John Gizzi's parents were yesterday ordered to hand over a four-house development and a large sum of money to receivers.

John Gizzi's parents were yesterday ordered to hand over a four-house development and a large sum of money to receivers.At a hearing at Mold yesterday, Judge John Rogers QC ruled Gizzi had made two “tainted gifts” to his parents in a bid to reduce the amount of money he would have to hand over from his criminal lifestyle.
The building firm J and T Gizzi Builders Ltd, run by his parents John and Ruth Gizzi, must immediately hand over a building site at Gors Road in Towyn near Rhyl. On it are four new houses, valued at £333,000.The company was also ordered to pay the receiver £154,260, the defendant’s half share in a building on the West Parade at Rhyl where he planned to run a nightclub, but which was later sold on.
Gizzi, who is due to be released from prison on December 19, owned half that building, formerly known as The Corner Cafe, but his share from the sale was given to his parents, the judge ruled.
Prosecutor Andrew Thomas QC said it was not suggested for one moment that the parents were involved in their son’s criminality and it was accepted they had run their businesses in a legitimate and successful way for many years.But between 2001 and 2005 they had become involved in financial dealings with their son at a time, it was now known, that he was involved in crime.Simon Killeen, for the parents, argued the defendant simply held legal title of the property in West Parade, holding his share in trust for his father.But the judge said he was satisfied the defendant had paid his share in cash from his various enterprises at the time and it was a “tainted gift”.The Gors Road development was transferred to Gizzi’s parents’ company for £45,000 following his arrest in 2005. It represented a much under-valued, tainted gift, the prosecution alleged.Mr Killeen argued it was his clients’ building company which had done all the construction work to the tune of £270,000 to the date of transfer from the son’s name, and a further £200,000 was spent to get the properties ready afterwards.
But the judge said that he was satisfied that it had been the defendant’s project which he had financed himself until his arrest and it had then been transferred to his parents’ firm as another “tainted gift.”THE receiver appointed to handle Gizzi’s financial affairs is selling his remaining un-sold property, including his former luxury home at Bronwylfa Hall, St Asaph, three of his four cherished number plates, his Rolex watch and other items.His barrister Duncan Bould told the court yesterday the hall was due to be sold this week.In March last year, Judge Rogers formally found Gizzi had a criminal lifestyle and that the benefit from his criminal conduct was £6.89m.
The judge ruled that if he did not pay then he would have to serve an additional eight years.
The court heard Gizzi had agreed at an early stage that he would have to surrender all his assets, and included in the original figures were £1.75m for his home at Bronwylfa Hall at St Asaph, the proceeds from his other mortgaged properties, his £16,500 Rolex watch, and £45,000 for his four cherished number plates JDG one to four.His Bentley Continental was valued at £116,000, his Range Rover at £50,000 and his Mercedes at £5,000.Now Gizzi will return to Mold Crown Court before his release date so Mr Bould can argue that the original order against him made under The Proceeds of Crime should be substantially reduced in view of the down turn in the economy.

William D'Elia, 62, became the latest alleged American Mafia leader to turn government informant

William D'Elia, 62, became the latest alleged American Mafia leader to turn government informant as he was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison for witness tampering and conspiracy to launder drug money. With time already served, he could be freed in seven years — or less.Federal prosecutors agreed to recommend a reduction in D'Elia's sentence if he continues to provide substantial assistance to the Dauphin County district attorney's office, which has charged Mount Airy Resort Casino owner Louis DeNaples with perjury.DeNaples allegedly lied to state gambling regulators about his friendship with D'Elia, whom authorities once called a "major player" in organized crime. DeNaples says he is innocent and accuses D'Elia of lying to authorities in a bid to shave time off his prison sentence.
In court Monday, the silver-haired, 6-foot-3 D'Elia stood before U.S. District Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie and apologized for his crimes."At this time, I would like to accept responsibility for my actions and apologize to your honor," said D'Elia, who had requested a sentence of seven years. "I hope that I will soon be able to resume my life with my family in a positive, honorable and productive way and care for them once more."Though he spent more than 20 years under law enforcement surveillance, D'Elia was never charged with a crime until May 2006, when prosecutors accused him of laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds through the creation of bogus companies, loans and consulting agreements.Five months later, prosecutors charged him with trying to arrange the murder of a co-conspirator, Frank Pavlico III, after D'Elia found out that Pavlico was cooperating with the government.Pavlico had worn a wire and recorded conversations with D'Elia. He pleaded guilty to money laundering and was sentenced in January to 10 months in federal prison.D'Elia, of Hughestown, was originally charged with 18 counts, including solicitation of murder. Prosecutors dropped most of the charges when D'Elia pleaded guilty last March.

Ihab Shoukri collapsed while watching the Ricky Hatton boxing match at a house in the Grainon Way area of Newtownabbey on Saturday night

post mortem examination is due to be carried out today on the body of loyalist boss Ihab Shoukri. Police are understood to be investigating a drugs link after the ousted UDA brigadier collapsed while watching the Ricky Hatton boxing match at a house in the Grainon Way area of Newtownabbey on Saturday night. Last night a spokeswoman for the PSNI confirmed they were investigating the sudden death of a 34-year-old man but stressed there were no suspicious circumstances. Rumours circulating in the Rathcoole estate, where Shoukri had been living since his release from jail, suggest he may have suffered some sort of seizure – possibly an epileptic fit. In 2004, Ihab Shoukri collapsed in a bookmaker’s shop while out on bail for charges of membership of the UFF and UDA. He suffered a fractured cheek and required treatment at hospital. In an appeal for a change to his bail conditions that would allow him to live with his girlfriend’s mother, Shoukri’s lawyer told Belfast High court there were fears he could suffer from “epilepsy of something of that nature”. The appeal was refused but the judge said Shoukri could make arrangements for someone to move into his Bangor home. Originally from the Westland estate in north Belfast, Ihab Shoukri was one of three boys born to an Egyptian father who married a local woman. In June he was jailed for 15 months after pleading guilty to membership of the UDA. He was among five men arrested when police stormed a paramilitary show of strength dress rehearsal at the Alexandra Bar in March 2006. However there was public outrage when the infamous loyalist who played a prominent role in a vicious terrorist campaign and racketeering operation was released just weeks into the sentence because of the length of time spent on remand. Nationalist politicians were critical of the sentencing after the judge in the case said Shoukri only escaped a longer jail term because of progress in the peace process. Ihab and his brother Andre were expelled from the UDA two years ago after establishing a breakaway faction which was involved in widespread criminality including drug dealing in south east Antrim. Andre Shoukri (30) first became known after being charged with the manslaughter of a young tennis star in Belfast in 1996. He punched Gareth Parker – a Catholic – who fell on the road and was hit by a car. Shoukri pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault and received an eight-month jail sentence.
He became known as the ‘bookies brigadier’ after he squandered more than £1m of the UDA’s funds gambling on horses. Last November Ihab Shoukri took over leadership of the group when his brother was jailed for nine years for blackmail and intimidation and money laundering. In August he was back in court in Belfast after pleading guilty to a string of motoring offenses including driving while disqualified and having no insurance. A police source once said of the gang led by the Shoukris: “They thought they were above the law... You could say they thought they were untouchable.” Journalist Jim McDowell, whose book ‘Mummy’s Boys’ documents the life and crimes of both brothers, described the Shoukris as “para-mafia gangsters”.
“The relationship between myself and the Shoukris is well documented. It was fairly antagonistic relationship and I have received a number of threats which the police have brought to my home that I believe them to have come from the Shoukris or their mob. But I am not gloating over anybody death. “Both Andre and Ihab were already ostracised from the UDA. Andre is behind bars and is therefore ineffective even in aligning himself with the breakaway east Antrim faction that they established.
“Drugs were endemic and if it was a drugs overdose that took the life of Ihab Shourki then he died from his own excess.” Baroness May Blood, who has spent decades working in loyalist communities, said: “There possibly could be a turf war out of it (Ihab’s death). I hope it does not lead to violence in our streets.”

Dave Courtney claims to have been shot, stabbed, had his nose bitten off, and even had to kill to save his own life.

Dave Courtney will always go one better. Born in Bermondsey, London, Dave claims to have been shot, stabbed, had his nose bitten off, and even had to kill to save his own life. Not to mention pointing the finger at unarmed police officers for engineering a car crash on a Kent Motorway in an attempt to kill him. All of this is of little surprise when you consider the company that he has kept in the past, with hard men such as Lenny McLean, Joey Pyle, Roy Shaw, Bruce Reynolds, Charlie Richardson and Charlie Breaker amongst his list of friends. Dave was keen to stress that every word which he uttered there could be taken as gospel, as a syllable out of place could lead to his very sticky end. Perhaps this was why he talked very little of his dealings with the infamous Kray twins, of whose history every member of the audience was intrigued to learn more about, except that the brothers were both homosexual, and not only Ronnie as was commonly perceived. It was through his intervention at Ronnie’s funeral in 1995, when Dave was asked to take care of security that he first appeared in the public eye. Having spent many years flexing his muscles as a specialist debt collector, when he developed a reputation for using a knuckle duster to do the business and became known as ‘The Yellow Pages of the Underworld’; and later owner of a high profile security firm, Dave was the perfect candidate for the job. Plus, with an entourage of over 80 heavies at his heels, the funeral was guaranteed to go off without a hitch. Dave talked briefly of his career as an Author, which has resulted in the publication of six booksHe said that he would like to continue his writing, whilst also launching his acting career if given the option. Dave played a cameo role in the gangster movie ‘The Krays’, and has starred in numerous documentaries, including a three-part documentary series called ‘Dave Courtney’s Underworld’. Dave has also directed, produced and starred opposite Bill Murray in his own film, ‘Hell To Pay’, which premiered at the Cannes film festival. He went on to reveal that he was in fact, the inspiration behind Vinnie Jones’s character, Big Chris, in blockbuster movie, ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ which has created great animosity between the two. Through gritted teeth Dave said that he is by no means jealous of Vinnie despite his having made millions out of pretending to be him (gulp). Finally, Dave gave the audience an insight into the life of his long-standing enemy, “Mad” Frankie Fraser. Tearing down the aura surrounding the criminal icon in seconds, Dave said that Fraser made himself famous through association with the notorious Richardson gang, and later for having served 42 years in over 20 different prisons in the UK. These he said were for a variety of different crimes, for which Fraser kept getting caught because he was a worthless criminal.

UN gang leader Clay Roueche has been held in segregation near Seattle since his arrest last May on international drug-trafficking charges

UN gang leader Clay Roueche has been held in segregation near Seattle since his arrest last May on international drug-trafficking charges. His lawyer wants a judge to allow the Fraser Valley native into the general prison population pending his trial in January.
Roueche starting buying his cocaine directly from South America after more than 200 kilos and $750,000 cash were seized in the U.S., according to court documents filed Wednesday.In one bugged telephone call, Roueche agreed to "test the water" of a new cocaine route by smuggling more than 50 kilos and said he had a "bunch in Venezuela I've already paid for," the documents say.But the U.S. Attorney says Roueche is far too dangerous and could retaliate against other inmates who are cooperating with the government in the criminal case."Because of Roueche's leadership position in the UN gang, his previous use of another inmate's phone, his gang's violent tendencies toward those who might testify against other gang members and the necessity to separate him from a number of cooperators and co-defendants in the general population, administrators at the Federal Detention Centre made the decision to house the defendant at the Special Housing Unit," says the U.S. Attorney's response to Roueche's motion for free-range status.A major issue is how Roueche behaved in jail when he was briefly held in Oklahoma last May before being sent to the SeaTac Federal Detention Centre, making several illegal calls or getting other inmates to do it for him, the U.S. Attorney said."Oklahoma prison officials realized that he was speaking in code on the phone so denied him phone privileges," the documents say. "At the SeaTac FDC, the defendant convinced another inmate to let him use that inmate's telephone call number."Canadian and U.S. law enforcement agencies have been following Roueche and his UN underlings since 2005 as part of a massive cross-border investigation, the documents say."Working together, the agencies have found evidence of nearly two dozen cocaine exporting trips from the U.S. into Canada and the seizure of three separate cocaine loads," the U.S. Attorney said, adding that 2,000 pounds of B.C. bud was also seized."Clay Roueche is the operational leader as well as the public face of the UN gang. ... Its operations, mostly importing and distributing marijuana, have spread east across Canada to Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal. Working in cells, the organization has become powerful and violent in Canada."The U.S. Attorney also cited information from the B.C. agency investigating the UN, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit."In 2007, after a series of shootings in Chilliwack, Roueche's vehicle was stopped and found to contain a sophisticated hidden compartment in the centre console of the passenger area. That centre console was full of handguns, including an illegal and loaded pistol, several clips from a Sig firearm and a photograph of rival gang members," the documents say.
"CFSEU has surveilled Roueche consistently for the past few years and found that he routinely has armed body guards. One associate ... was found to have a hidden compartment in his car with a loaded handgun and oversized magazines. This gun was registered to a law enforcement agency in the United States."
Roueche's application to get out of segregation has not yet been heard by a judge.The Canadian's lawyer argues that Roueche's ongoing segregation amounts to "cruel and unusual punishment.""He is housed in his cell 23 hours a day. The only time he is allowed out is for one hour each morning at 6 a.m. Other than that, my client is completely isolated, except for visitation by legal counsel or family, who reside in British Columbia, Ca

Mafia leader Mahmut Yıldırım was killed years ago, though there are many people who think he is still alive

Sacit Kayasu, a former prosecutor who was permanently disbarred, has claimed that a mafia leader known as Yeşil (Green) was killed years ago, contrary to popular belief that he is still alive.Kayasu, who was fired and disbarred after seeking the indictment of former Gen. Kenan Evren -- the leader of the Sept. 12, 1980, military coup -- asserted that Yeşil, which is the nom de guerre of famous mafia leader Mahmut Yıldırım, was killed years ago, though there are many people who think he is still alive. "I received a notice in September of 1998 that a corpse was found in western İzmir's Ödemiş district," Kayasu said. "There were nine bullet holes in the body. The eyes were gouged out. When we carried out an analysis on the dental prosthesis of the victim, we saw that it was Mahmut Yıldırım."Kayasu said Yıldırım was killed five or six days before his body was found. "His fingers and toes were skinned so as to preclude identification. On his corpse was mud from Ödemiş. I believe he was killed somewhere else but left on a roadside in Ödemiş. His murder was a professional one," he said. "There were no bullets in the corpse. They were professionally removed." He also claimed that some people don't want Yeşil's murder to be known so that they can blame him for crimes. "There are people in İzmir and Adana who are engaged in illegal acts under Yeşil's name. But Yeşil was Yıldırım, and he was killed several years ago," Kayasu said.
The former prosecutor also said Yıldırım's murder was verified by the mafia leader's close friend, whom Kayasu identified as a man from the southeastern city of Mardin. "I received several phone calls from this man. He said Yıldırım was killed after being interrogated somewhere outside of Ödemiş. He had the video cassette of his interrogation. He was to send the cassette to me, but I haven't heard from him for a long time. He may have been killed, too," Kayasu said.
He said he was not allowed to conclude the investigation into Yıldırım's death and was appointed to the public prosecutor's office in Adana. "I asked the forensics department in İzmir to carry out a DNA analysis on Yıldırım's body, but the corpse mysteriously went missing," he said. "We don't know where it is now." Kayasu stated that a recent verdict by the European Court of Human Rights has paved the path for prosecutors to file cases against generals. The court unanimously held last week that that there had been a violation of freedom of expression and of the right to appropriate punishment for Kayasu, who was removed from his job because he filed a court case against Evren, the coup leader. According to verdict, the Turkish government has to pay Kayasu 40,000 euros. "The Supreme Board of Prosecutors and Judges [HSYK] or the Ministry of Justice will not prevent prosecutors from seeking the indictment of generals. The European Court of Human Rights has prevented it," he said. "This is a plus for Turkey. Prosecutors will not be disbarred for filing cases against generals." Kayasu also said individuals, be they civilians or members of the military, should be tried if they stage coups. "Coup planners and stagers are tried around the world," he said. "Coups are crimes committed against democracy and human rights."

Yaakov Alperon, known as “Don Alperon”, said to run Tel Aviv’s third largest crime family.One of the leading figures in Israel’s mafia

Israeli ‘Mafia’ Boss Assassinated.Don Alperon was said to run Tel Aviv’s third largest crime family.One of the leading figures in Israel’s mafia-style organised crime gangs has been assassinated in a car bomb attack.
Yaakov Alperon, known as “Don Alperon”, was driving his saloon car through a northern suburb of Tel Aviv when the vehicle was torn apart by a huge blast.Two bystanders were also slightly injured in the explosion, one a 13-year-old boy waiting at a bus stop.The attack has raised concerns that an Israeli mob war could be about to spin out of control.Little was left of the car after the explosion, which was apparently set off by remote control just before midday.Don Alperon’s body was seen slumped over the steering wheel.A police spokesman said, with understatement, that the security forces were now assessing the situation to see what would develop in Tel Aviv.This is the latest and most serious attack in an Israeli mob war which some fear may once again be coming to the boil.That is worrying because of the lack of concern shown by the mobsters for civilian casualties.Anti-tank missiles, grenades and bombs have all been used in Israeli mob hits.In one failed attempt to kill a rival gang leader in 2003, three people died when a bomb explosion hit a passing bus.In another attack, a whole building was destroyed while the intended target, another mafia leader, walked away.
Don Alperon was a flamboyant figure known for dating famous and beautiful women from Israeli show-business.He was said to run Tel Aviv’s third-largest crime family.If Tel Aviv is in for another period of bloody rivalry between the city’s mafia gangs, residents will want to know if the police are capable of stopping it.The Israeli underworld is built around gangs run by the once poor sons of Middle Eastern Jewish, or Mizrahi, immigrant families: the Alperons, Abutbuls, Abergils, and others who have become household names in this country because of unflagging media attention. When Alperon was blown up, a TV crew a few blocks away was filming an episode of "The Arbitrator," a fictional series based on the nation's mafia.The largely Mizrahi crime families do most of their business in drugs, gambling, and extortion, with prostitution having been taken over by wayward immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Israeli Arabs have their own violent gangs known mainly for selling drugs and stolen weapons. Although ethnic separatism is the rule in Israeli organized crime, the lure of large, illicit profits can at times bring people of different backgrounds together.The mafia capital is Tel Aviv, but the gangs also operate in Jerusalem, Netanya, Bat Yam, Lod, and other cities, as well as in the prisons. They've gotten too big for police to control.The greatest obstacle for law enforcement is getting witnesses to testify; no wonder, since witnesses against Israeli mafia figures put their lives at risk. A couple of years ago, a prisoner due to testify against a crime boss was poisoned in his cell. A U.S.-style witness protection program is supposedly in the works to relocate such brave souls and give them new identities, but nothing has come of it.
Yaakov Alperon now joins Felix Abutbul, Yaakov Abergil, Yehezkel Aslan, Gad Plum, and other reputed Israeli mob legends who were murdered, presumably by rivals. Yet, their killers are rarely brought to justice for want of witnesses and evidence.
While the public doesn't grieve over the slain gangsters, the "collateral damage" is causing a growing outcry. The bombing of Alperon's car put a driver and schoolboy nearby in the hospital with minor injuries; in past mafia hits, innocent bystanders have been killed.After Alperon's murder, his wife, Ahuva, was on the TV news sobbing while his ex-convict brother Zalman, wearing a black yarmulke, swore that the family "was leaving revenge in God's hands." In times of crisis, Israeli mafia families typically turn to public displays of piety; a familiar scene on the evening news is of an accused gangster appearing in court in handcuffs and a yarmulke.
Yaakov Alperon came from modest beginnings. He was one of 12 children who lived with their Egyptian immigrant parents in a two-room apartment in a dusty little town near Tel Aviv. He took up boxing, then put his fists to use on the streets and, soon, in prison. He was suspected of murdering rivals in and out of jail, but police could never prove it.Alperon, his brothers, and his henchmen brawled repeatedly with rival families; he made legions of enemies. One of them most likely activated the bomb that left him sprawled dead in a blasted, burning sedan in the middle of northern Tel Aviv. Now another score waits to be settled.


Lillo Brancato Jr. 32, Brancato faces charges of second-degree murder and other crimes in the 2005 killing of police Officer Daniel Enchautegui.

Lillo Brancato Jr. 32, Brancato faces charges of second-degree murder and other crimes in the 2005 killing of police Officer Daniel Enchautegui. Jury selection for his trial begins Monday.Brancato's real-life troubles began not long after he befriended Steven Armento, a reputed low-level Genovese crime family associate banished for drug addiction, prosecutors say. Then his life went into a tailspin with a pair of drug-related arrests and the death of Enchautegui.
Brancato drove himself and Armento to the home of Enchautegui's next-door neighbor and the pair broke in to steal prescription drugs, prosecutors said. When they were confronted by Enchautegui, who was off duty, Armento shot the officer. Brancato and Armento were both wounded.Armento, 48, was convicted of first-degree murder Oct. 30 and was sentenced last week to life in prison without parole.Brancato's attorney, Joseph Tacopina, said his client's case is very different."Lillo didn't have a gun. Nor did he know anyone had a gun. Lillo was shot. Lillo wasn't burglarizing anyone's home," he said.Family and friends of Brancato have said he was a good guy with a drug problem who was in the wrong place at the wrong time."He obviously had problems he kept well hidden, but that doesn't mean he should be held accountable for the actions of the man he was with, especially if that man was under the influence," former "Sopranos" castmate Chris Tardio wrote in an e-mail.Brancato was discovered at age 15 at Jones Beach on a summer day by the casting director of "A Bronx Tale," directed by co-star De Niro.He worked consistently through his teenage years with small roles in "Crimson Tide," and "Enemy of the State," but he never became a huge star. He appeared in half a dozen episodes of "The Sopranos" as soldier Matt Bevilaqua in 2000; his character was killed off in the mob hit's second season.
Along the way, Brancato had befriended Armento while dating one of his twin daughters.In December 2005, prosecutors said, the actor and the older man decided while drinking at a strip club to break into the basement apartment in a hunt for Valium.Armento, who had a lengthy rap sheet dating to 1979 that included convictions for possession of stolen property and attempted burglary, was armed with a .357-caliber handgun.Enchautegui, who had just finished a late-night shift, heard glass breaking next door. He alerted his landlord, dialed 911 to report a possible burglary in progress, then grabbed his badge and a gun and went outside to investigate.Enchautegui shouted "Police! Don't move!" Shots were fired. Enchautegui was struck once in the chest. Armento was hit six times. Brancato, who was unarmed, was shot twice.Jurors in Armento's trial rejected prosecution arguments that he knew Enchautegui was a police officer, declining to convict him of first-degree murder of an officer. He was instead found guilty of first-degree murder while committing a felony.Brancato's attorney says he's not criminally responsible for the shooting.
"We're looking forward, after three long years, for Lillo to get his day in court," Tacopina said. "It's a tragic case, it's tragic in a lot of ways. But that doesn't mean he's behind the crime."Tardio wrote of the slain officer: "One life was already ruined. The jury will have the power to prevent that of another."

Carmine Carini is back in jail, awaiting trial in a string of robberies

Carmine Carini is back in jail, awaiting trial in a string of robberies.
Federal prosecutors say the 49-year-old Brooklyn man was free for less than a year before running into trouble.A judge ordered him held without bail Friday. He faces charges that he posed as a police officer and then barged into two homes on Staten Island demanding money and drugs, pistol whipping one startled homeowner. He is also charged with robbing an illegal gambling parlor in Brooklyn.
Carini was initially arrested in connection with one of the robberies last month. An accomplice is still at large.Carini served 23 years in prison for a mob-related killing in the 1980s. His conviction was overturned after two Mafia turncoats told investigators they had the wrong man.He was freed in May of 2007 after taking a plea bargain in which he agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter in exchange for a sentence of time served."Approximately one year after this defendant gets out of prison, where he had been for over 20 years, he turns right back to a life of crime and begins committing these robberies," Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger said Friday in court.Carini's attorney, Sanford Talkin, said his client maintains that he is innocent.

Nghia Trong Nguyen-Tran, known as Jackie Tran, did not violate the terms and conditions of his release from immigration detention.

Nghia Trong Nguyen-Tran, known as Jackie Tran, did not violate the terms and conditions of his release from immigration detention. Tran has been fighting a deportation order but was released Oct. 21 on several conditions, including a curfew between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. and a $20,000 bond. Police re-arrested Tran Oct. 28., following a probe of an early morning altercation at a party in Kensington more than two weeks ago. Cops alleged Tran violated his curfew when he was seen at the scene of the fight. Tran's friend Shaun Roberts testified police mistook him for his pal.
"There's a direct conflict in the evidence between the testimony of Const. Bertrand identifying (Jackie Tran) as the third occupant of the SUV that morning and the evidence of Shaun Roberts, who testified that he was the third occupant of the vehicle," wrote immigration officer Marc Tessler in an eight-page decision. Const. Scott Bertrand testified he was certain Tran was the man he spoke to while investigating the fight. "Despite of the confidence of the police I prefer the evidence of Mr. Roberts," wrote Tessler in his decision. Tessler indicated there's a semblance between Tran, and Roberts. He noted Bertrand identified Tran as the third man in the SUV from a very small photograph, 40 minutes after he saw Roberts. Tran's girlfriend Dawn Ngo testified she spoke with her boyfriend, who was at his mother's house, on the phone several times that night. She phoned him on a land-line starting at 8:15 p.m. to find him watching TV. Ngo testified Tran had too much to lose, including the $20,000 bonds paid by her family and friends, should he breach.
Tessler found Ngo's testimony to be credible. Tran's recent release is under the same conditions when he was freed last month. Police linked Tran, who came to Canada in 1993 and in 2004 was ordered deported to Vietnam, to a gang involved in at least eight murders after he was convicted of assault with a weapon and trafficking heroin the year before.

Kanye West was reportedly arrested, released early Friday morning (November 14) after an alleged incident involving a photographer outside a nightclub

Kanye West was reportedly arrested and released early Friday morning (November 14) after an alleged incident involving a photographer outside a nightclub in England. According to, West was arrested shortly after getting into a scuffle with a paparazzo outside the Tup Tup club in Newcastle.West, 31, was reportedly arrested at a hotel in nearby Gateshead and then released. While a police spokesperson declined to name the person involved (as is the custom in England) when reached for comment by MTV News on Friday morning, he did confirm that a 31-year-old man was “release with no further action after an alleged incident at the Tup Tup nightclub.”A rep for West had no comment on the incident when reached by MTV News Friday morning.
The London Paper blog reported that the photographer claimed he suffered a cut face and bruising after West pushed his camera into his face and shouted, “Get the f—ing camera off him.” According to TMZ, the photographer had previously made similar claims against a British soccer player, but those charges were also dropped.West, along with his road manager and bodyguard, Don Crowley, was arrested in September for getting into another altercation with a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport.West and Crowley were waiting for a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii, when they were met by a photographer and videographer, who were taking their photos. An altercation ensued, and the cameras of both paparazzi were damaged. The felony vandalism charges stemming from the incident were dropped because the property he damaged wasn’t valuable enough to warrant felony charges.

Gangland kingpin Ashton is currently serving a 22-year sentence.

Gangland kingpin Ashton was one of three men jailed for a total of more than 100 years for their part in gangland terror on Tyneside in 1998.They were caught after a two-year investigation by police who examined incidents going back to 1971.A grim picture emerged of gangland violence on Tyneside, including firearms offences, brutal assaults, drug-dealing, witness intimidation, large-scale benefit fraud and robbery.Ashton was jailed along with Robert Webber, of Stonecrop, Beacon Lough Estate, Gateshead, and Paul Steven Lyons, of Teesside.A gun battle and a bayonet attack were among Ashton and Webber’s attempts to kill former friend, Terence William Mitchell.The violence came to a head in January 1996 when Webber and Ashton, in a car, ambushed their victim as he arrived at a friend’s house.Shots were fired by Ashton and a gunfight broke out. Five loaded firearms were seized from the scene.
In 2004, he was ordered to hand over £209,000 assets made from his drug-dealing business.He was forced to sell six properties to cough up £350,000 of profits from crime, which was finally demanded by the High Court after his assets were frozen.
He is currently serving a 22-year sentence.Paul Ashton’s pensioner mother has joined him behind bars for smuggling heroin to him in jail.And now his mother Margaret Rose Ashton is also serving a sentence.It seemed like a show of motherly love when she made the trip from Tyneside to visit Ashton in York’s Full Sutton prison.But the visit by the granny was the ideal front for a heroin-smuggling racket, using her mouth to stash the class-A drug.And the 65-year-old, of Greenwood Gardens, Felling, Gateshead, has joined her son behind bars after being sentenced to 18 months in jail after admitting her crime.The pensioner was found guilty of attempting to smuggle more than six grammes of heroin into him.Ashton, of Gateshead, whose gangland empire was compared to the Kray twins, was jailed in 1998 for conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to supply class-B drugs, violent disorder and perverting the course of justice.His mother was paying a visit with her 15-year-old grandson and son-in-law when guards caught her with the drugs in May. Hull Crown Court heard two packages containing 6.22 grammes of diamorphine, with a street value of about £340, were discovered on her.She admitted bringing the package in to jail, but said she thought it contained cannabis.

Rickey Thompson convicted of crimes related to smuggling immigrants and drugs from the Bahamas to Jupiter Island was sentenced to six life terms.

Boat captain Rickey Thompson, 42, was also ordered to serve another 32 years in prison for his role in the 2006 alien smuggling and narcotics trafficking conspiracies that resulted in the deaths of three immigrants, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.The drug smuggling involved 14 kilograms of cocaine, 2 kilograms of heroin and 83 pounds of marijuana.Thompson in July was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder; three counts of alien smuggling resulting in death; 15 counts of alien smuggling placing the lives of aliens in jeopardy; six counts of narcotics trafficking; two counts of possession of firearms and one count of illegal re-entry after deportation.Federal authorities say Thompson and his co-defendant Leon Brice Johnson, who in August was sentenced to 22-years in prison, conducted in two smuggling trips in 2006 between August and December.
During each trip, the two transported a group of illegal aliens and narcotics from Freeport, Bahamas, to Jupiter Island, aboard Thompson’s 33-foot speed boat. The aliens paid fees of up to $4,000 and were assured that Thompson would drop them off on the beach or in water no higher than their knees.However, that did not happen, and Johnson and Thompson forced the immigrants off the boat at gunpoint in deep, rough waters about 100 yards from the shore of Jupiter Island, the release states.Roselyne Lubin and Alnert Charles, both of Haiti, and Nigel Warren of Jamaica drowned off Jupiter Island during those smuggling trips.
The boat had grounded at Blowing Rocks Preserve and officials found a silver-colored handgun onboard, court records stated. Near the boat, officials found a large black duffel bag with marijuana and cocaine, court records state.

Gustavo Lopez organized one of the most lucrative drug smuggling rings in the Rio Grande Valley

Gustavo Lopez organized one of the most lucrative drug smuggling rings in the Rio Grande Valley.Working under the nickname "El Licendiado," he allegedly moved hundreds of pounds of cocaine and marijuana from Mexico to Atlanta.He reportedly laundered millions of dollars in proceeds through a chain of Valley auto parts businesses.And he managed a staff of more than 40 drug mules and cash runners whose ranks reportedly included moles in at least two law enforcement agencies, according to a 10-count federal indictment issued last month in Atlanta.But even if all of that turns out to be true, his attorney maintains, Lopez was nothing more than middle management."One man's manager is another man's flunky," lawyer Ralph Martinez said. "He may have done nothing more than echo what (his Mexican backers) were ordering."Lopez, 35, of Palmview, was arrested Oct. 29 as part of a two-year U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-led investigation targeting smuggling routes between the Valley and Atlanta.Agents have issued arrest warrants for 41 people believed to be working for him or his Mexican counterpart and childhood friend - Dimas "El Guerro" Gonzalez.Their reported accomplices include a former Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy caught with nearly $1 million in alleged drug proceeds in the outskirts of Atlanta and a yet unidentified "contact within a law enforcement agency with access to sensitive databases."In all, agents seized more than $22 million, 6,000 pounds of marijuana and 490 pounds of cocaine reportedly linked to their organization.And upon Lopez's arrest, he directed federal agents to a Pharr stash house containing more than a ton of marijuana."This is about as serious as it gets in drug trafficking cases," said U.S. Magistrate Peter Ormsby at a detention hearing last week, where Lopez pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of conspiracy, drug smuggling and money laundering.ICE agents testified they had surveilled Lopez and Gonzalez for months and recorded hours of phone conversations in which the two men took great lengths to separate themselves from the men and women allegedly moving their drugs.The two conducted almost all of their business during face-to-face meetings in Reynosa, ICE Special Agent Lupe Sanchez said. When they did talk on the phone, they spoke in coded language.But Lopez's attorney insists that his client's sole occupation was working as an auto parts salesman."He was never found with any of those drugs or any of that money," Martinez said in court.
Federal prosecutors allege Lopez's business - GLG Collision Auto Parts - also served his purported smuggling empire. They have initiated criminal forfeiture proceedings against the storefronts in Hidalgo, Donna and Brownsville and several bank accounts linked to the organization that they say were used to launder drug proceeds.
Lopez remains in federal custody pending a trial in Atlanta. A date has not yet been set.And many of the men who could shed more light on the allegations against him - including Gonzalez and former sheriff's deputy Emmanuel Sanchez - are believed to be hiding in Mexico to avoid arrest, federal authorities said.But just by what their investigation has uncovered thus far, federal authorities believe they have disrupted a major narcotics pipeline."Just a seizure of $23 million alone suggests a huge amount of drugs," said Agent Sanchez, who is not related to the former deputy. "And that's just what we found."

Perry Wharrie (48), from Loughton, Essex, is wanted by the British authorities for disappearing after being released on licence from a life sentence

Perry Wharrie (48), from Loughton, Essex, is wanted by the British authorities for disappearing after being released on licence from a life sentence for murder in 2005. The case was listed for hearing today, but lawyers for Wharrie applied for an adjournment to reply to affidavits about the British prison system. Two members of Hertfordshire Constabulary flew to the Dublin to observe Wharrie oppose the warrant.
Security was tight at the Four Courts today as Wharrie arrived under armed escort.
Mr Justice Michael Peart said it was unsatisfactory and inconvenient to the court that a party could seek an adjournment on the day of a hearing. “Two officers from the UK who have travelled over for the case have not been told this application was going to be made,” he said. Wharrie was jailed for life in 1989 for the murder of an off-duty policeman in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, who tried to disarm a robber during a raid on a bank van. He was one of a three-man gang who had held up a security van outside a bank. Off-duty police officer Francis Mason attempted to tackle one of the armed men but was fatally shot in the back by a second. Wharrie was released in April 2005 and a year later disappeared, breaching the terms of his parole by leaving a specific address in Essex and leaving the jurisdiction.
Wharrie vanished until July 4th last year, when he and three other English men were arrested in west Cork over the €440 million euro drug smuggling operation.
Their boat, laden with drugs, capsized in rough seas after one of the gang had filled the two high-powered petrol outboard motors with diesel. After a 10-week trial Wharrie and two other men were given a total of 85 years in prison over the drugs operation. Wharrie and Martin Wanden (45) of no fixed address, were both jailed for 30 years while Joe Daly (41), of Bexley, Kent, was given a 25-year prison sentence. A fourth man, Gerard Hagan (24), of Liverpool, pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in November.

Gerard Dundon, a senior member of the McCarthy-Dundon gang behind bars.

Gardai have arrested one of the main figures in one of Limerick's feuding criminal gangs on foot or a committal warrant.Gerard Dundon, a senior member of the McCarthy-Dundon gang, was being sought to serve a 10-month prison sentence for more than 30 road traffic offences.Reports this morning say he turned himself in to Gardai last night and is expected to be questioned about the murder of Shane Geoghegan last weekend.Detectives believe the McCarthy-Dundon gang was responsible for the fatal shooting of the Garryowen rugby player, who was apparently mistaken for a top drug dealer aligned to the rival Keane gang.

Dave Sterling, alias 'Machine Man', was shot dead when he allegedly pointed a firearm at the police

Gang leader, identified as Dave Sterling, alias 'Machine Man', was shot dead when he allegedly pointed a firearm at the police along Collie Smith Drive in Trench Town.
Among the 53 detained in the early morning raids by the police on Thursday was a man who the police said was earlier this week 'installed' as head of the Rat Bat gang, less than a week after the death of Machine Man.Police did not release the name of the reputed gang leader but said he was behind a series of criminal activities in Kingston, including murder, rape and extortion.The detainees, which include two women, were still being processed late yesterday afternoon.
Yesterday, the placard-bearing demonstrators accused the police of targeting their communities, even as a group of officers kept watch from the opposite side of the road."Them a terrorise we and we not warring with anybody," a lanky youngster said. "Machine Man take care of we; is him send whole heap of people pickney go school and them kill him, for what?" a bleached-out face woman asked.
"Them come lock up the people them from yesterday (Thursday) and is them same people keeping the peace in the place," said another woman, clad in a skimpy outfit as she stood at the entrance to Delacree Park.Sections of Spanish Town Road, Crescent and St Joseph Roads and Coral Lane, where the raids were carried out on
Thursday morning, have been tense since Machine Man's death last Friday.According to the police, the Rat Bat gang and men from other sections of the community located between Spanish Town and Waltham Park roads have been involved in an ongoing fight for turf.More than a dozen people have been murdered in the bloody rivalry since the start of the year, the police said.

Minoru Nozaki, who is currently being held on suspicion of robbery

Minoru Nozaki, who is currently being held on suspicion of robbery, has reportedly submitted a written confession to the Metropolitan Police Department admitting to the murder of Masaharu Tochino. The MPD suspects Nozaki, 50, a former high-ranking member of a group associated with the Yamaguchi-gumi crime syndicate, and two of his associates committed the murder. Tochino went missing after visiting a Tokyo legal office for work reasons on Sept. 7, 2006. His body was found near a mountain path in a Japanese cypress forest in Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Oct. 1 that year. The MPD had been investigating the matter as a case of abandonment of a body.

Police officer, Jorge H. Arbaje-Diaz, 30, and two other men, Felix Rodriguez and Alfredo Antonio Acosta, were added as defendants

Jorge H. Arbaje-Diaz, 30, and two other men, Felix Rodriguez and Alfredo Antonio Acosta, were added as defendants to an indictment that charged that a “violent robbery crew” carried out more than 100 armed robberies of drug traffickers over a five-year period and took more than 750 kilograms of cocaine and $4 million.
The indictment adds the names of Officer Arbaje-Diaz and the two others to an indictment originally unsealed on May 6. With the indictment unsealed on Friday, 13 people have now been charged in the case. Eleven of those, including Officer Arbaje-Diaz, have been arraigned and have pleaded not guilty. Two will be arraigned next week.The group operated between May 2003 and August 2008 in at least six states, including New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, prosecutors charged. They said the group used torture and death threats to get information from the drug dealers.
Officer Arbaje-Diaz used his position to gain access to the victims’ homes, where he and other defendants handcuffed them at gunpoint and threatened to arrest them if they did not say where their drugs and money were stored, according to a statement from the United States attorney’s office. Officer Arbaje-Diaz, 30, took part in robberies that netted thousands of dollars and multiple kilograms of cocaine, heroin and marijuana valued at $200,000, the statement said. On at least one occasion, the officer, a three-year veteran assigned to transit duties in the Bronx, wore his uniform and carried his badge, weapon and handcuffs, the statement said. The new indictment charges Officer Arbaje-Diaz, Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Acosta with conspiracy to violate the Hobbs Act, which outlaws the obstruction of commerce “by robbery or extortion”; possession of and conspiracy to distribute cocaine; and firearms charges. If convicted on all counts, they would face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.At his arraignment on Friday, Officer Arbaje-Diaz was ordered held without bail, and his next court appearance was set for Dec. 15, said Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the United States attorney’s office. The officer’s lawyer, Gregory Cooper, was not immediately available for comment. The police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, called Officer Arbaje-Diaz’s alleged actions “despicable” and “the highest form of betrayal.”“It is a huge disappointment, to say the least, to the department,” Mr. Kelly said in a news conference. He said the department would examine the background checks that were done before Officer Arbaje-Diaz joined the force. He has been suspended without pay.


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