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(USA) Hells Angels in Cody
CODY, WYOMING -Hundreds of Hells Angels are coming to Cody for a national meeting this week. The motorcycle club apparently likes the northwest Wyoming town. They held their world run there in 2006. Police presence is heavy in Cody now.The biker?s club was scheduled to start its two day meet Wednesday. Tuesday night, the Highway Patrol stopped someone wearing what appeared to be a bikers?club vest. The patrol now tells us it was not a Hells Angel, but a member of another biker group.In a press briefing the next morning, Cody Police spokesman John Harris could not say whether the state patrol had made any arrests. He did say police from other communities are in town to assist.Harris said, ?There are municipal and county agencies throughout the state.?The city is cooperating with the state Department of Criminal Investigation too. Harris listed several others, ?The FBI, ATF, BLM, Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, Park Service, and Park County Sheriff?s Department.?The biker club pitched its tent in clear sight on the west end of town. We approached them for an interview, but they were unwilling to talk about their Cody visit.Cody police say they don?t expect trouble. There wasn?t much trouble when the biker gang last visited eight summers ago. In 2006, it was an international run, and there were a lot more Hells Angels members in town. They were walking down the streets and parking their bikes downtown. They were at the Silver Dollar Bar and even Walmart. In comparison this year, they seem to be a lot more low key, but they?ve been spotted in restaurants and the Center of the West museum complex.Center Security manager Mike Brown said, ?We had a bunch in yesterday, and we do welcome them, and we never had a problem with them..?Brown thinks the bikers are coming to see the Cody Firearms massive gun collection, but visitors aren?t allowed to carry weapons.He explained, ?Yesterday we had one knife come in. We talked to them and they turned it in. We don?t have a problem with them.?City police report no biker arrests yet, but the state highway patrol says some Hells Angels have been stopped and given citations. The state of Wyoming has agreed to reimburse Cody up to $184,000 of its security costs for the Hells Angels visit.
Publ.Date : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:56:41 +0000
(USA) FBI arrests four members of Vagos motorcycle group
SACRAMENTO - The FBI calls the Vagos the biggest Outlaw Motorcycle Gang in the area with ties to an international, highly-organized criminal network.On Wednesday, federal agents capped off more than a year's worth of undercover work that resulted in four arrests.As of late Wednesday night all four of the men arrested were still going through the booking process at the Sacramento County Jail and unable to respond to our requests for interviews, but one high-ranking Vagos member is telling us his organization is not a gang.In a criminal complaint, the FBI describes the Sacramento Vagos as an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang trafficking in methamphetamine, illegal weapons, and stolen motorcycles, but Vagos member Chris Mayhew insists his organization is a peaceful one."We're not a gang. We're a motorcycle club. We're a whole bunch of brothers. You know, we're a family," Mayhew said.Mayhew describes himself as an officer of the group. He's one of several members named in the criminal complaint against accused drug supplier James Cline and accused gang members Leonard Walter and Michael Wright.The three men were arrested for drug charges along with accused drug supplier Richard Cardenas. We met Mayhew outside the North Sacramento apartment complex described by the FBI as a central Vagos location often called, 'the compound.""The apartments, I mean it's an apartment complex. It's not a compound. You know what I mean? It's a whole bunch of families here with kids and everything, and we all know each other. We all help out with each other," Mayhew said.Court documents show that beginning in Spring, 2013 the FBI infiltrated the group using an undercover employee who was able to coordinate a series of controlled drug purchases that led to the arrests. Mayhew says he wasn't aware of the arrests and that they shouldn't reflect the organization as a whole."You can't judge a tree because of one bad apple. You know what I mean? Not everyone hated the Atlanta Falcons when Michael Vick was over there fighting all them dogs. Everyone still liked the Atlanta Falcons. Just 'cause of that one bad apple though, you can't judge everyone else," Mayhew said.The four suspects are expected to appear in court by the end of the week for their arraignment.
Publ.Date : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:53:43 +0000
(AUS) Gold Coast police TV series accused of being government PR campaign
Queensland's police minister says he did not authorise a new TV series about crime fighting on the Gold Coast, amid claims the government is using senior police to push its law-and-order agenda.Network Ten has announced a 10-part series, titled Gold Coast Cops, which follows the police Rapid Action and Patrols Group (RAP) as it battles bikie and organised crime in the tourist city.Police Minister Jack Dempsey is quoted in a Network Ten statement about the series, but his office says Queensland police, not the minister, decide if TV crews can take footage."It's an internal police operation. The police do it all the time on the (TV) news," a spokesman for Mr Dempsey said.AdvertisementQueensland Council for Civil Liberties vice-president Terry O'Gorman says the series is more evidence that "senior police are prepared to be politically used by this government".He said Police Commissioner Ian Stewart must explain why the network was given special access to the unit, calling it a clear attempt at spin and propaganda."It's incumbent on the police commissioner to say who made the approach (about making the series) and, in agreeing to it, did he liaise with his minister, and what directions was he given?" Mr O'Gorman said."This program is clearly intended to paint the police in a good light, and therefore to paint the government in a good light."Mr O'Gorman said there should have been an open tender process for any decision to grant exclusive access to police for commercial purposes."He is the commissioner's boss and while he can't direct the commissioner on operational matters, he can certainly seek a please explain in relation to this," Mr O'Gorman said."Is he saying his commissioner entered into a remarkable, one-sided, highly commercially sought arrangement and didn't even discuss it with him?"Mr O'Gorman has previously called on Mr Stewart to stop making media comments supporting the politics and policies of the government.Gold Coast City Council's acting mayor, Donna Gates, says the council was not told about the series and is worried it will hurt the region's tourism industry.She has asked the mayor's chief of staff to contact the police minister. Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey's office said it had no knowledge of the series.In the Network Ten statement, the police minister lauds the work of the police unit."The RAP is part of the government's strong plan for a brighter and safer future for the Gold Coast community," Mr Dempsey said."Crime is down and the Gold Coast is now a safer place for families because of the RAP."The Ten statement also quoted Superintendent Jim Keogh, who leads the unit. He says police are committed to restoring public confidence by focusing on public disorder and street violence through high-visibility policing.Network Ten referred questions to police media when asked if the police commissioner or any government department or minister was involved in approving access so the series could be made.Comment has been sought from the police commissioner.
Publ.Date : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:51:07 +0000
(AUS) Comancheros broke victim\'s arms, police allege
Two Comancheros broke the arms of a man who wished to leave the motorbike club during a daylight attack at a smash repair business, police allege.The Smash Masters repair centre is owned by boxing identity David Deicke, who was previously stabbed and targeted in two drive-by shootings by another bikie club, but the bashing of another man in his Collingwood business on July 21 does not appear to be related. The victim was a 29-year-old from the Docklands who required surgery to his arms and suffered serious facial injuries.Vincent Meyer, 24, of Broadmeadows, and Hawre Sherwani, 23, of Oak Park, appeared briefly in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday afternoon.Charge sheets allege that Mr Meyer and Mr Sherwani went to a Johnston Street business and assaulted the man, and kicked and punched him as he lay motionless on the floor.The two men each face 10 charges, comprising three counts of intentionally causing serious injury, three of recklessly causing serious injury and single counts of affray, trespassing with the intent to assault, assault in company and assault by kicking.They made no application for bail and were remanded in custody to return to court on October 23.Both are linked to the Williamstown chapter of the Comancheros.A worker at Smash Masters declined to comment on Thursday, saying only that she did not know about the incident because the centre was ??a new business??. Mr Deicke, who was believed to have been targeted by Finks members in late 2010 and early 2011, was not available for comment. In January, he opened his fifth Smash Masters business.Police swooped on two clubhouses and residences linked to Mr Meyer and Mr Sherwani on Thursday morning. Police with power-cutting equipment and an armoured truck broke through the motorcycle club?s fortified clubhouse entrance in South Melbourne. Raids were also carried out on the Williamstown clubhouse.??We understand the assault on him was the result of reprisals on him for trying to leave [the club],?? Detective Superintendent Peter de Santo said.
Publ.Date : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:49:51 +0000
(USA) Seven People Involved With Motorcycle Gang Arrested in Beating at Phoenix Bar
Seven people associated with a motorcycle gang have been arrested for allegedly beating a man and his girlfriend outside a Phoenix bar in March.Police say the seven people are involved with a motorcycle gang called Latin Riderz, and face charges including aggravated assault, kidnapping, and assisting a criminal street gang.Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos tells New Times the victims, a man and his girlfriend, were innocent people who were "literally just minding their own business" inside the River City Pockets bar on March 19, when they were confronted by the alleged gangsters.Police say one of the alleged gangsters made a rude comment to the man's girlfriend, and he attempted to verbally defend her. He was assaulted by several people before attempting to leave the bar, which is located near Bell Road and 11th Avenue.In the parking lot, the man and his girlfriend were confronted by a group of seven people -- including four men and three women -- who essentially detained the couple, police say. Both of them were assaulted in the parking lot, police say.The people involved in the assault weren't identified until recently, as Phoenix PD's Gang Enforcement Unit looked into the case."It took a while because there were so many people involved in the assault," Martos says. That included police interviews, line-ups, and other processesAfter more than four months, police were finally able to make arrests in the case, and served five search warrants this morning, leading to the seven arrests.Police have identified the alleged Latin Riderz associates as Seth Resler, 27; Nathaniel Zachariae, 27; Sky Beebe, 23; Anthony Spiker, 26; Laura Katzner, 29; Dru Mundorff, 40; and Brandon Goodney, 30.Although the Latin Riderz aren't among the more notorious motorcycle gangs in Arizona, they are recognized by the Arizona Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs.
Publ.Date : Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:45:52 +0000
(AUS) Rebels bikie gang targeted in 23 pre-dawn police raids across Victoria
A series of pre-dawn raids targeting the Rebels bikie gang in Melbourne, Geelong and Traralgon has led to four arrests, Victorian police say.Police said 23 raids were conducted in connection with the death of Michael Sleiman, found fatally wounded after a gang of men allegedly ransacked his Deer Park home on Australia Day this year.Homicide Squad detectives this month charged four men with Sleiman's murder.Detectives said the men involved in his death were either linked to the gang or had associations with gang members.Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana said four more people were taken into custody as a result of the raids."Part of the operation today was to arrest and interview a number of the members of the Rebels that we believe were involved," he said."We currently have four persons in custody from this particular motorcycle gang that we believe are involved in that homicide and they're currently being interviewed."The raids targeted firearms and illicit drug use at clubhouses and private properties associated with the gang as part of broader investigation of bikie activities.More than 300 police were involved in the "high risk" operation, Assistant Commissioner Fontana said, adding that some of the premises were heavily fortified.Assistant Commissioner Fontana said police had to force entry into one address."In relation to this particular homicide, it wasn't bikie-on-bikie. This was an act of a group of bikies that targeted another person that wasn't associated with motorcycle gangs," he said."We're not going to stand back and tolerate this intimidation threats and violent activity by these types of organisations."Police said the 23 warrants included seven clubhouses at Sunshine, Dandenong South, North Geelong, Kilsyth, Sunbury, Travancore and Pakenham.Over 288 members of outlaw motorcycle gangs have been charged with 1,293 criminal offences in the last twelve months.
Publ.Date : Mon, 28 Jul 2014 23:57:12 +0000
(GER) German state tries to ban online Hells Angels logos
North Rhine-Westphalia has decided to enforce a ban on biker gangs? logos being displayed on websites. It is not at all clear how this is supposed to happen.This week in the world of questionable online censorship decisions: The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has banned the logos of two biker gangs from the internet.The Hells Angels and Bandidos gangs have been problematic in some areas of Germany for some time, particularly in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), where for years they?ve been fighting deadly turf wars over drugs and prostitution. Local chapters have been banned in NRW since 2012 and authorities have recently moved to enforce a ban on their symbols, too.Physical displays of the logos have technically been banned across the country since 1983, though that legal interpretation was only clarified earlier this year in a ruling by the Hamburg regional court.On Tuesday, NRW interior minister Ralf Jäger announced that the ban on the Hells Angels? helmeted skull logo and the Bandidos? ?Fat Mexican? logo would extend to the internet as well. He said this ?zero-tolerance? strategy would hinder the ability of the so-called rocker gangs to promote themselves online.?The deceptive image of motorcycle romance has glorified the view of the criminal reality,? he said in a statement.I?ve repeatedly tried to ask Jäger?s office how this is supposed to work in practice: Does it mean only local websites must delete these logos? Will foreign websites bearing the logos also risk fines if people in NRW view them? However, I?ve not had any luck getting a response.English-language German news site had a bit more luck, eliciting this response from a spokesperson: ?Offenders will be tracked down based on the website and punished.?
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 23:23:22 +0000
(AUS) Queenslanders yet to cash in on crime tips
No cash rewards have been offered in Queensland for information leading to the arrest of suspected bikies despite a funding boost to Crime Stoppers nine months ago.Police Minister Jack Dempsey, in October 2013, announced a $5 million grant to Crime Stoppers for the next 12 months to fund additional reward payments for information on criminal gangs.Mr Dempsey said cash payments of up to $20,000 could be made for information leading to the arrests of criminals involved with firearms, dangerous drugs, extortion and robbery.This included cash rewards of up to $1,000 which led to a successful raid on drug labs, which found guns, ammunition or other weapons.Cash rewards of up to $500,000 were also offered if a successful prosecution shut down a criminal gang.But Crime Stoppers Queensland says it hasn't paid anyone since that October announcement."No claims for enhanced cash rewards have been received for payment at this time," a website update said this week.Meanwhile, civil libertarians are questioning new figures showing sharp drops in crime on the Gold Coast.Retired army officer Brigadier Bill Mellor was commissioned by the Liberal National government to report on its bikie crackdown.His report card, obtained by the ABC, showed assaults had fallen by 16 per cent when two periods were compared, covering October 2012 to February 2013 and October 2013 to February 2014.During the same periods, unlawful entries fell by 31 per cent, property damage dropped by 18 per cent and armed robbery was down by 38 per cent.But drug offences had increased by 17 per cent.The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties questioned the independence of the figures."It's a suspect result because these are statistics produced within the secret confines of the government," the council's vice-president Terry O'Gorman told the ABC.Comment has been sought from Police Minister Jack Dempsey.
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 23:21:07 +0000
(AUS) Campbell Newman\'s Government losing public relations war over bikie crackdown in Queensland, report card reveals, despite drop in Gold Coast crime
The man overseeing Queensland's bikie crackdown says the State Government is winning the battle but losing the public relations war.The ABC has obtained the six-month report card from Brigadier Bill Mellor, the retired army officer hand-picked by Premier Campbell Newman to lead the Strategic Monitoring Team.The report, penned in April, said the epicentre of the bikie blitz, the Gold Coast, has seen a substantial drop in crime."When comparing two identical seasonal periods of time Oct 2012 - Feb 2013 and Oct 2013 - Feb 2014, the rate of offence per 100,000 people in the Gold Coast policing district has reduced by 16.38 per cent for assault, by 31.25 per cent for unlawful entries, by 18.47 per cent for property damage and by 38 per cent for armed robbery," the report said.The rate of drug offences for the same period has increased by 17 per cent, but Mr Mellor says that is to be expected.Last October, the Government passed the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment laws to target bikie gangs and other criminal groups.That same month, the Queensland Police Service set up Taskforce Maxima to disrupt, dismantle and eliminate criminal motorcycle gangs.Police numbers were boosted on the Gold Coast, where numerous bikie raids have been conducted by Taskforce Maxima officers."This can be attributed to more police available to carry out operations on the Gold Coast and the targeted nature of the enforcement activity," he said.The interim report also reveals the crackdown, Operation Resolute, cost $4.57 million over the first six months, which was under budget.There are concerns, though, that the public has not gone along for the ride."While we have been winning against the criminal gangs, the CMGs' public relations campaign to 'project' themselves as simply motorcycle enthusiasts cultivated some angst about the new laws in sections of the community," the report stated.It relies on market research conducted in December which 34 per cent of respondents supported the laws, 26 per cent were opposed and 40 per cent supported but with some concerns."Highest support was for tougher bail conditions and significant increases in Police and CMC resourcing, while the lowest support was for new special prison sections, longer jail sentences and the association laws," the report said.The Queensland Council of Civil Liberties says an independent body should be assessing the bikie crackdown.'Independent review needed'Civil libertarian Terry O'Gorman said the figures released by Brigadier Mellor were "nonsense"."It's a suspect result because these are statistics produced within the secret confines of the Government," Mr O'Gorman said."New South Wales has the Independent Bureau of Crime Statistics which calls in the government of the day - Labor or Liberal - and says 'your figures are rubbery'."In Queensland we don't have any independent body."
Publ.Date : Wed, 23 Jul 2014 23:19:30 +0000

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