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Archive for October 22nd, 2009

Crime History:The Fall of “Pretty Boy” Floyd

Pretty Boy Floyd/fbi photo

Pretty Boy Floyd/fbi photo

From the FBI Website
Two cars traveled down a country road towards the Conkle farm, two miles south of a small town named Clarkson on the eastern edge of Ohio. It was 4:10 on the afternoon of October 22, 1934, and history was about to unfold.

In one car were four Bureau agents, led by Chicago Special Agent in Charge Melvin Purvis. In the other were four local law enforcement officers, headed by East Liverpool Chief of Police Hugh McDermott.

The group was searching for Charles Arthur Floyd-known far and wide as “Pretty Boy,” a nickname he hated and refused to answer to, preferring “Choc”-and they quickly realized they’d found him. Wearing a navy blue suit, Floyd jumped from a car he was riding in and bolted across a rolling field, pistol in hand.

Within minutes, Floyd would breathe his last.

Read more »

More Than 1,0000 FBI Agents and LAPD Cops Go After Dozens of Violent South LA Gang Members

south-la-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More than 1,000 FBI and LA police officers executed dozens of arrest and search warrants Thursday in a move to take down a violent South LA gang known as “Rollin’ 40s Neighborhood Crips”, authorities said.

Some gang members were hauled in in pajamas, according to the LA Times.

In all, 74 members were charged with crimes in state or federal court. More specifically, the feds indicted 29 gang members for crimes that included drug trafficking, conspiracy and firarms violation. Forty five suspected members face state charges.

Authorities said the gang operates primarily in a three-square mile area of South LA and has been known to be involved in crimes including murder, narcotics and robberies.

The FBI and police began operations around 5 a.m., and by 9:15 a.m., 46 people were arrested, the LA Times reported.

Read the Press Release

Press Release

74 MEMBERS OF ROLLIN’ 40’S CRIPS VIOLENT STREET GANG CHARGED WITH FEDERAL AND STATE NARCOTICS VIOLATIONS IN OPERATION “40 OUNCES TO FREEDOM”

More than 1,000 police officers and federal agents executed dozens of arrest and search warrants this morning in a coordinated operation in which members of a violent street gang were taken into custody for their alleged roles in the widespread distribution of narcotics. The results of today’s operation were announced by George S. Cardona, Acting United States Attorney in Los Angeles; William Bratton, Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department; Keith Bolcar, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Los Angeles; and Carmen Trutanich, City Attorney in Los Angeles. The announcement of the law enforcement operation called “40 Ounces to Freedom” was made on behalf of multiple agencies that participated in the investigation to assist the FBI/LAPD task force.

Seventy-four members of the gang known as the “Rollin’ 40s Neighborhood Crips” were charged in 23 federal indictments and 45 state warrants for their alleged roles in a narcotics trafficking conspiracy that operated within a three-square-mile area of Los Angeles. The federal indictments that were unsealed this morning charge 29 gang members with crimes that include conspiracy, possession with the intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”) and methamphetamine, and firearms violations. Forty-five additional members of the gang are named in state charges filed in Los Angeles Superior Court for their roles in the illegal drug distribution operation. Many of the defendants at the federal and state level were arrested this morning; however several defendants were already in custody on both related and unrelated charges. Several subjects of this operation are still being sought by law enforcement, including six federal defendants and 20 state defendants.

The FBI/LAPD task force initiated an investigation in 2008 to address gang-related crime and persistent violence fueled by narcotics trafficking being reported in the city of Los Angeles. Using statistics, including offenses reported to the police, and further analysis, the task force identified the Rollin’ 40s Neighborhood Crips territory as among the most violent in the city, and focused on the “shotcallers” who control the criminal activity in the area.

The Rollin’ 40’s Neighborhood Crips is a violent Crips gang that operates primarily in a three-square-mile area of South Los Angeles, an area which falls under the jurisdiction of the LAPD’s Southwest Division. The Rollin’ 40s have established strong ties to other gangs under the “Neighborhood Crips” umbrella, as well as other Crips gangs in the local neighborhood. The Los Angeles Police Department has identified this gang as one of the 10 most violent gangs in the city of Los Angeles.

The Rollin’ 40s are organized into four loosely affiliated cliques that control their particular neighborhood area. Its members are known to be involved in a variety of crimes, including murder, assault, robberies, narcotics and firearms violations. Each clique is controlled by a shotcaller who determines the overall strategy relative to the criminal activity within the clique.

Prior to the charges announced today, this investigation resulted in 51 felony arrests and 35 misdemeanor arrests, separate from those individuals sought today, including members of the Rollin’ 40s gang and members of other gangs. Among those arrested were active parolees and felony probationers. In addition to substantial quantities of narcotics, task force members seized several handguns, rifles and a large amount of cash during this investigation. During today’s operation, narcotics were seized, as well as approximately 10 weapons.

The Los Angeles County City Attorney’s Office has brought parallel civil actions as part of this investigation, including five nuisance abatement lawsuits against six separate properties being used by gang members to conduct criminal activity, including drug transactions and illegal weapon storage. For each abatement, the City Attorney’s office will seek an injunction against the owner ordering various improvements, orders to stay away from gang members named as defendants in the lawsuits, civil penalties and additional fees. In addition to the five lawsuits, the City Attorney’s Office is notifying property owners that, by law, tenants conducting illegal drug activity must be evicted. A permanent injunction was filed against the gang in 2008.

Based on federal sentencing laws, the mandatory minimum sentence each federal defendant faces is five years in prison. Eleven of the federal defendants face mandatory minimum sentences of 10 years in prison. If convicted of the charges, several federal defendants face between 20 years to life in prison. Federal defendants arrested today will make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles this afternoon.

This case was investigated by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department, in coordination with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. Multiple agencies participated in today’s operation, including the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Department of Transportation, the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Los Angeles City Fire Department – EMS Services, the Los Angeles County Probation Department, and the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services.

The federal defendants will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. The District Attorney in Los Angeles will prosecute defendants charged by the state.

The FBI/LAPD Task Force is one of many FBI Safe Streets Task Forces throughout the United States, funded for the purpose of assisting local police in identifying and addressing violent crime in America.

Media Contacts:

FBI: Laura Eimiller: 310 996-3343 or

Lourdes Arocho (Spanish speaker): 310 996-4402

LAPD Media Relations: 213 485-3586

U. S. Attorney’s Office Public Affairs: Thom Mrozek: 213 894-6947

Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office: Nick Velasquez: 213-507-4434

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office: 213 974-3525

Multi-Agency Crackdown on Mexican Cartels Leads to About 1,200 Arrests

These are good signs that the U.S. is pushing back against the cartels. But this certainly doesn’t mean the problem’s solved. There’s a lot more folks that need to be rounded up.

Drugs Seized in Operation/dea photo

Drugs Seized in Operation/dea photo

By Josh Meyer
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — In a series of recent raids throughout the United States, federal authorities have arrested nearly 1,200 people who they say are connected to one of Mexico’s most aggressively expanding and deadly drug trafficking cartels, known as La Familia Michoacana, law enforcement officials told The Times’ Washington bureau.

At least 300 of the arrests occurred today and Wednesday in California, Texas, Georgia and numerous other U.S. locations where the crime syndicate has set up bases to engage in drug trafficking, extortion and other crimes, authorities said.

The crackdown, dubbed “Project Coronado,” was described by one knowledgeable source as the largest single strike in the United States against the Mexican cartels, based on a multi-agency investigation that lasted nearly 3 1/2 years. The source said authorities seized huge amounts of drug, money and evidence that can be used to go after more senior members of La Familia.

For Full Story

Baltimore Fed Lawsuit and Fed Bust Point to Some Grave Concerns About State Prison Guards’ Ties to Gangs

A federal lawsuit and a bust by the feds are shining some light on the links between prison guards and gangs in Maryland. It’s very unsettling.  Baltimore City Paper investigative reporter Van Smith takes an in depth look at the situation.

jail

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper
BALTIMORE — In 2008, 31-year-old prison inmate Tashma McFadden filed suit against 23-year-old correctional officer Antonia Allison.

On Oct. 9, that suit survived Allison’s attempt to have it dismissed. McFadden, who is seeking $800,000 in damages, claims Allison is a member of the Bloods gang and arranged for his stabbing and beating while in pre-trial detention in 2006 at the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC).

Court documents in the case reveal that since at least 2006, prison authorities have been aware that correctional officers in Baltimore’s prison facilities were suspected of being gang members or having gang ties.

The issue first emerged publicly in April, when 24 alleged members of the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF) prison gang, including three correctional officers, were indicted in federal court (“Black-Booked,” Feature, Aug. 5 ). U.S. District Court Judge William Quarles is presiding over both the BGF criminal case and McFadden’s civil case.

For Full Story

Minn. Female Assist. Police Chief Could Become First Openly Gay U.S. Marshal

Sharon Lubinski has been looked upon as a pioneer in law enforcement, a field filled with people that have not always been receptive to alternative life styles.

marshals

By PATRICK CONDON
Associated Press Writer
MINNEAPOLIS — As a little-known Minneapolis police sergeant, Sharon Lubinski made headlines when she declared she was a lesbian on the front pages of the city’s largest newspaper – a bold move that other gay officers say inspired them to come out, too.

More than a decade later, Lubinski could become the first openly gay U.S. marshal after President Barack Obama nominated the 57-year-old assistant police chief to one of the country’s top law enforcement jobs last week.

Though some gay rights activists have criticized the nomination as nothing more than a symbolic gesture from a president they say has lagged behind on key gay issues, others note the move is a step in the right direction toward ending a culture of discrimination.

For Full Story

International Crime Boss Added to FBI Top Ten Most Wanted List

semion-mogilvich

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Semion Mogilevich, an international crime boss and Ukrainian businessman suspected of contract murder, weapons and drug trafficking, high-end corporate fraud and extortion, joins Osama bin Laden on the elite FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List.

The FBI said Mogilevich is suspected of being involved in a multi-million dollar scheme to “defraud investors in the stock of YBM Magnex International, a company he controlled-which had its world headquarters just outside Philadelphia-that was supposed to manufacture magnets but instead bilked investors out of $150 million.”

“The FBI doesn’t have the jurisdiction to charge him with other crimes taking place solely in other countries,” FBI Special Agent Peter Kowenhoven said in a statement, “but open-source reporting shows him to be involved in weapons trafficking, contract murders, extortion, drug trafficking, and prostitution on an international scale.”

“Victims don’t mean anything to him,” he said. “And what makes him so dangerous is that he operates without borders. Here’s a guy who managed to defraud investors out of $150 million without ever stepping foot in the Philadelphia area.”

Mogilevich is one of three new people who were added this week to the Top Ten Most Wanted List to fill vacancies, the result of some captured fugitives.

Boston FBI Calls Terror Suspect Inept But Serious Plotter Whose Plans Included Attacks on Malls