Showing posts with label Prison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prison. Show all posts

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Hells Angels MC member being released from prison

Quebec, Canada (September 14, 2023) - One of the most influential Hells Angels MC members in Quebec will be released from a federal penitentiary soon as he nears the statutory release date of the 14-year sentence he received as a result of his guilty pleas in two major investigations into the motorcycle club.

In a decision made earlier this week, the Parole Board of Canada ordered that Marvin (Casper) Ouimet, 54, be required to reside at a halfway house for six months after he reaches his statutory release date. The board imposed several other conditions of Ouimet’s release because he made it clear he is still a Hells Angel and will remain one when he is released.

In one case, Ouimet pleaded guilty in Operation SharQc, an investigation that in 2009 resulted in the roundup of almost every member of the Hells Angels MC in Quebec. The probe was based on the theory that almost every member of the club in Quebec was part of a conspiracy to murder rival members of criminal organizations in the province during a war over drug-trafficking turf that stretched from 1994 to 2002.

In the other case, Operation Diligence, Ouimet pleaded guilty to money laundering and other related charges. Ouimet admitted he invested $200,000 to purchase land in Lachute. The plan was to subdivide the land into 100 lots and build bungalows or semi-detached homes on them. Operation Diligence began after the owner of a family business that once replaced Montreal city hall’s copper roof alleged that Ouimet wanted to take control of his company and a masonry firm.

Ouimet’s attempt to take control of the company is mentioned in a written summary of the parole board’s decision.

“All your criminality has been committed for financial gain. You were convicted of being at the head of a network of money laundering and infiltration of the legal economy in the construction industry. Official information reports, among other things, false invoices, under the table payments, transfer of money to tax havens,” the parole board wrote. “The crimes were committed over a significant period of three years  and one of the victims declared having suffered intimidation when you took control of his company.”

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Indiana State trooper arrested for arson

Tell City, Indiana, USA (February 5, 2020) BTN — An Indiana State trooper has been arrested on allegations he set his own home ablaze.

Jeremy Galloway, 44, of Tell City faces two counts of felony arson, one count of felony insurance fraud and one count of felony arson with intent to defraud.

It was around 1:40 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, when firefighters were called to Galloway’s Tell City home after a passerby spotted a fire and called 911. Crews arrived and found two fires at the property – in the home and an outbuilding, according to a state police report.

The home sustained heavy smoke and fire damage. The outbuilding and two motorcycles in it were totally destroyed, the report said.


The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to investigate, and it was determined the fire was caused by arson. A criminal investigation was initiated by the Indiana State Police in Jasper.

Late last month, the case was handed over to the Perry County prosecutor. On Tuesday, an arrest warrant was issued for Galloway and he was taken into custody.

Galloway is currently on administrative leave without pay, state police said.

SOURCE: Eyewitness News 25

Friday, July 19, 2019

Last suspect arrested in Hells Angels meth bust

Modesto, California, USA (July 19, 2019) BTN — Michael Pack, 32, a prospect with the Modesto Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, has been arrested in connection with an alleged methamphetamine distribution ring.

A Department of Justice spokeswoman said that Pack was subsequently arrested after federal agents failed to locate him during a June 25 sweep that netted club president Randy Picchi, 61; his wife, Tina Picchi, 51; and Michael Mize, 61. Pack, a Modesto resident, was arraigned in federal court in Fresno on Tuesday.

Related | Modesto Hells Angels President Arrested

Search Warrants Executed at Seven Locations

Officers executed search warrants at seven locations June 25 in Stanislaus County, including the Hells Angels clubhouse in Modesto.

Court documents allege that Randy Picchi led a drug conspiracy and directed his wife to regularly deliver drugs to Mize and others in Ceres. Randy Pichi also enlisted Pack to help obtain methamphetamine on at least one occasion. Pack was stopped by law enforcement officers and was found with 499 grams of meth on him.

In addition, the court documents allege that Randy Picchi directed Tina Picchi to drive from Modesto to Redding to deliver meth to a customer. On the way, Tina Picchi was stopped by law enforcement and found with approximately 4 ounces of meth, which she had wrapped in a plastic glove and hidden in a cup of soda.

Defendants Face 10-Year Minimum Sentences

This case involved the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the IRS Criminal Investigation, the Central Valley Gang Impact Task Force, the Modesto and Turlock police departments, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the California Highway Patrol.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ross Pearson and Laurel Montoya are prosecuting the case. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a $10 million fine.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Hells Angels MC members face 300 years in prison

Mallorca, Spain (February 21, 2019) BTN —  Five years after the Mallorca chapter of the Hells Angels was shut down, 46 alleged members are set to be tried and are facing a combined 300 years in prison. The suspects were arrested in connection with 16 crimes which include drug trafficking, prostitution, threats, bribery, possession of weapons, money laundering and extortion in S’Arenal and Palma.

And among the defendants are two local police officers and a Guardia Civil sergeant from Palma, who face between five and seven years each for criminal involvement and bribery. The National Police dismantled the ‘powerful criminal gang’ at the end of July 2013 in the so-called ‘Operation Casablanca’, in collaboration with the Guardia Civil. Investigations have been ongoing and the magistrate of the Central Court of Instruction, 6, of the National Court, has now announced all 46 will be brought to trial at the Criminal Chamber.

At the recent hearing, an order was made for the ‘precautionary seizure of assets, both real estate and vehicles’, together with documents and money. The magistrate also set civil liability bonds of more than €4 million for several of the money laundering suspects. The alleged European leader of the organisation, German Frank Hanebuth, could face 13 years in prison for criminal organisation, threats, money laundering and illegal possession of weapons.

Video of the Raid on July 24, 2013

His two suspected ‘lieutenants’, the Youssafi brothers, Khalil, considered the vice president of the chapter of the motorcycle club in Mallorca, who could get 38 and a half years in prison for a string of crimes. Abdelghani, believed to have acted as treasurer, faces 33 and a half years. The club reportedly settled on the island because of its location, the existence of alternative businesses, and the possibility of money laundering and drug trafficking.

SOURCE: Euro Weekly

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.