01/17/2008

Gang leader threatens Fla. police online; gangster arrested

By Evans S. Benn
The Miami Herald

MIAMI-DADE, Fla. — A Miami-Dade gang leader gained momentary notoriety this week when he popped up in YouTube videos holding guns and taunting police to "come get some.''

U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta announced the arrest of "King Bird Road" Rudy Villanueva on federal weapons charges, Wednesday in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

They came, and now Rudy Villanueva is being held in federal lockup awaiting arraignment later this month.

''He threatened law enforcement, he said come get him, and we granted his wish,'' said R. Alexander Acosta, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Officers from a multiagency gang task force Tuesday night raided the home of Tony Logan, who appeared in a video clip with Villanueva.

In the clip — filmed by Villanueva's girlfriend at Logan's apartment in December — the two point rifles and handguns at the camera in a message apparently directed to the Miami-Dade Police Street Gang Unit.

''We were offended, obviously,'' said Lt. Israel McKee, head of the gang unit. "They were threatening our lives. I didn't take kindly to that.''
Agents found a cache weapons and more than 800 rounds of ammunition at Logan's apartment, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday. Among the confiscated items: a Mossburg shotgun and AK-47 semiautomatic rifle identified as the weapons Villanueva displayed in the video.

Both men are known members of the Bird Road Boys, investigators said. Villanueva, a convicted felon with more than 20 arrests since 1995, has been the gang's leader for the past two years, police said. He also goes by the nickname King Bird Road.

Villanueva told investigators the purpose of the video was to 'instill fear in people who will `roll up on me,'" according to the criminal complaint.


"He said come get him, and we granted his wish." (AP Photo/Cameron Bloch)
But South Florida's law enforcement community, which has seen four officers killed in the past six months, didn't take the video lightly.

''It seems every few weeks another officer is killed in South Florida,'' Acosta said, mentioning Broward Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Reyka, Deputy Paul Rein, Miami-Dade Officer Jose Somohano and Miami Detective James Walker. ``We cannot tolerate individuals owning firearms illegally and threatening police.''

Villanueva, 31, was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Logan was charged with knowingly providing a firearm to a felon.

They were being held in federal custody pending an arraignment on Jan. 31.

Copyright 2008 Miami Herald
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