Sunday, 5 August 2012

Alleged bikies arrested

POLICE have charged three men including an alleged senior outlaw motorcycle gang member as a result of investigation codenamed Strike Force Coomalie. Police believe the three men aged 23-25, travelled from Tamworth to Cessnock on August 3 for a drug deal with a fourth man. With the help of Maitland and Wyong Police, all four were arrested in the car park of a fast food restaurant in Cessnock and taken to Cessnock Police Station. The 24-year-old man was allegedly found carrying methylamphetamine and cash, although police allege they found more methylamphetamine and a rifle at his Daruka home after a search. Investigators also searched at the home of a 46-year-old Gorokan man, who police allege is a senior member of the Commancheros bikie gang, where they found and seized methylamphetamine and cash. The 23, 24 and 46 year old men were charged with a range of offences including supply prohibited drug, deal proceeds of crime and firearms offences and refused bail to appear in Maitland Local Court. The 25-year-old man was released without charge pending further investigations.


Monday, 11 June 2012

Man stranded in desert builds motorcycle out of his broken car

Citroen 2CV motorcycleAccording to Merriam-Webster, ingenuity can be defined as "skill or cleverness in devising or combining" or "cleverness or aptness of design or contrivance." We'd say that's an apt description of a Frenchman named Emile who reportedly found himself stranded in the deserts of Northwest Africa after breaking a frame rail and a suspension swingarm underneath his Citroën 2CV.


What to do? Why, disassemble the broken hulk and build yourself a motorcycle from its pile of parts, of course! As the story goes, Emile was able to use the inventive machine to escape the desert, though not before convincing the local authorities that he wasn't an insurgent and paying a fine for importing a non-conforming vehicle...

Since Emile was the only soul in the area, nobody has been able to confirm the veracity of the events that led to the little French runabout's conversion into a makeshift motorcycle. That said, judging by the images you can see here (apparently from the March 2003 issue of 2CV Magazine), this Citroën-bred two-wheeler does indeed exist, and it was definitely fashioned from parts scavenged from an old 2CV.

Emile, wherever you are, we take our hats off to your real-life MacGyver skills, sir.


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Shootings not my fault, says ex-bikie Wissam Amer

THE man believed by police to be the central figure in a bikie feud has declared he is not at fault for Sydney's spate of drive-by shootings and says they are the "act of a coward". Wissam Amer, 28, broke his silence to The Sunday Telegraph to say he was not at the heart of the current shootings between the Hells Angels and Nomads outlaw motorcycle gangs. Last week The Sunday Telegraph revealed police believe Amer was the source of the conflict after he defected from the Hells Angels to the rival Nomads. Speaking through his lawyer Maggie Sten, the former bikie said unequivocally that he was no longer part of any gang and disputed police claims he's responsible for the feud. "The conflict between the Hells Angels and the Nomads is dead and buried - it has been for a while," Mr Amer said through his lawyer. "It has got nothing to do with me." Mr Amer was previously a member of the Bandidos, but left the group during a large scale "patch-over" of its members to the Hells Angels more than a year ago. Police believe he then tried to leave the Hells Angels to join the Nomads and burned bridges along the way - however he disputes this. Ms Sten said Mr Amer now wants to clear the record and confirm he is not part of any gang and is attempting to get on with a "normal life". What is not in dispute, however, is that Mr Amer was the target of two drive-by shootings over the past seven months. One was a drive-by at a Merrylands Oporto, two days after he was released on bail; the other happened three days later at his previous address at Canley Vale. Police believe both attacks were committed by Hells Angels, however Mr Amer said he could not prove this and neither could police. Mr Amer is unsure who the perpetrators were. "It could have been anybody - it's a dirty game, it could have been someone that I'd had a run-in with years ago," Ms Sten said on Mr Amer's behalf. "I live my life with no fear - I live now as a normal person." What Mr Amer was sure about was that drive-by shootings on himself or anyone else was a despicable act. "It's as weak as scratching somebody's car - anybody who drives a car and attacks you at 1am is a coward," he said through Ms Sten. "Especially when you know the people you're looking for are not there," referring to cases where the alleged targets were in jail. He could not explain the forces behind the current wave of shootings, but agreed with a police theory - revealed by The Sunday Telegraph - that a third party is trying to reignite animosities between the groups. Authorities brokered a peace agreement between the two gangs in January, but that faltered on April 16 when shots were fired at a home and car in Pemulwuy. "We believe it's other people trying to stir the pot," Ms Sten said for Mr Amer. "This is the perfect time for people to attack because they know the Hells Angels and Nomads were in a previous conflict which no longer exists." Police Strike Force Kinnarra has locked up 13 people in relation to the nine shootings that happened last month. Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis said the conflict was firmly between the two gangs.


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Shooting a 'warning' from rival bikie gang

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


Jury hears grisly details about murder scene

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


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

NSW police smash Lone Wolf bikie chapter


POLICE say they've dismantled the NSW north coast headquarters of the Lone Wolf bikie gang, with the arrest of 10 alleged members and associates. Officers raided 11 homes this morning in Coffs Harbour, Toormina, Sawtell and Middle Boambee, as well as the Lone Wolf clubhouse on Hulberts St in Toormina. Ten alleged bikie members were arrested in the dawn raids and are expected to be charged with a range of offences. It follows an extensive investigation by detectives from Strike Force Oriental, set up in January last year, to investigate the alleged criminal activity involving Lone Wolf members and associates. Coffs/Clarence Local Area Commander Mark Holahan says Wednesday's raids and arrests are evidence of the commitment of police to target the illegal activities of outlaw motorcycle gangs. "Strike Force Oriental, together with recent operations, is proof we are committed to reducing violent crime and the supply of illegal drugs in the community," Superintendent Holahan said in a statement today. "By ultimately shutting down this criminal syndicate we have put a significant dent in the ongoing supply of illegal drugs in our region."


Monday, 12 March 2012

Michel Smith, a Quebec member of the Hells Angels wanted se 2009 in connection to 22 murder cases, has been arrested by authorities in Panama

 

Michel Smith, a Quebec member of the Hells Angels wanted se 2009 in connection to 22 murder cases, has been arrested by authorities in Panama, according to media reports. However, officials from the Surete du Quebec and RCMP were not immediately able to confirm or deny the reports. According to the RCMP, Smith is a member of the South Chapter of the Hells Angels and goes by the nickname "L'animal." He has been on the run since 2009 in connection with a police crackdown on the Hells Angels biker gang. He faces 29 criminal charges - including 22 murder charges. Citing Panamanian local media and Agence France-Presse, the QMI news agency reported that Smith, 49, had been detained by police Friday evening in the Playa Coronado region, on the Pacific Ocean coast of the Central American nation. A Canada-wide warrant issued by the RCMP said he was being sought for murder, gangsterism, drug trafficking and related conspiracy charges. His Central American connections were known to authorities. "Smith is likely to visit Panama and speaks French," the warrant stated. Const. Erique Gasse of the RCMP's C Division in Montreal said he had relayed a request for official word on Smith's status to RCMP officials in Ottawa, who did not immediately return a phone call. Asked for confirmation of the arrest report, Surete du Quebec spokesperson Sgt. Christine Coulombe said: "I have no information on this." Smith is "considered to be violent," according to the warrant. Aside from "L'animal," his aliases have included Mike Smith-Lajoie, Michel Lajoie-Smit and Michel Lajoie. The warrant describes Smith as 172 centimetres tall and weighing 95 kilograms, with brown hair and blue eyes.


Alleged Quebec Hells Angels member arrested in Panama

 

Quebec fugitive -- and alleged member of the Hells Angels -- who is wanted on murder charges has been arrested in Panama, local media reports say. Michel Smith, 49, who was linked to Quebec's deadly biker war in the 1990s, was reportedly arrested Friday. Smith -- whose nickname is "animal" -- has been on the run since 2009. He was taken into custody by local police in the tourist area of Playa Coronado on the Pacific Ocean coast, according to local reports. The reports said he had been under surveillance for about two months before his arrest. Smith faces 29 charges, including 22 counts of murder. Police in Canada had not confirmed the news as late Sunday night. Smith is to be extradited back to Canada, police officials in Panama said in a news release. Smith has long been alleged to be among the top men affiliated with the Hells Angels when it was at war with the Rock Machine biker gang in the 1990s and early 2000s. The gang war killed more than 150 people. While most of the victims were members of the rival gangs and their affiliates, two prison guards and an 11-year old boy -- a bystander -- also died. An RCMP warrant describes Smith as 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 210 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Wheels of Soul outlaw motorcycle gang member pleads guilty

 

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


Saturday, 3 March 2012

No corpse on Hells Angels site

 

The Amsterdam police announced on Friday that an intensive search of the former Hells Angels clubhouse was launched after receiving a tip that a body had been buried there. No human remains were found at the site, but police did discover the cadavers of 12 dogs and one cat. On Wednesday, the site on H.J.E. Wenckebachweg was closed off with black screens. Police officers and personnel from the Netherlands Forensic Institute used heavy machinery to dig up and search the site. The police refused to say what they were looking for until today. The clubhouse of the Amsterdam chapter of the Hells Angels was torn down a month ago after being home to the motorcycle club for more than 40 years. The city council wants to redevelop the area and forced the Hells Angels to leave via an expropriation procedure. The Angels were awarded 400,000 euros in damages, but have been unable to find a new home. Most local councils in the greater Amsterdam area are wary of offering the Angels a new home as they are generally considered to be a criminal organisation.


Monday, 27 February 2012

Hells Angel arrested in killing of fellow gang member

 

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


Monday, 6 February 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The South Australian Government will launch harsh new laws to crack down on outlaw motorcycle gangs

The South Australian Government will launch harsh new laws to crack down on outlaw motorcycle gangs in what Premier Jay Weatherill said was the state's top law-and-order priority.

The laws, designed to skirt a High Court ruling that overturned earlier anti-bikie legislation, follow the killing of 22-year-old Giovanni Focarelli and the wounding of his father, Vincenzo, in Adelaide on Monday night.

Focarelli snr had been associated with the Comancheros bikie club, but after leading the gang for a short period is reported to have been dumped and targeted by other members. Four attempts have been made on his life, and his tattoo parlour has been attacked several times, including a raid in which Giovanni was stabbed.

Father and son had recently been closely involved with the New BoyZ street gang, which threatened revenge for Giovanni Focarelli's death in the Prospect, Adelaide, shooting. A message on the New BoyZ Facebook site warned: "No stone will go left unturned."

Focarelli was shot four times, and was yesterday scheduled to undergo surgery at Royal Adelaide Hospital, including the removal of a bullet lodged in his skull.


THE Royal Adelaide Hospital -- where a gunned-down bikie-gang leader is under police guard -- was in lockdown for 90 minutes last night because of a bomb threat.

The security scare was sparked by a small package sent to wounded Comanchero Vincenzo Focarelli. The package was later cleared by the police bomb squad.

The incident highlighted the level of fear in the state amid ongoing bikie-related violence as public debate continued yesterday on community safety.

There have been a string of bikie gang-related shootings over the past two months, and on Sunday night Mr Focarelli survived the fourth attempt on his life while his son, Giovanni Focarelli, 22, was murdered.

A police spokesman last night said "the current political and community climate" demanded any threat to public safety in relation to bikies was top priority and no chances were being taken, no matter how remote the risk.


Saturday, 28 January 2012

Alleged biker hitman dies in cell

 

The man police believe killed the gangster who helped set up the now-defunct Halifax Hells Angels is dead.   The body of Jeffrey Albert Lynds was discovered in a Montreal jail cell, where the 43-year-old was on trial for a 2010 double murder in Quebec.   It is believed that the former member of the elite Hells Angels group the Nomads, committed suicide.   Police would not confirm the identity, but Sgt. Claude Denis of the Surete du Quebec told thechronicleherald.ca that a 43-year old man was found dead in his cell at Riviere des Prairies Detention Centre.   "He was found without life inside the (cell). We do not have any violence mark on the victim."   Sources told the Montreal Gazette the deceased is Lynds.   Denis said  police were called to Riviere des Pariries detention centre just after noon Friday. An autopsy is scheduled on Monday.   A former member of the Halifax Hells Angels, Lynds was named in court documents as the killer of Randy Mersereau whose body was discovered in a wooded lot in North River, outside Truro, in Dec. 2010.   He was never charged in Mersereau's death.   After cofounding the Halifax chapter of the outlaw biker gang, Mersereau left in the 1990s to set up his own drug operation.   He disappeared Oct. 31,1999, not long after a bomb exploded at a used-car dealership in Bible Hill that injured several people. Mersereau is believed to have been the target of that Sept. 23 bombing.   A year later, in Sept. 2000, Randy's brother, Kirk Mersereau, 48, and Kirk's common-law wife Nancy Christensen, 47, were also shot dead in their rural Hants County home.   In their book, The Road to Hell: How the Biker Gangs are Conquering Canada, journalists William Marsden and Julian Sher write that Kirk put a $50,000 bounty on the head of anyone connected to his brother's murder.   Police have charged Dean David Whynott of Truro Heights and Gerald MacCabe of Salmon River both with being an accessory after the fact in Randy Mersereau's murder.   Court documents filed in connection with MacCabe's case point to Lynds as Randy's killer. News reports in 2010 said Lynds admitted shooting Randy five times with a handgun provided by the Hells Angels.   Lynd's nephew, 34-year-old Curtis Blair Lynds, was charged with accessory after the fact in Randy Mersereau's death, and first-degree murder in the deaths of Kirk Mersereau and Christensen.   Leslie Douglas Greenwood, 41, is also accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of the couple.   Curtis Lynds and Greenwood are in jail, awaiting court appearances.   Michael John Lawrence, 37, from Windsor has already pleaded guilty - and is serving a life sentence - for shooting the couple, as well as Charles Maddison, a man who offered him a drive and whose truck he stole before committing the double homicide.   Jeffrey Lynds was picked up during a series of raids that targeted the Halifax Hells Angels chapter in 2001 and was eventually sentenced to three years in jail.   In Montreal, Lynds was accused in the shooting deaths of two men, Kirk Murray and Anthony Onesi, as they sat inside a car at a McDonald's parking lot in Jan. 2010. He was also facing charges in the Feb. 2010 shooting of another Quebec man, Mark Stewart.


Friday, 27 January 2012

The girlfriend who could finally endure no more

 

There is an old proverb which says: "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." Tammy Kingdon's folly was to return to Troy Mercanti on more than a dozen occasions during their tumultuous 16-year relationship. The final result was that she became, at least as far as the underworld is concerned, a dog - the derogatory term reserved for anyone who gives information to police. It was the prolonged brutality of Mr Mercanti's alleged attack on January 6 which turned the unerringly loyal Ms Kingdon against him. Her lawyers told the Perth District Court last year, after Ms Kingdon was convicted of stealing, that she was a victim of regular physical abuse and had once had her teeth knocked out and an eye socket broken. But she stayed with him anyway. This time it was different. She wasn't beaten because of a drunken quip or because of an argument. Police sources say Mr Mercanti believed Ms Kingdon had been cheating on him with another man. She was allegedly beaten mercilessly and degraded. Mr Mercanti went to Queensland to meet fellow Finks bikies after the incident, while Ms Kingdon stewed about it. Last Friday, she took the two boys she bore to Mr Mercanti and disappeared into police protection. When Mr Mercanti discovered Ms Kingdon and the children were missing, he went on a massive bender which ended when he was arrested on Sunday morning while trying to smash through the sliding glass door of a Duncraig home. He is in custody at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, under armed guard, and requires dialysis after his kidneys shut down. In the long-term, he needs a kidney transplant. But the next move is Ms Kingdon's. She has given police a statement in which she alleges Mr Mercanti bashed her three times in five years, including the attack on January 6. Will she continue with the claim or will she return to him as she has so many times before? The ramifications of her decision are dire. Bikies don't appreciate those who testify against them. And they rarely forgive and forget. Making matters worse for Ms Kingdon is that she has no visible means of support. Her assets consist of two properties - in Jurien Bay and Balga. Both are heavily mortgaged and the Balga property is the headquarters of the Finks. It's difficult to see them paying the rent while she is having their WA leader prosecuted. Just why Ms Kingdon continually returned to an allegedly abusive partner is something that a psychiatrist examined last year as part of the sentencing process after she was convicted of stealing. Dr Sam Febbo's report has been kept private, but the details of Ms Kingdon's life were revealed by her lawyer Stephen Shirrefs in court. Born on July 16, 1976, Tammy Cherie Kingdon grew up in Denmark, but her parents Norman and Faye separated when she was five. Ms Kingdon went to live with her father on a farm about 20km out of town and the District Court was told she was beaten and tormented by her stepmother. She had panic attacks at school because she feared going home. Ms Kingdon finished her schooling to Year 10 in Denmark before completing Year 11 at Albany. She then left to live on the Abrolhos Islands, near Geraldton, where she had a two-year relationship with a crayfisherman. When the relationship ended, Ms Kingdon, aged 18, moved to Perth and worked at the Wanneroo Tavern before moving to Kalgoorlie. There she met Mr Mercanti, then a nominee of the Coffin Cheaters bikie gang. They have been on-and-off ever since she was 19 and now have two children, aged 11 and 10. For a time, Ms Kingdon worked as a stripper, but these days she rarely works. Though she had said during last year's court case that she was leaving him and moving down south to be with family, she did not leave and has since travelled to the Gold Coast and Adelaide to be with Mr Mercanti. Few believe she could now return to Mr Mercanti after making the complaint to police. One said: "He's not the type to let sleeping dogs lie."


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Fury erupts over bikie 'war' claims

 

A GOLD Coast nightclub owner says it's time to clear the air on "sensationalised" reports of bikie gang violence in Surfers Paradise. But the club owner blasted police for allowing bikies to parade through the Glitter Strip wearing gang patches. "The police at Surfers Paradise should hang their heads in shame as they are the ones unable to control these sorts of incidents," the club owner said. "They don't see trouble walk past the station at 2.30am on a weekend with gang members wearing full colours?


Troy Mercanti To Have Bedside Hearing

 

Finks motorcycle gang member Troy Mercanti will have a bedside court hearing this afternoon due to his "significantly deteriorating" mental and physical state, a Perth court was told. Mr Mercanti was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning, charged with aggravated assault and trespassing following a home invasion in Duncraig. He has also been charged with assault charges in relation to another incident earlier this month, and police are yet to lay charges over the alleged discovery of drugs and ammunition in his home. Advertisement: Story continues below Mr Mercanti has been under police guard in a Perth hospital since his arrest in the early hours of Sunday, and was suffering from significant physical trauma which may include amphetamine abuse, the court heard on Monday. His lawyer Laurie Levy said today that Mr Mercanti's condition had deteriorated significantly, and he successfully applied for a bedside hearing this afternoon. Mr Mercanti was arrested and taken to hospital after police were called to the home of a Duncraig couple at 4.15am on Sunday, where they allegedly found Mr Mercanti bashing on the door. Police from the organised crime squad then carried out a raid on his home - less than one kilometre away - where it is alleged drugs and ammunition were found. Mr Mercanti was charged with one count of acts intended to cause bodily harm, three aggravated assaults occasioning bodily harm and one aggravated indecent assault. Those charges related to separate incidents which took place earlier this month. He was also charged with trespassing and damage, relating to the incident on Sunday. Mr Mercanti was due to have a bedside hearing on Monday, but the matter was postponed to this morning due to his ailing health. The court was told on Monday that Mr Mercanti had "significant physical trauma" but there was not any issues regarding his mental capacity at the moment. Mr Levy today argued that Mr Mercanti's current custody condition prevented him access from family and friends who could advise over the types of medical treatment that he needed. Police prosecutor Sergeant Andy Elliott did not oppose holding a bedside hearing so the gang crime detectives could be put back on the street and Serco guards put in their place at the hospital. Mr Mercanti's medical records have not yet been presented before the courts. He was not expected to apply for bail, however he will be read the full list of charges in relation to the incident on Sunday. Mr Mercanti was released from prison in August last year after he was jailed for causing grievous bodily harm in 2007. His defection to the Finks in 2008 sparked a feud between the two outlaw motorcycle gangs who have since engaged in violent clashes, including a brawl at the Kwinana Motorplex in 2010 in which a Finks member lost three fingers.


Hell's Lovers gang infiltrated in Denver

 

Investigators raided a Hell's Lovers motorcycle gang in Denver Friday night. Many of the motorcycle gang suspects are now in jail awaiting a court hearing Monday. The arrests come after a near three-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. ATF agents raided the home and arrested at least 15 gang members for "violent crime." "We are not talking about traditional gang violence with younger youth that are from 17 to 24, which make up the bulk of gang violence. We are talking about...grandfathers even; some of them have different professions," says Terrance Roberts, a gang expert. The gang was formed in Chicago in the late 1960's, and has now spread to Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee and Texas. Agents say the gang has been associated with cocaine trafficking and use of weapons and explosives.


Monday, 16 January 2012

Accused bikie killer arrives back in Sydney

 

The man accused of shooting a bikie dead in Sydney's south earlier this month was flown back to the city last night from Western Australia. Tarek Abdallah was escorted on a flight from Perth after his arrest in the city's north last week. The 25-year-old spent last night in a police cell and is due to face Central Local Court today charged with murder and shooting with intent to murder. Lone Wolf bikie Neal Todorovski was fatally shot in the head outside his Sans Souci apartment on January 4. Police say the 37-year-old and two of his friends had confronted and bashed Abdallah. Abdallah allegedly broke free and fired at his attackers before escaping in a black four-wheel drive. Mr Todorovski's friends, 32-year-old John Leger and 23-year-old Matthew Lewis have each been charged with affray and concealing an indictable offence over their refusal to cooperate with police. Leger is also charged with possessing a prohibited weapon.


Sunday, 15 January 2012

Sydney police investigate drive-by shooting

 

Police say they are yet to determine the exact target of a drive-by shooting in Sydney's south-west, the eighth shooting since last Monday. Officers responded to reports of a shooting on Pelman Avenue in Greenacre about 4.20am today. A search of the area found six spent cartridges on the street but no damage to property. Acting Deputy Commissioner Alan Clarke says it is too early to say whether the incident is linked to recent shootings. "As we've been unable to establish a victim at this point in time, we'll go on the ballistic evidence before us and continue to conduct a canvas in that area and see if we can get to the bottom of this shooting," he said. He says the recent shootings seem to be targeting criminal networks. "Our biggest concern is the threat and the risk there is to innocent members of the public," he said. "As we've indicated continuously, this appears to be an intimidation tactic between criminal networks, and our fear is it is indicative of guns on the street. "We certainly wouldn't want an innocent member of the public to be caught up in one of these situations." Hannin Adra, who lives nearby, says she is worried. "I've got six grandkids - do you like your grandkids to grow up in this atmosphere?" she said. "It is a worry - if it's not a worry, you're not human." Neighbour Mounzer Adra says he heard five shots on the usually quiet street. "I woke up about 4.15, I hear the shooting, I wake up, I say, 'oh my God, what's happening? I thought it was a firecracker," he said. "It's not good feeling unsafe in this area, where the shooting is; something should be done about it." There have now been eight shootings in Sydney's west and south-west since last Monday night, and police have set up Operation Spartan to investigate the spate. There were two shootings in Yennora and Lakemba on Thursday night and one at Yagoona on Friday morning; no-one was injured in either of those incidents. Premier Barry O'Farrell has said he will consider new laws to compel people to speak to police about the shootings, but dismissed a call from the Opposition to recall Parliament to pass new anti-bikie legislation.


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Sydney's western suburbs came under siege again on Thursday about 12.30am (AEDT) when shots rang out in Bankstown

 

Police have declared war on the gangs responsible for four Sydney shootings in as many days. And any would-be vigilantes and copycats have also been warned to butt out. Sydney's western suburbs came under siege again on Thursday about 12.30am (AEDT) when shots rang out in Bankstown Witnesses told police they saw a man wielding a rifle in a neighbourhood where a bullet hit a bedroom window in a home. A woman and her four children, aged between two months and 10, were in the room but no one was injured. Acting Commissioner Nick Kaldas labelled as cowards the people responsible for a string of shootings since Monday. "A lot of the conflicts that occur between these criminal groups is drug-related, unfortunately," Mr Kaldas told reporters on Thursday. "It's a combination of many ethnic-based groups as well as criminal types." Police launched Operation Spartan on Thursday and will deploy extra resources to the affected suburbs from the Public Order and Riot Squad, Dog Squad, Gangs Squad and the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad. Gangs Squad head Arthur Katsogiannis said the nature of the crimes was keeping vital information from getting to police. "Our frustration as investigators and police officers on the front line is the lack of assistance we're getting from both the victims and the witnesses," Superintendent Katsogiannis said at the same media conference. Police also warned would-be vigilantes and others to stay away. "One thing I hope that doesn't occur is any sort of copycat attraction," Mr Kaldas said. "Others may feel they want to take the law into their own hands. And my advice to those people is all you'll simply do is turn yourself from a victim into an offender." Mr Kaldas denied suggestions that gun crime was on the increase and said the incidents since Monday were a "spike" in shooting crimes. Around 2am (AEDT) on Wednesday the occupants of two cars were involved in a gun battle in Greenfield Park, in western Sydney. On Monday night, two drive-by attacks occurred in Auburn and Arncliffe, in Sydney's west and south respectively. Around 25 people were inside the two homes when the properties were sprayed with up to 35 bullets. Police are confident they will make arrests over some of the shootings. Asked if the shootings were all related, Mr Kaldas replied, "I have to say the bulk of them are not." NSW opposition emergency spokesman Nathan Rees said tweaking tough anti-bikie laws would be one way to help put an end to "gang warfare". As premier in the former Labor government, Mr Rees gave the Supreme Court powers to outlaw bikie gangs and prevent members from contacting each other. But the Crimes (Criminal Organisation Control) Act was struck out in June 2011 after Sydney Hells Angel Derek Wainohu challenged it in the High Court. The National Coalition for Gun Control has called on NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and the government to strengthen gun control laws. Police seized 6155 guns in the 2010/11 financial year and have seized 3663 guns in the first half of the current financial year. Most guns used in crimes are stolen from legitimate sources.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Turf war feared as Gypsy Joker bikies descend on Brisbane hotel

 

ONE of Australia's most notorious bikie gangs is poised to expand its presence in Queensland, prompting fears of a turf war. But Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson says the public will be warned first if there's real danger of conflict. The Gypsy Jokers are this week expected to gather at an inner-city Brisbane hotel, catching the attention of police. The fears follow a spate of bikie violence and a subsequent police crackdown resulting in more arrests and almost 40 people being banned from Surfers Paradise's party precinct.


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Biker Killing Was a Mistake

 

Chatting peacefully on the floor of a Nevada casino, a senior Hells Angels leader and a 27-year veteran of the rival Vagos motorcycle gang thought they had negotiated a truce between competing members who'd been itching for a fight at a weekend long biker festival. "Everything is going to be all right," the Vagos member recalls his rival telling him. "He said, 'I'm getting too old for this.' And I said, 'I'm getting too old for this too.'" An hour later, a brawl erupted and a shootout ensued, killing one of the highest-ranking Hells Angels in the country and wounding two Vagos members. More violence has followed the melee at the hotel-casino in Sparks on Sept. 23, but the longtime Vagos member told a grand jury in Reno earlier this month that the deadly gun battle was not part of some assassination plot or formal declaration of war. Rather, he testified under the condition of confidentiality that it was the result of the unauthorized behavior of a drunken, fellow Vagos — a loud-mouthed, loose cannon nicknamed "Jabbers" who provoked the fight that led to the fatal shooting. "Jabbers has a big mouth. He's always had a big mouth," said the witness, who described himself as being in the "higher echelon'" of Vagos leadership "before this event." Jabbers, whose real name is Gary Stuart Rudnick, was the vice president of the Vagos Los Angeles chapter but since has been kicked out of the club, according to the confidential witness. He's one of three men indicted on murder charges in the killing of Jeffrey "Jethro'" Pettigrew, the late president of the Hells Angels San Jose chapter. Rudnick had refused to back down even after national Vagos officers were summoned and talks with Hells Angels' leaders had calmed the volatile situation shortly after 10 p.m., the grand jury witness said. "This was diffused by national," he said. "The national (leaders) went down there and talked to them. Everything was worked out, there was no problems." But about an hour later, Rudnick again was taunting Pettigrew, who the witness said "in the Hells Angels world is one of the most important guys in the United States." Finally, he said Pettigrew had enough and punched Rudnick in the face, touching off a series of fights that led to the gunfire. "All hell broke loose," the witness testified. "Just bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam." Another Vagos, Ernesto Gonzalez, is accused of shooting Pettigrew four times in the back and is being held without bail on an open murder charge. Rudnick and Cesar Villagrana, a Hells Angel member accused of shooting two Vagos that night, face second-degree murder charges for their role in the fracas. "There were so many shots, shots going off through this whole melee," the witness said. "I'm surprised a citizen didn't get shot because anyone could have walked around the corner or walked out of the bathroom and got shot." The 278-page transcript entered into the court record earlier this week offers a look at the mayhem in the jam-packed Nugget hotel-casino shortly before midnight on Sept. 23 — much of it captured on the casino's 448 security cameras. Investigators later retrieved dozens of shell casings and bullets — one lodged in a slot machine, others in bar stools, a card table and a metal poker chip holder.


Sydney gunman targets family home

 

mother and her two sons have narrowly escaped injury when their home was sprayed with bullets in Sydney's west. The family and another woman were inside the property in Nash Street, Penrith, when it was targeted by a gunman just after midnight on Thursday. Two garage doors had eleven bullet holes and an Audi sedan was badly damaged by gunshots.


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Hells Angels members Robert Thomas and Norm Cocks, appeared in courtroom 67 at the Vancouver Law Courts Monday for a first appearance on a second-degree murder charge.

All seven, including Hells Angels members Robert Thomas and Norm Cocks, appeared in courtroom 67 at the Vancouver Law Courts Monday for a first appearance  on a second-degree murder charge.

Thomas and Cocks remain in custody, while the others – Cocks dad Robert, brothers Daniel and Matthew McRae, Thomas Vaughan and Anson Schell – are out on bail.

Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie said the decision to move the case to the Lower Mainland was made “given the number of the accused, the number of counsel involved and the demands the case would place on court resources in Kelowna.”

“The Crown perspective is that the matter should proceed in Vancouver.  As a result, the Crown filed the Direct Indictment with the Supreme Court in Vancouver,” he said.

There is a ban on publication on evidence and submissions in the case.

The trial won’t get underway until at least January 2013.


Murder trial begins for two Hells Angels, five others

 

two full-patch Hells Angels, made their first appearance in a Vancouver courtroom Monday for the June beating death of Kelowna resident Dain Phillips. The men - Hells Angels members Robert Thomas and Norm Cocks - as well as Cocks' father Robert, Anson Schell, Thomas Vaughan and brothers Daniel and Matthew McRae were charged with second-degree murder two weeks after the fatal assault on Phillips on June 12. They made their initial appearances in Kelowna Provincial Court, where five of the accused were released on bail. But Crown prosecutors have decided to proceed by way of direct indictment, meaning the case goes straight to B.C. Supreme Court without a preliminary hearing at the Provincial Court level. And prosecutors have moved the case to Vancouver, where the accused appeared Monday in a new high-security courtroom built for an unrelated gang murder case. Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie said the decision to move the case to the Lower Mainland was made "given the number of the accused, the number of counsel involved and the demands the case would place on court resources in Kelowna." There is a ban on publication of evidence and submissions in the case. Justice Arne Silverman put the matter over until Dec. 19, with a tentative start date for the eight-month trial sometime in January 2013. Thomas, 46, and Norm Cocks, 31, appeared wearing red prison garb from the North Fraser Pretrial Centre, where they remain in custody. The others - Dan McRae, 21, Matt McRae, 19, Schell, 19, Vaughan, 22 and Robert Cocks, 53 - arrived with relatives and supporters, each being directed to seats behind bulletproof Plexiglas. No one from Phillips's family attended Monday. The Vancouver Sun earlier reported that Phillips, a married father of three, tried to intervene peacefully in a dispute two of his sons were having with a pair of brothers with whom they had attended Rutland secondary. When Phillips drove to a meeting place on McCurdy Road in the early evening of June 12, he was attacked by a group of men who had arrived in two separate vehicles. He died later in hospital. Insp. Pat Fogarty, of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said after the arrests that Phillips was trying to resolve the problem when he was savagely attacked. The elder Cocks is president of a Hells Angels puppet club called the Throttle Lockers, while the four youngest accused were described by police as gang associates. The case is believed to be the first in the 28-year-history of the Hells Angels in B.C. where a club member has been charged with murder.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Police raid Perth bikie properties

 

42-year-old Rebels motorcycle gang member is one of three people being questioned by police after a search of his home in Calista, south of Perth. Police say they found a 22 calibre, self-loading handgun, cash, cannabis and a trafficable quantity of what they believe to be methamphetamine during this morning's search of the Edmund Road house. No charges have been laid at this stage. Gang Crime Squad detectives have also raided a home linked to a bikie gang in Morley this afternoon. They say they were searching for stolen motorcycles, firearms and drugs. The raids are part of a continued effort by police to disrupt the activities of motorcycle gangs.


Joseph Patrick John Lagrue handed himself in at Solihull police station in September after the brawl between members of the Hell’s Angels and Outlaws biker gangs

Joseph Lagrue

One of Birmingham’s ‘Most Wanted’ crooks is facing justice over a battle between rival bikers at the airport in which one man nearly died.

Joseph Patrick John Lagrue handed himself in at Solihull police station in September after the brawl between members of the Hell’s Angels and Outlaws biker gangs in January 2008.

Up to 30 people, some armed with hammers, machetes, knuckledusters, knives and a meat cleaver, were involved in the fight following a trip to Spain.

Families of holidaymakers were forced to dive for cover as the violence swept through the terminal.

A police source said Lagrue, 43, understood to be a member of the Outlaws, had played a “key role" in the violence.

But he was not tracked down following the incident and, in January last year, detectives named him as ‘wanted’ and added his face to their website.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said that following his arrest on September 27 he appeared before magistrates in Solihull charged with rioting.

He has pleaded guilty to the offence and will be sentenced later this month.

“Joseph Lagrue was wanted by police in connection since the investigation commenced and our efforts to track him down never ceased,” the spokesman said.

“This was a significant disturbance played out in the full glare of a busy international airport terminal.

"Families returning to Birmingham from their holidays were forced to take cover as two groups attacked each other with gratuitous violence.

“Weapons were produced and used and there were a number of injuries.

“The arrest of Joseph Lagrue brings this significant investigation to a close.”

The mob violence exploded near the arrivals hall of the airport after rival members discovered they were on the same flight from Alicante, in Spain.

Members of both gangs were met by associates, who provided them with weapons, as they arrived at the airport and began brawling in front of terrified families.

Several men were injured and one almost lost his life after suffering a serious head injury.

In July 2009, Neil Harrison, then aged 46, of Bell Green Road, Coventry; Paul Arlett, then 35, of Cradley Road, Dudley; Mark Price, then 50, of Westbury Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire; Sean Timmins, then 38, of Brewood Road in Coven, Staffordshire; Leonard Hawthorne, then 52, of Penn Road, Wolverhampton; Mark Moseley, then 46, of Orchard Rise, in Birmingham, and Jeremy Ball, then 46, of Plant Street, Cheadle, Staffordshire, were each jailed for six years after being convicted of rioting.

Another man, Mark Larner, then aged 47, of Tudor Road, Upper Gornal in the Black Country, fled to South Africa “with a substantial amount of money” before being sentenced. He later handed himself in to police in Bristol and was jailed in November 2009 for six years.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said Lagrue had pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody until later this month when he is due to be sentenced at Warwick Crown Court.





Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Bikie clubs call for calm calling for a halt to the spate of drive-by shootings in which more than 200 rounds of ammunition have been fired in Sydney streets this year

 

BIKIES have joined police in calling for a halt to the spate of drive-by shootings in which more than 200 rounds of ammunition have been fired in Sydney streets this year. More than 42 incidents have been recorded by police, from single shots aimed at cars to entire magazines emptied at houses full of sleeping people. While underworld groups and bikie gangs have been blamed, police are worried it is only a matter of time before an innocent person dies. Bikie club officials are carrying out their own investigations and have sent a message to the culprits: stop, it’s bad for business. ``It’s something that gets discussed at meetings and each member goes back to his club to see if there’s any truth about member involvement,’’ United Motorcycle Council’s barrister Wayne Baffsky said. ``And if there is, they will talk to these people and remind them that it makes all of them look very bad. It attracts very bad publicity.’‘ ``If we do become aware of something happening, we want it stopped.’‘ The UMC, made up of 18 motorcycle clubs, was formed in 2009 to fight now-defunct anti-bikie legislation and has since acted as the mouthpiece for Australian outlaw bikers.


Thursday, 3 November 2011

An alleged high-ranking member of the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) has been charged with a revocation of parole warrant

 

An alleged high-ranking member of the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang (OMCG) has been charged with a revocation of parole warrant by officers from the Gangs Squad’s Strike Force Raptor. Part of Strike Force Raptor’s charter is to monitor members of OMCGs who have been released from Corrective Services custody with parole conditions. Their inquiries led them to a man who had allegedly fled to Queensland. About 6.30pm on Wednesday 2 November 2011, a 41-year-old man was arrested in Tugun, Queensland, by officers from the Queensland Police Service’s Task Force Hydra. He faced Southport Magistrate’s Court yesterday where he was remanded into the custody of Strike Force Raptor officers. He was subsequently taken to Tweed Heads Police Station, in northern NSW, and charged with the revocation of parole warrant. He has been transferred into Corrective Services custody. Strike Force Raptor was established by the State Crime Command’s Gangs Squad in 2009 and is a proactive, high-impact operation targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs and their alleged associated criminal enterprises.


Hells Angels held a party in Tallinn last Saturday that climaxed with a fight that broke out between a night club security guard and two Finnish citizens

 

motorcycle gang Hells Angels held a party in Tallinn last Saturday that climaxed with a fight that broke out between a night club security guard and two Finnish citizens who were later brought to trial and “essentially thrown out of the country,” as one law enforcement officer put it. Having caused a raucus at the night club, three Hells Angels members had called their friends for help, but police - who had been keeping an eye on their festivities - were standing by and preempted a further conflict, reported ETV. Police say the otherwise peaceful party, attended by Hells Angels members from six countries, is just one sign that motorcycle gangs are expanding to Estonia. A local biker club has been courting the Hells Angels to get full membership. Another local club has already gained membership and established a new headquarters for a second international organization, Bandidos, which Finnish law enforcement has dubbed the biggest organized crime ring in their country. The two groups - Hells Angels and Bandidos - cannot be allowed to come together. “Violence is relatively probable,” said Elmar Vaher, who heads the North Prefecture of the police. He recalled the Great Nordic Biker War in the 1990s, in which 11 were killed, 96 injured, and weapons such as AK-47s were used. "There is a principle that commiting a common crime can tie people more closely to one another than anything else," said Vaher. Authorities now fear new cases of prostitution and drug trafficking. Although police have searched one of these local biker clubs on several occasions, and discovered illegal drugs in one instance, the Estonian biker organizations cannot yet be labeled as criminal, they say. Estonian police have been watching the activities of biker gangs since 2005, when Finnish colleagues identified a problem. "Along with the public club activities, there are more shady dealings as well," said Vaher. "Their handwriting is generally clever. They want to show that they mean well - international associates have built kindergartens [...] But there are also hidden crimes, mainly drugs, prostitution, and serious financial crimes." While Vaher submitted that not every person with a motorcycle and a leather jacket can be considered a criminal, he said some markings - such as the Hells Angels's “1%” insignia - are a clear statement of endorsing criminal activity. Upon inquiry, however, the Estonian biker club associated with Hell Angels defended itself, saying that it is just a group of hobbyists, that every societal demographic has crime, and that criminal activity - indeed - is not a prerequisite for membership.


Monday, 31 October 2011

Hells Angels have had a rough year in California.

 

The Hells Angels have had a rough year in California. Three Northern California members have died violently in the last month amid a turf battle with a rival biker gang. And law enforcement officials on both ends of the motorcycle club's home state are pursuing and jailing members, with 26 Angels and their associates arrested recently in San Diego. The violence spilled into public view in the unlikeliest of places two weeks ago when thousands of Harley-Davidsons rolled up to a San Jose cemetery on a sunny Saturday afternoon to bury a Hells Angels leader who was gunned down weeks earlier in a Nevada casino. A Hells Angel allegedly shot and killed a fellow member at the cemetery and fled — the latest sign of the in-fighting and violence that has plagued the gang in recent months. And if the deadly gunfire were not enough, a member was plowed down by a van a week later near Oakland, the alleged the victim of road rage. While no one is predicting the demise of the notorious outlaw motorcycle club, law enforcement officials and gang experts said the Hells Angels' recent woes still stand out for an organization they describe as violent, sophisticated and disciplined with loyal-to-the-death members. "They are the heavyweight champions of the biker gang culture," said Jay Dobyns, an agent with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who infiltrated the Hells Angels in Arizona for two years beginning in 2001. "And every other biker gang wants the belt." The organization has a long history in California, dating to its founding in 1948 by returning World War II veterans in the dusty town of Fontana and including a notorious incident during a Rolling Stones show in Altamont in 1969 in which a spectator was stabbed by a Hells Angel working security. A jury later acquitted the killer, finding he acted in self defense. The U.S. Department of Justice says the Hells Angels now have as many as 2,500 members in 230 chapters in 26 countries, and are a major source of drug-trafficking. Federal, state and local police have pursued the club for decades, infiltrating it with undercover agents, prosecuting suspects with harsh charges once reserved for the Mafia and indicting members on charges ranging from drug trafficking to mortgage fraud. Yet the club flourished. They opened chapters worldwide, aggressively enforced their trademarks in court like a responsible Wall Street corporation and won high-profile acquittals and other legal battles with law enforcement. The ATF, which handles many federal biker cases, said it arrested more outlaw motorcycle gang members last year than any other since 2003. Police in Germany, Canada and elsewhere also report a surge in motorcycle gang violence, with much of it connected to the Hells Angels. The California Hells Angels' current problems are partly rooted in a battle with the Vagos, a California-based motorcycle club founded in the 1960s. The clubs have been bitter enemies dating at least back a decade to a violent 2001 confrontation at a Costa Mesa swap meet. "These groups are trying to expand their membership and dominance," said Kent Shaw, the California Attorney General's acting head of law enforcement. "There's going to be a number of clashes and it seems to have gotten worse over the last couple years. It seems to be coming to a flash point." After dozens of Vagos took over a bar in Lakeport, Calif., and rode their motorcycles up and down the main drag, officials went so far as to close the downtown to traffic on May 14. Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero said the Vagos were making a statement about controlling the region after one of its members was allegedly beaten by Hells Angels earlier in the year. So Rivero put up a road block that day after the California Highway Patrol and FBI warned that Hells Angels were traveling toward town. The Angels turned back before reaching the road block. But now the district attorney is investigating whether the sheriff violated the club members' civil rights with his plans to stop them. The sheriff is unapologetic. "It's a basic response," Rivero said. "I'm not going to tolerate gang violence in Lake County." A month later, a Vagos member and a friend were severely beaten in a casino. Four Hells Angels have been charged with assault. Three were arrested and the sheriff said they were bailed out by fellow Angel Steve Tausan, who owned a bail bonds company. A fourth is being sought. In September, the two gangs fought again. San Jose Angels leader Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew was slain during a wild shootout with rival Vagos in a Reno-area casino on Sept. 23. It was at Pettigrew's burial where more violence occurred. Two shots were fired, and Tausan, Pettigrew's good friend and high-ranking Angel, lay bleeding with a mortal wound. Police suspect fellow Angel Steve Ruiz of firing on Tausan after they argued over the casino shooting and whether enough was done to protect Pettigrew, the president of the San Jose chapter. Police are now searching for Ruiz, who reportedly was hustled into a waiting car, leaving behind his motorcycle. Investigators initially feared Ruiz was killed and went so far as to dig up Pettigrew's grave in search of a body. But now police believe he is on the run with his girlfriend. San Jose police were out in force Saturday as Tausan was laid to rest at the same cemetery where he was killed during the Oct. 15 funeral. A police spokesman said there were no reports of any disturbances or violence. The Hells Angels didn't respond to numerous phone calls and email messages sent to their clubhouses in San Jose and Santa Cruz, where Tausan served as the chapter's sergeant at arms. The Angels have always maintained they are a club of motorcycle enthusiasts who are unfairly regarded as an organized crime syndicate because of the crimes of a few members acting independently. The club participates in charity events, such as "Toys for Tots" motorcycle runs and blood drives. "When we do right, nobody remembers," the club's Web site states. "When we do wrong, nobody forgets." Karen Snell, a lawyer who won a $1.8 million settlement in 2005 after the San Jose chapter filed a lawsuit claiming illegal police searches during a murder investigation, said Pettigrew, Tausan and the others involved with the case were serious businessmen with families. "They were really responsible clients," Snell said. "In my all my interactions with them, they were always gentlemen." Now Pettigrew and Tausan are dead. "We lost our brother, our father, our son and our friend," said Karen Tausan, Steve's sister. "He left a big hole in our family and we can only hope this will come to an end now."


Sunday, 30 October 2011

Funeral held for Hells Angel killed at fellow biker's burial begins

 

The only gunfire at the funeral of Hells Angel Steve Tausan on Saturday came as a salute from the U.S. Marine honor guard. The former Marine, professional boxer and legendary biker was memorialized Saturday morning at Jubilee Christian Church before being buried at Oak Hill Memorial cemetery in San Jose -- exactly two weeks after he was shot and killed at the funeral of another member of the motorcycle club. Although about 1,000 bikers rumbled in from all quarters, there was no trouble, dissension or arrests. There were only bear hugs, tears and memories of the Santa Cruz "enforcer" who called himself Mr. 187, after the penal code for murder. On top of Sunrise Hill they buried his red-and-white casket in the Hells Angels tradition -- by shovel. Sonny Barger, a founding member of the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angel and an iconic figure in the club, tossed one of the last shovels of earth on the grave, as a police helicopter circled overhead. "They said they would have a quiet, respectful funeral and then they were going to leave town," said acting Capt. Jeff Marozick, the commander of the San Jose Police Department's special operations who had negotiated details of the funeral with the notorious biker club. "Everything they said is what they did." Amid the heavy police presence, Saturday's somber service was relatively smaller and peaceful, in sharp contrast to the huge and chaotic funeral of Jeff "Jethro" Pettigrew. That Advertisement service drew more than 3,000 bikers. Before Pettigrew could be buried, Tausan, a Santa Cruz resident, was fatally wounded during a bloody biker battle with another Hells Angel. Aside from the odd arrest of an individual member, the notorious outlaw motorcycle club has been out of the headlines in the South Bay for years. But in recent weeks, the shooting deaths of Pettigrew and Tausan, the continued search for suspect Steven Ruiz and the bizarre traffic homicide of an East Bay member have put a hot spotlight on the Hells Angel, which law enforcement views as a criminal gang. The Hells Angels have long denied this, and many members have reacted to the recent events with dismay. But the violent way Tausan died was not mentioned at his sentimental service. It was his colorful life they talked about, as an eclectic soundtrack from Tausan's favorite performers -- James Brown, Stevie Ray Vaughn and gospel singers -- reverberated through the big hall. "He was an imposing man," said the Rev. Dick Bernal during the service at Jubilee. "But underneath the muscles and the tattoos beat the heart of a man, the heart of a brother." Bikers from Tausan's home club, along with Henchmen, Devils Dolls and many others from as far away as New England and abroad, made up a long line of mourners. They paid their last respects as he lay in the casket, draped with an American flag and custom painted with the Angels' death's head with wings and the Marine Corps insignia. Tausan was clad in his leather Hells Angels vest, with a pack of Marlboros and an extended combat knife in his folded hands. Next to the casket, there was a blown-up photo of him as a young Marine, his military haircut in stark contrast to the long, silvery mane he sported when he died. Also arrayed around the casket were pictures of Tausan on his Victory motorcycle and with his friends and family. Tausan was better known than most Angels because of the charges he faced in the 1997 beating death of a man at the Pink Poodle strip club in San Jose. He was acquitted. But to the Hells Angels and others, the gregarious and intense man was bigger than life. "His love for his family and his friends in the club was undeniable," Bernal said. "If Steve loved you, you never had to guess. If he didn't love you, you never had to guess." Bernal recalled that Tausan once summoned him to his bail bondsman's office so the two of them could view a 90-minute DVD of James Brown and opera great Luciano Pavarotti performing together. Tausan turned to Bernal and said, "Wasn't that the greatest thing you've ever seen?" Bernal said he agreed, then paused for effect. "You don't disagree with Steve." That drew an appreciative laugh from the crowd.


Thursday, 27 October 2011

A LARGE crowd of Rebels Motorcycle Club members turned out at St Peter's Cathedral yesterday for the funeral of a member.

Rebels

Rebels comfort each other outside St Peter's Cathedral. Picture: Dean Martin


Dozens of motorbikes lined Pennington Tce, North Adelaide, as more than 100 people gathered for the 1.30pm service for James Sean "Pappa" Petterson.

Members of rival motorcycle clubs, including the Finks, also attended the service.

A convoy of Rebels members on motorcycles were given a police escort to the service and flanked the hearse as it left the cathedral.

Uniformed and plainclothes police kept a watchful eye over proceedings from outside


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Tens of thousands flee as floods sweep Bangkok

 

Tens of thousands of Thais are fleeing flood-threatened Bangkok after the city's Governor ordered official evacuations for the first time since the crisis began. Floodwaters bearing down on the city have killed 373 people nationwide since July, causing damage that will cost billions to repair and shutting down Bangkok's second largest airport. Satellite maps of Bangkok last night showed a city almost entirely surrounded by water.


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Police seize over $1m in fake designer handbags

 

Police are investigating the sale of over $1 million worth of fake designer handbags at a market in Sydney's west. Officers visited a stall at the Parklea markets this morning where they found almost 500 authentic-looking high-end fashion handbags that included brand names such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Burberry and Prada, as well as fake Nike footwear. Investigations then led police to a house in Stanhope Gardens where they found more bags, footwear and accessories. Two women are assisting police with inquiries and investigations are continuing. Detective Inspector Brett Guyatt says stallholders are on notice that police will take action against anyone who is selling fake goods. Detective Inspector Guyatt says the sale of fake fashion items robs legitimate businesses of millions of dollars worldwide. He says the illegal profits are diverted into other criminal enterprises.


man was stabbed while trying to stop a fight between a friend and another man in a Kings Cross nightclub.

Police are looking for this man and woman, pictured here right.

Police are looking for this man and woman, pictured here right.

Police are still searching for two people, after a man was stabbed while trying to stop a fight between a friend and another man in a Kings Cross nightclub.

Witnesses have told police that two men started arguing in the nightclub on Kellett Way early on Saturday morning and a 26-year-old man, who was a friend of one of the men, tried to intervene.

A fight broke out and the 26-year-old was stabbed in the chest, police said.





A CAR has smashed into a Tattoo parlour, then burst into flames in Sydney's south west this morning.

Firies at tattoo parlour

A vehicle exploded after smashing through the front of a Yagoona Tattoo Parlour. Picture: Bill Hearne The Daily Telegraph


It seems the vehicle was deliberately driven straight into Tattoolicious on the Hume Highway, Yagoona causing a major fire inside the shop.

The driver of the car was no longer at the scene when fire service arrived to extinguish the blaze.

Angus Zhao, 22, from Blacktown was on his way home with a friend at around 2.30am when he noticed the burning shop and stopped his car.

"My friend and I saw the whole shop on fire," he said. "It was a pretty intense fire, the flames were up to the roof."

"The whole place looked like it had been burning for a while, but it (the fire) was still really strong."


Tony Mokbel supergrass set for $1 million reward

 

THE drug dealer who dobbed in crime boss Tony Mokbel is likely to be paid Victoria's first $1 million reward. He has already escaped being charged over his prominent role in Mokbel's gang, which included helping Mokbel organise a false passport to flee Australia. But veteran underworld figure Billy Longley yesterday warned the "grass" who fingered Mokbel would have to keep looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life. "A lot of people have gone to jail because of him, including Mokbel," Mr Longley said. "Such people have long memories and will want revenge." The previous biggest amount paid out by Victoria Police was a $100,000 reward in 1991. There are nine other $1 million rewards up for grabs at present. The police informer in the Mokbel case, codenamed 3030, was a key member of Mokbel's drug syndicate, known as The Company, as well as a drug user. Fat Tony doomed by his greed for speed Fat Tony doomed by his greed for speed Herald Sun, 1 hour ago Fat Tony drops legal bid for freedom Courier Mail, 1 day ago Fight to seize Mokbel's drug millions Herald Sun, 4 Oct 2011 Prosecutors set sights on Mokbel millions Courier Mail, 4 Oct 2011 Man jailed for helping Mokbel escape Herald Sun, 5 Sep 2011 He turned on Mokbel, and his other fellow gang members, soon after Victoria Police offered the $1 million bounty to find Mokbel in April 2007. Purana gangland killing taskforce detectives persuaded 3030 to work for them inside The Company. Information provided by 3030 resulted in multiple arrests of members of The Company, including Mokbel in Greece on June 5, 2007. The informer is a significant step closer to being paid the $1 million, as Mokbel is due in court tomorrow for a pre-sentence hearing. Mokbel pleaded guilty in April to drug charges relating to his masterminding The Company while on the run in Victoria and Greece. A Victoria Police spokesman yesterday confirmed the process of deciding on the reward would begin at the end of a 28-day appeal period after Mokbel's sentencing. Supreme Court judge Justice Betty King already has described 3030's assistance to police as "invaluable". And police have paid tribute to 3030, saying he played a vital role in helping them to locate and arrest Mokbel. Apart from providing telephone numbers so police could bug phones of Company members, including Mokbel's, 3030 helped identify people in The Company's business as well as the houses, hotels and storages they were using. Information provided to Purana by 3030 enabled officers to put recording and listening devices in The Company's cars, houses and storages, as well as bug phones. He also assisted police in introducing undercover operatives into The Company. With 3030's co-operation, Purana detectives were able to find Mokbel and arrest nine of The Company gang members in Melbourne on the same day Mokbel was picked up in Greece. Raids on Victorian properties associated with The Company led to the seizure of amphetamines, cocaine, precursor chemicals used to make amphetamines, drug-making equipment valued at more than $500,000, and almost $800,000 in cash. The informer also helped police to identify properties The Company bought with drug money, which enabled their seizure. Lawyers acting for Joseph Mansour, one of The Company members convicted as a result of 3030 turning police informer, queried the lack of charges against 3030. In jailing Mansour for 10 years, Justice King said: "Your counsel referred to the fact 3030 is not charged in respect of these activities, which is not surprising, as a number of these activities that he undertook were at the behest of the police to gather evidence. "His assistance in identifying and breaking this very large conspiracy could be described as invaluable."


top bike-club enforcer nicknamed "Mr. 187'' after the state penal code number for murder was gunned down Saturday in front of stunned spectators.

 

Despite a heavy police presence at a Hells Angels funeral Saturday, a top bike-club enforcer nicknamed "Mr. 187'' after the state penal code number for murder was gunned down Saturday in front of stunned spectators. Multiple sources told this newspaper the victim was Steve Tausan, a notorious sergeant-at-arms for the Santa Cruz chapter of the club suspected of killing another biker years ago. Sources said the incident Saturday was an inter-club squabble set off when Tausan punched a fellow biker and the biker retaliated by shooting him. A photographer for this newspaper saw other Hells Angels jump the shooter. Police declined to comment, saying only that there had been a shooting at the Oak Hill Cemetery. The funeral at the cemetery was for fellow Hells Angel Jethro Pettigrew, president of the San Jose chapter of the club, who was shot in a Sparks, Nev., casino by a member of the rival Vagos club. Townsend told a reporter that shortly after Pettigrew was killed that he had received death threats. Police and Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office are now guarding the Hells Angels headquarters in San Jose, as well as other locations where bikers gather.


Hells Angels and Bandidos club members ''own nightspots in Thailand tourist centres that have become popular haunts for bikies worldwide

 

Australian bikies with dubious reputations are now infiltrating Thailand and gang members have opened businesses on Phuket, reports an Australian newspaper. Hells Angels and Bandidos club members ''own nightspots in Thailand tourist centres that have become popular haunts for bikies worldwide,'' reports the Courier-Mail newspaper, which is based in the northern Australian state of Queensland. Members of the Bandidos - who acquired four new chapters in Indonesia during ''Bandidos Bali Bike Week'' earlier this year - are looking to set up business as far afield as Japan, a Queensland police source told the newspaper. Thailand was significant as a source of chemicals for drug manufacture and trafficking and scrutiny of the travels of Gold Coast bikies' travel would show ''a lot of trips'' to the country, the officer said. ''A lot of them are looking into Thailand - it gives them the opportunity to source pharmaceuticals. Hells Angels and Bandidos have got premises in Thailand. ''Of course, the Finks [another prominent bikie club] can't be left behind and they're looking too.'' The newspaper names one bar in Patong and another on Koh Samui as having been purchased by bikies with Hells Angels connections. The newspaper report on bikie connections on Phuket and in Asia is part of a series on the activities of Australian gangs at home and overseas. It's titled 'Bikie Inc, Organised Crime on the Glitter Strip.' Some have been involved in alleged property scams on Phuket, the report says. Danish, British and Norwegian bikie gang members have also been connected to the activities of Australian gang members, the report adds. Phuket expat motorcycle riders have always distanced themselves from gang activities and drugs and drawn the distinction between bikers and ''bikies.''


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