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Two Hells Angels charged in Kelowna killing

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Kelowna dad Dain Phillips would have done anything for his three sons and grandchildren.

So when his two youngest told him about an ongoing dispute with two brothers they had known in high school, he stepped in to resolve it peacefully.

Instead, Phillips was fatally beaten with hammers and baseball bats on a Kelowna roadside June 12.

Now two full-patch Hells Angels and five others have been charged with killing Phillips, 51.

The counts against Norman Cocks, 31, and Robert Thomas, 46, are the first accusing patch-wearing Angels of murder in the 28-year history of the biker gang in B.C.

Also charged is Cocks’ dad, Robert, the 52-year-old president of the Hells Angels puppet club, the Throttle Lockers.

Six of the seven accused killers, including both Cocks senior and junior, brothers Daniel and Matthew McRae, Anson Schell and Thomas Vaughan – appeared in Kelowna Provincial Court Monday and were remanded in custody until July 21.

Thomas has not yet been arrested, according to the online court database.

Phillips, 51, was attacked about 7 p.m. June 12 near the intersection of McCurdy and Gibson roads in Kelowna after he had agreed to meet some people connected to the feud with his sons.

Several men armed with hammers, baseball bats and other items arrived in two other vehicles and started striking Phillips.

Critically wounded and left unconscious in a pool of his blood, Phillips died later in hospital.

Kelowna RCMP Sgt. Anne Morrison confirmed after his death that Phillips did not provoke the attack nor did he engage in the altercation.

Two of the suspects charged in the death, brothers Daniel McRae, 21, and Matthew McRae, 19, attended Rutland secondary with Phillips’s two youngest sons who are in their early 20s.

The pairs of brothers had exchanged heated words on a few occasions at a popular local party spot called Postill Lake.

After one of the exchanges, the Phillips brothers were allegedly threatened.

When their father heard about the threats, he wanted to sort the matter out and agreed to the meeting that would cost him his life, according to information obtained by the Sun.

Police in Kelowna were not commenting on the charges Monday, though they are expected to hold a news conference today.

Phillips lived on a disability pension with his wife and toddler grandson. He had no criminal history.

At 6-3, Phillips was a right winger in the Western Hockey League from 1978 to 1980, playing with goaltender Kelly Hrudey in Medicine Hat and Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff in Lethbridge.

The Hells Angels started its Kelowna chapter in 2007. The gang now has several puppet clubs operating in Kelowna and surrounding areas, including the Throttle Lockers and King Pins.

Hells Angels members in B.C. have been charged and convicted in drug cases and of extortion and assault, but have never been charged with murder until now.

Norman Cocks has no criminal record in B.C., according to the court database online. His dad, Robert, was charged in 100 Mile House in 2008 with possessing a weapon without authorization and is due back in court in that case July 12.

Daniel McRae was convicted last November of damaging property and fined $500. He, his brother Matthew and Schell, 19, were all charged with assault in connection with an incident on June 27, 2010 and are still before the courts in that case. Their next appearance is Dec. 6, 2011.

Vaughan, 22, has no criminal history.

Thomas was convicted in 2006 with possession of stolen property and possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition. He got four months in jail and a lifetime firearms prohibition.

A service for Phillips was held on June 18, at the Heartland Ranch in Kelowna.

In his obituary, Phillips was remembered as “a hard working man with a lust for life.”

“He was a family man in every sense of the term. Dad served his family with all of his huge heart up until the minute he died,” said the obit, published in The Sun and Province.

“His legacy is his sons and the values he instilled in them, and the heart he taught everyone around him to live their lives with. He will be longingly missed by all and forever be in our hearts.”


SPECIALIST police, including officers from Strike Force Raptor, are investigating a bomb threat to a tattoo parlour at Dee Why owned by the Finks motorcycle gang.

Sturdee Pde was blocked for several hours while police bomb disposal unit officers examined the package and later removed it for forensic examination.

It is not yet known if the suspected bomb was genuine or an elaborate hoax.

Northern Beaches duty officer Insp Sam Bartlett said workers at the tattoo parlour in Sturdee Rd opened a small padded enveloped that was in the parlour’s letterbox and saw wires and a battery.

They immediately called the police, who alerted firefighters, paramedics and the police bomb squad.

He said businesses and homes within a 100m radius were evacuated while the bomb squad examined the package.

“An investigation into the package was conducted by the bomb disposal unit and it was rendered safe,” Insp Bartlett said.

“The package has been retained for forensic investigation.

“The bomb disposal unit is still investigating if it was genuine or an elaborate hoax.”

He said the police had not received any previous reports of trouble relating to the parlour.

Strike Force Raptor was established by the State Crime Command’s gangs squad to target outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Australia rescinds biker-gang ban

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Australia's High Court has overturned a law designed to criminalise certain motorcycle gangs in the state of New South Wales.

The law would have allowed police to seek court orders stopping gang members from associating with each other.

But a member of the Hell's Angels challenged the law on the grounds that it curtailed individual liberties.

The law was introduced following a brawl at Sydney airport in 2009 in which a man was beaten to death.

The BBC's Nick Bryant in Sydney says similar anti-biker laws in other Australian states may now face legal challenges.

The legal challenge to the law was based on two arguments - that the anti-biker law curtailed individual liberties, and that it also undermined the integrity of the courts.

The gang member's lawyer Wayne Baffsky said the law had the potential to destroy democratic society.

"It targets organisations who are defined as any two or more people, which means any two or more people in NSW could be a target of the act," he was quoted as saying by ABC news.

"The legislation was rushed through. The parliamentary oversight committee didn't even have an opportunity to look at it."

The court ruled that the law was outside the legislative powers of the New South Wales parliament.


Federal prosecutors requested a ruling Monday that would block members of the notorious Mongols motorcycle gang from wearing or distributing its trademarked logo or using its name.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Prosecutors made the request in district court in Los Angeles, and if U.S. District Judge Otis Wright signs the order, the government would own the logo and the club’s name. This is the first time the U.S. government has sought control of a gang’s identity through a court order.

The U.S. attorney’s office said the insignia — which depicts a pony-tailed man riding a chopper — is “very, very closely identified with the organization,” and that by removing access to the logo, the Mongols would be further prevented from operating.

“This patch is a central element of the identity of the gang. We’re trying to dismantle a criminal organization, and we’re trying to use whatever tools we can to do it,” said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office. “In this case it shows our determination to go after this organization as a whole — top to bottom leadership — and after the proceeds of criminal activity.”

A 2008 racketeering indictment accused Mongols members of murder, drug trafficking and torture. More than 100 people faced charges in state and federal courts, and Mrozek said dozens have been found guilty.

One of those members was former Mongol president Ruben “Doc” Cavazos, who pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and is expected to be sentenced later this year.

While heading the gang, Cavazos registered and trademarked the Mongol logo, Mrozek said. After Cavazos pleaded guilty to the criminal charges he faced, prosecutors realized they could request that the logo be forfeited because the trademark was used while the club was involved in criminal activity.

“The fact that they wanted legal protection gave us both the idea and the avenue to go after the logo,” Mrozek said.

A different judge issued an injunction in late 2008 prohibiting members of the gang from wearing the logo, and Wright issued a preliminary order of forfeiture last year.

Wright reversed his decision in September, however, after the Mongol Nation Motorcycle Club Inc. argued that the trademark and logo were a collective membership mark — meaning it identified a group of people — and therefore could not be owned solely by one person.

George Steele, who is representing the Mongols, said that because one person cannot own a collective membership insignia, it could not be seized from Cavazos.

“It’s legally impossible for one person to own a collective membership mark, so if it’s illegal, they can’t take it,” Steele said.

Prosecutors have since worked to prove that members of the club knew Cavazos was the sole owner of the logo, and said they had prepared evidence showing such. Wright, however, did not hear oral arguments at Monday’s hearing.

Mrozek said Wright could make his decision at any time, even as early as Monday.

MAN nicknamed "Nick the knife", allegedly part of a bikie gang's "terror team" and accused of fighting in a violent brawl in Adelaide, will be allowed to return to Queensland on bail.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Nicholas John Forbes, 41, is accused of taking part in a fight between the Finks and Hells Angels gangs at a Hindley Street nightclub on May 29.

He was granted bail in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Friday, prompting prosecutors to seek a review in the Supreme Court on Monday.

Prosecutor Anthony Quartuccio told the court the Finks member was a danger to the public with a strong risk of reoffending.

"This offending ... occurred quite brazenly in areas peppered by CCTV footage," he said of the nightclub brawl.

"That is indicative of a person who essentially cannot be relied upon to be deterred by the loss of finance."

Forbes has been charged with aggravated riot after being arrested and extradited from the Gold Coast.

Mr Quartuccio said it was alleged surveillance footage clearly identified Forbes in the brawl.

"Within minutes there are 25 people in the dance floor fighting. The fight involved punching, kicking, throwing bar stools," he said.

Mr Quartuccio also alleged Forbes was part of an internal unit within the Finks gang called "terror team", based in Surfers Paradise, that was responsible for enforcing violence.

But defence counsel Craig Caldicott said no such team existed and explained Forbes' nickname as something he picked when he went hunting as a teenager.

"It is a nickname he has been living with him for over 20 years," he said.

Mr Caldicott said his client also intended to plead not guilty and should get bail because his co-accused had been released.

"The footage I have seen on the TV looks quite grainy," he said.

Justice Chris Kourakis refused the crown appeal but amended Forbes' bail to force him to report to Queensland police six days a week and for his sister to post a $5000 guarantee.

That was on top of conditions imposed in the magistrates court, which included a $10,000 cash surety and a $10,000 guarantor.

Eighteen other bikies have been arrested in relation to the Hindley Street brawl and will appear with Forbes in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on July 1.

Hell's Angel Michael Pena and his associate, Joseph Soto, were painted as victims of an ambush by a vengeful rival motorcycle gang

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Hell's Angel Michael Pena and his associate, Joseph Soto, were painted as victims of an ambush by a vengeful rival motorcycle gang during closing arguments of a murder trial Friday in Kern County Superior Court.

Pena has pleaded not guilty to murder, attempted murder and gang charges. His friend, Soto, pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon, accessory and gang participation.

The charges stem from the May 30, 2010 stabbing death of 18-year-old Vagos motorcycle gang member Roger Anthony Violano and the wounding of Nerl Rinehart, 69, another Vagos member. The victims were stabbed in front of the Pirate Tattoo Shop at 1905 North Chester Ave., according to deputies' reports.

The Vagos have a rivalry with the Hell's Angels, deputies said. Pena has a Hell's Angels tattoo on his right arm.

Pena's defense attorney, Peter Kang, said in court Friday that the fatal altercation at the tattoo shop followed previous encounters on other days at the Tilted Kilt and Kern River Inn.

At a Vagos birthday party the day of Violano's death, Kang argued, it was announced that Pena had been spotted outside the tattoo shop alone, and 20 to 30 gang members raced out in the middle of the performance of a Marilyn Monroe impersonator for the express purpose of attacking Pena.

There was no eyewitness testimony or murder weapon, so the prosecution's case is circumstantial.

Deputy district attorney Nicholas Palmisano argued that Vagos members had not set out to attack Pena, but had, themselves, been ambushed by Pena and members of a third gang that was lying in wait when they arrived at the shop. When Vagos arrived, helmets and motorcycle parts were hurled at them, he said.

In response to defense assertions that there was no evidence of the third gang at the shop, Palmisano said, "How does a guy with a knife survive with 20 against two...and how does Nerl Rinehart get stabbed in the back" if Pena and Soto were merely defending themselves?

There were conflicting accounts of where Soto and Pena were during the fight. The defense said Soto was trapped in the shop, its door guarded by Vagos members, and Pena had been by a bench outside.

The prosecution said both men actively engaged in the fighting, and offered a witness who was not there but said Pena told him afterward that he stabbed Violano and then washed the knife to remove incriminating evidence.

The jury began deliberating at 1:30 p.m. Friday. Deliberations continue Monday.

The trial began May 11 and is taking place with extra security beyond the usual screening at the entrance of the courthouse. Sheriff's deputies are stationed outside the courtroom and search everyone who enters with a hand-held metal detector. A video camera points in the direction of people being screened, and no one wearing gang insignia or carrying gang paraphernalia is admitted.

Outlaw bikie gangs are understood to be behind a shooting in the the Gold Coast hinterland overnight.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Police are questioning two men, aged 40 and 47, believed to be responsible for the shooting of a man in front of a pregnant woman and child at his home.

Detectives from Taskforce Hydra, which closely monitors the activites of outlaw motorcycle gangs, have been called in to help investigate the incident.

Serge "The Killer" Gauthier, a Hells Angels hit man accused of 22 murders, is in a "state of poverty" and deserves to have his legal bills covered by taxpayers

Serge "The Killer" Gauthier, a Hells Angels hit man accused of 22 murders, is in a "state of poverty" and deserves to have his legal bills covered by taxpayers, a judge has ruled.

Superior Court Justice James Brunton says Gauthier, 57, is too poor to mount a proper defence in a mega-trial scheduled to begin next year.

Gauthier, of Trois-Rivieres, Que., is among 124 bikers who face trial for the deaths of rivals during a bloody war with the Rock Machine gang in the 1990s and early 2000s. The two gangs battled for control of Quebec's lucrative drug market before police crippled both in a series of raids. About 30 of the defendants are also eligible for legal aid.

The court found that Gauthier's sole source of income is a $19,130 annual worker's compensation subsidy and a $5,000 profit from the sale of hand-crafted items.

"It is clear that the applicant's low income does not allow him to finance his ... defence in a case of this magnitude and complexity," Justice Brunton noted in a May 31 ruling.

The Superior Court has already ruled that each biker's legal bill could hit $240,000 for a trial that could last up to 15 months.

Gauthier was once the head of a lucrative drug trafficking network whose revenues had reached $1.5 million by 2002. Police say he supplemented his income by working as a pimp.

Gauthier tried and failed to have the charges against him dropped on the grounds that he has spent an unreasonable amount of time in jail awaiting trial.

Justice Brunton stayed charges against 31 other bikers on the same grounds last month.

Danish police arrested a 27 year-old man late Sunday after finding him with weapons, a kilo and a half of explosives and all the ingredients needed for a bomb,

Monday, 13 June 2011

Danish police arrested a 27 year-old man late Sunday after finding him with weapons, a kilo and a half of explosives and all the ingredients needed for a bomb, a police spokesman told AFP.

“It was the explosives and detonators to make a bomb, but it was not a bomb in itself. He had all the ingredients,” Detective Chief Inspector Claus Vinther of the Copenhagen police told AFP.

Asked if police thought the find could be linked to a terror attack, Vinther said: “No, we don’t think so.

But he added: “We don’t know what he was planning to do or trying to do or if he was holding it for someone else.”

Police stopped the man in his car for a traffic violation. When they spoke with him they suspected he was driving under the influence of drugs and so searched his car.

“In the trunk of his car, we found this one and a half kilos (3.3 pounds) of plastic explosives, detonators,” four hunting rifles, two shotguns and ammunition, Vinther said.

An earlier media report had mentioned only half a kilo of explosives.

The trunk also contained some elements of a Danish police uniform.

Vinther said the man arrested, a Danish national of Danish ethnic origin, was not a police officer. While he was known to them, it was not for any major crimes.

“He’s not gang related, he’s not related to any organised crime that we know of. Our suspicion might be that he is holding it or transporting it for someone else,” he said.

In recent years, a series of gang-related incidents, pitting the Hells Angels biker gang against rival immigrant gangs, has rocked the Danish capital and the area around it, but no one has been killed since late 2009.

Denmark has also been on alert following a series of incidents related to the publication in 2005 of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper.

Its intelligence agency warned in November last year that it had “renewed indications that terrorist groups (were) looking to send terrorists to Denmark to commit terrorist attacks.”

A month later, Danish and Swedish intelligence agencies said they had foiled a plot to massacre staff at the Jyllands-Posten daily. The newspaper published a dozen cartoons of the Prophet in 2005, triggering violent and sometimes deadly protests around the world.

Four men, three of them Swedish citizens, are in custody in Denmark awaiting trial over the affair.

The rebirth of the Outlaws motorcycle gang in London is raising the spectre of clashes with their traditional rivals, the Hells Angels.

But the head of the province’s biker unit says there seems to be enough crime in Southwestern Ontario to go around.

“There appears to be enough business to allow them to co-exist,” said Det.-Sgt. Len Isnor of the Ontario Biker Enforcement Unit.

“Having said that, if the market gets to a saturation point, that could lead to problems.”

A person with a past on the other side of the law suggested the area crime business has room for both, but the rivals will wrestle for control.

“I think you will find there is going to be some violence, but it won’t be direct,” he said.

The clubs will use street gangs and prospects to intimidate each other, rather than go head-to-head, he said.

The Hells Angels also are quietly trying to beef up their numbers, said the source, who has knowledge of the local biker scene.

Both the source and Isnor agreed the Outlaws are back and are going to make it known.

Police believe the gang has an east-end clubhouse, painted in traditional black and white Outlaws colours, Isnor said.

The Free Press source said the Outlaws will wear their colours whenever possible to prove they’re a full chapter: “They’ll have a visible presence this summer.”

That’s a contrast to the Hells Angels, who have kept a low profile in London for the last few years while consolidating control on the drug market and other criminal activities, the source said.

“They have more money and support than the Outlaws. They are more corporate. The Outlaws still think they are playing cowboys and Indians.”

A London chapter of the Outlaws began in 1977 but by 2002 was faltering. The Hells Angels had moved into Ontario and convinced dozens of area Outlaws to join them.

A provincewide raid called Project Retire in 2002 put dozens of Ontario Outlaws, including some local leaders, behind bars.

Some remaining Outlaws and their supporters tried to start a Bandidos chapter, but that experiment ended in disaster with the massacre of eight Bandidos in 2006 and prison terms for six others guilty of the killings.

Two years ago, the city had the Outlaws clubhouse on Egerton St. demolished.

But the main targets in Project Retire have either served their time or had their charges dropped.

In London, “the Outlaws never really left,” Isnor said. Their membership fell below the three necessary for a chapter, he said. “They were there. They went into dormancy.”

The Outlaws’ roots in the city could help keep peace with the Hells Angels.

“The Hells Angels are the new kids on the block,” Isnor said.

The revived Outlaws are a mix of older bikers with a history of gang membership and newcomers, Isnor said. They are not patching over existing Hells Angels, he said.

Hells murder trials begin

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Two trials involving 51 men alleged to be members of the Hells Angels, or associates of the biker gang, saw their trials on multiple murder charges officially begin Friday.

The words "not guilty" were repeated often at the Gouin courthouse as 50 of the accused entered their pleas to many charges including one count of conspiracy to commit murder as well as 22 first-degree murder charges. One of the accused could not attend the hearing because he is currently being treated for stomach cancer.

Not all of the accused are charged with the murders, which occurred within the context of a conflict over drug trafficking turf between the Hells Angels and other organized crime groups. The prosecution's theory is the gang voted in favour of the war and contributed to it being carried out, roughly between 1994 and 2002. The 51 accused are expected to be tried in two separate trials and are split based on which chapters - Sherbrooke and Quebec City - they are allegedly affiliated with.

Superior Court Justice James Brunton presided over one hearing, involving 29 men alleged to be part of the Sherbrooke chapter while Justice Martin Vauclair handled a case involving 22 accused in another room at the courthouse which was specially built for such large trials.

The hearing was the first related to Operation SharQc since Brunton's bombshell decision on May 31 to place a stay of proceedings on the cases of 31 people who were only charged with drug trafficking in a major police investigation that produced indictments against 156 people in all. One has since died and 19 are still being sought by police.

In the same decision, Brunton set the timetable, which officially began Friday. Under that plan, five separate murder trials will be held. People alleged to be members or associates of the South and Trois Rivières chapters will be tried in 2013 and the Montreal chapter in 2015.

However, Brunton made it clear Friday that things could change before a jury or a judge begins hearing evidence. Lawyers will return to the courthouse in September for a two-week hearing to analyze the Crown's evidence. Following that, Brunton said, some of the accused might request a trial before a judge alone while another group might prefer a trial before a jury. Brunton said if that happens there should be no problem with transferring an accused from one case to the other.

"Your work starts now," Brunton told the many lawyers gathered in his courtroom Friday morning. He also noted many of the accused in the Sherbrooke chapter case have yet to hire lawyers. He urged the men to hire an attorney soon and advised them having an attorney will become crucial in the coming months.


Finks Motorcycle Club bikie arrested outside Adelaide Magistrates Court

Friday, 10 June 2011

CRIME Gangs Task Force officers arrested a bikie member and issued barring orders on three others outside Adelaide Magistrates Court this morning.

Police said the men were there to support a Finks' member who was appearing in court on other matters.

The man, who was arrested on an outstanding warrant, was also issued a barring order, which all relate to a wild brawl between Hells Angels and Finks Motorcycle gang members in a city nightclub on May 29.

The barring orders prohibit the men entering licensed premises in the city and Glenelg for three months.

"So far, we have issued 20 barring orders as a result of the Hindley Street incident," Crime Gangs Detective Inspector Steve Taylor said. "If we can keep these two (bikie) groups apart in licensed venues, we can prevent another chance meeting that could endanger members of the public."
Investigations continue into the nightclub riot .


Hells Angels get 6 years in drug case

president of the Downtown Toronto chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, John Neal, 61, and member Lorne Campbell, 62, were sentenced Thursday to six years in prison for drug trafficking related charges.

But they are free, having served their time in pre-trial custody.

Club members Douglas Myles, 54, and Mehrdad Bahman, 48, convicted of drug charges, and Larry Pooler, 61, guilty of possession of a restricted firearm, are yet to be sentenced by Ontario Superior Court Justice Maureen Forestell.

Last month a jury found the bikers guilty of those charges but not guilty of belonging to a criminal organization.


Hells Angels Associate Dies After Flipping his Viper on Highway 1

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Mountie watched as a Dodge Viper whipped past him on 56th Avenue in Langley. A few minutes later, the vehicle drive by a Hells Angels associated, flipped on Highway 1, killing Jeremy Pinette instantly.

Pinette, 32, lived in Abbotsford in a well-fortified home with security cameras. 

But he grew up across the street from the White Rock Hells Angels chapter on 61st in Langley.  I met him there back in 2008 when he was attending the 25th anniversary party for the Hells Angels. I was chatting with his parents, who live across the street, when he came over to visit them and they introduced me.

I later saw him driving guests to the HA party to and from the event


Members of the Vagos and the Hells Angels, were allegedly involved in a fight at a local casino on Saturday afternoon, leaving one man badly beaten

Monday, 6 June 2011

Members of two rival motorcycle gangs were allegedly involved in a fight at a local casino on Saturday afternoon, leaving one man badly beaten, according to a report from the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

The incident – alleged to have taken place at a tattoo conference at the Konocti Vista Resort and Casino outside of Lakeport – involved the Vagos and the Hells Angels, both outlaw motorcycle gangs, according to a report from Capt. James Bauman.

Bauman said a member of the Vagos was brutally beaten, allegedly by a group of full-patch members of the Hells Angels.

At approximately 1:20 p.m. Saturday, sheriff’s deputies responded to Konocti Vista Casino after security reported that four to five Hells Angels were involved in a physical fight, Bauman said.

He said deputies arrived within minutes of the call and stopped a group of full-patch Hells Angels members who were walking out of the resort’s conference center.

As the group of Hells Angels allegedly were telling deputies that they knew nothing about a fight, resort security personnel alerted deputies to a green SUV leaving the resort that was reportedly occupied by the victim, Bauman said.

The green SUV was stopped by deputies a short distance from the resort. Bauman said the passenger in the SUV, identified as 39-year-old Michael Anthony Burns of Lakeport, was bleeding about the head and face, his face was swollen and he had a laceration under his right eye.

Burns, however, denied being involved in any altercation and alleged that his injuries occurred as the result of a “fall,” Bauman said.

Although Burns was a known validated member of the Vagos, a rival gang of the Hells Angels, he was released from further detention since he adamantly denied being assaulted. Bauman said the group of Hells Angels also left the resort.

Deputies later reviewed footage from the resort’s security surveillance system. Bauman said they were able to determine that two of the as-yet unidentified Hells Angels members allegedly had followed Burns and another subject out of the casino.

As Burns and the other subject entered the foyer in front of the casino, Burns allegedly was struck by one of the Hells Angels and all four men began fighting, Bauman said.

Four to six more Hells Angels then entered the foyer and while some of them allegedly joined in the assault on Burns, others blocked resort security personnel from trying to stop the assault, according to the report.

Bauman said Burns allegedly was left lying on the floor bleeding as the Hells Angels left the foyer. Burns eventually got up and left the foyer as well.

The Hells Angels allegedly seen assaulting Burns in the surveillance footage did not appear to be the same group contacted by deputies on their arrival, Bauman said.

He said the investigation continued into the night.

The sheriff's office said the Hells Angels and the Vagos “have a documented history of extreme violence and retaliation.”

Based on that history, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said it expects retaliation and further acts of violence.

Individuals wearing Hells Angels patches – featuring a helmeted skull – or the bright green Vagos insignia are members of the gangs and should be considered dangerous, the agency said.

The reported incident comes less than a month after a large group of Vagos showed up in Lakeport for an annual meeting.

When the Vagos showed up on May 14, Lakeport Police – assisted by several other local law enforcement agencies, including the sheriff's office and the California Highway Patrol – shut down some of the city's downtown streets because of safety concerns, as Lake County News has reported.

Police had reportedly received intelligence that the group's appearance was in connection to the beating of one of its members by two Hells Angels members some weeks before.

As law enforcement was monitoring the situation May 14, they received reports that a group of motorcycle riders – possibly Hells Angels – were heading toward the county.

13 members of the Hells Angels and 12 members of the Finks clashed violently about 5am on May 29 at the Hindley Street venue.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Adelaide police have arrested 12 men connected with two bikie gangs after a violent brawl at a city nightclub was captured by security cameras.

Police said 13 members of the Hells Angels and 12 members of the Finks clashed violently about 5am on May 29 at the Hindley Street venue.

They attacked each other with bottles, glasses, metal bollards and heavy metal bar stools, with several members of the group suffering serious head injuries.

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Detective Inspector Steve Taylor, from the Crime Gangs Task Force, said the incident showed the true nature of the relationship between bikie gangs.

While they had recently portrayed themselves as law-abiding citizens who were united in the fight against SA's anti-gang laws, the opposite was actually the truth, he said.

"These pictures show members of motorcycle gangs are not ordinary citizens who ride motorcycles on weekends as a fun get together," Det Insp Taylor said.

"They are not unified, they are violent offenders who have no problem playing out their differences in public.

"This violence has included shootings, bombings and stabbings."

Det Insp Taylor said it was lucky no one was killed in the latest incident.

No arrests were made on the night, with police launching a major investigation involving about 170 officers.

They raided clubrooms operated by both the Finks and the Hells Angels on Friday.

Those arrested included seven members of the Finks, including the club's sergeant-at-arms, one member of the Hells Angels and four people associated with the Hells Angels.

They were all charged with aggravated riot, a recently introduced offence which carries a 10-year maximum jail term.

The 12 were granted police bail on strict conditions and will appear in court at a later date.

an altercation in Gunnison last summer during a week-long visit by the Hells Angels motorcycle club.

Friday, 3 June 2011

local motel owner and former police officer was convicted on two of four counts last week, stemming from an altercation in Gunnison last summer during a week-long visit by the Hells Angels motorcycle club.
Ed Nowak was charged with four counts, including one felony, going into last week's jury trial. After about an hour and a half of deliberations, the jury found Nowak not guilty of the charge of resisting arrest, and a felony count of impersonating a peace officer was dismissed earlier in the trial.
However, Nowak was found guilty of disturbing the peace and obstructing a peace officer -- both misdemeanors.
Defense attorney Chris Grubbs of Denver said last week that he would have liked to see Nowak vindicated on all counts, but "when you're on this side of the aisle, you kind of have to call it a win."
Nowak was arrested this past July during the week-long visit to the Gunnison Valley by an estimated 500 Hells Angels members -- one of few arrests related to the motorcycle club's annual "USA Run."
During the week, 130 additional officers from throughout Colorado were brought to Gunnison to help keep the peace -- a cause for criticism by some locals, who believed that the police presence was too heavy-handed.
Numerous members of the Hells Angels were staying at the Western Motel in Gunnison, owned by Nowak. Police cited a tactic used by Hells Angels, where members intentionally pulled over in locations where they were able to have plenty of supporting bikers nearby.
On multiple occasions, officers said, such traffic stops ended up in the Western Motel parking lot.
The day prior to his arrest, according to authorities, Nowak had been warned about interfering with traffic stops.
According to court documents, the incident began when a motorcycle, operated by someone wearing Hells Angels insignia, failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, failed to signal a turn and failed to signal a second turn into the Western Motel parking lot, where he was contacted by a deputy from Larimer County.
During that contact, according to officers, Nowak approached the arresting officer in an agitated and angry state, using profanity and demanding that the officer vacate the premises.
After an argument with authorities, officers on the scene claimed that Nowak took a "shooter stance" and reached toward his belt. When instructed to turn around and put his hands above his head, Nowak turned and started to leave, according to authorities. At that point, Nowak was Tased in the back and arrested.
Nowak is retired from the Cook County (Illinois) Sheriff's Office after a law enforcement career that spanned 29 years.
Last December, local prosecutors added a felony charge of impersonating a peace officer to the other three counts, moving the case to District Court.
However, during proceedings last week Judge J. Steven Patrick dismissed the felony charge.
The defense in recent months submitted a video recording of the arrest for evidence, though it wasn't shown during the trial.
Grubbs noted that in the video, when Nowak is handcuffed and being lifted off the ground, he can be heard saying, "when I used to be a cop, this (expletive) would have never happened."
"Our position has been that he never tried to pass himself off as anything other than a former police officer," said Grubbs.
Nowak was sentenced last week shortly after the verdict was returned. Judge Patrick imposed one year of supervised probation, including that Nowak successfully complete an anger management program and 24 hours of public service.
Deputy District Attorney Keith Mandelski did not return a request for comment this week.
Grubbs chalked up Nowak's being found not-guilty of resisting arrest to an astute jury.
He said that it's typical to be either found guilty -- or not guilty -- on the combined charges of obstructing an officer and resisting arrest. "When cops beat the (expletive) out of somebody, they generally charge you with obstructing and resisting," he said. "So more often what you see is guilty on all of them, or not guilty on all of them. ...
"My argument was just that when you read the jury instruction for resisting arrest, it takes a physical act. It can't just be verbal."
Nowak said he was disappointed that the verdict upheld authorities' ability, in his eyes, to "enter private property at any given time without any explanation and do whatever they want to do."
He likened his situation to that of a posted no-trespassing sign.
"When you have a ranch and you post no hunting, it means no hunting," he said. "You find a hunter and he's at your mercy. How many types of standards do we have?"
However, Judge Patrick, in a court order filed in April, wrote: "There was no argument and there appears to be no dispute that (Larimer County) Deputy Clymer was properly on Defendant's property and made an appropriate police contact with the motorcyclist. ... It is undisputed that generally a warrantless arrest on private property requires both probable cause and exigent circumstances."
In his order, he found that both existed.
Nowak had previously indicated that he may pursue an appeal of any guilty verdict. Now, he said, that's only "buried in the back of (his) mind."
"As a former cop, I'm ashamed of those guys," he said. "It's one thing if it would have been our local guys. But it wasn't. All the stuff that was done and all the complaints were about the out-of-towners. ... The out-of-towners were doing what they can not do in their jurisdictions."

Alleged motorcycle gang member jailed in marijuana smuggling plot

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

alleged motorcycle gang member is behind bars after being implicated in a plot to move more than 2,500 pounds of marijuana from Olmito to Atlanta, Georgia.

U.S. Immigration & Custom Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security agents arrested 36-year-old Gabriel Olivarez on federal drug charges on Tuesday.

Court records released Wednesday show that Olivarez allegedly worked as a drug trafficking "broker" and hired an undercover ICE agent posing as a truck driver in May.

Authorities secretly escorted the Atlanta-bound 18 wheeler to a hotel in Corpus Christi where authorities recovered 191 bundles with 2,551 pounds of marijuana.

A criminal complaint filed in the case shows that Olivarez is a member of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and has a previous marijuana trafficking conviction in North Carolina back in 2000.

Members from the local Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang told Action 4 News that Olivarez is not a member of their organization.

The criminal complaint shows Olivarez was also linked to a money laundering incident in Santa Rosa where authorities found more than $2.1 million dollars in cash back in October 2005.

Olivarez's cousin also implicated him in another incident in December 2010 where authorities seized 643 pounds of marijuana.

Harlingen police arrested Olivarez during a January 2011 traffic where an officer allegedly found the drug Xanax in his car.

Authorities had kept him under surveillance since that time and even filed for a search warrant to search his home near the intersection of North Rose Street and Spring Meadow Lane.

Olivarez appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio in Brownsville on Wednesday morning.

Public records show that Olivarez was out on bond for the Xanax incident at the time ICE agents arrested him.

Olivarez registered his driver’s license to North 5th Street in Santa Rosa but investigators report he now lives in Harlingen.

Judge Recio denied bond for Olivarez until a Friday morning hearing.


Drug charges against 31 Hells Angels bikers were tossed out

Drug charges against 31 Hells Angels bikers were tossed out Tuesday by a Montreal judge who said their trials would be delayed for too long.

The 31 suspects were among 156 alleged members and associates of Quebec's Hells Angels biker gang who were arrested in 2009 following a police investigation that went on for 17 years.

In granting a defense request for a stay, Quebec Superior Court Judge James Brunton said further anticipated delays would have prevented the men from having fair trials, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Defense attorneys maintain it could take 10 years before all the defendants went to trial.

"He sent a message that you have to be realistic about the capacity of the courts to react," defense lawyer Daniel Rock said.

The judge chastised the provincial justice minister and director of criminal prosecutions for assuming the justice system could handle the massive case.

Prosecutor Gaston Langevin said Brunton's decision was disappointing.

"There are other avenues possible, instead of just a stay of proceedings," he said. "One of them would have been to put some of them back on the street -- with conditions -- and not just go for a stay of proceedings."

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty

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