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  • Fri, December 20, 2013 8:21 PM | COREY
    Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal Follow on Twitter

    on December 20, 2013 at 7:44 PM, updated December 20, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    A reputed West Coast gang member wanted for murder in California was arrested in Weehawken yesterday by Hudson County sheriff’s officers, authorities said.
    After six hours of surveillance, Donovan Blair Johnson, 22, of Los Angeles, was arrested on Fulton Street at 10:30 p.m. by sheriff’s officers and FBI agents who were working on a tip, a sheriff's office report says.
    Johnson was wanted in connection to the Aug. 27 shooting in which a 16-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man were gunned down on a Los Angeles street, a police report says.
    Authorities say he fired an AK-47 in a gang-related retaliation shooting. Two more men, 19 and 18, were wounded, the report says.
    After conducting surveillance at an apartment building on Fulton Street Thursday, sheriff's officers entered the building and searched and apartment, but did not find Johnson.
    While searching the area around 10:30 p.m., officers were approached by a man and they ordered him across the street because of the investigation, a report says.
    The man told the officers he lived in the building and when he identified himself as Donovan Johnson, he was arrested, a report said.
    Police in Los Angeles believe the double-murder was retaliation for the shooting death of a gang member by a rival gang.
    Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari praised the work of his officers, as well as the FBI agents and law enforcement in Los Angeles.

    © 2013 NJ.com. All rights reserved.
  • Wed, November 13, 2013 3:45 PM | Trevor (Administrator)
    A member of the MS-13 street gang has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the drive-by killing of a rival gang leader and the attempted murder of another rival, officials said.

    Yonis Acosta-Yanes, 27, of Glen Cove, was sentenced to the maximum term for racketeering conspiracy on Monday in federal court in Central Islip by U.S. District Judge Joseph Bianco, officials said.

    Acosta-Yanes' attorney, Lloyd Nadel of Mineola, had asked for a sentence of 17 years, requesting leniency for his client. Acosta-Yanes, who was born in El Salvador, was raised and attended school in an impoverished area of Glen Cove that was "rife with interracial violence and gang problems," Nadel said Tuesday. On one occasion his client's jaw was fractured and on another his hand was broken and his scalp lacerated, Nadel said. Acosta-Yanes did not comment before the sentencing, Nadel said, who added that his client is considering an appeal.

    When he pleaded guilty to the racketeering charge in March, Acosta-Yanes admitted he was the driver in a car that was involved in the killing of Santos Castillo-Martinez in Hempstead in May of 2008, according to court records. Castillo-Martinez was a leader of the Hempstead clique of the rival 18th Street gang, the records said.

    Castillo-Martinez was sitting in his car on Washington Avenue when Acosta-Yanes drove alongside in a minivan and another MS-13 member sitting in the passenger seat fired a fatal shot to the head of the 18th Street leader, the court records said.

    The investigation into who did the actual shooting is continuing, officials said.

    The 18th Street leader, Castillo-Martinez, had been talking to an unidentified leader of a third street gang, Salvadorans With Pride, or SWP, according to the court records, which were filed by Eastern District prosecutor John Durham.

    Shots also were also fired at the SWP leader, but he fled the scene unharmed, Durham said.

    Seven months later, in October 2008, Acosta-Yanes and other MS-13 members were en route to kill another unnamed rival gang member when their car was stopped by officers from the Nassau County and Garden City police, Durham said in the court papers.

    In the car, police found a loaded .380-handgun, which led to Acosta-Yanes' second guilty plea for racketeering, according to the records.

    Since 2010 prosecutors, working with the FBI's Long Island Gang Task Force, have convicted more than 30 members of the MS-13 on charges relating to their participation in one or more murders, Eastern District spokesman Robert Nardoza said Tuesday.

  • Thu, October 17, 2013 12:38 PM | COREY
    In 2007, the Yankees’ and MLB’s official team cap maker, New Era, issued a statement in which they refuted the claims of an East Harlem civic group that New Era was cashing in by manufacturing customized, non-traditional Yankees caps to reflect the colors and other symbols of area street gangs.

    Of course, the dual denial was nonsense undefined that’s exactly what New Era was doing and what New Era, the Yankees and MLB were profiting from.
    New Era and MLB, however, did thank the concerned citizens for bringing this issue “to our attention” and did promise to pull some of the Yankees, MLB-licensed gang headwear.
    That’s right, New Era had no idea that its funked-up, overly stylized Yankees caps with the crowns embroidered over the NY were being worn by Latin Kings.
    And New Era manufactured red and black bandana-style Yankees caps not knowing the Bloods, dressed to kill, would love them. Those blue and white bandana Yankees caps? They were favored by Crips? Who knew?

    Heck, murdered gang members would even be laid out in funeral homes wearing their MLB/New Era caps, soon to be seen in “R.I.P” photo T-shirts wearing them, too. Still are.
    Thursday, during Giants-Bears, a commercial appeared for New Era’s NFL team-colored caps undefined how one can flaunt his street attitude by wearing one. See that guy? And that guy?
    The ad cut to a shot of someone holding a can, spray-painting a Raiders logo on an outdoor wall.
    Now tell me what that’s all about? Perhaps Commissioner Roger Goodell would like to take a stab at explaining that.

    Is that representative of laying down an NFL gang tag, or just good old-fashioned vandalism? Is it a coincidence that the NFL’s original and sustaining bad-boy team’s logo was chosen?
    Regardless, why would such an image be included in an ad for any NFL merchandise?
    Gee, and won’t the New Era folks be surprised to learn that they had no idea, but thanks for bringing this to their attention.

    But it’s easy when money trumps shame. It’s easy when sports will do whatever and to whomever in exchange for an extra dime.
    It must’ve driven NFL marketing strategists wild to see so many street hoods appearing in surveillance tapes, at arraignments and in perp walks wearing MLB team caps when, with an extra push, they could’ve been wearing NFL team caps.

    After all, if you don’t go after the most vulnerable, you’re no really trying.

  • Mon, October 14, 2013 7:56 PM | COREY
    St. Louis gangs and New York crime-fighting among topics at Urban Crime Summit
    In Region

    By Jo Mannies, Beacon political reporter
    4:16 pm on Wed, 09.18.13

    Although billed as a “Urban Crime Summit,’’ one of the key crime statistics offered by the four-day event’s host, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, affected rural Missouri as well.

    Missouri’s per-capita crime rate is the 9th highest in the nation, Koster said in his opening address at Wednesday’s session, the third day of the Summit – and the first of two days in St. Louis.

    His point? Crime in Missouri “isn’t just an inner-city problem” facing its largest urban areas: Kansas City and St. Louis.


    Photos by Bill Greenblatt | UPI Attorney General Chris Koster and Mayor Francis Slay agree that a get-tough approach early on can deter some from getting swept up in crime.
    Still, the attorney general – a Democrat running for governor in 2016 – said there’s no question that St. Louis and Kansas City are grappling with entrenched and persistent crime problems, despite recent drops in murders.

    And he suggested that both urban areas, and the state, look east as they consider solutions.

    Kansas City’s murder rate is 22 per 100,000 people, while St. Louis’ is 35 per 100,000. By contrast, the city of New York’s murder rate is now 4 per 100,000, down from 14 per 100,000 in 1990.

    New York’s success helps explain why the Summit brought in several experts from New York, including William J. Bratton, a former commissioner of the New York Police Department and former police chief of Los Angeles.

    Some of the Big Apple’s tactics have come under fire, such as the “stop and frisk’’ approach condemned by groups concerned about civil liberties.

    Bratton defended that practice, but emphasized that individual rights must be protected. "The great debate going on around the country is the balance,” he said in his remarks, as he acknowledged that there have some cases where police has overused or abused the practice.

    The message from Koster, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and others on Wednesday was that a get-tough approach early on – along with more education and job opportunities – can deter some youths from getting swept up in crime.

    That’s one reason Koster joined Slay is calling for “gun courts” that would deal solely with gun-related crimes and likely impose swifter punishments.

    Police warn of "mission creep"
    Slay acknowledged that other factors contribute to crime – notably, the lack of adult guidance when young people need it the most.

    Said Slay in his remarks: “Too many young males don’t have anyone to teach them how to be a man.”

    For all the concern, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said officials and the public shouldn’t ignore some of the region’s good news over the past decade. “Crime is at an all-time low in St. Louis County,” Dooley said.

    St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and the mayor both emphasized that the number of murders in the city has gone down more than 40 percent in the past six years.

    But St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said public perceptions can be hard to change – especially when some less-violent crimes, such as vehicle break-ins, are “experiencing a big spike around the area.”

    Fitch, like Slay, also alluded to societal ills that the police chief said can prompt “mission creep,” in which police are expected to not only fight crime, but address the social problems that contribute to it.

    “We can’t do everything. We’re the police,” Fitch said.

    Fitch’s point was that police can only do so much. He pointed to the recent shooting of an 8-year-old in Pine Lawn by a relative who, the chief observed, explained later that “he was angry” and felt like shooting at children.

    Fitch tied such behavior to mental illness and “a profound sense of hopeless, and that leads to a lot of violent crime.”

    Tackling such factors, said Fitch, is the job of the community – not just the police.

    Dooley said the public needs to recognize “we cannot put enough police on the street to stop crime.”

    Gang violence small, but knows no boundaries
    Summit attendees were particularly riveted by St. Louis Detective Jerod Breit’s report on the region’s gang element – so much so that Koster revamped the program on the spot to allow for questions and answers related to Breit’s presentation.

    According to Breit, city police have documented at least 8,671 gang members – almost half of them just since 2008. Of that number, close to 1,200 are in prison, and close to 1,000 are on federal or state parole or probation. Another 257 are dead.


    Mayor Francis Slay and County Executive Charlie Dooley listen to St. Louis Detective Jerod Breit, who has been studying gang activity.
    But 1,285 of those identified gang members haven’t been involved in crimes in 10 years, Breit.

    And during the 18-month period ending in June, the percentage of various crimes linked to identified gang members was generally less than 10 percent – and in many categories, a lot less – underscoring Breit’s point that gang violence isn’t the main driver of urban crime.

    Gang activity also has shifted from the streets to the internet. Graffiti on buildings has become less of a problem, Breit said, because gang youth are increasingly doing their “painting” online. In fact, many gang members are spending more time communicating online than on the streets, he said.

    Another change: Locally, more gangs are mixed race, which the detective attributed, in part, to the shift in gang focus to “business” operations, such as drug dealing.

    City police used to have a problem with city gang members running into the county, outside their jurisdiction, and using county communities as “safe havens” to avoid arrest. That’s changing, said Breit, because of increased cooperation between city and county police.

    Dooley said that joint cooperation makes sense: “Crime and criminals don’t have boundaries; criminals don’t know or care that Skinker Avenue is the boundary between St. Louis City and County. It just makes sense to have joint solutions.”

  • Mon, October 14, 2013 7:36 PM | COREY
    Gunfire wounds 4 at SOB’s; Hoylman pushes bullet bill

    September 19, 2013 | Filed under: News | Posted by: admin
    Print PDF
    The promo invite for Fat Trel’s release of his mixtape, “SDMG” (Sex, Drugs, Money, Guns) at SOB’s on Sept. 11.
    BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | SOB’s stands for Sounds of Brazil. But last Thurs., Sept. 12, the sound of gunfire broke out inside the well-known Hudson Square music club, at Varick and Houston Sts. Four people were wounded in the incident, which sparked a chaotic, mad rush for the exit by frightened clubgoers, during which some were trampled and left with cuts.

    The shots, reportedly from a single gunman, broke out around 12:15 a.m. right before the rapper Fat Trel was set to take the stage to perform cuts from his new mixtape, “SDMG” (Sex, Drugs, Money, Guns).

    According to police, four people suffered nonfatal bullet wounds. The Daily News reported that two individuals were taken by ambulance to Beth Israel Medical Center, both with leg wounds, and that two others suffered graze wounds.

    Witnesses told the News the shooting occurred near the bar. The gunman reportedly fled the scene in a black car.

    No arrests had been made as of this past Tuesday evening.

    In the wake of the shooting, Robin and Larry Gold, the club’s owners, released a statement, which was posted on Complex, a style, music and sneakers Web site.

    “For 32 years, we here at SOB’s have prided ourselves on creating a safe and fun environment for visitors to enjoy good food and some of the best live music in New York and the world over. “The SOB’s family, along with its internationally acclaimed artists and devoted fans, has peacefully and gratefully celebrated diverse cultures and the music that unites us through its transcendent language for many years. This incident was unprecedented in the long history of SOB’s. We are assisting the police in every way possible to bring this person to justice. Nothing is more important to SOB’s than the safety and well being of our customers. This is a home of peace, respect and positive vibes and we here at SOB’s vow to keep it that way.”

    State Senator Brad Hoylman condemned the gun violence inside the Hudson Square club and said the incident demonstrates the need for state microstamping legislation.

    “The shooting injuries of four people in Soho today is a stark reminder of the enduring need to eradicate gun violence,” Hoylman said in a statement released the day of the incident.

    “We must do more to protect our communities from gun violence,” he said. “Earlier this year, New York took a critical step to combat gun violence by enacting the NY SAFE Act of 2013, which I was proud to support. Unfortunately, the SAFE Act does not include a provision requiring microstamping, a ballistic identification technology that allows police to link used cartridge cases recovered at crime scenes like the Soho nightclub, to the guns and individuals who used those guns in crimes.

    “I renew my call for the State to pass S.68/A.3244 (Peralta/Schimel), which would require any semiautomatic pistols manufactured or delivered to any licensed dealer in New York to be capable of microstamping ammunition.

    “The bill has the support of 100 mayors and 83 police departments and law enforcement organizations throughout New York State,” Hoylman added. “We must finally give law enforcement the best tools available to solve gun crimes like the one that happened early this morning in Soho and get guns off our streets.”

    It wasn’t immediately clear if any bullet casings had, in fact, been left at the scene. A revolver handgun, for example, doesn’t eject bullet shells, though an automatic handgun does.

    Jared Chausnow, Hoylman’s press secretary, said the state senator’s office has been in touch with police about the shooting, but has only been told that the investigation is ongoing. Chausnow said they weren’t told by’ police whether any shell casings were left at the scene, but that Hoylman saw the opportunity undefined since no suspect has been caught and the investigation is ongoing undefined to call for the microstamping legislation. The technique has been shown in states like California to increase arrest rates for gun violence, getting more shooters and guns off the streets.

  • Mon, October 14, 2013 7:21 PM | COREY
    3 Newburgh slayings earn Latin King 40 years in prison

    By Leonard Sparks
    Times Herald-Record
    Published: 2:00 AM - 09/25/13
    WHITE PLAINS undefined A City of Newburgh man who admitted being involved in three murders as a member of the Latin Kings received a 40-year prison sentence in federal court on Tuesday.

    Jose "King Gordo" Lagos, 23, was one of a trio indicted on charges they were high-ranking Latin Kings who controlled the crack and heroin trade in Newburgh's East End and used violence, including murder, to punish rival gangsters and their own members.

    The sentence by U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel came eight months after Lagos pleaded guilty to being involved in the mistaken killing of 15-year-old Jeffrey Zachary in May 2008 and the killings of John "Tarzan" Maldonado and Jerome "Rude Boy" Scarlett in March 2010.

    "With this sentencing, and the pending sentencing of Lagos's two key accomplices, the leadership of the gang that deprived the citizens of Newburgh of their well-being has been decapitated," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

    Gordo, Wilson "King Gunz" Pagan and Christian "King Chi Chi" Sanchez were among more than 100 alleged Latin King and Bloods gang members arrested in a series of raids by the Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force beginning in May 2010.

    A 42-count indictment named the three as leaders of a Newburgh Latin Kings chapter that controlled drug dealing in the East End from at least 2007 to September 2012.

    The gang peddled crack and powder cocaine, heroin and marijuana from drug markets in the areas of Benkard Avenue and William Street; Broadway between South Miller and Lutheran streets; Washington and Clark streets; and Dubois and First streets, prosecutors alleged.

    Violence reinforced the gang's power, prosecutors said. Its leadership ordered hits on members of its own gang and rival gangs, attempted to rob a drug dealer in New Windsor and threatened informants, according to the indictment.

    Zachary was killed on May 6, 2008, on Dubois Street, mistaken for a rival Bloods member the Latin Kings had allegedly ordered shot.

    Scarlett was murdered on March 11, 2010, allegedly by Maldonado as the two were supposed to be carrying out a hit for the Latin Kings in the area of Farrington and Lander streets. Maldonado was killed the next day on the orders of gang leadership, prosecutors said.

    In March, a federal grand jury found Pagan and Sanchez guilty of drug, murder and racketeering charges, with Pagan convicted of being involved in Zachary's killing and Sanchez found guilty in the murders of Maldonado and Scarlett.

    Both face mandatory life terms when they are sentenced later this year.

    lsparks@th-record.com

  • Thu, October 10, 2013 12:27 PM | Trevor (Administrator)

    MONTICELLO – A reputed member of the Latin Kings street gang, who was arrested for burglary in June, has been arrested again, this time for felony criminal mischief.

    Michael Galicia, 19, of Harris, was caught on June 12 while burglarizing a garage where antiques were stored in the Town of Liberty. He was out of jail on ‘pre-trail release’ when he was arrested again, last Thursday, June 26.


    Gang tag on propane tank

    Galicia and a 15-year-old relative allegedly spray painted graffiti on the Ferndale Medical Arts Center and Handsome Freddies apartments in the Town of Liberty, causing several thousand dollars in damage.

    Sullivan County Sheriff’s deputies were alerted to the damage by a business owner and conducted a series of neighborhood interviews.

    Deputy Richard Morgan eventually developed information that led to Galicia, said Sheriff Michael Schiff, who said spray cans were recovered and a confession was secured from the suspect.

    The sheriff’s office has passed the information on to the school resource officer in Liberty where similar graffiti has appeared recently.

    Galicia was charged with felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a minor.

    His pre-trial release was revoked and he was remanded to the Sullivan County Jail in lieu of $2,500 bail.

    The 15-year-old, who was involved, was referred to Family Court.

  • Thu, October 10, 2013 12:26 PM | Trevor (Administrator)

    MONTICELLO – A Monticello man, who is a self-admitted member of the Crips street gang, was sentenced in Sullivan County Court on Tuesday to 13 years in state prison and five years of parole. Franklin Brinson, 21, also known as “Ace-Loc,” had pled guilty to first-degree assault for shooting another man in the face and leg.

    The victim has since recovered from his wounds.

    The shooting was investigated by Monticello Police and the gun used was recovered.

    Sullivan County District Attorney James Farrell said the shooting was the product of gang violence “that will not be tolerated in our community.” The district attorney said law enforcement is “committed to rooting out the violence in the Village of Monticello and sending those individuals who engage in this behavior to prison for lengthy periods of time.”

  • Thu, October 10, 2013 12:25 PM | Trevor (Administrator)

    The man charged with shooting a 33-year-old in the head and neck on Roosevelt Avenue last week is a suspected gang member, the Queens district attorney said.

       

    Authorities believe 20-year-old Pedro Silva of Jackson Heights is part of the street gang M18, the DA’s office said.

    Silva was charged with murder, criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence in the Sept. 20 shooting death of Corona resident Ivan Rodriguez, according to the borough’s top prosecutor.

    Silva, along with several other suspected gang members, chased Rodriguez on the Jackson Heights avenue and allegedly shot the 33-year-old in the head and neck after he fell, the DA said.

    M18, which is also known as “Mara 18” and the “18th Street” gang, is a transnational gang with origins in Mexico and California, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    “In another unfortunate example of the senseless gun violence that seems to more and more permeate our society, the defendant is accused of chasing after the victim with others and fatally shooting him in the head while he was lying helplessly on the ground,” Queens DA Richard Brown said. “His alleged actions were violent and ruthless and the charges against him will be vigorously prosecuted.”

    After the shooting, Silva allegedly fled and dumped his weapon in the trash near 37th Avenue, according to the district attorney’s office.

    Police later recovered a .22 caliber gun, five spent rounds and one live round from a pile of garbage located in front of 37-61 88th St., the DA’s office said.

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