Friday, December 8, 2023

Outlaws MC Members Arrested in Florida

Marathon, Florida, USA (December 8, 2023) - The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its crackdown on motorcycle clubs. Three men with the Outlaws Motorcycle Club were arrested after a traffic stop in the Florida Keys turned up guns and drugs on Monday, police say.

Deputies arrested two Key West men and another man from Tamarac, Florida — all of whom are with the Outlaws motorcycle club — on gun and drug charges following a traffic stop Monday, December 4, on U.S. 1, according to Adam Linhardt, spokesman with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

All three men were wearing Outlaws MC clothing and there were open alcoholic beverages in plain view, along with a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, according to authorities.

Linhardt said deputies found a 9 mm pistol and ammunition, a loaded .40-caliber pistol and ammunition, roughly .3 grams of cocaine and 6.3 grams of marijuana and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Former Hells Angels MC clubhouse demolished

Nanaimo, B.C., Canada (November, 16, 2023) - A clubhouse that once belonged to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is now demolished, just weeks after a court ruling confirmed the British Columbia government has the right to seize the property. Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, says in a statement that the clubhouse in Nanaimo, is coming down immediately.

In February, the appeal court ordered the forfeiture of three properties and the province became the registered owner of the properties. However, Angel Acres Recreation and Festival Property Ltd. and all others interested in the properties appealed. They sought a restraining order to prevent the province from disposing of the land pending a decision from the high court in Ottawa.
"After more than a decade of legal action, government is now in legal possession of three properties previously used as Hells Angels' clubhouses in Nanaimo, Kelowna and East Vancouver to coordinate criminal activities, and today we will be demolishing the clubhouse in Nanaimo,” Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said.

A Supreme Court of Canada ruling upheld a British Columbia court's decision finding an "inescapable" inference that the Nanaimo clubhouse and other Hells Angels properties in Kelowna and east Vancouver were used for criminal activity.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Hells Angels MC Members Arrested

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain (November 14, 2023) - The National Police have arrested six people in different locations in Tenerife for their involvement in crimes including belonging to a criminal organization, damages, serious threats, and coercion. The detainees are members of the Canary Islands charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

The police investigation, conducted jointly by the General Information Commissioner and the Provincial Information Brigade of Tenerife, began three years ago when it was discovered that the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club intended to expand its influence to the island of Tenerife.

The expansion of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Spain has been gradual, with an increasing number of members across the country, especially in recent years, targeting strategic points for organized crime, such as the Costa del Sol, the entire Levantine Coast, the Costa Brava, and the Canary Islands.

The operation carried out by the National Police is part of the European police forces' fight against the establishment of these "outlaw" motorcycle clubs linked to organized crime, led by Europol through the (AP) Monitor Project.

Various police operations have already been conducted against different chapters of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) in Spain, for crimes including belonging to a criminal organization, drug trafficking, coercion, extortion, violent robbery, and illegal possession of weapons.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

No police escort for annual Christmas toy run

Fairfield, California, USA (November 9, 2023) - Police Chief Dan Marshall said he would quit his job if the city forces his police officers to assist with a Christmas toy run, all because the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club are involved.
Photo: Operating Engineers Local 3

Over the decades-long Samoa Mission Christmas Toy Run, hundreds of motorcyclists, including Santa, parade down Fairfield streets. Fairfield police have served as an escort in the past. The chief says no more.

Community members asked Police Chief Dan Marshall to reconsider his stand. He stood firm, saying he doesn't want to put his officers in harm's way. The past two years Hell's Angels have participated, he said. "We do not support any criminal organization," he said during public comments at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

Toy Run will continue despite no police escort

The event is nearing its 20th anniversary. Last year, more than 400 toys were distributed, Gene Ahu, of Mission Samoa, said. Past toy runs have been done without a permit as a favor, Marshall said. He emphasized as long as the bikers follow the rules of the road, there should not be an issue. "I'm glad they are doing it," Marshall said.

Mayor Catherine "Cat" Moy and councilmembers Scott Tonnesen and Rick Vaccaro praised the event and offered their support for Marshall's decision. Many bikers involved in the ride stood in the council chamber's entryway during the discussion. The Toy Run is sponsored by Bad Boyz MC, Operating Engineers Local No. 3 and Mission Samoa.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Fire Erupts at Outlaws Motorcycle Clubhouse

Saginaw, Michigan, USA (November, 2, 2023) - About 11:24 p.m. on Monday, October 30, Saginaw firefighters received a call for smoke on the city’s West Side. Shortly thereafter, a Michigan State Police helicopter flying overhead reported a heat signature coming from a building on Durand Street, said Saginaw Interim Fire Chief Brandon Hausbeck.

At that, crews quickly upgraded their response to a structure fire. They arrived at 1903 Durand St., a private club of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, to see smoke emanating from it, Hausbeck said. Crews entered the building and extinguished the blaze. There were no civilians inside at the time, Hausbeck said.

The building sustained smoke and fire damage but is not a total loss. The estimated cost of damage, both to the structure and its contents, is $45,000, Hausbeck said.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Florida sheriff warns public about MC toy runs

Key West, Florida, USA (October 25, 2023) - Rick Ramsay, Monroe County Sheriff is urging the public to be aware of holiday toy drives that are being hosted by the Pagan's Motorcycle Club.

The sheriff seen an ad in the local paper for the "End of the Road Toy Run" by the PMC and LMC - The Pagan's Motorcycle Club and the Legend Motorcycle Club. Ramsey said that both clubs are criminal, outlaw motorcycle gangs that are involved in crime involving drugs, guns and violence in the community.

In his social media message, Sheriff Ramsay says the Department of Justice has labeled the Pagan's as a criminal outlaw gang. Ramsay ended the video by saying “there are great organizations that people can team up with, but PMC is not one of them.”

Friday, October 20, 2023

Outlaws MC members charged with arson

North Providence, Rhode Island, USA (October 20, 2023) - Two members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club were in court on charges related to two fires at the same location in Scituate. Prosecutors say the same detached garage off Tunk Hill Road caught fire around midnight on June 29th and 5:00 A.M. on July 6th. Investigators from the state fire marshal’s office said they found accelerant at the scene in both cases.

The defense attorney argued in court that his client was never there. “I haven’t heard that this young man’s anywhere near this place, other than he’s a friend of a guy,” the defense attorney said. “I know you too. Doesn’t mean we’re setting fires.”

Scituate police conceded that they weren’t able to place the accused at the scene, but they believe he’s the one who ordered the other member to set the two fires. Sgt. Matthew King said surveillance footage showed his car at the scene, and he recited text messages between the two men aloud in court.

While a specific motive for the alleged arson is unclear at this time, police allege that he and the victim had a disagreement with one another. Both are due back in court next week for a status hearing.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Mongols MC members charged with murder

Pinellas Park, Florida USA (October 18, 2023) - On Tuesday, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office announced two additional arrests in the April 2022 killing of a man that the Mongols Motorcycle Club members believed was a police snitch. Vincent Romanino was booked into a Hillsborough County jail Tuesday and is being held without bond and Joshualee Garcia was booked into a Pasco County jail, according to the Pinellas Sheriff’s Office.

Each faces a charge of accessory after the fact to first-degree felony murder in the fatal shooting of Dominick Paternoster, the Sheriff’s Office said. Both men were members of the Mongols MC when Paternoster was killed, according to the Sheriff's Office. Paternoster, 46, was shot multiple times in his home sometime between 10:20 P.M. on April 27, 2022, and 1:00 A.M. the following morning. His body was found around 4:30 p.m. on April 28.

RELATED | Mongols MC Member Arrested Over Killing

RELATED | Mongols MC member faces murder charge

Around four months later, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri called a news conference on Aug. 29, 2022, to announce the indictment of Paul Mogilevsky on a first-degree murder charge in Paternoster’s death. He said Paternoster, now 49, had been a member of a puppet club for the Mongols MC called the Raiders MC.

Detectives said members of the Mongols MC believed Paternoster was a “snitch,” but authorities would not confirm whether Paternoster was an informant or not.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Hells Angels MC Clubhouses Seized by Court

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (October 13, 2023) - The Supreme Court of Canada says it will not hear an appeal from the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club over properties the province of British Columbia seized from the club in Kelowna, Nanaimo and Vancouver.

On Thursday, the country's highest court dismissed a leave to appeal from Angel Acres Recreation and Festival Property Ltd. that sought to challenge a decision by a lower court in British Columbia, that said the clubhouses would likely be used for criminal activity in the future.

The Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the province to sell the three properties, which were seized outright and the locks changed in April. Thursday's ruling ends a 16-year legal saga regarding the clubhouses.

Lawyers representing the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club went to court to stop the province from selling the properties, which it is allowed to do under the Civil Forfeiture Act. The act came into place in British Columbia in 2006 and is meant to "ensure that people cannot profit from unlawful activity or use property in a way that may harm other persons."

The British Columbia's forfeiture office first made a move to seize the Nanaimo clubhouse in 2007, and then  attempted the same with the Kelowna and Vancouver clubhouses in 2012. The properties are located at 805 Victoria Road in Nanaimo, 837 Ellis Street in Kelowna and 3598 East Georgia Street in Vancouver.

In its attempt to stop the seizures, the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club initially won a decision in British Columbia Supreme Court in 2020. But, that was overturned in February by the British Columbia Appeal Court, which found there was little evidence the club would have suffered "irreparable harm" if the properties were sold.

At the time, the civil forfeiture office said it would return the contents and belongings in the three clubhouses, as those were not subject to forfeiture. It would then sell the properties.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Police raid Mongols MC clubhouse

Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia (October 9, 2023) - A Mongols Motorcycle Club clubhouse has been raided ahead of the group's national run this week. Police searched an industrial complex at Blacktown in Sydney's west on Friday night and said they seized several items "consistent with the illegal sale and supply of alcohol". This included bar stools, lounges, fridges, and alcohol.
@State of NSW

The Mongols MC is preparing for its national run in Victoria, which will run from Wednesday to Saturday this week. Detective Acting Superintendent Stuart Gordon said NSW Police will work with Victoria Police to ensure riders comply with the law and road rules.

"We have assigned a significant number of resources to join our southern counterparts in policing the run, including officers attached to the southern region and traffic and highway patrol command," Gordon said. 

"No illegal behaviour will be tolerated – either on or off the road – and, as well as minimising the impact of the ride to other motorists, police will be targeting any anti-social behaviour."

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Bandidos MC member shot during run

Ballarat, Victoria, Australia (October 1, 2023) - A member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club was reportedly shot near a clubhouse during the MC's annual run to regional Victoria. The 29-year-old man was admitted to Ballarat hospital shortly after 1:00 A.M. on Sunday with non-life-threatening injuries from a gunshot wound.

Police believe the Bandidos MC member was in the area of the Bandidos clubhouse when the shooting took place. This comes as members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club descended on Ballarat and nearby Buninyong for their national run. Victoria Police’s Echo and VIPER Taskforce, supported by local police monitored the event to ensure public safety.

RELATED | Bandidos MC gather for national run

Detectives attached to Echo Taskforce took over the investigation into the shooting in Ballarat.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Hells Angel MC member pleads guilty

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (September 29, 2023) - A Hells Angels Motorcycle Club member and four men have plead guilty to multiple drug trafficking and conspiracy charges for offences said to have taken place in Vancouver, Maple Ridge and Vernon between September 2020 and July 2021.

“This was a complex, multi-jurisdictional investigation affecting several communities,” Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC) spokesperson Sgt. Brenda Winpenny said. “Illegal drugs, including fentanyl, is an extremely dangerous drug that is proving to have widespread consequences in our province.”

Winpenny added: “This investigation is a testament to the dedication and tenacity of our investigators to hold those, who deal in drugs and are involved in criminal activity, to account and brought to justice.” The charges came in December after CFSEU-BC executed 12 search warrants at locations throughout Metro Vancouver and the Okanagan.

Police seized about $650,000 in Canadian currency and about two kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of MDMA, one kilogram of fentanyl, 200 grams of ketamine, 10 kilograms marijuana and 16 kilograms of a drug-cutting agent.

Also seized were three rifles, a shotgun, three prohibited magazines, ammunition, body armour, two vehicles and a cocaine press. Inside one residence, police seized a Hells Angels Motorcycle Club vest and various items of Hells Angels support clothing.

Bandidos MC gather for national run

Ballarat, Victoria, Australia (September 29, 2023) - Hundreds of members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club from around Australia gathered on Friday in Ballarat for the their national run event. The Bandidos MC members are expected to travel to nearby Buninyong before returning over the weekend.

In a statement, Victoria Police said on Thursday that officers were “aware” of the national run. “Echo and VIPER taskforces, with local police and specialist units, will be closely monitoring to ensure the safety of all road users,” they said. 

“There will be an increased police presence in the Ballarat area over the weekend before members are expected to depart on Sunday. “Police will be ready to take swift action in the event any Bandidos MC members involved commit criminal, road safety or public order offences.”

Western Region Superintendent Frank Sells said that police would not be intimidated and their presence would be increased. Ballarat has hosted the Bandidos several times before, with the annual general meeting held last year at popular local restaurant Lazy Moe’s.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Matilda's Bar on Route 66

Originating as the McCook Outlaws MC, the club was founded by Electro-Motive Company employees at Matilda's Bar on Route 66 in the southwestern Chicago suburb of McCook, Illinois in 1935​.

Photo: M. S. 

John Davis was reportedly the founder of the club. Although inactive during World War II, the Outlaws reformed afterwards and attended the first major post-war motorcycle rally, held at Soldier Field in Chicago in May 1946.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Mongols MC members shot at while riding

Tippecanoe County, Indiana, USA (September 21, 2023) - A man riding a motorcycle, later identified as Keylin Holly pulled out a handgun and allegedly shot at two other motorcyclist at an intersection. The victims reportedly told the man to stop following them when they stopped at the intersection the shooting took place, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Wednesday.

When police were on their way, they received more calls of shots fired in the area. According to an officer in the area at the time, Holly was wearing a denim vest with “Abolafia” in red and white lettering. Holly was riding his motorcycle behind two older men on motorcycles. The officer said he heard the two men tell Holly to stop following them.

When the bikers approached the intersection of 18th Street and Everett Street, the officer saw what looked like Holly shooting at the two motorcycles in front of him. According to Tippecanoe County Prosecutor's Office, Holly is a known member of the Abolafia Motorcycle Club. The people he's accused of shooting at are members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club.

Holly is charged with four counts each of attempted murder, aggravated battery and attempted battery with a deadly weapon, as well as unlawful carrying of a handgun, criminal recklessness and criminal organization activity.

He is being held in the Tippecanoe County Jail with $210,000 in bonds as of Wednesday evening, according to jail logs.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Feds want the Grim Reapers MC clubhouse

Evansville, Indiana USA (September 20, 2023) - After indicting and sentencing more than a dozen members of the Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club, the federal government is wanting to seize the MC's clubhouse. United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zach Myers, filed a formal civil complaint in December, 2022 asking a judge to forfeit the building at located 1104 East Diamond Avenue in Evansville, Indiana “to the United States of America.


The civil case, featured an amended complaint and the dropping of a defendant, is still working it's way through court system. The newest filing came on September 5, 2023. The amended complaint, issued in late June, says the building is “subject to forfeiture because it was used, or intended to be used, to commit, or to facilitate, the commission of drug-trafficking offenses.”

It’s the culmination of years of investigation. The feds kicked off the criminal portion of the case in November 2019, when members of the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, among others obtained a search warrant and knocked down the Motorcycle Club’s front door.

RELATED | Former Grim Reapers MC Prez Sentenced

They reportedly seized 10 pounds of meth, 23 guns, $35,000 in cash and a couple of motorcycles. The dope alone reportedly had an estimated street value of more than $250,000. What followed next was a bunch of indictments over the coming months and now years. The latest sentence was handed down in February of this year.

Besides going after the Grim Reapers MC, the main defendant in the civil side of the case is former Grim Rreapers MC leader Gary Wayne Forston. He was sentenced in October to 16-and-a-half years in prison after he plead guilty to four of the 12 counts against him. He’s currently serving his sentence in Texarkana, Texas.

As part of Wayne's plea deal that he signed in July 2022 “Forston agreed that the defendant property was subject to forfeiture and consented to the forfeiture of his interest in the defendant property,” the amended complaint says. Prosecutors accuse Forston of living at the clubhouse while the dope ring was doing business. The feds want the court to block Grime Reapers MC members from using the building and ultimately hand it over to the U.S. government.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Mongols MC affiliates crash going to national event

Amberley, New Zeland (September 15, 2023) - Two people affiliated with the Mongols MC crashed on their way to Christchurch for a planned event. Detective Inspector Joel Syme said police were aware of a planned event in Christchurch this weekend involving members and associates of the Mongols MC.

On Friday morning, police were called to a crash involving two motorcycles travelling to the event. The crash on State Highway 1, north of Amberley, was reported to Police at 11:25 AM. “Nobody was injured and the road was not blocked.”

Syme said additional police staff would be deployed in the city over the weekend to “closely monitor the behaviour” of those attending the event. “Our expectations around these types of events are very clear and I can assure the community that we will have resources in place to respond to reports of unlawful behaviour.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Hells Angels MC Banned from Ponde Compound

South Australia (September 14, 2023) - Hells Angels members will be barred from a regular meeting place after state parliament passed a law designating the property a prescribed place. The Ponde compound, about 100km east of Adelaide, was home to a rock music festival until 2002 but will now be off bounds to club members after the government's latest move to block its use by the bikie gang.

"We do not want to see outlaw motorcycle gangs getting a hold back in South Australia," Attorney-General Kyam Maher told reporters on Thursday. "We will do everything that is in our power to make South Australians safer and that includes changing the law very quickly when we need to."

The High Court in August invalidated an attempt by the previous Liberal government to ban the bikies from Ponde, but Mr Maher was adamant his law would face no such obstacles as it amended the legislation itself and was not just a regulation. "What we've done through the passage of this legislation in parliament, is to make it as bulletproof as possible," he said.

The declaration of the site as a prescribed place means any members of a listed criminal organisation cannot visit. But the Law Society of South Australia criticised the bill, arguing it was based on a flawed regime. In a submission to Mr Maher, the society's president James Marsh said the law increased the risk that individuals could have their property unjustly confiscated.

"The society queries the justification in abrogating any citizen's right to procedural fairness," he wrote. Mr Maher said the society's representations "fell on deaf ears." "We will do absolutely everything we can to make sure bikies have as little influence in this state as possible," he said.

In 2019, police found a burnt-out car on the property that had been linked to a bashing murder. At one stage the government tried to seize the land as a criminal asset but later dropped that bid.

Hells Angels MC member being released from prison

Quebec, Canada (September 14, 2023) - One of the most influential Hells Angels MC members in Quebec will be released from a federal penitentiary soon as he nears the statutory release date of the 14-year sentence he received as a result of his guilty pleas in two major investigations into the motorcycle club.

In a decision made earlier this week, the Parole Board of Canada ordered that Marvin (Casper) Ouimet, 54, be required to reside at a halfway house for six months after he reaches his statutory release date. The board imposed several other conditions of Ouimet’s release because he made it clear he is still a Hells Angel and will remain one when he is released.

In one case, Ouimet pleaded guilty in Operation SharQc, an investigation that in 2009 resulted in the roundup of almost every member of the Hells Angels MC in Quebec. The probe was based on the theory that almost every member of the club in Quebec was part of a conspiracy to murder rival members of criminal organizations in the province during a war over drug-trafficking turf that stretched from 1994 to 2002.

In the other case, Operation Diligence, Ouimet pleaded guilty to money laundering and other related charges. Ouimet admitted he invested $200,000 to purchase land in Lachute. The plan was to subdivide the land into 100 lots and build bungalows or semi-detached homes on them. Operation Diligence began after the owner of a family business that once replaced Montreal city hall’s copper roof alleged that Ouimet wanted to take control of his company and a masonry firm.

Ouimet’s attempt to take control of the company is mentioned in a written summary of the parole board’s decision.

“All your criminality has been committed for financial gain. You were convicted of being at the head of a network of money laundering and infiltration of the legal economy in the construction industry. Official information reports, among other things, false invoices, under the table payments, transfer of money to tax havens,” the parole board wrote. “The crimes were committed over a significant period of three years  and one of the victims declared having suffered intimidation when you took control of his company.”

Alleged Outcast MC member indicted

Atlanta, Georgia, USA (September 14, 2023) - Attorney General Chris Carr announced Wednesday that a Morrow, Georgia man has been indicted in Clayton County on charges of Trafficking of Persons for Servitude, Violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, False Imprisonment, Aggravated Assault, Armed Robbery, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony.

“Across our state, gangs are actively engaged in human trafficking as a primary means to make money, and we are using all available resources to disrupt their operations and keep our people safe,” Carr said in a news release. “Whether a buyer or a seller, those who abuse and exploit another person will be met with the full force of the law. Our top priority is to protect our fellow Georgians, and that is exactly what we are doing.”

This case was investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Gang Task Force, the GBI’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit, and the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.

The Outcast Motorcycle Club is considered an Outlaw Motorcycle Club or a “One-Percenter” Motorcycle Club. The Outcast MC has around 67 chapters across the country, including four in Georgia. Founded in 1967 in Detroit, the second Outcast MC chapter was formed in Atlanta. Additional chapters are located in Augusta, Hawkinsville and Savannah.

In May, Carr’s Gang Prosecution Unit indicted 16 alleged members of the Southeast Georgia Chapter of the Outcast MC in Bryan County. This is considered the largest motorcycle club indictment in state history and its announcement followed the culmination of Operation Patronus, a multi-agency investigation targeting gangs and guns in southeast Georgia and beyond. This operation resulted in the recovery of approximately $180,000 in cash and the seizure of 71 guns, two motorcycles and two cars.

The Attorney General’s Human Trafficking and Gang Prosecution Units presented evidence to a Clayton County Grand Jury, resulting in the alleged member's indictment on August. 30. Specifically, he is facing the following charges:

— 5 counts of Trafficking of Persons for Servitude
— 10 counts of Violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act
— 1 count of False Imprisonment
— 1 count of Aggravated Assault
— 1 count of Armed Robbery
— 1 count of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Hells Angels MC prospect arrested after shooting

Newtonville, Ontario (September 12, 2023) - Two men, including a Hells Angels MC prospect, face numerous charges after a Clarington shooting led to the discovery of 13 guns. On September 9, a man drove to a home in Newtonville in a red Ford pick-up truck. 

The man fired a gun into the home striking a man inside. Durham Regional Police received reports of the shooting and responded to the scene. They found the victim who proved uncooperative with investigators.

The next day multiple police units including Guns and Gangs, Biker Enforcement and Tactical Support raided two homes and a car. They found 13 guns during the raids including a modified sub-machine gun, a pistol and silencer, several rifles and shotguns, two extended magazines and ammunition.

Police also arrested two men on multiple charges during the raid. Anthony Psilopoulos, 38 of Clarington, faces six charges including illicit possession and breaching release orders. Investigators say Psilopoulos is a Hells Angels MC prospect. Previous court records from 2019 indicate Psilopoulos ranked as a “hang-around” with the motorcycle club at the time. A prospect is a few ranks higher than a hang-around and one step below a fully patched member.

Additionally, Darryl Kerswell, 51 of Clarington faces five firearms-related offences including possession without a licence and careless storage. Police did not comment on whether the men were held for a bail hearing or released with conditions.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Bandidos MC hit with search warrants

Albuquerque, New Mexico (September 5, 2023) - FBI and New Mexico State Police SWAT teams launched early morning raids in towns across New Mexico, searching the homes of the 25 Bandidos MC members identified as having made “imminent threats” to kill or hurt rivals involved in the fatal shootings in May.

Evidence seized included more than 150 firearms, and three men were arrested on state charges as the investigation into possible racketeering and other crimes continues. New Mexico’s top law enforcement announced at a press conference they had a message for the estimated 75 or so Bandidos members in New Mexico whose properties weren’t searched.

“The motorcycle is a symbol of freedom, of individualism, and the open road,” said U.S. Attorney for New Mexico Alexander Uballez. “But today, a selfish few are trying to tell us who gets to enjoy our roads, what clothes they are required to wear, and with whom they can ride. The people of New Mexico have no more patience for violent bullies. Working together, the law enforcement agencies of New Mexico return the open road to the public who owns it.”

Raul Bujanda, FBI Special Agent in Charge for New Mexico, said the investigation will include tracing the firearms seized to determine if they have been involved in any unsolved homicides in the state. Looking out at an audience of state, federal, county sheriff and city law enforcement officers who helped conduct the searches, Bujanda said the violence that erupted at the annual motorcycle rally in Red River was “kind of a wake up call for everyone here.”

The events, which drew tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts, turned violent May 27 when members of the Bandidos MC surrounded members of the much smaller New Mexico based motorcycle club, the Water Dogs MC. Gunfire broke out, and three people were fatally shot, one member of the Water Dogs, and two Bandidos MC members. A total of eight people were shot, all members of the motorcycle clubs.

Prosecutors in Taos County dismissed murder charges temporarily against a Water Dogs MC member, who had been arrested after the shootings. The Water Dogs MC member reportedly claimed self-defense. The violence at the rally was linked in part to photos taken at a wedding that showed the president of the Water Dogs MC standing with at least one member of the Mongols Motorcycle Club. The Mongols have been trying to increase the club’s presence in New Mexico. Historically, the Bandidos have considered the state their territory.

According to a 145-page search warrant affidavit, some of confidential informants have reported that Bandidos leadership is “concerned the Bandidos MC look weak for having failed to avenge the shooting deaths of  two members during the weekend rally in Red River, N.M.”

“Based on my investigation, I believe members of the Bandidos MC are preparing to attack members of the Mongols MC and Water Dogs MC,” wrote FBI Special Agent Bryan Acee in the affidavit. He stated that the 25 Bandidos MC members targeted in Thursday’s searches “have been the most aggressive proponents of violent conflict.”

“Coupled with the fact those same Target Subjects are believed to be actively conducting reconnaissance on their rivals; acquiring and trafficking in firearms, encouraging others to join them in assaulting and killing rivals; and in possession of firearms, ammunition, and ballistic vests; I believe the requested search warrants will mitigate the current threat and result in the seizure of valuable evidence,” wrote Acee.

Acee’s affidavit described that to prepare for an attack some Bandidos MC members have been following Mongols MC members from their homes or work to ascertain their habits and where they live. They have been practicing shooting. The searches occurred in Albuquerque, Alamogordo, Farmington, Hobbs, Gallup, Capitan, Ruidoso, Rio Rancho, Los Lunas and several smaller communities.

Bujanda said the law enforcement intervention on Thursday won’t likely extinguish the bad blood between the Bandidos and their rivals. “It’s a turf war and they think this is their turf. Obviously it’s not.”