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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

MC and Cops share different views over raid

Fresno, California, USA (September 10, 2019) BTN — A group of local motorcyclists say Fresno anti-gang officers overreacted in a raid on their clubhouse Saturday, but a sheriff’s spokesman said the officers had no choice after an armed Hells Angel ran and hid inside the building.

“It was crazy, bro,” said Jay Upton, vice president of the Savage Assassins. “We were racially profiled.” Upton said he is heavily tattooed, and “my appearance sometimes doesn’t accommodate people.”


The sheriff’s spokesman, Tony Botti, said there were two armed Hells Angels at the event and dismissed the idea that members of the MAGEC gang unit should have let club members eject the fleeing suspect, identified as Rey Rodriguez, 32, of Fresno, instead of serving a warrant and searching the property.

“That’s not the way it works,” said Botti. His advice: Don’t hang out with the wrong people.

Rodriguez was arrested on charges of being an armed gang member. The other man identified as an Angel, Stephen Meza, 58, of Tulare, was arrested on the same charge as well as carrying a stolen gun. Rodriguez and four others at the party were cited for obstructing an investigation and one person was held on an outstanding DUI warrant.

Related | Hours long standoff at clubhouse ends with arrests


Upton said the Savage Assassins staged an end of summer event that began Saturday afternoon at their clubhouse on Belmont Avenue east of First Street. A barbecue, cold drinks and a wet T-shirt contest were on the schedule. Upton said he noted a heavy law enforcement presence in the area early in the day, but said he talked the event over with at least one sheriff’s sergeant and it appeared there was a mutual understanding: No alcohol was being sold, only a plate of food.

Flyer for the Savage Assassins MC party

Upton said Christian biker groups were also at the event. “I’m not here to make a nuisance in my city,” he said. Things went south when a MAGEC detective reported seeing that Rodriguez was armed. Confronted, Rodriguez fled inside a steel fence and others inside locked the gate, Botti said. Upton refused permission for officers to go inside to detain Rodriguez. “Not my call,” he said. The Savage Assassins wanted to see a warrant.


That led to officers obtaining one. In the hours that followed, Upton said party goers were detained with zip ties. Some of the detainees, including Upton’s father, Mike, were in their 60s and 70s, he said. Upton added that his father, who suffers from a heart ailment and COPD, is still in the hospital as a result of the stress.

Upton said MAGEC detectives “destroyed the clubhouse and damaged a steel door at a next-door radiator shop in a search for weapons. Botti said a total of three were recovered: two in possession of Rodriguez and Meza, and one on a motorcycle.

Upton said the incident was “blown way out of proportion,” but members of his club were suffering consequences Monday when they went back to work: “Their jobs are in jeopardy.” Botti said the party goers have themselves to blame for obstructing the investigation: “As the night went on, a lot of them were drunk,” and uncooperative.

As for the potential of any unwarranted damages, Botti said a claim could be filed with the county’s risk management unit.

SOURCE: The Fresno Bee

Ex-Gypsy Joker MC member fears retaliation in custody

Portland, Oregon, USA  (September 10, 2019) BTN – A former member of the Gypsy Joker Motorcycle Club facing federal racketeering, kidnapping and murder charges argued Monday that he’s at more risk of retaliation behind bars than he would be outside while awaiting trial.

Joseph Duane Folkerts is a target, said his defense lawyer, Andrew Kohlmetz. “It’s easier to get to him in jail than out of custody,’’ Kohlmetz said.


U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones denied the request to release Folkerts, noting that he’s currently in protective custody and faces a potential life sentence if convicted. Folkerts, 62, is one of four co-defendants who face similar charges and remain behind bars pending an April trial. Two others have pleaded guilty.

Folkerts’ attorneys, by day’s end, filed a notice they plan to appeal Jones’ ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Prosecutors said Folkerts wasn’t involved in the initial abduction of former club member Robert “Bagger’’ Huggins, 56, who was taken from a home in Northeast Portland to a rural property in southwest Washington, where he was beaten, tortured and killed.

Related | Gypsy Joker MC murder trial continues
Related | Gypsy Joker MC national president released
Related | Gypsy Joker MC members face charges

But Folkerts did witness the 2015 beating in Washington, helped restrain Huggins with zip ties around his wrists during the assault and then drove Huggins’ body to a field near Ridgefield, Washington, where it was dumped, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Mygrant.

Huggins’ body was found by loggers on July 1, 2015 in the Clark County field. He had a fractured skull, a broken rib, a broken leg, a removed nipple, nails driven through his boots, slash wounds to his back and face and many blows to his face. Mygrant said Folkerts was a member of Road Brothers, a different motorcycle club at the time of Huggins’ death. After the killing, he got a patch to join the Gypsy Joker club as a reward, the prosecutor said.

Folkerts’ lawyer challenged that characterization. Kohlmetz said Folkerts was forced to join the Gypsy Jokers after the beating of Huggins. “It’s not a reward,’’ Kohlmetz said. “It’s a threat, purchasing his silence. … ‘Here’s you patch, sir. You’re in.’"

Sometime in the summer and fall of 2016, Folkerts was assaulted by a number of Gypsy Joker club members at the clubhouse and elsewhere and knocked unconscious by one of his current co-defendants, Kohlmetz told the court. Folkerts also had his motorcycle and identification stolen by Gypsy Jokers, his lawyer said.

He was basically “beat out’’ of the motorcycle club, Kohlmetz said.

When he arrived at the Multnomah County Detention Center in downtown Portland after his arrest, he learned from another inmate in his dorm that he had been “green lit,’’ meaning that word had come from co-defendant Earl Fisher that it would be OK to assault Folkerts, Kohlmetz said.

So he was moved to Inverness Jail in Northeast Portland, but once there, he came into contact with two of his co-defendants, Kohlmetz said. He was then shipped out to the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Institution in The Dalles for his own protection. Somehow, he was housed in a dorm with the son of a Gypsy Joker member and told face-to-face to “shut up," Kohlmetz said. He’s now in protective custody at his own request, according to court testimony.

The prosecutor urged the judge to consider the severity of the allegations. Huggins was water-boarded and struck in the head with a baseball bat, Mygrant said, though he conceded that Folkerts wasn’t involved in the torture. Folkerts has pleaded not guilty to racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, kidnapping in aid of racketeering resulting in death, kidnapping resulting in death and conspiracy to commit kidnapping resulting in death.

Fisher and Tiler Evan Pribbernow – two of the six charged in the kidnapping and murder - have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in racketeering. Pribbernow has been described as the government’s "star witness,’’ who delivered the fatal blow to Huggins with the bat.

A seventh defendant, Kenneth Earl Hause, the national president of the outlaw motorcycle club, was accused only in the racketeering conspiracy and released from custody in February pending trial.

SOURCE: Oregon Live

Monday, September 9, 2019

Hours long standoff at clubhouse ends with arrests

Fresno, California, USA (September 9, 2019) BTN — Eight people were arrested on Saturday after an hours-long standoff at a MC's clubhouse came to an end, according to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

It all started at around 6 p.m. on Saturday, when anti-gang enforcement deputies were investigating weapon offenses and possible gang members at the Savage Assassins motorcycle clubhouse near Belmont and First.


Deputies say they spotted a man standing outside of the clubhouse with a gun on him.

The man ran back into the clubhouse and deputies followed him in, but left after a verbal confrontation took place inside.


Since the man had a gun, S.W.AT. was called out to the scene, leading to an hours-long standoff.

After receiving a search warrant, deputies started ordering people out of the clubhouse, one by one.

One man came out with a gun and was arrested by police without incident.


Eight people were arrested and 42 others were detained while deputies began to search the clubhouse.

One woman with a heart condition was taken from the scene to Community Regional Medical Center, police say she was not injured during the standoff.

9-08 SWAT Standoff at Motorcycle Club
Fresno County's Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium says one of its deputies was after ONE guy, who ran into the Savage Assassins Motorcycle Club. Him fleeing led to 42 people being detained and 8 arrested Saturday.
Posted by Marie Edinger KMPH on Sunday, September 8, 2019

The man who was seen outside of the clubhouse with a gun was arrested for being a felon with a firearm.


Once everyone was out, officers began to search the clubhouse.

The search continued until around 3 a.m. on Sunday.

SOURCE: Fox26 News

Monday, September 2, 2019

Hells Angels support charity with bike show

Albir, Costa Blanca, Spain (September 2, 2019) BTN — The ninth Costa Blanca custom bike show rolled into the town of Albir on sunday, September 1st to the sound of roaring exhaust pipes and live, very load rock music.

Bikes arrived from as far afield as Rumania, lined up in the streets with chrome as far as the eye could see.

Hell of a Bike show Credit: Steve Kenyon

The event was organised, as in the years before, to support a local charity, by the 20 members of the Costa Blanca Hells Angels under the banner of The Custom Bike Show. This year, working with the Alfaz Del Pi town hall and Local Police, all monies raised will go to providing school books to those families not in a position to purchase them themselves.


The beautiful and serene surroundings of Albirs Eucalyptus park was transformed for the day into a bikers paradise with pop up shops selling everything from clothing, jewelry, Harley Davidson rental to custom resprays. Supporting the local Hells Angels were many other bike clubs including the Devil Dolls of Sweden and Alicantes Black Riders.


On stage the music was provided throughout the day by the bands Happy Freuds, Reverend Wet finger and The London Blues Company playing a combination of original material, classic rock and punchy blues.

Beneath the cover of the huge Eucalyptus trees, hundreds of leather clad revellers enjoyed the music, fuelled and refreshed by burgers, hot dogs and beers from the nearby catering tents.

The highlight came with the judging of the selected bikes, with the winner of the peoples vote going to Big Steve with his bike Big Dog Chopper in candy red with 24 karat gold leaf (see photo).

Both 1st and 2nd prizes from the judges choices went to Rune Skullerud from Norway (see photo of man with two bikes). Rune owns the motorbike workshop Iron-Boys in Torrevieja were he builds and sells custom bikes.

As the day drew to an end and the park returned to its usual tranquillity, you could only feel a debt of gratitude to the guys and girls that had organised the event.

Not only for the important charity work they had done but for creating an annual festival that grows in size and importance year after year.

SOURCE: Euro Weekly