Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Alleged HA Member Restricted From Friends

Darwin, Australia (May 19, 2020) BTN - An alleged member of a Darwin Hells Angels motorcycle club has been banned from seeing his “friends” or visiting their clubhouse after being charged with drug and weapons offences. Adrian Lyle Cook, 57, faced the Darwin Local Court on a string of charges after allegedly failing a drug test during a traffic stop on Friday.

Cook was bailed after his arrest and prosecutor Erin McAuley applied to have him banned from associating with “any patched members, prospect members or associates of the Hells Angels” or come within 100m of their Darwin clubhouse.

Ms McAuley said ammunition allegedly seized during a raid on Cook’s home was found in “what the police have described as a holding room that was littered with Hells Angels paraphernalia, including the sergeant-at arms motorcycle jacket”.

She said the circumstances of the seizure suggested Cook was “a somewhat trusted member” of the club.

“There are concerns that if these restrictions are not imposed that he will still be able to affiliate with members of the Hells Angels,” she said.

“But also, more concerning perhaps, is the fact that he was found in the possession of ammunition and other items that would assist the motorcycle group in other breaches of the law.”

In opposing the bail variation, Cook’s lawyer Shane McMaster said it was “not a crime to be associated with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club”. “He is associated with that club and closely associated with various members, they are his friends, they are his social group,” he said.

“Because they are his social group a lot of his previous friendship or social group has dissipated (so) these are the people he knows and hangs around with, he fixes motorbikes, he goes on motorbikes with them.”

Mr McMaster said the offences his client had been charged with “have got nothing to do with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club”.

“There are various matters that we’ll be looking at in terms of forensics and weights and things like that but I can indicate that a lot of it is going to proceed by way of plea,” he said.

“The cannabis, your honour, conveniently comes in at one gram over the minimum 50g which would be a traffic-able amount.”

In granting the application, judge Greg Cavanagh said it was “certainly not a crime to be a part of a motorcycle club”. “I have mates who are in such clubs, years ago I used to do legal work for the Hells Angels,” he said.

“Any restriction that is merely premised on being an associate, being friendly with or hanging around with Hells Angels members would not be a just thing to do and I wouldn’t do it merely for that reason.

“But I am going to make the conditions sought because I think it’s a very serious indication of the likelihood of further offences when someone has a safe room containing material – the gun pieces, the ammunition and all that’s contained in the schedule within that room – together with bits and pieces of Hells Angels paraphernalia.”

Cook returns to court on June 15.


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Hells Angels Members Jailed

Barcelona, Spain (May 7, 2020) BTN - The jury court of the Barcelona Court has sentenced three members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club to 14 years in prison for intentional homicide in the death of a member of a rival club that occurred in 2017, as well as the payment of compensation of 357,000 euros to the victim’s relatives.

The events date back to 2017, when the three now convicted members, belonging to the Hells Angels MC, killed a member of a rival club in the Barcelona town of Castellar del Vallès.

Material requisitioned from the Nomad section of the Hells Angels of Sabadell (Mossos)

According to the sentence that the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) made public yesterday, it has been proven that the three killed a member of the Renegados MC on September 24, 2017.

They found the victim when he was traveling by motorcycle on a street in Sabadell, and followed him to a polygon in Castellar del Vallès, where they beat him until they left him badly injured and unconscious on the ground. Due to the injuries suffered, the man died on December 9 at the Hospital de Granollers.

Intention to kill 

The ruling maintains that the three defendants acted with the “common intention to end his life — of AS—, or at least with knowledge of the high probabilities of doing so with his conduct”, using their numerical superiority and carrying “potentially harmful” objects. for the physical integrity ”of the victim.

“Firstly, one of the accused, acting with the acquiescence and lack of opposition of the other two —who collaborated effectively with the action of said accused by avoiding with his presence the defense or flight of the victim—, charged him at least a blow to the head with an elongated blunt force like a baseball bat ”, causing him to fall to the ground, establishes the sentence.

After that, the ruling continues, the three accused “jointly, or at least two of them in the face of the passivity of the third party – who also collaborated effectively with the injurious result by avoiding the defense or flight of the victim with their presence – continued hitting repeatedly with punches and kicks to the head and the rest of the body, until AS was lying unconscious on the ground. ”


Iron Horsemen Clubhouse Destroyed

Hamilton, Ohio, USA (May 7, 2020) BTN - A fire early Wednesday morning destroyed the Iron Horsemen Clubhouse along with two other houses. Several people called 911 to report fire and smoke at houses in the 600 block of Ludlow Street, according to Butler County dispatchers. The fire was so large, residents who live several streets over also called 911, they said.

Firefighters arrived on scene shortly after neighbors detected the fire around 2:00 a.m. By the time firefighters were able to put out the fire, the damage was already done. Five houses had been damaged with three of them total losses.

“Usually we’re still able to look at the structure and see kind of where it started,” said Chief Mark Mercer with the Hamilton Fire Department. “This one has totally burned to the ground, and there’s just nothing left of it.”

The chief said the fire started in the one-story home in the middle. The home to the left was the clubhouse of the Iron Horseman Motorcycle Club.

Hamilton Police Department say they’ve had no problems with anyone at that address in recent history. Just a couple of car stops out front. Foul play is not suspected.

The only camera known to have captured anything began shooting after the fire started, the Hamilton Fire Department says they will continue investigating.


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Pagan's MC Leader Gunned Down

Bronx, New York, USA (May 5, 2020) BTN - Francisco Rosado, 51, who headed the Bronx chapter of the Pagan's Motorcycle Club has been gunned down by two masked men on Saturday.

The suspected execution took place on Hollard Avenue near Boston Road in the Allerton section of The Bronx at around 3.20 pm.

The video begins with a pair of men dressed in all black and wearing blue surgical masks getting out of a dark-blue Jeep and drawing pistols equipped with silencers to muffle the sounds of gunfire.

They sprint across the street aiming their guns, then return just moments later, jump back in the Jeep Cherokee and speed away. The video has no audio and does not show the victim getting shot.

According to police, Rosado was talking to someone in a parking lot when he was struck in the head and torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene.Surveillance footage shows the moment two masked gunmen exit their car in the Bronx before fatally shooting.

Moments later, the two men run back to the SUV and speed away, making their getaway by driving across the sidewalk and making an illegal U-turn. Rosado was struck in the head and chest and declared dead at the scene, police said.

No arrests had been made as of Monday night, according to police.

SOURCE: New York Post

Friday, May 1, 2020

Man Arrested In Fatal Club Shooting

Nashville, Tennessee, USA  (May 1, 2020) BTN - Authorities on Thursday found a weapons cache with over a dozen guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition and body armor during the arrest of a man suspected in a double homicide in Alabama.

Tyrone Johnson, 37, was wanted in connection to the fatal shooting of two men outside a motorcycle club in Huntsville, Alabama, on March 27.

A U.S. Marshal’s task force found 17 guns, two sets of body armor, and thousands of rounds ammunition when they arrested Johnson at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, according to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

The shooting, which injured two others, was one of three shootings outside the club within an 8-hour span, according to AL.com. The Huntsville police chief described the incident as a "culmination" of tensions between motorcycle clubs.

Police said Johnson is being held on a $500,000 bond and is to be extradited to Alabama. It’s unclear if he has retained an attorney. Johnson is the second suspect arrested in the March incident that killed Bernard Griffin and Kelcey Smith.

Albert Vinson, 31, was charged earlier this month with two counts each of first-degree murder, first-degree assault, and discharging a weapon into an unoccupied building, according to county jail records. Records also show he was released on April 18. It is unclear whether Vinson has retained an attorney.

SOURCE: Nashville Police Department

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Firearms And Club Cuts Seized

Bancroft, Ontario (April 28, 2020) BTN - Two people were arrested during a raid by the Ontario Provincial Police’s biker enforcement unit in the town of Bancroft, Ontario. On April 22, the Ontario Provincial Police unit and the Belleville police’s tactical team searched a Bancroft home.

The Belleville police claimed numerous firearms, including rifles and handguns, and various types of drugs were seized during the warrant. The Belleville police released an image of items seized, which includes leather jackets with Outlaw Motorcycle Club logos on them.

Two people, 48-year-old Brian Sturgeon and 41-year-old Laura Power, both from Bancroft, were charged with the following:
  • Three counts of careless storage of a firearm 
  • Two counts of breach of firearms regulations 
  • Two counts of unauthorized possession of a weapon 
  • Possession of a schedule I substance 
  • Possession of a schedule II substance Possession of schedule III substance 
  • Possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000
Both of the accused were released on bail. Belleville police are still investigating the case.


Monday, April 27, 2020

Musician Charlie Brechtel Dies In Motorcycle Crash

Copperopolis, California, USA (April 27, 2020) BTN — Charlie Brechtel died in a motorcycle crash on O’Bynes Ferry Road on Saturday, April 25 at 5:52 pm.

Charlie was riding his 1987 Harley-Davidson motorcycle when his motorcycle crossed the double-yellow line, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Charlie’s Harley-Davidson collided with the front left corner of a 2013 Chevy Equinox being driven the opposite direction by Briana Mason, 29, and Evan Gorder, 29, both of Davis.

Charlie was ejected from his motorcycle and was pronounced dead at the scene. Neither Briana nor Evan were injured. No arrests were made, and the Highway Patrol accident report states that drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the collision.

Brechtel was a nationally known figure among motorcycle enthusiasts, and was nicknamed “Good Time Charlie.” Charlie Brechtel’s music is in an honest to goodness tribute to the biker lifestyle that he loved.

His top notch musical group, the Charlie Brechtel Band, had been featured in many motorcycle films.

Charlie’s music has been featured on the Sons of Anarchy TV series as well as many other biker movies, books and events. Charlie worked with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Deacon Jones, Gregg Allman, B.B. King, Dr. John, Buddy Miles, Aaron Neville, Freddy Fender, Steppenwolfe and much.

He had his own stage every year at The Buffalo Chip in Sturgis and headlined every night.

Charlie has opened for artists such as Dave Mason, Foghat, Edgar Winter, Jackyl and a host of others. He was also a Composer, Arranger, Songwriter and Producer. Brechtel was 62-years-old.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Bar Owner Sues City And Cops

Pittsburgh, PA (April 18, 2020) BTN — The owner of a South Side bar in which undercover city police officers and members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club fought in October 2018 has sued the officers, their chief and the mayor, saying the police started the fight and have a history of abusing people while their leaders have condoned it.

Stephen R. Kopy, owner of Kopy's Bar, said in the federal court suit that the officers escalated a tense situation with the Pagans MC before the fight erupted on Oct. 12, 2018, ignoring him when he told them the bikers weren't causing any trouble as they played pool in a back room.

When the punching began, he said an officer pepper-sprayed him without cause as he tried to shield other patrons. Later, he said, another officer tried to cover police actions by destroying a surveillance video of the incident, not realizing that copies had already been given to other parties, including lawyers for the Pagans MC.

The Biker Trash Network as been covering this story from the start.

Timeline stories below

Related | Cops in Pagan's bar fight keep their jobs
Related Undercover cops not charged in Pagan's beating
Related Undercover cops drinks bought by city
Related Pagans MC: Another member sues city officials
Related | Pagan MC member files lawsuit against City and Police

Mr. Kopy and his lawyer, George Farneth, cited numerous other incidents of alleged abuse by Pittsburgh police, many of which have resulted in federal lawsuits.

The officers, according to the suit, "conspired and acted in concert with each other" to deprive him of his civil rights in the wake of the brawl. Chief Scott Schubert and Mayor William Peduto also made defamatory statements in defending the police and labeling his establishment as a "biker bar" and nuisance bar when it is neither, Mr. Kopy said.

In addition to the mayor, the chief and the city of Pittsburgh, the suit names Officers Brian Martin, Brian Burgunder, David Honick, David Lincoln, Matthew Turko, a detective identified only as Murray, and John Doe, an unknown officer.

The bikers said the officers instigated the fight after drinking all evening and into the night and then jailed them on false charges of having assaulted them. The district attorney's office withdrew the charges and several of the Pagans MC members later filed federal lawsuits against the police.

Video of the incident shows Officer Lincoln punching one of the Pagans MC members, Frank DeLuca, nearly 20 times in the face as another officer pins him to the bar. The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office reviewed the case for civil rights charges but said they found no basis for federal crimes.

The suit largely repeats claims Mr. Farneth and Mr. Kopy have previously made that the police were to blame and should be held accountable.

It says that the officers involved, and other city officers, have shown a pattern of abuse under the training of instructor David Wright and the supervision of Chief Schubert.

"At the direction and under the tutelage of Schubert and the City, the police are trained to be aggressive above all else, to escalate all citizen encounters so that their aggression is greater than the citizen they encounter, even when their aggression results in the use of excessive force, and to 'win' under all circumstances during citizen encounters," Mr. Farneth says in the complaint.

The suit says the police and their leaders are part of a "good old boy network" that protects police who violate civil rights with aggressive tactics and then cover their tracks with false affidavits and charges.

The suit cites numerous incidents of alleged police abuse, some of which involved officers in the Kopy's fight.

Among them are the case of Kyle Sholtis, of Uniontown, Ohio, who in a federal lawsuit filed last year said Officer Turko used a Taser on him without cause after a scuffle at the Cheerleaders club on Liberty Avenue in 2017. The suit also mentions Officer Turko in another incident in which he was accused in a federal lawsuit of beating a man during a traffic stop on the North Side in 2012. In that case, a federal court jury awarded the man $105,000 in damages.

The Kopy's suit is asking for compensatory and punitive damages and other relief, although no dollar figure is mentioned.

Spokesmen for the mayor and the police declined to comment on the suit.

SOURCE: CBS Pittsburgh

Monday, April 13, 2020

Cop Busted Threatening HA Member

Greeley, Colorado, USA (April 13, 2020) BTN — A lawsuit filed in federal court claims officers of the Greeley Police Department, LaSalle Police Department and Weld County Sheriff’s Office violated the First, Fourth and 14th Amendment rights of Anthony Mills, a Hells Angels Motorcycle Club member, during a 2018 traffic stop.

According to Mills’ attorney, Sarah Schielke, he was pulled over by a La Salle police officer for speeding the night of April 8, 2018. He was ticketed for driving 20-25 mph over the speed limit.

But during the 90-plus minute stop, Schielke argues officer and deputies treated her client like a criminal and was harassed strictly for his association to the Hells Angels MC. Schielke says body camera video she obtained through an open records request shows officers abused their power that night.

At one point during the body camera video, an officer is allegedly heard saying, “I’m shooting him. I need some paid vacation.”

“An officer can say, ‘I’m going to shoot him. I need more vacation time!’ and that’s a joke? And that gets laughter,” questioned Schielke.

She also points to a part in the footage that she says reveals the officers wanted the body cameras turned off and the one officer who did have his camera rolling must have done so by mistake.

READ: The lawsuit filed on Mills’ behalf

Schielke says her client wants an apology and to see changes to the departments involved.

“To take police seriously, to trust police to police us, those kinds of conversations can’t happen,” added Schielke.

A check on Mills’ background shows he was charged in 2017 with burglary, witness intimidation and assault. All three charges were dismissed.

In response to the lawsuit, the La Salle Police Department said it launched an internal investigation and the officer involved was notified of that investigation.

A spokesperson from the Weld County Sheriff’s Office said the department does not comment on pending litigation.

The Greeley Police Department did not respond to a request for comment as of Friday night.


Sunday, March 29, 2020

Charges Dropped Against Vagos Members

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (March 29, 2020) BTN — About a month after eight members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club were acquitted in a lengthy racketeering trial, federal prosecutors on Friday dropped all charges against each of their co-defendants awaiting trial, except one.

In a three-page court brief, prosecutors dismissed all charges against 11 more defendants.

Prosecutors still are pursuing two counts against one local biker, John Halgat. While a racketeering count against him was dismissed, he still faces charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to the crime charged.

Related | Vagos MC Members Acquitted
Related | Long Vagos MC trial continues in Vegas 
Related | Judge rules Vagos MC members will face charges 
Related | Star witness in Vagos MC trial lied 
Related | Jury selection begins in Vagos MC case

Last month, after a trial that started in July, jurors acquitted eight members of the club, including its president on federal charges of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, murder and using a firearm to commit murder.

The Las Vegas trial centered around the fatal September 2011 shooting of a Hells Angels leader inside a Sparks casino during Street Vibrations, an annual motorcycle festival.

SOURCE: Las Vegas Review

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Outlaws MC Member Disputes Claim

Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland (March 3, 2020) BTN — A member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club is disputing the RCMP’s depiction of their activities.

Cops seen this belt during the raid, liked it and confiscated it

Operation Barbarian last week resulted in eight cocaine trafficking arrests after the Outlaws Clubhouse in Grand Falls-Windsor was raided last weekend.

Two of the accused were members of the Outlaws and four others were associated with a support group known as the Fallen Few. Police say the investigation continues and more arrests are pending.

RELATED | Outlaws MC Members Charged 
RELATED | Arrests at Outlaws Clubhouse

At the time, RCMP warned that while the Outlaws try to depict themselves as motorcycle enthusiasts who give back to the community through charitable acts, their activities are linked to organized crime.

Mark Hancock takes exception to that. He admits they like to “party and have fun,” but says you’ll find people getting into trouble in any group.

He says to-date, the Outlaws Motorcycle Club has not been charged for being organized crime.


Monday, March 2, 2020

Chapter President Pleads Not Guilty

Providence, Rhode Island, USA (March 2, 2020) BTN —As his legal troubles mount, the president of the Hells Angels Rhode Island chapter is accusing the authorities of trying to entrap him and going easy on a “star witness” with a violent history.

Joseph Lancia, 28, of Smithfield, pleaded not guilty in District Court on Monday morning to two misdemeanors stemming from an altercation at the Cadillac Lounge strip club Saturday night. Police said they saw him punch a man, later identified as a strip club bouncer, in the face.

He will remain locked up because authorities say he violated the conditions of his bail in a case from June, when police said he shot at a man — a former prospect for the motorcycle club — driving by the Hells Angels Providence clubhouse in a truck.

In legal papers filed just days before the strip-club altercation, Lancia’s attorneys launched a number of accusations at the man police said he tried to shoot.

RELATED | HA Chapter President Arrested
RELATED | Cops stalking Hells Angels MC fundraiser
RELATED | Hells Angels Prez arrested for assault 
RELATED | Hells Angel MC member home raided 

The man, Richard Starnino, actually pointed a gun at Lancia first, and has threatened Lancia’s life a number of times, the filing says. Nobody was injured in the incident.

“The Grand Jury was never made aware of Richard Starnino’s drug habits, nor were they made aware of his violent criminal history or the numerous death threats he made against Joseph Lancia,” the filing says. “Furthermore, it was never disclosed to the Grand Jury that Starnino was an informant for the State Police, and that Starnino instigated and caused this incident.”

And Starnino has seen his own legal troubles quickly resolve in his favor — because he was cooperating with prosecutors in a long-running investigation into the Hells Angels, Lancia’s lawyer, Joseph Voccola, said.

Voccola said in a court filing that Starnino was arrested in May after beating a woman who’d gotten sand into his vehicle.

But by then, Starnino, 47, was already cooperating with the state police in an investigation into the Hells Angels, and had been for a number of months. So despite the fact that the victim reported suffering broken bones and needing 30 stitches, Starnino was charged only with misdemeanor simple domestic assault, the filing says.

Just days later, Starnino was charged again with violating a no-contact order after another assault, Lancia’s attorneys said. But he again was only charged with a minor offense, and authorities withdrew an accusation that he’d violated his bail on the earlier charge, Voccola said.

The charges against Starnino were eventually dismissed, according to court records.

Lancia now faces an accusation that he violated the terms of his bail in the June case after his arrest at the strip club over the weekend. That differs from the treatment Starnino received, Voccola said. “Everybody should be treated the same,” Voccola said. “That’s not the case here.”

Starnino’s attorney in his latest cases from 2019 did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lancia will pursue a self-defense argument and an entrapment defense; the route Starnino took with his truck to drive by the Messer Street clubhouse “doesn’t make sense,” Voccola said.

Maj. Timothy Sanzi of the Rhode Island State Police said he could not comment on the specifics of Lancia’s arguments, but said: “The detectives do a terrific job and we stand by the investigations they produce.”

Lancia is expected to appear in Superior Court on Tuesday to face accusations that he violated the terms of his bail from his arrest at the strip club over the weekend. He rejected a deal that would have resolved the bail violation and the underlying misdemeanors from the weekend but would have resulted in him serving 75 days at the Adult Correctional Institutions.

Voccola noted that the victim in the strip club case “doesn’t even want to come forward.”

But police said they saw him punch the victim, so he was charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. On Monday, a simple assault charge was added to the case.

SOURCE: TurnTo10

Sunday, March 1, 2020

HA Chapter President Arrested

Providence, Rhode Island, USA (March 1, 2020) BTN — Shortly before Midnight Saturday February 29, 2020 nightclub staff alerted police about a disturbance inside the nightclub near the bar area. Police observed multiple persons of the Hells Angels Motorcycle club arguing with club managers and nightclub security.

Tim Fascitelli suffered a bloody nose and mouth from a punch to the face by an unidentified male member of the motorcycle club. Fascitelli reported to the police that he was attempting to calm an argument between the unidentified Hells Angels member and club staff when he was punched in the face.

Fascitelli did not file a formal complaint and would be okay if the Hells Angels members left for the evening.

It took several minutes for police and nightclub security to gather and escort the motorcycle club members to the exit.

Just outside of the club exit, 28 year-old Joseph Lancia of the Hells Angels Club walked out the front door and was observed by police punching a male subject, 43 in the face.

The 43 year-old victim fell to the ground, struck the back of his head and appeared to become unconscious. After regaining consciousness, the victim was treated on scene and brought to Rhode Island Hospital for evaluation of possible head injuries.

The victim told police on scene he also did not wish to make a formal complaint against Joseph Lancia at this time.

Lancia was found to be negative through the Nation Crime Information Center and was charged with one count of disorderly conduct and held for the next session of 6th District Court.

SOURCE: Providence Journal 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Red Devils Clubhouse Raided

Halifax, Nova Scotia (February 27, 2020) BTN — RCMP raided the clubhouse of the Red Devils motorcycle club on Alma Crescent in Halifax on Thursday afternoon as part of an organized crime investigation.

Staff at the nearby Mary Brown’s Chicken outlet said they heard the commotion in the early afternoon. “There were cops here earlier,” Jennifer Nolasco said at about 3:15 p.m. “We heard like a bang, a loud one, a cop went inside and they said they threw tear gas (and) it will take a while for it to be gone.”

Police had left the scene by about 2:00 p.m., Nolasco said. “We just saw one police car but the cop said there were a few cars which were not visible.”

She said the officer who came into the fast food outlet told them they had a search warrant but the staff did not see if anyone was taken into custody.

Cpl. Lisa Croteau, spokeswoman for the Halifax District RCMP, confirmed the Mounties’ involvement.

“Nova Scotia RCMP is currently engaged in an operation that involves searches of a number of properties in the HRM,” she said. “This is an ongoing serious organized crime investigation and more information, including possible arrests, charges and seizures, will be published when available.”

Croteau could not specify what other locations besides the Alma Crescent residence was involved. Nor could she confirm it was the Red Devils clubhouse. Online sources identified the clubhouse.

Julian Sher, an investigative journalist and author of several books on bikers and organized crime, said the Red Devils are affiliated with the Hell’s Angels.

“These guys are Hells Angels wannabees,” Sher said in an email. “Puppet clubs of the outlaw motorcycle gangs are just as dangerous as the real thing – sometimes even more so. They are like a farm team for the HA and they want to prove they are as bad as the baddest.”

SOURCE: The Chronicle Herald

Bandidos Clubhouse Searched

Devonport, Tasmania, Australia (February 27, 2020) BTN — A 32 year old Bandidos Motorcycle Club member and a 39 year old Bandidos associate have been charged with stealing from a Devonport motel.

Police conducted a search at the Bandidos clubhouse on 26 February in relation to a stealing that had occurred the previous day at the Argosy Motel, where approximately $5000 in building materials had been stolen.

As a result of the search, all of the stolen property has been recovered.

Both men have been charged with stealing and have been bailed to appear in the Devonport Magistrates Court on 20 April.

Public Release: View in full here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Outlaws MC Members Charged

Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland (February 26, 2020) BTN — Eight people have been charged with trafficking cocaine as a result of an RCMP investigation into outlaw motorcycle clubs called Project Barbarian.

Six of those charged are members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, also known as the Outlaws MC, or members of its support club the Fallen Few. Project Barbarian was a joint initiative between RCMP NL’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit and the Grand-Falls Windsor RCMP.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team assisted in the arrests and containment of the Outlaws MC clubhouse* located in Grand Falls-Windsor.

“Project Barbarian reflects our priority to disrupt inter-provincial criminal networks responsible for the distribution of illegal drugs in our communities,” said Staff Sergeant Stefan Thoms. “Much of the drugs on our streets are due to organized crime, which includes 1% Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. These gangs often try to fool the public into believing that they are just motorcycle enthusiasts who give back to the community. That is simply not true. They are known for criminal activities, as we see here with many of those arrested being members and associates of the Outlaws MC. We will continue our work to target drug trafficking networks and lay charges wherever appropriate.

Charges laid:

  • Timothy Andrews, age 28 of Grand Falls Windsor, member of the Fallen Few: One count Trafficking cocaine, s. 5(1) CDSA
  • Ryan Ballard, age 28 of Grand Falls-Windsor, probate* (probationary) member of the Outlaws MC: One count Trafficking cocaine, s. 5(1) CDSA
  • Alonzo Brown, 62 years old of Peterview: One count Trafficking cocaine, s. 5(1) CDSA
  • Anthony Chow, age 33 of Grand Falls-Windsor, member of the Outlaws MC: One count Trafficking cocaine, s. 5(1) Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA)
  • Michael Hayes, age 22 of Grand Falls-Windsor, member of the Fallen Few: Two counts Trafficking cocaine, s. 5(1) CDSA
  • Tyson Higgins, age 27 of Botwood: Two counts Trafficking cocaine, s. 5(1) CDSA
  • Dean Langdon, age 25 of Grand Falls Windsor, member of the Fallen Few: One count Trafficking cocaine, s. 5(1) CDSA
  • Jimmy Lee Newman, age 36 of Grand Falls-Windsor, member of the Fallen Few: One count Trafficking cocaine, s. 5(1) CDSA

RELATED | Arrests at Outlaws Clubhouse

The investigation included a search of the Outlaws MC clubhouse in Grand Falls-Windsor. Multiple items were seized:

  • Cocaine
  • Several telecommunication devices
  • Drug paraphernalia indicative of drug trafficking
  • One full patch Outlaws MC Vest
  • Two probationary Outlaws MC Vests
  • Clothing and support gear related to the Outlaws MC and the Fallen Few
  • Items related to the structure and organization of the Outlaws MC and the Fallen Few

Mongols MC Clubhouse Raided

Canterbury, New Zealand (February 26, 2020) BTN — Police have raided the new Canterbury headquarters of international motorcycle club the Mongols MC. No one was arrested and inquiries were "ongoing", a police spokesman said.

Part of State Highway 1 (SH1) was closed between Burnham and Rolleston on both sides about 7:00 am as the armed offenders squad and police carried out the planned search. It reopened about 8.30 am.

Stuff understands police raided the new headquarters for the Canterbury chapter of the Mongols MC, which has more than half a dozen members and associates.

Several police cars, including the mobile police bus and what looked like dog squad vans, were seen outside the headquarters at The Old Sawmill in Burnham, opposite the Burnham Military Camp.

The expansion of the Mongols, which first established itself in the Bay of Plenty last year, has created tension in Christchurch's underworld. In the past two weeks a barbershop with links to the club has been firebombed in separate attacks while a tattoo parlor was smashed into with a stolen ute.

Police are exploring whether the attacks are the work of a rival club.

A senior Canterbury-based Mongols figure was kicked out of the Hells Angels last year, which led to the disbandment of the clubs's Quake City chapter in Christchurch. He is linked to the tattoo parlor via an ex-partner.

At least one of the barbershop attacks is believed to have involved Molotov cocktail-like devices. A Mongols member has confirmed the club is connected to the barbershop, but it's unclear what that connection is.

Stuff earlier reported the Mongols MC, involved in a recent North Island shooting, had expanded into the South Island after senior members, including national president Jim Thacker, traveled to Christchurch and started the Canterbury chapter of the club.

A patched Mongols member previously said the barbershop was "sort of" connected to the club. "We haven't caused any trouble, it's just people not wanting us around … we're new to town," he said.

"We're not going out to go get some revenge or anything like that because that's just what everyone expects. That's just stupid, we'd rather just keep our family safe and move on with life, and start our businesses and be happy and ride motorbikes."

He expected police to come knocking on the doors of the clubhouse in the coming days as a result of the attacks. "They expect us to do the retaliation . . . it's just the way society is, we haven't done anything wrong but we're going to be painted out as bad people," he said.

The police spokesman said the armed offenders squad attended "as a precaution" and guarded the road at the Burnham end. Police could not provide any other details on the reason for the warrant.


Arrests at Outlaws Clubhouse

Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland (February 26, 2020) BTN — An RCMP operation called "Project Barbarian" has led to multiple arrests and charges in Grand Falls-Windsor — including arrests at a motorcycle clubhouse.

Police plan to release more details today about the operation, which they said targets "drug trafficking with a connection to organized crime."

According to an RCMP spokesperson, multiple people were arrested and charged, including some who were arrested at the Outlaws Motorcycle Club clubhouse in Grand Falls-Windsor on Saturday.

The RCMP have called the Outlaws Motorcycle Club a "one-percenter" organization, and allege it has links to crime. In 2018, police said the Outlaws were looking to expand their presence in Newfoundland.

The Outlaws clubhouse in Grand Falls-Windsor displays a flag with a diamond logo containing the words "Outlaws 1%er."

According to the RCMP's website, "The common term '1% Club' distinguishes outlaw motorcycle riders from the majority of motorcycle enthusiasts who are law-abiding citizens. It's worn as a symbol by outlaw bikers and often seen as a pin, patch or tattoo."

The Outlaws clubhouse is located in a complex across from a gas station, and next to Central Health's community health building.

Three of the men arrested Saturday are facing charges of trafficking cocaine.

Jimmy Lee Newman, 36, Anthony Chow, 33, and Michael Hayes, 23, appeared in provincial court in Grand Falls-Windsor on Monday, and are all scheduled to return to court in April.

They have yet to enter a plea on the charges.

Chow has a criminal record that includes breaking and entering. The last conviction on record was for an offence in 2007.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Vagos MC Members Acquitted

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (February 24, 2020) BTN — Eight accused Vagos motorcycle club members were acquitted Monday of all charges alleging they were part of a broad criminal racketeering enterprise that committed violent crimes for more than a decade, including the killing of a rival Hells Angels leader in a casino shootout in 2011.

Gasps erupted in the Las Vegas courtroom as U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro read the jury’s not guilty verdicts for each man.

“This is what happens when the government tries to put people away with tricks and liars,” said Daniel Hill, attorney for Pastor Fausto Palafox, former international president of the Vagos Motorcycle Club and first-named defendant in the case.

Related | Long Vagos MC trial continues in Vegas 
Related | Judge rules Vagos MC members will face charges 
Related | Star witness in Vagos MC trial lied 
Related | Jury selection begins in Vagos MC case

The jury deliberated the equivalent of only about two days after more than five months of contentious testimony at the troubled trial that had some witnesses stunningly recant their own stories on the witness stand.

Defense attorneys lost bids during trial to have Navarro throw out the case as deeply flawed — including after prosecutors disavowed the testimony of their own star witness, former Vagos member Gary “Jabbers” Rudnick.

Navarro said repeatedly it would be up to the jury to decide the facts and reach a verdict.

Rudnick testified and then acknowledged fabricating his account that Palafox issued a “green light” go-ahead to kill Jeffrey Pettigrew, then-president of the Hells Angels chapter from San Jose, California.

Palafox, 56, watched Monday as the 10 women and two men filed out of the jury box, and he mouthed the words, “Thank you.”

U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich declined outside court to talk about how the prosecution unfolded and whether the government will continue to trial for 13 other accused Vagos defendants in the case.

“I’m grateful for the court’s time, the jury’s consideration and the diligent work of the assistant U.S. attorneys,” Trutanich said, adding that he believed the jury reached a verdict it found “fair and just.”

The government chose to take the Vagos case to trial despite Rudnick previously recanting his testimony at a state trial that led to a murder conviction in Reno against Vagos member Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez. The Nevada Supreme Court threw out that result because of improper jury instructions. Gonzalez was awaiting a retrial when federal charges were brought.

Gonzalez, now 42, was among the defendants acquitted Monday. Others were Albert Lopez, Albert Perez, James Gillespie, Bradley Campos, Cesar Morales and Diego Garcia. None testified at trial. All are from California. They range in age from 36 to 70.

Collectively, they were accused of conspiring since 2005 to deal drugs and commit violent crimes including killings, robberies, extortion and kidnappings in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Nevada.

U.S. Justice Department attorney John Han told the jury a “war” between the Vagos and Hells Angels over territory and respect in California dates to 2005 and continues today.

The focus of the case was the shooting inside the Nugget casino in Sparks. The jury was told Rudnick argued with Pettigrew, and that Pettigrew threw a first punch before pulling a gun and firing several shots while casino patrons dived under blackjack tables and behind slot machines.

The melee continued for about two minutes before Pettigrew was shot by Gonzalez. His attorney, Michael Kennedy, maintained that his client was within his rights to defend himself and others when he shot Pettigrew.

The acquittals came in the same courtroom and before the same judge who in December 2017 found flagrant misconduct by prosecutors and dismissed criminal charges against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons and supporters in a 2014 armed standoff with government agents. An appeal of that dismissal is pending.

Hells Angels Clubhouse Targeted

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada (February 25, 2020) BTN — The City of Surrey is seeking an injunction to stop a rented rural property in Anniedale from being used as a clubhouse for the Hells Angels’ newest chapter.

Surrey filed the lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court on Jan. 31, claiming the clubhouse contravenes city bylaws and had renovations done without building permits.

The suit names Gurbinder Singh Johal and Kulwant Kaur Johal, the owners of the house at 18068 96th Avenue as defendants, as well as full-patch Hardside Hells Angel Shannon Rennie.

Rennie, 44, signed a five-year lease for the property, the lawsuit claims.

“The City was advised by the RCMP and verily believes that Mr. Rennie is a full-patch member of the Hells Angels, an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang,” the court documents say.

As Postmedia first reported, the Hells Angels opened the Hardside chapter in March of 2017 — the 10th HA chapter to start since the motorcycle club set up in B.C. in 1983.

Shortly afterwards Hardside held a gathering on the Anniedale property, which is on a dead-end street just off the Trans-Canada Highway.

The event was “a large gathering of full patch members, motorcycles, public drinking, increased traffic in the neighbourhood and related social activities,” the city’s lawsuit alleges.

“Between summer of 2017 through to the end of 2018, the city’s enforcement included monitoring of activities on the property. There were minor regulatory breaches not related to the operation of an OMG (outlaw motorcycle gang) that were resolved by city bylaw enforcement.”

When Hardside began planning an anniversary party at the property in early 2019, the city sent a notice saying the gathering was not permitted. The event was then cancelled, the suit said. But after Hardside member Suminder “Allie” Grewal was shot to death on Aug. 2, 2019, the bikers organized a post-funeral wake at the clubhouse.

“This assembly included approximately 35 people, 25 motorcycles and 10 vehicles. Law enforcement observed people drinking from red cups, smoking, and inhaling nitrous oxide from red balloons,” the court documents said. “City Bylaw Enforcement also observed OMGs from other clubs including the Lynchmen, the Dirty Bikers and Hells Angels members from Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.”

Hells Angels outside Hardside clubhouse on Aug. 16, 2019 to mourn slain Hells Angel Suminder “Allie” Grewal

The zoning on the one-acre property “does not permit the use of the property as a clubhouse, assembly hall or entertainment hall,” the suits says. “The property owners have leased the property to the tenant, who is using and continues to use the property as a clubhouse, assembly hall or entertainment hall with the consent or permission of the property owners. These uses are not permitted.”

The suit also alleges that the building bylaw has been violated by the construction of “a tent-like structure fixed to or supported into land” and “renovations inside the dwelling unit.” Permits were never obtained, the city says. The city is asking the court for an injunction that would state the property can no longer be used as a clubhouse and would request the removal of the non-permitted structure.

No statement of defence has yet been filed.

Neither the Johals nor Rennie could be reached for comment.

Hells Angels spokesman Rick Ciarniello did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum declined to comment because the case is before the courts, spokesman Oliver Lum said.

Surrey RCMP also declined to comment.

B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit has launched a campaign to educate the public about the risks posed by the Hells Angels and other outlaw motorcycle gangs. CFSEU Sgt. Brenda Winpenny said Friday that the Hells Angels “utilize clubhouses in our communities to brand their image and they serve as a tool to market themselves to the public.”

“They serve as a tactic of intimidation and our communities should not fall complacent and desensitized to it as they represent and are utilized by individuals involved in criminality who pose a threat to public safety,” she said.

SOURCE: Vancouver Sun

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Clubhouse Gets More Breathing Room

Troy, New York, USA (February 19, 2020) BTN — The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club will benefit from the city’s removal of urban eyesores, as bidding has opened to knock down the derelict building on the north side of the motorcycle clubhouse property in the gritty North Central neighborhood.

The two-story wood-frame residential property at 3151 Sixth Ave. is one of eight properties in the North Central and Lansingburgh neighborhoods the city wants to raze as its wipes out buildings that are heavily damaged by fire, are deteriorating or are otherwise so unsafe that city firefighters are ordered not to enter.

The Hells Angels clubhouse at 3145 Sixth Ave. is usually a quiet place with much of its 0.27-acre parcel locked behind a fence. The three-story brick clubhouse building at the north side of the property is adjacent to the building the city wants to raze.

This is one of eight buildings the city of Troy is advertising to demolish.
(Lori Van Buren/Times Union)

The city has been budgeting funds to knock down buildings to erase blight and open up parcels for redevelopment. Sometimes the properties are sold to nonprofits that aim to build on the lots.

The Troy Fire Department last year sent a list of properties it recommended be removed over safety concerns to Mayor Patrick Madden’s administration. In some cases fire damage is extensive the buildings can’t be repaired. “They just have to be taken down,” Fire Chief Eric McMahon said.

SOURCE: Times Union

Shootout in Texas Bar Leaves One Dead

February 19, 2020 BTN — Few details of the shooting that took place on February 16, 2020 at Your Place Bar located in Midland, Texas are not being released as of today. According to several main stream news media outlets, they say the local police are still on a fact finding mission.

Scene outside the Your Place bar in Midland, Texas

One killed, three hurt in shootout between motorcycle clubs at Texas bar

Midland, Texas, USA (February 16, 2020) BTN — One person died and three others were taken to the hospital after police say they were shot in an incident between rival motorcycle clubs at a Texas bar.

According to the Midland Police Department, officers were called to Your Place bar in Midland, Texas, at 8:26 p.m. Sunday, February 6th. When police arrived at the scene, they found that four people had been shot, one fatally.

The three surviving victims were taken to the hospital. One is in critical condition, a second suffered major injuries and the third suffered only minor injuries.

No names have been released at this time.

Officers learned there had been a shootout at the bar between rival motorcycle clubs. They believe that multiple suspected club members were involved. The suspects were last seen heading westbound towards Odessa.

Police Dept. cancels news conference 30 minutes before its scheduled

Midland, Texas, USA (February 17, 2020) BTN — A City of Midland spokesperson told CBS7 Monday that the police department would not have any updates today on Sunday night's biker gang shooting. One person was killed in the shootout between the rival clubs, according to police. The last update we got Sunday night said that two others were in critical condition and a fourth had minor injuries.

CBS7 has also learned that once the gang members arrived at the Midland Memorial Hospital emergency room, the hospital placed the ER on lock-down. We're told that's standard procedure during an incident like this.

The city says the other bikers were last seen riding West towards Odessa.

The city also scheduled a news conference late Monday morning for 4:30 p.m. to discuss the "state of biker gangs in Midland." Thirty minutes before it was supposed to begin, we were told it was canceled because they needed to do more research. The shooting happened at the Your Place bar at 3704 West Wall Street.

TABC suspends liquor license at bar where motorcycle club shooting happened

Midland, Texas, USA (February 18, 2020) BTN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has suspended a Midland-area bar’s liquor license for seven days following a deadly Feb. 16 shootout between rival motorcycle gangs which left one person dead and three others injured.

Your Place, 3704 West Wall Street, will remain suspended until Feb. 24 as TABC agents and Midland police investigate the scene.

The seven-day suspension, also known as a summary suspension, was requested by the Midland Police Department and was served by TABC the afternoon of Feb. 17, according to TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles.

“The goal of the suspension is to allow TABC agents and local police the opportunity to safely investigate the scene of a deadly incident without fear of retaliation or additional violence,” Nettles said. “TABC’s investigation will seek to determine whether the bar’s actions or policies played any role in the incident. We will also examine the bar’s security policies and procedures to find out whether appropriate steps were taken to ensure guests’ safety.”

All alcohol retailers who operate under a TABC-issued license or permit are required to ensure the safety of their premises and guests. As Texas’ sole regulator of the alcoholic beverage industry, TABC’s law enforcement agents frequently investigate violent incidents which take place at licensed businesses such as bars, clubs, or liquor stores.

While Your Place will be able to resume normal operations on Feb. 24, it’s likely the investigations by TABC and the Midland Police Department will continue for several weeks.

UPDATE: Motorcycle gang shooting 

Midland, Texas, USA (February 20, 2020) BTN — The motorcycle clubs involved in the shooting on Sunday, February 16, 2020, were the Bandidos and the Mongols. According to the City of Midland, the deceased victim has been identified as Alex Canales Villarreal, 45 years of age, from McAllen, Texas. Next of kin has been notified, the investigation is ongoing. SOURCE: Your Basin


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Media Blames Hells Angels for Shooters

New York City, New York, USA (February 13, 2020) BTN — After four decades, the infamous Hells Angels packed up their Manhattan clubhouse and relocated to the Bronx. Their presence quickly became known to residents after bullets flew into their clubhouse.

Hells Angels new clubhouse 

The Jan. 2 incident raised questions about the Hells Angels' intentions on the Throgs Neck block. Windows are now boarded up at the clubhouse, and police are keeping a close eye.

"It was a little concerning. But you can't really blame them. I mean it's like blaming a victim for getting shot at. Do you blame the shooter or do you blame the victim? So, now they are getting the bad rep for something that happened to them," said a resident.

Related | New Hells Angels Clubhouse Upsets Nosy Neighbors 

Related | Former Hells Angels MC Clubhouse Sold

Allegations of criminal activity mark the group, but they are also known for charity with their annual toy drive during the holiday season.

News 12's investigation discovered that their clubhouse at 241 Longstreet Ave. is not the only property the club has bought after selling their longtime East Village NYC chapter headquartered in Manhattan for more than $7.7 million.

Documents obtained by News 12 reveal that the Church of the Angels Inc., which is under Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, has purchased four properties in the Bronx.

Three of those purchased properties are in Throgs Neck and were acquired in October 2019. Listed on the deed documents is the Law Offices of Edmond Pryor. He would not directly tell News 2 that he worked with the Church of the Angels Inc.

"I have no pending matters for them," said Pryor. Pryor was also a part-time employee of Bronx Councilman Mark Gjonaj, which made some residents question the councilman's involvement with the club.

The office denied any connection to News 12, saying in a statement, "This was a private transaction that had no reporting requirement to any elected official or the local community board."

Some in the neighborhood are waiting until it gets warmer to see if Hells Angels and their slew of bikes will mess or mesh with the fabric of their community.

News 12 has reached out to the Hell Angels and Community Board 10 and has not heard back.

SOURCE: News 12

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Conspiracy charge dropped before trial

Williston, North Dakota, USA (February 12, 2020) BTN — A felony conspiracy charge was dismissed Tuesday, Feb. 11, the day before the case was set for trial.

Prosecutors asked to have the class C felony conspiracy to commit aggravated assault charge filed against Earl Benjamin Brewer dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled. In the motion to have the charge dropped, Nathan Madden, assistant state’s attorney for Williams County, cited problems with witnesses.

Brewer and a co-defendant, Michael McCreary, were accused in April 2019 of conspiracy after a man was assaulted outside his home in Williston. Police and prosecutors claimed that McCreary assaulted the man at the request of Brewer. McCreary was charged with conspiracy and aggravated assault, both class C felonies.

The request to drop the charges comes days after Madden filed a motion asking for the trials of Brewer and McCreary delayed. In the motion, Madden claimed that multiple witnesses had expressed fear about testifying against Brewer or McCreary.

“The State has been meeting with witnesses in the Brewer and McCreary cases during the week of February 3, 2020,” Madden wrote. “During this week, the State has noticed a change in the attitudes of witnesses expressing safety concerns about testifying in these matters due to threats made against them.”

The request to delay the trial is related to a new criminal charge filed Friday against McCreary. He is accused of trying to convince a witness to change her testimony in the case.

Related | Sons of Silence MC members facing charges

In one instance, McCreary told a witness that damaging information about her, including information about an incident involving the FBI, would become public, Madden wrote. He said he had been unable to track down the exact nature of the incident McCreary was referencing, but said the witness was not a suspect in the matter. Instead, he said, he believed it was an attempt to reveal information the witness had given to the FBI during an investigation into someone else.

Madden said the man who Brewer and McCreary are accused of conspiring to assault had also been threatened. He wrote that the man had gotten a message from a friend who said a third party had told him to relay the message that Brewer should leave the state by Feb. 9.

“Earl Brewer and Michael McCreary are known to have had connections with the Sons of Silence, which is a nationwide motorcycle ‘club,’” Madden wrote. "Given their nationwide presences, they would have sufficient assets to conduct surveillance on (the man) and determine whether he had, in fact, left the state of North Dakota.”

In a response, however, Jeff Nehring, Brewer’s defense attorney, argued Madden offered no evidence to back up his claims.

“Although Mr. Madden has set forth numerous factual allegations in his Motion for Continuance, he has not presented any evidence by way of affidavit or otherwise to support his factual allegations,” Nehring wrote. “Therefore all the allegations made by Mr. Madden should be excluded by the North Dakota Rules of Evidence.”

Nehring also questioned other claims Madden made in his request to delay the trial.

“In regards to (Brewer), Mr. Madden makes a really broad allegation that (Brewer) has nationwide assets to conduct surveillance on (the accuser),” Nehring wrote. “Where is this information coming from? Mr. Madden cites no specifics on where he based his statement upon. Once again. Mr. Madden appears to be loosely throwing around allegations without any evidence to support his assertions.”

In an interview Tuesday, Nehring told the Williston Herald that he and his client had been ready for the trial.

“Mr. Brewer was innocent of these charges,” he said.

McCreary’s trial on the conspiracy and aggravated assault charges is scheduled for March 9.

SOURCE: Williston Herald

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Police Raids Across the Gold Coast

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (February 11, 2020) BTN — The Gold Coast president of a major motorcycle club has been arrested after a series of raids targeting Motorcycle Groups across the Glitter Strip.

Houses at Ashmore, Helensvale, Coomera and Mermaid Beach were raided by officers who arrested eight people, including the president of the Gold Coast chapter of the Mongols MC.

Police allegedly found weapons including knuckledusters, mobile phones dangerous drugs and cash and seized three Harley Davidson motorcycles suspected of being stolen.

All those arrested have been released under strict bail conditions to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court at a later date.

The raids were part of a national crackdown targeting the Mongols MC after police received intelligence regarding the club’s alleged unlawful activities.

Since 2014 the National Taskforce Operation Morpheus delivered a co-ordinated approach to the tackling the criminality linked with Outlaw Motorcycle Groups.

As part of the ongoing operations to disrupt serious crime linked to the organised crime networks, Taskforce Maxima teams additionally served 20 consorting warning notices.

Det Superintendent Lowe says they will allege several from several different clubs are allegedly involved in the syndicate.

“Whilst this operation is targeting the organised crime syndicate, our investigation suggests that this syndicate crosses over a number of outlaw motorcycle gangs including the Lone Wolfs, The Hells Angels, The Mongols and some links to the Rebels.”

“It’s not uncommon for OMCGs to cross over and do business with each other in the unlawful activities. They’re really governed by greed and their involvement in illicit drugs and weapons.”

A 28-year-old member of the Mongols was also arrested on drugs and weapons charges and will front Beenleigh Magistrates Court tomorrow.

More charges are expected to be laid in coming days.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Hells Angels set up shop in Michigan

Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA (February 9, 2020) BTN — The Hells Angels, the world’s most infamous motorcycle club, have opened their first chapter in Michigan, establishing the Hells Angels Michigan Nomads near Mount Pleasant in the center of the state. Based on the West Coast, the iconic Hells Angels began expanding into the Midwest in the late 1960's, but until now, had never planted a flag in Michigan due to it being prime territory for the rival Outlaws MC, the nation’s preeminent rust belt biker crew. A message announcing the new Hells Angels Michigan chapter on its website.

The Outlaws and Hells Angels have been at war since 1974 when Outlaws in Florida killed a group of Hells Angels from Boston. Headquartered out of Detroit and Chicago, the Outlaws have maintained a strangle hold on the Midwest biker scene for decades. When the Hells Angels moved into Illinois in the 1990's, violence between the clubs ramped up.

Ralph (Sonny) Barger, 81, founded the Hells Angels’ Oakland chapter in 1957, became the club’s overall boss and grew it to mythic proportions around the globe. Today, Barger lives in Phoenix and remains active in club affairs. Barger commissioned the opening of the club’s first Midwest outpost in Cleveland in 1967, sending Clarence (Butch) Crouch to Ohio to be his personal eyes and ears in the region. Crouch eventually turned state’s evidence and committed suicide in the Witness Protection Program.

In 1988, Barger was convicted in federal court for ordering the bombing of an Outlaws clubhouse in Louisville, Kentucky and did five years in prison. He played a recurring character on the hit FX television show Sons of Anarchy, about a fictional California biker gang.

Barger’s counterpart in The Outlaws, Harry (Taco) Bowman, died behind bars last year. The legendary Bowman headed the club from his home in Detroit for most of the 1980's and 1990's, finally convicted of murder and racketeering in 2001. Per testimony at his trial, Bowman put a murder contract on Barger’s head and had his lieutenants hunting the Hells Angels shot caller near his home in California. Bowman and Barger’s then second-in-command, George Christy, then engaged in a series of peace talks that fell through at the last minute.

STORY: Scott Burnstein
SOURCE: Gangster Report

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Jury returns mixed verdict in Pagan's trial

Charleroi, Pennsylvania, USA (February 8, 2020) BTN - A Washington County jury delivered a mixed verdict Friday, finding two members of the Pagan's Motorcycle Club not guilty of attempting and conspiring to commit homicide but convicting them of lesser charges in the April 18 beating that nearly killed a former officer of the motorcycle club.

Matthew Vasquez, 31, of Monessen, and Joseph Olinsky III, 46, of McKeesport, were charged by Charleroi Regional police in July. The victim was Troy Harris, 54, of Fallowfield Township, who was attacked at roughly 10:20 p.m. at the Charleroi Slovak Club. Surveillance footage from the bar was shown repeatedly to jurors throughout the trial.

Testimony began Tuesday and closed Thursday. Jurors deliberated for about three hours following closing arguments Friday.

“We respect the verdict of the jury,” said Deputy District Attorney Jason Walsh.

The jurors found each defendant guilty of aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and simple assault.

Related | Another suspect arrested in Pagan's MC assault
Related | Pagan's MC members charged

Common Pleas Judge John DiSalle said sentencing will occur in 90 days. He said they’d be denied bail, as they were before the trial. Vasquez and Olinsky looked intently ahead and showed little expression as DiSalle explained what would happen next in the case.

Both of their lawyers said they’ll appeal. “I’ll be filing post-trial motions,” said Renee Colbert, Olinsky’s court-appointed attorney.

Harris was once president of the Fayette City chapter of the Pagan's but was now a leader in the Sutars Soldiers, another motorcycle club started by former Pagan's. Testimony showed the pair and others who were involved in the attack had been at the Junction Tavern in Perryopolis beforehand.

Prosecutors contended that the two defendants and five other Pagan's – including Paul Cochran, 55, who testified against his former comrades – went from Perryopolis to the members-only bar at 700 McKean Ave. to beat up Harris on orders from higher-ups in their organization.

During their closing arguments, the defense contended that claim wasn’t supported by the evidence.

Stephen Colafella, who represents Vasquez, said the prosecution didn’t “connect those dots” and show there was some conspiracy at play.

Walsh told jurors that it was no coincidence seven Pagan's who live in different areas and belong to multiple chapters showed up at the same place, where Troy Harris happened to be.

“Use your common sense, ladies and gentlemen,” he said.

Vasquez said his friend, Zachary Yagnich – who is charged in the case and helping prosecutors – was going to the Slovak Club, where Yagnich, 27, was vice president. Vasquez said Yagnich, a supporter of the Pagan's, would have been afraid to go alone because Harris bullied him.

Vasquez said the group stopped by there on their way to a bar in Monongahela, and it was his idea to go to the watering hole in Charleroi. He said no one told them to do so, and they didn’t intend to do anything to Harris.

His testimony differed in some respects from the account given by Yagnich, who said he’d spoken by phone to Vasquez and Brian Keruskin, president of the Fayette City chapter, about Harris’ whereabouts before he met the group of bikers in the parking lot and let them into the club. He maintained he didn’t know what the group was going to do in advance, but that Keruskin did tell him that some guys were on their way and he should leave.

Vasquez maintained the group happened to walk by Harris on their way to their seats. He said he saw Jason Huff slap Harris, who’d sneered and extended his hand toward Huff in a gesture of disrespect. Vasquez said he knew Harris to be dangerous and saw the older man had a gun holstered on his hip, so Vasquez punched him.

He said he then struggled to disarm Harris when he pulled a gun, and for a time Vasquez was on the floor with him. Video showed others kicking and stomping in the area of the floor where Harris was lying.

“What Matthew Vasquez did, ladies and gentleman, amounts to a simple assault,” Colafella said. “He punched (Harris) one time, without justification.”

Harris’ wife, Michele Mackey Harris, testified she saw no one else on the ground while she tried to protect her husband, who has lasting physical and cognitive injuries.

Following the verdict, Colafella said the outcome was “unfortunate” but that he respected it. He said preconceptions about clubs like the Pagans made it a tough case.

“There’s video evidence, and it makes it very challenging to try to distinguish your client from others, when it’s a scrum like that, when they’re all wearing the same shirts,” Colafella said. “I thought the case was well tried on both sides. Matt had the opportunity to go up and present his side.”

Keruskin and Michael Barringer, sergeant-at-arms of the national Pagan's organization, each previously pleaded guilty or no contest to a conspiracy charge. Other than Cochran, Olinsky and Vasquez, those accused of pummeling Harris have entered pleas and received prison terms.

Using her client’s nickname, Colbert asked jurors to “let Teddy go home to his wife.” She said that none of the witnesses had specifically identified her client as having punched or kicked Harris. Additionally, she said there was no testimony implicating him in a plan ahead of time.

“Not one of those commonwealth star witnesses said that he had a weapon,” she said. “None of them said they made a phone call to Teddy. None of them said they received a phone call from Teddy.”

SOURCE: Observer-Reporter