23 July 2014

Dream Warrior Recovery: Individual selfhood is expressed in the self's capacity for self-transcendence

Dream Warrior Recovery: Individual selfhood is expressed in the self's capacity for self-transcendence

Individual selfhood is expressed in the self's capacity for self-transcendence and not in its rational capacity for conceptual and analytic procedures." Reinhold Neibuhr - Theologian/Author of the "Serenity Prayer"

22 July 2014

Tramps bikie club loses appeal to get back its guns because of link to Hells Angels Motorcycle Club

MEMBERS of a small-town motorcycle club linked to the Hells Angels have failed in their appeal to retrieve their confiscated guns. A decision was handed down today by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal upholding a decision to cancel four Tramps bikies’ gun licences because of their membership and social associations with other gangs. The verdict comes almost a year after nine current and former members of the Tramps MC fronted the Firearms Appeal Committee, one of which is a mobile butcher, arguing that Victoria Police had no right cancel their licences. Club head Ronald Harding, who took leave to withdraw, butcher Michael Oxenham, Malcolm Dinsdale and David Windsor are now considering appealing the decision to the appeal court of the Victorian Supreme Court. In August 2012, Chief Commissioner Ken Lay made a controversial decision to seize more than 100 registered guns from members of “outlaw’’ bikie gangs across the state. The VCAT appeal, taken on by four Tramps members, was seen as a test case for other “outlaw’ bikie members who also had their gun licences cancelled. The guns were seized under the test to whether the licence holder was a “fit and proper’’ person.

12 June 2012

shooting a cop dead is now legal in the state of Indiana.

Governor Mitch Daniels, a Republican, has authorized changes to a 2006 legislation that legalizes the use of deadly force on a public servant — including an officer of the law — in cases of “unlawful intrusion.” Proponents of both the Second and Fourth Amendments — those that allow for the ownership of firearms and the security against unlawful searches, respectively — are celebrating the update by saying it ensures that residents are protected from authorities that abuse the powers of the badge. Others, however, fear that the alleged threat of a police state emergence will be replaced by an all-out warzone in Indiana. Under the latest changes of the so-called Castle Doctrine, state lawmakers agree “people have a right to defend themselves and third parties from physical harm and crime.” Rather than excluding officers of the law, however, any public servant is now subject to be met with deadly force if they unlawfully enter private property without clear justification. “In enacting this section, the general assembly finds and declares that it is the policy of this state to recognize the unique character of a citizen's home and to ensure that a citizen feels secure in his or her own home against unlawful intrusion by another individual or a public servant,” reads the legislation. Although critics have been quick to condemn the law for opening the door for assaults on police officers, supporters say that it is necessary to implement the ideals brought by America’s forefathers. Especially, argue some, since the Indiana Supreme Court almost eliminated the Fourth Amendment entirely last year. During the 2011 case of Barnes v. State of Indiana, the court ruled that a man who assaulted an officer dispatched to his house had broken the law before there was “no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.” In turn, the National Rifle Association lobbied for an amendment to the Castle Doctrine to ensure that residents were protected from officers that abuse the law to grant themselves entry into private space. “There are bad legislators,” the law’s author, State Senator R. Michael Young (R) tells Bloomberg News. “There are bad clergy, bad doctors, bad teachers, and it’s these officers that we’re concerned about that when they act outside their scope and duty that the individual ought to have a right to protect themselves.” Governor Daniels agrees with the senator in a statement offered through his office, and notes that the law is only being established to cover rare incidents of police abuse that can escape the system without reprimand for officers or other persons that break the law to gain entry. “In the real world, there will almost never be a situation in which these extremely narrow conditions are met,” Daniels says. “This law is not an invitation to use violence or force against law enforcement officers.” Officers in Indiana aren’t necessarily on the same page, though. “If I pull over a car and I walk up to it and the guy shoots me, he’s going to say, ‘Well, he was trying to illegally enter my property,’” Sergeant Joseph Hubbard tells Bloomberg. “Somebody is going get away with killing a cop because of this law.” “It’s just a recipe for disaster,” Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police President Tim Downs adds. “It just puts a bounty on our heads.”

22 May 2012

Dog 'The Bounty Hunter' Chapman's Show Canceled

Dog "The Bounty Hunter" Chapman will have more time on his hands to catch criminals, because his show on A&E is being canceled ... TMZ has learned. Multiple sources connected with the show tell us ... Dog's people and A&E have been negotiating, but the network has now decided to pull the plug and not do season 9. One source connected with Dog tells us the cancellation is based on "creative differences."  But here's the reality ... saying "creative differences" is like breaking up with a girl and saying, "It's not you, it's me."

27 April 2012

THE men accused of being the key players in the Coffs Harbour chapter of the Lone Wolf Outlaw Motorcycle Gang are before the courts

THE men accused of being the key players in the Coffs Harbour chapter of the Lone Wolf Outlaw Motorcycle Gang are before the courts facing a raft of drug supply, violence and firearm charges. Fourteen gang members and associates, arrested by police under Strike Force Oriental have been publicly named. The men are facing almost 70 charges in the wake of their arrests during simultaneous dawn raids in Coffs Harbour, Coramba, Middle Boambee, Sawtell and Toormina on Wednesday, April 4. The men facing more serious charges have been remanded in custody while the accused are yet to enter pleas as police prepare their evidence against the men.  Police allege the gang of bikies and their associates coordinated drug supply on the Coffs Coast and were behind a series of violent offences, including a home invasion in Cook Dr last September where three people were assaulted and one man was seriously injured. It's also alleged two of the men were found in possession of illegal handguns. During the raids police allegedly seized a .345 revolver and a semi-automatic 9mm pistol.

There's been an upsurge in rival biker gang violence in Germany in recent years


A member of the Outlaw biker gang on his motorcycle

CRIME

German police target criminal biker gangs

Members of infamous biker gangs such as the Hells Angels, Outlaws and Bandidos are known for violent turf wars, terrorizing entire cities in Germany. The police are now cracking down on them.

Dressed in leather jackets and pants with studded belts, and sporting tatoos and menacing looks, some members of motorcycle gangs such as Hells Angels, Bandidos or Outlaws seem to enjoy their ferocious image. But now the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) is ramping up the pressure on biker gangs.

On Thursday, the northwestern state's Interior Minister Ralf Jäger banned the "MC Bandidos Aachen" gang and five of its sub-groups. More than 600 police officers raided apartments and offices of the club and seized weapons, cash, computers and even a gadget for tapping police wireless.

The biker gangs have long been considered violent, and believed to have links to organized crime. Jäger said the police operation was carried out following tip-offs that the Bandidos "wanted to expand their criminal dominance" in the area in and around the city of Aachen.

Authorities say there is plenty of evidence to show the gangs are gaining strength. "Since mid-2005, the number of biker groups has almost doubled," said Thomas Jungbluth, head of the organized crime unit with NRW's criminal police agency.

The Bandidos alone registered 12 chapters in 2005, Jungbluth said, adding that today that number has grown to 25 chapters with 900 members.

Operating as big firms

Dirk Wilking, motorcycle gang expert at the Brandenburg Institute for Community Consultancy, said the groups operated as "large enterprises" across Germany and Europe. "They especially pursue economic interests and are largely active in the area of organized crime."

 

Eine Gruppe "Hells Angel's" um einen der beiden Hauptangeklagten im Düsseldorfer "Hells Angel's"-Prozess, dem ehemaligen "Präsidenten" Dirk V. (mit offenem Mund, Mitte), fährt am 4.11.2002 nach der Urteilsverkündung durch die Stadt. Zehn Rocker des verbotenen Düsseldorfer Ablegers der weltweiten Organisation "Hells Angels" wurden vom Düsseldorfer Landgericht zu Haftstrafen verurteilt. Dirk V. erhielt wegen schweren Raubes und anderer Taten sechseinhalb Jahre Haft, Christian M. viereinhalb Jahre. In dem 20 Monate dauernden Prozess wurden zunächst angeklagte Tatvorwürfe wie Vergewaltigung und Bildung einer kriminellen Vereinigung fallen gelassen. Es blieben die Bildung einer bewaffneten Gruppe, schwerer Raub, räuberische Erpressung, Nötigung, Bedrohung, Diebstahl und unerlaubter Waffenbesitz.

 

The gangs are usually linked to gambling, prostitution, arms dealing, extortion, money laundering and drug trafficking. The big international biker gangs are primarily involved in the drugs trade, including anabolic steroids. The latter, Wilking said, is a relatively new development. "These substances are supplied to fitness clubs, partly by biker gangs," he said.

The gangs constantly try to operate outside the borders of the European Union's Schengen zone, in countries on the edge of Europe where they can set up laboratories to prepare synthetic drugs. "Then they're out of reach of the EU and Europol," Wilking said.

Powerful symbols

The bikers' trademark include riding prestigious motorcycles such as Harley Davidson and sporting leather jackets with their clubs' insignia sown on the back. The Bandidos' patch bears a tubby Mexican wearing a large sombrero and carrying a machete in one hand and a pistol in the other. The Hells Angels' insignia is the "death's head" logo with wings.

 

Members of the Hells Angels biker gang

Insignia is a crucial part of the biker gang culture

The insignia alone is full of powerful symbolism, Wilking said. "It plays a crucial role, because these groups offer a masculine image that hardly conforms to what's acceptable in society anymore: a proper macho, a real man. The law doesn't apply to me. I'm a biker."

That's the reason it's mostly working-class men who attracted to these gangs, Wilking said, even though at times even the occasional lawyer could be found in their ranks. "That's what makes these groups so attractive."

Blocking investigations

But prosecuting criminal bikers is far from easy. "Bikers usually maintain a wall of silence towards any investigations," Jungbluth said. "Even if a member is seriously injured, he will not give any tips that could lead to the perpetrator being caught."

Rather, bikers often make completely implausible statements to block the investigation or make it more difficult. There are hardly any bikers who leave the scene and if they do, they "have to reckon with harsh reprisals," Jungbluth added.

Founded in 1966 in San Antonio, Texas, the Bandidos have their roots in the US army. Their founder was a former Vietnam Marine veteran, Donald Eugene Chambers. His club was a refuge for soldiers who returned back to the US disappointed by the Vietnam war and sought a new home.

The motorcycle embodies the symbol of freedom linked with a strong sense of belonging to the group. The Hells Angels were formed in 1948 in California. After merging with further clubs, the gang expanded to Europe in the 1960s.

Bans are just a temporary solution

Biker expert Dirk Wilking says banning the groups, as was done in North-Rhine Westphalia, is a good approach. The gangs define themselves through their uniformity and their menacing appearance, so it's easy for them to spread an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. "That can only be broken with bans," Wilking said.

But the problem is that it's usually only local groups that are banned - as in the case of North-Rhine Westphalia.

"So you put a permanent ban one chapter of the gang, and then on another, but you don't get to the network of organized crime itself,” Wilking said. The local groups are only the local expression of an international phenomenon.

25 April 2012

Shooting a 'warning' from rival bikie gang

SIMMERING tension between rival bikie gangs exploded on the Gold Coast yesterday with the drive-by shooting of a tattoo parlour in the heart of Bandidos territory. Police fear the attack could be a push for territory by the Hells Angels as the outlaw gang seeks a toehold on the lucrative Glitter Strip. Less than 24 hours after police commissioner Bob Atkinson told the Bulletin that bikie gangs were "one of the greatest challenges to face law enforcement", the Bandido-protected Mermaid Beach tattoo shop was hit by at least four shots in the early hours of yesterday morning.  High-ranking police yesterday said it was "inevitable" that the violence that has plagued Sydney would eventually spill across the border. "We do not believe it is directly connected to the war between the Hells Angels and the Nomads that has been unfolding in New South Wales," said police. "But it is a similar style of attack. "We know the Hells Angels have been pushing to establish a chapter on the Gold Coast -- that push is coming from Sydney. "Tradelink Drive is not their most profitable chapter." While detectives have attempted to play down the shooting, police say there is "no doubt" it was intended as a warning. The Bandidos are the largest and one of the most secretive bikie gangs on the Gold Coast. The club has gained strength as its main rival -- the Finks -- have been severely weakened with so many senior members behind bars and Bandido territory stretches south from Broadbeach. Police said last month's Hells Angels National Run was intended as a direct message to all gangs on the Gold Coast. More than 200 patched gang members descended on Surfers Paradise for the run. "These clubs are so well organised, they do nothing without a reason," police said. "You can bet they had some purpose in coming to the Gold Coast. "They taunted the Finks and nothing happened, now the Bandidos tattoo shop is shot up in the same way the gym controlled by the Hells Angels was hit a few months ago. "You join the dots." The shop is owned by a senior member of the outlaw gang who has been a patched member of the Bandidos "for years", police say. In an exclusive interview with the Bulletin, Mr Atkinson said the danger of bikie gangs was "under-rated" by the community. "The outlaw motorcycle gangs nationally present one of the greatest challenges to police. "I think the degree of that challenge and the risk they present to our society is underrated." The Gold Coast has one of the highest populations of bikie gangs in the country. Mr Atkinson said he would not be surprised if the Hells Angels were not considering a move closer to the Glitter Strip. "They are businesses, they look for opportunity so that wouldn't be a surprise," he said. "They market themselves as a group of mature men who have a love and interest in motorbikes and they do that very cleverly. The reality is they are highly sophisticated, well organised criminal enterprises that pose a genuine risk to the community and many are well represented by the finest and best lawyers who they retain to represent them." South East Region Assistant Commissioner Graham Rynders said the gangs were constantly looking to expand. "One of things about OMCGs is they look for opportunity for criminal enterprise," Mr Rynders said. "Throughout Queensland, throughout the country, probably throughout the world they are looking to expand. It is obviously dictated to by territory, depending on who or what other groups exist in what areas."

Jury hears grisly details about murder scene

Police discovered a grisly scene on Sept. 10, 2000, when they entered a Cogmagun Road home in Hants County. “It was a very brutal scene,” Cpl. Shawn Sweeney, who was a constable with the Windsor rural RCMP detachment that day, testified Tuesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Kentville. It was the second day of trial for Leslie Douglas Greenwood, 42, who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Barry Kirk Mersereau, 48, and his wife, Nancy Paula Christensen, 47. Sweeney, a Crown witness, testified that he and four other police officers who responded to a 911 call found Christensen sitting upright in a chair in the living room of her Centre Burlington home with a bullet wound in her left cheek, under her glasses. She had a cup of tea in her hand and a small dog was sitting in her lap. There were several bullet casings and lead fragments scattered on the floor. Mersereau was lying face down, with pools of blood around his head and body. Another dog, believed to be a German shepherd-Rottweiler mix, was hiding under covers on the bed in the master bedroom. A third dog was tied to the front porch and another had run off into the woods. Sweeney told Chief Justice Joseph Kennedy and the seven-woman, five-man jury hearing the case that the house appeared to be neat and orderly, with no signs of struggle. “It didn’t appear to be a house that was rifled through or things thrown around,” Sweeney testified. Const. Glenn Bonvie told the court it was immediately obvious that Mersereau and Christensen were dead. “There was no movement. There was no doubt that they were deceased.” Crown witness Ronald Connors owned a hunting cabin in the woods about half a kilometre away from the couple’s house. He testifed that he heard several shots at about 8:15 p.m. on Sept. 9. Connors said he heard six shots fired in quick succession, followed by a pause and a couple more shots. Moments later, there were more shots. He said he thought at first someone might be jacking deer, but Connors concluded that the shots didn’t sound like those from a high-powered hunting rifle. The jury was shown a video of the two bodies as they were found. Former RCMP officer David Clace, then in charge of the RCMP’s forensics identification unit in New Minas, said a large amount of money was found in plastic bags in a gym bag in one of the bedroom closets. The bag was later determined to contain about $65,000 in cash. Crown attorney Peter Craig has told the court that the victims were shot to death in their home in an execution-style killing as part of a Hells Angels-ordered killing. “They were killed in their home in a quiet community, with a teapot on the stove, with no signs of struggle and their baby in the next room,” Craig told the jury. He said evidence presented by as many as 40 Crown witnesses will show that Michael Lawrence and Greenwood murdered the couple on the orders of Jeffrey Lynds, a former Hells Angels operative who died recently in a Montreal jail of an apparent suicide. Lawrence, who owed Lynds money, pleaded guilty last January to three charges of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years. Also killed that day, by Lawrence, was Charles Maddison, an innocent man who picked Lawrence up hitchhiking. Lawrence shot him to take his truck to commit a planned robbery. Craig said Lawrence, expected to be a crucial Crown witness, will testify that he and Greenwood shot the couple, one with a .357 Magnum, the other with a 32-calibre handgun, in what he called “planned and deliberate” killings. The couple’s 18-month-old baby boy was safely recovered from the house by neighbour Ruby McKenzie, who went to the victim’s home the day after the shootings. McKenzie said she brought the baby back to her mobile home and called police. Greenwood sat quietly during the proceedings, occasionally exchanging comments with his lawyer, Alain Begin. Begin is expected to argue that Greenwood went to the Mersereau house the day of the shootings to buy drugs, and that Lawrence shot the couple while Greenwood was waiting outside. Also charged with first-degree murder in the killings is Curtis Blair Lynds, 36, who is serving time in a federal prison for drug trafficking. A preliminary inquiry in his case is scheduled to begin July 16.

06 March 2012

Wheels of Soul outlaw motorcycle gang member pleads guilty

 

Allan "Dog" Hunter, 33, of Chicago, was present during the March 6, 2011, shooting death of Javell T. Thornton, 32, also of Chicago, at 126 South Main St. according to a federal indictment. As part of his plea, Hunter, a member of the Wheels of Soul outlaw motorcycle gang, admitted Thursday in federal court that he conspired with other members of the gang to dispose of several firearms after the shooting. WOS was in Marion for a meeting at a private motorcycle club. In the early morning hours of March 6, a fight at the gang's after-hours party spilled onto the sidewalk on South Main Street. When the dust settled, three men were injured with stab and gunshot wounds, and Thornton was dead. The federal indictment states that Anthony R. Robinson shot three victims in the back as they fled the party, killing Thornton and seriously injuring another. Hunter reportedly fired a handgun indiscriminately into the crowd while wearing a bulletproof vest. Robinson has been indicted on one count of murder in aid of racketeering activity and one count of attempt to commit murder in aid of racketeering, along with other federal charges for murder and racketeering activities in other states, according to the federal indictment. Eighteen members of the WOS were indicted on federal charges June 9, 2011. One member allegedly stabbed another person in the head during a fight at a Chicago motorcycle club, then shot another in the stomach. The indictment says gang members are required to carry weapons - mostly guns, but also hammers, knives and other weapons.

04 March 2012

Hells Angels bikie war will explode in Kings Cross.

 

POLICE investigating the Hells Angels have launched a new taskforce amid fears a full-blown bikie war will explode in Kings Cross. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the operation, code-named Strike Force Cheviot, was set up after 40 to 50 members of the Hells Angels descended on the red-light district last month. Police believe the "unprecedented" act may have been designed to send a message to rival bikie group Nomads, which have long controlled security in the area. Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, commander of the NSW Gangs Squad, said police had been watching the situation closely since the February 5 incident. "Yes, we are aware and monitoring the situation with what happened at Kings Cross that night with the Hells Angels", Mr Katsogiannis told The Sunday Telegraph. "It was an unprecedented act from the Hells Angels and that's why it's important the Gangs Squad involved ourselves from the beginning. "Safety of the community is our top priority and we will not be allowing any OMCGs (outlaw motorcycle gangs) to carry on with that type of behaviour". Police are investigating a possible outbreak of violence between the Nomads and the Hells Angels, who have been on an expansion and recruitment drive for months around Sydney. It is one of several lines of inquiry being probed by Cheviot detectives. They are also looking at a credible allegation that Hells Angels members went to Kings Cross to confront a member of the Nomads clan who works in the area. The man, who for legal reasons cannot be named, was formerly a member of the Hells Angels but "patched over" several months ago. Since then he has been performing unofficial security tasks for nightclub premises in Kings Cross, including venues aligned with local identity John Ibrahim. Law enforcement sources said when the Hells Angels descended on the nightspot they arranged themselves across the road from a club where the man was believed to be working, and demanded he come outside. "That forms part of several lines of inquiry we are looking at," Mr Katsogiannis said, adding that officers from Strike Force Raptor were patrolling Kings Cross on the night of the incident and quelled the situation. "If they (Raptor police) didn't intervene at the time, it could have been a lot worse". Police have connected the Nomads member with some of the recent shootings across southwestern Sydney, all of which are under investigation. In November, The Sunday Telegraph revealed the individual was the target of a drive-by attack at an Oporto restaurant in Merrylands, which occurred two days after he was released from custody. Mr Katsogiannis said Strike Force Cheviot officers, would continue weekend patrols of Kings Cross to prevent any outbreaks of violence for "as long as it takes".

27 February 2012

Hells Angel arrested in killing of fellow gang member

 

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

25 February 2012

Estonian gangsters netted a quarter of a million pounds worth of designer watches from a jewellers in Newcastle city centre.

Members of an Eastern European gang who flew around the continent for armed robbery day trips were today jailed for a £250,000 raid on a UK jewellers.

In a daring smash and grab attack lasting just 31 seconds, three Estonian gangsters netted a quarter of a million pounds worth of designer watches from a jewellers in Newcastle city centre.

Convicted murderer Marek Viidemann and his accomplice Sander Sarik smashed display cabinets with hammers, while Raido Ragga held staff at gunpoint to stop them raising the alarm.

Daring: The Estonian budget-airline bandits pictured on security camera during their raid on Berry's jewellers in Newcastle city centre

Daring: The Estonian budget-airline bandits pictured on security camera during their raid on Berry's jewellers in Newcastle city centre

The trio were part of a wider gang targeting jewellers around Europe, whose members were bought flights by crime bosses in Estonia and ordered to carry out the robberies.

Gangsters who owed money to organised crime were recruited to carry out the robberies on day trips to their destinations around the UK and elsewhere.

They would fly back to eastern Europe the next day while the stolen goods would be shipped separately.

 

 

Jailing Viidemann for 10 years, Judge Brian Forster, at Newcastle Crown Court, told him: 'You were part of an international crime gang.

'You were willing to cause terror and fear and your purpose was to get as much as you could as quickly as you could and then leave the country.

'This was a daring and terrifying robbery and was carried out without regard to those who work in the shop.

'The courts will protect the citizens of Newcastle from anyone who thinks they can come and prey upon them.'

Fast: In just over 30 seconds, the gang swiped a quarter of a million pound worth of watches from the jewellers, as terrified staff were held at gunpoint

Fast: In just over 30 seconds, the gang swiped a quarter of a million pound worth of watches from the jewellers, as terrified staff were held at gunpoint

Viidemann, Sarik and Ragga struck at Berry’s jewellers, on Grey Street, Newcastle, at around 10am on August 20, 2008.

Convicted killer: Marek Viidemann, 35, was jailed for 10 years at Newcastle Crown Court for his part in the raid

Convicted killer: Marek Viidemann, 35, was jailed for 10 years at Newcastle Crown Court for his part in the raid

Ragga went in brandishing a handgun while Viidemann and Sarik used hammers to get to the valuables.

Mark Simpson, prosecuting, said: 'The gunman pointed the handgun at staff and told them to get down.

'The others smashed the display cabinets and took 31 watches and the best makes were targeted.'

After just 31 seconds in the store they were gone, removing clothing and gloves as they left the scene.

Police recovered the clothes that had been left behind and found Viidemann’s DNA on them. Some of the stolen watches were later found on a coach in Dover.

Viidemann, 35, fled the country and ended up back in Estonia. He was finally detained on a European arrest warrant in his home city of Tallinn, the Estonian capital, last October.

Ragga, 26, and Sarik, 22, went on to carry out robberies at other Berry’s stores in Chester and Windsor. They were both jailed for 11 years at earlier hearings elsewhere.

Too late: Police outside the high-class jewellers after the robbery

Too late: Police outside the high-class jewellers after the robbery

The court heard Viidemann had a conviction in his homeland for aggravated murder for gain and robbery, for which he was jailed for 10 years in 1998.

In that offence he and four others beat a man to death to steal from him.

Judge Forster asked how he had got into this country, but prosecutors did not know. The Border Agency will be informed of his latest conviction.

Andrew Rutter, defending Viidemann, said: 'His involvement in this robbery came about because he had fallen on hard times in Estonia.

'It was not his scheme but he accepts he lent himself to it.'

Members of the organised crime gang have struck across Europe and five other robbers have previously been jailed for a total of more than 55 years.

The ring was linked to at least 150 armed robberies across the UK and Europe.

Jewellers were targeted in places including Leeds, Manchester, the West Midlands, London, Cheshire and Newcastle, while they also carried out raids in Germany, Sweden, Italy and Finland.

Detectives from Monaco even flew to Britain to quiz a member of the gang over a $75,000 raid on a Monte Carlo jewellers.

Police believed the gang stole watches worth more than £1million in total, few of which were ever recovered.




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.

22 February 2012

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.

21 February 2012

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.

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