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antimafia - July 30, 2007 03:34 AM (GMT)
2 Nevada HA Members Arrested on Drug Charges in Wyoming, US

Link to article about this topic, along with part of the article itself, appears below:

Hells Angels bikers arrested in Wyo.
By Ann Schrader
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 07/26/2007 01:05:59 PM MDT

Two members of the Nevada chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club were arrested today morning on drug charges after a traffic stop near the Utah-Wyoming state line.

Shayne D. Waldron, 37, of Sun Valley, Nevada, is being held on a $5,000 bond on a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. David W. Burgess, 54, of Sparks, Nevada, is being held on a $55,000 bond on a felony charge of possession of controlled substance....

antimafia - July 30, 2007 03:21 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (antimafia @ Jul 29 2007, 09:34 PM)
2 Nevada HA Members Arrested on Drug Charges in Wyoming, US

Link to article about this topic, along with part of the article itself, appears below:

Hells Angels bikers arrested in Wyo.
By Ann Schrader
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 07/26/2007 01:05:59 PM MDT

Two members of the Nevada chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club were arrested today morning on drug charges after a traffic stop near the Utah-Wyoming state line.

Shayne D. Waldron, 37, of Sun Valley, Nevada, is being held on a $5,000 bond on a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. David W. Burgess, 54, of Sparks, Nevada, is being held on a $55,000 bond on a felony charge of possession of controlled substance....

Link to article about this topic, along with part of the article itself, appears below:

Friday, July 27, 2007
Hells Angels face drug counts

EVANSTON -- The "War Wagon" won't be rolling into the Hells Angels' planned party in Arkansas this weekend. Neither will the two bikers from the Nevada chapter of the Angels who own the wagon.

Two members of the motorcycle gang were arrested for drug possession this week following a traffic stop near the Utah/Wyoming line on Interstate 80, Wyoming Highway Patrol Sgt. Stephen Townsend said.

He said the two were driving a Freightliner motor home, known as the War Wagon, to the 2007 Hells Angels USA Run, which is being held in Eureka Springs, Ark., through Sunday. Around 10 a.m. Tuesday, a trooper noticed that a trailer being pulled by a Freightliner motor home was displaying an expired Wyoming registration tag....

antimafia - July 31, 2007 05:02 PM (GMT)
Alleged California HA Member on Trial for Murder

Links to articles about this topic, along with parts of the articles themselves, appear below:

Reputed Hells Angels member faces murder trial
Charged with 20-year-old killings of two Atwater girls


Last Updated: July 31, 2007, 02:53:42 AM PDT

A routine courtroom procedure wound up producing an emotional release from a mother after a two-decade ordeal, a winking double-homicide defendant and note-takers tattooed with Hells Angels emblems.

Robert Thompson, 42, arrested last year for the 1986 bludgeoning deaths of two Atwater girls, will stand trial for the crime, a Merced judge ruled Monday.

Thompson was arrested last August for the 20-year-old killings of Sheila Carter, 15, and Jodi Ragsdale, 12. Authorities questioned Thompson at the time of the crime, but weren't able to arrest him until new DNA evidence linked him to the murders.

When Judge Brian McCabe read his decision, Carter's mother, Pat Gulnac, dropped her head and whispered, "Yes, finally."

Outside the courtroom, wiping away tears, she said she hopes Thompson is sentenced to death for the killings. "He got to get married and have kids. My daughter didn't get to do that," she said.

Monday's ruling follows a daylong preliminary hearing earlier this month. During the hearing, prosecutor Dave Moranda said that Thompson — a reputed Hells Angels member who was convicted of abducting a 26-year-old woman shortly after the girls' deaths — beat the girls to death with a car jack....

Defense says wrong man is accused of murdering girls
Last Updated: July 11, 2007, 02:28:30 AM PDT

The defense attorney representing a man arrested last year for the 1986 bludgeoning deaths of two Atwater girls argued on Monday that an ex-boyfriend of one of the victims is to blame for the killings — not the man charged with the crime.

Robert Daniel Thompson, 42, was arrested in August for the 20-year-old killings of Sheila Carter, 15, and Jodi Ragsdale, 12. Authorities questioned Thompson at the time, but say they weren't able to arrest him until new DNA evidence linked him to the murders.

At a daylong preliminary hearing on Monday, Thompson's attorney, Randy Thomas, argued that police overlooked the real murderer — Carter's ex-boyfriend, Greg Myers.

Myers, who was 16 at the time of the murders, testified that he and Carter dated for a short time but broke up about a year before Carter's death. He acknowledged that he was among the last people to see Carter and Ragsdale alive, but denied any involvement in the girls' deaths....

antimafia - August 17, 2007 02:02 PM (GMT)
Hells Angels to Return to Cody, Wyoming?

Link to article about this topic, along with part of the article itself, appears below:

Published on Friday, August 03, 2007.
Last modified on 8/3/2007 at 1:25 am
Police chief: Hells Angels might return to Cody
Gazette Wyoming Bureau

CODY - Cody Police Chief Perry Rockvam met with a top member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club earlier this week and said there is a chance the group may someday return to Cody.

George Christie Jr., longtime president of the group's Ventura, Calif., chapter, was traveling through the area on other business, and met with the chief, Rockvam said.

Christie did not return messages seeking comment.

It has been a year since the Hells Angels completed their World Run, which brought an estimated 1,300 members for a weeklong visit that saw relatively few incidents.

"He and I have kept in touch throughout the year, and in December of last year, he told me he was coming through and that he would stop in and see me," Rockvam said of Christie.

The two men worked before last year's event to establish ground rules for interaction between police and bikers in an effort to avoid the tensions and clashes that have occurred at some rallies.

That early contact proved helpful when Christie's son, George Christie III, and four other Hells Angels members were stopped on their way into Cody and arrested on drug-related charges at the start of last year's World Run....

antimafia - August 17, 2007 03:07 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (antimafia @ Aug 17 2007, 08:02 AM)
Hells Angels to Return to Cody, Wyoming?

Link to article about this topic, along with part of the article itself, appears below:

Published on Friday, August 03, 2007.
Last modified on 8/3/2007 at 1:25 am
Police chief: Hells Angels might return to Cody
Gazette Wyoming Bureau

CODY - Cody Police Chief Perry Rockvam met with a top member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club earlier this week and said there is a chance the group may someday return to Cody.

George Christie Jr., longtime president of the group's Ventura, Calif., chapter, was traveling through the area on other business, and met with the chief, Rockvam said.

Christie did not return messages seeking comment.

It has been a year since the Hells Angels completed their World Run, which brought an estimated 1,300 members for a weeklong visit that saw relatively few incidents.

"He and I have kept in touch throughout the year, and in December of last year, he told me he was coming through and that he would stop in and see me," Rockvam said of Christie.

The two men worked before last year's event to establish ground rules for interaction between police and bikers in an effort to avoid the tensions and clashes that have occurred at some rallies.

That early contact proved helpful when Christie's son, George Christie III, and four other Hells Angels members were stopped on their way into Cody and arrested on drug-related charges at the start of last year's World Run....

Link to the Associated Press article about this topic, along with part of the article itself, appears below:

Police chief: Hells Angels might return to Cody
Associated Press - August 4, 2007 3:45 PM ET

CODY, Wyo. (AP) - The Cody police chief says he believes there's a chance the Hells Angels motorcycle club could return to Cody someday.


Cody Police Chief Perry Rockvam says he met with a top member of the Hells Angels this past week.

He says the meeting left him thinking the group could hold another rally in Cody in the next few years....

mobbed up - February 7, 2008 02:50 PM (GMT)
Woman beaten; biker HQ raided

Daily News Staff

NEW YORK - Police raided the local headquarters of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in response to a report that a woman may have been beaten there.
The unidentified woman was found outside the motorcycle club's Manhattan home late Sunday night with a head injury, police said. The woman, who is in her 40s, was hospitalized in serious condition.

As of last night, there were no arrests, police said. A phone message left on a machine at the local Hells Angels chapter was not immediately returned. *

Lawyer: Angels being harassed

Associated Press

NEW YORK - Police helicopters circled overhead, sharpshooters were stationed on nearby roofs and officers were armed for a siege after a report that a woman might have been beaten at a Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.
The confrontation in Manhattan's East Village ended after several hours with no violence and no arrests.

The woman was found unconscious outside the motorcycle club's building late Sunday, police said. Roberta Shalady, 52, of Brooklyn, was hospitalized in serious condition with a head injury and bruising around the eyes, police said. She was in stable condition yesterday.

After witnesses reported seeing the woman thrown out of the clubhouse, detectives aided by heavily armed Emergency Service Unit officers went to the club early Monday with a search warrant and were invited inside. An attorney for the Hells Angels said police overreacted.

"The helicopters, the SWAT teams, the boys and all the toys, the armored personnel carrier - I think it's a little much," said Ron Kuby, the attorney.

Police said yesterday that there were no immediate arrests, but that the probe continued. *

Hollander - March 3, 2008 10:28 AM (GMT)
The night Hells Angels tried to assassinate Mick Jagger

TheFamily - March 4, 2008 07:28 PM (GMT)
it was the altamont concert where the Hells Angels were hired as security but they ended up killing someone in the audience i believe.

Junior - August 31, 2011 06:00 AM (GMT)
Hells Angels suspected in kidnapping, beatings in El Cajon
Los Angeles Times, August 29, 2011

Four members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang are being sought by San Diego law enforcement on suspicion of taking part in the kidnapping and savage beating of another club member and a club associate in 2007 and 2010.

The four suspects are all heavily tattooed, including the DAGO tattoo indicating that they are part of the club's San Diego chapter, authorities said.

Five other members of the Hells Angels have already been arraigned and are set for trial in the beatings. The beatings, which took place in El Cajon, involved the theft of the victims' motorcycles, authorities said.

Law enforcement officials believe the four may be attempting to flee the country and link up with Hells Angels chapters in Mexico or elsewhere in Latin America.

Wanted are: David Dabbs, 41; Dustin Harroun, 30; Stephen Sanders, 42, and Troy Scholder, 30.

jeph - August 31, 2011 09:00 AM (GMT)
One of the wanted people, David Dabbs, seems to be a tattoo artist....

Junior - September 2, 2011 08:48 AM (GMT)
Four Hells Angels sought in kidnapping, robbery
Sign On San Diego, September 1, 2011

EL CAJON — Authorities are asking for the public’s help to locate four Hells Angels wanted in connection with the 2007 kidnapping and robbery of one of their members in El Cajon.

The suspects are David Dabbs, 41, Dustin Harroun, 30, Stephen Sanders, 42, and Troy Scholder, 30.

The four were among other members or associates being sought during an Aug. 3 raid on the Hells Angels Dago clubhouse, authorities said. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, assisted by the El Cajon SWAT team and San Diego police officers, burst into the fortified clubhouse on El Cajon Boulevard at 5:45 a.m., but no one was inside.

The four men are wanted in connection with the kidnapping, torture, assault and robbery of a patched member who had informed the club that he wanted out, according to arrest warrants filed at San Diego Superior Court.

Three others have also been arrested and charged in connection with the case. A preliminary hearing has been set for Oct. 28.

Investigators have declined to speak about the case, although court records provide a glimpse into the brutal code of loyalty that has often defined the notorious motorcycle gang.

A week before the attack, the victim had gotten into a fistfight with Sanders, the club’s then-president, according to the warrant.

Then on April 26, 2007, the victim told the club at the gang’s weekly meeting, called “church,” that he wanted to leave the club, the court documents state. The full-fledged members voted that the victim would depart in “bad-standing,” rather than “good-standing.”

The victim was beaten and forced to sit still while Dabbs allegedly tattooed over all of the victim’s Hells Angels tattoos, which ran up both sides and the front of his neck and both arms.

The victim was thrown into a pickup and driven to a friend’s house, where he was forced to sign over the title of his motorcycle to the club. He was then driven to his Bay Park apartment to surrender all of his Hells Angels paraphernalia, as well as a 42-inch flat screen television.

His 1999 Harley Davidson motorcycle, which was at a shop getting repairs, was later turned over to an unknown person. Another Hells Angel was found in possession of the bike in 2008; he claimed that he bought it from the victim.

Sanders is also wanted in connection with an unrelated attack on a motorcyclist on May 5, 2010.

The victim, who was friendly with the Hells Angels and another motorcycle gang, the Wrecking Machine, but not himself a member, was beaten with a baseball bat and assaulted by other gang members, according to court documents.

The attack occurred in the parking lot of the San Diego Custom Cycle near the Sports Arena, which was co-owned by Sanders’ wife. One of the alleged assailants, Hells Angel Kirtith Nielsen, was angry because the victim was receiving sexually explicit text messages from his ex-girlfriend, the records state.

The victim was taken to a hospital and treated for facial fractures, and his motorcycle went missing.

Sanders allegedly shipped the bike to Honolulu to be picked up by the president of the Wrecking Machine chapter there. About six months later, the bike was shipped back to San Diego and left on the front lawn of the victim’s old address.

Police later impounded the bike for evidence.

Sanders’ son, Shane, 23, who was president of the local Wrecking Machine chapter, has been charged in the assault, as well as Nielsen, 26.

Junior - September 3, 2011 09:27 PM (GMT)
Former Hells Angels leader George Christie Jr. granted bail
By From staff reports,, September 2, 2011

Former Hells Angels leader George Christie Jr. was granted bail Friday, three weeks after his arrest in connection with an alleged extortion plot and the firebombing of two Ventura tattoo shops.

In granting the $200,000 bail, U.S. District Court Judge Jacqueline Nguyen in Los Angeles ordered he be detained at home and wear an electronic monitoring device if he is released. It was unclear late Friday whether and when Christie had posted bail.

"The only exceptions to home detention are for attorney visits and medical visits," stated an order issued by the court Friday.

Christie, 64, of Ventura was arrested Aug. 12 along with Kyle Douglas Gilbertson, 33, of Ventura; Richard Reeves Russell III, 29, of Ventura; and Benito Hurtado, 34, of Oak View.

Christie was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, extortion and arson. Gilbertson, Russell and Hurtado were arrested on suspicion of extortion.

A six-count federal indictment alleges Christie, while he was president of the Ventura Hells Angels chapter and owner of The Ink House tattoo shop in Ventura in 2007, conspired to "damage or completely destroy" two rival tattoo shops after they remained open despite threats designed to shut them down.

It also alleges Christie conspired to confront the owners of the shops in an effort to shut them down.

Both shops were damaged on July 6, 2007, in attacks involving Molotov cocktails, authorities said. The fires were reported about 10 minutes apart about 4 a.m.

Christie could face up to 120 years in prison if convicted of all charges, officials said.

Christie spent a year in federal prison in 1986 on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and murder for hire. He eventually was acquitted.

He also spent a year in jail in 2001 after a raid involving local Hells Angels and alleged illegal prescription drug sales.

He eventually pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to possess a prescription drug for sale.

Christie now runs Felony Prison Consultants, which advises people headed to prison on how to survive there.

Much - September 6, 2011 12:26 AM (GMT)

SFV Full patch member shoots rap video.
Check out full path member Mike P embarrass Sonny Barger here:

Junior - September 8, 2011 03:53 PM (GMT)
Hells Angel held on $1M bail on multiple charges
By Andrew Amelinckx, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Posted: 09/07/2011

PITTSFIELD -- A member of the local Hells Angels is being held on $1 million cash bail on charges of child pornography and extortion, while the search continues for a key witness scheduled to testify against him in a separate upcoming criminal trial and two others.

Adam Lee Hall, shackled and wearing the motorcycle club's T-shirt, arrived at the Berkshire County courthouse complex Tuesday morning under an unusually heavy police presence.

Meanwhile, authorities continued Tuesday to investigate the disappearance of David R. Glasser, 44; Edward S. Frampton, 58; and Robert T. Chadwell, 47. They have been missing from the apartment Glasser and Frampton shared at 254 Linden St. since Aug. 28, the day Tropical Storm Irene hit.

Glasser is a witness in a criminal case against Hall and is also the victim of a scheme aimed at derailing him from testifying against Hall, according to authorities.

On Monday, District Attorney David F. Capeless said the three men, now missing for more than a week, may have been the victims of foul play. Capeless is not commenting on any connections between Hall and the men's disappearances.

Authorities searched for the men in Pittsfield State Forest on Sunday and Monday, then concentrated their efforts Tuesday in the neighborhood from which they went missing. There was no sign of a struggle at the residence where the three men were last seen on Aug. 27.

While authorities have declined to comment on whether Hall is considered a suspect in the three men's disappearances, Hall's attorney, William M. Rota, told The Associated Press on Tuesday, "I would not be surprised with the authorities to suspect [Hall's involvement], but I have no reason to suspect that it's true."
Rota said that as far as he knows his client hadn't been questioned by police in the matter of the men's disappearance.

Hall, who has been out on $250,000 bail for his other cases, was picked up on Sunday on new charges -- extortion and two counts each of possessing child pornography, dissemination of child pornography and solicitation of child pornography. Police and prosecutors allege Hall coerced a 16-year-old girl to send him lewd photographs of herself or else she wouldn't see her friend again.

In court on Tuesday, Hall pleaded not guilty to those charges. Rota told the judge the charges were "a bit of a stretch."

Nevertheless, Central Berkshire District Court Judge Rita Koenigs agreed with Berkshire Assistant District Attorney Gregory Barry's bail request -- that Hall be held on $1 million cash or $10 million bond. Barry cited Hall's five cases pending in superior court and his alleged history of witness intimidation. Barry also won his request to have Hall's $250,000 bail in his other pending criminal cases revoked.

Hall is being held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction and has an Oct. 3 court hearing. Hall can be held for 60 days without the right to bail on the revocation.

"They threw the book at him," Rota later told The Eagle.

The 34-year-old Hall, a resident of the town of Peru, is scheduled to go to trial in Berkshire Superior Court on Sept. 19 on charges that include kidnapping, assault and battery with a baseball bat, and witness intimidation.

In 2009, Hall allegedly beat Glasser with a baseball bat, believing he had stolen a car part from him, and forced him to turn over his truck as payment. Authorities also allege Hall tried to frame Glasser by pinning him to a phony robbery in order to prevent him from testifying against him in one of his criminal cases.

The brother of missing man Robert T. Chadwell told The Eagle on Monday that Robert hung out with Glasser and Frampton.

Les Chadwell said he was aware of Glasser's "tangle" with the Hells Angels, but that his brother and Frampton were not involved. Les Chadwell said he feared the worst and that his brother was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Junior - September 12, 2011 06:13 PM (GMT)
Hells Angel charged with killing witness, two others
Reuters, Sunday, September 11, 2011

(Reuters) - A senior member of a Massachusetts local Hells Angels chapter was charged on Sunday with the murders of three men, including a key witness scheduled to testify against him, prosecutors said.

Adam Hall, 34, a reputed sergeant-at-arms at the Berkshire Hells Angels motorcycle club was charged with three counts of murder, kidnapping and intimidation of a witness, said Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless.

David Chalue, 44, and Caius Veiovis, 31, also have been charged with murder, kidnapping, and intimidation of a witness in the triple murder, Capeless said.

Capeless announced the charges a day after a two-week search for three Pittsfield, Massachusetts, men who had disappeared under suspicious circumstances ended with the recovery of their bodies in the western part of the state.

Capeless did not disclose where authorities found the bodies of David Glasser, 44, Edward Frampton, 58, and Robert Chadwell, 47, or how prosecutors believe the men were killed. They disappeared on August 28.

Glasser was a key witness set to testify against Hall at a trial on assault, robbery and kidnapping charges scheduled to begin on September 19. Frampton was Glasser's roommate and Chadwell a friend who spent time with the two men, authorities said.

In the upcoming trial, prosecutors had planned to present evidence that Hall hit Glasser with a baseball bat in 2009 over a dispute, and then tried to frame Glasser last year for an upstate New York robbery to cast doubt on him as a witness.

Capeless on Friday asked the court to postpone the trial because Glasser, a key state witness, was missing.

Authorities will be examining "the burial site" along with other locations and two of the alleged killers' vehicles for evidence of the crimes, Capeless said.

All three defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court in Pittsfield on Monday.

Junior - September 25, 2011 06:42 AM (GMT)
CA Hells Angel boss dead in Nev. casino shootout
By SCOTT SONNER, The Associated Press, September 24, 2011

SPARKS, Nev. - The city canceled its part in an annual multi-city motorcycle festival on Saturday and neighboring Reno increased police patrol amid fears of retaliation over the shooting death of a prominent Hells Angels boss by a rival gang.

Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, the 51-year-old head of the motorcycle gang's San Jose chapter, was killed late Friday in a shootout that sent hotel guests and gamblers diving under tables at John Ascuaga's Nugget hotel-casino, police said. Two California members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club also were wounded.

The gunfight apparently sparked a retaliatory drive-by shooting several hours after the casino gunfire, prompting Mayor Geno Martini to declare a formal state of emergency. A motorcyclist was injured after he was shot Saturday morning.

"We don't want to alarm our residents," he said. "The declaration merely provides some tools and tactics our city can and should use if it comes to that."

"We don't expect further violence, but we must be prepared," he added.

Martini said he also pulled the plug on the live entertainment and other festivities in Sparks related to Street Vibrations, an annual weekend-long event that has drawn tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts to the area for 18 years.

Festival organizers had said they expected up to 30,000 visitors to this year's event, which began Thursday and was to run through Sunday in Reno, Sparks and Virginia City.

The man who was shot in the stomach during the drive-by shooting had been riding a motorcycle down the street from the public square where the festival was anchored. He was not being identified for his protection, police said.

That man was in stable condition, as were the two wounded Vagos members , Leonard Ramirez, 45, who was shot in the abdomen, and Diego Garcia, 28, who was shot in the leg.

Deputy Police Chief Brian Allen said investigators could not independently link the casino to the attack on the cyclist, which was carried out by a gunman in a black sedan with tinted windows.

But Martini told the Reno Gazette-Journal that it "definitely" was a case of retaliation.

"After the retaliation, it's just too tense of a situation," he said. "It's hard to say what's going to happen. It's just not worth the chance."

Security also was heightened at the Reno hospital where the two Vagos members were being treated. All doors were locked there, except the emergency entrance.

Allen said there were no suspects in the killing of Pettigrew but that police arrested one Hells Angel member from California in connection with the shootings at the casino. Cesar Villagrana, 36, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a stolen firearm, Allen said. He said Villagrana was caught on videotape shooting into the crowd, but there was no evidence yet that he struck anyone.

Allen appealed for assistance from any witnesses who might have videotaped or photographed any portion of the incident.

Martini said he had been in contact with Gov. Brian Sandoval, who pledged support if the city needed more law enforcement resources.

Allen said law enforcement was monitoring traffic on I-80 and other main routes into Reno but had no indication any motorcycle clubs were attempting to marshal more forces in the area.

Reno police said they were increasing patrols but continuing the festival there, including downtown concerts on the main casino drag where the streets were closed to traffic. They also said they would request assistance from federal law enforcement if necessary.

Police said some hotel-casinos in Reno intended to staff their doors and allow entry only to registered guests Saturday night.

Witnesses to the casino shootout described chaos erupting after a group of Vagos club members was confronted by Hells Angels members at the Nugget. Daniel Sharp, of Stockton, Calif., told the Reno Gazette-Journal that within five minutes, shots rang out: "It was mayhem."

Joe Franco, of Reno, said he saw one Hells Angel member pull out a gun after he was knocked to the ground in a fistfight.

"He was down with the bloody nose, gets up and pulls out the gun, and that's the first shot" apparently at the man who punched him, Franco told the Gazette-Journal.

The casino was evacuated and put on lockdown around midnight. The Nugget said in a statement that the casino and all its restaurants had since reopened, but that in addition to its own "extensive security force," uniformed officers would patrol inside the casino for the rest of the weekend.

Authorities in Arizona arrested more than two dozen members of the two gangs in August 2010 after a shootout between them wounded five people but none seriously in the small community of Chino Valley, north of Prescott.

Peter - September 25, 2011 06:46 AM (GMT)
Lots of articles, here is another one.

San Jose Hells Angels leader killed during shootout in Nevada casino

By Sean Webby
Posted: 09/24/2011 06:36:35 PM PDT

The president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club -- and a San Jose city employee -- was killed Friday night during a shootout inside a Nevada casino with a rival outlaw motorcycle club, officials said.

Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, 51, worked for 20 years as a heavy equipment operator for the city's Department of Transportation. But San Jose police know him as the charismatic local leader of the notorious biker club that law enforcement has long identified as one of the most powerful and influential criminal motorcycle gangs.

Local police and other gang experts predicted that Friday's homicide, which sources said has been attributed to members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club, could presage further bloodshed.

"In the outlaw motorcycle gang culture, Jeff Pettigrew was a local icon in San Jose, a very well-respected member within the ranks of the Hells Angels," said San Jose police Sgt. Larry Day, who has investigated biker clubs.

"This incident could definitely result in retaliation against the Vagos, and a full-blown war that may result in deadly violence in San Jose and throughout California."

The shootout on the casino floor of John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks recalls the infamous motorcycle club gunfight at Harrah's Casino & Hotel in Laughlin, Nev., in 2002. In that showdown, members of the Hells Angels and the Mongols motorcycle clubs fought each other, leaving one Mongol and two Hells Angels dead on the casino floor.

Friday night's bloodshed began at 11:26 p.m., during the annual five-day "Street Vibrations" biker festival in which thousands of bikers from across the country ride into Reno and nearby cities to celebrate.

Sparks police said they responded to a fight involving a large group armed with guns inside the casino. Police said that as their units were on their way to the fight, shots were fired.

Inside the casino, officers found three male gunshot victims. Sparks police identified Pettigrew as the dead man. Vagos Motorcycle Club members Leonard Ramirez, 45, and Diego Garcia, 28, were in stable condition at a hospital after suffering gunshot wounds. Both were identified only as California residents.

In connection with the shooting, Hells Angels member Cesar Villagrana, 36, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a stolen firearm. Police said he was videotaped shooting into the crowd, but could not verify if any of his shots hit the victims. No other suspects have been arrested.

As a result of that shooting and a separate shooting Saturday morning, the Sparks' part of the Street Vibrations event was canceled Saturday afternoon. Police would not say if the shootings were related.

Law enforcement experts said members of the Hells Angels and Vagos clubs are blood enemies.

"There's going to be hostilities," predicted Jorge Gil-Blanco, a former San Jose police officer who is familiar with outlaw motorcycle clubs.

"When you have a situation where one member gets killed by another gang, then something is going to happen," he said. "It might be right away or it might be down the road."

The editor of Ride Rag, an influential biker publication, said that law enforcement and media were misinterpreting a rare act of violence.

"Unfortunate events are prevalent in every culture and subculture," said the editor, who goes by the name Yve.

"As a motorcycle club advocate," she added, "it is our position that motorcycle clubs are, in essence, families, and as such our respective 'communities' should be able to exercise the right to reserve comment and reflect on the situation without outside opinion or condemnation."

Much - September 26, 2011 05:03 AM (GMT)

The Hells Angels seem to be getting a lot of bad press this year.
We have approx. four months left until the new year any predictions guys?

Peter - September 26, 2011 07:56 AM (GMT)
HA are going nowhere.

So some members are soon in Denmark getting their sentence, there's the murder US Berkshire chapter murder case (the one with the guy with horns and piercings), allways something in Germany and now another public casino shoot out in Nevada.

Won't mean anything!

Junior - September 27, 2011 05:42 PM (GMT)
Police looking at videotape to ID Hells Angels, Vagos after shooting at northern Nevada casino
By Associated Press, Washington Post, Published: September 26, 2011

LAS VEGAS — With a Hells Angel dead in a northern Nevada casino shooting, two members of the rival Vagos motorcycle club wounded and a third hurt in a drive-by attack hours later, investigators were using video and witnesses Monday to identify who’s responsible for the weekend violence.

One Hells Angels member was in jail, but no arrests have been made in Friday night’s slaying of Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew at John Ascuaga’s Nugget, Deputy Sparks Police Chief Brian Allen said. Pettigrew, 51, was the president of the Hells Angels chapter in San Jose, Calif., where he worked as a city heavy equipment operator.

Allen said Monday that casino surveillance video won’t be made public until investigators complete the painstaking work of identifying about 60 Vagos and 12 Hells Angels amid a crowd of several hundred people gambling and partying. Members of the crowd suddenly dove for cover when gunfire disrupted the regional Street Vibrations motorcycle rally.

“We don’t want to sensationalize it. We don’t want to influence the groups. We don’t want to have something happen somewhere else,” Allen said in an interview. “A lot of the players are from out of the state and out of the region. If you look at it historically, there’ve been tensions between these two groups. But we’re still looking at what exactly set off this specific incident.”

In Arizona, more than two dozen members of the rival groups were arrested in August 2010 after a shootout left five people wounded in Chino Valley, north of Prescott.

In California, an annual organized crime report from the state attorney general calls longstanding tensions between the Hells Angels and the Vagos “particularly poignant.” It cited instances in which the Hells Angels have forced Vagos out of chapters in Hells Angels hotspots.

San Jose police Sgt. Jason Dwyer downplayed the possibility of retaliatory acts in the largest city of the San Francisco Bay area.

“We are not aware of any specific threat at this time,” Dwyer said Monday. “We are not expecting any action here.”

Allen said it appeared from the videos that the Sparks shooting was spontaneous and not the result of two groups entering the 1,600-room hotel and casino girded for battle.

One witness told the Reno Gazette-Journal that a man wearing Hells Angels insignia pulled a handgun and fired after being bloodied and knocked to the floor in a fistfight.

The shooting drew a heavy response from local, state and federal law enforcers, prompting the cancellation of the weekend rally in Sparks. The mayor declared a state of emergency.

Two men identified by police as Vagos motorcycle club members from California were wounded.

Leonard Ramirez, 45, was hospitalized with an abdominal wound, and Diego Garcia, 28, was wounded in the leg, Allen said. Both men were reported to be in stable condition over the weekend at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. A hospital spokesman said he could release no information about them Monday.

The only man arrested immediately after the shooting — Cesar Villagrana, 36, a Hells Angel member from California — was being held Monday on $500,000 bail at the Washoe County jail in Reno. He faces a court appearance on felony assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a stolen firearm charges.

It was not immediately clear if Villagrana had a lawyer.

Allen said Villagrana was seen on the videotape shooting into the crowd, but police found no immediate evidence that he wounded anyone.

“We were very fortunate that nobody else got hurt,” Allen said.

Sparks Mayor Geno Martini later linked a drive-by shooting Saturday morning that left a motorcyclist wounded to the deadly casino shooting less than 12 hours earlier.

Police said Shane Smith, 40, a Vagos member from California, was hospitalized in stable condition.

Allen said police weren’t immediately able to connect the two shootings. He said investigators were looking for witnesses and a black BMW four-door sedan with tinted windows that pulled alongside Smith before he was shot.

Junior - September 29, 2011 08:12 AM (GMT)
Oakland motorcycle club member shot to death
By Justin Berton, Henry K. Lee
San Francisco Chronicle
September 29, 2011

OAKLAND -- Dozens of members of an East Oakland motorcycle club gathered at the group's headquarters on a hot Wednesday afternoon to drink beer, play dominoes and remember their slain friend in a sudden and unwanted memorial.

They raised a cup or bottle to Hassan "Ike" Sayyid, 40, a member of the East Bay Dragons motorcycle club at 88th Avenue and International Boulevard, who was gunned down inside the club's garage around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Dre Crowe, a Dragon for 10 years, said Sayyid - also known to his friends as "Stutter Man" or "Stutter Box" because of his speech impediment - was a kind-hearted Harley-Davidson rider who also served as the clubhouse cook.

"I don't know what happened last night or why someone would do such a thing to a guy like Ike," Crowe said between pulls of a Bud Light. "We don't roll like that, so we're all a little in shock as to why someone would roll up on us like that."

Authorities said a lone gunman had walked into the garage, which serves as a lounge with couches, tables and a large flat-screen television. Several club members were watching television - some Dragons said they were watching "Sons of Anarchy," the FX series about a motorcycle gang - when the killer "blatantly opened fire" and ran away, said Officer Johnna Watson, a police spokeswoman.

Watson did not release a description of the male suspect and said it was unknown if Sayyid was the gunman's intended target. Sayyid died at Highland Hospital.

"It's still early in the investigation," Watson said. "But we're asking anyone with information to come forward."

At the club on Wednesday, as a stream of neighbors and friends dropped off balloons, flowers and food, some theorized the shooting was a robbery attempt gone wrong or revenge for a perceived slight.

Others were stunned that a gunman would approach the African American motorcycle club, which was established in 1959 and moved into the East Oakland headquarters in 1971.

"This is sacred ground to this community," said Vincent Stephenson, a Dragon member who said he spoke with Sayyid just hours before the shooting. "We're 100-strong. We've been here 50 years. Everyone knows who we are and what we do. For this kind of violence to happen here, to this man - it's unbelievable."

The East Bay Dragons have "secured their place as modern urban folk heroes alongside the Hells Angels, the Oakland Raiders and the Black Panthers," the group's website says.

Sayyid worked with the city of Oakland's Public Works Department until he was laid off in 2008, said city spokeswoman Karen Boyd. He had just been hired by the city as a part-time custodian at a senior center, Boyd said.

"He was always a good, positive person," said a friend, Larry Williams, 40, of Oakland. "He was always doing something good for himself. I'm just in shock like everyone else."

Williams added, "The East Bay Dragons is a good bike group that's been around for over 50 years. They've never done wrong to nobody but help the community."

Junior - September 30, 2011 05:41 PM (GMT)
UCSF police take man into custody in connection with Hells Angels homicide
By Lisa Fernandez and Sean Webby, Mercury News, 09/30/2011

Police have arrested a member of the Vagos gang on charges that he killed the president of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels.

A University of California San Francisco police sergeant spotted Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, 53, of San Jose at 8:20 p.m. Thursday and took him into custody, where police in Sparks, Nev. will come to retrieve him, according to UCSF Police Chief Pamela Roskowski.

Gonzalez is wanted in connection with the homicide of Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, 51, the iconic president of the motorcycle club in San Jose, who also worked for the city's Department of Transportation. Pettirgrew was shot in the back four times last Friday at John Ascuaga's Nugget casino in Sparks.

Gonzalez was spotted in a rented 2011 Chevrolet Malibu parked near Treat Street, a block away from campus police Mission Center's headquarters.

Sgt. John Guttierez of the campus police department was on routine patrol when he saw Gonzalez acting "suspiciously," Roskowski said. Apparently, Gonzalez was leaning over the steering wheel and "shuffling around" in the driver's seat of a car with Washington state license plates.

The sergeant asked for identification, and when he ran Gonzalez's name, realized he was wanted in connection with the Hells Angels homicide.

"We're extremely proud of our actions," Roskowski said. "Sgt. Gutierrez is an outstanding police officer."

Roskowski said she her department was working with

Sparks police to move Gonzalez there.

During last week's casino shootout in Sparks, two other Vagos were wounded and a third was shot in the stomach the next day by a gunman in a passing car a few blocks from the Nugget.

Cesar Villagrana, 36, of Gilroy, a Hells Angels member who was with Pettigrew when he was shot, is charged on three felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon illegally and discharging a firearm within a structure.

He did not enter a plea at his arraignment Thursday in Sparks Justice Court.

Peter - October 1, 2011 06:07 AM (GMT)
Dozens arrested in alleged Hells Angels drug ring

By Jen Lebron Kuhney, Reporter - Watchdog
Pauline Repard, Reporter - Public Safety

September 30, 2011

About three dozen people with ties to the Hells Angels are being held without bail in a federal drug conspiracy investigation, while two more suspected members are still on the loose.

The defendants are accused of being part of a drug ring that sold tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of methamphetamine in the past two years.

On Thursday, 26 people were arrested in a raid that involved more than 250 law-enforcement officers. Six others were already in custody.

Also Thursday, 42-year-old Stephen Sanders, former president of the San Diego charter of Hells Angels, surrendered to FBI agents and police in Honolulu. He was wanted in connection with the 2007 kidnapping, torture and robbery of a member who had told the group he wanted out, according to arrest warrants.

FBI spokesman Darrell Foxworth said authorities are seeking Mary Saber and Quinton Koonce II for alleged crimes associated with the drug ring.

“With respect to this case, there is more work to be done. But investigations such as this one help make San Diego a safer community,” Foxworth said.

Court records show the FBI used wiretaps, video and other sophisticated surveillance techniques for nearly two years to compile evidence against the defendants. Foxworth said authorities conducted a series of drug purchases and used cooperative sources to help collect additional evidence.

The lead defendant in the case is Michael Ottinger Jr., who has been indicted in state court in connection with the killing of a member of a rival motorcycle club, according to court documents. He also has been in federal custody on other narcotics charges.

Court records show that he served as sergeant-at-arms for the San Diego charter of Hells Angels before he was arrested last December.

In a San Diego-based federal court hearing Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Major decided to hold all the defendants without bail until a second hearing scheduled for Monday morning. She said they pose a significant flight risk and a danger to the community because 10 weapons were confiscated during the raid.

In Honolulu, Sanders surrendered at a park in an arrangement brokered by third parties, said agent Thomas Simon of the Honolulu FBI office.

Sanders; David Dabbs, 41; Dustin Harroun, 30; and Troy Scholder, 30, were among several Hells Angels sought in a raid on their El Cajon clubhouse on Aug. 3. Federal drug agents and El Cajon and San Diego police found no one inside.

Simon said Sanders is being held in jail for extradition.

Peter - October 9, 2011 08:02 AM (GMT)
Hells Angels leader sentenced to prison

Meghann M. Cuniff The Spokesman-Review

The Hells Angels’ sergeant-at-arms for Washington was sentenced to two years in prison Friday for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Ricky Warren Jenks, who had completed five years probation just before his arrest in March, will be on probation for three years and is prohibited from associating with anyone connected to motorcycle gangs during that time.

Jenks told U.S. District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush he will comply with all requirements and is eager to see his three children, one of whom was born recently while he was in jail.

“I realize it’s absolutely ridiculous that I’m here doing this a second time,” Jenks said. “They are the victims of this crime. I know that.”

Jenks, 33, is expected to spend about 14 months in custody if he receives credit for good behavior. He’ll be credited for seven months already served in jail.

Quackenbush said it may be possible for him to stay at a county jail in Eastern Washington.

“I’ll suffer county jail if I can see my kids more often,” Jenks said.

Jenks, whose felony convictions include manslaughter, was arrested March 3 after federal agents found him at the Hells Angels headquarters at 1308 E. Sprague near nine firearms.

Jenks’ lawyer, Tracy Collins, said Friday that Jenks had stayed the night at the club, but his pregnant girlfriend, Britney Bjork, was to pick him up that morning to attend her ultrasound.

“She was apparently running late, so she missed picking him up,” Collins said.

Bjork, 30, pleaded not guilty this week in Spokane County Superior Court to felony charges related to her alleged involvement in the murder of 22-year-old Nicholas Thoreson, whose body was found in the back of his burning car on Forker Road April 13.

Bjork is accused of helping burn the car and driving murder suspects Taylor J. Wolf, 20; Justice E.D Sims, 19; and Breeanna C. Sims, 20; from the scene.

In addition to first-degree rendering criminal assistance and second-degree arson, Bjork is charged with conspiracy to commit perjury in the first-degree for allegedly helping Wolf craft false statements. Wolf had been staying at Jenks and Bjork’s home at the Knotty Pines Cottages, 13615 E. Trent Ave., since before Jenks’ arrest, according to court documents.

Bjork declined to comment after the hearing.

Jenks is among eight or nine active members of the Hells Angels Washington Nomads, according to court testimony.

Quackenbush said he will strictly enforce the no-contact requirement.

“You’re going to have to make a decision about the most important thing in your life,” Quackenbush said. “I would hope that you make the decision — the right decision — that your children are the most important.”

Jenks was convicted of second-degree manslaughter for the 2001 shooting death of a Lonnie Taylor, who was making methamphetamine in a Spokane Valley home. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison and arrested under a federal racketeering indictment shortly after his release. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 16 months in prison with credit for time served, along with five years probation.

Peter - October 16, 2011 07:45 AM (GMT)
HA members are dropping like flies! But then again, you live by the sword, you might die by the sword.

Hells Angels member gunned down at San Jose funeral

Pictures and article here:

Much - October 16, 2011 07:25 PM (GMT)

As for the shooting it just goes to show ;how the Hells Angels are no longer feared/respected as much as they might have been years earlier.Or the man who pulled the trigger was completely with out any concern for his own personal safety.

I always say bad luck happens in threes and this is incident number three for the USA HA.

Peter - October 17, 2011 05:04 AM (GMT)
It might have been another HA member who pulled the trigger.

Investigation of shooting death at funeral of another gang member being foiled, say police

By Lisa M. Krieger/Mercury News

Saturday's slaying at a San Jose cemetery occurred at midday in front of 4,000 people -- but the killer has not been found, and useful evidence has vanished.

Hells Angels honcho Steve Tausan, 52, reportedly got into a fight while attending the funeral of close friend and bike gang president Jeffery "Jethro" Pettigrew at Oak Hill Memorial Park, himself a slaying victim, when he was felled by a bullet.

Police were nearby -- standing at the gates and perimeter of the cemetery -- but by the time they arrived at the scene, Tausan had been carried out by private vehicle, the shooter was gone and, police say, someone had tried to cover up the crime in an apparent attempt to foil an official investigation.

"Although police responded quite quickly, by the time they arrived, they noticed that the scene had been tampered with," said San Jose police spokesman Jose Garcia. He would not comment whether guns, shell casings or other pieces of evidence were missing from the scene.

The Hells Angels, a secret society of motorcycle riders, typically eschew police protection and end their feuds internally, and often violently.

So despite Saturday's very public crime, the shooter was not caught. It is not known if he escaped or was killed at the scene, then hidden.

And the victim was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle, not an ambulance, also avoiding official intervention. Tausan was declared dead at a hospital at 1:44 p.m.

Police are interviewing several witnesses, and encourage others to come forward.

No known motive

Tausan was a "sergeant-at-arms," or rules enforcer, for the Santa Cruz chapter of the club who had been acquitted of murder in 1999. A former member of the San Jose chapter, he was attending the funeral of Pettrigrew, who slain last month in a Nevada casino shootout by a member of the rival Vagos club.

Nicknamed "Mr. 187" after the state penal code number of murder, Tausan was a father and professional bail bondsman.

On Sunday, an unidentified person at Tausan Bail Bonds on San Jose's North First Street would not answer questions about Tausan's death, saying simply, "I don't have any information. I have no clue."

The police have no motive for Saturday's violence.

Some witnesses said the shooter was angered after being punched by Tausan. Another said that he fired after Tausan accused him of failing to protect Pettigrew, and stripped a patch from his vest.

San Jose police would not confirm Tausan as the victim, saying that the medical examiner would release a name Monday after the family has been notified.

The Hells Angels began in 1948 in Southern California. The San Jose chapter, headquartered in a building near Interstate 280 and Bird Avenue, was founded in 1969. The hierarchy consists of a sergeant-at-arms, as well as president, vice president and secretary-treasurer.

According to Jorge Gil-Blanco, an investigator who has specialized in outlaw motorcycle gangs since the 1990s, the Hells Angels are heavily involved in the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs like methamphetamine -- dubbed "crank" because riders carried it on or near their crankcases for long road trips.

Biker club lawsuit

A former Marine and professional middleweight boxer raised in East San Jose, in 1997 Tausan was suspected of murder in the beating death of a man at the Pink Poodle strip club. During trial testimony, Gil-Blanco quoted an informant as saying that defendant Tausan was involved in illegal drug activity, information that was later declared inadmissible.

The jury acquitted Tausan, persuaded that he had acted in self-defense.

A series of police raids after Tausan's arrest also backfired. The raids were conducted to gather evidence of his Hells Angels membership and portray the club as a criminal street gang, potentially adding three years to Tausan's sentence. The raids not only failed to bolster the case, but they also wound up costing local governments $1.8 million in legal settlements after the bike club filed a civil-rights lawsuit.

Saturday's funeral drew thousands of bikers from clubs all across the West Coast, such as the Henchmen, East Side Riders Car Club, Devil Dolls, Top Hatters and more.

Uniformed officers from various law enforcement agencies ringed the perimeter of the cemetery.

Tausan must have sensed his vulnerability -- after Pettigrew's death, he received death threats, he told a reporter for this newspaper recently.

No date has been set for his funeral.

Peter - October 18, 2011 06:20 AM (GMT)
Sources: 38-year-old San Jose biker is suspect in cemetery slaying

By Sean Webby

San Jose police continued their manhunt for a Hells Angels member who they believe shot to death Steve Tausan, a fellow member of the notorious outlaw motorcycle club, during a funeral crowded with mourning bikers - and then mysteriously disappeared underneath the watch of hundreds of police officers.

Police have not released the suspect's name, but sources told the Mercury News he is Steve Joseph Ruiz, a 38-year-old San Jose Hells Angels member. And they said investigators believe he could be dead.

San Jose police said very little Monday about the chaos Saturday at the Oak Hill Memorial Park, when Tausan was shot and killed at a memorial for San Jose Hells Angel president Jeff "Jethro" Pettigrew, who himself was shot and killed last month in a Nevada casino.

Although police had surrounded the cemetery in anticipation of possible trouble, the shooter somehow vanished. There was also no trace of the handgun. That's why, sources said, investigators Saturday night got a judge's permission to exhume Pettigrew's coffin to see if Ruiz's body or any other evidence was hurriedly buried in the soil next to his former club president. They reportedly found nothing connected to Tausan's killing.

The coffin itself was not opened.

Investigators suspect Hells Angels members or other bikers somehow managed to smuggle Ruiz, dead or alive, from the cemetery. They believe he may have been killed soon after he shot the 52-year-old Tausan, according to sources.

Although he was a member of the Santa Cruz chapter of the Hells Angels, Tausan was a close friend of Pettigrew and was a former member of the San Jose chapter.

The bizarre and brazen shooting came around 1 p.m. during the Saturday funeral for Pettigrew, a longtime city heavy equipment operator and the San Jose motorcycle club's local president. He was shot to death last month at a Sparks casino, allegedly by a local member of the Vagos, a rival club.

To pay their respects, the Oak Hill cemetery grounds were filled with thousands of mourning bikers - from the Hells Angels and many other supportive biker clubs - and guarded outside by a large contingent of police officers.

Some bikers said they were infuriated by the macabre search of Pettigrew's resting place.

"He was a friend first and foremost, and being told that San Jose Police dug up the grave was more than could be imagined," said "Big Ed" Aki, a leader with the Henchmen motorcycle club in San Jose. "First Jethro and now Steve (Tausan,) both friends who helped the Henchmen San Jose Chapter. There are no words to describe this loss."

Police, who on Monday identified Tausan, a former Marine, ex-boxer and San Jose bail bondsman, as the victim in the case, have said nothing about what they suspect was a motive.

But sources said it appeared the two men had argued before the shooting.

Sources said investigators later found a weapon which may have been used in the shooting of Tausan, a popular member of the Santa Cruz chapter of the Hells Angels known as Mr. 187, after the penal code for murder.

Tausan was prosecuted 14 years ago on suspicion of killing Kevin Sullivan for drunkenly badgering a dancer at the Pink Poodle strip club in San Jose and then insulting the motorcycle club.

He was acquitted.

A Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force supervisor said Monday that the Santa Cruz Hells Angels chapter has members who frequent the Santa

Cruz and Live Oak areas, as well as some spots in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Sgt. Eric Montalbo said task force investigators keep tabs on local members as best they can, he said, acknowledging that work includes monitoring of who might fill any leadership vacuum.

He said they would confer with San Jose police about Saturday's shooting, but as of Monday had not done so.

"We'd be concerned with acts of retaliation in the organization if the person killed had leadership status in the gang," Montalbo said. "And we have concerns about who that suspect is... Did they take off with that person to hide that person, or because they were going to dispose of that person?"

Montalbo added that he does believe the Santa Cruz chapter is an active one. He said he spotted about eight of them outside a downtown Santa Cruz bar the night before the cemetery shooting.

"I believe they are an active gang, and one that is very organized and tough to investigate," Montalbo said. "We probably end up prosecuting them less than some of our local street gangs, but I don't believe by any means that they are any less violent." Santa Cruz gang prosecutor Charlie Baum said the District Attorney's Office has not had many recent cases involving Hells Angels members.

Last year, one alleged Santa Cruz Chapter Hells Angel was arrested in Live Oak after a search warrant stemming from an altercation in Campbell turned up a firearm and steroids in his Ivy Lane home, he said.

That man, William Bettencourt, 39, is in custody in Santa Clara County, Baum said. A former Santa Clara police officer, Clay Rojas, was convicted of 12 felony charges in San Jose this summer for allegedly selling information to Bettencourt.

A Gilroy man who is an alleged member of the San Jose Hells Angels chapter, Cesar Villagrana, is facing a gun charge after crashing on his Harley Davidson on March 11 in Aptos and spilling a gun onto the road that was not registered to him, Santa Cruz prosecutors said.

Villagrana, 36, was arrested after the Pettigrew homicide in Nevada last month, and police there allege he was firing a gun during the melee.

Last year, there was a fight between Hells Angels and members of the rival Vagos motorcycle group that started downtown Santa Cruz and ended in fight among members armed with ball-peen hammers, Santa Cruz police said.

But charges were dropped against at least one of the people arrested after that conflict, and a gang charge facing Villagrana was dropped during a recent preliminary hearing.

Several years ago, a county man was indicted but later cleared of felony charges stemming from a fatal 2002 brawl between Hells Angels and Mongols in Harrah's casino in Laughlin. He lived in the Watsonville area at that time, but Watsonville police say they haven't had much trouble with Hells Angles members since the gang left a rented East Lake Avenue clubhouse about three years ago.

Several Santa Cruz County law enforcement officers said they did not know whether the Santa Cruz chapter had established a clubhouse since moving from Watsonville.

Peter - October 20, 2011 07:19 AM (GMT)
Mesa Hells Angel guilty of murder
Plea made in brutal killing of Valley woman in 2001

by JJ Hensley - Oct. 20, 2011
The Arizona Republic

A Mesa Hells Angel who killed a woman in 2001 has pleaded guilty to her murder nearly a decade after the case began.

The lengthy delays were due in part to a flawed undercover operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that marred the agency's successful infiltration of the motorcycle club.

Kevin J. Augustiniak, who pleaded guilty last week to second-degree murder, was originally indicted in 2003 on suspicion of murdering Cynthia Garcia in October 2001 with other members of the motorcycle club, then dumping Garcia's body in the desert.

The details of the murder are brutal.

Augustiniak, 33, and other members of the gang met Garcia, 44, at a party at the gang's Mesa clubhouse in late October 2001. As the party went on, members of the club began to think Garcia was being disrespectful, so they beat her until she was unconscious, "stomping on her head repeatedly," according to court documents.

Augustiniak and his buddies then dragged Garcia to a car, threw her into the trunk and drove her into the desert, according to court filings.

After they got Garcia into the desert, as she was still somewhat conscious, Augustiniak and the others used a knife to slash at Garcia, "cutting her throat, stabbing her and attempting to cut her head off," according to court records.

Maricopa County sheriff's deputies later collected her body near Usery Pass in the southeast Valley.

Augustiniak and 15 others were charged with the murder in federal court in 2003 through a 43-count indictment that included allegations of racketeering, drug trafficking and other violent crimes related to the motorcycle club.

But problems began to emerge as the case made its way through court. The ATF's Operation Black Biscuit allowed agents to infiltrate the Hells Angels over a 21-month period in one of the agency's largest undercover operations. It resulted in the indictments of 16 members associated with the club, including Augustiniak and Paul Eischeid in Garcia's murder.

Federal agents initially described Operation Black Biscuit as one of the most successful infiltrations of the biker club, but the case began to fall apart after disputes began to emerge between federal prosecutors and ATF agents.

There were also problems with the role undercover informants played in the investigation.

Half of those originally indicted were given plea deals on lesser charges, and federal charges against five other defendants, including Augustiniak, were dismissed.

Most of the bikers could have faced life terms in prison under the original indictment, but plea deals dictated that none serve more than five years in prison.

Augustiniak, who served 10 months in prison for aggravated assault in 2004 and 2005, was reindicted in Garcia's murder, this time by a Maricopa County grand jury in 2007.

Eischeid, a former stockbroker, was released from jail after his arrest in 2003 and was required to wear a monitoring device. He removed the device and fled the country, landing on a list of the U.S. Marshals Service's 15 most wanted fugitives before he was captured in February in Argentina.

Eischeid remains in Argentina, where the Marshals Service, the Justice Department and the Argentine government are coordinating the extradition process.

Augustiniak is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 17, but his plea deal included stipulations that he serve 22 to 25 years in state prison, according to the County Attorney's Office.

Peter - October 22, 2011 06:22 AM (GMT)
user posted image

Suspected Hells Angels killer is alive -- but with black eyes

By Mike Rosenberg and Sean Webby

The Hells Angel who is thought to have shot and killed a fellow member at a San Jose funeral apparently has been roughed up but is alive, on the run and still dangerous, police revealed Friday.

San Jose detectives had feared members of the motorcycle club had already killed 38-year-old Steven Ruiz during or after the service on Oct. 15 at Oak Hill cemetery, where his Harley-Davidson was left behind.

But investigators now have reason to believe he is alive -- albeit with two black eyes and other facial injuries -- and with his girlfriend, 42-year-old Christel Renee Trujillo, who also goes by the last name Ferguson. They believe her life is in danger, though they declined to elaborate.

Ruiz and the girlfriend are tied to a pewter or gold Chevy Suburban. He has family in Arizona and is believed to have contacts as far as New York City.

Police issued an arrest warrant alleging Ruiz killed Steve Tausan, who was a 52-year-old Hells Angels enforcer. The homicide occurred at the packed funeral for Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, the president of the San Jose chapter of the motorcycle club, who was killed outside a Nevada casino last month.

Earlier in the funeral service, another club member punched and kicked Ruiz in the head, then Tausan knocked down Ruiz again. After that, Ruiz pulled out a handgun and shot Tausan, who died at a nearby hospital, marking the 37th homicide in the city this year.

The funeral was a mob scene after that, with more than 1,000 bikers packed into the area. Somehow, Ruiz escaped, even though there were officers stationed at the funeral. Police later said they let hundreds of attendees leave without searching or interviewing them.

Peter - October 23, 2011 01:57 PM (GMT)
Third HA member killed!!!!!

Hells Angel biker rammed intentionally, dragged a mile by East Bay Paratransit bus in San Leandro

By Matthias Gafni, Gary Peterson and Alan Lopez

A paratransit bus driver intentionally rammed a Hells Angels biker on Interstate 580, and then dragged him about a mile, killing him, a CHP spokesman said.

The biker, who has not been identified, was traveling eastbound on I-580 in San Leandro near Grand Avenue with a small group of Hells Angels members before 4 p.m. when an altercation began, said CHP Sgt. Trent Cross. After being hit, the motorcyclist and his bike were dragged for about a mile, said San Leandro police Lt. Greg Lemmon. Eventually, the biker was released from under the East Bay Paratransit bus, but the driver kept dragging the motorcycle, which was wedged underneath the front grill, until the vehicle stopped on the shoulder just east of the 150th Avenue onramp.

The Hells Angels biker was flown to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, where he was pronounced dead, Lemmon said.

The bus driver has been arrested, Lemmon said. Police are interviewing four witnesses who saw the incident.

"The preliminary information they are providing was that it wasn't an accident, it was an intentional ramming," Lemmon said.

All eastbound lanes were closed from Grand Avenue to 150th Avenue so police could conduct a homicide investigation over a large swath of freeway, Cross said. The lanes were expected to remain closed until 10 or 11 p.m., he said, and there were significant traffic delays in the area.

An East Bay Paratransit manager referred calls to First Transit, a contract agency that operates the bus. The First Transit representative did not return calls.

No passengers were on board the bus during the collision, said San Leandro police Sgt. Doug Calcagno. The paratransit bus provides door-to-door service for people unable to ride regular public transit because of disabilities.

It has been a tragic autumn for the Hells Angels motorcycle club.

San Jose chapter President Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew was killed outside a Nevada casino last month. At his packed funeral Oct. 15, Steve Tausan, a 52-year-old Hells Angels enforcer and friend of Pettigrew's, was shot dead.

Also on Saturday, San Jose police served a search warrant at a Stockton house for 38-year-old Steven Ruiz, whom they say killed Tausan. After a lengthy standoff, police determined he was not in the house.

Junior - November 3, 2011 04:39 PM (GMT)
2 Hells Angels plead not guilty to federal drug distribution charges in Las Vegas; 3rd held
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, The Republic, November 02, 2011

Two Las Vegas men identified as Hells Angels motorcycle club members pleaded not guilty to federal conspiracy to distribute cocaine charges following their arrests by federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents.

A third man identified as a Las Vegas chapter president was in a Henderson jail awaiting arraignment Thursday on similar charges.

Federal Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach allowed 41-year-old Keith Hare and 32-year-old Miguel Macias to go free Wednesday with restrictions pending trial Jan. 9.

The judge unsealed three indictments that had been sealed pending the arrests.

Records showed that 44-year-old Paul Seifert was in federal custody Wednesday at the Henderson city lockup pending his initial court appearance.

Authorities said the Las Vegas charges didn't relate to recent violence involving Hells Angels members in northern Nevada and California.

Junior - November 11, 2011 05:58 PM (GMT)
Hells Angels member sues California city
UPI.Com, November 9, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO - A Hells Angels member is suing the city of Livermore, Calif., saying his civil rights were violated when police falsely accused him of carrying a handgun.

Joel Silva of Sonoma County filed the $1 million lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek reported Tuesday.

Silva said he was charged with carrying a handgun after a Sept. 5, 2008, incident in which a fellow motorcycle club member got into an altercation with an off-duty air marshal, court documents showed. The air marshal, Shawn Futrell, called police after he says he was forced off the road by Hells Angels member Michael Fenton, who was traveling with 11 other riders.

Silva, who was part of the group, said officers searched his motorcycle despite his objection. Police claim to have found a .38-caliber handgun and arrested Silva on suspicion of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

He faced federal charges for possession of the handgun, but a judge suppressed the evidence, saying Silva was searched illegally, a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.

Junior - November 15, 2011 05:46 PM (GMT)
Vagos biker gang member back in Nevada in Sparks casino shooting case
Associated Press, Mercury Press, 11/14/2011

RENO, Nev. -- Police say a Vagos motorcycle gang member from California has been transferred to Reno to face a murder charge in the slaying of a rival Hells Angels member at a Sparks casino.

Sparks police say 53-year-old Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez arrived Monday at the Washoe County jail to await a court appearance in the Sept. 23 shooting death of Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew inside John Ascuaga's Nugget hotel-casino.

Pettigrew was president of the Hells Angels chapter in San Jose.

In another development, Detective Rocky Triplett tells The Associated Press that 36-year-old Hells Angels member Cesar Villagrana was rearrested late Thursday in San Jose on an indictment charging him with murder in the case.

Villagrana was previously charged with assault with a deadly weapon and other felony charges.

Junior - November 29, 2011 12:57 PM (GMT)
Two men, possibly linked to motorcycle club, stabbed at San Jose bar
By Lisa Fernandez, Mercury News, 28 November, 2011

Two men were stabbed early Sunday morning at a San Jose bar, and according to sources, the victims are members of a notorious motorcycle club -- the Henchmen.

San Jose police Sgt. Jason Dwyer confirmed that two men were stabbed about 3 a.m. at Stevie's Bar and Grill, 2705 Union Ave. But he did not report their names or offer any information about their connection to any motorcycle club.

He said the injuries were not life threatening and no one has been arrested.

An owner of Stevie's reached by cellphone on Sunday said that she wasn't there at the time of the stabbing and had no comment.

Motorcycle clubs in San Jose have had their share of the limelight recently. There have been two homicides of prominent Hells Angels members in recent months. And earlier this year, the Henchmen filed a complaint with the city's Office of the Independent Police Auditor, alleging that the police are unfairly trying to evict them from their clubhouse and illegally profiling them for DWB -- Driving While Biker.

Peter - December 6, 2011 05:46 AM (GMT)
Talking about stabbing ...

Hells Angels biker found guilty in Rock Hill stabbing

By Nicole E. Smith 6.12.2011

A member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club was convicted last week of stabbing a member of another motorcycle club in Rock Hill.

A York County jury found William "Spook" Sosebee, 58, of Rock Hill guilty of attempted armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of a knife during a violent crime and first-degree assault and battery, according to a news release from the 16th Circuit Solicitor's Office.

Judge John C. Hayes sentenced Sosebee to 10 years in prison with no parole.

Sosebee was accused of stabbing Jim Moye of North Carolina at Wall Bangers Social Club on East Main Street. Moye, 58, is a member of Iron Order, another motorcycle club, and had stopped at Wall Bangers, according to the solicitor's office news release.

Evidence at the trial showed that Moye, who had never been to the bar before, did not know that the Hells Angels considered Wall Bangers "their bar," the release stated.

After Moye arrived, Sosebee approached him and beat him in the head with the handle of a Bowie knife, according to the solicitor's office. He then put the knife to Moye's throat and demanded he hand over his Iron Order motorcycle vest. Moye refused and repeatedly asked to be allowed to leave. Sosebee then stabbed him in the abdomen.

Moye survived after undergoing surgery at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

Officers were called to the hospital after the stabbing, but Moye would only say "it was a motorcycle thing," according to reports.

A witness identified Sosebee to officers.

Junior - December 10, 2011 11:16 PM (GMT)
Oct. 29 trial for fatal shootout at Nevada casino
SCOTT SONNER, San Francisco Chronicle
Associated Press, Fri, Dec 9, 2011

A judge has set an October trial date for three California men charged in a Nevada casino shootout that killed a Hells Angels boss, wounded two members of a rival gang and led the mayor of Sparks to declare a state of emergency.

All three men appeared with their lawyers Friday in a heavily guarded courtroom before Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer. One Hells Angel member was in a gray, pinstripe suit and two members of the rival Vagos motorcycle gang wore jail jumpsuits, handcuffs, shackles and bulletproof vests.

Gary "Jabbers" Rudnick, 45, the vice president of the Vagos' Los Angeles chapter, pleaded not guilty to two charges tied to the September killing of the president of the Hells Angels' San Jose chapter, Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew.

The other Vagos member, Ernesto Gonzalez, 53, of San Francisco, is accused of firing the shots that killed Pettigrew. Steinheimer entered a not guilty plea on Gonzalez's behalf last month.

Both were indicted Nov. 9 along with Hells Angels member Cesar Villagrana, of Gilroy, on charges of conspiracy to engage in an affray and challenge to fight resulting in death. Under Nevada law, the challenge to fight charge is equivalent to first-degree murder and carries the same maximum penalty of life in prison.

Villagrana, 36, who earlier entered a not guilty plea, is free on $300,000 bail. He's represented by Richard Schonfeld and David Chesnoff, whose clients have included celebrities like Paris Hilton, Vince Neil and David Copperfield, as well as Darren Mack, a former Reno pawn shop owner convicted in 2008 of murdering his wife and shooting a judge handling their divorce.

Gonzalez and Rudnick are being held in the Washoe County Jail without bail.

Steinheimer on Friday also set a Dec. 21 hearing to determine whether bail should be set for Rudnick, who prosecutors say was responsible for initiating the brawl that turned the casino floor of John Ascuaga's Nugget into a shooting gallery late Sept. 23.

A longtime Vagos leader testifying on condition of confidentiality told the grand jury that Rudnick was a loudmouthed, loose cannon who was drunk that night and kept trying to provoke Pettigrew into fighting.

"Jabbers has a big mouth. He's always had a big mouth," the witness said. Finally, he said Pettigrew had enough and punched Rudnick in the face, touching off a series of fights that led to the gunfire.

In court Friday, Rudnick's public defender, Jennifer Lunt, told him at least twice to stop talking.

The violence at the casino led to a retaliatory shooting, prompting the state of emergency and cancellation of an annual motorcycle festival amid fears of further gang hostility.

Steinheimer set aside three weeks for the trial beginning Oct. 29 and also scheduled a Jan. 17 hearing for all three men to hear various motions from their lawyers.

The three are scheduled to be tried together, but Schonfeld already has indicated he will ask that Villagrana be tried separately.

Junior - December 22, 2011 09:35 PM (GMT)
$2M bail for accused killer in Hells Angels brawl
By SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press Writer
Posted: 12/21/2011 06:44:47 PM PST

RENO, Nev.—A judge set bail at $2 million Wednesday for a man charged with murdering a rival Hells Angel boss and said the high amount was warranted because the suspect had reserved a plane ticket to El Salvador the day before his arrest showing he posed a flight risk.

Ernesto Gonzalez, a member of the Vagos motorcycle gang in San Francisco, was arrested in San Francisco on Sept. 30 and is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew at a Nevada casino. Gonzalez and two other California men who face lesser charges in the killing of the Hells Angels San Jose Chapter president are scheduled to go on trial in Reno in October.

A detective testified Wednesday that Gonzalez's flight for El Salvador was to leave Los Angeles on Sept. 29, connecting on to Costa Rica.

"I'm not sure it was so much to get away from northern Nevada as perhaps from the other gang," Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer said in setting Gonzalez's bail.

Gonzalez told arresting officers that the Hells Angels were after him and asked them to get him out of the area as fast as possible when he was nabbed sitting in a rental car near campus police headquarters at the University of San Francisco, police said.

"He also told the officer that, 'For respect for your family and yourself, you need to get out of here too," Sparks Police detective John Patton testified at Wednesday's bail hearing.

Gonzalez had $1,740 cash, a passport and three cellular phones in his possession when he was arrested, Patton said.

Washoe County Deputy District Attorney Karl Hall said there was evidence on the phones that Gonzalez had been in contact with other high-ranking members of the Vagos before his arrest and they may have been trying to help him escape.

"There were problems before between the San Jose Vagos chapter and the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels," Hall said.

"Given Mr. Gonzalez murdered the Hells Angels president, he's probably somewhat of a hero among Vagos. I would think they would use their wherewithal to send him out of the country," he said.

The judge also set bail on Wednesday at $300,000 for a second Vagos member charged in Pettigrew's killing on Sept. 23 after a brawl between the two gangs turned the casino floor of John Ascuaga's Nugget into a shooting gallery.

Gary Rudnick of Los Angeles is accused of provoking Pettigrew into the fight that sparked the violence. Both he and Cesar Villagrana, a Hells Angel member from Gilroy, Calif., already out on $300,000 bail, are charged with "challenge to fight resulting in death with the use of a deadly weapon."

Under Nevada law, that's equivalent to murder and could net each of the three suspects up to 120 years in prison if convicted.

Police say Villagrana shot two Vagos members after Rudnick—who goes by the nickname "Jabbers"—instigated the fight with Pettigrew and Pettigrew punched Rudnick in the face, touching off the melee that turned deadly about 11:25 p.m. on the Friday of a weekend-long motorcycle festival in town.

Tehan Slocum, representing Rudnick as a lawyer for the county's alternate public defender's office, said Rudnick was the least culpable of the three suspects and the only one unarmed that night.

She had argued for his bail to be set at $100,000, saying he wanted to return to his job in Southern California where he has a family and a long history of employment as a union laborer pouring and cutting concrete.

"He is a devoted family man with a wife and two children who support him," Slocum said. "He had a verbal altercation with the victim and then was punched in the face and then left the area. He didn't want to have a part of that violence."

Public defender Maizie Pusich objected to Gonzalez' bail being set at a level higher than the other two men given that all three are accused of murder. She said prosecutors ignored the fact Gonzalez has only one previous criminal conviction 30 years ago, choosing instead to characterize him in court documents only as "just a gang member and murderer."

Peter - January 10, 2012 08:55 AM (GMT)
Hells Angel member sentenced to prison in motorcycle theft

By Raul Hernandez

January 9, 2012 at 2:42 p.m.

A judge today sentenced a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club to 10 years in prison for stealing the motorcycle of a former club member.

A jury in October convicted Aaron McIntosh, 39, of stealing the motorcycle from former Hells Angel James Ivans. McIntosh stole the vehicle from the backyard of Ivans' home in October 2010, according to court testimony.

Prosecutor Tate McCallister told the judge that McIntosh, of Ventura, committed the theft on behalf of the Hells Angels, which wanted to punish Ivans because he had left the club under "bad terms."

McCallister described McIntosh as a "bold and proud" member of the Hells Angels who has several felony convictions and has been in prison before. He urged the judge to sentence McIntosh to a long prison sentence to protect the community.

"Our goal here is to protect the people of Ventura County from the Hells Angels and this defendant," said McCallister, adding that McIntosh is unremorseful for what he did.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell denied a motion for a new trial filed by McIntosh's newly hired lawyer Anthony Zinnanti, who is handling McIntosh's appeal.

Zinnanti asked the judge to put his client in a rehabilitation program, saying that sending him to prison will accomplish nothing in terms of his rehabilitation.

"We are setting him up for failure," Zinnanti said.

In an interview, Zinnanti denied that the Hells Angels is a criminal organization. He said that McIntosh could be out of prison in 30 to 36 months if authorities determine the crime wasn't egregious. The judge gave McIntosh credit for nearly two years for time served behind bars since his arrest.

McCallister said in an interview that McIntosh has another felony charge pending in the theft of another motorcycle in Ventura in August 2010.

Junior - January 18, 2012 07:01 PM (GMT)
Mention of Mafia at hearing for Hells Angel murder
Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

(01-17) 12:21 PST Reno, Nev. (AP) -- The Mafia has been added to the mix in the aftermath of the killing of a high-ranking Hells Angel member at a Nevada casino.

Ernesto Gonzalez, a member of the rival Vagos motorcycle gang from San Francisco, is accused of murdering the president of the Hells Angels' San Jose chapter during the Sept. 23 shootout.

His lawyer asked a judge during an evidentiary hearing in Reno Tuesday to order prosecutors to release the name of another Vagos who testified confidentially before the grand jury that indicted Gonzalez.

But prosecutors say the man fears for his life and is bound for a witness protection program.

An investigator testified that another Vagos wounded in the shootout met with a Mafia member in October and gave him documents related to search warrants.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Three men charged in the casino shooting death of a Hells Angels leader are due back in court in Reno on Tuesday as prosecutors and public defenders argue about the ground rules for the murder trial scheduled to begin in October.

Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, a rival member of the Vagos motorcycle gang from San Francisco, is accused of firing the shots that killed Hells Angels San Jose Chapter President Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew on Sept. 23.

Among other things, Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer is considering whether to ban any clothing or symbols with references to the gangs inside the courtroom. The judge said earlier she'll have to balance concerns about the First Amendment but her top priority is safety in the courthouse.

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