The Chicago Syndicate

Magee 1866 Heritage Month

Thursday, March 31, 2022

National Lampoon's Insurrection Vacation Results in Guilty Plea by Griswold #CapitolRiot

A Florida man pleaded guilty to a felony charge related to his actions during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Andrew William Griswold, 33, of Niceville, Florida, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to civil disorder. According to court documents, on Jan. 6, at approximately 2:35 p.m., Griswold was in a crowd of rioters who were illegally outside the Capitol’s East Rotunda Doors. U.S. Capitol Police officers stood inside and outside the doors, guarding them. At least one person in the crowd sprayed a chemical irritant at officers. Minutes later, rioters who were already inside the Capitol – some wielding flagpoles – shoved past the police and pushed the doors open. Those outside the Capitol began to push their way inside the building. Others fought police in the doorway.

A group outside the doors gathered together and, shouting “Heave! Ho!” pushed, surging toward the entrance to the building. Griswold joined this group, pushing on a rioter in front of him and advancing toward the open doors. He entered the Capitol at approximately 2:40 p.m. Once inside, he made his way to the Gallery of the Senate. Later, after leaving the building, while standing on the steps leading to the East Rotunda Doors, Griswold spoke with a member of the media, declaring, among other things, “We took the building. They couldn’t stop us,” and “Don’t mess with us. Back off. This is our country. We showed ‘em today. We took it. They ran. And hid.”

Griswold was arrested on March 5, 2021, in Pensacola, Florida. He is to be sentenced on July 13, 2022. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

In the 14 months since Jan. 6, more than 775 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 245 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Notorious Gang Leader "Bogus" and Members of His Crew Convicted on RICO Conspiracy, Murder, Attempted Murder, Robbery, and Drug Dealing Charges

3 members of a violent criminal gang were convicted in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) by a federal jury for RICO conspiracy, murder, attempted murder, robbery, and drug dealing.

According to court documents and the evidence presented at trial, the Paul Girard criminal enterprise committed murders and was involved in other acts of violence, targeted jewelry stores and banks for robberies, and distributed illegal drugs.

“These defendants terrorized the U.S. Virgin Islands through violence and theft,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s verdicts, and the guilty pleas of 7 additional co-defendants in this case, demonstrate that the Department of Justice, and our law enforcement partners, are committed to combating the threat of gang violence.”

“Today’s verdict makes clear that the people of the Virgin Islands will not tolerate violent criminal activity directed against their fellow islanders,” said U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert for the U.S. Virgin Islands. “These convictions mark the dismantlement of the Paul Girard criminal enterprise. This was a team effort. We are hugely grateful for the dedication of the prosecution team.”

“The use of violence and intimidation by these gang members to try and assert power over the people of the Virgin Islands failed,” said Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “These criminals thought they were untouchable, but today's verdict demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the FBI to investigate and disrupt criminal enterprises like this and demand justice for their victims."

“There is no greater threat to our nation than that of violence and fear in our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Joseph Gonzalez of the FBI’s San Juan Field Office. “With this verdict, the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands can rest assured in the FBI’s commitment to work aggressively to curtail violence in our streets. I’d like to thank our local partners for their work on this case and their continued support to the FBI mission.”

Evidence presented at trial showed that Paul Girard, aka Bogus, 34, of St. Croix, USVI, was the leader of the group. Girard ordered shootings against rival gang members, as well as individuals he believed had stolen from or otherwise disrespected the gang. Girard planned, and his crew executed, several armed robberies including of the Divi Racino Casino in St. Croix, as well as Gems and Gold Corner jewelry store, Signatures Jewelry, and 3Gs Jewelry and Repair located in St. Thomas. Most of the criminal activity was orchestrated by Girard from prison, where he is currently serving sentences for multiple prior criminal convictions.

According to evidence presented at trial, Tyler Eugene, aka Lucc, 24, of St. Croix, committed acts of violence on behalf of the gang, including murdering a rival gang member outside a convenience store at Girard’s direction. Kareem Harry, aka Crumbull, 34, of St. Croix, committed acts of violence on behalf of the gang including participating in the murder of a victim who was believed to have stolen money from the Girard gang. Harry also set up the shooting death of a rival gang member outside of the victim’s child’s daycare.

Girard was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy, three counts of murder in aid of racketeering, three counts of the use of a firearm resulting in death, three counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, three counts of Hobbs Act Robbery, one count of kidnapping in aid of racketeering, and four counts of using of a firearm during a crime of violence. Eugene was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, one count of murder in aid of racketeering, one count of the use of a firearm resulting in death, two counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering, and two counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence. Harry was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, two counts of murder in aid of racketeering, two counts of use of a firearm resulting in death, and one count of kidnapping in aid of racketeering. Because each defendant was convicted of murder in aid of racketeering, each faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine the sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Seven additional defendants indicted in the same case have already pleaded guilty to various racketeering charges.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Jacob Zerkle Arrested on Charges For Assault on Law Enforcement Officers during January 6th Capitol Insurrection

An Arizona man was arrested for assaulting law enforcement during the insurrection of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, which disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress that was in the process of ascertaining and counting the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Jacob Zerkle, 50, of Bowie, Arizona, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, civil disorder, engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, and related offenses. He was arrested in Tucson and will make his initial appearance in the District of Arizona.

Jacob Zerkle

According to court documents, on Jan. 6, starting at approximately 2 p.m., Zerkle physically engaged on the West Lawn with multiple officers from the Metropolitan Police Department, who were attempting to protect the Capitol grounds. He threw several punches at one officer, pushed at least one other officer, and grabbed the baton of another. At the time, officers were attempting to get to the Lower West Terrace, where they were to provide reinforcements to law enforcement there.

In the 14 months since Jan. 6, more than 775 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 245 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.


Tuesday, March 08, 2022

The House That Madigan Built: The Record Run of Illinois' Velvet Hammer

Michael Madigan rose from the Chicago machine to hold unprecedented power as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. In his thirty-six years wielding the gavel, Madigan outlasted governors, passed or blocked legislation at will, and outmaneuvered virtually every attempt to limit his reach.

Veteran reporter Ray Long draws on four decades of observing state government to provide the definitive political analysis of Michael Madigan. Secretive, intimidating, shrewd, power-hungry--Madigan mesmerized his admirers and often left his opponents too beaten down to oppose him. Long vividly recreates the battles that defined the Madigan era, from stunning James Thompson with a lightning-strike tax increase, to pressing for a pension overhaul that ultimately failed in the courts, to steering the House toward the Rod Blagojevich impeachment.

Long also shines a light on the machinery that kept the Speaker in power. Head of a patronage army, Madigan ruthlessly used his influence and fundraising prowess to reward loyalists and aid his daughter’s electoral fortunes. At the same time, he reshaped bills to guarantee he and his Democratic troops shared in the partisan spoils of his legislative victories. Yet Madigan’s position as the state’s seemingly invulnerable power broker could not survive scandals among his close associates and the widespread belief that his time as Speaker had finally reached its end.

Unsparing and authoritative, The House That Madigan Built, is the page-turning account of one the most powerful politicians in Illinois history.


Thursday, March 03, 2022

Michael Madigan Indictment Details on Charges for Federal Racketeering and Bribery in Connection with Alleged Corruption Schemes

A federal grand jury in Chicago indicted former Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives MICHAEL J. MADIGAN on racketeering and bribery charges for allegedly using his official position to corruptly solicit and receive personal financial rewards for himself and his associates.

The 22-count indictment accuses Madigan of leading for nearly a decade a criminal enterprise whose purpose was to enhance Madigan’s political power and financial well-being while also generating income for his political allies and associates. The charges allege that Madigan, who served as Speaker and occupied a number of other roles, including Representative of Illinois’s 22nd District, Committeeman for Chicago’s 13th Ward, Chairman of both the Illinois Democratic Party and the 13th Ward Democratic Organization, and partner at the Chicago law firm of Madigan & Getzendanner, used these positions to further the goals of the criminal enterprise. The indictment alleges that Madigan directed the activities of his close friend – co-defendant MICHAEL F. MCCLAIN – and that McClain carried out illegal activities at Madigan’s behest. Madigan and McClain allegedly caused various businesses, including the utility company Commonwealth Edison, to make monetary payments to Madigan’s associates as a reward for their loyalty to Madigan, at times in return for performing little or no legitimate work for the businesses.

Madigan, McClain, and other members of the enterprise allegedly unlawfully solicited benefits from businesses and other private parties. The indictment accuses Madigan of engaging in multiple schemes to reap the benefits of private legal work unlawfully steered to his law firm, including legal work from those with business before the State of Illinois and City of Chicago.

Madigan, 79, of Chicago, is charged with racketeering conspiracy and individual counts of using interstate facilities in aid of bribery, wire fraud, and attempted extortion. McClain, 74, of Quincy, Ill., is charged with racketeering conspiracy and individual counts of using interstate facilities in aid of bribery and wire fraud.

Arraignments in U.S. District Court in Chicago have not yet been scheduled.

The indictment was 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 Field Office of the FBI; and Justin Campbell, 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, Michelle Kramer, and Julia Schwartz.

“Corruption by an elected official and his associates undermines the public’s confidence in our government,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “The indictment alleges a long-term, multifaceted scheme to use public positions for unlawful private gain. Rooting out and prosecuting the kind of corruption alleged in the indictment will always be a top priority for this office.”

“Our elected officials swear an oath to carry out the duties of their office,” said FBI SAC Buie. “When they dishonor that oath, it erodes the trust we have in our officials to do the right thing for our communities, and the FBI and its partners stand ready to stamp out corruption at any level of government.”

“IRS Criminal Investigation provides financial investigative expertise in our work with our law enforcement partners,” said IRS-CI SAC Campbell. “Our hallmark expertise in following the money trail in this type of case shows our agency is committed to rooting out public corruption. Today’s indictment underscores our commitment to this work in a collaborative effort to promote honest and ethical government at all levels, and to prosecute those who allegedly violate the public’s trust.”


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