Jamaican immigrant couple leave Philadelphia church basement after 843 DAYS in hiding as ICE drop their deportation case, 15 years after they came to US
Oneita and Clive Thompson left Jamaica 15 years ago fleeing gang violence
They were forced to hide out in the Tabernacle United Church for two years
They lost an asylum case in August 2018 and were told they would be deported
ICE have now dropped their case and said they will support the couple
By Lauren Fruen For Dailymail.com
Published: | Updated:
An undocumented couple on Monday left the basement of a Philadelphia church after 843 days following the news their deportation case had been dropped.
Oneita and Clive Thompson say they left Jamaica 15 years ago to flee gang violence.
They were forced to hide out in the Tabernacle United Church with two of their seven children for almost two years after losing their asylum case in August 2018 and being told they would be deported, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Oneita and Clive Thompson have left the basement of a Philadelphia church after 843 days following the news their deportation case had been dropped
They were forced to hide out in the Tabernacle United Church with two of their seven children for almost two years
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement then wrote to the pair in recent weeks, telling them that they will support their case to stay; it is not clear why.
ICE agents are stopped from taking action in houses of worship, hospitals, and schools.
Clive, 61, told CBS: ‘When we got the letter from ICE, I was just looking at it in shock. It’s a big breakthrough – after working so long, this is a miracle. I feel like all the stress is drifting away, and everything is lighting up with joy.’
Nursing assistant Oneita, 48, added: ‘My whole heart is ready to go.
The couple’s two youngest of their seven children, Christine, 18, and Timothy, 14, joined them in the basement
The family was forced into hiding after losing their asylum case in August 2018 and they were told they would be deported
‘Doubt was never in my mind. I was very afraid — afraid of losing my children, of being deported. But if I allowed doubt in my mind, I would have fallen apart. I was fearful, but not doubtful.’
‘I’m joyful, a joyful moment, with tears. Here we are, walking out of the church. We’re going to go back and live the American dream’, heavy-equipment operator Clive added.
Tabernacle’s pastor Rev. Katie Aikins said: ‘It’s a little bit like a Christmas miracle.’
They are now said to be in the process of applying for permanent residency in the US after fleeing Jamaica
Children Christine and Timothy were US citizens and were able to go to school despite their parents hiding away
The couple have seven children – three of whom are American citizens. Their two youngest children, American citizens Christine, 18, and Timothy, 14, joined them in the basement.
They are now said to be in the process of applying for permanent residency in the US after fleeing Jamaica when a gang burned their farm, threatening to kill them.
The government had said they could stay but denied them asylum and they raised their family in America.
When Donald Trump took office his administration made moves to deport the couple.
An innocent Philadelphia man has been freed after spending 19 years in prison because two police officers wrongly claimed he’d raped a woman and then shot at them, when he’d in fact saved her from a different man.
Attorneys for Termaine Joseph Hicks claim cops made up the story of him shooting at them – and even planted a gun on him that was owned by another officer.
Hicks, now 45, was near the St. Agnes Hospital in South Philadelphia in the early hours of Nov. 27, 2001 when he heard a woman screaming.
She was walking to an early shift at a Dunkin’ Donuts when she was pistol-whipped and dragged into an alley by a man who raped her.
Hicks – who was working at the time as a Popeye’s assistant manager – ran to the alley to help.
The rapist, startled by headlights from a delivery van nearby, ran off and Hicks says that is when he arrived.
But when cops Marvin Vinson and Dennis Zungolo arrived second later, they presumed he had attacked the woman and shot at him.
They then claimed that Hicks had opened fire on them and that they shot him in self-defense.
Termaine Joseph Hicks, now 45, leaving SCI Phoenix on the outskirts of Philadelphia on Wednesday 19 years after being wrongfully convicted
He was convicted of rape, aggravated assault, possessing an instrument of crime, and terroristic threats, and was sentenced to 25 years behind bars.
Leaving prison on Wednesday, he said felt ‘100lbs lighter’
His conviction came even though the woman could not identify her attacker at trial and had suffered a head injury.
Hicks was eligible for parole in 2015, but it was denied because he continued to assert his innocence.
This week, however, after a review of his case, his conviction was overturned by the Conviction Integrity Unit in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
The head of that unit said that ‘false testimony’ was to blame for it.
‘False testimony was used, and I believe it’s impossible to say that did not contribute to the conviction,’ CIU chief Patricia Cummings said.
Among the reasons for the decision was that the cops’ story was not consistent with Hicks’ injuries – he was shot in the back – and there was no reliable security footage to determine exactly what happened.
Hicks’ attorneys also say that he never shot at the police.
They claim the officers made that part of the story up to justify shooting at him, and that they even planted a gun on him.
The weapon was registered to another Philadelphia cop who’d never reported it missing.
Hicks’ lawyers say the fact there was blood from the woman found on the gun but not on the interior of Hicks’ jacket, where the cops say he pulled it from, proves they were lying.
Officers also falsely claimed under oath that Hicks wore a gray hoodie, like one that the attacker was seen wearing, even though a hoodie was not among Hicks’ clothes following his arrest.
Hicks was freed from prison on Wednesday. It’s unclear whether he now plans to sue the police department.
The incident happened in an alley near what was St Agnes Hospital (pictured) before it was demolished. Hicks heard the woman screaming and ran to help her
Both of the cops remain employed by the department, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The police department did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s inquires about whether or not they would now lose their jobs or be placed on leave while an investigation is carried out by the The Police Advisory Commission, which has vowed to review the case.
Vinson has been named in a separate civil case filed against the police department by a taxi driver who says he wrongly accused him of theft then racially abused him, telling him to ‘go back to his country’.
‘It’s unfortunate and sad that it took how long it took for me to clear my name. I’ve been saying the same thing since day one…
‘The things that are promised to citizens should be delivered: a fair trial, and a fair look at what’s being presented. ‘
The two cops involved still work for the Philadelphia Police Department
Hicks’ attorney Vanessa Potkin, director of post-conviction litigation at the Innocence Project, said: ‘Mr. Hicks’ case is yet another example of the pervasive problem of police perjury in the criminal legal system.
‘The cover up of shooting an innocent man required the false testimony of three officers and the acquiescence of a dozen more.
‘Deep-seated police misconduct and institutional protections are too often the source of wrongful convictions and injustice in the system.
‘For far too long the police have willfully lied with impunity; we need accountability.’
Joe Biden gave a thumbs-up as he walked out of a Philadelphia hospital after a follow-up exam on his foot which he fractured while playing with his pet dog Major.
The President-elect, 78, appeared to be limping slightly as he left Pennsylvania Hospital around midday Saturday where he had undergone a special CT scan on his injured right foot.
Biden’s doctor confirmed Saturday that he is on the mend, with the small fracture ‘healing as expected’.
He suffered small fractures in his right foot two weeks ago while chasing his beloved German Shephard Major when he got out of the shower.
His doctor said at the time that he would likely have to wear a medical boot for ‘several weeks’ and he was first spotted wearing it at The Queen theater in Wilmington to introduce his economic team on December 1.
Joe Biden gave a thumbs-up as he walked out of a Philadelphia hospital after a follow-up exam on his foot which he fractured while playing with his pet dog Major
The President-elect, 78, appeared to be limping slightly as he left Pennsylvania Hospital around midday Saturday
Biden gives a thumbs-up to reporters outside the Philadelphia hospital Saturday
But the clunky boot was nowhere in sight as Biden attended his follow-up exam Saturday.
Biden left his home in Delaware at around 10:30 a.m. Saturday, making the drive to Pennsylvania Hospital where he arrived around 11:20 a.m.
He entered the hospital alone for the routine two-week check-up appointment with the radiology department, wearing a dark suit and face mask, before emerging around an hour later.
The Democrat gave a thumbs-up to reporters as he walked gingerly back to the car.
An excited maskless Biden supporter was seen shouting and waving at the President-elect from down the sidewalk.
Biden turned to him, waving and gesturing back at him.
Biden’s physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor released a statement following the hospital trip saying the results were ‘encouraging’.
Biden suffered small fractures in his right foot two weeks ago while chasing his beloved German Shephard Major (above) when he got out of the shower. His doctor said at the time that he would likely have to wear a medical boot for ‘several weeks’ and he was first spotted wearing it at The Queen theater in Wilmington to introduce his economic team on December 1.
Major will become the first rescue dog to live in the White House after the Bidens adopted him in 2018
‘Weight-bearing CT results were very encouraging,’ he said.
‘The small fracture in the intermediate cuneiform is barely detectable and the small fracture in the lateral cuneiform is healing as expected. No more extensive injury was identified.’
O’Connor said earlier that the appointment was ‘consistent with our original plan’ and involved a ‘special CT scanner which is able to obtain a “weight-bearing” image’.
‘Now that the initial discomfort and swelling are decreased, it is important to observe the structures within the mid foot under the actual pressure of standing,’ he said.
‘This is the best way to assure ankle and foot stability.’
The openness about the appointment and willingness to let pool reporters cover the event came after members of the press were not given the opportunity to attend his first doctor’s visit, despite multiple requests.
Biden walks as he walked out of the hospital where he had undergone a special CT scan on his injured right foot
Biden’s doctor confirmed Saturday that he is on the mend, with the small fracture ‘healing as expected’. The clunky medical boot he was seen wearing two weeks back was nowhere in sight
He entered the hospital alone for the routine two-week check-up appointment with the radiology department, wearing a dark suit and face mask
An excited maskless Biden supporter was seen shouting and waving at the President-elect from down the sidewalk
Biden suffered the injury on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend and visited an orthopedist at Delaware Orthopaedic Specialists in Newark, Delaware, the following afternoon ‘out of an abundance of caution’.
He told CNN about the mishap days later, saying he started playing with Major when he stepped out of the shower.
‘The little pup dropped the ball in front of me for me to grab the ball… and I grabbed the ball like this, and he ran,’ Biden said.
‘I’m joking, running after him and grab his tail. And what happened was that he slid on a throw rug.
‘And I tripped on the rug he slid on. That’s what happened. Oh man, that’s not a very exciting story.’
Biden pictured in a medical boot on December 1 days after he suffered the injury while playing with his dog
His physician initially said he had suffered ‘a sprain of his right foot’ and that there was ‘no obvious fracture’.
But a CT scan later revealed he had ‘hairline (small) fractures of President-elect Biden’s lateral and intermediate cuneiform bones, which are in the mid-foot,’ according to a statement from O’Connor.
‘It is anticipated that he will likely require a walking boot for several weeks,’ O’Conner added.
He was first seen wearing the medical boot on December 1, where he introduced his picks for the economic team but has been seen without it since.
Meanwhile, the Instagram account for Biden’s pooches revealed Major, who will become the first rescue dog to live in the White House after the Bidens adopted him in 2018, has been forgiven for the accident.
The Instagram account for Biden’s pooches revealed Major has been forgiven for the accident
Major’s adopted brother Champ (above), which the Bidens gave a home after the 2008 election, was pictured getting up to mischief of his own Saturday
Champ and Naomi Biden’s dog Charlie (above) were pictured playing tug of war with a Donald Trump doll in snaps shared on social media
‘Awoooof! I hope you’ll enjoy these pics of me, Champ & Charlie First Grandpupper. @NaomiBiden took these during our #tugofwar match,’ it read. ‘Champ was the champion – some names are predestined. Just like winning, in a landslide, by a record number of votes. #ByeDon #YoureFired #DOTUS’
‘I have been furrgiven for the ankle incident. That white dot on my nose is dry yoghurt. Dad @JoeBiden gave me some earlier,’ @first_dogs_usa wrote this week.
‘Also, I would like to repawssert my pawsition as first shelter doggo to go to the White House and ask all hoomans to please #AdoptDon’tShop. Woof!’
Major’s adopted brother Champ, which the Bidens gave a home after the 2008 election, was pictured getting up to mischief of his own Saturday.
Champ and Naomi Biden’s dog Charlie were pictured playing tug of war with a Donald Trump doll in snaps shared on social media.
‘Awoooof! I hope you’ll enjoy these pics of me, Champ & Charlie First Grandpupper. @NaomiBiden took these during our #tugofwar match,’ it read.
‘Champ was the champion – some names are predestined. Just like winning, in a landslide, by a record number of votes. #ByeDon #YoureFired #DOTUS’.
Meanwhile, Biden’s injury hasn’t stopped him plowing ahead with his transition to power as he has announced several of his cabinet picks in recent weeks.
In Philadelphia, disgusted Eagles fans are calling more than ever for a change in quarterback. Carson Wentz appears to be in disarray, but the Eagles continue to place their confidence in him. This stubbornness can only be explained by the fact that the team tied their hands themselves.
This is not the first time that Wentz’s presence in command of the attack has been called into question in the boiling city of brotherly love. As soon as Nick Foles guided the Eagles, improbably, to their only Super Bowl win in February 2018, there were several voices for the Eagles to hand him the ball. And this, even if, at that time, Wentz was showing some very promising signs.
Listen to the podcast The paying zone below:
The Eagles did not fall for the trap and deemed Foles to have been a fleeting miracle. With hindsight, it’s hard to contradict them …
The problem is not to have handed over the keys to Wentz, but rather to have granted him a monstrous contract in 2019. The quarterback, at this stage of his career, had already been slowed down by a knee injury, a back injury and concussion.
Three times he has not been able to complete the season in office. He is, of course, not responsible for these repeated woes, but before attaching himself to a quarterback any organization must first ensure that he can last and that the injuries he suffered do not do not alter his game. Nothing is less certain in the case of Wentz.
Big contracts are often an orgy of numbers, and the final amount and years are not such a telling thing in the NFL. What doesn’t lie, however, is the structure. In Wentz’s case, the Eagles could hardly release him without feeling a heavy toll on their salary cap for the next two seasons.
They’ve invested heavily in Wentz, both in terms of draft picks to get him and money to keep him with them. Divorce, while desirable for many supporters, would be a complex matter. The Eagles have only themselves to blame for betting so hard on Wentz in a time of uncertainty.
What about Jalen Hurts?
Proof that the Eagles themselves weren’t 100% convinced of the reliability of their sizable investment, they got their hands on quarterback Jalen Hurts in the final draft. Not as a distant insurance policy in the sixth round, but as a serious project in the second round.
So far, the Eagles have only used it (very badly) for a few games. Hurts offers extraordinary athletic potential. Last season at the University of Oklahoma, he threw 32 touchdowns and ran for 20 more.
File photo, AFP
It is obvious that its presence on the sidelines titillates amateurs. Didn’t head coach Doug Pederson like what he’s seen of him in training so far? Only he can answer this question.
Before his yet another debacle against the Browns last Sunday, Wentz was ranked dead last among the starters this season, with 58.2% of passes completed and 31e for yards (6.1) per passing attempt. His 14 interceptions are also an unenviable high in the league.
Pederson said if he looked to Hurts at this point in the season, when the Eagles are atop the laughable East Division, that would be the wrong message in the locker room. That it’s like the white flag is waved.
Really? Chances are, the Eagles just don’t want to end up with the league’s highest-paid reservist in Carson Wentz.
WEEK 12 PREDICTIONS
Houston to Detroit TEXANS
Washington to Dallas COWBOYS
Miami to NY Jets (1 p.m.) DOLPHINS
Arizona in New England (1 p.m.) PATRIOTS
Caroline in Minnesota (1 p.m.) VIKINGS
Cleveland to Jacksonville (1 p.m.) BROWNS
Tennessee to Indianapolis (1 p.m.) TITANS
NY Giants in Cincinnati (1 p.m.) GIANTS
LA Chargers in Buffalo (1 p.m.) BILLS
Las Vegas to Atlanta (1 p.m.) RAIDERS
San Francisco to LA Rams (4:05 PM) RAMS
New Orleans to Denver (4:05 PM) SAINTS
Kansas City to Tampa Bay (4:25 p.m.) CHIEFS
Chicago to Green Bay (8:20 p.m.) PACKERS
Seattle to Philadelphia (8:15 p.m.) SEAHAWKS
Baltimore to Pittsburgh (8 p.m.) STEELERS
* Teams on leave: None
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS: 6 in 14 (42.9%)
TOTAL THIS SEASON: 106 in 161 (65.8%)
THE CHOICES OF THE JOURNAL
Miami Dolphins (6-4) vs New York Jets (0-10)
YOU ARE UNDER THE MAGNIFIER
Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was taken out of Sunday’s game due to a poor performance, his first real to date. Then on Wednesday in practice he injured his left thumb. Not ideal for a left-handed quarterback and his presence is uncertain. If he plays, Tagovailoa must bounce back from the Jets who casually have scored 27 and 28 points in their last two games with Joe Flacco in charge. Sam Darnold should return to his post.
Arizona Cardinals (6-4) vs New England Patriots (4-6)
File photo, AFP
Sony Michel and Cam Newton
The Cardinals are currently plagued by injuries on the defensive front, which could allow the Patriots to return to the style that has given them the best results this season – a heavy dose of ground attack. Forwarder Rex Burkhead is injured, but Sony Michel is ready to get back to work and the tandem with Damien Harris can do some damage. Defensively, the Patriots are struggling, but they could face a Kyler Murray slowed down by a shoulder injury.
Carolina Panthers (4-7) vs Minnesota Vikings (4-6)
File photo, AFP
Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is set to return to the game and it will be against the team that gave him his first chance, but then let him go. He will be extremely motivated and the Vikings collapsed at 26e rank against the pass. However, the Panthers’ offense may be short on the field if Dalvin Cook carries the ball repeatedly for the Mauves. The Panthers are exploitable and the Vikings gain over 150 rushing yards per game.
Cleveland Browns (7-3) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9)
CHUBB IN CONTROL
Nick Chubb is one of the carriers whose impact on his team is most evident. In five full games with him this season, the Browns have averaged 209.8 yards, with nine rushing touchdowns. In four full games without him, their average has dropped to 95.5 yards, with no touchdowns. Even without Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward on defense, the Browns have the pleasure of facing career reservist Mike Glennon at the helm of the sad Jags offense.
Tennessee Titans (7-3) vs Indianapolis Colts (7-3)
Two weeks ago, the Colts surprised the Titans, who were favorites. This time around, the bookmakers favor the Colts, although Philip Rivers has a toe injury. He should be playing, but won’t be at his best. In the past six weeks, the Titans have faced big defenses four times, and on each occasion they’ve been limited to less than 300 yards of attack. But the Titans will give him the ball more often than the 19 times two weeks ago.
New York Giants (3-7) vs Cincinnati Bengals (2-7-1)
PITY FOR THE BENGALS!
Already, even with Joe Burrow in place, the Bengals’ season was not easy. At least the team was being competitive. Now that they are deprived of their quarterback, the Tigers are in danger of derailing seriously. Brandon Allen will be the starter, with just three career starts and completed just 46% of his passes. The Giants are far from a powerhouse, but their defense is playing pretty well. The Bengals will console themselves in the draft.
Los Angeles Chargers (3-7) vs Buffalo Bills (7-3)
STATION AT THE MATCH TRAP
The Bills should, on paper, win without too much difficulty. Except that Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is on fire, with 22 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He has completed at least 67% of his passes in three of the last four games. The Bills’ opponents just complete 67.9% of their passes against them, which positions their defense at 23e rank in this chapter. There is reason to be wary. In the end, it’s still hard to bet against the Bills’ productive attack.
Las Vegas Raiders (6-4) vs Atlanta Falcons (3-7)
EXPLOSIVE DUEL IN SIGHT
The Raiders’ offense is in full swing with at least 31 points in the last three games. Derek Carr is enjoying excellent protection and hasn’t suffered a sack in his last two starts. This bodes well against a defense as inept to slow down the pass as to apply pressure. The Falcons can still hold their own for part of the game against the Raiders thanks to their aerial attack (280 yards per game) and the Raiders claim only 11 sacks.
San Francisco 49ers (4-6) vs Los Angeles Rams (7-3)
TIME OF REVENGE
The Rams have taken the lead in the competitive West Division, but the wiggle room is ridiculously slim. The 49ers are no longer the same as in 2019 with their myriad of injuries, but two explosive offensive players, Raheem Mostert and Deebo Samuel, are expected to return to the game. Mostert has seen little action, but is showing an average of 5, 9 yards per reach. The Rams can’t rest on their defense success and will need to score a lot of points.
New Orleans Saints (8-2) vs Denver Broncos (4-6)
AGAIN TAYSOM HILL
The Saints continue the adventure with Taysom Hill as quarterback and it will be intriguing to see him at work in Denver, where winning is never easy. The Broncos have many shortcomings, but defend very well against the pass, they who give only 224.8 yards per game (9e rank). It was one thing for Hill to look good against the falcons flabby defense, but the challenge this time around is real. The Saints’ defense has not given a touchdown in its last three games.
Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4)
OTHER DUEL BRADY – MAHOMES
This will be the fourth meeting between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. The first three matches ended with gaps of seven points or less. The Bucs are really marching to Brady’s pace. In three games, he threw more than one interception resulting in three losses. Mahomes may be annoyed by the aggressive Bucs defense which is third in sacks (32) and second in interceptions (14). It will not be easy, but he will find a solution.
Chicago Bears (5-5) vs Green Bay Packers (7-3)
File photo, AFP
At the Bears, Nick Foles will be sidelined, replaced by Mitchell Trubisky, in order to further pursue the musical chair. Career against the Packers, Trubisky is 1-4, with four touchdowns and three interceptions. Not exactly reassuring! Regardless, the Packers have taken great pleasure in dominating this historic rivalry for several years, with 11 wins in 13 games. Ah … what about Aaron Rodgers’s record against the Bears? 18-5, with 47 touchdown passes …
Seattle Seahawks (7-3) vs Philadelphia Eagles (3-6-1)
The Seahawks returned to victory last week with a better balance between running and passing. Yes, we must continue to leave the games in the hands of Russell Wilson, but he must be supported. The return of forward Carlos Hyde has helped in that direction and Chris Carson could do the same this week. The Eagles are sixth against the pass, so the Seahawks will have to run. The defense got better with the arrival of Carlos Dunlap, who has three sacks in three games.
Baltimore Ravens (6-4) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0)
EMERGENCY AT THE RAVENS
File photo, AFP
Robert griffin iii
Everything is going to hell with the Ravens with three losses in four games and an outbreak of COVID-19 that has hit quarterback Lamar Jackson. The two carriers DK Dobbins and Mark Ingram are also affected. It’s nice to say that duels between the two sworn enemies always end up getting tough, but when it’s Robert Griffin III who hands the ball to Gus Edwards, the Ravens’ offense is not the same. It remains to be seen whether the Ravens will better control their hatching than their implosion.
Fifteen alleged mobsters and associates involved in the Philadelphia and New Jersey mafia have been indicted on a string of charges, including federal racketeering, illegal gambling, extortion and drug trafficking.
Federal prosecutors said Monday that the 15 defendants, including some nicknamed Tony Meatballs, Joey Electric and Louie Sheep, are members or associates of the La Cosa Nostra criminal organization, which is known as the mafia or mob.
The crime family is accused of using its reputation and influence to control criminal rackets, like bookmaking and loansharking in Philadelphia and New Jersey’s Atlantic City dating back to August 2015.
Some of the mobsters are also accused of peddling heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine and oxycodone, as well as being involved in a plot to kidnap or murder a dealer who sold members of the crime family fake drugs.
Prosecutors say 10 of the mobsters and associates allegedly conspired to conduct and participate in the affairs of the Philadelphia LCN through both a pattern of racketeering activity and through the collection of unlawful debts.
Federal prosecutors said Monday that the 15 defendants, including underboss Steven ‘Stevie’ Mazzone, 56, (left) and Joseph ‘Joey Electric’ Servidio, 60, (right) are members or associates of the La Cosa Nostra criminal organization
The remaining five defendants are charged with allegedly committing a variety of other offenses, including running an illegal gambling business, conspiracy to make extortionate extensions of credit and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
Among those charged is the underboss Steven ‘Stevie’ Mazzone, 56, and 41-year-old captain Domenic Grande, who is also known as Dom, Mr Hopkins, Mr Brown and Dom14.
Prosecutors say that under the crime family’s hierarchical structure, Mazzone and Grande oversaw ‘crews’ consisting of ‘soldiers’ and ‘associates’.
Soldiers are members of the family who have been formally initiated through a ritual called a ‘making ceremony’ during which they pledge allegiance to the mob, take a vow of secrecy and agree to commit violence if needed.
The men, who must be of 100 percent Italian ancestry, are then referred to as ‘made members’ of LCN.
Prosecutors say that the associates are men who engage in criminal activity on behalf of LCN but who have not been formally ‘made’ – either because they are up-and-coming or because they don’t have full Italian ancestry.
The indictment says that Mazzone, Grande and Salvatore ‘Sonny’ Mazzone, 55, hosted a making ceremony on October 15, 2015 at a residence in South Philadelphia where several new soldiers were indicted into LCN.
After that ceremony, members of the group allegedly went on to commit a series of crimes including distribution of drugs; the disbursement and collection of tens of thousands of dollars of unlawful bookmaking and other debts ‘owed’ to the group at interest rates as high as 400%; and an alleged conspiracy to kidnap or murder a drug dealer in order to protect the reputation of the Philadelphia LCN after the dealer sold members of the group fake drugs.
Among the other named in the indictment are: Joseph ‘Joey Electric’ Servidio, 60; Joseph Malone, 70; Louis ‘Louie Sheep’ Barretta, 56; Victor ‘Big Luca’ DeLuca, 56; Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Arabia, 67; Anthony ‘Tony Meatballs’ Gifoli, 73; John Romeo, 58; Daniel Malatesta, 75; Daniel Bucceroni, 66; John Michael Payne, 34; Carl Chianese, 81; and Daniel Castelli, 67, who is also known as ‘Danny,’ ‘Cozzy,’ ‘Butch,’ and ‘Harry’.
Following the indictment, US Attorney William McSwain said: ‘Thanks to the dedicated and courageous efforts of federal law enforcement over the past several decades, the Philadelphia mob isn’t what it used to be, and thank God for that.
‘But it is still a problem and is still allegedly committing serious federal crimes, which is why we at the Department of Justice are focused on stamping it out. We will not rest until the mob is nothing but a bad memory.’
The case is being investigated by the FBI, including its Philadelphia Field Division and Atlantic City Resident Agency, as part of a long-running investigation, with the assistance of the Philadelphia Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General.
Donald Trump’s legal woes worsened on Friday, as his bids to overturn the election results in the courts suffered a series of setbacks.
In Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia court rejected five legal challenges by the Trump campaign and Republicans alleging irregularities for mail-in ballots.
The five separate petitions challenged more than 8,300 votes in Philadelphia, alleging irregularities because voters did not print their names under their signature or print their address on their mail-in ballots’ outer envelope.
The Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia rejected each of the challenges.
President Donald Trump has yet to concede to President-elect Joe Biden
The Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia (pictured) rejected all five cases on Friday
A law firm representing the Trump campaign in the state had announced on Friday it has withdrawn from the case.
The Ohio-based Porter Wright Morris & Arthur had brought a suit claiming Pennsylvania’s ‘two-tiered’ voting system was illegal.
Its expansive case called into question millions of votes cast by Pennsylvania residents who voted by mail in accordance with state law.
The firm was facing a backlash for its legal work, was facing public pressure from the Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans that worked to defeat Trump, for seeking to ‘overturn the will of the American people.’
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, will take over running the legal battles.
His key allies in the fight, David Bossie and Corey Lewandowski, have both this week tested positive for COVID-19.
A half-dozen other Trump advisers told the New York Times that Giuliani’s efforts were counterproductive and said that he was giving the president unwarranted optimism about what could happen.
Those advisers have said that they are concerned Giuliani is damaging not only Trump’s remaining legal options, but his legacy and his future opportunities in politics as he considers another campaign in 2024.
Poll workers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, are seen counting votes on November 6
Ballots counters and observers in North Carolina continued counting absentee ballots
More bad news came in from Michigan, where a judge denied the Trump campaign’s request to stop the canvassing of ballots in Wayne County, which includes Detroit.
In addition to ruling against Trump, Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny called the campaign’s case ‘not credible.’
‘No formal challenges were filed. However, sinister, fraudulent motives were ascribed to the process and the city of Detroit,” Kenny wrote in an opinion released Friday.
‘Plaintiff’s interpretation of events is incorrect and not credible,’ he wrote, the Detroit News reported.
And in Arizona, Trump’s lawyers abandoned a suit seeking a hand count of ballots after a series of networks called the race for Joe Biden.
Biden’s lead exceeds the number of outstanding ballots now, and dropping the suit acknowledges the state will be in Biden’s column.
Finally, amid the legal retreats and defeats, Trump suffered more glaring losses on the electoral map.
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur has withdrawn from its efforts to help the Trump campaign
TV networks on Friday afternoon called the closely contested state of Georgia for Democrat Joe Biden.
Hours earlier, they called Arizona for Biden. That set up a Biden win that was not particularly close: 306 to 232 in the Electoral Collage, with a lead of about 5 million in the popular vote. Trump himself had crowed about his own margin, which was also 306 to 232 in 2016, as a ‘landslide.’
The suits came as Trump continues to raise allegations of the election being ‘rigged’ but has yet to produce proof of his widespread allegations of voter fraud.
In a stunning statement on Thursday a committee of officials from Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) debunked claims of widespread voting problems, calling the election ‘the most secure in American history.’
One lawyer from Porter Wright Morris & Arthur resigned, in what law.com called a ‘public relations nightmare.’
The firm Jones Day was also under pressure for its work as outside counsel, and said in a statement it wasn’t taking part in ‘any litigation alleging voter fraud’ or to seek to overturn the U.S. election.
Biden’s Pennsylvania lead over Trump approached 60,000 votes, while countries around the world have been congratulating President-elect Biden, even as Trump avails himself of legal maneuvers.
Trump campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski, with former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (L), speaks outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Trump’s campaign attacked the state’s mail-in voting system and leveled allegations of fraud
President Trump claimed he ‘easily win’ Pennsylvania due to unsupported allegations of fraud
View of Porter Wright’s law offices in Columbus, Ohio. Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, the law firm leading the Trump campaign’s efforts to cast doubt on the presidential election results in Pennsylvania, abruptly withdrew from a federal lawsuit that it filed days earlier on behalf of Trump
Biden captured the presidency on Saturday, thanks in part to a win in Pennsylvania. Trump has refused to concede and has repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that there was widespread voter fraud.
In a court filing on Thursday, lawyers at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur said it had agreed that its clients – the campaign and two registered voters – ‘will be best served if Porter Wright withdraws.’
The campaign is in the process of retaining new counsel, Porter Wright said in the filing to U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The lawsuit, filed on Sunday in federal court in Pennsylvania, alleges that the state’s mail-in voting system ‘lacked all of the hallmarks of transparency and verifiability that were present for in-person voters.’
‘We’ve committed to the court to fulfill our obligations as required to ensure transition to substitute counsel, and so as not to cause material adverse effect on the client´s interest. We will have no further comment,’ Porter Wright said in a statement.
Pennsylvania’s secretary of state and four counties asked a judge to throw out the suit, saying it leveled accusations ‘on the basis of repeatedly-rejected legal theories and no evidence.’
‘This Court should see this lawsuit for what it is: a transparent and premeditated attack on our electoral system that broadly seeks to disenfranchise all Pennsylvania voters who legally cast ballots in this election,’ they wrote in a filing.
A Trump campaign spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Facing criticism over its work for the campaign from some Democrats and The Lincoln Project, a group of anti-Trump Republicans, Porter Wright said on Wednesday that it has a ‘long history’ of bipartisan election work which ‘calls for us to take on controversial cases.’
The Trump campaign has filed a flurry of lawsuits, part of a larger strategy to try to overturn the election results in key states.
Another firm, Snell & Wilmer, withdrew on Tuesday from a lawsuit alleging that Arizona’s Maricopa County incorrectly rejected some votes cast on Election Day on Nov. 3.
The firm said it does not comment on client matters.
Philadelphia’s lone Republican city commissioner has described as ‘deranged’ the accusations of voter fraud being made by the White House, as he revealed his staff had been receiving death threats as Donald Trump attacks their integrity.
Al Schmidt, one of three city commissioners charged with overseeing elections, told 60 Minutes that he was shocked at the accusations made against him and his team.
‘From the insight looking out, it feels all very deranged,’ he said.
‘At the end of the day we are counting eligible votes, cast by voters. The controversy surrounding it is something I don’t understand.’
Al Schmidt, the Republican Philadelphia city commissioner, said the attacks felt ‘deranged’
Schmidt is pictured on Election Day with Lisa Deeley, one of two other city commissioners
Officials inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Friday morning counting votes
Election workers in Philadelphia sort and count the votes on Sunday
Schmidt, a former senior analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) who held top secret security clearance, has ran elections since 2011 and takes pride in modernizing and making more efficient the process.
He said he was saddened by the ‘crazy stuff’ being said.
‘It’s people making accusations that we wouldn’t count those votes, or people are adding fraudulent votes, or – just, coming up with all sorts of crazy stuff,’ he said.
Donald Trump dispatched his son Eric and lawyer Rudy Giuliani to Philadelphia to press the president’s claim of fraud.
A record number of people voted by mail in the state, and many of the mail-in ballots were Democrat because Trump told his own supporters not to trust mail-in ballots, and to vote in person instead.
The president was then enraged when the mail-in ballots started being counted, and the pendulum swung away from him.
‘This is absolute fraud,’ said Eric Trump. ‘We’ve seen it in Philadelphia before.’
Giuliani told a press conference at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping that Trump was ‘obviously not gonna concede.’
He said he will start filing lawsuits on Monday.
‘I don’t know if there’s enough evidence to set aside the entire election. Certainly not around the country, maybe in Pennsylvania,’ he said.
A pained-looking Schmidt said he was dismayed by the rhetoric.
Schmidt is seen inspecting the vote counting processes
Protesters outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center demand ‘legal votes only’
‘In the birthplace of our Republic, counting votes is not a bad thing,’ he said.
‘Counting votes cast on or before Election Day by eligible voters is not corruption. It is not cheating. It is democracy.’
He said the argument that votes should not be counted bemused him.
‘There really should not be a disagreement, regardless of party affiliation, when we’re talking about counting votes cast on or before Election Day by eligible voters,’ he said.
‘It’s not a very controversial thing, or at least it shouldn’t be.’
And he revealed that his team had received calls from Trump supporters threatening them over the continued count – a process which will likely take another week.
He said they were receiving calls alleging ‘cheating’ and ‘manipulating the vote’.
‘Or calls to our offices reminding us that ‘This is what the Second Amendment is for, people like us.”
Asked if he interpreted that as a death threat, Schmidt replied: ‘Yes, for counting votes in a democracy.’
Trump supporters protest outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Sunday
Votes are still being counted and sorted inside the room, pictured on Wednesday
Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania’s attorney general, is in charge of defending the state from any legal suits launched by the Trump campaign.
He said the Trump campaign wanted two things.
‘Number one, to stop the count and number two, to allow their watchers to get closer to where the envelopes were being opened and scanned,’ he said.
‘On the first issue, being able to stop the count, they failed.
‘And on the second thing – an agreement was reached to move these poll watchers from roughly 10 feet away to roughly six feet away.’
He said that had done nothing to affect the outcome of the vote.
Trump had said that poll watchers needed ‘binoculars’ to be able to observe.
Ben Ginsberg, a Republican lawyer who was part of the legal team in Florida in 2000, successfully arguing the case for George W. Bush, said Trump’s legal team was on shaky ground.
He said there was no comparison to their own efforts in Florida.
‘On the one hand, it’s lawyers reacting to a client who is disjointed and unhinged and not terribly accepting of defeat,’ he said.
‘And on the other extreme, this could be an instance of trying to slow down counts in individual states in the hopes that those states don’t complete their job of certifying election results in time for the electoral college to meet.
‘And then he would go back to something else he’s talked about which is telling legislators to go and vote Trump slates even in states that were won by Biden.’
Asked what he would say to Trump if he could speak to him, Ginsburg replied: ‘Sir, you need to take a step back, look at the results. It is a democracy,’ he said.
‘It is a country that’s been very good to you.
‘And you need to respect the institutions and the greatest institution of all is our elections that lead to the peaceful transfer of power. And you cannot be destructive of that.’
The National Guard has been deployed on the streets of Philadelphia to prepare for possible unrest as votes continue to be counted in the presidential election.
Joe Biden all but declared the White House was his last night in a brief public appearance but is yet to formally be declared the winner of the dramatic race which has divided with United States.
The counting process continues in the key states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, where Biden is expanding his lead against President Donald Trump.
Pennsylvania alone would take him to 273 electoral college votes, while if Arizona and Nevada declare before the Keystone state, he would hit 270.
If he takes all four, which appears very likely, he would have 302 electoral college votes, the same as Trump, but in contrast, a thumping popular vote majority of more than four million.
Pennsylvania could be called today, as could Nevada and possibly Arizona, while Georgia is so close that it is certain to have a recount.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest city, the National Guard patrolled the streets in anticipation of a result being declared.
The calm before the potential storm was perhaps typified though by the sight of a soldier petting a dog outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
The National Guard has been deployed on the streets of Philadelphia to prepare for possible unrest as votes continue to be counted in the presidential election
The calm before the potential storm was perhaps typified though by the sight of a soldier petting a dog outside of the Pennsylvania Convention Center
The counting process continues in the key states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, where Biden is expanding his lead against President Donald Trump
Pennsylvania alone would take him to 273 electoral college votes, while if Arizona and Nevada declare before the Keystone state, he would hit 270
If he takes all four, which appears very likely, he would have 302 electoral college votes, the same as Trump, but in contrast, a thumping popular vote majority of more than four million
Pennsylvania could be called today, as could Nevada and possibly Arizona, while Georgia is so close that it is certain to have a recount
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest city, the National Guard patrolled the streets in anticipation of a result being declared.
In his address last night, Biden never mentioned Trump directly as he spoke but presented a drastic change of tone, saying that the ‘purpose of our politics isn’t total, unrelenting warfare.’
‘No, the purpose of our politics, the work of our nation, isn’t to fan the flames of conflict, but to solve problems, to guarantee justice, to give everybody a fair shot and to improve the lives of our people.’
‘We may be opponents – but we are not enemies. We are Americans,’ he continued. That didn’t stop him from boasting about wins, however.
‘One of the things I’m especially proud of is how well we’ve done all across America,’ he told a crowd of socially distanced reporters and staff. ‘We are going to be the first Democrat to win Arizona in 24 years. We are going to be the first Democrat to win Georgia in 28 years.’
‘And we re-built the Blue Wall in the middle of the country that crumbled just four years ago: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin.’
Biden did not answer questions on whether Trump, who said his opponent could not ‘wrongfully claim the office of the president’, should concede.
However, a spokesman for his campaign said: ‘The United States Government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.’
Biden did indicate he expects a result in the presidential contest on Saturday.
‘I hope to be talking to you tomorrow,’ he said.
He counselled patience as the vote tally continues and anxious Americans wait to learn who will be their next president.
The founder of Vets for Trump was arrested on Thursday night outside the vote counting center in Philadelphia for illegally carrying a gun.
Joshua Macias, 42, from Chesapeake, Virginia, and Antonio Lamotta, 61, from the same town, were detained on Thursday night, police in Philadelphia said.
Macias founded Vets for Trump in 2016; Lamotta is a member.
Danielle Outlaw, Philadelphia police commissioner, said at a press conference on Friday that the FBI had been tipped off that individuals were headed from Virginia Beach to Philadelphia with weapons.
They were arrested outside the Philadelphia Convention Center where ballot counting was taking place. Joe Biden has a lead on Donald Trump in the state.
Macias and Lamotta had traveled to Philadelphia in a Hummer filled with ammunition
The Hummer had a sticker supporting QAnon with the ‘when we go 1 we go all’ QAnon slogan
A QAnon hat was visible in the Hummer driven by the two men and one woman
The Hummer was spotted on Thursday night with Virginia plates and containing a rifle
Joshua Macias pictured with his wife Renae, who said on Facebook he was unable to vote
They were told that a man and his mother and another person were traveling to the Philadelphia region to ‘straighten things out’ as vote counting continued.
Philadelphia police at 10:30pm noticed an unattended Hummer with Virginia plates, decorated with stickers promoting the conspiracy theory QAnon, in footage obtained by ABC.
Joshua Macias founded Vets for Trump in 2016
Believers in QAnon think that Trump has been sent to save America from a ‘deep state’ cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles.
Seven minutes later, police officers on bicycle patrol saw the two men and woman, and both the men were armed with handguns.
Macias had a Virginia concealed-carry permit, which is not recognized in Pennsylvania.
LaMotta told officers he did not have a gun permit and was placed under arrest.
The woman with them was not charged.
Police then inspected the Hummer, and found an AR-style rifle along with about 160 rounds of ammunition, said Larry Krasner, the district attorney.
They have been charged with carrying a felony and misdemeanor weapons offenses.
Krasner is requesting that they be held without bail at their arraignment on Friday evening.
‘This alarming incident is still very much under investigation,’ Krasner said.
In a Medium post, Krasner said they were glad that violence had, so far, been prevented.
‘There have been no reported incidents of violence related to the election here this week, and that streak continues thanks to the quick investigative work of the Philadelphia Police,’ he said.
‘I am grateful for the continued and productive collaboration with our partners in law enforcement and city government under never-before-seen circumstances, as we ensure that every vote is counted.’
Lamotta is seen handcuffed on Thursday night in Philadelphia near the convention center
The 61-year-old was seen being taken away in handcuffs, and was held overnight
Philadelphia police officers gather outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center
National Guard members stand guard near Philadelphia City Hall on Thursday night
Members of the National Guard were drafted in during election counting
During Krasner’s news conference at the Convention Center, two bomb threats were called into the Fashion District mall, which partially borders the Convention Center.
A sweep of the area was ordered, and by 3pm nothing suspicious had been located and the all-clear was given.
The Convention Center has been the focus of anger for Trump supporters ever since it emerged that Biden was gaining on Trump in the state, as counting continued.
Security has been stepped up to protect those counting the ballots, and on Thursday night the National Guard were patrolling the area.
Vladimir Lemets, executive director of Vets for Trump, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Macias had traveled to Philadelphia to monitor how the ballots were being counted.
Macias’ wife Renae wrote on Facebook: ‘So I just voted! My husband could not! They said he already turned in his ballot in August when we were traveling and we weren’t even home. Wow!’
She was calm about the situation, however, adding: ‘I’m at peace which ever direction this election goes. May his will be done. Sometimes we can’t understand why things happen the way they do. I know God is for us and that means Trump or Biden, God still will use any situation for his glory!’
Macias’ Twitter feed, however, is full of complaints about electoral fraud and the vote being ‘stolen’.
He retweeted posts saying: ‘Stop the steal!’ and urging that ‘not one illegal vote counted’.
There is no credible evidence of electoral fraud, or illegal voting – despite what the presidents and his allies say.
Lemets said Macias was not looking to cause trouble, and told the paper Macias may have thought his Virginia gun permit was valid in Pennsylvania because Pennsylvania permits are accepted in Virginia, but not vice versa.
‘They just went up there to see if they could be of any assistance and scope out what’s happening,’ Lemets said.
‘These are the most non-hostile guys you can think of.’
WASHINGTON – Jim kenney, the Democratic mayor of Philadelphia, the most populous city in the crucial state of Pennsylvania, on Friday condemned the accusations “without proof” of fraud made by the president of the United States, Donald trump, and said that the president must assume his defeat.
In a press conference while following the vote count in Philadelphia and the rest of Pennsylvania, Kenney quickly answered “yes” to the question of whether the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, would be elected president of the United States.
“I think what the president (Trump) has to do is, frankly, put on his big boy pants and acknowledge the fact that he lost. And you have to congratulate the winner, “he said.
The mayor spoke this way even though it is still unclear whether Biden has won Pennsylvania or has the 270 Electoral College delegates needed to take over the White House.
But nevertheless, The Democratic candidate snatched the leadership in Pennsylvania from Trump on Friday And the majority of the tens of thousands of votes that remain to be counted are expected to end up in his column, because many were cast in progressive counties.
In Philadelphia alone, there were about 40,000 votes to count on Friday, something that could take several days, and authorities planned to publish the results of about 2,000 to 3,000 more in a matter of hours.
Various ongoing legal resources
The Trump campaign has filed four legal actions to challenge the scrutiny in Pennsylvania, of which he has won two, although so far he has not managed to stop the count or invalidate votes.
“While some, including the president, continue to spit unfounded accusations of fraud, what we have seen here is democracy, plain and simple,” Kenney said.
The mayor stressed that the Trump campaign has not provided “even a shred of evidence” to back up its allegations of fraud in Pennsylvania.
In a statement, Trump again questioned this Friday without evidence “the integrity of the entire electoral process” of the country, and clung to the legal route to retain the White House, given the high probability that it will win in the minimum of four states more key you need.