Thursday, August 03, 2017

Sicilian Mafia Today: How The Cosa Nostra Is Benefiting From The Migrant Crisis

With the arrival of the refugee camps in Italy, the Sicilian Mafia has been bribing government officials to enrich themselves by obtaining contracts to handle the refugees.  The government has been subsidizing the Mafia at a rate of $37.50 per immigrant per day.

Read More

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mafia turncoat Anthony Arillotta takes witness stand for second day at trial of Emilio Fusco for murder of Al Bruno

Arillotta, 44, a Mafia soldier-turned-informant from Springfield, resumed the witness stand Wednesday for the second day in a mob murder trial in Manhattan. On trial is Longmeadow loan shark Emilio Fusco, a fellow "made man" in the New York-based Genovese organized crime family. Both Arillotta and Fusco were indicted for a string of crimes including the 2003 murder of their onetime boss, Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, amid a power play in 2003.
Arillotta, however, entered into a plea deal with federal prosecutors shortly after his arrest in 2010 and has testified against his closest confidantes and bosses over two trials. Last year, Arillotta took the stand against two of his most trusted enforcers, Fotios "Freddy" and Ty Geas, of West Springfield, plus the former acting boss of the Genovese family, Arthur "Artie" Nigro, of Bronx, NY.
Those three were convicted and are serving life sentences in federal prison. Fusco, whose trial was delayed because he fled to his native Italy, according to prosecutors, has opted to take his chances. He has denied all charges against him including racketeering, murder and extortion.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sicily's Mafia Said To Pocket A Third Of All Government Transfers

ROME (Dow Jones)--The Sicilian mafia pockets more than a third of all the money allocated by the central government in Rome for public services on the island, according to a study to be presented at the Royal Economic Society's 2012 annual conference.

The report by Guglielmo Barone and Gaia Narciso found that organized crime effectively undermined economic growth and development by manipulating the assignment of public funds aimed at poor and undeveloped areas on the island.

The study found that organized crime took 35% of the funds from contracts awarded by the Italian government to local firms to provide public services in Sicily--as well as other poorer regions in the country.

Sicily's crime syndicates create fictitious firms and encourage corrupt public officials to allocate resources to these companies. Barone and Narciso cite local claims that the modern Costra Nostra is a "new mafia-related bourgeoisie, made of lawyers, notaries, accountants and entrepreneurs."

They argue that similar problems are likely to be found in other poor regions of Europe which receive funds from the European Commission.

Mafia mobster is freed from jail just 12 months into 15 year sentence because of ALLERGY to the beans on prison menu

A convicted Mafia mobster has been freed early from his 15 year jail term because he is allergic to the vegetables on the prison menu.

Millionaire Michele Aiello, 56, told the judge at a special appeal hearing he was intolerant to beans, peas, spinach and all other types of greens offered to inmates serving time behind bars.

Lawyers acting for the businessman provided medical certificates as evidence in their argument for Aiello to be released after serving little more than a year of his original sentence.

He was arrested in Palermo on the Italian island of Sicily in 2010 and charged with being the financial brains behind a Mafia money laundering operation.

It saw him lending his name and that of relatives to dozens of companies and properties so cash from criminal activity could be recycled and cleaned up.

How Bertie rose to power with the Drumcondra Mafia

IT'S impossible to look at the story of Bertie Ahern's political career without reference to the small cabal that was by his side throughout. You see, it was never just Bertie Ahern. It was always Bertie Ahern and the Drumcondra Mafia.
The Drumcondra Mafia was not a political party -- incredibly many of them weren't even members of Fianna Fail -- but it succeeded in putting its man in the most powerful office in the land.
Money is of central importance to their story. The formidable constituency machine it built was the best funded in the history of the State -- helped by an annual dinner that assumed almost mythical status. And money, of course, was central to Mr Ahern's downfall. It took the best part of two years for it to happen, but the discovery that large sums had flown either through his own bank accounts or those of his associates, and the less than convincing explanations he subsequently gave, led directly to his resignation as Taoiseach.
St Luke's, the routine two-storey red-brick former doctor's surgery across the road from Fagan's pub, was the nerve centre of the Drumcondra Mafia operation. With the ministerial Merc parked outside on the footpath, it became the physical manifestation of Mr Ahern's power base. For a decade, it was effectively the alternative seat of government. And the building was to feature heavily in the investigation into Mr Ahern's finances.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Italian mafia leader arrested in Spain over $1.3B drug-trafficking empire

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA, Spain -- A leading Italian mafia figure suspected of running a billion-euro drugs-trafficking empire was arrested in southern Spain, the ANSA news agency reported Wednesday.
Giuseppe Polverino, 53, was arrested in a joint operation run by Italian and Spanish police in the Spanish city of Jerez de la Frontera.

Polverino was a suspected member of the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra, and allegedly ran a drug-trafficking empireworth an estimated €1 billion ($1.3 billion), the report said.

Officers also arrested 48-year-old Raffaele Vallefuoco, also a member of the Camorra, who was with Polverino during the police raid.

Full Story(Fox News)

Hotel shooting leads to drug ring bust

RICHMOND — The man accused of shooting at a motel where his wife was staying is now under federal charges, along with six other people, for trafficking large amounts of cocaine in Madison County and elsewhere.

Jermaine Carter, 29, was arrested on an attempted murder charge Oct. 21 after witnesses told Richmond police he had fired shots at the Super 8 motel on North Keeneland Drive. His wife, Sarah Carter, and another woman were in the room at which he was allegedly firing. Sarah Carter told police she recently had filed for an emergency protective order against her husband, according to the federal complaint from Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives Agent Russel R. King.

All documents in the drug case were unsealed Jan. 6 by U.S. District Judge Joseph M. Hood, once all suspects were indicted.

The complaint states that on Aug. 9, 2010, a confidential informant for the Central Kentucky Area Drug Task Force purchased less than one gram of cocaine from Carter and Rodney E. Martin. The informant reportedly identified Carter by name to a task force detective, and a videotape shows Carter entering the apartment and handing the drugs to Martin, who then sold them to the informant.

On July 14, 2011, a confidential informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency purchased cocaine from Nikita M. Jenkins that was supplied by Carter, according to the complaint. This videotaped transaction reportedly took place at North Ridge Apartments on North Keeneland Drive, where Carter lived.

Full Story(Richmond Register)

2 reputed NE mobsters to plead guilty next week

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Court hearings have been rescheduled for two reputed New England mob members who did not go through with plans last month to plead guilty to extorting Providence-area strip clubs.

Change-of-plea hearings are scheduled for Tuesday for alleged Rhode Island capo Edward Lato (LAY'-toh) and alleged mob member Alfred "Chippy" Scivola (skee-VOH'-lah).
Lato and Scivola signed plea agreements last month that say they intend to plead guilty to racketeering conspiracy and admit to being in the mafia.

Full Story(Boston)

Heroin supplier arrested in drug bust

On March 1, Lancaster County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant on the home of Jeremy Richard Keiser. Keiser had made three prior heroin deliveries to an undercover detective in the area.

Seized from the home were 188 baggies of heroin packaged in four ‘sticks’, which are bundles of heroin packets wrapped in news print. The street value of the heroin is approximately $2,000.

Full Story (WHPTV)

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Seduced with wine and M&M's: How one man went from being a straight-laced delivery boy to a notorious Colombo hit man

It began with an affair with the boss’ wife - and ended with him becoming a mafia hit man.

One of the Colombo family’s most prolific assassins has spoken about the 25 murder plots he took part in, four of them where he pulled the trigger.

Larry Mazza revealed how he blasted rivals at point blank range with a shotgun before calmly going home to babysit a friend’s daughter and watch episodes of Seinfeld.

He also told how he began an affair with the wife of a notorious mafioso - who incredibly let them carry on even though he knew about it.

Mazza’s introduction to the mob began in 1979 when he began a relationship with Linda Schiro, who was married to Gregory ‘The Grim Reaper’ Scarpa.

Scarpa famously bragged that after killing 50 people he ‘stopped counting’ during his bloody time as a capo in the Colombo family.

Mazza was the straight-laced 18-year-old son of a fire lieutenant and working as a delivery boy in Brooklyn, New York.

The boss’s wife was 32, wealthy, powerful and an adviser to her husband on his criminal activities.

She invited him over with the words: ‘Do you fool around?’

Mazza told the New York Post: ‘She had beautiful eyes, very Italian looking. She put a bottle of wine out and some M&M’s. We had a few glasses. The next thing you know we were on the couch getting hot and heavy.’

His new lover introduced him to her husband and got him a job collecting debts from a racing track. Soon he became an enforcer forcing people to pay up.

Mazza told the newspaper: ‘One got a truck driven through their storefront. Another got visits from us and we’d walk out without paying.’

Murder followed soon after, he added. ‘The first one, it’s drop me off. Next one, I’d pick him up. Next time, bring a shovel. Baby steps.’

One of Scarpa’s drivers was badly beaten and then killed for trying to kiss his 14-year-old daughter as he took her to school.

Then in 1991 a civil war erupted in the Colombo family between underboss Victor Orena and patriarch Carmine Persico, who had been jailed.

Persico loyalist Mazza said that ‘for eight months, that’s all we did: wake up and go looking for people to kill’

One of his most bloody executions was in Christmas 1991, that of Orena loyalist Vinnie Fusaro.

Mazza said: ‘We were passing by the social clubs where Vic’s guys would hang out.

‘This day we spotted Vinnie’s car, so we came around the block again. He was in his driveway, hanging Christmas lights on the garage. He never seen us. He was facing the garage.

San Jose meth bust: 750 lbs

A Palo Alto police investigation into stolen iPads has led to one of the largest methamphetamine busts in the country's history, federal investigators said Saturday.

Police and federal agents seized 750 pounds of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of $34 million, from a San Jose apartment Thursday after Palo Alto investigators spotted the drugs while following up on stolen iPads, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The bust "is one of the largest we are aware of," DEA Special Agent Casey Rettig said.

Investigators found "boxes and boxes and boxes containing bags and bags and bags of methamphetamine" inside the apartment, Rettig said.

The 750 pounds, or 340 kilograms, of methamphetamine confiscated in San Jose is equal to about 16 percent of all methamphetamine seized across the country last year, according to figures on the U.S. Department of Justice website.

Three people were arrested on state drug violations after the raid on an apartment in the 4400 block of Woods Drive, authorities said. They have not released their identities. Rettig described the investigation as "very fluid" and said "there is definitely the potential for more arrests."

Stolen iPad led to huge meth bust in San Jose

Surely, police must have been on the trail of a major theft ring when they arrived Thursday at an apartment complex in San Jose, only to trip over one of the biggest stashes of methamphetamine ever seized in the United States?

Not exactly.

Palo Alto police were apparently looking for a single stolen iPad when they arrived Thursday at The Woods, a sprawling apartment complex on Snell Road, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

The cops had tracked the iPad via GPS, said Assistant District Attorney David Tomkins.

The officers didn't have a search warrant, so they knocked on the door of the apartment and asked the occupants for permission to come in. They consented, Tomkins said.

"They probably thought if they didn't, we'd suspect something," Tomkins said. "Or they thought, 'I'll let them in -- they probably won't find anything.'"

Much to their amazement, the officers found 780 pounds of crystal meth scattered around the place, worth about $35 million.

District Attorney Jeff Rosen said roughly 100 pounds or a little more of meth are recovered annually in the county, making this seizure "easily at least six years worth," he said.

"I told my dad about the bust," said Rosen, "and he said, 'They have $35 million, and they can't go out and buy an iPad?"

Drugs seized during car wash bust

Two Hardeeville men were arrested earlier this week in connection with a drug investigation by members of the Beaufort/Jasper Multi Agency Drug Task Force. 

The task force conducted a two-month investigation of Alphonza Ulmer, 53, who's known to sell and distribute illegal drug in the Hardeeville area, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, the task force located Ulmer at his business, the Omega Car Wash at 494 Church St. in Hardeeville. They discovered crack cocaine in his possession, according to the sheriff's office. 

Ulmer had just sold crack Esau James, 67, who was at the car wash and charged with possession of crack cocaine, according to the sheriff's office. At the same time, the task force also executed a search warrant at Ulmer's home at 102 Portabello Dr. in Hardeeville. 

Full Story(Live 5 News)

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Corrupt officials' time is up, Detroit FBI chief says

The FBI's top official in Detroit declared war on public corruption Thursday, hours after law enforcement officials announced a new task force to combat it.

Andrew Arena, special agent in charge of the Detroit office of the FBI, called corruption in the region "generational, systematic, part of the culture."

"It takes a whole lot to penetrate that," he said. "It's kind of like a war. You penetrate the enemy's defenses."

Arena declined to name the enemies he was referring to, saying he could not talk about ongoing investigations. He has overseen investigations of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, as well as Wayne County government under County Executive Robert Ficano.

"You see what's out there," he said, in an apparent reference to news media coverage of federal investigations of Detroit and Wayne County government.

Hong Kong’s Tsang faces corruption probe

Hong Kong’s anti-corruption watchdog has launched an investigation into Donald Tsang, the territory’s chief executive, following allegations that he received inappropriate favours from local business tycoons such as overseas trips on private jets, staying on luxury yachts and leasing an apartment for below market price.

Mr Tsang said that he had never acted against the law nor breached internal rules, and that he would fully co-operate with any investigation if contacted by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Avery Ng, vice-chairman of the League of Social Democrats, a pro-democracy party, said: “The ICAC has informed us that they are looking into the trips and the leasing of the apartment after we lodged a complaint against Mr Tsang.” The ICAC refused to comment.

The investigation comes at a sensitive time for Hong Kong. On March 25, Mr Tsang’s successor will be elected by a group of 1,200 eligible voters. Of the two most favoured candidates, Leung Chun-ying is leading the opinion polls because he is seen to be more detached from local conglomerates than his scandal-hit rival Henry Tang.

Sydney police bust clandestine drug lab

State and federal authorities have busted a clandestine drug lab and arrested a man as part of their offensive against Asian crime syndicates.

The 26-year-old man will face court charged with manufacturing the drug ice in an illegal laboratory in the Sydney suburb of Burwood, and importing an illicit precursor chemical.

The arrest follows a joint investigation by detectives from the State Crime Command's Asian Crime Squad, the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the NSW Crime Commission.

Police will allege a clandestine laboratory, found in one of two units they searched before the arrest on Friday, was being used to make methylamphetamine, known on the street as ice.

They also located 20kg of a type of pseudoephedrine called ContacNT which they will claim was illegally imported from overseas.

The arrested man was refused bail and is due to appear in Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday.

'This operation sends a strong deterrence message to those attempting to import or manufacture illicit substances in Australia,' Customs and Border Protection investigations manager Kingsley Woodford-Smith said in a statement.

Massive federal drug bust in Central MS

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Seven people are facing federal charges in two separate money laundering schemes that took place in Central Mississippi.
The charges stem from large marijuana distribution conspiracies in the area, announced U.S. Attorney John Dowdy today.
As part of the investigation officers seized $854,000 in cash, 10 tractor trucks, eight tractor trailers, 12 personal cars, jewelry, three house and thousands of pounds of marijuana.
Jessie J. Hall, 38, of Forest, Sylvania Laranda Young, 40, of Ferriday, La., Bridget Michelle Bland, 43, of Newton, Willie Charles Rhodes, 53, of Brandon, and Shannon Denise Hall, 40, of Morton, were charged with conspiring to launder drug proceeds, money laundering and evasion of Internal Revenue Service reporting requirements, according to Dowdy.
In a separate case, Patrina Bester Hayes, 35, of Paulding, and Lornell Von Moore, 46, of Louin, have been charged in a 19-count indictment with conspiring to launder drug proceeds, money laundering and evasion of Internal Revenue Service reporting requirements.
Lornell Von Moore, Jessie J. Hall, and Shannon Denise Hall are all already serving time in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for conspiracy to distribute marijuana, according to Dowdy.

Shooting victim had Montreal Mafia connections

MONTREAL — A 38-year-old man, shot dead in Montreal Thursday evening near a known Mob hangout, had a colourful and extensive history with the Mafia.

Giuseppe (Closure) Colapelle entered the Montreal Mafia's bad books in 2005 — "tarnishing everyone," according to a Mob leader's assessment recorded by police — when a serious conflict arose between the Rizzuto organization and an organized-crime group based in Granby, Que., and known for smuggling marijuana.

According to evidence that surfaced during the Project Colisee Mob-surveillance investigation conducted by police during that period, that conflict degenerated to the point where one man was kidnapped and another man's car was set afire in Granby before the dispute was resolved.
In court documents, Colapelle was revealed to be at the very heart of the conflict.

Mafia leaders were, at one point, recorded by police discussing the possibility of having the man they referred to as Closure brought to the basement of a cafe in Montreal for a beating.
The recordings suggested Colapelle was a partner of Giuseppe (Ponytail) Devito for a brief period — but that their relationship soured because of the conflict with the people based in Granby.

In October 2004, Mafia leader Francesco (Compare Frank) Arcadi was recorded discussing the matter inside the Cafe Consenza.

At one point, Arcadi complained that Colapelle was "tarnishing everyone" in the Mafia because of how he was handling the aftermath of a large-scale marijuana deal that had gone bad.

Full Story(Vancouver Sun)

Feds Uncover $279M NYC Car Insurance Scam

In New York, 36 people were arrested for allegedly cheating auto insurance companies out of a quarter billion dollars in an elaborate scheme run by a Russian gang. The $279-million insurance fraud involved corrupted doctors and lawyers, feigned medical claims and over 100 fake clinics, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

New York Attorney Preet Bharara addressed the investigation at a new conference, calling the scam "the largest single no-fault automobile insurance fraud ever charged." He explained that although the group claimed $279 million, insurance companies actually netted a loss of $113 million.

The doctors involved in the scheme, mainly of Russian descent, opened more than 100 fake medical clinics across New York, where they provided "treatment" to alleged accident victims. Runners were hired to seek out and recruit potential patients. "The runners were literally ambulance chasers, often finding victims at scenes of accidents, hospitals or word of mouth," said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

High-Level Meeting on Organized Crime Ends in Mexico

Mexico, Mar 2 (Prensa Latina) Violence in Mexico is proportional to the increase in illegal arms from the United States, President Felipe Calderon assured at the High-Level Hemispheric Meeting against Transnational Organized Crime, which ends on Friday.

  At the opening session on Thursday, attended by law-enforcement representatives from the member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) and other countries invited as observers, Calderon stressed that there are about 8,000 gunsmith's shops on border territories.

He said that Mexico has seized more than 140,000 firearms, 84,000 of which were assault rifles, and about ten million rounds of ammunitions, over the past five years.

The meeting, held at the headquarters of the Foreign Affairs Secretariat, was aimed at opening dialogue to foster the exchange of experiences and coordination of common policies and strategies to deal successfully with organized crime, said Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa.

She added that criminal organizations operating between and within our borders pose a contant threat to citizen's security, an obstacle to economic growth and social development and a daily affront to legal order in our societies.

Full Story(Prensa Latina News)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Crossfire between troops and criminals in Mexico

MEXICAN armed forces’ confrontation with organized crime and the criminal acts of the latter currently constitute the most terrifying aspect of Mexican society.

The country’s information services daily reveal heavy blows against these illegal groups, with the capture of many capos and members, plus the seizure of weapons and other resources.

Successes highlighted by the government include the fact that, since 2009, 22 of the 37 most wanted criminals have been arrested, or have died in confrontations with other gangs or during their capture.

However, despite these results on the part of authorities, aggressive drug trafficking gangs continue their criminal activities, compounded by others such as narcotics trading, extortion, kidnapping, person trafficking and theft.

This diversification has notably intensified crime in the country, in particular bloody fights for territorial control, with frequent inter-gang killings, also involving other victims.

The principal gangs involved in the confrontations, characterized by their high degree of cruelty, are the Zetas, the Sinaloa cartel, the FĂ©lix Arellanos, the Michoacana Family, the Caballeros Templarios, as well as gangs of hired killers linked to them.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Police Arrest 25 Alleged Anonymous Members, Angry Hackers Retaliate

Law enforcement authorities arrested 25 individuals allegedly members of the Anonymous hacktivist collective as part of an international operation, according to Interpol.

The operation began in mid-February after police traced several high-profile online attacks originating from Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Spain, Interpol said Feb. 28. The attackers allegedly targeted Websites belonging to the Ministry of Defense and president in Colombia, Endesa, a Chilean electric company, and Chile's National Library, among others.

Operation Unmask was coordinated by the Interpol's Latin American Working Group of Experts on Information Technology Crime. Interpol helped share intelligence across national law enforcement agencies in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain. Based on the information, police officers executed more than 40 searches across 15 cities in those four countries and confiscated around 250 devices and mobile phones. Payment cards and cash were also seized during the raids. The arrested individuals ranged in age from 17 to 40, according to Interpol.

“This operation shows that crime in the virtual world does have real consequences for those involved, and that the Internet cannot be seen as a safe haven for criminal activity, no matter where it originates or where it is targeted,” said Bernd Rossbach, active Interpol executive director of police services.

Four individuals in Spain had been arrested for sabotaging Websites and posting confidential data online, Spanish police said before the Interpol made its announcement. The server logs obtained as part of those arrests led the police to five suspects in Colombia, six in Chile and 10 in Argentina, according to a report by Agence France Presse.

Man known as godfather of Detroit's organized crime behind bars again

The man once dubbed a godfather of organized crime in Detroit wasn’t free for long.

A day after the Free Press reported on Louis Akrawi’s parole from state prison and the federal government’s failed attempt to deport him to Iraq, Akrawi found himself back behind bars Monday, his parole rescinded by the Michigan Department of Corrections.

U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement had released him Thursday after he spent 15 years in prison, and he returned to relatives in the Macomb County area.

But the state parole board never intended for Akrawi to walk free.

“The parole board paroled him with the intention that he would be deported,” corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said Tuesday. “We’re hopeful that he will be deported” still.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ohio shooting suspect from at-risk kids school

CHARDON, Ohio - A teenager opened fire in the cafeteria at a suburban Cleveland high school Monday, killing one student and wounding four others before he was chased from the building by a teacher and captured a short distance away, authorities said.
A student who saw the attack up close said it appeared that the gunman targeted a group of students sitting together and that the one who was killed was gunned down while trying to duck under the cafeteria table.
FBI officials would not comment on a motive. And Police Chief Tim McKenna said authorities "have a lot of homework to do yet" in their investigation of the shooting, which sent students screaming through the halls at the start of the school day at 1,100-student Chardon High.

U.S. Treasury Dept. Penalizes Japan’s Largest Organized-Crime Group

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on Japan’s biggest yakuza group, an organized-crime syndicate that operates with relative impunity there and whose far-ranging criminal activity has become a significant concern in Washington.

In an announcement on Thursday, the department said it would freeze the American-based assets of the group, the Yamaguchi-gumi, and two of its leaders. It will also bar any transactions between Americans and members of the penalized crime syndicate. Yakuza have been tied to drug trafficking and other crimes in the United States, with particular prominence in Hawaii and California. The Treasury did not elaborate on the dollar value of United States-based accounts that might be frozen under the new sanctions.
In a statement, the Treasury said the group made “billions of dollars” every year around the world. Its criminal activity includes prostitution, money laundering, fraud and trafficking in humans, weapons and drugs.
The action “casts a spotlight on key members of criminal organizations that have engaged in a wide range of serious crimes,” David S. Cohen, under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement.

Detectives seize $20,000 in heroin, arrest target of probe

NEW BEDFORD — Narcotics detectives seized $20,000 in heroin and arrested a 36-year-old city man last week, wrapping up a six-month drug investigation.
Lt. Paul Oliveira, commander of the Organized Crime and Intelligence Bureau, said detectives seized more than 180 grams of heroin with an estimated street value of $20,000 and about $500 in cash.
The target of the probe, identified as Larry Araujo of 55 Independent St., is charged with two counts of distribution of heroin, trafficking heroin over 100 grams, conspiracy to violate the drug laws and a school zone violation, police said.
Bail was set at $75,000 cash when Araujo was arraigned in New Bedford District Court, and he is being held at the Bristol County House of Correction in Dartmouth, according to Bernard F. Sullivan, a spokesman for Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson.
Oliveira said Araujo has three prior drug convictions.
"This is the arrest of a significant drug dealer in New Bedford," Oliveira said Monday.
He said Detective Justin Kagan, the lead investigator, observed suspected drug sales involving Araujo over the last six months.

Mexico, USA Agree to Strengthen Fight against Organized Crime

Mexico, Feb 27 (Prensa Latina) Mexico and the United States agreed Monday to strengthen cooperation to prevent the presence of international terrorism in the country and human trafficking, said Secretary of the Interior, Alejandro Poire.

  During a press conference here with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, highlighted the "excellent spirit" of collaboration, dialogue and partnership between both nations.

Poire said the bilateral agenda aims at preventing entry into national territory "of any individual member of a criminal organization or individual that endangers our security." 

For this, the exchange of information will be speeded up in order to take timely preventive measures, he said.

Regarding human trafficking, he said they have been working with Central American countries to dismantle these criminal gangs and said that Mexico has made significant progress against this evil that respects no geographical boundary.

Poire announced that a new pilot program for the repatriation of Mexican nationals will shortly be launched, which responds to progress in the issue from the voluntary repatriation program which is conducted annually.

The new program will improve border security, guarantee that migrants return to their home communities and that they are not placed at the mercy of criminal networks, Poire said.

Full Story (Prensa Latina News)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Canadian targeted in Montreal Mafia sweep now faces prison for coke smuggling

MONTREAL — A man who was once the target of a four-year manhunt now faces the prospect of a lengthy prison term for drug smuggling as his wife prepares to go on trial in the deaths of their two daughters while he was in hiding.

Giuseppe De Vito, 45, was targeted in Project Colisee, the police investigation into the Mafia in Montreal and its associates.

Wiretap evidence suggests that while De Vito worked with Mafia leaders like Francesco Arcadi and Francesco (Chit) Del Balso, he was somewhat of an outsider.

But in 2004, he and others tied to the Mafia — including Del Balso — agreed to be partners in smuggling in 120 kilograms of cocaine on an Air Canada flight from Haiti on Jan. 22, 2005.
The shipment was to be packed into the false bottom of a baggage container destined for Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.

Full Story (Times Colonist)