Showing posts with label Biker Trash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biker Trash. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Nomads MC member charged with sexual assault

Sydney, Australia (March 5, 2019) BTN — A member of the Nomads motorcycle club has been charged after allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl he met at a train station in Sydney's south-west. 

Police will allege in court the pair spoke at a railway station and while on the train, before the 27-year-old man led the girl to a home in Chester Hill and sexually assaulted her on February 14. Following inquiries, detectives attended a Chester Hill home in the early hours of February 28, where the man was arrested after a violent struggle.

One officer broke their hand and another received leg injuries during the altercation, police said. The man was taken to Bankstown Police Station, where he was treated by paramedics for a head injury before being taken to hospital for further treatment.

Police charged the man with having sexual intercourse with a child aged between 10 and 14, and resisting or hindering a police officer in execution of their duty. A bedside hearing was conducted, and he was refused bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court on March 13. The man remains in hospital under police guard.

SOURCE: The Sydney Morning Herald

Monday, November 26, 2018

Hells Angels colors not cool with Salvation Army

Valparaiso, IN  (November 25, 2018) BTN —  Controversial “Aryan” patches worn by bell-ringing volunteers in Valparaiso do not match Salvation Army values, officials from the charity said Sunday.

Two days after images of bell ringers sporting controversial patches on leather jackets outside the Valparaiso Walmart went viral on social media, the Salvation Army released a statement on the matter.

Hells Angels members volunteering outside a Valparaiso, Indiana Walmart

Lt. Christopher Nicolai, of The Salvation Army of Porter County, said in a written statement Sunday that the bell ringers in question, members of a local Hells Angels motorcycle club, violated the charitable organization's dress code and would not be allowed to do bell ringing in the future.

"Our commitment to nondiscrimination includes a dress code for bell ringers, requiring that they wear red Salvation Army aprons, and making it clear that no "symbol, marking or lettering that is viewed as discrimination" may be worn, Nicolai said in the statement. "Clearly, the bell ringers in question did not comply with this dress code. They will not be allowed to volunteer in the future. We are embarrassed that we were unable to prevent this incident, and apologize to all who were offended, as were we."

Images shared on Facebook and with The Times show men with leather jackets, one with a patch reading "Aryan" and another with a Confederate flag patch ringing the bell Friday for the Salvation Army.

The bell ringers in question were confirmed to be members of the Hells Angels Northwest Indiana Region Motorcycle Club.

They confirmed through a Facebook post Sunday that the Salvation Army had canceled another bell-ringing event the club had scheduled.

"Due to all the negative comments about our holiday charity work. The Salvation Army was forced to cancel our upcoming bell ringing date in December. We hope all that responded negatively, will donate their time ringing the bell for the Salvation Army," the post stated.

On Friday, the motorcycle club responded to the criticism and attempted to explain the controversial patches.

"Our worldwide multinational, multiracial motorcycle club excepts motorcyclists from all walks of life," a representative for the motorcycle club said.

The representative said some members may wear "heritage-based" patches, such as Latinos wearing "LATINO," Japanese wearing "BUSHIDO" and whites wearing "ARYAN." He also said most members do not sport these types of patches.

"That's not what our clubs is about," the representative said. "However like all Americans, we love exercising our freedom. Sometimes freedom means you see and hear things you may not like. We accept that. The focus of today has nothing to do with freedom though. It has to do with charity and sacrificing for you community.

"I'd suggest to those making negative comments that maybe a little less time should be spent exercising your freedom of speech and a little more be spent to making a positive difference in our society."

The Hells Angels Northwest Indiana Region advertised their plans to bell ring on their Facebook page Friday morning. The post, including a graphic depicting the well-known red Salvation Army bucket and logos, shared that Hells Angels members would be collecting donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the Valparaiso Walmart.

On Saturday, the Hells Angels posted again — this time including their own photos of members dressed in vests with patches and Santa hats next to the Salvation Army's "Doing the Most Good" sign and buckets. One appeared to be sporting the "Aryan" patch that attracted attention in the original Facebook post that went viral.

"Thank you Valparaiso for showing your support for our less fortunate neighbors," the Hells Angels NWI Region Facebook post read. "You helped us fill 6 buckets fulla cash! Big thanks to the Salvation Army for the opportunity to help our community."

The original Facebook post was shared more than 10,000 times before being taken down.

The woman who made the original post on Facebook said the photos were taken by her mother.

The poster, whose name is being withheld, said her mother notified a Walmart manager about the men and their vests. The manager asked the men to remove the vests, and they refused.

The poster said she received several threats regarding her post.

“People thought I was going after the Hells Angels," the poster told The Times. "No, the Hells Angels does a lot of good and commendable things. … I have friends that are bikers, and I love them dearly. It’s not that I have anything against bikers.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hells Angels MC member targeted for murder

Surrey, B.C. (November 20, 2018) BTN —  A man described by homicide investigators as a member of the Hells Angels has been identified as the victim of a suspected targeted slaying in Metro Vancouver.

Cpl. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says the body of 43-year-old Chad Wilson was found Sunday morning in Maple Ridge, where he was living.

Jang says Wilson was a member of the Hells Angels and describes the killing of a member of the biker-club as “unsettling news.”

He says detectives will be working with gang enforcement experts to avoid any retaliation.

Wilson had a previous criminal conviction in the United States stemming from a shooting in South Dakota in 2006 that injured five affiliate members of a rival motorcycle club and Jang says officers are looking into his past.

Police are also appealing to Wilson’s friends in the Hells Angels to come forward.

Jang said Tuesday that members of the Hells Angels may have “intimate knowledge” of what happened and he urged them to speak to officers, regardless of their current involvement in criminal activity.

“We will go to wherever you are, we will sit down and speak with you and we will treat you with the utmost respect. We want to solve your friend’s — your associate’s — murder as much as you do,” Jang told a news conference in Surrey.

The cause of Wilson’s death has not been released but Jang says the homicide team is working with Ridge Meadows RCMP, forensic specialists, the BC Coroners Service and gang enforcement units from across Metro Vancouver.

Wilson’s body was found near the banks of the Fraser River under the Golden Ears Bridge.

In November 2008, Wilson and a co-accused were acquitted by a jury in South Dakota of attempted murder for a 2006 gunfight that injured members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.

Five people were hurt in an exchange of gunfire. Wilson told his trial that he fired in self-defence after the Outlaws started shooting.

Following his acquittal, Wilson was subsequently convicted by the same South Dakota court of being a non-immigrant alien in possession of a firearm and sentenced to four years in prison.

SOURCE: The Province

Monday, November 19, 2018

Hells Angel MC member found dead under bridge

Vancouver, British Columbia (November 19, 2018) BTN —  A full-patch Hells Angel MC member with the Hellside Chapter was found murdered under the Golden Ears Bridge Sunday.

Chad Wilson, a former Hells Angel in San Diego, then Haney, joined the clubs’s newest chapter when it formed last year. Some of his buddies had reported him missing the night before his body was found in the 20000-block of Wharf Street, Postmedia has learned.

Hardside chapter of the Hells Angels, From left, Chad Wilson (formerly of the Haney chapter); Suminder Grewal (formerly of the Haney chapter); and Jamie Yochlowitz (formerly of the Vancouver chapter)

Firefighters were first called to the scene about 11:30 a.m. Sunday. They immediately called in the Mounties when they found Wilson’s body.

Friends of Wilson’s, wearing their death head patched Hells Angels vests, soon showed up at the scene.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is working with Ridge Meadows RCMP on the case.

Wilson’s name had not yet been released by police, but fellow bikers and family were already paying tribute to the dead 43-year-old on Sunday night. Wilson was a high-profile and popular member of the Hells Angels and his murder is expected to increase the volatility in the Lower Mainland motorcycle club landscape.

Police are saying only that Wilson’s death was targeted and that he was known to police.

In fact, he was known to police in several parts of the world.

In 2013, Wilson was charged in Spain with B.C. Hells Angel Jason Arkinstall and two associates after police there seized half a tonne of cocaine from a sailboat that had arrived from Colombia.

The Spanish government said one of the B.C. bikers was on the vessel, while the others were waiting in Spain. They were arrested in a restaurant in Pontevedra, a port in the northwest of Spain.

Officials said the drug conspiracy was linked to a member of the San Diego chapter of the Hells Angels – the same chapter that Wilson had joined as a prospect on Jan. 28, 2005. Wilson became a full-patch Hells Angel a year later on Jan. 28, 2006.

Within a few months he was sitting in a jail cell in South Dakota, charged along with fellow HA member John Midmore, with attempted murder for an Aug. 8, 2006 gunfight with members of the rival Outlaws biker club.

Several bikers and passersby were struck. One Outlaw was paralyzed by Wilson.

But both he and Midmore claimed self-defence and were later acquitted.

Video on the Hells Angels put out by the Vancouver Sun

Wilson, however, pleaded guilty in April 2009 of being an alien in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to four years in jail.

In his letter to the judge, Wilson claimed that he would have been killed if he had not shot at the Outlaws when he did.

“To have to go through this nightmare I have been through for the past 983 days…to have people people think I am somehow at fault for the extreme injuries that not just Mr. Neale, but others suffered as well – psychological and physical – that is just outright wrong to do to me,” Wilson complained. “Don’t think for one second that I don’t live with the nightmare in my head.”

He said he had replayed the events that led to the shootout “over and over again in my head.”

“I come up with the same answer every time. If I did not have a gun that day – Auig. 8, 2006 – and I did not shoot back, I would be DEAD!!” he said. “This situation was 100% out of my control. I have the right to defend myself. I want to go home. I have everything great waiting for me, my drilling job, my kids, my wife and my dog and the number one thing, my LIFE!!”

He said being in jail is “true hell that I’ve been through.”

SOURCE: Vancouver Sun

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Hells Angels member and wife sentenced to death

Perth, Thailand (November 15, 2018) — A Perth father turned Hells Angels MC member and drugs trafficker and his wife have been sentenced to death in Thailand over a failed bid to smuggle half a tonne of crystal meth-amphetamine through the country to Australia.

Luke Joshua Cook, 35, and his Thai wife Kanyarat Wechapitak were arrested in December at Bangkok International Airport when he returned on a flight from Australia after local police linked him to a plot to import meth into Thailand two years earlier.

The Thai courts sentenced the pair to death for the plan to traffic the crystal meth, also known as ice, with an estimated street value of $300 million. Their sentences are expected to be commuted to life in jail.

Assets linked to the pair worth $800,000 including property, cash and cars are to be forfeited.

Veneer of boats, bars and baht fell apart in Thailand for Perth man Luke Cook. Cook, who is believed to have two children, was born in Duncraig in 1983 and spent part of his childhood in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea before returning to WA as a teenager.

According to a CV he posted on LinkedIn, from mid-2003 he spent several years working as a chef in fly-in, fly-out positions around WA including on a fishing boat and at mine sites, as well as at the Christmas Island immigration detention centre. After meeting his future wife online, he moved to Thailand where he bought a bar in the beach resort town of Pattaya, set up a business importing boats and marine parts and joined the Pattaya branch of the Hells Angels.

Police said that in 2015, Cook took a yacht into international waters off the Thai coast to collect 500kg of meth from a Chinese trawler. The illicit cargo was dumped overboard after the Thai Coast Guard came across the boat on its way back to port.

Although the patrol boat saw a man throwing bags over the side, he escaped in the dim, early-morning light. Four sacks containing about 50kg of the meth were found washed ashore on Mae Ramphueng Beach in Rayong province.

Thai authorities said Cook was given $15 million by high-ranking Australian Hells Angels bikie Wayne Schneider to buy and store the drugs for later shipment to Australia.

After the failed delivery, Schneider — a fugitive who was wanted in Australia on multiple warrants and was deemed at the time to be the biggest importer of narcotics into Australia — demanded his money back. He was murdered in November 2015 by members of his gang, his naked and mutilated body found in a shallow grave by the side of a road in Pattaya.

Cook was convicted and handed a suspended sentence over his involvement in the Schneider murder after trying to help former Sydney gangster Antonio Bagnato flee the country and cross the border to Cambodia. Bagnato was arrested, found guilty and sentenced to death over the murder but the sentence was later commuted to life in prison.

The Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday declined to comment on Cook’s sentencing citing privacy reasons.

Luke Joshua Cook, 35, and his Thai wife Kanyarat Wechapitak

A spokeswoman confirmed “the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance to an Australian in Thailand”.

An Australian Federal Police spokesman said that it was not appropriate to comment as it was a matter for the Thai authorities. “The AFP was briefed in relation to this matter following the arrest by Thai authorities,” he said yesterday. “The AFP had no involvement in the Thai investigation that resulted in this man’s arrest and subsequent conviction.”

The arrest of Cook and his 40-year-old wife in December was part of a series of raids by the Thai police in an operation dubbed Clipping The Wings Of Angels as it sought to smash Australian Outlaw Motorcycle Gang-led bikie chapters in Thailand. Several Australians were arrested and deported and at least two remain on the run.

Thai police said the Australian men were involved in drugs, extortion, money laundering, weapons, human trafficking for the sex industry and posed a national threat to security.

An investigation last year found that in Thailand alone, 36 motorcycle club chapters had been established by Australian-led or affiliated gang members, particularly around tourist resort cities of Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai and the capital Bangkok.

Chapters have also been established in Indonesia, Cambodia and Singapore.

Monday, November 5, 2018

District Attorney: Police not submitting evidence against Pagans MC in bar fight

Pittsburgh, PA (November 5, 2018) Editorial — What were members of the Pittsburgh police doing drinking in a South Side bar before fighting four men, all allegedly members of the Pagans motorcycle club, earlier last month? And why are the police stonewalling the district attorney’s office as the city attempts to figure out what led to that drunken melee?

These are the questions that must be answered as serious questions have been raised about the official police account surrounding the recent brawl.

Video still of bar fight with the Pagans MC and undercover police on October 13, 2018

The Oct. 13 dust up was ostensibly the result of a drug dealing sting gone awry. According to the police, the undercover officers had their covers blown before a Pagan allegedly started pushing and throwing punches. The officers claimed the use of force was necessary for bringing down the unruly men.

All told, four alleged Pagans were arrested and charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy and causing a riot.

Video from the incident and testimony from others have revealed discrepancies in the official account

Surveillance cameras inside the bar captured officers drinking heavily for about five hours before the confrontation. Attorney Martin A. Dietz, who represents 28-year-old Erik Heitzenrater, estimated that some of the detectives had as many as 15 drinks, usually doubles and triples on the rocks.

The officers then verbally sparred with the alleged Pagans. One detective raised his shirt to display his firearm. More words were exchanged, then pushing, then fisticuffs.

After the fight broke out, video captured one defendant, 36-year-old Frank Deluca, being pinned against the bar by one officer as another struck Mr. Deluca in the head 19 times. Mr. Deluca was hospitalized with two black eyes, one of which was swollen shut, and bruising on his forehead.

Another alleged Pagan can be seen getting punched by an officer despite standing away from the scuffle. The officer then kicks that same man on the ground.

It is clear there are significant questions to be answered about this operation. But the police have not seemed too eager to answer them.

On Oct. 25, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. publicly questioned why the police have not been forthcoming with evidence and statements about the brawl.

Not enough evidence against the Pagans MC 

Mr. Zappala said that, as of this writing, he does not have enough evidence to prosecute any of the accused Pagans. He also stated that the police have not informed if the officers were actually undercover or on an assignment in the bar.

Are officers permitted to drink on the job? What latitude is afforded to undercover officers on assignment? What is the evidence supporting the charges facing the four alleged Pagans?

Mr. Zappala is right to criticize the department for its obfuscation, an approach he has effectively used in the past. The people of Pittsburgh need to know that their police officers are comporting themselves in a respectful manner and that the department will provide transparency and accountability. They deserve answers.

SOURCE:The Editorial Board - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Friday, November 2, 2018

Mongols MC: Rat brags how he gained trust with members

Santa Ana, California. (November 2, 2018) BTN — A veteran federal agent who spent years undercover after infiltrating the Mongols Motorcycle Club offered his first-hand account Thursday of a secretive culture of violence and intimidation during testimony in an ongoing federal racketeering trial.

The three years that Darrin Kozlowski and three other U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Officers spent embedded in the outlaw motorcycle club already has led to guilty pleas from 77 members of the Mongols. 

Now, the since-retired special agents’ efforts are at the center of the government’s attempts to seize legal control over the Mongols’ trademark name, a move that would bar the bikers from wearing the patches that now adorn their vests.

Related | Mongols MC: Feds going after clubs colors at racketeering trial

During a federal trial in Santa Ana this week, prosecutors have portrayed the Mongols as a criminal organization that encourages and rewards members who take part in violent, at-times deadly assaults, including riots in Laughlin, Nev. and a melee at the Morongo Casino in Cabazon near Palm Springs in 2002, and violent attacks in bars or restaurants in more recent years in Hollywood, Pasadena, Merced, La Mirada, Wilmington and Riverside.

Kozlowski, who previously infiltrated a Hollywood chapter of the Vagos motorcycle club and an East Coast chapter of the Warlocks motorcycle club, worked his way up the ranks of the Cypress Park chapter of the Mongols between 2005 and 2008, adopting the persona of “Dirty Dan” and telling other members of the club that he had Mafia ties fostered while growing up in Chicago.

It was a risky move, Kozlowski acknowledged during his testimony, particularly since he had already infiltrated one outlaw motorcycle club in Southern California. A photo of Kozlowski had also been printed in a book written by William Queen, a since-retired ATF agent who had infiltrated the Mongols years earlier, and whose work was well known throughout the motorcycle gang.

Kozlowski testified to buying crystal methamphetamine from several members of the Mongols, to being present for several brawls in clubs or parking lots, to helping members legally barred from having firearms hide their guns and to being told that other members of the club that they had killed members of the Hells Angels, whose bloody rivalry with the Mongols dates back to the 1970s.

“Members would often talk about doing things to elevate themselves within the Mongols by doing these acts of violence,” Kozlowski said. “It was talked about as a badge of honor.”

Kozlowski said some members of the motorcycle club were initially suspicious of him and the other undercover agents, forcing them to take polygraph tests before being allowed to join. He described for jurors the inner workings of the club, including detailing the various patches members can acquire for a variety of actions, from assaults and even murders of rivals to explicit sexual conquests.

To bolster his false identity, Kozlowski said he once offered to fly his chapter president to Chicago for a tour of what he claimed were his childhood neighborhoods. The chapter president unexpectedly accepted the invitation, Kozlowski testified, and law enforcement officials were forced to set up a dinner in Chicago with other agents posing as Italian organized crime bosses who told the Mongols leader they had worked with Kozlowski on past criminal endeavors.

There were several times Kozlowski said he believed the other Mongols were on the verge of realizing he was a law enforcement officer. He recalled once entering the home of Mongols leadership to see several members holding Queen’s book and looking at the photographs, and immediately believing he had been set up before realizing it was simply a coincidence. The president of his chapter eventually saw the photo of Kozlowski in the book, and had to be convinced it wasn’t him.

“Why would a member of the ATF who infiltrated the Vagos in this area come back and be a member of the Mongols?” Kozlowski testified about telling his chapter president.

Attorney Joseph Yanny, who is representing the Mongols, has acknowledged that members of the club broke the law, but told jurors that those individuals had been kicked out for their actions. On other occasions, Yanny told jurors, the club members acted in self-defense or were induced into drug deals by undercover agents.

Kozlowski testified that during his time with the motorcycle club he never saw anyone kicked out for illegal behavior, including individuals convicted of felonies. Prosecutors have previously indicated that if they are successful in their efforts to gain legal control over the Mongols’ trademark, they could literally take the jacket off the bikers backs anywhere in the country. The club traces its roots to Montebello in the 1970s.

U.S. District Judge David O. Carter, who is presiding over the trial, was angered late Thursday morning when four bikers, including one wearing sunglasses, appeared in the courtroom. The judge initially believed that it was a violation of an agreement the club had made to only have two of its members in the courtroom at a time, but learned that two of the visitors were from other motorcycle clubs.

Carter, who noted that 40 to 50 Mongol members attended some pretrial hearings, said anyone has a right to watch the trial. But he also made clear that for every member of the Mongol’s who attends, he will have an equal number of U.S. Marshal’s in the courtroom.

“You can have 50 people in here, but I’ll match them,” Carter warned the clubs leaders. “My jury is not going to be intimidated.”

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Feds move forward with new tattoo recognition tech in prisons

Gaithersburg, MD (November 1, 2018) BTN — The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) partnered with the FBI to evaluate a tattoo recognition software to be implemented in federal prisons.

The software evaluates tattoos for political beliefs, religious beliefs and any organizational affiliation, including criminal.

NIST said the Tattoo Recognition Technology Program is designed to assess and measure the capability of systems to perform automated image-based tattoo recognition. Organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) question the legitimacy of how this technology benefits American citizens.

“One of the emerging technologies is tattoo recognition,” Dave Maass said. “We really would like to challenge, then criticize it before it really becomes as widespread as some of the other technologies that are out there.”

Maass is a senior investigative researcher at EFF and has followed NIST’s program since 2015, one year after its start.

NIST is reviewing this technology for use in federal prisons, and they used images of inmates’ tattoos for their Tattoo Recognition Technology Challenge (Tatt-C). NIST failed to obtain the required human subjects protection review until after the experiment. This review ensures the protection of human subjects in research and is required prior to starting the research.

“NIST regrets that its formal human subjects protection review occurred while the Tatt-C publications were being drafted and not prior to the start of the project as required,” NIST said.

Remy Cross is a sociology and criminology professor at Webster University. Cross has conducted research involving prisoners. He said prisoners, current patients and children require the greatest attention when dealing with informed consent.

“I have to meet a very high standard as a social scientist to be able to conduct research with prisoners through the National Institute of Justice and through the Department of Justice,” Cross said. “The problem is this research is coming out of [the Department of Commerce] which does not have the same understanding and the same duty to protection of these populations.”

NIST said after a full human subjects protection review was conducted, Tatt-C did not meet the criteria for human subjects research as defined by federal regulations. Since the general human subjects protection regulations did not apply, the section of the regulations related to prisoners also did not apply.  

Since the conclusion of Tatt-C, NIST said it hired additional human subjects protection experts and expanded and enhanced training for its staff. NIST began conducting Tattoo Recognition Technology Evaluation (Tatt-E) in 2016 as a continuation of Tatt-C, and plans to commence this fall.

Maass said he worries the reasons for incarceration are becoming more about data collection. He said he fears people will be incarcerated in order to get pictures of their tattoos or get their DNA.

“It’s really important that you realize that just because you’re arrested doesn’t mean you’ve actually committed a crime,” Maass said. “And yet by being booked into the system, you have all of those things robbed of you, your images relating to your body. But I think that with tattoos, there’s a lot of room for error in there and that it doesn’t serve the causes of justice.”

Cross said the belief that tattoos and criminality go hand in hand has been around for hundreds of years, and research shows it is not true.

“What you have here is myth and the Department of Commerce attempting to replicate the Soviet-era criminal tattoo tracking program, but using fancy technology for it and in the face of the fact that these tattoo tracking things are not proven to be very effective,” Cross said.

Cross said when someone gets a tattoo with criminal ties, it can be for a variety of reasons that are not criminal reasons. Other people have tattoos from a criminal past that they moved on from. Cross said this technology tries to assign people into different categories based on their tattoos without allowing them to explain their meaning for the tattoo.

Maas fears this technology will expand from solely being used in federal prisons.

“We’re not just talking about inmates,” Maass said. “We’re talking about potentially having this being used against immigrants, being used in deportation efforts, being used to add people to gang databases that even if they aren’t a gang member, being added to a database could follow them their entire lives.”

NIST’s original documents from Tatt-C mention how tattoos can identify a person’s ritualistic beliefs, religions and interests. After EFF questioned this profiling method, Maas said NIST retracted information about people’s beliefs from their papers, presentations and website.

Cross said this technology could potentially place innocent American citizens under surveillance because of their tattoos. These people do not get to know what category their tattoo places them in, or what assumptions are made from those categories. He said this situation could deny someone a federal position, chance for parole and other opportunities based on surveillance of their tattoo.

The tattoo recognition software is made up of algorithms created by outside companies like the MITRE Corporation. Cross said researchers argue algorithms cannot be biased, but Cross disagrees.

“Algorithms are made by people who put their own biases into these things when they say ‘It’s just tattoo recognition,’ yeah, but who’s putting the meaning in for these tattoos,” Cross said. “Somebody’s doing that and when they do that, they’re making assumptions about it, and because of that, the potential for harm is tremendous.”

Cross said some of the experts cited in NIST’s report are good at identifying tattoos for Hispanic and certain Chinese gangs, but they almost always miss nationalist gangs and one percenter motorcycle gangs. He said if this margin of error gets encoded into the algorithm, the algorithm will have higher hit rates on Asian and Latino suspects, but miss white supremacist, white nationalist and white biker gang suspects.

Cross worked on a surveillance project with a Department of Defense grant that aimed to assist police. The technology took audio and video from public places, and Cross found that some officers shared lewd images from the surveillance, or viewed it as a goldmine to gather information.

He found that engineers do not usually receive the same ethical training around human subjects as researchers or scientists. As a result, Cross said the engineers are not as focused on the potential harm their technology brings to the public.

“I think [NIST], as researchers, they need to take a hard look at how this kind of technology will be used to oppress people and then make a decision whether they want to be involved in that kind of research,” Maass said.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Mongols MC: Feds going after clubs colors at racketeering trial

Santa Ana, California. (October 31, 2018) BTN —The feds have called the Mongol Nation "the most violent and dangerous" biker gang in the country, and they're trying an unusual tactic to dismantle them: Stripping them of the trademarked patches that are prized by members and feared by rivals.

A racketeering trial is set to begin in Santa Ana, California, later this week — opening arguments begin Wednesday — in which prosecutors accuse Mongol Nation of operating as an organized criminal enterprise involved in murder, attempted murder, assault, drug-dealing and more.

The Feds are going after the Trademarked colors of the Mongols MC

And prosecutors want to force the organization to forfeit "any and all marks" that include the organization's logo — the word "Mongols" and a drawing of a Genghis Khan-styled rider on a motorcycle.

That caricature is serious business for the Mongols, court papers say.

Higher-ups in the estimated 600-person gang "will frequently bear patches that indicate that they are officers in the enterprise," and they earn those patches through violence and mayhem, prosecutors say.

"The Mongols Gang is a violent, drug trafficking organization that advocates and rewards its members and associates for committing violent crimes, including, and specifically, assaults and murders, on behalf of the gang and in order to promote what the gang terms 'respect,' prosecutors wrote in one court filing.

In another filing, they said the club's 'Mother Chapter' may award a specific Mongols member a 'skull and crossbones' or 'Respect Few Fear None' patch to those members who have committed murder or engaged acts of violence on behalf of the Mongols."

The Feds showing off motorcycles and colors they confiscated from the Mongols MC

The U.S. Attorney's Office for California's Central District has been trying to go after the patches for a decade. Then-U.S. Attorney Thomas O'Brien first announced the unusual legal bid after 79 members of the gang were indicted in 2008.

“If the court grants our request ... then if any law enforcement officer sees a Mongol wearing his patch, he will be authorized to stop that gang member and literally take the jacket right off his back," O'Brien said at the time, according to a McClatchy report.

But that bid and a later one got shot down in court. A federal appeals court gave prosecutors the green light to try again last year. Opening arguments are is set to begin for the expected eight week trial on Wednesday. Prosecutors say they expect to call 96 witnesses detailing the gang's criminal history.

Defense lawyers say the motorcycle group is simply a loose configuration of riders in the Southwest, not an organized criminal enterprise. They also maintain that the government doesn't have the right to seize the patches of members who haven't been involved in any criminal activity.

In court filings, the group's lawyers say they plan to call former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura as an expert witness on the group and its history. Ventura — also a former professional wrestler and actor — was a member of the the group in the 1970s. Defense lawyers also want to call journalist Lisa Ling, who interviewed the group for a CNN documentary in 2015, to testify about the "organization and structure of the club."

The government has objected to both Ventura and Ling being called as witnesses, saying neither is an expert.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Bandidos MC: Maximum security prison only option for former member

Moncton, N.B. (October 30, 2018) —A “charismatic” former member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club serving a life sentence for a brutal Toronto-area murder has lost a bid to get out of the highest-security prison on the East Coast.

A New Brunswick judge has ruled that Randolph Brown — once connected to the Bandidos MV — will keep his new “maximum security” status and be housed at the Atlantic Institution near Renous, N.B.
Brown, 47, was handed a life sentence in 2008 with no parole eligibility until June 2016 after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.

Confiscated vest with Bandidos MC colors 

He had spent much of his time at New Brunswick’s minimum-security Westmoreland Institution before being moved to the nearby medium-security Dorchester Penitentiary in 2017, and then to the Atlantic Institution in August 2018.

Brown, originally from Jackson’s Point, Ont., went to court to fight the reclassification.

Justice Denise LeBlanc of New Brunswick’s Court of Queens Bench described two sides of Brown in her ruling this month. Officials describe him as “charismatic and well-spoken,” with one saying she had always found him personable and easy to talk to. He was described as “a forthcoming and cognizant individual, someone who possessed the ability to succeed.”

But he was also an integral part of Dorchester’s “sub-culture activities, including intimidation, extortion, muscling, assault, trading in and possession and distribution of contraband/unauthorized items, possession of stolen property,” according to LeBlanc’s ruling.

Brown was seen on camera “collecting” items from other inmates, and head-butting another prisoner.

Corrections officials argued his transfer would alleviate “a major hold held over general population offenders and reducing the risk of creating either more associate participation or potential victims of the sub-culture hierarchy.”

The warden felt Brown had needs that required a highly structured environment, the judge said.

“In protecting the safety and security of the institution, I have no alternative but to approve the proposed involuntary transfer to higher security,” the warden said in a report.

In her ruling, LeBlanc said the warden’s decision was reasonable and justified, and she rejected Brown’s bid and ordered him to pay $750 in costs. Brown is one of four men who pleaded guilty in the 2005 death of Shawn Douse, a Keswick, Ont., drug dealer.

Another biker was upset that Douse had been selling cocaine to family members. Brown admitted he stuffed a T-shirt into Douse’s throat to kill him, after he was beaten unconscious.

Douse’s body was found in a Pickering, Ont., field on Dec. 8, 2005. He had been bound and gagged, with a bag over his head, and set on fire.

SOURCE: The Star

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Pittsburgh Mayor defends drunken cops who started fight with Pagans MC members

Pittsburgh, PA (October 27, 2018) BTN — Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto on Friday pushed back against Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala’s characterization of the city police investigation of a brawl between undercover officers and members of the Pagans motorcycle club.

Kopy's Bar in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Mr. Peduto called Mr. Zappala’s statement that he had problems with police management “disappointing” and “unfortunate,” and said he had not yet decided whether the undercover detectives used appropriate force when they fought with four Pagans in Kopy’s Bar on the South Side on Oct. 12.

Related |Pagans MC: Bar owner says cops would not leave MC members alone

Related |Pagans MC: District attorney waits on critical info from cops 

Related |Pagans MC: Attorneys say new video shows cops started bar fight  

Related |Pagans MC: The cops were drunk and started the fight

“What I saw is troubling, with the actions of escalation of force that didn’t seem to be warranted, but without full evidence of what actually happened, it’s very difficult to make that judgmental call,” Mr. Peduto said. “And a district attorney’s role is to investigate first, then comment; not comment and then do an investigation.”

Mr. Zappala said Thursday that Pittsburgh police initially turned over only a small part of the video evidence  in the case, and that his office did not receive the rest for more than a week. Mr. Peduto said Mr. Zappala received all the evidence he wanted within 48 hours of the request.

“I can understand why he would want information immediately, but some of that had to be obtained by our officers, such as the cameras, the video, and then compiled to be able to give that to him,” Mr. Peduto said. “I think 48 hours is a fair amount of time.”

But Mr. Zappala’s spokesman, Mike Manko, said Friday it took far longer than 48 hours. The DA’s office requested the evidence Oct. 18 and received it Wednesday -- a day after the office was forced to postpone a scheduled preliminary hearings for the Pagans. Additionally, Mr. Manko said, body camera footage was delivered late Thursday afternoon.

“These requests are memorialized in dated emails,” Mr. Manko said.

Mr. Peduto also said Kopy’s Bar was frequented by motorcycle gangs and that area is “suspected of being a major trafficking area of illegal drugs.”

Mr. Manko said police evidence does not support that characterization of the bar, and an attorney for the bar, George R. Farneth II, said Friday it’s simply not true.

“We categorically deny that allegation and would encourage the mayor to come forward with all the evidence he has to support such an allegation,” Mr. Farneth said. “Short of doing that, this is a veiled attempt to cover for a police department for his city that in a lot of respects is out of control, as evidenced by these police officers.”

Mr. Farneth said the bar has not been cited by the Liquor Control Board or has needed to call police for more than a decade. Mr. Farneth said Kopy’s Bar is not frequented by bikers.

“If you go on a regular day of the week, any day of the week, the chances of a biker being in the bar are slim to none,” he said. “It’s locals, everyday common folk.”

Six members of the Pagans motorcycle club were there Oct. 12., and four left in handcuffs. Frank Deluca, Erik Heitzenrater, Bruce Thomas and Michael Zokaites each face several felony charges as a result of the fight, which their attorneys contend was started by intoxicated undercover detectives.

Detectives Brian Burgunder, David Honick, Brian Martin and David Lincoln had been drinking in the bar from 7:33 p.m. until the fight about 12:40 p.m., surveillance video shows.

Police officers are prohibited from drinking alcohol while on duty, but Mayor Peduto said Friday there is an unwritten understanding that undercover officers can drink while on the job to maintain their covers.

“That being said...someone would be expected while doing undercover work to be able to consume while still being able to properly respond,” he said. “And not being in a situation where the intoxication level would jeopardize themselves or other officers. That’s what we’re looking at right now. There isn’t a policy in place, it’s a common sense call.”

Attorneys for the men arrested say each of the undercover detectives drank between 13 and 19 drinks, many on the rocks, before the fight broke out.

The mayor said he’s asked Pittsburgh police Chief Scott Schubert and Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich to create an alcohol policy for undercover officers by looking at how other cities handle the matter.

Mr. Farneth on Friday called on police to be more transparent and said they should release body camera footage from uniformed officers who responded to the fight to resolve any lingering questions about how the incident and subsequent investigation were handled.

The affidavit in the case, written by Detective Burgunder, was not finished and filed in City Court, Downtown, until 1 p.m. Oct. 12 -- nearly 12 hours after the fight. The document was approved by the District Attorney’s office about 11 a.m.

That timeline appears to violate Pittsburgh police policy, which typically requires officers to finish reports before the end of their shifts. Defendants cannot be arraigned or processed at the jail until the police affidavit is filed. Court records show the Pagans were arraigned about 6:40 p.m. Oct. 12.

Pittsburgh police spokesman Chris Togneri would not say Friday whether Detective Burgunder was granted permission to wait to file the paperwork. Elizabeth Pittinger, executive director of the Citizen Police Review Board, said Friday the end-of-shift policy helps ensure that officers can accurately recall what happened.”

“I think it’s inappropriate that it was filed so late and I believe it’s also contrary to the policy expectation that the report be completed prior to the end of shift, and with the rare exception and with a supervisor's approval,” she said.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Pagans MC: District attorney waits on critical info from cops

Pittsburgh, PA (October 25, 2018) BTN — The Allegheny County District Attorney says he is waiting on critical information from Pittsburgh police about a bar fight involving undercover officers and members of the Pagan Motorcycle club. "That's why I got cameras up and down Carson Street because I don't want to go through this nonsense," said Stephen Zappala, Allegheny County district attorney.

 A lot of questions remain over what led to the fight inside Kopy's, and the role of the undercover police officers seen on the video. “I don't know what kind of games these guys are playing, but this is serious stuff," Zappala said. "That's one of the reasons I'm talking with the U.S. attorney.” Zappala says he just received more than a dozen disks of security footage from the night of the fight, nearly two weeks later. “I don't know that they're undercover," Zappala said. "I don't know why they're in the bar.

Related |Pagans MC: Attorneys say new video shows cops started bar fight  

Related |Pagans MC: The cops were drunk and started the fight

We haven't heard from a supervisor that they were on-duty. We haven't heard from a supervisor who the target was, if there was in fact a target.” Attorneys for the four Pagan suspects facing assault charges have criticized the officers conduct, saying they had 40 drinks between them before the fight.

Zappala said he's still waiting on critical information from police, including body camera video from the responding officers. “Controlling a situation or trying to hurt somebody are two totally different things," Zappala said. "This is the second time we've had somebody repeatedly struck in the head. I have a problem with that.”

The Pagan MC members involved in the bar fight are scheduled to be in court next month. Various news sources asked Pittsburgh police to respond to the district attorney's criticism over the handling of the investigation, but a spokesman declined to comment.


No Surrender MC: Founder gets six years in prison

Breda, Netherlands (October 25, 2018) BTN — The founder of the No Surrender motorcycle club has been jailed for six years for assault, extortion and making threats, as well as laundering €1.3 million. Klaas Otto left one of his victims with permanent injuries and threatened to cut off his children’s ears, the district court in Breda heard.

The 51-year-old told another victim that his wife would be raped by members of his club if he refused to pay up. ‘He used the threat of severe violence to force his victims to hand over large sums of money and cars,’ judges said in passing sentence. The court said there was an ‘atmosphere of menace’ surrounding Otto, who denied all charges against him.

Several alleged victims refused to testify because they feared reprisals, but the court found Otto guilty of threatening and mistreating two car dealers. The sentence was lower than the 10 years demanded by prosecutors, partly because the court decided other charges including arson and letting off a hand grenade had not been proven. Judges also took account of the fact that Otto had been the target in a shooting incident and had been detained in custody for 18 months on a charge of threatening a prosecutor, which the court decided was not supported by the evidence.

His incarceration was ‘too long and too severe,’ the court decided. The prosecution service said last December it would seek a nationwide ban on No Surrender similar to the one imposed on rival motorcycle clubs Saturadah and Bandidos.

SOURCE: Dutch News

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Pagans MC: Attorneys say new video shows cops started bar fight

Pittsburgh, PA (October 23, 2018) BTN — Four members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club were all charged after a brawl at Kopy’s Bar on the South Side earlier this month. They are Frank DeLuca, Eric Heitzenrater, Bruce Thomas and Michael Zokaites. New video was released by their attorneys on Tuesday.

Screenshot of the bar fight - Photo credit: KDKA

Before the brawl, you can see DeLuca reaching out to shake hands with undercover officers. “Our clients are minding their own business at the bar trying to ignore them.

Related |Pagans MC: The cops were drunk and started the fight

The officers are repeatedly going over, tapping them, touching them, trying to engage them,” said attorney Wendy Williams. The attorneys believe things escalated due to the amount of alcohol they say the undercover officers were drinking. “The main aggressor in this incident is seen drinking a fifth and a half of Jack Daniels in shots over the course of four to five hours,” said Williams. “One of the officers brandished a firearm.

He could barely stand. He was wobbly. Displayed a firearm to one of the defendants,” said attorney Martin Dietz. “After this melee occurred, all seen on video, my client was restrained by four, possibly six officers and punched in the face after hair being pulled back and neck being pinched over 23 times in face and head,” said attorney Lee Rothman.

 As for Thomas and Heitzenrater:

 “My review of video shows he took no aggressive stance, no aggressive actions and violently thrown to the ground unprovoked,” said attorney Thomas Will. “My client absolutely engaged in no aggressive behavior and he was what we call sucker-punched twice by an undercover detective,’ said Dietz.

 This case has been continued until Nov. 16.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hells Angels MC: Member pleads guilty, sentenced to 4 ½ years

Fredericton, Canada (October 17, 2018) BTN — A Fredericton man and woman associated with the Hells Angels will be incarcerated for various drug and weapons charges.

Robin Moulton, 49, a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, was sentenced in Woodstock Court of Queen's Bench on Wednesday to four and half years for possession of cocaine with the intention of trafficking and possessing a drug press intended for trafficking purposes.

Marie Antonette Bugay, 41, described by the court as an associate of the Angels, was sentenced to 30 months in jail for possession of a loaded firearm without a license, possession of property obtained by crime and possession of cocaine.

Both plead guilty and, as a result, the Crown withdrew 10 additional charges, including illegal weapons possession and illegal weapons storage. At the time of the charges, the pair were in a romantic relationship and Bugay was associated with Moulton's company that sold clothing representing the Angels.

Both were sentenced together as part of a joint indictment stemming from their arrest on Aug. 22, 2017. They were apprehended by police as part of an ongoing joint-force investigation into motorcycle club activities in New Brunswick. Moulton, described by the court as a full-patch Hells Angels member for 12 years, sat next to Bugay during Wednesday's sentencing.

Moulton, wearing a black long-sleeve shirt with a grey goatee and his grey hair in a ponytail, kept his gaze lowered for most of the proceeding, occasionally sharing glances with Bugay, who wore a black shirt with a grey vest and black thick-rimmed glasses.

The investigation
During the delivery of the facts by Justice Richard G. Petrie, the court heard that Moulton had been under police surveillance as a part of Operation J-Trident. Police witnessed Moulton using three storage lockers in Fredericton and one in the Woodstock area. On May 11, 2017, Moulton was observed by police to be moving a large hydraulic shop press from a storage locker in Fredericton to a storage locker in Woodstock.

Robin Moulton being led away in handcuffs 

Police determined that to be significant as it is often used as a tool to compress cocaine. After obtaining a general warrant, police covertly entered the Woodstock storage locker and found trace amounts of cocaine on metal blocks and the hydraulic press.

A second warrant allowed officers to covertly place a motion-activated camera inside the locker, and another warrant led police to find a 9-millimetre Berretta pistol stuffed inside a mitten. Police disabled the weapon before returning it. When the handgun was later analyzed, Bugay's DNA was found on the trigger.

The camera installed in the storage locker captured images of Moulton using the hydraulic press to compress a white powdered substance into bricks, which were then put into clear bags and placed into a duffel bag before leaving.

Police then followed Moulton, pulled over his rental car and, upon searching the vehicle, found 272.4 grams of cocaine at about 35 per cent purity valued at between $12,000 and $24,000. Moulton was arrested, leading to search warrants at his residence, Bugay's residence and the additional search lockers in Fredericton. Police found 28.9 grams of cocaine valued at between $1,400 and $4,000 at Bugay's home. She was later arrested while in her vehicle, where a duffel bag stuffed with $77,000 in cash was discovered. It was determined this to be the proceeds of crime.

In addition to prison time, both Bugay and Moulton are ordered to provide a sample of DNA for a databank. Bugay will be required to forfeit the $77,000 seized by police, is prohibited from owning a firearm for 10 years and was fined $600 in victim surcharges, while Moulton is banned for life from owning a firearm and was fined $400 in victim surcharges. Bugay had no prior charges before her arrest. The court mentioned that Moulton also had a prior drug possession charge from about 10 years ago.

Previous incarceration
Although not mentioned as a part of Wednesday's court proceedings, Moulton was previously sentenced to five years and four months in federal prison for trafficking cocaine and for possessing a prohibited or restricted weapon with ammunition.

His sentence began on July 30, 2008, but he was released on February 17, 2012, with special conditions.

Moulton was not to associate with anyone known or believed to be involved in criminal activity or associate with club members, including the Angels. He was also ordered to provide his parole officer with financial records as well as to reside at a specific place.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Pagans MC: The cops were drunk and started the fight

Pittsburgh, PA  (October 15, 2018) BTN — Four members of the Pagans motorcycle club are facing charges after brawling with undercover police officers in a South Side bar last weekend. Video of the brawl at Kopy's quickly surfaced and spread on social media.

According to the criminal complaint, members of the Pagans came into the bar on South 12th Street, and one of the club members realized who the police were and blew their cover.

One of the club members became hostile and detectives tried to control the situation, the complaint said.

Bruce Thomas, one of the men charged, disputes those claims. He told Pittsburgh's Action News 4 that the undercover officers were visibly intoxicated and initiated the encounter.

"Next thing you know, one of them said something disrespectful, and one of our guys got mad and we never knew they were cops," Thomas said.

Video from the fight shows Thomas being taken down by one of the undercover officers.

"I got handcuffed, kicked in the ribs, and kneed in the back and the spine," Thomas said. "I didn't even hit anybody. We didn't think police would be in a bar drinking."

Surveillance video from the bar was turned over to Pittsburgh police.

Pittsburgh's Citizen Police Review Board is investigating the force used and the demeanor of the officers during the incident, and is asking anyone with information.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Rebels MC: Strike Force Raptor intercepts National Run

Moree, New South Wales, AU. (October 9, 2018) BTN — Police have intercepted dozens of Rebels MC members during a week-long operation involving local and interstate officers.

The blitz, code-named "Operation Morpheus", saw officers swarm Moree, as the Rebels MC members took part in their club’s national run.

But several riders made a u-turn at Moree, and north of the town, after they were met with the men and white in blue, the commander of the club's squad said.

Strike Force Raptor raiding a Rebels MC clubhouse

As part of Operation Morpheus, the Criminal Groups Squad’s Strike Force Raptor joined their counterparts from Queensland Police Service and Victoria Police to proactively target the Rebels National Run from Sunday, September 30, 2018 to Sunday, October 7, 2018.

Operation Morpheus is a National Anti-Gangs Squad initiative, combining the resources of all Australian state and territory police agencies and key Commonwealth agencies, to detect, deter, and disrupt any illicit activity of motorccyle members and associates.

During the operation – which began in Queensland and travelled through Moree, Dubbo, Parkes and Albury – seven people were issued court attendance notices for a range of offences, including possess prohibited drug, possess drug equipment, drive while suspended, assault police, and custody of a knife in a public place.

Officers also issued 104 traffic infringement notices and 61 defect notices to several Rebels MC members, and searched 33 people; seizing cash, a knife and prohibited drugs.

Criminal Groups Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Deborah Wallace, said motorcycle club members should expect more operations such as this as interstate law enforcement agencies continue to work together.

“We know outlaw motorcycle gangs are not confined to one particular state or criminal activity, and, by working together with our interstate colleagues, it allows us a united front to further disrupt their criminal enterprises,” she said.

As part of our proactive strategies, we had several  members turn back near Moree to return to Queensland. In fact, attendance for this event was significantly lower than previous years.

Detective Superintendent Deborah Wallace

“As part of our proactive strategies, we had several Rebels MC members turn back near Moree to return to Queensland. In fact, attendance for this event was significantly lower than previous years."

“We make no apology for conducting these operations. If you are an motorcycle club member and commit any illegal activities in NSW, you should expect to deal with our Strike Force Raptor officers.”

Strike Force Raptor was established in 2009 and conducts proactive investigations and intelligence-based, high-impact policing operations to prevent and disrupt conflicts, and dismantle any network engaged in serious organised criminal activity.