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Monday, January 30, 2006

Sarah Fox Murder Suspect on trial for assault

Dimitri SheinmanDistrict Attorney Robert Morgenthau labeled Dimitri Sheinman the prime suspect in the Sarah Fox murder. However, Sheinman was never charged with the crime.

The decomposed body of the Julliard drama student was stripped of clothes and left in a "posed" position with tulip-tree blossoms sprinkled around it in a heavily wooded section of Inwood Hill Park in northern Manhattan. She was found in May 2004.

The NY Post reported last week:

The prime suspect in the grisly ritual murder of a Juilliard student is getting his day in court — but on unrelated charges he punched a man in the same park where the strangled woman's body was found..

Dimitri Sheinman walks his dog
In the unconnected misdemeanor assault case, Sheinman allegedly attacked dog owner Rene Perez, 57, who interceded when the suspect's large Rhodesian Ridgeback grabbed a woman's Chihuahua by the neck last April.

[On Monday, Jan. 23, 2006] both sides agreed to go to trial in Manhattan Criminal Court. No date has been set.

Sheinman is out on $5,000 bail and has been flying back and forth from South Africa, where he now lives, to keep court dates stemming from the fracas.

links:
Sarah Fox Murder Case: Cold and close to forgotten [TJN, Dec. 2, 2005]
One Year Later, And Still No Arrest In Brutal Murder [abcnews/crimeandjustice.us, July 1, 2005]
Prime Suspect Identified in Sarah Fox Murder Investigation [TJN, Dec. 7, 2004]
Sarah Fox [anglesmissing.com]
Sarah Fox murder case grows cold and reward is raised [TJN, Nov. 21, 2004]
Sarah Fox Murder Mystery Update [TJN, June 9, 2004]
Juilliard Student Murder Mystery - Sarah Fox [TJN, May 28, 2004]
Body of Sarah Fox ID'd; Death Ruled A Homicide [Gothamist, May 27, 2004]

update Feb. 7, 2006, Dmitri Sheinman was convicted of assault on Monday, Feb. 6, 2005 in Criminal Court in Manhattan.

Dimitri Sheinman convicted Feb. 6th of assaulting a man last year in Inwood Hill Park.

CBS-TV reported yesterday:
The prime suspect in the murder of Julliard student Sarah Fox is found guilty of a different assault.

Dmitri Sheinman was involved in a scuffle at Inwood Hill Park last April with a man who was walking his dog. That man, Rene Perez, told police he was chasing his dog up a hill when Sheinman began to kick the dog.

When Perez told him to stop, Sheinman kicked him in the back. He was convicted Monday, after the jury needed less than a day to come to a decision.

Sheinman is still the prime, and only, suspect in the Sarah Fox case. Sheinman has never been charged with the murder of the 21-year-old, whose dead body was found in Inwood Hill Park in May 2004...

Sheinman's family moved to South Africa after the crime. He is now out on $100,000 bail, and is due back in court in the next few weeks. He could spend one year in jail for the assault conviction.

Fox Murder Suspect Dimitry Sheinman convicted of assault [TJN, Feb. 7, 2006]
A Killing Looms Large Over a Case of Assault [NY Times, Feb. 7, 2006]

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Monday, January 23, 2006

List of Permitted and Prohibited Items on Airline Flights

Warning, don't try carrying your expensive Balabushka pool cue on to an airplane. No Nunchakus or lighters either, or else you might get arrested.

If you bring a prohibited item to the checkpoint, you may be criminally and/or civilly prosecuted or, at the least, asked to rid yourself of the item. A screener and/or Law Enforcement Officer will make this determination, depending on what the item is and the circumstances. This is because bringing a prohibited item to a security checkpoint—even accidentally—is illegal.

A partial list of permitted and prohibited items on airline flights:

Can I take it? Carry-on Checked
Personal Items
Cigar Cutters Yes Yes
Corkscrews Yes Yes
Cuticle Cutters Yes Yes
Eyeglass Repair Tools (including screwdrivers) Yes Yes
Eyelash Curlers Yes Yes
Knitting and Crochet Needles Yes Yes
Knives, round-bladed butter or plastic Yes Yes
Nail Clippers Yes Yes
Nail Files Yes Yes

Personal care or toiletries with aerosols, Yes Yes
in limited quantities
(such as hairsprays, deodorants)

Safety Razors (including disposable razors) Yes Yes
Scissors-plastic or metal with blunt tips Yes Yes
Scissors-metal with pointed tips No Yes
Toy Transformer Robots Yes Yes
Toy Weapons (if not realistic replicas) Yes Yes
Tweezers Yes Yes
Umbrellas Yes Yes
(allowed in carry-on baggage once they have been
inspected to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed)

Walking Canes Yes Yes
(allowed in carry-on baggage once they have been
inspected to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed)

Can I take it? Carry-on Checked
Sporting Goods
Baseball Bats No Yes
Bows and Arrows No Yes
Cricket Bats No Yes
Golf Clubs No Yes
Hockey Sticks No Yes
Lacrosse Sticks No Yes
Pool Cues No Yes
Ski Poles No Yes
Spear Guns No Yes

Martial Arts/Self Defense Items
Billy Clubs No Yes
Black Jacks No Yes
Brass Knuckles No Yes
Kubatons No Yes
Mace/Pepper Spray No Yes
One 118 ml or 4 Fl. oz. container of mace or pepper spray is permitted in
checked baggage provided it is equipped with a safety mechanism to
prevent accidental discharge. For more information on these and other
hazardous materials, visit http://asi.faa.gov/Passenger.asp

Martial Arts Weapons No Yes
Night Sticks No Yes
Nunchakus No Yes
Stun Guns/Shocking Devices No Yes
Throwing Stars No Yes

Note Any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely
wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and security screeners.

Explosive Materials
Blasting Caps No No
Dynamite No No
Fireworks No No
Flares (in any form) No No
Hand Grenades No No
Plastic Explosives No No
Realistic Replicas of Explosives No No


Can I take it? Carry-on Checked
Flammable Items
Aerosol No No
(any except for personal care or toiletries in limited quantities)

Fuels No No
(including cooking fuels and any flammable liquid fuel)

Gasoline No No
Gas Torches No No
Lighters * No No
Lighter Fluid No No
Strike-anywhere Matches No No
Turpentine and Paint Thinner No No
Realistic Replicas of Incendiaries No No

*Beginning April 14, 2005, all lighters will be prohibited as carry-on items.
Up to four (4) books of safety matches are permitted as carry-on only.
Lighters and Matches are always prohibited in checked baggage.

Note There are other hazardous materials that are regulated by the FAA.
This information is summarized at http://asi.faa.gov/Passenger.asp

Disabling Chemicals and Other Dangerous Items
Chlorine for Pools and Spas No No
Compressed Gas Cylinders No No
(including fire extinguishers)
Liquid Bleach No No
Spillable Batteries No No
(except those in wheelchairs)
Spray Paint No No
Tear Gas No No

Note There are other hazardous materials that are regulated by the FAA.
This information is summarized at http://asi.faa.gov/Passenger.asp

links:
Do Not Pack These in luggage or carry on board [Transportation Safety Administration]
Permitted and Prohibited Items (.pdf) [TSA, April 1, 2005]
Hazardous Materials Carried By Passengers & Crewmembers [TSA]
Flying with guns (Commercial Airlines) [packing.org]

related:
Terrorist Weapons Cache [TJN, Mar. 27, 2004]

Saturday, January 21, 2006

NFL Football: Today and Back in the Future - Jetsons style

The Jetsons TV series which started in 1962 did a pretty good job of forecasting the future. Here's how their writers saw the future of football. Jetson's Night Out was broadcast during their first season 1962-63:

George Jetson and his boss Cosmo Spacely attend a robot football game. George fools his wife into thinking he's working late and so he won't be able to attend a PTA meeting.

Domed Football Stadiums
Domed Football Stadiums. The Astrodome, in Houston Texas, was the first domed sports stadium. It opened in 1965. Astro was the name of the Jetsons' family dog.










Spectators getting their tickets scanned
Spectators getting their tickets scanned












Control Rooms
Coaching from the Press Box - Control Rooms












Wireless player communications
Wireless player communications












Flying TV Cameras - Skycams
Flying TV Cameras - Skycams












Big Screen TV's and robotic recovery vehicles
Big Screen TV's and robotic recovery vehicles












link:
Was the Astrodome Named After a Dog? [NY Times, Dec. 11, 2005]

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New Orleans will not come back

New Orleans, LA, (NOLA) needs adult leadership if it is going to have any remote chance of making a comeback. Mayor Ray Nagin demonstrates again why he does not meet that requirement. Wired reported:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Mayor Ray Nagin suggested Monday that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other storms were a sign that "God is mad at America" and at black communities, too, for tearing themselves apart with violence and political infighting.

Exhibit #2, The New Orleans City Council:

You would think the New Orleans City Council has bigger catfish to fry than worrying about who coach's the Saints football team. AP reported:
The New Orleans City Council on Monday unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Saints to hire Doug Williams as the team's new coach.

The resolution urges both Saints owner Tom Benson and general manager Mickey Loomis to give "strong consideration to naming Louisiana's own Doug Williams as the Saints head coach or as a high level administrator within the Saints organization."

Prediction: New Orleans will be a small "French Quarter" theme park in ten years that also operates a mostly automated transfer point for Mississippi River shipping.

Abandon New Orleans - It's doomed! [TJN]
New Orleans: Why rebuild a criminal cesspool? [TJN]

Million Dollar Homepage Hijacked by Russian Hackers

Million Dollar HomepageThe Financial Times is reporting:

The FBI is investigating the hijacking of milliondollarhomepage.com - the website that earned $1m (£566,000) for its British creator Alex Tew by hosting micro-advertisements - by hackers who demanded a ransom to restore the site.

Mr Tew was sent a demand for $50,000 by e-mail by a hacker, believed to be Russian. When he refused, the website crashed.

The e-mail, which was made available exclusively to the Financial Times, read: "Hello u website is under us atack to stop the DDoS send us 50000$."

Explosion Photo Gallery

Timing is everything: explosions and sudden impacts.

Bigfoot animation

An animated GIF showing a stabilized version of the infamous Bigfoot film.

FYI - GIF is pronounced like "jif"

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Life Sentence for a Pound and a Half of Pot

Jacob Sullum reports:

This week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit upheld what probably amounts to a life sentence for Weldon Angelos, a young Utah record producer and father of two convicted of selling a pound and a half of marijuana to a government informant. Although he had no criminal record, Angelos' sentence got ratcheted up to a mandatory minimum of 55 years because he carried a handgun in an ankle holster while making two deliveries and kept additional handguns at his home...

Upon sentencing Angelos in 2004, U.S. District Paul G. Cassell--a Bush appointee who is not exactly a bleeding-heart liberal--declared the penalty "unjust, cruel, and irrational" and asked President Bush to "commute Mr. Angelos' sentence to something that is more in accord with just and rational punishment."

Friday, January 13, 2006

Pennsylvania Coal Fire Burning for 45 years

Centralia, PANo one knows exactly how it started, but a coal vein has been burning under the Pennsylvania mining town of Centralia since 1961.


Centralia Mine Fire

Thursday, January 12, 2006

NY Times blows off the Bronx

It is clear now why the NY Times ignored the Rudaj Organization - Albanian Mafia trial until the verdict came in. They do not have very many subscribers in the Bronx. That borough was the focal point for this Albanian Mafia crime trial. The Times had 12,600 Bronx subscribers in 2004 and the trend is down. They might have less than 10,000 subscribers sometime this year. Understandably, they have no incentive to cover a Bronx or Westchester based story.

The NY Post reported:

TIMES BOMBS - Paper's sales drop 19% in five boroughs

-- The New York Times lost almost 20 percent of its readers in the five boroughs between 2001 and 2004 as the paper pushed to reinvent itself as a national publication.

The Times' daily circulation in New York City dropped 18.7 percent during that period, to 260,526 copies from 320,682, according to figures obtained by The Post and confirmed by the Times.

This means the Times' readership in the five boroughs is roughly 28 percent of its overall circulation.

New York Times daily circulation (in thousands) from 2001 to 2004

Bronx: 18.3 --> 12.6
Staten Island: 6.7 --> 5.1
Queens: 46.6 --> 40.3
Manhattan: 201 --> 166.2
Brooklyn: 48.1 --> 36.2

Total: 320.7 --> 260.5

related:
Alex Rudaj - Albanian Mafia - Convicted in Racketeering Trial [TJN, Jan. 5, 2006]
Bio of Craig Newmark: founder of craigslist [TJN, Aug. 26, 2005]

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Details emerge from Paul Cortez Murder of Catherine Woods

See latest update:
The Catherine Woods Case: Was Paul Cortez imprisoned for a murder he did not commit? - Sept. 6, 2008

----
update: March 23, 2007

Paul Cortez gets 25-to-life in slaying of Catherine Woods.
Paul CortezAP/Guardian: Maximum Sentence Imposed in Killing of Dancer - Personal trainer Paul Cortez was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Friday for the brutal murder of Catherine Woods, a dancer and aspiring actress from Ohio.

“He is a murderer, deserving nothing less than life in prison,” said the victim’s father, Jon Woods, director of the Ohio State University marching band, before State Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman pronounced the maximum sentence.

A jury had found that Cortez, 26, slashed the throat of Woods, 21, his ex-girlfriend, in her apartment on Nov. 27, 2005.

Woods, a classically trained dancer, had moved to Manhattan from Columbus, Ohio, hoping to make it on Broadway. Instead, she wound up working in topless bars to cover her living expenses...
----
update: Feb. 15, 2007
A Manhattan jury found Paul Cortez guilty of killing Catherine Woods 445 days after he nearly beheaded her on Nov. 27, 2005.
WNBC: Personal Trainer Found Guilty Of Killing Dancer — Paul Cortez, 26, was found guilty for slashing the throat of his ex-girlfriend, 21-year-old Catherine Woods, on Nov. 27, 2005, in her Manhattan apartment. The jurors deliberated over three days following a two-week trial in state Supreme Court. He faces 25 years to life in prison at his March 23 sentencing on the second-degree murder conviction. His mother wept openly in the courtroom as the verdict was read, but Cortez showed no emotion.

Defense attorney Dawn Florio promised an appeal, and predicted that her client would prevail -- most likely by claiming prosecutors had no right to introduce Cortez's diaries, which detailed his tortured feelings over Woods' refusal to love him...

NY Times: Yoga Teacher Convicted in Killing of Dancer — The jurors also reviewed testimony from a detective about Mr. Haughn’s demeanor when he was questioned the day after the murder. He was, the detective said, “distraught, shaken, unnerved, sad,” but he never cried. The detective also was impressed that Mr. Haughn never asked for a lawyer or invoked his right to remain silent under police questioning.

The jury also asked to review testimony that would compare what the prosecutor, Peter Casolaro, said during closing arguments about a bloody fingerprint matched to Mr. Cortez to what experts testified about that fingerprint...
----
update: May 6, 2006

The Woods-Cortez case was covered in depth on a May 6, 2006, broadcast of CBS's 48 Hours Mystery - The Last Dance:
A Killer Shatters A Young Dancer's Dreams Of Broadway

In July 2002, 18-year-old Catherine Woods left her home in Columbus, Ohio, to find fame in the footlights of Broadway. But three and a half years later, Catherine tragically made her name in New York as a murder victim.
The NY Post today described an interesting aspect of Paul Cortez's personality that was revealed during the 48 Hours show - 2 FACES OF STRIP 'KILLER':
The father of slain stripper Catherine Woods said the psycho personal trainer charged in her killing seemed "caring" when he called months before the Upper East Side murder to warn her family she was working as an exotic dancer.

"He accused her of being in prostitution. He accused her of using drugs," the victim's father John Woods told the CBS show "48 Hours Mystery" in an episode set to air tonight.

"When he told me that, I thought as a father: 'Wow, thank you for calling. I'm going to deal with this,' " John Woods said. "He sounded like an intelligent person, rational, helpful, caring."
----

Paul CortezThe New York media all had stories this month [Jan. 2006] providing details and motives for the Paul Cortez murder of Catherine Woods.

The NY Post had a story about the woman who was a victim of Paul Cortez on January 1st, 2005:
A Manhattan woman feels "terrific guilt" for not reporting her rape believing she could have prevented her terrorizer from later murdering his estranged stripper girlfriend, sources told The Post.

"Had I come forward, that girl [Catherine Woods] might be alive," the distraught woman has told cops about her attacker, yoga instructor Paul Cortez.

A law-enforcement source said the woman deeply regrets waiting until after the 21-year-old Woods was stabbed to death last Nov. 27 to inform cops that she had been forcibly sodomized by Cortez.
The Gothmist reported:
The ex-boyfriend and suspected killer of Catherine Woods - the fresh-faced aspiring dancer from Ohio who turned to stripping to make ends meet - kept a diary where he fantasized about cutting her throat. Yoga instructor Paul Cortez, whom the police suspected shortly after Woods's murder, apparently mixed teachings from the Bhagavad Gita and his dream of trying to save Woods from a sinful life.

...[According to another source, Cortez is] "so nuts, it's three weeks after the murder and he's still got a diary in his apartment, talking about the murder beforehand, and then talking about how bad he feels afterward — using her name."
WBNS-TV, Columbus reported:
The former boyfriend charged with killing an Ohio woman in New York tells police he tried to stop her from working as a topless dancer.

Twenty-four-year-old Paul Cortez also says he called Catherine Woods' father in Ohio to tell him how she was earning her living.

Cortez has pleaded innocent to a second-degree murder charge in the death of the 21-year-old Woods. He says in a statement he gave to police that he told Woods that taking her clothes off in bars was a bad idea.
Yoga instructor Paul Cortez to be charged with murder of Catherine Woods [TJN, Dec. 22, 2005]

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Alex Rudaj - Albanian Mafia - Convicted in Racketeering Trial

update: June 17, 2006


Alex Rudaj, outside Jimbo's Bar in Astoria, Queens, on April 15, 2003

Alex Rudaj, outside Jimbo's Bar in Astoria, Queens (NYC) on April 15, 2003.
Courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A U.S. federal jury in New York convicted Alex Rudaj and five of his cohorts of a host of racketeering and extortion charges on Wednesday in a case where prosecutors alleged the defendants aspired to become New York's sixth Mafia family. The six men convicted of racketeering charges involving extortion, firearms offenses, loan-sharking, exorbitant debt collection and operation of large-scale illegal gambling businesses are:
  • Alex Rudaj (Allie Boy, Uncle Radaj, Xhaxhai, Sandro Rudovic), age 38, Yorktown, New York - ring leader, born in Montenegro
  • Nardino Colotti (Leonardo, Lenny), age 43, Bronx, NY - Italian protégé of the late Gambino soldier Phil (Skinny Phil) Loscalzo and group co-leader
  • Nikola Dedaj (Nicky Nails, Big Nick, Nikol), 42, Yonkers, NY - Rudaj's chief enforcer and co-leader, the "main dispenser of violence"
  • Ljusa "Louie" Nuculovic, 47, Hopewell Junction, NY.
  • Prenka Ivezaj (Frankie, Big Frank), 40, Queens, NY.
  • Angelo DiPietro (Fat Angelo), 48, Hopewell Junction, NY. Former owner of Sue's Rendezvous, a strip club in Mount Vernon, NY.
The ring leader, Alex Rudaj, and Nardino Colotti were acquitted of attempted murder and the conspiracy to commit murder of Gaetano "Guy" Peduto. This charge was based on a wild car chase through the Throgs Neck neighborhood of the Bronx on Dec. 7, 1993. It involved a dispute over a stolen-car pipeline. Peduto was then an associate of the Bonnano crime family. The Journal News said:
Peduto, now a government informant, testified that as he tried to get away, Rudaj and Colotti's car sideswiped his, hubcaps flying. Then Rudaj and Colotti hung out the windows of the fast-moving car, he said, and pumped five bullets into him.
Peduto's credibility was the issue, based on an old 1998 case (People v. Fratello)
Defendant [Frank Fratello] was convicted, following a bench trial, of attempted murder second degree, assault first degree, criminal use of a firearm first degree, and criminal possession of a weapon second and third degrees. All of the charges arose out of the shooting of Guy Peduto shortly after 2 a.m., December 7, 1993, during a car chase in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx. Peduto received serious head and body wounds. The rear window of the Pontiac sedan he was driving was shot out and there were multiple bullet holes in the automobile. When he was hit, Peduto lost control of the vehicle and crashed into two cars parked in a driveway. His assailants fled in their vehicle, leaving two Acura hubcaps and five 9 millimeter bullet casings at the scene.

Two out-of-court statements by Peduto, naming defendant [Frank Fratello] as one of his attackers, were admitted into evidence under the "excited utterance" exception to the hearsay rule, Cleary, a layperson who was walking to his home nearby when he heard gunshots and the crash, and came to Peduto's assistance. The second statement implicating defendant was made about ten minutes later to Officer Dennis Gardner, the first of the police to arrive at the scene.
Mr. Rudaj's lawyer, James Kousouros, said that defeating the attempted murder charge was a major victory for the defense, because that charge carries a mandatory life sentence. Mr. Kousouros said he planned an appeal for Mr. Rudaj on the extortion charges.

Colotti hugged his attorney, Joseph Tacopina, following the acquital on the attempted murder charge.

The three month trial started on Sept. 26, 2005 and closing arguments ended on Dec. 20, 2004. The jury reached its verdict after five days of deliberations. Each defendant faces a possible life sentence. Minimum sentences for some defendants are seven years in prison. All six defendants will remain held without bail until they are sentenced on April 7, 2005.

During the tril, lawyers for the six defendants admitted their clients were involved in illegal gambling but denied they were part of a ruthless crime organization.

Prosecutors said the group raked in up to $4 million a year from an illegal gambling business run out of social clubs in The Bronx and Astoria, Queens.

The government called this mob the Rudaj Organization and said this was the first major case brought against the Albanian Mafia. The gang dubbed themselves "The Corportaion." The Rudaj Organization was founded in 1993 by Rudaj and Colotti, who were former associates of the Gambino crime family.

During the 1990s, the start-up Albanian organization seized and exercised control over illegal gambling operations in the Bronx, Queens and Westchester County. They did this by pushing aside the Lucchese and Gambino crime families. The old guard Italian Mafia was no match for the more violent Albanian organization. The Rudaj Organization wanted to become the sixth crime family of the New York metro area. The five traditional NY Mafia families are: Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese.

The Journal New
s reported:
In addition to the Queens gambling dens, the Corporation ran gambling operations in Mount Vernon and Port Chester. Rudaj's group had a gambling joint on Adee Street in Port Chester and forced bar owners in Mount Vernon to install their illegal gambling machines. In one instance, Rudaj's group tried to force Salvatore Misale, the owner of Puerto Roja in Mount Vernon, to hand over his bar to the Corporation. Misale went to law enforcement authorities in 1999 after he endured a beating at a Bronx cafe over his refusal to hand over the keys to the bar.
Nardino Colotti bit Misale's ear as he beat and cursed at him, while Nikola Dedaj waved a gun in his face, threatening to shoot.

Eight other Rudaj Organization members have pleaded guilty to gambling and attempted extortion, five face trial on gambling charges. One member of the gang, Miri Patani, is still wanted by the FBI.

The DOJ/US Attorney also issued a three page press release regarding the convictions see: Rudaj Conviction [pdf]. It added this bit of information:
In addition, just prior to trial, a seventh defendant, GJELOSH LELCAJ, a/k/a “Joey,” pled guilty to racketeering offenses including extortion and illegal gambling, and illegal re-entry into the United States, thereby avoiding trial.
links:
Albanian crime family convicted of racketeering [Journal News, Jan. 5, 2005]
Prosecutors say New York crime group wanted to rival mob families [Newsday, Jan. 4, 2005]
Albanians convicted of muscling in on NY mob [Reuters, Jan. 4, 2005]

Alex Rudaj - Albanian Mafia Trial - Week 8 [TJN, Nov. 16, 2005]
Alex Rudaj - Albanian Mafia Trial - Week 3 [TJN, Oct 11, 2005]
Gangs of New York: Rudaj vs. Gambinos [TJN, Dec. 14, 2004]
Albanian Mafia Boss Denied Bail [TJN, Dec. 10, 2004]
New Mafia Gangs of New York fly below the radar screen [TJN, Nov. 15, 2004]
The Rudaj Organization aka: The Albanian Mafia [TJN, Nov. 1, 2004]
U.S. CHARGES VIOLENT ALBANIAN ORGANIZED CRIME GROUP IN GROUNDBREAKING RACKETEERING INDICTMENT [US DOJ, Oct. 26, 2004]

related:
The New Islamic Mafia/Albanian Mafia: Information Summary [TJN, Sept. 25, 2004]
Albanian Mafia: Zef Vulevic Murder Update [TJN, Aug. 21, 2004]
Did the Albanian Mafia Murder Zef Vulevic? [TJN, May 19, 2004]
Danbury Murder Mystery-Update #6 [TJN, May 3, 2004]

update: June 17, 2006 -

On Friday, June 16, 2006, Alex Rudaj, 38, was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for racketeering, extortion and gambling offenses.

Three of Rudaj's co-defendants also got hit with stiff sentences in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by Judge Denise Cote.

27 years for Nardino "Lenny" Colotti of the Bronx.

26 years and 7 months for Nick "Big Nick" Dedaj of Yonkers.

22 years for Prenka "Frankie" Ivezaj of Queens.

The men had faced maximum sentences of life in prison. They were also ordered on Friday to forfeit a total of $5.75 million and four properties to the government. They also must each serve five years of supervised release.

Sixteen other defendants from the Rudaj Organization have already pleaded guilty.

Rudaj's lawyer, James Kousouros, said they planned to appeal.

sources:
4 members of upstart Albanian crime group sentenced, fined [Newsday, June 17, 2006]
Yorktown man, head of crime family, sentenced to 27 years [TheJournalNews.com, June 17, 2006]

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

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