Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hells Angel member arrested: For possession of invisible gun

"They said it was a firearm, but a firearm was never found"

Staten Island, New York -(July 28, 2016) A member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club was arrested for allegedly waving around a gun and chasing a man away from the group’s East Village clubhouse with a baseball bat, officials said Wednesday.

Jose Brito, 28, was accused of pulling a gun on a 30-year-old man on E. 3rd St. near First Ave. around 10 p.m. Tuesday. He then grabbed a baseball bat and chased the victim up the street, officials said.

Responding officers recovered the bat but not the gun, which the victim said Brito pulled from his waistband.

Police charged the Staten Island resident with criminal possession of a firearm and menacing, officials said. His arraignment was pending Wednesday.

The Hells Angels New York headquarters in the East Village

The Hell’s Angels New York City chapter was founded in the East Village in 1969.

Sources said the clubhouse address was recently put on a hipster website, drawing in droves of stupid, naive, skinny-jean clad groupies.

“A lot more people are stopping by to engage the bikers when they should be best off respecting the privacy of others,” the source said.

Brito’s attorney, Ron Kuby, said the story against his client keeps changing.

“They said it was a firearm, but a firearm was never found,” said Kuby. “Now it’s a baseball bat. Hopefully by the arraignment it won’t be a heat-seeking missile.”

The allegations don’t mesh with the typical profile of a Hell’s Angel, said Kuby, offering up a defense that didn’t exactly paint Brito as a saint.

“When a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is allegedly engaged in acts of menacing, he usually doesn’t have weapons,” Kuby said. “Menacing is just what he is.”

Pagen's MC

Members of the Pagen's Motorcycle club

Cripple Creek gets it: HAMC National Run Welcome

Cripple Creek and Teller County Ready for Hells Angels Rally 

CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. -(July 27, 2016) They're considered an organized crime syndicate by federal officials and now the Hells Angels motorcycle club is in Cripple Creek for its annual gathering.

"I think of them in California back in the 1960s when they were notoriously known," said resident David Donatto.  "But I think they've toned it down quit a bit since then."

A few Hells Angels displaying their colors

Local authorities hope so, and are ensuring the club's visit is peaceful by assigning 15 Cripple Creek police officers and 40 officers from five other agencies to patrol the town.

Between 200 and 300 club members had arrived by Monday and they plan to be in town through Thursday, mostly gathering behind the Wildwood Casino.

Cripple Creek Police Chief Mike Rulo said there has been no trouble since the bikers began arriving last weekend.

Hells Angel members spending money in town and helping the local economy 

"We've had a few verbal warnings for minor issues related to traffic," he said.  "And really, that's about it."

Cripple Creek City Administrator Ray DuBois said club leadership contacted town officials several months ago about the visit and to plan it out.

DuBois reflected on the club's past connections to crime and violence, and on some public criticism that the visit wasn't widely publicized.

"We intentionally tried to keep the visit low-key to avoid raising concerns too much," he said.  "Clearly, they  have a reputation that precedes them.  But based on the facts of looking at the previous annual gatherings, there's been a very small percentage of any kind of incidents."

Kevin Werner, Wildwood's vice president and general manager, said lodging in town is sold out for the week.

Tent set up to accommodate the huge gathering 

"They tip well, they're spending money, they're putting money into the economy," he said.  "We normally aren't sold out in the middle of a week.  So for us, it's a good group."

But some remain uneasy about the club's presence in town.

"A couple of the casino workers have stated that business is slow because of people being afraid," said Lana Martin, an employee at The Rocky Mountain Canary general store.  "But they've been polite and courteous."

Club members declined to be interviewed.

Several members just chilling out, enjoying the brotherhood and sites

Personnel from the El Paso, Fremont and Teller County sheriff's offices, Fountain police and the Colorado State Patrol are providing the additional security.

Next month, Cripple Creek welcomes another biker group as 7,000 visit for an annual salute to honor military veterans.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Cloven Hoofs MC

Cloven Hoofs MC out of Indiana

Police disappointed at Hells Angels MC

Hells Angles Canada Run went smooth

Ottawa, Canada (July 25, 2016) The police expected trouble but were extremely disappointed when the Hells Angels MC rode into town late last week and then rumbled back out on Sunday without trouble.

Despite all the unwarranted fanfare among police agencies about the "Biker Gang" showing up, nothing happened, no rapes, no murders, no robberies. In fact, the police looked bored.

Outside the Hells Angels compound

Both the Central and East divisions of the Ottawa police reported Sunday that there were no incidents involving members of the Hells Angels on the weekend, when members of the motorcycle club congregated at a Carlsbad Springs clubhouse for a national gathering called Canada Run.

Police taking photos and documenting Hells Angel members for future reference

Several Police agencies, were keeping a close eye on the clubhouse activities on the weekend, and said they expected the 500 or more Angels and affiliated clubs to be on their best behavior for the mandatory run.

An unidentified Hells Angel MC member waves at passing 
The Hells Angels played tourist in the capital Saturday, with dozens heading for the Hill for photos and to check out the Parliament Buildings.

 Woman coming to party with the Hells Angels MC

It was a party atmosphere as old friends met up along with new members, along with the usual women that enjoy hanging with bikers. 

More women heading through the gates to party

The general public welcomed the bikers checking out the regular attractions with other tourists, the manager at one nearby eatery, the posh Metropolitan Brasserie, said the crew were great.

Members posing for pictures along with other tourist 

“They were really polite, very well behaved, honestly they were a delight,” manager Sarah Shown said with a laugh. She said she was unsure how many were in the party but said it was a “few.”

Hells Angles MC members mingling with tourist at Parliament with no problems 

SOURCE: Ottawa Citizen (More Photos)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Ottawa police to public: Stay away from Hells Angels

Ottawa police warn public to ‘Steer Clear’ as hundreds of Hells Angels descend on capital for convention..

Ottawa, Canada (July 22, 2016) As hundreds of bikers continue their trek to the nation’s capital for a Hells Angels gathering this weekend, law enforcement agencies are warning the public of an increased presence of not only bikers but also police.

Det.-Staff Sgt. Len Isnor, head of the provincial biker enforcement unit — of which Ottawa police are a part — said the weekend is expected to be quiet but police are “prepared for anything.”

The bikers, and members of their affiliate and clubs, are expected to gather in Ottawa from Friday to Sunday for what’s called their “Canada Run” — an annual convention.

Hells Angels Nomads member at the front gate of the group's compound in Carlsbad Springs.

“This is organized crime coming from all over Canada meeting in one location,” Isnor said. So officers across the country have a “vested interest” in the gathering, he said.

The Hells Angels Nomads 5th Chapter clubhouse is on Piperville Road, formerly 8th Line Road, in Carlsbad Springs. The clubhouse is about 16 years old and houses about 12 members of the Nomads.

Police are expecting anywhere from 500 to 700 people to congregate on the approximately one-acre plot of land, with some likely staying overnight elsewhere.

Member stands sentry at the front gate of the Hells Angels compound in Carlsbad Springs.

The clubhouse was most recently raided at the end of June when some arrests were made, but its contingent had long before succeeded in its bid to bring the mandatory run to the capital.

Canada Run locations are selected in much the same way Olympic host cities are — a bid is put in by a local chapter and one man gets one vote until there is a clear winner.

There are three regions of Hells Angels chapters — the west region, the east region, and essentially Ontario, or the central region, which divides the country. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the 11 Hells Angels chapters in Ontario and the bikers will be looking to celebrate, Isnor said.

Hells Angels after the funeral of member Kenny Mire. (License plates blocked by BTN)

Police do expect a large contingent of the visiting bikers to make their way into the communities and to frequent bars, restaurants and strip clubs in surrounding areas but encourage civilians to leave them alone and report any suspicious activity to police.

    They are organized crime. If they can steer clear of these people, by all means.

“We’re telling the public to limit their contact with these people. They are organized crime. If they can steer clear of these people, by all means,” Isnor said.

“They’re going to use this opportunity to demonstrate to the public that they are who they are,” Isnor said. “The power of that patch is a big part of who they are. By having the numbers here and riding through the community, it’s going to have an impact.”

The runs show the strength of the Hells Angels as a continued criminal presence in the country. “They’re going to be here in vast numbers and it’s going to be a message to the community.”

Yet, the group gatherings are also ideal for police looking to keep tabs on the bikers. According to police, they are an established organized crime group with a network of official chapters and pawn outfits across the country.

“They know that we try to intercept their private communications, so what better way of communicating but face-to-face?” Isnor said.

Isnor said the biker club is stronger than in previous years but this isn’t a resurgence. The club has continued to exist but major police operations put key players behind bars and now that those jail stints are over, “there’s never been a time over the past six, seven years that there’s been more back on the streets.”

SOURCE: National Post

Yeah, though we walk....

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Feds Going After MC Colors

Federal Government moving forward to seize club colors

Washington, DC (July 19, 2016) Federal prosecutors are ramping up efforts to seize the trademarks of Motorcycle Clubs in California and possibly the Midwest in a renewed effort to target the groups “patches” that members wear on their jackets and vests.

A First Amendment obstacle course still could lie ahead, experts warn, as officials go after organizations with names like the “Mongols” and the misspelled “Devils Diciples.”

But in new legal filings, prosecutors are keeping alive tactics begun during the presidency of George W. Bush to try to cripple the groups by seizing their assets.

In a July 11 appellate court filing, prosecutors wrote that “A select group of the gang, so-called ‘full-patched’ members,” had obtained federal trademark protection for “Two marks used by the gang to identify members and to terrorize enemies.” The filing called the Mongols’ registration “An audacious, novel move.”

The two trademarks cover a logo and a name that summon the organization’s identity.

“Gang rules . . . broadly recognize that only full-patched members, that is, the constituents of Mongol Nation, have full authority to use the word and rider images,” prosecutors stated in the new 30-page brief.

The filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit seeks to reinstate an indictment dismissed two years ago by a trial judge. If prosecutors succeed, the Justice Department could eventually secure control of the trademarks associated with Southern California-based Mongols Motorcycle Club.

An attorney for the Mongols was in court Tuesday and could not be reached for comment. A Justice Department spokesman could not be reached.

The government’s appeal in the Mongols’ case is the second this year in which the potential seizure of trademarks has figured in federal efforts to curtail organizations that prosecutors contend are criminal enterprises, not just clubs for like-minded motorcycle enthusiasts.

Six weeks ago, a Michigan-based federal judge issued an order suggesting that trademarks claimed by a motorcycle outfit called the Devils Diciples were fair game, following a wide-ranging indictment  issued in 2012.

In his May 31 order, U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland ruled that one of the Devils Diciples’ defendants, who had pleaded guilty, would not be able to contest the potential forfeiture of any of the organization’s trademarks.

But Fritz Clapp, a Beverly Hills, California-based attorney who filed a trademark application for the Devils Diciples, said Tuesday that he was prepared to oppose any federal effort to seize the asset. “It is a subject of controversy,” Clapp said.

Full-patched members of the club identified themselves with patches, tattoos and insignia, including the word and rider images.

Conventional asset forfeiture is a popular tool for law enforcement. Assets worth more than $1.6 billion were deposited in the Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture Fund during Fiscal 2015, according to the program’s most recent report.

The seized property ran the gamut, from a $1.3 million airplane taken in Denison, Texas, and $1.2 million in currency seized in Miami to $11 million in Bitcoin, the online currency, seized in San Francisco.

Intellectual property, though, has yet to become a common target for law enforcement, and the prospect of the government seizing names and logos raises myriad free-speech issues.

“The majority of Mongols have no criminal record and are not actually accused of anything except being Mongols,” Donald Charles Davis, who blogs under the name The Aging Rebel, said. “It would be both illegal and unfair to deny them of their constitutional rights based on Department of Justice propaganda.”

In 2008, then-U.S. Attorney Thomas O’Brien apparently broke new ground when he unveiled in Los Angeles a wide-ranging indictment of 79 Mongols for a variety of offenses. As part of his campaign, O’Brien sought the Mongols’ trademarks.

“If the court grants our request . . . then if any law enforcement officer sees a Mongol wearing his patch, he will be authorized to stop that gang member and literally take the jacket right off his back,” O’Brien said at the time.

The two trademarks cover the stylized name “Mongols” as well as the figure of a motorcycle rider wielding a sword. All but two of the original 79 defendants were eventually convicted.

A federal court, though, rejected the initial trademark forfeiture effort and ordered the Justice Department to pay $253,206 in legal fees to the attorneys who challenged it. Prosecutors returned with a new indictment of the Mongol Nation, which they described as a distinct legal entity.

A trial judge dismissed the Mongol Nation indictment last September, without getting to the potential trademark forfeiture issue, prompting the Justice Department to appeal.

If the Justice Department now succeeds in reviving the indictment, and eventually wins the criminal case, the trademark forfeiture issue roars back into play.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Mongols Bike Show 1986

Members of the Mongols MC pose for a group picture in 1986

Wheelie Time

A Hells Angel Showing Off

More counts added to indictment -Bandidos MC

San Antonio, Texas, (July 7, 2016) Federal prosecutors have added charges against two members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club that include counts related to the killing of a man 14 years ago.

In an indictment partially unsealed Thursday, reputed vice president and San Antonio resident John Xavier Portillo  - already facing racketeering charges with alleged president Jeffrey Fay Pike of Houston and sergeant at arms Justin Cole Froster of San Antonio -- is charged with murder in the Jan. 31, 2002, shooting death of Robert Lara. Lara, 24, was gunned down Jan. 31, 2002, at a rest stop in Atascosa County.

F.B.I. agents stand by a home located at on San Antonio's South East Side

The new indictment also added a fourth defendant, Fredrick "Fast Fred" Cortez , alleging he was one of the shooters in Lara's killing.

Several years ago, Richard Steven Merla, 41, confessed to shooting Lara at a rest stop in Atascosa County, authorities said. The shooting was said to be in retaliation for the death of one of Merla's fellow Bandidos motorcycle club members three months earlier.

Bandidos MC items confiscated by Texas authorities

Merla is not a named defendant in the new federal indictment.

Merla received 40 years in prison in 2005 after pleading no contest to a murder charge in the death of Robert Quiroga, a retired boxer whom Merla repeatedly stabbed in northwest San Antonio a year earlier. Merla claimed it was in self-defense.

After Quiroga's killing, Portillo and other Bandidos held a press conference distancing the club from Merla and said Merla was not a Bandido, news stories show.