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Contract Killings


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Arrest made after prison van escape in West Midlands


Detectives hunting an "extremely dangerous" murder suspect, who escaped from a prison van following a "well-orchestrated armed ambush", have arrested a man. Officers from West Midlands Police detained the suspect on Monday just hours after Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke ordered an inquiry into how John Anslow was able to be sprung from custody. The 31-year-old escaped after a gang of three masked men stopped the prison van, smashed its windows with sledgehammers and punched its driver. The van was taking inmates from Hewell Prison in Redditch to Stafford Crown Court on Monday morning. Instead of being transferred in a high-security prison service van with a police escort, Anslow was with other inmates in a van run by a private contractor. His status was only upgraded after he was charged with the murder of businessman Richard Deakin last week.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Man charged in shooting death of Inglewood nightclub owner


An alleged gang member was charged Tuesday with capital murder in the robbery-related shooting death of an Inglewood nightclub owner who was gunned down as he returned home in his Rolls-Royce last May. Dennis Roy "Junebug" Brown, 31, is accused in the slaying of Ester Alonzo, who was killed as he pulled the 2007 luxury car into the driveway of his Baldwin Hills home about 2:45 a.m. May 13. Prosecutors allege the murder occurred during the commission of a robbery, which could make Brown eligible for the death penalty if convicted. The criminal complaint also alleges gang and gun use allegations, along with allegations that Brown was convicted in 1999 of attempted robbery and in 2004 of second-degree robbery. Brown was arrested Thursday by the Los Angeles Police Department's South Bureau homicide team and is set to be arraigned Jan. 30 at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse.

A parolee and reputed gang member was charged with capital murder Tuesday in the May 2011 slaying of an Inglewood nightclub owner

Alonzo Ester

A parolee and reputed gang member was charged with capital murder Tuesday in the May 2011 slaying of an Inglewood nightclub owner, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Dennis Roy Brown, 31, was charged with one count of murder with a special circumstance allegation that the killing occurred during a robbery. The criminal complaint also includes gang and gun allegations.

Prosecutors said Brown could face the death penalty, but no decision to pursue a capital case has been made.

A reputed Rollin 20’s Blood gang member known as “Junebug,” Brown is accused of gunning down Alonzo Ester, 67, a real estate entrepreneur and Inglewood nightclub owner, about 2:45 a.m. May 13 as he sat inside his Rolls-Royce in the driveway of his Baldwin Hills mansion 

Police believe the assailant approached the driver’s-side door and fired one or two shots. Ester owned a black Rolls-Royce and a white one. He was driving the $300,000 white car, which rolled into a neighbor's house across the street after the shooting.

Witnesses heard the shots and saw a man leaving the scene in a sedan.

At first, LAPD South Bureau homicide detectives believed that the killing could be related to the victim's business. But after painstaking investigation, they determined that the crime was one of opportunity and that the suspect targeted Ester because of his lifestyle.

Prosecutors said Brown had two previous convictions  -- a 2004 second-degree robbery and a 1999 attempted second-degree robbery. Both offenses took place in Los Angeles County.

Half-baked Vancouver-Sydney drug smuggle ends in arrests


Five Australian men have been arrested after trying to smuggle $8 million worth of drugs Down Under from Vancouver International Airport. On Dec. 30, 2011, Canadian border officers found the drugs - six kilograms of cocaine, 12 kg of MDMA (ecstasy) and nearly two kilograms of meth – after they examined a commercial oven and range destined for Australia Service Agency. The shipment was tracked to Sydney airport on Jan. 7, and on Thursday to locations in two suburbs north of Sydney, where eight search warrants were issued and the five men arrested. The Australian Federal Police also seized small stashes of drugs, $17,900 in cash and a large number of weapons including throwing knives and a Taser. The men – who range in age from 24 years old to 54 – were scheduled to appear in Sydney-area courts yesterday for charges of importing, attempting to possess and supplying a border-controlled drug. Each face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment or a $825,000 fine.

Fatal shooting spree 'settling of beefs' between Bacon and Dhak-Duhre gangs,


With one man shot dead and another still clinging to life, police say Surrey’s latest homicide Thursday night was likely part of the ongoing settling accounts between rival gangs following the murder of Gurmit Singh Dhak in October of 2010. “I think it is fair to say that it is a settling of beefs related to the murder of Gurmit Dhak last year,” said Sgt. Bill Whalen spokesman for B.C.’s Combined Special Forces Enforcement Unit, which targets organized crime in the province. “[The] Dhak-Duhre group is in conflict with the Bacon brothers . . . and this is just another iteration of that,” Whalen said. In this latest gang-related shooting, two men in their late 20s were fired on while outside a residence in Surrey in the 13900-block 56th Ave. just after 11 p.m., in Panorama Ridge. One was declared dead at hospital and the other injured. He under went surgery in local hospital and was reportedly in critical condition. The wounded man remained alive as of Saturday afternoon, according to police. The Province has learned the deceased was a low-level Dhak-Duhre group member named Sean Beaver. The second man shot Thursday is reportedly related to another Dhak-Duhre member killed by a balaclava-wearing gunman Oct. 22 at a strip mall in central Surrey. Police are not confirming the names of the victims due to the risk of reprisal. “We know that one guy is still in the hospital, so . . . we don’t want to ­identify him to the shooters,” RCMP Sgt. Jennifer Pound of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team said Saturday. “We’ve gone out there and told people we’re protecting the general public and we’re protecting the staff at the hospital.” The shooting comes just days after well-known Surrey gang member Sandip (Dip) Duhre, 36, was gunned down execution-style at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver Tuesday night. He and his two brothers, associates of deceased gangster Bindy Johal, were known to be involved in the Fraser Valley drug trade and allied with the Dhak group. They have been feuding with rival gangs, including members of the Bacon brothers’ Red Scorpions. Gurmit Singh Dhak was gunned down at Metrotown in the fall of 2010 and his associate Jujhar Khun-Khun critically injured. There was another attempt on Khun-Khun’s life in Surrey in September 2011. Dhak’s younger brother Sukhveer also has a history of gang involvement. Since October he’s been in custody pending trial on 2008 trafficking and conspiracy charges. Jonathan Bacon was shot and killed — and three associates, including a Hells Angel and Independent Soldiers member, were injured — in a targeted hit in Kelowna in August. In September 2011, the Gang Task Force issued a public warning that anyone connected with the Dhaks or the Duhres, who were trying to extend their territory, were at risk of violence and retaliation. When asked if Thursday’s shooting was related to the attack in Kelowna, Sgt. Whalen said, “it’s a possibility. That possibility is being investigated.”

Moving to synthetic drugs


The creation of clandestine laboratories for the development and transfer of synthetic drugs has shifted to the cultivation of marijuana and poppy from the drug cartels, mainly the Sinaloa, according to data from the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA). The federal agency estimated that the creation of these laboratories has grown 200 percent in a thousand. Only so far the current federal government, and the Mexican army has dismantled 645 clandestine laboratories, while the previous administration closed only 60. Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco and Michoacan are the states where such facilities have been found. Cartels move to the synthetic drug The Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) states that the cartels, mainly the Sinaloa, have ceased to grow marijuana and opium poppy for the creation of clandestine laboratories for the development and transfer of synthetic drugs. The analysis determined that the Department of Defense business transformation of the drug to Mexican cartels originated in the price, under the conditions of production, transportation and safe profits. Therefore estimated that the creation of these facilities could have grown up in a thousand 200 percent, as the cultivation and planting of narcotics has diminished considerably. However, it has been the destruction of plantations that are still grown in humid places and geographical areas to evade detection wild, mostly in the so-called Golden Triangle comprising the states of Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila, as well as in regions Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla and Chiapas. Through eradication, National Defence has destroyed 635 000 120 marijuana plants equivalent to 89 000 726 hectares. Regarding the poppy has been made to exterminate 410 000 925 crops, equivalent to 71 000 911 hectares. Currently the Department of Defense uses a restricted use chemical for the destruction of such plantations. The cartel of El Chapo According to the areas of intelligence federal institution for criminal organizations profit by synthetic drugs is greater than the narcotics. In just six years so far the Army has been the dismantling of 645 clandestine laboratories, while in the previous six years only 60 such facilities were closed down. According to the geographical area where they were seized laboratories has been established with the greatest presence in Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, and Michoacan, which indicates a clear route traffic of synthetic drugs and, fundamentally, is operated by the Sinaloa cartel, among others, leading Joaquin El Chapo Guzman. In a relationship of convenience with the organization La Familia Michoacana , and now with the Knights Templar , the Sinaloa cartel, together with some members of the organization of The Valencia- trafficking synthetic drugs using the same path where laboratories have been found . For drug dealers, business transformation for higher profits and security has generated since 2007. Earnings For organized crime is much easier to invest in a laboratory than in the planting of drugs, since the laboratory can be kept indoors without much risk of being detected by satellite photography or any other form of inspection. Most of the reasons for the evolution of the drug business, is to grow it to make, is profit. According to the Department of Defense, of drugs called “synthetic” are available from 200 to two thousand per cent more income than marijuana. In addition to criminal organizations linked to the transfer, transportation of synthetic substances are much more portable than marijuana or poppies, because the pills as methamphetamine or heroin are hidden better. Environmental Appeal Clandestine drug laboratories also affect residents adjacent to the facility. The construction of clandestine laboratories in the cities or conurbations can bring multiple health problems, but not only those who produce the synthetic drug, but also to neighboring residential areas adjacent to these facilities houses improvised. According to what has determined the Forensic Services Division of the Attorney General’s Office, the contamination with chemical precursors to produce synthetic drugs can cause severe central nervous system damage, which could cause death.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Nigerian sect kills over 100 in deadliest strike yet


100 people were killed in bomb attacks and gunbattles in the Nigerian city Kano late on Friday, a local government security source said, in the deadliest strike claimed by Islamist sect Boko Haram to date. "Definitely more than 100 have been killed," the senior source, who could not be named, told Reuters. "There were bombs and then gunmen were attacking police and police came back with attacks." Hospital staff said there were still bodies arriving at morgues in Kano. Boko Haram claimed responsibility on Saturday for the wave of strikes. The sect has killed hundreds in the north of Africa's most populous nation in the last year. The attacks late on Friday prompted the government to announce a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the city of more than 10 million people, the country's second biggest. President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been criticized for failing to act quickly and decisively enough against Boko Haram, said the killers would face "the full wrath of the law." Kano and other northern cities have been plagued by an insurgency led by Boko Haram, which is blamed for scores of bombings and shootings. These have taken place mostly in the Muslim-dominated north of Africa's top oil producer, whose main oil-producing facilities are located to the south. Aimed mainly at government targets, the Boko Haram attacks have been growing in scale and sophistication. A spokesman for Boko Haram contacted reporters in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, where the sect is based, to claim responsibility for Friday's bombings. Copies of a letter apparently from the group were also dropped around Kano.

'Kings of Dust' Gang Suspected of Murders and Shootings, Police Say


Members of the "Kings of Dust" drug gang that terrorized a Harlem public housing complex are suspected of carrying out several murders and half-a-dozen shootings while controlling their $1 million-a-year PCP and narcotics empire, police sources said. Prosecutors on Wednesday released a 268-count indictment against the 35-member drug gang, which investigators said put an 8-year-old boy to work keeping watch for cops as older members peddled massive quantities of PCP and other drugs. The indictment charged gang members with conspiracy and drug sales, but police sources said Thursday the gang resorted to murder on several occasions. Tenants at the New York City Housing Authority's Milbank Frawley Houses at 1780 Madison Avenue said Thursday they lived in fear for months as the alleged drug dealers ran rampant, intimidating locals. The alleged drug gang members urinated in the elevator and in hallways, fought at night, and fired a gun at the housing complex at least once, residents told DNAinfo. Tenants said they watched helplessly from their windows as the gang took over the complex, gathering nightly in a courtyard that served as a hub for their drug trade. Prosecutors said the gang hid 2.5 gallons of PCP, which is sold both in liquid form and crystallized as Angel Dust, in Hawaiian Punch bottles. The gang was made up of men, women, and some "very small" children, residents said. "Every day I'd see them out the window," said Luis Pena, 43, whose apartment overlooks the courtyard. "Every hour there'd be more people." Maxine, a 65-year-old resident, said she was afraid to go out late at night, when the gang seemed most active. "We were scared of getting robbed," she said. Some said the drug activity seemed to increase about a year and a half ago, then intensified in the past five months. Residents said they wondered why it seemed to take police so long to stop the gang's criminal activity. "There were mad dustheads in the building and on the corner," said Marcella, a 56-year-old resident. "I don't know how the cops took so long." Investigators tracked the drug gang's activity for 15 months, prosectors said Wednesday. The probe was sparked by residents' complaints, but some said Thursday that officials seemed to brush off their concerns. "I was scared," said a 60-year-old resident named Yolanda. "We went to (the New York City Housing Authority) to say it was very dangerous and there were people outside. They didn’t do anything. They just fixed the door. They said call the police." A NYCHA spokesperson said the agency worked closely with the NYPD and was aware of the drug activity at the Milbank Frawley Houses. NYCHA was working to evict the residents who were involved, a NYCHA spokesperson said. "We will continue to assist residents in working with the NYPD in any way that we can, and periodic meetings have taken place with...police officers regarding criminal activity," the spokeswoman said.

The G-Shyne Bloods are a Richmond-area subset of the Bloods national street gang.


Henrico County jury found a gang enforcer guilty on all counts for ordering a robbery that resulted in a murder, and recommended a sentence of life in prison plus 23 years. After deliberating about four hours Friday, the jury of six men and six women found Merwin Raheem Herbert "Poncho" White, 21, guilty of first-degree murder, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and two related firearm charges. Authorities say White ordered two other members of the G-Shyne Bloods to rob drug dealer Quondell Pringle because Pringle had been holding himself up falsely as a member of the gang. Authorities say that during the robbery, James B. Pryor shot and killed Pringle, 22. The G-Shyne Bloods are a Richmond-area subset of the Bloods national street gang. White stared impassively at the jury's forewoman as she announced the panel's recommended sentence, ending a three-day trial in Henrico Circuit Court. Formal sentencing was set for March 7. After a deputy placed White in handcuffs, he nodded solemnly to supporters in the courtroom gallery. One woman could be heard crying softly. Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney Shannon Taylor, who was elected in November, said the sentence shows that her office won't put up with gang violence and noted that the case was unusual because it involved a murder prosecution of a man who set the events in motion by giving an order but didn't pull the trigger. "This gang culture is something that's real," Taylor said. "Gangs in Henrico County are not tolerated, and law enforcement is committed 100 percent to the public and going after gang activity." Taylor praised Henrico investigators and prosecutors Toni M. Randall and Thomas L. Johnson Jr. for their handling of the case. After Taylor was elected, she removed several veteran Henrico prosecutors and hired Randall and Johnson from Richmond to serve as deputies in her new administration. After Friday's verdict, White's attorney declined to comment. Supporters of the defendant said it was unfair he was convicted of murder when he didn't carry out the shooting himself. "He's not a menace to society as everyone is trying to make him out to be," said White's sister, Roderica White, 20, adding that her brother is the father of four daughters and one son. Prosecutors said White ordered two fellow affiliates of the G-Shyne Bloods, Pryor and William D. Hargrove, to set Quondell Pringle up to be robbed last April. In his closing arguments Friday, Johnson described a meeting White had with Pryor and Hargrove to plan the robbery of Pringle by setting up a drug deal to buy marijuana from him. Johnson said White told Pryor and Hargrove, "If he bucks, then you know what to do." "Those were the last words given to James Pryor before he and William Hargrove left the apartment in Newbridge to complete their mission," Johnson said. Johnson said the gang's message to Pringle would be this: "You're going to be robbed. You're going to stop reppin' for G-Shyne." Pryor, a G-Shyne initiate, told associates that he shot Pringle after Pringle grabbed for a gun White had provided. White's attorney, William Linka, had urged the jury to disregard the testimony of prosecution witnesses who were deeply involved with the gang. One of the witnesses was granted immunity for her testimony, and two others admitted they expected some form of leniency on criminal charges they face. One of the men, Deshon Randolph, is facing a gang-participation charge for his role in a shooting of two other gang members in Powhatan County shortly after Pringle died. One of the victims was killed and the other critically wounded. Richmonder Joe Lewis Harris III, known as Savage and who drove the getaway car in the Pringle case, has pleaded guilty to murder and other charges in the Powhatan double shooting.

Man shot in Surrey was the half-brother of previously slain gang-associate


One of two men gunned down in Surrey late Thursday was the half-brother of a Dhak associate shot to death there in October, The Vancouver Sun has learned. And police are bracing for more violence as the death toll rises in a bloody ongoing conflict between two rival groups of gangsters. Sgt. Bill Whelan, of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said heads of organized crime and homicide teams met Friday to strategize about what to do in the aftermath of a string of gang murders, including the execution at the Sheraton Wall Centre Tuesday of high-profile gangster Sandip (Dip) Duhre. “They are obviously concerned about the public shootings,” Whalen said. “Certainly in the last 24 hours, enforcement has been stepped up. There will be a significant increase in covert units tasked with working on this.” And he said the Uniformed Gang Task Force will be out in greater numbers throughout the weekend. The latest casualty, Sean Beaver, is from Montreal and was not well-known to police in B.C. before he was targeted in the driveway of a house in the 13900-block of 56 Ave. about 11 p.m. Thursday. A second man shot Thursday is fighting for his life in hospital. A second man shot Thursday and critically wounded is the sibling of Stephen Leone, a member of the Dhak-Duhre group who was fatally shot by a masked gunman as he sat in his black Acura sedan in a strip mall at 100th Avenue and King George Highway last Oct. 22. Another associate was wounded in the shooting. The Dhak-Duhre gang has been marked for months by a loose criminal alliance made up of Red Scorpions, Independent Soldiers and some Hells Angels. The conflict between the two sides bubbled into public view in October 2010, when Gurmit Dhak was gunned down at Metrotown mall by hit men suspected of being linked to the other side. Several retaliatory shootings followed in late 2010 and early 2011. And things spun out of control after Red Scorpion Jon Bacon was executed by masked gunmen outside of the Delta Grand hotel in Kelowna last August. A Hells Angel and an Independent Soldier were also wounded in that attack. The fallout led Gang Task Force leader Supt. Tom McCluskie to issue an extraordinary public warning telling people to stay away from anyone connected to the Dhak-Duhre group. And on Friday, McCluskie reiterated that plea. “If you are near or around any of these guys, then you are putting yourself or whoever you are with in serious, serious danger,” McCluskie said. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is in charge of Beaver’s murder. “Although it is in the very early stages, at this point this shooting appears to be targeted and gang related,” Sgt. Jennifer Pound said Friday. IHIT investigators canvassed the area around the palatial Panorama Ridge home where the shooting took place Friday, looking for evidence and speaking with potential witnesses. The oceanview house with an indoor pool sits on more than four acres and was purchased last August for $3.5 million by a person named Hua Deng. The new owner then rented the property out to a Dhak associate. Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts said politicians and police throughout the region are concerned about the escalation in violence. “I think with the shooting in Vancouver the other day, we thought there would be some retaliation,” Watts said. “I think it is something we are very, very concerned about.” Watts said if necessary Surrey RCMP could bring in resources from out of province to help as they did in 2009 when gang murders escalated. “We have that capability. If it escalates again, we are prepared to do that,” she said. “I would hope that things calm down."

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A grisly event in South East Asia highlights the region's developing meth-driven drug war


The Mekong River in Thailand Photo via By Jed Bickman 10/11/11 | Share Uppers Rock the World New Life for Asia’s Golden Triangle China Unveils Radical New Approach to Drug Treatment Vietnam's Rehab Gulag Revealed Spinning to Cambodia! In one of the grisliest incidents of the drug war in South East Asia in recent memory, the corpses of thirteen Chinese sailors have been found by Thai authorities on the Mekong River. The victims, including two female cooks, were blindfolded, bound, and shot dead. They're believed to be the crew members of two Chinese cargo ships that were hijacked last week by Thai drug gangs—the boats were recaptured in a firefight with Thai police and 950,000 methamphetamine pills were discovered on board. It's unclear whether the meth was loaded onto the boats by the Thai gangs, or whether it was already being shipped from China. Thai military officials blame a drug trafficking ring led by 40-year-old kingpin Nor Kham—who operates out of northeast Burma and is a wanted man in both Burma and Thailand—for the attacks. Authorities speculate that the Chinese ships neglected to hand over protection money and paid the price. The Chinese government has reacted defensively, suspending cargo and passenger trips along the Mekong river. The region along the border of Burma, Laos, and Thailand—known as the “golden triangle”—is the center of methamphetamine production in Asia, although China has also produced vast amounts of meth since the 1990s. Ephedrine, the base of methamphetamine, is derived from a native Chinese herb—“mao,” AKA "yaba"—which has an important role in Chinese medicine. The UN estimates there are between 3.5 million and 20 million methamphetamine users in South East Asia: such a broad range only serves to illustrate how badly understood the problem is. In 2009, countries in South East Asia collectively reported a 250% jump in methamphetamine arrests, as well as an increasing trend of injecting methamphetamine, which leads to a corresponding jump in HIV and other diseases among users.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Movie fans must boycott Paul Ferris film..


SENIOR policeman has urged film fans to shun a new drama about Scottish gangster Paul Ferris. Detective Chief Superintendent John Carnochan spoke out after a promotional trailer for the film was leaked online. And he said he believed few people in Scotland would have any sympathy for the production, made by a London-based company and shot down south. The sympathetic trailer shows Ferris, known as “the enforcer”, as a victim who was bullied as a child and whose road into vicious career criminality came as a reaction against the “monsters” of his youth. It also contains scenes similar to the 1980s classic childhood friendship film Stand By Me. One shows Ferris as a young boy sitting around a fire with his childhood pals saying: “When we’re old, we’ll always be together. “We’ll live in huge castles and be kings. We’ll fight monsters and demons.” DCS Carnochan, head of Strathclyde Police’s Violence Reduction Unit, said last night it was wrong that people should seek to profit from Ferris’s criminal career. He added: “There comes a point in our understanding of the importance of the effect of early years has on later life when you’re beyond the point of saying, ‘You’re worthy of our empathy.’ “I’ve seen nothing of the film, so it’s hard to comment completely, but I understand why people will have a problem with this. “I don’t think that anyone should profit from criminality. Whoever they are and at whatever stage, I think it’s wholly inappropriate.” The film stars Greenock-born Sweet Sixteen actor Martin Compston in the lead role, with support from Hollywood Scots John Hannah and Denis Lawson. Hannah plays Ferris’s former enemy Tam “The Licensee” McGraw, while Lawson plays his father. Opening scenes see the young child Ferris climbing walls around his home in Blackhill in Glasgow’s east end, walking his dog and making “forever friends” pacts. Compston then emerges as the snarling adult Ferris, hell-bent on retribution against his childhood oppressors, growling: “Every single day of my life those b******s have bullied me. They sucked the life out of me. No f*****g more.” The scenes are played out against a sentimental score of plaintive folk guitar. No one from producers Carnaby Films was available last night.

highranking member of the United Nation gang who had direct contact with Mexican cartels,


British Columbia man executed in Mexico this week was a highranking member of the United Nation gang who had direct contact with Mexican cartels, the Vancouver Sun has learned. Salih Abdulaziz Sahbaz, 36, had spent much of the last three years in Mexico and was the key cartel contact for the notorious B.C. gang, police sources confirmed. But he also returned regularly to Surrey, B.C., where he had family ties. Sahbaz was shot nine times with a .45-calibre handgun early Monday and was found at an intersection in Culiacan, capital city of the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Sahbaz had taken over the Mexican end of business after two other UN gang members, Ahmet (Lou) Kaawach and Elliott (Taco) Castenada, were gunned down in Guadalajara in July 2008. He is believed to have owed money to at least one cartel after losing a shipment of cocaine and was working off his debt.

Whistle-blower links Serbian drug lords, SA gangs


The head of a Balkan cocaine and crime syndicate is hiding out in South Africa under the protection of local gang bosses, underworld sources reveal. Fugitive Darko Savic – one of the world’s most wanted drug smugglers – is living under a different alias here, right under the noses of the authorities. And local crime bosses are helping him avoid detection by using their network of corrupt cop contacts. The revelation comes after the Daily Voice last week revealed how Serbian hitman Dobrosav Gavric lived in the Mother City for three years under the protection of slain crime boss Cyril Beeka. Beeka’s murder lifted the lid on the shadowy links between international crime syndicates and local mobsters. Today in an exclusive interview with the Daily Voice, a veteran former gangster turned whistle-blower confirms long-suspected links between SA crime gangs and Serbian drug lords. And he provides a chilling insight into a series of high-profile murders – including Beeka’s killing in March last year. In an interview with the Daily Voice, the terrified ex-dik ding reveals how: n He is now on the run and fears for his life after his mob bosses turned against him; n Someone “very near” to Cyril Beeka would have murdered him if the other attempt on his life failed; n Hitmen use their cop contacts to confirm the identities of targets before having them whacked; n International fugitive Darko Savic is hiding out in Gauteng with the help of local crime bosses. Savic has been linked to Czech criminal Radovan Krejcir, 42, a convicted fraudster who is also being investigated for Beeka’s murder. Krejcir was friends with both Beeka and Gavric, but it is understood he fell out with Beeka over a business deal. When the Hawks raided Krejcir’s Gauteng home after Beeka’s assassination in March last year, they found a “hit list” with Beeka’s name on it. At one stage Gavric – who was seriously injured in the shooting – was rumoured to also be a suspect in the hit. But in a sworn affidavit obtained by the Daily Voice, Gavric insists he was close friends with Beeka and that he is prepared to act as a future witness for the State. The hitman is wanted in Serbia where he was convicted for the murders of notorious warlord Zeljko “Arkan” Raznatovic and two others. Gavric will on Monday find out if his bail application is successful when he appears before Cape Town Magistrates’ Court. In an interview with the Daily Voice from his hideaway in George, Eastern Cape, the whistle-blower who identifies himself only as “Uncle Sam”, says Gavric is not the only wanted Serbian using this country to escape justice. “Serbian drug lord Darko Savic is hiding in Gauteng and protected by [local] underworld bosses,” he says. Uncle Sam, 65, also gave a detailed insider’s account of Beeka’s execution: “If the assassination had failed to eliminate Beeka, then someone else very near to him would have carried out the murder on that very same day.” He was also able to provide exact details about the cold-blooded murder of Yuri “The Russian” Ulianitski who was gunned down outside a restaurant in May 2007. “A half-hour before Yuri left the restaurant, a prominent businessman linked to the mob called the hitmen and told them that Yuri will be approaching the intersection of Otto du Plessis Drive and Loxton Road just before 10.30pm,” Uncle Sam says. Ulianitski was indirectly linked with Jerome Booysen, the alleged leader of the Sexy Boys who was last week named in court as a suspect in Beeka’s murder. “The Russian” had dealings with Beeka, but they too later had a fall-out – both were killed in similar shootings. Uncle Sam is himself currently on the run after he fell foul of his mob bosses who were indirectly linked to the Beeka killing and the Serbian fugitives hiding out here. He also counts convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti as a contact. During our interview, he gave our reporter a phone number which he said was that of Agliotti. When we rang the number, a male voice confirmed he was Agliotti before asking to be handed back to Uncle Sam. The whistle-blower admits he ran a car fraud scheme that turned sour when the syndicate chiefs failed to pay his R790 000 fee for buying 30 luxury cars in his name. But he has kept a detailed diary of his criminal activities and those of his former mob colleagues. And he has threatened to use the 116-page hand-written diary to put them behind bars if they come after him. “I’ve got nothing to lose,” he says. “I need to warn the public that the mafia is running the country with the help of cops and top politicians and that they have ruthless killers who will take out anyone who threatens them.”

Gang stabs man 8 times in Sydney street


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

Monday, 16 January 2012

Mexico drug gangs targeting gov’t choppers, at least 28 hit in 5 years


The Mexican armed forces and prosecutors have suffered at least 28 gunfire attacks on helicopters in the five years since the government launched an offensive against drug cartels, according to official documents made public Monday. The attacks show the increasing ferocity of Mexico’s drug gangs, and also suggest support for what the Mexican government has said in the past: that 2010 may have been the worst year for the upward spiral in violence. 0 Comments Weigh InCorrections? inShare In the first two years of the drug war, reporting government agencies such as the air force, navy and Attorney General’s Office reported no chopper attacks. But in 2008, four helicopters were hit by gunfire, wounding at least one officer aboard. In 2009, bullets struck six government helicopters in the rotors, side doors or motor compartments. All the craft were apparently able to land safely. 2010 was the worst year for helicopter attacks, with 14 hit and one crew member wounded. Some craft had as many as seven bullet holes in them when they landed, with rounds going through windshields, fuselages, rotors and even landing gear. In 2011, only three helicopters were hit by gunfire, but the number is almost certainly higher. The federal police refused to release data on attacks on its craft, but publicly acknowledged that on May 24, suspected cartel gunmen opened fire on a federal police chopper, hitting two officers and forcing the craft to land, though officials insisted it had not been shot down. Federal police said the pilot in that incident landed “to avoid any accident.” The Russian-made Mi-17 touched down about 3.5 miles (6 kilometers) from the shooting scene in the western state of Michoacan. Two officers aboard suffered non-life-threatening wounds. Mexico has long used helicopters in anti-drug operations. While security forces have updated their helicopter fleet in recent years, they has also retired some older craft, so the total number of choppers would not account for the variation in attacks. The newspaper Milenio originally requested the attack reports through a freedom of information request, and the reports were independently accessed by The Associated Press. Mexican drug gangs have long strung steel cables around opium and marijuana plantations to try to bring down police and military helicopters. In 2003, in what prosecutors said was the first fatal attack of its kind by drug traffickers in Mexico, gunmen guarding an opium-poppy plantation shot down two police helicopters, killing all five agents aboard. But those attacks were infrequent compared to what’s occurred since 2008. Overall Drug-related killings rose 11 percent in the first nine months of 2011, when 12,903 people were killed, compared to 11,583 in the same period of 2010, the office said. But the Attorney General’s Office found one small consolation: “It’s the first year (since 2006) that the homicide rate increase has been lower compared to the previous years.” Drug-related killings jumped by 70 percent for the same nine-month period of 2010 compared to January to September 2009, when 6,815 deaths were recorded. The carnage continued Monday, when seven gunmen were killed in a pre-dawn shootout with police on a highway in the city of Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City. A federal police officer was recovering from a gunshot wound to the foot following the confrontation. The prosecutors office in the central Mexican state of Morelos says the gunmen belonged to an organized crime gang, but did not say which one. “Organized crime” in Mexico generally refers to drug cartels, and remnants of the Beltran Leyva cartel have been fighting for control of Cuernavaca. Prosecutors said the gunmen were traveling in three stolen vehicles when police confronted them early Monday.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Officer finds own parents Avtar and Carole Kolar killed in ‘revenge attack’


The unnamed son went round to see Avtar Kolar, 62, and his wife Carole, 58, after they failed to answer his morning phone call. ‘It was obvious from the scene the couple had been assaulted and had more than likely died of their injuries,’ said Dep Supt Richard Baker, who is leading the inquiry. When asked if it might be a revenge attack linked to their son’s police work, Mr Baker replied: ‘We are definitely looking at that as a possibility but we have no information to suggest it is the case at this stage.’ Mr Baker added: ‘At 7.15 on Tuesday night, a family member spoke to Carole and there were no issues. At 8am yesterday, their son went round to find the couple dead at the scene.’ Detectives were keeping an open mind about what kind of weapon was used. ‘We have a full team of experts and forensic scientists now at the  address,’ said Mr Baker. The couple, who had four sons and eight grandchildren and had been married for 40 years, had lived in  Birmingham for most of their lives. ‘The local community – and the  family – have been extremely  supportive in what they are telling us and how they are co-operating with us,’ Mr Baker added. ‘We will catch the people responsible but we would like to make an appeal for information at this very early stage.’ More than 60 detectives, as well as uniformed offiers, from the West Midlands force are working on the case. Post-mortem examinations will be carried out on Thursday or Friday.

Breast implant scandal: taxpayers face £100 million bill


Harley Medical Group (HMG), responsible for one in three operations using the French-made implants, said it would go out of business if made to meet the full cost of removal. HMG's position makes it more likely the other two main players, Transform Cosmetic Surgery and The Hospital Group, will also ignore pleas for private clinics to pay for surgery. Should they follow HMG's lead, the bill to taxpayers could feasibly top £100 million as the NHS will be forced to perform the corrective surgery.The big three firms are likely to have performed around two thirds of enlargement operations using faulty implants in Britain. There are around 40,000 women in the UK who have been fitted with the controversial implants and operations to remove them cost around £3,000. Mel Braham, chairman of HMG, claimed the Government had the "moral responsibility" to pay for removal operations, as the regulator meant to ensure the safety of medical devices had failed in its duty.

Iran car explosion kills nuclear scientist in Tehran


BBC's Mohsen Asgari: "It seems a motor cyclist pasted a bomb to his car which he was in with two other passengers Continue reading the main story Iran nuclear crisis Undeclared pursuit? Q&A: Nuclear issue Key nuclear sites Sanctions' impact Watch A university lecturer and nuclear scientist has been killed in a car explosion in north Tehran. Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, an academic who also worked at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, and the driver of the car were killed in the attack. The blast happened after a motorcyclist stuck an apparent bomb to the car. Several Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated in recent years, with Iran blaming Israel and the US. Both countries deny the accusations. Continue reading the main story Analysis Frank Gardner BBC security correspondent The assassination on Wednesday of another Iranian nuclear scientist may now prompt Iran to try to respond in kind. The murder in Tehran of Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan comes on top of a sophisticated cyber sabotage programme and two mysterious explosions at Iranian military bases, one of which in November killed the general known as 'the godfather' of Iran's ballistic missile programme. No-one is claiming responsibility for these attacks but Iran blames its longstanding enemy, Israel, and occasionally the US. Whoever is behind them, Iran is clearly being subjected to an undeclared campaign to slow down its nuclear programme. Frank Gardner's analysis in full Iran's Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi told state television that the attack against Mr Ahmadi-Roshan would not stop "progress" in the country's nuclear programme. He called the killing "evidence of [foreign] government-sponsored terrorism". Local sources said Wednesday's blast took place at a faculty of Iran's Allameh Tabatai university. Two others were reportedly also injured in the blast, which took place near Gol Nabi Street, in the north of the capital

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Mexico: Reporter Gunned Down In Los Zetas Stronghold


Raúl Régulo Garza Quirino, a reporter for the weekly La Última Palabra in Cadereyta, in the northeastern state of Nuevo León, became the first Mexican journalist to be killed in 2012 when he was gunned down after a car chase on 6 January. Garza was also a Cadereyta municipal employee. “We hope the number of Mexican journalists killed in the space of a decade does not reach the grim total of 100 in 2012, an election year,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Mexico could prevent this from happening by taking measures to combat impunity for those responsible for violent crime against journalists. “That was the message that we and the Centre for Journalism and Public Ethics (CEPET) tried to transmit when we gave the families of slain and disappeared journalists a platform in the capital on 10 December. “The current show of good intentions by the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes against Freedom of Expression (FEADLE) and its head, Gustavo Salas Chávez, must be rapidly translated into reinforcement of its personnel and clarification of its jurisdiction. If the senate approves the bill that the lower house adopted on 11 November making attacks on freedom of information a federal crime, the FEADLE must have enough resources to handle all these cases.” Garza was driving his car near his home when he found himself being pursued by gunmen in another car. He was gunned down when he tried to seek refuge in a garage owned by relatives. Sixteen impacts from 16 mm bullets were found at the scene. Investigators have so far not suggested any motive for the murder. Located 37 km from Monterrey, the state capital, Cadereyta is home to one of northern Mexico’s biggest oil refineries and is rife with contraband in stolen petroleum products as well as drug trafficking. It is a stronghold of Los Zetas, a paramilitary group that worked for the Gulf Cartel before becoming an independent criminal organization. A total of 38 employees of the state oil company PEMEX have been reported missing in the region in recent months. It was in this area that radio journalist Marco Aurelio Martínez Tirejina was kidnapped and killed in July 2010 in a still unsolved murder. According to the Reporters Without Borders tally, 80 journalists have been killed in the past decade and 14 others have disappeared. Most of these killings have gone unpunished.

Goon squad gang tied to several shootings in past four years


The Goon Squad — a gang that Waterford Township police say is connected with the Dec. 23 Rolladium shootings — has been associated with shootings around the Pontiac area in recent years. The Rolladium roller rink situation involves three armed men spraying gunfire inside the rink, striking five patrons at 1:44 a.m. Waterford police found that the shooting stemmed from issues involving rivalry between two Pontiac gangs, the “Goon Squad” and “1st Enfantry.” On Saturday, police released the name of a second suspect, Pontiac resident Cheyenne Benjamin Ingram, 17. The first suspect is Robert Lee German, 18, from Pontiac. A third man, whose name has not been released, has been shown only in a surveillance photo. The three suspects, all in their late teens to early 20s, are considered armed and dangerous. According to police, one of the five victims shot was an intended target and considered a rival. The victim was previously shot by members of the gang in a similar incident at a Pontiac night club in December 2010. Willis and Roberson James Cecil Willis III, 18 — accused of being among members of the Goon Squad — was charged in 2008 with shooting 14-year-old Alabama resident Dawan Allan France Roberson in the face after a June 14, 2008, party at the Life Worship and Training Center on Auburn Avenue in Pontiac. The Goon Squad gang, police said, crashed a party at the center and were involved in physical altercations with party attendees. People were thrown out of the party but came back in, and the party was eventually shut down. Roberson was believed to be a bystander and not involved in the fight. The teen was in Pontiac visiting family, police said

Apache Junction man arrested in I-10 road rage incident


Tempe police have arrested a man involved in Saturday's road rage incident in which a driver was shot, but they are still investigating who is responsible for shooting the victim. The investigation revealed that a group of motorcycles and a champagne/tan-colored SUV were traveling westbound on Interstate 10 from Wild Horse Pass Boulevard. Witnesses reported that a gray Jeep was attempting to collide with the motorcycles. The motorcycles began to chase the Jeep. As they reached the area of I-10 and Elliot Road, the SUV rammed the Jeep, causing the driver to lose control and crash. One of the motorcycle riders, Andre Jordan, 35, of Apache Junction, was seen pointing a handgun at the victim according to Sgt. Steve Carbajal. Witnesses reported that several of the individuals involved had guns. After a physical altercation, shots were fired and the driver of the Jeep received a gunshot wound to the cheek.  Investigation into the person responsible for shooting the victim is ongoing. Tempe police detectives have identified two of the individuals involved as members of two separate criminal street gangs. Jordan was booked into Tempe City Jail on one count of aggravated assault, threat by gang member assisting a criminal street gang and endangerment.

Members of the Mad Cowz and Manitoba Warriors have been at odds for several weeks as they battle for turf and the lucrative profits


Members of the Mad Cowz and Manitoba Warriors have been at odds for several weeks as they battle for turf and the lucrative profits that come from selling drugs, sources told the Free Press. Enlarge Image Police investigate after a Victor Street house was shot up and set afire Wednesday.  Mohamed Ali Omar The two groups are believed responsible for several shootings this week that have residents of the West End and North End on edge. Police have beefed up their resources in the neighbourhoods as they struggle to predict and prevent the next attack. Between Sunday morning and Thursday morning, there were five reported shootings and/or firebombings of homes on Aberdeen Avenue, Victor Street and Simcoe Street. Sources say the residences all have ties to gang activity and were deliberately targeted. There have been no reported injuries and no arrests. "This is strictly to do with impeding each other's crack sales," a justice source said Friday. Police are still probing whether there is a connection between those incidents and a New Year's Eve shooting on Selkirk Avenue that left a 46-year-old man dead. A 30-year-old woman also suffered serious injuries after being shot in the eye inside the home, which sources say was a known drug house with connections to gang activity. No arrests have been made. "As of late, we've had several violent instances where firearms have been involved. Any time we have these types of incidents occurring -- whether it's days apart, weeks apart or months apart -- of course we're concerned," Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen said this week. "There's a concern for public safety and there's a concern that these incidents may repeat themselves, but we're making every effort to investigate these matters thoroughly." Sources told the Free Press tensions between the Mad Cowz -- a predominantly African gang -- and the Manitoba Warriors -- a predominantly native gang -- began to rise following an unsolved shooting death late last October in the parking lot of a McPhillips Street hotel. Mohamed Ali Omar, 28, was gunned down as he stood outside the Lincoln Motor Inn. Police say a man in an SUV pulled up and opened fire on a group of people, killing Omar and injuring a 17-year-old. Omar's family have described him as a loving father of four who worked as a hospital cleaner. But police have confirmed he had ties to gang activities, and sources say that gang was the Mad Cowz. No arrests have been made, but there is speculation on the streets that the Manitoba Warriors may have been involved. "That's always a tricky area for police when we're describing gang associations. I don't think we're prepared to go any further than stating that they do have associations to a local street gang," police Const. Natalie Aitken said at the time. Winnipeg has seen its share of gang battles play out in public, most recently with associates of the Hells Angels and Rock Machine trading bullets and firebombs. There were more than a dozen incidents last summer and fall, including several where people narrowly avoided serious injury or death. Police and justice officials publicly declared a biker war was brewing and warned citizens to be vigilant. Officers took the unusual step of going door to door in some neighbourhoods, warning people of the potential for violence. Relations between the two gangs have calmed in recent months, but a source warned there might be more violence to come. "There are a lot of scores to be settled," the source told the Free Press last month. Now, it appears, the Manitoba Warriors and Mad Cowz have decided to stir things up.

Among the funeral attendees were members of several Northwest Washington gangs


Marcellus E. Jackson, 23, and Kier M. Johnson, 21, were arrested Monday in connection with the 2010 slaying of Jamal Coates, D.C. police announced. Investigators count Coates’s killing as among crimes by rival gang members in the U Street NW neighborhood. Coates was shot to death on Sept. 28, 2010, after he attended a funeral for a young woman who was killed earlier that month and whose boyfriend was charged in her death, police said. Among the funeral attendees were members of several Northwest Washington gangs, authorities said.

Man sentenced to 12 years for gang-related shootings


21-year-old Winnipeg man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for two gang-related shootings in the city's West End, including one that unintentionally injured a 10-year-old girl. Paramedics take the girl, who was 10 years old at the time, to hospital following the May 26, 2010, shooting on Victor Street. (CBC) The man pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of discharging a firearm in connection with the May 2010 incidents, including the May 26 shooting of a house on Victor Street. Court heard that the man, who was then a 19-year-old member of the Indian Posse street gang, fired three shots at the home as an act of retaliation for a drive-by shooting that killed a fellow gang member the day before. Inside the house was the girl, who was hit in the knee by a bullet that went through the front window. Her sister, who was eight at the time, was superficially injured by flying glass and debris. Neighbours and the man's own younger brother told police they saw him with a rifle at the time of the incident. The man was arrested two days later at The Forks, with a machete hidden in his pants. A teenage co-accused pleaded guilty in September 2010 to aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in connection to the attack.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Libyan military commander suing Britain for alleged complicity in his rendition and torture


Libyan military commander suing Britain for alleged complicity in his rendition and torture has refused to take part in the Gibson detainee inquiry because its powers are "seriously deficient." Abdul Hakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council, will join several former Guantanamo Bay detainees who are also boycotting the inquiry into wider allegations of British collusion in torture, his lawyers Leigh Day & Co said today. There have been widespread concerns over the terms of reference and protocols under which the inquiry, which was announced by David Cameron in 2010, will operate. Human rights groups including Reprieve, Amnesty International, Freedom from Torture, Cage Prisoners and Liberty have previously stated that they will not take part in the inquiry as it is currently proposed. Leigh Day's announcement came as campaigners, human rights experts and two former United Nations special rapporteurs wrote to the Prime Minister, calling on him to urgently revisit the protocols and terms of reference to address key issues. Among the key concerns is the fact that the final decision on whether material can be made public will rest with the government, with many condemning it as a "waste of time and public money." In its current form the inquiry also prevents the cross examination of security service witnesses by the victims or their representatives, as their evidence will be given behind closed doors. In the letter they state: "There is growing concern that the powers currently given to the inquiry are seriously deficient and that it will be unable to properly fulfil the UK's human rights obligations. "Without substantial changes, it will not get to the truth of Britain's involvement or ensure such abuses do not occur again." A government spokesman said: "We have every confidence that the inquiry will be able to conduct a thorough examination of the issues. "The inquiry panel will have access to all the government papers it requires. "The nature of the inquiry means that there will need to be a balance of public and private evidence sessions, but it is important to stress that the inquiry panel is committed to having as transparent a process as possible and many of the sessions will be heard in public. "The arrangements governing the publication of material reflect the importance the government attaches to protecting the public interest

Mercenaries arrested for boot full of AK-47 rifles


Two British private security contractors and two of their Afghan colleagues have been arrested by police in Kabul and told to close their company after 30 AK-47 rifles were found in their car boot. Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi said today that police had stopped the mercenaries at a checkpoint on Tuesday and found the guns in a metal box. All had their serial numbers scratched off and the men had no permits for them. Mr Sediqi said they were being held as part of a probe into gun running and the case had been sent to the country's attorney general. President Karzai has ordered all mercenary firms operating in the country to shut down by March, to be replaced by a government-run force.

violent felon who allegedly shot a parole officer in the face, prompting a four-hour manhunt in Lake View Terrace

 violent felon who allegedly shot a parole officer in the face, prompting a four-hour manhunt in Lake View Terrace Wednesday triggered a similar standoff with police in Sylmar nearly a decade before.

Steven Hoff, 43, was taken into custody Wednesday after a search that shut down the Foothill (210) Freeway and led authorities to lock down a 3-square-mile area.

Parole agents, working with Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies, had been looking for Hoff for an alleged parole violation. As they approached a trailer near the 11000 block of Foothill Boulevard about 1:30 p.m. in search of Hoff, the suspect allegedly fired at one of the agents. The injured parole officer's partner fired back, but the shooter fled.

Shooting suspect Steven Hoff in a May 17, 2011 mug shot.

Hoff was found about 6 p.m. hiding in an empty swimming pool, sniffed out by a K-9 unit dog, authorities said.

"The K-9 bit him and then we went in and handcuffed him and brought him out," said Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore. "The situation was very volatile, and for a while unknown."

Both Hoff and the injured parole agent, whose name was not released, were hospitalized in serious but stable condition on Thursday. Hoff won't be booked until he is medically ready, Whitmore said.

Hoff was released from prison in January 2011 after after being convicted in San Fernando Courthouse for attempted burglary, according to state and county records. He stopped reporting for parole meetings in July and has been wanted since then, authorities said.

He has been in and out of prison for drug, burglary and weapons convictions beginning in 1989.

Hoff often served half of his sentence because state law allows non-violent criminals -- including those convicted for possession of firearms -- to get double credit for each day behind bars, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Luis Patino said.

The shorter amount of time Hoff served and his release last year are not the result of Gov. Jerry Brown's controversial realignment program, which shifts responsibility for many nonviolent inmates from state prison to county jails, Patino said.

On Wednesday, Hoff was the target of the California Parole Apprehension Team, which was created in 2009 to focus on at-large parolees who pose the greatest risk to public safety, according to the statement.

The manhunt, which led to major freeway delays that spilled over onto surface streets, was similar to a dramatic, nine-hour police standoff in 2002 that ended when police fired tear gas canisters into the Sylmar home where Hoff was barricaded.

At the time, Hoff was wanted for allegedly fatally shooting Diablos motorcycle gang member Richard Dierking in California City. Hoff shot Dierking for "disrespecting" him during his initiation into the notorious gang, authorities said at the time.

However, Hoff went free less than four months after his arrest when charges of first-degree murder and robbery were dismissed, according to Kern County court records. A spokeswoman for the Kern County District Attorney's Office said details of the case were not immediately available.

"This dude has a long and storied history with us," a corrections department spokesman told the Daily News when Hoff was arrested in 2002.

On Thursday, corrections Secretary Matthew Cate said employees were "relieved" that the parole agent who had been shot was recovering after surgery.

"Watching video and pictures of this agent sitting up and giving information to his brother law enforcement officer, even after he had been shot in the face, reminded us all of the valor and determination that our agents exhibit out in the field every day. ...," Cate said in a written statement.

The department has sent a deadly-force investigation team, required under state law, to review the shootings.

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

Vincenzo Focarelli

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mexican footballer arrested on kidnappings


Mexican goalkeeper Omar 'The Cat' Ortiz has been arrested for his alleged role in a group of kidnappers whose victims included the husband of singer Gloria Trevi. The 35-year-old - capped once by Mexico in 2002 - is alleged to have singled out potential targets for the gang, who are apparently linked to the Gulf drugs cartel. "He (Ortiz) was an accomplice to the gang and his role was to target future victims," a spokesperson for Nuevo Leon security department said on Sunday. "He was paid for that. He has confessed to being implicated in at least two kidnappings and receiving for that more than 100,000 pesos (about $A7000)." The spokesperson refused to say whether Ortiz - whose chequered playing career included a two-year doping ban back in 2010 - was involved in the kidnapping of Trevi's husband in October last year.

King Melchor had a heart attack and died while sitting atop his float.


Drama of an unexpected sort in the Valencia town of Pobla de Farnais, during the Three Kings Parade on Thursday night. Levante EMV reports that King Melchor had a heart attack and died while sitting atop his float. The man, who was in his 50’s and a great fan of the local fiestas and traditions is reported to have told people to carry on with the procession, although he was not feeling well. Finally witnesses reported that J.M. Martínez fainted and fell unconscious from his chair.

Prison for father and son in connection with Barcelona Senegalese killing


Two of the four people arrested in connection with the death of a Senegalese man, Ibrahima Dyey in Barcelona last Tuesday have been sent to prison on remand, while the other two have been granted provisional release by the judge in Instruction Court 12 in Barcelona. The father of a gypsy clan, Antonio F.P., is one of those being held in custody, along with one of his sons, 28 year old Antonio F.G who is believed to have actually carried out the killing. The tragedy has caused serious friction between local gypsy residents and the Africans in the Besòs district of the city. The judge ordered that the other two sons face charges of making threats and causing injury and they have to report every day to the court. Their passports have been removed and they are not allowed to leave Barcelona, or be closer than 500m to any of the witnesses called to the court.

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