Saturday, January 27, 2018

Mexican Police seize huge smorgasbord of drugs

Mexican police found a shipment that included 45 kg of fentanyl in a vehicle near the city of Ensenada in Baja California. Also found was 914 pounds (415 kg) of crystal meth, 88 pounds (40 kg) of cocaine and 18.5 pounds (8.4 kg) of heroin.
Ensenada is located about an hour and a half south of the border with the US state of California. The man was initially stopped because he lacked a front license plate.

In November, Mexican authorities seized 31 pounds (14 kg) of fentanyl hidden in a car on a highway between the Gulf of California and San Luis Rio Colorado.

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Friday, January 26, 2018

Mexican Drug Kingpin Quintero Navidad pleads Guilty

Quintero 'Cadete' Navidad
Major Mexican drug cartel leader Quintero Navidad admitted in San Diego federal court that he organized the transportation and distribution of large quantities of cocaine and heroin into the United States. Sajid Emilio Quintero Navidad, aka Cadete, pleaded guilty to all charges ... conspiracy to distribute controlled substances intended for importation, conspiracy to import controlled substances and conspiracy to launder.

Quintero Navidad, 36, is the cousin of fugitive Mexican drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero and an associate of high-ranking Mexican cartel leader Ismael Zambada-Garcia, aka Mayo. Quintero Navidad is believed to be one of the highest-ranking Mexican cartel leaders in the US.

Ismael Zambada García

Rafael Caro Quintero
Quintero Navidad’s guilty plea sends a clear message to other drug kingpins operating in Mexico said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman. "There is no place to hide because our federal team will work tirelessly to hunt you down to face justice in our courts”.

HA Larry Amero arrested and charged in 2012 murder plots

High profile HA Larry Amero, 40, was arrested in Ottawa and will be brought to B.C. to face conspiracy charges. Convicted hitman Dean Michael Wiwchar, 32, has also been charged with one count of murder in Sandip Duhre’s January 2012 assassination, as well as conspiracy to commit the murder of Sukhveer Dhak in November 2012. Wiwchar was recently injured in a stabbing inside federal prison.

Rabih “Robby” Alkhalil was already facing charges in the Duhre murder and has made several B.C. court appearances. Both Wiwchar and Alkhalil were convicted last year of first-degree murder for the June 2012 execution of John Raposo in Toronto’s Little Italy.

Dean Wiwchar
After the Jonathon Bacon murder, police issued repeated public warnings that anyone connected to the Dhak-Duhre group could be targeted. A few months later Duhre was shot to death at the Sheraton Wall Centre in downtown Vancouver.

The violent conflict continued and in November 2012, Dhak and Thomas Mantel were gunned down outside a Burnaby hotel.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Coast Guard seizes 47,000 pounds cocaine since November

U.S. Coast Guard boats have seized 47,000 pounds of cocaine in the Pacific since November. A massive amount of drugs was displayed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton in San Diego before it was unloaded. Officials say the drugs seized during 23 separate incidents are worth more than $721 million.

The Coast Guard has broken cocaine seizure records for the past two years, taking in more than 227 tons of cocaine during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. That represents only a fraction of the illegal sea shipments.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Police link 2017 killings of Angelo Musitano, veterinary technician

The same hit man who gunned down Hamilton mobster Angelo Musitano last year also killed a veterinary technician who was in "the wrong place at the wrong time" two months earlier in York Region. Video surveillance suggests the same man committed both crimes and that a black Honda Civic was used in both cases. The killer was described as six-foot-two and 250 pounds. Hamilton police said that Musitano, 39, was stalked by several vehicles before he was killed on May 2, 2017 in the driveway of his suburban home while his wife and three children were inside. The killers made a number of mistakes, including botching an attempt to burn a getaway vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee that had been stolen in Quebec a month earlier.

Gang activity on the rise in Vancouver

Vancouver police Chief Adam Palmer said the region hasn’t seen this level of gang violence in more than a decade. “We’ve got several groups that are at odds with each other and they are going out and killing each other,” Palmer said. He added that the rivalries mostly revolve around drugs.

Innocent bystander 15-year-old Alfred Wong died Jan. 15, two days after a brazen shooting that also killed 23-year-old Kevin Whiteside.

Kevin Whiteside, 23
In December, police announced the arrest of 34-year-old Derek Stephens. He is facing 39 firearms-related charges. Police seized guns, more than 1,200 rounds of ammunition, multiple high-capacity magazines, silencers, balaclavas, zap-straps, a Taser and handcuffs.

Earlier that month police announced a significant seizure of firearms, drugs, explosives and stolen property all related to organized crime groups. Since May there have been nine separate incidents where shots were fired that were deemed to be targeted. Last year there were a total of 31 incidents of shots fired in the city. That’s up from 26 in 2016 and 11 in 2015.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Pagan's MC still rides, wreaks havoc on Jersey Shore

Ferdinand Augello, left, and Paul Pagano.The Pagans were back in the news for the usual reasons: accusations of drug dealing, murder plots, and undercover agents and confidential informants recording them. Augello and Pagano are charged in the case of James Kauffman, who is charged with having his wife murdered in 2012 and running a drug ring out of his office.
James and April Kauffman
Dr. James Kauffman, 68, was afraid his wife would go to authorities about a drug enterprise he was helping to operate with members of the Pagan's. So he hired a hitman to kill her. Kauffman faces conspiracy charges related to the murder as well as racketeering charges tied to the alleged drug scheme. James Kauffman "solicited" Augello in the summer of 2011 to kill his wife.

Francis Mulholland who is cousins with Pagan associate Joseph Mulholland, was given a gun and a ride to the Kauffman home in the early morning hours of May 10, 2012. Mulholland then went inside the home, which had been left open for him, and shot April Kauffman twice, killing her. Francis Mulholland died of a drug overdose in October 2013.

Francis Mulholland

Italy breaks up Chinese crime ring, arrests 33

Italy ordered the arrest of 33 people for running a Chinese mafia group involved in gambling, prostitution and drugs, and which dominated the transport of Chinese goods across Europe. The group’s base was in Prato, near Florence, a hub for the textile industry where many factories are owned and run by Chinese.

Boss Naizhong Zhang, was based in Rome. He used profits from illegal activities to build a massive transport company that dominated the trucking of goods for thousands of Chinese companies. The network had members in other parts of Italy and across Europe.
Arrest warrants were issued in Rome, Milan, Padua, Paris, Madrid and Neuss, Germany. Zhang won a near-monopoly in distribution across much of Europe through threats and violence against Chinese company owners.

Charles “Chucky” Russell

Charles “Chucky” Russell was an imposing figure when the member of the Outfit’s Grand Avenue crew was in his prime. But the fearsome 68-year-old convicted killer is now suffering from terminal prostate cancer and is wasting away. On Dec. 12, Russell was freed on $4,500 bond. His lawyer told the court that he’d live in a condo owned by his girlfriend, Patricia Spilotro. Sources say she’s a relative of Anthony and Michael Spilotro, the legendary Outfit members whose double murder in 1986 was featured in the film, “Casino.”

Russell was convicted of murder in 1973 and criminal sexual assault in 1992. He faces federal gun charges after allegedly buying eight guns from an undercover agent.

Anthony Spilotro

Russell told an informant he planned to target the home of a 70-year-old lawyer who kept cash in a safe. Russell said he might put a blowtorch to the lawyer’s feet to force him to open the safe. But he worried the victim could have a heart attack and die. “Then we have a bad case” he said. He claimed over 400 robberies.

The Outfit is still reeling from the FBI’s “Family Secrets” case that led to the conviction of some of its most powerful members, including Grand Avenue crew leader Joey “The Clown” Lombardo, in 2007. In 2014, two of Russell’s Outfit associates, Paul Koroluk and Robert Panozzo Sr., were charged with racketeering.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

European cocaine pipeline key to Colombian drug traffickers

Cocaine seizures in Spain, Portugal and Ecuador illustrate the European cocaine pipeline that has become a central part of the operations of Colombian drug traffickers. The group imported cocaine in shipping containers traveling from Panama to Portugal, and were in the process of importing 355 kilograms of cocaine stashed in pineapples. In Ecuador there was a seizure of 1.45 metric tons of cocaine hidden in a shipping container of frozen fish that was set to sail to Belgium.
Today’s Colombian drug trafficking networks have been reduced to the role of wholesalers to Mexican cartels, who claim the biggest profits by controlling the movement of drugs into the US. In recent years, Colombian networks have been gradually making up for this shortfall in profits by seeking out other markets — Europe in particular. Cocaine produced in the north is often first trafficked by land or sea into Panama, and then onto Europe in shipping containers.
Cocaine produced in southern Colombia such as Putumayo, Nariño and Caquetá frequently crosses the border into Ecuador, where it is dispatched from ports, above all Guayaquil, where police seized 13.5 tons of cocaine last year. An increase in the size of shipments reaching Europe coincides with the dramatic increase in cocaine production in Colombia. In Europe, price differentials can be massive. A short hop from the Netherlands to the UK can increase profits by over 60 percent per kilogram. Attempts are being made by Colombian groups to move into intra-continental distribution. Colombian groups such as the Rastrojos and later the Urabeños have a level of armed presence in Europe, maintaining debt collection offices in Spain.

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Vincent Louis Gigante - 'The Chin'

Vincent Louis Gigante (March 29, 1928 – December 19, 2005), also known as 'the Chin', was a New York Italian-American mobster who was boss of the Genovese crime family from 1981 to 2005.

Gigante was the shooter in the failed assassination of Frank Costello in 1959. After sharing a prison cell with Boss Vito Genovese following his conviction for heroin trafficking, Gigante became a capo, overseeing his own crew of Genovese soldiers and associates that operated out of Greenwich Village. Gigante quickly rose to power during the 1960s and 1970s. By 1981 he became the Boss of the Genovese crime family.
Gigante ordered the failed murder attempt of Gambino crime family boss John Gotti in 1986.

With the arrest of Gotti and various Gambino family members in 1992, Gigante was recognized as the most powerful crime boss in the United States. Dubbed "The Enigma in the Bathrobe" or "The Oddfather", Gigante often wandered the streets of Greenwich Village in his bathrobe and slippers, mumbling incoherently to himself.

After he successfully averted prison in the late '60s by employing psychiatrists to testify to his insanity, he continued the act.
In 1997, Gigante was convicted on racketeering and conspiracy charges and sentenced to 12 years in a federal prison. Gigante retained control of the crime family and relayed orders through his son, Andrew, who would visit him in prison.

In 2005, Gigante's health declined and on December 19 he died.

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‘Pray for death’: Albanian crew kept selling fentanyl after ring member overdosed

Cops busted an Albanian heroin/fentanyl operation on Staten Island, arresting the ring’s leader, Medin Kosic, and seven others. The crew is charged with distributing heroin laced with fentanyl in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and New Jersey. Some suspects maintained “stash houses” in Brooklyn, where the heroin was stored and packaged prior to distribution.
The Kosic organization had one of its own members, Shaun Sullivan, overdose in October 2017. Thanks to naloxone he survived.

Even though Sullivan had nearly died, “members of the DTO continued to distribute heroin laced with fentanyl to others.”

HA Bar fight in France

A bar in Lausanne, France turned into an urban guerrilla zone. Balance: six wounded. The brawl involved two biker gangs: the Hells Angels and the Tunnel Runners, a group consisting mainly of policemen from the Lausanne region and La Côte.

"I went to talk to them, they answered me with insults" says a Hells Angels. "All of a sudden, there were about ten on me. Now I have 25 stitches, "says the biker. Manhandled, the man telephoned his friends. They landed in minutes. There were injuries on both sides.
Located in the Flon district, the bar is known for being a place where the "Angels of Hell" congregate. According to one source, the Tunnel Runners should not have been there wearing the jackets of a motorcycle club. "They were in the Hells territory. It's provocation."

Thursday, January 18, 2018

1,600 pounds of Cocaine found inside Pineapples

A Colombian drug smuggling ring has been busted by Spanish and Portugese police, who seized 745kg of cocaine hidden inside fresh pineapples. The Iberian police forces arresting nine members of a gang that transported the drug from South America. They said a joint operation that unfolded over several months led to the arrests and broke up an international smuggling ring led by Colombians. Also seized was 400,000 euros ($489,000) in cash.
The Iberian Peninsula is a major entry point for cocaine and other drugs to Europe, either directly from Latin America or via North and West Africa.

Vincent 'Chin' Gigante's son among five mobsters busted in union extortion racket

Vincent Esposito, 50, the child of late Genovese family boss Vincent (Chin) Gigante, was one of five mob associates busted for a long-running shakedown of local unions, according to a new federal indictment.

The mobbed-up quintet are accused of extortion and accepting illegal kickbacks, while using “threats of economic harm and potential physical violence” to keep the illegal cash flowing.
Arrested along with Esposito were Steven Arena, 60; Frank Giovinco, 50; Frank Cognetta, 42, and Vincent D’Acunto Jr., 49. Esposito, who faces 40 years in prison, entered a plea of not guilty in Manhattan Federal Court. Vincent 'Chin' Gigante was dubbed the 'Oddfather' for his long-running mental illness act to avoid prosecution. The dodge worked until a 1997 racketeering conviction, and Gigante died behind bars in 2005.