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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The security threat Stephen King warned us about?

The security threat Stephen King warned us about.....
Remember the film "Maximum Overdrive," where machines took over and went on a murderous rampage? With cars and appliances ever more computerized, such a security threat seems a little less farfetched as we head into 2012.

Most people know that their computers and smart phones are under the constant threat of attack from hackers. But your car? Your house? Your TV and other consumer electronics?
It seems like a take on Stephen King's short story "Trucks" -- where machines come to life and go on a murderous rampage (the movie version was "Maximum Overdrive"). In this case, hackers find security flaws in the computers running our vehicles, appliances and medical devices and wreak havoc.
See the related Salted Hash blog post, "McAfee report reminds me of 'Maximum Overdrive'"
The real threat is far less dramatic, of course. But just a couple years ago, few people were seriously talking about this as a danger that might someday come to pass. As we look to 2012, however, the potential seems a lot less ridiculous, since our electronics increasingly tend to be part of a home network with an IP address -- one that can be controlled by a mobile device.
Some experts in information security believe 2012 will be a year when hackers focus more on those things.
Anup Ghosh, CEO of Invincea, says that, "in the search for more interesting devices to hack, the adversary is going to transition from traditional IT networks to embedded systems, which we normally think of as physical systems -- your car, TVs, your house, your office building. Systems that are networked and run a lot of software will be fertile ground for hackers."
Ghosh says the devices in the house simply become another node on the home network. "The devices will run an operating system kernel of some kind and accept network connections. Hackers will be able to exploit the network interface and software services running on these devices to gain privileged access to these devices. From there, they can launch attacks against other devices, store data, and exfiltrate data off the home network."
Ghosh says researchers from the University of California at San Diego and the University of Washington have already demonstrated how to hack cars through the CD player and Bluetooth interface. He says that makes any number of subsystems in the car vulnerable to exploitation. Hackers could track a vehicle, kill the ignition switch and unlock the doors.
Jason Rouse, principal security consultant at Cigital, says these capabilities are not new.
"Frankly, we've been able to break into a car for a decade," he says. "There is a worm hole attack that lets you unlock a car door just by walking past the driver. But in most cases that's not that interesting to hackers. Their primary goal is to make money."
But he does agree that there is increased danger to cars and appliances because of the convergence of controls for home or car systems with mobile devices.
Indeed, there are television ads showing mom turning the lights on and off in her house from her smart phone while she sits on an airplane waiting to leave the gate.
"You can turn on your car, you can lock or unlock it with your mobile device. That convergence comes with possible consequences," Rouse says.
"You could imagine hackers getting control of a number of vehicles and then selling that list to criminals. They can say where the vehicles are, what their license plates are, and they could unlock them all at the same time."
Rouse says the best thing consumers have going for them is that hackers tend to be lazy. "Most of them don't have the attention span to do something like that."
The primary danger, experts agree, is not to the car or the home itself but to the personal data that lies behind it -- things like passwords, credit card numbers and other information that can then be easily monetized.
When it comes to office buildings, Brenden Williams, global CTO of Marketing at RSA, The Security Division of EMC, says most companies do a good job of identifying physical assets to be secured.
For more on smart building security, see the interactive case study "Protecting Joe's Office"
"We even build security enclaves in the physical world like we might design in an electronic world. Data centers tend to be like vaults, networking closets are like locked file cabinets, and Wi-Fi is like a chain-link fence," he says.
But, he says, the systems that control the locks may not be so secure. "Are they vaulted?" he asks, "or sitting in a locked closet somewhere in an area of the network that might be accessible remotely?"
Those systems should be in a vault as well, he says.
Ghosh says the responsibility for security of home and office systems "falls squarely on the shoulders of the device manufacturers. As these manufacturers network-enable these devices, they must also engineer them for resiliency against cyber attack.
But Rouse says that may be a long time coming.
Home, auto and office systems that can be controlled remotely, "are very sexy," he says. They are sold by charm. Security is an afterthought."

Read more about network security in CSOonline's Network Security section.

DOJ Charges Seven in Massive Clickjacking Scheme

By Joab Jackson
DOJ Charges Seven in Massive Clickjacking Scheme.......
The Justice Department is indicting seven individuals with hijacking more,
 than 4 million computers across 100 countries.......
IDG News Service — The U.S. Department of Justice is charging seven individuals with 27 counts of wire fraud and other computer-related crimes, alleging that the group hijacked 4 million computers across 100 countries in a sophisticated clickjacking scheme.
According to the indictment, the defendants had set up a phony Internet advertising agency, entering into agreements with online ad providers that would pay the group whenever its ads where clicked on by users. The group's malware, which it had planted on millions of user computers, would redirect the computers' browsers to its advertisements, thereby generating illicit revenue.
The malware worked by capturing and altering the results of a user's search engine query. A user would search for a popular site, such as ones for Netflix, the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, Apple iTunes and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Whenever the user would click on the provided link, however, the browser would be redirected to another website, one that the group was paid to generate traffic for.
The malware the group used also blocked antivirus software updates, which left users vulnerable to other attacks as well, according to the DOJ.
Six of the defendants resided in Estonia during the operation, which took place from 2007 to 2011. They were Vladimir Tsastsin, Timur Gerassimenko, Dmitri Jegorow, Valeri Aleksejev, Konstantin Poltev and Anton Ivanov. The seventh defendant, Andrey Taame, resided in Russia.

The six Estonian defendants have been arrested by the Estonian police and the U.S. is seeking to extradite them. Taame remains at large, said Preet Bharara, United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a press conference held in New York. The DOJ filed the indictment in the U.S. District Court of New York. Each defendant is charged with five counts of wire fraud and computer intrusion crimes, and Tsastsin is charged with 22 additional counts of money laundering.
The DOJ estimated that the group generated more than US$14 million through its illicit scheme. At least 500,000 of the computers infected are in the U.S.
The malware network first came to the DOJ's attention through NASA, which had more than 130 computers running the malware, according to NASA Inspector General Paul Martin, who also spoke at the press conference. While NASA continues to investigate the malware, the agency does not think that any of its critical operational systems were compromised by this software, Martin said.
In order to redirect browser requests, the group set up rogue DNS (Domain Name System) servers, located in data centers in New York and Chicago. "The malware changed the DNS settings so the infected computers' [requests for website addresses] were routed not to legitimate DNS servers but to DNS rogue servers operated by the defendants," Bharara said. "The defendants' plan was to infect computers, direct them to servers they controlled, then redirect traffic to unintended websites, and reap a financial windfall from this redirected traffic."
Some of the website redirections were to websites of legitimate businesses, such as H&R Block's. In these cases, such businesses, assuming they were paying for legitimate services to boost traffic, were "unwitting victim[s] in the fraud," Bharara said. In addition to redirecting browser requests to alternate sites, the malware also replaced legitimate advertisements at sites such as ESPN with ads that generated revenue for the group, also by using the rogue DNS servers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has dismantled the group's network, replacing its DNS servers with clean ones so that user disruption would be minimized. The FBI also provided Internet service providers with lists of which of their customers had the malware. The agency also set up a Web page with instructions on how to cleanse computers of the malicious software.
Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is

Economist Who Predicted the 2008 Crash Gives Chilling 2012 Forecast. See the Evidence. - ‘Aftershock’ Book Predicts Economic Disaster Amid Controversy.....

Robert Wiedemer’s new book, “Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown,” quickly is becoming the survival guide for the 21st century. And Newsmax’s eye-opening Aftershock Survival Summit video, with exclusive interviews and prophetic predictions, already has affected millions around the world — but not without ruffling a few feathers.

Initially screened for a private audience, this gripping video exposed harsh economic truths and garnered an overwhelming amount of feedback.

“People were sitting up and taking notice, and they begged us to make the video public so they could easily share it,” said Newsmax Financial Publisher Aaron DeHoog.

But that wasn’t as simple as it seems. Various online networks repeatedly shut down the controversial video. “People were sending their friends and family to dead links, so we had to create a dedicated home for it,” DeHoog said.

(Editor's Note: Watch Bob Wiedemer’s Aftershock Survival Summit video)

This wasn’t the first time Wiedemer’s predictions hit a nerve. In 2006, he was one of three economists who co-authored a book correctly warning that the real estate boom and Wall Street bull run were about to end. A prediction Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, were not about to support publicly.

Realizing that the worst was yet to come, Wiedemer and company quickly penned “Aftershock.” However, just before it was publicly released, the publisher yanked the final chapter, deeming it too controversial for newsstand and online outlets such as

“We got lucky,” DeHoog said. “I happened to read the original version, which contained this ‘unpublished chapter,’ which I think is the most crucial in the entire book. Wiedemer gave Newsmax permission to share this chapter with our readers.”

With daily economic forecasts projecting doom and gloom and no recovery in sight, people need to learn how to survive economic disaster. During the past quarter alone, unemployment skyrocketed to 9 percent. Inflation continues to soar and the U.S. national debt crisis is still on the fence between raising the debt ceiling or massive budget cuts, with no resolution in sight.

During Newsmax’s Aftershock Survival Summit video, Wiedemer discusses the dire consequences of Washington, D.C.’s, bipartisan, multi-decade “borrow-and-spend” agenda. He also explores the inflation nightmare, the impending plunge in home prices, the looming collapse of the stock and bond markets, a possible historic surge in unemployment, and how to survive what life in America will be like in the days of the “Aftershock.”

Despite appearances, Aftershock is not a book with the singular intention of scaring the heck out of people. Although it does provide a harsh outlook for the economic future of America, the true value lies in the wealth of investment tips, analyses, predictions, budget advice, and sound economic guidance that people can act on immediately, offering a ray of recovery hope and an indispensable blueprint for life after shock.

Viewers of Newsmax’s Aftershock Survival Summit video heard detailed advice for handling credit card debt, home and car loans, life insurance, unemployment issues, how to beat inflation, making personal budget cuts and many more recovery tools to survive the economic aftershock. They also took advantage of a special Newsmax offer for a free copy of the new edition of “Aftershock,” which includes the final “unpublished chapter.”

(Editor's Note: Watch Bob Wiedemer’s Aftershock Survival Summit video)

For a limited time, Newsmax is showing the Aftershock Survival Summit and supplying viewers with free copies of the “Aftershock” book (while supplies last).

Read more on ‘Aftershock’ Book Predicts Economic Disaster Amid Controversy
Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

Boise, ID - Boise gangs getting more violent

Boise gangs getting more violent
by Jamie Grey

BOISE -- The gang population in Boise isn't obvious to most people who live in the city, but police say hundreds of gang members operate there and it's a problem.
'There is a gang problem in Boise'
"Yes, there is a gang problem in Boise," Boise Police Gang Intelligence Unit Sgt. Jeff Basterrechea said.  "Currently, we have over 400 documented gang members by our department and over 35 gangs right now that we are tracking."
Gang members in Boise have been around for years, but now police tell us they're getting more violent.  While gang members may move toward more violent crimes, police and prosecutors say they're fighting back, using new laws.
Back in the 1990s, gang activity around the country became a noticeable problem.  In 1994, the mayor and police chief began a police unit dedicated to getting information on gang problems in Boise.  It started with one member: Basterrechea.
Gang behavior has morphed
"We have crips, we have bloods, we have nortenos, we have serenos, we have our white supremacist gangs, and we have our biker gangs," Basterrechea said.
These days gang members aren't likely to be wearing specific colors or spray painting symbols around town.  Basterrechea says gang members now don't like to draw attention to themselves, and they're behaving more like organized crime operations.
Basterrechea says it's less about the association of gang members. "It's all about making money," he explained.  Members from rival gangs will even work together if it means more cash.  The money often comes from robbing people or selling drugs and guns.
"Our gang problem is changing.  They're more willing to go out and buy guns. They're more willing to go out and do home invasions with firearms, so they're starting to lean toward more violence," Basterrechea said.
Boise Police use new law to go after gang member
To help prevent violent gang activity, in 2006 Idaho came up with the Criminal Gang Enforcement Act.
"It provides tools to the state's prosecutors and law enforcement agencies that help to make proactive enforcement of gang member violations a reality," Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower said. 

One thing that's now a crime is knowingly putting a weapon into a gang member's hands.  Last month, a judge sentenced the first person found guilty of that crime in Ada County: Crip member Justin K. Wilson.  Wilson pleaded guilty.
Bower's office has special gang prosecutors that handle cases like Wilson's.  This was an undercover investigation that lasted three months for police.
"We started buying drugs from him.  We started buying marijuana.  Then during the course of the investigation, he offered to sell this gun which at the time they were trying to turn into a fully automatic weapon," Basterrechea said.
'A bad place for gang members to do business'
To keep guns from being used in violent crimes, police say they'll keep using aggressive tools that many major cities employ, like using informants and undercover operations.
"We do less reactive stuff.  We don't wait for the crime to happen then investigative it.  What we do now is more proactive cases just like we did on this one," Basterrechea said.
Wilson was sentenced to 7 years for the gun sale and 5 years for the marijuana sale.
"It's a significant bit of criminal justice pain," Bower said.  "We want to make Ada County a bad place for gang members to do business.  Our efforts have kept gang members in check."
Police say out of the 35 gangs they're tracking in Boise, five are described as very active.  A couple of those operate within the jail and prison systems.

AUSTRALIA - Police arrest bikie over cafe shooting

A SENIOR Comanchero member arrested outside yesterday's court appearance of a man charged over the North Adelaide cafe shooting was at the scene of the gun battle.The senior Comanchero, 24, of Mt Barker, was arrested outside the Adelaide Magistrates Court yesterday by Crime Gang Task Force officers over a Melbourne Cup day brawl. His face has been obscured for legal reasons.
Minutes earlier, he had made inquiries about the hearing of a man charged over the North Adelaide Caffe Paesano shooting incident.
That man, whose name and image is suppressed, was arrested and charged with one aggravated count of acts to endanger life on Thursday, and appeared in court yesterday.
As the senior Comanchero left the building and approached his silver Ford Falcon, two detectives spoke to him and then escorted him back into the court.
He left, escorted by police and wearing handcuffs, about 15 minutes later and was taken to the City Watch House where he was granted police bail. Police later said they had arrested a senior member of the Comanchero Outlaw Motorcycle Gxxg outside court over a brawl at the Highway Hotel on Anzac Highway on Melbourne Cup day.
He is one of at least six men arrested over that incident. Police also said he was the same man photographed by The Advertiser at the scene of the North Adelaide shooting on December 18.
Police say that incident, which "shocked the public", started when a man walked into the restaurant shortly after 9.30pm and shot at three men who were sitting at an outdoor table.
It will be alleged at least one man returned fire and shot the attacker in the leg.
In court yesterday, Senior Sergeant Fred Wojtasik, prosecuting, said police had located the defendant's DNA at the scene but said further identification processing was necessary with up to 40 witnesses.
"(There was) DNA found, some blood from the defendant, at the location of the shooting of course was linked to him and led to the arrest after searching for him for some 10 days."
He did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody to appear in March.

San Jacinto Valley, CA - Crime dominated the news in 2011


Jon Smit ---- “Jon Smit was sentenced to four life terms for the multiple attempts to kill Hemet police offi cers particularly detective Chuck Johnson, who arrested Smit on drug charges and was scheduled to testify against Smit about the time the attacks started.” Jon Smit ---- “Jon Smit was sentenced to four life terms for the multiple attempts to kill Hemet police offi cers particularly detective Chuck Johnson, who arrested Smit on drug charges and was scheduled to testify against Smit about the time the attacks started.”

Much of the most important stories in the San Jacinto Valley this year involved crime.
The most notorious of those stories was the series of attacks on the Hemet Police Department, which started early in 2010 and came to an end in 2011 with the arrest, trial, conviction, and sentencing to multiple life terms in prison for the man deemed mostly responsible for the attacks.
Jon Smit was sentenced to four life terms for the multiple attempts to kill Hemet police offi cers, particularly detective Chuck Johnson, who arrested Smit on drug charges and was scheduled to testify against Smit about the time the attacks started. Booby traps were set at Johnson's house and attached to his police car.
Neither succeeded, nor did a zip gun attached to the gate at the Hemet/San Jacinto Gang Task Force headquarters, which narrowly missed offi cer Matt Hess instead because for once it was him, and not Johnson, who rolled the gate back.
Smit's suspected accomplice has yet to be tried.
An offbeat result of the investigation into the case was a lawsuit by the Vagos motorcycle gang, which objected to hints the bikers were responsible for the attacks.
Former District Attorney Rod Pacheco indicated during a news conference that the Vagos could be suspects and the homes and businesses of several Vagos were subsequently raided with assorted results.
The DA and city later conceded that the Vagos were not considered suspects, though the city refused to issue an apology for law enforcement statements or actions regarding the Vagos.
Another maximum sentence went to Jose Manuel Campos, who was convicted of the shooting death of his friend, Adrian Rios, during an argument at Campos' home on Blue Jay Way in south Hemet. Rios' body was subsequently burned and dismembered.
Parts were found in the back yard of the home and other locations, including a lake in which a skull proven by DNA tests to be Rios' was found.
Campos was sentenced to 25 years to each for murder and for using a fi rearm in the commission of the murder.
Because of the combined convictions, Campos, who was 17 years old at the time of the crime, will not be eligible for parole for 50 years.
Sentences were also handed down in the cases of most of the four San Jacinto City Council members and members of their families in the money laundering issues involving Jim Ayres' run for the California Legislature.
He and the other presumptive major fi gure in the case, developer Steve Holgate, pleaded guilty to the money laundering charges while a number of associates, including Ayres' wife and motherin- law, members of fellow councilman John Mansperger's family, and former councilman Dale Stubblefi eld pleaded guilty to lesser charges and received sentences ranging from jail, in Ayres' case, to probation and parole.
The only former member of the city council who has yet to be tried is Jim Potts, who maintains his innocence and has been demanding a trial since he was indicted with the others two years ago.
His trial was to have started within the next couple of weeks, but a change of judges has put it off. Potts said he was not part of any conspiracy.
Not all the news was bad, though. Hemet found a way out of its deepening fi nancial problems when it decided to hire a private company to provide trash service that the city formerly provided through a city department.
The city will receive a series of franchise payments over a period of years, including a multimillion dollar payment up front. Getting less cordial treatment were the marijuana outlets that had set up shop in the valley.
Both San Jacinto and Hemet have launched legal cases to close them down for violations of the law under which medical marijuana can be legally dispensed to those with prescriptions.
Riverside County supervisors, who govern the parts of the valley not in the two cities, decided at year's end to follow suit by notifying dispensaries in violation of the law that they must close and, if they don't, that they face legal action to force their closure. Public safety in Hemet was getting a lot of attention at year's end.
Dave Brown, a veteran of the department, was named police chief and a consultant was hired to examine how the fi re department can work more effi ciently and the police and fi re departments can work more closely.
A second consultant was hired in December to examine the police department's ability to gather and analyze the kind of data city management said it needs to accurately assess public safety needs.
Even before the second contractor was in a city offi ce, members of the city council were asking for a clearer picture of his responsibilities.
Two of Hemet's long-time institutions were sold during the year, or nearly sold.
The century-old Hemet Theatre's owners reached agreement with a newly formed foundation that wants to turn the building into a sevenday operation that mixes live performances with the movies it once showed and other entertainment concepts.
The agreement had yet to be fi nanced by press time, though both sides said they expect the deal to go through. The foundation is planning events to help raise money for the theatre purchase.
Also sold was the Valley Chronicle, established a decade ago to bring local news to the valley. Owner Jerry Bean said he decided to sell to Henderson, Nevada publisher Eric Buskirk because he was losing $15,000 per week.
Buskirk publishes a similar paper in Henderson and stepped in at the last minute to keep the Valley Chronicle from closing, which was Bean's plan. The paper has not ceased publishing since the sale, despite the last-minute deal.
Another San Jacinto council member, Steve Di Memmo, made headlines as well, but not for committing crimes.
Instead, Di Memmo got attention for his bankruptcy fi ling worth half a million dollars and the subsequent discovery that a business listed in the bankruptcy papers as operating for at least three years through 2010 had never been licensed.
Neither did Di Memmo claim income from the business on his form 700, the mandatory report on income derived from activity within the jurisdiction of the council, which is the city.
Di Memmo subsequently said the dimensions of the bankruptcy were misstated in news coverage and that the business had been closed down before he joined the council in 2004, despite their being claimed on the bankruptcy form.
Hemet got some good news for its downtown. A building that burned at Florida and Carmelita avenues will be replaced.
The city council approved the fundamental design, but had questions about what businesses would be operated at the site.
Council members expressed a desire to know the building could be converted in better economic times to something along the lines of a coffee house or small restaurant.
Some council members have also expressed a desire to link such an establishment with other evening entertainment venues to which easy pedestrian access could be provided.
Moving a little slower is the relocation of Highway 79 through San Jacinto and Hemet to connect Highway 60 to I-215 near Winchester.
The highway has been in the planning for more than a decade and was to have seen the start of construction in 2006.
However, fi nancial and bureaucratic barriers pushed the deadline back repeatedly until 2011 when the last of the environmental study components were completed and the report was distributed for comment.
Sometime in 2012 the project will be brought back to the construction and alignment stage with the goal of establishing a time line for construction.
The highway could eventually become a divided, limited access highway, but early plans call for just two lanes and some interests are militating for creating intersections with stop signs or lights to provide businesses with better exposure to passing traffic.
The highway will start at Sanderson Avenue and Lamb Canyon Expressway and terminate at Winchester Road.
Where the access ramps will be located has yet to be determined. Hemet resident George Hayes had a good year.
He won $1.127 million playing penny wheel of fortune at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio. Hayes noticed irony in his win. It was on his birthday, March 18, 25 years ago when he and his late wife hit the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas $250,000.
When Hayes hit the Fantasy Springs Casino for $1-millionplus, it was on May 5 – his late wife's birthday.
Hayes said the jackpot will change his life little, if at all.
"It will help me through my golden years," said Hayes. "It's not really going to change my lifestyle any."
The Community Pantry got a new home and a new manager during the year.
Board Chairman Sandie Foreman said the pantry had to move because the Hemet Valley Hospital, which owns the building the food pantry has used since 1996, was needed for medical records.
That has been the agreement since the food bank moved in, said Foreman.
The hospital owns several buildings at the food bank's former location and took over each one as a hospital need arose. The new executive director, Jim Lineberger, who replaced the retiring Sandy Jernegen, soon after moved to San Jacinto and Oakland avenues, an unfurnished building that he has since been working to provide with chairs and tables and other necessities.
Riverside County Supervisor suggested California should be split into two states, North and South California, because he did not like Gov. Jerry Brown's handling of the deficit.
The proposal did not immediately generate widespread support.
When it was presented to the board of supervisors, the best deal Stone could make was an agreement that the county would serve as host of a regionwide meetings in Riverside to determine whether any other jurisdictions have an interest in the proposal.
No meetings have been held yet.
Two well-known community members died during the year. The 81-year-old Lyle Alberg was not only former Hemet city manager, but a former member of the city council.
He died of congestive heart failure at Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs in May.
Anne Bollow, a long-time advocate for both the Hemet City Library and the valley's historical endeavors, died in August at the age of 65 after several years of battling cancer.
During a memorial held at the Ramona Bowl, one of the causes for which she worked, friends recalled Bollow's unstinting efforts on behalf of everything from the failed attempt to turn the Stock Farm into a historical site to San Jacinto's conversion of its historic Estudillo mansion into a landmark.
Bollow was one of several Estudillo mansion supporters who turned up every Fourth of July in period costume to provide mansion tours and to answer visitors' questions.

AUSTRALIA - Bikie associate threatened murder witness – police

AN ALLEGED outlaw bikie gxxg associate is due to appear in court today (Saturday) charged with intimidating a witness as detectives turn up the heat in the investigation into the execution-style murder of a man at Mumbil in 1996.
Charles Avouris, 30, was shot dead at his home Railway Cottage in Mumbil, 25km southeast of Wellington, on or about Monday, July 1, 1996.
Despite extensive police inquiries, no one has been arrested for the murder.
Detectives are now looking at Mr Avouris’ associations with the local chapter of the Rebels bikie gxxg as a strong line of inquiry.
Acting on a tip-off, detectives from Strike Force Burrendong yesterday (Friday) raided properties in Stuart Town and Mumbil and arrested a 49-year-old man, police say.
A Harley-Davidson motorcycle, photographs and other items were seized.
The 49-year-old alleged bikie associate was taken to Wellington Police Station where he was charged with intimidating a witness.
The man was refused bail and is scheduled to appear in Dubbo Local Court today.
Police say the strike force team is moving closer to making an arrest over the killing of Mr Avouris, 30, whose body was found reclining on a sofa after he had been shot in the head at his home on or about July 1.
At the time of the discovery police described the death as violent “but not as the result of a struggle”.
“Detectives have been aware of Mr Avouris’ links to the Rebels for some time, but new information has come to hand indicating this could be the primary reason he was targeted,” Dubbo Investigations Manager, Detective Sergeant Mark Meredith, said in a statement last week.
“I would encourage anyone who can assist us with this line of inquiry to contact us, and you can be assured that information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.”
Detective Sergeant Meredith said police were also progressing with the re-examination of forensic evidence.
“There is DNA evidence that was found at the crime scene that does not belong to Charles Avouris and it is currently undergoing forensic testing,” he said.
“We have a number of potential persons of interest and with the technological advancements in DNA analysis, we are hopeful it could point us in the right direction.”

NEW MEXICO - Alleged Mongols Murderers Arrested


Two suspects have been apprehended in the murder of two members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club last August. The suspects have been identified as 22-year-old twin brothers Mando and Armando Lopez. The two men were apprehended separately by Las Cruces, New Mexico police and U.S. Marshall’s Deputies. They are being held in the Dona Ana County Detention Center in Las Cruces on $2 million bail.
The two Mongols the twins are accused of murdering are Ruben Sanchez and Angel Rodriguez (pictured above.) Sanchez was 34 and Rodriguez was 30.
Sanchez and Rodriguez were shot about 1:50 a.m. on August 7 in an alley behind a bar called Club Azul in Los Banos, California. Police went to the bar in response to a complaint of a large fight at 1:46 a.m. Police said they heard “several shots” when they arrived at Club Azul and saw people running from the alley. Sanchez and Rodriguez were pronounced dead where they lay.


At the time of the murders Los Banos police said the shooting was “gang related. News reports identified the dead men as members of the “Mongols gang.”
Los Banos Police Chief Gary Brizzee told Corey Pride of the Los Banos Enterprise yesterday that the murders had nothing to do with the dead men’s membership in the Mongols. Brizzee called it “an altercation between members of rival criminal street gangs and they (Sanchez and Rodriguez) got involved.”
El Paso, Texas television station KTSM reported Thursday that the Lopez twins are members of the “Norteno gang.” The Nortenos, Northeners or Northern Mexicans are a coalition of neighborhood cliques in California north of Bakersfield. Neither KTSM nor Los Banos police identified the cliques.

Operation Red Zone

The Lopez brothers are from Los Banos, a city with a population of about 36,000 in Merced County. Police have also named Joe Castillo and Francisco Esquivel as suspects in the Club Azul shooting. They are also both from Los Banos. Police describe them as “known gang members.”
June 7, two months before Sanchez and Rodriguez were killed, local police and California Department of Justice agents carried out “Operation Red Zone.” According to the press release for the “Operation”, which was datelined Los Banos:
“Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced the arrests of 101 leaders and members of two transnational gangs operating violent criminal enterprises in the Central Valley cities of Madera, Los Banos, Livingston, Merced, Atwater and Dos Palos.
“‘As transnational gangs traffic crime into California, we must counter their ruthlessness with our resolve,’ said Attorney General Harris. ‘The arrest of dozens of transnational gang leaders and members frees California from a significant criminal threat.’
“The operation, code-named ‘Red Zone,’ was led by Attorney General Harris’ Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement office in Fresno. It is the latest in a series of actions the Attorney General has taken against transnational gangs.”
Thirty of the people arrested in the “Operation” were from Los Banos. Whatever the law enforcement stunt was supposed to accomplish, it did not make Los Banos safer or more peaceful.

CA - SAN DIEGO: 'Synthetic' marijuana is problem for US military

JULIE WATSON Associated Press
North County Times

SAN DIEGO: 'Synthetic' marijuana is problem for US military.

U.S. troops are increasingly using an easy-to-get herbal mix called "Spice," which mimics a marijuana high, is hard to detect and can bring on hallucinations that last for days.
The abuse of the drug has so alarmed military officials that they've launched an aggressive testing program that this year has led to the investigation of more than 1,100 suspected users, according to military figures.
So-called "synthetic" pot is readily available on the Internet and has become popular nationwide in recent years, but its use among troops and sailors has raised concerns among the Pentagon brass.
"You can just imagine the work that we do in a military environment," said Mark Ridley, deputy director of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, adding, "you need to be in your right mind when you do a job. That's why the Navy has always taken a zero tolerance policy toward drugs."
Two years ago, only 29 Marines and sailors were investigated for Spice. This year, the number topped 700, the investigative service said. Those found guilty of using Spice are kicked out, although the Navy does not track the overall number of dismissals.
The Air Force has punished 497 airmen so far this year, compared to last year's 380, according to figures provided by the Pentagon. The Army does not track Spice investigations but says it has medically treated 119 soldiers for the synthetic drug in total.
Military officials emphasize those caught represent a tiny fraction of all service members and note none was in a leadership position or believed high while on duty.
Spice is made up of exotic plants from Asia like Blue Lotus and Bay Bean. Their leaves are coated with chemicals that mimic the effects of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, but are five to 200 times more potent.
More than 40 states have banned some of its chemicals, prompting sellers to turn to the Internet, where it is marketed as incense or potpourri. In some states, Spice is sold at bars, smoke shops and convenience stores. The packets usually say the ingredients are not for human consumption but also tout them as "mood enhancing."
Service members preferred it because up until this year there was no way to detect it with urine tests. A test was developed after the Drug Enforcement Administration put a one-year emergency ban on five chemicals found in the drug.
Manufacturers are adapting to avoid detection, even on the new tests, and skirt new laws banning the main chemicals.
"It's a moving target," said Capt. J.A. "Cappy" Surette, spokesman for the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
The military can calibrate its equipment to test for those five banned chemicals "but underground chemists can keep altering the properties and make up to more than 100 permutations," Surette said.
Complicating their efforts further, there are more than 200 other chemicals used in the drug. They remain legal and their effects on the mind and body remain largely unknown, Navy doctors say.
A Clemson University created many of the chemicals for research purposes in 1990s. They were never tested on humans.
Civilian deaths have been reported and emergency crews have responded to calls of "hyper-excited" people doing things like tearing off their clothes and running down the street naked.
Navy investigators compare the drug to angel dust because no two batches are the same. Some may just feel a euphoric buzz, but others have suffered delusions lasting up to a week.
While the problem has surfaced in all branches of the military, the Navy has been the most aggressive in drawing attention to the problem.
It produced a video based on cases to warn sailors of the drug's dangers and publicized busts of crew members on some of its most-storied ships, including the USS Carl Vinson, from which Osama bin Laden's was dropped into the sea.
Two of the largest busts this year involved sailors in the San Diego-based U.S. Third Fleet, which announced last month that it planned to dismiss 28 sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.
A month earlier, 64 sailors, including 49 from the Vinson, were accused of being involved in a Spice ring.
Many of the cases were discovered after one person was caught with the drug, prompting broader investigations.
Lt. Commander Donald Hurst, a fourth-year psychiatry resident at San Diego's Naval Medical Center, said the hospital is believed to have seen more cases than any other health facility in the country.
Doctors saw users experiencing bad reactions once a month, but now see them weekly. Users suffer everything from vomiting, elevated blood pressure and seizures to extreme agitation, anxiety and delusions.
Hurst said the behavior in many cases he witnessed at first seemed akin to schizophrenia. Usually within minutes, however, the person became completely lucid. Sometimes, the person goes in and out of such episodes for days.
He recalled one especially bizarre case of a sailor who came in with his sobbing wife.
"He stood their holding a sandwich in front of him with no clue as to what to do," he said. "He opened it up, looked at it, touched it. I took it and folded it over and then he took a bite out it. But then we had to tell him, 'you have to chew.'"
An hour later when Hurst went back to evaluate him, he was completely normal and worried about being in trouble.
"That's something you don't see with acute schizophrenic patients," he said. "Then we found out based on the numbers of people coming in like this, that OK there's a new drug out there."
Hurst decided to study 10 cases. Some also had smoked marijuana or drank alcohol, while others only smoked Spice.
Of the 10, nine had lost a sense of reality. Seven babbled incoherently. The symptoms for seven of them lasted four to eight days. Three are believed to now be schizophrenic. Hurst believed the drug may have triggered the symptoms in people with that genetic disposition. His findings were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in October.
He said there are countless questions that still need answering, including the drug's effects on people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or traumatic brain injuries.
What the research has confirmed, he said, is: "These are not drugs to mess with."
Read more:

CA - Alsops could face criminal charges

test4Big Bear Choppers

Big Bear Choppers

Someone painted over the chopper logo on the Big Bear Choppers sign in Big Bear Lake. A vandalism report has not been filed with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 5:01 am
Reports continue to arrive from people who paid for a motorcycle months ago and are still waiting for the bike, the kit or a refund. The possible fraud is now in the hands of Big Bear Sheriff’s Station detectives.
Big Bear Choppers on Fox Farm Road in Big Bear Lake closed its doors in November. A sign on the door said the business would re-open after Thanksgiving, but that never happened. In early November, the owners, Kevin and Mona Alsop, appeared on a TV show “The Mentor” on the Bloomberg channel. After the show aired, calls, emails and more started pouring in.
Reports arrived that the couple took deposits and full payments for myriad choppers that were never built. On the TV show, the couple was shown making calls to customers explaining their financial straights and asking for additional time, promising to fulfill orders. According to those who paid deposits, those promises weren’t kept.
The Big Bear Choppers segment of “The Mentor” no longer appears on the reruns of the show.
Detective Lonnie Siebert of the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station says the department is consulting with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office regarding the case. Criminal charges against the Alsops may be possible, Siebert says.
Chris Lee of the District Attorney’s office says the special prosecutors are aware of the situation involving Big Bear Choppers, but his office is not investigating at this time. The District Attorney’s office has been contacted by several of the potential victims, Lee said. The case remains with the Sheriff’s Department, but could be investigated by his office at some point, Lee says.
Lee encourages any possible victims to file a report with the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station as a first step. He says he understands the frustration potential victims are feeling, but the report is the first step.
Potential victims include members of the military deployed in Afghanistan, military members recently discharged, wounded veterans, dealers, retirees and residents in Canada, Russia and all across the United States.
Jim Kreizinger of Indio ordered his bike days before Big Bear Choppers closed its doors in November. He wasn’t told the company was suffering financially when he paid his $10,000 deposit on Nov. 14. When he contacted the Alsops’ attorney, he was told the firm would be filing bankruptcy in January. He just wants his deposit back, Kreizinger says.
A soldier stationed in Germany paid in full for a Bare Bones model in April, his second Big Bear Chopper. SFC James T. Crawford paid $21,000 and was promised a bike in a few weeks. He was notified by Mike Forbes of the Big Bear Lake plant a few weeks later he owed $7,000 more, although the bike the soldier purchased was advertised on Big Bear Choppers website at $21,500, ready to ride. Crawford won the argument and didn’t pay more.
The bike was to be built by a dealer in Oregon. Crawford was notified by Forbes that the bike was being built in Big Bear and would be ready in August, then by the end of October, then in December or January, although the business closed in November. Crawford never received his bike, nor his money back.
John Kerr of Hawaii ordered a bike in August 2010, putting a deposit down in September  2010. He paid the balance shortly thereafter with the promise that the bike would be complete sooner. Kerr received a partial kit almost a year later. Kerr, who contacted the local District Attorney’s office, says he feels lucky to have gotten what is about 80 percent of his bike kit.
Kerr says he doesn’t feel Forbes was complicit in the alleged fraud. Kerr says Forbes kept trying to help him get the missing parts. At the end, Forbes admitted Big Bear Choppers was in serious financial trouble, Kerr says.
Anyone who paid money to Big Bear Choppers for a bike, either through the Big Bear Lake factory or outside dealer, but didn’t get the bike or kit, should contact the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station to file a report. Lee said the District Attorney’s office is trying to see just how big and widespread this case is.
Contact the Sheriff’s Station at 909-866-0100.
Contact reporter Judi Bowers at 909-866-3456, ext. 137 or by e-mail at

MASSACHUSETTS - Missing drug evidence points to ‘rogue cop’

By Matt Stout
A “rogue cop” is likely responsible for the theft of drugs from the Attleboro police station’s evidence room, Police Chief Kyle Heagney said, underscoring the need for all police officers to be drug tested, a practice currently banned by collective bargaining pacts in Massachusetts.
Heagney said an investigation is under way to determine how an undisclosed amount of cocaine and other narcotics went missing from the station’s “inner sanctum,” discovered during what he called a routine audit in August. He has since changed the locks to the evidence room, reduced the number of officers who have keys and plans to add security cameras.
The theft has prompted “shock and disbelief” from fellow officers and could destroy public confidence in his cops, he said.
The police union’s current contract doesn’t allow drug testing, but Heagney said state law should change to remove the issue from the bargaining table.
“I think we owe it to the public to do it,” he said.
Leigh A. Panettiere, a lawyer for the Attleboro union, an affiliate of the Massachusetts Coalition of Police, said during her six years representing the city’s officers, they’ve never been opposed to drug testing, but the union and Attleboro have yet to agree to the terms of the policy.
“We are cooperating fully with the investigation, while ensuring the constitutional and collective bargaining rights of our members,” President Kevin Fuoco and President-elect Jeffrey Peavey of the Attleboro Police Association said in a joint statement.
Heagney said A.P.D. Management, a private police consulting company, is leading the probe.
These types of incidents aren’t new. In 2003, $80,000 worth of marijuana was stolen from a Dracut police storage trailer. Two officers were accused of being “intentionally deceptive” about their involvement, but both were eventually cleared and the 154 pounds of drugs were never recovered. Boston police in 2008 released an audit detailing the theft of drugs in hundreds of cases from a Hyde Park evidence warehouse.
“We only have bad cops when good cops protect them,” Heagney said. “My goal is to weed and seed. I may not become the most popular person in the process, but I really don’t care at this point. I will terminate corrupt police officers.”


Latest Big Bear Choppers news;



Wow……it’s just like a freaking spy movie. I just got a phone call from a one of my spooks. A startup company called Rage Choppers with Kevin Alsop as a key employee (allegedly no ownership) will be building Big Bear Chopper style bikes in Riverside, California. Makes ya wonder what the heck is going on out there on the left coast huh?


CA - Fresno men arrested with guns, drugs and gear used in robberies

By Alex Tavlian and Eddie Jimenez - The Fresno Bee

Two Fowler men were arrested Thursday night in the parking lot of a southeast Fresno Home Depot store after guns, drugs and gear used in robberies were discovered in the car they were driving, police said.
The 38-year-old driver and his 37-year passenger were on Winery Avenue near Kings Canyon Road about 10:15 p.m. when a motorcycle officer suspected the car, a white Chrysler 300, was a recently stolen vehicle, police said.
After pulling them over in the Home Depot parking lot, the officer was aided by another unit and the car was searched, Sgt. Gary Beer said.
The driver, a convicted felon, was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of a controlled substance and drug and weapons charges. His passenger was arrested on suspicion of possession of a loaded and concealed firearm and narcotics charges.
In addition to three loaded 9mm handguns and methamphetamine, the officers found a Taser weapon, a bulletproof vest, night-vision goggles, a knife, masks and jewelry, Beer said.
Both suspects had leather vests with the logo of the Sindakit Sinners motorcycle gang, police said.
Read more here:

Case law on federal preemption....

Friday, December 30, 2011

US Defenders - Contact President Obama and demand he veto this bill!

Never before has there been such an immediate challenge facing Americans, our community of motorcyclists
must unite as one to face the rampant tyranny that our government is trying to enforce. 
The US Defenders will have our voices heard!
Everyone of us must let the President know he must VETO this horrible piece of legislation .
Along with signing this imbedded petition, you are urged to contact your US Senators and express your utter dismay and disbelief that they would allow this to happen!

The recent bill SB 1867, voted on and passed through the Senate,  is called the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 , pertaining to the detention and imprisonment of US citizens by the US military without trial or jury is not only a threat to every law-abiding citizen in this country but to our US Constitution as well. Our Bill of Rights has been thrown out the window!!!

We must have 100% US Defenders participation from every state, and from every biker that values personal freedom and LIBERTY!

Click on the link below to sigh the petition!!! petitions#%21/petition/we- people-demand-obama-veto-s-1867-bill-which- views-all-american-citizens- terroristic-threat/


   (a) In General- Congress affirms that the authority of the President
to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization
for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) includes the authority for
the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as
defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.

   (b) Covered Persons- A covered person under this section is any
person as follows:

       (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the
terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those
responsible for those attacks.

       (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported
al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in
hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,
including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly
supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

   (c) Disposition Under Law of War- The disposition of a person under
the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:

       (1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end
of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military

       (2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as
amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII of Public
Law 111-84)).

       (3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent
tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.

       (4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person's country
of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.

   (d) Construction- Nothing in this section is intended to limit or
expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization
for Use of Military Force.

   (e) Authorities- Nothing in this section shall be construed to
affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United
States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any
other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

   (f) Requirement for Briefings of Congress- The Secretary of Defense
shall regularly brief Congress regarding the application of the
authority described in this section, including the organizations,
entities, and individuals considered to be 'covered persons' for
purposes of subsection (b)(2).

Get busy today!
Unit Commanders,
Re:  SB 1867 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
SB 1867 recently passed the Senate.  The bill views all Americans as possible terrorists.  Any American Citizen, under this bill, can be detained and held indefinitely without a trial, for something as simple as having a weeks worth of food in their home.  This Bill will force American soldiers to detain the citizens they have sworn to protect.  We demand this Bill be Vetoed.  This is the United States of America and we demand liberty and justice for all!
Never before has there been such an immediate challenge facing Americans -- our community of motorcyclists must unite as one to face the rampant tyranny that our government is trying to enforce.
As a directive from our National Commander, we are implementing a National Call to Action -- it is imperative that we all contact President Obama and demand the veto of this bill.  Along with signing the embedded petition, you are urged to contact your US Senators and express your utter dismay, disbelief and disgust that they would allow this to happen.
While we are all in the midst of the busy Christmas season, we urge you to take a few moments to sign the petition.  The petition site requires that you sign-in, but honestly, it only takes a few minutes.  25,000 signatures are required by December 31 -- please respond immediately!
If you are able, please take it a step further and send a letter to President Obama (as well as a copy to your Senator) demanding he veto the bill.  
A link to the petition follows and a sample letter to the President is attached for your convenience.  Please be certain to sign the letter and request a response to your letter.
To read the full text of the SB 1867, click on the following link:
Who's your elected official?  Click on this link:
December 15, 2011
Honorable President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC  20500
RE: SB 1867 – National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
Dear Mr. President;
Senate Bill 1867 recently passed through the Senate.  This bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, pertains to the detention and imprisonment of United States citizens by US military without trial and/or jury.  The bill is not only a threat to every law-abiding citizen but to our United States Constitution as well.  This bill throws our Bill of Rights out the window!
As an American citizen, a tax-payer and a participant in the voting process, I urge you as my President, to veto this bill.  Please do not allow this bill to become law.  I encourage you to stand up for the United States citizenry and for our Bill of Rights.
I look forward to your reply regarding my request to veto this bill.
First & Last Name
City, State & Zip
It's time to send letters in support of AB 1047!

AB 1047 is scheduled to be heard in Committee in January (most likely on January 9, 2012).  We plan to ride to the Capitol on this day.
About AB 1047: authored by Assembly Member Kevin Jeffries, will prohibit the use of any Federal, State or other highway safety funds to be used for selective motorcycle-only enforcement viloations.
This CTA regarding AB 1047 is to send a letter to the California State Assembly Committee on Transportation urging their support of AB 1047.
US Defenders are to send letters to:
Honorable Bonnie Lowenthal, Chair
California State Assembly Committe of Transportation
State Capitol, Room 3152
Sacramento, CA  95814
Please also send a copy of your letter to:
Honorable Kevin Jeffries, Vice Chair
California State Assembly Committe of Transportation
State Capitol, Room 5128
Sacramento, CA  95814
Attached for your convenience and info, are the following attachments:
  • Letter urging support of AB 1047
  • AB 1047 Fact Sheet
Unity and Strength,Helldog, President
CCCOC U.S. Defender
Form Letter
October 25, 2011
Honorable Bonnie Lowenthal, Chair
California State Assembly Committee on Transportation
State Capitol –Room 3152
Sacramento, California 95814

RE:  Assembly Bill 1047

Dear Assembly Member Lowenthal,
As an avid motorcycle enthusiast, I am writing you to request your support of AB 1047, which will be up for consideration by the Assembly Transportation Committee in the very near future.
Assembly Member Kevin Jeffries has introduced AB 1047 which would prohibit the use of any Federal, State or other highway safety funds to be used for selective motorcycle-only enforcement violations.  Instead, these funds would be used for their intended purpose of motorcycle safety training and education.
I urge your support of AB 1047.
Your First and Last Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip
cc:        Honorable Kevin Jeffries, Vice Chair
            California State Assembly Committee on Transportation

CA - ESCONDIDO: Police set up checkpoint in downtown Friday afternoon

Police were setting up a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint in downtown Escondido late Friday afternoon.
The checkpoint was being established along Juniper Street at Valley Parkway. Escondido's checkpoints typically run from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Police said earlier in the week the checkpoint was part of an effort to catch drunken drivers over the New Year's holiday weekend.
Along with making drunken driving arrests at the checkpoints, Escondido police typically impound cars driven by unlicensed drivers.
Starting on Sunday, a new state law will require that unlicensed drivers are given a short window of time to find a licensed person to drive their car before it is impounded.
If the vehicle is impounded, the owner can recover the vehicle at the tow yard with the help of a licensed driver.
Escondido Police Chief Jim Maher, who says the checkpoints have improved the city's traffic safety, said earlier this month the law was "a terrible law, really disappointing."
The department will also have officers looking for drunken drivers on Saturday and Sunday nights, Lt. Tom Albergo said earlier this week.
People planning to celebrate the new year and drink alcohol should take precautions by designating a sober driver, calling a cab if a sober driver is not available and calling 911 if someone on the road appears to be impaired, Albergo said.
Funding for the operation was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Read more:

From "Alcohol, Problems and Solutions:" "... eleven states have found that sobriety checkpoints violate their own state constitutions or have outlawed them. In these states, individuals have more protections against unreasonable search and police sobriety roadblocks are prohibited." Thus it is for California as well. Indeed. These ethnic trap "checkpoints" are doomed and will soon be extinct in California as well. No More Unreasonable Searches! It must be done the old fashioned way. A police officers sees a car being driven erratically. Then, and only then, he may stop the car and talk to the driver. And a citizen may call such a siutation to the attention of the police who may then in turn investigate. But to willy-nilly stop EVERY car along a street and then investigate each and every driver without probably cause is contrary to California's own Constitution and will go the way it did in the other eleven states! Plus these so-called checkpoints are in fact an additional violation of the civil rights of minorities who are then harassed about their citizenship!

Canada - KELOWNA, B.C. - Mountie hurt trying to break up nightclub brawl involving biker associates.

An RCMP officer in Kelowna, B.C. suffered minor injuries while trying to arrest two men who police identify as associates of the Hells Angels.
When two officers stepped in to break up a brawl outside a downtown nightclub Tuesday, one Mountie was jumped from behind, put into a head lock and punched in the face several times by a suspect.
The assailant and another man were eventually arrested.
Thirty-nine-year-old Pedro Amestica has been charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, while 37-year-old Thomas Volker is charged with assaulting a police officer.
Both will appear in court Jan. 12.
There were a total of five men involved in the brawl, but it's not known if the fight was gang related.
Read it on Global News: Global BC | Mountie hurt trying to break up nightclub brawl involving biker associates

CANADA - Hells Angels associates face charges after Kelowna street brawl

Two alleged associates of the Hells Angels have been charged after a police officer was put in a headlock and punched several times in front of a Kelowna nightclub Tuesday.
Shortly after 2 a.m. two uniformed Kelowna RCMP members were on patrol when they saw a fight break out between several men on Leon Avenue. When they moved in to arrest the main aggressor, one of the officers was jumped from behind and attacked.
The officer who was punched ended up with swelling and bruising.
Kelowna RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Ann Morrison was unable to say what caused the fight.
“I can confirm we are having difficulty receiving cooperation from the parties involved,” she said.
Kelowna’s Pedro Amestica, 39, was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. He does not have a criminal record and police say he is a known associate of the Mission City chapter of the Hells Angels.
Thomas Volker, a 37-year-old from Mission, is charged with assaulting a police officer. He has a criminal record and police say he is a member of the Mission City Hells Angels.
Both men have appeared before a justice of the peace and have been released from custody. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 12 in Kelowna.
Read more:

AUSTRALIA - Man arrested over SA bikie shootout


A 24-YEAR-old man has been arrested over a bikie shootout at an Adelaide restaurant that sent patrons ducking for cover.
The man was detained at a suburban Adelaide address today without incident.
Police said he had been taken to the city watchhouse where he was expected to be charged with acts to endanger life.
The man was injured in the December 18 incident, which police believe was sparked by an internal dispute among members of the Comancheros bikie gang.
A small group were dining at Caffe Paesano when they were approached by the arrested man.
Police won't confirm who fired the first shot but witnesses told media outlets that it was the man who began the shooting who was hit in the leg as others returned fire.
Images of the man leaving the restaurant were released in a bid to track him down.
Police Commissioner Mal Hyde said the arrest was the result of the dedicated efforts of police from the Crime Gangs Task Force.
"Crime Gangs Task Force, supported by additional resources are continuing with the investigation and active steps are being taken to discourage and prevent any further violence," Mr Hyde said.
The shootout was the most serious in a number of shootings across Adelaide in recent months involving bikie gangs.
In other incidents, the head of the Comancheros, Vince Focarelli, was shot in the leg in the third attempt on his life in recent years.
Detectives were also continuing to investigate the shooting in September of the son of a former senior Finks member, after several masked men burst into the man's home and opened fire.
The boy was hit and treated for his wounds in hospital.
It remains unclear if he was the intended target of the attack.

Read more:

Laconia, NH - If you don't like Bike Week, just stay away from Weirs Beach


To the editor,
Reading newspaper reports of proposed changes for Bike Week had me both amused and distressed. Good thing we have a motorcyclist on the City Council to bring some “vision” to what Bike Week is all about.
Bike Week is NOT the Sandwich Fair, nor July 4 family cookout at Weirs Beach, nor the in-water boat show, etc. Bike Week is not for everyone. If you do not want to see shapely girls in bikinis and pasties then DO NOT GO to the Weirs during Bike Week! Stay out of the beer tents if you don’t like the noise, the music or the clothing or lack there of. But who are YOU to tell them what they can or cannot wear because YOU do not like it?
They are trying to make a living in the “Biker Community” and it seems like I saw a lot more people, men and women, enjoying the sights in these biker venues than people who were offended.
I do not like rap music so I do not go to rap concerts, nor acid rock concerts or other events. If a citizen or visitor complains about seeing such obnoxious things then tell THEM to stay away and stop looking! Simple, isn’t it?
As for the “smoke pits” and “dyno testers”, I can sympathize with the neighbors about the un-godly noise and smells. They should be regulated and licensed or permitted or whatever you want to call the money making goal or desire to make them too costly for the vendors. The smoke pit at Rte #3 and Scenic Drive is great for visibility and attention getter but not ideal for motel guests across the street or at the restaurant on the other corner. Are there any others in the city?
Radical Muslims want every one to worship as they do and if not then others should die. Seems like some Laconia Licensing Board members, Tech Review Committee members, and other Laconia Department heads are saying that Bike Week rules must comply with THEIR personal views and morals and if they don’t then they should be made illegal!
Remember, If you don’t like It, then don’t go to the Weirs Beach area during Bike Week and you won’t be offended. There are plenty more people who enjoy the Bike Week atmosphere than who oppose it. Bike Week is the biggest event in the City of Laconia and the State of N.H. in terms of attendance and money generation so why would you want to impose ridiculous rules, ordinances or laws to destroy that?
Jim Martel

NEW MEXICO - Two Murder Suspects Arrested in Las Cruces

By Lauren Zimmerman
LAS CRUCES- On December 28, Deputy US Marshals and the Las Cruces Police Officers arrested two people suspected of murder.

Police say Armando and Mando Lopez, twin brothers in the Norteno gang, were wanted out of Los Banos, California for a double homicide that occurred at a night club in Los Banos in August.
Both Armando and Mando Lopez have lengthy criminal histories including numerous weapons charges, possession of controlled substances and charges relating to their involvement in a criminal street gang. The brothers are among other suspects that are accused of murdering two Mongol outlaw motorcycle gang members in Los Banos, California.
Investigators with the Marshals Service worked closely with the Las Cruces Police Department and were able to determine the brothers were living at a residence in Las Cruces and it is believed the pair have been in the Las Cruces area since November. Both were apprehended separately without incident on Wednesday evening by the Las Cruces Police Department SWAT unit and the United States Marshals Service. The brothers will be booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center awaiting extradition back to California.

CALIFORNIA - Motorcycle Cops May Lose Bike-Washing Bonus.. NICE ABOUT TIME.....

OFF THE WIRE Cops May Lose Bike-Washing Bonus

 Newport Beach police could see their clean-and-polish pay go down the drain. The average salary boost is $4,200 a year, but the chief says it's really a form of hazard pay.
By OC Patch Staff Email the authorDecember 27, 2011 Email Print 1 Comment ‹ Back to Article new Embed | Share A police motorcycle officer on patrol in Newport Beach. Courtesy Newport Beach Police Department context Photos (2) Photos Credit Courtesy Newport Beach Police Department Credit Courtesy Newport Beach Police Department Upload Photos and Videos The days of Newport Beach motorcycle cops receiving several hundred dollars a month to wash and polish their bikes could end as the City Council, hoping to cut costs, renegotiates its police contract.
Currently, motorcycle officers are guaranteed six hours of overtime pay each month to keep their Hondas cleaned and polished. The deal was brought to light in an Orange County Register opinion piece critical of “public employee compensation shenanigans.”
The bonus ranges from $262 to $448 a month, or roughly $3,100 to $5,400 a year, depending on an officer's salary (Newport's basic police pay scale runs from $60,570 to $85,240, although "master" officers with lengthy seniority, education and other requirements can top out at $103,605 a year).
However, although the benefit is officially labeled as motorcycle-washing compensation, Police Chief Jay Johnson said the money is really a form of hazard pay (sometimes called premium or special pay), a bonus that law enforcement agencies commonly give to officers who take on more dangerous duties.
By way of comparison, motorcycle officers with the Orange County Sheriff's Department receive an extra $250 per month--or $3,000 per year--in special pay, according to spokesman John McDonald.
Part of Newport's rationale for structuring the bonus as overtime for washing motorcycles was to avoid having it factored into, and thus increase, officers' pensions, Johnson said.
However, the California Public Employees' Retirement System has since ruled such pay should be factored into pensions.
Johnson said the pay structure also avoids creating a "property right."
Newport Beach prefers to rotate officers among assignments, usually every three to five years, Johnson explained in an email to Patch earlier this year.
"With a property right, management cannot freely move officers between assignments ... if the compensation differs," he wrote. "It would amount to a pay reduction without cause."
The motorcycle-washing bonus is one of several forms of special pay—other bonuses are given for being bilingual, working undesirable hours, or having a higher degree of education—that may be scrutinized in contract negotiations with unions, according to City Council members. Contracts for police and firefighters expire Dec. 31.
Because negotiations are now under way, several city officials declined to comment last week. But, earlier this year, City Councilman Rush Hill questioned the motorcycle-washing pay, telling Patch: "As we transition to a total compensation mentality in the city, I think these kinds of extra add-on benefits will be disappearing.”
Councilman Steve Rosansky, also interviewed several months ago, likewise initially sounded skeptical: “I’d be surprised if motorcycle-washing pay made it through [contract negotiations]. I won’t support it.”
However, after hearing Johnson's hazard-pay explanation, Rosansky said, "That puts a different complexion on it."
In June, the council passed a $255-million city budget, balanced on $8 million in cuts, including layoffs and taking unfilled positions off the books. At the time, then-Mayor Mike Henn said he anticipated another $7 million to $8 million in reductions would be needed to balance next year’s budget.
The bonus for motorcycle officers “is one example in the general category of special pay that the council needs to review in terms of bargaining with unions,” Henn said earlier this year.
Rosansky added: "At the end of the day, what we're concerned with is total compensation [which includes health and other benefits] of what we're paying [versus] what other cities are paying."
Police in neighboring Huntington Beach earn a base pay of roughly $87,000 a year, plus a 5 percent hazard and bike-polishing bonus for motorcycle officers, according to police personnel manager Shirleen McNamee.
The base salary for an Orange County sheriff's deputy ranges from $61,000 to $87,700, roughly similar to Newport's basic range, plus the $3,000 motorcycle bonus.
Newport Councilman Keith Curry said cutting pension costs is a better way to save money. Special pay is just a small piece of the pie, whereas “pension reform has the potential of reducing our annual operating costs by millions,” he said in an email to Patch earlier this year.
The council already has had some success cutting other city pensions. In June, Newport lifeguards agreed to pick up more of their pension costs. Also, a second tier for retirement benefits was created. Pension payouts for newly hired lifeguards will be up to 50 percent lower than for current employees.
“We are optimistic we will get there with police and fire in 2011,” Curry wrote.



ILLINOIS - Mandatory Seat Belts and Motorcycles Bypassing Stuck Red Lights: .......


Mandatory Seat Belts and Motorcycles Bypassing Stuck Red Lights:

New Traffic Laws in 2012 All passengers will need to wear seat belts in 2012 according to a new law. Posted: 5:20 PM Dec 28, 2011 Reporter: Lauren Kravets

 Motorcycle Law Mandatory Seat Belts: New Traffic Law in 2012
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Another new law will soon take effect in Illinois—this one is when it comes to buckling up. 23 News talked to some Stateline drivers today to gauge their reactions to the new seat belt regulations.
One driver said, "I thought that was a law that everybody had to buckle up."
Despite some confusion as to who must buckle up in the car, right now passengers 17-years and older who are sitting in the back seat do not have to wear a seatbelt.
Motorcycle Red Light Law
Another new law will allow motorcyclists to run red lights.
The law is a response to problems with road censors that change stop lights from red to green. Many times they don't detect the weight of motorcycles because they are lighter than cars.
The new law says if a red light hasn't changed after quote a "reasonable length of time" a motorcyclist can run that light. Some are concerned about more accidents, while others say it will be just as safe.
Kegel Harley-Davidson Office Manager Mel Kegel said, "Motorcyclists should see the car, even at night the lights would be on on the car and it is a safety issue of course, but generally speaking people who drive motorcycles are very defensive oriented, they drive defensively and they're going to be looking for oncoming traffic."
At least six other states including Wisconsin and Indiana have a similar motorcycle law. Illinois' takes affect Jan. 1. Winnebago Driver George Hanson said, "To have seatbelts required in the front and not in the back is kind of ridiculous because people are just as prone to get hurt back there."
That will all change come Jan 1. That's when everyone will be required to wear a seatbelt. Some drivers have mixed feelings about the new law. Rockford resident Bob Wawczack doesn't always make his kids buckle up in the back.
He said, "They feel more comfortable and safe where the driver and the passenger are probably more prone to any injury in the front with the windshield and they're just going to hit a back seat.”
If drivers don't obey the law there will be consequences. If police catch you unbuckled in the backseat someone will have to pay a $60 fine and the driver can be ticketed if the unbuckled passenger is 16 and younger. Police say it's meant to keep us safe.
Illinois State Police Dist. 16 Sgt. Richard Strain said, "There's a rollover crash where if all occupants are seat belted that will hopefully save more lives."
Here’s what some of you are saying about this story on our Facebook page: Renee says, “We all wear seatbelts in my car. Doesn't matter where you're sitting.” and Heidi adds "But driving a motorcycle with no helmet is still legal? I don't get it.”
There will continue to be a seat belt exception to back-seat passengers in taxis as well as school buses.
Also taking effect Jan. 1, truckers in Illinois will be able to drive the same speed as other drivers: they can now travel 65 miles per hour on highways.