The mafia, metadata and me: the day Stan called me into an ecstasy sting


The mafia, metadata and me: the day Stan called me into an ecstasy sting

Nick McKenzie

Mafia in Australia – Drugs, Murder and Politics

The mafia continues to flourish in Australia despite major police operations, as this joint Four Corners/Fairfax Media investigation reveals.

When the phone vibrated in my pocket in September 2007, I had no idea the incoming call would plunge me into the middle of Australia’s biggest Mafia investigation in decades.

I was also unaware that the caller, who identified himself as “Stan”, was, in fact, a driven and entrepreneurial drug trafficker from Griffith, NSW, called Pat Barbaro.

Federal Police and Customs agents with some of the Ecstasy and Cocaine after the drug bust.Federal Police and Customs agents with some of the Ecstasy and Cocaine after the drug bust. Photo: John Woudstra

Barbaro had organised the world’s biggest ecstasy shipment into Melbourne in June 2007. But by the time he rang me, three months later, he was unable to locate the shipping container packed with his $500 million load.

Calling me, and then sending a series of texts from several mobile phones registered in fake names, was part of a desperate plan by Barbaro to either locate his shipment or confirm his suspicions that the police had seized his drugs.

He was hoping I would reach out to police or waterfront sources to do this, and then report my findings. To say his plan failed spectacularly would be an understatement.

Unbeknownst to either me or “Stan,” police were intercepting the text messages, which included detailed descriptions of the size and likely location of the drug shipment. These text messages, and analysis of the corresponding metadata, were used to prove Barbaro had organised the drug shipment.

But that was not the only implication. Over the past six months, federal police have used the scenario as a case study to convince the Federal Government of the need to pass laws ensuring telcos store the metadata generated when a person uses a phone or computer.

As the hulking Barbaro walked around Melbourne’s CBD, meeting bikies, South Asian money launderers and other Mafia bosses, he carried up to a dozen phones. One was his personal mobile, with a subscription under his own name.

The other phones were “burners”, which were registered in false names and regularly replaced with new phones. The problem for Barbaro is that these burners were hitting the same mobile phone towers as his regular phone.

Barbaro’s personal phone and the burners were pinging off the same towers so often that police were able to prove the burners belonged to Barbaro.

According to the Director of Public Prosecution’s Andrea Pavleka, the texts sent from the “Stan” burners “showed that Barbaro had critical knowledge of the contents of that container”.

“That was a terrific link for the prosecution to have in this particular matter.”

Back in 2007, I knew none of this.

In fact, had I known my communications were being intercepted, I would have been furious.

Many of my sources are banned by their employer from speaking to me, or any other reporter, so the prospect of any innocent whistleblower being outed would have concerned me greatly.

I only learned this many months later of the interception. From all the checks I have since conducted – and there have been many – no source of mine was compromised and the AFP agents involved acted professionally and with regard to the sensitivities of my trade.

That said, ever since 2007, I have implemented a range of measures to protect sources’ communications — steps not unlike those suggested by Malcolm Turnbull during the recent debate about metadata.

Ever since the phone buzzed that day in my pocket, and “Stan” briefly entered my life, I’ve been especially conscious about how a person’s communications leave a trail, no matter how careful they are. It is a lesson the now jailed Barbaro has, no doubt, also learned well.

Watch part two of a joint Fairfax and ABC Four Corners mafia investigation on ABC1 8.30 PM Monday.

Terror diverts focus from Mafia ‘board of directors’


Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard

Inside a mafia ecstasy sting

The Calabrian mafia was responsible for the world’s biggest ecstasy importation in 2007. As Fairfax Media and the ABC can reveal, it didn’t go to plan…

Italy’s top anti-Mafia prosecutor and Australian police are warning that the massive diversion of law-enforcement resources to combat terrorism is eroding the fight against the Mafia and other serious organised crime groups.

Australian authorities have failed for decades to dismantle the “board of directors” of Calabrian Mafia godfathers across Australia, allowing them to entrench their drug trafficking operations, build alliances with outlaw bikie gangs and infiltrate government and police agencies.

The Mafia's reach in VictoriaThe Mafia’s reach in Victoria.

A 2013 multi-agency police report warns “Ndrangheta Transnational Australian Groups” are posing an extreme risk to Australia.

Italian anti-Mafia magistrate Dr Nicola Gratteri has also warned that the Australian government has risked allowing these organised crime groups to prosper.

“When social alarm is provoked over terrorism, governments are forced to invest in terrorism and not in Mafia … the Mafia celebrates because they know there are fewer resources,” Dr Gratteri said.

The Mafia's reach in NSW.
The Mafia’s reach in NSW.

Senior police across Australia have confidentially backed these comments, saying that while terrorism was a clear priority, the focus on suspected jihadists had meant the shifting of important resources away from the fight against organised crime.

Three weeks ago, Dr Gratteri oversaw an international anti-Mafia operation, codenamed Santa Fe, which attacked the operations of the powerful Alvaro Mafia clan, seizing tonnes of cocaine and making dozens of arrests.

Confidential Italian and Australian police files state that the Alvaro clan has powerful cells operating in Australia, allegedly headed by Adelaide construction figure, Paul Alvaro, 64, and a NSW man. Mr Alvaro did not answer specific questions, but he denies any links to organised crime

The pair is aligned to a handful of figures in capital cities across the nation and in Griffith, NSW, who – according to a police assessment – operate as “an executive Board of Directors” for the Calabrian Mafia, or “Ndrangheta”.

The board “comes together on an ad hoc basis particularly in times of crisis or when the low profile of [the Calabrian Mafia], so carefully cultivated and jealously protected, is threatened,” police reports say.

NSW Police intelligence lists “the main” Calabrian Mafia clans as “the Sergi family, Trimboli family, Romeo family” who are all “based predominantly in the Griffith area.” Only a very small number of members of these families are engaged in crime and there are many Italian families who share these common surnames but who are not connected to the Calabrian Mafia.

“The criminal activities engaged in by this network have been engaged in for decades with a high level of success. Members of the network have occasionally been apprehended and imprisoned, but on the whole, internal wrangling appears to have exacted a higher toll, as family members are murdered not infrequently,” says one NSW police assessment.

In Victoria, court files allege that wealthy Melbourne businessman, Giuseppe “Bebbe” Manariti, was linked to the world’s biggest ecstasy importation in Melbourne in 2007.

Commonwealth prosecutors have alleged that Mr Manariti was briefed by the Mafia importers, stating that he was “interested in unfolding events” linked to the massive shipment.

Mr Manariti, who has never faced criminal charges, is a close associate of alleged Melbourne Mafia boss Tony Madafferi and the pair, along with deceased Mafia leader Rosario Gangemi, are considered by police to have previously formed a “trinity” that directed the Calabrian Mafia’s Melbourne operations.

Both Mr Manariti and Mr Madafferi were previously identified in a top secret 1995 anti-Mafia operation as members of the group also known as the Honoured Society.

Mr Madafferi could not be reached for comment but has previously denied any involvement in organised crime. Mr Manariti could not be reached for comment.

The police files also reveal that the Calabrian Mafia has built close ties to outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs), including the Rebels and Bandidos.

“This is particularly evident with identified connections to the Sydney and North Coast Bandidos OMCG and the Canberra and Batemans Bay Rebels OMCG. There is also intelligence of links to the Finks OMCG through associates.”

Dr Gratteri’s warning about the diversion of resources away from the organised crime fight echoes a classified National Crime Authority report in 2003.

“It is suggested that they [Australia’s Mafia cells] will neither decline nor cease their activities in the foreseeable future due to their long entrenched history in criminality in Australia, the steady market demand for cannabis and other illicit drugs and the diversion of law enforcement efforts to other areas.”

Watch part two of a joint Fairfax and ABC Four Corners mafia investigation on ABC1 8.30 PM Monday.

Judge bribes, military arms sought: the Mafia’s alleged Australian operations


Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard

An Australian Mafia boss allegedly paid $2.2 million in bribes to  judges to get lighter jail sentences, and the Mafia have approached defence force personnel to supply them with military grade weapons, top-secret police intelligence reports reveal.

The reports also reveal the price of some food – including the price of certain types of seafood in Sydney – may be more expensive due to Mafia control of the supply chain across Australia.

Fairfax Media can also reveal that Jupiter’s Casino on the Gold Coast has become a key gambling site for Mafia figures banned over money laundering concerns from Crown Casino in Melbourne and Star City in Sydney.

Two top crime figures, including a Mafia godfather, banned from the Sydney and Melbourne casinos recently gambled large amounts at Jupiter’s, effectively rendering anti-money laundering efforts useless.

A search this month of the business holdings of all the key Mafia bosses in NSW, Victoria and South Australia also reveals their continuing control over multimillion-dollar wholesale, construction and farming businesses, including a major winery and several large fruit orchards.

A joint Fairfax Media and ABC Four Corners probe has obtained a series of confidential Australian police reports written and circulated to state agencies between 2003 and 2014.

The reports provide startling revelations about the depth of Calabrian Mafia’s infiltration into Australian life and the ambitions of the criminal group.

They reveal the group known as ‘Ndrangheta, or the Honoured Society, continues to control both legitimate and illegitimate businesses, with money earned both from the drug trade and from stand-over and extortion within pockets of Australia’s fresh food trade, trucking and construction industries.

A 2013 file, circulated among agencies, warns that the Mafia poses as “extreme” organised crime risk to the nation.

It echoes similar warnings made in a 2003 Australian Crime Commission assessment that revealed the Mafia had “infiltrated members into, or recruited people from, public organisations, government and law enforcement agencies with the lure of money”.

“[Mafia] family associates are employed in many areas of government enterprise, as well as in the telecommunications industry; bookmaking/racing; car dealerships/car repairs and hydroponic shops,” the 2003 report states.

In Victoria, Mick Gatto is named as a crime figure who works closely with the Calabrian Mafia while running his own crime syndicate.  

“Mick Gatto has shown a high awareness of law enforcement methodology and has taken a proactive approach in accessing corrupt law enforcement personnel and information to protect his ventures,” one report says.

In NSW, another Italian crime boss “is involved in a number of legitimate businesses … including car dealerships and night clubs, and is associated with at least one ex-AFP member and one corrective services person”.

NSW police intelligence also describes how detectives had discovered how “Italian Organised Crime members have actively approached members of the Australian Defence Forces for the purpose of acquiring firearms and ammunition”.

The NSW police also gathered information in 2003 that Mafia figures in Griffith, NSW – the group’s traditional stronghold – had been “receiving information from a person connected to the police in Griffith and the court”.

“It is alleged that a Sydney based IOC [Italian Organised Crime] member received light sentences in the past because he paid off [Sydney] judges, costing approximately $2.2 million.

“The protection provided to IOC members by other members comes in many forms, ranging from the simple criminal code of silence or perjury, to more sinister acts involving corrupt influence [and] abusing a position of responsibility.

“IOC groups in NSW have infiltrated members into, or recruited people from, public organisations, government and law enforcement agencies with the lure of money.”

Fairfax Media has recently spoken to senior law enforcement sources who identified a judge allegedly involved, saying he has since left the bench.

The NSW police have also discovered “information [that] suggests a monopoly exists … at the Sydney Fish Markets where private arrangements need to be made for their purchase”. The report says these arrangements allegedly involve cartel behaviour, including price fixing and threats of violence.

Police have warned that Mafia identities maintain control over the food supply chain via their ownership of farms, wholesale businesses and transport and freight firms.

Reception centres owned by Mafia bosses in Adelaide and Melbourne have been hired by unwitting police and politicians to hold functions.

An intelligence brief circulated to police across Australia in 2011 states: “The Calabrian Mafia … readily uses fruit trucks to transport cannabis to the Melbourne Fruit and Vegetable Market [from Griffith, NSW and other regional sites] to be further distributed. The trucks usually have the cannabis hidden among containers of fruit and vegetables.”

In 2003, NSW police confidentially warned that: “Investigations developed intelligence of IOC figures involved in both the Sydney fruit markets at Flemington and fish markets, as well as the Belconnen markets in Canberra”.

“[Wholesale food] markets continue to provide controlled linkages to the interstate trucking and transport industry. Again, elements of the transport infrastructure are controlled by families with connections to IOC elements. There is continuing intelligence of the exploitation of this type of freight for trafficking illicit commodities.

“The exploitation of the markets and interstate freight remains a significant area for environmental hardening and law reform.”

The revelation that Mafia figures banned from NSW and Victorian casinos over money laundering concerns are simply heading to the Gold Coast casino suggests another major weakness in anti-organised crime measures.

Police have previously warned that Mafia “identities were using casinos to launder funds through, with significant money movements through Jupiter’s Casino and Crown Casino Melbourne”.

linked with Mafia-Labor expels figure Victorian ALP delegate Michael Teti


Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard
Frank Madafferi and Michael Teti.
Frank Madafferi and Michael Teti.

The Labor party will expel Victorian ALP delegate Michael Teti after revelations the Moreland Councillor allegedly supplied a gun to a Mafia henchman who then used it to threaten a woman, and moved funds on behalf of convicted crime boss Frank Madafferi.

Mr Teti, who was recently found guilty of weapons offences, secretly spent months working as Madafferi’s business manager in the full knowledge that  Madafferi was an underworld boss with a lengthy criminal record for violent crimes and drugs.

Mr Teti’s vehicle has also been searched multiple times by police, who have discovered drug paraphernalia — believed to be an ice pipe — and, on two separate occasions, ammunition.

Documents obtained during a major Fairfax Media and Four Corners investigation reveal that Mr Teti acted as an adviser and gofer for Madafferi while the Mafia boss was facing serious drug trafficking charges, for which he was recently jailed.

During this period, Mr Teti also secured one of Frank Madafferi’s associates – who subsequently was charged with criminal offences over a violent bashing – a job in federal Labor Senator Mehmet Tillem’s office. There is no suggestion Mr Tillem, who is no longer a senator, knew that Mr Teti or his now former employee had close ties to Madafferi.

Despite knowledge within the Labor party of Mr Teti’s ties with crime, the ALP invited him in March to the party’s state conference, allowing him to vote on policy and party issues.

The ALP scrambled to expel Mr Teti on Friday after Fairfax Media sent Premier Daniel Andrews a series of questions about Mr Teti’s behaviour.

A spokesman for the Premier said in a statement: “We have been informed that the State Secretary, Noah Carroll, has lodged the necessary documents to seek the expulsion of Mr Teti from the Victorian Branch of the Australian Labor Party.”

The revelations about Mr Teti’s acitivities raise further questions about the Mafia’s infiltration of Australian politics.

Last year, Labor Roads and Ports minister Luke Donnellan accused a number of Liberal backbenchers of having “lips … dripping with blood from criminals” after revelations that Mafia members had organised political fundraisers for the party as recently as 2013.

Last week, Fairfax Media and Four Corners revealed police reports documenting how Mafia figures, including alleged crime bosses closely linked to Frank Madafferi, had infiltrated the Liberal Party as part of efforts to get Madafferi a visa.

Madafferi, whose criminal convictions for extortion, drugs and Mafia activity date back to the 1980s, appointed Mr Teti as his business manager in around 2013.

Confidential documents show that Mr Teti was handling Madafferi’s finances, moving money for his fruit shop businesses, Mondo Fruit, placing advertisements for Madafferi in Italian newspapers and importing foodstuffs for the crime boss from Italy. Madafferi has used his fruit shops as a base for his drug trafficking although there is no suggestion Mr Teti is personally involved in the illegal trade.

The most serious allegations involving Mr Teti relate to a gun he owned, which was allegedly used by a man called Michael Villeva, who also works for Madafferi.

Mr Villeva is suspected of using Mr Teti’s weapon to threaten a woman in Doreen in Melbourne’s north-east.

Mr Teti did not respond to specific questions about his relationship with Madafferi or Mr Villeva. But in a statement denying any wrongdoing, Mr Teti’s lawyer, Stefanie Chillico, said Mr Teti’s ties to Madafferi and Villeva were confined to a “professional relationship he had with them” while Mr Teti worked at a legal firm. Several well-placed sources said Mr Teti’s explanation was false.

Mr Teti controls two local ALP branches in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, and has had the ability with his allies in Labor’s right faction to influence the nomination of political candidates and ALP policy.

The ALP failed to take action against Mr Teti after he was found guilty late last year of weapons offences, including possessing a flick knife and carrying a loaded firearm in public. However, the full extent of Mr Teti’s activities has never been publicly revealed until now.

Fairfax Media can also reveal that Mr Teti has provided his vehicle to another alleged criminal and associate of Frank Madafferi, after which it was searched by police on Lygon street. Police found bullets and paraphernalia for using methylamphetamine inside Mr Teti’s car.

In 2012, local council records reveal that Mr Teti received political donations from Frank Madafferi’s brother, Tony Madafferi. Tony Madafferi was recently banned from Victoria’s Crown Casino by the Victoria Police chief commissioner because of his alleged organised crime ties.

Mr Teti has also been a regular visitor to one of Frank Madafferi’s Melbourne properties.

Federal police Detective Superintendent Matt Warren said Frank Madafferi “has a very high standing within the ‘Ndrangheta [Calabrian Mafia] in Melbourne,” and that any political figure needed to “be very careful in dealings with Francesco Madafferi”.

“It’s a real risk for them to be associated with organised crime figures.”

Mr Teti was found guilty last December of several weapons offences. He told police that the weapons were in his car because he planned to go on a hunting trip, which was later cancelled.

Mr Teti sought to avoid a formal finding of guilt, but Magistrate Michael Wighton found his conduct was “too serious”.

While the magistrate found Mr Teti did not have “criminal intent” when he left the weapons in his car, Mr Wighton said the firearm could have been obtained by others.

Mr Teti received a six-month good behaviour bond, with Mr Wighton saying Teti has “very good character” and his offending should not impede his “ambitions in public service”.

Violent and Graphic video footage of couple being bashed in Melbourne karaoke bar released


The young thugs in this video must be found quickly. If you know who they are, and more importantly where they might be, contact police immediately or ring crime stoppers .We do not want them on our streets or on a night out our kids might be at. Disgraceful behaviour

Reporting crime or hoon behaviour
If you have any information regarding a crime, criminal activity, or hoon behaviour you can contact Crime Stoppers Victoria online or by calling on 1800 333 000 and confidentially report what you know.

Mon 19 Jan 2015, 3:38pm

Video footage of a man and woman being bashed in a vicious attack at a Melbourne karaoke bar has been released.

The couple in their 20s were drinking at the Elizabeth Street bar early on January 11 when they were assaulted.

Footage of the attack shows a 25-year-old man being punched and stomped on by a group of men until he was unconcious on the floor.

The man’s girlfriend can be seen trying to protect him on the ground.

A man is then seen to grab her by the hair and throw her to the floor, before she is punched and kicked by the group.

Shortly before the brawl, the couple was sitting at a table with their attackers.

Detective Senior Constable Matt Folvig said it was unclear what started it, but words were exchanged beforehand.

“Apparently they’ve just said something that was disagreed with and they’ve just turned on the pair,” he said.

Police released images and CCTV footage in the hope of identifying the people involved.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

Toby Mitchell shooting- “Prisoners on War” Jail Gang link-UPDATES


UPDATE 12/03/15

Such a shame, apparently everyone says Toby is a top guy (when they are within a foot of him) The truth is he is a long time crim, a thug, an enforcer of sorts who is happy to Delegate his tasks to others. he happened to have a stack of enemies inside and out of jail. No wonder he was keen for bail.

Ex-Bandido bikie Toby Mitchell denied bail over alleged South Melbourne assault

Former bikie enforcer Toby Mitchell has again been refused bail by a Supreme Court judge over allegedly assaulting and threatening to kill a man and his baby daughter.

Mitchell allegedly attacked the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at a South Melbourne Cafe in January after he refused to lend Mitchell $300,000.

Police allege the victim took his three-month-old daughter to the meeting as protection.

The court heard Mitchell allegedly responded by punching the man in the face, jabbing him with a gun and threatening to kill both him and his daughter.

He was denied bail in January but reapplied.

Mitchell’s lawyer told the court no one else had witnessed it and argued he should not disqualified from bail because of his history. mmmm

During the bail application hearing, Justice Betty King questioned whether she could impose bail conditions on Mitchell, because he had admitted to punching the man in public and shown contempt for the law.

Justice King also found he was an unacceptable risk of interfering with witnesses.

A former member of outlaw motorcycle gang the Bandidos, the 40-year-old was shot several times outside a Brunswick gym in 2011 and lost a kidney.

AN underworld criminal linked with powerful jail gang Prisoners of War is being investigated over the public shooting of bikie enforcer Toby Mitchell.

Danielle McGuire outside Royal Melbourne Hospital on Friday, as were several Bandidos members. Inset: Toby Mitchell. (This Image digitally enhanced by the Herald Sun)

The feared jail gang leader and an associate led police on a short chase in the city on Thursday before being arrested with a pistol.

The gun was found under the front seat of a luxury car that was being driven the wrong way up tram tracks on Collins St.

The gun was not the same firearm used to blast up to six bullets at Mitchell – the Bandidos sergeant-at-arms – near a supermarket carpark in Brunswick three days earlier.

Police also found what they believe to be a gym floor plan in the car.

Mitchell was shot outside Doherty’s Gym while talking to owner Tony Doherty.

Following the city arrests, police conducted further raids in Skye and Mill Park.

Detectives initially denied there was a link between the city arrests and the Mitchell shooting.

Toby Mitchell lost a kidney and part of his liver after being shot multiple times in Brunswick

Mitchell has refused to make a statement to police from his hospital bed and investigators have chosen not to release CCTV footage from Bandidos security cameras outside their Weston St clubhouse, next to the gym.

Mitchell was repeatedly shot as he ran from his attackers and has had surgery to remove a kidney.

It is believed he was placed in an induced coma at the weekend and has also lost part of his liver.

Sources have told the Herald Sun that Mitchell was shot up to five times.

The daylight shooting in front of schoolchildren and shoppers has the potential to escalate into a deadly war between organised crime figures and outlaw bikies.

It is believed the Mitchell shooting is related to a planned hit on his predecessor as Bandidos sergeant-at-arms, Lee Undy.

Undy was jailed for 22 months last month over firearm offences, leaving Mitchell to take over his enforcer position at the club.

A feud, which has led to heavy-handed treatment of underworld figures by Undy and Mitchell over drugs, is believed to be at the centre of the conflict.

Undy, who drives a Ferrari and has a tattoo “FTW” (f— the world), on his face, was a regular visitor to Thailand and Dubai.

The court heard last month Undy was arming himself after police warned him of the threat to his life.

One of the theories to emerge about the Mitchell hit was that it was ordered by a player in Melbourne’s drug trade.

Another is that an underworld figure’s arms were broken by Bandidos.

It was also claimed that Roberta Williams’ fiance Rob Carpenter had been bashed by club members.

In other developments:

POLICE know where the Ford Territory used by the gunmen was stolen from.

A GANGLAND figure photographed at the funeral of Williams’ henchman Benji Veniamin, who is a King St regular, had his arms broken by members of a bikie gang.

LEADING bikie figures have been to Asia helping set up new chapters.

 

Toby Mitchell shooting- "Prisoners on War" Jail Gang link


AN underworld criminal linked with powerful jail gang Prisoners of War is being investigated over the public shooting of bikie enforcer Toby Mitchell.

Danielle McGuire outside Royal Melbourne Hospital on Friday, as were several Bandidos members. Inset: Toby Mitchell. (This Image digitally enhanced by the Herald Sun)

The feared jail gang leader and an associate led police on a short chase in the city on Thursday before being arrested with a pistol.

The gun was found under the front seat of a luxury car that was being driven the wrong way up tram tracks on Collins St.

The gun was not the same firearm used to blast up to six bullets at Mitchell – the Bandidos sergeant-at-arms – near a supermarket carpark in Brunswick three days earlier.

Police also found what they believe to be a gym floor plan in the car.

Mitchell was shot outside Doherty’s Gym while talking to owner Tony Doherty.

Following the city arrests, police conducted further raids in Skye and Mill Park.

Detectives initially denied there was a link between the city arrests and the Mitchell shooting.

Toby Mitchell lost a kidney and part of his liver after being shot multiple times in Brunswick

Mitchell has refused to make a statement to police from his hospital bed and investigators have chosen not to release CCTV footage from Bandidos security cameras outside their Weston St clubhouse, next to the gym.

Mitchell was repeatedly shot as he ran from his attackers and has had surgery to remove a kidney.

It is believed he was placed in an induced coma at the weekend and has also lost part of his liver.

Sources have told the Herald Sun that Mitchell was shot up to five times.

The daylight shooting in front of schoolchildren and shoppers has the potential to escalate into a deadly war between organised crime figures and outlaw bikies.

It is believed the Mitchell shooting is related to a planned hit on his predecessor as Bandidos sergeant-at-arms, Lee Undy.

Undy was jailed for 22 months last month over firearm offences, leaving Mitchell to take over his enforcer position at the club.

A feud, which has led to heavy-handed treatment of underworld figures by Undy and Mitchell over drugs, is believed to be at the centre of the conflict.

Undy, who drives a Ferrari and has a tattoo “FTW” (f— the world), on his face, was a regular visitor to Thailand and Dubai.

The court heard last month Undy was arming himself after police warned him of the threat to his life.

One of the theories to emerge about the Mitchell hit was that it was ordered by a player in Melbourne’s drug trade.

Another is that an underworld figure’s arms were broken by Bandidos.

It was also claimed that Roberta Williams’ fiance Rob Carpenter had been bashed by club members.

In other developments:

POLICE know where the Ford Territory used by the gunmen was stolen from.

A GANGLAND figure photographed at the funeral of Williams’ henchman Benji Veniamin, who is a King St regular, had his arms broken by members of a bikie gang.

LEADING bikie figures have been to Asia helping set up new chapters.

 

Matthew Johnson Found Guilty of Murdering Carl Williams


Matthew Johnson has been found guilty of Murder

UPDATE 08/12/11 Sentencing today

R v Matthew Charles Johnson (sentence)
Melbourne Court 4, 11:00am
Justice Lex Lasry

Johnson is set for sentencing at 11am (now) But Justice Lex Lasry will go through the crime and circumstances before he actually sentences him. Hopefully he will do that within an hour or 2….They like to go on a bit…

I expect the last words Johnson will hear before being carted back to Barwon will be life Imprisonment, and then as it will be his final appearance he will leave the judge with some fine words of wisdom…

Anyway I will put an update as soon as I get the info, I was thinking about going in for it, but apparently the scumbag’s loser friends don’t think that highly of me I hear….haha

Matthew Johnson Found Guilty of Murdering Carl Williams

Justice Lasry has just adjourned the court until tomorrow morning at 9.30am when further administrative applications will be heard and considered. Johnson has now been remanded to Barwon Prison until further hearing on plea and sentence.

MORE TO COME 3.50pm 29/09/11 scroll down to read what the jury didnt know about this KILLER

CARL Williams’ killer Matthew Charles Johnson has been found guilty of his murder.

The verdict was reached just before 3.23pm today after deliberations that took over 13 hours over two days.

The violent career criminal bashed the gangland identity to death with an exercise bike stem in a surprise attack caught on chilling security video.

But staff weren’t manning the cameras that captured Johnson approaching Williams, 39, from behind as he sat at a table reading the Herald Sun in his high-security Barwon prison unit on April 19 last year.

Johnson, 38, told the jury he acted in self-defence, claiming another prisoner warned him that Williams was going to attack him with a sock full of billiard balls so he had to get in first.

But a Supreme Court jury’s verdict means they didn’t believe the threat was ever made.

The trial sat for 14 days and heard explosive allegations made by Williams before his death, including that a corrupt policeman paid him to have police informer Terence Hodson executed.

The prosecution had argued that Johnson’s motive might have been Williams’ agreement to help police over the Hodson murder.

The jury weren’t told Johnson has well over 100 convictions, has spent most of his adult life in prison and has a history of bashing other inmates for “turning dog” or helping authorities.

The Premier and the General

A former concreter who didn’t finish high school, Johnson was a jail heavyweight and self-proclaimed “general” of a group of inmates who called themselves the Prisoners of War.

He wrote of his plans to kill Williams the day before he did, telling another inmate, “not much doing here brother, just D2TE (death to the enemy) the way it should be”.

“I think I’ll have to hang around for a while longer … doesn’t matter but coz I love this s—. I am the true general so I must keep things in good order, true.”

He told nobody of the threat by Williams and the man who allegedly conveyed the message, cellmate Tommy Ivanovic, did not give evidence at the trial.

Johnson claimed Williams treated him badly, looked down on him and told him he was disloyal for refusing to kill a policeman for him.

He said he feared retribution for his family outside if he reacted to Williams’ provocation.

“He was a killer. If you’re not going to take a threat that comes from his corner seriously there’s something wrong with you,” he told the jury.

The trial heard evidence from Williams’ father George, who once shared the unit with Williams and Johnson before his release on parole, and Roberta Williams.

The jury also heard details of Williams’ claims of high-reaching police corruption, including that former drug squad detective Paul Dale paid him to have Hodson killed so the informer would not be able to give evidence in Dale’s court case.

VIDEO FROM INSIDE THE UNIT THE DAY CARL WAS MURDERED

AUDIO SECRETLY RECORDED INSIDE JAIL DURING VISITS

 

WHAT THE JURY DID NOT KNOW AT THE TRIAL

THE jury in the Matthew Johnson trial knew he was a criminal, but heard nothing of his frighteningly violent past.

More than a decade before he bashed Williams to death, he’d committed a strikingly similar crime in the very same unit of Barwon Prison – and claimed self-defence that time too.

And recently he faced a murder charge after an 18-year-old was shot dead over $50 worth of cannabis. That time, the jury believed him and he was cleared.

In 1998, he was part of a group of inmates that attacked a fellow prisoner for “giving information” to authorities – and used the same weapon he killed Williams with.

The victim of that beating, killer Greg Brazel, had been put into an Acacia unit exercise yard alone for his own safety.

But even prison walls were no match for Johnson and his cronies, who were set on attacking him.

Using a rowing machine and chair, the group pounded the armoured glass protecting Brazel for 45 minutes until they broke through, with Johnson then wielding a sandwich maker to inflict large gashes to his head.

A sandwich maker was something Johnson admitted to the jury he’d also considered using to kill Williams.

A prison officer reported seeing him use an exercise bike seat with the post attached to hit Brazel before punching and kicking him on the ground.

He ordered one of the others to stand guard and stop prison officers entering.

When charged over the assault, Johnson claimed Brazel had broken the glass himself and invited Johnson to enter before attacking him.

Johnson said he was forced to hit and kick him in self-defence.

During the County Court trial the group threw a bag of excrement into the jury box and Johnson broke wind into a microphone.

Later, Johnson menacingly called out to the juror that had been struck by the excrement – by name.

They were banished from their own hearing to watch proceedings from another room linked by video camera.

There his co-offenders bared their buttocks at the camera and the group disrupted the hearing with the Collingwood theme song.

Johnson was also involved in bashing another prisoner in 1995 after breaking into a protection unit.

By the time of the Brazel attack he had already racked up 132 convictions.

His shocking record includes taking part in the infamous Port Phillip Prison riot in 1998, armed robberies and break-ins.

He was accused of shooting dead a teenager in 2007 over a $50 drug purchase.

“Before the deceased could explain himself, Johnson pulled out a nine millimetre pistol and shot him in the chest,” the jury was told in that trial, with a co-offender giving evidence that he saw Johnson pull the trigger.

He was found not guilty of the crime. Johnson also recently pleaded guilty over a carjacking, in which he held up a mother and two teenagers at gunpoint as they sat in a McDonald’s car park

More here about that killing here http://aussiecriminals.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/matthew-johnson-killed-kid-over-50-drugs/#comment-13873

(Including some great debate and comment)

Carl "The Premier" Williams Cell

Once an exercise bike, now part of a crime scene

Who had the balls to kill who?

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