The Chicago Syndicate

Friday, July 12, 2019

89 Hells Angels Members Charged with Attempted Murder, Robbery, Drug Trafficking, Extortion #OrganizedCrime

Portuguese prosecutors have charged 89 members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club with involvement in organized crime, attempted murder, robbery and drug trafficking, the public prosecutor’s office said on Thursday.

The indictments follow a long investigation that has already led to dozens of arrests of Portuguese and foreign bikers.

The prosecutor’s indictment alleges that in March last year, armed with knives, axes and batons, the accused attempted to kill four people and seriously injured others at a restaurant on the outskirts of Portugal’s capital Lisbon. The restaurant was destroyed in the attack.

“According to the indictment, the accused belong to Hells Angels Motorcycle Club,” the statement said. Of the 89, 37 are in pre-trial detention, five are at home under electronic surveillance and two are detained in Germany awaiting extradition to Portugal, the prosecutors said.

The authorities said at the time the attacks were part of a turf war for control of illicit guns and drug trade. The bikers were also charged with qualified extortion, possession of illegal weapons and ammunition.

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club was formed in the United States in 1948 and has branches around the world, including in Portugal since 2002. The US-based club nor their lawyers in Portugal could not immediately be reached for comment.

Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence--and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets by @Abt_Thomas

From a Harvard scholar and a Senior Fellow at the Kennedy School, a powerful proposal for curtailing violent crime in America

Urban violence is one of the most divisive and allegedly intractable issues of our time. But as Harvard scholar Thomas Abt shows in Bleeding Out: The Devastating Consequences of Urban Violence--and a Bold New Plan for Peace in the Streets, we actually possess all the tools necessary to stem violence in our cities.

Coupling the latest social science with firsthand experience as a crime-fighter, Abt proposes a relentless focus on violence itself -- not drugs, gangs, or guns. Because violence is "sticky," clustering among small groups of people and places, it can be predicted and prevented using a series of smart-on-crime strategies that do not require new laws or big budgets. Bringing these strategies together, Abt offers a concrete, cost-effective plan to reduce homicides by over 50 percent in eight years, saving more than 12,000 lives nationally. Violence acts as a linchpin for urban poverty, so curbing such crime can unlock the untapped potential of our cities' most disadvantaged communities and help us to bridge the nation's larger economic and social divides.

Urgent yet hopeful, Bleeding Out offers practical solutions to the national emergency of urban violence -- and challenges readers to demand action.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Gang Member Felon Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearm Offense #ProjectSafeNeighborhoods

A Boston man affiliated with the Vine/Forest Street and Orchard Park gangs pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition.

Quantae Elmore, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for Oct. 10, 2019. Elmore was arrested and charged federally in July 2018 and has been in custody since.

On May 4, 2018, police officers encountered Elmore with a loaded firearm in his waistband on Zeigler Street in the Orchard Gardens neighborhood, in the company of other Vine/Forest Street and Orchard Park gang members. Elmore had previously been convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in prison and was therefore prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm and ammunition.

The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross made the announcement today.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. PSN is part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Italian Lira Makes a Comeback Due to Organized Crime

While the Italian government considers issuing a second form of paper money for the nation, to co-circulate alongside the euro notes, an age-old Italian institution, organized crime, is looking in another direction — backward.

Bloomberg reported on June 15 that another parallel currency, the old Italian lira, is once again circulating in Italy, at least among its domestic criminal enterprises. The business news service says that the police find that even though the lira stopped being legal tender in February 2002, it is still being used for illegal transactions. This is even though they are no longer redeemable, even at the Bank of Italy.

A representative of the national financial police is quoted as saying at a parliamentary hearing, “We still discover big amounts of liras,” and that they “still constitute parts of illicit transactions.’’ He added, “When a banknote is accepted by an organization internally, even if it is outside the law as a legal value, it can settle transactions. We are obviously talking about illicit organizations.’’

Running away from the euro may be becoming an Italian preoccupation. As reported in the July 8 issue of Coin World, a proposal before Parliament calls for the establishment of a currency, for domestic use only, called mini bills of treasury, or minibots. The proposal would allow the government to use them for the arrears it owes to commercial businesses and to pay social benefits, and citizens could pay their taxes with them. Private businesses would have the option to accept them.

Thanks to Arthur Friedberg.

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

The 5 Best Mafia Movies That You May Have Missed

Mafia and gangster movies have always been a big part of Hollywood’s culture and have been around for as much as the industry itself. Most movie lovers have seen classic mafia masterpieces such as GoodFellas, The Godfather or Scarface. But, there are many other movie gems you most likely didn’t get a chance to see. Here are the best mafia movies you’ve probably missed out on.

The Musketeers of Pig Alley.

Today, you can gamble from the comfort of your own home and browse the best legal NJ online casinos to look up and compare casinos and find the one that suits you the most. But, in the past, gambling wasn’t as widely accepted in the US as it is nowadays. Set in pre-depression New York, The Musketeers of Pig Alley is one of the first mafia movies ever made. It is loosely based on the events surrounding the fate of gambler Herman Rosenthal and is inspired by themes such as gambling, street hoods and gangsters.

Director D.W. Griffith actually used local gangsters, known gamblers and gang members as film extras to make his movie feel more authentic. Filmed and released in 1912, this American gangster classic is just 17 minutes long, but is one of the most influential movies of the early US cinematography. In 2016, The Musketeers of Pig Alley was added in the US National Film Registry due to its cultural and historical significance.

Get Carter.Get Carter

Even after nearly five decades after it came out, Get Carter is still one of the best crime thriller movies ever created. What makes this movie so unique and immersive is that at times, you will feel like it’s a real-life scene, even though the world has changed so much since 1971, when this movie was made. The sets, the background and the extras in the betting shops and pubs all perfectly depict the everyday struggle of the impoverished lower class.

Taking the centre spot of Get Carter is Michael Caine, who brilliantly managed to carry out every brutal and chilly scene his iconic character goes through during the movie. Get Carter is considered one of the great British masterpieces and has garnered a massive cult following and helped propel Michael Caine into superstardom.

The Long Good Friday.

The Long Good Friday is another British cult classic set in roughly the same period as Get Carter. Although fictionalized, the main storyline of the movie is a direct metaphor to the events and concerns that occurred in Great Britain during the late 1970s, weaving together topics that concern political and police corruption, the free-market economy in the UK and all of the social problems that Britain was facing at the time.

You could argue that this movie is anything but unknown, as it’s voted at number 21 on the list of BFI top 100 British films and provided Bob Hoskins with his breakout role, but this movie is criminally underrated and not that familiar among casual movie fans, especially outside of the UK.

Casino.Casino

Gambling has always been a big and very important business for the mafia, and it’s a well-known fact that some of the biggest mafia families in the US were involved in some type of gambling or betting. No movie illustrates this connection better than the 1995 three-hour epic Casino. Set in Las Vegas, the main storyline of the movie is inherently fascinating on its own. With the main cast consisting of Sharon Stone, Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci, Casino is a dazzling display of the rise and collapse of a gambling empire.

This Scorsese movie was also one of our top picks for best casino movies you can watch if you’re looking for some great casino mafia movies and is definitely one of Hollywood’s best mafia movies, worth rewatching several times.

Eastern Promises.

After collaborating with Viggo Mortensen on A History of Violence in 2005, David Cronenberg signed up the experienced actor for another gripping gangster film two years later, called Eastern Promises. To many critics surprise, this was one of Mortensen’s best performances, as he perfectly pulled off his role as Nikolai Luzhin, a tatted-out driver of the Russian mafia boss, who also serves as the family ‘cleaner’.

The movie is known for its plot twist, which puts a whole other perspective on the London underground. Despite winning several awards and garnering an Academy Award for Best Actor nomination for Mortensen, the movie has passed relatively unnoticed among the general public, grossing just slightly over $56 million on a $50 million budget.

Thanks to RJ Frometa.


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