The Chicago Syndicate

Magee 1866 Heritage Month

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Freezing Order: A True Story of Money Laundering, Murder, and Surviving Vladimir Putin's Wrath #Russia

Following his explosive New York Times bestseller Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice, Bill Browder returns with another gripping thriller chronicling how he became Vladimir Putin’s number one enemy by exposing Putin’s campaign to steal and launder hundreds of billions of dollars and kill anyone who stands in his way.


When Bill Browder’s young Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, was beaten to death in a Moscow jail, Browder made it his life’s mission to go after his killers and make sure they faced justice. The first step of that mission was to uncover who was behind the $230 million tax refund scheme that Magnitsky was killed over. As Browder and his team tracked the money as it flowed out of Russia through the Baltics and Cyprus and on to Western Europe and the Americas, they were shocked to discover that Vladimir Putin himself was a beneficiary of the crime.

As law enforcement agencies began freezing the money, Putin retaliated. He and his cronies set up honey traps, hired process servers to chase Browder through cities, murdered more of his Russian allies, and enlisted some of the top lawyers and politicians in America to bring him down. Putin will stop at nothing to protect his money. As Freezing Order reveals, it was Browder’s campaign to expose Putin’s corruption that prompted Russia’s intervention in the 2016 US presidential election.

At once a financial caper, an international adventure, and a passionate plea for justice, Freezing Order: A True Story of Money Laundering, Murder, and Surviving Vladimir Putin's Wrath, is a stirring morality tale about how one man can take on one of the most ruthless villains in the world—and win.

Friday, April 08, 2022

King Bam of the Latin Kings Sentenced to Prison for Racketeering

A former leader of the Boston Chapter of the Massachusetts Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation (Latin Kings) was sentenced to prison on racketeering charges.

Angel Calderon, a/k/a “King Bam,” 29, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to seven years in prison and three years of supervised release. On Aug. 5, 2021, Calderon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy.

During the investigation, Calderon was identified as the Inca, or leader, of the Morton Street Bricks (MSB) Chapter of the Latin Kings. Named for the Morton Street housing project in Boston, the MSB Chapter included approximately half-a-dozen members. The MSB Chapter, in turn, reported to the Massachusetts State Leadership of the Latin Kings, providing information, structure, funds and other resources to further the Latin Kings goals and directives in the state. Additionally, Calderon conspired with members of the Latin Kings regarding the commission of criminal acts and discussed efforts to murder a rival gang member using poisoned narcotics, also known as a hotshot, in 2019. In June 2019, Calderon assaulted a woman at gunpoint and threatened to kill her and her family based upon the belief that she was providing information to law enforcement.

The Latin Kings are a violent criminal enterprise comprised of thousands of members across the United States. The Latin Kings adhere to a national manifesto, employ an internal judiciary and use a sophisticated system of communication to maintain the hierarchy of the organization. As alleged in court documents, the gang uses drug distribution to generate revenue, and engages in violence against witnesses and rival gangs to further its influence and to protect its turf.

In December 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment alleging racketeering conspiracy, drug conspiracy and firearms charges against 62 leaders, members and associates of the Latin Kings. Calderon is the 49th defendant to be sentenced in the case.

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.


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