San Francisco, California (November 20, 2017) —Biker Trash Network— Federal prosecutors in San Francisco have charged nine members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club with running a criminal organization responsible for multiple robberies and assaults and one murder.
The U.S. Attorney's office and FBI announced the charges on Monday. Most of the defendants are members of the group's Sonoma County chapter in Northern California.
The most serious crime, however, took place when Jonathan “Jon Jon” Nelson, the president of the Sonoma County chapter of the Hells Angels, told an unnamed victim to meet with Brian Wendt, the president of the Fresno County chapter of the Hells Angels—with Wendt then murdering the victim, the indictment states.
Other crimes laid against the gang members include drug trafficking, assault, robbery, illegal guns and witness intimidation.
“This week we have taken a significant step toward bringing to justice an alleged conspiracy whose aim has been to commit violent crimes,” U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch, of the Northern District of California, said in a statement Monday confirmed by BTN.
Another Hells Angels member sexually assaulted someone identified only as “Victim 6” last year, threatening during the attack to hurt Victim 6’s family if they reported the assault.
The head of the FBI's San Francisco division, Jack Bennett, said their crimes were intended to instill fear in parts of the city of Santa Rosa.
The indictment also includes multiple charges of intimidating witnesses.
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.
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.
Santa Rosa, California (November 18, 2017) —Biker Trash Network— 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.
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.”
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
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
"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.
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.
Devonport , AU (November 13, 2017) — Police were forced to intervene after members of two outlaw motorcycle clubs started hurling abuse at each other after a boxing tournament on Saturday.
More than 30 people wearing the badges of the Bandidos and Outlaws clubs attended the Devonport Pro Boxing Tournament.
Western District Commander Jonathan Higgins said there were tensions between the two groups during the tournament that came to a head outside the venue after the event ended.
The Outlaws MC in Devonport
He said police officers had to stand between the two groups to prevent the situation from escalating as they hurled abuse at each other.
“There was potential for it to escalate from just a verbal confrontation to being physical,” he said.
“They had no regard for the rest of the public at the tournament and the tensions between them had the potential to spill over if the police weren't there.”
More than a dozen police officers attended the boxing tournament after concerns were raised about a possible confrontation between the two groups.
Commander Higgins said this meant police resources were pulled away from other areas.
While no charges were laid, Commander Higgins said the presence of the two groups was “intimidating to the public”.
“Poor behavior will not be tolerated by members of these outlaw motorcycle clubs or members of the public,” he said.
Commander Higgins said there’d be a heavy police presence in the North-West later this week as the Bandidos start a run across Tasmania.
“The public can be reassured that with the upcoming Bandidos National run that we will be keeping a close eye on the groups,” he said.
“We will have an increased, visible police presence and the public should not be alarmed.”
The promoter of the Devonport Pro Boxing Tournament Craig Woods said he was unaware of the incident.
Lexington Hells Angel hired a pal to kill ex-wife for money, FBI says
COLUMBIA, SC (November
10, 2017) — Jerry Oliver needed money. Debts were piling up. So Oliver, 52, hired a friend to kill his ex-wife to make sure that she did not get some of his 401(k) retirement money. He gave his friend a Glock semiautomatic pistol with a full magazine and a bullet in the chamber.
Unknown to Oliver, a member of the Lexington County-Columbia chapter of the Hells Angel motorcycle club, his friend had a secret – he was a source for the FBI.
That was the testimony earlier this week of veteran FBI agent Craig Januchowski in federal court in Columbia during a hearing for Oliver, a laundry and linen service manager in Lexington County.
Hells Angel emblem U.S. - Department of Justice
“Mr. Oliver said he could provide a throwaway gun,” testified Januchowski, who has participated in a number of high-profile FBI cases, including helping conduct a key videotaped interview with Charleston church killer Dylann Roof, in which Roof bragged about killing nine African-Americans at their weekly Bible study.
In mid-October, after the source retrieved the loaded gun that Oliver allegedly had left for him, Januchowski and other agents arrested Oliver.
A federal grand jury indicted Oliver on weapons and murder for hire-related charges. Oliver had requested this week’s hearing to see if a judge would set bond so he get out of jail pending his trial.
But, after hearing Januchowski’s testimony, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paige Gossett ruled Oliver was both a flight risk and a “danger to the community.” She ordered him held without bond until trial.
‘Full patch’ Hells Angel
Oliver is a “full patch” Hells Angel, Januchowski testified, meaning he is a full-fledged member. Hells Angels clubs “pose a criminal threat,” according to the U.S. Justice Department, but not all members commit criminal acts.
“The government is ready to go to trial as soon as we can set a court date,” assistant U.S. Attorney Jim May told Gossett.
During the hearing, Januchowski revealed unpublicized details about the charges against Oliver:
Several months ago, Januchowski testified, a friend told Oliver that he needed help to fight a DUI charge. The friend was a truck driver, and a drunken-driving conviction would mean the friend would lose his job.
Oliver told the friend that he would give him $1,500 to hire a lawyer to fight the DUI charge if the friend would kill his ex-wife. Oliver didn’t want his ex-wife to get half of his 401(k), the subject of a court dispute between Oliver and his ex-wife.
The friend, who had a confidential relationship with the FBI, told the FBI about the deal, and agreed to wear a secret miniature video and audio recording device. Subsequently, Oliver and the FBI source discussed accessing the ex-wife’s Facebook page to see what she looked like and the best way to kill her, including “a gang-banger drive-by shooting,” Januchowski testified.
Also, “they had some initial plan to make it look like a robbery gone wrong,” testified Januchowski, adding the FBI has “numerous recordings” of the source’s meetings with Oliver.
Oliver told the FBI source he would leave a gun under the front seat of an old Studebaker car on his property. With three FBI agents, the friend retrieved the loaded Glock .40-caliber handgun with a round chambered, Januchowski testified.
‘Doesn’t make a lot of sense’
Oliver’s attorney, Ben Stitely of Lexington, urged Gossett to let Oliver get out on bond.
Oliver has no criminal record, owns his house, pays taxes and has held the same job for 15 years. He has another ex-wife “with whom he has no problems,” has children and grandchildren he takes care of, and a current live-in girlfriend that he has a stable relationship with.
“He’s more than happy to comply with any conditions,” Stitely said.
Moreover, the amount in the 401(k) was only about $30,000, and the only witness is a “snitch,” the defense attorney said.
Of the charges, Stitely said: “It just doesn’t make a lot of sense, judge.”