May 18 - Over 80 members of "Doomstown Crips" arrested in Toronto raids

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 12 years ago '04        #41
Keystone 
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 OldeEnglish22oz said:
man this is Canada we talking about...
someone throws a rock thru a car window and it'll be considered a big crime news....
lmao.
 12 years ago '06        #42
DominicanLou 17 heat pts17
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SO for the people from these areas in Canada can you give us a break down of the gang culture out there. I mean im from LA and Ive never seen real white bloods or crips. Samoans? of course. We got those latino gangs yall already know. and yes the korean, filipino, and what have you.
So give us a rundown. like with the names and sh*t. My ex was indian and she said a lot of cousins got k!lled in vancouver over some indian punjabi gang sh*t. what is that gang culture like? im curious.

peace
 12 years ago '04        #43
studious03 
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all i gotta say is BLAME CANADA......
 12 years ago '04        #44
OnTheReal 
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fu*k a gang
 12 years ago '05        #45
rawchester 14 heat pts14
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in canada, the gangs aren't based on bloods and crips, its more based on territory, the hood/project you live in has conflict with another hood. I live in the city. And to the people who seem to want to downplay toronto's "hardness" there would be a lot more murders, not sayin I wantthat if guns were was easy to get and keep legally, as they are in the states.
 12 years ago '04        #46
newfnshow715 
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lolllll
 05-20-2006, 07:17 AM         #47
RealTO  OP
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 DominicanLou said:
SO for the people from these areas in Canada can you give us a break down of the gang culture out there.

peace
Pubdate: Fri, 30 Dec 2005
Source: National Post (Canada)

'MOST DANGEROUS GANG' IN U.S. TAKES ROOT HERE

MS-13 Notorious For behe@ding Its Victims


Their names sound as benign as any high school sports team, but their
presence is increasingly deadly.

Some of Toronto's 70-plus identified street gangs have worked their
way into the public realm through arrests or their own bloody acts of
aggression, such as the Galloway Boys, Malvern Crew, Ardwick Blood
Crew and the Jamestown Crips.

Others are known only on the streets and inside newly created but
confidential police files: Block-13, The Gatorz, Chalkfarm Bloods and
Five Point Generalz among them, several street and police sources
tell the National Post.

Perhaps the most alarming development in the terra incognita that is
Toronto's emerging gangland, however, is the confirmed presence here
of the MS-13, or the Mara Salvatrucha, a gang whose parent group in
the United States has been called "the most dangerous gang in America."

MS-13 was originally formed in Los Angeles by young men who fled the
civil strife in El Salvador. The new immigrants were being terrorized
by established street gangs and banded together, first for
self-protection and later, recognizing their growing strength, as aggressors.

When several of the original members were deported, it gave the gang
instant operatives in numerous Central American countries who helped
build drug- and people-smuggling routes.

In the United States, the gang is notorious for behe@ding its victims
and for directly confronting police officers with high-powered guns.

There has been nothing of that nature from the group of MS-13 in
Toronto, but officers have confirmed its worrisome presence.

"It is the same gang. They are showing up here. It is difficult to
tell exactly how affiliated they are because they are just starting
to emerge here," said Detective-Sergeant Doug Quan, head of the gang
section in Toronto police's Gun and Gang Task Force.

"Our intelligence shows that they are here and they are affiliated to
the U.S. MS-13," he said.

The Toronto version of MS-13 has a presence in the west side of the
city's downtown.

It has remained true to its roots and is comprised almost exclusively
of young men of Latin American origin.

The emergence of new gangs and new information coming to light on
older, more established street gangs leaves police gang officers
chasing a moving target.

Officers have identified more than 70 street gangs in Toronto, but
only about 25 of them have escalated in police eyes to becoming
serious criminal gangs, the likes of which would be covered by
Canada's anti-gang laws.

These laws were designed to tackle Mafia groups and outlaw motorcycle
gangs like the Hells Angels -- criminal organizations that remain far
above the street gangs in terms of criminal scope and sophistication.

Toronto street gangs have perhaps 1,800 to 2,000 members and
associates, police say. Gang size ranges from groups of 10 members
who seek to control a single housing complex, a street or a park to
some with 40 or more members who seek a wider territory for drug sales.

The members are typically between the ages of 16 and 25.

Some of the more established gangs have members in their 30s or 40s,
who are often seen as "elder statesmen," advising young gangsters
while avoiding street confrontations, police say.

Some gangs have formal induction ceremonies, while others maintain an
informal structure based on personal friendships.

"There are internal hierarchies and designated leaders and informal
leaders," Det.-Sgt. Quan said.

Some gangs force members to pay dues, some have a formal system of
contributing to pay other members' legal bills. Some even have war
chests to support the families of members who are jailed. Some have
defined meetings at specific locations and times, while others just
seem to hang around together.

"It varies from gang to gang. Some have identifiable colours,
tattoos, almost a uniform but others adopt bits and pieces, a hybrid
of American street gang culture," Det.-Sgt. Quan said.

Many gangs evolved from young men going to school together or growing
up in a neighbourhood together. As children they get into a little
trouble, perhaps commit petty crimes together and form a bond.

They then start to hook up with other like-minded young people, and
their network expands. A stint in jail also introduces them to gang leaders.

The gangs have traditionally retained an ethnic component -- groups
of Tamils or Jamaican immigrants, for instance, but that is changing.
The gangs are starting to embrace Canada's multicultural ethos and
police are finding white, black and Asian members in the same gang. A
person's perceived loyalty to the group and criminal contribution are
becoming more important than race.

As in the United States, the city's gangs have broken into two
primary gang alliances, called the Bloods and the Crips, named for
the rival Los Angeles street gangs that first used the names.

The original founders of many of Toronto's gangs picked which of the
gangs they liked and chose to affiliate with that culture, Det.-Sgt.
Quan said. Since then, some have built relationships with their U.S.
counterparts.

"Some have family or cousins or friends involved in gangs in the
States and there are some direct connections between, say, a
Chicago-based Blood gang that directly deals with a Toronto-based
Blood gang," he said.

Many Toronto street gangs affiliate themselves to both one of the
colossal U.S. gangs and to a tiny patch of Toronto turf. A gang like
the Ardwick Blood Crew takes its name from the Ardwick townhouse
complex many members once lived in and also their affiliation with the Bloods.

Generally speaking, Bloods are rivals of Crips or, more accurately, a
Bloods gang will typically support another Bloodsgang and the same
for the Crips gangs.

But if their territories come into conflict, money and the need for
"respect" trumps all allegiances and blood will inevitably be shed.

"They are just so bold and so young and they make dreadful mistakes
trying to establish themselves," Det.-Sgt. Quan said.

Those mistakes are increasingly causing alarm in Toronto as innocent
bystanders are being caught in the crossfire.

Police find the gangs all seem to have at least one thing in common:
"Drug trafficking fuels just about everything," he said.

 05-20-2006, 07:29 AM         #48
RealTO  OP
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Update:


Police name gang's gun runner
Some gang leaders previously jailed
Several appear on hip-hop DVD
Brantford man in U.S. prison
Illegal weapons came from Texas


May 20, 2006. 08:00 AM
BETSY POWELL AND JOHN DUNCANSON
STAFF REPORTERS

A Canadian resident serving time in a U.S. penitentiary for trafficking guns was one of the main suppliers of firepower to the Jamestown Crew, the west-end street gang whose members and a.ssociates were rounded up during the largest anti-gang sweep in the city's history.

Police sources say gang members were driving to the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford and buying guns from Earle Cooke, now serving time in an Oklahoma prison.

It's one of the new details to emerge in the aftermath of Thursday's pre-dawn raids, which saw the arrest of 106 people who now face more than 1,000 criminal charges in what police describe as a major offensive meant to curb Toronto gun violence. At least 24 of the 33 weapons and three replicas seized were loaded. Eight people remain at large.

During the investigation, police uncovered plots for several murders that they were able to prevent, said Toronto Police Insp. Greg Getty, who ran the operation.

Police yesterday released the names of most of the accused, some of them leaders of the Jamestown Crew, affiliated with the Crips, a criminal street gang that originated in Los Angeles in the late 1960s.

Many of the accused were well known to police and have lengthy records.

Not included in the released list was the name of a man who police allege was running the Jamestown gang from prison: Jermaine "J-Bug" or "Bugs" Grant, who is serving an eight-year prison sentence for firearms offences.

Oliver Augustus Willis is another reputed leader not on the list. He is already in custody after being charged last year with numerous weapons offences. In 2003, Willis saw a charge of first-degree murder against him withdrawn after two key prosecution witnesses refused to testify.

Included on the list was 29-year-old Kevin Latchana, who is facing 31 charges, including participating in a criminal organization and trafficking in cocaine. In 1997, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed charges against him of attempted murder, use of a firearm and aggravated a.ssault, after the complainant recanted his story.

The Crown proffered the theory that the complainant recanted under coercion and threats from the accused and his street gang. The complainant himself had a long record of convictions, and the court found he lacked credibility.

Two other men, Khumane Anim Agil, 26, and Marcus Cave, 25, both charged Thursday with participating in a criminal organization, were charged last November after a pistol loaded with armour-piercing bullets was seized.

Several of those charged appeared in a hip-hop compilation DVD called Premiere Edition 2, which chronicles gang culture through interviews and rap tunes. The DVD has already been used in the Crown's case against Grant.

The 1,000 criminal charges laid in the raids include participating in a criminal organization, attempted murder, trafficking in drugs and firearms charges. More arrests are expected in what some fear may become an unwieldy court case.

But police say such operations are the only way to combat gang violence, and they vow to take down gangs neighbourhood by neighbourhood.

They point to three previous gang sweeps — Projects Impact, Pathfinder and Flicker — which restored peace in Scarborough and Rexdale communities under siege by gang violence.

"We will be continuing to follow up in the communities to ensure that communities feel safe and see a large presence of police officers, to ensure that we maintain the peace and nobody jumps in to fill the void that we created here," Deputy Chief Tony Warr told another packed news conference yesterday.

Also in attendance was Insp. Steve Clegg of the Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit, who declared that the collaborative investigation had "dealt a significant blow to a firearms trafficking network operating in southern Ontario."

However, he didn't elaborate about the inner workings of the gun pipeline or how the guns were smuggled into the country. He did say guns used by gang members here originated in Houston, Texas.

Getty added that 180 firearms "were sourced from Texas and other locations being utilized by this distribution network into Canada."

Other than Cooke, no other Six Nations residents have been implicated in the illegal operation. However, nine arrests were made in nearby Brantford, where gang members have been living, said Brantford Police Insp. Scott Easto. Brantford police were involved in the raid.

"Some (newly arrived gang members) have moved here from Toronto, and have addresses here and addresses in both places (Brantford and Toronto)," Easto said.

Among those believed to have been arrested was a young offender who moved from Jamestown to Brantford, police allege, to sell cocaine and escape a deadly vendetta with the rival Ardwick Blood Crew.

Toronto police first stumbled across Cooke's gun-running business in 2003, when several guns he had supplied to criminals were recovered and traced back to purchases he had made while living in Texas.

Police here contacted their counterparts with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

What U.S. investigators found was that although the man lived on the Six Nations reserve in Ohsweken, he claimed to have resided in Texas. Cooke bought firearms from gun shops in Houston and listed Houston addresses as his home. It's a crime in the U.S. to falsify firearms paperwork.

The ATF moved in on Oct 21, 2003, as Cooke returned to Texas from Ontario. He was convicted and sent to prison for a year in November 2005. But court documents show that he didn't begin serving his sentence until February of this year.

The massive police investigation into the Jamestown Crew was well underway by that point, culminating in the arrests this week.

The Toronto Police Service's anti-gang offensive was called Project x*x, symbolizing three previous gang-and-gun investigations that led to hundreds of arrests over the past two years.

The investigation began last fall, right after Toronto police swooped down on the tiny community of Ardwick, home to Jamestown rivals Ardwick Blood Crew.

Toronto police were joined by more than 600 officers from other forces, including Durham, York and Brantford. Even police from Montreal and the RCMP took part. Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said it was the largest raid of its kind in the force's history.

"This is just the first phase in restoring the neighbourhood of Rexdale as well as neighbourhoods through the Greater Toronto Area."

Even before Project x*x was launched last fall, Toronto police were examining seized firearms linked to crimes allegedly committed by the gang's members and a.ssociates. Of those, 50 guns were traced back to Cooke, said a police source.

Twenty-four firearms seized in the raids were displayed at police headquarters yesterday, including shotguns, handguns, machine pistols and an AK-47 a.ssault rifle.

Also seized were more than 15 kilograms of cocaine and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.

With files by Richard Brennan and Peter Edwards

 05-20-2006, 07:32 AM         #49
RealTO  OP
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Jamestown Crew had links to L.A. gang
Targets of police raids


Natalie Alcoba
National Post

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Jamestown street gang dismantled early on Thursday in a raid modelled itself after the notorious L.A. Crips and imported its weaponry from Texas, Toronto police said yesterday.

Investigators gave reporters a post-mortem on the raid, which resulted in than 100 people from as far away as Kingston and Montreal making court appearances yesterday.

The Jamestown Crips -- based in a Rexdale public housing complex and also known as the Jamestown Crew -- are now "basically defunct," police say. In total, 106 people have been arrested and eight fugitives are being sought.

A 14-year-old young offender has been charged with attempted murder.

Police said the raids were the first step in a plan to "restore" the Martingrove Road and Finch Avenue neighbourhood.

"This will give the community a sense of security and safety that has been lacking in the last few years," Deputy Chief Tony Warr said yesterday. "The Jamestown Crew, or the Jamestown Crips ... have held this area in fear, for a long, long time."

Police say the Jamestown Crips modelled themselves after the notorious Crips gangs that originated in the Los Angeles slums.

The local members grew up together in the Jamestown Crescent public housing complex. With time, the gang's control over the neighbourhood -- and the fear it perpetuated -- also grew, police say.

Some of those arrested this week are accused of trying to k!ll rivals. Police say disputes over turf or over property -- which includes women -- often result in shootings.

But it is also about saving face. "If a gang member has been publicly disrespected, there must be retaliation," said Staff Superintendent Richard Gauthier, in charge of Toronto police's detective services unit.

The "diss" can come in the form of a look, or a walk through a known gang area wearing an opposing gang's colours.

The Jamestown Crips are alleged to have been involved in drug and gun smuggling.

Inspector Steve Clegg, from the Ontario Provincial Police Weapons Enforcement Unit, said Thursday's raids dealt a "significant blow" to a gun-trafficking network that originated in Houston. There, a criminal organization with ties to the Jamestown Crips is alleged to have exported at least 180 firearms to Canada -- and into the hands of various gangs. Twenty-four of those firearms have been seized, Insp. Clegg said yesterday, many of them from individuals arrested this week.

Inspector Greg Getty, who led Thursday's raids, said they were part of a concerted effort to clean up the city's streets. "I would love to be able to stand here today and tell you that these are all of the firearms in possession of all the gangs in Toronto. I'd be lying," he said. "But we are going to continue to work with our partners to dismantle each and every one of them, one neighbourhood at a time."



BY THE NUMBERS

1,000 plus charges laid

8 municipalities in which search warrants were executed, 83 of the warrants were in Toronto

24 women arrested

72 men arrested

10 youths arrested

36 firearms confiscated, including 24 handguns, 1 a.ssault rifle, 3 machine pistols and 3 replicas

C$339,000 seized

US$50,000 seized

4 vehicles seized

Ran with fact box "By the Numbers" which has been appended to the story.
© National Post 2006

 12 years ago '04        #50
Mysonne 1 heat pts
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 liljohnson said:
Bloods > Crips
Adults > you

Get a life little n*gga
 12 years ago '04        #51
orv 
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Sleep on Canada all ya'll want. Until you go up there yourself and walk around without your family members that are from there, you have no say about how "hood" Toronto or Canada is.
 05-20-2006, 11:03 AM         #52
farrockmardarah  OP
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 Thirdc0astgh0st said:
80 member with only 3 guns. Hahahaa im laughing at ya in toronto. Im from Texas, over here its 80guns for every 3 homeys. Canada trying to imperonate the great US of fu*kin A
lol, forreal them f*g**ts is straight pus*y.

lol, them raid prolly happened cause a couple cats got stuck in some trees.
 05-20-2006, 11:09 AM         #53
farrockmardarah  OP
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GOD DAMN!!! HOW MANY ESSAYS IS THID pus*yHOLE GOONA TYPE TRYIN TO CONVINCE US CANADA BE GULLY


WE DONT BELIEVE U pus*y

IS IT A COINCIDENCE THAT CRIME IN CANADA GOES UP THE YEAR THE NHL IS ON STRIKE???????????????
 05-20-2006, 11:15 AM         #54
luda06  OP
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Dudes always tryin to make their city look hard. Sad.
 05-20-2006, 11:52 PM         #55
incrediblepiff  OP
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im from toronto and im happy get thse dumb n*ggas off my streets i say it again, go to school get a damn education go to adult classes nothing is stopping u from getting a job. im happy toronto si safe and i hope it gets safer keep rounding up these dumb n*ggas who are bringing down the community, just because you dont have alot of money to live in another area does not mean u shouldnt be entitled to a safe place to raise ur family, smh at most of those arrested alreadly had prior convictions LOCK THESE n*ggaS Up there ways aint chaning change the criminal code gife these n*ggas 10 and 15 years, im sickof seeing my fellow black man waste his future on dumb ish
 05-21-2006, 03:20 AM         #56
turgeont2001  OP
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heres tha deal wit toronto...theres alotta people who immigrated from nex countries...the ones that are truly poor(some live on they own or in foster care whole life) start gangs wit they crew...jus starts out wit like a few mans...runnin b n e's an wat not when they youths...later they get into larger sh*t...like my boy bein charged wit attempted murder for slcin a mans throat...granted the man was smashin his car wit a bat an sh*t...it was a dumb move...the rest of canada is like rich people with too much time on they hands doin bare drugs an other people who sell a lil bit a weed an think they hard...there are some seriously fuked up people here...oshawa = crakc town...hells angels basically run the town but random black people come thru an sell crack an sh*t...theres like 100 sri lanken gangs..j/k... but there is enougn of dem...an most every person who is from a rough area thinks they are top sh*t cuse of where they live...basically yeah...alot of fake people an alot of pussies...but there is a good ammount of people doin some serious dirt up here...guess they was jus born in the wrong part of the world in some of y'all minds
*edit* there are also people who are born an raised here who jus are poor an needa hustle...then the rest of the populatioin that jus goto school an take the legit route...an for ne one sayin hustlers are dumb...its tru...but its a choice u make...risk of bein a white collar worker...u can get fired...risk of bein a drug dealer...u can get robbed, murdered, or thrown in jail...its up to u to choose which u want...white collar u spend ur life to attain every thing u want....hustlers get cars an houses an all that sh*t within a few years...its all about the choice u make


Last edited by turgeont2001; 05-21-2006 at 03:23 AM..
 12 years ago '04        #57
Reck 187 
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 razorsharp said:
Its possible to get robbed pretty much anywhere if you in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just ask MOP, they got robbed in Toronto. Redman was robbed many years ago in Toronto too.
Prodigy did too, but he always gettin robbed tho
oh yea toronto might not be hard for u guys, but it is for canada and since canada got less crimes than the US, that sh*t is big for canada
nah mean?


Last edited by Reck 187; 05-21-2006 at 04:07 AM..
 05-21-2006, 08:45 AM         #58
incrediblepiff  OP
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 turgeont2001 said:
heres tha deal wit toronto...theres alotta people who immigrated from nex countries...the ones that are truly poor(some live on they own or in foster care whole life) start gangs wit they crew...jus starts out wit like a few mans...runnin b n e's an wat not when they youths...later they get into larger sh*t...like my boy bein charged wit attempted murder for slcin a mans throat...granted the man was smashin his car wit a bat an sh*t...it was a dumb move...the rest of canada is like rich people with too much time on they hands doin bare drugs an other people who sell a lil bit a weed an think they hard...there are some seriously fuked up people here...oshawa = crakc town...hells angels basically run the town but random black people come thru an sell crack an sh*t...theres like 100 sri lanken gangs..j/k... but there is enougn of dem...an most every person who is from a rough area thinks they are top sh*t cuse of where they live...basically yeah...alot of fake people an alot of pussies...but there is a good ammount of people doin some serious dirt up here...guess they was jus born in the wrong part of the world in some of y'all minds
*edit* there are also people who are born an raised here who jus are poor an needa hustle...then the rest of the populatioin that jus goto school an take the legit route...an for ne one sayin hustlers are dumb...its tru...but its a choice u make...risk of bein a white collar worker...u can get fired...risk of bein a drug dealer...u can get robbed, murdered, or thrown in jail...its up to u to choose which u want...white collar u spend ur life to attain every thing u want....hustlers get cars an houses an all that sh*t within a few years...its all about the choice u make
those typres of people are to greedy, work legit and save like the rest of us
 12 years ago '04        #59
..:Fame:.. 11 heat pts11
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MS-13 aint doin nothing new that n*ggas Do in Detroit everyday .. They don't behe@d sh*t , they get the top blew the fu*k off . So all that " MS-13 " is Dangerous is bullsh*t , just another gang thats doin the same sh*t other gangs do . k!llin muh fu*kas. I can say this canada hoes got some good pus*y , thats where i give yall props
 05-21-2006, 10:41 AM         #60
RealTO  OP
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Gang hierarchy laid out
Sights set on the decision-makers, as Jamestown Crips targeted in raids

May 21, 2006. 07:33 AM
BETSY POWELL AND JOHN DUNCANSON
STAFF REPORTERS


Oliver Willis, 26, a.k.a. Twinky, before two tear drops were tattooed under his left eye.

Police are focusing on a hard-core group of Jamestown Crips as the brains behind the criminal enterprise.

One of them in particular stands out, according to investigators, who say they have mapped out the hierarchy of the gang that's described as one of the most violent in Toronto's history.

He's Oliver Augustus Willis, 26, who goes by the street name Twinky and sports several tattoos — including two tear drops under his left eye and the words "the world is mine" on his upper right arm. Police describe him as a key player in the organization, and say he has already beaten one murder rap.

Willis and four others were behind bars when police swooped down and arrested about 100 members and a.ssociates of the northwest Toronto-based street gang in a series of pre-dawn raids Thursday. Bail hearings are scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Dozens of firearms were seized in the raids.

As part of their investigation, police also said they shut down a gun pipeline operating between Houston, Tex., and Brantford, about 100 kilometres southwest of Toronto. Gang members were getting their guns from a smuggler living on the Six Nations reserve, police allege. That man is Earle Cook, 55, who is serving a one-year sentence in North Carolina. He's a Canadian who was caught falsifying U.S. paperwork.

Jamestown — sometimes called Doomstown by residents — has been plagued by a vicious cycle of violence as gangs preyed on their neighbourhood near Albion Rd. and Finch Ave. W. Over the years, at least a dozen members have been charged numerous times with everything from murder to carrying loaded weapons to peddling drugs.

The busts almost always involved crack and cocaine, but it was marijuana that was the personal drug of choice for gang members.

Police plan to charge the five accused who were in custody — including Jermaine "J-Bug" Grant, who is serving an eight-year sentence for firearms possession — with participating in a criminal organization. As well, Grant and Willis, along with 13 others, are being accused of running the day-to-day operations of the gang, directing its members to carry out crimes. That's a more serious charge called "instructing commission of a criminal offence for criminal organization" and carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Police are currently preparing the charges against the men.

Among the 13 accused are Troy Wilson, 26, Jason Lezama, 22, Kevin Lumley, 26, Sean Grant, 22, Gregory McIntosh, 28, Semir Showbeg, 26, Marcus Cave, 25, Gilbert Boswell, 22, Jose Alvarez, 25, and Lloyd Accam, 24. In addition to facing the very serious gang charge, they're the subject of dozens of other charges.

Willis, who has been in custody since being charged last year with weapons possession, also faces weapons offences.

In the summer of 2002, Willis was charged with k!lling Amar Young, 19, who was shot in the head and torso after the Junior Caribana Carnival Parade.

The shooting occurred as Young walked on Eglinton Ave. W., just east of Dufferin St., and police considered it to be tied to internal gang warfare.

But the first-degree murder charge was withdrawn in February 2003, after two key witnesses, both half-brothers of the victim, refused to testify, one of them recanting his initial story.

A senior officer involved in Project x*x, the name given to last week's anti-gang sweep, said yesterday the reluctance of witnesses to come forward due to intimidation makes it hard for police and the justice system to put them away. The Willis prosecution is a case in point.

"It's easy to say `step forward and help out,' but when the fear factor is that great when a brother won't testify against the alleged murderer of your own brother, it just shows the ability to instill fear that these guys had."




Tracking the cross-border gun pipeline
`Side product of drug trade, officials say

May 21, 2006. 07:55 AM
JOHN DUNCANSON
STAFF REPORTER

CORNWALL—Call it the smuggler's recipe for success.

A barrel of potent Canadian marijuana, lots of U.S. dollars, and a few AK-47 a.ssault rifles or handguns make the perfect ingredients for a midnight run from Canada to the United States and back again.

Sometimes it's just a few handguns thrown into a dope deal that end up being smuggled through the Mohawk reserves on either side of the border in eastern Ontario — and often end up on the streets of Toronto and Montreal.

Other times, police say, barrels of weapons are carried in speeding boats across the unguarded waters of the St. Lawrence River by well-armed smugglers who aren't afraid to shoot at law enforcement officers in pursuit.

The use of reserves for smuggling is well-documented and last week the problem — and the scope of it — was revealed by Toronto police, who pointed to the Six Nations reserve near Brantford as the source of the weapons seized from gang members belonging to Etobicoke's Jamestown Crew. The guns that originated in Texas had been smuggled across the border to the reserve. Police estimate the gun pipeline brought 180 weapons into Ontario.

Catching smugglers in the act is a nightmare for authorities because there is so much water to cover and too many unguarded roads straddle the border. On top of the geographic problems, there is the jurisdictional jigsaw puzzle of U.S. and Canadian police from local and federal levels, as well as tribal authorities.

Still, there are successes, like a pot pipeline the RCMP and American authorities recently shut down that had been moving huge quantities of marijuana south through Akwesasne reserve to the St. Regis Mohawk reserve on the American side.

But police estimate they are only seizing a fraction of $1 billion in contraband, including guns, that flow each year between the two countries through the Mohawk reserves.

And it's not exclusively a native smuggling problem, says Derek Champagne, the district attorney for Franklin County, N.Y.

"Natives, and more importantly non-natives, know this is the area if you want a handgun; if you want drugs, this is the place to get it from Canada to the U.S.," said Champagne.

One of the main smuggling routes is through the tiny village of Hogansburg, located on the St. Regis Mohawk reserve across from Cornwall. It's a jump-off point for several ways to get firearms into Canada.

From there, Highway 401 provides the main route east to Montreal and west to Toronto. There are also seven unmanned roads leading directly from the U.S. into Canada near Snye, Que., which are used often.

The RCMP identified at least six groups actively using these routes. The bikers are the predominant movers of the illegal arms.

The key to shutting down the gun pipeline is eradicating the marijuana trade. Guns are a "side product" to the drug and smuggling of illegal cigarettes, Champagne said.

One of the agencies that works closely with police to catch smugglers is the Canada Border Services Agency. However, new data show there has been a dramatic drop in gun seizures by border agents at checkpoints in Ontario and across the country.

Statistics show the border guards took just 175 firearms off smugglers at Ontario border crossings last year, down 66 per cent from 2000, when border police seized 513 guns.

Customs Excise Union president Ron Moran blamed the problem on a shortage of border guards and lack of access to police information.

The Canada Border Services Agency did not return calls.

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