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SHOT bikie Vince Focarelli is undergoing surgery to remove a bullet lodged in his skull,

 

SHOT bikie Vince Focarelli is undergoing surgery to remove a bullet lodged in his skull, according to his lawyer. Stacey Carter, of Michael Woods and Associates, has told media outside the Royal Adelaide Hospital that Focarelli was shot four times in the ambush on Sunday night which killed his son, Giovanni. Ms Carter said Focarelli was undergoing surgery to remove a bullet from his skull. She did not disclose where the other wounds were.

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.

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."

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.

London Underground Wi-Fi supplier to be announced in spring

 

Transport for London (TfL) is in the final stages of the tender process for the supply of Wi-Fi to up to 120 of its underground stations. The announcement of the chosen bidder had been scheduled for the end of 2011, but is now expected in early spring. Gareth Powell, director of strategy and service development, said: "London Underground is continuing with preparations to install the necessary infrastructure and is on schedule to complete the project as planned." Powell added the contract will be in place "leaving plenty of time for this to be delivered to customers in time for the 2012 Games". According to a TfL tender document, the Wi-Fi supplier will host and operate a portal for the London Underground Wi-Fi service to provide media rich content free of charge, likely to include real-time travel information, news, sports and entertainment. Other data services and links to external sites may be subject to a subscription fee, and the supplier will manage all aspects of this service, including billing users. The contract is expected to last for five years, but could be extended. The Wi-Fi service will allow commuters to access the internet in deep underground stations, but will not be available on tube trains themselves. Trials of Wi-Fi access began at Charing Cross underground station in November 2010 to test the service and the reaction of passengers over several months. According to the tender document, the provider will host and operate a portal for the London Underground Wi-Fi to provide media rich content free of charge. This is likely to include real-time travel information, news, sports and entertainment.

the leader of the Hells Angels motorcycle club in Iceland, and three others suspected of having had part in the brutal assault of a woman in Kópavogur

 

Reykjavík District Court agreed yesterday to the police’s request that the custody over Einar Marteinsson, the leader of the Hells Angels motorcycle club in Iceland, and three others suspected of having had part in the brutal assault of a woman in Kópavogur in late December 2011 be extended until February 16. Reykjavík District Court. Two persons were arrested after the assault but the woman was then attacked again, leading to further arrests, Fréttablaðið reports. Five individuals have been placed in custody this past week, four men and one woman, but one suspect was released yesterday. Einar is suspected of having ordered the assault due to a personal feud. In another case, the custody over three members of the motorcycle club Outlaws who are suspected of having had part in a shooting in the Reykjavík district Bryggjuhverfið in November has also been extended.

Bail Granted in Hells Angels Shooting Case

 

Bail has been granted to one of the four men charged in the shooting of a Hells Angels member. 26 year old Germaine Phillpotts, who is charged with being an accessory to the shooting, was in court yesterday and granted bail. Diamond Ialenti, a full patch Angel, was shot on Grey Street near their clubhouse and is still in serious condition. Phillpotts was released on 10-thousand dollars bail and will be under house arrest at his home in Brampton. A bail hearing was also held for co-accused 26 year old Andre Williams, who is facing attempted murder charges. His hearing was adjourned until next Tuesday.

Abbotsford murder victim killed in house owned by Hells Angel

 

The house where a young Abbotsford man was found murdered last weekend belongs to a member of the Hells Angels. Ryan Saint-Ange, 21, was discovered dead by a friend on Jan. 14 at a home he’d been living in the 27700 block of 56th Avenue. The Bradner-area home is owned by full-patch Hells Angel Michael Robatzek, according to the Vancouver Sun. Saint-Ange was living in the home with a number of other people, but no one else was at the residence when Saint-Ange was discovered. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team revealing little about how or why the young man was murdered. Despite the location of Saint-Ange’s death, IHIT spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Pound said at this point the murder does not seem to be gang-related. However, she would not comment on whether the victim was mistakenly targeted or killed in a dispute. An autopsy has been conducted but the cause of Saint-Ange’s death won’t be released, Pound stated in an email. “I cannot speak to the details as we need to ensure the integrity of the investigation, and move in a direction that leads us closer to who is responsible for this murder,” she said. Saint-Ange had lived in Abbotsford for about two years, according to Abbotsford Police. Neither IHIT nor APD would confirm that the home belonged to Robatzek. However, the APD had attended the home in the past, but not on a frequent basis. Saint-Ange had a conviction for trafficking drugs from July 2009 and had been sentenced to a 10-month conditional sentence. But at the time of his death, family and friends strongly disputed on-line allegations on news sites and social networking sites that the young man was a gangster, saying he was working to turn his life around. Facebook tributes to Saint-Ange, who went by the moniker Black Ryan, recalled the young man as good natured and fun-loving. Saint-Ange is the first homicide victim in Abbotsford in close to 15 months. Abbotsford did not record a single homicide in 2011, shedding its title as Canada's Murder Capital, the result of a series of high profile gang killings in the last couple of years.

Hells Angels Ex-Leader Sentenced For $10 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme

 

A former Hells Angels chapter leader was caught duping banks into giving him mortgage loans so he could buy land to grow marijuana, the Associated Press reported citing prosecutors. Raymond Foakes (a.k.a. "Ray Ray"), the former president of the Sonoma County Hells Angels, pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering, the AP reported. Ray Ray will now spend almost six years in prison for orchestrating a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme, the report said.  He will also have to cough up $1 million in restitution. Of course, this jeopardizes the motor cycle gang former leader's ability to particpate in the Sonoma chapters upcoming events such as 13th Annual St. Patty's Day Run.  Still, it looks like his fellow bretheren at the Hells Angels support him.   Here's what the Hells Angels have to say about their brother:  On Friday morning, June 2, 2006, The FBI raided the Hells Angels Sonoma County Clubhouse along with 5 other locations, including the home of Chapter President, Raymond (Ray Ray) Foakes.  NOt at home at the time of the raids, Ray Ray was immediately deemed a "Federal Fugitive." The Media labeled him a danger to society.  On June 7th, Ray Ray turned himself over to the FBI at the Federal Building in San Francisco. Not what would be expected of a man labeled a Flight Risk, much less a Danger to Society.  Rather the actions of a man who has nothing to hide and who has confidence in the fact that he IS an innocent man.  We have done our own Media coverage and below is a link with Video Documentary of Ray Ray at the Federal Building. Ray Ray has nothing to hide and Ray Ray is a Political Prisoner.

Bikie dispute leads to car park shooting

 

dispute between Comanchero motorcycle gang members led to a shooting in Adelaide's west on Monday night, police believe. Two shots were fired in the car park of the Findon Hotel about 10:00pm (ACDT). Detective Inspector Paul Yeomans says two men were arguing in the car park before one of them fired the shots at a dark-coloured sedan. "We don't think this is a random attack," he said. "We think that the two males are known to each other. We do think, even though it's early in the investigation, we do think it is linked to outlaw motorcycle gangs, in particular the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang." The cars sped-off after the shooting and police have not said why they suspect Comanchero members. The shooting is the latest instance of bikie-related violence in the past two months. But Attorney-General John Rau insists the situation is not out of control. "There are always going to be lunatics who go out there and break the law as these people have done and when they're caught up with the law will deal with them," he said. There is no sign anyone was injured in the incident.

Two reputed Rock Machine biker gang associates were nabbed by police

 

Two reputed Rock Machine biker gang associates were nabbed by police just prior to a search of a St. Andrews home that netted drugs, ammunition and gang paraphernalia. Police said at about 3 p.m. Friday, Shane Allen Fischer, 31, and Nicole Joy Nykorak, 26, were arrested during a traffic stop at Highway 8 and Grassmere Road. The stop came about two hours prior to police executing two search warrants at the same alleged drug house on Lockport Road as part of a ongoing street crime investigation, police said Sunday. Police seized nearly $10,000 worth of cocaine and hash, along with coke-cutting agent, drug paraphernalia, ammunition, a bullet-proof vest and gang attire, Const. Jason Michalyshen said. The seizure of the armoured vest is significant, as it may prove to become the first test of provincial legislation that came into force Jan. 1 outlawing their use by the general public without a permit. Anyone unauthorized to have body armour and is caught with it faces a fine of up to $10,000, three months in jail or both. Michalyshen said he was unaware of any other pending arrests in the case. Fischer was out on bail at the time and was supposed to be living elsewhere, said police. Nykorak was out on statutory release from prison and is facing parole revocation, Michalyshen said. Police didn’t identify the gang involved, but said it was an outlaw motorcycle group. A police source said both have ties to the Rock Machine gang. Both suspects face “numerous” drug and weapons charges, police said. They are being held at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

Joseph Borg was convicted by an Escambia County jury for an incident that occurred at the clubhouse of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang on Jackson Street in Brownsville.

An Escambia County man is facing up to five years in prison for an attempted sexual battery at a motorcycle club.

Joseph Borg was convicted by an Escambia County jury for an incident that occurred at the clubhouse of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang on Jackson Street in Brownsville. A surveillance video showed Borg and the victim entering the clubhouse on the night of the incident. A short time later, it showed the victim running out partially dressed and being chased by Borg, according to State Attorney Bill Eddins. The victim was able to find help and was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital. Borg was arrested the same night.

Both Borg and the victim were bloodied, bruised and scratched up from the attack. The victim was ultimately able to free herself after she struck Borg in the head with a spur from her boot. A search of the clubhouse found blood splatter in the upstairs sitting area. DNA testing showed there was blood from both Borg and the victim.

Judge Linda Nobles ordered a presentence investigation into the background of the defendant, with sentencing scheduled for a later day. Borg, a member of the Black Piston’s Motorcycle Gang, will face up to five years in state prison when he is sentenced by Circuit Judge Linda Nobles.

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.

A Lone Wolf's golden farewell

 

A WAILING mother speaks to her dead son. ''Stand up and say hello to your guests,'' she urges him, apparently unwilling to accept he is dead. But he is the man in the coffin - the $42,000 gold-plated coffin, paid for in cash by his bikie mates. This was the funeral yesterday for the Lone Wolf member Neal Todorovski, who was shot in the head on January 4 during a shoot-out in Sans Souci, southern Sydney, the first death from a succession of gun attacks across Sydney. Mr Todorovski, 37, had been armed with a gun that day. And the congregation at St Nikola Macedonian Orthodox Church in Cabramatta, south-western Sydney, yesterday included many men associated with outlaw bike gangs. But police fear innocent bystanders will be the next victims of the spike in shootings. They worry more deaths will follow as disputes spiral into tit-for-tat shootings, some related, some not. A senior Lone Wolf told The Sun-Herald the Todorovski shooting was not a turf war but over ''something petty and silly''. He said: ''I'm not sure what's wrong with the world. To die like this over nothing is just stupid.'' Many bikies at the Todorovski service were visibly distraught, weeping, hugging each other. They included Finks and Comanchero members. A Lone Wolf said an arrest in Perth over the shooting followed the police interception of a telephone conversation. Detective Wayne Hayes, acting commander of the gang squad, said the Lone Wolf gang had eight chapters in NSW with about 96 members. The Todorovski killing ''had nothing indicating expansion'' into new territory, he said. Strike Force Lobbe - one of four strike forces investigating the Sydney shootings - identified a Maroubra man, 25-year-old Tarek Abdallah, as the suspect in the Todorovski shooting. Mr Abdallah faced a Perth court on Friday and is expected to be extradited to NSW this week. Mr Todorovski had been armed with a pistol when he left his flat with two friends, Matthew Edward Lewis, 23, and John Haper Leger, 32, to meet Mr Abdallah in front of his four-wheel-drive. In court police alleged a scuffle broke out and Mr Abdallah managed to pull a handgun from his car and shoot Mr Todorovski in the head. They allege Mr Lewis and Mr Leger refused to co-operate and arrested the pair for concealing an indictable offence and possessing a prohibited weapon.

The head of the Hell’s Angels in Iceland was arrested yesterday and remand in custody for a week

The head of the Hell’s Angels in Iceland was arrested yesterday and remand in custody for a week, accused of having ordered attacks on a woman. A total of five people connected to the Hell’s Angels are in custody over the case. 

In the early hours of the 22nd December a physical assault in a residential building in Hafnarfjörður, near Reykjavík, was reported to police. Initial stories about the attack stated that a couple in their 30s had burst into the woman’s flat and attacked her violently. She was later transported, unconscious, to hospital. The police arrested the couple and put them in custody.

As the investigation progressed, the spotlight started to pan wider and according to RÚV sources putting the couple behind bars clearly did not work, because the woman was violently attacked again. Extra resources were quickly applied to the investigation and two more people were arrested and put behind bars.

Yesterday the case’s fifth arrested suspect, the head of the Hell’s Angels Iceland organisation, was also remand in custody for one week. According to sources, he is accused of ordering the attacks on the woman – reportedly as revenge for something.

All five in custody while the police continue their investigation are in isolation for the good of the case, so they cannot consult each other on their alibis.

 




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.

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.

violent felon who allegedly shot a parole officer in the face, prompting a four-hour manhunt in Lake View Terrace

 violent felon who allegedly shot a parole officer in the face, prompting a four-hour manhunt in Lake View Terrace Wednesday triggered a similar standoff with police in Sylmar nearly a decade before.

Steven Hoff, 43, was taken into custody Wednesday after a search that shut down the Foothill (210) Freeway and led authorities to lock down a 3-square-mile area.

Parole agents, working with Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies, had been looking for Hoff for an alleged parole violation. As they approached a trailer near the 11000 block of Foothill Boulevard about 1:30 p.m. in search of Hoff, the suspect allegedly fired at one of the agents. The injured parole officer's partner fired back, but the shooter fled.

Shooting suspect Steven Hoff in a May 17, 2011 mug shot.

Hoff was found about 6 p.m. hiding in an empty swimming pool, sniffed out by a K-9 unit dog, authorities said.

"The K-9 bit him and then we went in and handcuffed him and brought him out," said Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore. "The situation was very volatile, and for a while unknown."

Both Hoff and the injured parole agent, whose name was not released, were hospitalized in serious but stable condition on Thursday. Hoff won't be booked until he is medically ready, Whitmore said.

Hoff was released from prison in January 2011 after after being convicted in San Fernando Courthouse for attempted burglary, according to state and county records. He stopped reporting for parole meetings in July and has been wanted since then, authorities said.

He has been in and out of prison for drug, burglary and weapons convictions beginning in 1989.

Hoff often served half of his sentence because state law allows non-violent criminals -- including those convicted for possession of firearms -- to get double credit for each day behind bars, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Luis Patino said.

The shorter amount of time Hoff served and his release last year are not the result of Gov. Jerry Brown's controversial realignment program, which shifts responsibility for many nonviolent inmates from state prison to county jails, Patino said.

On Wednesday, Hoff was the target of the California Parole Apprehension Team, which was created in 2009 to focus on at-large parolees who pose the greatest risk to public safety, according to the statement.

The manhunt, which led to major freeway delays that spilled over onto surface streets, was similar to a dramatic, nine-hour police standoff in 2002 that ended when police fired tear gas canisters into the Sylmar home where Hoff was barricaded.

At the time, Hoff was wanted for allegedly fatally shooting Diablos motorcycle gang member Richard Dierking in California City. Hoff shot Dierking for "disrespecting" him during his initiation into the notorious gang, authorities said at the time.

However, Hoff went free less than four months after his arrest when charges of first-degree murder and robbery were dismissed, according to Kern County court records. A spokeswoman for the Kern County District Attorney's Office said details of the case were not immediately available.

"This dude has a long and storied history with us," a corrections department spokesman told the Daily News when Hoff was arrested in 2002.

On Thursday, corrections Secretary Matthew Cate said employees were "relieved" that the parole agent who had been shot was recovering after surgery.

"Watching video and pictures of this agent sitting up and giving information to his brother law enforcement officer, even after he had been shot in the face, reminded us all of the valor and determination that our agents exhibit out in the field every day. ...," Cate said in a written statement.

The department has sent a deadly-force investigation team, required under state law, to review the shootings.

HE WAS the target of a gunman's midnight ambush and his alleged associates engaged in a gunfight at a North Adelaide cafe.


 
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Vincenzo Focarelli

Alleged member of the New Boys street gang Vincenzo Focarelli outside the Adelaide Magistrates Court.


Yesterday Comanchero chief Vince Focarelli denied his outlaw club was being torn apart from the inside.

Focarelli broke his silence to counter rumours that the Comanchero Motorcycle Club is plagued by infighting.

In a statement signed by him and released yesterday, he called for privacy.

"Mr Focarelli denies there is any disharmony or in-house fighting within the Comancheros Motorcycle Club," it said.

He "has been released from hospital and wishes to express his sincere gratitude to the medical staff who provided specialist treatment and acted with complete professionalism at all times.

"Mr Focarelli confirms that he is expected to make a full recovery.

"Mr Focarelli calls upon the media and community to please respect the privacy of his wife and five children."

Focarelli, 36, was the target of an attack at a Munno Para West home on December 15.

He was showered with bullets, one which hit him in the upper leg, then escaped by smashing a window of a nearby home, crawling through it and fleeing through a back door.

He left a trail of blood and it is believed the lacerations to his arm were serious.

Focarelli underwent surgery at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and was in medical care for at least two weeks.

Days after Focarelli was shot, alleged Comancheros associates opened fire on one another at Caffe Paesano on a busy Sunday evening.

The gunfight started at 9.30pm when a man entered the restaurant, drew a gun and fired at three men sitting at an outside table.

At least one returned fire, hitting their target in the leg before he fled the premises.

On Thursday police arrested a Salisbury North man, 24, in relation to the incident. He was charged him with one aggravated count of endangering life and was remanded in custody.

Meanwhile, an alleged Comanchero will be extradited to South Australia on Monday. He was arrested in Port Melbourne over a stabbing that happened in Adelaide in 2008.

Victoria Police arrested the Para Hills man, 23, on Thursday evening.

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