Category Archives: Organized Crime

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‘Mission accomplished’: Mexican President says ‘El Chapo’ caught

Updated 6:24 PM ET, Fri January 8, 2016 | Video Source: CNN

(CNN)Mexican authorities snared drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in a bloody raid Friday, recapturing one of the world’s most notorious and slippery criminals.

“Mission Accomplished,” President Enrique Peña Nieto announced via Twitter. “We have him.”

Members of Mexico’s navy caught Guzman in an operation at about 4:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. ET) in the coastal city of Los Mochis in Sinaloa state, a senior law enforcement official in Mexico told CNN.

Several people aligned with Guzman died in the raid, the official said. The Mexican navy put the number of dead at five, with six others arrested. No navy personnel were killed, and only one was injured.

Peña Nieto said the recapture of Guzman culminates “days and nights” of collaborative work among Mexican intelligence and police agencies.

“They are a pride to our nation,” he said, referring to the multi-agency operation in an address at the National Palace in Mexico City.

Without specifically mentioning how Guzman had already twice escaped from Mexican prisons, the Mexican President said the recapture of Guzman ought to restore Mexicans’ faith in their government and justice system.

Friday’s announcement marked the third time that Guzman was captured by Mexican authorities.

“Today our institutions have demonstrated one more time that our citizens can trust them, and our institutions are at the level needed to have the strength and determination to complete any mission that is granted to them,” the President said.

Guzman’s recapture represents a major success in what has been an embarrassing ordeal for Mexico. For many, “El Chapo” has been a symbol of the Mexican government’s ineptitude and corruption.

He has led one of the country’s most powerful, violent drug cartels and escaped maximum-security prisons not once, but twice, the latest in July when he busted out through a hole into a mile-long tunnel and then on to freedom.

Last year’s breakout spurred major criticism about the Mexican government’s ability to safeguard such a notorious criminal, with some saying he should have been held in the United States.

U.S. officials were aware of the operation to capture Guzman, according to a law enforcement official.

The Americans provided assistance in the search, but his capture was the Mexican government’s operation, the official said.

Mexican authorities were closing in on him for at least 24 hours before special forces moved in. The official said it’s not a surprise El Chapo was located in Sinaloa.

“There was a belief he was in Sinaloa. That was his refuge. We would have been surprised if it were anywhere but Sinaloa,” the official said.

Some U.S. officials were skeptical that Guzman would ever be captured again, especially alive, given the amount of protection he has in Mexico and his ability to escape prison twice, the official said.

The U.S. Justice Department previously sought extradition of El Chapo to the United States, and it is likely that the Justice Department will try to do so again.

The raid began after a citizen complained about armed people in a home, and when Mexican special forces went to the scene, they were fired upon by alleged members of organized crime, the Mexican navy said.

On Friday, Mexican authorities released a video of a person identified as Guzman, whose head was covered and who was being led by several armed officers from a vehicle to an airplane. They released a video of a white structure where the raid occurred, and the footage showed several weapons.

In all, authorities seized four armored vehicles, eight rifles, a handgun, ammunition, and a tube rocket launcher with two charges, the Navy said.

Led one of Mexico’s richest, most violent cartels

Born in Badiraguato in Sinaloa state, Guzman started his career in the drug trade working for Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, according to Time magazine in 2009.

Read Full Article – http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/08/americas/el-chapo-captured-mexico/

Suge Knight’s Lawyer Claims Justice System Is Treating Client Unfairly

by VICTORIA HERNANDEZ on January 06th 2016

Suge Knight is in county jail in Los Angeles after a hit and run last year.

Suge Knight is currently residing in Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles and isfacing murder charges after a hit and run January 2015 on the set of Straight Outta Compton. Terry Carter was killed in the incident and two others were injured.

In an interview with The Wrap, Knight’s Lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, says that his client is being treated unfairly by the justice system.

“He should be at home and he should have been granted reasonable bail, like everybody else,” Mesereau says. “This case is going forward because of who he is, not because of anything he did that was wrong.”

Knight’s $2.2 million bail was reportedly revoked because of his being a potential flight risk and his criminal past. Mesereau said that his client’s character is not that which the media has portrayed of him.

“He’s a person of character and courage and fortitude,” the lawyer says, “and he looks forward to his day in court.”

Suge Knight is scheduled for a February 26 hearing where his trial date will be set.

For additional Suge Knight coverage, watch the following DX Daily:

Read Full Article – http://hiphopdx.com/news/id.36919/title.suge-knights-lawyer-claims-justice-system-is-treating-client-unfairly

How a 16-year-old white boy rose to become a Chinese mafia boss

 

  • Asian man gave John Willis his number after he saved him from a fight
  • 16-year-old dialed & was picked up by Chinese men in BMWs minutes later
  • Boston’s Chinese mafia took him and in and he quickly learned Chinese in two dialects, as well as Vietnamese
  • Willis proved his worth and rose through the ranks, known as White Devil
  • He eventually became second-in-command of the Chinese mob but split from them in the 2000s to sell drugs on a huge scale
  • His life became more stable after meeting his Vietnamese-American girlfriend but he was eventually caught trafficking $4million in oxycodone
  • FBI say Willis – who was jailed for 20 years – is the only white man to join the Chinese mafia 

Down on his luck and with nowhere no turn, 16-year-old John Willis made a phone call that would transform his life.

With his father long gone and his mother dead, he was taking steroids to beef himself up and convince the owner of a club in Boston that he was 18 and therefore old enough to be a bouncer.

After helping a young Asian man called Woping Joe out of a fight at the club, he was handed a card with a phone number and told to ring it if he ever needed help.

Days later, with just 76 cents to his name and nowhere to sleep, he found himself dialing the number for a lift. Just minutes afterwards he was picked up by two BMWs car packed with young, Chinese men.

At the time he was just looking for a warm meal and a roof over his head, but a decade later he would be the Chinese mafia’s number two, known as Bac Guai John – or White Devil.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3382507/How-16-year-old-white-boy-rose-Chinese-mafia-boss-White-Devil-orphan-Boston-mob-took-wing-taught-three-languages-gave-life-woman-dreams.html#ixzz3wDZ28XCu
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

 

Drug industry hired dozens of officials from the DEA as the agency tried to curb opioid abuse

By Scott Higham, Lenny Bernstein, Steven Rich and Alice Crites

Pharmaceutical companies that manufacture or distribute highly addictive pain pills have hired dozens of officials from the top levels of the Drug Enforcement Administration during the past decade, according to a Washington Post investigation.

The hires came after the DEA launched an aggressive campaign to curb a rising opioid epidemic that has resulted in thousands of overdose deaths each year. In 2005, the DEA began to crack down on companies that were distributing inordinate numbers of pills such as oxycodone to pain-management clinics and pharmacies around the country.

Since then, the pharmaceutical companies and law firms that represent them have hired at least 42 officials from the DEA — 31 of them directly from the division responsible for regulating the industry, according to work histories compiled by The Post and interviews with current and former agency officials.

The number of hires has prompted some current and former government officials to ask whether the companies raided the division to hire away DEA officials who were architects of the agency’s enforcement campaign or were most responsible for enforcing the laws the firms were accused of violating.

“The number of employees recruited from that division points to a deliberate strategy by the pharmaceutical industry to hire people who are the biggest headaches for them,” said John Carnevale, former director of planning for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, who now runs a consulting firm. “These people understand how DEA operates, the culture around diversion and DEA’s goals, and they can advise their clients how to stay within the guidelines.”

Read Full – https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/key-officials-switch-sides-from-dea-to-pharmaceutical-industry/2016/12/22/55d2e938-c07b-11e6-b527-949c5893595e_story.html?utm_term=.a6e6664d1a03

Top Trump business adviser admitted role in Mafia-linked stock fraud scheme

Donald Trump tapped a man to be a senior business adviser to his real-estate empire even after the man’s past involvement in a major mafia-linked stock fraud scheme had become publicly known, according to Associated Press interviews and a review of court records.

Portions of Trump’s relationship with Felix Sater, a convicted felon and government informant, have been previously known. Trump worked with the company where Sater was an executive, Bayrock Group LLC, after it rented office space from the Trump Organization as early as 2003. Sater’s criminal history was effectively unknown to the public at the time, because a judge kept the relevant court records secret and Sater altered his name.

When Sater’s criminal past and mafia links came to light in 2007, Trump distanced himself from Sater.

But less than three years later, Trump renewed his ties with Sater. Sater presented business cards describing himself as a senior adviser to Donald Trump, and he had an office on the same floor as Trump’s own office in New York’s Trump Tower, The Associated Press learned through interviews and court records.

Trump said during an AP interview on Wednesday that he recalled only bare details of Sater.

“Felix Sater, boy, I have to even think about it,” Trump said, referring questions about Sater to his staff. “I’m not that familiar with him.”

According to Trump lawyer Alan Garten, Sater’s role was to prospect for high-end real estate deals for the Trump Organization. The arrangement lasted six months, Garten said.

The revelation about Sater’s role is significant because of its timing and directness, and marks the first time the Trump Organization has acknowledged publicly that Sater worked for Trump after the disclosures of Sater’s criminal background. Trump has said that among his secrets of success is that he surrounds himself with the “best and most serious people” and with “people you can trust.”

Sater never had an employment agreement or formal contract with the Trump Organization and did not close any deals for Trump, Garten said.

“He was trying to restart his life,” Garten said. “I believe he was regretful of things that happened in the past.”

Trump did not know the details of Sater’s cooperation with the government when Sater came in-house in 2010, Garten said. But Garten noted that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch praised Sater’s cooperation with the federal government, when senators asked about him during her confirmation hearings early this year. She said Sater cooperated against his mafia stock fraud co-defendants and assisted the government on unspecified national security matters.

“If Mr. Sater was good enough for the government to work with, I see no reason why he wasn’t good enough for Mr. Trump,” Garten said.

He pleaded guilty in 1998 to one count of racketeering for his role in a $40 million stock fraud scheme involving the prominent Genovese and Bonanno crime families, according to court records. Prosecutors called the operation a pump-and-dump scheme, in which insiders manipulate the price of obscure stocks and then sell them to hapless investors at inflated prices. Five years earlier, a New York State court had sentenced Sater to more than a year in prison for stabbing a man in the face with a broken margarita glass.

Sater declined to discuss his work with Trump.

“Obviously a Donald-and-the-bad-guy piece is not interesting for me to participate in,” Sater wrote in an email to AP. His lawyer, Robert Wolf, said information about Sater in public records and lawsuits obtained by the AP was defamatory. He credited Sater’s stint as a government cooperator with potentially saving American military lives, although he did not provide details. Wolf told the AP to write about Sater’s past “at your own risk” but did not cite specific concerns.

After his 1998 racketeering conviction, Sater spent more than a decade as an informant on the mafia and on national security-related matters. Federal prosecutors kept even the existence of Sater’s racketeering case out of publicly available court records for 14 years.

During that time, Sater launched a luxury real estate development career. Sealed court records prevented potential customers or partners from learning about his past association with organized crime. Sater altered his name, to Satter, and became a top executive in Bayrock, a development firm that partnered with Trump on the Trump Soho high-rise hotel in Manhattan and other branded luxury real estate deals.

Civil lawsuits have alleged that Bayrock engaged in a pattern of misconduct during Sater’s tenure, sometimes involving potential Trump projects. Bayrock’s attorney told AP the firm did not mislead anyone about Sater’s past and denied any misconduct.

The firm has not yet responded to a version of the complaint refiled in U.S. court last month.

Trump’s lawyer, Garten, said Trump had no knowledge of alleged improprieties at Bayrock or reason to believe that Sater was a major stakeholder in Bayrock’s projects. Trump only learned of Sater’s troubled past when The New York Times reported details in December 2007. In the article, Trump distanced himself from Sater, saying: “I didn’t really know him very well.”

Garten said Trump had no further interactions with Sater at Bayrock following the revelations of his criminal history. But a new relationship was formed in 2010 when Trump offered Sater office space and a chance to round up new business possibilities for the Trump Organization.

“The guy’s been in business a long time, he’s got a lot of contacts,” Garten said of Sater.

Full Article – http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/12/04/top-trump-business-adviser-admitted-role-in-mafia-linked-stock-fraud-scheme.html