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

Friday, February 7, 2020

Hells Angels not wanted at resort

Pointe-Calumet, Quebec (February 7, 2020) BTN - The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club have chosen Beachclub as a place to show their colours and there’s little the club’s ownership can do about it, Quebec’s liquor board heard on Thursday.

“They choose where they wear their vests (and patches),” Sûreté du Québec investigator Alain Belleau testified during hearings before the board.

“And they won’t tolerate anyone standing up to them,” Belleau added. “So there’s a risk there: It becomes difficult for security to intervene because they don’t want to confront them.”

The popular Montreal-area outdoor club is before Quebec’s Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux this week after the local police department flagged several safety concerns.

Among them was that police documented members of organized crime — including the Hells Angels — at the Pointe-Calumet club a dozen times between 2016 and 2018.

The club has a policy barring members from wearing their vests and patches on the premises, but the policy is rarely, if ever, enforced. Belleau testified Thursday that owner Dominique Primeau has told authorities he feels he has no choice but to “tolerate” them.

But Belleau also noted the problem isn’t unique to Beachclub.

Though many bars and clubs in Quebec have similar policies in place, he said it’s almost impossible to enforce: any owner who stands up to the biker gang is opening themselves up to retaliation, he said, including firebombings or physical intimidation.

He said owners looking to enforce the rule could, in theory, call the police for help. But he has never heard of that happening. “We know owners are sometimes stuck in these situations,” Belleau said. “We know how difficult it can be for them.”

Belleau said police have witnessed Hells Angels members from Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia at the club. They’ve been seen wearing their patches inside the club and outside in the parking lot.

Though police have repeatedly been called there for instances of violence, Belleau said to his knowledge none of those cases were linked to the Hells Angels.

When one of the administrative judges hearing the case asked him whether an average Quebecer would recognize that someone was wearing a Hells Angels patch inside the club, Belleau answered without hesitation.

“In Quebec, with their history, with the biker war, the media coverage, the SharQc trial, everyone knows the Hells Angels logo,” he said.

SOURCE: Montreal Gazette 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Grim Reapers MC involved in federal indictment

Evansville, Indiana, USA (February 6, 2020) BTN - Seventeen people have been federally indicted for allegedly operating a drug ring in Indiana and Kentucky with ties to the Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club.

Grim Reapers Clubhouse after police raid

The following have been charged as part of Operation Reapin Benefits:
  • James Benton, 66, of Evansville
  • Brian Eden, 40, of Evansville
  • Gary Wayne Forston, 39, of Evansville
  • Clarence Grubbs, 48, of Evansville
  • Central Holman IV, 28, of Owensboro, Kentucky
  • Demoreal Killebrew, 21, of Owensboro
  • Adam Lafferty, 38, of Evansville
  • Shane Lewis, 32, of Evansville
  • April Martin, 45, of Evansville
  • Matthew Meredith, 40, of Evansville
  • Prince Moss, 34, of Owensboro
  • Paul Overby, 45, of Evansville
  • Derek Sander, 48, of Evansville
  • Daniel Wiscaver, 61, of Winslow
  • Jason Wilson, 42, of Evansville
  • Jesse Wilson, 34, of Evansville
  • Kimberly Wilson, 37, of Evansville

Some of the accused are members or associates of the Grim Reapers, which U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler called a criminal organization during a news conference Thursday morning in Evansville announcing the indictments.

Federal prosecutors believe Forston and Jason Wilson were the ringleaders of the group, which allegedly distributed methamphetamine in Evansville and nearby communities.

Forston, the Grim Reapers president, was previously indicted on weapons charges after a raid on the club in November. Holman was the ring's alleged supplier.

Almost all of the other defendants are believed to be mid-level distributors, accused of selling drugs to lower-level drug dealers or directly to users, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Related | Prez of Grim Reapers MC trial starts
Related | Feds Raid Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club

"Drugs, guns and money have been taken off our streets," Minkler said. "Armed drug dealers seeking to infest our cities and our towns with drugs have been taken off our streets."

Ten pounds of meth, 23 guns and $35,000 in cash were seized, Minkler said. The drugs, which now sit in evidence vaults, have an estimated street value of more than $250,000.

Fifteen of the accused are now in federal custody. Siblings Jesse and Kimberly Wilson are believed to be on the run. The indictments are the culmination of a sixth-month, multi-agency investigation, which included federal, state and local law enforcement.

Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding used the news conference as an opportunity to call for expanding the county's jail.

"I will tell you something that makes me sick to the stomach is we have legislators on the state and federal level saying that we have a problem of over-incarceration, that we need to let people out of jail," he said.

"I am pleading for a larger jail to be built here in Vanderburgh County so the dirtbags that we take off the street will have a bed to sleep in at night," he added.

Prosecutors said all defendants except Sander could face between 10 years to life in prison if convicted. Sander could be sentenced to up to 10 years.

The U.S. Attorney's Office will also consider pursuing forfeiture of the Grim Reapers' headquarters in the 1100 block of East Diamond Avenue in Evansville. "What we don't want is the Grim Reapers to come back and relocate in that clubhouse and start doing business again," Minkler said.

SOURCE: Evansville Courier Press

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Indiana State trooper arrested for arson

Tell City, Indiana, USA (February 5, 2020) BTN — An Indiana State trooper has been arrested on allegations he set his own home ablaze.

Jeremy Galloway, 44, of Tell City faces two counts of felony arson, one count of felony insurance fraud and one count of felony arson with intent to defraud.

It was around 1:40 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, when firefighters were called to Galloway’s Tell City home after a passerby spotted a fire and called 911. Crews arrived and found two fires at the property – in the home and an outbuilding, according to a state police report.

The home sustained heavy smoke and fire damage. The outbuilding and two motorcycles in it were totally destroyed, the report said.


The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to investigate, and it was determined the fire was caused by arson. A criminal investigation was initiated by the Indiana State Police in Jasper.

Late last month, the case was handed over to the Perry County prosecutor. On Tuesday, an arrest warrant was issued for Galloway and he was taken into custody.

Galloway is currently on administrative leave without pay, state police said.

SOURCE: Eyewitness News 25

Long Vagos MC trial continues in Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (February 5, 2020) BTN — A federal prosecutor spent a second day Tuesday telling a jury in Las Vegas that eight accused Vagos motorcycle club members were members of a broad criminal racketeering enterprise responsible for crimes including the killing of a rival Hells Angels leader from California in a northern Nevada casino in 2011.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Schiess drew frequent objections from defense attorneys as he pointed jurors toward evidence that he said showed Vagos agreed according to “laws of the street, not laws of society” to commit years of acts of murder, robbery, extortion, kidnapping and drug dealing in addition to the shooting death of Jeffrey Pettigrew.

Vagos members “operate by violence and by silence,” Schiess said. “The silence is to protect the violence,” and crimes were committed “as a pattern in order to run the business.”

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

Closings were expected to continue this week, with defense attorneys poised for chances to describe a case they say the government has not proved.

The trial has had a bumpy history and narrowly avoided a mistrial after prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro to throw out testimony of a central witness to the shooting who acknowledged after more than three days on the witness stand that he lied.

The jury had been told during opening statements in August that they would hear from ousted Vagos member Gary “Jabbers” Rudnick about a “green light” go-ahead issued by Pastor Fausto Palafox, the Vagos international president, to kill Pettigrew at the Nugget casino in Sparks.

Rudnick admitted in September, after more than three days of testimony, that there was no “green light.”

The eight co-defendants - Palafox, Albert Lopez, Albert Perez, James Gillespie, Bradley Campos, Cesar Morales and Diego Garcia - each face up to life in prison if they are convicted.

When Schiess referred during closings to Rudnick’s testimony, defense attorney Mark Fleming objected and accused the prosecutor of vouching for his own disavowed witness.

Navarro said the jury will decide what and whom to believe.

“The decision about credibility of a witness is yours,” Schiess told the panel. “You get to decide whether he’s credible. That’s your call.”

SOURCE: Associated Press

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Bandidos MC member found not guilty

Abilene, Texas, USA (February 1, 2020) BTN - The first of three Abilene Bandido bikers arrested for allegedly violently robbing a rival club member who drove through their ‘turf’ while wearing the rival club’s vest has been acquitted on all charges.

Daniel Machado was found not guilty Thursday of aggravated robbery and engaging in organized criminal activity in connection to the incident that took place in July of 2018.

RELATED | Bandidos MC member on trial for taking cut

Two other suspects, Justin Aldava, and Jesse Trevino, are still waiting for their day in court.

SOURCE: Big Country
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