Chaldean Mafia

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Chaldean Mafia
Founded 1985
Founder Bahaa Kalasho
Founding location Detroit, Michigan, United States
Years active 1985–Present
Territory Michigan, Illinois, California, Arizona
Ethnicity Assyrians/Chaldeans
Leader(s) Ray Akrawi, Harry Kalasho, Shadad Matty
Criminal activities Drug trafficking, homicide, assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, arson
Allies Medellín Cartel, Detroit Partnership, Sicilian Mafia, Tijuana Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel
Rivals None

The Chaldean Mafia, composed predominantly of Iraqi nationals, ethnic Assyrians/Chaldeans, operated a narcotics distribution network moving drugs from Phoenix and San Diego to Detroit. Involved in violent crimes such as homicide, assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, and arson, the gang use intimidation and brutal force to move the narcotics and collect drug proceeds.

The work of the Detroit Metropolitan Violent Crime Task Force—with representatives from the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Detroit Police Department; the Michigan State Police Department; and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office—resulted in the conviction of 111 subjects and the seizure of $5.3 million, 6.5 tons of marijuana, 25 kilograms of cocaine, five pounds of crystal methamphetamine, and 78 firearms.[1]

In 2011 "Operation Shadowbox", a joint investigation between El Cajon, California police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration into the trafficking of narcotics, firearms and explosives, allowed for the seizure of more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine; more than 5 pounds of ecstasy, pharmaceuticals, crack cocaine, heroin and cocaine; and more than 3,500 pounds of marijuana, most of which was likely smuggled through maritime routes controlled by the Sinaloa Federation. Investigators also seized more than $630,000 in cash, three luxury cars, 34 firearms and four improvised explosive devices.

Participants[edit]

Bahaa, born January 31, 1962, is currently serving time under the name Bahaa Kalasho, MDOC #181993. Regarded in the 1980s as “the leader of a strong-arm gang of thugs”, Bahaa received a life sentence in 1985 “after he and his gang murdered an elderly woman during a home invasion robbery”.

Bahaa’s uncle is Louis Akrawi who is an entrepreneur, but had a dual identity: “while Akrawi held the appearance of a respectable businessman on the surface, the residents of the Chaldean community recognized him as their version of the local mafia boss”. Three members of the Chaldean Mafia were killed on November 20, 2002, Christopher Kasshamoun, Wesam Akrawi, and Rany Sharak.

Born in Iraq, Ragheed aka Ray Akrawi was the first cousin and closest companion of Harry Kalasho. Authorities were successful in securing an 18-month jail term for a firearms violation in August 1990. While serving that term, Akrawi was named in a grand jury indictment which named him, his uncle and 7 other members of the organization with drug conspiracy. Ray along with Basil Mezy, Nick Konja and Basam Jarges among others were eventually convicted on the charges. Kalasho is currently serving two prison sentences in the Michigan Department of Corrections. He has a life sentence for murder and a 40-year sentence for armed robbery. These crimes occurred on November 10, 1984. He was born on January 31, 1962, he was 22 years old at the time of the offenses that landed him in the Michigan Department of Corrections.

“Operation Shadowbox” is a joint investigation between El Cajon police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that was made public Thursday. On August 18, 2011 60 Chaldean were arrested at a Chaldean Social Club in El Cajon San Diego. This operation targeted mastermind Franco (Last name not disclosed) of Sterling Heights, MI. SWAT teams served search warrants on the club late Wednesday night, seizing more than $160,000 in cash as well as evidence of illegal gambling. [2]

See also[edit]

Content[edit]

National Gang Crime Research[3] Detroit Free Press (Louis Akraqi)[4] Detroit Free Press (Harry Kalasho murder)[5] Court of Appeals Document (Ray Akrawi) [6] Court of Appeals Document (Louis Akrawi) [7] Sign On San Diego Article [8]

References[edit]