Tipp lose out to Clare in hurling league opener

first_img6,277 fans watched on as Tipperary’s senior hurlers went down at the hands of Clare this afternoon in a physical competitive encounter.A good start to the game from Tipp slipped quickly, and half time saw Clare lead 13 points to 10 – both teams with 7 wides each at that stage.Tipp brought the gap back to 1 point in the closing stages of the second half but a point, followed by a goal in the final play of the game from Clare’s David Reidy ended Tipp’s hopes of a win, and it finished up Clare 1-21 Tipperary 0-19. On a positive – Cathal Barrett and Ronan Maher in their new midfield partnership, as well as stallwarths Noel McGrath and Jason Forde faired well for the Premier this afternoonSpeaking to Tipp FM Tipp manager Michael Ryan says Clare finished the game well…Meanwhile, Clare joint manager Donal Moloney said Tipp pushed them all the way, but their preparations stood to them…last_img read more

Arrests break drug gang

first_img“This is a gang of cowards. They hide behind undocumented workers, undocumented Mexican nationals and children who they hire to do their drug dealing for them.” The 31 men and women arrested, mostly in their 30s and 40s, were described as top-ranking members of the gang. Mostly Mexican nationals, more than half are wanted for immigration violations. They were arrested over several months as LAPD investigators gathered leads from addicts, surveillance cameras downtown and undercover work. Pedro Sanchez-Limon, 43, a Mexican national who was once deported, was named as the mastermind and main supplier. Alberto “El Morro” Blanco, 36, ran the drugs, and Jaime Chacon Diaz, 36, or “Archie,” kept the books, police said. Both are also Mexican nationals. All are in custody and face sentences of 10 to 15 years, on average. A sophisticated drug-dealing operation – started by day laborers in the early 1970s and eventually dominating the Skid Row heroin trade – has been dismantled after a 10-month undercover investigation, police said Wednesday. Using an intricate network of children, street vendors, immigrant women and criminal thugs to serve as lookouts, packagers and dealers, the 5th and Hill Gang built up a multimillion-dollar heroin business on Skid Row. At a morning news conference, police announced the arrest of 31 people, many of whom operated out of suburban homes in the San Fernando Valley, Fontana and South Los Angeles. “We really believe we have taken the head off the 5th and Hill Gang. What’s left is the youngsters you will see running around out there, writing on walls and whatnot,” said Capt. Andrew Smith, head of the LAPD’s Central Division. Along with the arrests, police seized 85 pounds of heroin worth about $1.5 million; $25,000 in cash; 10 guns; 3 pounds of methamphetamine and 5 pounds of cocaine. The enterprise started in the early 1970s at 5th and Hill streets, where day laborers gathered at the time to find work. After a number of the laborers were mugged, the group banded together for protection, police said. Starting with minor drugs, the 5th and Hill gang expanded into the heroin trade in the 1980s and later distributed cocaine and methamphetamine, officials said. Police said the gang used immigrant women who worked long hours in suburban homes in factory-like conditions, stuffing heroin in balloons and packaging them for transport downtown, where addicts from throughout the Southland would come to buy drugs. Also on the gang’s payroll were street vendors who could hide the drugs in food stands, and children as young as 12 who would sell drugs and alert dealers to approaching police, officials said. “As Chief Bratton mentioned, 2007 is the year of the gang and for us in downtown Los Angeles, 5th and Hill is the gang of the year,” Smith said. With pressure mounting from downtown power brokers, the LAPD last fall launched an aggressive effort to rid Skid Row of crime and blight. “Without question we are seeing a dramatic decrease in the number of sidewalk open-air drug sales and use,” said Estela Lopez, executive director of the Central City East Association, representing 1,600 business in and around Skid Row. “It doesn’t mean it’s eliminated. Until you get to the root of drug supply, Skid Row will be a continual venue of death.” Despite the drop in crime, civil-rights groups and homeless advocates say the crackdown has come at a cost to the homeless in the area. Recently, the American Civil Liberties Union requested a state judge to extend a three-year injunction restricting the LAPD’s ability to carry out searches in Skid Row. But police say they are not targeting individual addicts or homeless. “What we are trying to do is create an environment down here where people can recover – a recovery zone,” Smith said. “We are doing that by going after drug dealers, the people that bring narcotics into downtown. Our efforts are clearly to go after the big fish.” But those who work with addicts downtown say they are unsure if there is less heroin or cocaine along Skid Row. They only know there are fewer addicts. “I have never heard of the (5th and Hill) gang, but the people that need recovery right now are being jailed,” said James Hundley, coordinator of the needle exchange program on Skid Row for Homeless Health Care Los Angeles. Many of the small-time addicts who would normally get treatment are being rounded up by officers, changing his client base, Hundley said. Over the past few months, he said, his once mostly African-American and Latino client base has shrunk and now is made up of mostly white addicts. “I don’t think that criminalizing the situation is going to solve it.” rachel.uranga@dailynews.com (818) 713-3741160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more