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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.

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.

Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, 53, arrived at Washoe County jail for proceedings related to the Sept. 23 shooting of Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew of the Hells Angels inside a hotel-casino

 

Vagos motorcycle gang member arrested in the slaying of a rival at a Sparks casino was transferred Monday to Reno from California to await a court appearance on a murder charge, authorities said. Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, 53, arrived at Washoe County jail for proceedings related to the Sept. 23 shooting of Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew of the Hells Angels inside a hotel-casino, Sparks police said. Pettigrew was president of the Hells Angels chapter in San Jose, Calif. The extradition of Gonzalez came after Hells Angels member Cesar Villagrana, 36, was rearrested Thursday in San Jose on an indictment charging him with murder in the case, Sparks police Detective Rocky Triplett said. Gonzalez's lawyer, David Chesnoff, wasn't immediately available for comment. Gonzalez was arrested Sept. 30 in San Francisco. Villagrana, of Gilroy, Calif., was with Pettigrew when he was shot. Two Vagos members were wounded in the casino shootout, and another was shot in the stomach the next morning by a gunman in a passing car. Triplett said Villagrana was charged with murder because he can be seen on casino security video drawing a gun and shooting at others. Villagrana was arrested the night of the shooting with a 9mm Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun that had been reported stolen in Arizona in 1998, police said. He was previously freed on $150,000 bail after being charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon illegally and discharging a firearm in a structure. Villagrana has not entered a plea on any of the charges. Richard Schonfeld, defense co-counsel, told Sparks Justice Court Judge Susan Deriso during a court appearance that Villagrana came from a stable family and had no prior felony convictions.

Four-year sentence for fatal Maple Ridge stabbing

 

A drunken argument between two men on their way to an after-hours bash at a Hells Angels clubhouse led to the fatal stabbing of one and a four-year sentence for the other. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ronald McKinnon handed Coquitlam's Andrew Leach the jail term Monday after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter for killing James William Ball on Sept. 25, 2009. Leach has already been in jail for more than two years, so McKinnon credited him with double-time and said the sentence equalled an eight-year term. McKinnon addressed Ball's family in the New Westminster courtroom before pronouncing the sentence. "I can only express the court's sympathy for their very grave loss. Nothing done today is going to lessen their burden or make things easier. I read the very poignant victim impact statements which underscore the loss and pain this offence has occasioned to these innocent victims," McKinnon said. "I doubt that I am the first person to observe that this death was completely avoidable which makes it all the more tragic." Crown prosecutor Andrew Blunt read an agreed statement of facts and played a grainy, dark video of the fatal stabbing behind a Safeway on Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge. Leach, Ball and a third man had been drinking at Club Climax in Maple Ridge until it closed at 2 a.m. They all decided to head to a nearby HA clubhouse for an after-hours party in a truck driven by the third man, Blunt explained. During the ride, Ball, 43, and Leach, now 28, began to argue. The driver pulled over behind the Safeway to relieve himself, as the conflict between the two men escalated and they got out of the truck. The Safeway video shows Leach repeatedly stabbing Ball, who is left slumped over a railing on the loading dock. The driver panicked and took off, though later returned for Leach, Blunt said. Ball was not discovered for more than three hours and later died from massive blood loss. McKinnon noted that the injuries to his neck, chest and abdomen wouldn't have been fatal if Ball had received help right away. "It seems apparent that immediate aid for Mr. Ball following his stab wounds would have saved his life," McKinnon said. Instead, Leach was dropped at his Coquitlam condo and learned the next day that Ball had died. The friend present at the crime scene ended up cooperating with police and wore a wire when he later met with Leach to get details of the stabbing. During the recorded meeting, Leach said "because he used a small knife, the wounds should not have been fatal." He explained that he had got rid of the murder weapon and burned his clothes. Leach was originally charged with second-degree murder. He pleaded guilty two months ago to manslaughter. The young father had no criminal history until the stabbing, McKinnon noted. "While one can evoke alcohol as a contributing factor, it does not excuse the crime nor does anyone suggest that it should," the judge said. "Perhaps it stands as a wake-up call to those whose consumption of alcohol tends to deprive them of reason and sense." He said he didn't know what the argument was about, "but it had to be something quite frivolous but made into a big deal because of alcohol consumption."

Attacks on Montreal lawyers lead to mistrial in cabbie murder

 

Violent intimidation tactics targeting Montreal lawyers appear to be working. A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in the case of a murdered cab driver after the defence counsel suddenly quit. Joseph La Leggia, said to be despondent over the savage beating last Friday of fellow lawyer Gilles Dore, withdrew "for medical and personal reasons," Judge Michael Stober announced in court. La Leggia had himself been badly beaten outside his home last December, the third lawyer so targeted in the past 12 months. The lawyer represented Nigel John, accused of second-degree murder in the Nov. 2009 death of taxi driver Mohammed Nehar-Belaid. The judge discharged the jury when La Leggia's co-counsel said they couldn't continue in La Leggia's absence. "This is an exceptional situation," said Crown prosecutor Helene Di Salvo. "We never expected that to happen in the middle of the trial, but there were no other options." The legal community has been on edge because of the three unsolved attacks. Last Friday lawyer Gilles Dore was beaten into a coma with a baseball bat outside his Montreal home. He represents three bikers facing trial for murder and gangsterism. Last month, the home of business litigation lawyer Thomas Kiriazi was targeted by Molotov cocktails. On Tuesday, someone left a suspicious package at the home of Montreal civil lawyer Bogdan Catanu. But fears were eased when police said the package was not meant as a threat and was simply an empty suitcase that had been dropped off by a bystander.

Son of Mom Boucher back in jail after Joliette charges

 

Francis Boucher, the son of notorious Hells Angels leader Maurice (Mom) Boucher, is back behind bars after he is alleged to have violated his statutory release on a 10-year prison sentence. The younger Boucher, known by the nickname Le Fils when he was part of a Hells Angels underling gang, was sentenced in 2002 after pleading guilty to charges filed from Operation Springtime 2001, a major police investigation into the biker gang's Nomad chapter in Montreal. Boucher, 36, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, drug trafficking and participation in a criminal organization. The charges involved crimes committed during a bloody conflict between the Hells Angels and other organized crime groups in Quebec from 1994 to 2002. Boucher was able to leave a federal penitentiary in 2009, after he reached the twothirds mark of his sentence. The Gazette has learned that he was returned to a penitentiary in Laval this year and is scheduled to have a hearing before the Parole Board of Canada in December. The board is to decide whether to revoke his statutory release officially. His release is believed to have been suspended when Boucher was arrested and charged on Aug. 31 in Joliette with harassment of, and threatening to kill or cause bodily harm to, a woman. According to court records, he has been detained since his arrest by Repentigny police. His next court date in that case is scheduled for Nov. 16. Maurice (Mom) Boucher is serving three life sentences for orchestrating the murders of two prison guards and the attempted murder of another.

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.




A member of the Hells Angels biker gang, Mazdak Fabricius, is accused of the murder, which was the starting point for a bloody gang war in Copenhagen

 

62 people were arrested near Copenhagen on Tuesday following a clash between two rival gangs outside a courthouse where a gang member was on trial for the 2008 murder of a young Turk, police said. The people arrested in the Copenhagen suburb of Glostrup had "ties to gangs and bikers," a police statement said. Rival gangs have been battling for years over control of Copenhagen's illegal drug market. According to various media, close to 100 people clashed outside the Glostrup courthouse where the man suspected of gunning down a young Turk in Copenhagen in 2008 was on trial. A member of the Hells Angels biker gang, Mazdak Fabricius, is accused of the murder, which was the starting point for a bloody gang war in Copenhagen. Journalists at Tuesday's scene said members of the Hells Angels and its support group AK81 faced off against the Tingbjerg group, described as the "immigrants."

Hells Angel sues Livermore, seeks $1 million in damages

 

member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club has sued Livermore for $1 million, claiming police violated his civil rights by falsely accusing him of carrying a handgun. Joel Silva filed suit against the city in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Friday. The Sonoma County resident claims the false handgun claim stemmed from a Sept. 5, 2008, incident when another club member was involved in an altercation with an off-duty air marshal. Livermore has not yet responded to the claim. According to court records, the incident occurred after Silva and a group of 11 other riders on Interstate 580 exited onto First Street to stop for gas. While filling up, member Michael Fenton got into an altercation with Shawn Futrell, an off-duty air marshal, who accused Fenton of trying to force him off the freeway, which caused him to lose control of his motorcycle. Futrell called Livermore police, who detained Silva and the 11 other members. Silva said he was handcuffed, searched and detained twice by police before being let go. Fenton was arrested. As Silva was preparing to leave, officers surrounded him and demanded to search his motorcycle. According to the suit, Silva refused but police searched anyway and claimed to find a .38 caliber handgun. Silva was arrested on suspicion of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm. He spent 24 hours in jail but no charges were filed in Alameda County. Silva was later charged in federal court Advertisement based on the claim that he had a handgun. A federal judge later ruled that whether or not Silva had a handgun, his Fourth Amendment rights were violated and suppressed the evidence, according to the suit.

Your right to die in a bikie war shootout

 

AT A guess you could probably assume that none of the High Court judges live in Merrylands, where the Nomads and Hells Angels are engaged in what the police reassuringly describe not as a bikie gang war but merely "tit for tat violence". It is also unlikely that any of these eminent jurists live in Northmead, where an innocent woman had her house strafed with bullets while she was sleeping last week in a zany address mix-up by a bikie who was having trouble reading his UBD. Presumably, none of the judges live in Adelaide's north-western suburb of Semaphore where an 11-year-old boy, the son of a former member of the Finks, was shot in the leg while he slept during a home invasion last month. When the ambulance arrived and the media turned up, bricks were hurled from the home. None of the witnesses to the shooting of the 11-year-old boy would initially co-operate with the police. It was reported however that the Finks had offered their own reward of $500,000 for information on the identity of the shooter. This shooting and its unco-operative aftermath reinforced the fact that members of bikie gangs do not look to the police and the courts for assistance. That's what civilised and law-abiding people do. To this end the police, and particularly the courts, are letting civilised and law-abiding people down. None of the High Court judges could find Merrylands or Semaphore with a packed lunch, a GPS and a team of indigenous trackers. And even the cops seem depressingly ambivalent about what is going on in middle Australian suburbs such as these. Perhaps it was just an unfortunate choice of words but NSW Gangs Squad commander Arthur Katsogiannis seemed too laid-back by half on Sunday in discussing the bikie shootings in Sydney's west, a staggering eight of which have taken place since last Thursday. "If this was a full-scale war between the Nomads and the Hells Angels you would not have the shootings isolated at one particular area, they would be right around the metropolitan area and around the state," he said. No dramas then. But it is the courts which really take the cake on this issue. Just over a year ago the High Court had a chance to seriously disrupt the freedom of bikie gang members to behave in an anti-social and criminal manner. Bombarded by civil libertarian tripe, the court opted to throw in its lot not with the civilised and law-abiding majority but the one per cent "who don't fit and don't care" - to borrow from the Hells Angels' own mission statement. The NSW and SA governments had both passed legislation which would have declared bikie gangs criminal organisations and enabled police to seek orders from magistrates preventing bikies from associating with each other and visiting certain addresses. But this invited the tediously predictable criticisms from academics and defence lawyers along Basil Fawlty lines that this is exactly how Nazi Germany started. One academic warned there was nothing stopping the authorities from using the same laws against the local lawn bowls club or Apex or Rotary. Andreas Schloenhardt, from the University of Queensland law school, fired up at the time: "This legislation is dangerous ... There is little in the legislation that can stop the Attorney-General from banning a bowling club." Certainly that could have been a handy application, in the event that the ladies' four stopped making scones and started manufacturing methamphetamine. But none of this is funny if you live in Ermington or Merrylands or Northmead or Semaphore and are busily keeping your head down, literally, as the "tit for tat violence" continues. The High Court had its chance to make the community safer and it blew it. The NSW and SA laws would have disrupted the lawlessness which has continued and reached a new crisis point since last Thursday and opted instead, on the basis of some legally arcane pedantry about usurping the authority of the Supreme Court, to strike down those laws. Meanwhile the cops are doing a cracking job standing behind police cameras and raiding pubs to make sure no one has had more than four standard drinks, and the High Court judges are happily ensconced in those suburbs where the Nomads and Finks and Hells Angels tend not to tread. People in normal suburbs must deal with that on their own.

Legal community rattled by attack on Hells Angels lawyer

 

legal community is raising questions after a criminal lawyer known for defending members of biker gangs was assaulted outside his home. The victim has been identified as Gilles Doré, who was involved in the criminal proceedings linked to arrests in the wake of Operation SharQc. He is also known as a prominent defence lawyer in the first Hells Angels' mega-trial in 2002, which ended in the murder conviction of Hells leader Maurice "Mom" Boucher. Montreal police say the 58-year-old man was assaulted outside his Outremont home on Friday night. Police say the victim was beaten by one or more individuals. No one has been arrested and the police do not have a description of a possible suspect. Colleagues said Monday he was in stable condition. Colleagues concerned Lawyers say they regularly get threats from all types of clients, which don't always lead to an attack. One defence lawyer, Eric Sutton, said he questioned whether the police will investigate the case with the same veracity with which they investigate other crimes. He said there is a perception that defence lawyers are closely connected with those they represent, which is not always the case. "The defence lawyers get associated with their clientele, and I'm not sure the police will prioritize this case the way it perhaps should have been," he said. "But I don't want to presume that." Richard Prihoda, president of the Defence Attorneys Association of Montreal, calls the attack completely unacceptable under any circumstances. Prihoda said in an interview that if the attack is found to be related to Dore's work, then it is more than just an assault. "It's not just an attack on one lawyer, it's an attack on the whole judicial system," Prihoda said. "As with the Crown prosecutors and the judges, we're a part of the system." Prihoda said the association will discuss the recent attack, at a previously scheduled meeting on Wednesday. "I went to the courthouse today (Monday) and everybody is asking questions," Prihoda said. Prihoda said he hopes that police can resolve the case, as well as other outstanding attacks on Quebec lawyers. Similar attacks on attorneys Montreal defence lawyer Joseph La Leggia was attacked in similar fashion last December near his home. He has since resumed practising law. Another Montreal lawyer, Thomas Kiriazis, who is not a defence lawyer, has also been targeted. The business lawyer says he has been the victim of death threats and a firebombing in front of his home, located in the same neighbourhood where Dore was attacked. Dore battling 2002 Bar suspension In addition to the 2002 megatrial, Dore is currently involved in the massive Hells Angels megatrial being held in Montreal. Dore is due before the Supreme Court of Canada soon, where he is attempting to overturn a lower-court decision that upheld a 21-day suspension he was given by the Quebec Bar Association during the 2002 megatrial. The suspension was over a critical letter Dore sent to a Quebec judge over comments that judge made at the bail hearing of one of his clients.

DEFECTIONS between the Nomads and the Hells Angels bikie gangs could have sparked a spate of drive-by shootings, police said yesterday.

nomads

 Identifying ... The Nomads motorcycle gang's logo. Source: Supplied 

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But Gangs Squad commander Arthur Katsogiannis said the tit-for-tat violence was part of a dispute between individual bikies and not a war between the clubs.

Superintendent Katsogiannis and Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad commander Deborah Wallace yesterday called for a end to the violence after shootings near the Ibrahim family home in Merrylands and at Ermington over the weekend.

Among possible motives for the violence was a number of recent defections between the clubs, known as "patching over", Supt Katsogiannis said.

"If this was a full scale war between the Nomads and the Hells Angels you would not have the shootings isolated at one particular area, they would be right around the metropolitan area and around the state," he said.

"It is a conflict between two or three individuals who are part of those gangs, and the conflict is solely between themselves and we're trying to resolve that."

Police have linked eight shootings since last Thursday to the dispute, including one inNorthmead where an innocent woman's house was sprayed with bullets as she slept.

In the last attack, a Merrylands home belonging to a member of the Ibrahim family was shot at on Saturday about 8.45pm. A black four-wheel drive was seen leaving the area after shots were fired, but no one was injured and there was no damage to the house.

In the later incident, police were called to a house at Ermington about 12.05am yesterday after the owner came home and discovered damage to the front of the house.

Police believe the damage to a wall and window was caused by a bullet. No one was in the house at the time.

Strike Force Felix, established to investigate the shootings, has made "significant inroads" about the identity of those involved and the cause of the dispute, Supt Katsogiannis said. "We want to reassure the public that we are doing everything possible."

Newfoundlanders arrested in RCMP drug bust

 

Two people from Newfoundland and Labrador have been arrested in an interprovincial drug bust against the Hells Angels motorcycle club. The accused are 41-year-old Scott Hutchings from Bell Island and Jocelyn Dunn, 26, from St. John's. The pair have been charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine. They were both arrested on Friday afternoon in St. John’s. They were taken in a bust dubbed "Operation Longridge," which was led by the Ontario Provincial Police. According to a press release issued by the RCMP on Saturday the operation was “targeting members and associates of (an) outlaw motorcycle gang, specifically the Hells Angels Kitchener, Ontario chapter.” The release went on to state that Hutchings and Dunn were arrested in an undercover operation by the RCMP St. John’s Drug Section in cooperation with the Ontario Biker Enforcement Unit. In addition to arresting the two suspects police also seized $50,000 and an unreleased quantity of anabolic steroids. There were more arrests connected to this case made in Ontario but it is unclear at this time how many there were in total. Hutchings and Dunn will appear again in court on Monday.

Montreal criminal lawyer Gilles Doré — who has represented alleged Hells Angels — is in hospital with serious injuries

Montreal criminal lawyer Gilles Doré. Montreal criminal lawyer Gilles Doré.

Montreal criminal lawyer Gilles Doré — who has represented alleged Hells Angels — is in hospital with serious injuries after being assaulted outside his home.

According to Radio-Canada, the 58-year-old lawyer was violently beaten outside his house in Montreal's tony Outremont neighbourhood Friday evening.

Without confirming his identity, police said the victim was found lying on the ground outside his house near Glendale and Pratt Avenues.

The victim was in a coma but later regained consciousness and was able to speak with detectives.

Police have no suspects.

Doré rose to prominence a decade ago when he defended high-ranking Hells members involved in Quebec's notorious 2002 mega-trial.

That mega-trial ended with the murder conviction of Maurice "Mom" Boucher, alleged biker kingpin.

Doré also represents several presumed Hells bikers arrested two years ago in a massive dragnet against organized crime.

The bust, known as Operation SharkQC, netted more than 100 arrests, including dozens of full-patch members of the notorious biker network, according to police.

Top Hells leader arrested after evading police

 

key player in Quebec's bloody biker war was arrested Wednesday after two-and- a-half years on the lam. Steve Duquette, 45, was a top lieutenant in the Sherbrooke, Que., chapter of the Hells Angels. The group plotted the deaths of rival Rock Machine bikers in a conflict that saw more than 100 people, including bystanders, killed in the 1990s and early 2000s. Duquette did not resist when he was picked up Wednesday in Montreal. He appeared in court Thursday on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, gangsterism, drug trafficking and conspiracy to traffic.

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.

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