Omar Guerra-Neri, 35, was one of 29 people indicted in November 2007 for transporting and selling cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine

Omar Guerra-Neri, 35, was one of 29 people indicted in November 2007 for transporting and selling cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, said Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey. His ring sold more than 360 pounds of heroin and up to 200 kilograms of cocaine annually in Colorado and other parts of the United States, according to investigators. "If we are going to make headway, as far as a deterrence goes, you have to try to chop off the head as much as possible," Storey said. "He is in the top echelon of this drug organization, as we know it."
Guerra-Neri and others brought cocaine, heroin, meth and other drugs into Colorado from Mexico using "drug mules" and specially modified cars, Storey said. From here, some of the drugs were smuggled to other parts of the country. Between June and November 2007, authorities uncovered several pounds of drugs, a number of guns, and tens of thousands of dollars in cash from Guerra-Neri's ring. One raid in November netted 1,343 grams of heroin and 852 grams of cocaine at a "stash house." In other raids, about $32,000 in cash, 16.5 grams of cocaine and more than 850 grams of meth were seized in Denver and Thornton. Guerra-Neri was out of the country when the indictments were handed down in November, but he was arrested when he returned in April. Guerra-Neri has told investigators he's been illegally coming and going between the U.S. and Mexico for 20 years. On Sept. 26, Guerra-Neri pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and violation of the Colorado crime-control act. Of the 29 people indicted with him, 25 have pleaded guilty

“Black Mafia Family” (BMF), a violent drug gang that has been the focus of federal prosecution in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Louisville, Orlando,

DIONNE E. BEVERLY, 36, of Hurricane, West Virginia, 10 years in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;
LAMAR K. FIELDS, 40, of Atlanta, 5 years, 10 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;
DERON HALL, 32, of St. Louis, Missouri, 7 years, 6 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;
VICTOR D. HAMMONDS, 44, of Conyers, Georgia, 4 years in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;
BARIMA P. McKNIGHT, 30, of Las Vegas, Nevada, 5 years, 4 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;
JAMAL S. MITCHELL, 39, of East Orange, New Jersey, 5 years, 3 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;
FRANKLIN D. NASH, 57, of Decatur, Georgia, 6 months to be served in a halfway house; DERREK Q. PITTS, 34, of East Orange, New Jersey 16 years, 8 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release;
BRYANT SHAW, 28, of Atlanta 10 years in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release; and
DARRYL C. TAYLOR, 48, of Rex, Georgia, 7 years, 3 months in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release.
According to Nahmias, court records, and other publicly-available information: The defendants were members or associates of the Black Mafia Family, a nationwide gang that distributed thousands of kilograms of cocaine during 2002-2005. Federal authorities first struck a blow against the BMF in October 2005 with multi-defendant cocaine conspiracy indictments returned in Detroit, Louisville, and Orlando. Dozens of other defendants were subsequently arrested as a result of related BMF investigations in Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Greenville, South Carolina. In the Atlanta case, 16 defendants were indicted in July 2007.The lone Atlanta defendant who went to trial, FLEMING DANIELS, 36, of Roswell, Georgia, was convicted and is scheduled to be sentenced next month. One defendant in the case, VERNON M. COLEMAN a/k/a “Woo,” 32, of the Atlanta area, remains a fugitive.At its peak during 2003-2004, the BMF was moving hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into Atlanta, Detroit, and other distribution hubs every month. The drugs would arrive in vehicles – often limousines – with secret compartments or “traps.” These same trap vehicles would then be filled with cash (the proceeds from drug sales) to be sent back to the Mexican sources of supply.Along with these massive amounts of cocaine, the BMF brought violence to the streets of Atlanta. In one incident, Rashannibal Drummond, 23, was beaten, shot and killed in the parking lot of the Midtown club Velvet Room during the early morning hours of July 25, 2004. The murder was the culmination of a one-sided brawl that was alleged to have been precipitated when the unarmed Drummond slapped one of the BMF’s prized luxury vehicles to alert its driver not to back over him. Defendant FLEMING DANIELS has been indicted in Fulton County for that murder.
DEMETRIUS FLENORY and much of the BMF fled Atlanta in late November 2004 after an expensive BMF drug stash house in northwest Atlanta was raided by Atlanta Police and DEA agents. Although no arrests occurred at the unoccupied house, officers discovered three firearms, fictitious identifications, BMF paraphernalia, and marijuana.They also confiscated two vehicles, including a 2003 Hummer H2 stretch limousine that was suspected to have been used by the BMF as a drug transport vehicle. A search of the limo produced no contraband; the vehicle was later forfeited and sold at public auction.Subsequently, agents received a tip that the Hummer limousine contained concealed compartments that had not been discovered during the previous search. In August 2008, agents re-located the limousine, which was then in the possession of its fourth innocent owner since its sale by the government in November 2005. With federal search warrant in hand, agents again searched the limousine, finally discovering the compartments, or “traps,” and removing from them seven semi-automatic firearms and nearly $900,000 in cash, believed to be proceeds from one of the BMF’s last major cocaine transactions.
DEMETRIUS FLENORY and his brother and co-leader of the BMF, TERRY LEE FLENORY, 38, were named in the cocaine and money laundering indictment issued in Detroit. Both were convicted and sentenced last month to 30-year prison terms.
This case was investigated by Special Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, assisted by the United States Marshals Service; the Internal Revenue Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Atlanta High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force; the Tennessee Department of Safety; the Atlanta Police Department; the DeKalb County Police Department; and the Henry County Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorneys Cassandra Schansman and Robert McBurney prosecuted the case.Federal judge has sentenced 10 of the 16 defendants indicted for their participation in the cocaine distribution activities of the “Black Mafia Family” (BMF), a violent drug gang that has been the focus of federal prosecution in Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Louisville, Orlando, and elsewhere.United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, “These sentencings help bring to a close the Justice Department’s successful dismantling of the Black Mafia Family, a coast-to-coast drug empire once so brash and powerful that it purchased freeway billboards proclaiming that the world was theirs. Their ‘world’ – one built on illegal drugs and gun violence – has crumbled, thanks to the hard work of many law enforcement agents and prosecutors. Now all that is left for the BMF criminals is prison time.”SAC Rodney G. Benson of the DEA Atlanta Field Division said, “The government has successfully dismantled a violent and notorious drug trafficking organization. The Black Mafia Family wreaked havoc from coast to coast by distributing cocaine and leaving a destructive path of violence along the way without regard for public safety. Their bold image once propelled them into the media spotlight. Today they are again in the spotlight, this time for the right reason. These defendants are deserving of the sentences that were handed down today. Through the concerted efforts of our federal, state and local law enforcement counterparts, we were able to successfully investigate, prosecute and remove these violent criminals from the street.”The defendants sentenced yesterday and today, and their terms of incarceration, are:

Eduardo Arellano Felix, one of seven brothers who founded the notorious Arellano Felix drug cartel in the 1980s

Eduardo Arellano Felix, one of seven brothers who founded the notorious Arellano Felix drug cartel in the 1980s, was arrested in his unwashed jeans and tracksuit after a weekend gunfight in Fraccionamiento Pedregal, a hillside suburb of Tijuana, the Mexican border city where his empire was built.It marked a suitably dramatic end to the career of a man known locally as El Doctor, thanks both to his previous life as a medical student and the famously clinical manner in which he despatched anyone unfortunate enough to land on the wrong side of his massive cocaine smuggling network.Eduardo has always has been considered the most secretive and reclusive of the seven. His low profile within the cartel stemmed partly from his alleged role in the 1993 killing of Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo, the Archbishop of Guadalajara. "That was a pivotal moment in how the Arellanos were perceived in Tijuana and in Mexico in general," said John Kirby, a former US federal prosecutor who co-wrote the original indictment against him. "All of a sudden, everybody was their enemy."
Even before his arrest, Eduardo Felix had a turbulent private life. In 1998, he was badly burned in a propane gas stove explosion that killed his infant son. Soon afterwards, his estranged wife Sonia – the mother of his 11-year-old daughter – was killed by Arellano gunmen who suspected her ofco-operating with US officials. Photographs released yesterday show he has aged significantly from the dark-haired figure on two decades of "wanted" posters (
A captured informant codenamed Felipe admitted to Mexican prosecutors that he used his job as an Interpol agent working at the US Embassy in Mexico City and at the international airport in the city to feed classified information about anti-drug operations to the feared Beltrán-Leyva cartel. The revelation came as prosecutors also admitted that two staff in the Mexican Attorney-General's Office for Organised Crime - a government unit that fights the drug mafia — had been found to have been in the pockets of the cartel for four years, as were at least three federal policemen with inside information on surveillance targets and potential raids. Each were paid between $150,000 (£97,000) and $450,000 a month by the cartel.
It was the worst known case of law enforcement in Mexico being compromised by drug lords since the arrest in 1997 of General Jesús Gutiérrez Rebollo, the head of the country's anti-drug agency, who was convicted of assisting Amado Carrillo, a kingpin.
“This doesn't say much for US security — it's as embarrassing as hell for this to come out and I suspect heads will roll within the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration],” said Bruce Bagley, an expert in Latin American drug trafficking, from the University of Miami in Florida. The scandal came five days after Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, travelled to Mexico City to discuss the $400 million Mérida Initiative, a package to help Mexican and Central American law enforcement agencies to fight organised drug crime. “We've already achieved an outstanding level of co-operation in our efforts to fight drug trafficking and organised crime... the United States considers this important initiative and its implementation an urgent task,” she said.

Jamie "The Iceman" Stevenson "He believed he was untouchable."Officers worked with colleagues in Holland, Spain and Portugal

Jamie "The Iceman" Stevenson is serving 12 years and nine months for laundering more than £1million of drug cash.grinned yesterday as he agreed to hand over £747,000 - his proceeds of crime.Houses, cars, a caravan and jewellery are among the haul that makes up Scotland's second highest confiscation order against an individual.
And it comes on top of £204,000 cops seized from the gangland boss when he was arrested for running a money laundering scam.Stevenson, 43, is serving 12 years and nine months for laundering more than £1million of drug cash.At the High Court in Edinburgh, prosecutor Barry Divers told Lord Uist that the proceeds of Stevenson's criminal conduct amounted to s1.02million.The Crown said they could identify £747,080 of realisable assets.They include £389,000 in cash, a house in Campsie Road, East Kilbride worth £142,000, and another property in Portland Street, Troon, valued at £52,000.His other assets include £25,000 in bank accounts, £8000 in share dividends and £13,445 worth of jewellery. total of 56 watches worth £60,000 were listed, including Rolexes, Breitlings and a £10,000 Juan Pablo Montoya Royal Oak.Stevenson will even have to give up his £16,600 caravan.Also included in the order were 12 Skoda Octavia cars worth a total of £36,000 which Stevenson used to run a taxi firmto front his illegal operation.Last year, Glasgow City Council suspended CS Cars' licence to operate, claiming Stevenson's wife Caroline, who was in charge, was "not a fit person" to run the firm.Stevenson has been given six months to pay up.
His stepson Gerard Carbin, 29, the son of one-eyed heroin dealer Gerry "Cyclops" Carbin, was jailed for five-and-a-half years for his role in the money laundering fiddle.He has already agreed to hand over £44,000 as his proceeds of crime.
Scotland's biggest confiscation order of £1.3million was made against businessman Michael Voudouri, 37, of Bridge of Allan, Stirlinghire, who was jailed for four years in 2004 for a £3million VAT scam.Stevenson - a suspect in three gangland murders - was regarded as one of the most cunning and ruthless crooks ever to rule Scotland's underworld.He had no scruples about using violence to build his empire, and his cold-hearted nature earned him the nickname "Iceman".In 2000, he was a prime suspect in the murder of former best pal Tony McGovern, leader of an infamous Glasgow crime clan.McGovern, 35, who had been best man at Stevenson's wedding, was shot five times outside a pub in the city's Springburn district.Stevenson was charged with the killing but the case never got to court.The Iceman was also a suspect in the 2001 murders of drug dealers John Hall and David McIntosh in Larkhall, Lanarkshire.The victims were tortured and shot in the head over a £120,000 cocaine debt. The killers torched their bodies.Stevenson was never charged with the murders and as his empire continued to grow, so did his confidence.By 2003, Stevenson was labelled Scotland's most wanted drug lord.When he felt under pressure from police, he would head to a bolthole in Amsterdam and lie low for a while.But in May 2003, police finally found a way to snare the Iceman.Stevenson left his modest flat in Burnside, near Glasgow, unattended while he joined 90,000 other Celtic fans in Seville to see the Hoops take on FC Porto in the UEFA Cup final.Cops sneaked into his home and planted listening devices.These bugs allowed detectives to eavesdrop on thousands of hours of conversations between Stevenson, Carbin and their associates.The evidence they gathered played a vital role in bringing the pair to justice, and helped prove Stevenson had laundered drug cash.His conviction completed Operation Folklore, the biggest surveillance effort evermounted by Scots police.Officers worked with colleagues in Holland, Spain and Portugal to target the vast criminal enterprise headed by Stevenson.The huge anti-drug offensive led to 71 arrests and took more than s61million worth of drugs off the street.One senior detective said: "He believed he was untouchable."

Edward Winterhalder, who was with the Bandidos for seven years and part of motorcycle clubs for 30 years, said bikie gangs were full of "loose cannons

Edward Winterhalder, who was with the Bandidos for seven years and part of motorcycle clubs for 30 years, said bikie gangs were full of "loose cannons".
He said the person who killed Geelong Bandidos' member Ross Brand did not need authority from anyone to carry out the execution."If there is meth-amphetamine in the mix there is no telling what's happening next," he said."The only thing for sure is there will be more and more law enforcement and that's not good for any club long-term."At some point in time clubs will need to police themselves because it's inevitable the police and government will do it for them."They have to remove the loose cannons and drug dealers and remove crime from ranks of the motorcycle clubs, and that's worldwide."Mr Winterhalder left the bikie gang culture in 2003 to spend more time with his daughter, who is now aged 16, and concentrate on his construction company.The 51-year-old was the man who assimilated Canadian motorcycle club Rock Machine and turned it into the Bandidos after a bloody war with rival gang from Montreal the Hells Angels.Mr Winterhalder said Brand's murder at the Bandidos' Breakwater clubhouse on Wednesday could have been a scare tactic from a rival gang member who was more than likely drug-affected."It is disorganised crime, it's not like the mafia, whoever shot him (Brand) didn't have to have permission," he said. "It will be an individual making a decision on their own terms."You can't get in these guys' minds; most are whacked out on amphetamines." Mr Winterhalder said some joined bikie gangs to pursue their own criminal agendas and once inside conspired to build factions within the club."It's not a requirement to commit crimes (to be a Bandido) and a majority don't. The only thing they are guilty of is having too much fun at the weekend," he said.Mr Winterhalder said there was tension between members of the same motorcycle gang.He said when he was the head of the Bandidos' Oklahoma chapter kicking people out was not always possible."We tried to get rid of people but they are protected by other people and then it becomes difficult," he said.Mr Winterhalder said bikie gangs were usually tight knit and Brand's death would have a major impact in their club but pleaded for no revenge attacks."If they don't stop as a whole it's inevitable they will become extinct. The world is tired of bikies fighting with each other," he said.

Jesus Zambada Garcia is captured after a gun battle in Mexico City. He commanded one of four branches of the Sinaloa cartel

Jesus Zambada Garcia is captured after a gun battle in Mexico City. He commanded one of four branches of the Sinaloa cartel, officials say.
Mexican authorities said Wednesday that they arrested a leading drug figure known as El Rey after a shootout in Mexico City early this week.
Jesus Zambada Garcia, the brother of a suspected drug kingpin in the western state of Sinaloa, was among 16 people captured Monday, Atty. Gen. Eduardo Medina Mora said.
The attorney general said Zambada, whose nickname means "the king," commanded one of four branches of the so-called Sinaloa cartel, leading its operations in central Mexico. Zambada is the brother of Ismael Zambada and an associate of Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, the most-wanted trafficker in Mexico, officials said.
Jesus Zambada controlled smuggling of cocaine and chemical ingredients for the production of methamphetamine through Mexico City's airport, Medina Mora said. Authorities have focused attention in recent months on drug smugglers' use of the country's largest airport.Zambada has also been linked to gruesome drug killings in central and western Mexico, prosecutors said."The arrest of Jesus Zambada Garcia, the King, stands out, without a doubt, as one of the most significant by President [Felipe] Calderon's government to date," Medina Mora told reporters. "It is not the only one in recent months, nor will it be the last in the months to come." Investigators are looking into Zambada's possible role in the assassination of acting federal Police Chief Edgar Millan Gomez. The police commander was ambushed in May by a gunman in his Mexico City home, and authorities have long suspected that Sinaloa cartel traffickers were behind the slaying.Marisela Morales, who runs the organized-crime unit of the attorney general's office, called Zambada "one of the most important" smugglers of cocaine and methamphetamines into Mexico.
Zambada's arrest offered officials a much-needed chance to claim progress in their uphill battle against drug traffickers.Calderon declared a crackdown nearly two years ago, but drug-related violence has worsened despite some high-profile arrests and hefty drug seizures.The death toll this year has exceeded 3,500, according to unofficial tallies in the media, amid a wave of killings that has included decapitations, scorched bodies and a growing list of innocent victims.A grenade attack that killed eight civilians last month in the western state of Michoacan fed an increasing sense among Mexicans that their government is losing its war with well-armed drug gangs.In Monday's incident, police came under fire after being led to a house in northern Mexico City by a resident's tip. Police rounded up the 16 suspects but were not able to immediately confirm Zambada's identity, Morales said.
Prosecutors said Zambada's 21-year-old son, Jesus Zambada Reyes, and a nephew were among those arrested. On Wednesday, authorities lined up suspects and their seized weapons before news cameras, and police searched the house where the shootout took place.U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday began a two-day visit with Mexican officials in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta that was to include discussion of Mexico's battle against traffickers.Mexican officials are eager for the release of a $400-million package of U.S. training and equipment, known as the Merida Initiative.

Convicted 'American Gangster' Frank Lucas and New York Magazine charging they were libeled by Lucas' assertions that the narcotics officers stole

Convicted 'American Gangster' Frank Lucas and New York Magazine charged they were libeled by Lucas' assertions that the narcotics officers stole "9 to 10 million dollars" during a search of his posh home in 1975. Former Drug Enforcement Administration agents and New York City detectives have filed a libel suit against convicted drug lord 'American Gangster' Frank Lucas and New York Magazine.
This is the second attempt the agents have made to sue over Lucas related allegations. An earlier suit against NBC Universal was dismissed by the federal court in New York. It charged the agents were defamed in the closing credits of the movie "American Gangster" which asserted that the narcotics cops involved in the Lucas case were corrupt. The suit is currently on appeal.

Noctor's Pub gangland attack is believed to be linked to a long-running feud between criminals from the north inner city.

The dead man has not been officially named, but was named by Garda sources as Gavin McCarthy, with an address at Oriel Street, close to where he was gunned down. The shooting took place outside a pub in Dublin's north inner city.It was the 16th gun murder of the year, with two other men missing and presumed shot dead.The victim was one a group of people standing outside Noctor's Pub, Sheriff Street, Dublin 1, when a gunman opened fire, wounding him in the face a number of times.The victim was immediately put in the back of a car and taken to the Mater Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.The scene of the shooting was sealed off and a murder investigation was begun.The attackis believed to be linked to a long-running feud between criminals from the north inner city.Last night's killing was the third gun murder to take place in the area in two years, despite an intensive policing operation put in place there to help stem the violence.The latest attack will increase fears that the feud, which has now claimed four lives, is escalating after a period of relative calm in recent months.That feud began when well-known drug dealer and armed robber Christy Griffin, who was jailed for life in April 2007 after being convicted of raping a young girl, was first accused of the crime.Griffin (38), Ridgewood Green, Swords, and formerly of Canon Lillis Ave, Dublin 1, was the leader of a major criminal gang which split when he was accused of rape.One faction supported Griffin, while the other faction believed his victim's account and formed a faction opposed to Griffin and his associates.Both sides have targeted each other through shootings and grenade attacks. While the incidents have mainly taken place in the north inner city, the violence has spread as far as Swords and Finglas.
Before last night's killing three other men had lost their lives in violence related to the feud.In December 2006, as Griffin's rape trial approached, two men - Gerard Byrne and Stephen Ledden - were shot dead in feud-related attacks.Ledden (28), was shot in the head at Oriel Street, Dublin 1, on December 27th, 2006. Byrne (25), of Ferryman's Crossing, Dublin 1, was shot dead in the IFSC on December 13th, 2006

Delphon Nicholas and hitman Trevor Dennie began life sentences for the murder of Andrew Wanogho

Delphon Nicholas, 29, arranged for his former childhood friend Andrew Wanoghu to be shot in the back by a hired assassin.Nicholas was convicted of murder in one of the first cases of its kind to be successfully prosecuted.Delphon Nicholas, left, is facing a life sentence after arranging for hitman Trevor Dennie, right, to shoot Andrew WanoghuWhile mobile phones are banned from British jails, many are smuggled into prisons.Prosecutor Aftab Jafferjee told jurors that Nicolas 'orchestrated the execution from inside Belmarsh security prison by using a mobile telephone he had access to'.He added: 'He had been set up for execution. It is a world where grievances are met with lethal firearms, no matter how disproportionate.'
Wanoghu was no stranger to the criminal justice system - and was once charged with murder - for the 2002 shooting of Damien Cope, 22, whose mother Lucy went on to form the charity Mothers Against Guns, but the case collapsed due to lack of evidence.
Andrew Wanagho was shot after being lured into a trap
Nicholas fell out with Wanoghu over a drug deal that went sour and the two had a fist fight which Wanoghu won. In revenge, Wanoghu robbed Nicholas' father on Valentines Day 2006.Nicholas enlisted another childhood friend, Trevor Dennie to carry out the 'hit'. Dennie had fallen out with the victim after his mother Susan gave a statement to police about Damien Cope's murder. Dennie was heard telling a friend: 'I have had enough of Andy. he's gone too far.'The chance for revenge came on the night of April 7, 2006, when a friend of Nicholas', Michael Williams, got into a row with the victim in a nightclub in Lewisham, south-east London.
Williams was threatened with a beating for calling Wanoghu an 'idiot.'
Over the next hour mobile phone records showed Dennie repeatedly spoke to Nicholas, behind bars a few miles away, on a mobile phone that had been smuggled into his prison cell.It was claimed that Nicholas persuaded an ex-girlfriend, Sereata Barrie, 29, to lure Wanoghu to an ambush outside her house in Brockley, south-east London.

At 1.30am on 8 April 2006, Dennie fired the bullet that passed through Wanoghu's heart.Nicholas denied murder, and said of Wanoghu: 'It would be hard for you to find someone with more enemies than him in the whole of London. Maybe he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.'Barrie, an aspiring rapper who described herself as 'La Femme Nikita' in a lyric after a film in which a female assassin lures a man to his death, was cleared of murder by a jury, as were two other men allegedly involved in the killing.
Nicholas, of no fixed address, and Dennie, of Deptford south-east London were both convicted of murder, which they denied, and will be sentenced on Friday at the Old Bailey.To combat the menace of mobile phones in jail, the prison service has recently begun trials in training sniffer dogs specialised in detecting them.
Nicholas and Dennie began life sentences for the murder of Wanogho yesterday, closing the final chapter on the story of a gun that ended the life of one veteran gangster before initiating a young boy to follow in his footsteps.

This gun was used in at least seven shootings, including one murder, as it was passed between hoods, rented out or stolen by rival street gangs in the UK. Its discovery has added much needed information to senior police officers who admit there is a significant intelligence gap on criminal weaponry.Unlike many firearms used in London, Manchester and Birmingham, cities that account for 60% of serious gun crime by gangs, RS1 is a real weapon, not a converted replica. Its magazine held commercially manufactured ammunition, rather than "homemade" bullets - something often seen by detectives - and the ageing weapon was probably purchased for between £500 and £1,000.The trail left by the firearm can be reported following the life sentences handed down yesterday to two street gangsters for murder.It was discovered on a November morning in 2006 when a teenage boy set off for school telling his mother not to look in his room. Whether it was something in his tone, or just a mother's instinct, she ignored him. In his bedroom he kept a toy safe for his belongings, and inside she found the gun. She called the police and the firearm was taken away to a forensics laboratory where it was identified as a CZ .32 Colt Model 1927, manufactured by Ceska Zbrojovka of Strakonice, Czechoslovakia. The gun was loaded, with three live rounds in the magazine. A bullet was lodged in the barrel.
A few weeks later Detective Inspector Dave Manning, of the Metropolitan police's Trident unit, received a telephone call. After more than eight months investigating the murder of a notorious drug dealer, killer and kidnapper called Andrew Wanogho, he had all but given up on receiving such a contact.His inquiry was fraught with difficulties. At 26, the victim was running a syndicate of teenage armed robbers who would also do his drug running. Shortly before his murder Wanogho complained to the woman he called his "baby mother" - the mother of his child - that he did not have a friend left in the world.His killing was, on the face of it, just another inner city gangland shooting; the sort officers from Trident deal with all the time but which pass almost un-noticed by the media.But this inquiry opened a window on to a criminal subculture which exists cheek by jowl with ordinary families in ordinary neighbourhoods; the class A drug dealing, the incredible reach of the criminal networks, the threatening and taking of lives, the kidnappings, sexual violence, extortion and witness intimidation. And at the heart of it all, the tool used to enforce and protect: the gun.Wanogho, known as Sparks, was a powerful amateur boxer who had fought successfully in the United States. Held in awe and fear in equal measure by his peers, he was seen as a protector by some but a mercurial and extremely violent man by others. A Pentecostal pastor described to the 350 people at his funeral in Brockley, south London, how he would push his disabled brother to church each week in a wheelchair. Less was said of his history of violence.
"He was a formidable boxer and would beat people to a pulp and get pleasure out of it," said one source. He once kidnapped and tortured a bus driver whose brother was a rival drug dealer. The man was driven to a flat and chained to a radiator before Wanogho held a hot iron against his face. It was all done to intimidate the man's brother into giving up his drug stash. Four years before his murder Wanogho was charged with the murder of a man shot dead outside an east London nightclub. He escaped conviction after two witnesses withdrew their evidence because they were in fear of their lives.In August 2005, Wanogho survived an assassination attempt as he left a courtroom where he had watched a girlfriend plead guilty to possession of one of his guns in order to save him from jail. Eight months later he was not so lucky.
Manning was convinced the hit on Wanogho in April 2006 had been organised by an inmate at HMP Belmarsh on a mobile phone that was smuggled into the prison system and which, investigations revealed, had made 17,000 calls in seven months. But facing a wall of silence, Trident officers spent months scanning thousands of pages of mobile records until a pattern emerged. The inmate, Delphon Nicholas, had made a flurry of calls in the hours before the killing to his best friend, a gunman, rapist and drug trafficker called Trevor Dennie.Both men had fallen out with Wanogho over drugs and women and Dennie was heard telling a friend: "I've had enough of Andy, he's gone too far. He's barred from the ends." At 1.30am on April 8 2006 Wanogho stepped out of a car outside the home of Nicholas's former girlfriend. He told Sean Albert, who had driven him, that he was "up for a bit of a shagging".
Albert drove a discreet distance away to wait until he was called again. But Dennie was lying in wait and as Albert pulled up a few houses down the road he heard a series of gun shots in rapid succession. He looked in his rear view mirror and saw Wanogho, head down, sprinting towards him. But just as he reached the car he crumpled to the ground, hit in the back by a bullet that pierced his heart.
On Wanogho's body police found the incongruous possessions of a Class A drug dealer and gangster - a £17,000 diamond encrusted Cartier watch and £1.11 in cash. They also recovered two of the four bullets fired, including one that had ricocheted off a parked car and landed in a front garden.The closest they got to the gun, however, was a witness who described seeing Dennie brandishing it over his head at an east London nightclub a few hours later and boasting that he had killed Wanogho.Eight months on Manning was told that the gun found in a 14-year-old boy's bedroom was his murder weapon. Somehow it had passed from Dennie through several hands to being stored by the boy on the orders of an older hood, probably as some kind of initiation rite. Ballistics tests showed that the .32 caliber handgun had been used in at least seven shootings in less than two years, six in south London and one in Sussex.On New Year's Eve in 2004 a police officer was responding to a 999 call from a victim of a robbery in Brockley Cross, in the heart of what Dennie described as his "manor". He arrived to find three men nearby, and as he walked up to speak to them, the trio ran. But one man turned, pulled a gun and shot at the constable as he fled.This time the bullet missed its target. Police made inquiries but never made any headway. No arrests were made and the firearm disappeared back into the shadows.
It emerged 10 months later at the Cube nightclub in Camberwell Green, south London, in a petty dispute. The victim happened to bump into a man as he went to the toilet and was shot in the thigh for his clumsiness.In April 2006 the handgun reached its zenith with the murder of Wanogho, leaving a bullet lodged in his heart and two others at the scene which provided the vital link. Three weeks after the murder the firearm emerged once more at M-Blax nightclub in Peckham. At around 5.40am in the final hour of clubbing, a group of young men from a north London gang burst into the venue carrying weapons, intent on shooting up their south London rivals. Clubbers screamed and ran as a gunfight broke out in the crowded club. At least 21 shots were fired and three men were taken to hospital. Cartridges found at the scene matched the firearm found in the boy's bedroom.By June 2006 the gun had been passed on or stolen once more, its value by now diminished because of its use in a murder. It appeared again at the unlikely venue of Pontins in Camber Sands, when a group of teenagers from the capital travelled to the Sussex holiday camp for an urban music weekend. Large crowds gathered on the Sunday at the main hip hop stage, but in the midst off the rave the sound of gunshots sent young people running for cover. By the time local police arrived with firearms teams the elusive weapon had melted away into the background once more.A month later it was back in south London again, when shots were fired at a car. The gun was probably last used in the autumn of 2006 when it was accidentally fired by a would-be gangster.In the remaining four weeks of its criminal life the firearm was passed into the hands of the teenage boy, who according to sources, was bullied by the hoods because he suffered from Asperger's syndrome.It provided a forensic treasure trove. "It is quite rare to recover guns at all, so to recover a weapon that is linked to seven shootings is unusual," said Manning. "Everyone talks about guns being available on street corners, but it's not quite as easy as that to get hold of one. It's even more difficult to get hold of real ammunition."The boy's experience gave credence to anecdotal evidence that criminals are forcing younger boys to store their guns to test their metal and once the gun was found the teenager was said to be terrified of repercussions. But his mother's actions in calling the police perhaps saved him from being sucked into a life of crime.

Chin Kok Wah shot once, but missed. My men returned fire and instantly killed him.

Chin Kok Wah, 33, owned a unit in the same block and had rented the snooker centre located on the second floor as a hideout over the past year for his gang to carry out drug trafficking, armed robbery and loan sharking activities.Kuala Lumpur police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Muhammad Sabtu Osman said the man had opened fire at a policeman and three officers from the Serious Crimes Investigation Department (D9) as they entered the premises at 10.40am yesterday.“He shot once, but missed. My men returned fire and instantly killed him.“A check later revealed that his Colt .45 automatic pistol had a bullet jammed in the chamber,” he said.The man is believed to have been under surveillance for a week before police moved in on him and investigations show that he had been robbing cash from security vans in Selangor.
“Also recovered were five bullets of the same calibre, two pump gun shells, two machetes, a handcuff, a light baton and a taxi believed to have been used when he carried out his criminal activities to avoid detection,” DCP Sabtu said.DCP Sabtu said police were on the lookout for at least six other group members aged between 25 and 30.Meanwhile, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok who lives in a condominium nearby was shocked when told a shooting had occurred near her home.“I will immediately contact my condominium’s resident association to discuss installing CCTV and beef up security,” she said.

Ronald Costello testified that a former cohort threatened to tell the FBI about his loan sharking activities unless he paid him some money

Ronald Costello testified that when a former cohort threatened to tell the FBI about his loan sharking activities unless he paid him some money, he immediately reached out to two of Boston's most notorious gangsters, James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi.Costello said he told the mobsters that Edward "Brian" Halloran, a loan shark awaiting trial for murder in Boston, sent a friend to warn him that he "was going to the feds if I didn't give him money."He admitted that he could not remember exactly when he told Bulger and Flemmi that Halloran was threatening to cooperate, but thought it was about a month or two before Bulger shot Halloran and another man to death during a drive-by shooting on Boston's waterfront in May 1982.Costello, who said he now works for the MBTA and lives in Winthrop, was called by the defense at the murder trial of retired FBI agent John J. Connolly Jr. in an effort to cast doubt on claims that Connolly instigated Halloran's death by warning Bulger he was cooperating with the FBI.Sixty-eight-year-old Connolly, who retired from the FBI in 1990, is on trial for a different murder, the August 1982 slaying in Florida of Boston business consultant John B. Callahan. He is accused of warning Bulger and Flemmi, both longtime FBI informants, that Callahan was being sought for questioning by the FBI and would probably implicate them in the slayings of Halloran and a Tulsa businessman.However, prosecutors have been allowed to present additional evidence in a bid to prove that Connolly had a corrupt relationship with his informants, including allegations that he provoked Halloran's slaying.During cross-examination, Costello testified that he met Connolly at a bar in Faneuil Hall in Boston sometime in 1982 and the agent told him that Bulger and Flemmi liked Costello."Did you think it was unusual for an FBI agent to be telling you at a bar that two known criminals liked you?" asked Miami-Dade assistant state attorney Michael Von Zamft."No," Costello said. "I was drunk, coked up, I was crossed up. Everybody was my friend, except for Halloran."The defense also called two police officers who investigated prior attacks on Halloran, in a attempt to show that he was targeted long before he was killed.Boston Police Detective Timothy Lynch testified that he responded to a call of shots fired near a union hall in Dorchester on June 6, 1981, and found Halloran sitting in a parking lot uninjured in his Cadillac, its rear window shattered by bullets.Retired Quincy Police Detective David Schofield testified that he investigated a report that a gun was fired at Halloran's Quincy condo in April 1981. He said he found a bullet mark on the building, and that Halloran told him he suspected it was fired by one of his loan shark victims, whose leg he had broken.Yesterday, before the jury came into the courtroom, Connolly had an emotional reunion with his 17-year-old twin sons, who came to court for the first time since testimony began five weeks ago. He had not seen them in more than four years and remarked over how tall they were.Connolly, who is serving a 10-year prison term for a 2002 federal racketeering conviction, hugged each of the teenagers and chatted for several minutes, separated by a railing that divides the spectator section from the interior courtroom. He took off his eyeglasses and wiped tears from his eyes.

Jackie Tran, came to Canada in 1993 and was ordered deported in 2004, was a member of a gang involved in at least eight homicides in Calgary.

Nghia Trong Nguyen-Tran, known as Jackie Tran, was granted approval to be released. No other details of the ruling were available yesterday. Tran, 25, has been at the Calgary Remand Centre since January when he was picked up by police on an immigration warrant while at a viewing for slain gangster Mark Kim. One day before his arrest, he failed to show up for his appeal of his deportation order. Given Tran is a convicted criminal, tagged by cops as a gangster, many are baffled by the latest development. "I think, like most Calgarians, I shake may head in disbelief and disgust," said Mayor Dave Bronconnier."Our police are working around the clock, rounding up bad guys and this becomes this turnstile justice system that costs us an absolute fortune as taxpayers. "We should take all measures to ensure that those who pose a danger to Calgarians remain confined." Calgary Police Association president John Dooks said the newest twist in the Tran case puts public safety on the backburner and underscores the need for legislative changes to close such loopholes.
"It's ridiculous -- a potential dangerous offender ordered for deportation has enough avenues of recourse to prevent that deportation for four years," he said. "Any time there's a potential dangerous offender released ... we have to expect acts of violence to follow." In January, Tran pleaded for his release, saying he's a hard-working immigrant not a gangster. But a federal official, citing his links to gangs, ordered him detained until his deportation to Vietnam.
A Canada Border Services Agency hearings officer ruled him a flight risk, a threat to public safety and at risk of rival gang violence. Organized Crime Operations Centre Staff Sgt. Gord Eiriksson said yesterday police will "do their best" to ensure Tran abides by his conditions while in the community. He said the case is disappointing and spawns fears of potential violence. "It's frustrating to think of how many hours and resources and money is spent putting people behind bars," he said. "When you feel you have reached a successful conclusion, having someone involved in criminal activity actually deported from the country -- to find they are being released after four years, it's difficult to understand. "Once again ... we don't realize the fruits of our labours. "He's concerned for his safety and we're concerned for his safety and for public safety." CBSA spokeswoman Lisa White said removal orders are acted on as quickly as possible while respecting available avenues of appeal. CBSA "has an obligation to remove any person that has been issued a removal order ... as soon as possible," she said. "However, everyone who is ordered removed from Canada is entitled to due process before the law and all removal orders and decisions are subject to various levels of recourse and appeal."
Tran, who came to Canada in 1993 and was ordered deported in 2004, was a member of a gang involved in at least eight homicides in Calgary.

Nicolo Rizzuto reputed head of the Montreal Mafia father of alleged Mafia kingpin Vito Rizzuto.

Nicolo Rizzuto was smiling and waving to family members after the 84-year-old father of the reputed head of the Montreal Mafia was given a suspended sentence and probation on yesterday.The Crown acknowledged police were not thorough enough in following the money trail in their investigation of Rizzuto, the father of alleged Mafia kingpin Vito Rizzuto.Nicolo Rizzuto pleaded guilty last month to two charges -- possessing goods obtained through criminal gains and possession of proceeds of crime for the benefit of a criminal organization.Crown prosecutor Yvan Poulin noted that Rizzuto had already served two years and the court decided that would count as four years."So, today he's gonna be on probation for three years,'' Poulin said.
Poulin said evidence gathered by the RCMP during a four-year investigation showed Rizzuto possessed an unknown amount of proceeds of crime.Rizzuto was arrested as part of a large police sweep in November 2006 dubbed Project Colisee.Rizzuto's grandson and other close family members were among those who packed the courtroom for the sentencing.Poulin said the prosecution decided to suggest a sentence of four years after considering Rizzuto's age and fragile health.They also took into consideration the limited role he played in the organization which was involved in importing and exporting drugs through Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal.A total of $4 million was seized during the 2006 police operation but Poulin said no money was confiscated at Rizzuto's home.Rizzuto was expected to be freed from prison last night.Four other alleged Mafiosi who also pleaded guilty to various charges, including gangsterism, were sentenced along with Rizzuto and were given prison terms of between six and 15 years.

Delphon Nicholas used a smuggled mobile phone to order hitman Trevor Dennie to shoot a hated rival.

Delphon Nicholas used a smuggled mobile phone to order hitman Trevor Dennie to shoot a hated rival. The pair were convicted of murder at the Old Bailey and sentenced to a minimum of 30 years.The court had heard how Nicholas, 29, of Sydenham, was in Belmarsh after an arrest on firearms charges later dropped when he arranged the killing of Andrew Wanoghu. Wanoghu, 26, a former boxer who fought under the nickname "The Assassin", was a drug dealer involved in a long-running dispute with the gangster.In April 2006 Wanoghu went to Brockley for a drugs deal and was shot dead in Pendrell Road by hooded gunman Dennie, 33, of Deptford.Passing sentence, Judge Richard Hone said: "You are two cold blooded killers. You both exude an aura of violence. There is no mitigation."He added nine months to Nicholas's term after the thug started beating up his girlfriend, Sereata Barrie, in the dock as the jury retired to consider their verdict. Barrie, 29, Erron Cato, 25, and Michael Williams, 28, were cleared of involvement in the murder.Wanoghu had been prime suspect in the shooting of Damien Cope, 22, whose mother Lucy went on to form the charity Mothers Against Guns.

Sicilian Mafia's Stidda and Piscopo clans had a monopoly over the trafficking and pushing of hashish and cocaine in several Sicilian provinces.

Italian police have arrested 70 people across the country suspected of drug trafficking and money laundering.Police made the arrests in the northern business capital, Milan, and in another city in Lombardy, Varese, as well as in several cities in the southern Sicily, Calabria, Puglia and Campania regions.
'Operation Tsunami', which began in 2004, has uncovered two drug trafficking organisations, each with its own supply channels and extensive networks of drugs pushers who reportedly operated in city squares and streets as well as nightclubs and other youth hangouts. The two gangs are said to be close to the Sicilian Mafia's Stidda and Piscopo clans respectively and to have links to drug cartels in Colombia and criminal organisations in Germany.The gangs reportedly had a monopoly over the trafficking and pushing of hashish and cocaine in several Sicilian provinces.
The drugs were mainly acquired on the outskirts of Milan and in Reggio Calabria and transported south by outwardly respectable couriers.Italy's crime syndicates, the Sicilian Mafia, the Neapolitan Mafia, or Camorra and Calabria's 'Ndrangheta, all thrive on drug trafficking and other illegal activities including arms trafficking and prostitution.

John Haase, 59, and Paul Bennett, 44, arranged for weapons to be found behind the Cheers pub

Southwark crown court heard that John Haase, 59, and Paul Bennett, 44, arranged for weapons to be found behind the Cheers pub, in Aigburth Road, so they could link them to the rival gangs.Liverpool drug barons blamed a stash of weapons on the Ungi and Fitzgibbon families so they could get their own sentences slashed, a court was told.
The jury was told the Ceska gun, automatic pistol and ammunition was one of 35 goods, drugs and guns hauls the pair organised so they could tip off the authorities and curry favour with a judge.Prosecutors claim the men cooked up the scheme while awaiting sentence for drug smuggling.They provided so much information they received a rare royal pardon and served just 11 months of their 18-year sentences. Gibson Grenfell QC, prosecuting, said police uncovered more than 150 weapons, including sub-machine guns, AK47s and hand grenades and 1,500 rounds of ammunition following tip-offs from the pair.Haase told HM Customs and Excise, to whom the pair supplied information through their solicitor, that weapons and ammunition could be found in a Fiat Strada parked outside the Cheers pub. And Haase claimed Liverpool was just weeks away from erupting into gang warfare.Mr Grenfell said the weapons were clearly “being put” in the context of trouble involving “the two notorious criminal families in Liverpool, the Fitzgibbons and the Ungis.”“The defendants warned the authorities they expected a lot of trouble.”Mr Grenfell said the following month, Bennett advised the authorities to search a Volkswagen Polo parked in Park Street, Toxteth. Police found two sawn-off shotguns, a pistol and ammunition inside.He said once again, the two families’ names were mentioned and the Ungis were said to be using nearby pubs to plot their revenge for the recent murder of David Ungi.Mr Grenfell said Paul Cook, the customs officer who oversaw the men’s information, appeared at that point to express his doubts about the authenticity of the haul.
He quoted Mr Cook as saying: “Nobody seems to have missed them [the guns]. Nobody has noticed them. They [the police] have towed the car away and placed it in a garage. Why hasn’t it caused a stir?”Both Haase and Bennett denied having anything to do with the guns, Mr Grenfell said.He told the jury it was not the first time the men, said to be orchestrating the scheme from prison on illicit mobile phones, attempted to link the hauls to other organised crime gangs.Prosecutors claim the pair had five pistols and ammunition stashed in a car parked in Holyhead, Anglesey, so they could tip off authorities they were bound for Ireland and the IRA.
Prosecutors believe several of the guns and the bags they were stored inside are linked to the men’s co-conspirators.Mr Grenfell said fingerprints belonging to Haase’s wife Deborah, 37, were found on some of the bags.He said: “The information supplied about the IRA was completely bogus when we know the prints on those binbags.”He told the jury that prosecutors also believe another accused, Sharon Knowles, 36, bought the ferry ticket to Ireland designed to be linked to the seizure.
Haase and Bennett are said to have orchestrated the hauls between October 1993 and August 1995, while they were awaiting their sentences for drug smuggling.Haase and Bennett, both of no fixed abode, Deborah Haase, of Teynham Avenue, Knowsley Village, and Sharon Knowles, of Wadeson Road, Walton, all deny conspiracy to pervert the course of public.Deborah Haase also denies one charge of possessing illegal firearms and one charge of possessing illegal ammunition.

James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, : Boston FBI agent on trial for murder was key to major New England Mafia investigations

Boston FBI agent on trial for murder was key to major New England Mafia investigations because of his skill at recruiting and handling top confidential gangster informants, a former mob prosecutor, now a federal judge, testified Tuesday,’ the Associated Press reports. ‘ Senior U.S. District Judge Edward F. Harrington, who was Boston’s U.S. attorney during the Carter administration, said ex-agent John Connolly’s contributions were “without parallel” in prosecutions that weakened the powerful Patriarca family. That included planting a listening device at the family’s Boston headquarters.’ “ “ John Connolly had great ability and he had a certain flair that attracted a confidence and trust of underworld figures,” said Harrington, the leadoff witness for Connolly’s defense.” ‘ Connolly, 68, was the FBI handler of James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, leaders of Boston’s violent Winter Hill Gang and rivals of the larger Mafia.’ He is now ‘ charged with conspiracy and murder. Prosecutors accuse him of telling Bulger and Flemmi that gambling executive John Callahan might implicate them in an Oklahoma businessman’s slaying.’ Callahan was shot and put into ‘his Cadillac at Miami International Airport in August 1982.’ The man who killed Callahan said he was did indeed do so after Connolly gave him information about Callahan(’s whereabouts).
Callah is currently already serving a 10-year prison term after being found guilty of racketeering. The story is a familiar one for those who watch mafia movies on a regular basis. Especially the movie Donnie Brasko tells the story of an FBI undercover agent who infiltrates in the mafia quite well. Brasko is, in the end, barely able to distance himself from his mafia bodies, and crosses the line on a variety of occasions. The movie was based on a true story; Brasko - or his actual name was: Joseph D. Pistone - is now enrolled in a witness protection program.

Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal died in Florida on Monday

Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal died in Florida on Monday at age 79, according to family members and a source at his high-rise condominium complex in Miami Beach.Rosenthal was a minor celebrity confined to the world of gambling, organized crime and Las Vegas society until the 1995 movie "Casino," which was based on his life story, propelled him to a much higher level of fame.Rosenthal's passing marks the close of yet another chapter in the transformation of Las Vegas from a gambling destination of ill-repute to a global destination celebrated by everyday tourists, politicians and corporate leaders who invest billions of dollars in resorts."He was the innovator and creator of what we know today as the race and sports book in Las Vegas with all the modern accoutrements," said Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, a former attorney who represented Rosenthal in high-profile scrapes with Nevada regulators, including now-Sen. Harry Reid. "He was an uncanny bettor and won a lot more than he lost."Goodman painted Rosenthal as the type of boss who represented the best of Las Vegas, in terms of how to run a good casino."He was the kind of guy who, when working in the casino industry, would see a cigarette butt on the floor, pick it up himself and dispose of it," Goodman said. "And then he'd fire the employee whose job was to have picked it up in the first place."Rosenthal was also a controversial figure whose life story was entwined with the emergence of Las Vegas as a destination for money mobsters sought to launder through legal casinos.His childhood was spent learning the gambling trade through illegal bookmaking operations run by organized crime figures from the Midwest. He made connections that fueled his rise and instigated his downfall later in Las Vegas.Rosenthal was born June 12, 1929, in Chicago and spent the 1930s in Chicago. When he arrived in Nevada in 1968, he discovered that gambling could not only be profitable but a ticket to prominence in a place where his occupation was the subject of reverence, not scorn."When I was a kid growing up in Chicago, if you walked around with a ... card in your hand, you were subject to be arrested or harassed, at least," Rosenthal said in 1997 during an interview with the PBS program "Frontline." "On the other hand, if you want to go to Las Vegas, Nevada, you can do the same thing and be quite respectable."The word "respectable" was a loaded phrase when it came to Rosenthal.When he moved to Las Vegas, he had already gained some level of notoriety for an appearance in 1961 before a Senate hearing on gambling and organized crime during which he invoked Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination 38 times.An indictment in California in 1971 for conspiracy in interstate transportation in aid of racketeering helped prevent the bookmaker Rosenthal from getting a Nevada gaming license, a situation that angered him for years after he left Las Vegas. A 1963 conviction stemming from an attempt to bribe college basketball players later landed him on a short list of people excluded from Nevada casinos.But lack of a license didn't stop him from holding sway over operations at the Stardust, Hacienda, Fremont and Marina casinos when they were owned or controlled by the Argent Corp., and financier Allen Glick. Glick was the purported front man for Midwestern mob bosses who controlled the casinos through Argent, which was funded in part through loans from the Teamsters union. During an interview with a magazine reporter in 1975, the unlicensed Rosenthal landed himself in hot water with regulators when he said, "Glick is the financial end, but the policy comes from my office."Rosenthal's problems were exacerbated by personal and business connections to reputed mobster Tony Spilotro.Spilotro wound up being indicted in a skimming scheme, along with about 14 others, which also sealed Rosenthal's fate with gaming regulators, who ended up putting both men in Nevada's Black Book of persons excluded from casinos.
Spilotro also wound up having an affair with Rosenthal's estranged wife, Geri, a situation law enforcement authorities later claimed as evidence Spilatro tried to kill Rosenthal."Obviously there were things going on," Rosenthal told the Fort Lauderdale (Fla) Sun-Sentinel in 1995. "There are more tricks in the trade than I can ever describe to you. But I think some of it (the federal inquiry) was exaggerated."Later in the Sun-Sentinel story, Rosenthal acknowledged there was little chance he could escape the notorious shadow of Spilatro."In retrospect, his reputation and the fact that we were boyhood friends -- there was no way for me to overcome it," Rosenthal told the newspaper.

Hekuran Billa, 28, shot Prel Marku, 22, through the head in front of revelers in a packed Albanian social club in Park Royal

Hekuran Billa, 28, shot Prel Marku, 22, through the head in front of revelers in a packed Albanian social club in Park Royal on October 14 2006 Billali was found guilty of three counts of attempted murder and the murder of Prel Marku, and sentenced to life imprisonment, with a recommended minimum term of 34 years.

Two others were shot when gunman Billa and an accomplice sprayed the club with bullets. Club owner Musa Prahmani was also injured when he jumped from a second floor window to escape and luckily landed in a rubber dingy below.Billa fled to Denmark, but cops tracked him down and he was convicted of one murder, two attempted murders and wounding Mr Prahmani with intent. He had denied all charges.The rivals were raking in up to £10,000 a night emptying Westminster parking meters. Albanian gangs that had usually been involved in prostitution and people trafficking devised a lucrative simple scam to bust open the strong boxes of old fashioned meters which netted £1.25 million in £1 coins a year.Westminster Council was losing so much money it moved to cashless parking by text messages and phone this year.The dispute centred on who had control of meters on Connaught Square, the feud rumbled on for weeks of with verbal threats and escalating tensions. The two different factions were run by Petrit Brahoj, 31, and his rival Herland Bilali, 28, the Snaresbrook Crown court heard.
Kujtim Spahiu, 33, was jailed last year for 33 years in prison for his part in the shootings.Two other suspects, Mohammed Mehmeti and Lulzim Bici, who were waiting in the getaway car outside the club, were cleared of any involvement in the killing.
Shocked jurors were shown photographs of the bloodstained carpet, upturned tables where club members desperately sought cover, and the smashed windows through which others jumped for their lives when Billa pumped round after round into the crowd.

Gyoku Ryuu Kai family:Three gangsters have been arrested

Three gangsters have been arrested after a three-city police task force followed their trail and involvement in the robbery of a recycling company business office.Police say they’re holding the three, including a member of the Gyoku Ryuu Kai family, on charges they went to a recycling business in the Noborikawa area and tried to get money from the office.Okinawa City, Uruma City and Urasoe City police teamed up, establishing checkpoints and area patrols, ultimately finding the three men’s car in the Noborikawa area. Okinawa Prefectural Police say the task force found a map of the area, and a pistol type spray, in the car.The three men are denying the charges they committed any crime.

Sean Erez wheeler-dealer international Ecstasy trafficker

Sean Erez wounded in a botched Harbourfront transaction once masterminded America's largest Ecstasy smuggling ring, which employed naive Hasidic Jews as couriers. But the jury now deliberating whether Sean Erez, 38, is guilty of possession for the purposes of trafficking cocaine never heard of his past orchestration of a ring that exported a million pills from Amsterdam to New York and Miami in the 1990s. It was the largest Ecstasy importing ring uncovered in the U.S. at that time. Erez's couriers included teenaged Hasidic students -- some lured by a cover story of smuggling diamonds -- who transported tens of thousands of pills with Superman and yin and yang symbols on them. "He was a wheeler-dealer. But what he did was shocking to the Jewish community," said Lisa Sweetingham, author of Chemical Cowboys, a soon-to-be released book on international Ecstasy trafficking networks.
"He exploited these very naive youths, who were insulated from the modern, corrupt world. They had the opportunity to travel to Europe, make a lot of money, go to casinos and night clubs," said Sweetingham. Shimon Levita, then 17, was star-struck by Erez's flashy lifestyle, which included a beautiful apartment in a trendy Amsterdam neighbourhood near a casino and the city's notorious red-light district.
Erez was a legitimate entrepreneur as well as a drug importer. He owned a yogurt parlour in Israel and a Manhattan jean shop. But his greatest profits came from his Ecstasy ring, which he established after working for the late Ecstasy kingpin Oded Tuito. While working for Tuito, Erez was caught with 100 pills and jailed for two months in 1998. Tuito, who died at 42 of a heart attack in 2004 while in prison awaiting trial for charges of selling his signature "Tweedy Bird" tablets, used strippers as his drug mules and paid them $10,000 to $20,000 for each time they transported drugs. "In jail, that's where Erez hatched the idea of using the most unlikely of couriers, Hasidic Jews, instead of strippers as Tuito did. And Erez only paid these teens dying to see the world -- night clubs -- a fraction of what Tuito was paying the stripper-mules," said a Drug Enforcement Ad -ministration source, who was a key investigator on the case but now works undercover. Erez paid Shimon Levita, now 27, $200 for each Hasidic Jew he recruited as a courier. The couriers received up to $2,000 for each trip, some carrying the pills inside athletic socks or false-bottomed suitcases, said the source. Erez was arrested for the massive Esctasy operation in Amsterdam in 1999. Another of Erez's recruiters, Simcha Roth, now 27, said during Erez's sentencing hearing that he couldn't explain his actions.
"Sean Erez made everything seem so easy. I was living in a fantasy world," Roth told the court. The free-wheeling world of easy money and travel came crashing down on Erez as his couriers were picked off by DEA agents and police. Eighteen of Erez's underlings pleaded guilty. Erez was eventually ordered imprisoned for 15 years in New York in 2001 after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy. But the sentence was slashed to 10 years -- the Canadian maximum -- when he was transferred to the Canadian prison system in June 2005. Two months later he was paroled. Eleven months after he was paroled, Erez was shot three times at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel by bandits looking to rob either him or co-accused dealer, Evgene "Andy" Starchik of 4.5 kilos of cocaine in a gym bag, according to the Crown.

The Black Mafia Family, a nationwide ring of high-volume cocaine distributors

The Black Mafia Family, a nationwide ring of high-volume cocaine distributors, better known as BMF, has been sold to DuBose Entertainment.Announced today, the terms of the sale were not made public. However, a statement from the company declared that a TV series, similar to The Wire, was being scripted. The statement also alluded to a film script in development as well.Per DuBose' report, "Brothers Demetrious 'Big Meech' Flenory and Terry Flenory were sentenced to 30 years in prison for operating a multi-state criminal enterprise involving cocaine distribution. 'Big Meech,' the leader of the notorious BMF, lived a lavish lifestyle that he generously shared with his members garnering him a level of notoriety and celebrity status usually reserved for hip hop royalty. Authorities estimate the operation began in Detroit during the 1990s and eventually expanded to Missouri, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, California and Texas
"This is a complex crime story that weaves elements of humanity, a strong family bond, street-level survival and opulence with real consequences," says James DuBose. "The acquisition of the Black Mafia Family story reflects my mission to pursue contemporary and authentic stories."DuBose also recently announced a partnership with Disturbing Tha Peace's Chaka Zulu and Jeff Dixon on their own venture Ebony Son Entertainment.

Gaetano Milano who killed underboss William "The Wild Guy" Grasso had seven years shaved off his sentence

mob soldier who killed underboss William "The Wild Guy" Grasso in a failed attempt to hijack the Patriarca crime family two decades ago had seven years shaved off his sentence Wednesday.U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas reduced Gaetano Milano's sentence from 33 to 26 years, approving a deal negotiated by defense attorney Craig Raabe and Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Jongbloed. The deal bases the sentence reduction on the assertion that Milano was not provided effective assistance by his trial lawyer F. Mac Buckley — an assertion Buckley denies.The reduction in his sentence means that Milano could be released within eight years.
Milano had been fighting since the middle 1990s to have the sentence reduced on a variety of grounds. The claim resulting in the most prolonged litigation was Milano's argument that FBI agents in Boston wrongly withheld informant reports from Buckley in 1990 and '91 that could have permitted him to mount a more effective trial defense.Milano's informant claim has grown increasingly persuasive over the past decade with disclosures in federal court in Boston that FBI agents engaged in criminal behavior with what the bureau classifies as its "top echelon" informants.
The informant who Milano said could have helped his defense was Angelo "Sonny" Mercurio, a sworn member of the Patriarca crime family who died two years ago in the federal witness protection program. Former FBI agent John Connolly recruited Mercurio as an informant. Connolly is now on trial for murder in Florida, accused of leaking information that led two of his other "top echelon" informants to kill potential witnesses against them.Milano said — and some federal law enforcement officials in Boston agree — that Mercurio was involved in a conspiracy that incited a factional war within the Patriarca crime family and resulted in Grasso's murder. Milano said — after his conviction — that he was forced by his position in the factional dispute to kill Grasso. Had he not, Milano says, Grasso or some other gangster would have killed him.Milano's lawyers and federal prosecutors battled over the Mercurio claim for years. With no resolution in sight, the parties entered a settlement conference in September.The settlement says that Buckley should have asked the judge to instruct trial jurors that Milano could have been convicted of manslaughter rather than murder — even without the Mercurio information. Jurors presumably could have reached that conclusion if they had believed Milano was suffering from extreme emotional duress due to a belief that he had to kill Grasso in order to save himself. At his sentencing in November 1991, Milano broke down in tears. He renounced the Mafia and, reversing his claim of innocence during the trial, tearfully confessed that he had to kill Grasso to avoid being killed himself. The settlement agreement asserts that Buckley again was ineffective by failing to postpone the sentencing and win time to prepare an argument that reflected Milano's "extraordinary change of position."Buckley said this week that he supports the reduction in Milano's sentence, but disagrees that his trial defense was ineffective. He said a jury instruction on an emotional duress defense would have contradicted Milano's categorical claim of innocence at trial. And he said Milano's post-conviction "change of position" was known to the FBI and federal prosecutors weeks before he was sentenced.In return for the reduced sentence, Milano agreed to drop further legal claims concerning Mercurio.Raabe suggested in court that the sentence reduction may have been based on ineffective assistance of counsel for expediency."There were a wide range of issues that were in play. Ineffective assistance was a negotiated settlement," Raabe said. "It would be a shame if the upshot of today was that Mac Buckley performed ineffectively."He called Buckley "a great trial lawyer" who "performed well."Buckley, a former federal prosecutor, was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2000 for stealing from clients and was placed on probation in 2002 for failing to file income tax returns. At the time of his convictions, he was diagnosed with severe bipolar disorder. He agreed to give up his law practice and now operates a boxing program for Hartford youths.
Milano was one of seven Patriarca crime family members and associates convicted in 1991 of racketeering, murder and other offenses following the longest and most sensational Mafia trial ever in Connecticut. Among other things, prosecutors introduced as evidence the first ever recording of a Mafia initiation ceremony.After the seven convictions in Hartford and another dozen or so in Boston, federal officials said that they had decimated the Patriarca family, which since World War II had been the dominant criminal organization in New England.

The Black Mafia Family,WANTED Paul Buford suave charmer with plenty of charisma

members of the Detroit-based gang "The Black Mafia Family" have found themselves under the suspicion of law enforcement for dozens of crimes committed throughout the nation. The leaders of the gang, brothers Terry and Demetrius Flenory, have been arrested, pled guilty, and sentenced to decades in prison for the felonies they've masterminded.According to Marshals, the Flenory brothers operated the Black Mafia Family under the guise of the rap label "BMF Entertainment."BMF Entertainment acted as a legitimate facade for their operation, in an attempt to keep cops from noticing the large amounts of money flowing in and out of their organization. But nothing could hide the flash of their bling or the gold on their grills: federal agents aren't stupid, and they knew that, sooner or later, the BMF would come undone.
Since the Flenorys will be imprisoned for years to come, the baton has been passed, and the leadership of the criminal organization has changed hands.
As of April 2008, an investigation spearheaded by the Detroit office of the DEA has resulted in the indictments of 64 BMF members, as well as the seizure of approximately $20 million in assets. It all stems from charges alleging their cooperation and participation in a large-scale conspiracy to distribute thousands of kilograms of cocaine, among other improprieties.While 64 'Family' members have been taken down in the first wave of arrests, one man has managed to evade the wide net cast by DEA officials. His name is Paul Buford, and Marshals need your help to take him off the streets once and for all.
They describe Buford as a suave charmer with plenty of charisma.
Dangerous Felon Known To Live Life Of Luxury
While Buford isn't the high-profile BMF ringleader like Terry and Demetrius Flenory were, police say he's still a big player in the crime syndicate and needs to be put behind bars, according to U.S. Marshals in Detroit.

Buford is currently wanted on a federal warrant for conspiracy to sell large quantities of cocaine, and another for conspiracy to launder money.

But not surprisingly, these aren't the first crimes he's ever been wanted for. In his past, Buford's been charged with assault & battery, assault with a firearm, domestic violence, and multiple counts of larceny, to name just a few of his prior alleged indiscretions.

Now, he's wanted for more of the same, only this time, the charges would land him in prison for a substantially longer time than he's ever faced before: up to 20 years.

Deputy U.S. Marshals on the Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team tell us that Buford's eluded them for nearly two years, and they hope this latest push for publicity will help them nail him down for good.

They describe Buford as a suave charmer with plenty of charisma who's known to drive expensive cars and wear top-of-the-line threads. He has expensive taste, and cops say he's one of the top members of the BMF's west coast bureau.

If you've seen this dangerous felon, you've got to call our hotline right away at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

Funeral wreath bearing a threatening note with the names of two of the dead and other officers was left outside the Chihuahua state police headquarter

commander and two other members of a state auto-theft investigations unit were killed in two attacks by hit squads this week in Juárez, said Chihuahua state officials.After the gangland-style killings, a funeral wreath bearing a threatening note with the names of two of the dead and other officers was left outside the Chihuahua state police headquarters in Juárez.Tuesday evening, Cmdr. Rodolfo Barragan Marrufo was in a Dodge Ram 2500 when he was fatally shot by masked gunmen in the parking lot of Los Cedros Hotel, officials said.An unknown number of shooters opened fire after getting out of a white Dodge Durango or Cadillac Escalade.Thirty bullet casings were found at the scene.Officials said Barragan had training from U.S. authorities, including having taken a course to identify stolen vehicles by the National Insurance Crime Bureau and a crime scene investigation workshop in Albuquerque.Wednesday evening, two auto-theft agents in their official Dodge Ram 2500 were at a stop light when they were fired at from a van, officials said.The agents drove into an incoming traffic lane to try to escape but crashed into a car.
Agents Luis Carlos Rodri guez Saldaña, 33, and Mario Saldaña Ramirez, 39, died at the scene, where investigators found 41 bullet casings.Seven other homicides also occurred Wednesday in Juárez.More than 1,060 slayings have been reported in the border city so far this year.

Bernardino Terracciano, who played local mob boss Uncle Bernardino in the movie "Gomorra," arrested.

Police in the Naples area arrested seven alleged mobsters on Saturday, including an actor who played a boss in an award-winning movie denouncing the mafia.The pre-dawn raids targeting the Camorra crime syndicate netted alleged members of a clan responsible for the gangland-style killing of six African immigrants last month, said police in the town of Caserta, near Naples.Those arrested were not directly linked to the deadly shooting, but were suspects in other attacks and crimes. The clan's alleged boss, Giuseppe Setola, escaped arrest and was being sought along with three others, police said in a statement.The Sept. 18 shooting of the Africans sparked rioting in an area already rife with lawlessness and violence, prompting the government to deploy 500 soldiers to set up checkpoints and help police.Investigators believe the Camorra orchestrated the slayings to punish the Africans for getting involved in drug trafficking, one of the syndicate's lucrative activities. At least four men accused in the killings have been arrested in sweeping anti-mafia raids over the last weeks.Among those netted in Saturday's sweeps around Caserta was Bernardino Terracciano, who played local mob boss Uncle Bernardino in the movie "Gomorra," said police official Rodolfo Ruperti.Terracciano, 53, is accused of extortion and associating with the mafia, Ruperti said.Director Matteo Garrone's study of the Naples-based Camorra won second place at the Cannes Film Festival this spring and is Italy's hopeful for a best foreign language film at the Academy Awards in the United States.The movie is based on a book by Roberto Saviano, whose expose on the Camorra's hold on everything from fashion to waste disposal forced him to go under police protection.

Oceanside street gang six people arrested

Six people were arrested and six others already in custody were named yesterday in federal complaints resulting from a three-year investigation targeting an Oceanside street gang, authorities said. During the investigation, authorities seized 26 firearms and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition in the Oceanside area, U.S. Attorney Karen Hewitt said in a statement.
Many of the defendants are members or associates of the Varrio Posole Locos gang, Hewitt said. She said the crimes alleged in the complaint include purchase, theft and possession of multiple firearms by convicted felons; robbery of a heroin dealer who was forced from a moving vehicle; conspiracies to distribute heroin at the Vista jail and at Ironwood State Prison in Blythe; and street sales of methamphetamine and heroin.

Gangsters are flocking to the millionaires' playground of Dubai

Gangsters are flocking to the millionaires' playground of Dubai. "Enforcer" Graeme Pearson - former head Scottish Crime and Drugs Enforcement Agency - says the Middle East desert kingdom attracts global organised crime bosses. He said: "Dubai is a place of great interest to criminals internationally. It's a bit like an owners' club where they talk about the new places in the world. "Once it was Amsterdam then places such as Portugal and the Costa del Sol but now it's Dubai."
One Dubai exile from Scotland is playboy Imran Hussain, of Glasgow, who is being probed over a billion-pound carousel fraud perpetrated against UK taxpayers.
Others include security firm couple Paul and Marie Johnston who brag about rubbing shoulders with Prince Andrew. European organised crime gangs and the Russian Mafia flock to the United Arab Emirates state. They're attracted by its opulent hotels, lack of scrutiny from Western authorities and tax-free status. But Pearson believes other countries will eventually force the Dubai authorities to get tough.
He said: "It will come because there will be global pressure as there has been in other places such as Switzerland."

Lee Dotson, a member of an O'Donnell Heights gang engaged in a vicious, weeks-long turf war.

Lee Dotson, a member of an O'Donnell Heights gang engaged in a vicious, weeks-long turf war.But the bullet hit his 16-year-old girlfriend, Estefany Gonzalez. Dotson, the only eyewitness to the crime, refused to name her killer.Yesterday Juan Hernandez, the man prosecutors believe killed the former Patterson High School student, entered an Alford plea - an acknowledgment that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict but not an admission of guilt - to second-degree murder and handgun charges. He made the plea as part of a deal with prosecutors for a five-year prison sentence.Hernandez's defense attorney, William Purpura, told Circuit Judge John Addison Howard that a five-year sentence normally would not be "anywhere close to appropriate" for murder. But in this case, because of the lack of witnesses, it was, he said.Estefany Gonzalez Dotson "refused to cooperate in any way with the Baltimore City Police Department," prosecutor Lisa Phelps said. Phelps said the state's second witness did not see the crime but overheard Dotson say that "Juan" had "shot at" him.The second witness was subsequently shot with the same gun used to kill Gonzalez. He is paralyzed from the waist down."The state had difficult evidentiary issues, but if they overcame those, my client faced life in prison," Purpura said.Phelps said that in March 2007 a violent turf war broke out after members of a gang called the Untamed Gorillas beat up a member of the Toone Street Bangers.Prosecutors say the Toone Street gang retaliated, with Hernandez attempting to kill Dotson, a member of the Untamed Gorillas, as he walked through a nearly empty public housing project on the far eastern edge of the city.The bullet struck Gonzalez in the shoulder and then went into her chest. Dotson left her there. A passer-by discovered her in a parking lot in the 6200 block of Toone Street.
Yesterday, Gonzalez's guardian, Gennette Washington, wept as she told Howard that she forgave Hernandez but couldn't forgive herself for allowing Gonzalez to move to Baltimore to live with her father a few months before her death.
"I'm so lost without her," Washington said. "She wasn't my child, but it felt as though she was my baby."Washington's mother, Elba Ortega, took Gonzalez in when she was an infant. When Ortega died in 2001, Washington took guardianship of the 10-year-old. But she wanted to leave her school in Newark, Del., so Washington allowed her to move in with her father on Eastern Avenue, where he had moved after Ortega's death.By the time of the shooting, Gonzalez had been expelled from Patterson High School and was staying with a girlfriend in O'Donnell Heights."She's not my biological sister," Washington said. "My mother raised her, but I wanted to give her the life my mother couldn't give us. A family. A home. I wanted her to be able to grow up ... to graduate from high school, to go to prom, to do things I never got to do. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time.""Maybe he'll change his life," Washington added. "Everyone should get a second chance."Hernandez declined to say anything to the judge, but he was escorted out of the courtroom in tears.Hernandez's five-year sentence will be served without parole, followed by five years of probation. If he violates probation, he could face up to 25 years in prison.

John Gizzi is serving five-and-a-half-years for violent offences must repay over £2m

£875,000 offer was being considered by an enforcement receiver handling John Gizzi's affairs magistrates in Prestatyn, Denbighshire, were told. Gizzi is serving five-and-a-half-years for violent offences. The criminal builder must repay over £2m of his criminal gains by December, or face an extra seven years in prison.
Gizzi was said by police to have "ruled" Rhyl through threats and intimidations, and he was jailed in 2006 for causing grievous bodily harm and other offences.
His former home, Bronwylfa Hall in St Asaph, was valued at £1.8m in March 2007, when a crown court ordered that he repay £2.6m. It has been reduced twice already. On Wednesday, the court heard he had repaid £318,000 and still owed £2.3m. His solicitor said Gizzi's Rolex watch was to be sold at a specialist auction and his parents had put in an offer for four personalised number plates, originally valued at £45,000. A decision on giving the receiver more time to sell some of the assets was adjourned until December by District Judge Andrew Shaw.


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