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CA Gang Member Told Detectives He Killed Whittier Officer, Cousin

Sensitive - Gangs - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 13:09

An admitted gang member told detectives he "smoked" a Whittier police officer and his own cousin and "shot another cop," according to a tape-recorded interview played in court Thursday during a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial for the killings.

"I guess you guys have everything down — smoked my cousin, smoked the cop. ... I mean, what else do you guys want? I shot another cop," Michael Christopher Mejia said in the interview.

Mejia, 26, is charged with murder for the Feb. 20 killings of Officer Keith Boyer, 53, in Whittier and his own cousin, 47-year-old Roy Torres, in East Los Angeles earlier that day.

The murder charges include the special circumstance allegations of murder of a peace officer in the performance of his duties, murder for the purpose of avoiding arrest and multiple murders, KNBC TV/City News Service reports.

 

 

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Video: L.A. Deputies' 'Split-Second Decision' Likely Saved Boy Struck by Stray Bullet

Sensitive - Gangs - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 16:24

VIDEO: L.A. Deputies' 'Split-Second Decision' Likely Saved Boy Struck by Stray Bullet

Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies' quick actions likely saved the life of a 4-year-old boy shot in the head by a stray bullet in Compton, CA, reports KNBC.

To make sure the boy would quickly get the medical attention he needed, Deputies Austreberto Gonzalez, Brian Reza, and Sergio Jimenez made a split-second decision and took him to the nearest police cruiser so he could get to the hospital. One deputy drove, one cradled the boy in the back seat, and one stayed behind with the mother until she could join them.

"Based on severity of wounds, it would be better to transport him by patrol car," said Gonzalez. "It was a combined effort from everybody: our air unit, our dispatchers and the hospital. We got there and they were waiting for us."

Hospital officials said the deputies' quick decision may have helped save the life of the child, who remains in critical condition after the stray bullet that lodged in his brain was surgically removed, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The boy was shot shortly before noon Wednesday during what Sheriff's Capt. Mike Thatcher described as a "violent dispute" between two groups in the 4600 block of Compton Boulevard. Thatcher said the incident was "gang-related" but declined to comment further on a motive for the shooting. One suspect was in custody Thursday.

 

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Russians Charged With Racketeering

Sensitive - Gangs - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 15:13

Law enforcement agencies announced on Wednesday a litany of charges against 33 people — including 27 who were allegedly associated with a Russian crime syndicate. Authorities said the indictment represents one of the first federal racketeering charges ever brought against a vor v zakonei — a Russian phrase that translates roughly as "thief-in-law," reports NPR.

That vor is identified as Razhden Shulaya, 40, living in Edgewater, NJ, who investigators said also goes by "Brother" and "Roma." He and the 26 others are named as defendants in the Shulaya indictment, which charges that they operated a nationwide racketeering enterprise.

"The suspects in this case cast a wide net of criminal activity, aiming to make as much money as possible, all allegedly organized and run by a man who promised to protect them," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said in the statement. The charges were announced by Joon H. Kim, the acting United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the New York City Police Department and the FBI.

The charges include a variety of racketeering, fraud, narcotics, firearms and stolen property offenses. The statement said most of the crews were based in New York but that the "Shulaya Enterprise" also had operations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and Nevada. Most alleged members of the syndicate were born in the former Soviet Union and maintained ties to Georgia, Ukraine and Russia.

Among the more colorful allegations is the charge that two of the defendants arranged the transport and sale of a whopping 10,000 pounds of "stolen chocolate confections" to a government informant.

The 27 defendants charged with racketeering each face penalties of up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 fines. If convicted, Jikia and Marat-Uulu could face life sentences on charges of firearm possession "in furtherance of a crime of violence," as well as charges of conspiracies to murder for hire and selling firearms to a felon.

The Justice Department said it had taken most of those charged into federal custody, but five were still at large.

 

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Southern California Officers on High Alert After Gang Threats

Sensitive - Gangs - Wed, 05/31/2017 - 16:45

Police officers across Southern California are being warned to be on guard after L.A. County sheriff’s homicide investigators discovered unspecified threats by street gangs targeting officers.

The warning was issued about two weeks ago by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau after a shooting by an officer.

“During the course of an officer involved shooting investigation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau was made aware of information regarding a potential threat by criminal street gangs against Southern California on-duty law enforcement officers,” the department said. “This threat was not specific as to the law enforcement agency or agencies that might be targeted, or as to the individual or individuals who may be involved.”

Capt. Darren Harris said the threat doesn’t name a specific agency. The officer safety bulletin was meant to advise local agencies and officers about the threat, the Los Angeles Times reports.

 

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