Thursday, April 17, 2014

Suspect Sought For Attempted Homicide Behind D'Matrixx Salon Parking Lot

Police looking for a Hispanic male suspect involved in the shooting of a 22-year-old woman sitting in a vehicle behind a hair and spa salon parking lot.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 17, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - Milwaukee police have released a composite of a Hispanic male suspected of attempted homicide for the shooting of a 22-year-old woman who sat in a vehicle behind the D'Matrixx Hair and Spa Salon parking near an alley. On March 22, the suspect approached the woman in the parking lot behind the spa salon located at the 4700 block of W. Forest Home Ave. at around 8:55 a.m. and fired multiple shots striking the woman. Neighbors heard between five to six shots fired.
The D'Matrixx spa salon was forced to close that day, but posted on Facebook that it had closed due to an electrical problem and didn't mention the shooting incident.
The 22-year-old woman was taken to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries.  
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 5'6", 160 pounds, and between 25-35 years-old. He was last seen wearing a black waist-length jacket with a zipper, a gray shirt, black boot-cut type jeans, and black shoes. He was driving a 2005-2013 silver, four-door, Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck. The truck had an extended bed with a silver tonneau cover and a distinctive four-to-six inch white butterfly sticker on the rear window, according to police.
Anyone with information is asked to call Milwaukee Police at 414-935-7360.

Missing Educators Credit Union Former Employee Involved In 2013 Robbery Arrested By U.S. Marshals

Jessica M. Benson, Kevin Blackburn and Ricardo Lorenzo Perkins

Benson was taken into custody in Illinois and extradited to Wisconsin in connection with the May 2013 robbery of the Educators Credit Union robbery.

By H. Nelson Goodson 
April 17, 2014

Mikwaukee, WI - On Thursday,  Milwaukee police reported that Jessica M. Benson, 23, was arrested in northern Illinois on April 4 by the U.S. Marshals Service and extradited to Wisconsin in connection with the May 7, 2013 robbery of the Educators Credit Union. Benson was booked into the Milwaukee County jail, where she remains today. Her boyfriend Nathaniel Robinson, 36, was also arrested for a parole violation and was wanted in connection with the robbery of a financial institution. Charges for planning to rob a financial institution are pending against Robinson.
Benson was working at the financial institution when both Benson and Robinson planned to rob it. They had two suspects rob the credit union, but were caught shortly after the robbery. The suspects got about $6,000 in cash.
Benson disappeared three days after the robbery and before taking her final exams to graduate from Mount Mary College. She called in sick about four days after the robbery. 
When police went to do a welfare check, they discovered that her apartment was empty and she had moved. Neighbors told police that they saw her and her live in boyfriend moving out at night. She had cut and tinted her hair, according to a friend who loan her $200.
Police were able to connect her to the robbery after her mother told police that Benson had admitted that she had been talked into robbing the financial institution where she worked at. Benson's mother said, that Robinson had convinced her daughter to help him rob the place, according to the criminal complaint. She was charged with one felony count of robbery of a financial institution and party to a crime in November 2013.
The two bank robbers, Kevin Blackburn, 26, was convicted in the case after a jury found him guilty of robbing a financial institution, operating a vehicle without consent and eluding an officer. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 6 years probation. The second suspect, Ricardo Lorenzo Perkins, 32, was convicted for robbing a financial institution and operating a vehicle without the owners consent. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison and 4 years probation, according to court records.
A police search warrant was issued in 2013 to get rental car records from a car rental place that Benson used after the robbery. Police investigators alleged that both Benson and her live in boyfriend, Robinson had planned the robbery, but managed to move out from their apartment on or after May 3. Court documents indicate, a probation agent had visited Robinson's apartment earlier and furniture was still at the place. Soon after, both Benson and Robinson moved out and disappeared. 
Robinson didn't report his new address to his parole agent and had missed a meeting with the agent. A warrant was issued for Robinson after violating his parole conditions. 

Feds Indicted 27 Suspects And Shutdown Milwaukee Family Drug Trafficking Enterprise

Kevin R. Arms

Multi-million drug smuggling operation involved family members and friends.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 16, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - On Wednesday, United States Attorney James L. Santelle announced that 27 suspects were indicted in a poly-drug conspiracy case, which included homicide, money laundering, and firearms offenses. They were identified as Kevin R. Arms, 40, John Bailey, 37, Trevan Brown, 29, Cecil Arms, 70, Timothy Cunningham, 44, Maurice Handy, 42, Roosevelt Lee, 40, Phillip Moffett, 32, Brandon Owens, 30, Joe Parker, 73, Sam Spears, 37, Roger Walker, 33, and Carl Wilson, 41,  who were charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, including heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, and five kilograms or more of cocaine. They allegedly smuggled, trafficked and distributed about 660 pounds of cocaine in the City of Milwaukee, the indictment states.
In addition, John Cleveland, 38, Demerius Sholar, 28, Ronnie Reid, 45, Kyle Carrington, 22, and Brandon Trotter, 27, are charged with possession with intent to distribute or distribution of controlled substances.
Kevin R. Arms, Bailey, and Moffett are charged with causing death by discharge of a firearm. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Kevin and two of the suspects in connection with the November 18, 2008 murder of Paula P. Jackson, 40.
Cleveland, Lee, Owens, Walker, Wilson, Carrington and Trotter are charged with possession of firearms to commit and engage in drug-trafficking offenses.
Kevin R. Arms, Cecil Arms, Kevin C. Arms, 21, Shenese Arms, 33, Shenita Arms-Nicholas, 33, and Tremell Nicholas, 34, are charged with money laundering offenses.
Malik Danun, 28, is charged with obstruction of justice. Ricky Shaw, 38, and Patricia Arms, 65, are both charged with misprision of a felony. Katilia Jackson, 26, and Brenda Arms, 55, are both charged with maintaining a drug-involved premises. All of the suspects currently reside in Milwaukee, except for Kevin R. Arms (Pewaukee), Ricky Shaw (Atlanta, GA) and Malik Danun (Atlanta, GA).
On Wednesday,  law enforcement officers arrested 18 of the suspects. Three of the suspects were already in custody. Six remained at large, including: Trevan Brown, John Cleveland, Ronnie Reid, Demerius Scholar, Sam Spears, and Roger Walker. In addition, law enforcement executed eight search warrants and recovered 31 firearms and approximately $143,000 in cash. They also seized 11 homes, several vehicles, a 2008 and 2014 Cadillac Escalades and jewelry,  including a money judgement for $3 million.
The feds confiscated two businesses, True Boss Entertainment and Arms company, including its money assets.
The drug conspiracy and firearms offenses are all punishable by up to life in prison. The other offenses have lower maximum penalties, including: money laundering (20 years); maintaining a drug involved premises (20 years); possession with intent to distribute or distribution of controlled substances (20 years); obstruction of justice (20 years); and misprision of a felony (3 years), according to the federal indictment.
The defendants were charged based on a multi-year investigation by law enforcement officers from the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, the Milwaukee Police Department, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, assisted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice- Division of Criminal Investigations, and the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Heroin Task Force.
Law enforcement agencies assisting on Wednesday's arrests include the U.S. Marshals Service, Waukesha Metro Drug Unit, and the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Immigrant Viacrucis Travels Along La Bestia Freight Train Death Route To U.S. Border

Photo courtesy of Ruben Figueroa

Hundreds of undocumented immigrants gathered in Tenosique for annual Viacrucis pilgrimage.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 16, 2014

Tenosique, Tabasco, Mexico - On Wednesday, Franciscan priest Fray Tomás González Castillo, director of the La 72 Immigrant Refuge Shelter reported that more than 400 undocumented immigrants from Central America gathered at the shelter to prepare for the annual Viacrucis (stations of the cross) along the Bestia (Beast) freight train death route and then embark to the U.S. border from Tenosique, Tabasco, Mexico.
The Viacrucis began in Naranjo, Guatemala and those participating were transferred by vehicles to Tenosique where hundreds of immigrants await the arrival of the Viacrucis. The Viacrucis is expected to follow the death route of La Bestia through central Mexico.
Fray Castillo and immigrant activists are advocating for government visas to allow legal transit of immigrants through Mexico and government protection of immigrants against violence resulting from extortions, murder, quotas, rape and forced prostition by local gangs known as Los Zetas, Mara Salvatrucha's (MS-13) and corrupt Mexican immigration agents, including local, state and Federal Police. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Former Texas Hidalgo County Sheriff Pleas Guilty For Money Laundering

Guadalupe "Lupe" Treviño and Maria Patricia Medina

Treviño facing up to 20 years in a federal prison for money laundering in widespread Hidalgo County law enforcement corruption case.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 14, 2014

McAllen, Texas - On Monday, former Hidalgo County Sheriff Guadalupe "Lupe" Treviño, 65, pleaded guilty for money laundering totalling between $70,000 to $120,000 before U.S. Magistrate Micaela Alvarez. Treviño is facing up to 20 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. He later appeared before U.S. Magistrate Peter Ornsby who set a $30,000 unsecured bond for Treviño. Treviño was set free on a signature bond. 
Federal prosecutors are seeking a lighter sentence and fine when he gets sentenced on July 17 for cooperating in the investigation. The federal indictment claims an investigation between 2011 to 2012 revealed that Treviño received campaign contributions in 2012 from drug dealer Tomas "El Gallo" Reyes González. Treviño who resigned last month as a result of the federal investigation confessed that he knew the money came from González.
On Friday, Maria Patricia Medina, 40, Treviño's chief of staff and campaign treasurer pleaded guilty for helping to launder money, falsifying campaign contributions in Treviño's 2012 re-election bid records and failing to report González cash contribution of $5,000 to authorities. Medina also resigned last month. She is facing up to three years in prison and $250,000 in fines. She remains free on a signature bond of $30,000. Medina will be sentenced on July 3.
The widespread Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office corruption case also involved Treviño's son, Jonathan Christian Treviño, 30, a former Mission Police Department Officer, five sheriff Hidalgo deputies and five other law enforcement members of the Sheriff's drug task force unit known as Panama. A federal lawsuit filed by Jose and Maria Perez in federal court claims that six members of the Panama unit conducted an illegal search in 2012 of their home to confiscate drugs. No drugs were ever found by the drug task force unit, but the couple and two other victims discovered that thousands of dollars of jewelry and perfumes were missing from their homes. In the lawsuit both former Hidalgo Sheriff Treviño and former Mission Police Chief Martin Garza who is now the city's manager were named.
Along with Jonathan's indictment, also Alexis Rigoberto Espinoza, the son of the Hidalgo police chief; Fabian Rodriguez; Gerardo Mendoza Duran; Alvaro Gilberto de Hoyos; Salvador Joel Arguello; Claudio Alberto Matos and Eric Michael Alcantar conspired with both drug trafficers Fernando Guerra, Sr.and Fernando Guerra, Jr. to steal drugs from rival drug dealers, than redistribute and sell the drugs for profit.
Also indicted were, sheriff's Crime Stoppers program head James Phil Flores, deputy Jorge Garza, 47, and investigator Aida Palacios who worked for the district attorney's office. Jonathan and the others were convicted for conspiring with drug dealers to steal drug loads of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines from rival competitors, then selling them and splitting the profits between January 2009 to December 2012. They are expected to be sentenced in April 29.
In a separate case, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Jose "Joe" Padilla, Treviño's second-in-command in the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office last December for a drug trafficking and money laundering charges. Padilla allegedly provided protection for González. 
Treviño's political foe, Republican challenger Robert Caples has filed a lawsuit against Treviño claiming that he violated campaign contribution laws by accepting more than allowed and receiving a campaign contribution from a known drug trafficker. Caples ran against Treviño, but was defeated.
The Hidalgo County Commissioner Court appointed Precint 4 Constable J.E. "Eddie" Guerra, 52, to head the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office until an election is held to elect a sheriff. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Zambada-Niebla, Son Of Sinaloa Cartel Druglord Cooperated With Feds And Had Pled Guilty To Multiple Federal Charges

Vicente Zambada-Niebla, Vicente Zambada-Garcia, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera and Rafael Caro Quintero

Zambada-Niebla had pleaded guilty in April 2013 and had been cooperating with feds under a plead agreement that would free him in tens years from a pending life sentence.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 10, 2014

Chicago, Illinois - On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of Illinois announced that Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, 29, aka, "El Vicentillo" had pled guilty on April 3, 2013 and since has been cooperating with federal authorities. Zambada-Niebla is facing life in prison, but hasn't been sentenced or a scheduled date has not been set for sentencing. The feds wouldn't confirm or deny, if Zambada-Niebla will be put on a witness protection program after completing his sentence, since his cooperation with authorities has placed his life in danger.
Zambada-Niebla's cooperation provided intelligence that led to Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzman Loera's capture in February in Mazatlán, Mexico. Guzman Loera was one of the most wanted druglords from the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. Zambada-Niebla's father, Ismael Zambada-Garcia, also known as "Mayo" was Guzman Loera's partner and has taken over command of the Sinaloa Cartel along with Rafael Caro Quintero.
Quintero, 58, a reputed druglord. Quintero, a former founder of the Guadalajara Cartel who Guzman Loera had worked for, just walked out a free man from prison last August after a federal court overturned his 40 year prison sentence and conviction for the 1985 murder of DEA Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena in Guadalajara, Jalisco. After serving 28 years in prison, the appellate court found that Quintero should have been prosecuted in a state court and not a federal court. The court's decision and Quintero's released was kept secret until Quintero had been released indicating the three judge panel was bought off. Quintero has disappeared and is believed to be heading the Sinaloa Cartel along with Zambada-Garcia.
In August, Zambada-Niebla implicated the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a deal between the federal agencies and the Sinaloa Cartel. Zambada-Niebla in an affidavit filed in federal court alleged, the the U.S. federal agencies allowed the shipment of large quantities of cocaine from the Sinaloa Cartel into Chicago and other parts of the U.S. in exchange for information leading to arrests of rival members of drug cartels.
Zambada-Niebla testified, that he had provided information about rival cartels to the feds in exchange for protection and allowing drug shipments to reach their destinations. Zambada-Niebla also confirmed, that he was present when U.S. federal agents met with key leaders from the Sinaloa Cartel and witnessed compact agreements. The agreements included intelligence information would be provided to the Sinaloa Cartel by the U.S. feds concerning investigations and raids.  Any raid planned by other law enforcement agencies and the Mexican government against the Sinaloa Cartel was passed on to the Sinaloa Cartel, inorder to allow them time to elude capture. The agreements were done without the Mexican authorities knowing anything about it, eventhough the U.S. feds knew most of the Sinaloa Cartel operators and leaders were wanted in the U.S. and Mexico, according to Zambada-Niebla.
Under the plead agreement, Zambada-Niebla would only serve 10 years from a pending life sentence. If the defendant continues to cooperate, Zambada-Niebla could even do less time.
He agreed to forfeit more than $1.37 billion in assets. "Zambada-Niebla pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute multiple kilograms of cocaine and heroin between 2005 and 2008. More specifically, the plea agreement describes the distribution of multiple tons of cocaine, often involving hundreds of kilograms at a time on a monthly, if not weekly, basis between 2005 and 2008. The guilty plea means that there will be no trial for Zambada-Niebla, whose case was severed from that of his co-defendants. Among his co-defendants are his father, Ismael Zambada-Garcia, also known as "Mayo," and Joaquin Guzman-Loera, also known as "Chapo," both alleged leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel. Zambada-Garcia is a fugitive believed to be in Mexico, and Guzman-Loera is in Mexican custody after being arrested this past February," according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Zachary T. Fardon from the Northern District of Illinois. 
Zambada-Niebla admitted that between May 2005 and December 2008, he was a highlevel member of the Sinaloa Cartel and was responsible for many aspects of its drug trafficking operations, "both independently and as a trusted lieutenant for his father," for whom he acted as a surrogate and logistical coordinator, the plea agreement states. Zambada-Niebla admitted he was aware that his father was among the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel since the 1970s and their principal livelihood was derived from their sale of narcotics in the United States.
Zambada-Niebla admitted that he participated in coordinating the importation of multiton quantities of cocaine from Central and South American countries, including Colombia and Panama, into the interior of Mexico, and facilitated the transportation and storage of these shipments within Mexico. The cartel used various means of transportation, including private aircraft, submarines and other submersible and semi-submersible vessels, container ships, go-fast boats, fishing vessels, buses, rail cars, tractor-trailers, and automobiles.
Zambada-Niebla "subsequently assisted in coordinating the delivery of cocaine to wholesale distributors in Mexico, knowing that these distributors would in turn smuggle multiton quantities of cocaine, generally in shipments of hundreds of kilograms at a time, as well as on at least one occasion, multi-kilogram quantities of heroin, from Mexico across the United States border, and then into and throughout the United States, including Chicago," according to the plea agreement.
On most occasions, the Sinaloa Cartel supplied this cocaine and heroin to wholesalers on consignment, including to cooperating co-defendants Pedro and Margarito Flores, whom Zambada-Niebla knew distributed multi-ton quantities of cocaine and multi-kilogram quantities of heroin in Chicago, and in turn sent payment to Zambada-Niebla and other cartel leaders. Zambada-Niebla also admitted being aware of, and directly participating in, transporting large quantities of narcotics cash proceeds from the U.S. to Mexico.
Zambada-Niebla also admitted that he and his father, as well as other members of the Sinaloa Cartel, "were protected by the ubiquitous presence of weapons," and that he had "constant bodyguards who possessed numerous military-caliber weapons." Zambada-Niebla also admitted that he was aware that the cartel used violence and made credible threats of violence to rival cartels and to law enforcement in Mexico to facilitate its business.

18-year-old Student Taken Into Custody For Having Conceal Knife At Private Property Across From South Division High School

Police dispersed a crowd of students gathered at a South side home.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 10, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - On Thursday, police responded at 3:11 p.m. to a subject with a weapon at the 1500 block of W. Lapham Blvd. and made an arrest at the 1600 block of S. 15th Place. A number of students from South Division had gathered at a home front yard when police went to investigate. An 18-year-old man was taken into custody after police discovered a folding knife in his pocket.
Apparently, the suspect's 50-year-old mother was called to the scene and told Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) that the 18-year-old man is a student at South, but skipped classes today. He and several other students were coming from W. Forest Home Ave. and had stopped at a friends home at S. 15th Place when they noticed alleged members of a gang called the MP's throwing gang signs at them. The students ignored those trying to initiate a response. She said, her two sons are not gang members.
A security guard at South Division High School allegedly spotted the 18-year-old suspect exhibiting a knife to his friends at the front grassy area property of the home across S. 15th Place and called police. Police arrived and went into the property and searched the suspect and found a concealed knife. He was arrested and his mother said, that she expects for her son to be released after processing. He is expected to apply for a knife permit to carry a conceal knife, according to the mother.
An officer told the owner of the residence at S. 15th Place that they were responsible, if anything happens at the property when a gathering of numerous students draws attention and attracts trouble. But the woman responded, that they can invite or have anyone they want at their property.
Police dispersed the crowd of students and police also recovered three bats, (one wood and two metal) from under several garbage disposal containers.
Another man, wearing a red t-shirt was seen in handcuffs, but it was not immediately learned, if he was involved in the same incident. Police did not comment at the scene.