Friday, March 17, 2017

Six Members of Hells Angels MC Arrested

New Roc Hells Angels facing federal drugs, racketeering charges

NEW YORK, NY ( March 16, 2017) – Six members and associates of the Hells Angels operating in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties are facing several federal drug and racketeering charges.

Joon Kim, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said on Thursday that six members of the New Roc Hells Angels, which operated primarily in and around Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties from at least 2008 to August 2014, had been arrested.

Kim said most of their activities included narcotics trafficking, extortion, money laundering, contraband cigarettes, and prostitution and altered motor vehicle parts.

Thomas Schmidt, Joseph Kaplan, John Calvacchio, Jeff Amato and Gary Paganelli were arrested in New York Thursday morning, Kim said, and Michael Picchone was arrested near Los Angeles. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel in White Plains federal court.

An unknown Hells Angels MC member

The six members of the New Roc Hells Angels were charged with various racketeering, narcotics and money laundering offenses, including assault of a rival club member with a hammer, Kim said.

“As alleged, through the sale of cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana and their violent conflict with rival gangs, members of the New Roc Hells Angels wreaked havoc on the streets of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties," Kim said in a statement. "Together with our law enforcement partners, we are determined to combat gang and drug violence throughout the Southern District of New York.”

The assault happened in December 2012, Kim said, when members of the New Roc Hells Angels beat a rival motorcycle club member over the head with a hammer in a crowded restaurant in Poughkeepsie in retaliation for encroaching "on their territory."

FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney said clubs like the Hells Angels often use violence and intimidation to protect their turf and "establish themselves."

"In this case, they allegedly used those tactics by attacking a rival club member with a hammer in the middle of a restaurant and placing innocent people in danger," Sweeney said in a statement. "Regardless of the name these men operate under, the FBI Westchester Safe Streets Gang Task Force works daily to remove these alleged violent members of our society and to create a safer community for everyone."

NEWS SOURCE: The Journal News

PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Attorney’s Office