Sunday, December 31, 2017

Australia's Cocaine Armada: 'blow boats'

Cocaine smugglers have unleashed a fleet of 'blow boats' towards Australia from tropical islands in the south Pacific. The Federal police have revealed that 3.3 tonnes of drugs were seized from private yachts since December 2016. The seizures involved four major stings involving French or Pacific Islands.

This yacht was found marooned on a deserted tropical island in the south Pacific in 2012. Stashed on board was more than 200kg of cocaine and a badly decomposed body
There is a massive payoff for smugglers looking to transport cocaine into Australia, which probably has one of the highest prices per gram in the world.

John Gotti the 'Teflon Don'

John Joseph Gotti, Jr (October 27, 1940 – June 10, 2002) was an American mobster who became the Boss of the Gambino crime family in New York. Gotti rose quickly in the Gambino ranks, becoming one of the crime family's biggest earners.
Gotti became a protege of Gambino family underboss Aniello Dellacroce.
Fearing he would be killed by Gambino crime family Boss Paul Castellano for selling drugs, Gotti organized the murder of Castellano in December 1985 and took over the family shortly thereafter.

This left Gotti as the boss of the most powerful crime family in America, which made hundreds of millions of dollars a year from construction, hijacking, loan sharking, gambling, extortion and other criminal activities.
Gotti survived numerous legal cases unscathed. Witnesses developed serious cases of what the press called "I forgotti", and with every acquittal it added to his reputation. The American media dubbed Gotti "The Teflon Don" due to the failure of any charges to "stick."

On December 11, 1990, FBI agents and New York City detectives raided the Ravenite Social Club, arresting Gotti, Gravano and Frank Locascio. Gotti was charged with five murders (Castellano and Bilotti, Robert DiBernardo, Liborio Milito and Louis Dibono,) conspiracy to murder Gaetano "Corky" Vastola, loansharking, illegal gambling, obstruction of justice, bribery and tax evasion.

Sammy Gravano opted to turn state's evidence, formally agreeing to testify on November 13, 1991.

Sammy Gravano
On April 2, 1992, the jury found Gotti guilty on all charges of the indictment. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole and a $250,000 fine. In 1998 Gotti was diagnosed with throat cancer. The condition returned in 2000. Gotti died on June 10, 2002 at the age of 61.

Last photo of John Gotti
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Brazil captures Mexican Cartel Boss Jose Gonzalez Valencia

Brazilian police have arrested Jose Gonzalez Valencia, 42, a Mexican drug boss in a blow to one of the most powerful organizations in Mexico's criminal underworld. Valenchia is a leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG). Once little-known, the CJNG has grown in recent years to challenge the Sinaloa Cartel's dominance.
Gonzalez Valencia was arrested at a beach resort near the coastal city of Fortaleza. Gonzalez Valencia is the brother of Abigael Gonzalez Valencia, a CJNG leader captured in February 2015.

Gonzalez Valencia was due to be extradited straight to the US from Brazil.

9 kg Cocaine found in airplane lavatory at Pearson Airport

The RCMP is hunting a GTA drug trafficker after 9 kg of cocaine was found in an airplane bathroom after the flight landed at Pearson International Airport. The incident occurred on Dec. 20, when border services officers searched a flight arriving from the Dominican Republic.

CBSA officers at Pearson made 131 seizures of cocaine last year, weighing in at nearly 900 kilograms.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Surrey RCMP says growing number of asylum seekers illegally crossing border

Surrey RCMP is reporting an increase in people illegally crossing the border at 0 Avenue seeking asylum in Canada.
Nearly 50 people were intercepted by B.C. Mounties when seeking asylum in November. The RCMP has intercepted more than 675 in the first 11 months of the year. B.C. trails Manitoba, with 1,000 and Quebec, with 17,000 so far this year.
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Fentanyl is the new Heroin

Fentanyl's deadliness frightens some drug users, while it entices others with the ability to get high after they've built up a tolerance for heroin. But increasingly, fentanyl is the drug that users demand and are becoming addicted to; they seek it not for euphoria, but just to avoid getting sick from withdrawal.

If fentanyls enter the drug supply in one area, deaths accumulate rapidly. Fentanyl-laced cocaine is playing a growing role. Health experts say the problem is growing with progress against it slow.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Palermo police hunt for mafiaso boss Matteo Messina Denaro

Rare photo of Matteo Messina Denaro
Some 200 officers searched farmhouses and warehouses belonging to around 30 suspected gangsters in and around Castelvetrano, the mafia boss’ Sicilian hometown. “The activities are continuing and the search for the fugitive Messina Denaro won't give even an inch," said Palermo police chief Renato Cortes.
Denaro, who once bragged he could “fill a cemetery” with his victims, has been on the run since 1993 and is believed to come and go regularly from the Italian island. He is also on Europol’s list of the most wanted fugitives. Despite this, he is thought to have succeeded the late Totò Riina as boss of the Casa Nostra crime syndicate. He is wanted for a string of crimes including dozens of murders.

A trial got underway in the Sicilian town of Caltanissetta earlier this year in which Denaro is also accused of being among those who ordered the murders of anti-mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992.

Mobster Vincent Asaro sentenced to 8 years for road rage arson

For nearly 50 years wise guy Vincent Asaro has escaped conviction on an array of criminal charges, having been accused — and then acquitted — of, among other things, strangling a man with a dog chain and taking part in the infamous Lufthansa heist in 1978. Now age 82, Asaro was sentenced to eight years in prison for what may be the pettiest allegation he has ever faced: ordering his underlings to set fire to the car of a motorist who cut him off in traffic in Queens.

Vincent Asaro, center, with John Gotti.
Asaro held various positions in the Bonanno crime family, and he is alleged to have engaged not just in murder, but also bookmaking, loan-sharking, extortion and robbing delivery trucks. He has largely managed to avoid being punished. Asaro was acquitted at the Lufthansa trial two years ago. Judge Ross herself presided at the trial and noted that, despite the jury’s verdict, she was “firmly convinced” that the government had proved its case.
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Conman ran $10M fraud from his prison cell

Conman Jimmy Sabatino can’t keep himself from committing crimes — even when he’s locked up. Sabatino pleaded guilty to running a $10.4 million fraud from inside his cell at the Federal Detention Center in Miami earlier this year.

Sabatino will serve his time in the notorious “Supermax” federal prison in Colorado and be banned from having any contact with anyone except his stepmother and his two attorneys.

The judge sentenced him to the maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.
Sabatino, who is associated with the Gambinos, is prohibited from communicating with any member or associate of the Mafia. “I don’t apologize to nobody,” Sabatino said before sentencing.
Sabatino persuaded two federal corrections officers at the detention center to provide him with a total of five cellphones. The officers lost their jobs but have not been criminally charged. He pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy that involved using the smuggled cellphones to dupe luxury retailers into sending expensive jewelry, watches and other items to his associates.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Louis “The Coin” Colavecchio

Colavecchio’s enterprise has been described by the Secret Service as the largest coin counterfeiting case in the department’s history.
Louis 'The Coin' Colavecchio earned his nickname for the immense amount of counterfeit coins he created over the years. He was one of the first men to successfully produce counterfeit coins that could deceive the software inside slot machines into thinking they were real.

He was able to win hundreds of thousands of dollars from casinos across Atlantic City and surrounding areas without ever having to wager any money of his own.
During the counterfeiting process, Colavecchio was very meticulous about every detail that went on the coin. He was nervous the first time he went to Caesar’s Palace with the fake coin, but it worked flawlessly.

Colavecchio was able to play the slots for hours. He made thousands of dollars a night doing this, all of which he used to maintain his prestigious lifestyle.
Caesar’s took their annual coin inventory and noticed they had a surplus of $10 slot machine coins. They investigated, and that’s when they discovered that the extra coins were actually premium counterfeits. They sent word to all casinos in the area; Bally’s Park Place and Showboat Casinos checked for fake tokens and immediately found them.

The security of Caesar’s Palace and all casinos in Atlantic City were on the lookout. When Colavecchio arrived the following weekend his behavior caught the attention of the guards. They watched him closely for hours, making a point to identify which machines he was using. Police opened up the machines, only to find an array of counterfeit coins.
Soon after he was taken into custody. The police found 750 pounds of counterfeit coins stashed away in his car. Casinos filed charges against Colavecchio, who agreed to tell them how he had made the tokens in exchange for a lighter sentence. He was sentenced to a total of seven years in prison. The Providence Journal reported that after he spent more than two years in federal prison, he was paid $18,000 by the feds as a consultant to explain why his manufacturing dies outlast those of the U.S. Mint.

Nowadays, most casinos don’t even use coins for their slot machines. Most machines are electronic and work off of a reloadable card or paper vouchers that can later be transferred to currency. We can thank Louis “The Coin” Colavecchio.

Germany seizes record amounts of cocaine in 2017

German police have seized more than 7 metric tons of cocaine this year. Germany had been inundated by a "flood of cocaine" from South America. German law enforcement managed to seize more than 7 metric tons (7.7 US tons) of cocaine in part due to increased output.

Cocaine seizures worldwide are set to surpass last year's 582 metric tons (641.5 US tons). Drug traffickers from South America had inundated markets across Germany.
"Dealers are following the motto: 'Supply creates demand'. The supply in South America has increased resulting in a flood of cocaine. Criminal organizations based in Italy and the Balkans dominate Europe's drugs markets, representing a major challenge to counter-narcotics operations. The criminal organizations' trafficking networks have proven difficult to break up due to their cell-like structure.