The Chicago Syndicate

Friday, August 07, 2020

Operation Legend Expanded to Saint Louis #OperationLegend #StLouis

Jeff Jensen, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, joined the Department of Justice in officially announcing the expansion of Operation Legend to St. Louis. Operation Legend, a sustained, systematic and coordinated law enforcement initiative in which federal law enforcement agencies work in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime, will be expanding into the City of St. Louis.

“The most basic responsibility of government is to protect the safety of our citizens,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “Today, we have extended Operation Legend to Memphis and St. Louis, two cities experiencing increases in violent crime that no resident of those cities should have to accept as part of everyday life. For decades, the Department of Justice has achieved significant success when utilizing our anti-violent crime task forces and federal law enforcement agents to enforce federal law and assist American cities that are experiencing upticks in violent crime. The Department of Justice’s assets will supplement local law enforcement efforts, as we work together to take the shooters and chronic violent criminals off of our streets.”

“Operation Legend has come to St. Louis,” said U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen. “Today we expand our ever-present federal commitment to the City of St. Louis by welcoming federal agents and money to our City for the purpose of fighting gun and gang violence. This expansion will greatly enhance on-going crime fighting by our Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Joint ATF-St. Louis Metropolitan Strike Force, and the United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. Our children are being caught in the crossfire and murdered in senseless acts of gun violence. I am very grateful to work with our federal, state and local law enforcement partnerships in a dedicated effort to achieve safety and security for our community. I want to thank Chief John Hayden as well as the various federal and state agencies that make this initiative possible.”

Operation Legend is named in honor of four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he slept early on the morning of June 29 in Kansas City. The operation was first launched on July 8 in Kansas City, Missouri, and is now underway in Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee. The expansion of Operation Legend was announced in St. Louis and Memphis.

In the City of St. Louis, the Department of Justice will supplement state and local law enforcement agencies by sending more than 50 federal investigators from the Department of Homeland Security to the City. Under the leadership of U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, these investigators will complement the work already underway by existing joint federal, state and local task forces focused on combatting violent gangs, gun crime, and drug trafficking organizations.

St. Louis is currently experiencing a significant increase in violent crime, with homicides up over 34% and non-fatal shootings are up over 13%. These resources will be utilized to address the spike in violent crime.

During a press conference to announce the expansion of Operation Legend, FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard Quinn announced that as part of the initiative, a reward of up to $25,000 would be made available for information leading to the identification and arrest of the individual or individuals responsible for the homicides of Kayden E. Johnson, two years of age at the time, and his mother Trina’ty A. Riley, 18, inside their home on April 30, 2019.

“I just need closure. My family needs peace. We just want justice. If you know anything, please contact the detectives,” said Taiesha Campbell, mother of Trina’ty and grandmother of Kayden, in connection with today’s announcement.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance will make available $1 million to support Operation Legend’s violent crime reduction efforts and shot spotter responses in St. Louis. The City is also receiving two Special Assistant United States Attorneys from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office to support violent crime prosecutions.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Reputed Leader of Black Disciples Street Gang Darnell "Murder" McMiller" Among 23 Defendants Charged in Federal Drug and Gun Investigation #Chicago

The alleged leader of the Black Disciples street gang in Chicago is among 23 individuals facing criminal charges as part of a federal investigation into drug and gun trafficking on the city’s South Side.

During the multi-year investigation, law enforcement seized 24 firearms, more than 13 kilograms of cocaine, more than a kilogram of heroin, approximately 1,350 grams of heroin laced with fentanyl, approximately 750 grams of fentanyl or fentanyl analogue, approximately 378 grams of crack cocaine, $52,595 in suspected illicit cash proceeds, and distribution quantities of suspected MDMA pills. Much of the alleged drug and gun trafficking occurred in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.

Indictments and criminal complaints unsealed this week in U.S. District Court in Chicago charge 22 of the defendants with various drug or firearm offenses, while one defendant faces bank fraud charges. The defendants were arrested and have begun making initial appearances in federal court.

Included among the defendants is DARNELL MCMILLER, also known as “Murder,” who is described in the charges as the current leader of the Black Disciples street gang in Chicago. Several other alleged high-ranking members of the Black Disciples were also charged and arrested, including CLARENCE JANUARY, who allegedly leads the gang’s “Dog Pound” faction, and KENNETH BROWN, who allegedly supplied the gang with drugs for distribution in Chicago. CHARLES KNIGHT, an alleged high-ranking member of the Gangster Disciples street gang, is charged as part of the probe with supplying narcotics to McMiller’s crew.

The investigation was led by the FBI and Chicago Police Department, with assistance from ATF, DEA, IRS Criminal Investigation Division, the Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Task Force (HIDTA), and the FBI Windy City Task Force.

The Black Disciples are a national street gang that is prevalent throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. According to the charges, members of the Black Disciples have been distributing narcotics and guns in the Englewood neighborhood and other parts of Chicago. The charges describe more than 50 illicit transactions in which alleged Black Disciples members sold guns or drugs to individuals who were cooperating with law enforcement. In many instances, the cooperating individuals surreptitiously video-recorded the transaction at the direction of law enforcement.

The complaint against McMiller, 34, of Chicago, accuses him of conspiring with Knight, 56, of Riverdale, to distribute fentanyl-laced heroin to a cooperating individual on Sept. 30, 2019. The transaction occurred in the 7000 block of South Lowe Avenue in Chicago, the complaint states.

Brown, 59, of Chicago, is charged with conspiring with alleged Black Disciple member TERRENCE MORRIS, 48, of Chicago, to distribute heroin in March 2019. During the investigation, law enforcement carried out a court-authorized search of a South Side storage unit rented by Brown and discovered 13 kilograms of cocaine, which were individually wrapped in sealed packages, the charges state.

January, 27, of Chicago, is accused of trafficking three handguns in the summer of 2019. He had previously been convicted of a felony firearm offense in the Circuit Court of Cook County and was not lawfully allowed to possess the guns. Several other convicted felons were also charged with unlawfully possessing firearms, including rifles and a shotgun furnished to members of the Black Disciples.

Charged with federal drug offenses are: McMiller; Knight; Brown; Morris; ALONZO BROOKS, 49, of Chicago; SHONGO COLLIER, 48, of Riverdale; LAWRENCE DRAUS, 41, of Crestwood; FREDRICK STEWART, 47, of Chicago; TONY REDDING, 44, of Chicago; RAMONT AUSTIN, 39, of Chicago; FRANKLIN REDDING, 46, of Chicago; BARRY MICKIEL, 49, of Chicago; BRIAN BILLUPS, 40, of Plainfield; JOSEPH ANDERSON, 43, of Chicago; and SANTANA STEELE, 36, of Chicago.

Charged with federal firearm offenses are January; ANTOINE MCDANIELS, 44, of Chicago; DEANDRE MARTIN, 32, of Chicago; WILLIE ALFORD, 45, of Chicago; TRAVIS WASHINGTON, 24, of Chicago; WENDELL KEMP, 55, of Chicago; and SHAWN HUDSON, 48, of Harvey.

Charged with bank fraud is JOHN ECTOR, 47, of Chicago.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office holds gun offenders accountable through Project Guardian and Project Safe Neighborhoods – the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategies.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office has deployed the Guardian and PSN programs to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district, including by prosecuting individuals who illegally possess firearms.  Additional federal law enforcement resources were recently allocated to Chicago under Operation Legend, which will enhance existing efforts by federal law enforcement agencies working in conjunction with state and local law enforcement offices to fight violent crime.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Two Men Assassinated in Mob Hit by Foreign Gangsters!

Two men gunned down on the island of Corfu, a 46-year-old Serbian and 43-year-old Montenegrin were likely the victims of a war between two rival gangs based in the city of Kotor in Montenegro, initial reports said.

The assassinations outside their holiday villa on one of Greece's most popular islands, with tourists far fewer during the COVID-19 pandemic, shocked locals although there are periodic underworld murders across Greece.

The Hellenic Police (ELAS) and Serbian media reports indicated that the victims were high-ranking members of the Skaljari gang and were murdered by members of the rival Kavac gang, said Kathimerini.

Their bullet-riddled bodies were found by a masseur with whom the two men had made an appointment for a professional massage in the parking lot of the holiday home, inside a rented car.

Both gangs have taken their names from the districts of the city of Kotor where they are based. They once formed one gang trafficking drugs from South America into Europe, according to reports.

The gang, however, split into two in 2014 over a cocaine deal, the schism leading to a deadly feud involving other mobsters from Montenegro and Serbia, both countries with notorious organized crime mobs.

Thanks to TNH Staff.

Friday, July 17, 2020

ComEd Pays $200 Million to Resolve Bribery Scheme Amid Reports of Allegedly Arranging Jobs and Contracts for Political Allies of Michael Madigan?

Commonwealth Edison Company (“ComEd”), the largest electric utility in Illinois, has agreed to pay $200 million to resolve a federal criminal investigation into a years-long bribery scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago announced.

The criminal investigation of ComEd is being resolved with a deferred prosecution agreement under which ComEd admitted it arranged jobs, vendor subcontracts, and monetary payments associated with those jobs and subcontracts, for various associates of a high-level elected official for the state of Illinois, to influence and reward the official’s efforts to assist ComEd with respect to legislation concerning ComEd and its business. The U.S. Attorney’s Office today filed a one-count criminal information in U.S. District Court in Chicago charging ComEd with bribery. Under the agreement, the government will defer prosecution on the charge for three years and then seek to dismiss it if ComEd abides by certain conditions, including continuing to cooperate with ongoing investigations of individuals or other entities related to the conduct described in the bribery charge.

The deferred prosecution agreement, which is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court, requires ComEd to pay a $200 million fine. A court date for the approval hearing has not yet been scheduled.

The bribery charge and deferred prosecution agreement were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amarjeet S. Bhachu, Diane MacArthur, Timothy J. Chapman, Sarah E. Streicker, Matthew L. Kutcher, and Michelle Kramer.

In addition to the monetary penalty and obligation to continue cooperating with government investigations, ComEd’s obligations under the deferred prosecution agreement include enhancing its compliance program and providing annual reports to the government regarding remediation and implementation of its compliance measures. If ComEd fails to completely perform or fulfill each of its obligations under the agreement during the three-year term, the U.S. Attorney’s Office can initiate prosecution of the charged offense.

ComEd’s admissions regarding the charged conduct are contained in a Statement of Facts attached to the deferred prosecution agreement. ComEd admitted that its efforts to influence and reward the high-level elected official – identified in the Statement of Facts as “Public Official A” – began in or around 2011 and continued through in or around 2019. During that time, the Illinois General Assembly considered bills and passed legislation that had a substantial impact on ComEd’s operations and profitability, including legislation that affected the regulatory process used to determine the electricity rates ComEd charged its customers. Public Official A controlled what measures were called for a vote in the Illinois House of Representatives and exerted substantial influence over fellow lawmakers concerning legislation affecting ComEd. The company admitted that it arranged for jobs and vendor subcontracts for Public Official A’s political allies and workers even in instances where those people performed little or no work that they were purportedly hired by ComEd to perform.

In addition to the jobs and contracts, ComEd further admitted that it undertook other efforts to influence and reward Public Official A, including by appointing an individual to ComEd’s Board of Directors at the request of Public Official A; retaining a particular law firm at the request of Public Official A; and accepting into the company’s internship program a certain amount of students who resided in the Chicago ward where Public Official A was associated.

To date, ComEd has provided substantial cooperation with the federal investigations. Per the terms of the agreement, the company will continue to provide such cooperation until all investigations and prosecutions arising out of the charged conduct are concluded.

Michael Miske Jr Arrested by Feds as Alleged Organized Crime Boss in Hawaii, 10 Others included on 22 Charge Indictment Including Use of Chemical Weapons

Kenji M. Price, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii, Eli S. Miranda, Special Agent in Charge of the Honolulu Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Tom Murdock, Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), Josh Allen, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Office of the Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigative Division (“EPA-CID”), Lucia Cabral-Dearmas, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Honolulu Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and Aaron Joseph, Regional Agent in Charge of the Seattle Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) announced the unsealing of a Superseding Indictment charging MICHAEL J. MISKE, JR., and 10 other defendants with racketeering conspiracy and other offenses. The Superseding Indictment includes charges against MISKE for his role in the kidnapping and murder of 21-year-old Johnathan Fraser in July 2016.

A prior Indictment, which charged MISKE and another defendant with participation in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy, was also unsealed.

Eight of the defendants were arrested on Wednesday and as of that day, one defendant has not been arrested and remains at large. Two of the defendants, LANCE BERMUDEZ and DAE HAN MOON, were already in state custody. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Derrick K. Watson.

As alleged in the Superseding Indictment unsealed in Hawaii federal court[1]:

From at least in or about the late 1990s, up to and including the date of the Superseding Indictment, MICHAEL J. MISKE, JR., aka “Bro,” JOHN B. STANCIL, KAULANA FREITAS, aka “Shorty,” LANCE L. BERMUDEZ, aka “Hammah,” DEA HAN MOON, aka “Dayday,” PRESTON M. KIMOTO, HARRY K. KAUHI, aka “Harry Boy,” NORMAN L. AKAU III, HUNTER J. WILSON, and JARRIN K. YOUNG, the defendants, and others known and unknown, conspired to conduct and participate in the conduct of the affairs of a racketeering enterprise, the “Miske Enterprise,” through a pattern of racketeering activity. The racketeering activity included acts involving murder, kidnapping, arson, and robbery. It also included acts relating to murder-for-hire, chemical weapons, extortionate credit transactions, racketeering, interference with commerce through robbery and extortion, drug trafficking, wire fraud, fraud in connection with identification documents, financial institution fraud, the Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act, money laundering, and obstruction of justice.

From at least in or about March 2016 and continuing to on or about July 30, 2016, MISKE conspired with others to kidnap and murder 21-year-old Johnathan Fraser. In March 2016, MISKE instructed a co-conspirator to develop a plan for kidnapping and murdering Fraser, and told that co-conspirator that he/she could name the price for carrying out the murder. In or about June 2016, MISKE arranged for the purchase of a Boston Whaler vessel that could be used to dump Fraser’s body into the ocean after Fraser was kidnapped and killed. On or about July 30, 2016, Fraser was kidnapped and killed. On that same day, another of MISKE’s co-conspirators took Fraser’s significant other on a “spa day,” thereby ensuring that Fraser and his significant other would be separated from each other when Fraser was kidnapped.

MISKE and other members and associates of the Miske Enterprise participated in various other acts of violence:

  • In or about 2016, MISKE, STANCIL, BERMUDEZ, MOON, and KAUHI conspired to commit the murder-for-hire of an individual (“Victim-1”) whom MISKE suspected of cooperating with law enforcement.
  • On or about May 23, 2017, MISKE and STANCIL attempted to cause the death of another person (“Victim-2”) and committed an assault of Victim-2, and did so using at least one firearm.
  • From the late 1990s and continuing to in or about 2018, MISKE, STANCIL, BUNTENBAH, and others known and unknown, conspired to commit assaults in aid of racketeering.
  • In or about October 2017, MISKE, KIMOTO, and others known and unknown conspired to kidnap another person (“Victim-3”) in Honolulu, Hawaii. Two of MISKE’s co-conspirators, acting on MISKE’s instructions, kidnapped Victim-3 in Honolulu and restrained him/her in their vehicle.
  • In or about 2016, STANCIL, BERMUDEZ, KAUHI, and AKAU participated in a gunpoint robbery of another person (“Victim-4”) during which they robbed Victim-4 of methamphetamine.
  • On or about August 24, 2016, BERMUDEZ and WILSON participated in a gunpoint robbery of another person (“Victim-5”) during which they robbed Victim-5 of controlled substances.

In or about March 2017, MISKE, STANCIL, and FREITAS, and others known and unknown, conspired to release a chemical weapon, namely, chloropicrin, into nightclubs in Honolulu, Hawaii. As part of this conspiracy, chloropicrin was released into two different nightclubs.

Multiple defendants conspired to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, including methamphetamine, cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana.

Between on or about April 21, 2017 and July 3, 2017, MISKE and others participated in a scheme to defraud Bank of Hawaii through the preparation and submission of materially false documents as part of loan applications.

Mr. Price praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, IRS-CI, EPA-CID, HSI, and ATF. He also thanked the Honolulu Police Department for the work of personnel who participated in this matter in their role as Task Force Officers with the FBI, and thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, the United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, the Hawaii National Guard, 93rd Civil Support Team, and the Office of Investigations–Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration for their assistance.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Nammar, Micah Smith, and Mark A. Inciong are in charge of the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marion Percell is in charge of the forfeiture component of the case.

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