Patchogue, New York, USA (December 21, 2020) - It was angels helping angels.
And they were all helping families in need Sunday in East Patchogue for the massive “Christmas Miracles 2020” gift giveaway.
Once again, the Suffolk County Hells Angels joined with the Angels of Long Island nonprofit group for the annual event.
It was held in the parking lot outside the Angels of Long Island thrift shop and outreach center off East Main Street.
There, moms and dads currently facing hardships were able to shop for brand-new items for their kids.
All for free.
“We wanted children across Long Island to have an amazing Christmas this year,” said Angels of Long Island co-founder Debbie Loesch. “With this coronavirus pandemic our children’s worlds have changed overnight.
“But still, Christmas morning needs to be magical.”
Parents from over 200 families got to shop.
Nine families every half-hour (for social distancing purposes) perused the tents. They picked presents from among new toys, bikes, scooters, skateboards, electronics and more.
They also got a bundle of stocking stuffers.
All the families left with hats and gloves, and a complete Christmas meal of turkey, ham, hot and sweet Italian sausage, and other groceries.
“We couldn’t have done it without the amazing support of the Suffolk chapter of the Hells Angels and a long list of local businesses and Long Island residents,’ Loesch said.
The Hells Angels motorcycle club first heard about the Long Island Angels’ giveaway last fall, when the nonprofit was struggling to meet demand.
Then they swooped in with toys like a bunch of Santa's with their sacks.
Then they did it again Sunday for this year’s event.
Normally secretive, the local Hells Angels charter has been quietly involved with helping nonprofits across Long Island.
“We got word that the Angels of Long Island needed toys and we wanted to help them out,” Billy, a sergeant of arms for the group who couldn’t give his full name, said last year.
“We start collecting early on in the year with different events, including our Christmas party, where everyone brings an unwrapped gift to donate,” he said.
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada (December 17, 2020) - A retired Ontario Provincial cop from Sudbury has released a book of his career. He titled it '1% Hatred' and it details Dan Rocheleau's experiences, starting as a rookie cop in Chapleau, to serving in Sudbury and being involved in major undercover drug investigations in Ontario and Quebec.
"There is a lot of humor in it and there is a lot of the undercover work that I did in two provinces," said Rocheleau. "And dealing with everything from serial killers to outlaw bikers to traditional organized crime." He states that he wrote the book when COVID forced people to stay home. He said that he hopes it helps readers see the different aspects of policing.
"When you are working in organized crime like that, it changes hourly almost it feels," he said. "It's not like working in uniform where you have a schedule and pattern to go through. When you work in organized crime it's completely different."
The tiny book details the his experiences negotiating drug deals with so called outlaw bikers, chasing drug smugglers by boat on the St. Lawrence River and of course, being shot at. "It's bizarre cause now it sort of flashes back up where for 30 years I never thought of it," Rocheleau said. "I just walked away from very bad scenes and just forgot about them."
The officer said he now suffers from PTSD and wants to share a message. "There is help out there, you don't have to be Superman, you can ask for help," said Rocheleau. He also hopes to give back to the community. A small percentage of the proceeds from the book will be donated to NEO Kids and The Hospital for Sick Children.
San Francisco, California, USA (December 16, 2020) - In a court hearing that included a tense back-and-forth between the prosecution and defense attorneys, a federal judge denied a former Hells Angels charter president’s latest bid for release.
Raymond “Ray Ray” Foakes, 57, argued through his attorney that his due process rights were being violated as he’s spent 27 months in jail while still legally presumed innocent with — his attorney argued — as many as three more years to go before his cases even goes to trial. Federal prosecutors countered that courts, including the Ninth Circuit, have routinely found two years to be an acceptable amount of pretrial detention when the defendant is facing serious charges.
U.S. District Judge Edward Chen said at a Wednesday court hearing that Foakes demonstrated a “continuing pattern” of law violations throughout his life, so he wasn’t confident Foakes would comply with pretrial release conditions if he was freed from jail.
“Mr. Foakes has not conformed, on numerous occasions, time after time, with orders from the courts. That simply cannot be ignored,” Chen said. He added, though, it was “not inconceivable” a similar motion could succeed at a future date if Foakes ends up spending a lengthier time in jail.
Foakes’ attorney, George Boisseau, said that Foakes’ jail stay has been so long that it has “become punitive” and amounted to a due process violation. He said Foakes has a job offer in Oakley and is willing to stay on house arrest with “stringent conditions.”
Boisseau also argued that witnesses in the case haven’t been threatened or intimidated by Foakes nor his co-defendants, even though their names and locations are commonly known. When it was his turn to speak, assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Barry called that remark “a form of intimidation.”“Mr. Boisseau’s argument that, ‘we know who the witnesses are and we know where they live’ is a form of a threat,” Barry said.
Later in the hearing, Boisseau shot back at Barry and sharply denied he’d threatened anyone.
“I take offense to that,” Boisseau said. “I’ve been an attorney for a long time with an unblemished record, probably longer than Mr. Barry has been an attorney.”“I didn’t read Barry’s comment as saying you were a risk,” Chen said to Boisseau.
Foakes, who was once president of the Hells Angels Sonoma Charter, is accused of an “hours-long” beating of a victim that occurred in November 2016, and that prosecutors say culminated with someone forcibly tattooing the victim’s face, and Foakes declaring he would shoot the victim until fellow members of the motorcycle club dissuaded him. The charge is part of a racketeering case aimed at 11 alleged Hells Angels members.
Both pretrial services and the U.S. Probation department opposed Foakes being released. Chen said the “yardstick mark” for Foakes’ motion is how much time he’s actually spent in jail, not how much time he could potentially spend awaiting trial, and agreed that 27 months was acceptable.
The basis for Boisseau’s motion was that Foakes is set to go on trial after a number of his co-defendants — who, unlike Foakes, are accused of participating in a murder and illegal cremation of a fellow Hells Angels member in Fresno — are tried in October 2021. But Barry said that federal prosecutors are working to get Foakes into the earlier trial. “We want him in the first trial group,” Barry said.
Arnhem, Netherlands (December 15, 2020) BTN - The Arnhem-Leeuwarden Court of Appeal issued an appeal in the case in which the Public Prosecution Service claimed that Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, Hells Angels Motorcycle Club Holland and Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation The Netherlands will be banned.
Activities contrary to public order in the Netherlands
The court finds that the global organization of Hells Angels should be seen as a foreign corporation and the organization of the Dutch charters as an informal association. The court finds that the Public Prosecution Service has sufficiently demonstrated that the activities of these two organizations are contrary to public order in the Netherlands and considers a prohibition of these organizations necessary.
There have been frequent violent incidents and possession of weapons involving members of Hells Angels, both worldwide and in the Netherlands. This is a structural situation that cannot be seen in isolation from the culture of violence that exists at Hells Angels. An important factor is the violent image, in which that violence is encouraged and glorified in various ways.
Another factor in their decision is the rivalry with other motorcycle clubs, which regularly leads to power struggles and accompanying violent confrontations. These conflicts between different motorcycle clubs are fought more than once amidst the public on the street. Intimidation of members and former members, victims and witnesses furthermore makes action by the police and the judicial authorities much more difficult.
The prohibition of Hells Angels and Hells Angels Holland that has been pronounced by the court therefore remains in force.
The court also finds that the charters are sub divisions of Hells Angels Holland, but also meet the characteristics of an informal association. They have the freedom to regulate the course of events at the local level, bottom-up structure. The charters are therefore legal entities themselves and therefore do not fall under the prohibition and dissolution of Hells Angels Holland.
Nevertheless, the court finds that once the prohibition of Hells Angels and Hells Angels Holland is irrevocable, the activities of the charters and the members, as Hells Angels in the Netherlands, are prohibited. This means, for example, that Hells Angels are no longer allowed to wear their colors in public and the charters are no longer allowed to use this name.
Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation
The organization in the US that holds the trademark rights of Hells Angels is not banned because it does not appear that those activities are also contrary to public policy.
Spokane, Washington, U.S.A. (December 13, 2020) BTN - A Bandidos Motorcycle Club chapter in Spokane began a new holiday tradition Saturday as it unloaded hundreds of dollars in food, blankets, hygiene products and toys from a trailer and onto pallets for the Salvation Army.
“A lot of us belong to groups and we’re constantly wondering how can I or my group impact a community,” Salvation Army Maj. Ken Perine said. “It helps the group with their cohesiveness and it also helps people who they’ll never meet but who will be forever thankful.”
Bandidos MC club members said collecting donations for the Salvation Army was a spur-of-the-moment idea that grew into an organized effort.
As they unloaded the donations, a few men wore sequin Santa hats with their red and gold leather or denim jackets.
Local club leaders asked their members to bring “as much stuff as possible.” They also set up about 15 holiday-wrapped bins outside local businesses in Spokane, Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene for shoppers to drop donations.
The local Bandidos chapter organized a food drive at a Grocery Outlet in Cheney. The club spent $400 on food and the store matched it, filling giant plastic bins with nonperishable goods.
Cassandra Cram, Community Services Program Manager with the Salvation Army, said the club called her and asked to set it up. She said she expected a regular food drive, but it developed into a drive for a variety of products, plus an event in which Bandidos rode in on their bikes to unload the truck of food.
She hopes it will inspire other clubs to jump in to help their community.
“All they gotta do is notify us,” Cram said . “If they want to do something, just do it.”
Perine told the group, despite all their work, they won’t get to see the people receiving their donations.
“But we do,” Perine said. “One of the reasons we get to do what we do is because of people like you.”
Perine described how during a recent toy drive at Target, a woman came in with several interactive, animatronic teddy bears to donate.
“We’d helped her years ago and she said it was her chance to give back,” Perine said. “She was just so happy to be able to give back.”
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. (December 11, 2020) - Federal authorities were looking for a man who is wanted as part of an ongoing investigation into the Pagan's Motorcycle Club.
Dominic Quarture was taken into custody Thursday evening, according to the FBI. Richard Lee White III was in custody earlier in the day.
Thirty other members and associates of the Pagan's Motorcycle Club are in federal custody after they were charged with drug trafficking and firearms charges, U.S. attorney Scott Brady announced Wednesday.
“The Pagan's have used violence to control cocaine, heroin and meth trafficking in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Erie, Fayette and Washington counties,” Brady said in a video that was released on Youtube.
Following a yearlong investigation, law enforcement executed search warrants on 11 locations, finding several firearms including an Uzi; “significant amounts” of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl; and $28,000 in cash and jewelry.
“This is the most significant motorcycle club prosecution in this office since the 1980's,” Brady said. “It is a good day for the good guys.”
R. Joseph Rothrock, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Pittsburgh division, said the members engaged in a “wide array of organized criminal activity, which included significant narcotics and firearms trafficking and violence.”
The investigation, which was widespread, also resulted in identifying large-scale suppliers of narcotics not only to members and associates of the Pagan's, but to drug traffickers and suppliers within the greater Pittsburgh region.
Sonoma, California, USA (December 11, 2020) - In an attempt to keep a former Hells Angels charter president incarcerated while he awaits trial in a racketeering case, federal prosecutors have revealed new allegations about the November 2016 beating he’s charged with committing, alleging that the victim was assaulted for hours, pistol-whipped, forcibly tattooed, and nearly murdered.
Raymond Foakes, AKA "Ray Ray" a prominent Hells Angels member and past Sonoma charter president known for setting off the River Run Riot, has made a new bid for freedom, arguing through his attorneys that he’s willing to be placed on house arrest in Oakley in lieu of imprisonment at the Santa Rita Jail. His attorneys have also argued it’s unfair to keep Foakes locked up when he’s not scheduled to go to trial for at least a year.
“In sum, there has been little or no progress made in getting Foakes’ case to trial and the earliest feasible trial date for him will be sometime in 2022,” his attorney wrote in a Dec. 2 court filing. “By that time Foakes will have been detained for almost 60 months.”
In their response, federal prosecutors argued Foakes “poses both a flight risk and a danger to the community” and that his motion is essentially a rehashing of prior failed attempts to get out of jail. They also detailed the main crimes Foakes is accused of committing: the 2016 beating and a subsequent sexual assault of a woman connected to the beating victim.
In court records, both alleged victims are referred to by pseudonyms to protect their identities. The alleged victim of the beating is referred to as “Victim 5.”
“During that assault, another Hells Angel pistol-whipped Victim 5; he was beaten with a baseball bat; and he was repeatedly punched and kicked. Victim 5’s tattoos were forcibly covered over with a tattoo gun, and (Foakes) took that tattoo gun and crudely etched lines in Victim 5’s face,” prosecutors wrote. “During the beating, (Foakes) indicated that he was going to take the firearm that was used to pistol whip Victim 5 and was going to shoot the victim with it. Other Hells Angels stopped him from doing so, however.”
During the beating, Foakes allegedly called a woman — referred to in court records as “Victim 6” and said that he “needed to explain to her what was happening to Victim 5,” prosecutors wrote.
“Victim 6 drove to meet (Foakes), and when she picked him up, defendant took her to a secluded location and sexually assaulted her,” the prosecution memo added.
A federal judge is scheduled to rule on Foakes’ motion for release next week. The motion may yet succeed, as some of Foakes’ co-defendants, including other Hells Angels members have already been granted release in this case. Last September, the president of the Sonoma Hells Angels Charter, Jonathan “Jon Jon” Nelson, was granted release from Santa Rita with pending murder charges after his attorneys argued he had strong ties to the community and would not associate with other members of the club while out of custody.
Foakes was one of 11 alleged Hells Angels members charged in 2017 as part of a large-scale federal investigation. The defendants have since been divided into two groups: Those facing charges of luring a fellow Hells Angels member to a clubhouse in Fresno, murdering him, and illegally cremating the body, and those, like Foakes, who aren’t facing any murder charges.
The former group is expected to go to trial in October 2021, and the latter group will likely get their day in court sometime the following year, according to court records.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (December 10, 2020) - As part of a long-term investigation into the Pagan's Motorcycle Club in Western Pennsylvania, FBI agents got permission to tap 10 phones.
Over a period of several weeks, they said they heard members of the Pagan's, their suppliers and sources talk about the kind of heroin they were selling; where they store their drugs for sale; people cooperating against them; their drug debts and where to get better prices for their cocaine supply.
On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Scott Brady announced that 30 people from Western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio have been charged with drug trafficking and weapons possession as part of that investigation.
“For decades, the Pagan's have used violence to control cocaine, heroin and meth trafficking throughout Western Pennsylvania: That stops now,” Brady said. “For decades, they avoided prosecution, until today.”
Three separate indictments were returned on December 1st and unsealed Tuesday. All 30 defendants have been arrested, Brady said, following arrest and search warrants that were served on 11 locations Tuesday — including the group’s clubhouse in McKees Rocks.
In all, the prosecutor said, some 300 law enforcement officers and seven SWAT teams participated in the arrests and searches, which yielded large quantities of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl. Also recovered were 10 Rolex watches, jewelry and $28,000 in cash, Brady said.
According to Brady, these are the most significant indictments of a motorcycle club in this district since the mid-1980's.
Brady called the Pagan's one of the big four outlaw motorcycle clubs in the country and also one of the most violent. They have about 1,500 members in 41 chapters, he said.
Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI office in Pittsburgh, R. Joseph Rothrock said the Pagan's are a highly structured criminal organization.
“They had a complete disregard for law enforcement and the communities where they operate,” he said. “They don’t care what kind of violence or damage or pain they inflict on the community.”
The grand jury returned three separate, but related indictments for narcotics trafficking — including cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin, as well as firearms possession.
Brady said the indictments have disrupted the Pagans’ criminal organization.
The investigation began in August 2018, and included the use of confidential sources; a series of controlled buys; physical and electronic surveillance.
According to an application for a search warrant authored by FBI Special Agent John Ypsilantis, wiretaps were conducted on 10 phones belonging to six people, including members of the Pittsburgh Pagans’ chapter, from August through November.
Those charged include:
Bill Rana, 40, of Cheswick
Eric Armes, 42, of Cheswick
Jason Evans, 44, of Pittsburgh
Hasani James, 49, of Detroit
Cody Bonanno, 25, of Uhrichsville, Ohio
Phillip Bonanno, 54, of New Philadelphia, Ohio
Dominic Quarture, 52, of Washington
Mark Stockhausen, 39, of Erie
Patrick Rizzo, 45, of McKees Rocks
Anthony Peluso, 38, of Hampton
Marissa Botta, 28, of Hampton
David Pietropaolo, 23, of Glenshaw
Thomas Snelsire, 45, of Baldwin
Wayne Webber, 42, of Duquesne
Ronald Simak, 37, of Verona
Anthony Scatena, 22, of Pittsburgh
James Stewart, 41, of Pittsburgh
Dorin Duncan, 42, of Glenshaw
Jeffrey Kushik, 29, of Pittsburgh
Gary Hairston, 40, of Pittsburgh
Darian Wofford, 27, of Pittsburgh
Stephanie Zilka, 27, of Baldwin
Misty Walker, 39, of Pittsburgh
Richard White, 18, of Pittsburgh
Randy Camacho, 34, of Pittsburgh
Damian Cherepko, 26, of Elizabeth
Brandon Hulboy, 29, of Pittsburgh
James Crivella, 27, of Glenshaw
Seaira Collins, 32, of Pittsburgh
Jessica Taranto, 37, of Pittsburgh
According to the filing, the agent learned that the Pagan's had parties at the McKees Rocks clubhouse involving “party favors,” of meth, ecstasy and other club drugs. There was also prostitution there.
According to the prosecution, the Pagan's held weekly meetings on Thursdays, which they called “church,” and also large gatherings at their clubhouse. Investigators set up a pole camera outside the clubhouse to record the comings and goings, the affidavit said.
Victoria, Australia (December 4, 2020) - Police have arrested six people and seized 14 firearms as part of a National Day of Action targeting the Mongols Motorcycle Club.
Officers searched a club house and address in Echuca, along with several properties in Greater Melbourne.
The six people have been charged with a range of drug, firearms, weapons, and explosives offences.
A number of items were also seized from the properties, including firearms, cash, explosives, and a range of drugs like cocaine, cannabis, hallucinogens, steroids, and prescription medication.
Police also served firearm prohibition orders on 12 Mongols MC members and conducted compliance checks on a number of existing firearm prohibition order subjects.
Earlier this week, police seized 12 firearms from two patched Mongols MC members.
Police also searched a South Morang address and seized a suspected stolen Harley Davidson, drugs, ammunition, and a conducted energy device.
Two men, who are patched members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club, were also served with firearm prohibition orders and were expected to be charged in relation to the seizures.
Members of the Echo Taskforce, public order response team, licensing records division, dog squad, bomb response unit, and local police – as well as the Australian Federal Police national anti gangs squad – were involved in the day of action on Thursday.
Across Australia, a number of people were arrested and a range of items including firearms, drugs, and cash.
Crime Command Acting Assistant Commissioner Mick Frewen said it was imperative that law enforcement agencies across Australia continued to work to together to target motorcycle clubs.
“This is a group we know have traditionally been involved in violent crimes such as shootings, assaults, arson, drug trafficking, extortion and intimidation,” Mr Frewen said.
“These activities bring immense harm to communities across Australia and often significantly impacts innocent people who have no links to the outlaw motorcycle gangs.”
“In Victoria alone, the Mongols have been linked to a number of firearms incidents including multiple homicides and non-fatal shootings over the past 15 months.”
“Organised criminal groups such as the Mongols aren’t a state-based problem.”
“They remain a significant issue for law enforcement right across Australia and days of action such as this one provides the ideal opportunity for us to work together to target their offending and also gather intelligence.”
Auckland, New Zealand (December 2, 2020) - Senior leaders of the Comanchero MC and The Rebels MC have been arrested and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash seized following a raft of armed police raids across Auckland and Christchurch.
Police have arrested 12 more people today as part of Operation Cincinnati and located drugs, some of which was ready for sale, and a shotgun after executing 24 search warrants
Police searched 21 properties across Auckland and three in Christchurch
New Zealand Customs staff, Armed Offenders Squad members, Asset Recovery Unit and Police Dog Section staff assisted police with the searches.
It follows the first phase of Operation Cincinnati in October when 26 people were arrested and kilos of drugs was seized, along with multiple firearms and more than $10 million in assets.
Police said the nine-month investigation, run by the National Organised Crime Group, targeted a core group that are alleged to be involved in the importation, distribution and manufacture of methamphetamine and MDMA, and other drugs in the two cities.
Today’s arrests include a leader of the Comanchero MC, who allegedly formed a partnership with a senior member of The Rebels MC in Christchurch, with both allegedly running drug distribution networks in their areas, police said in a statement.
A further 10 motorcycle clubs members and their associates have also been arrested in relation to their alleged roles in the network, which saw drugs and cash transported between the two cities, police said.
National Organised Crime Group acting Detective Inspector John Brunton said police were determined to target the leaders and key members of these “criminal gangs” involved in illicit drug distribution, intimidation and violence.
“We want to reduce the harm these gangs are causing in our communities,” he said.
“I also want to acknowledge the great work carried out by the Operation Cincinnati team, who are committed to preventing organised crime of any sort impacting on our communities.”
Those arrested today are aged between 20 and 42 and will appear in Auckland District Court in the coming days on various drugs-related charges.
Devonport, Australia (December 2, 2020) - Three members of the Bandidos motorcycle club have been charged following a search of their clubhouse in East Devonport yesterday.
Police conducted a search at the clubhouse where a quantity of stolen property, a firearm, ammunition and a small quantity of drugs have been located.
As a result of the search a 36 year old man, a 33 year old man and 25 year old man who are all members of the Bandidos motorcycle club have been charged with a number of offences including consorting, wear prohibited insignia and contravene the conditions of a notice.
The 25 year old man has been bailed to appear in the Devonport Magistrates Court on 19 January 2021. The 36 year old man and the 33 year old man have been held for court.
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