the most recent riot was close to the wing where Australian or other foreign prisoners are housed. Shouting and the rattling of the prison's inner gates were heard before police opened fire, but after the shooting silence and darkness descended upon the jail with inmates and security forces in a tense stand-off. Heavily armed forces had stormed the prison early Wednesday to regain control after inmates took over the prison during a night of arson and stone-throwing. All 12 Australian prisoners at Kerobokan, including two on death row and six serving life sentences, were safe after that trouble, Australia's foreign ministry said after Indonesian police had regained control of the facility. Some 100 heavily armed police and military had stormed the jail on the holiday island at around dawn on Wednesday, firing volleys of rubber bullets. Officials said they intervened after attempts to negotiate with the rioting prisoners had failed, and after some inmates managed to get hold of firearms. Three inmates had been injured in the legs, and a police officer was lightly hurt, police said. Among the Australians at the jail are convicted drug trafficker Schapelle Corby and a group known as the "Bali Nine", who were caught attempting to smuggle drugs from Bali. Up to 1,000 armed security forces backed by armoured vehicles and water cannon were stationed Wednesday morning outside the jail, which is in a suburban area of Bali seven kilometres from the tourism hub of Kuta beach. But police said the situation had returned to normal by late afternoon, and that only about 30 armed personnel had remained outside. Police and local reports said Tuesday's trouble began when one inmate stabbed another prisoner on Sunday, touching off reprisals that erupted into a full-blown riot. Prisoners began trashing cells and throwing stones at the guards who were forced to abandon the jail - built for just 300 inmates but now housing more than three times that many prisoners, both male and female. Police said the inmates were in charge for more than seven hours - from around 11pm Tuesday until 6.45am the following morning. Prison staff said the jail's registration office, including the files of prisoners, was destroyed in a blaze. After the rioting Tuesday, Michael Chan whose brother Andrew Chan is one of the Bali Nine, said he was worried about his brother given that during a previous riot "things got pretty bad, and they were in lockdown for a couple of days". Corby's family said she was well, with the women's wing of the prison untouched by the violence. There have been a number of riots at the jail in recent years, including one triggered by a police drug raid in June. It is one of Indonesia's most notorious prisons, with a combustible mix of inmates including convicted murderers, sex offenders and others guilty of violent crimes.

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


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

Hells Angels member has sentencing moved

 

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

Dartmouth shooting victim connected to Hells Angels

 

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

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Federal agents bust heroin operation at Stillwell Ave. auto shop in the Bronx, arrest 2, seize drugs and gun

 

Federal narcotics agents busted a heroin operation at a Bronx auto shop this month, severing a million dollar supply chain that stretched to Long Island, court records indicate. They raided Mobile Creations, a luxury car customizing shop, on Feb. 7 after nabbing a Suffolk County drug dealer attempting to sell 68 grams of heroin. The dealer ratted out his supplier, who gave up his source at Mobile, at 1631 Stillwell Ave. near Pelham Parkway in Morris Park, according to a complaint filed in Brooklyn Federal Court. The drug task force officers had the supplier set up a meet with James Gainer, who allegedly operated out of the Bronx shop, and arrested the suspect with 500 grams of heroin he planned to sell for $28,500, according to the complaint. They also snatched Mobile Creations manager Robert Bishun after finding 1.5 kilograms of cocaine and 250 grams of heroin hidden in a vehicle at the shop, and $40,000 in cash concealed in a Mercedes-Benz sedan registered to Bishun. The officers seized a .40 caliber handgun, loose ammunition and $30,000 cash from the shop’s office, along with pay-and-owe sheets detailing millions of dollars in narcotics transactions. The complaint charges both men with drug dealing and possession and Bishun with possessing a firearm linked to trafficking. Four drug grinders and a scale were also found in the shop, according to the complaint. The Suffolk County supplier told the agents he met Gainer at Mobile Creations to buy at least 100 grams of heroin a week. Repair shops and auto parts stores line Stillwell Ave., a quiet street that abuts Metro-North Railroad tracks. The facade of Mobile Creations sports colorful signs featuring Bentleys, Range Rovers and other luxury cars. "I just work here 10-6," said Mike James, a mechanic at Mobile Creations, on Monday. "This is a legit shop." "The shop has been around for over 10 years and they do high-end customization of cars," said Javier Solano, Bishun’s lawyer. "They do Lamborghini-style doors. They do $25,000 rims, $30,000 audio systems." Bishun and Gainer are being held without bail and have not been indicted yet, said Solano. Gainer’s lawyer, Lawrence DiGiansante, declined to comment.

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


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

DNA link alleged to child shooting scene

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

Rebels gang member on run

 

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

Monday, 20 February 2012

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


A deal has been done with rival bikie gang the Comanchero to "'divvy" up the lucrative eastern suburbs drug trade, police sources said.

The Hells Angels announced the Bondi chapter on their website yesterday.

Police intelligence indicates the Hells Angels recently established a clubhouse close to Bondi but not on the beach.

"We know both gangs have been looking to set themselves up there," a senior NSW police officer said.

"The two groups would have come up with some sort of boundary line between Maroubra and Bondi."

The Comanchero have traditionally had strong footholds in Maroubra and Coogee.

"It's pretty obvious the two have spoken to each other and decided on who has what territory," the officer said.

Two years ago a series of incidents, including a car bombing in the eastern suburbs, were attributed to a turf war between the Comanchero and Notorious.

Police suspect the recent peace deal may have come about with many of the Notorious members now "patching over" to the Hells Angels.

The officer said both gangs were on recruitment drives and constantly looking for new areas to expand.

Hells Angels hopeful 'shot son of former Fink Mark Sandery'

 

PROSPECTIVE Hells Angels member fired shots into the bedroom of a former Finks member's children, hitting his son twice in the leg, a court has heard. Aaron Cluse, 21, of no fixed address, appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court yesterday charged with offences including aggravated acts to endanger life. Police allege Cluse was one of up to four people who stormed the Semaphore home of former Fink Mark Sandery in September last year, when Sandery's 11-year-old son was shot. Magistrate Bob Harrap refused to grant Cluse bail in any form, saying the allegations were "serious", he was considered a flight risk and protection of the community was paramount. The court heard Cluse was a prospective member of the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang and that his father was a full member interstate. Police allege that at 10.20pm on September 30, Cluse and three or four others broke into Sandery's home at Military Rd, Semaphore, by smashing several windows and bashing down the front door. Inside the Adelaide bikie war Man arrested over shooting of 11-year-old boy The Daily Telegraph, 2 days ago Police target illegal gun trade Adelaide Now, 7 days ago Thugs behind the mayhem The Daily Telegraph, 5 Feb 2012 Bikie boss silent on son's killer The Australian, 30 Jan 2012 New raid in hunt for bikie clues Adelaide Now, 17 Jan 2012 "At least two persons gained access inside ... then a number of shots were fired from a handgun into a bedroom occupied by two children," the police prosecutor said. "There was an 11-year-old and a nine-year-old boy sleeping in separate single beds at the time. "The 11-year-old was struck (by bullets) in the upper left leg and lower left leg near his ankle," he said. "The victim himself stated he was asleep, then awoken by the noise of people running through the house." Police recovered a hammer from the Semaphore home that allegedly had Cluse's DNA on it. Glass fragments were also found inside Cluse's car, that police said were from the crime scene. Cluse was first questioned by police about the shooting in mid-December. Several days later, Cluse's former residence at Burton was shot at more than 14 times, the court heard. "Then in January this year the same premises was the subject of a deliberate arson attack that caused $150,000 damage," the prosecutor said. Aaron Almeida, for Cluse, said his client had been in contact with police since December and was not a flight risk. Mr Harrap remanded Cluse in custody to appear again in May. Police prosecutors said the investigation into the shooting was continuing.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Five members of the Rebels motorcycle gang have been charged with affray


 Five members of the Rebels motorcycle gang have been charged with affray after a brawl at a hotel in southern New South Wales last Saturday. Police say about 70 patrons fled the hotel at Goulburn when a group of men started fighting in the bar area. Five men, aged between 18 and 43, were arrested yesterday. They have been given conditional bail and are expected to appear in court next month.

Labor insiders ready for leadership vote next week

 

Labor's leadership crisis appears to be near breaking point with supporters on both sides telling the ABC the brawl could be resolved as early as this time next week. The Labor caucus is due to meet next Tuesday, February 28 unless a special meeting is called to put the party leadership, and therefore the prime ministership, to a vote. An earlier meeting seems unlikely as Kevin Rudd is overseas this week. At this point, it is not clear if the Prime Minister Julia Gillard would call a spill for the leadership or if Mr Rudd would launch a challenge. Factional powerbrokers have told the ABC's political editor Chris Uhlmann the issue must be brought to a head. One member of the Gillard camp says, "There will be an outcome in 10 to 14 days but it's up to Kevin to call it." The source said Mr Rudd is likely to lose and then issued this vicious warning: "We will unleash bloody vengeance on all of those who brought this vampire back to life." Another party insider says, "What we've learnt is there's no amount of damage that Kevin Rudd isn't prepared to inflict on Labor to regain the Prime Ministership." It is widely estimated that around one third of the 103 Labor MPs and Senators back the Prime Minister, another third would fall in behind Mr Rudd and a third are undecided. Some of the latter have told the ABC the leadership issue is "overwound" but has now "got a life of its own". 'Strong support' Today Ms Gillard told reporters in Darwin that she understands some backbenchers have concerns about her leadership, but she is going to keep doing her job. "I have the strong confidence of my colleagues, their strong support, and my focus is on getting on with my job as Prime Minister," she siad. Ms Gillard would not comment on whether a Labor vote was likely or whether she had the numbers to win. "I'm not going to engage in hypotheticals but I'm getting on with the job," she said. Ms Gillard also has rejected any suggestion that a member of her staff was involved in the release of a YouTube video of Mr Rudd swearing while recording a message as prime minister. "There have been some assertions today that somehow this is connected with my office. That is completely untrue," she said. "My office did not have access to the material people have seen on YouTube."

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Hells Angel Dayle Fredette turns informer, pleads guilty to murder

 

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

Bikie's girlfriend still missing

 

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

New laws to break bikies' silience

 

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

Five bikies charged over Goulburn brawl

 

Police say a group of outlaw bikie gang members have been charged over a fight at a Goulburn hotel that caused patrons to flee into the street. The bikies were arrested on Friday over a fight involving about 10 men that broke out in Goulburn last weekend. Police were called to the hotel about 11pm (AEDT) on February 11 when most of the hotel's patrons fled into the street after the fight began, police say. Five Rebel outlaw bikie gang members were arrested in Goulburn on Friday and charged with affray. The men - aged 43, 39, 37, 34, and 18 - were released on bail and will appear in Goulburn Local Court next month.

Hells Angel turns informer for SharQc cases

 

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

Hells Angel linked to BPS station construction

 

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

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Hells Angel charged over Sydney ice labs

 

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

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Police are appealing for witnesses to a brawl involving members of the Nomads bikie gang at a Newcastle pub over the weekend.

 

Several people were injured in the fight at a hotel on Maitland Road in the suburb of Islington in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police say a 21-year-old man suffered facial injuries when he was assaulted by Nomads members.

They say several men and a woman also suffered minor injuries when they came to the man's aid.

Detectives say the Nomads then left the hotel with an unknown man.

They want to speak with two men in relation to the brawl.

One is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 40 years old with a large build, shaved head and goatee beard.

At the time he was wearing a blue shirt and jeans.

The other man is aged in his late 20s, with a medium build, brown hair, facial hair and tattoos on his neck.

He was wearing a black long-sleeved shirt with a Nomads insignia on both arms.

Monday, 13 February 2012

alleged associate of outlaw bikie gang the Rebels has been charged with raping his de facto partner's daughter and rubbing a nine-year-old girl's chest.

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The 52-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his alleged victims, appeared in Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Friday.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Joe Aboud said the daughter of the defendant's partner complained of the rape in 2010 when she was 15, but her mother did not believe her.
The man's partner told police she and the man were recently babysitting a nine-year-old girl when she left him alone in the room.
Sgt Aboud said when the woman returned she found the defendant rubbing the child's chest and she and the man argued.
During the argument, Sgt Aboud said the 2010 alleged rape of her daughter came up and he told the woman he didn't hurt the girl, but he did touch her sexually.
The accused allegedly told the woman her daughter could have stopped it.
Sgt Aboud said the man also asked the woman how to "knock out" the nine-year-old so he could sexually abuse her.
The man did not enter a plea and Sgt Aboud opposed bail on the basis the man might contact the victims and jeopardise the investigation.
Magistrate Tom Bradshaw refused bail and remanded the man in custody until April 18.

Four bikies arrested for affray

 

Police have arrested and charged four members of Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs for affray after a fight at a licenced premises in Hindley Street.  At about 2.30am, police were called to the disturbance and on arrival, most of the men involved had left.  Police arrested a 42-year-old man from Wingfield, who is an alleged member of the Gyspy Jokers but he was taken to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  He is expected to be charged with affray when released from hospital.  Within a few minutes, police arrested three more men who are alleged members of the Rebels.  They were nearby by on Hindley Street.  These men, a 29-year-old from Golden Grove, a 31-year-old from Salisbury Park and a 23-year-old from Salisbury North were all charged with affray and released on police bail to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on 9 March 2012.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Finks bikie club member who was seen visiting wounded Comancheros bikie Vincenzo Focarelli in hospital has admitted in court to punching a police officer.

:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder.
Dylan Jessen, 21, pleaded guilty in Adelaide Magistrates Court to aggravated assault of an officer.
The court was told Jessen punched the officer at the rear of the Dublin Hotel at Glenelg last May after police were called to break up a fight.
Prosecutors said it was an aggressive attack on someone performing their duty.
The court was told Jessen was a former New Boyz street gang member and was convicted of affray over a fight between rival gangs in Hindley Street in the city.
He will be sentenced next month.
Jessen recently visited Focarelli in the Royal Adelaide Hospital and, outside court today, Jessen said the pair remained good friends.

Australia's dangerous outlaw motorcycle gangs are using social networking sites such as Facebook to recruit drug mules, the country's top crime body has revealed.

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 'high-risk' crime groups had used social networks to recruit associates and people to help with criminal activity, especially in illicit drug distribution, The Advertiser reports.



News.com.au quoted Lawler, as saying that the commission intelligence had identified a number of people buying drugs on behalf of this outlaw motorcycle gang who had been recruited via social media.

In South Australia last year a man with no known history of drug crime was recruited online and later charged by police for possessing illegal chemicals.

Lawler revealed how a bikie associate befriended the man on social media and then referred him to a website connected to the gang.

He said the man was then asked via email to buy chemicals through a company overseas, collect them on their arrival in Adelaide and deliver them to a gang member.

Meanwhile, South Austrlia police declined to comment in any depth about the recruiting methods of bikie gangs

Two local men believed to associates of the Rebels bikie gang will contest weapons and drug charges relating to a police raid on their homes

Two local men believed to associates of the Rebels bikie gang will contest weapons and drug charges relating to a police raid on their homes last November, Yass Local Court heard on Tuesday.
Christopher John Hasler, 41, of Bowning, intends to plead not guilty to two charges of possessing a prohibited drug (cannabis), two charges of possessing an unauthorised pistol, and one charge of possessing an unauthorised firearm.
Jobay Williams, 40, of Yass, pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing prohibited ammunition, having an unauthorised firearm, having an unregistered firearm, not keeping a firearm safe, possessing a prohibited weapon and possessing a prohibited drug.
Magistrate Geraldine Beattie adjourned both matters until March 6. They are both subject to conditional bail.
The charges relate to raids on a rural Bowning property and a Yass home on November 24 by detectives of Strike Force Raptor, a gangs squad which investigates and arrests members and associates of outlaw motorcycle gangs who are involved in criminal activities.
A third man was arrested during the same raid. Police are still investigating the 63-year-old Bowning man after suspending his firearms licence.:Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder.

Bikie Focarelli loses bail bid in SA Comanchero bikie boss Vincenzo Focarelli has lost a court bid to attend the funeral of his slain son.


 As police plan a strong presence at today's funeral of slain gang member Giovanni Focarelli, the Australian Crime Commission says the gangs have changed their rules in an effort to recruit and groom members from motorcycle clubs and street gangs. In an attempt to counter declining membership and strengthen their position against rival gangs, groups have evolved from a core of Caucasian males to more diverse mixes, the commission says. Many gangs now include members with Middle Eastern backgrounds - some who don't even ride motorcycles - and younger members recruited from street gangs. The commission says as well as increased violence, this has led to aggressive expansion and control of illicit markets and less respect for the unwritten rules of the "traditional biker". "Some outlaw motorcycle gangs are recruiting street gangs and their members to assist in the distribution of illicit drugs and contraband," ACC chief executive John Lawler said. "Some of these gang members are later recruited and become fully-patched members." Police will today monitor the funeral of Giovanni Focarelli as his father Vince, the leader of the Comancheros in Adelaide, yesterday lost what the Supreme Court of South Australia was told was a heartfelt bid to get bail attend the funeral of his oldest son. Vince Focarelli was wounded and Giovanni, 22, was killed in an ambush in an Adelaide suburb last month. Only if the Department of Correctional Services agree will Focarelli attend the funeral at a mosque in West Torrens today. Focarelli, 37, was moved from hospital earlier today where he had been recovering from gunshot wounds. The Department for Correctional Services (DCS) said the 37-year-old was moved under secure escort to a high security facility today. "DCS also advises that an application for compassionate leave from that remandee to attend a funeral has been refused," the department said in a statement. "They key reasons for refusing the request include the risks presented to the safety of the public and the safety and security of the prisoner involved." He failed in two court bids this week to get bail, even if only to attend the service, because of what police said was a "real danger" of another attempt on his life. The courts said that could impact the public, especially at the mosque during Friday prayers. Police would not comment on their operation today. They say Focarelli won't help them find the killer of his son and has refused protection. They arrested and charged him with trafficking drugs and a breach of bail after allegedly finding 413 grams of the liquid drug butanediol in his car after the shooting. He had flagged down a police car to get help for his son. Speaking on the recruitment process of the bikie gangs Mr Lawler said one South Australian bikie chapter actively had enlisted from a street gang with members aged between 13 and 17 years. "Over a short period of time, the recruits from the street gang not only became fully-patched members, but asserted themselves as prominent group members," he said. SA Police Assistant Commissioner (Crime) Grant Stevens agreed bikie groups were more diverse but said a culture of extreme violence had always existed. "We know their culture of violence is such that members and associates take any opportunity to intimidate and cause harm and use violence to further their criminal activities," he said. Mr Stevens said eight temporary detectives joining the Crime Gangs Task Force would bolster police operations to disrupt bikie activity. "Major Crime has responsibility for the Giovanni Focarelli murder and other crime areas, such as the Drug Investigation Branch and Organised Crime Investigation Branch, conduct investigations which support the Crime Gangs Task Force," he said. A new management plan to come into effect next month means every area of the state's police will contribute in some way to monitor gang members and their associates. "The management plan will result in a greater focus on the activities of all outlaw motorcycle gang members wherever they might be at any time," Mr Stevens said. Under the new plan, the Crime Gangs Task Force will direct police officers to target gang members in their local service areas. They will enforce bail and warrant matters, while also playing a greater role in investigating bikie associates over street-level drug dealing and associated offences.

Monday, 6 February 2012

TWO southside members of the Odins Warriors Outlaw Motorcycle Gang have been charged with firearm and drug offences

TWO southside members of the Odins Warriors Outlaw Motorcycle Gang have been charged with firearm and drug offences after police raided two industrial sheds in Boniface St, Archerfield, last week.

Police said a 58-year-old member of the Odins Warriors, of Algester, who owned the building, allegedly declared a shotgun to police.

Police allegedly found an amount of of methylamphetamine, a double barrel shotgun, a revolver and a .22 calibre rifle. More than 1,000 rounds of ammunition were also located.

Police searched a second building occupied by a 53-year-old member of the Odins Warriors, from Archerfield, and allegedly located an amount of methylamphetamine and cash.

The 58-year-old man was charged with possessing a dangerous drug, possessing firearms, possessing ammunition and possessing tainted property.

The 53-year-old man was charged with possess dangerous drug.

Both men are scheduled to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on February 16.

The operation was conducted by police from State Crime Operations Command's Firearms Investigation Team along with detectives from Task Force Hydra, the State Drug Investigation Unit and the Vehicle Crime Unit.

Customs and Border Protection also assisted with their firearms and explosive detector dogs.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The murder case against Eldon Calvert, the alleged leader of the Montego Bay based Stone Crusher gang, and two other men was thrown out

 

The murder case against Eldon Calvert, the alleged leader of the Montego Bay based Stone Crusher gang, and two other men was thrown out yesterday because a policeman fabricated a witness statement. “This is a very sad day in the history of justice,” Senior Puisne judge Gloria Smith said when the disclosure was made in the Home Circuit Court. Paula Llewellyn, QC, director of public prosecutions, said she could not proceed any further with the case because handwriting experts for the defence and the Crown confirmed the witness statement was written and signed by Detective Sergeant Michael Sirjue. Llewellyn said she was told that Sirjue fled the island. She said the report was that he left on a flight for Florida late Thursday afternoon. After Llewellyn got the report from handwriting expert Deputy Superintendent William Smiley late Thursday afternoon, she wrote to the commissioner of police informing him that Sirjue must be charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and uttering a forged document. Eldon Calvert was on trial along with his brother, music band operator Gleason Calvert, and Michael Heron for the 2006 murder of cookshop operator Robert Green of Salem, St James. The prosecution was relying on the statement of Artley Campbell to prove its case against the three men. Campbell was shot and killed on November 13, 2006. Sirjue wrote a statement purporting that Campbell had given the statement on November 14, 2006 but the date was subsequently altered to October 14, 2006. During Sirjue’s evidence, defence lawyers Roy Fairclough, Trevor HoLyn, Tamika Spence and Chumu Paris disclosed that they had an opinion from Beverley East, document examiner, that it was Sirjue who wrote and signed the statement. Llewellyn then asked for an adjournment on Tuesday to get the opinion of a handwriting expert. Handwriting expert Yesterday, Llewellyn announced that a new policy had since been put in place that all statements to be put into evidence in cases where witnesses are dead or cannot be found will be examined by the handwriting expert. Justice Gloria Smith also called for legislation or rules to be put in place for the defence to make disclosure to the prosecution when expert witnesses are to be called. She said disclosure should be made at case management. Fairclough called for all cases involving Sirjue to be examined. Sirjue was the supervisor at the Montego Bay CIB for former Detective Constable Carey Lyn-Sue who had pleaded guilty in relation to writing a false witness statement. He was sent to prison for attempting to pervert the course of justice. Eldon Calvert and Michael Heron were remanded until February 8 because there is another murder charge against them. “Justice has been served,” Gleason Calvert remarked after he was freed.

Jarrod Bacon, co-accused Wayne Scott found guilty of drug conspiracy

 

Gangster Jarrod Bacon and his co-accused Wayne Scott have been found guilty of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. Bacon, 28, and Scott, 55, who is the grandfather of Bacon’s child, were involved in a scheme to import up to 100 kilograms of cocaine into Canada from Mexico, B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen concluded Friday. The two men were targeted in a sting operation in which a police agent, who can only be identified as G.L., implicated the accused in the conspiracy. Court heard wiretap evidence of the men meeting at Scott’s home in Abbotsford and discussing plans for the drug conspiracy. Bacon boasted that he could provide $3 million in financial backing to take the shipment of drugs. The scheme was aborted in August 2009 after a police emergency response team entered a warehouse where the drug transaction was expected to take place. Bacon was on bail at the time of the offence. He took the stand in his own defence, claiming that he wanted to steal the drugs but had no plans to traffic the narcotics. The accused lashed out at police and admitted to being a gangster but insisted he was not guilty of the offence. Bacon admitted a heavy drug habit, including the abuse of the painkiller OxyContin, as well as the use of cocaine and steroids. He called the media coverage of his family “propaganda” and said the press was on a relentless campaign to smear him. But prosecutors, who said the accused was motivated by greed, dismissed his testimony as an “outright fabrication” and called him an “unmitigated liar.” In a verdict that took nearly two hours to read out in court, the judge said he found Bacon’s evidence on cross-examination to be at times evasive, confrontational and argumentative. He said the evidence showed Bacon taking a “knowledgeable and cautious” approach to the business of drug dealing. He rejected the assertion by Bacon that he only wanted to steal the drugs, saying that “it does not accord with logic or common sense.” Bacon was clearly operating according to an agenda and his evidence was not truthful, said the judge. There was “ample evidence” of a conspiracy to traffic as opposed to just negotiations as asserted by the defence, he said. Though Scott was in the middle of the conspiracy, he had a stake in the trafficking enterprise and was also aware of the specifics of the plan, said Cullen. “The quantity of drugs at issue clearly implies an intention to traffic The discussions between Bacon and G.L. and Scott clearly imply the existence of a prospective trafficking enterprise.” The judge spent a good part of the ruling setting out the elements involved in a conspiracy offence and citing case law. Outside court, an RCMP officer said the ruling clarified conspiracy law for police. “I was really pleased because it gives all us more clarity on how we approach these things,” said RCMP Supt. Pat Fogarty. “In terms of the disposition, the verdict, I’m very pleased with it.” Asked why Bacon was targetted, Fogarty replied that there was intelligence available and police took the opportunity provided. “I don't like, and I would never say, that Jarrod Bacon would be a target based on his notoriety.” Asked about the impact of the verdict on the gang wars that have been raging in the Lower Mainland, Fograrty noted that many have been prosecuted with “a lot” more trials to come. “This is just one level of completion in terms of providing a level of safety to the Abbotsford community, in this case, but also as much in the Lower Mainland, to alleviate this gang stuff.” The verdict came after the judge had dismissed several applications by the defence to stay the charges. At trial, lawyers for the two men indicated that if there was a guilty verdict, the accused might seek to have the charges stayed on the grounds that the police were engaged in entrapment. Jeremy Guild, Scott’s lawyer, told Cullen that prior to sentencing, he would be proceeding with an entrapment motion but Jeffrey Ray, Bacon’s lawyer, asked that the matter be adjourned until next week before he decides whether to join in on the motion. The judge adjourned the matter until Feb. 8. Bacon’s older brother, Jonathan, was last year gunned down in a gangland slaying in Kelowna. His younger brother, Jamie, is awaiting trial in the Surrey Six murders.

High-level drug arrests include Hell’s Angel Bowden

 

Thirteen people alleged by police to be "high-level" drug dealers were charged Friday in connection with the latest largescale sweep orchestrated by Manitoba's organized crime unit. Project Deplete, a police investigation that began last August and culminated Friday with arrests in Winnipeg and Edmonton, is the latest effort of Manitoba's Integrated Organized Crime Task Force, a joint RCMP-Winnipeg police unit that has famously used informants over the past several years to take down primarily the Hells Angels and their associates, with great success. The latest sweep saw charges laid against people police accuse of being major players in the city's drug trade. Some of the accused have gang associations, others are more "independent," police said. "We're alleging these are some major traffickers here. We targeted them specifically because we believe they're at a high level," said Winnipeg Police Chief Keith McCaskill. Among those arrested Friday was 36-year-old Billy Bowden, a former member of the Manitoba Hells Angels. The ex biker gang member has a long criminal record, including a manslaughter conviction for the 2007 stabbing death of Jeff Engen, who was killed at the old Empire Cabaret. Also arrested Friday was Joshua James Lyons, 29, who was picked up in the organized crime unit's first major sweep in 2006 and subsequently sentenced to four years in prison. Chi Hong Do, 30; Christopher Lea Murrell, 36; Pardeep Kapoor, 33; and Joshua Robert Charney, 21, were all arrested in Winnipeg Friday, while 32-year-old Ramsey Yaggey was arrested in Edmonton. As of Friday afternoon, police were still looking for six other people charged in the sweep: Dalton Miller, 21; Kareem Martin, 31; Elmer John Deato, 26; Dane Sawatzky, 27; Mark Beitz, 31; and David Thomas, 29, all of Winnipeg. "There could very well be more arrests on top of that," McCaskill said. Police would not say how many properties were raided as part of the blitz Friday as officers were still working to track down the remaining suspects, nor would they say whether they used an informant this time around. Nearly seven kilograms of cocaine, almost half a kilo of crack, more than 9,800 ecstasy tablets, a kilo of MDMA and large quantities of methamphetamine, oxycodone and marijuana were all seized during the investigation. Police estimate the total street value of the drugs at about $1 million.

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