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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Outlaws MC member charged with murder of female bartender

JOLIET, IL (November 18, 2017) —  Jeremy Boshears, of Coal City, was charged with killing Kaitlyn Kearns by Will County authorities on Saturday. According to a release from Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow's office, the 32-year-old Boshears was charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

The Outlaws MC
The three counts allege that Boshears shot Kearns, of Mokena, in the head with a firearm on Nov. 13.

Will County Circuit Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes reviewed the murder case and signed an arrest warrant that included a $10 million bond. A court date has yet to be scheduled. Boshears was booked into the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee on Friday after he was charged with concealment of a homicide by Kankakee County State's Attorney Jim Rowe. Kankakee County Judge Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott set Boshears' bond on that charge at $250,000.

Related | Outlaws clubhouse searched over murder investigation 



It is alleged Boshears drove Kearns' 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee with her body inside to a residence in Aroma Township and parked it in a pole barn.

On Thursday, investigators using electronic means were able to locate the vehicle. They found her in the back of the vehicle. She was pronounced dead of a single gunshot wound to the head. Investigators do not believe the property owner was involved or had knowledge of the murder.

Rowe has agreed it is appropriate to prosecute all charges in Will County. He has agreed to dismiss his charge so that a similar charge can be filed in Will County as part of the overall prosecution of this case, according to the release.

According to the Will County sheriff's release, investigators believe Kearns had met Boshears four weeks ago while she worked as a bartender at Woody's bar, located in the 1000 block of East Washington Street in Joliet. Kearns dated Boshears for the past two weeks.

Kearns told people she was going to the Outlaws Motorcycle Clubhouse after she got off her shift at 1:30 a.m. on Monday. The clubhouse is down the street from Woody's. Kearns was reported missing at about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday by her father.

On Wednesday, Joliet detectives turned the search over to the Will County Sheriff's Department. Will County investigators searched the Outlaws' building Thursday. A media report said investigators towed Boshears' Dodge Charger from an alley next to the clubhouse.

In obtaining the warrant, a prosecutor said in Kankakee County court that Boshears is a known member of the Outlaws.

On Friday, Will County Sheriff's Public Information Officer Kathy Hoffmeyer said they had a person of interest (Boshears) in custody in the investigation of the murder. "The person in custody has retained an attorney, and we are unable to speak with him any further," she said.

SOURCE: The Joliet Patch

Feds lead police raid at bar during Hells Angels end of summer run

Santa Rosa, California (November 18, 2017) — Law enforcement officers led by the FBI surrounded a Santa Rosa bar where motorcyclists affiliated with the Hells Angels motorcycle club had gathered on Saturday afternoon, part of an extensive, daytime police action that also focused on a home in southwest Santa Rosa and resulted in arrests, authorities said.

Full patched members along with probates cornered 

An FBI spokesman said the operation was conducted under a sealed federal warrant, but neither he nor local law enforcement officials would say who the operation was targeting or how many locations were involved.

However, witnesses at the Wagon Wheel Saloon around noon said they saw motorcycles being seized and riders detained outside the bar on Mendocino Avenue.

A tactical team from the FBI was on site, as were a number of CHP officers and the armored SWAT vehicle shared by the Santa Rosa Police Department and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Some of the heavily armed officers wore full tactical gear, including Kevlar helmets and bulletproof vests, and wielded assault rifles. No shots were fired or physical altercations reported.

California Highway Patrol

Santa Rosa Police Chief Hank Schreeder said there was a “significant” number of Santa Rosa officers and detectives who assisted the FBI in the operation, which later also involved an armed search of an Antelope Lane home, 6 miles to the south in the city’s Bellevue Avenue neighborhood.

Prentice Danner, the FBI spokesman, confirmed that arrests were made but declined to say how many. The federal warrant will be unsealed Monday, he said, when the agency plans to share more information at a San Francisco press conference.

The Wagon Wheel Saloon was the scheduled departure point Saturday for a Hells Angels Motorcycle Club ride billed as the “Red White Sonoma County End of Summer Run,” according to the website of the group’s Sonoma County chapter. The previously planned ride had been rescheduled due to last month’s fires.

One rider said he traveled Saturday from Fort Bragg with a group of about 10 fellow motorcyclists for the scheduled ride. As riders were outside the bar “starting up their bikes” and getting ready to head out, he said, a swarm of law enforcement appeared.

“They just surrounded the place and wouldn’t let anybody go anywhere,” said the rider, Dan, who would only give his first name. Officers eventually allowed some riders, including him, to leave. Though he was separated from the rest of his group, he said.


Multiple riders in front of the bar Saturday were seen wearing vests with Hells Angels’ patches on them. Authorities would not elaborate on what ties, if any, the club or motorcycle riders in general had with the police action.

A Wagon Wheel bartender who refused to provide his name indicated that the establishment appeared not to be the target but a staging ground for the police raid.

The FBI along with the State Highway Patrol and of course the local PD were involved

“All it did was ruin a perfectly good afternoon,” he said. “It was a cheap party, (the police) didn’t even bring a helicopter.”

About 12:30 p.m., Santa Rosa police issued a public notice advising people to avoid the Mendocino Avenue block where the Wagon Wheel is located, between Administration Drive and Bicentennial Way.

Inspecting VIN's   

The block was reopened by 2 p.m. and law enforcement left. A handful of bikers in leather Hells Angels vests lingered outside of the bar but refused to comment. Others drove off on their Harley-Davidson's toward Highway 101. Groups of motorcycles, including Hells Angels riders, were later reported as they were seen by officers traveling in the area and across Sonoma County, according to radio dispatch traffic.

After 2 p.m., FBI officials were seen surrounding the home off Antelope Lane, where they reportedly used concussion grenades in a search that the FBI spokesman confirmed was related to the raid at the saloon.
Roughly a dozen FBI agents were staged outside the home about 3 p.m.

Law enforcement had the road shut down during the raid

They wore camouflage uniforms and bulletproof vests and carried assault rifles. A Santa Rosa Police detective assisting at the scene described the search as connected with an FBI case. FBI agents on the scene refused to comment.

As the search was underway, a man who said he lived at the residence sat outside on a fire hydrant. The man, who refused to share his name, had not been detained.

An owner of the Wagon Wheel could not be reached late Saturday. A representative of the Sonoma County Hells Angels did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Law enforcement searching a vehicle during the raid at a home

At the Wagon Wheel on Saturday afternoon, a man who declined to provide his name for fear of his safety, said he pulled over near the bar about 1 p.m. and saw in the area at least two dozen law enforcement officials, including CHP and FBI representatives as well as police dogs. He said he saw authorities confiscate Harley-Davidson motorcycles and load them into a truck.

“You could see them bringing out motorcycle after motorcycle,” the man said. “This was all a big, preplanned thing.”

SOURCE:  The Press Democrat

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Outlaws clubhouse searched over murder investigation

Joliet, Illinois (November 16, 2017) — The Will County Sheriff's Department confirmed late Thursday afternoon that investigators do have a person of interest in the murder of 24-year-old Joliet bartender Katie Kearns, of rural Mokena. She suffered a single gunshot to her head, authorities revealed.

The Outlaws MC's clubhouse in Joliet, Ill. 

The sheriff's department also confirmed there is an apparent connection with the young woman's disappearance and the Joliet Outlaws Motorcycle Club.

"We are confirming that she had told four different people that she was heading to the Outlaws Clubhouse after her shift," Will County Sheriff's Department Spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer said.

Kearns was found murdered inside of the 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee that she was driving. Her vehicle was located in a rural area of Kankakee County near St. Anne's, which is southeast of Kankakee, about an hour's drive from Woody's or the Joliet Outlaws Clubhouse.

Joliet bartender Katie Kearns

"It's out in the country," Hoffmeyer said of the crime scene.

By 10 a.m., the Will County Sheriff's Department SWAT team showed up in force at the Joliet Outlaws clubhouse and stormed into the place. "'They might have taken a car out of there as part of the investigation," she said. At this stage, it appears that the homicide investigation is coming together.

"We do have a person of interest," Hoffmeyer said. "No charges have been filed yet."

She said that Will County Sheriff's investigators have been working nonstop on the investigation since Wednesday morning. "Several of them have not gone home since Wednesday morning."

Hoffmeyer confirmed that, around 10 a.m., several hours after Kearns was found dead about an hour southeast of Joliet, the Will County Sheriff's Police raided the Joliet Outlaws Motorcycle Club. 

Police in front of the Outlaws MC's Clubhouse

The clubhouse is up the road from Woody's, also along East Washington Street. Some Outlaws frequent Woody's Bar, where Kearns was last seen alive.

In its press release about the homicide, the sheriff's department emphasized that "detectives believe that there is no threat to the community and that (Katie) was the intended target of this homicide."

Thursday's late morning announcement by Will County comes on the heels of a volunteer search effort that was apparently underway around the east side of Joliet in hopes of finding Kearns and the missing Jeep. 

SOURCE: Patch 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hells Angels lose bid to keep clubhouse

Niagara, Ontario, Canada (November 14, 2017) — The home of one of Niagara’s most notorious organizations may soon face the wrecking ball.

Lawyers representing the owners of the Hells Angels clubhouse on Darby Road in Welland have until Dec. 6 to appeal a ruling that the building be forfeited to the Ontario government. If they don’t appeal or an appeal fails, the fortified building will likely be demolished, police sources tell The Standard.

An unidentified Hells Angels MC Member

However, police say the destruction of the building that was once the centre of the Hells Angels Empire on wheels in Niagara doesn’t mean the club has gone extinct.

Using mostly bikers from out-of-town chapters to bolster their numbers, the club has begun to establish a presence in Niagara Falls, police say.

In a Nov. 6 ruling, Justice Jasmine Akbarali found the Hells Angels’ Welland compound was, in part, purchased by and used to plan the acquisition of the proceeds of crime. As a result, Akbarali rejected the arguments from the owners of the clubhouse — which includes former Hells Angels Niagara president Gerald (Skinny) Ward — that the forfeiture was improper and clearly not in the interests of justice.

“Given the facilitation or participation of the owners in the unlawful activity, and that forfeiture will further the CRA’s goals including crime prevention, it is not clearly not in the interest of justice to order the forfeiture,” says Akbarali’s ruling, which also ordered three of the four owners of the property — Ward, ex-Hells Angel Randy Beres and Tony Panetta — to pay the Crown $32,425 in legal costs.

The Hells Angels MC Clubhouse after the raid

The fate of the Hells Angels clubhouse has been a question mark since 2006 when a province wide joint forces police investigation called Project Tandem resulted in the arrests of key figures within the Hells Angels across Ontario including Ward.

The arrests relied heavily on intelligence gathered by Hells Angels member turned police informant Stephen Gault, who used a wire to record several conversations with Ward about buying cocaine.

In 2009, Ward pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking and possessing the proceeds of crime. He was also found guilty of directing the drug trafficking of five Hells Angels members for a criminal organization.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison, minus five years for pretrial custody time. He also had to forfeit $304,430 and his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Ward was paroled in 2015. In May 2017, the Parole Board of Canada removed the condition on his statuary release that only allowed him to return to his Welland home on weekends from his halfway house. He now resides with his wife in Welland.

Ward was part owner of the Darby Road clubhouse with his brother Richard Ward, Panetta and Beres. According to court documents, they contributed a down payment for the property of about $20,000 each.

Beres was only a member of the Hells Angels for a short time and after he left the club in 2003 became an “absentee owner” of the clubhouse and never returned to the property, according to court documents.

Richard Ward died in 2005, and thus his “interest in the property was extinguished.”

In 2009, Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General seized the property and began the legal process of having it forfeited as proceeds of crime. However, years of legal wrangling kept its ultimate fate in limbo.

Aerial photo of Welland clubhouse seized from the Hells Angels

In June of this year, lawyers representing the clubhouse owners argued the seizure was improper, it was not purchased using the proceeds of crime and was not used for illegal activity.

Although Justice Akabarli rejects some of the Crown’s arguments, including the idea that the clubhouse was used as an illegal bar or a location for the buying and selling of cocaine, she found the clubhouse was used to plan criminal activity.

Knowing they might be under surveillance, the Hells Angels used a white board and hand signals during meetings — called church meetings — to communicate and avoid the possibility of their conversations being recorded or intercepted by police, the court records say.

Akabarli also notes that Niagara Regional Police intelligence reports were found in the clubhouse “suggesting the organization has a sophisticated intelligence gathering capability and is interested in police efforts to surveil the Hells Angels.”

She also accepted police testimony that the heavy fortifications and security systems at the clubhouse were installed “to create a place where the members could meet to form criminal connections and to aid in their criminal activities, especially involving the drug trade.”

“Based on this evidence, I conclude that the clubhouse is used as safe haven to plan illegal activities, including the drug trade, and to guard against police interference with those activities,” Akabarli says. “I am satisfied that church meetings were not simply opportunities to discuss clubhouse maintenance but that the clubhouse was used to hold these meetings in order to facilitate and plan unlawful activity.”

She also says it was reasonable to conclude that members of the Hells Angels used drug money to pay club dues which were then used to pay the mortgage on the buildings.

“I thus conclude that the mortgage was paid down, at least in part, through funds acquired through unlawful activity. The clubhouse is thus proceeds from unlawful activity.”



If the government ultimately wins the case, the Darby Road clubhouse won’t be the first biker headquarters to fall in Niagara.

In 2002, the Outlaws motorcycle clubs’s longtime home on Oakdale Avenue in St. Catharines was reduced to rubble after a police investigation resulted in its seizure.

However, police say even if the Welland clubhouse is ultimately seized by the government and destroyed, that won’t mean the end of the Hells Angels in Niagara. BTN

Niagara Regional Police Det. Sgt. Shawn Clarkson says the 2006 police sting crippled the Hells Angels operations locally. Without Ward’s drug-trafficking operation, the club became a shell of its former self.

Clarkson says the motorcycle club brought in members from London and Windsor to keep the Niagara chapter running. Only two original Niagara members were left, he said. Another six members are from the London and Windsor areas.

“They are recruiting here, and the out-of-town guys are recruiting as well,” Clarkson says. “They aren’t what they used to be, but they are still here and trying to rebuild.”

The club also has begun to fortify a property at 7863 Garner Rd. in Niagara Falls, he says.

“This is what happens. They try to rebuild, and we keep doing our jobs,” Clarkson says.

Clarkson says the NRP has “historic” successes in outlaw biker investigations, including Project Tandem, giving police investigators valuable experience and knowledge that can be applied to future operations.

SOURCE:  Niagara Advance