Kenneth Harman charged with murdering Michael Castle

Kenneth Harman, of Cannon Bridge, Tonbridge, Kent, will appear at Sevenoaks Magistrates Court charged with murdering Michael Castle.
A 54-year-old man is appearing in court charged with the murder of a man found stabbed to death on his houseboat.
The 61-year-old's body was discovered inside his boat, called Impulse, on the River Medway near Cannon Bridge at Tonbridge, last Friday. A post-mortem examination revealed he died from stab wounds.

Morgan Michelle Hoke The ponytail bandit arrested in Bangkok

Hoke, 21, and her 26-year-old husband, Stuart Michael Romine, are accused of robbing banks in Texas, including one in Austin, and possibly in California and Washington. The couple arrived in Bangkok on Jan. 20, according to arrest warrants.Bank robbery suspect Morgan Michelle Hoke, accused of being the woman dubbed the "ponytail bandit," could have reinvented herself here. In downtown Bangkok, street vendors offer forged American driver's licenses for about $35. Medical clinics provide plastic surgery for a fraction of U.S. prices. Hotel owners often look the other way if guests give false names. The combination of lax law enforcement, easy hospitality and thousands of backwater towns has attracted a wide roster of fugitives to Thailand and other nations in Southeast Asia. Hoke was detained Feb. 13 at a hotel popular with budget travelers and was extradited to the U.S. the next day. Romine flew from Thailand to India on Feb. 10 and is still being sought, Thai police said. The day Hoke was detained, Thai police also arrested Earl Bonds, a 42-year-old American wanted in St. Louis on child molestation charges. He was turned over to U.S. officials Thursday for extradition. The two are part of a long and growing list of American fugitives caught in Thailand. One of the most prominent recent extraditions was of James Vincent Sullivan, a multimillionaire who once lived in Palm Beach, Fla., and in 2006 was sentenced to life in prison for arranging his wife's murder in Atlanta. In another high-profile case, Saner Wonggoun, then 59, a Thai-born American citizen, was extradited to the U.S. in 2006 on charges of murdering his wife in California. He had been living in Thailand for 12 years when police found him working in a market. Although Thai immigration police do not release statistics on how many foreign fugitives have been caught in Thailand, the nation of 65 million people extradites many foreigners each year, said Suppachai Paladech, an inspector with the department.
"If you type 'fugitive' and 'Thailand' into Google, you get a lot of news," he said. "Some people think they can escape here." (The Google search produces about 171,000 hits.) Fugitives are attracted to Southeast Asia partly because of lax enforcement of immigration laws, experts said. Americans like Hoke can blend in easily in Thailand, where more than 7,000 U.S. expatriates legally reside and work. And last year, more than 700,000 American tourists visited Thailand. Thousands of foreigners living in Thailand make frequent "visa runs," trips to neighboring countries to renew monthlong tourist visas, and many are able to work without legal documentation. Because Thailand gets millions of foreign tourists each year, "it's easy for someone to hide themselves in some of the tourist places," Suppachai said.
The problem is clear in the Khao San district of Bangkok, where Hoke was detained last week. Residents and tourists said many hotels do not ask guests to register with their passport numbers, as required by Thai law. An open trade in fake documents also makes Thailand attractive to fugitives. Vendors sell fake identification cards and driver licenses, and Web sites offer second passports. One Web site advertising to people "who are seriously considering moving to Thailand ... perhaps for the rest of their lives" included a link to buy a passport from the African nation of Burkina Faso.
Thailand's borders with Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar — nations, experts said, that are less likely than Thailand to extradite criminals — also are poorly patrolled, said Punthip Kanchanachittra Saisoonthorn, a law professor at Bangkok's Thammasat University. The Thai government has taken steps to catch fugitives. After the deportation of American John Mark Karr, who falsely confessed in 2006 to murdering JonBenet Ramsey, the Colorado girl whose death made headlines in 1996, Thailand's immigration department limited the number of times foreigners could renew tourist visas, though locals say corrupt officials sometimes break the rules.
Karr, who was arrested in California in 2001 and charged with possession of child pornography, had lived in Thailand on and off for nearly two years and taught English to elementary school students in Bangkok.
Karr "was sort of a tripwire" for the Thai government to improve surveillance of foreigners, said Michael Turner, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.
"Since then, it's become a little more difficult" for Americans to stay illegally, Turner said.
Thai immigration police used information Hoke had listed on customs forms to find her within hours of receiving her name and photograph from the FBI.
But some Thais complained that their government had not done enough to keep criminals out of Thailand. Putich Santichaivoravei, a 23-year-old engineering student in Bangkok, said he was surprised that Hoke and her husband remained in Thailand for nearly a month after a source had contacted California police to say Hoke was the "ponytail bandit." "It's not good that felons can come to Thailand," Putich said as he relaxed in a downtown park. "We don't know who is a criminal and how to protect ourselves from them."

Guyana's most-wanted man - alleged gang leader Rondell Rawlins - is responsible for the January killings in Lusignan.

Gunmen dressed in military uniforms and took weapons from a police station in Bartica, 80 miles (130km) south-west of the capital Georgetown. The attack is the second blamed on gangs in recent weeks. On 26 January, 11 people - including five children - were killed when gunmen attacked the village of Lusignan. At least six gunmen arrived in Bartica late on Sunday by a speedboat on the Essequibo River and attacked the town's police station, regional official Hilbert Knights said.
Health Minister Leslie Ramsammy said nine of the civilians killed included five people who were sleeping in hammocks alongside the river, outside Bartica's police station. The town of 15,000 people is a supply centre for miners prospecting for gold and diamonds in the country's interior. Police believe that Guyana's most-wanted man - alleged gang leader Rondell Rawlins - is responsible for the January killings in Lusignan. He has accused the authorities of kidnapping his 18-year-old pregnant girlfriend and has promised to carry out further attacks.
Authorities have offered a reward of $150,000 for the capture of Mr Rawlins, who is also wanted over the murder of a government minister in 2006.

Seifert's extradition has been welcomed by groups campaigning for Nazi war criminals to be brought to justice

Michael Seifert arrived in Rome from Canada where he had been fighting a battle against extradition. An Italian military tribunal convicted him in absentia in 2000 of 11 murders at a prison camp in the northern city of Bolzano. Seifert admits to having been a guard at the camp but denies being involved in atrocities. Seifert arrived shortly before dawn from Toronto on a military jet. The military prosecutor behind the case, Bartolomeo Constantini, described him as "a little wobbly" after leaving the plane. Mr Constantini says Seifert has a pacemaker but is generally healthy. Seifert was taken to a prison near Naples and was to undergo a medical examination. He may serve the sentence under house arrest because of his age.
The Verona-based military tribunal that convicted him heard testimony that Seifert committed acts of brutality while an SS guard. Seifert disguised his past while living in Canada Witnesses accused him of leaving a prisoner to starve to death, raping and killing a pregnant woman and gouging an inmate's eyes out. Towards the end of World War II, the Bolzano camp was used to house Jews, resistance fighters and German army deserters who were being transported further north.
Seifert was born in Ukraine and went on to work as a Nazi guard after the German occupation. After the war, he concealed his past and entered Canada in 1951.
In 2002, he was arrested after a request from Italy. His attempts to resist extradition reached a dead end in Canada's Supreme Court last month when it refused to hear his appeal. His lawyers argued that he had been convicted unfairly in Italy. They also accused the Canadian authorities of bias.
Seifert's extradition has been welcomed by groups campaigning for Nazi war criminals to be brought to justice. Avi Benlolo, of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies in Canada, said it was critical that Seifert faced justice in Italy. "It sets an example for other war criminals, not only Nazi war criminals, but war criminals related to Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur or any other genocide," he said.

Illegal street race "There were just bodies everywhere; it was horrible," Crystal Gaines,

"It's probably one of the worst scenes I've seen," said Prince George's County Police Cpl Clinton Copeland.Eight people were killed when a car veered into a crowd at an illegal street race in the United States. The crash happened at about 0340 (0840 GMT) on Route 210 just outside Accokeek in Maryland - about 20 miles (32km) from Washington DC. At least six people were injured, police said. Their conditions were not immediately known.
A white sedan went out of control and ploughed into the crowd of spectators on the roadside, Cpl Copeland said. It was followed by a tractor-trailer that may also have hit bystanders as it tried to avoid the crash, he said. Witnesses told the Associated Press news agency that a crowd of about 50 people had just watched two cars speed past in the race, when another car veered into spectators. Police said the darkness and the smoke coming from the cars meant the approaching driver probably could not see the crowd on the road. Seven people were pronounced dead at the scene, and an eighth later died in hospital.
"There were just bodies everywhere; it was horrible," Crystal Gaines, 27, told AP.
Her father was among the dead. "He wasn't breathing, he wasn't moving," she said. "His body was in pieces." Victims' bodies were scattered along a 183-metre (200-yard) stretch of road, police said. The driver of the sedan was not seriously hurt and has been interviewed but no charges were pending, Cpl Copeland said.

Phillip Bennett pleading guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges

Refco's collapse was the fourth-biggest US bankruptcy case.Phillip Bennett was speaking in court after pleading guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges that could seem him given a prison sentence of up to 315 years.
Refco went bust in 2005. It has since come out of bankruptcy protection.
Prosecutors said Bennett had prevented auditors and investors discovering the losses the firm and customers suffered.
The charges included conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering and making false filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The US government said that Refco and its customers had built up heavy losses in the mid-1990s when the company was privately owned with Bennett in charge.
The firm went public in 2005 but filed for bankruptcy weeks later after the $430m black hole in its books was revealed.
Bennett, who is from the UK, said he took "full responsibility" for his actions and apologised to those "harmed" by his conduct. His lawyer added: "He has candidly acknowledged his involvement in the matter. He was forthcoming and candid and wants to put this matter behind him." Bennett will be sentenced in May, with a maximum term of up to 315 years. US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said a lengthy term would not be unusual for someone "facing sentencing in the post-Enron era

Fawzi Falih faces imminent beheading for sorcery

Fawzi Falih faces imminent beheading for sorcery unless the King issues a rare pardon. But the influential rights group has stopped short of asking for intervention from foreign governments in the case, which has captured international attention and highlighted discriminatory aspects of the Saudi justice system, where courts often fail to follow due process.
Such was the case in the trial of Ms Falih, Human Rights Watch argues.
Religious police arrested the illiterate woman in 2005, allegedly beating her before forcing her to fingerprint a false confession. Her accusers included a man who claimed that she rendered him impotent with her sorcery.
In April 2006 the Saudi courts ruled the woman should be put to death to “protect the creed, souls and property of this country”.
In a letter sent to the King this week, Human Rights Watch wrote: “King Abdullah should halt the execution of Fawza Falih and void her conviction for ‘witchcraft’.
“The religious police who arrested and interrogated Fawza Falih and the judges who tried her in the northern town of Quariyat never gave her the opportunity to prove her innocence against the absurd charges,” it said.
Christophe Wilcke, the Human Rights Watch researcher in charge of the case, said: “I do feel that we have hope that she will be saved, by demonstrating how many things went wrong in her trial, and that we can persuade the King.”
Mr Wilcke said that Ms Falih was tried for the vague crime of witchraft and was convicted on the basis of faulty evidence. Apparently, Ms Falih’s lawyers were not even allowed in the courtroom. The trial, Human Rights Watch argues, failed to meet the Kingdom’s own standards of justice.
However, under Saudi law, Ms Falih has run out of avenues to appeal her sentence. Her life can only be saved by a rare intervention from King Abdullah. The last time he issued such a pardon was in December, for an 18-year-old girl from Qatif who was sentenced to lashes after she was gang-raped. Her sentence was reversed in response to a chorus of international protest, which included rare criticism from Washington, Saudi Arabia’s long-time ally. This time, Human Rights Watch has stopped short of asking for similar intervention: “This is a matter for Saudi to deal with,” Mr Wilcke said.

Ashley Ervin, 18, was automatically sentenced to life

Ashley Ervin, 18, was automatically sentenced to life without parole for her part in the May 26, 2006 death of Brady Davis, 61. She was driving the getaway car for Dexter Johnson and Keithron Fields, also charged with capital murder.
Investigators said Johnson, 19, and Fields,18, attacked Davis while he was cleaning a barbecue grill at a carwash in the 11300 block of Homestead near Little York. He was later found down beside his truck, dead from a single gunshot wound.
In his closing arguments, Ervin's attorney, Mike Monk, said Ervin didn't intend to be part of a robbery and murder.He said she was an honor student who fell in with the wrong crowd.Because she was 17 at the time of the offense, she wasn't eligible for the death penalty, said prosecutor Lisa Andrews.Davis's death was one of four that summer that police have linked to Ervin, Johnson and Fields.In one of the cases, Johnson and Fields were convicted in the carjacking murders of Maria Aparece and Huy Ngo. Two other suspects, Timothy Randle, 20, and a juvenile, were arrested in the June 18 incident where Aparece was raped before the couple were forced out of the car and into the woods, where they were shot in the head.
Fields was convicted in September and sentenced to life in prison.
Johnson, the alleged ringleader of the group, was sentenced in June to die for the double murder.Also implicated in the crime spree, which includes the shooting death of Jose Lopez, found in the 6900 block of Annunciation, is Alvie Butler, 23, who faces trial next week, Andrews said.Randle is also awaiting trial, while prosecutors have not charged the juvenile.

Rakesh Gupta murdered

Police is yet to find out any motive behind the murder of Shrachi Group top official Rakesh Gupta. Forty eight hours have passed but no arrests have yet been made. Gupta was found murdered on Sunday beside a pond, stuffed in a sack.
A CID team today visited the murder spot. Later, they also interrogated a staff of Shrachi Group who worked under Gupta. Some of his relatives were also questioned.
An officer said that the CID team is also trying to find out who Gupta met on the day of his death. They are investigating whether any financial transaction could be a motive behind his murder. Five teams of policemen have been formed to the hasten the investigation.
Meanwhile, Babita Gupta, widow of Rakesh is ailing. She is pregnant and the news of her husband's has clearly traumatised her. Rakesh's mother, Mrs Kamala Devi Gupta is also said to be ill. “He was an honest man and loved everybody. He never even used harsh language. We are waiting for justice,” said a relative of Gupta.

Jerrold Redmond two counts of heroin charges

Jerrold Redmond, previously of Bellevue, was sentenced Tuesday by Judge Harry Sargeant for two counts of heroin charges.43-year-old man was sentenced to 90 days in jail for trafficking in heroin charges stemming from two incidents in 2006.On May 9, 2006, in Bellevue, Redmond sold more than a gram of heroin in the vicinity of a juvenile — a third degree felony, according to Sandusky County Common Pleas Court records. On June 7, 2006, in Bellevue, Redmond used a Dodge truck to again sell heroin — a fifth degree felony

Carly Reisig,John Leo del Pinto shot another bullet into his heart

Carly Reisig, 24, said the policeman had no grounds at all for the attack - and that after he shot fellow Canadian John Leo del Pinto, the officer turned his gun on her and shot her in the chest.A young Canadian woman told how a Thai policeman shot dead her best friend in Pai in the North, then shot another bullet into his heart as he lay on the ground.

Jack Burch III According to police, they found a note demanding money that was signed with Burch’s full name and complete address

Jack Burch III was in the custody of federal pre-trial service employees when he disappeared Monday.He had been taken to a health care facility in downtown Portland to receive a medical evaluation, but he walked away from the facility at about 12:30 p.m.Burch is suspected of a robbery at the Bank of America in Gresham on Jan. 17. He was apprehended one block away from the bank they believed he robbed. If they hadn’t apprehended him, police said a personalized demand note with his name and address on it would have helped in his arrest.According to police, they found a note demanding money that was signed with Burch’s full name and complete address, including apartment number and zip code.Burch is described as white, 6 feet 1 inches tall, 120 pounds with short brown hair and hazel eyes. He wears glasses, officials said.

Jonathan Lamar Davis to its list of fugitives wanted for violent crimes

FBI has added Jonathan Lamar Davis to its list of fugitives wanted for violent crimes. Davis is wanted for his alleged involvement in the armed robbery of a bank in Raleigh, North Carolina in January 2008 and fleeing to avoid prosecution

Biggera Waters man has been charged with multiple fraud offences and police are searching for two more persons of interest

A 29-year-old Biggera Waters man has been charged with multiple fraud offences and police are searching for two more persons of interest.shut down an alleged identity theft ring in Queensland which is suspected of generating more than $1million through fraud.Superintendent Brian Hay, of Queensland police's fraud and corporate crimes group, said a bank in Oxley alerted police on Thursday after a man tried to apply for a loan with suspicious documents.Investigations led the police to raid two homes on Sunday, one in Biggera Waters and one in Coomera, where they found 81 identification documents, including Queensland driver licences, Medicare cards, bank cards, credit cards and identification cards.Supt Hay said he believed some of the documents had been stolen and others had been home-made using computers laminators, stamps, paint and other equipment.He said detectives from the Oxley District Criminal Investigation Branch, together with the Identity Crime Unit and State Crime Operations Command, had shut down the organised identity crime syndicate.Police have identified two more men who may be able to assist with inquiries and are calling for public assistance as to their current location and activities.

Jim Hayes was convicted by the federal jury

Jim Hayes, a former three-term mayor, was convicted by the federal jury of 16 of the 27 counts he was charged with, including conspiracy, theft, fraud, misapplication of federal funds, money laundering and failing to file tax returns.
Hayes was accused of helping funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars to himself and to help finish a $2 million home for the Lily of the Valley Church of God in Christ, where he serves as pastor.
The indictment accused Hayes of diverting the money from $2.9 million in government funds issued to a tutoring and mentoring center run by his wife.
His wife, Murilda "Chris" Hayes, previously pleaded guilty to a reduced number of charges. She did not testify against her husband and was not in the courtroom on Monday.Sentencing was set for May.

Doyle simply crossed the people you don't cross on the Costa, the Russians.'

Russian mafia hitmen shot dead Dublin gangland member Paddy Doyle on the Costa del Sol, senior gardai claimed this weekend. Doyle, the survivor of a vicious criminal turf war in south Dublin which has claimed at least 10 lives, was gunned down in Estepona last Monday. Veteran detectives with the Garda Siochana's 'Operation Anvil', the drive against Dublin's crime gangs, said the 27-year-old had beaten up a close relative of a Russian mafia leader based on the southern Spanish coastline.

'From what our Spanish colleagues have told us, this was a professional Russian hit. There were 13 shots and we don't think they wasted a bullet. It has a military-trained assassin written all over it, possibly ex-special forces,' a senior detective told The Observer. 'The intelligence coming back from the Costa del Sol is that Paddy Doyle crossed the Russian mafia, which is something you do there at your peril.'

The officer said shortly after Christmas Doyle got involved in a brawl with a young Russian man whom he severely beat up. Unknown to Doyle, the man was related to a senior Russian mafia figure. True to form, on a warm afternoon in one of Spain's most popular destinations for tourists and holiday-home owners, vengeance was exacted in a ruthless fashion.

Doyle, a career criminal, had been the chief suspect in two murders carried out in his native city in 2002 and 2005. He had eluded the gardai and went on the run via Liverpool, Manchester and eventually the favoured destination for many of Ireland's crime lords, Spain's Costa del Sol. From there he helped run a drugs empire smuggling vast amounts of cocaine from Spain into Ireland.

But around 2pm last Monday, Doyle finally met his match. He was travelling in the front passenger seat of a BMW 4X4 driven by one Gary Hutch. As Hutch drove the car towards La Cancelada outside Estepona they were ambushed. According to eyewitnesses two men from a green car opened fire, smashing the windscreen and hitting the passenger door. Hutch crashed the car and he and Doyle ran for cover.

What happened next demonstrated a clinical, military-style ruthlessness on behalf of the attackers. One of the gunmen singled out Doyle and shot him at least twice in the head. At least 13 bullets were fired at Doyle who died at the scene. A terrified Hutch, meanwhile, crouched in terror and waited until the gunmen had left before presenting himself at a local police station.

Reports back in Ireland tried to link Doyle's murder to the feud between two criminal gangs that have been at war in the Crumlin-Drimnagh districts of south Dublin since 2001. However, a senior Garda officer and veteran of the force's 'Operation Anvil' revealed the real identity of Doyle's assassins - the Russian mafia.

Less than 24 hours after Doyle's murder, cocaine valued at about €9.2million was seized by Spanish police in Estepona close to the shooting. Doyle was on his way to meet a British criminal when his car was ambushed and this triggered speculation that his death was linked to the drugs haul, in which an Irishman was one of eight arrested.

But back in Dublin the officer with intimate knowledge of Doyle and his gang insisted there was a more prosaic reason for his demise.

'Doyle was typical of the third generation of gangland "soldier" from Dublin. He was aggressive, showy and started fights at a whim. He and his ilk are unlike the older Irish criminal types on the Costa who live a very quiet life and just get on with their business. Our intelligence suggests Doyle simply crossed the people you don't cross on the Costa, the Russians.'

This article was written by Henry McDonald, and appeared in the Observer on Sunday, February 10 2008 on p.21 of the News section.

Escaped from a prison in France with two other inmates in a hijacked helicopter

Escaped from prison in France with two other inmates in a hijacked helicopter was arrested in Calpe on Monday morning, in an operation run in collaboration with police in France.fugitive who escaped from a prison in France with two other inmates in a hijacked helicopter was arrested in Calpe on Monday morning, in an operation run in collaboration with police in France.
The Civil Guard names him in a press release as 30 year old J.C.M., and said his arrest followed previous arrests in Calpe when he gave officers false identities. Enquiries made to police in France revealed that he was wanted on an international warrant for the escape from the prison in Aiton in December 2005, where he was serving 30 years for bank robbery.
The two other inmates who escaped with him were both caught shortly after the escape, one of them in Girona, Cataluña.

Guardia Civil’s organised crime unit mounted a anti-drugs operation in Palma.

Guardia Civil’s organised crime unit mounted a anti-drugs operation in Palma.
A series of raids were mounted simultaneously with a number of drugs swoops carried out across Spain as part of a nationwide operation.
Yesterday morning, armed officers wearing ski masks and with air support from a Guardia Civil helicopter stormed at least two properties in the Son Gotleu neighbourhood of the capital.
The operation was still ongoing last night but at least 13 people had been arrested.
Police sources also confirmed that over eight kilos of various drugs have been seized over the past two weeks since the operation was first given the all clear by police chiefs.
It was also revealed last night that further arrests may be made .
Police are not ruling out another wave of raids on suspect properties in Palma.

Paddy Doyle had been riddled with a total of 15 bullets.

Spanish press reports that Detectives are now trying to establish a link between the murder of Paddy Doyle and Tuesday’s haul of 115 kilos of cocaine, also in Estepona. Following a series of clues found after Monday’s shooting the Costa del Sol Drugs and Organised Crime Unit (Udyco) set up a number of controls in the Estepona area. On Tuesday officers approached a group of people moving furniture around. On inspecting the pieces, ranging from wardrobes to sofas, they discovered the 115 kilos of cocaine hidden in secret compartments inside. Seven people, six British and one Irish, were arrested. One of them was a minor.
Later on Tuesday the police searched the home of one of the suspects arrested during the drugs raid, a villa with two swimming pools, on an Estepona estate. There officers confiscated around 80,000 euros in cash, a firearm and a number of documents. Another two people were arrested in this search, including a Moroccan woman and another minor, taking the total number of suspects in custody up to nine.
The post mortem examination,revealed that Doyle had been riddled with a total of 15 bullets.

David Francis Giles :Hells Angels chapter was expanding operations in Kelowna

A judge determining the fate of a senior member of Vancouver's East End Hells Angels and two alleged associates accused of cocaine possession and trafficking asked some blunt questions today of the federal prosecutor.
"Where's the direct evidence of money going to the Hells Angels?" asked B.C. Supreme Court Justice Anne MacKenzie.
"You need not prove a financial benefit," explained prosecutor Martha Devlin, during her third day of final arguments at the trial, which began last year.
"The benefit to the club is the reputation of the club and the status of the End End chapter of the Hells Angels."
She said the Hells Angels chapter was expanding operations in Kelowna in 2005 to take advantage of the lucrative cocaine trafficking market in the Okanagan city.
"They are planting their flag," Devlin said of the Hells Angels expansion, which included establishing a clubhouse in Kelowna and a number of members of the East End chapter moving there.
David Francis Giles, 58, a Hells Angels member for more than 20 years, is accused of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking "for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal organization, to wit: the East End chapter of the Hells Angels."
Also on trial are alleged Hells Angels associates David Roger Revell, 43, and Richard Andrew Rempel, 24, who are accused of cocaine trafficking and possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking in association with a criminal organization -- the Hells Angels.
The trial has heard how police offered $1 million to a former Vancouver strip club bouncer, Michael Plante, who infiltrated the East End chapter of the Hells Angels and worked as a police agent.
Plante was paid $500,000 and will get the rest after he testifies at a number of pending trials. He is living under a new identity, but didn't enter the witness protection program.
During the $10-million investigation, police also wiretapped phones and placed listening devices in the Hells Angels clubhouse and inside Giles' Kelowna home.
The police probe resulted in the arrest of 18 men, including five full members of the Hells Angels, the son of the East End chapter president, and a dozen alleged associates.
The trial has heard how police seized three kilograms of cocaine from a Kelowna storage locker in April 2005, which prompted a flurry of e-mail activity between the BlackBerry phones later seized from Revell and Rempel.
The next day, police seized a green Chrysler Intrepid that the Crown contends had been observed during police surveillance picking up cocaine at the storage locker.
The car, which had been on Rempel's used car lot before it was ditched on a lot outside of Kelowna, was found to contain five kilograms of cocaine hidden in a secret compartment.
Police also found a Hells Angels Nomads "support wear" black hoodie at Rempel's residence, which Devlin contends indicated Rempel was aware of who he was dealing with -- Giles and other members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club.
"Mr. Rempel is involved in criminal activity," Devlin told the judge. "Our position is that Revell and Rempel know they are involved with Mr. Giles and the club... They are doing it at the behest of Giles."
She alleged Hells Angels members operate in small "cells" to avoid police detection.
"It's all done in association of the club with the power of the patch behind them," the prosecutor explained.
The patch refers to the winged death's head patch that full members of the Hells Angels wear on the backs of jackets.
Police allege the Hells Angels East End chapter is one of the most powerful and wealthiest gangs in B.C.
Devlin recalled the trial heard one Hells Angels member telling an aspiring Hells Angel member:
"If you get taken down, we all get taken down -- the club gets taken down."
She added: "They conduct their business to ensure the sanctity of the club."
The Crown contends that Giles paid for Revell and Rempel to fly to Calgary and, that when Giles' girlfriend mentioned the $500 airfares went on her credit card, Giles was heard saying on a wiretap call that he had earned $30,000 from Revell.
In the midst of the cocaine seizures, the prosecutor pointed out, Revell met with Giles. And after Revell was arrested in April 2005, Devlin said, he went to Giles home in May 2005, where a listening device captured their candid discussion about the eight kilograms of cocaine that had been seized, with Giles offering: "We'll get back up."
Devlin added: "Mr. Giles is alive to the fact that it's not a drug ripoff by a rival... and it's not going to stop them -- they are going to get back up."
The trial is expected to continue Monday at the Vancouver Law Courts with the three defence lawyers beginning their final arguments.

David Francis Giles "power of the patch," East End chapter of the Hells Angels

$10-million police investigation targeting the East End chapter of the Hells Angels, police secretly listened to the conversations of a longtime member David Francis Giles.
When on the phone, Giles referred to himself as "Gyrator" and would often tell people not to discuss things over the phone. Instead, he'd arrange to meet his associates in parking lots and restaurants.
prosecutor Martha Devlin, in her final arguments Wednesday at the trial of Giles and two co-accused who are accused of cocaine possession and trafficking, suggested Giles repeatedly discussed what would be best for the Angels.
Such as this statement he made on June 14, 2005, after police installed a "bug" (listening device) inside the clubhouse in Kelowna: "This ain't about what it can do for you, it's supposed to be what you can do for the club," Giles said.
The prosecutor suggested the John F. Kennedy style quote shows Hells Angels work together to maintain the club's strength and reputation.
Devlin also played another 2005 recording of Giles discussing his plan to set up a new chapter of the biker club in Kelowna and how he didn't want anyone "riding on our coat tails."
Giles was heard saying he only socializes and talks to people who are "going to benefit this house."
The prosecutor suggested the "house" Giles was talking about is the Hells Angels, which Giles had been a member of for 20 years at that time.
"Giles made clear to the members of the club that they should not allow the Hells Angels name, reputation or authority to be used by anyone other than club members," the prosecutor told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Anne MacKenzie.
"In essence, Giles maintained that the East End Hells Angels should invoke the power of the patch in Kelowna," Devlin added.
The "power of the patch," the prosecutor said, refers to the deaths head patch worn on the back of jackets by full members of the club.
The case stems from a two-year, $10-million police investigation that resulted in charges against 18 men, including six Hells Angels, in July 2005. It was the largest police probe in B.C. to target the East End chapter of the Hells Angels, long considered to be the wealthiest and most sophisticated biker gang in the province.
The central issue at trial is whether the East End chapter is a criminal organization, which was alleged in an indictment filed July 11, 2005 by Canada's deputy attorney-general. If the Crown succeeds in its criminal-organization prosecution, it could put the assets of all East End chapter members -- real estate holdings, cars and motorcycles -- at risk of seizure under B.C.'s Civil Forfeiture Act.
It could also make it easier to seize property following future Hells Angels and other trials, although the criminal-organization case would have to be made each time.
The Hells Angels in B.C. have worked hard to maintain their notorious reputation and achieve a "stranglehold on the criminal activity in B.C.," including drug trafficking, extortion and weapons offences, Devlin said

child prostitution network

Italian police have made scores of arrests and rolled up a child prostitution network. Fifty-one people were arrested in Italy and 15 in other countries, mainly the Netherlands. They are accused of human trafficking, exploitation and kidnapping. In Nigeria, Nigerian women took very young children from orphanages to work in the drug trade and as prostitutes. The children are also believed to have been taken from asylum centres in the Netherlands. The police operation began in October 2007 when, at the request of the Dutch government, 22 Nigerians were detained in Nigeria, various European countries and the US.


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